Monday, December 31, 2007

let's recap, shall we?

now i know i said i would be back after the new year, but this little year-end meme from ejshea has brought me out a little early. let's just say i've been in a reflective mood lately.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before? taken an entire week off of work for a vacation. and it very well might have been the best vacation of all time.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? i didn’t really make a resolution for 2007, as i claim to not be in the habit of doing such things. but my moods, they are mercurial. so, my resolutions for 2008 are as follows:

- start approaching life as something to be experienced, not just survived
- cook more
- run a five-mile race
- get over myself, in general

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? um…no? my cousin had a baby, and my other cousin’s wife had her third baby - but that might have been in 2006. i’ve been out of new england a long time…

4. Did anyone close to you die? no.

5. What places did you visit? i went to the eastern shore – see aforementioned “best vacation ever” mention. i went home, twice – once to escape the heat of august and celebrate our birthdays, and then for christmas. i went to shenandoah national park for the first time, and it was even more enjoyable than i thought it would be.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? some more perspective. or, to put a finer point on it, some mo’ better perspective.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? there are no dates, in particular, actually. and i consider that a good thing. usually, if you can remember the date, it’s because something traumatic happened.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? landing my job. probably one of the most exciting moments of my life thus far was answering the phone that day and hearing them make the offer.

9. What was your biggest failure? i don’t think i set any goals that i then failed to achieve. i mean, major things – if i had to count the number of times i should’ve done laundry/cleaned the living room/gone to the gym/written the great american novel and didn’t, well…

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? again, nothing major. i did puke that one time, two days before my 5K – that really sucked. i never puke.

11. What was the best thing you bought? a grey sweater with a huge cowlneck from H&M. i am sort of in love with it. “1234” by Feist from iTunes. i am really in love with it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? MomCat. she is not celebrated nearly enough.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? someone get me a staff directory for the department of justice – that should cover it.

14. Where did most of your money go? rent. goddamn east coast. and then savings, student loans, and food. we buy lots and lots of food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? again, my job. the whole process was long and draining – six weeks! four interviews! – and when it finally fell into place, the combination of relief and sheer elation is hard to describe. and then when BoyCat got a new job in October, i got to vicariously experience it all over again! so it was a good year on the career front, for sure.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? “1234.” namely because i’m fucking obsessed with it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? happier.
b) thinner or fatter? i’ll choose door number three, “treading water.”
c) richer or poorer? richer. two raises between the two of us helped in that regard.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? the first thing that comes into my head is writing. i always seem to wish i’d done more writing. i think i could crank out the seven harry potter novels in 12 months and still have the same answer to this question. of course, this points to my own unrealistic goals/mental problems more than anything else.

[ed. note - i just realized there's no question number 19. how odd.]

20. How did you spend Christmas last year? in MA, with the fam. wouldn't be anywhere else.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? fall in love? no. wake up every day still in love? yes.

22. How many one-night stands? zero. naturally.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Ugly Betty! got hooked during a marathon on january 1, 2007, actually.

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2007? fled DC. drank copious amounts of “mr. pibb” (don’t ask). floated in the pool.

25. What was the best book you read? The Secret Life of Bees.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? please refer to every musical mention in this meme so far.

27. What did you want and get? a job. a raise. a haircut. new glasses.

28. What did you want and not get? a friend making the time. a burrito from bueno. a flat-screen tv, because who am I kidding, we don’t fucking need one.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? i have to say, The Bourne Ultimatum was a lot of fun to watch in the theater. that Matt Damon – well.

30. Did you make some new friends this year? yes, definitely. which is a great thing, and is one of the reasons i’d say that i was happier this year than the one before.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? “immeasurably”? winning the lottery. not much else could fall into that category!

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? ha. absent. but i’m working on it. it’s part of my whole “get some fucking perspective, woman” plan for 2008!

33. What kept you sane? BoyCat. CatCat. my family. box of wine. the gym.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? CatCat. wait, she’s not technically a public figure? ok, then i have to admit that i find the Seal/Heidi Klum family to be freaking adorable. don’t you just want to hug them all?

35. What political issue stirred you the most? i was so stirred by so many goddamn political issues, i may as well be a soup. and while i am chomping at the bit for a democratic nominee and i welcome the 2008 fight with the republicans, i just can’t wait for someone to cast a vote already. i'm sick of this primary bullshit.

36. Who did you miss? my family. i know, broken record, but seriously – i did. and i do, a lot.

37. Who was the best new person you met? the best?? whoa. i will say the person who makes the fried plantains at the banana café brunch. ok, we haven’t actually met, but he or she is high on my list of Totally Awesome People.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. get to the crux of it. or at least, start trying to.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

peace out, freak out.

i need to go to bed in like, four minutes. because our plane back to massachusetts leaves ridiculously early tomorrow. i've been running around like a crazy person getting ready to go for the last, oh, five hours, and now i'm drinking wine like it's my job in an effort to help my body crash out.

because, you know, my brain isn't so into the whole "let's crash out" idea in these situations. it'd rather stay up all night playing the "what if?" and "did i forget?" games.

so, BoyCat and i will be back home spending some q.t. with my family over the holiday - i hope you all have enjoyable plans that involve good people, good food, good booze, or a combination of all three. while we will be back in town before new year's eve, i've decided to take a little self-imposed miniature blog break til after the turn of the year. try to start fresh and stuff. you know, cliches!

anyway. thanks for reading this past year, internet friends. see you when we ring in a new one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

a somewhat enigmatic threat, courtesy of Overheard in New York. am i supposed to be, um, frightened at this proposition?

Lesbian: Bitch, you better shut the fuck up before I go Park Slope on your ass!

--1 train

i feel like this means you'll treat me to a latte, but somehow, i think i'm misreading your intent.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

santa? baby?

ok, so my family? they are kind of crazy. you know, like your family. and this craziness results in me sitting here at quarter of nine at night, not really having the energy to hop onto blogger and typey-type, but feeling as if certain members of my family will start harassing me if i do not.

let me explain.

MomCat and SisterCat both got a kick out of my Seasame Street related linkage last month. much discussion of alistair cookie and pipe chomping ensued. then, this past weekend, they were down in the New York area hanging out with some extended Cat family. On the wall of AuntCat's house was the following holiday decoration:

you might notice a particular piece of smoking apparatus in the clutches of an alleged children's character, which evokes shades of our dear alistair cookie himself. this similarity apparently prompted what can only be labeled a very strange (and most likely wine-induced) brainstorming session of all the ways in which santa claus himself is, in fact, not suitable for toddlers. my family was so amused by themselves that they felt the need to call me immediately, dictate the following list of offending qualities, and instruct me to post it to my blog. as i am but a humble servant, here - as requested - is a list of all the reasons santa is a poor role model:

  • the pipe-smoking (obviously)

  • morbid obesity (again, evident)

  • poor work ethic (one night a year? seriously?)

  • human rights abuser (he runs a sweatshop for midgets in the arctic)

  • animal abuser (PETA would stage a rescue for those reindeer, for sure)

  • misogynist (calling 'em "hos" won't get you anywhere with the ladies)

  • threat to national security (violates airspace regulations all the time)

  • fire hazard (fat men in chimneys = not very safety conscious)

  • criminally negligent (no helmet? no seat belt? no service)

  • peeping tom (he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake)

  • and last but not least, a convict (that is, if they ever brought him up on breaking and entering charges)

so there you have it. why santa is a bad, bad man, or, how my family spent their saturday night! i've gotta say - they have a point. or eleven.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

i've cracked.

help me, internets!

i have chapped lips.

this is not, i recognize, the most shocking revelation, given that it's a week and a half before christmas and all. but i am at a loss as to how to fix it. i have been hydrating like it's my job (5-6 glasses of water per day! for real!), and i'm only using either straight vaseline or aquaphor - none of the chapstick or bonne bell or whatever that just dries them out more.

and yet, they just get worse and worse. they crack, they bleed, i chew at the dry skin and then they get all puffy and painful...

nice, i know. see why i need a solution?

give me your ideas and remedies and magic spells, post haste! or i might not have any lips left by the time spring rolls around...

Friday, December 14, 2007

friday cat blogging, stop hating on lolcats edition.

well whatever, you can hate on them if you want. your prerogative.

but honestly?

they still crack me up sometimes.

ah hahahaha.

ok i'm going to bed now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

meme-ity meme.

via brandy's, this meme strikes me as something you might fill out during a psychological evaluation, but i'm gonna go with it. why not?

