Saturday, April 29, 2006


yes, it is 10:00 pm on a saturday night and BoyCat and I are home. it was movie night - amelie, to be specific. can you believe i hadn't seen it yet? fun little movie, and really, could she be any cuter? i think about 1% of the female population can pull off that haircut.

anyway, toast has tagged me with the A-Z meme. so here goes.

(you know what? i did a meme very similar to this back in December. so you can read that too, if you want to know some other things about me. i’m going to cut and paste the answers that are the same, because i’m lazy!)

Accent: none, really. one of the first things many people say when they find out that i’m from the boston area is, “you don’t have an accent!” i assume that this is because they’ve only been exposed to boston accents through snl skits and mystic river. the only time i really drop any “r”s at all is when i’ve been drinking, or when i’m talking very quickly.

there's not much that i won't drink. in my short time on earth, the only two drinks that i've learned to refuse at all costs are shots of tequila and irish car bombs.

Chore I Hate:
all. all of them.

Dog or Cat: cats. dogs are nice and all, i just don’t want one. and even if i did, we don’t have room for more than one small pet in this place.

Essential Electronics:
BoyCat’s laptop. my laptop is a dinosaur, and we can’t get the wireless internet to work on both and be secure. i’m too lazy to figure it out, so we just share. and i could buy a new laptop or go to vegas in august, so guess what? the dinosaur stays.

Favorite Cologne: i don’t wear perfume, really – i have a bottle of sunflowers on the nightstand in case i’m feeling particularly icky, but normally it’s deodorant and out the door.

Gold or Silver: silver. i have no affinity for gold, which my zodiac sign says is against the laws of nature. i say screw the zodiac, silver’s better.

Hometown: catville, ma (yeah, i'm not telling you this here).

Insomnia: bouts of it. i watch some late night episodes of check, please! or read blogs until i just can’t keep my eyes open any longer.

Job Title: grants + communications [blank]. i’m paranoid about work finding this blog, so i won’t type the whole thing.

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.

Living Arrangements: sharing a north side apartment with BoyCat and CatCat.

Most Admirable Traits: hmmm. i’ll take a cue from toast and say that i am a loyal friend. and however naïve and idealistic it might sound, i do have a desire to leave the world a bit of a better place than i found it.

Number of Sexual Partners: you know, it’s funny, instinctively in my head i thought “eight,” but when i just went back over it in my head, i only come up with seven. so if there’s a number eight, he wasn’t very memorable.

Overnight Hospital Stays:

Phobias: how much time do you have? flying. bridges. strangers. wicker furniture. (just kidding about the last one. sort of.)

Quote: "brevity is the soul of lingerie." - dorothy parker

Religion: none. soft atheism, if i must categorize.

just one. SisterCat. and believe me, one is enough - we've got our hands full with each other!

Time I Wake Up:
you’re going to hate me. 7:15 a.m. god bless Chicago transit.

Unusual Talent or Skill:
i just asked BoyCat if i had an unusual talent or skill, and he said “umm…you can juggle.” i said, “that’s not unusual. and i juggle poorly.” he said, “well there you go, you juggle poorly.” i said, “that’s not unusual either!” i’m abandoning this question.

Vegetable I Love:

Worst Habit:
mild paranoia over just about everything.

X-Rays: none. kinda remarkable.

Yummy Foods I Make: i make good baked ziti florentine. that's about it!

Zodiac Sign: leo.

Friday, April 28, 2006

friday cat blogging, i have a small head edition.

it doesn't just look small as i crouch behind this big bed. it really is small. some people, who shall remain nameless, have referred to it on occasion as a "wedge head." that hurts my feelings, so i go kick the shit out of some catnip mice to make myself feel better.

representations and reality.

below is the first paragraph of keith phipps review of United 93 in the onion's a.v. club.

The best indication of the respectful intentions behind United 93—a retelling of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, focusing on the hijacked plane that crash-landed in rural Pennsylvania—comes at the inevitable point, positioned about halfway through, when the first plane hits the World Trade Center. Seen from the perspective of an air-traffic control booth across the river, the plane makes its approach until, at the point of impact, writer-director Paul Greengrass cuts to CNN footage of the event itself. Greengrass is smart and sensitive enough to know that whatever he could create couldn't possibly overshadow the sickening experience we all already shared watching that image over and over when it happened.

ok, i’m about to get all pseudo-theoretical on your asses, so tell me what you think. because when i read this, my brain tweaked out a little trying to sort out the issues of reality and fiction, of visual experience, of storytelling and the blurry lines between what’s “true” and what’s not, what’s “real” and what’s not.

