Saturday, December 31, 2005

an unusual practice for me.

i am not usually in the habit of quoting song lyrics on this blog. in fact, i don't believe that i ever have. my general position on it is, no one really cares and just skims over them with their eyes anyway. i still feel that way, but i am breaking this self-imposed ban today because this seems to be the only thing running through my head as midnight approaches:

it's been a
long december
and there's reason to believe
maybe this year will be
better than the last.

i can't remember
all the times
i tried to tell myself
to hold on to these moments
as they pass.

love and luck to all of you in the new year. thanks for reading for the past four months - i've got twelve more in store, so don't go too far.

Friday, December 30, 2005

two for one.

friday cat blogging PLUS a late wednesday one-liner thrown in for free, just because i like you.

this is what CatCat and i will be doing for most of the day:

of course, this is what she does most every day.

and your one-liner, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Guy on cell: Number one: I'm going back to Brooklyn now. Number two: I can't fucking stand you and I never want to see you again. Number three: Call me.

--8th & Mercer

pseudo sick day.

i am in my pajamas and wrapped up in a blanket as i write this. i am also not at work as i write this. (you would think the former would indicate the latter, but my office has a very lax dress code.) this all worked out very well for me, actually, as we have today off as a holiday (nonprofitland gives you a "new year's eve day" as well as a "new year's day" holiday, probably to make up for the fact that you then have no paid holidays until memorial day) but if we didn't have it off, i would be home sick regardless. so, it's not that i'm pseudo-sick, it's that what is a holiday for everyone else at my office is a sick day for me. but i don't have to use up a sick day for it. ha.

re-reading the above paragraph, the fact that i am high on cold medicine is really quite evident.

perhaps i will post some medicated ramblings later. for now, though, i need to turn on the game show network or something. ah yes, mind-numbing television seen through half-asleep eyelids. heavenly.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

this just in.

friendster is addictive.

why did it take me a year and a half to figure this out? i signed up back in grad school and promptly forgot about it, until i got a random friendster email yesterday. with this being The Week that Time Forgot here in nonprofitland, i figured i'd kill some time and check it out.

holy crap, there are a lot of people that i know on friendster! people that i knew in college. people that i knew in high school. people that i used to date. people that i used to hate. people that i still hate. people that i hardly know, but am slightly obsessed with regardless.

it's very interesting, and yet slightly disconcerting at the same time. i don't know if it's the time of year, since usually around new year's eve you find yourself looking forward, not backward. i am trying to be good about looking forward, about using the new year as a catalyst (however stereotypical!) for potential change in my life. and yet here i am, three days before that new year arrives, poring over pictures of people with whom i haven't spoken in years, or people i have no real desire to ever speak to again. there's something very contradictory there. and yet i can't stop! so many strange, dust-covered memories to dig out, so many forgotten moments and character traits and facial expressions to resurrect.

what are these people to me now? and what am i to them? this little website has suddenly wiped away miles and arguments and years. it could be entirely irrelevant, or it could be crucial. i haven't decided yet.

but i keep clicking away, fascinated.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

strange bedfellows.

it's an interesting day when twisty links to the manolo. can you imagine a dinner conversation between those two? i would possibly pay money to witness it.

and speaking of the manolo, he's going to give me nightmares with this post. ugh.

i need a tissue.

seriously, does anybody have one? there are none in my office, and i need one in a bad way. i have some kind of freak winter allergies that are rendering me useless. i say "freak winter allergies" because it doesn't feel like a cold - it feels more like the entire inside of my face and ears are one big itch. oh, and my throat too, can't forget that.

is that a cold? bird flu? impetigo? what's wrong with me??

anyway, i hope that you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. i am back in chicago after five lovely days in the land of my birth, a.k.a. massachusetts. a small amount of time was spent in "live free or die" new hampshire, mainly for their lack of sales tax two days before christmas. BoyCat and i pulled into a mall parking lot and saw this giant black truck with about five of those obnoxious ribbon stickers (support the troops! support america! support god! support me!) lined up above his "live free or die" new hampshire license plate. and he was indeed living free, as he had apparently been in such a rush that he couldn't be bothered to only take up one parking space instead of three. it was like he had just careened into the parking lot, decided to stop at some indiscriminate point, and leapt out of the truck like it was on fire to run into Michael's Arts and Craft Store.

i love new hampshire.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

back to the homeland.

well. after i leave the office today, BoyCat and i will be heading to the pseudo-cats-in-laws house, and then tomorrow morning we fly out to massachusetts.

i am happy about this. i am happy to have a few days off, i am happy to not have to walk around in the freezing cold (well, it maybe be freezing cold there, but it's suburbia, so there will be cars!), i am happy to drink wine and sit on the couch with my feet up and admire my family's christmas tree. i am happy to shop in new hampshire, where there is no sales tax. i am happy to see old friends. i am happy to be in a place where no one makes fun of me for tacking an "r" onto the end of the word "saw." yes, i am happy.

i may post some dispatches from new england, i may not. if it ends up being the latter, well then, happy holidays everyone!

you know what i'm going to say.

but i honestly can't even talk about it. i can't even link to it, because the sight of the headlines makes me borderline homicidal.

and his hair, his beautiful hair...what will become of it? such a tragedy.

fucking steinbrenner. fucking idiot sox organization.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

a potentially enlightening post.

nothing better than a meme for those evenings, such as this one, when your brain feels like a bowl of oatmeal. for the half dozen readers that don't know me in real life, this could be informative. for the rest of you, well - let me know if i get anything wrong. this one was lifted from Ornithology for Beginners:

A is for Age: 25. a young'un. wet behind the ears. just fell off the turnip truck over here.
B is for Booze: there's not much that i won't drink. in my short time on earth (as noted above), the only two drinks that i've learned to refuse at all costs are shots of tequila and irish car bombs.
C is for Career: writing lots of stuff at nonprofitland.
D is for Dad’s name: DadCat.
E is for Essential items to bring to a party: money for a cab home.
F is for Favorite song or music: if i had to pick one song as my favorite song ever, it's "A Long December" by Counting Crows. there is no arguing with me about this, so don't even try.
G is for Goof-off thing to do: watch E! and Vh1.
H is for Hometown: catville, massachusetts (yeah, i'm not telling that one either).
I is for Instrument you play: none. i played trumpet for a year in the sixth grade. not well, though.
J is for Jam or Jelly you like: i'm not really a jelly fan in general. it's a texture thing. if a food has a texture that weirds me out - too gelatinous, too grainy, etc - i can't eat it. thus, my refusal to eat sour cream or any other white gelatinous substance.
K is for Kids: bearing one? no. the idea of pregnancy literally turns my stomach. raising one? i'll consider it, vaguely, for a minute, in about 10 years.
L is for Living arrangement: sharing a north side apartment with BoyCat and CatCat.
M is for Mom’s name: MomCat.
N is for Name of best friend: i don't have a best friend in the traditional sense. BoyCat is my best friend, and SisterCat is my best friend, and i have a few other great friends who i often refer to as my best friends. so i can't pick just one.
O is for Overnight stay in a hospital: never.
P is for Phobias: how much time do you have? flying. bridges. strangers. wicker furniture. (just kidding about the last one. sort of.)
Q is for Quote you like: "brevity is the soul of lingerie." - dorothy parker (i've got dp on the brain today, after finding this meme's origin site!)
R is for Relationship that lasted longest: the one that i'm in right now.
S is for Siblings: just one. SisterCat. and believe me, one is enough - we've got our hands full with each other!
T is for Texas, ever been?: no, and i don't plan on it. SisterCat has a theory that all really weird things happen in texas. obviously that can't really be true, but when you read the papers, you can start to think it might be.
U is for Unique trait: SisterCat and i recently developed a new freckle in the exact same spot on our bodies.
V if for Vegetable you love: spinach.
W is for Worst trait: mild paranoia over just about everything.
X is for X-rays you’ve had: none. kinda remarkable.
Y is for Yummy food you make: i make good baked ziti florentine. that's about it!
Z is for Zodiac sign: Leo

apparently, jets fans can't hold their liquor.

and that means they ruin all the fun for the rest of us. and by the rest of us, i mean the always-well-behaved pats fans.

i eagerly await Toast's response to this indignity.

my statement, for the record, is this: hahahahahahaha!

someone had to say it.

thank you, debbie stoller, for putting words to the deep sensation of disgust that i feel whenever i am faced with that grease stain on the pop-culture pan, adam corolla.