I Never...
wear velvet - get tan - fall asleep right away - write it all down - use hairspray - want to feel the way i did when i was 15 ever again - eat sour cream - drive without my seat belt on - think about visiting missouri - look for hidden christmas presents - have enough money on my metro card - leave the house after 9:00 pm anymore - tip less than 15% - settled - forgot what it was like.

I Rarely...
buy nice enough bras or shoes - drink whiskey - witness things that restore my faith in humanity - wear bracelets - yell - get the grande instead of the tall - choose red wine - find exactly the right thing to say - think conservatives have a good point - wake up refreshed - go a day without cooing sweet nothings at my cat - regret decisions - forget to say "thank you" to cashiers and bartenders - just go with the flow.

I Cry...
when i am not on anti-depressants - in private - over the injustices that suffocate women every day - at the end of Field of Dreams - when i hear "Raining in Baltimore" at the wrong time - for so many things that i can't even quite say - when the patriots win the superbowl in 2002 - when the red sox lose game seven in 2003 - at how it turned out, sometimes.

I Am Not Always...
able to explain it - immune to just tipping over - on top of things - in possession of my emergency corkscrew (which sort of defeats the "emergency" purpose) - comfortable in heels - confident enough to say what i really think - able to resist an episode of Bridezillas - in the mood for shenanigans - in the mood for serious conversation - in the mood, period - the person who shows up five minutes early (but usually i am) - aware of how what i say affects others - right.

I Lose...
friends - addresses - contact lenses - my composure when someone implies that my politics are easily dismissed - all sense of time if i'm reading a really good book - the thread of my life sometimes, and it freaks me out - money at the blackjack table - hair in the shower like it's nobody's business - cough drops - knee-highs - a little more each day.

I'm Confused...
by life - by crocs - by my cat's desire to play with catnip mice at 4:00 am - by Baudrillard - by the way some particular people have treated me in my life - by french feminist theory - by my ability to be both compassionate and judgmental at the same time - by the idea of marriage - by edible underwear (not via experience, mind you) - by why, no matter how much water i drink or aquaphor i use, my lips stay chapped.

I Miss...
my family - the coast - being 22 - bueno y sano in downtown amherst - my mudd jeans from college with the giant hole in the knee - PJ - brubakers and curly fries at our house - drinking coffee on the stoop on commonwealth avenue in the spring - ecce cafe in boystown - john - getting coffee drinks at bart's with mike - roller skating in the driveway in great barrington - how easy it was sometimes - jayne's giant whiteboard - my blue turtleneck sweater that shrunk in the wash - all the million other things i just couldn't quite hold on to.

I Need...
a new pair of brown boots - a raise - another glass of wine - a trip home for christmas - a better handle on my own irrational fears - a new hairdryer - some really good coping mechanisms - a DC driver's license - five minutes in the morning to lay there and do nothing - to send a few more holiday cards - plane tickets to chicago in february - a nice winter hat - a center - a change - a minute to think.

I Should...
pitch more articles - go to the gym on saturday - quit worrying about money so much - kiss my boyfriend more - vacuum the living room rug - bring a few of the 327 tupperware containers in my office home - floss - send more handwritten letters - breathe deeper - try to figure out how to stop biting my nails - eat more fruit - buy some argyle tights - just fucking relax.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

kidz, man. via overheard in new york. they are good for amusement sometimes, i'll give 'em that.

Little boy shaking his hips: Tryin' make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no! [Later, to woman behind register] Do you have Rugrats Gone Wild?

--Blockbuster, 10th & Wanamaker Pl

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

news alert: i obsess over things.

i know, i know, this comes as a shock. but let me tell you about it.

i have this new pair of boots. i got them on clearance (woot) at DSW. they are black, with about a...hmmm....i'd say two-inch heel. maybe two and a half. they are kenneth cole reaction (not bad, not bad) and they're all synthetic, which is a negative for most people but a positive for a vegetarian like myself who is attempting to avoid hypocrisy at most turns. finally, they are knee-high.

the last part is where the obsessing comes in. because "knee-high" boots are a bit of a misnomer, right? they come to somewhere just below your knee, usually. and of course, there's a bit of variance even in that generality - some pairs come a little closer to your kneecap than others. and a few weeks and couple wears after purchasing my boots, i became convinced that they were - gasp - too short.

now mind you, this was not an evident problem when i purchased them (read: it is a virtual guarantee that this is not an actual problem at all). however, slowly but surely, the doubt crept in. are these things like, just maybe half an inch too short? i would study my calves while sitting at my desk, swinging my legs out to one side of the chair, then the other. did they look to short this way? how about that way? what if i stand up? what if i cross my legs like this?

i wish i were kidding about this internal monologue. i am not.

despite repeated assurances by (a very patient) BoyCat that no, they are certainly not too short, and yes, they look like everyone else's boots, i still harbor misgivings. i found myself at the dupont circle station the other day, waiting to meet up with someone, and mentally cataloging the kneecap to boot-top ratio of nearly every woman who walked by in knee-highs. i felt like some kind of addict.

i guess there is no real moral to this story. (unless, of course, the moral is that i am crazy, but that is a implicit - not to mention redundant - moral around here.) i will keep wearing the boots. i will probably continue to allow some sick little corner of my brain to gnaw away on the issue of their reverse inseam. hopefully i can just avoid acknowledging said gnawing by focusing on something else. like how i desperately need some brown knee-high boots.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

i think we should be quarantining the serial rapists, but that's just me.


mike huckabee, ladies and gentleman. currently running second the frontrunner in the iowa polls, according to the newest McClatchy-MSNBC numbers.

canada honestly looks more and more attractive by the day.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

city karma?

perhaps i made someone's life difficult in some big city in a past life. because right now, it's 4:30 in the morning, and i am wide awake because my downstairs neighbor's television is blaring. you can almost hear the dialogue clearly through the floor. somehow we managed to fall asleep (with the help of our little white noise machine) earlier tonight, but i woke up about an hour ago and have been up ever since.

the guy is either a) not there or b) completely, freakishly passed out in there, because i went down about half an hour ago and knocked - or pounded, if you will - on the door four or five times. nothing. and the volume is ridiculous - it was like the tv was in the hallway and going full blast, it was so loud. i left a nice little note (really - i restrained my overtired bitchiness for two minutes while i wrote it) imploring him to, um, kindly turn that thing down in the middle of the night in the future.

ok, now it's quarter of five in the morning. awesome. i wonder how long my body will stay awake on annoyance alone. i'd guess at least another hour. maybe two.

score one for rural living, i guess.

Friday, December 07, 2007

friday cat blogging, mindset edition.

funny pictures


so i know i've been a bad blogger lately.

there are numerous reasons for this, the boring navel-gazing details of which i won't go into here - especially since i am currently running only on gin and exhaustion. however, some of it has to do with me actually starting to get something resembling a life (hey, i take what i can get!) and some of it has to do with me not being able to find the motivation to blog with two hands and a flashlight. i'm not writing much at all really (except for those eight hours a day that i write for my job, which might have something to do with that, huh??), and i'm trying not to go into my normal reactionary mode about a situation like this. that mode is usually a) feel guilty about it for some nebulous and almost certainly irrational reason, and then b) force myself to do it anyway, thus sucking any bit of joy or intrinsic pleasure out of the entire enterprise.

and that, as you smart people instantly surmised, is incredibly stupid.

but i'm still here. i'll still be blogging. and i'm betting (and hoping) that by attempting to go with the flow of my inclinations rather than ceaselessly beat them in to (arbitrary) line, i'll come back to writing regularly on my own in relatively short time.

in the meantime, keep coming by for random observations, petulant whining, and an occasional flash of vain preoccupation brilliance.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

weeknight update.

- my lips are very, very dry.

- my jeans have a small hole in the seam - right at the hip - that i need to sew, like, yesterday.

- work got unexpectedly insane this week.

- i actually have post-work plans for the next three nights.

- my eyes are very, very dry.

- my credit score went up today.

- my credit card balance still scares me.

- there is laundry hanging all over our bedroom - doorknobs, hamper, cd tower, wardrobe doors - and its kinda like a cotton-poly jungle.

