Friday, June 30, 2006

"oh, snap, you've got chlamydia."

when the tenor of conversation in our apartment results in statements like this being uttered, you know that SisterCat and mike are in town. not that anybody here has chlamydia. to my knowledge.

so, SisterCat and mike have graced us with their deviously fabulous presence for three and a half days, and thus i will be busy attempting to keep them entertained until sunday. then, after we drop them off at the airport, it's off to visit the pseudo-in-laws and other extended-pseudo-family for the evening.

see you again monday, when i venture into nonprofitland as the only employee without the day off. i'm thinking of wearing yoga pants and slippers, and just dancing around my office to Top 40 radio all day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

ok, so.

i was trying to think of some way to make this little announcement creative and interesting and wonderful. then i realized that was just my pompous self-involvement, and that no one will probably care as much as BoyCat and i do about this, so get over myself already and get out with it.

BoyCat and i are moving to Washington DC.

ahhhh! hooray! whoa. holy shit. but yay! ahhhh. ah.

it's probably no surprise that we've been mulling over whether or not to relocate from chicago for some time now. our lease is up in a few months, and thus we needed to make a decision sooner or later. a variety of destinations were kicked around with varying degrees of enthusiasm (new york city? hmmmmm, interesting. minneapolis? eh.), but we finally settled on DC as the place that makes the most sense for both of us. and as much as i do enjoy chicago, we could really use a change of pace and a change of venue right now. for the reasons discussed in the previous posts and then some, BoyCat and i should both benefit from the feeling of "fresh start" that a 700 mile move is bound to bring.

now, i have no illusions that moving in and of itself is going to do the trick. "wherever you go, there you are," right? but as long as we're mindful of that - the fact that DC is not going to magically cure our problems or confusions - i think it'll be a good paralell for all the other changes that we want to make.

we don't have a set moving date, but it'll be no later than the last week in september that we say goodbye windy city, hello inside-the-beltway. so, over the next few months i'll be freaking out about various things to various degrees, and i'm sure i'll be blathering to you all about it. getting jobs? getting an apartment? where should we live, anyway? and should we do movers, or uhaul? and where do you get kitty tranqs? and what about the vacation flights we've already booked? and how do you disassemble an ikea bed and live to tell the tale?

and........?

so many questions that, regardless of how my irrational anxiety and anal-retentive nature threaten to overwhelm them, i am really excited to answer.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

disturbing.

i talked to SisterCat today, and she asked me to talk to her about my post yesterday, because she thought it was disturbing. it's funny, because i hadn't thought about it as "disturbing" per se, but when i think about it, i can see from where that choice of adjective on her part is coming.

because really, it is a "disturbing" realization to have. i was literally and figuratively disturbed by the notion that i might not like myself. but as i said to her today, in a way, i'm glad to have had that mental disturbance happen. epiphanies, by their nature, tend to be catalysts, and i am hoping that this is no exception. i'm almost relieved to have been able to crystallize all the hazy, nebulous feelings that i've been having over the last few months into something identifiable - that i've been able to pinpoint the problem. and now that i've done that, i can start to begin to back into all the reasons why i don't like myself, and try to start remedying them.

i have some ideas, and i have some news that goes along with those ideas. i really don't mean to leave you hanging with that, but i want to give it more attention here than i can at the moment. so, more soon.

Monday, June 26, 2006

losing the thread.

i don't have epiphanies very often. i just tend to go about life intently but somewhat absent-mindedly, trying to figure things out but always inadvertently losing the thread. for me, it usually take a moment of sheer randomness, of thinking about nothing at all, to produce an insight that is at once simple enough and momentous enough to truly earn the mantle of epiphany.

the other day, i had one of those moments. i was sitting at the gym, waiting for BoyCat to arrive. i sat on a small bench in the hallway, opposite a wall of mirrors and circuit machines. i still had my work clothes on, and my bags were piled haphazardly on my lap and the seat next to me. i was leaning against the wall, and i had my left ankle propped up on my right knee. i remember these details because i was looking at myself in the mirror at the moment the thought struck - at the moment where a single statement announced itself in my brain, appropo of nothing and coming from nowhere.

