Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Current goals involve exercise, vitamins, getting fruits and veggies, cleaning my house, getting to work on time, and the hardest one right now: "one less thing," in which I get a check if I donate, sell, or throw away one thing I no longer need. Alas, junk mail does not count. It has to be something I paid for.
momma mama mama mamma maaaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaa
mommeeeeee mommy mimi momo mamamamamamamamamamama
mamamamamamama MOMMY MAMA MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM
momma? momma! MoM!! mom. mom? mom. mamamamamamama.
mamamamam. mommeeee. mommy mommy mommy mommy mommmmmmmmaaaaaaa!!
MOM. MOMMA. MAMAMAMAMAMAMA.
[repeat 24/7 for approximately 18 years]
complications of pregnancy:
low amniotic fluid
high amniotic fluid
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Larry Rivers, America's No. 1 Problem, 1969
acrylic on shaped canvas sheathed in plastic with cut plastic affixed to silver metallic paper
Reproduced without any permission whatsoever.
[haters, before you get all hinky, Larry Rivers was a MALE ARTIST, so get a fucking grip already]
Seven-year-old steps on a Little Debbie snack cake. Seven-year-old walks all over the courtyard with smushed icing and cake on shoe. Seven-year-old tracks Little Debbie into classroom. Does seven-year-old know he is tracking crap every where? Yes. Does he care? Hell no.
Friday, December 15, 2006
pick up the nearest book, look at page 123, reproduce sentences 6-8:
from Mira Schor's "Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture"
"Success can lead to paranoia. Those young men everyone looks to as examples are all obsessedwith those who might want to get at them, knock them down. Because of their success they see themselves as targets, as indeed they had targeted the previous generation, for the link between progress/success and forms of patricide is grafted onto the belief structure of Western civilization."
[this is actually the second nearest book, as the nearest is a dictionary, which has no sentences in it]
Monday, December 11, 2006
Every Monday I go to PostSecret.com and see the fresh batch of anonymous secrets. They're sad, or happy, or weird, or funny, in different combinations. You know that each person telling a secret is relieving himself or herself of a burden.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
What is bugging me right now is the comment section, which I used to blissfully ignore. But now that I know it's there, it's hard to ignore. Especially when there are 150 comments. So I read, I am amused, I learn a few things, I get irritated, sometimes I comment, but lately, not so much. Why? Because yahoos will eternally plop themselves down into someone else's blogspace and be predictably tiresome. Commenters on feminist blogs seem to get mired in the same conversations over and over and it's really getting on my nerves.
There are the people who complain that the Blogger or Commentors are too strident, too militant, not "nice enough," and proceed to explain in a patronizing tone that more people would pay attention if only they would tone it down a bit. Because, you know, asking nicely for an end to patriarchy would surely work; if only we had thought of it before! Use a soft, well-modulated voice, passive tense, wear lip gloss, and tilt your head. It'll work, sweetie! Go ahead, try it!!
These same folks often get their knickers in a twist because somebody disagreed with them, vehemently, perhaps impolitely even (shocking!), and suddenly the commentor feels that everyone is picking on them. Wah, wah, and wah. You walk into someone's house and act an ass or say something disagreeable, someone is going to call you on it. Same with someone else's blog. If people disagree with you and you don't like it, don't go there. Attendance is optional.
Then there are the straight girls who think they're being disagreed with just because they're straight. At every feminist blog I've visited, this is not true. They're being disagreed with because they're wrong. Or misguided. Or ignorant. Or whatever. But it is a convenient distraction from the substance of one's opinion: "You hate me because I'm not a lesbian!" Jeez, could you get any more stereotypical? Absurd. I'm a straight girl and have never had my opinion discounted for that reason, so far as I know. Now, if I started making ignorant unqualified assertions on behalf of the lesbians of the world, I'd deservedly take some flak, since I'd have no right to that. Likewise, I sure as hell wish other hetero commenters wouldn't decide to make comments on behalf of all the other man-fuckers in the house. I didn't elect a Speaker of the Hetero Female Population, so leave me out of your pronouncements, dig?