- my cat enjoys attacking toy hedgehogs at four in the morning.

- my brain does not enjoy falling asleep at a reasonable hour.

- i'm sort of over keith olbermann.

- my iPod is almost full.

- the bathroom door doesn't stick from the humidity anymore.

- the DC library hates me.

- the holidays cannot come soon enough.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

last call.

in your sunday (or monday morning, as it may be) perusing of the interweb, be sure to check out this great article from today's Globe:

Last Call: Why the gay bars of Boston are disappearing, and what it says about the future of city life

when i lived in the area, i always bemoaned boston's lack of a centralized gay area of town - everything seemed so scattershot and marooned on its own little city-block island. (and the south end, without decent public transit access and skyrocketing prices, just does not count.) so, imagine my dismay to hear that things were going from bad to worse in my big gay liberal home state. this article does a great job of laying out the problem and connecting it to bigger economic trends that threaten not only gay city life, but city life in general. a snippet:

The disappearance of places like Buddies and Chaps may sound like a problem limited to gay men, but it is part of a much larger trend reshaping American cities. As gay bars vanish, so go bookstores, diners, and all kinds of spaces that once allowed "blissful public congregation," as sociologist Ray Oldenburg described their function in his 1989 book "The Great Good Place."

In New York, the Jewish deli - a staple of the city's identity - has all but vanished. In the Boston area, many of Harvard Square's bookstores, Kenmore Square's student eateries, and myriad other places that guaranteed a diverse urban experience have closed their doors, replaced by a far more uniform lineup of bank branches, chain stores, and upscale restaurants.

This change is a serious challenge to the city, which has historically been defined by the breadth and variety of its street-level experience - and the wide diversity of people it threw together. "City air makes free," a saying that dates to medieval times, was a favorite of urban-studies pioneer Jane Jacobs. But as a wide range of gay bars dwindles to a handful of survivors - and the city's diners, indie bookstores, and dive bars yield to high rents and shifting patterns of commerce - that air is becoming the province of an increasingly narrow set of people.

i think anyone who lives in a big city can attest to this. while sections of largely non-homogenized city can certainly be found, the encroachment is everywhere and prices rise commensurately. here in DC, the insane pace of development in "hip" neighborhoods (because what self-respecting investment banker by day/hipster by night wants to move into a million dollar condo in an "unhip" neighborhood? the horror!) had led to almost untenably rapid rates of gentrification. that's how you end up with black kids in columbia heights throwing stones at white yuppies in columbia heights, and a "revival" of the historically black u street that involves 1-beds renting for over $2,000 in a massive new building called "the ellington."

sometimes i honestly stop and just think, "what the fuck is going on?"

of course, i really don't know. and i have no idea what will happen in the future, whether some other proverbial forces of nature will put a check on this kind of development, or whether this is really the city of the foreseeable future. i'll just keep fighting with the tide, trying to buy local on eighth street and at eastern market instead of from, and hoping they don't raise my rent next year.

Friday, November 30, 2007

friday cat blogging, camo edition.

CatCat tries out her incognito skillz. on a clean pile of laundry.

a strong first attempt, i'd say. the outstretched paw and unflattened ear give her away, though - she'll have to work on that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

amen for honesty, courtesy of Overheard of New York:

Hoochie on cell: Look, I love you -- you're my best friend -- but if I don't hang up this phone, I'm going to tell you what I really think, and you'll be pissed.

--Penn Station

hoochies: they know what's up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

don't get me started about the crayon factory, really.

i was reading jezebel the other day when i came across this post about how different seasame street was back in the day. now, i haven't watched seasame street in over ten years (i went through the obligatory retro-nostalgia phase in high school where my friends and i would amuse ourselves in the afternoon by watching seasame street on pbs - i also wore ring pops then, but that's another story altogether), but i am not surprised to hear that it's turned into a sanitized elmo-land of happy muppets and the distinct aroma of stifling safeness. now, the stuff that ruled about seasame street back then is the stuff that's considered somehow "too risky" for preschool minds to try to process. for instance,

The producers cite an array of reasons [for vintage seasame street episodes being deemed potentially unsuitable for today's toddlers] including but not nearly limited to Cookie Monster, who was not only a pathological binge eater but also the Muppet who played the character Alistair Cookie, who, explains the New York Times Magazine "used to appear with a pipe, which he later gobbled. According to Parente, 'That modeled the wrong behavior' -- smoking, eating pipes -- 'so we reshot those scenes without the pipe, and then we dropped the parody altogether.'"

remember alistair cookie? monsterpiece theater?? the minute i read about the pipe, i could clearly picture him eating it - and i laughed out loud. because that shit is funny. it was funny then to my pint-sized self, and it's funny now twenty years later - how often can you say that about something?

sigh. kids these days - they really don't know what they're missing.

for your own retro-nostalgia moment, here's a classic monsterpiece theater, including the offending pipe-eating finale:

and here's an amazing one that my sister found for me, monsterpiece theater: twin beaks:

Monday, November 26, 2007

scenery, changed.

pass mountain overlook, shenandoah national park

from the peak of stony man mountain, shenandoah national park

honestly, i have never been that high up, with my feet on the ground, in my whole life. when you can see that it's cloudy in one town and sunny in another, you know you've found something different. it was a nice antidote to the claustrophobia of city life.

that, some crab cakes and caesar salad for thanksgiving dinner (first vegetarian t-day, a delicious success!), and a seat next to the fire watching a mountain sunset have definitely done me some good. now the christmas tree is up, i'm in my flannel pajama pants, and i've got a glass of wine and CatCat curled up on the couch with me - if that doesn't help me keep the good going for the next month, then hell, nothing will.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

change of scenery.

thanksgiving, here again - all sudden bluster and orange leaves and god, how did this year begin to die already - and i am utterly worn out. i don't quite know whether this is a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing. all i know is that i am tired. i see the reflection of my eyelids in the metro windows and i am a bit shocked, really, at the obvious weight. the evident drag around the edges. my body screams at me for more sleep - it wants more, no matter how much i give it, sleeping in until almost noon on the weekends like i haven't done (regularly, at least) since grad school. it's like my blood is thick, slow moving, and ultimately unable to keep up with the basic, day-to-day things that i demand of it.

will this pass? i hope so. for a generally high-strung person like me, this level of lethargy shifts from soporifically enjoyable into gratingly discordant in a very short amount of time, and then trying to force the square pegs of my type-a impulses into these little round holes of apathetic behavior is akin to repeatedly attempting to use a moving turntable for a pillow.

in other words, i am not quite myself.

i'm hoping this coming holiday offers a bit of a respite and a chance for me to figure out what needs adjusting. we'll be off in the blue ridge mountains with BoyCat's family for awhile - i think the change of scenery can only help things. i'm going to put on a fleece and a winter hat, hike up a trail, read a book, drink some wine, and try to kick start this mysterious little motor that is my head. see you next week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

you know what's frustrating?

that i can't tell the difference between ridiculous allergies and a head cold. especially in late november. there's sneezing, and a stuffy - then runny - then itchy nose (lather rinse repeat), and a headache.

i guess if it's still here in the morning, it's probably a head cold, right?

given the number of deadlines i have in the next two weeks compared to the number of days i have in which to meet them, i'm really hoping it's not. here in the morning, that is. either way.


Friday, November 16, 2007

friday cat blogging, SisterCat edition.

as i'm sure you all know, since you've undoubtedly had this date marked on your calendars for weeks, today is SisterCat's birthday. regular readers of this blog know that i must take this opportunity to catalogue the imposing and wondrous greatness that is SisterCat. the problem is, i'm so exhausted from the insanity of this week that i'm a little fuzzy on the details of SisterCat's myriad accomplishments of the past year.

so, here is a list of things i think that SisterCat may have done in the past 365 days:

- brokered a nuclear disarmament agreement with north korea
- invaded north korea
- bought a pair of red, patent leather, four-inch peep-toe heels
- had a full-on conversation, including voiceovers, with her cat
- brought the stock market to its knees
- bravely pursued a new career
- bravely ditched a lot of other things that weren't working
- drank an entire bottle of wine herself
- convinced britney that performing at the VMAs was a great idea
- insulted someone who deserved it
- overextended herself for someone who deserved it
- purchased the Boston Celtics
- won a Pulitzer for investigative reporting
- broke glass
- laughed til she nearly choked
- coordinated a hostile takeover of a Fortune 500 company
- wrote Hillary's health care plan
- made someone miserable
- made someone's day
- made tough decisions
- made me proud

i think that about covers it. happy birthday, SisterCat!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

courtesy of Overheard in New York, one question and one follow-up:

Woman: Okay, should we start a Facebook group for people with great cleavage? Or is that déclassé?

