Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"got shame?" because if not, here's some free of charge!

oh my goodness. cartoon cows. modesty zones. the unironic use of the phrase "got shame?". the requisite Muu-Muu jokes in the comments section.

all in all, a classic pandagon post.

ok, ok. no need to yell.

i had a spam email in my bulk folder today with a subject line that read,

Don't be fat!

i don't need this kind of abuse so early in the morning.

Monday, February 27, 2006

thawing ground.

i don’t remember what month it was. it was in the vicinity of spring – the season had either recently arrived, or was waiting in the wings for its entrance cue. the days were blustery with winds that came right over the Berkshire mountains and across the valley, but the sun was warm against a cheek, or a forearm exposed by a rolled-up sleeve. at night, people walked Main Street, buying coffee from Rao’s or carrying triangular take-out boxes from Antonio’s. i was a senior in college.

i must have driven through town to get there. i imagine it was already dark when i arrived. where did we meet? on campus somewhere – the parking lot, on the corner by Bowden gym, outside a dorm in Southwest? somewhere. at some point, long after the sun had gone down and the people – the people who lived in all the little glowing squares that were windows that were dorm rooms – had ventured out to wherever it was they were going. we walked across four lanes of sparse traffic, along the sidewalk that bordered the soccer and lacrosse fields. there was a steep incline – how did we get down? maybe we didn’t take the sidewalk at all, maybe we walked straight onto the field from Massachusetts Avenue.

we walked far enough to escape light. at least, the light that blurred out all sense of sky. those fields were huge – my freshman year i had a panoramic view of it from my 18th floor dorm room, where i could see past the fields and the athletic complex to mountains, and eventually a tree-tipped horizon line – so walking far enough to look up and see stars was possible. once light was sufficiently snuffed out, we laid down on the ground, tucked our hands behind our heads, and looked up.

the night was cold in the way that any early spring night is cold – it gives you a chill, but not a hopeless one. i had a coat on, and i had it pulled tight around me. i laced my fingers into my hair to keep them warm.

we talked about a lot. he told me about his family, his past, the things that he had struggled against and the small victories he had won. i talked, too. i talked about where i was going, why i was going (or so i thought), what mattered to me and who mattered to me. we talked until the cold of the ground seeped through the layers and grasped at my back, lodging a dull ache in my calves and the back of my skull. i shivered once or twice, and he asked if we should probably go back. i said yes.

i remember that night. of so many nights that winter and spring that i have forgotten, of so many nights that must’ve seemed like they were so important at the time, i remember that one. others too, of course, but i find that hour laying in the chilled, thin grass of that field swims up out of the depths quite often.

the funny thing?

i’m not sure who i was with.

i mean, i am pretty sure i remember him – i am pretty sure the “him” i am thinking of is also the one who laid next to me and shared tiny, luminous bits of his life story. in the part of my mind that can’t see, i know who it is. in the part of my mind that remembers in broad strokes, there’s only one person it could be. but those months, the last few months of college when i packed in more drama and heartache and beauty than i had experienced in the 3 ½ years preceding, have become an eddy, a tidepool. everything has settled together, gotten still. people and places have spots of startling clarity, and swaths of blurred meaning. and so, while i know who it was, i am also just a little unsure.

even so, i am content with the way that i remember that night. i am happy with not quite knowing. i am content with a sense of the weather, but without a name – with a sense of thawing ground, but without a face.

monday morning fashion issues.

black and brown. together. on the cover of the field's weekly. breaking of a cardinal fashion rule, or evidence that i have no idea what i'm talking about when it come to clothing? discuss.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

friday cat blogging, take me to your leader edition.

i know, a day late. but let's still title it friday cat blogging and pretend like nothing's different.

there's not much i can say about this picture, other than that i am highly amused by it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

like, whoa.

UPDATE: ok, so i was off on the paper - it's the Post, not the Times! good on you, Holla Back.

to all the peeps coming from HollaBackNYC - can someone tell me why there's so much holla-traffic? was there a profile of them in the Times or something?

my links from Holla Back are through the roof this morning, and i'll be damned if i can figure out why.

oh, and thanks for coming! feel free to stay and look around. my ramblings and general incoherencies are here purely for your amusement.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


i am filled with despair.

i can hardly walk, from the weight of it.

i fill my days with jokes about wedding shows, and lighthearted conversations about the weather, and homemade macaroni and cheese, and elliptical machines at the gym, when all around me the world is slipping further and further into darkness.