as mini-background, i have no desire to go see United 93, and i frankly don’t understand why anyone else would want to either. all those reviewers had to go see it, because it’s their job, but the average joe and jane looking for something to do on friday night? i’m sorry, but a re-creation of one of the most horrific days in the history of this country (hell, in the history of the world) is not my idea of an ideal movie-going experience. this also explains why i haven’t seen Pearl Harbor, i guess. this, and the fact that ben affleck is a disappointment in general.

ok, i’m having a hard time being serious about this right now, but i think it does raise serious questions. anyone could debate my points in the above paragraph (well, ben notwithstanding) around what movie-going should be “about.” i’m not trying to broach all that here, really. what i am interested in is the fact that this movie is a re-creation of a true event. and not just any true event, but as close to a collectively-shared true event as you’re likely to find. so what’s happening here? people are going into the theater to see a movie about something that they’ve...already seen?

i guess you could say they’re going to shade in the canvas, to try to get a fuller sense of what that day was like for certain other people – chiefly, the people on flight 93, but the airport personnel, the air traffic controllers, the military coordinators, etc. as well. but really, what’s filling in their outline of fact is fiction. it’s an educated guess, of course – the director obviously took pains to research the circumstances and timelines of the doomed flight as best he could – but in the end, it’s conjecture. it’s 9/11 storytelling. and i imagine you could sit in front of the screen and start to forget that – until the moment the fictitious film you’re watching cuts away to archival CNN footage that you remember watching in real time. then wouldn’t you have this moment of disorientation – wait, what is this? and then you recognize that none of what you’re watching is “real” (save the CNN clip) and maybe you wonder, if indeed this story “couldn't possibly overshadow the sickening experience we all already shared,” then why are you watching at all?

this all probably boils down to the question of “what’s the point?” what purpose does this film, at this moment, serve? what would anyone gain from seeing it?

ok, that’s three questions. and i’m sure there are more. but in the end, i can’t shake the sense that reality and fiction are colliding in this movie, maybe not spectacularly or shockingly, but in a way that puts a pit in your stomach anyway.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

oh, that dan savage. such a rascal.

you like dan savage, right? savage love? course you do. so check out his new brainchild:

i just bought three of the buttons myself.

it's a wonder i have the energy to lift my fingertips to the keys.

i have had no coffee. none. all day.

and i spent two hours crouched on the ground, paritally inside kitchen cabinets, trying to scrub unidentified, smelly, sticky goo from their doors and floors.

my hands still smell like bleach, and i have a cleaning-product induced headache.

people, i need a new job.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

your wednesday one liner.

courtesy of Overheard in New York, and shared because it reminds me of playing Risk drunk. which i have done on more than one occasion. don't ask.

Guy: If you were playing Risk, and you were Charles Darwin, would you place all of your armies on the Galapagos Islands?

--91st & Columbus

google search of the week.

to the person from south africa who found my blog by searching on "avoiding bullshit from women":

honey, you're in the wrong place.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

it's not even wednesday.

but i had to share, because i just laughed out loud at this.

i am an awful, elitist bitch. i know. but seriously - funniest thing i've read all day.

two years ago today...

...i was here.

(image courtesy of

as rebecca traister asked back in january - what the hell happened?

what, you mean 77 cents isn't as good as a dollar?

just fyi, today is Equal Pay Day. it's marked in april to signify how far into another calendar year the average woman has to work in order to make as much as the average man makes in 12 months.

you know what's sad? that i didn't even know about Equal Pay Day until right now.

you know what's even more sad? when i did a google news search on it, the above link was the biggest news site on which i found any reference to it. no offense to the sarasota herald-tribune or the akron beacon journal, but c'mon. when one of the eighteen news stories on Equal Pay Day is from, and it's titled "the feminist complaint fesitval," you know we have a serious problem.


the trib called this lovely image Hit-and-Run Cold Punch. i don't want to be punched by anything today, much less arctic air from canada. goddamn.

to compound this weatherly joy, BoyCat accidentally set the alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. this morning. this is not really his fault, as there was a power surge or something in the apartment during the day, so the clock was doing that obnoxious blinky thing when i got home from my meeting, and i was just too much of a lazy asshole to fix it. so BoyCat had to re-set it right as we were going to bed, and i can understand confusing p.m. and a.m. after a long monday.

so now i'm at work with unwashed hair. and i just need to remember to really re-set the clock later tonight.

ok, tuesday, we've covered missed alarms and rainy, unseasonable cold snaps. what else have you got?