--Bedford & 7th, Williamsburg

in sum - no, and yes. but points for using "déclassé" in a sentence, and extra points for using it self-referentially. that's truly impressive.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

if i were a typewriter.

i'd type in the morning. i'd type in evening. all over this land.

or something.

as you can see, i'm heavily involved in a) typing, and b) being delusional. i just thought i'd let you know.

also, chai tea is delicious and good editing fuel.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

along the potomac.

lately i've been having these dreams about old friends. the friends you just don't see anymore. they are surprisingly languid dreams - hemingway dreams where nothing really happens - we are just, suddenly, there. together. one invites me to a party at a log cabin in the town where we went to college. another gives me a necklace that starts out as the clockface from a pocketwatch and turns into a carving of a saint.

in these dreams, i am always conscious of the passage of time - that somehow, we are not supposed to be interacting in the present, but in the past, where we really belong.


i am driving down 395 south, away from virginia and into the district. it is dusk. the sun is sinking to the west, the sunset beyond the sprawling angles of the pentagon a dull, diffuse rose - the east is all deep gray and the winking lights of the pentagon city office buildings and hotels.

there is thick traffic. not quite enough to impede me - just enough to surround me on all sides. i move continuously into the stream of red tail lights ahead of me. the negative image, blurred and blurring headlights, wheel past on my left, moving, slowing, moving again. everywhere there are these small bits of light, traveling in concert without any need of one another - i notice it, how we move like this - being funneled, funneling ourselves.

a plane approaches national airport, sideways across my view, descending into the darkness that keeps feeling its way along the potomac. the whole city, spread out in front of me from this vantage point, is sanguine. low-slung. waiting, and unperturbed.


usually, i don't remember my dreams. my subconscious, like my conscious, is not very clear with itself. my dreams are often at best half-remembered things - a sense of what the dream was like, but not what it was. details elude me. meaning escapes me. i am usually only left, at best, with feelings - unreliable things that they are.


i am struck, in my little oasis of a car, with an overwhelming sense of trepidation. i don't grip the wheel any harder, i don't veer out of my lane - i am simply struck. i am afraid that there is nothing to me.

i am afraid that, deep down, i am not good person or a bad person or an enviable person or a pitiable person. i am afraid that there is no essential truth about myself, no center that will right me if i could just learn to balance on it. maybe - maybe there is nothing there.

maybe i am like a baseball, and if you managed to hit me hard enough to knock the covering off, i would simply unravel.


last year, i had one of those dreams where you dream that you've woken up, but you really haven't. i'm dreaming that i'm in our bedroom, awake, but that something is not right. i lay still. after a few moments, i realize that i hear sounds from the bathroom. i lift myself up on one elbow and peer through the darkness towards the bathroom door. it is a stark black space, surrounded cleanly on all four sides by the light streaming out from behind it.

someone is in there.

i creep around the bed and towards the door, adrenaline starting to seep into my chest. i am afraid only in that dream-like way - not acutely, as in the face of danger, but absolutely, as in the face of the unknown. i push open the door, and the light tumbles forward, half-blinding me.

the man inside, who had been looking in the mirror, turns to look at me. he smiles. "oh," he says, "it's me. don't be afraid - it's just me."

it is my uncle, my father's brother. he has been dead for twelve years. i try desperately to focus. i realize, as i tip backwards inside myself while standing perfectly still, that i am dreaming.

don't be afraid - it's just me.

i wake up in an instant, and i am really awake. but the darkness - that all seems the same.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

two quick questions.

over the past week, i have noticed a spike in people finding my blog by searching on two particular subjects. i am hoping that you, the internets, can figure out why there is a sudden interest in googling these two topics. so tell me if you've heard anything, or seen anything, or even have a vague sense of what the hell is going on. because i don't, and dammit i'm curious.

Search #1 is around the tori amos lyric i used as the title of my post about insomnia - "you're just an empty cage, girl, if you kill the bird." i've had more people find my blog by searching on some component of that line in the last week than in all my previous time blogging combined. was it featured somewhere? i don't watch enough tv anymore - i don't know these things.

Search #2 is regarding the wearing black with brown issue. now, i'm not going to complain about people finding my post about this unfortunate fashion phenomenon (i don't care what macy's marshall field's or anyone else thinks about it, it's wrong,wrong i say!), but it must've been brought up somewhere in the media ether. given that one search also threw the phrase "stacy london" into the mix, i have a sneaking suspicion this is something the what not to wear mavens addressed on a recent episode. and now i'd love to know what she said about it.

because if she endorsed it, seriously, i will cut her.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

a singular enmity, reinflamed.

i hate pantyhose. i hate them so much. i had to wear them for a big work thing this week, and it is only on the rare occasions in which i am forced, by the combination of my choice of outfit, social convention, and plunging temperatures to wear them that i am reminded how much i loathe them. truly. more than most nearly anything that i can think of at the moment.

for instance, i hate pantyhose more than:

1. tracksuits

2. ruthless dictators

3. that gillette commercial where the european tennis guy says, "i never zink about yestaday"

4. french country decor

5. chris matthews

6. people who microwave fish dishes for lunch

7. my car payment

8. anita shreve

9. jumpers

10. jumpers with jelly shoes

11. the state of indiana

12. my sinuses

13. jello with the little bits of fruit inside

14. white wicker furniture

15. global warming, poverty, and every pandemic that ever happened all rolled into one

really, human kind is overrated. pantyhose, however, remain the unacknowledged work of the devil. in which case, you can see there really is no contest.

i mean, god, what kind of company name is "Leggs" anyway?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

and we turn him into an anecdote.

something that i read today reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Six Degrees of Separation. i really fucking love that movie - it's actually kind of a crime that i don't own it on dvd.

so then i went looking for a very brief scene from the movie on youtube, which they didn't have, but i did find a clip of the final scene, which is amazing. stockard channing has been great in many things, and this is no exception. if you haven't seen the movie, for god's sake don't watch this because you'll ruin it! put the movie on the top of your netflix queue and see the whole thing.

however, if you have seen the movie and loved it like i did, by all means take five minutes to revisit this little dual tour de force from channing and donald sutherland. (the french subtitles? - i have no idea what they're about, and they are slightly distracting. but oh well i still kinda want to hug the person who posted it anyway.)

Monday, November 05, 2007

DC art this fall: there's more.

ok, DC peoples.

there is this really cool-sounding museum exhibit that you should go see. yes, on top of all of these.

i just read about it today, and it's called Kate: A Centennial Celebration, and it runs from now through June 1, 2008 at the National Portrait Gallery. which kate, you ask? well, the kate, of course.

katharine hepburn.

seriously, no woman has ever been able to rock the trousers like she did. not one.

DCist - where I learned about the exhibit today - give the overview:

Katharine Hepburn, one of the most iconic actresses of the 20th century, is the latest person to be featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s “One Life” gallery. Kate: A Centennial Celebration, which opened today, presents a multi-media approach to Hepburn’s life — photographs, video clips, her four Best Actress Oscar statuettes, a Brooks Brothers red turtleneck sweater, and a studio contract are all on display.

The four statuettes, which Hepburn won for Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter and On Golden Pond, were never displayed before, and here they’re a testament to an acting career that spanned decades. Nine film clips are available to watch in the video kiosk, with scenes from Little Women, The Philadelphia Story, and The African Queen, among others. Also on display is a portrait of Hepburn wearing a straw hat, painted by Everett Raymond Kinstler in 1982, which Hepburn called her “favorite.”

so, go check it. i know that i will.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

little relationship truth #2,347.

after a really long stretch of of togetherness, you might start to think that you know most everything there is to know about your partner. the good, the bad, the ugly - all that and more. i know i kinda did. but every now and again, a little something happens to remind you that it's never even close to possible.

for instance, at the end of a random phone conversation the other day, i discovered that BoyCat does a very serviceable jimmy stewart. so good and so ridiculous of a caricature that it actually made me laugh out loud when i heard it.

i love that i spent a grand total of 61 months not knowing that about him, and now i do. i love that he's been making me laugh in so many ways for over five years, and all that time there was another one hidden up his sleeve.

i love that i have the chance to keep learning more.

