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.