"i don't like myself."

and that was it. i actually continued to stare at myself in the mirror for a few moments while my brain ran damage control against the epiphany - a blurry rush of "oh stop it of course you like yourself that's ridiculous don't be stupid." but for some reason i could see all that for what it was - excuses, and half-hearted protest - and i realized that it was true. i don't like myself. it wasn't always this way, but it is now, and i have to figure out how i became a person that i don't like. i have to retrace a lot of my steps and figure out what got me here. i need to re-examine and re-imagine. i have to talk with people that i love and trust, get advice and opinions and ideas. i need to make some changes.

more to come.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

ha ha ha, silly straight people.

about three hours ago, BoyCat and i changed into our gym clothes, grabbed our iPods, and headed for the gym.

on the day of the Gay Pride parade, in a neighborhood called Boystown.

we made it about a block before throwing up our hands in defeat. what were we thinking? seriously. the parade started at noon and pretty much encircled our apartment on three sides, and yet for some reason we thought that three and a half hours after the parade kicked off would be a totally fine time to venture out and act like it was a normal day.

um, no.

we gave it a good go, battling the marauding hordes (ok, the dancing, singing, catcalling hordes) for about five minutes til we reached the actual parade route, which was still choked with Those Reveling In The Gayness. when such a spirit of drunken glee and debauchery takes over your little corner of the world, it is best not to fight it, especially just to make your way to 45 joyless minutes on the elliptical machine. so we turned ourselves right around, went home, and had a beer.

viva Gay Pride, for giving me an excuse to avoid the gym, and a reason to drink.

Friday, June 23, 2006

friday cat blogging, "i'm not boring you, am i?" edition

unfortunately, my lack of skill with a digital camera kinda prevents me from getting any good action shots of CatCat (blurry) or any good close-ups of CatCat (scary alien eyes). if i turn off the flash for close-ups, i get blurry shots. like, my camera actively blinks and beeps at me, which is its way of saying "don't do it! i can't handle it! it's not gonna look good!!" so, as a result, we have many CatCat pictures like this one.



and not that she's not all kinds of cute, just sitting there gazing in the direction of her food bowl, but really - we need some variety. any tips or suggestions on how to get around the alien eye/blurry picture problem? i've looked in my instruction book to no avail.

and to think, i got an A in photography class back in the day.

your soul-deadeningly stupid headline of the day.

from this afternoon's yahoo homepage:

Business as usual at Sears Tower despite plot

as if we really expected that the sears tower would be deserted today. or we expected that people there would be running up and down the hallways, screeching like howler monkeys, overturning coffee carts and dumping reams and reams of copy paper out the windows.

hey reuters: this is not news. i know it's 3:00 pm on a friday, but you can do better. siamese twins, killer crocs, anything but this pointless, vaguely terrorism-related drivel, please.

friday miscellany.

people, your minds would be boggled - boggled - by how many hits i'm getting from people searching for "it's like one billion degrees" and "dunkin donuts." it is obscene. and i sit here and wonder, what exactly is it that they're trying to learn about "it's like one billion degrees"? what more is there to know about that jingle, other than it's like crack-cocaine for the brain synapses that handle Songs That Get Stuck In Here. i guess they could be wondering who sings the jingle. i can actually help with that, thanks to a commenter calling himself "just some dude": it's They Might Be Giants.

thanks, just some dude, for the edification.

city folks, can i ask you a question? wait, don't answer that, because i'm going to do it anyway. does it bother you if you're reading a newspaper on the subway and the person sitting next to you just unabashedly reads over your shoulder? now, i never read on the El - my hair-trigger motion sickness should be studied in a lab, or something - but this morning a girl near me was reading the Red Eye. another girl got on, sat down next to the reading girl, and spent the rest of the ride to the Loop very evidently perusing her neighbor's paper.

i don't know why, but this makes my skin crawl. it's not that she was even invading reading girl's personal space, and i know people do it all the time, but still. ugh. just don't. if you wanted to read the Red Eye so bad, they were giving them out for free outside whatever El stop you use. take one, and read it your damn self.

i need more coffee.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

could this be a problem?

