Friday, August 31, 2007

friday cat blogging, the "en garde!" edition.

here is CatCat, defending the premises against all manner of invader, infidel, and general asshole.

you have to be vigilant, you know? creeps of all types and stripes are roaming around this here planet. like, for instance, the sick fuck who found my blog by googling worst forced cunt punishment. a prize winner of the pulitzer or nobel character, to be sure.

and now, i'm not gonna say for sure what kind of punishment CatCat would inflict on this person if she had the chance - being the feline possessor of an elevated sense of poetic justice, ten functioning claws, and the persistent will to use them - but we can speculate.

and that speculation, it is enjoyable.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

your incredibly unsurprising headline of the day.

get this!

Boyfriends Do More Housework Than Husbands

shocked and awed, i am.

Married men do less housework than live-in boyfriends, finds an international survey. But married women do more housework than their live-in counterparts...

Couples who viewed men and women as equals were more likely to divvy up chores equally. But even in "egalitarian households," married men still contributed less to household chores than did their wives. "It's consistent with prior research, which has shown that the roles of wives and husbands are very powerful," Marks told LiveScience. "In a cohabiting relationship there aren't such strongly prescribed social norms, which trickle down to things like housework."

social roles...very don't say. wonders really DO never cease.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

there are no funny wednesday one-liners this week. seriously - i checked.

and this was before i went to the Fox and Hound and had two vodka tonics after work - DC people, you know about the Fox and their happy hour. but really, in spite of the six shots of vodka i've thus ingested, there are honestly no funny on-liners.

it's really kinda depressing. what kind of week has it been when no one in new york city has uttered a laugh-out-loud one-liner? what kind of world is this, anyhow?


(i just typed "sight." except i meant "sigh." you know.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

in defense of male-bashing.

hackles up! got 'em up? good.

of course i kid - i'm not actually here to defend male-bashing in the strawfeminist boogeyman sense. you know, the one where all the hairy-legged lesbian separatists talk about how men are Teh Enemy and won't it be great when we get the means of artificial production so their entire sex will just die off? i'm not here to defend bashing men simply for being men. i think the percentage of feminists who have ever actually engaged in such sweeping denunciations have numbered in the dozens, but you wouldn't know it from the media backlash - you'd think this was our bread and butter. well, that and killin' babies. so, just to be clear, that's not what i'm talking about.

my last post raised some questions and comments about the nature of generalization, on which i've been chewing on ever since in the comment thread, emails, and subsequent conversations. what was needling me, i realized, was this statement from toast in comments:

It's not an indictment of generalization per se, it's an indictment of unfair and/or unsupportable generalization. [emphasis his]

so i got to thinking. what if we are generalizing based on experience when it comes to (admittedly inflammatory) statements like "men are pigs"? metaphorical nature aside, is there anything unsupportable about the idea that, over the millennia of human history, men have collectively treated women like crap? that we have a few solid centuries of overwhelming evidence to support such a claim, and that sadly, men not behaving like pigs in some way or another has usually been the exception and not the rule?

when you step back and look at the big picture, it's not pretty:

- the leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder.

- one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

- 73% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim knew — 38% were a friend or acquaintance of the victim, 28% were an intimate and 7% were another relative.

- one in four girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.

- it took until 1900 for every state in america to repeal coverture - the legal precedent that made a wife property of a husband.

this is just a small sampling of the situation in which women have historically found themselves when it comes to relating to, and with, men. i have to ask if, in this light, it's any wonder that we regard the entire gender with something of a jaundiced eye. if it's not entirely fair - or, dare i even say, reasonable - for us to approach interactions with the male gender with no small amount of wariness or suspicion. history kinda bears us out here.

a question, in all honesty: why should i give every man i meet the benefit of the doubt? how does that serve me, in a practical sense? as i pointed out in an email conversation about this, "in my general experience, it's hard not to generalize in practice about men - i have to hold myself a certain way when i walk down the street because i have no fucking idea which ones are nice guys and which ones are going to leer and hiss at me. and, beyond that, that the world doesn't divide neatly into those two categories, either." so, while i don't advocate retreating to a hermit's life in the woods based on the odds that men are going to mistreat you, or actively mistreating any man you meet in a bizarro pre-emptive strike, i also see how a lot of women's generalized distrust and distaste about men is not based on ephemeral ideas, but on cold, hard reality.