Monday, April 24, 2006

bugs in the system.

killed another spider this morning (i did, this time). it was on the living room ceiling, and now there is a squashed bug mark up there that's going to be a bitch to clean.

also, i am questioning everything about my life (well, almost everything. BoyCat and CatCat must stay, but all else could possibly go). i don't want this to be a lame teaser post, but as i'm at work, i can't really explain yet. and i don't know when i'll have a good chance to get my thoughts on it together this week, as three out of five nights i have work-related shit to do.

and the other two nights, well, the treadmill isn't going to run itself.

more later, really, at some point. until then, pithy pointless posts abound!

Saturday, April 22, 2006


i haven't slept until noon since grad school, i think.

went out with some superfantastic blogger women last night...drank a little too much, ate a little too much, which meant i had just the right amount of fun.

and then i slept. hard.

weekends are great.

more cogent arguments and thoughts on everything else later...right now i need to finish this coffee. and fight the urge to crawl back into bed.

Friday, April 21, 2006

thought-provoking sentence of the day.

courtesty of la twisty:

sex isn’t just sex, it’s the eroticization of a culturally enforced power differential.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


today, on a whim, i swung into a shoe store on belmont avenue to peruse the shelves for brown sandals. the last shoes i saw - literally - were the ones for which i've been searching. strappy - check. not a four-inch heel - check. not a wedge - check. twenty dollars? check out counter, here i come.

these are them, except mine have tan straps.

hooray, no? and yeah, they are cheap, too cheap, but even if i get half a dozen wears out of them before they fall apart, i'll have gotten my money's worth.

little rationalizations are the key to life.

tomorrow, i will get back to my regularly scheduled programming of patriarchy blaming and half-assed society skewering. the crucial difference will be, i'll finally have on some cute shoes as i do it.

i'm so sick of this shit, take two.

via broadsheet, i've learned of a lovely little bill that's in the works over in ohio. House Bill 228 would:

make it a felony for a woman to seek to terminate her pregnancy and holds the same penalty if she chooses to leave the state for the medical procedure.

(emphasis mine)

now it's unclear whether this bill is even in committee at this point, but i just wanted to point out that people who have been elected to state legislatures are proposing these kinds of laws. in all seriousness.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

i'm so sick of this shit, i could break good china.

for anyone who thought the theme of "blaming the victim" when it comes to violence against women was passé, think again. this ran on the Wall Street Journal op-ed page:

A police investigation has confirmed that on the night of her murder, Ms. St. Guillen was last seen in a bar, alone and drinking at 3 a.m. on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It does not diminish Mr. Littlejohn's guilt or the tragedy of Ms. St. Guillen's death to note what more than a few of us have been thinking--that a 24-year-old woman should know better.

for good measure, she goes on to note that the stripper going to work at the duke lacrosse house should have known better, and that female cadets at the coast guard academy should have known better. lovely.

seriously, nothing makes me angrier than this bullshit. this woman gives a slight head-nod to the idea of "re-educating men" and then goes on for eight more paragraphs telling women to smarten up and avoid being raped, for chrissakes. i'm all for common sense, but i'm also all for calling a crime a crime, regardless of how "stupid" the victim of said crime was. subtly diminishing the responsibility of the criminal by pointing out the lack of "common sense" on the part of the victim is a particularly vile bit of misogyny that we can't seem to shake. and her claim that this idea "does not diminish Mr. Littlejohn's guilt" is bullshit too. that's exactly what it does, and it's ignorant and best and disingeneous at worst to say so.

here's a thought. we women have learned a lot about Rape Prevention, and how the onus is on us to avoid being brutally violated. let's give the guys a basic lesson for a change, as i think this could be quite helpful.

Rape Prevention for Men: don't. rape. women.

that would solve the whole problem very quickly, wouldn't it?

your wednesday one-liner.

courtesy of Overheard In New York, a graduate who obviously never took sociology 101:

Hipster guy: Dude, I'm not a racist. I went to Berkeley.

--10th & B


to celebrate, i think i will have a third cup of coffee. hooray for sin city, and for caffeine.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


so, this morning we had our first bug sighting of the spring season. not outside, mind you, but in the apartment. the interior bug sightings drop off precipitously after thanksgiving, and don't start increasing again until...right about now.

this morning, it was a brown spider about the size of a nickel, right at the edge of the wall and ceiling in the shower. luckily, BoyCat was awake to shave while i was showering, so i was able to enlist his help in exterminating it. and by enlist his help, i mean do the entire deed.

i would've killed it if i had to, of course. i've killed my fair share of bugs inside apartments. don't make me tell the My First Cockroach story from my boston apartment, as three years later i still throw up in my mouth a little as i recount it. it involves a flying cockroach, a can of bug spray, and one very heavy wooden clog.


ok, that's enough.