CEOs earn 262 times pay of average worker

nah. it's go-go capitalism, baby, a rising tide lifts all boats and shit. right? right?

a CEO earned more in one workday than an average worker earned in 52 weeks, said the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.


in one workday. one.

can someone who wears an economics or public policy hat explain to me why we can't at least begin to regulate this kind of thing? i know the spectre of socialism is raised if you even mention the issue of pay parity, but why is it that nothing puts a check on this kind of thing?

for instance, why couldn't we establish that a CEO can only earn X times as much as the lowest-paid employees at his/her company? that way, if the CEO wants to make more money, well, he/she needs to find a way to boost profits to the point where the rising tide actually can lift all boats.

am i hopelessly naive to expect that there's something the government can do to address this? or am i just a dirty socialist who clearly doesn't grasp the supreme wonder that is the free market with my wee, english-degreed brain?

wow.


just, wow. i was watching sportscenter this morning, and i saw this man - one carl fasano of the philadelphia phillies - get all uppity about a called strike. then he got even more uppity about hitting into a double play after said called strike. scowling, cursing, helmets flying.

let me tell you, watching a man in a fumanchu throw a little tantrum is pretty fun. i'm not sure i'll be able to top the experience all day.

can somebody tell me, though, who was the last professional baseball player that really had a fumanchu? i mean, who had a fumanchu in all seriousness.

because i get the sense that this guy is serious.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

a rare city moment.

yesterday, i was sitting on the El on my way home from work. i sat in on of the double seats just inside the sliding doors, which face sideways instead of forwards or backwards. across from me was one of the elusive single sideways seats, and in it was a man. he looked like the professor type: khakis, scuffed up brown loafers, a leather portfolio-type briefcase that had seen better days resting on his lap. Professor Guy was reading a print-out of something intently, his glasses perched partway down his nose.

it wasn't until two stops into my journey that i realized Professor Guy was doing something remarkable. there was about a 12 inches of space between the left edge of his seat and the metal divider at the edge of the sliding door, a divider that reached all the way to the floor in one solid piece. instead of having his left foot aligned with his left leg, as i imagine is most comfortable for anyone in a sitting position, he had it pressed up against the divider. or, more specifically, he had it pressed up against an empty corona bottle, which was in turn pressed up against the divider.

at some point before i got on the train, the corona bottle must've been careening wildy around the floor of the traincar as the El hurtled around the Loop. Professor Guy, in a magnanimous gesture, had trapped the bottle between his foot and the divider, and he had been holding it there with his foot ever since.

my first thought: "wow, that's nice of him."

my second thought: "i hope he's not getting off before belmont."

i didn't even have to worry about that, though, because even Professor Guy's altruistic gesture was about to be topped. as the train pulled into diversey, the man sitting next to me got up to get off. wearing dress pants, button-up shirt, tie, and the ubiquitous headphones, he seemed like your typical disaffected, unconcerned passenger. however, i watched as in one smooth movement he leaned across the aisle, scooped the dirty, smudged bottle up off the floor and away from Professor Guy's foot, and straightened up again. as he moved toward the door he nodded at Professor Guy, and Professor Guy nodded back. the doors slid shut behind him, and Professor Guy returned his attention to his photocopies.

i smiled to myself, head tilted down as if i was almost ashamed of my appreciation of the moment. in true city fashion, though, i imagine neither of them even noticed me.

your wednesday one-liner.

a fair point, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Very pregnant woman, standing on the subway, stares at a young black guy who took the last seat.

Young black guy: What do you want lady? I didn't get you that way!

--Union Square station

you know what's a pain in the ass?

when your contacts decide they've had it, and they mount a rebellion against your eyeballs. at about 9:15 in the morning. and you don't have a spare pair. and you won't be home until 8:00 tonight.

ouch. ow. argh.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

slow news day + new england idiosyncrasy = hilarity.

from today's boston globe:

Battle of the Fluffernutter roils Beacon Hill.

it began with a senator's contentious call:

State Rep. Jarrett Barrios, D-Cambridge fired the first shot, vowing earlier this week to file an amendment limiting schools to serving Fluffernutters just once a week as the main meal of the day.


peanut butter and marshmellow sandwiches but once a week? that's madness, i say, madness!