"i can't go on. i'll go on." right?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

wedding shows.

i know one would assume from the critical tone of my previous posts about all things marriage, that my posting about wedding shows would certainly only be in order to condemn the voyeuristic, capitalistic, materialistic shallowness of it all. but, as SisterCat so eloquently put it to an amherst bouncer years ago, "you don't know me."

because seriously, i love wedding shows. love 'em. really, are wedding shows not the most enjoyable form of guilty pleasure tv viewing? wait, don't answer that. but sometimes, i just seriously can't tear myself away from this stuff. wedding story on tlc? check. bridezillas on WE? check. real weddings from the knot? oh, you better believe that's a check. those ones are my favorite, because you're never quite sure what you're going to get. it could be a perfectly nice couple having a perfectly nice wedding, or it could be a crazy sorority sister has-been and her over-hairgelled fiancee, arguing with each other about his bachelor party, crying over the hem of a dress, and bitching about how the center pieces were not supposed to be that high!

and the weddings themselves! hoo, boy, don't they just offer a great opportunity to see event trainwrecks in action. so many opportunities to be petty and judgemental! tonight, for example, i caught the last ten minutes of a bridezillas episode, and it was the reception following the ceremony. the husband was giving his new wife a "toast," and i put that term in quotation marks because i'm not sure if it was a toast that aspired to be spoken word poetry, or a really slow jam, or what. he had the mic, and was saying things like "baby, you know i love you. i. love. you. and this is for real. you are my wife. and i love you." all this, over a soundtrack of some Pure Moods-slash-porn music playing in the background. she's getting all teary-eyed, dabbing her eyes with a hankerchief, while i'm sitting on the couch going "what...what is happening? what is going on?"

this, folks, is entertainment.

so, regardless of my healthy distrust for the institution of marriage, i will never give up my wedding shows. you might think that at some point, i'd have enough of the histrionics and the unflattering bridesmaids dresses and the crazy parents, but you'd be wrong.

your wednesday one-liner.

courtesy of Overheard in New York. beware the IRS...

Hobo: The tax man has a licence to kill. No questions asked. More people should know that.

--5th Avenue-53rd Street station

carrying the torch.

in light of The Dino's absence, i am trying to help you, loyal readers, to expand your head. you've probably seen this floating about on the internets, so take a few minutes and check out this editorial from the NYT, a Pop Quiz on Marriage. the answers might surprise you.

*hat tip to Broadsheet. if you get a registration page with the above link, try clicking through here - i was able to get in without a login from Broadsheet's link.

work posts.

they are a little link heavy, i know. but they're good links! links you should read! links you will love!

at least, i hope you will.

anyway, jared passes along this fun article from the Washington Post on The Tricky Emotion Between Idolizing And Despising.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

brokeback mountain.

deborah has a great post up about brokeback mountain, so go check it out. she makes a great point about why everyone who disavows the fact that it's a "gay" movie is wrong.

and if you haven't seen it, christ on a crutch, would you go already? and don't read deborah's review until you do, because there's spoilers.


...is how it starts.

*ok, i changed the link, no need for registration now.

Monday, February 20, 2006


i stole this from Kameron, because it made me laugh. i hope she doesn't mind.

i was trying to think about how to start breaking the issue of marriage, and my own feelings and confusions about it, into something managable. it's difficult. but i think a good place to start is to point out that in my own life, i see the decision of whether or not to get married as actually two separate decisions: whether to get married in the eyes of the state, and/or whether to get married in the eyes of my community.

obviously, most people just kill two birds with one stone and do both - they sign a marriage license and have a wedding ceremony. some people have specifically religious ceremonies, others secular communal ceremonies. on the other hand, some people are fine with just killing one bird, so they forgoe the ceremony all together and spend 30 minutes at city hall. on the third hand, some people don't bother with the legal paperwork but have a ceremony of some type where they make wedding vows (for gay couples in any state other than massachusetts, this is unfortunately their only option).

so, i guess when i think about it, it's three options (oh great! like i needed more than two): marry legally, marry communally, or marry legally AND communally. funnily enough, i have problems with all three of these ideas.

