Monday, April 30, 2007

hmmm. and they wonder why us volvo-driving, latte-sipping eco-crunchy bleeding heart liberals mock them.

i am aware that by this point in time, making fun of NASCAR and its fans has something of a sad sheen to it - a violation of PC "diversity" ideals combined with the shame of picking the low-hanging humor fruit. it's just too easy, and it's kinda not nice to boot.

but whatever. because really? fans throwing beer cans onto the track is bad enough. throwing them in such en masse numbers as to warrant a front page Yahoo! story is worse. and doing it at the venue for which talladega nights: the ballad of ricky bobby is named? well, i don't know what kind of self-restraint you think us new england liberals have, but it's not *that* much.

christ. what's next? cans of skoal and ratty old confederate flag adorned tank tops? because that'd cover the triumvirate of your Stereotypical Hickness. so, think about it, if that's where you're aiming to go with this. until then, we'll be around, snickering behind our hands at your "sport" and its, um, unique displays of fandom.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

"it seems unexceptionable to conclude..."

so, you've heard about the gonzales v. carhart ruling. you probably know it better as the court upholding the so-called "partial-birth abortion" ban (the right wing began its checkmate when it got that wholly imaginary term to stick with the mainstream media, but that's another post for another day). i highly recommend dahlia lithwick's article from slate.com about the ruling, as she does a great job of covering the waterfront of offenses to be found within its pages. it is tragic and infuriating on so many levels, and i don't need to detail them all here. (honestly, maybe i should, but it's too exhausting on too many levels.)

there are, however, three main aspects of the ruling that i think deserve emphasis. many others in the women's rights field and across the blogosphere have made note of them already, but i do it again here because on the off chance that you haven't considered them, i think that you should. because of all of it, all the absurdity and misogyny inherent in this ruling, these three things frighten me the most.

1) The Condescension

Lithwick's article focuses heavily on this aspect of the ruling - Kennedy's amazingly condescending language towards both women and the medical community. if you're like me (that is to say, basically a person without a law degree), you imagine supreme court rulings as full of legalese and dense, difficult to parse language. as decisions handed down by the highest court of the country, you imagine them to be complex and logically intricate documents. in many ways, gonzales is such a document, but in other ways, it is shockingly not. the assertion from the ruling that has gotten a lot of airtime is the following statement: "Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child." these kind of platitudes are a foundation upon which we're suddenly basing constitutional law?? i don't doubt that many people would find that statement to be true - i don't, but again, another story - but regardless, for the life of me i can't figure out how such a sweeping assumption should be the basis for a federal ban on anything.

it gets worse, too. the decision goes on to assert, "whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision..." (of course, 100% of the time absolutely always it does), and then posits that the best way to prevent already regretful mothers from learning of the way in which their fetus was aborted is not to, you know, explain it to them beforehand and allow them to reconsider, but to ban the procedure all together. because obviously, these distraught and morally compromised women can't make that kind of decision for themselves.

and it's not just women for whom the court has decided the legislature can make unilateral decisions - it's the medical community as well! what can't these senators control, really? from the decision:

The Act's stated purposes are protecting innocent human life from a brutal and inhumane procedure and protecting the medical community's ethics and reputation. The government undoubtedly 'has an interest in protecting the integrity and ethics of the medical profession.'

in other words, women and doctors, fret not: we will protect you from yourselves. the level of patronizing behavior and rationale here is breathtaking, and guess what? it's now constitutional doctrine.

2) The Blatant Dismissal of Fact

now, we know that the bush administration has been no huge fan of "the fact" in its seven-year tenure. we know that this anti-intellectualism has seeped into many a corner of the government and indeed, society at large. but i guess i hadn't realized quite how bad it was, or just how disastrous this kind of disregard for the former basis of all legislation and law could be. because i couldn't conceive of statements like this being able to find their way into supreme court rulings:

While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained.

i had to re-read that sentence after i read it the first time, because i truly couldn't believe it. "while we find no reliable data"? "it seems unexceptionable to conclude"?? ok, you seriously just based a federal ban on a medical procedure on the idea that "well, we can't prove it, but we have to assume that some women wish they hadn't done this." this - this ability to legislate and rule based on nothing more than the perceived "truthiness" of the matter - this is what bush hath wrought. i laugh when colbert ridicules it; i nearly weep when the supreme court codifies it.

3) The Ruling Between the Lines

this, of all of it, is the most horrifying, the thing that chills me down to my bones. this ruling is not about "partial-birth abortion." how do we know this? because, on a logical level, this decision is totally ineffective in achieving its stated aims. the language of the ruling reaffirms that "the state maintains its own regulatory interest in protecting the life of the fetus that may become a child." ok. but how, exactly, does this decision protect the life of the fetus? it doesn't. in sum, it merely tells doctors that they can't perform an abortion this way, they have to do it that way. the authors of the legislation tap-danced around this by saying that intact D&E (the real medical term for the procedure) is such a "brutal and inhumane" method of abortion that it essentially helps foster a disregard for human life. and that argument, as explicitly accepted by the supreme court in the ruling, is the golden ticket for anti-abortion activists. because who is now to say that regular old D&E (as opposed to "intact D&E", which is the now-banned procedure) isn't brutal and inhumane? or vacuum aspiration in the sixth week of pregnancy? on this level, the true intent of the legislation becomes clear, which is to open the door to further and tighter restrictions, and ultimately a federal ban on all abortion.

you heard about anti-abortion activists jubilation over the gonzales ruling. this is why. the decision is literally an invitation to start legislating on all kinds of abortion access restriction, because they can now be upheld via two things: weakened legal scrutiny standards (another long story, but suffice to say this ruling lowered the bar in a number of ways on how rigorously a court needs to protect the health of a woman in these considerations) and a nebulous desire to ban procedures that "coarsen society to the humanity...of all innocent human life." and it's coming. north dakota voters thankfully shot down a state ban that could have been used as the basis to overturn Roe, but that only bought us time. now, with gonzales on the books, another state will soon pass an all-out ban. it will be challenged. and it will start winding its way through the courts, on its way to the supreme court's doorstep, where it has an exceedingly strong chance of being upheld.

now, it's just a waiting game.

Friday, April 27, 2007

friday cat blogging, "get the hell out of dodge" edition.

CatCat has a very important request. she needs to get out of northern virginia. right now.




lucky for her, we are very compliant with relocation wants and needs. we went ahead and found her a cute one-bedroom in capitol hill, one block to the metro, hardwood floors, heat and water included. we applied. we got it!

so CatCat's burning desire to become a denizen of the district will soon become reality. and for that, everyone who lives here is thoroughly relieved.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

newman. with a badge. for reals.

this has been a short week, technically. this has been a very long week, literally.

wait, that doesn't make sense. but you know.

so there is some apartment craziness happening. we are hopeful and nervous. (well, it's me with the nervous, mostly.) and really? the postal service can kiss my ass. it's the 21st century - an express overnight tracking system that actually works should not be outside the realm of possibility. especially when my ability to get an apartment depends on it.

(by the way - did you know that there are post office police cars? with red and blue lights on top and everything? as i was hustling over to a downtown post office this morning, i noticed what looked like a cop car parked out front. but it wasn't - it was the "postal police." seriously, i am not making this up. and it raises the question about what the "postal police" would need a police car for - are there postal emergencies that necessitate postal workers flying around the city streets, sirens blaring and lights whirling? if so, what are they?? because i would really like to know.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

courtesy of Overheard in New York, a glimpse into what SisterCat would be like if she were your (as they were once quaintly known) "stewardess":

Flight attendant on PA: Be careful when opening the overhead bins. Items can shift during flight and fall on you, or even, God forbid, me.

--American Airlines flight, JFK

second verse...

ok, i survived the first day. yes, i deserve a cookie or something.

now it is the second day. the excitement has kinda worn off, so i'm mainly left with nerves. many of them. plus - an apartment hunt!

we started really, seriously looking for a new place this week. we've seen two places, and given two places the thumbs down. last night's candidate was a tough decision though, and me functioning on eight previous hours of first day stress did not help things. BoyCat and i were both conflicted about whether to take the place, and i ended up having - i kid you not, i wish i was exaggerating here - a two-hour long freakout about it. i hesitate to call it a meltdown, because no tears were actually shed, but i will definitely give myself an ulcer over the next five weeks if i continue to behave this way.

today - back at it! work, and then a possible viewing at 6:00. hopefully minus the kate tantrums.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

damn.

i wrote a little post in my head this morning, before i got out of bed. but now i've forgotten it.

this is possibly because friday was my last day, today is my first day, and i'm nervous and excited and nervous and thinking about eight million things.

honestly, eight million.

Friday, April 20, 2007

friday cat blogging, last day edition.

as in, last day at my old job! wahoo!

as you can see, CatCat is ecstatic.



and the excitement continues, because i am soon off to the airport to fetch SisterCat, who is here for a three-day weekend visit! i have stocked the house with various types of booze in preparation. there are not many occasions in life that warrant purchasing champagne; the last day on the job and the arrival of a sister in town is indeed one of them.

so blogging will be light this weekend (unless SisterCat decides to take the mike - and that could be interesting). bask in the sunshine. go for a walk. drink something (outside). enjoy yourselves!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

a tip.

i am really late with this one, given that if you did buy girl scout cookies this year, you have almost certainly eaten them all already. but, if you haven't finished them yet...

and some of the leftovers happen to be Caramel deLites...

here's what you do.

you put them in the microwave. for about 10 seconds, and not much longer. just enough to warm them up, and melt the chocolate on the bottom a bit. (oh, and tip within a tip - turn them upside down on the plate, chocolate side up, so you don't end up with all the melted chocolate sticking to the plate when you pick them up.)

i have been rationing for the past month. i have three cookies left. i just ate my second-to-last three, and their incredible deliciousness inspired me to share this little-known cookie trick with you all.

use it wisely. and often. definitely often.

a chill wind, indeed.

we knew it was coming.

but it doesn't make it any easier to accept.

the supreme court has decided not only to ignore legal precedent, but to completely disregard the logical idea that decisions about a woman's health should be made by her and her doctor, not by the state.

it is truly - truly - horrifying. and for anti-choice activists, it's only the starting gun.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

veggie shoe shopping, or, how i learned to stop worrying and love the peep toe.

(i realize that blog posts appropriating the dr. strangelove title should probably, at this point, be subject to heavy fines. but i've gone and done it anyway. so there you go.)

i haven't talked much here about going vegetarian, which i did at the turn of 2007. there were a lot of compelling arguments for it, i had been leaning in that direction for a little while, and the beginning of a new year seemed like as good a time as any to make such a life change. so, i went veg. and it's been pretty great thus far (except for the popeye's chicken right around the corner from our apartment complex - damn that place and its delicious fry-a-lator aromas!). in addition to a vegetarian diet, i also decided to stop purchasing leather. it seemed fairly hypocritical of me to imply that killing animals to eat them is not ok, but killing them to wear them is totally fine. while i'm not throwing away the leather-based jackets and such that i already own (i'm also a big fan of reduce reuse recycle - i'm mid-90s old school in that way), i'm also not buying anything from here on out that involves leather, suede, etc.

so. do you know how hard it is to find nice shoes that are also leather-free?

because it's damn near fucking impossible.

today, i started at marshall's, browsing their sizable shoe department. i need a cute pair of more summery black shoes or sandals. now, to be fair, i'm kind of a picky shoe person to start with - i have definitive ideas about how high a heel i want, how strappy i want, what kind of texture i want, and blahdy blah blah. then add to that my new leather-less requirement, and you've got one big clusterfuck of shoe buying impossibility. i quickly gave up on marshall's and got serious. i went to DSW.

DSW - literally, the warehouse of shoes. if there was anywhere that i could find a manmade and cute pair of shoes, this was it. and still, i wandered the aisles, putting down shoe after shoe with "leather upper" stamped on the inside. "dejected" doesn't even begin to cover my mindset as i approached the final few aisles.

then, a discovery. black. decent sized heel. nice taper. good texture. "all manmade material"!! a total winner, right? the issue - they had a peep toe.

now, here's the thing. i know peep toes are all the rage right now. you can't go two feet without bumping into someone wearing them, or seeing a pair on display in a store window. the peep toes are hot. so what's my problem?? thing is, i just, well...i kinda don't like them. i don't have a rationale or reason for this - i don't begrudge anyone else for liking and/or wearing peep toes. i just always felt like, eh. not for me.

but today, today was a turning point. i was faced with a dilemma - accept the peep toe as it is and walk away from this two-hour shoe odyssey with something to show for it, or rule out the pair based on an inexplicable disinclination towards a tiny, toe-sized hole?

i bought them.



and they're pretty cute, right? i have to admit, they kinda are. so a day that i thought would never come - me, in possession of a pair of peep toes! - has, in fact, arrived. what's next? rope wedge heels??

no. never that. although they are in style now, too..

read the fine print.

you know what really amuses me? advertising. it never gets old. and often, if i don't laugh at it, i'll cry. so when something particularly odd or asinine in a commercial strikes me, i like to take a moment and fully appreciate the absurdity.

for instance. you've all seen that ad for the Ford Edge? it's apparently another attempt at making a littler SUV, a "crossover" vehicle, if you will. (which i won't, actually - it's a glorified station wagon. "crossover" my ass.)

anyway. the ad where the car is driving around in the sky, hugging building with two tires, and that annoying synth-y voice is singing, "i like to live on the edddd-juh"? if you watch the bottom of the screen, some fine print pops up about five seconds in. it reads,

Yes, this is a fantasy. Cars can't really drive on buildings.

there is so much that i love about this fine print. firstly, there's the way it (like most fine print) assumes we are all raging idiots. gosh, i was not aware that certain cars don't have the ability to suspend the laws of gravity - thanks for setting me straight on that one, Ford! secondly, there's the way they try to be all cheeky about it. some highly-educated person in the Ford marketing department realized that fine print = not cool, and "crossover" SUVs must equal cool at all times. such a conundrum! what to do? i know, let's fall back on the most overused cliche about the demographic we're trying to sell to - their deep-seated affection for sarcasm - and insult them with both form and content! it's genius. truly.

the other great bit of fine print i saw the other day was in a Red Lobster ad. i'm sure you've seen it too, it was on about every three minutes last week. it's gist was this: 30 shrimp! come eat 30 shrimp at a time at Red Lobster! doooooo it! you know the one. but have you noticed the tiny-lettered admonition at the bottom?

Prices higher at Times Square and Hawaii locations.

now, this first caught my eye while i was on the treadmill at the gym. and i pondered it for a good two or three minutes. Times Square and Hawaii? it's like a brain teaser. what do these two places have in common when it comes to....shrimp? ready, go.

honestly, i still haven't totally figured it out.

Monday, April 16, 2007

a frustration, and a vindication.

today, i opened the mail. this is an ordinary occurence. what is unusual is the amount staring me in the face when i looked at the water bill. 96 dollars. what?? the last one was half that.

and can i back up a wee bit and also point out that we even have a water bill? we rent, for chrissakes! we're shelling out over $1400 a month on rent alone for a one bedroom near the edge of the metro's reach in virginia. and there are no utilities included. that's right, not even water. for which we are now paying $100 a month.

i cannot wait to find a new place in six weeks. i don't care if i have to devote my life to it during the month of may, by god, we will find a place that isn't costing us close to half our net income to live in.

before i got home and had my evening semi-soured by a stupid piece of paper, i was thinking i would post about the day's little vindication. i emphasize little; it will probably please no one else but me, really. but when i pulled up twisty this afternoon and read this post, i felt a twinge of recognition. in reference to the comment thread of a previous post about the kathy sierra situation, she opines,

I find that feminists of the empowerful, slo-mo kickboxing variety are sometimes impatient with women who have been publicly screwed over by the Establishment. These feminists seem actually to be critical of women on the wrong end of a beatdown...According to these feminists, the women who cry uncle have allowed themselves to become “victims rather than people.” But look here. Who are they trying to kid. Women can be kept in line with intimidation, and the whole world knows it. Aren’t people who have been raped and intimidated and harassed and threatened with death “victims”? What the fuck is wrong with that word? It describes the situation perfectly.


so it took about a year and a half of strolling around the internet to find a post that mirrors my own stated discomfort about the way "victim" has become something of a dirty word in feminist circles:

but in all of this clamoring for empowerment, have we lost the ability to make people see why women deserve to be empowered in the first place? are we unable to convince people that the reason we need empowerment is that we still lack societal and cultural power? women are still victimized, all the time, all over the world. we are victims of sexual harassment. we are victims of rape. we are victims of pay inequity. we are victims of impossible beauty standards. we are victims of double standards. we are victims, every day. why are we so ashamed to admit that?


i posted this almost eighteen months ago, and twisty's post is the first time i've seen the sentiment echoed since then. not just in explicitly feminist circles, but anywhere. what is that about? why is this a question that we are reluctant to take on - hell, that we apparently aren't even considering taking on? i don't know, but i'm just glad to see that i'm not the only one wondering about it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

a recommendation.

you all get comcast on demand, right?

well, if you do, you should go there. open up the tv entertainment section, and go to the sundance channel. then pick the Iconoclasts episode with dave chappelle and maya angelou.

watch it. it's great. engaging. thought-provoking. and all those other robert-redford-ish, park city-esqe liberal-minded adjectives.

that is my only insight of the weekend. but trust me, it's a good one.

Friday, April 13, 2007

friday cat blogging, guest kitty edition.

courtesy of

because often, i feel exactly the same way.

some understanding.

many people around the world took a moment yesterday to eulogize kurt vonnegut, and i appreciated that. and while i have nothing new to add to the mountain of melancholy over his death or to the eloquent expression of why his work mattered (for me, tart's observations hit most close to home), i didn't want to let the occasion pass without marking it here in my own little corner of the universe.

much has been made, in all these obituaries and rememberances, about vonnegut's humanism. i'm happy about that. while i don't consider myself a humanist per se (i don't consider myself anything, really, but that's another issue for another day!), vonnegut's discussions of humanism always struck me as both eminently rational and beautiful in their simplicity. the quote being most circled, understandably in this circumstance, is this one:

I am honorary president of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great, spectacularly prolific writer and scientist, Dr. Isaac Asimov in that essentially functionless capacity. At an A.H.A. memorial service for my predecessor I said, "Isaac is up in Heaven now." That was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. It rolled them in the aisles....When I myself am dead, God forbid, I hope some wag will say about me, "He's up in Heaven now."


the passage i'd like to share here is only one page removed from the prior quote in Timequake, vonnegut's odd little autobiographic last novel. i take the time to quote it here now, sitting in my bathrobe and still rubbing sleep out of my eyes, because it seemed when i first read it - and still, when i re-read it today - an amazing encapsulation of what human kindness should be about.

Humanists try to behave decently and honorably without any expectation of rewards or punishments in an afterlife. The creator of the Universe has been to us unknowable so far. We serve as well as we can the highest abstraction of which we have some understanding, which is our community.


i was just talking to BoyCat yesterday about my fear that my pessimism will overrun me at some point, that one day in middle age i will just throw up my hands and say "fuck it. humanity really isn't worth it anyway." but when i read this, i hope that day never comes. because it doesn't have to be "worth it," humanity, in order to deserve my care and effort and concern. it just has to be the biggest thing that i know how to handle, that i understand in a small enough way to be able to help.

so bless you, mr. vonnegut, for reminding me of that.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

nothing but a number?

body image is a feminist issue, no doubt. sometimes it is tempting for us to relegate it to the back burner, given the myriad other problems facing women in our society; we often feel that there are "more pressing concerns" than how we feel when we look in the dressing room mirror. But the societal bombardment of dysfunctional aesthetic ideals is a real problem and a big one - i don't think i've ever met a woman unaffected by it.

all this said, yesterday i read this post on feministing and its varied comment thread, and something about it has been needling me ever since. not needling in the sense that i necessarily disagree, but needling in the sense that i find the whole thing complicated and kinda exhausting.

the article, in sum, cites a study proving that most people who "diet" eventually gain the weight back. the intro paragraph:

The world's largest study of weight loss by a group of researchers at the University of California has proven, once and for all, that two-thirds of those who diet gain the weight back and put themselves at risk for a host of scary side effects—like heart attack, stroke, and diabetes—in the process. Diets also commonly lead to eating disorders, afflictions which affect 10 million Americans and rising.


not surprising, right? of course. and i even agree with the post's assertion that we, as a society, are continually and blatantly duped by a diet industry that has zero interest in helping us lose weight and every interest in separating us from our paychecks.

but wait - that's not exactly the post's point. it concludes, in bold lettering, "It is your emotions about those numbers [on the scale], not the numbers themselves, that have the power to make or break you." and here's where the rubber hits the road in the comment thread.

there have been many a feminist blog post about weight and body issues, and many have resulted in the same sniping arguments about fatness, thinness, health, and acceptance. i don't mean to rehash it all in detail here. but i'm troubled by assertions like these, made after a few commenters chimed in to say of course yo-you dieting is insane and beauty standards are wack, but there are more holistic, lifestyle-based ways to lose weight if you need to:

"I'm sorry, but any conscious restriction of food intake with the goal of losing weight counts as 'dieting' under any reasonable definition."

"So when researchers say that dieting doesn't work, they literally mean that any effort to restrict food intake is likely to be unsuccessful, or even harmful."


and this is where i start saying, out loud, to myself, wait, what?? you're trying to tell me that "any effort to restrict food intake" is probably a bad idea? newsflash: we do that every day. does this commenter actually know a living person who eats whatever they want, whenever they want all the time? because that's absurd. there are things called biology, and physiology, and nutrition - they are important! they matter! i "restrict" my food intake at a baseline level because it's proven as the healthy thing to do.

maybe you can say i'm stretching the meaning of these arguments past what they were supposed to mean. in parsing them within their context, i could cop to that. but i think the argument you see play out in the rest of the thread is that same old binary of "fuck beauty standards, total fat acceptance!" versus "fat is not healthy!"

of course, the "fat is not healthy" crowd does themselves no favors by often vastly overgeneralizing and thus donning the strawman suit. (hey, i'm all for health as a realistic and worthy goal as far as one's weight, but there are women who've got 30 pounds on me and could slaughter me in a 5K. so, your premise sucks.) and i dunno, the whole thing is so tiring, and you start to feel like whatever you think and however you feel must be wrong somehow. wanting to eat healthier? well, you're obviously "restricting your food intake" and thus a failure to the feminist movement. want to tell the world to kiss your fat ass and bring you another slice of cheesecake? well, society knows full well how to shame you for that one.

and for most equality-minded women, we just ping-pong in between the two arenas of guilt. different scenery, but essentially the same place. and this is feminist discourse, feminist thinking! how is there ever any hope for rehabilitating mainstream media? i dunno. i just came away from the whole thing a little sad about this state of affairs.

sigh. pass the ben & jerry's.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

observed, today.

on the walk from work to the metro:

two yellow gummy bears, about a foot apart, lying on the cobblestone by a lamp post.

i like to pretend that this is some sort of sign from above. but...

*pauses for dramatic effect*

what could it mean?

that i will one day be mauled by a bear - near a post of some kind? that someone i know will soon bear asian twins? that i'm eating too much sugar?

so many possibilities.

Monday, April 09, 2007

the truth?

for some strange reason, i'm afraid to say it. embarrassed to say it. why? i'm not sure.

i am worried. all the time.

i am afraid. all the time.

this is true.

i stand on the corner waiting for the light to change, my hair hanging low against my ears, vertical blinds swinging through my peripheral vision. the sun's angle casts my shadow long against the curb, and a steady stream of water - from where, i have no idea, as it has not rained in days - curls around the edge of the street and past my feet. i realize that i don't know in which direction i'm moving; i realize that a little part of me is suffocating, somehow.

i'm a dull edge. i'm a butter knife. no, worse - i'm a spoon, sliding thick through life in a strange, indiscernible arc.

there should be a euphoria in me, now. have i misplaced it? has someone stolen it? has it deemed me an unworthy vessel and left me alone entirely?

i'm not sure.

but i have to get out from under this.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

inspired by the employment gods, the baseball programming gods smile upon me as well.

what a day for lounging around! white sox game on WGN at 2:00, red sox game on ESPN at 8:00. love that cable television.

we were just discussing, though, why new england seems to be the only area of the country that doesn't carry the WGN Superstation. jason was perplexed by the fact that, upon my arrival in chicago, i had never heard of WGN - apparently it has both a local incarnation and national presence. who knew?

i mean, even his grandmother in rural georgia gets WGN! wherefore not boston? tragic indeed.

though apparently the loophole is if you get DirecTV, you get the Superstation, regardless of where you are. so, whenever we find ourselves living back in new england, it looks like we're gonna have to consider the dish...

Friday, April 06, 2007

pick up the receiver, i'll make you a believer.

at 12:15 this afternoon, i put in my two weeks notice.

i did this because half an hour earlier, i received a phone call from the head of development for a women's rights organization here in DC. and she offered me a job in her department. and a lot more money than i'm making right now.

so, i quit my current job. and i have a new one. an amazing one. an almost unimaginably ideal one. one that doesn't even quite feel real yet, because the perfectness of it all has yet to fully sink in.

people, this is why i have been a walking (and writing) embodiment of The Crazy for the past 30+ days. this is that annoyingly unbloggable stuff. but now, after a full month of interviewing and agonizing and chewing my fingernails to the quick (which, ok, i do regardless), i can tell you about it.

well, in a sense i can tell you about it. that sense is pretty much what i've just said. i've decided to go the overly way-├╝ber-cautious route and not provide any more identifying details about my new employer, and i certainly won't be blogging about any work-related stuff. the last thing i want to do is sabotage my dream job with my irritatingly self-absorbed ramblings! i also, as has been customary since i moved to DC, will not be blogging from work. ever. no matter how much the chicago tribune and/or manolo's shoe blogs tempt me. so, sad as it makes you, my internet peeps, you'll still only be hearing from me on evenings and weekends.

wow, that sounded really boring. like some kind of legal document or usage contract. so did i mention that i got a new job?? and a raise??? holy motherfrigging sweet baby jesus of incredibleness!

i can't even convey to you how excited i am. if i even attempted it, it would involve enough emoticons to choke a horse. and the written renditions of high-pitched squealing sounds. and no one likes those - not even me, the one making them. so suffice it to say, i am happy. very, very happy.

and thanks for putting up with me and my internet weirdness for the last month.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

courtesy of Overheard in New York, another precocious city kid. so young, yet so wise to the ways of urban life:

Little boy: The pigeon knows no fear.

--Central Park


how very obi wan of you, child. now what can you tell me of the cockroach and the rat?

and a picture.

this got me near hysterics the other day while i was at the office. this was a problem, as i work in a cubicle. i have never fought so hard in my life not to just lose it and laugh uncontrollably, you know, in that "holy shit i'm cracking up and i can't stop and now i'm cracking up more" kinda way.

this says something about my mental state as of late, i think.

a comparison.

things that i like, generally:

thunderstorms.

things that i don't like, when they descend at 4:30 am on a tuesday, causing the power to flicker on and off, electronics to beep and squeal angrily, and me to not be able to fall back to sleep for 45 minutes:

thunderstorms.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

strange days.

i always knew that the first few bursts of spring weather after a long winter made people do strange things. however, i think yesterday takes the cake.

i was standing at the corner of M St., waiting at the crosswalk to continue my daily morning trek from the metro station to the office. the forecast for the day was 80 degrees, but it was starting off slowly - it couldn't have been more than 50 degrees as i stood there. i watched a woman approach the curb direct across the street, stop, and wait along with everyone else for the light to change.

she was probably in her mid-20s. short, maybe 5'3'' or so, and rail thin. her hair was lazily pulled back in a knot, and she had on a blue button-down shirt and khaki capri pants. she had two bags, one laptop and one smaller catch-all, slung across her shoulder.

she had no shoes on.

and i don't mean like, "and you should've seen how flimsy her flip-flops were, i mean, she might as well have not had any shoes on!" or "who walks around the city in gym socks, anyway?"

i mean, her feet were bare.

i stood there, aghast. i tried not to stare. but i was thoroughly flummoxed. i mean, no one walks around the downtown of a major urban center with no shoes on. not even bums and crazy people. the only rationale for such a behavior that i can imagine is waking up and thinking, "you know, i'd like to get a communicable disease today. oh, and perhaps step on a needle or a rusty nail!"

the light changed, and we walked past each other, me surreptitiously scanning her face for any latent signs of mental illness. and, though entirely inconclusive and inadmissible in a court of law, my spot-check deemed her clear of The Crazy. so what on earth was she doing wandering down a city street with no shoes on? and seemingly completely unperturbed by it??

baffling.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

am i weird?

so i've developed this little habit.

when i run at the gym, i like to watch the food network. that's strange, right? in a very counter-intuitive kind of way. but it's actually not some weird masochistic thing or anything - though the food does often look really tasty - i just find it makes the time go by a little faster.

while on the treadmill today, watching gia de laurentiis make an eggplant, tomato, and penne dish, i pondered why this habit of watching the food network is working for me. i think that it's largely due to the fact that cooking shows are easy to watch with the sound off (rachael ray, i'm especially looking at you here). at the gym in our apartment complex, you have to plug into a little machine attached to the cardio machines in order to get sound, and really, i'd always rather run to music that the chatter of the tv anyway. so i can watch a half hour cooking show on mute, easily follow what's going on, and even play little guessing games as the meal progresses: what kind of raw meat is that, anyway? hmmm, what kind of salad will rachael ray serve with buffalo chicken pizza? and what kind of crazy cocktail will sandra lee come up with today??

however, i have to say, the cooking show combined with a 5K run has its off days. for example, at about the 2.9 mile mark today, i could no longer bear to watch ina garten making french toast. the milk, the butter, the big floppy pieces of bread squishing around in it - gack. if i'm going to puke on the treadmill, i damn sure want it to be because i've just freakishly run a half marathon, not because of televised dairy products.

overall, though, i highly recommend the food network as an amenable running companion. hey, maybe you'll even get an idea for a new dinner to make when you get off the treadmill. (i wouldn't know, as i usually get tripped up somewhere between the "boil water" and "drop ingredients in" portion of any recipe, but hey, it might work for you.)