Barrios' amendment seemed anything but silly to Democratic state Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, D-Revere, whose district is near Lynn, home of Durkee-Mower Inc., the local company that has produced the marshmallow concoction for more than 80 years. The day after Barrios announced his amendment, Reinstein fired off an e-mail announcing her own legislation designating the Fluffernutter the "official sandwich of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."


only in massachusetts, folks.

but i've gotta tell you - fluff is frighteningly good. a jar of fluff and a bag of rold gold mini-pretzels is snack-time heaven.

i wonder if you can order it online...

Monday, June 19, 2006

just what i needed - more television crack.

have you seen this show on tlc? shalom in the home?

oh my goodness. this could be a nanny 911 type situation here, people.

after a long day, BoyCat and i were cruising through the comcast guide around 8:45, seeing if there was anything suitable for watching while lolling about listlessly. i saw shalom in the home and thought, hey, i've seen those colorful, eye-catchings ads on tlc. it's got a rabbi, and families with psychological issues. i'll bite.

so we watched, and it exceeded even my expectations of dysfunction, trust exercises, and "how does that make you feel?" moments. i'm not being flip here - i love this stuff. whatever it says about the self-inflated nature of my ego, nothing pleases me more than being an armchair psychologist.

and really, the rabbi's name is shmuley. how can you not root for a dude named shmuley?

i think i'll be clearing my schedule every monday at 9:00. i'll justify this by the repeated assertion, "ok, but seriously, i'm not watching the third season of the o.c.".

monday morning outrageousness.

so i read this article in the sunday trib. this is the headline. seriously.

"Fake Suburban Towns offer Urban Life Without the Grit"

breathe, kate, breathe.

it's hard to retain one's composure, though, when a colossal tool like this man is allowed to freely roam the planet:

Many residents rarely venture even to downtown Dallas, which has been trying to turn itself into place to live for almost a decade. "There's too much riffraff down there," says Ron Pettit, a 36-year-old contractor, as he snacks on brie and grapes at a table outside Bishop Road's Main Street Bakery and Bistro.


i don't even have the words. and not just because it's monday morning. i truly don't know what to say to that. bravo, ron pettit, you have taken my breath away with your stunning level of ignorance and obnoxiousness.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

world cup halftime report.

ok, can i just say, the US national team is playing like my JV high school team. the announcers are being far too kind.

eddie pope can apparently do nothing but foul, and fuck up an attempted off-sides trap that resulted in an italy goal. we're overkicking everything. our one goal of the game was put in by an italian defender. we're either clustering around the ball like schoolchildren, or putting it into open space with no one nearly close enough to run it down.

and fucking christ, could we put a shot or two on goal? ever?

sigh.

friday cat blogging, getting in touch with your roots edition.

here is CatCat channeling her inner lion, as she stalks a catnip mouse that has the audacity to be sitting on the bedroom floor. look closely and note the tongue, poised for optimum devouring ability.

Friday, June 16, 2006

"There's a touch of the artist about old Bloom."

happy bloomsday!

though apparently, this year's famous joycean date is clouded in controversy. in dublin, due to a former prime minister's death, bloomsday has been cancelled.

now, i get the respectful intent, but cancelled? as david norris, a a joyce scholar from dublin, notes in the boston globe article,

You can’t cancel Bloomsday. That’s like saying you can cancel Monday or Tuesday.


too true, mr. norris. although joyce probably would've felt he had the necessary authority to cancel a tuesday or two himself, if the mood struck him.

at any rate, go have a drink for james joyce and leopold bloom today. i'm sure they'd both approve.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

proselytizing pays off.

i just want to note that i'm getting a fair number of search hits around both "cuervo black and cola" and "jack and coke." i'm very glad that my diatribe can be of service in this regard.

and really, it seems that from now on i should post only about drinking, and about women changing their last names when they get married. those are apparently the two main topics on which you people like to comment! oh, and shoes. sometimes you get rowdy about the shoes, too.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

now that blogger feels like working.

i have just enough time to tell you that i don't have enough time to tell you what i'd like to tell you.

whoa, we've fallen down the rabbit hole.

i am off to work til 8:00 tonight, so probably nothing more from me today. however, i would like to leave you with the following thoughts (which are in no way related to what i'd actually like to tell you):

- cervixes are annoying.