"Adam Corolla, with his perpetual show-me-your-tits sneer, giant Pez-like teeth, and dude-fro that make him resemble a Brady brother missing link. Adam Corolla, so much of whose schtick involves discussing what does or does not make a woman sexually attractive. Hey Adam, people who live in ass houses shouldn't throw stones. If there was a woman as unattractive as Adam Corolla on television, she'd probably be the first on his list of people to ridicule. But of course, there would never be a woman as unattractive as Adam Corolla on television, because unattractive women aren't allowed on TV. And if, by some miracle, there was an unattractive woman on TV, she'd be playing 'the unattractive woman.' She certainly wouldn't be given her own late-night talk show, let alone two TV shows at the same time."

you know, back in the day when he was on loveline with dr. drew, i found him merely annoying- like a hangnail, or a tiny little fly that keeps bobbing around just outside your line of vision. and then the man show debuted, and my hatred offically began. the man show, jesus christ. news flash - every show is the man show! get off it already!

you know what, i'm not even going to expend my energy on this right now. i could spend three hours pontificating about why both adam corolla and jimmy kimmel should be locked in a closet for the rest of their earthly lives, but i won't.

but seriously, what is sarah silverman thinking??

Monday, December 19, 2005

fun with science textbooks.

if you haven't seen these yet, check 'em out (it's safe for work, no worries - unless you work for Intelligent Design International, or some similar enterprise). my favorite sticker is the fourth one down on the left hand side.

hat tip to The Chemist, for reminding me that these existed.

a downside of renting.

this morning, i got in the shower and discovered icicles on my bathroom window. on the inside. mmmmhmmm, that's right. a thin layer of frost on the whole window, and tiny little icicles hanging off the metal lip at the bottom of the window.

this could be because the window is made of frosted plastic, and there is no storm window in between it and the elements. that, plus the fact that it was below zero last night. i imagine i should call my landlord about this, no? they are usually pretty good about fixing things when they break, and i think that ice on the inside of a window could potentially constitute "broken." at least, it does in my book.

oh, and dawson wore a vest to the school dance in this morning's episode. a green button down shirt, and a big brown vest. and this was when he had the big floppy hair, too. i'll tell you, it was splendid to behold.

it almost made up for the fact that i nearly got hypothermia in the shower.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

more mind-bending fun from the Yahoo News page.

i tried to get a screen shot of the Yahoo homepage just now, because it is blowing my mind. but apparently the laptop's print screen function is not in the mood to, you know, function, so i'll have to recreate it for you. the only really relevant portion of the homepage is the news section, where the following two headlines hold the top two slots:

Bush Asserts U.S. Is Winning Iraq War
Analysis: Bush Drops Rosy Iraq Scenarios


and if that weren't enough to knock my brain sideways, lovie smith pulled kyle orton in the third quarter, while the bears were winning 6-3, and put in rex grossman. where did this come from? what's going on?? now, i am happy about rex's potential return as much as the next gal, but putting him in during the third quarter, while we're winning? what's the rationale? granted, we're up 16-3 now, and rex is doing well, but i think it's kinda suspect. kyle orton has worked hard to keep this team in the hunt all season, and while he hasn't been spectacular, he's done the job. is it fair to pull him? i don't really think so.

i have much thinking to do this evening, in order to sort all of this out. unfortunately, the boondocks is on, so it'll have to wait another half hour.

Friday, December 16, 2005

friday cat blogging, alien edition.

this was taken the day that we brought her home from the shelter, all skinny and pathetic looking. she seriously looks like the cat from outer space here.

poor thing. but believe me, she is much fatter than this now. i have evidence, which i will share...on a different friday.

i can't take this kind of insult so early in the morning.

so around 8:00 this morning, i turn on the tv and find a Dawson's Creek re-run. the pilot episode, no less! so of course i must watch. i'm just eating my Special K, watching a teen soap, having a grand old time. and then. there is a scene where dawson rides up to joey on his bike, and he's wearing a backwards baseball hat. an ugly hat, too, like this khaki brown color with a faded navy blue bill. this is not bothering me so much until he reaches over to hug joey, and from the angle of the shot i see that it's a yankees hat.

oh. no. you. didn't.

i sat there going, "is that a fucking yankees hat?? no, it is not. no way. it is!! it's a fucking yankees hat!! are you fucking kidding me!!!" my cat bolted from the living room in fear, and i sat there muttering to myself all the way into commercial break.

this show is set in capeside, massachusetts. even though capeside is not a real place, if it were, it would be in the heart of red sox nation. how in the world did something like this happen? who allowed for such an affront?

i feel like i need to find out who the wardrobe director was for this particular episode. then i need to hire a private detective to track down this person, and then i will go to their home or place of employment. when i find them, i'll say, "are you so-and-so, wardrobe director for the pilot episode of Dawson's Creek?" and they will say, "yes." and then i will cuff them upside the head.

a fucking yankees hat. seriously.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

viva twisty.

twisty, our favorite patriarchy blamer currently in the process of kicking cancer in the ass, has still managed to find time to kick patriarchy in the ass on a regular basis. her recent post on "culture" is a brilliant specimen of spot-on analysis and beautifully rude wit. two excerpts, if i may:

Culture, despite the hallucinations of those who yearn for a simpler, gentler time, isn’t static and cannot be sustained unchanged. People...who wish to mummify it for its own sake, presumably against the ravages of feminism or the homo agenda or the swarthy Muslims or global homogeneity, are suffering from nostalgia and delusion and xenophobia.

this is something that most people, myself included, can often forget. when you are as immersed in something as we all are in culture, it can seem almost pre-ordained, like it's supposed to be this way. but it's not. it's going to continue to shift and change, slowly but surely, and we need to recognize that. the wingnuts and fundies are especially loathe to allow for such recognition, because it demolishes their central argument, which is that "we need to keep things the way they are (or the way they were), or else we're all going to hell in a handbasket!" thus, gay marriage is the end of cilivization as we know it. well hey, imagine that - it is the end of civilization as we know it, and that's not really a bad thing!

Here are some other examples of culture-worship that really chap my hide....what about when you’re in a bar and you hear some dumb white American dude declaim in a Chicago accent, by way of revealing something deeply significant about himself, "well, you know, I’m one-sixteenth Cherokee." What the fuck difference does that make? You’re still an asshole! Or, "well, you know I’m Irish." Hello, dumb American dude! You’re not Irish! The closest you’ve ever gotten to Ireland is a box of Lucky Charms! And big whoop about Ireland anyway! You can get a Guinness in South Austin! The erstwhile geographical location of your remote ancestors is not a measure of your character!

thank you. this is much more concise than i was.

wednesday (ok, thursday) one-liner.

a little late, but still courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Woman on cell: All right, I'm at her sperm donor's barbershop now so I'll have to call you back.

--Boerum Hill

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

awesomeness of the day.

on a google search of madonna feminism, i am the eighth result. not eightieth - eighth.


of course, tomorrow i could be eightieth, as google is an inscrutable mystery wrapped in an enigma. but today, eighth!

search away, college kids writing finals papers!

an expert to the rescue.

please hop over and check out Shakespeare's Sister for a comprehensive smackdown of the study referenced in the post below.

i can only relate second-hand snark about it, but she knows her stuff.

thoughts on women and children. not the store, the demographic categories.

i fear the permanent loss of my critical faculties. the lack of interesting, incisive posts around here as of late has already been addressed, but i feel as though i need to let you know that i still suck, and i'm not sure when the suckitude will end. i do wish that i could blog more freely about nonprofitland, as that is what is taking up the lion's share of my mental energy lately, but i really shouldn't. i am only semi-anonymous out here in the ether, and any web ninja worth his or her salt could easily discover my identity. so, this will have to suffice for an update: tomorrow is going to be a day here, and i'm tired just thinking about it.

ok, moving on. a few things i've come across traipsing around the blogosphere are worth sharing*:

1) Baby, Mix Me a Drink is hands down the funniest thing i've seen available for purchase in, oh, at least 48 hours. hey, it's the holidays, what can i say. whether or not you are a parent, if you can't laugh at this in some way, then you need to take a time-out yourselves and ruminate on how you managed to eradicate your entire sense of humor. sadly, i know a few people who should give that little exercise a try.

2) a reproductive study out of Norway "found that while miscarriage was associated with 'more mental distress in the six months after the loss of a baby,' abortion 'had a much longer lasting negative effect,' including residual feelings of guilt and anxiety." i really can't sum up a feminist reaction any better than amanda did: "After we shamed them relentlessly, for some reason, they felt shame."

so, one funny ha-ha, one funny people-are-so-dumb-you-have-to-laugh.

*hat tip to Broadsheet on both counts.

Monday, December 12, 2005

your semi-shocking pseudo-revelation of the day.