i won't subject you to all of my problems in this post. but i will touch on the first option, marrying legally. most would argue that the point of marrying legally is not so that you can bask in the warm glow of governmental approval, but in order to access all the legal benefits of marriage: tax breaks, property rights, visitation rights, etc etc etc. seems like a no brainer, right? but it bothers me that the state is pretty much offering me incentives to marry. it's like when i offer my cat a treat as an incentive to not scratch the furniture. (or just to get her close enough so i can grab her and toss her in the cat carrier. i'm so cruel.) i sit here and think, you're not the boss of me! i didn't just fall off the turnip truck here, i see what's going on!

well ok, i don't really think those things. but they're fun to say.

here's the thing: i think that a lot of the benefits accorded to married people, both immediate and tangential, should be accorded to everyone regardless of marital status. i should be able to go through a process of establishing visitation rights with BoyCat without having to be married. and don't get me started on health insurance. the fact that BoyCat and i would have to be married in order to be covered under each other's health insurance sucks major ass. ever hear of partner benefits? it's the new wave, corporate america, let's catch it!

i know, i know, someone is going to throw out the "but you can't just let anybody claim partner benefits on anyone else! roommates shouldn't be able to be covered under each others insurance! blah yada blah!" this strikes me as the "but people shouldn't be allowed to marry their dogs!!" insanity about legalizing gay marriage. it is possible to control for this sort of thing in the way laws are constructed and enforced. if we wanted to be a society that was open and accepting to partnerships that don't fit within the traditional bounds of marriage, we could do it. we just don't want to.

so, what's a radical feminist girl to do? turn her back on all those marriage benefits because she sees that the system which bestows them is corrupt? then she pays the price of a lifelong relationship without legal protections and levels of uncertainty no one should have to deal with. does she capitulate, taking advantage of a system that her gay friends aren't even allowed to access and in which she doesn't necessarily believe, in order to save her own skin? then she pays the price of a conscience that feels let down and a nagging feeling that giving in certainly isn't the way to advocate for change.

what's a girl to do?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

surprising, and yet not.

it's cold here. i believe the technical term for yesterday's weather in chicago is "butt-ass cold." today looks to be slightly better, and so i am actually going to venture out of the apartment, go to the gym, do laundry, buy groceries - all those thrilling weekend activities that i so sadly missed out on yesterday. there is a bookclub potluck tonight, where we pick the books for the next six months, and i kinda want to go. however, i have nothing to bring for potluck and nothing to suggest for a reading. so, perhaps not, unless some serious inspiration strikes.

and now, for your "surprising, and yet not" fact of the day. on saturday, when shani davis won the gold medal in the men's 1,000 meter speedskating competition, he became the first black person in the history of the winter olympics to win an individual gold medal. think about that for a minute. try to come up with a good reason for it, other than a statement that begins "well, black people really don't..."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

and just in case you ever think i sometimes sound like a "hysterical feminist"...

UPDATE 3: holy shit! that second link is broken now too! this is getting way too sci-fi for me, because yesterday, these fucking posts were there. now they're not. and you're starting to think i'm crazy, but i know i'm not crazy, but the more i try to convince you i'm not crazy the crazier i sound. so without further ado, here is the post that one of the other now-defunct posts credited with finding the image (i just happened to remember the name of the blog and got lucky finding it). if i wake up and this is gone tomorrow, i will check myself into a mental institution.

UPDATE 2: ok, try this link instead.

UPDATE: how strange - apparently now the link only shows a messages that says we are unauthorized to view this page. i double checked that it worked last night after i posted, though. hmmmm. so, for now, nevermind. but i will get to the bottom of this...

...please click on this link (warning, not exactly safe for work).

i have spent the last 15 minutes trying to figure out if these playboy ads are for real. the fact that i had to devote even 10 seconds to that question should remind you that, regardless of whether they are or not, misogyny is alive and well.