- HMOs are even more annoying.

- portrait of the artist as a young man is a great fucking book. i realize sometimes (as i did earlier today while commenting on FINY's blog) that i will have to defend this opinion to wary disbelievers for the rest of my days. this is ok - i can understand being a wary disbeliever. but really, it's great.

- my cat is wicked cute.

- i need a pedicure and a haircut. it is moving out of the "advisable" stage and into the "unavoidable" stage.

- i'm learning the basic "beat the dealer" strategy for blackjack. i don't imagine that this will result in my actually beating the dealer while in vegas, but i'm having fun getting the hang of it anyway.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

speaking of brilliant.

www.mycathatesyou.com

click to see one that made me laugh out loud.

then again, it's late and i'm tired, so the laughing out loud might not count for much. but anyway, i did.

Monday, June 12, 2006

"it's like one...billion...degrees."

god damn those dunkin donuts ads! their stupid jingles get stuck in my head with alarming ease. that one, and the "sticking to the pleather" one just latch onto some loose synapses in my brain and don't let go.

it's not one billion degrees here, really. it's only about 65. and cooler by the lake, of course.

did i ever tell you about my brilliant idea to make a shirt that says "cooler by the lake"? no? well, it's brilliant. and i was telling my boss about it the other day, and she even more brilliantly suggested that i make them in bulk, in two different variations: "lincoln park - cooler by the lake" and "gold coast - cooler by the lake". then i could sell them at an exorbitant mark-up to all the trixies, chads, and hipsters-turned-yuppies roaming around those two areas all summer.

i'd make a killing!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

just in case someone other than me is interested in reading it.

so, the good news is i actually did get that article submitted to Bitch magazine by their June 1 deadline. the bad news is that they didn't want to publish it. now, i am actually not at all surprised by this and kinda don't blame them - by those last few days in may, i was just gunning for sending them something rather than something good. so i recognize that the piece isn't nearly as strong as it could be, and i learned that i need to give myself a little more time to write and revise an article than, oh, one week. with all that said, though, i figured i'd throw it up here for your perusing pleasure. it's longer than my usual posts, but hey - it balances out those posts of four or five sentences that i'm so fond of lately! so here it is:

Fighting and the Feminist Blogosphere

The internet: like cell phones, TiVo, and shorts with the name of your alma mater emblazoned on the back, it is an invention that most young women can hardly conceive of living without. It has been a boon to feminist organizing in particular, allowing women to come together in ways that were practically inconceivable even ten years ago. These days, all you have to do is power up your iBook to have thousands of feminist websites and blogs at your fingertips. However, the sheer enormity of the feminist blogosphere has exposed a reality that had previously been cloaked in secrecy, an activity that mostly took place in hushed tones and behind closed doors. I am speaking, of course, of feminist in-fighting.

The blogosphere is full of feminists who actually – gasp! – disagree about things from time to time. That feminists sometimes fight with each other is big news, even to some feminists, who seem to have bought into the idea that there is a right and wrong way to be a capital-F Feminist. The internet, though, gives lie to the idea of towing the feminist party line, because there are constant disagreements among bloggers over feminist theory and practice – over the questions of what feminism is, what its aims are, and how it should be lived out. I offer up the recent, rollickingly good feud started at the popular feminist blog I Blame the Patriarchy as an example of why it’s a good thing when smart, funny, feminist people pick a fight with each other.

It all started when Twisty Faster, self-proclaimed “spinster aunt” and proprietor of I Blame the Patriarchy, posted about a study concerning testosterone levels. A commenter named Freeman took a well-meaning shot at the study, saying, “[t]he assumption here is that high-testosterone men are naturally less intelligent or discerning, which is bull. I’m a high testosterone male with a 160 IQ. AND I’m a diehard feminist, AND I have a certain soft spot for pornography, so you figure it out.” And that’s when the train jumped the tracks. Regular commenters sarcastically chided Freeman for his thinly-veiled chest beating, Freeman got indignant and angry, and the whole thing degenerated into a virtual mud-slinging match.