now, in my conversations with BoyCat about this issue, he raised a very good point that may ultimately (hopefully) be a way out of this deep, dark pit of anger and acrimony. it is essentially this: once we take all this frustration about gender, race, and sexuality-based discrimination and degradation and reframe it within a class-based critique, we could actually be able to move forward. because (sociology 101 alert!!) they are all intertwined. and in this culture of go-go capitalism and consumer worship, it's not men or white people or straight people who rule with impunity: money is king. and while (as i kept agitatedly pointing out during our discussion) this doesn't mean that sexuality, race, or gender-based abuse and hate aren't real or damaging, BoyCat makes the point that the only way to move from injured howling to some type of change is by making society a more just, equitable, enjoyable place for everyone to live. you do that not only by addressing racism, sexism, and homophobia, but by then identifying how these particular systems of oppression function in the service of a broader context, which is the well-oiled functioning of the capitalist machine. i thought that was a really trenchant point. and, ok, i hoped that by ending on it, you all wouldn't end up flagellating me too badly.

again, i kid. i love being flagellated. which reminds me - up next is a post about how we are, in fact, our worst enemy. until then, feel free to pontificate/castigate/interrogate in comments. (hey, this means you - you, right there. of course toast and i could just tussle about this for a few more days, but i want to hear all you lovely readers and your opinions. this is not to say that we'll end up agreeing with each other either, but that's half the fun, right?)

Friday, August 24, 2007

new and improved.

i encourage you to check out twisty on dizzy, because she always manages to be sharper and funnier than just about any other feminist blogger out there. certainly more so than me, because this is what i was talking about.

i know some of my friends and readers see this as somewhat overly reactionary - as dangerously close to throwing out the baby with the bathwater, in terms of ever getting anywhere with feminism. however, i think two important things to consider here are:

1) as men reading about feminist frustration, it's very useful to try to avoid the immediate reaction of "but wait, you say 'men,' but i'm not like that! you're indicting me by association and that's not fair!" please take a step back and cut us some slack - yes, sometimes we resort to these generalities, but it's because a) of all, we're frustrated and pounding out a blog post, not a term paper, and b) of all, if we took care to actually nuance out all the overviewing in our observations, every post would be laden with a page of footnotes.

2) generalization aside, there are a shocking number of men who behave this way. i know - i've talked with them. there is validity to this frustration, and it bears out a resulting cynicism about whether we actually will ever "get anywhere" at all. you can only talk to so many sexist asshats, hear so many women casually referred to as "dumbass shit-eating cunts", see so many articles about judges fining wife-beating doctors chump change because of their "good character" and so on and so on and so on before you start to despair about their being any point to talking to anyone about feminism again, ever. when women are so consistently denigrated and reviled by a majority of society, the fact that there are a few decent-minded people interested in change out there hardly seems to mitigate the sad-sack reality that so many are not.

friday hair blogging.

i told you it was short.

and the front, you might be able to tell from this pic, tapers forward a bit to chin length. it's been three days, and i officially like it.

also, overzealous flash aside, i am indeed quite pale. i know.

also also, why yes that is wally the green monster perched in his adirondack chair out in the living room, perched high above my head. how nice of you to recognize him!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

ah, harry potter. you truly never will die, will you? it's the "overheard by," though, that really makes this one (courtesy of Overheard in New York, as always):

Conductor: This is Prince Street. Not Half-blood Prince Street, but Prince Street.

--N train

Overheard by: she later invited the passengers to debate whether snape was a criminal or a hero

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

toddlers and scissors. and no, i'm not in jail for homicide (miraculously).

i'm back.

my streak of good flying luck ended abruptly last night, as we sat on a plane at manchester airport, out on the runway, engines going, when the pilot informed us that there was a ground stop in baltimore - we'd have to wait.

two hours, one trip back to the gate, one minuscule packet of peanuts, and an uncountable number of manic, high-decibel recitations of The ABCs (with concomitant kicking of the seats) by the toddlers behind us later, we were actually taking off.

and they didn't even offer us complimentary booze. fuck you too, southwest.