Then there are the people who don't understand why their rhetorical or universal questions about feminism, patriarchy, capitalism, why the sky is blue, and why a frog aren't answered immediately, with footnotes, by everyone in sight. They need to shut up and read a book instead of expecting the world to drop everything and explain it all to them on demand.
Finally, what's with the CONSTANT FUCKING FLOW OF PERSONAL ANECDOTES? Yes, I know I'm shouting. I know it. Why, oh why, must any pronouncement of one person's opinion on any feminist-inflected topic open a floodgate of personal testimonies about the joys of blowjobs, housework, childbirth, high heels, corsetry, BDSM, bonobos, cats vs. dogs, macs vs. pcs, etc.? Jeebus. It's almost like there's an outside agitator at every blog whose job it is to shout into the midst of any fruitful feminist conversation "blowjob"!! or "high heels"!!! (or both) ...and thereby distract, befuddle, and irritate every participant, thereby resulting in no conversational progress AT ALL. God. Why does it all come down to shoes and makeup and hair and sex in these conversations? Sweetie, I don't care what kind of shoes you wear. I really don't. Do you care what kind of shoes I wear? I didn't think so. So quit it. Seriously. (Unless you want to write a shoeblog, in which case, go see Manolo's Shoe Blog for lessons on how to do it. But let me reiterate: do it on your own time, on your own blog, mmmkay?)
The best part is when, after someone has threadjacked a comment section in one of the aforementioned directions, someone else says, stentoriously: "Don't you people have anything more important to talk about? Shouldn't you be worrying about Darfur or China or world peace instead of something so silly and petty as clothes and fellatio?" Bog, I love that. Because, you know, anyone who talks about sex or clothes or makeup is clearly incapable of thinking about anything else, ever, at all.
I'm trying to quit reading comments, really I am, but I am powerless to resist the comment count. 125 comments! 175! 200! How can I resist such lively discourse?
I read Bitch PhD's blog fairly often, and she's doing a favor for a friend, who wants to track the speed of a meme. He says:
"What is the speed of meme? People write in general (typically truimphant) terms about how swiftly a single voice can travel from one side of the internet to the other and back again, but how often does that actually happen? Of those instances, how often is it organic?
Most memes, I'd wager, are only superficially organic: beginning small, they acquire minor prominence among low-traffic blogs before being picked up by a high-traffic one, from which many more low-traffic blogs snatch them. Contra blog-triumphal models of memetic bootstrapping, I believe most memes are—to borrow a term from Daniel Dennett's rebuttal of punctuated equilibrium—"skyhooked" into prominence by high-traffic blogs."
So I thought I'd play along. Go visit Acephalous' blog and link to it. If you're going to MLA and go to his talk on memes, you can be proud knowing you've contributed to Knowledge and Wisdom.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
I was googling images of "winkle-pickers" just now because someone mentioned her "purple winkle-pickers" in a thread on I Blame the Patriarchy that was sort of about shoes, but not really. Turns out winkle-pickers look like the boot you see here. Twisty's post is actually about alien shoes that would change the world and then rocks would inherit the earth, and maybe a few bacteria, so I really figured a conversation about winkle-pickers might in fact count as thread-hijacking. Thanks to google, I didn't need to pester the winkle-pickers' owner. (it's a fine turn of phrase, isn't it? Winkle Pickers. I want to say it out loud, as much as possible. I vow, yes vow, I will find a way to work it into conversation at some time in the next seven days).
So I'm pleased to have found a picture, curiosity sated, but then I realize something: I've landed in fetish-boot territory. Even better, in VEGAN FETISH SHOE territory. Who knew you could buy vegan fetish boots? This would make more sense if shoes that look like this:
.... were not being advertised as "cruelty free." (I know, it's not a boot, but it's on the same page as the boots, and no, I won't be linking to the website, so find it yourself).