Monday, April 17, 2006

that infernal f-word.

so, in the comments section in an earlier post, where i linked to a post about feminism and humanism at shake’s sis , toast brought up the issue of terminology (well, actually, he brought it up in the comments over there too, and what i think they call “shit hitting the fan” ensued). shit does tend to hit the fan when this topic comes up, because it is so complicated, and while toast and i discussed it briefly in the comments of my post, i wanted to say a few things and then solicit some more opinions.

toast’s main query is:

“Why is it important that male progressives embrace the Feminist label? Why isn't it enough to say ‘I support equal rights for women’?”

i think this is a voluminous question, and i’m certain that i can’t answer it comprehensively here. in truth, i can’t ever answer it comprehensively, because that would mean i was claiming to speak for all feminists, and that would be dumb. and that gets to my general disclaimer around the question of the term "feminism," and its inevitable sister question, what is "feminism" anyway? i wrote in the comments of the earlier post:

“i think…that whenever people get into a group discussion about what Feminism-with-a-capital-F means, there's going to be trouble. because Feminism-with-a-capital-F doesn't really exist. there is no monolithic school of Feminist thought, no bootcamp or basic training or anything like that :) as problematic as it can make things, i think ‘feminisms’ is probably a more apt term.

so, while one woman might define feminism as ‘equal rights for women,’ another might define it as ‘subvert the dominant patriarchy paradigm,’ and yet another might say ‘lesbian separatists rule!’ and of course, i imagine more women fall into the first category than the latter, but you get my point.

all this makes it very difficult sometimes to talk about what ‘feminism’ is. and that can often bog the broader discussion down.”

so, that being said, i want to throw out there why i personally cheer when progressive men embrace the label feminist. plain and simple, it’s because i’m tired of arguing about it. there are so many practical realities that need addressing, so many savage injustices and insidious prejudices that women face each day – i want to deal with those, not semantics.

and i know the retort to this is “it’s not just semantics, words are important.” well hey, i have two english degrees, so you won’t find me arguing that language isn’t powerful, and that we shouldn’t be mindful of that fact. however, i think there are times when it’s more fruitful to have that fight, and others when it’s more productive to prioritize agreed-upon goals instead of agreed-upon terminologies. and for me, i just don’t see what all the fuss is about with men who hesitate to call themselves feminist.

so maybe we can open this up into a discussion in the comment section. i’ve never really attempted one of these before, so it might fall flat, but if you’re so inclined i’d love to hear your thoughts (men and women alike) about the term “feminist” and your reticence (or lack thereof!) to wear the label. is it because of some of the ugly connotations “feminist” has taken on in popular culture? is it because “feminist” is inherently too hard to define, and you’d rather categorize yourself more particularly? is it because you disdain the letter “f”?

please, do share, and we’ll continue the conversation (or, if no one else feels like it, at least toast and i will)…

for my fellow city-dwellers.

in terms of public transit, is there anything more annoying that standing at the El (or bus) stop and watching more than three trains (or buses!) go by in the opposite direction? usually by number three, i'm getting annoyed.

today, though, i literally lost count. some kind of wacked-out shit happened on the northside tracks for the brown and purple lines, because i waited 35 minutes for a train at rush hour, and i easily saw ten trains pull through in the other direction. it would've been comical, except my El stop is right on the river and i was freezing my ass off in my little spring coat (note to self: a 57 degree high probably means it will no longer by 57 degrees when you leave work). and of course, the whole working world was waiting for these trains to make their way through the loop, so once the trains finally made it back to my stop, i had to let four of them pass me because they were packed to the gills.

holy mother, sometimes i hate being fiscally responsible and energy conscious. when i'm old and rich, i'll be all like, "taxi!"

my thought of the day.

reheated buffalo chicken pizza is a good lunch.

so, i'm not dead, just busy. more to come tonight.........

Friday, April 14, 2006

friday cat blogging, spring has sprung! edition.

what CatCat enjoys most about springtime is the chance to sit in the window and chatter at the birds on a wire outside the apartment. this never gets old.

what i enjoy about springtime is the beer garden. ok, maybe just my favorite thing about today is the beer garden. but it's hard to beat an 80 degree day in april, two beers in the sun after work, and hanging out with new co-workers and shooting the shit. in a tank top.

ah, spring.

a good read.

via toast, i've just read this interesting post from rob salkowitz about religion and democratic society. he starts off:

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the resurgence of “faith-based progressives.” Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have both taken visible roles in reminding Democrats how to talk to religious voters. Moderate churches are fighting back against fundamentalists with messages of tolerance. Opposition to the war is increasingly being framed in explicitly-Christian moral terms.