but we made it. crashed into bed soon after ascertaining that CatCat was still alive and kicking, got up in the morning, and went back to work.

then, nine hours later, i went to the salon and chopped all my hair off. what?? yes. and i have (um, i mean had) a lot of hair. a good 10 or so inches are being shipped off to Beautiful Lengths, a charity sponsored by Pantene that provides wigs free of charge to women with cancer.

and now, my neck, it is free! i've got myself a nice little deconstructed bob, if i do say so myself. i wish the front pieces were a tad longer, but my hair grows fast, so i just need to give it, oh, ten days or so to come around. SisterCat had a number of philosophical qualms with the shearing of so much hair, but such is life. she can't be right all the time (at least, according to me she can't)! and anyway, there's something cathartic about shucking off all that dead weight. if only all those other kinds of burdens came off as easily between the blades of some silver scissors.

but for now, i'll take it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

peace out.

tomorrow, BoyCat and i are hopping a plane and heading back to the Cat compound for some much needed rest and relaxation. of course we pick the one unseasonably cool august weekend in DC since like, ever, but hey - it's going to be even more unseasonably cool in new england! and given tomorrow's humidity-drenched predicted high of 98 degrees here in the district, i'm positively giddy with excitement over the weekend's low 70s forecast for massachusetts.

also, i am 27 years old today. as i said to jaynie k the other day, that is only mildly to moderately old. i ran this morning, i went to work, i got flowers, i drank a margarita. life, it is pretty good. (also, for those of you keeping track - i'm still thinking. maybe i should give myself 'til 30?)

enjoy yourselves over the next five days, everyone. if you need me, i'll be on the deck, with my feet in the pool and a drink in my hand.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

because if it makes me guffaw, i've got to link it.

well, i guess that's not true, otherwise this entire site would be lolcats. but in this instance, i had to share, because this post from dizzy is a great blend of feminist outrage and dry humor. if you're someone who holds opinions when it comes to men, women, and society that are shall we say, atypical, you're going to identify with her frustration over how even the nature of argument can somehow get stacked against you. it's tiring, this notion you are somehow required to engage people (and these people are usually men) who want their anti-feminist position "acknowledged" and "validated" in order for you not be labeled an unreasonable idiot.

well, as dizzy pretty much says, fuck that.

I am happy, or at the very least willing, to debate whether or not a certain act, behavior, word, or belief is inherently sexist or misogynistic. I am not, however, willing to debate the importance or necessity of feminism. Honestly, if you really truly think feminism is wrong, or that women just have it made these days and that we should suck it up and be grateful for the rights men have already granted us, then you’re a complete fucking tool. Period. No discussion necessary.

then she manages to summarize every conversation i've ever had with those smarmy, sanctimonious men - and they've been men of all ages, stripes, political affiliations and purported intellect levels - who think feminism is kind of passé but really want to, you know, discuss it.

I know it must be hard to fathom that a girl doesn’t care what a smart man thinks about the thing that she cares most about in the world, or that there’s a movement that exists that doesn’t much take into consideration what men have to say on the topic. I know I’m supposed to 1) nod thoughtfully as I process your wisdom, asking clarifying questions about your points just in case I don’t immediately understand something you say, and then 2) offer up some powerful and intelligent argument on why feminism is important, and then 3) try to prove my point with examples from women in politics and a few stories about my grandmother, but of course, in the end, 4) concede that yes, you have some very good points that I will certainly think about, and thank you for educating me about feminism and correcting me on those things I didn’t fully understand about women and the world.

Well, that conversation has been had before and is a bullshit boring ass waste of time that does absolutely nothing for anyone.

bullshit boring ass waste of time. thank you. it took me a good ten years, i'd say, to realize that i was under no obligation to dialogue like this! i actually don't have to engage dismissers of feminism at all if i don't feel like it! such a small realization, and yet such a big rush of power. you really, honestly interested in learning about why feminism is not only still relevant, but still necessary? well, go get a public library card, head for Section HQ1101, and bring some stenopads. i've got better things to do.