You know, just because a shoe isn't made from dead animals, doesn't mean it's not cruel. Because that, my internet friends, is a cruel shoe. It hurts my eyes, my aesthetics, my fashion sensibility, and my feminist sensibility. Those are shoes about submission, designed to keep a woman from walking, running, or even standing upright. So how does your tool of the patriarchy, your submissive fetishist, collate her own "willing" submission with her opposition to the dominance & torture of wee animals? How does that work? Because I don't get it.
Monday, November 20, 2006
2. Thanksgiving. I can already feel the inevitable metamorphosis into a pissed-off teenager which results when my mother starts talking to me as if I'm twelve. Basically, during the holidays, everything I do is wrong. It's infuriating.
3. The pathological liar mentioned in a post - a long ago post - was apparently, pathetically, Googling himself late last Thursday night, rather than spending time with his loved ones, or, you know, sleeping or doing something non-pathetic. Turns out, if you google "his name + blog," you find me. I confess it threw me for rather a loop when his name appeared in my comment alert from Blogger but now: Baaaa haaa haa! I say. Ba ha and ha. It's so nice to know that some things never change, like, say, unrepentant liars.
4. Because my best friend since 7th grade is now married, she has two families to meet, eat, greet with for the holidays. It hadn't occurred to me that this would be the case, and it totally interferes with my own personal agenda. Dagnabbit. Now I don't get to hang with her until I'm home for Christmas.
5. A Yankee I had a fling with like four years ago emailed me last week to say he was going to be in Pensacola & Mobile on business, did I want to get together? I hadn't heard from him in the 2+ years I've been dating the poet, so it was quite a surprise. Ironic that he was going to be in Pensacola, which is where the poet lives, which of course is what I told him, after I let him hang for a couple of days. Had to figure out a nice way to say "bugger off, got a boyfriend," don't you know.
6. Have been ignoring my Netflix movies to watch Alias: Season Four, my birthday present from the poet. I don't love any show that's on now nearly as much as I loved Alias. There aren't any kickass girl shows on right now. It's all procedural crime dramas, poking dead bodies, reality bullshit, and lame sitcoms. You'd think I'd be all up in Lost but it just hasn't held my attention.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Want evidence that the Republicans are completely unapologetic, unhumbled, and downright determined to be the same racist assholes they've always been? Check it: Trent Lott is back in Senate leadership, after a secret ballot that voted him in 25-24. Secret so that none of the senators that voted for him can be held accountable.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Sometimes, I find myself blathering on too long on someone else's blog, and I think: why am I littering her comment section with my only-slightly-related musings? So then I come to my senses and just respond over here, littering my own personal space with said ramblings. So.
Look, I live in Mississippi, so I take my political joy where I can, right? So I have this shit-eating grin on my face all day yesterday, despite Trent Effin Lott's re-election. (and because Gene Taylor, my beloved democratic representative, got re-elected).
Then I go to the gym after work, in my continuing good mood, and mid-workout I look up at the monitors and see the quote in which Shrub says he can recommend a good interior decorator to Nancy Pelosi to help her change the drapes. I damn near fall off the elliptical trainer, I'm pretty sure I cussed out loud, and my heart rate went up directly. BOG, he just can't let up for a minute, can he? And I can see his frat-boy grin, shrugging shoulders, "what? what'd I say? heh heh" if someone were to say, what the fuck? What the fuckity fuck are you doing making snide suggestions to Nancy Pelosi about hiring a decorator?
In other news, red state chatter is incorrectly passing the word that Pelosi intends to immediately send more troops overseas, which is not even truthy, it's the exact opposite of the truth, according to her press releases, which I googled this morning. Google 'em yourself, though, because frankly I'm too lazy to run the search again. Try this one: Nancy Pelosi more troops to Iraq
To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - nose height.