rob finds this development disheartening, and he notes:

Look around the world: the Middle East, India, Northern Ireland, the Sudan, Israel, Russia – is there anywhere that more religion in politics makes the situation better? When people feel they are doing the will of God, there isn’t much room for compromise and accommodation, even when their positions are compatible with humanist liberal ideals. Democracy requires theological humility on the part of all participants: recognition that human politics is a give-and-take between legitimate interests and provisional truths on both sides, not a clash of absolutes.

much thought-provoking stuff here. as toast points out, this kind of argument for a secular government, and a secular approach to achieving an overall civil society, is not a popular one: "to question the value of religion itself is to open oneself to the charge of being a sneering, coastal elitist." and that's important - even just to question it is discouraged! so i'm glad that rob is talking about it, and i encourage you to go read the rest and consider it, because regardless of one's opinion, religion in society is not an issue that's going away any time soon.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

as embarrassing as this is going to be, i am compelled to do it anyway.

ok, i know you all watch lost, and 24, and all those other halfway decent shows on tv. (well, i don't know if 24 is halfway decent, what is this like its 27th season? during how many twenty-four hours periods can the world teeter on the brink of nuclear annihilation?) so you're probably not going to be interested in the following. just fair warning.

instead of bothering with good television (this most recent season of west wing excepted), i gravitate toward crap. you saw my post on wedding shows, so this is not really up for debate. and even though two months ago i swore up and down that we were breaking up and i never wanted to see the o.c. again...well...i lied. i'm still watching.

and tonight! oh my god. the actual episode isn't even the point, it's the "scenes from the next..." that they tack on at the end. it is through this glorious 30 seconds of tv teaser that i learned....

(if you don't watch the o.c. and are still reading this right now, well...why are you reading this right now? suffice to say the following will be of as little interest to you as the previous three paragraphs.)

anna and theresa are back next week!! holy season one overload! i can hardly deal with just one of them, but both? my little teenybopper-soap-opera mind is blown. seth is broken up with summer, and anna - possibly the love of his life - shows up. ryan, about to go to berkeley and perhaps go 30 days without having a reason to mope in the poolhouse, will have to deal with theresa and her baby-who-might-or-might-not-be-his-spawn. how are they going to pack this much goodness into 60 minutes??

ok, i need to calm down. i also need to read a book or something. tolstoy, or some poststructural theory, something to exercise all of the brain cells that are atrophying as we speak.

what an ass.

roni, that intrepid feminista, had a few questions for that Big Bad Progressive Blogger, a.k.a. daily kos, as he travelled through chicago last night on his book tour. go check out her account of the evening - i wish i could've been there. i would've had a few choice words for him myself (pun somewhat intended). can you believe this?:

Later in another topic, I interjected that Bob Casey was a bad candidate. Kos looked right at me and said, "He's only wrong on one issue."

oh no you didn't. because even if that wasn't bullshit (as roni goes on to point out), isn't it convenient that the one issue casey is "wrong" on (abortion) is one that will never personally affect you! much easier to ignore his anti-abortion stance when you're not contemplating the possibility of getting an episiotomy to deliver a child you never wanted in the first place.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

fun boston bloggers.

i am still woefully underprepared for the task of writing an interesting post without the help of links. so, i will take this opportunity to share some good blogs with my boston (and boston-o-phile) readers.

if you check out the end of my blogroll, you'll see three links to three funny, crazy, and all around enjoyable bostonistas - sarah at The Pink Shoe Diaries, jenny at all eyes on jenny, and erin at thisiht (this shit).

(i wondered for a nanosecond about putting the word "shit" in my blogroll, but then i was like, shit, i say fuck on here all the time.)

i found them all through each other's blogrolls, and these ladies are always good for a laugh, a fashion tip, or a ridiculous story. so grab a drink, click over, and check 'em out.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

this is not a post.

and it's not a magritte painting either. deal with it.

one glass of wine and two hours of television, and i am the mental equivalent of a fifth-grader. i could not put together a coherent, interesting paragraph right now if i tried.

no, really, i can't. i blame encroaching old age, my contact lenses, and tuesdays in general.

good night.

Monday, April 10, 2006

oh tlc, how i love you.

right now - right this minute - i am watching 16 Children and Moving In.

the duggars are back.

oh my god, i am delirious with bible-belt glee.

two things:

- these kids are all going to be republican. terrifying.