Monday, August 13, 2007

brain oddities.

some time last week (last weekend, even? i don't exactly remember), i turned on the tv, pulled up the comcast guide, and started scrolling through the listings to see what was on. the tv had been left tuned to one of the pbs stations, and they were running one of those weird music shows where a pop artist plays with a big ol' orchestra, you know? (and i'm not talking about austin city limits here, which is a fine upstanding show whose character is not to be so wantonly maligned with statements like "one of those weird music shows.") and so, based on this happenstance of channel positioning, in the upper right hand corner of the guide screen is jewel, singing with some odd orchestral accompaniment. i give this about two seconds of notice before i continue on my merry guide-scrolling way.

however, something lodged itself in my mind at that exact moment, and it has been pestering me incessantly ever since. it's that song from her first album, "who will save your soul" - you know, where she kinda sounds like kermit the frog? yeah, that one. it wasn't even the song she was singing on pbs while i flipped through the guide, but there it was, in my brain. i found myself humming it off and on for the rest of the day. and then here and there the next day. etcetera and so on, until tonight, when i found myself sitting in front of iTunes downloading the damn thing!

why? i honestly don't know! i mean, i will admit that i've always kinda liked the song - frog-like warblings and all. however, i haven't actually heard it in, oh, at least half a decade, probably more. yet while i let the track play on iTunes, i found i still knew every word, every little inflection of the entire three minutes.

what's up with my brain and the mid-90s jewel? why is it a steel trap for that, and not, say, random details of thermodynamics? or even when to take a tylenol instead of an advil? (i drive SisterCat crazy with that one. i probably call her up to ask her this pressing question an average of three or four times a year.) and yet here i am, effortlessly recalling folk song renditions to the letter for no apparent reason whatsoever.

hey, at least it's another song for my iPod. everything old is new again.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

more signs of the impending apocalypse.

as if the jelly shoes weren't bad enough!

this morning, i shuddered to find myself not hating the entirety of something kathleen parker had written. this op-ed on the whole "Fill-in-the-Candidate Girl" viral video phenomenon lacked any point with which i could stridently disagree.

i almost did not know what to do. my brain started to spark and sizzle - there was a dangerous short in there somewhere. but honestly, i find it hard to argue with observations like this:

Once discovered on YouTube, of course, it's a short shimmy to the news shows, where producers are so bereft of actual news -- or so convinced that bumper sticker America can't concentrate long without a sex infusion -- that a hottie helps fill the gaps left vacant by retired generals lulled to sleep by the sound of their own voices.

or, though it dangerously skirts a blame-it-on-the-young-sluts rationale, this:

As these new forms of communication continue to emerge, we will continue to be deluged by every hot new thing. But some of us miss every old thing -- the quieter lessons of adults delivered without a rhythmic thump, and a moment or two free of libidinous tease...The attention-seeking, self-important desperation that drives today's virtual world is boundless and, apparently, boundary-less.

i have to say - and god, how it literally pains me to do so - the woman has a point. this shit is embarrassing. obama girl, a woman found on an internet modeling site, singing and dancing at the behest of marketing dudes whose "political humor" enterprises are hoping to be the "next big thing" because...well...who doesn't want to be the next big thing? and, upon grabbing such a consummately postmodern brass ring, who doesn't subsequently run that shit into the ground? as much as i disliked obama girl, when i heard about obama girl vs. giuliani girl hard on its heels i nearly cried from frustration - the WaPo succinctly describes the cognitive dissonance thusly: "the girls engaging in this political debate are also having a pillow fight, choreography that causes them to twist every which way in their tight tees, short shorts and high heels."

political commentary? beer commercial? who knows - who cares!

people: this shit is old. old. i am honestly at a loss as to how a 32-year-old "digital strategist" can put a pretty girl in a bikini on film and end up having his efforts heralded as innovative cultural discourse. in fact, it is the least innovative marketing tactic i can imagine. what should be more surprising, i guess, is that it took until 2007 to explicitly sexualize a political campaign.

me and kathleen parker stand here, brows furrowed. mine doubly so, due to her puzzling presence on my side of the fence. file it under You Know Things Are Bad When...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

oh dear.

i knew this day would come.

it was only a matter of time before the biggest monster of all my 80s fashion nightmares rose up and reared its ugly head in the light of day. or dim artificial light of night, as it were.

last night, we were out at the black cat celebrating a friend's birthday. we were standing there, watching the band, having a fine time, until i saw them. on a woman standing about 20 feet to my right. i attempted to surreptitiously look closer, wondering if what i thought i was seeing was in fact true. could she really be wearing? are those really?