*hat tip to Jaynie K for the link.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

a turning of tides.

i'm not shutting up about marriage yet. actually, i haven't even gotten to marriage yet, i'm only going to shut up about engagement after this post. so many issues, so little time.

i mentioned in my last post on the subject that despite all my misgivings about the idea of getting engaged (and thus getting married, but again, that's almost a whole 'nother ball of wax), i have not ruled it out for BoyCat and myself. why? short answer: i dunno. isn't it obvious i'm just flailing about through life with nary a clue as to what i'm doing?

long answer:

i'm guessing that the seat of my reluctance to completely buck the trend of engagement is social conditioning. i know, it's not as sexy as repressed memories or the revelation that i'm the second coming of elizabeth taylor or anything, but i think it's true. no matter how rationally we can parse something, no matter how resolutely we can claim to be beyond the need for something so obviously socially constructed (and thus socially controlling), the undertow of what is expected can pull us under. that's the way social conditioning works, for gods sake - if it weren't so persuasive, would everybody be doing it? not to sound like i'm channelling a fundie here, but marriage is a cornerstone of how our society functions - the nuclear family, and its gender roles, are intrinsic to maintaining the status quo. and it's any society's ultimate aim to maintain the status quo and keep things humming along smoothly.

but feminists, myself among them, don't want patriarchy to keep skipping along on its merry, injust, dehumanizing way. radical feminists don't merely want to allow women to be able to play a man's game - we want to change the way the whole game is played. so as a radical feminist, when you see all the ways - subtle and glaring, insidious and overtly threatening - that society asks you to shut up and play along, don't you want to challenge that? when you see the way that the path of serious relationship, engagement, marriage, children, house in the suburbs is what's expected, when you're told that's what you're supposed to want, don't you want to say "pardon me, but fuck that"?

i don't know about you, but i do.


i feel like my life is often a turning of tides between two poles - the pole of stasis, stability, conformity, what is expected, and the pole of dynamism, movement, rebellion, what is unexpected. i'd like to say that the ideal way to handle that is to find a way to integrate these two forces in my life - to allow for a little bit of both. but i think that's too easy. i think one side of you would always be accusing the other of treachery. but maybe that's the price you pay, maybe that's the way you have to compromise.

i will get engaged. i won't wear a diamond ring. i will wear a physical signifier of the engagement. i will try to figure out a way for BoyCat to wear one too. i will tell people i am engaged. i will smile inside each time they look down at my empty left hand, and look up again in confusion. i will entertain questions about the dress, the location, the cake, the flowers. i will have a warehouse of slightly sarcastic answers if the questioner is annoying me.

maybe this is all true, maybe it's not. to get back to my short answer, i honestly don't know. because really, we haven't even scratched the surface of the fundamental issue, which is behind why people get engaged in the first place: marriage.

before i can seriously answer the question of whether i want to get engaged, i have to figure out if i want to get married.

call for submissions.

Mind the Gap is calling for submissions to the 9th Carnival of Feminists! The optional theme for this carnival is Feminism and the Body, and the deadline is February 19th. So, go stop by and submit one of your posts, or nominate some other friendly feminists!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

happy valentine's day. kisses and all that shit.

ok, no marriage-related musings from me tonight. it's been a long day, beginning with BoyCat and i squirting antibiotics down CatCat's throat, tossing her in the cat carrier, and my driving her to the vet at 8:00 a.m. then work, where i had a good day except for this one moment where i really wished i had nunchucks or some other destructive weapon. after that, there was the sharing of way too much personal space on the El, then running back to the apartment to get the car to go pick up a groggy CatCat from the vet. phew.

however, since it is valentine's day, i will share with you with two thoughts - love and not love.

something that i love: rollergirls on A&E. those bitches kick ass.

something that i do not love: the kotex ad campaign that says, "have a happy period." i honestly do not have the words with which to explain the kind of rage this inspires within me.

nunchucks, seriously. i'd like some.

Monday, February 13, 2006

otherwise engaged.

ok, so last time around, i threw out some hypothetical questions about the nature of "getting engaged" and whether maybe, sometimes, it's not entirely necessary. didn't get a whole lotta feedback there. but that's all right, because i'm hardly sure what i think either.

i realize the practical nature of getting engaged in terms of setting a "beginning" and an "end" to the wedding planning process. i figured someone would hit me with that one right out of the gate, but no one did! of course people need time to plan a wedding. it could be a vastly different amount of time for different couples, depending on if you're talking 500 people at the Plaza or two in Vegas, but there's time involved nonetheless. however, when you think about it, the only necessity of "engagement" is the concrete agreement between two people that, okay, let's get married, and let's do it this way, and let's do it at this time. because you can start planning then (and, if you're going for the two in Vegas option, you don't even need to tell anyone else that you're "engaged"!).

so, the practical side of engagement seems to be taken care of with the agreement between two people to marry. i'm cool with that - you have to decide one way or the other sometime, right? but it's the rest of the trappings with which i am less comfortable. where to start, where to start..