One of the major issues that arose was the fact that Freeman had been treated with such scorn and derision, in part because he lacked a perception of how his “feminist” position was completely at odds with the way he was acting in the comment thread. At turns pompous, snarky, and contemptuous, he displayed a distinctly holier-than-thou vibe that was not going to win him any admirers on a site that functions on a pretty high patriarchy-blamin’ level. But certain commenters, perhaps feeling a twinge of remorse over how thoroughly he was being schooled, noted that perhaps it would be better to try to help Freeman understand where he went wrong. To that charge, Twisty had this pointed reply:

“Since it is my blog, I am under no obligation to coddle liberal white males who wag their liberal white ring fingers at me, rebuking me and reviling me and telling me that I should be ashamed of myself for ridiculing their asinine views. If liberal white males want to know how to become feminists, I couldn’t care less…The good news for liberal white males who genuinely seek enlightenment is that libraries are free. I suggest beginning with Dworkin.”

After the dust had settled the next day, Twisty took a moment to reflect on the melee. Her assessment of the situation was that it was an interaction of the broken record variety:

“Dude…[e]nlightens me that porn empowers women. Gets defensive. Says he is too a feminist because he watches porn with his wife (whom, he’ll have me know, he doesn’t even beat). Gets on high horse. Informs me that I’m not a real feminist, because he happens to know some real feminists, and they love pole dancing, and porn, and of course, him…Then demands that I explain what, if it isn’t about equal pay or the freedom to pole dance, feminism is. Can’t understand why I’m so mean. Gets on higher horse. Bitches about my sentence structure, calls me ‘shrill,’ deploys a few boring clich├ęs, and accuses me of ‘not doing anything’ to change the world.”

For Twisty, that was that. Her stated position is that she’s not blogging in order to change the world; she’s blogging in order to blame. So, she essentially labeled Freeman up as “crap I’ve seen before” and moved on. Through the beauty of the feminist blogosphere, however, someone else was willing to step up and issue a challenge to Twisty’s feminist leitmotif. The brave soul was Sara, proprietor of the feminist blog f-words. Twisty’s out-of-hand dismissal of Freeman, and by association her dismissal of any responsibility toward enlightening those of a less-evolved feminist perspective, didn’t sit well with Sara, and in her posted response to the imbroglio she said:

“We're not here for revenge or sympathy or parades thrown in our honor. We're here to stop rape, stop domestic violence, jettison the patriarchy and make the world a better place for all people, even men…The patriarchs and misogynists and rapists and sexists and dudes who won't sleep with fat chicks are part of the world we live in, and they don't disappear when we curse at them. We don't get new ones if the ones we have aren't as easily-plied as we'd like. Unless feminists are committed to keeping the world a shitty place until we can slip seamlessly into a morally-unambiguous, universally-appreciated utopia, I think it would be wise to welcome Freeman into the fold.”

Twisty, Freeman, and a variety of commenters showed up at f-words for round two (or twelve, depending on how you’re keeping score at home) of the is-Freeman-an-idiot-or-not debate. No more progress toward consensus was made, but really, at that point I don’t think anyone expected consensus. They expected lively, intelligent debate, and they got it.

This particular feminist smackdown is just one incarnation of a bigger phenomenon, which is the way that feminist bloggers are opening up huge, public spaces for discussion and disagreement. A stroll around the feminist blogosphere will quickly relieve anyone of the notion that we all graduated from the same feminist bootcamp, or that we all walk in lockstep when it comes to feminist issues. The Freeman dust-up showcases an online demographic that is serious about feminism, and is eager and willing to discuss what feminism is, how to educate people about feminism, and how to further the feminist cause.

The sheer breadth and depth of the feminist blogosphere raises not only the profile of these debates, but the quality of these debates as well. And on an internet swimming with porn sites, scam artists, and amihotornot.com, we need all the feminist perspectives we can get.