Friday, November 02, 2007

friday cat blogging, go cry emo kid edition.

poor CatCat. she's had a tough month. first a surgical procedure that left her with half of her teeth, and then a mysterious lip-related ailment that took two trips to the vet and a multitude of pill-down-the-throat episodes in order to even diagnose the actual problem.

which is rodent ulcer.

that's right! my cat has an ailment named after a rat. (my vet informed me yesterday that it has this colloquial name because people used to think that cats got it guessed it...eating rodents. but, luckily for us, this is not the case.) so now there's another week long pill-shoving regimen, at the end of which her lip should be back to normal for an unspecified amount of time. we apparently then just wait to see when, if ever, it flares up again.

CatCat says, great. just great.

poor kitteh.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

appealing to the higher-ups, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Father to three-year-old son: The ruler of the universe says to stop chattering.

--7th Ave, Park Slope

and this girl says amen! also, i wish the ruler of the universe's wishes could be so clearly delineated for me on a regular basis.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

poor tommy.

oh, mayor menino. is it sad that this is the kind of thing we have come to expect of you? a little.

but it's still pretty damn amusing, too.

Monday, October 29, 2007

in case you were wondering.

rampant misogyny? still alive and kicking. how else do you explain this men's bathroom motif?

i have to send you over to feministing for it because i think my computer was just too disgusted to post the photo file correctly. seriously. i tried twice, with no luck, and repeated exposure to the picture is kinda making me want to puke. so that's enough.

from the feministing post, please also take a second to read shakes on this general matter, who sadly has to point out in her post title that in addition to women not actually being toilets, they are also not mountable prey.

i suppose a remedial course in humanity might do well to start there.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

this just in.

The Ninth Gate is a horrible movie. laughably so. when it was over, BoyCat said, "i can't believe that actually got two stars."

however, spending a late saturday afternoon on halloween weekend watching a bad movie about the devil is actually pretty damn enjoyable. there is something pleasantly hedonistic about spending most of the day in yoga pants, half-horizontal on the couch, and killing time with something completely unproductive.

however, as a classifiable (certifiable?) "type a" person, relaxing is not something that comes easily to me. it's something with which i struggle: how to balance out the satisfying productivity - the kind that comes from working, running, getting errands done and things organized, moving forward with writing on this blog and elsewhere - with the satisfying unproductivity that comes from listening to the little voice saying, "it's ok to lay here on the couch for another hour. really." i'm always afraid that if i give in to that little voice too often, that it will get louder and more demanding, that my intellectual drive and curiosity will atrophy, and that eventually i'll spend all my time watching sportscenter, vh1, and lifetime movies. of course, this - like most of my fears and dubious prophetic predictions - is highly unlikely to happen. and yet i still have a hard time shaking the guilt of a day spent doing almost nothing, even though in reality i need those days every so often.

like so many other things in my life, i find this comes back to balance and figuring out how the hell to get some. because i feel perpetually off-balance. i mean this literally as well as metaphorically - those who know me can attest to my predisposition to nearly tipping over, apropo of nothing. i look constantly for some way to smooth things out, to quiet the keeling of the boat. and even the things that i know, rationally, will help - an afternoon of johnny depp and pajama pants, for instance - still manage to fill me with ambivalence and vague anxiety.

isn't it probably the case that if i can't figure out a way to stop feeling anxious about relaxing, there's little hope for me and my desired balanced life? probably. i should work on that.

oh wait...or i shouldn't. and just relax.

i don't know.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


via feministing comes this piece at Tapped - an article by Courtney Martin taking on Thomas Friedman's labeling of us "twentysomethings" as Generation Q, for Quiet.

i was having coffee with a friend after work today, and i mentioned the article - which argues, i think rather convincingly, that we aren't so much underengaged as totally overwhelmed - and how i felt it really nailed the context of my own life. i told her i felt too tired. i'm 27 years old, i shouldn't be this tired - i shouldn't be living every day getting hit by these waves of powerlessness every time i open up but with the depth and breadth of information to which we have constant access - and the ensuing understanding of the scope of the problems and their staggering interconnectedness - its difficult for it not to result in a sense that whatever we do (and are doing, for sure - i get up and go to work every day to make women's lives better) is, in the broader sense, woefully insufficient.

so yeah, i'm tired. and i'm sick of boomers like friedman implying that because we're not doing it like they did, we're not doing it right. because we're doing what we can - we just have the dubious benefit of realizing how little of a difference it makes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

for kim-soo, wherever i may find her, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Old lady: I am very much looking forward to introducing you to my chicken.

--8th & 5th

Overheard by: I am too

(well, "I am too," first you better figure out where the hell you are, because it seems like you were at the intersection of nowhere and nowhere. or plug in a missing numeral. just sayin'.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

your thought-provoking, um, thought of the day.

it's everyone's favorite rabble-rouser and sacred cow-tipper, laura kipnis. in her new (relatively, i've been meaning to get my hands on it for awhile) book The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability she takes on the female psyche within this alleged "post"-feminist culture. in other words, in this age of advancement, why are we all - and especially why are women - still so effed up?

the following is a long quote from her Sex chapter, coming on the heels of animated discussions of the clitoris, the elusive g-spot, frigidity, vibrators, and dr. phil. these two pages contain some serious rain on the cultural parade, and i like how she clearly and concisely lays out what seems to me a glaring blind spot in what we think of as our understanding of women:

"...maternal instinct is also a concept that arises at a particular point in history - namely, when there was a social necessity for a new story. With the industrial revolution, children's economic value declined: they weren't necessary additions to the household labor force, and once children started costing more to raise than they contributed economically to the household, there had to be some justification for having them. Ironically, it was only when children lost economic worth that they became the priceless little treasures we know them as today. On the emotional side, it also took a decline in infant-mortality rates for parents to start treating their offspring with much affection - when infant deaths were high (in England prior to 1800 they ran between 15 and 30 percent for a child's first year), maternal attachment ran low...With smaller family size - birthrates declined steeply in the nineteenth century - the emotional value of each child also increased; so did sentimentality about children and the deeply felt emotional need to acquire them.

Human maternity has had a checkered history over the ages, it must be said, including such maternal traditions as infanticide and child abandonment, sending children to wet nurses following birth and to foundling hospitals or workhouses when economic circumstances were dire. In other words, what we now like to call an 'instinct' is a culturally specific development, also an economic luxury. Which isn't to say that an invented instinct feels any less real; it can feel entirely profound. But it does mean there's no reason it can't be invented differently - or invented in men as well - when social priorities dictate."
[Emphasis in the original.]

an invented instinct. yes! and she critically points out that while many women certainly experience it as an 'instinct,' when you account for all the evidence, such a simple explanation falls far short of the mark.

how many of our other 'instincts' can be assessed in this way? how many of our other sacred cows are largely artful stories? and to what extent, and how, does it matter when we try to think about social change?

Monday, October 22, 2007

i had a simple plan.

and it was simply this:

write something coherent on this blog tonight.

but then - then! i left work late. and then i got stuck on the metro because of a track fire, in a crowded train, without a seat, for half an hour. as in, we did not move an inch in that tunnel for half an hour. did i mention it was crowded?

so. then i got home, opened the mail, put on yoga pants, cooked some dinner (because i needed leftovers for tomorrow, because hello there's no more frozen lunches in the freezer, trader joe's why have i forsaken you?? i miss you, vegan pad thai bowl!!) and, um, ate it. and now it is now.

and this is all the coherence you are getting from me tonight.