1) the gender roles of "getting engaged"

you'd think, in this day and age, that we as a society would at least be an itty-bitty bit comfortable with the idea of women proposing to men. however, i don't think that we are. i think it's still seen as this weird, devious, aberrant thing about which people are just polite enough to say "oh, well isn't that nice", barely contain a smirk, and then go gossip about in the hallway. (you might try to contradict me on this, saying "but my aunt/friend from college/co-worker proposed to her boyfriend!" well sure, that may be true, and good on her. that doesn't mean society at large is ok with it yet.) and i will be totally honest here - the reason i know society isn't ok with it is that deep down, i think a part of me would not be ok with proposing to BoyCat instead of the other way around. gasp! i know. behold the power of social conditioning. in the long run, i don't think that little voice in the back of my head whispering "but that's not how it's done" would be enough to stop me from doing anything regarding engagement and weddings - there's too much contrarian in me to allow for an excess of conformity - but i cannot deny that it is there. and the whole thing is so fucking patriarchal, i don't even need to tell you. you know.

2) the diamond ring

this is obviously a symbolic extension of the above issue, but with a little extra objectification thrown in. the tradition of the man proposing to the woman follows the old line of women being things that are "won," objects to be bought and sold (if you think i'm exaggerating, go brush up on the history of marriage. i'm not going into it here, because it's enough to make me swear off the institution forever if i think about it too much). the diamond engagement ring embodies this issue. two people get engaged, yet only one is expected to wear a physical signifier that she is "taken," "spoken for," "off the market." why is there no cultural expectation for a man to make manifest his promise of eventual marriage and fidelity? oh right, because he's not the commodity.

3) engagement parties

i don't even really need to justify this frustration, do i? i mean seriously, could you be more crass? you're already having bachelor and bachelorette parties, a rehearsal dinner, a shower, and a freaking wedding where people will practically throw money at you just for showing up in a white dress and a tux. for gods sake, stop panhandling! i worked at a country club as a function server one summer, and engagement parties were hands down the most annoying functions to work. weddings were more stressful, but engagement parties - good god. the materialism, the cattiness, the self-congratulatory smugness! hey, you just got engaged, you didn't cure cancer - get over yourself! if i had a nickel for every time i wanted to punch some bride-to-be, or her maid-of-honor-to-be, or her mother-of-the-bride-to-be, well, i'd be able to afford that destination wedding that BoyCat and i joke around about.

that's all i got on engagements for tonight. phew, all that verbal fist-shaking is tiring. next up, a consideration of why, even in light of all these glaring problems, i have not ruled out this time honored tradition for myself.

i must be crazy.

Friday, February 10, 2006

love and marriage. and then some.

so roni really kicked some shins (in a good way!) with this post the other day about marriage, and how it’s way too complicated for our society to be pressuring so many people into. that is my super-condensed nutshell of her point, but go read her post because i’m obviously reducing a bit. her post got me thinking about the issue of engagement and marriage, which, let’s be honest, is something i think about a fair amount because a) it’s a really crucial sticking point in a lot of feminist thinking and criticism and b) it affects me personally. this is not only an abstract question that i can ponder theoretically, but one that i will have to make a concrete decision on in my own life in the somewhat near future.

so. in honor of that scurrilous Hallmark holiday, valentine’s day, and the concomitant obsession with all things romantical during the month of February, i am going to take the next few days/weeks to ponder the issues, as i see them, around engagement and marriage. why not? i don’t think i’ve really pissed anyone off with this blog in a while, so i’m due.

that last observation was sarcastic, sorta. i would like to put out this disclaimer, however, before i begin my random, disconnected, and intermittently brilliant analysis of all things betrothal. i do not – i repeat, do not - condemn anyone for making the choice to marry, or not to marry. we all do the best we can with what we’ve got, and i respect that there are wildly divergent opinions around this topic. so while i lay out my own concerns, questions, and comments about the venerated institution of marriage, i ask that you hold in you mind that my observations are not a personal indictment of your choices, whatever they may be. i’m just working my way through all this like anyone else.