Friday, June 09, 2006

friday cat blogging, surreal meal edition.

whoa.



this is kinda like a visual representation of how my week has gone. it's a good thing for my sanity that someone invented both sushi and boxed wine. those people deserve a medal. a medal on a pretty ribbon. and maybe a plaque, too.

how is it that a plaque is a commemorative, mostly positive phenomenon, and yet plaque (minus the "a") is a degenerative, totally negative phenomenon?

i'll ponder this over cheap chardonnay.

buried.

i am flailing under a mountain of paperwork and meetings and general crapola at nonprofitland. i'll be back, with something to say, this weekend.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

of all the amazingly moronic things i've seen on tv lately...

...this, my friends, takes the proverbial cake.

last night, i saw an ad on tv advising me that, next time i happen to find myself belly-up to a bar, i should order myself a "cuervo black and cola". this will allegedly result in my having a good time. or falling down under the weight of my own stupidity. i can't remember which.

i mean, really - tequila and coke? of all the ridiculous ideas to foist upon an unsuspecting public! good god, that's disgusting, and no amount of media buy can convince me otherwise.

but kate, some will argue, this new cuervo black is supposed to have an oaky flavor. you know, like whiskey! jack and coke! great, right?

nice try, but no. i know that i will offend legions with this position, but it must be said: jack and coke is a bad drink. DadCat, who long ago earned his bonafides as an alcohol pontificator, made this sage observation to me way back when:

jack and coke? please. it's a waste of perfectly good jack, and a waste of perfectly good coke.


now i'm not gonna lie and say i've never had a jack and coke, or that if i suddenly found my apartment devoid of any inebriating substances save a bottle of jack and a can of coke, i wouldn't set about the mixing. but. one would be well served to drink something else - almost anything else - if at all feasible.

all of this is to say that the idea of a "cuervo black and cola" is one of the dumbest marketing gimmicks i've heard in a long time. hell, it's one of the dumbest things i've heard in a long time, period. it's dangerous to children and other living things, so for the good of humanity, have a gin and tonic instead.

your wednesday one-liner.

blogger is being a spiteful bitch today (sorry, blogger, but really. you are.), but that can't stop the sharing of nebulous conspiracy theories, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Suit to other suit: They drive it through the city in milk trucks so that no one will know.

--6th between 55th & 56th


any guesses as to what these suits know that we (or at the very least i) don't?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

an inconvenient truth.

on saturday, BoyCat and i went to go see an inconvenient truth, the movie about al gore's campaign to educate and mobilize the public about global warming.

all that i can say is, please go see it.

i know that many of you aren't planning on it. i know lots of you probably don't even live that close to a theater that is showing it. but still, still, i say make the effort. seriously. fork over the ten bucks and see this movie, because you will learn a lot. you will learn things, you will be entertained, and you will get scared for yourself and anyone else who has the dubious distinction of living on this planet in the next 50 years.

i have to be honest, i am not the most staunch environmentalist that you will ever meet. i absolutely recognize the importance of the environmentalism movement, and i try to remain conscious of it, but it's actually not one of the issues that gets me out of bed in the morning. however, it is precisely because of this somewhat lackluster perspective that i was able to take away so much from this movie. i'm telling you - you will be shocked.

if you ever plan on having children, you need to see this movie. if you have children now, you need to see this movie. if you wonder whether anything could happen in your lifetime that would result in much of lower manhattan being underwater - seriously. see this movie.

fashion and politics DO mix.

on this lovely tuesday morning, i feel compelled to share with you all this post from the gilded moose, which illustrates what would happen if the world of presidential politics and haute couture were to mix. click and laugh. i mean really, it involves this picture:



of course, i had to send the link to the manolo, who is understandably obsessed with the terror that is lagerfeld. the manolo very kindly wrote back, and he told me that i was indeed super fantastic.

a reminder of one's super fantastic-ness on a tuesday morning can never be a bad thing.