- they just showed them food shopping at Aldi. tell me, why would you not have a CostCo membership? or Sam's Club, if you must worship at the altar of Walton?

post-lunch hour food for thought.

check out this thought-provoking post from Mr. Shakes on why feminism isn't just for those of us with two X chromosomes.


blogger is being a pain in the ass right now, so i'll keep this quick. but i just wanted to tell you all that this morning, between the Sedgwick and Chicago stops on the El, i looked out the window and saw a horse. a white horse. a big, live, tail-flicking, grass-eating white horse hanging out in a fenced in plot of land.

the only reason that i know i'm not crazy is that i've seen the horse before.

that time, of course, i thought i was crazy. but this time i knew better.


Friday, April 07, 2006

friday cat blogging, i think i'll take a nap here too edition.

CatCat likes to sit on us. a lot.

what i love about this picture is the look of self-satisfaction on her face. she has conquered that formidable foe, BoyCat, and she's quite pleased about it.

fun with yahoo! news.

so i'm just perusing the front-page news stories on yahoo, friday evening drink in hand, when i come across this gem of a sentence in an article concerning the stalled immigration bill:

The gridlock over immigration legislation capped an exceptionally trying week for Republicans, who face unexpectedly stiff challenges from Democrats for control of the House and Senate in the midterm elections.

unexpectedly stiff?? unexpected by whom? anyone who's had their head up their ass for the last six years, or up their ass and buried in the sand for the last two of those six years?

to me, the only unexpected thing is that it took this long for a majority of the country to get fed up with this bullshit. i should hope that it's only a matter of time before the reactionary, ignorant, grandstanding, biblethumping, bullshitting, hypocrisy-riddled howler monkeys that seem to dominate the republican party get their walking papers.

i should also hope, though, that the democrats can manage to cobble something halfway worthwhile to say and do before the elections actually get here, and not just assume that they can coast to victory on the cresting wive of republican greed and incompetence.

i'm not holding my breath.

live free or...not? UPDATED

are you kidding me? yahoo informed me this morning that new hampshire is considering ditching Live Free or Die as its state motto.

this is highly distressing to me. Live Free or Die is only like, the best state motto ever! how do you get better than that, really? how?

and you know what they want to replace it with? You're Going to Love It Here.

in contrast with Live Free or Die, which is the best state motto ever, i think that You're Going to Love It Here wins the award for most idiotically boring state motto ever.

is it me, or is this part of the blandification of america? who's going to hear the phrase "you're going to love it here" and go, "wow, that reminds me, i wanted to plan a camping trip in the white mountains this summer." no one, that's who, because the phrase evokes nothing. it says nothing. it is empty air, wasted breath.

goddammit new hampshire, smarten up! you're unique, you're different, and that is - can you believe it - a good thing! so you stand up and look the rest of the country, with their lameass, watered down slogans, in the eye and say "live free or die, bitches!"

UPDATED: in light of toast's comment below, i got curious about the difference between state nicknames, mottos, slogans, etc. the nickname is "the ____ state" - for instance, massachusetts is "the bay state, " new hampshire is "the granite state," and connecticut is "the constitution state." mottos are in latin, and usually dumb. slogans are the things that are slowly being co-opted by vapid marketing forces that are apparently attempting to water down everything interesting about this country. as evidence, i present this list of state slogans. lameness, in chart form (excepting, of course, Live Free or Die).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

and it seemed it couldn't get much worse.

Rachel has the word on a sick development in the duke lacrosse rape case. the head coach has resigned and the season has been cancelled after an email from a sophomore lacrosse player came to light. the player wrote that he was going to have some strippers over, and planned on "killing the bitches," then "proceding to cut their skin off." this, he proclaimed, would result in him "cumming in my duke issue spandex."

i write this all out not to merit a Not Safe for Work distinction today, but because it's so shocking that it needs to be quoted verbatim. this is what we're talking about. this is something that a 19 year old NCAA student athlete felt no compunction about sharing in an email.

stick with Justic 4 Two Sisters for more information and all the media links.

this story, as it all unfolds, is important. don't ignore it. don't disregard it. don't, as tempting as it is, try to put it out of your mind.

this matters.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

your wednesday one-liner.

unlikely candidates hitting the high notes, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Exterminator guy: There were so many rats! So many of 'em that it pulled Diana Ross right outta me, I was all, "Ahh!"

--L train

stop the madness.

what the fuck.

the media's collective case of the vapors over katie couric hosting - *gasp* - the evening news is so ridiculous, i can hardly stand it. Broadsheet has been covering the insanity quite well, but after seeing this morning's cover of the Red Eye, i just had to chime in.