Oprah, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune:

She recently told her producers to not "even say those words [makeover show] to me anymore. I won't do it, not even for a number," she adds, referring to the high ratings those shows inevitably get. "Because if you could fix things with a haircut and a new wardrobe, we'd all be fixed. And we have to be part of the real awakening of women or we are part of the oppression of them. On every show."

i fell halfway out of my chair after i read this. literally.

now if only Oprah and i could come to an agreement on what the "real awakening of women" constitutes, i could start watching her show with something akin to conscience. but one never knows...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

christmas in the Cat household.

intrepidly documented by BoyCat.

an advertising observation.

so, did you ever notice that in those home alarm system ads on TV, there's never a man in the house at the time of the attempted break-in? it's always a mother figure and one or two children, ususally girls.

i'm not surprised by this at all. it makes sense, really - they're trying to appeal to women by having them imagine a scenario when they're home alone (whether that be almost every night if they're single or a single mom, or just every once in a while when their husband is away if they're married). they're also trying to appeal to husbands by making them imagine a scenario when their wife and children might be home alone. ADT and the like certainly don't want to emasculate a man by implying that he can't protect his family when he is home.

and that's what i find kinda funny about it - if there were a man in the house every night, would there be no need for the ADT system? will a baseball bat next to the man's side of the bed and every guy's inner ninja do the trick? because obviously that's not the reality of how these alarm systems are used. they're programmed every night, regardless of whether daddy is home or "away on business" (or wherever he is at 3:00 am on a friday night sometimes). and you know what? i'm sure men get as much peace of mind going to sleep with the alarm on as women do. the problem is, they're not really allowed to admit it. so they are conspicuously absent in the advertisments.

the ADT ad i saw the other day was particularly interesting, though, in that at the end of the ad, after mom and her daughter had foiled the scary burglar in the middle of the night with their nifty ADT system, there was a daytime shot of the woman and her daughter sitting on the front steps with a man who was obviously the father figure. now that i haven't seen before - he just shows up the next morning, in time to complete the happy family scene above the ADT logo. i wanted to say, "oh yeah, where were you last night, you delinquent? 'staying late at the office?' you deadbeat. go fuck your secretary or something, ADT has this covered."

and who knows - maybe that's the reaction they were going for.

Friday, December 09, 2005

friday cat blogging, Damn The Man! edition.

BoyCat and i find amusement in the strangest things. like putting a tie on CatCat and taking her picture.

she had a long week.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

it's carnival time again.

the newest Carnival of Feminists is up at The Happy Feminist, and i highly recommend checking it out. of particular interest to me is the response to Linda Hirshman's Alternet article on stay-at-home feminists. though i haven't read the article myself, the reactions from bloggers that i hold in high esteem have been well-written and thought-provoking. Bitch Ph.D.'s My Married Radical Feminist Manifesto is particularly interesting (hey, what manifesto isn't interesting in some way or another? it's a manifesto!). i'm going to excerpt one small part of it, and then go on a small tangent from Dr. B's larger point. humor me.

To begin with, don't, for god's sake, change your name when you marry. What are the arguments for changing your name? "It's easier?" "It will make us more a family?" "It will be better for the children?" Do you not realize that already, even before your marriage begins, you are conceding that making things "easy," making the two of you "a family," worrying about "the children" is your job, not his? If having the same last name makes such a big difference to the two of you, let him change his damn name.

to this proclamation i offer a rousing round of cat applause. nay, a cat standing ovation. i know many of you have a rotten tomato in hand already, but you know what? go ahead and throw it. i always try to be very civil and reasonable when it comes to the Great Name Debate, being generally respectful and non-judgemental of people's personal choices. but dammit, sometimes i get tired of all the explanations and the exemptions and the nuanced reasonings, and i just want to scream...well, something exactly like this.

amanda at Pandagon also made a very important point about the Great Name Debate and patriarchy a little while back:

...this post is to beseech my fellow feminists who made an un-feminist choice to change your name, please just own that choice and quit making excuses. It's seriously okay. Woman is not an island unto herself. And frankly, if we start blaming ourselves and other women for making choices that help them get by in the patriarchy instead of blaming the patriarchy for putting women in these situations in the first place, we come very close to agreeing to the conservo-bullshit that there's no such thing as oppression, just inferior people. With that in mind, please quit making these arguments excusing name-changing, because they are kind of embarrassing...

this is why, even though i have a pretty staunch opinion on the naming issue, i refuse to out-and-out condemn women who make choices that i myself would not make. it's the fault of the patriarchy that women are forced to sit around and agonize over this choice, and that men (by and large) don't really have to give it a second thought. i mean really, can you picture a group of men sitting around a table drinking coffee, moaning about how "i really want to take her name, but...i just don't know!"

i hate the fact that we're still going around and around on this issue, that 94% of women still choose to participate in a patriarchal holdout and take their husband's name (for whatever reason), and that ultimately this still divides women against each other more than anything else. but just because we recognize the ultimate underpinning of the whole debate is partriarchy itself, that doesn't mean that we can ignore the fact that the choices we make are also cultural statements.

now, speaking of owning un-feminist choices, the o.c. is on.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

wonders never cease.

so the other day, a sign on belmont made me do a bit of a double take. luckily, i had my digital camera in my bag, and so i can share the experience with you fine folks.

now, personally, i've always thought that even once was a bit suspect. but three times in one day? that's one powerful parish priest.

or perhaps this is just david copperfield's new venue?

your wednesday one-liner.

and it's a head scratcher, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Guy: Dude, why is it diet soda but light beer?

--Fordham Law School cafeteria

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


apologies for being m.i.a. yesterday. nonprofitland has come loose from its moorings, and is rapidly spiraling towards the ninth level of hell (way past limbo, if that even exists anymore). i would tell you more, but that would be foolish, so i won't. suffice to say, some dominos have definitely started to fall around here.

as an example of how mentally wiped out i am, i mis-spelled the post title "dareind" the first time i typed it. that's not even close to correct. that could short-circuit spellcheck, people.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

brad pitt seriously needs to fire his publicist. or get a lobotomy. or both.

ok, i know i'm on a bit of a pop culture kick, but how can i not post about this little gem buried at the bottom of the tribune home page:

Brad Pitt Seeks to Adopt Angelina Jolie's Kids

i'm sorry, what? what? in case you haven't been paying attention to your own life, brad, you haven't even acknowledged your relationship with your potential adoptees' mother. but apparently narrative inconsistencies like that don't bother america's former golden boy.

lest you think i'm kidding, or that the tribune has suddenly begun reporting rumor as fact:

Brad Pitt is seeking to become the adoptive father of Angelina Jolie's children, the actor's publicist announced. A legal petition seeking to change the names of the children to Zahara Jolie-Pitt and Maddox Jolie-Pitt was filed Friday in Los Angeles, publicist Cindy Guagenti said Friday in a written statement to The Associated Press.

i really didn't think brad could bungle the PR around his relationship with angelina to a greater degree. i was wrong. as if we weren't rooting for jen enough already...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

camille, please. go take a long walk off of a short pier.

pulling up salon during my lunch hour yesterday, i was greeted with a headlining article by none other than that eternal scourge upon feminism, camille paglia.

i cannot stand camille paglia. there are hardly words to express the rage that she inspires within me. she is hands down one of the most pretentious, strident, egomaniacal writers in existence. perhaps what i find most maddening about her is that while 95% of the time i disagree with her theories and conclusions anyway, her rampant egotism is so odious that even the 5% of the time when i might possibly agree with something that she says, i refuse to do so on principle alone.

but of course, i read her articles anyway.

this one, Dancing as Fast as She Can, was about madonna's new album: why camille doesn't like it, why camille is always right about such things, and why camille knows better than madonna what madonna should be doing. i'm not even going to bother picking apart the whole article - that would be a heartbreaking waste of 12-14 hours of my life. there is one thing that i'd like to point out, though.

camille's big schtick is being a "sex-positive" feminist and gleefully poking holes in any feminist theory with which she disagrees. her book, "sexual personae," was big in the early 90s, and she built a career on being contrarian and "edgy." camille is very proud of herself about this, as she feels like history has vindicated her proclamations about sex-positive feminism being the truth and the way. in this salon article, she crows:

When I wrote in my polemical 1990 New York Times op-ed that "Madonna is the future of feminism," there were squawks of disbelief on all sides -- but that is exactly what came to pass over the next decade.

hmmmm. ok. though i think this thesis is ripe for shredding on a number of different levels, let's be charitable and say that it actually is true - madonna portended a revolution in feminist thinking that allowed for visible and viable female sexuality. if that is so, well then camille, we have a big problem, because that vibrant, risque sexuality for which you worshipped madonna long ago seems to have suddenly become less appealing to you with the passage of fifteen years, a husband, and two children:

Even allowing for the fact that she must strenuously maintain her hipness for a busy husband 10 years her junior, Madonna is starting to morph into the mature Joan Crawford of "Torch Song," still ferociously dancing but with her fascist willpower signaled by brute, staring eyes and fixed jawline. In cannibalizing her disco diva days, Madonna runs the risk of turning into a pasty powdered crumpet like the aging Bette Davis in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

seems to me like camille didn't think her little theory through. if you want to celebrate madonna's feminism as the future - all spectacle and no substance, and founded on the ability of the attractive female form to generate interest and attention - well, this is the end result. because guess what? madonna wasn't going to stay 24 (or even 34) forever. and how was she going to continue to play that sexual power game when she reached an age at which society no longer considered her "sexual"? madonna made a career out of putting herself on display, and hiding her business acumen in order to further her image in the way that would make her more money. seem circular? it was. and madonna is reaching a point where that modus operandi is no longer workable.

camille doesn't seem to recognize the irony of her recent complaints against madonna. there seems to be a bit of cognitive dissonance here, which is a shame- with camille being the most brilliant feminist mind to ever put pen to paper in the 20th century and all, you think she'd be able to see a theoretical loophole a mile away. but since she doesn't, i'm happy to hang her with it.