Dear Dogs and Cats,
The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years -- canine or feline attendance is not required.
The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!
To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:
To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:
1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why they call it "fur"niture.)
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.
Remember: In many ways, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
1. Eat less
2. Don't ask for money all the time
3 Are easier to train
4. Normally come when called
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don't smoke or drink
8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don't want to wear your clothes
10. Don't need a "gazillion" dollars for college.
11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children
Monday, November 06, 2006
It's a book swap website. Get a point for giving a book away, use it to mooch a book off someone. The cost of media mail shipping is low, and you're basically getting a book for the cost of shipping another one to someone else. You can specify mailing within the US only if you don't want to deal with international shipping, which I certainly don't. Dig it.
So I'm flipping through the Autumn issue of Tribal Art magazine, and lo, what do I find but an ad for a mummy. Unwrapped, Nazca/Huari, c. 600-1000 AD. With "extreme cranial elongation," the result of head-wrapping during infancy and early childhood, practiced primarily by cultural elites. It's been on display since the late 19th century, so at least I know the mummy was dug out of its grave before UNESCO and other international laws prohibiting grave robbing. Price available upon request. Jamieson's website also has a mummy of an Egyptian child for sale, including x-rays so you can be sure you have a REAL mummy, not a fake.
But "legal" doesn't make it okay. I'm surprised it's STILL legal to trade in human remains. The dealer is in Canada, and I'm not familiar with Canadian law, but he is advertising in a magazine with a strong American readership. I've always gotten the heebie-jeebies at museums with human remains on display. The peat bog mummy at the British National Museum bothered me. The Metropolitan's show of late Egyptian mummy portraits, also disturbing. Depressing.
Displaying dead bodies, the bodies of people lovingly wrapped, interred, or mummified, seems wrong to me. Distasteful. Disrespectful. And wrapped up, deeply entwined, with the racist history of Western anthropology and ethnology. These bodies on display are almost always of people of color, not Europeans. They are Indians or Egyptians or Africans or South Americans, not whitey. They are someone else's grandmother, not yours.
There are people who think NAGPRA (the Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act) is bollocks, that museums should be entitled to keep what they have no matter what. But then I say to them: "Mainly, they just want their grandmother's bones back." This way of looking at things never fails to stop a whiner in their tracks.
They just want Grandmother's bones back.
Is that so hard to understand? So why are we as an industry - museum/collector/gallery - still dealing in human remains? I don't have answers. I don't mean to demonize this particular dealer because he's one of many in the trade dealing in sacred things, in human remains, in things stolen and looted from tribal cultures. Because some of these goods have been legitimately sold or traded by their rightful owners. Museums, anthropologists, researchers, all benefit from the study of material culture of ancient civilizations, whether mummies or pot sherds. But there comes a point where the line is crossed, and corpses on display is definitely on the other side of that line.
[that contemporary body art show where people donated their bodies to the artist to be flayed & artistically embalmed, that's a whole other story, because the participants were willing]
Friday, November 03, 2006
The sheik says women who expose themselves are at fault for sexual assaults.
The nun who taught my tenth grade history class - Sister Mary Henry - called me up to her desk one day. I was wearing "civilian" clothes for an off-campus event instead of my uniform. It was the early 1980s, and I was wearing pink corduroy jeans and a buttoned-to-the-neck ruffled pink & white striped shirt of the duran duran pirates via Esprit sort (look, it was the EIGHTIES, okay?), and penny loafers. Sister Henry looks me over and says "Clothes like that are the reason so many young girls get raped."
Seriously. I was wearing LONG PANTS and my shirt was buttoned up to the NECK. The pants were probably form-fitting but not obscenely so, or mom wouldn't have let me out of the house. Damn, I thought I was pretty cute in that outfit. And here she is, this bitch nun, telling a 13 or 14-year-old girl that it's MY FAULT if I get raped. I hated that woman, I swear to bog, and I don't see any difference between her and Sheik Asshole calling women "uncovered meat."