"too perky for primetime?" what kind of dumbass question is that? it conveys such a surface level understanding of, well, everything. and it's fucking condescending. did anyone perpetuating this "too perky" argument stop to think for one minute that there's a reason couric has made her way to the top of the media pile? that maybe it took some intelligence, cunning, nuance, and savvy on her part - that she didn't just wake up one day and giggle to herself in the mirror, "i think i'll go host the today show now!!"

this woman is not dumb. she understands that different types of media require different presentation, different tone. the today show is not the fucking nightly news, and she realized that in order to succeed on morning television, it's probably be a good idea to play up the perky angle. and lo and behold, it worked! she made a brand in and of herself, she ingratiated herself to the american public, and she became a damn good tv host.

so in light of all this, why are people acting like she just fell off the turnip truck? why do we assume that just because that's how she acts on tv sometimes, that's how she is in real life? she's playing a role! and she played it well enough to parlay it into a historic position as a lone female anchor of a nightly news program. and now she'll shift gears and play the role of serious newswoman, because it's her job. that's what she does, it's not who she is.

god damn. this fucking stupidity makes me crazy. congratulations to katie for a job well done, and a hearty "shut the fuck up" to everyone who has a problem with it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

oh my god.

Jaynie K: blogging pop culture's strangest moments so you don't have to.

forget all those obnoxious personal stories after the first commerical break - now alex trebek has really heard it all.

wedding 2.0?

you’re all familiar with The Manolo, right? i hope so. i check out his blog every few days, as there’s always something amusing to read or some nice shoes over which to fawn. The Manolo has a number of sister and brother sites, one of which is Manolo for the Brides. this one isn’t written by The Manolo himself, but another blogger who is a pretty good writer and humorist herself.

this is all by way of explanation as to my stumbling upon this post at Manolo for the Brides earlier today. the post talks about second-time-around brides, and the author has some thoughts about common ideas of etiquette for people doing wedding 2.0.

a snippet:

I can understand second-time brides and grooms being concerned about how their old Uncle Erwin will feel about their getting hitched in a church or how Grandma Martha will feel about the bride wearing this or that type of veil. But I can also understand how a second-time spouse might want to hold a big shindig that totally eclipses their first (failed) marriage. To blot it out, perhaps. So my advice to any second-timers out there is that you have whatever kind of wedding you darn well please.

i read this particular piece with the same level of interest as the rest of the posts i saw there, but about thirty minutes later, as i stood in the kitchen waiting for my little Trader Joe’s lunch to finish heating up in the microwave, i realized that i was still thinking about it. and it was bugging me. and i didn’t know why.

after about five or ten more minutes of introspection over my curry rice bowl, i realized what was bothering me. it hinges on this particular sentiment:

how a second-time spouse might want to hold a big shindig that totally eclipses their first (failed) marriage. To blot it out, perhaps.

i’m certain that in some cases this is true, some it’s not, and some it’s true to a degree. every re-marriage is unique in its characteristics and its nuances. there are obviously a vast array of reasons that one or both of the participants are not married to his/her first spouse anymore – death, infidelity, abuse, disagreement, lack of passion, a crippling aversion to the other’s ragged cuticles, whatever.

but. but. what bothers me about the assumption that it’s totally cool for a couple having a blowout affair the second time around is this: there is no level of critical thinking around the phenomenon of the wedding itself. the idea of throwing a bigger party than the last time around in the hopes that it will somehow be a harbinger of a better marriage? seems a little dubious to me.

i guess this all stems from my sense that our culture’s obsession with weddings is ultimately detrimental to marriage. i mean, how else do you explain the estimate that "one in ten new brides is so disturbed by the anticlimax of married life that they end up clinically depressed"? grandiose weddings can sometimes to create unrealistic expectations for people heading into married life. in that light, it seems to me that advocating a “second verse, same as the first” mentality for a couples’ second wedding isn’t the best idea.


Monday, April 03, 2006

from the Interesting Files.

a piece from sunday's washington post called "'Marriage is for White People'".

a snippet for thought:

Often what happens in black America is a sign of what the rest of America can eventually expect...In 1960, 67 percent of black families were headed by a husband and wife, compared to 90.9 percent for whites. By 2000, the figure for white families had dropped to 79.8 percent. Births to unwed white mothers were 22.5 percent in 2001, compared to 2.3 percent in 1960. So my student who thought marriage is for white people may have to rethink that in the future.

and another, which particularly struck me:

...if marriage is to flourish -- in black or white America -- it will have to offer an individual woman something more than a business alliance, a panacea for what ails the community, or an incubator for rearing children.

i think there might be 17 different debates to be had in that last quote alone.

this is the end of the story.

i know where this story ends, which is right now. it’s harder to say where it begins.