(i will admit, this is also caused in part by the book on my nightstand - The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability by laura kipnis - and how fricking good it is. i want to keep reading it. and i can't read and type at the same time. pity, that.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

friday cat blogging, i'm a medical money pit edition.

we still have no idea why her lip is like that. god damn cat - she's cute even when she's all jacked up (i wish you could see where her leg is still growning in fur from where she had the IV, in order to get the full sad-sack picture).

next stop, antihistamines and antibiotics...wish CatCat and her deformed lip luck!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

oh wait, i almost forgot...

i went to this great panel discussion last night, "Editrix of the Trade: How to Keep Your Job and Your Sanity as a Female Journalist in Washington, DC." there was a really good turn out - i'd guess a good 40-50 people, plus a panel of seven women in various writing and editing jobs in the city. they had great ideas, observations, and advice to offer, and some thoughtful answers for the Q&A session. at one point, one of the panelists referenced an op-ed about that infernal question, "where are all the women??" you know, that one you can apply almost anywhere - academia, the op-ed pages, college sports, paleontology, whatever - but it has most recently created a brou-ha-ha in journalism circles when the dearth of female bylines was pointed out, and the op-ed being referenced was part of that whole discussion.

i thought i'd like to it - a washington post piece by zofia smardz - here, because i found it both insightful and thought-provoking. and you know i like to share things with those two qualities!

meditations on a theme.

that theme? randomness. it is all i am capable of at the moment. i hope to return to something resembling coherence, oh, sometime next week? by 2008? i don't know.

wait, sooner than 2008. that much i can promise. i think.

but for now, MomCat and DadCat are on their way to DC for their first visit since we've moved - there are monument plans, and brunch plans, and let's sit around and enjoy the beautiful weather plans. which i could really use, as this week at work has been particularly crazy and today was, in particular, particularly...[expletive deleted].

so. yes. not much from me this weekend, except hopefully a picture of the prizefighter, CatCat, who still has a fucking fat lip! we've adopted a medical enigma...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

i'll take potpourri for $200, alex.

ben affleck, out and about saying yes to unions. who knew? not me. and am i the only one who thinks that gone baby gone actually looks kinda good?

CatCat has a fat lip. we don't know why. as of this afternoon, our vet doesn't know why. the devil we know (that damn kitty gingivitis) has been vanquished, but for the moment has been replaced with the devil we don't. however, it doesn't seem to be bothering her much, so we're trying a variety of cockamamie avenues (as recommended by our vet, so they must be decent ideas, right?) to cure her of this perpetually pouty countenance.

anne enright won the booker prize - the book looks great, and i really enjoyed what are you like?, so i can only hope it doesn't take me a year and half to get the new one from the DC library.

my eyes don't get enough oxygen. i paid $60 for an eye exam to acquire this knowledge. and then $35 for a one-inch tall bottle of eye drops to get rid of irritation from said lack of oxygen. and, next week, i get really lucky, having the chance to spend who knows how much on all new contacts, since the four boxes that i still have in the medicine cabinet are now no good! can you sense my excitement??

my parents are coming this weekend.

the sox game is on in two minutes.

and so on.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

i'm taking a poll.

so, cara has planted this little idea in my head: moving this blog over to wordpress. this notion both excites and terrifies me - as most interesting things in life should, i guess! - for myriad reasons.

i'd have to back up my blog! (yes shut up i'm totally negligent and totally lazy)

i'd have to import my blog!

i'd have to learn a whole new program thingee!

i would be confused!

and stressed!

and ahhh!!

ok, you get the point. but a) of all, i'm obviously just type-a overreacting to the whole endeavor, and b) of all, change is good.

so, my few dear and loyal readers, i'd love your vote - stay with this tried and true (but relatively boring and often ornery) little blog format, or make the leap and possibly drive BoyCat crazy with my whinging and hand-wringing in the process?

decisions, decisions.

this would probably also be a good time to acknowledge that yes, i have not been posting much more than one-liners, cats, and public transit observations for the last few weeks. this is mainly because i am actually busy and doing things. which i consider a good thing. except that i don't get to write as much. which is a bad thing. what i need to figure out, a la cinnamon, is how to function on four hours of sleep a night instead of, oh, eight or nine. then i'd be onto something! but i'll figure it all out eventually and be back with more coherent things to say.

Friday, October 12, 2007

friday cat blogging, baseball fever edition.

CatCat says, GO SOX!

don't be fooled by her disinterested look - inside, she's psyched. it looks like she even coordinated her pillows for the event.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

oh, and also?

this new version of blogger is pissing me off. post formatting just goes wickity-wack sometimes, like below, where the text decided it wanted to get real close together after the block quote. it just does things like that, randomly, with impunity.

it's not a problem with the overall template - the WYSIWYG editor apparently just wigs out sometimes.

not cool! especially for a prone-to-fixating, type a personality like myself.

what? you're not at all surprised by that? huh.

UPDATE: it's happening because of the block quote tag. though in the other post where it happened, it was just centered text. wtf? anyone got a clue here? grrrr.

UPDATE 2: fixed! apparently blogger has been aware of this problem and "working" on it since November 2006?! thankfully there are about 700 blogger beta blogs out there with workarounds for all these problems that blogger isn't fixing, so i think i've put the requisite band-aid on it for now. but wordpress is looking more and more attractive....

not today.

in case you haven't been traipsing around the feminist blogosphere this week, i'd like to alert you to the most recent incidence of some rich, important dude declaring that women suck. or are dumb. or sucky dumb cunts! or something.

(i don't think i want to know how many dead-serious google searches i'm going to get on combinations of the above descriptives.)

as our friends at jezebel say,

the tough thing about being one of those people who is paid to summon outrage all day is that inevitably it happens that you are sitting there, and you grab hold of a specimen of such unadulterated, 99.44 pure inconceivably outrageous outrageousness, and you just don't have it in you to do anything but blockquote a whole section:

"Warner Bros president of production Jeff Robinov has made a new decree that 'We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead'. This Neanderthal thinking comes after both Jodie Foster's 'The Brave One' ... and Nicole Kidman's 'The Invasion' (as if three different directors didn't have something to do with the awfulness of the gross receipts) under-performed at the box office recently."

holy fuck. there's more - not even wanting to see a script with a female lead, downgrading wonder woman from her own movie to a justice league ensemble pic, and so on - but i don't have the energy. i have battle fatigue. at first i thought about doing this whole post of cultural representations of women, and how we filter our understanding of who is important and worthy and who isn't by not only the quality of portrayals in culture but the quantity as well, how the problem of under-representation of girls and women in central roles is rampant, how the male gaze and the primacy of the male perspective are real, and reinforced, every day in this society...

but i just couldn't do it. i just don't have the energy to put together a reasoned argument that will be, in the cosmic sense, at best politely ignored and at worst viciously maligned. not today. i'm too tired.

now if you'll excuse me, i'm off to watch america ferrera not carry an emmy-winning television show.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

your wednesday one-liners.

that's right, plural. this whole section of Overheard in New York today was so good i had to post it for you wholesale. if you don't live in the city and don't know first hand the scourge that is commuters trying to hold the goddamn doors, well - consider yourself lucky.

i just wish DC train conductors were this fresh. then at least i would get a laugh out of the situation.

Conductor: This Eighth Avenue-bound L train is now an express train to Eighth Avenue because a couple of you are idiots who thought holding the doors would get you where you're going faster. I hope this teaches you all a lesson.

--Union Square

Conductor: Please do not hold the closing doors! [Fifteen seconds later] Fine, hold the doors! I'm already at work!

--4 train

Indian MTA employee: Please do not hold the doors... [Slightly agitated] Please do not hold the doors! [Very agitated] Are you so stupid! Only someone stupid would hold the doors!

--1 train

Conductor: Do you people realize that there are 30 doors on this train? Must you all do a conga line in front of one of them?! Don't you need music for that?!

--96th St

Conductor: Stop holding the doors! You hold the doors open and the train doesn't run smoothly! And this is the only train in the city that works!

--7 train

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


i've had two of the best google searches evah in the past 48 hours.

search number one:

sperm filled watermelon

as evidence of my slow-wittedness, i said to BoyCat, "i can't even wrap my brain around that. like, filled how?" he said, " you fucked it." i said, "oh. like a lot of times!!"

yes, kate, a lot of times. or something.

search number two:

mars cheese castle nude

my chicago readers are already laughing. because they know mars cheese castle just over the border in wisconsin:

um. hmmm. cheese castle. nude. i am well aware that everyone has their fetish, but this one seems like a needle in a haystack, buddy. but if you ever find what you're looking for, please come back and let me know - the curiosity is killing me.