jelly shoes.

and in the bathroom twenty minutes later, i saw another woman wearing them.

god help us all.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"what's wrong with america?"

this question, posed by retired steel worker Steve Skvara at the afl-cio forum on tuesday, made me tear up. if you didn't catch it that night or in any of the forum recaps since then, watch it now - it certainly deserved the only standing ovation of the evening:

it evokes a very similar, and nearly instantly iconic, query made by Fannie Lou Hamer at the Democratic National Convention in 1964 (this piece, put together by two 12-year-old girls in california, is a great concise history of one of this country's most important and yet neglected civil rights figures - listen to the sound byte from her convention speak at minute 6:00, and take ten minutes to check out the whole thing when you have time):

why is it that the most simple questions are also the most difficult to answer? why are they the ones we are so afraid to try to answer?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

we now interrupt our regularly scheduled rambling.

what are blogs good for, if not to spread the word about your upcoming superhuman feat (or something like it), and why your loyal readers should support your superhuman-ness? so, below is an email that i sent out to friends and family last night - i wanted to post it here in the hopes that some of your might be moved to help me out. thanks in advance for taking the time to read and consider. (and if you're one of the aforementioned friends and family seeing this for the second time, well, sorry for the redundancy!)

i rarely send mass emails. in fact, i can't remember the last time i sent out a single email to more than half a dozen people! so you know that i wouldn't be monopolizing a few minutes of your day without good reason. (well, that's not true - i wantonly monopolize many of your minutes with abandon - but you'll have to trust me on this one.)

in just under two months, i'll be running a timed 5K at DC's annual AIDS Walk. this will surprise some of you. hell, it still kinda surprises me. but over the last six months or so, i've started running more regularly (read: more than once in a blue moon), and presently i'm going out and pounding the pavement about two or three times a week. i'm still not very good at it - i don't run regularly enough to really see strong improvement in my distance or my time - but hey, it's something. and i've found i kinda enjoy it. who knew??

so, even though the last (and only) 5K that i ran was back in 2001, i've decided to do another one. the AIDS Walk 5K is in just under two months - October 6, 2007 - and i'm hoping to train often and decently enough so i can complete it without passing out at the finish line. and you can help ensure a faint-free finish! how? well, as a registered participant in the run, i'm also a fundraiser - i've set a fairly ambitious goal (for me, at least) of raising $500 in support of my 5K against AIDS. your support will certainly help motivate me to run the best 3.1 miles that i can come race day.

there are two reasons that it's really important to me to try to raise a lot of money for this event, and i'd like to tell you about them really quickly.

first, the beneficiary of the AIDS Walk is not some mega non-profit advocacy and awareness group, where your money will just end up helping finance the Executive Director's travel budget. the money from this run goes directly to the Whitman-Walker clinic ( www.wwc. org ), a local institution here in the district that runs a ton of fabulous programs and provides great service to the community. i should know - my primary care doctor is actually based there! it's an amazing place - the type of truly community-based enterprise that you rarely ever see these days - and they deserve every penny they can get.

second, AIDS is not an abstraction to me. i've lost someone to AIDS, and even though he died over a decade ago, i still wake up at night sometimes with a pain that makes my breath catch. and while i understand that AIDS is a shockingly complex disease, and that a "cure" is not something we're going to come by easily (if ever), i am a person with a hole in her life because of it. and so i want to help people living with AIDS, dealing with AIDS, or even just grieving over AIDS, to get the services and support that they need.

i think i have officially taken up enough of your time. at the bottom of this email, there should be a link to my personal AIDS Walk webpage, where you can make a secure donation towards my fundraising goal if you'd like. If you're not inclined towards online contributions, please just send me an email to let me know, and i'll be in touch with information on how to send me a check via regular mail. you can keep tabs on my progress via that webpage - who knows, maybe i'll even start posting time and distance training updates!

thanks for listening, everyone.


Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Whitman-Walker Clinic

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Monday, August 06, 2007

i'm sorry, could you repeat that?