ok, so. before i even get to the headliner of marriage, i think we need to start with the opening act of engagement. obviously, “getting engaged” in our society is as much of a tradition as “getting married.” but while the two are inextricably (well, sorta) connected, they are technically two different things. while one could get married without having been engaged, for many people, this is not the way things “should” work – if you go that route, you’ve been aberrant. the way it’s supposed to work is that after a certain amount of time together as a couple – i’d say a year to three years is probably the average, but i’m sure someone’s done a study somewhere – you get engaged. the way you get engaged is the male half of the couple asks the female half of the couple to “marry him,” preferably while offering up some physical token to symbolize the engagement. ok, preferably a one-to-two carat diamond in the classic tiffany engagement ring setting – but any diamond will do. the woman wears the diamond ring as a signifier that the couple is engaged, and roughly a year to two years later, the couple gets married.

ok. i understand how this tradition has continued through years and years (though the diamond part is relatively new, regardless of what DeBeers wants you to think). but in the era of co-habitation and a later average age of marriage, is it just me, or does this whole thing start to feel a little antiquated? i was thinking about this today as i watched the umpteenth jewelry store commercial (seriously, valentine’s day can’t come soon enough. if i never see another treacly ad with a jewelry box and a woman looking surprised, it will be too soon). i was ruminating on the term “engaged.” back in the day, i can imagine an explicit agreement to marry as being an escalation between the literal “engagement” between two people – the way that they factor into each others lives. but now? in certain cases, it seems a little superfluous. i look at BoyCat and myself, and that fact that we have joint car payments to make, and rent to cover, and a cat to take care of, and shared food bills and vacations we’ve taken and trials we’ve seen each other through, and i think, hell, we’re “engaged.” i’m not sure we could be much more “engaged” in each other’s lives at this point. so what exactly would a ring and a waiting period do? how exactly would this tradition serve us? since we have agreed upon the fact that we want to be together forever, regardless of whether that means marrying or not, what does the middle ground of engagement really offer?

ok, this post is long enough already. more to come on engagement and other things, like why pale girls with freckles shouldn’t wear white anyway, my odd fixation with wedding shows, and the issue of equality and justice being played out on the marital stage.

comments and insults, as always, are welcome.

friday cat blogging, psycho killer edition.

last week, you saw her laying on the bed like a little sweetheart. that only gave you half the picture, though. here is CatCat engaging in her other favorite bed-based activity, which is rolling around like a lunatic.

she tends to do this pretty much every time BoyCat or i come home after work. it's like she pents up her energy for the 8-odd hours we're gone, and then lets it all loose the minute we walk through the door. this results in the manic posturings featured above.

crazy wench.

thank you, cary.

i am usually ambivalent about cary tennis' advice in his salon column - he can be too wishy-washy, too ephemeral, too inscrutible. he can be plain old wrong as well. but today's column is worth a read, because he really nails it. a grad student writes in about not knowing how to tell his more-well-off friends that he can't afford to attend their destination wedding. a snippet:

...every time someone tells the truth about money in America it makes me happy.

It makes me happy because I know the power of money to shame us into distorting the truth and abandoning our values. We might become artists or musicians or study arcane and little-understood phenomena, we might live more simply, we might dedicate ourselves to what we love, we might take time off from work to improve our lives and our relationships, we might spend more time with our children, if it weren't for the fear of not having enough money, or appearing to not have enough money.

And we might indeed have enough actual money to do what we need to do if we were realistic and honest about what we need, and did not spend money to avoid being shamed or excluded or misunderstood or thought poorly of.

Rather than say, "I'm sorry, your destination wedding in Hawaii does not fit my budgetary plans for fiscal year 2006," we say, "I'm so happy for you, I'll be there!" We pretend to have money that we do not have. And then we create for ourselves a set of unreasonable expectations. We attend a wedding we cannot afford to attend and give gifts we cannot afford to buy. And then we pay later. We pay with our time. We pay with our dreams.