Monday, October 08, 2007

sorry, al gore.

there is something about four solid days of heat and humidity in october, i think, that brings out a particular kind of lethargy in people. it's not the yielding lethargy of early august, where you've accepted your fate and are wading slowly through it. it's the frustrated and borderline despondent lethargy that cries out, as it sits listlessly in front of the air conditioner, "a sweater! i just want to wear a sweater!! is that so much to ask?"

they say it might be fall next weekend. i'll believe it when i see it.

in the meantime, i just spent the last three days countering the obnoxious heat with copious amounts of wine (and then even more copious amounts of water, because holy crap kate you ran a 5K in a blanket of humidity and you were sick - you're dehydrated!) alongside SisterCat and her fabulous partner in crime (but not, contrary to popular belief, lesbian lover) Chi-Chi. that is not her real name. kind of. oh whatever, it's a long story.

but now they are back in boston, and i back in front of my window unit, bemoaning my meteorological fate. and concocting fantastic scenarios in which i can wear boots, a blazer, and not sweat to death on the walk to the metro. one fine day...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

the run.

so, hey, guess what? i did it! i ran the AIDS Walk 5K today!

my time, as promised - no snickering, please - 33:30.

not bad for a girl who was puking two days earlier, right? at least that's what i tell myself. plus, i am generally pretty slow, so it's within the realm i probably would have run regardless. but i ran from start to finish - i didn't walk once. mission accomplished.

to everyone who donated in support of my run today, thank you - i was truly amazed by the contributions that came in from all over the country, from blog friends and IRL friends and family alike. i ended up raising $625 for the whitman-walker clinic! you all helped me get way past my goal of $500 (which i thought was a stretch, honestly!) and i am really touched by how many people took the time and effort to support me. i was thinking of you all today as i pushed through that last half mile (on a slight incline, no less - those race planners are total bitches) and how amazingly fantastically fabulous you all are.

so, what's next? a 10K? the army ten-miler?? or perhaps, a glass of champagne and a trip out to dinner with some of my favorite people. yes, i think that is for certain.

Friday, October 05, 2007

friday cat blogging, recuperation edition.

behold, the half-toothless CatCat, in repose the weekend after her surgery:

she is good at resting, isn't she?

i am trying to follow her example today, because wouldn't you know it - last night my stomach decided it was a great time to say, "hey, fuck you, i hate you and i want you to die!" at least, that's the message i was getting. it was a 24 hour bug, 36 hours before my 5K run.


so today i have slept copiously (though i did have to drag myself to work for a few hours to get a few things done - that was a sight), eaten sparingly, and sipped on water and gatorade like it was going out of style. i'm really hoping to be 100% human again by tomorrow morning, because i've worked hard to be able to run this race, and dammit i don't want to have to walk through half of it! so we'll see how it goes.

luck and crossed fingers are much appreciated, of course. i'll post all the gory details this weekend...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

an old woman's comedic hat tip to dorothy parker, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Crushed geriatric lady: If this train were any more crowded, you could get pregnant!

--3 train

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

question of the day, metro style.

Q: hmmm, what will my public transit train car smell like today?

i step onto the red line. fifteen or twenty seconds pass.

A: pet store. definitely pet store.

Monday, October 01, 2007

who are these people?

if you haven't heard the good news:

Planned Parenthood can open the Aurora clinic!

hooray huzzah and many other excited sounds. but what i really wanted to share was this: when i opened up the tribune story on their homepage, i was greeted with a still image from a video accompanying the story. it showed a protester holding a sign that read:

Planned Parenthood:
for Fox Valley.

seriously, wine almost came out of my nose.

families against planned parenthood? hey crazies, did you think about that for two seconds before you bought the url?

"hey, everybody, i know - let's organize against the idea of planned parenthood! down with responsibility and preparation! random sex, drunken hook-ups, broken condoms and forgotten pills for everyone!!"

say what you will about the fundies - they are always good for a laugh.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

things that i like.

1. late september weekends with clear skies and mid to high 70s temps.

2. wine.

3. open windows and ceiling fans.

4. scrabble. when played at a leisurely pace and with decent amounts of wine.

5. half-toothless CatCat.

6. clean laundry.

7. the new bionic woman show. (dude - it is good. watch it).

8. wine.

9. weekends with no itineraries whatsoever.

10. wine.

Friday, September 28, 2007

yet to be named.

they found her yesterday.

nailah franklin.
28 years old.
naked and partially buried.
badly decomposed.

a week before she disappeared, nailah filed a police report that a man she had briefly dated had recently called and threatened her life multiple times. another woman filed two police orders of protection against the same man within a week - the second on the day before nailah went missing.

he has yet to be named a suspect.

we know this story. we know the end before we even hear the beginning. but still, she looked at me - looked right at me through the screen, half-smiling, as if i was about to impart some small, interesting kernel of the why of it - and i didn't know what to say.

i didn't know what to say to her.


hey, so i switched over to the customizable version of blogger (baby steps, people, baby steps) and for some reason, i cannot figure out how to make my post titles not be links. i was futzing around with post spacing, and then noticed that my post titles were underlined. wtf? then i realized they were hyperlinked. double wtf?

anyway. who knows how it ended up that way, but if anyone knows how to go into the html section (xml? i can't keep track) and fix it, lemme know. or else i'll have to bug BoyCat about it when he gets home (that wealth of online communications knowledge) tomorrow, and i'm sure that the first thing he hears when he walks in the door to be "honey, how do you de-link a post title in blogger??"

spare BoyCat such inanity. help me out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Ugly Betty is on in 24 minutes!!

that is all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

at the risk of creating a little blog echo chamber...

if you're not coming here from ann's post at feministing about the ongoing problem of untested rape kits, well, go check it out.

i read the story in today's chicago tribune, and it made me feel a little sick. harvey, illinois - a town just outside chicago that's 80% african-american and has a median household income of only about $30,000 - undeniably has its fair share of trouble and strife. then you add this kind of indignity, of mistreatment and disregard? as ann points out, the problem of untested rape kits is often a broader issue of the lack of funds and resources, but even that speaks to a baseline of neglect. you know - police work has its priorities, ladies, and you're not very high on the list.

throw another tragedy on the pile.

things that are effed up about DC, part 347 in an ongoing series.

i'm going to try to keep this brief. because you know how i get about 1) libraries and 2) things that are fucked up.

yesterday, i had to return some books to the library. i didn't have anything that i wanted to pick up at the main MLK library downtown (or, more precisely, anything that i could pick up, since the book that was allegedly "available" and that i put on hold a month ago is still nowhere to be found), so i called to see if i could return them to the capitol hill branch not far from my apartment. i could. great.

i swing by after work and go in. the library is in an older building, brick, actually nice and library-ish-looking (unlike MLK, which though designed by van der rohe still manages to seem like a garish monstrosity-type thing). but it's small. very small. like no more than twenty small stacks and two long walls of books. apparently, it has also recently gotten a makeover. fancy new carpet, lots of new computers, these crazy stacks with giant glass pictures of flowers on the ends. flowers? yes. ok.

so i walk back through the stacks to find a book the catalog told me was available at this branch (you know i couldn't walk into a library and not take something home with me!). the book is not where it should be. i am completely and utterly unsurprised. i head back to the desk and say hey, i'm looking for this book. the librarian starts to take me back to the stacks, and i say "yeah, i already took a look where it's supposed to be, but it's not there." she says, "oh, well then it probably got taken out when they did the remodel. they haven't updated the database."


i try to process for a second. "what exactly do you mean by 'taken out when they did the remodel'?" she says, "oh, well when they re-did this library they took out all the books that were old, raggedy, torn - a lot of 'em. you probably noticed that the shelves are only half full and all the books we've got are newer copies. however, for some reason, they neglected to update CityCat [the online catalog for the DC system] after they did that."

so. to summarize: the district of columbia spent what was certainly some ungodly amount of money to renovate this tiny neighborhood library, and then they took out half the books. they took books. out of a library. (presumably to distribute them to other, less pretty city library branches, but still.)

and then - then! - they neglected to tell the people who use the library about it. so the moral of the story is, on top of the total ineffectiveness of the Hold function and the fact that MLK is literally falling apart, you can now be assured that the information you find on CityCat only has a mild to moderate chance of being accurate.

DC: so much to love.

Monday, September 24, 2007

january 20th, 2009. january 20th, 2009. january 20th, 2009.

did you all hear about this last week?