Friday, December 02, 2005

friday cat blogging, slightly drunk edition.

ok, back from the nonprofitland holiday party, slightly drunk (don't worry, BoyCat drove), and ready to post some CatCat pictures. i figured in the spirit of holiday drunkenness, i would take a few pictures right now and post them - it's almost like real time, but not quite.

the above picture is of CatCat ignoring my pleas for her to smile at the camera, and licking her tail instead.

this is CatCat crawling under the coffee table, after attempting to lick the camera lens repeatedly. doesn't she look tough?

ok, that concludes our semi-drunken edition of friday cat blogging. now i'm off to enjoy the rest of my night. i think there's a half empty bottle of belvedere around here somewhere...

well, this makes me feel much better.

this is the kind of mainstream reporting that makes me want to stick my head in an oven. in a front page Yahoo story titled Alito Assures Specter on Abortion Views , the intro says (now read this carefully):

"Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, who expressed strong opposition to abortion rights two decades ago, pledged Friday that his personal views on the subject 'would not be a factor' in his rulings, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Alito had told him in a private meeting that 'with respect to his personal views on a woman's right to choose ... that is not a matter to be considered in the deliberation on a constitutional issue of a woman's right to choose. The judicial role is entirely different.'"

three short paragraphs later, we see:

"In one, a sort of job application, Alito wrote in 1985 that he did not believe abortion rights were provided by the Constitution." (emphasis mine)

if a judge is supposed to be involved in "the deliberation on a constitutional issue of a woman's right to choose," and the judge in question doesn't believe that the constitution protects abortion, isn't that still kind of an issue? of what, pray tell, is that supposed to "assure" us? that you don't just personally oppose abortion, but that you think the constitution disapproves of it as well?

a recommendation.

per my post from a few days ago , you all know how i like picking apart The Pop Culture. Funnily enough, my fabulous and estimable friend Jayne has taken up that torch and is running with it on her brand new blog:

Critical Fluff

so go. gorge yourself on her wit and wisdom. it'll make you feel better about all that vh1 you've been watching lately.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

rock. and. roll.

when i heard the news that blondie was being inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame, i thought hey, i have to light my debbie harry worship candle. granted, i'm three days late, but i finally got around to it.

the picture is blurry because well, it's a candle, and you can't take a picture of a candle with the flash on, now can you? i don't think debbie harry would have approved of that kind of harsh lighting.

my offering.

what follows is my humble offering for blog against racism day, the brainchild of chris clarke at Creek Running North.

sitting down to write this, i realized that i wasn’t exactly sure how to “blog against racism.” i’m excited that chris initiated the project, and i look forward to reading all of the posts that it will generate, but i don’t exactly know how to tackle the topic myself. So, instead of trying to go all grad-school theoretical on you (which would of course just kinda bore you anyway – “race is a social construct? *smacks forehead* you’re kidding me!”), i thought i’d relay an experience from my own life that made me think about race and my place in the proverbial mix.

as background, i consider my childhood, teenage years, and college years as pretty average for a suburban white girl learning about, and reacting to, racism. my family was open-minded and didn’t advocate any racist thinking, and i went to a fair-to-middlingly diverse high school. after a few years at umass, i had been introduced to a ton of theories and information about racism (and sexism, and classism, and...) – the class i took on the history of the civil rights movement with a militant ex-Black Panther was probably the best 3 credits of my college career. in sum, by the time i was a senior in college, i think i was generally enlightened about how racism functioned in this country, and was committed to monitoring my own internalized racism and critiquing external racism when i saw it.

in the second semester of my senior year, i started dating a guy who was a first generation American – his parents were both from the Dominican Republic. actually, his father moved back there after his parents divorced, so he spent a fair amount of time there as well as in new england. pretty early on in our involvement, he invited me to a party at Drew House at Amherst College. Drew House is one of the theme houses on Amherst’s campus, and it’s devoted to African and African-American culture. They were having a big end-of-year party, with all the requisite drinking and dancing, so we went.

i really had no qualms about going – i like to drink and i like to dance, and i’d never been to anything at Amherst, so i was happy to go. i guess the first funny point about how race factors into a white person’s life is the luxury of how little we have to consider it, until it smacks us upside the head. for me, i was smacked upside the head when we walked into Drew House – dark and smoky, dj playing, and about a hundred people crammed in the living room dancing – and after about 30 seconds realized i was one of maybe half a dozen white people there.

this was a pretty unique experience for me. i had grown up conscious of race, but never been faced with it unavoidably – again, a benefit of my skin color. the situation didn’t bother me – abe didn’t make an issue of it, and i didn’t feel the need to. but it was a really eye-opening experience for me to be on the receiving end of some askance looks – looks that questioned, often without malice or hostility, but questioned nonetheless, what exactly i was doing there. i gained a greater appreciation for the visceral reality of what it might be like for a non-white person to inhabit a space surrounded by white people.

i say that i gained a greater appreciation for what it might be like, because i can never fully understand what it is like. i could have been the only white person in Drew House that night, and my experience still would not be the same as that of the only black person at an all-white party. that’s how racism works. it’s not just a phenomenon that happens between two individuals, or amongst a group of people – it’s a social structure that alters the very nature of all interactions. i think i acquired some sympathy for the experience of being vulnerably different that night, but not an empathy for the experience of being black, or asian, or latino. that i can never have.

i’ve had a few more moments, especially since moving to Chicago, where i realize that i’m the only white person there. i always try to be conscious of those moments, how they make me feel. i also try to be conscious of how rare they are, even in a city as diverse as this one. it’s a privilege for me to not have to feel that split second of conspicuous difference, one of many privileges i possess as a white person that i often don’t even fully realize that i have. i try to keep realizing it.

god, i love the catholic church.

via Yahoo: Pope may abolish concept of limbo

tell me, how exactly does one abolish a concept?

"concept, be gone!"

"out, damned concept!"

"concept, i command thee...cease and desist in your existence."

wheeeeee, omnipotence is fun! oh but wait, i thought only god was omnipotent. oh but wait, the pope is a divine conduit to god, therefore he's kinda omnipotent too. he's like, an omnipotence representative. that sounds cool, i think i'd like to be pope.

oh but wait...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

why nick and jessica matter.

i read an interesting article over at salon the other day. rebecca traister takes a look at our collective fascination with jennifer aniston in 2005, and touches on, among other things: what we as a society value and why, projection, the nature of celebrity, and the manipulative power of marketing.

i thought it was an enjoyable article, but then again, i've always been a fan of the intersection of critical theory and popular culture. while traister was certainly not using venturing into judith butler territory with any of this (in terms of content or style - i've always like how accessible and intelligent traister's stuff can be), it was a few notchs about your average "what is up with this jennifer aniston fixation?"

many loyal readers of salon, however, took umbrage at the fact that their beloved website was reducing itself to pondering something that, you know, People magazine covers. the horror. really, some of the letters in response to the article were so soaked in pretension i almost couldn't believe people signed their names to them*. a snippet:

One can only assume that this Aniston article is Salon's version of putting all the latest gimmicky, crappy "got-to-have" stuff on sale, in order to drag in the hoi polloi by the boatloads?...

What's next?

Jessica and Nick: A Deconstructionist View[?]

the hoi polloi? seriously?

i really can't stand people like this - you know, people who think that they somehow stand outside of culture because they look down their noses at certain aspects of it. guess what? no one stands outside of culture. and while it is undeniable that certain aspects of culture are more frivolous than others, that doesn't mean that it all isn't ripe for critique, discussion, and debate. tell me, what is so awful about rebecca traister taking a cultural phenomenon like the divorce of brad and jennifer (and of course the subsequent brangelina circus) and examining it, trying to tease out its psychological and social relevance? are we so elitist that we are afraid of staining our delicate fingertips with the sordid stories of Us Weekly? don't get me wrong, i'm nauseated by Us Weekly just like the next east coast liberal academic. however, i recognize that it represents a big part of the american culture in which i live. i'm not just going to bury my head in the sand and pretend that these things a) don't exist and b) don't matter.

it's folly to act like critical analysis and popular culture can't co-exist. hell, i'd write that deconstructionist view of nick and jessica any day. that relationship was a fascinating display of money, power, gender, and control. if you think that these four issues don't affect you, well then honey, you've got bigger problems than whether or not salon's coverage has gotten more frivolous.

*funnily enough, the person that wrote the letter i excerpted didn't sign his or her name. hmmm.

wednesday one-liner.

courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Old Lady: Oh lord. Oh lord. Can you help me? I stuck my bus pass in the ATM, and it won't seem to give it back to me. Oh lord.

--Chase Manhattan Bank, 15th & 1st

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

two questions.

1) why does that song "crimson and clover" sound like it's about something obscene? the lyrics are incredibly vague and/or nonsensical, and yet i can't shake the sense that it's about The Sex. but damned if i can unlock the mystery of that golden oldie.

2) why do women wear trenchcoats? ever?

it's official.

i am obsessed with going to las vegas.

i don't know what has gotten into me. four years ago, i didn't have the slightest inclination to visit vegas. it seemed like one of those american vacations in which i had no real interest in partaking - like the grand canyon or niagara falls*. nothing against 'em, i'm sure they're nice, but no thanks.

then i went to a casino.

not even a super great casino, but a regular old connecticut indian reservation casino - mohegan sun, to be exact. and i was totally hooked. what a great way to spend a night! gamble a little, drink a little, eat dinner, drink a little more, gamble away the end of your allotted funds, and go back to your room, take a bath and go to bed. now, having experienced a pretty nice hotel-casino combination, i feel drawn to the mecca. i must go to vegas! i must drink a margarita at 10:00 am! i must double down on aces and eights! i must stay in a room with a marble tiled bathroom and high threadcount sheets!

so i'm spending entirely too much time on lately, plotting out my hypothetical vacation at some hypothetical time next year. i've got to pull out my garage sale copy of "beat the dealer" and start brushing up now....

*come to think of it, when i did end up at niagara falls almost by accident (we were on the way to canada and had some time to kill - what the hell, i'll check out some falling water), i was actually really impressed. but i still maintain that i'd be bored to death by the grand canyon.

Monday, November 28, 2005

the fear of exhaustion.

i am 25 years old, and i am afraid of exhaustion. that may sound crazy, but it's true. i am dogged by the fear that in a few years, i will be too exhausted to do anything of note, or anything that truly brings me satisfaction.

i don't really mean exhaustion in the physical sense. i think i'm doing well enough on that front - i go to the gym, i don't smoke, i live in a third floor walk-up, etcetera. it's mental exhaustion i'm talking about. there's a creeping sensation that i am being worn down by life, that the treads on my tires are too thin to last the entire way to wherever it is i'm going. i shouldn't feel that way at the quarter century mark, but there it is. i do.

when i think about what i want to do next with my career, i feel exhausted. when i think about whether i acutally have a career at all, i feel exhausted. when i think about trying to fight the good fight for the rest of my working days, i feel exhausted.

i had this great plan when i got out of grad school. armed with two degrees and a fair amount of marketable skills, i was going to work in non-profits, eventually finagle my way into the communications department of a women's rights organization, and spend the rest of my days happily crafting and honing messages for an agency in which i believed, and that was working on an issue about which i was passionate.

passionate? really? i was once passionate, about something - about anything?

it seems incredibly blithe and immature to claim that i was passionate about something two years ago, and now no longer am. like most generalizations, it's not exactly true. but something has been lost in these two years - there's a leak somewhere. and i fear that if i don't find it, i will only deflate further until every bit of energy and commitment i had to social justice is gone. there has to be a way to restore my sense, regardless of how tenuous it was in the first place, that i can make a difference (however small) and that the work that i do can be important (however tangentially). because right now, it feels like all the work i do is being thrown into a societal black hole of greed, hatred, fear, and dishonesty that will eventually suck everything that is good and earnest into itself.

wow, these are some bleak metaphors i'm dishing out right now. i apologize for the melodrama, but sometimes, when you're grasping at what seem like straws and wondering how you're going to justify the rest of your existence, melodrama is pretty much all that will suffice.

in the end, i need to figure out how to not allow all the negative news to dilute my commitment to helping people. i need to learn a trick that lets me read about how 25% of people in an Amnesty International poll believe a woman is at least partly to blame for being raped if she has worn revealing clothing or been drunk, and not throw up my hands in defeat. i need a mute button, an off switch.

i need a way to cope with the fact that, at the moment, the universe is out of stock on mute buttons and off switches. maybe a store credit would help.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

paging mike, paging mike.

The Harry Potter Legal Age Countdown Clock.

hat tip to salon's Broadsheet. how do they find this stuff?

two things.

1. god bless my stat counter. i catch more spelling mistakes with that thing, i swear. today i saw that someone had found my blog by googling something about hollaback and street harassment. so, just for kicks, i went to google and tried it, just to see how high up i actually was (for the record, i already found it strange that i would have been up there in the rankings on any google search). turns out i was the second listing. the problem? it was because i had misspelled "harassment" twice in my post, and the google searcher apparently had the same problem spelling that particular noun, so he or she was directed to my blog so we could share in our inability to spell things correctly.

so if you're reading this, hollaback searcher, hi! i can't spell sometimes either.

2. i see more closeted and/or in denial homosexuals on "House Hunters," i almost can't believe it. tonight's episode featured a newlywed couple (i think they had just recently celebrated their first anniversary), and the wife was pretty clearly a lesbian. maybe not clearly to middle america, but clearly to someone with such a finely-tuned gaydar as myself*. i'd guess she was more on the "in denial" end of ths spectrum, and that in five or ten years she'll be divorced and living with a femme and starting her own home remodeling business. but that's just a guess.

oh, and another thing. let's call it...

2a. i think that it's only driving through central indiana that one could see:
- a billboard advertising "vasectomy reversal."
- a billboard for a gun store, featuring a giant handgun and the contact info 284-GUNS, perched high above a ramshackle building called "Stumpey's Diner."

*i exaggerate. my gaydar is only fairly-tuned, at best.

one more thing to cross off of the list.

drink a mint julep at churchill downs.

yes, i do have a glove on my hand - even in kentucky, the day after thanksgiving can be pretty cold. luckily, this drink had plenty of bourbon in it, which helped keep me warm for a little while. i also picked two winners on the day, so that helped too. i walked out of churchill downs carrying just about as much money as i came in with (minus my trip to the churchill downs store), which is pretty good for a day at the track! hell, even if i lost every penny, it would have been worth it to be able to spend an afternoon at the horseracing mecca.

now that we're back from the thanksgiving holiday, it's time to put the christmas decorations up. we didn't have CatCat in the apartment last year, and we're not sure how she'll take to our little christmas tree. so, if you see a picture posted here of the tree knocked over/broken in half/chewed up/on fire, you'll know who's responsible.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

happy thanksgiving.

i just noticed that i have the tiniest bruise i have ever seen on the back of my hand. it is so tiny that i thought it was a pen smudge, and i just tried to rub it off with my thumb but that hurt, and i realized i's a miniature bruise. no more than 2 centimeters in diameter. how does one acquire a bruise that small?

so tonight, after BoyCat gets home from work (those bastards at Big Nonprofitland are making him stay all day!), we are hitting the road, braving the rain and snow that will allegedly be falling, and hopefully getting to the pseudo-cats-in-laws' house before 11:30 pm. it's normally only about a half hour drive without traffic, inclement weather, or highly-traveled holidays. and we're talking about the dan ryan expressway here.

tomorrow morning, we leave bright and early for the great state of kentucky. ah yes, i said kentucky. we'll be spending thanksgiving at BoyCat's aunt's house in louisville, and i will be certain to soak up all the kentuckian culture (and kentuckian bourbon and whiskey) and report back. on friday we're actually going to churchill downs, about which i am ridiculously excited. who knew you could still play the ponies the day after thanksgiving (well, play them in person, that is)? i'll try to take some pictures (who am i kidding, i'm going to take 7,000 pictures) and post some shots of good old-fashioned gambling when we return.

until then, happy thanksgiving! don't eat too much turkey, it will put you to sleep. and don't eat too much starch, it will make you obese. oh, and don't drink too much, it will make you pass out in a ditch somewhere and freeze to death.

or so i've heard.

wednesday one-liner.

courtesy of Overheard In New York:

Receptionist woman: I swear, if Freud was still alive, he'd write one more book...about me.

--Office, 28th & 5th

reason #4,239 that i no longer watch morning tv.

the fact that the Today show seemed to find no irony in using Hole's "Celebrity Skin" as background music during their feature of a woman who wants plastic surgery to get rid of her "flabby arms."

every time i get tempted to turn on NBC in the morning as i'm getting ready, you know, just to have something on, they serve up some cringe-worthy moment such as this. and i turn off the tv immediately, remembering that i'd rather stick lit matched between my toes than be subjected to such inanity.

curse my lack of long-term memory!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

the highlight of my day.

found on craigslist, of all places*:

i had to post this, as 1) i am a sucker for kittens, 2) i am a sucker for kung-fu fighting, and 3) it is the best picture ever created.

*if you "took" this picture and are mad about my lack of copyright symbol, sorry. like i said, craigslist.

as if i am not confused enough already.

i was sitting at home this morning, delaying the six block trek to work (life is tough, i know), and i came across this quiz via Shakespeare's Sister. I've seen a bazillion of these little time-wasting quizzes on a bunch of blogs, but had never taken the five minutes to do one - until this morning. seriously, i did not want to go to work.

so here are the results of my foray into computerized philosophy quizzes:

You scored as Utilitarianism.

Your life is guided by the principles of Utilitarianism: You seek the greatest good for the greatest number.

"The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong."
--Jeremy Bentham

"Whenever the general disposition of the people is such, that each individual regards those only of his interests which are selfish, and does not dwell on, or concern himself for, his share of the general interest, in such a state of things, good government is impossible."
--John Stuart Mill

Utilitarianism 75%
Existentialism 70%
Justice (Fairness) 65%
Hedonism 50%
Nihilism 45%
Kantianism 35%
Apathy 20%
Strong Egoism 5%
Divine Command 0%

and the first thing that i thought was: what the fuck is utilitarianism?

i know that right now, somewhere, jared is cringing, but damned if i had any idea what utiliarianism was. i like to consider myself a fairly well informed person, but hell, i only took philosophy 101. it was 8:30 in the morning, i already had no life direction or sense of purpose anyway, and then this stupid piece of shit computer quiz tells me i'm guided by a principle of which i've never even heard??

so i did what any right-thinking person would do - i looked it up on wikipedia. utilitarianism sounds all right and all (i like helping people - hell, i work in nonprofitland, don't i?), but i'm not sure i'd finger it as the defining ideal of my life.

that means it's back to the drawing board on the whole guiding principle issue. thanks for nothing, internet.

Monday, November 21, 2005

you want talking points? i'll give you talking points.

check out this great piece from peter daou at The Daou Report with rebuttals for ten pro-war fallacies, many of which i've heard flying around a lot these days. i find republican sound bites so exhausting, in that they wear you down with their sheer ubiquity in the mainstream media - you hear them so often, you're sick of thinking about them before you can even begin a nuanced refuting of them.

peter daou, luckily, is not as prone to intellectual laziness as i, and cuts through the crap of so many of these arguments for why we went to war, and why continuing said war is actually a dandy idea. to sum it up, he says:

Washington is suddenly convulsed by a debate that should have taken place three years ago, and the sleeping giant known as the American public is finally awakening to the deceptions that led to war. Emotion, instinct, and other proclivities may be the driving force behind support or opposition for war, but reason and logic are the means by which we try to prove the correctness of our views. No matter how heartfelt, the arguments in favor of the Iraq war are almost always specious and riddled with fallacious reasoning. On a matter so grave, that should be unacceptable to the American people. Judging from the polls, it is.

go arm yourself with some real talking points, and keep fighting the noise machine.

i'm sorry.

i have to apologize for the distinct lack of well thought out posts recently. i sat down last night and tried to work out a post about life direction, and my career path, and all of the anxiety and confusion with which those two topics infuse me. i got about two paragraphs of pure drivel out before i realized that i shouldn't subject you to such nonsense. i am so confused about it all that even my prose becomes confused. sentence structure decomposes, word choice becomes laughable - really, you wouldn't have wanted to read it.

this lack of clarity about a major issue in my life convinces me that i need to work harder to bring about clarity. i'm going to try to put together some cogent thoughts for you in the near future, but i have a feeling a few more false starts might lie ahead first. so please bear with me.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

friday cat blogging, wrath of CatCat edition.

sorry, sorry. late again.

doesn't she look sweet and cuddly and cute? she is a master of deception. just ask this poor fellow:

she has literally ripped the innards out of this little catnip mouse.

it's funny, when we got her last january she was really mellow for about a month (adjusting, i think), and then she went bananas for about 4 months until the really warm weather hit. over the summer, she was so mellow that at points we wondered if she was sick or something. now, the temperature drops below 50 degrees and she's careening around the house again.

apparently, CatCat loves chicago winters. which is good for her, but very bad for mice made of cloth.

Friday, November 18, 2005

pssst. you. yeah, you.

both jill at Feministe and amanda at Pandagon have posts up about a new NYC based blog, "Holla Back," that deals with street harassment. the posts are pretty basic, but it's the comment threads where the discussion gets really interesting. i highly recommend checking them both out, as i think this is a conversation we need to have, and keep having, and keep having, because i am sickened by the thought that we'll all just give up and decide to let street harassment slide.

for those of you who don't think street harassment could possibly be as big of a deal as it's made out to be, take a minute and talk to your female friends. especially the ones who live in a city, but really, female friends who live in a college town, upper middle-class suburbia, or ruralville USA will be fine as well. women deal with this, period. it's a pervasive problem, and while it's not the end of the world, it does change our world, so it deserves to be talked about.

more on this later, when i have time to reflect on it all. for now, though, it's time for a stiff drink and a netflix movie.

thoughts from a junior league breakfast.

- i didn't even know what the junior league was until last week, when my boss came in with the invitation to their "breakfast networking forum and panel discussion" and told me to go. and he laughed, because it was the junior league. so i looked into it.

- the junior league's tagline is "women building better communities." okay, that sounds all right. the junior league of chicago's website boasts that "over half of JLC members are employed and work outside the home." over half? oh, okay, i'm beginning to understand.

- the event started at 8:00 a.m. why? why??

- i realized on my way out the door of the apartment this morning that i only had two dollars in my wallet, which is not enough for a roundtrip on the El. i run back upstairs and ask BoyCat if he has any money - he says no. so between the two of us, we have a grand total of two dollars in cash. i realize that i am really not the type of person that should be attending this event.

- to be fair, i was actually surprised at the racial diversity in the room, given my narrow (and probably largely unfair) idea of the junior league. there were at least a dozen black women there, and at least one indian woman and one latina woman. i probably didn't pass that many non-white people on the street during one day in my old boston neighborhood.

- to be unfair, i spotted no less than three sets of pearls from my seat at the back of the room, in a crowd of about 50. i am positive there were more, but i didn't want to be caught staring.

- it's interesting how feminism works over the long term. on one hand, over 90% of all married women still adopt their husband's last name. on the other hand, it seems like many women are ambivalent enough about that tradition to try to find a middle ground, hence all of the dual-last-name women you see today (but to hyphenate or not to hypenate, that is the question). this morning, the two presenters who were from the junior league were both late-20s-to-early-30s, white, attractive women with three names - a first name and two last names. they were obviously well off (the diamonds on their fingers nearly blinded me on several occasions as they gesticulated), and possibly coming from a slice of society that looks down upon anything deemed "non-traditional." and yet, with the three names. interesting.

ok, that last thought was pretty long. so long that my lunch hour is now over.

for my next trick, i will now attempt to survive the next three hours of the workday without falling asleep at my desk, kicking a file cabinet, firebombing a copy machine, or stabbing anyone with a Bic pen. wish me luck.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

wherefore art thou only thursday?

this is the longest week in the history of the universe. i thought last week was long - i had no idea.

i will write more this weekend, certainly. i have thoughts i want to work out (in other words, ramble on about) about why exactly it is i'm not working in academia right now. in some ways, i know exactly why that is. in other way, i doubt the first "in some ways."

what's new, right.

the o.c. was moderately better than usual tonight. i must say, i kind of like taylor townsend. she's saving the show from continuing to play the same handful of one-note tunes for the entire hour. is she pitiable and possibly likeable? or is she bat-shit crazy and hellbent on destruction? i dunno! and i like it!

ok. i have had 2 1/2 glasses of wine and watched 2 straight hours of bad t.v....i might just go to bed and give up on the day completely.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

kinda late wednesday one-liner.

courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Little girl: I'm tired of thinking about ponies! Now it's time to kill!