Tuesday, Aug 7
High: 98 °F RealFeel®: 108 °F
Wednesday, Aug 8
High: 97 °F RealFeel®: 106 °F
Thursday, Aug 9
High: 92 °F RealFeel®: 105 °F

just kill me now.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

check it.

as cara at The Curvature notes, we really love allies:

National Organization for Men Against Sexism

i clicked through her post and poked around their site - looks like they've been at this a long time, and do a variety of good stuff, like an annual "Men and Masculinity" conference that looks critically and constructively at issues of gender, social justice, and community. also, looking at their site reminded me of a great group that i used to volunteer for back in amherst:

The Men's Resource Center for Change

they've been around for ages, and i was glad to see they're still doing a ton of great work on men's issues - particularly addressing violence, domestic abuse, and male sexuality - both in western massachusetts and beyond.

this is the kind of stuff i really like to see.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

meme time.

amy tagged me with this meme earlier this week. ask, and ye shall receive.

The Rules:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and that they should read your blog.
5. 8 is a magic number. Not three.

all righty then. eight is actually my favorite number (is it weird that people have favorite numbers? most definitely. it's not like eight is lucky for me or anything. i it.). so, eight obscure things about me:

1. i had a fish tank in my dorm room when i was a sophomore in college. i (shockingly) eventually got tired of cleaning it, and it wound up back at my parents house. the fish had baby fish, but then they eventually all died.

2. i only have one scar. when i was in the first grade, as i was running around the playground (which, for catholic school, was a big no-no) i collided with another girl, skidded face first on the pavement, and scraped my chin pretty wide open. the nuns chastised me, tried to clean me up, and sent me back to class, but i made such a fuss that they eventually called my mother. turns out i needed stitches – i still have a tiny scar just under the tip of my chin from it.

3. i despise sour cream. and pickles. and jello.

4. i word a leopard print dress to my senior prom. it sounds ridiculous, but i’m telling you, i was a full year ahead of the animal print trend of the late 90s. i am, somewhat perversely, proud of this. (i am not as proud of the fact that my date went on to work for mitt romney and george w. bush.)

5. i can’t stand the feeling of velvet. can’t stand it. like, i physically recoil from it.

6. even though i’m a confirmed bibliophile, i only actually own one first edition - Breakfast of Champions by kurt vonnegut – and it’s one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone has ever given me.

7. i keep rosary beads that my grandmother gave me in the glove compartment of our car.

8. i wore the wrong bra size until i was 25 years old. so, when they say “go get measured,” and you think, “eh – i’m fine,” go get measured anyway. seriously.

now, i'm not so much one for tagging, but feel free to lift this one if you so desire! viva obscure personal trivia!

Friday, August 03, 2007

friday cat blogging, cutest kitty in the world competition edition.

stop the presses, folks - i think we have a winner.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

a dialogue.

note: this is verbatim.

everyone who has ever lived in DC: august is the worst.

me, two days into the month: you're right.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

do you know what is awesome?

i'll tell you.

what's awesome is going to throw out the trash before work, and encountering in the trash area a small three-drawer bedroom piece from IKEA that exactly matches the wardrobe from there that you have in your apartment. and it's in perfect condition. just sitting there. by the trash.

i fucking love consumer excess that results in people leaving perfectly good furniture out for the garbagemen! especially when it benefits me!

your wednesday one-liner.

courtesy of overheard of new york, via the endless supply of clueless tourists:

Tourist pointing to chairs in Rockefeller Center: I don't know - they must be having an event or something, because usually you can ice skate here all year long!

--Rockefeller Center

ah hahaha. we actually swung through rockefeller center two weekends ago, and i was commenting to my mom that i had never actually been there in the summer, and thus never seen what they do with the rink in the warm weather.

and see, i'm not so much begrudging big city tourists some general ignorance. that's to be expected and understood. this however, 1) falls under general stupidity, and 2) i believe that anyone who cannot control the verbalization of their own stupid thoughts deserves some mocking for them. we all have stupid thoughts! hell, i have at least half a dozen per day! but luckily, 95% of them don't see the light of day, because i catch myself before i utter them. if i encounter a situation that confuses me, i take five or ten seconds to try to figure it out within the confines of my brain before saying anything out loud.

so tourists, please - take a page from mr. lincoln, who once wisely advised that "it is better to keep one's mouth shut, and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt."