Saturday, June 23, 2007

one more thing.

i couldn't leave for a week and not tell you to go over to pandagon and check out amanda's most recent feminism friday offering. amanda is always great, but dammit if she isn't spot-on with this one.

lakoff and his framing are nothing new, of course, but amanda does a great job of employing this idea - especially how people think in, and relate to, metaphors and similes - to explain the fundamental divide about sex in this country, and ultimately between fundies and feminists. to be certain, these frames she uses are two ends of a spectrum, but in a media where everything is binary, i think it's reasonable to talk about it in these terms.

a snippet:

I’d say the two major metaphorical frames about sex would be the conservative-sexist one and the liberal-feminist one. The conservative-sexist metaphorical framework of sex is Sex As Conquest. In this frame, women’s bodies are objects and sex is about the struggle to conquer the pussy...If sexual intercourse happens, by definition, the man who gets to fuck the woman has won...[s]ex happens when women surrender, in this model.

...[t]hese separate models of what sex is explain why threads about rape turn into hellholes pretty quickly—sexists and feminists aren’t even speaking the same language, in a sense. The conservative-sexist model of rape is the same one used to define a foul in basketball. Basically, when sexual intercourse happens, the man team has scored a point against the woman team. Each team is allowed some strategies and disallowed others. In basketball, you’re supposed to snatch the ball from the other team, but you can’t cross certain lines or you’ll get a foul. This explains why rape trolls are so eager to find out what the “rules” are, i.e. when they are permitted to force sex. (”Is it rape if she’s drunk? What if she says yes and changes her mind? Is it okay to bully someone into it, so long as you don’t actually hold her down and force her? Are guilt trips okay?, etc.”)

ok, i'm really leaving now. all packed and everything. see you next weekend.

Friday, June 22, 2007

friday cat blogging, attitude adjustment edition.

CatCat does her best to visually expresses how i feel, at this moment, about the city of DC and all of its inhabitants.*

in other words: "DC, back up off me. now."

no wait, i have a better idea! i'll back up off you. way up, into a whole 'nother state. for an entire week. and while i'm there, i won't have to deal with assholes on the metro, or sullen unfriendly co-workers, or pervs who leer at you on the street, or mentally ill homeless people who flick lighters in your face, or cops ticketing people for jaywalking in dupont circle while people are getting mugged at gunpoint for $20 in my neighborhood, or...

anything like that.

can you tell i need a vacation? tomorrow morning, BoyCat and i are off with the family to the chesapeake bay for a lovely, relaxing week on the water. i'll see you when i get back - hopefully with my attitude adjusted accordingly.

*oh, not all of you - there are at least a dozen of you that i genuinely enjoy! to those twelve of you - hugs and kisses and rainbows and unicorns. to the rest of you - piss off.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

babes and books.

my friend amy had the wild and crazy idea to try to read 20 books in about two months. then she had the ridiculous notion to see if anyone else wanted to undertake the endeavor with her. i, unsurprisingly, was foolhardy enough to say "sign me up!"

you can watch us (along with four other literature loving ladies, including two frequent commenters here, roni and cinnamon) chronicle our progress at babes and books, the site that amy kindly set up to document our (mis)adventures in bookland. so stop by and mock us comment - we'd love the conversation!

i'm bringing four books on vacation, with the sincere intent of reading them all. somehow i worry about sleep and wine drinking getting in the way of this goal, but if that's the case, well, that's the case. reading versus sleeping versus drinking? these are not bad decisions to have to make.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

god bless that city cynicism, courtesy of overheard in new york:

Conductor: This is the last stop, Newark Penn Station. No passengers. Please take all your suspicious packages.

--WTC-Newark PATH Train

stuff. literally, my stuff.

as i rifled through my bag as i while walking out of my office building this afternoon, i was amused by the fact that it contained both a pair of sunglasses and an umbrella.

it's good to be readiness.

while the contents of my bag are not nearly as voluminous or as interesting as jack's, i thought i'd list them here, for both posterity and amusement. ok, just for amusement - in the future no one will ever care what i hauled around DC in my workbag except for me.

at this moment, my bag contains the following, in no particular order:

empty tupperware container
pair of brown sandals
cell phone
palm pilot case
pocket sized pack of tissues
mapquest printout of somewhere in maryland
CVS receipt - shampoo, neutrogena shave gel (for BoyCat), trail mix
COSI receipt - caesar salad
contact case
pay stub
post-it note with books to get at the library
new hairdresser's business card
post-it note with directions to a bar
green jelly bracelet won at an arcade on coney island
make-up: concealer, pressed powder, burt's bees lip gloss
peppermint tin (empty, tragically)
my business cards
band aids
band-aid blisterblock stick
nail file
sinu-tab allergy meds
actifed allergy meds
spare pair of contacts
three pens
two pairs of earrings
eleven cents in change

this list says something about my life, i am sure, other than that i am an injury-prone girl who has allergies. what exactly it says, i have no idea - in fact, i am sure i prefer it that way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

i love culture jamming.

check it.

sorry, Kellogg's®, but i think i'll definitely take option number three.


Monday, June 18, 2007

news bulletin that is not really news to anyone, especially me.

it is hot here.

after work, i walked four blocks from the columbia heights metro to a friend's house, and almost passed out. i don't think i'm cut out for these summers south of the mason-dixon. and there's how many more months to go?

also, twin peaks is so good. people, seriously. we are halfway through our summer viewing sessions - jason and i managed to amass about half a dozen other crazy people who wanted to see the series for the first time, or had only seen parts of it and wanted to go through the whole thing - and i kinda can't believe how crazy it was, and how it's so unbelievable that they put that shit on network tv! the FCC wouldn't let them get away with a quarter of that stuff today.

i guess that's why we have cable now, right? so instead of david lynch and dancing midgets, we have david chase and self-reflecting gangsters. though lynch, even with his own penchant for ambiguity, saw fit not to cut the final twin peaks scene mid-moment.

(i don't even watch the sopranos, but as i've told a number of people lately, i'm kinda obsessed with the ending and the controversy around it. i keep reading articles and debates and crackpot theories. i am convinced that a) tony did get whacked and b) the ending was brilliant. for what it's worth, coming from someone who's seen about three episodes of the show in total.)

Sunday, June 17, 2007


in my aforementioned trip to the DC library, i picked up a bunch of good books - some fiction, and some non-fiction i've always had on my "to read" list. two of these are feminist theory: the dialectic of sex by shulamith firestone, and feminist theory: from margin to center by bell hooks.

i've started in on the bell hooks first. i've read a few of hooks's books before - talking back, which i thought was fantastic, and teaching community, which i thought was awful. i saw her speak at BC when i was there, and she was a really engaging presence, still evidently committed and passionate after all this time and all this work. so, i was intrigued to pick up one of her earlier (i guess one could claim more "seminal" works, but i wouldn't, because i think the word seminal evokes the word semen and who wants that kind of association for a feminist book? ok whatever i'm weird, what with the words sounding like other words and all. deal.) books on feminist theory.

it didn't take long for some points to start resonating. her second chapter, "Feminism: A Movement to End Sexist Oppression," tackles the essential but often glossed over question of what the fuck is feminism, anyway? and the problem is: we don't know. even feminists don't know. in feminist circles it is often spun, with varying degrees of conviction and plausibility, that this is an asset instead of a defect - that we are talking about "feminisms" here. i have done this myself; i find the reality of the situation to be pretty evident, but the arguments about its efficacy as a basis for social change dubious.

hooks points out that this diffuse notion of what feminism is will harm us more than it helps us in the long run. whatever the good intentions of feminist movements of old, the concentrated, concise idea of what feminism actually means somehow slipped out of pandora's box way back when, and we seem powerless to be able to get it back, to distill it back down. she quotes author carmen vazquez at length:

We can't even agree on what a "Feminist" is, never mind what she would believe in and how she defines the principles that constitute honor among us. In key with the American capitalist obsession for individualism and anything goes so long as it gets you what you want, feminism in America has come to mean anything you like, honey. There are as many definitions of Feminism as there are feminists, some of my sisters say, with a chuckle. I don't think it's funny.

hooks goes on to point out how the predominant definition of feminism as a struggle for social equality with men served only the interests of white, bourgeois women, and that because white, bourgeois women dominated the discourse, their concerns took precedence. feminism as hooks would like to define it - a struggle to end sexist oppression - is an entirely different story, which aims to deconstruct systems of oppression rather than gain favor within them. it's also, to be realistic, much more of a pipe dream - when is the demolition of an entire ordering hegemony ever anything less, really? but regardless of where one falls on this spectrum of "feminisms," i find it hard not to be troubled by this multiplicity of perspective and position falling under the moniker of feminism, especially when they can be so drastically different in both actions and aims.

i mean, if you take it up to the bird's eye view, is progress possible if we don't know what progress is?

to take it up to the bird's eye of the bird's eye, is the term "feminism" as a locus for an theory and ideology obsolete? (i know, i know, i hate to put the words "feminism" and "obsolete" in the same sentence, because it seems like every five minutes, someone somewhere is doing just that.) i mean in the sense of being useful. is it too dispersed, stretched too thin to have any practical value even to those of us who adopt it willingly?

these are frustrating questions, because even if they were easy to answer, they're most likely moot - the term "feminism" isn't going anywhere, of course. these discussions about semantics are exercises in futility. sure, maybe it's worth starting to turn the wheel of titanics like "feminist" or "pro-choice", but it would be decades, if ever, before any meaningful change happens.

on that cheerful note, i will end. it doesn't mean i don't think the questions are worth asking - hey, i just asked them here - just that the more i think about them, the more depressed i become for feminism's prospects in this cultural moment. the lack of central purpose seems to me to be a glaring omission in anything that wants to call itself a movement. but when you can't get that central purpose back (if you assume it ever really existed in the first place), well, where do you go from here?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

paradise regained.

the internets, they are back. we are still bound to the comcast modem with wires, and thus when we sit with the computer on the couch, we also pull the ethernet wire about two inches off the ground right in front of the kitchen doorway. i feel that this is an excellent way to ensure that neither of us trip and twist an ankle before our upcoming vacation!

anyway, more later. today only involves much baseball watching (three hours of red sox under our belts, three hours of white sox to go), lounging about on the couch, and unfortunately, some allergy medicine in my near future.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

hey, so guys?

the free internet gravy train has dropped us off at the station. that's it. done. the ride's over. so, we are internet-less until saturday (hopefully, at least, as long as the comcast man can give us legitimate and capitalism-approved access).

i'm posting this from a friend's house real quick, but given my no-work-blogging thing, you won't hear from me again til at least the weekend.

ok, urgent bulletin over. you may now continue with your existences.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"like any other pollutant."

a highly recommended read from the WIMN's Voices blog, this offering from Guest Blogger Shakes details the disturbing and seemingly increasing trend of portraying rape as comedy.

shakes is, as usual, blistering and incisive, cataloging the recent prevalence of rape "comedy" floating about in the societal ether, and pointing out how this is a perfect example of something being more than the sum of its parts:

I refuse to let any of it slide, humorless hyper-reactionary though I may be seen to be, because the problem with all of it, each piece of it, is that there are plenty of people who will look at this one ad or video or “joke” and decide it’s defensible. Or that one ad. Or that other ad over there. Or this TV show. Or that movie. Or this radio program. Or that comedy bit. Or this rape joke. Or that rape joke. Or another rape joke over here. Or that guy saying he got “raped” by the IRS. Or that guy having sex with his date who drank too much and passed out. Or these guys who gang-raped an unconscious girl and blamed her for it. Or the local DA who didn’t think the gang rape of a 17-year-old — with witnesses — was not worth prosecuting.

The media-manufactured trail from “lighten up” to “she wasn’t raped even though she had some else’s vomit in her mouth and no memory of multiple men having sex with her” is all too clear. Each ad or video or “joke,” every news article that blames the victim for assaults against her, every radio owner that profits from shock jocks’ misogynistic pandering — each piece of it is part of a rape culture from which it cannot be extricated. All of it contributes, all of it desensitizes, all of it enables, all of it is garbage. Dangerous, toxic garbage. We breathe it in like any other pollutant. And the inevitable result of letting it accumulate is the same as with any other poison — eventually, someone gets hurt.

click over and read the whole thing.

duly noted.

today, on the metro during my commute home, i was sitting in a seat near the doors. the train pulled into my stop, and i got up to leave. there were two people perched on either side of the vertical metal pole between me and the door; they were facing the other direction and hadn't noticed me get up. the doors opened.

"excuse me," i said.

they were both slow to turn around and acknowledge me - slower than i would expect someone to be when the phrase "excuse me" is uttered two feet from them, anyway. but, in light of their delayed reaction to my need to get past them and off of the train, do you know what the next word out of my mouth was?


this is going to take some work.

Monday, June 11, 2007

praise the lord and pass the ammunition.

as if he were not already my favorite person in the world, BoyCat arose at an ungodly hour this morning and dragged himself to the DMV to register our car. three hours, a mountain of paperwork, and one battle of wills with a DC municipal employee later, we have DC license plates! and a DC registration! and a parking permit!! (you know, not that temporary kind that parking enforcement officials can't understand and thus ticket you while you're legally parked on your own street.)

words cannot express my relief. am i slightly anal-retentive? yes. but did wrangling with the DC DMV nearly drive me to the looney bin? yes.

BoyCat: now officially my favoritest favorite person in the world.


in other news, i have been wide awake from 4:00 am to 6:00 am the past two nights. i try in vain to sleep, but i just toss and turn and get cranky and sigh a lot. is this some kind of biological prank my body is playing on me?

so, it follows that i've been very tired during the day.

so, it follows that it took me until 11:30 am to realize that i had never taken off my ratty, commuting flip-flops once i got to the office.

so, it follows that i didn't give a shit, and tromped around in them for the rest of the day.

so, it follows that when i tromped over to CVS during my lunch hour to buy shampoo, i nearly threw a temper tantrum in the hair care aisle upon realizing that a 17 oz. bottle of paul mitchell costs $11.39. why did this vex me so? i've paid far more for far less of a necessary hygiene product. and yet, with the whining and the stamping of the feet.

the ugly flip-flop shod feet.


finally, everyone, humor me. take five minutes, click over to, and read this article by meghan o'rourke about the history of engagement rings. no seriously, i know we've been over this before and you think what you think, that's fine, but it is enlightening! i learned things! like this: it happens there was another factor in the surge of engagement ring sales [in the 1930s and after] — one that makes the ring's role as collateral in the premarital economy more evident. Until the 1930s, a woman jilted by her fiance could sue for financial compensation for "damage" to her reputation under what was known as the "Breach of Promise to Marry" action. As courts began to abolish such actions, diamond ring sales rose in response to a need for a symbol of financial commitment from the groom, argues the legal scholar Margaret Brinig — noting, crucially, that ring sales began to rise a few years before the De Beers campaign. To be marriageable at the time you needed to be a virgin, but, Brinig points out, a large percentage of women lost their virginity while engaged. So some structure of commitment was necessary to assure betrothed women that men weren't just trying to get them into bed. The "Breach of Promise" action had helped prevent what society feared would be rampant seduce-and-abandon scenarios; in its lieu, the pricey engagement ring would do the same.

see? interesting. at least, as interesting as antiquated, mid-century legal matters can be.

Friday, June 08, 2007

aw, look, it's Baby's First Dust-Up.

as i noted yesterday, i was a little overwhelmed (not entirely in a bad way, but overwhelmed nonetheless) at the attention that a little blog post that i wrote on a wednesday night after work had garnered. i know how lots of us itty-bitty bloggers crack jokes about "my three readers" and such, but some days, i'm not really too far off of that mark! so this has been a serious surprise.

firstly, i just have to say that it's really amazing to see how this thing has actually traveled - i'm seeing people come in from other blogs, from livejounals, from myspace blogs, from message boards - and how people are responding to it. it's been an unexpected but really appreciated opportunity to see how it resonated with so many women - how i was not alone in this.

and of course, the comment thread went a little nuts. i know you didn't miss that. the tenor of things as they devolved was not unfamiliar to me - you can find exchanges and arguments like it on any big-level blog at any given hour of the day - but it was different for my own space. (remember, with the three readers here.) so yesterday, i'm sitting here thinking about how i respond. do i talk about what my commenting policy is? do i discuss what i intend with the blog, where debate fits in? do i try to lay down, like, rules or something?

and then i thought, you know, fuck that.

most of the people reading this blog either know me in person or have been reading my writing here pretty regularly - they know what i'm about. they know that i'm open to debate and discussion, and that i like (and often even explicitly ask for) engaging with people on questions and issues. i'm a generally civil person, but i'm up for some give and take. this is all, i think, pretty clear from the historical record of my archives.

but yeah, it's my blog, and i'm not going to start twisting myself into an FAQ-and-comment-policy pretzel. number one, that would be a little ridiculous, since in a week i'll be back to my merry band of commenters not usually outnumbering half a dozen. number two, it's never good enough. as at so many other moments, i presently take a page from twisty on her new and beautifully anarchic system of comment moderation:

...when [commenters] get huffy or become tedious, I may or may not delete their comments. I may or may not delete whole conversations. I may or may not delete comments just because they don’t have paragraph breaks. I may or may not delete comments wherein privilege is spelled priveledge. I might not delete any offensive comments at all. Hell, I might make an offensive comment...I may resent implications. I might bandy words. I may be inconsistent. I might miss the point. I may be in a bad mood, the way certain blamers always seem to be. I might use the word “motherfucker” even though it may be considered insulting to mothers and fuckers. I may never read the comments again. Who can tell what the heck I’ll do? Life is uncertain!

so yeah. i welcome comments. i really like comments. i welcome debate. i really like debate. but i'm gonna run things how i run things, however the hell that ends up being.

ok. lastly, in light of the way the comment thread did transpire, there are a few links that i would like to share and encourage you to peruse. hell, not just peruse, read thoroughly and studiously, as if you might be quizzed on them someday. these are people who have written about the phenomenon of feminist blogging, the commentariat, and those times when the two go together about as well as ammonia and bleach. (hint: this usually has to do with the manly men and the Nice Guys getting involved. i'm just sayin'.) the common thread of all these insightful posts is this: hey men, it is not about you.

somehow, just this one little sentiment can set off much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but that's another story.

without further ado, some enlightening thoughts on feminist blogular discourse:

FAQ: Men Hate You: twisty, as always, cuts quickly and perfectly through the fallacy of the singular "but i don't hate women!!" male response to patriarchy blaming.

Occasionally, Conversations with my Man Are Instructive: ilyka damen documents a fantastic conversation in which she explains why, though it can be painful to admit, men have to get over themselves - at least while attempting to participate in feminist discussions.

How not to be an asshole: a guide for men: the brilliant chris clark at pandagon lays it out in one incredibly simple and easy to follow step. that's right, step, singular.

friday cat blogging, it's a big blogosphere after all edition.

little kitty on a biiiiig couch. or futon. whatever.

she looks very small. small, like my little blog in the vast expanse of Teh Internets. you don't realize what a small shop you truly have until, with one link from a relatively big site, your traffic increases (i'm not exaggerating here, folks) 60 fold. on one day. and you get six times more comments than you've ever gotten on a post.

as the manolo would say: "that is wickity-wack."

as CatCat would say: "............" *blink*

as i would say: "i'd like something with vodka in it. please. now. thank you."

more on Attack of the Crazy Comment Thread later. for now, a cocktail. on the couch futon.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

submitted without comment.

i would comment, because really, why would you not, except that i got up very early to go running, and did i mention that i've barely been running at all in the last month, and when that happens running is like wicked hard, and then i went to the doctor's office, and then i worked all day, and i took some meds earlier that "may cause drowsiness" and now omg guys i am tired lolz!

ok, that qualifies as comment. anyway, courtesy of broadsheet:

The American Life League finally tells the truth

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

above and beyond all this.

this morning, i sat down on the couch, put a bowl of cereal on the coffee table, and turned on the tv to check the weather forecast. after the weather channel gave me the only information i really needed from the morning news, i ignored my better judgment and clicked over to the Today show. the top of the hour news segment was about 18 year old Kelsey Smith, who went missing from a Target parking lot under very suspicious circumstances (security cameras caught what appears to be a woman being forced into her car in the hazy corner of their footage). the segment talked about the rewards offered, the suspects being searched for, the family's pleas.

i clicked the off button on the remote and thought, with a certainty that frightens me to recollect, "she's already dead."

they discovered her body this afternoon.

i thought about her on the train ride to work. and by this, i mean i thought about her and i thought about myself, in that we're both women. as far as we know at this point, she was merely a young woman in a parking lot - i am that woman a lot of times too. and these horrible moments in time, regardless of how long the odds of them happening to any given woman are, exist for all women in the sense that we know it could happen to us. that we could walk out of a Target at 7:10 pm on a saturday and not make it safely to our cars. that we could be the victims of such terrorism, such pointed destruction, such punishment.

and it is punishment. it's punishment for that supreme sin that we all commit every day, that heinous offense the feminist blogosphere has trenchantly labeled Living While Female. nothing galls our patriarchal society to see this offense on constant display - we walk about so freely, talking and making decisions, like we had some right to be acting with something resembling agency - and it makes every possible effort to discourage this behavior. since we are all, however, such uppity bitches who for some reason refuse to take direction and quit being so evident all the time, force is often necessary. harassment, intimidation, abuse, rape, murder: the price we pay for breathing.

you know what makes me sad, though, above and beyond all this? all this, for which i could already cry for a lifetime and despair until i die? what makes me so sad is that we believe it. we women believe, on some collective unconscious level, that the charges against us are true.

last month, joss whedon posted a lengthy lament about the way women are perceived and treated, uniformly around the globe, as inferior and detestable beings. his thoughts were in reaction to the infamous internet video of a kurdish girl, Dua Khalil, whose death by stoning was captured for posterity* by cameraphones in the mob that murdered her. this reminded him, somewhat randomly but understandably, of the trailer for an upcoming movie in which the sum of the action is the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a beautiful young woman. whedon writes,

The trailer resembles nothing so much as the CNN story on Dua Khalil. Pretty much all you learn is that Elisha Cuthbert is beautiful, then kidnapped, inventively, repeatedly and horrifically tortured, and that the first thing she screams is “I’m sorry”.

“I’m sorry.”

What is wrong with women?

I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

whedon is at a loss to explain why the crime of Living While Female is so universally reviled. i am at a loss as to why we apologize for it.

and we do - not just in the movies, where such a scripted repentance could be read as wishful thinking more than anything else. we do it in real life, all the time, under both the most ordinary circumstances and the most unimaginable ones. the most sickening part of reading about the De Anza gang rape case, for me, was this observation from one of the female party-goers who helped the girl to safety:

This poor girl was not moving...She had her one shoe one, her jeans were wrapped around one of her ankles and her underwear was left around her ankles. To the left of the bed there was some condom thrown on the ground. When they lifted her head up, her eyes moved and she said 'I'm sorry.'

she was sorry. she knew enough, even drunk to the point of unconsciousness and physically incapable of movement, that she was sorry about something. because we always are. we are always supposed to be.

you know what i wish? well, i wish a lot of things, really, chief among them being that men would stop hating women so goddamn much. because it's not our fault. whatever it is that actually drives that misogyny, whatever fear is actually coiled up at the bottom of that vast heart of darkness, it is most definitely not our fault.

but barring these impossible dreams, you know what i wish? i wish that we would stop apologizing. it's not easy - we've learned to say "i'm sorry" to try to preempt the whipping, or to lessen the lashes, or just to quiet our own minds while it's happening. we've learned that "sorry" helps us survive. but i wish we could start fighting back, just a little, in little ways.

so women - you women i know, you women i don't, any women who happen to read this, women everywhere, right now - start by not apologizing. don't apologize for just being what you are - don't apologize for the big and little things you do because you're a woman, or because you're a human being who happens to be a woman. don't qualify your thoughts, your opinions, your feelings - don't beat people to the punch of implying that they don't matter. "i know this might sound stupid, but..." "i know this is a dumb question..." "this is going to sound silly..."

stop. it is worth saying. you are worth hearing. women, please, say it, ask it, take it, do it - don't apologize.

there is nothing wrong with you.

*this is a link to twisty's post about the video, which does contain a link to the video, but it doesn't begin automatically. i couldn't bring myself to watch it, and can understand anyone else who can't either.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

some day, yeah.

the doors of the red line slam open - the metro system in this city has very decisive ideas about when the doors will be open versus when they will be closed, and woe to the person who mistakenly thinks that they can influence this matter - and i turn quickly to the right amidst the crush of travelers. it's a right, then a left, and then down the escalator to the blue and orange lines for the second leg of the trip home.

the Five Stairsteps are on my iPod, singing O-o-h Child, telling me things are gonna get brighter. i sway my head a little, back and forth with the beat of it, as i make my way around the corner towards the escalator, dodging a woman with a double stroller to my left and avoiding stepping on the toes of a gaggle of teenage PIRG volunteers to my right. i am pulled along by the little commuter current; i like this song.

i am put so at ease by the sounds coming through the headphones that i almost don't notice that we are backlogged, for some reason, at the top of the escalator. i survey the scene, a bit confused - there are people moving down the stairs, but the group of half a dozen in front of me is not. why would this be? i see a few of them look at each other, bewildered-like, and i don't need to hear their conversation to deduce that they've never been to Metro Center and are trying to figure out whether this escalator is indeed the one they want. i am trapped by the ebb of other commuters behind and around them; i have no recourse but to wait until they make a collective decision.

luckily, this happens a few seconds later, and they step onto the escalator, with me directly behind. as we descend, i see the blue line train sitting there, doors open.

the people in front of me just stand there. this is not suprising, but infuriating nonetheless. when we reach the floor, i can finally dart around them, but i'm too late - the doors whip shut just a few feet in front of me. i curse silently, and make a kicking motion towards the tracks.

the Five Stairsteps coo, "things are gonna get easier...right now."

Monday, June 04, 2007

where was i?

how did i miss the news that last month tom brady was spotted out in new york city...wearing a yankees hat??

the horror. it renders me (nearly) speechless.

thank goodness he has issued an implicit, B-logo-based mea culpa this past weekend, but still. tommy, what is up? i don't care how many other actresses and supermodels you go on to date and/or impregnate, but for god's sake, have some decency!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

summer reading.

i don't know how many readers i've been able to lure back in the few days since my little self-imposed exile ended, however, i have a question for you all.

on tuesday, i plan on swinging by the library downtown and becoming the owner of a shiny new district of columbia library card. hooray for free books! (and hooray for a big city system that actually allows residents to renew books online! can you imagine?? chicago, i know you can't.) so, i am going to endeavor to actually utilize the library more than i did back in chi-town, because a) i really should read more and b) i am not made of money, so i can't afford frequent trips to barnes and noble and/or any more bookshelves.

the query here is this: i would love some "good read" recommendations. i have a few books in mind, but in order to adequately fuel my attempt to read more books for longer than say, three weeks, i'll need more than a few. plus, there's an upcoming family vacation in june that will involve little more than sitting around by the water, drinking, and reading - so in particular i'd love to hear about some lighter reads that you've recently enjoyed. none of that "confessions of a prada-wearing shopaholic good in bed devil" stuff, but i'm not looking for proust either, you know? fiction or non-fiction, i'm open to either!

sidenote: since i don't currently possess a library card, and after we moved in here we didn't have tv for about a week and a half, i was propelled to our own bookcases in search of my next read. as i scanned the shelves, i realized that i'd never read Jane Eyre. can you believe that? two english degrees, and that pillar of british fiction ignored for so long? what was i paying them for, anyway??

(i'm enjoying it thoroughly, by the way. i'm only about 100 pages in, but there's already much tromping about the english countryside, overwrought emoting, and of course a somewhat foreboding villian/hero who gallops around on a horse. i do love the classics.)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

you know what's a great idea?

going out for drinks after work on a friday. generally, that is.

what is kind of a poor idea is going out for drinks after work on a friday and doing the following: 1) having three margaritas, two vodka tonics, one stoli madras, and one free rum-based shot-thingee from the bacardi promo guy 2) not really eating any dinner except some tortilla chips and guacamole, 3) staying out for five and a half hours, and 4) doing all of the above while conveniently forgetting that you have to get up early and help your friends move the next day.

sadly, i didn't receive the following newsflash from my biology until about 2:00 a.m.: you cannot drink like you did in college anymore. honestly. so stop trying. this unfortunate processing delay resulted in an awful night of sleep and a general feeling of zombie-like stupor upon rising. i was barely fit to lift my own two feet, never mind a couch.

but i survived, and luckily only had to do some light to moderate lifting in the process. and now it's a little after 1:00 p.m., and i've managed to eat an english muffin, half a bagel with cream cheese, and a salad, so i feel something resembling human again.

now i need another glass of water.