--Park Slope

carnival of feminists, issue #3.

hey, guess what? the carnival of feminists, issue #3 is up! and what's more, i'm actually in it*!

along with yours truly, there's lots of other great feminist fare. so go check it out! go, go now!

exclamation point overload!!!

*SisterCat, no cracks about me being the bearded lady. it's your birthday, so be nice.

happy birthday, SisterCat!

just in case you weren't aware, today marks the 24th anniversary of the glorious day my sister graced us with her presence in the world. this is a day of reverence and genuflection in the Cat household(s), so from Chicago i must sing SisterCat's birthday praises.

- she is funny - cramp-inducing, soda-spitting, giving-you-the-hiccups funny.
- she is the kind of pretty that has given her plenty of practice cutting men down with a look.
- because of said prettiness, she taught me much about carrying myself on the street to convey "don't fuck with me" via body language.
- she let me wear her clothes in college.
- she comes up with tasty drinks like sparkling water and cranberry juice for when she doesn't have wine in the house.
- she gives her opinion to you straight, with no bullshit and no filler.
- she did my makeup for the prom.
- she makes up songs about me.
- she is going to be my meal ticket someday - i'm going to devote 6 months of my life to following her around and documenting everything that she says and does, and then i'm going to write a best-selling novel with the results.

oh, and she's kinda like my best friend too.

so happy birthday, you ugly wench. i love you and miss you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

i know you are, but what am i?

poor babies. seems like the FDA doesn't like being told by the Government Accountability Office to, you know, act like an impartial government body instead of a pandering partisan lapdog:

In a statement, the FDA stood by its rejection [of over-the-counter sale of EC] and said the audit "mischaracterizes facts."

"We question the integrity of the investigative process that results in such partial conclusions," the agency said.

hold on.

the FDA is accusing someone of being unfairly partial? and that someone is...the GAO?

my brain is leaking out my ears a little.

Monday, November 14, 2005

mindless monday games.

so carrying on with today's theme of random postings, here is a little game. i'm again late to the blogging party on this one, but let's play anyway - google your first name and the word "needs" and see what you get.

a sampling*:

-Kate needs to be exposed for everything evil she has done.

-Kate needs to know where I am in my struggle and in my relationship with God.

-Kate needs to find him in order to do the deal.

-Kate Needs Your Help.

-Kate needs to go back to living in her car and working at the diner.

-Kate needs a kidney.

-Kate needs to be involved from the Sustainability side.

-Kate needs to smarten up a bit.

-Kate needs to open up to him more as a first step.

-Kate needs to continue to develop her skills in drawing valid interpretations from experimental data.

-Kate needs to do something — something meaningful.

-Kate needs to temper her aggression with some of her sister's placidity. (ha!)

-Kate needs to land in my backyard.

-Kate needs a break.

and finally...

- the last thing Kate needs is the stress of landing in the middle of an Unsolved Mysteries episode!

*the reason i know i'm late to the party on this one is that i get a ton of results that are other kates' blogs, also giving this google meme a try.

a little gem.

from amanda at pandagon:

Feminism is declared dead at least 3 or 4 times a year, making it the Freddy Krueger of social justice movements, absolutlely unkillable no matter what crap gets piled on it.

blog against racism day.

Chris Clarke has declared December 1st "Blog Against Racism" day. hop over there and check out the impetus for such a declaration, as well as some interesting points as to the nature of racism and the way we talk about it.

and if you have a blog, mark december 1st on your calendar...

you can't make this stuff up.

standing in line at walgreen's, i notice the following three items lined up next to each other on a shelf at the front of the store:

1. small boxes of condoms

2. small bottles of lube

3. pregnancy tests

i wish i had my camera with me.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

if the next harry potter is this disturbing, i'm going to need some kind of medication.

so on friday night BoyCat and i watched Crash, and last night we went out with friends to see Capote. a real feel-good, happy fun time movie weekend. i would highly recommend both movies, but not together in a 24 hour time span. you might be driven to drink copious amounts of vodka and ramble about the state of humanity.

and seriously, harry potter better be a game of candyland next weekend, or i might not know what to do with myself.

oh, i know, it's not that bad (harry potter, that is). i don't read the books, so i am not nearly as invested in these characters as you book-readers (you know who you are). that bodes well for me, as i should be able to watch the next harry potter movie with interest, but without the peculiar sensation that i kinda can't breath.

on the way out of the theater last night, our friend remarked how during a culminating scene (i won't say anything particular here, as the movie really was great and you should go), she felt like she needed to remind herself to breath. i think it's rare when a movie can actually achieve that emotional state in a viewer, but this one did. Capote felt longer than its alleged hour and forty minutes running time, but the pacing fit with the narrative, which was (fittingly) about a book that took over six years to write. while i didn't necessarily sympathize with anyone in the movie (except maybe Catherine Keener as Harper Lee, who was great and understated and crucial), but by the time the movie began to move towards a close, i was seriously invested. it wasn't until the credits started rolling that i realized my body had been in some state of tension or another for the last half hour or so.

so between last night and Crash, i am drained. they sucked me dry. my threshold for emotional involvement today will be the Bears game and the travel section of the Sunday Tribune.

oh, and an update: i'm going to win $310 million on tuesday night. the ticket last week didn't work out, but this time i've got the right one. so seriously, get back to me about the presents. if i don't hear from you, then you're getting a Jaguar, as they never go out of style.

Friday, November 11, 2005

friday cat blogging, sentinel edition.

friday's not quite over yet, i got this one in under the wire!

this is CatCat's watchdog (watchcat?) position. she monitors the courtyard for any deviant bird life and/or squirrel activity. she takes this job very seriously, so don't make fun of her or you'll hurt her feelings.

kind of like the claw game, but the prize is destruction.

so i was just walking down Broadway to pick up some dry cleaning, and a giant bulldozer crane was demolishing an empty bank building (the bank had formerly been connected to a Dominick's grocery store, which mysteriously caught on a fire about 6 months ago and was subsequently demolished. apparently they're just now getting around to taking out said bank).

i guess i've never actually seen anything in the process of being demolished. i mean, i've seen footage of wrecking balls and bulldozers and explosion demolitions. but i've never seen a building being torn down in person. apparently many other people out and about on Broadway were in the same position, as i'd say at least a dozen people had just stopped in their tracks to watch. granted, it was sort of tough to miss, what with the mind-blowing noise and giant machinery swinging around, but i've never seen that many people on a city block just stop and watch something happen.

while i didn't actually stop to watch (on the company dime here, people, what kind of slacker do you think i am??), i have to admit it was pretty arresting. this bulldozer crane was just pulling up its giant claw, slamming it down into the building, and tugging out heaps of concrete and steel like it was nothing. it was just creating wreckage, with no hesitation or second thought.

in a way, it was great. in another way, it was disturbing. terrible beauty, you know?

i would think more about it, but there are spreadsheets to generate. nonprofitland waits for no (wo)man, especially when they're wasting time pondering the metaphor of bulldozed buildings.

your disturbing news of the day.

hello, your favorite ray of sunshine here, providing you with yet another reason that the world is going to hell in a handbasket:

"Army secret surfaces: Deadly chemicals at sea"

i know what you're thinking: the army? doing something clandestine and harmful to society? never! but it's true. i would recommend that you read at least the first page of this thing - it's seriously shocking - but since i know many of you won't (you lazy bitches), here's the nut of it:

The Army now admits in reports never before released that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard gas agent into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.