(emphasis mine)

yes, yes, yes - a small, squeaking voice of reason amidst the cacophony of consumer insanity! i know these observations probably seem self-evident to most of us, but in society, i think this perspective is often shamed and shouted down into silence by pop culture, by advertising, by product placement and stock tickers and corporate logos on school gymnasiums and national parks. it makes me happy to see someone, anyone, fighting that tide. bravo to you, cary.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

drinking alone, and other recreational activities.

if you've been keeping up with The Dino (a.k.a. BoyCat on this blog...so many pseudonyms to keep straight), you're aware that this week he started his new gig at WGN radio. however, he is also still working his part time job at Big Nonprofitland, so for the next three months he will be working from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. every weekday. this means, of course, that now i have to figure out how to feed and amuse myself, without his assistance, every evening from now through the middle of may.

for those of you who know me (and even those of you that don't, because i'm sure by now you have some sense), this is obviously going to be a daunting task. for instance, i gathered up all my proactive resolve and mental fortitude and went to the grocery store after work. this was my list:

marinara sauce
brown rice
red beans
chex mix
melba snacks
frozen spinach

i am not quite sure how i am going to fashion this into a week's worth of dinners, but i'll come up with something. tonight's meal was stovetop stuffing and five spinach puffs from the freezer, so things can only improve, right?

in all seriousness, i am going to be very lonely without BoyCat around. even though we've been together for three years, i never tire of being around him, hanging out with him, talking with him. i've had other relationships where fatigue sets in much more quickly - where after awhile you find yourself wanting the other person to just go away. just go away, just for today, or just for tonight, so i can breathe and be alone and relax! but i can say with all honesty that i have never wanted BoyCat to just go away. but now he is away, and i need to figure out how to make the best of it.

any recommendations?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

wednesday one-liner.

ok, this one just made me laugh out loud. i don't know what that says about me.

Guy on cell: No, Grandma. No, shut up! Grandma, I'm going to fucking kill you!

--14th & 4th

reading material.

the newest Carnival of Feminists is up over at Gendergeek. links, links everywhere! go get 'em while the gettin's good.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

a question.

why would one not utilize the mute button on the remote control when the Choxie chocolate commercial comes on?

personally, i was about three-quarters of the way through one of these exercises in aural pain when i realized the error of my ways.

more camille hate.

for the love of god and everything holy, why do i read anything underneath camille paglia's name? why do i do it? i have never really considered myself a masochist, but at these moments, i have to wonder. so please, allow me a moment to rant.

at salon.com yesterday, camille oh so helpfully chimed in on a piece about Betty Friedan's Legacy. among numerous other political and academic luminaries, camille's entry stands out like a tantrum-throwing child in an upscale restaurant.

camille, is it possible for you to write six paragraphs about an icon of modern feminism and not reference yourself? well lookie here, apparently not! camille, is it possible for you to write six paragraphs without referencing madonna and her centrality to sex-positive feminism? results come back negative.

and please, please. i know your level of self-delusion is staggering, but consider this: there is no current strand of feminism that "rules the roost." except, maybe anti-feminism. so please, get off your high horse for two seconds and think about the fact that there's still work to be done. most of your readers are more concerned with that fact than whatever you wrote in a letter to newsweek in 1963, or whether you think your side has "won".

your egomaniacal prattling does a disservice to the name of feminism and feminists everywhere. do us all a favor and shut up.

a first.

so, i have just heard my first tornado siren. i sat here with a look of puzzlement on my face, and my co-workers had to clue me in. i said, "uh...but it's february." they said, well, they test them on the first tuesday of every month.

i have lived in this city for over a year, and i have never heard a siren being tested on the first tuesday of every month. however, our new offices are very close to the Loop, and i just heard one, so apparently the city of Chicago only cares if people downtown die from a giant funnel cloud. i can only hope i'm here in my cubicle when a tornado swoops in, and not in my apartment in Lakeview.

christ, the midwest is a weird place.

Monday, February 06, 2006

terrible, in a good way.

i'd just like to take these last few minutes of my lunch hour to say congrats to the Steelers, and all their fans, on emerging victorious from Superbowl XL*. they had a great post-season run, beating the one, two, and three seeds from the AFC, and doing it all on the road. that is impressive enough, but i'm glad they were able to take it all the way.

i also need to comment on the fact that, at our friends' superbowl party last night, they had a sandwich with french fries on it. that's right, french fries on it. that was a first for me, and a wonderful first it was. hooray for pittsburghian food.

*seriously, i will never fully understand roman numerals. if i had to guess what forty was, i would have guessed XX, but i would've been totally wrong because X is ten, not twenty. XL is actuall 10-50, but since the big number comes after the little one, you subtract little from big. get it? yeah, me neither.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

this is totally unnecessary. therefore, i must share.

blogger has apparently been having some problems for the past two days. i couldn't get my post up on friday, then posted it on saturday but it timestamped as friday, and then last night i couldn't access blogspot blogs. hmmm. it also looks like jayne's blog is having "technical difficulties" - don't go there, though, she wants us to stay! away! - and i hope she hasn't lost stuff.

this makes me realize that i haven't really backed up any of the posts i have here - and i'm coming up on 200 posts, so it's becoming a not inconsequential amount of writing that i stand to lose. how do others deal with this? should i just print everything out (at the office, naturally) to have hard copies? copy everything to word and take up disk space? what's the standard industry practice here?

anyway, on to the totally unnecessary stuff. did you hear sheryl crow and lance armstrong broke up? i know, i really don't care either. however, look at the picture that goes along with this article. holy shit, she looks awful! and not just bad hair day awful, but like eating disorder awful! what happened there? and why have i heard nothing about the fact that sheryl crow suddenly resembles a drowned cat?

oh, right, because i don't read Us Weekly. shoot. well, i guess we all make compromises in life.

Friday, February 03, 2006

friday cat blogging, invalid edition.

CatCat owns this bed. we used to think that when she bothered us in the morning, it was because she was hungry, but really, it's because she wants us out of the way.

so CatCat went for her yearly check-up at the vet this week. $200 of shots and bloodwork later, we have discovered that she has chronic inflammation in her gums (kitty gingivitis). ok, doesn't sound so bad, right? that's what BoyCat thought as the vet was telling him about it, but then he noticed the serious look on the vet's face and then it was like, "oh shit." apparently, kitty gingivitis will eventually be really painful for CatCat, and she'll have difficulty eating. this will result in weight loss, and ultimately the deterioration will progress to the point that she has to have her teeth pulled.

yes, you heard that right - one day, we will be the proud owners of a toothless cat. and there is really no preventing it, unless the issue happens to be an allergy instead of an immune system problem, and if we can pinpoint what that allergy is. otherwise, we will give her antibiotics and steriods and dental cleanings...and she'll still eventually lose her teeth.

so, on valentine's day, CatCat and i have a date with the vet. there will be no dinner or presents, though, unless CatCat counts being put under general anethesia, having her teeth cleaned (and possibly pulled, if too decayed), and having a biopsy of her gums done as presents! somehow, i doubt she will be happy about the arrangement.

poor CatCat.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


so today, someone from the Citadel found my blog by googling "punishing kate." that disturbs me.

you know what else disturbs me? the way that Duke is starting to pull away from BC here in the end of the first half. the beginning of the game was actually really exciting, and BC was in it, and i thought "hey...this could work out."

wishful thinking is a sad and admirable thing.

i might not be posting as much in the next week or so, as i attempt to readjust to the commuting life. for the last 17 months i've been walking to work, and for the last five days i've been taking the train. i am slowly starting to remember all the things i so hated about commuting back in boston. i can't stand the dogfight to get on and off the train, i can't stand the creepy guys who look at you funny, i can't stand the people who screech incessantly into their cellphones, i can't stand the nausea of swaying slightly back and forth, back and forth, for 20 minutes. but do you know what i really, really, really hate? hate with a capital 'H'? hell, HATE in all capitals?

i hate the people who, when they get on a train with no more available seats and they know that there are people behind them also trying to get on, still stop two feet inside the door and set up shop along the handrail in the middle of the aisle. these people are scum. these people are the lowest of the low. these people can think of nothing but themselves, and should be kicked in the shins repeatedly until they fall down.

anyway, it's obvious from the above incoherencies (is that a word?) that overall i'm a little tired and disoriented. it's going to take me some time to absorb all this extra commuting effort into my days and still manage to formulate relevant thoughts. or full sentences. or both.

awww, they just showed gasson hall! i went there! go BC! try not to lose by 20....