"mandela's dead"??

this is what continues to come out of our president's mouth, almost seven years into serving as the president of the united states? does the man have absolutely no capacity for retaining information or learning from, um, anything?

those last two are rhetorical. in case you had any doubt.

and also - thank god for the daily show reruns on comedy central. cataloging bush's national embarrassments, so we don't have to.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

so much art, so little time.

there is so much art awesomeness going on in DC this fall, i can hardly handle it. if you live in the area, be sure to make time to check it out:

National Museum of Women in the Arts Film Festival

this coming weekend! multi-media parties, animated films, women at work, ancestral voices, gender benders, zombies - omfg feminist zombies! how can you say no?

WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution

also at the NMWA, this runs through mid-december and is the biggest exhibit in the museum's history! judy chicago, yoko ono, cindy sherman, what! i'm hoping they have at least one barbara kruger, but honestly it might be better if they don't, that way i won't be arrested for trying to steal it.

Edward Hopper at the National Gallery

running through mid-january, this exhibit come straight from the MFA in boston (where i hope all you hometown peeps went to see it, because um, it's hopper). i have been waiting for months for this to get here. while i have had the chance to see Nighthawks in its permanent home at the Art Institute, i am psyched to see so many other of his pieces - Automat, New York Movie, and his fantastic Cape Cod and New England scenes.

Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990—2005

who doesn't love Annie Leibovitz? (ok, well some people don't, but fuck them.) a pioneer as a woman rock photographer for Rolling Stone, she has taken some truly amazing photos over the course of her career. for instance, you might recognize this one. this exhibit runs from mid-october to mid-january. and while her stuff has gotten much more commercial (and, not surprisingly, much more full of spectacle and artifice)in recent years, i think she's such a good artist that she still gives you something to think about, even in her Vanity Fair covers and celeb-worshiping commissions. but hell, she spent over a decade with susan sontag, what do you expect?

all in all, an amazing fall for cool art in DC.

Friday, September 21, 2007

friday cat blogging, the "yah suspect." edition.

poor CatCat. she has reason to be wary. her extrasensory feline perception tells her that something is afoot, but i can't imagine that she knows exactly what it is. because if she knew that a week from today she'd be at the dentist getting half of her teeth pulled out, well, i imagine she'd be hiding under the bed.

that's right! CatCat's chronic dental ailment - stomatitis, or in simpler terms, really really really bad kitty gingivitis - is cause for her teeths to come outs. since her gums are reacting against plaque on her teeth, and her quarterly steroid shots and antibiotic regimen are only doing mild to moderate good in keeping her comfortable, we figured it was time to bite the bullet (ha!) and get 'er done. so she goes under the knife in a week, and about eight hours and one giant hit to my wallet later, we're hoping she's on the road to happier kittyhood.

friday cat blogging, needless to say, will resume after a period of rest and recuperation!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

i hate nature.

well that's not really true. i usually only tend to mildly dislike it.

but right now? there's this cricket. it's in the overgrown tangle of weeds and greenery lovely landscaping just outside our bedroom window. it has been there for days.

it is a loud fucking cricket.

when you think of crickets, you probably think of soothing nighttime summer sounds, right? i know i did, before this cricket set up shop about thirty feet from where i sleep. when you hear crickets off in the distance, across a field, through the car window, they sound melodious, even felicitous - the perfect accompaniment to a warm weather evening. when you hear a cricket CHIRPCHIRPCHIRP CHIRPing, at an unceasingly and unnaturally loud decibel, right outside your window without interruption every night for the past week...

you're liable to wonder if you've done something to piss the cosmos off. because your admittedly fragile mental state is about to be brought down like a house of popsicle sticks by an insect.

(can i just tell you? as i wrote that last sentence? the chirping stopped. for like ten whole seconds. and just as my fingers stopped typing, my eyes widening in wonder - it started again.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

you know, "racists."

i've been wanting to put up a post about stereotyping and society for awhile. i want to put up that post right now, in spite of the fact that i feel unable to string three coherent sentences together. so what this lacks in cohesive persuasion, i hope it makes up for in awesome and informational linkage.

so. i think there are three main points i want to make here. they are simply this:

1) we are all racists and misogynists and homophobes.
2) we cannot exactly help it.
3) this does not have to constitute the end of the world as we know it.

(i should qualify point number three - it could constitute such a thing, if we don't wise up about it already.)

now, admittedly, people tend to - to put it mildly - fucking lose it when accused of one of the big three prejudices above. i assume that this is because, in this day and age, to be called a "racist" conjures up images of the ku klux klan and those guys you see in grainy 1950s film reel with pomade hair and cigarettes rolled into the sleeve of their undershirts. you know, "racists." racist means unabashedly, unapologetically against considering black people as equal. and while it's interesting that i can't come up with an equivalent cultural image for "misogynist" or "homophobe" (anti-abortion protesters? ted haggard? i'm stumped), the same extreme brush applies. racists and misogynists are those awful people, over there, doing and saying all those horrible things. certainly not us.

but really, if it's just those fringe wackjobs and hysterical protesters "over there," being and doing racist, misogynist, homophobic things, how exactly do these bigotries survive? how is this shit perpetuated so steadily, so ceaselessly, for generations and generations? because - obvious answer alert - it's bigger than that. it's a system. it's in everything, it's everywhere. and that means none of us are above it.

one of the best encapsulations of the enemy that feminism faces i've ever heard is this: "patriarchy is a culture, not a conspiracy." these prejudices are a culture that we are steeped in, that our parents were steeped in, their parents were steeped in, etc etc and so on. no one gets a pass; no one somehow arrives at adulthood magically untouched, untainted. all of us, based on the societal soup in which we've been cooking since day one, have both the capacity and inclination for racist, misogynist, and homophobic thought and behavior.

i think that just stating such a thing, of accepting and owning one's complicity (willing or not!) in the system is a critical starting point. the revolution starts at home, right? awareness is the first step.

i hope i've kept you reading til now, because if you haven't read about Project Implicit, i highly recommend checking it out. malcolm gladwell's Blink highlights this Harvard study about unconscious prejudice; much journalistic ink has been spilled about it as well:

Gladwell has some fascinating insights into this dark side [of rapid cognition], and his section on the implicit association test -- a psychological tool that determines your unconscious, "automatic" preferences for certain kinds of people by measuring how long it takes you to assign words and faces to categories -- is the best part of the book. You can take the IAT here, but be careful. The unconscious is a mysterious thing, and don't be surprised if your test shows you to have an automatic preference for white people over black people, or for thin people over fat people, or for young people over old people. I grew up in apartheid South Africa and consider myself, as most people do, exceedingly egalitarian in how I treat people, but, I'm ashamed to say, my test showed an automatic preference for whites over blacks. Gladwell, who is half-black, found a similar preference when he took the test. Indeed, he notes, of the 50,000 African-Americans who've taken the race IAT, half show an automatic preference for whites.

subsequent use of the IAT through Project Implicit has illustrated the way these unconscious prejudices noiselessly and unobtrusively influence areas like health care, politics, andhuman resources. from the Post article:

In perhaps the most dramatic real-world correlate of the bias tests, economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago recently sent out 5,000 résumés to 1,250 employers who had help-wanted ads in Chicago and Boston. The résumés were culled from Internet Web sites and mailed out with one crucial change: Some applicants were given stereotypically white-sounding names such as Greg; others were given black-sounding names such as Tyrone.

Interviews beforehand with human resources managers at many companies in Boston and Chicago had led the economists to believe that black applicants would be more likely to get interview calls: Employers said they were hungry for qualified minorities and were aggressively seeking diversity. Every employer got four résumés: an average white applicant, an average black applicant, a highly skilled white applicant and a highly skilled black applicant...

To the economists' surprise, the résumés with white-sounding names triggered 50 percent more callbacks than résumés with black-sounding names. Furthermore, the researchers found that the high-quality black résumés drew no more calls than the average black résumés. Highly skilled candidates with white names got more calls than average white candidates, but lower-skilled candidates with white names got many more callbacks than even highly skilled black applicants.

now, i'm sure these human resources managers are just like people we all know - decent, hard working, well meaning. they aren't white supremacists or guys who drive around with the stars and bars on their pickups. but they, like all of us, unconsciously and unfortunately perpetuate systems of unfair oppression every day. the sooner we realize this to be true, and noteworthy, and important to acknowledge, the sooner we could actually, maybe make a little progress.