when i was 12 years old, my uncle was diagnosed with brain cancer. it took about four months from the time they detected the tumor until the day he died. i honestly remember very little about those four months – a hospital room, a pervasive confusion, a deep-set thinness in his face that i couldn’t help but turn away from. but i remember the aftermath.

they say hindsight is 20/20, don’t they? well, that’s not exactly true. and it’s not exactly true that i remember the aftermath. it’s more accurate to say that i remember particular moments, and yet forget a thousand details. i remember intangibles – things beyond language that we try to explain anyway.

in a way, though, it makes sense to remember what came after – to everyone but the one who has died, it is the time more full of sorrow, and so heavy with certainty. and i do remember the weight of the days, thick with august heat and humidity, stretching out and yet standing still. i remember moving in and out of my grandparents’ house on castle street through the side door, which is odd, as we usually came and went through the back door on the porch. i remember sitting upstairs in the funeral home, during the long hours of the wake, in a cramped office with my cousins watching a tiny t.v. propped on a filing cabinet. the funeral was three days before my thirteenth birthday. i remember the cramped limousines and the hearse, and standing behind the casket at the back of the church, my mother’s tight grasp on my hand, and the heavy wooden doors swinging open to a sea of sad, expectant faces.

i remember Ave Maria. i cannot hear the first six notes of Ave Maria now, nor do i imagine that i ever will, without an anchor being loosed from somewhere inside me, and the weight plunging down into a bottomless space.


i would say that was the beginning. it was a starting gun for a race that i did not know i had to run. but i learned quickly.

just after i turned 14, another uncle died of AIDS. four months after that, a friend – also a freshman in high school – was killed in a hit-and-run. when i was 15, my grandfather died. then, when i was 16, my grandmother followed.

(as i began to type those last two sentences, my mind pulled me up short – wait, is that the right order? it was him first, and then her, right? time warps and slides, like oil in a jar, and i have to wait for it to settle again.)

after my grandmother died, there was a period of relative calm. then, when i was 18 and finishing out my last week as a freshman at umass, the phone rang. the room was half-packed – i was taking down posters, and had to step down off the bed to pick the receiver up. slater, a friend from high school, had just been killed in a car crash, four days before his 19th birthday.


everyone has a list like this. everyone is running this race. but i wonder, sometimes, if i am not too tired, too soon. if i have already settled for just keeping pace.


the wake, as can be imagined, tied up traffic. hundreds of people came, lined the pathway to the front door of the funeral home and spilled out down the street. i stood with another friend from high school, shoulders warm by the late spring sun, wearing a black tank top and a long purple skirt.

i had already been to enough of these to know that wearing all black was of no comfort to me, or to anyone else.

what happened next has always stayed with me. a girl with whom i’d been great friends from seventh grade through high school graduation came out the front door of the funeral home. we had been close when we were younger, and just drifted apart after high school the way people often do. but she had been very close with slater – they had grown up living next door to each other, and i’m sure she could not remember a time without him. i watched her as she came down the sidewalk, hugging this person and that, and i was unsure of what exactly to say or how to say it. but when she came face to face with me, i didn’t have time to say anything, because i saw her knees giving way as she reached her hands towards me. it was less like hugging her and more like catching her, and people around us watched as i held her up and let her cry. i put my face to hers and spoke softly about how it was going to be all right. it was ok, it was all right. it was ok. and she cried in a way that i couldn’t anymore.


a few years ago, i had this dream. i am outside somewhere and it’s dusk. slater is there, and we are talking about something, what exactly i can’t recall. in the dream, i know that he is dead – he does not.

after a while, somewhere off in the distance, i hear sirens. the sound barely reaches my ears, but i know that this is the ambulance coming to the crash site. i know that when they arrive, they will take him away. but i don’t tell him this. we keep talking, and the sirens come closer and closer.

in the dream, i wake up before they arrive.


it is just after midnight as i am writing this. this is the end of the story, right now. i woke up from that dream years ago, now i am awake, and eventually i will fall asleep and dream again.

but sometimes, i feel like i never really did wake from that dream. sometimes i feel like i am watching the world move around me, slow and steady. i am talking and laughing and smiling like everyone else, but in the background, i can hear the faint wail of sirens. i know what it means. i don’t know how far away they are, i don’t know when exactly they will arrive, but i know what it means. i don’t say anything, though, because what good would it do? i just try to distract everyone around me – and myself – from the thin, low sound of their approach.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


there are thunderstorms here. this resulted in the white sox only playing 3 innings, and i missed the west wing to watch it.

the question is: can i avoid all discussion of tonight's episode until we head to BoyCat's parents house next weekend, where we can use the wonder that is Tivo to see it?

we'll see.