Monday, June 05, 2006

blogger working!

a monday miracle! and now i would like to take advantage of this window of time during which blogger is not being wonky to say:

congratulations to not one, but two of my blogroll friends who went and got themselves married this weekend! cinnamon and east side girl both tied the knot with their respective men this past saturday, and i am very happy for them both!

i hope that there was much frivolity, food, and good wine involved in both affairs. and given that both ladies are quite the foodies, i'd bank on that being the case.

congrats again to both of you!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

friday cat blogging.

yeah, it's saturday, so sue me.

this is CatCat in her new favorite perch - the bookshelf.



she's even sniffed around at the level above her, as if trying to figure out if it's worth the effort of ascent. she hasn't tried it yet, but i feel the day is imminent. my prediction: she will fall on her little cat ass, and BoyCat and i will laugh.

i'll let you know.

Friday, June 02, 2006

friday confessions.

a short list, off the top of my head. because you're obviously not doing anything else with a few minutes of your friday.

- i don't know the proper grammatical usage of "toward" versus "towards." i have two english degrees.

- i watched an E! true hollywood story last night.

- i use stamps that i didn't buy.

- i am going out for lunch two days in a row. that makes the little spendthrift that lives in my brain start hissing, "but you don't have any money." which is kind of true.

- i don't wash my jeans nearly as much as i should. i won't even tell you how often, because it's that embarrassing.

- i just had to spell check "embarrassing." and i was wrong.

- i didn't like magnolia.

- i like any and all lifetime movies.

feel free to share a friday confession in comments, if you like. go ahead - it's cathartic.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

memorial day.

the approach to Lincoln’s tomb is unremarkable. the city of springfield, like so many other mid-sized, historically industrial cities that dot the midwest, has fallen on hard times. as we drove along the wide streets we passed single family houses with ragged concrete stairs and peeling paint, fast food stores and chained-covered pawn shops and hair salons, weeded lawns and patchy sidewalks. only the brown road signs marked with a picture of the tomb and a guiding arrow told us we were on the right path.

we made a left into the cemetery, and dilapidation fell away as we traveled under a row of lampposts festooned in red, white, and blue. the grass got green – very green – and the concrete became smooth. we pulled into the parking lot, and stepped outside into the noontime heat.

while the exterior of the tomb offered a fittingly magnificent monument to Lincoln, the heart of the matter was to be found inside, through a shaded door. upon entering, the marble foyer offered a cool, dark beginning to the short pilgrimage around the tomb’s circular path. a volunteer lifted his right hand and gestured towards another door, and i noticed a sign reminding me that i was in a burial place, and to please behave accordingly.

at that point, i noticed my camera in my left hand. i tucked it into my purse as quietly as i could, thinking, “god, what is wrong with me.” i tried to mentally shake off the tourist dust that had settled on my skin over the course of the weekend. i tried to think clearly. i peered ahead in the half-light, and followed the curved wall towards the man himself.

to look upon the spot where Lincoln is buried was strange and disconcerting. perhaps this is because in the previous twenty-four hours, i had visited his house, a civil war veterans museum, and the new Lincoln library, and upon arriving at this point i had the peculiar sense that i had finally made it to the end of the tale. this was it, the last stop. all of the tumult and strife and agony and ecstasy and history, all of it ended here in the quiet of the grave. i looked at the marble casket, and i heard a metronome. there was no sound anywhere, all was still, but i heard the steady tick of time passed, and still passing. in many ways, it is now as it was then – in many ways, nothing has changed. america fought and died then, nearly tearing itself limb from limb, and we continue to fight and die now, in almost the same fear and confusion. above the casket, the words spoken at Lincoln’s deathbed are engraved: “now he belongs to the ages.” i stood there, over 140 years later, a small part of the ages that continue to roll on, and bowed my head.

just before a visitor leaves the tomb, they are presented with an excerpt from Lincoln’s second inaugural address. metal on metal, the plaque rest squarely on the marble wall. i read the final words, slowly and deliberately, and i can’t say whether the chill in my arms and legs was from the dark of the tomb or from the resonance of that desperate, wartime hope:

…let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.


a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. i stared at the letters, and a girl of about twelve came bounding around the corner with her mother. they stood beside me, reading, and the girl snapped, snapped, snapped the bubble gum in her mouth. the sound reverberated, thick and relentless, through the quiet hallway.

i turned and pushed my way through the heavy wooden door, emerging into the Memorial Day sun. i squinted at all the blinding sunlight, at all the achingly green grass.