These weapons of mass destruction virtually ring the country, concealed off the coasts of at least 11 states: six on the East Coast, including New Jersey and Maryland, two on the Gulf Coast, and in California, Hawaii and Alaska. Few, if any, state officials have been informed of their existence.

yes, you read that right.

i just recently finished reading bill bryson's awesome book, A Short History of Nearly Everything. the book gave me a sense of a lot of things, if not a full understanding of much (no matter how hard i try, the most basic explanations of space-time still elude my comprehension). one of the senses that i now have is how ridiculously slim the odds are that we are even here as a human race. sometimes you tend to think of evolution as a straight line, that there was some sort of inevitability of all of us ending up here, walking around, drinking our starbucks and listening to our iPods. but that certainly wasn't inevitable - in fact, the dumb luck involved in our existence and survival is staggering.

another thing i learned from the book was how humans, in our rise to ascendancy as the dominant species around here, have done amazing amounts of damage to the planet in a relatively short amount of time. i don't want to get all tree-hugger on you, because you know that's not my style (and it would get sap all over my nice new cowlneck sweater). BUT - not being a staunch environmentalist myself, i had no idea the wanton havoc we've been wreaking upon pretty much every inhabitable surface of the planet (and then some, apparently, judging by the article above). of course, it remains to be seen whether this complete disregard for ecological balance will result in us snuffing ourselves out, or whether we'll do it via nuclear war, or whether a big giant asteroid will slam into the pacific one day and take care of it. or something else. who knows? all i hope is that i'm not around to see it...and that is one thing, at least, on which the odds are good.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

women and children. and board members.

first of all, go read this article: "Right to Wife: Why does Judge Alito treat women like girls?"

the first paragraph kicks in the door:

Judge Alito, it's a pleasure to have you before our committee this morning. You're obviously an accomplished jurist, and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle speak very highly of you. I really have only one question for you, and it's my hope that you'll be able to put my mind, and the public's mind, at ease about it. What I'd like to know is, why do you think it's constitutional to treat a pregnant woman like a child?

yes! thank you. moving on.

i am all kinds of george costanza's father this morning. "serenity now!!" is it working? not really. nonprofitland always gets itself in a tizzy for the holiday season, and 2005 is proving to be no exception. there are appeal letters to send, proposals to write, media inquiries to field (funny, the media only tends to remember that there are homeless people when christmas is less than 60 days away), reports to file, board members to placate, and so on. there is so much more that i could bitch about in terms of nonprofitland, but i realize i have not exactly taken pains to hide my identity on this blog, so it would probably be wise to refrain. i don't think you could find this blog by googling my first and last name, but i don't want to find out the hard way by having my boss do it.

oh-kay. on that note, back to the appeal letters.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

annoying things abound.

so. i have a friend who very generously put a bunch of his mp3s on a CD for me. a number of good albums, some stuff i had wanted, etc. it arrived today in the mail, and i excitedly sat down to load some new songs onto my iPod. 45 minutes later, i have completely given up, as iTunes has frozen twice and and refused my every attempt to transfer anything from the CD to either iTunes or the iPod.


and. and. today i am walking into the grocery store, and there is a woman in front of me that is wearing a brown leather jacket, brown tights (not like stockings, like dark chocolate brown tights), brown shoes and...a black skirt.

gah. ack. ohmygod.

this was an almost unbelievable instance of the black/brown faux pas. i mean, sometimes people just get sloppy, carry a black bag while wearing brown shoes (i am an offender here, since i only have one bag!), or throw on brown shoes with black windpants to run to the corner store. but this - this was obviously a premeditated outfit situation. this woman got out of bed and consciously decided to wear three brown items of clothing and one black one.

after about 10 seconds, i realized my mouth was literally hanging open. i had to reach up and close it with my hand.

is this week over yet???

your wednesday one-liner.

as always, courtesty of Overheard in New York:

Chick: I make it a point never to run to public transportation. It's a rule that I live by.

--1 train

and to this i have to say, right on. i sprinted half a block for the fucking B line too many times in Boston, with a work bag and a gym bag and a coffee mug and lord knows what else flailing around. it should never be that important to get somewhere, even to work. and if it is - well then, they should be paying you more, so you can afford to drive every day.

ugh. the B line.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

in dreams begin responsibilities.

i am tired. wicked tired. so tired that i forgot to put a period on the end of my last post's subject line.

but before i go to bed at this ridiculously early hour, i wanted to mention dreams and the subconscious. these topics have come up, in some form or another, in a number of conversations that i've had this week. i've been talking with MomCat about the idea of a collective unconscious, and whether there might be anything to that. i've been talking with friends about the dreams they've recently had that have been affecting them in some way or another.

i'm certain that i'm not the first person to have the revelation that "wow, dreams are interesting." what i like about considering dreams, though, is that it's never stagnant - you always have some new dreams to think about, some you forget, some that other people tell you about that remind you of ones you once had, etc. there are always weird connections to make, connotations to consider. i make no claims about understanding the true nature of dreams (was freud right? jung? what about miss cleo?), and that makes it hard to make any claims about what a certain dream might mean. but damn if it isn't interesting to try to figure out, right?

for instance, i dream a fair amount about my grandparents' old house. we spent a fair amount of time there as kids, so it's a locale and a landscape with which i'm viscerally familiar. my grandparents both died about ten years ago, and i've only driven by the house a few times since them, but it keeps popping up in my dreams. recently i dreamt (dreamed? dreamt? who cares, see "wicked tired" notation above), all in the same dream, that there was a business meeting and a college party at the house, and then an inspection of the trees on the property, and then at the end of the dream i realized the house was ringed with a garden of rotting vegetables.

strange? yes. hard to deconstruct? perhaps not. but it's fascinating to me that this one location keeps factoring into my dreams, especially since i tend to dream in unspecific locales, bizarro dream spaces where places and people are constantly shifting. but these particular dreams are very rooted there.

anyway. maybe some more on this later. this stuff also got me thinking tonight about what the scariest dream that i ever had was. i think there's actually two - i'll tell you about them later, when i'm not so tired and rambling.

but first, tell me about your scariest dream....

pharmacy follow-up

if you're curious about which pharmacies to support and which ones to avoid in light of the birth control brouhaha, check out this handy scorecard. they've gotten policy clarifications straight from the horses' mouths, and these are the results.

for your reading pleasure.

click over and see The Chemist for a fun fisking of dennis prager’s most recent offering to the wingnut gods. he doesn’t tear up the whole article, but that’s understandable, as i’m not sure how one does finish reading a prager article and keep his or her lunch down at the same time.

now i know that prager could easily be elected mayor of loonytown, and his archive of journalistic work is not the best place to go for a sense of what the average american thinks and feels (yeah, yeah, there is no “average american,” i know that too). but i am a masochist, and apparently many of other liberal bloggers are as well, because we seek this shit out. it’s like if you knew that down the street there was a dog with two heads. you’d go check it out once, just to verify its existence, and you’d say “holy fuck that’s really a dog with two heads.” then you’d go home and forget about it…for a day or two. and from there on out, you’d find excuses to walk by the house where to dog with two heads was chained in the yard every so often, because you need to re-affirm its existence. you just can’t wrap your brain around the fact that it actually exists, so you need to keep checking and re-checking, OCD style.

there is really no other excuse for why i consistently click on links to outrageous articles at and the like.

on a saner note, i’d also recommend rebecca traister’s new article, “Yes, Maureen Dowd is Necessary” at i’ve been slightly uncomfortable with the gleeful pile-on of vitriol and holier-than-thou sarcasm that has been heaped upon Dowd (i refuse to call her MoDo, that’s just ridiculous) since the excerpt of her book came out last week. traister kinda puts her finger on why – whenever someone evokes such an instant and intense reaction by so many people, they’ve touched a nerve somehow. the more strident we are in our denouncements, the more it seems we might be protesting too much.

and just so you all know, i plan on winning $225 million tonight in the illinois lottery. got the winning ticket right here. so, start deciding what kind of flamboyant and utterly superfluous gift you want from me once i’m filthy rich…

Sunday, November 06, 2005

a drop in the bucket.

it might not be much, but it's a drop nonetheless. i'm sure you've heard this ridiculous noise about Target refusing to discipline its pharmacists who won't dispense Emergency Contraception because of "religious beliefs." well, fuck that Target. i am very sad that i won't be able to purchase your cheap and chic wares until you come to your senses, but sometimes these sacrifices must be made.

while you all might not be willing to take the drastic step of boycotting (or girlcotting, or personcotting, or what have you) the beloved low-price mecca that is Target, at the very least you can send them a nasty email. who doesn't like writing nasty emails, right? go to, click on "contact us" at the bottom of the homepage, and then click on "target corporation information" to get to their comment form. you don't even need to give them anything other than an e-mail address.

so please, go forth and bitch Target out.

i don't even know what to title this.

did you know that ozzie guillen practices santeria?

holy shit.

chicago tribune sunday edition, you're rocking my world. it was way too early in the morning for the revelation that the manager of the (world champion) white sox periodically involves himself in animal sacrifice.

then again, it's the first world series victory for chicago in 88 years, so maybe he's onto something.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

friday cat blogging, blurry hangover edition.

in my haste to drink vodka tonics and forget about the week, i forgot friday cat blogging! shameful. though i am not actually hungover, the picture is a little blurry, so i'll go with that theme. this is an old CatCat picture - taken a day or two after we got her, when she still slept under the table for protection.

newer CatCat pictures to come, some point i'll try to catch her doing her spiderman act on the couch while chasing her tail. it's an elusive moment to document, but i will do my best.