Fucking Catholic school. It would've actually been easier to rape a girl in the uniform - a skirt - than in that civilian outfit. Which, by the way, 90% of the men I meet, when they find out I went to Catholic school, want to know if I "still have the uniform" because apparently, it's a near-universal fantasy to fuck an underage catholic school girl, or a grown woman pretending to be one. Oh, HELL NO. I do not have the uniform. I still can't wear houndstooth, won't wear houndstooth, will not even consider purchasing houndstooth. Three years in black& white houndstooth was enough.
You know what was the only good thing about it? No boys. No daily sexual harassment from my classmates, as I had endured all through co-ed junior high. No favoritism of boys in science and math classes. No worrying about how I looked or whether the boys in my class wouldn't like me because I was too smart. I think the only reason I dated in high school is that the boys I dated assumed they were smarter than me, having no in-class evidence to the contrary.
But at what cost? Having nuns tell me I'm at fault if I'm assaulted. Knowing my peers got thrown out when they got pregnant but their boyfriends didn't get kicked out of their own Catholic school. Bog, and religion class! Jeebus. Religion class and our annual "discussions" about abortion and birth control. And no AP classes because we had to take Home Ec, and Religion, and Study Hall. What girl needs AP classes, or Latin, or Calculus?
And this at the "college prep" top girls school in the city. The boys schools started in the 8th grade with freshman-level courses, so their senior year could be almost entirely AP or college-credit courses. Five years of Latin and Greek, calculus, AP physics, english, math, language.... they got all of that. All girls schools started in the 9th grade and none of them offered those opportunities. It could've been worse: we could've been Holy Angels, the wife-in-training school, but still, we didn't get the education our male peers did.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
one black skirt
one pair overly tall lace-up boots
one Morrissey t-shirt
a lot of black eyeliner and some really dark red lipstick
and a freakin enormous purple wig?
I'm not sure, but I'm leaning towards saying I was a Goth Winona Judd.
Did I mention that the wig is FREAKIN ENORMOUS? I bought it for a few bucks at an after-Halloween sale at Kroger's a few years ago, and only just now busted it out. It's large. And purple.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I saw this article on the Times and knew Twisty would handle it for us. She always does. I however am motivated to pontificate about Halloween costumes a bit more than is really necessary on someone else's blog. So here you have it:
Non-slutty costume recommendations that I have had success with in the past:
pirate (not slutty pirate).
cleopatra (with date as Anubis).
my inner child.
Once my date and I went as Steve & Terry Irwin.
Primary considerations for a Halloween costume:
can you drink in it? without a straw? (full-head monster masks are RIGHT OUT)
can you go to the bathroom in it without assistance?
will you be able to use the bathroom alone once you are drunk?
are the shoes comfortable and safe? because, seriously, if you drink, you don't want to be wearing 4" platform mary janes.
These answers should all be YES. You can get to your cocktail, you can pee all on your own (like a big girl!), and you won't fall over and bust your ass because you are wearing ludicrous shoes.
The most important piece of Halloween advice, however, is this:
whatever else happens, don't drink whiskey through a straw.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
"Over all, the researchers said, employed mothers have less free time and “far greater total workloads than stay-at-home mothers.” The workweek for an employed mother averages 71 hours, almost equally divided between paid and unpaid work, compared with a workweek averaging 52 hours for mothers who are not employed outside the home."
I also note that, while the first paragraph refers to a sharp increase in the time fathers spend doing housework and childcare, they're still only doing about half the work of women, on average.
Housework: Men, 7 hours. Women: 13
Childcare: Men, 10 hours. Women: 19.
No wonder women who can afford to are doing less paid work: they end up working almost a whole other job on top of their 40/week when they have children.
I do like this bit:
"But, the researchers say, the conventional wisdom is not borne out by the data they collected from families asked to account for their time. The researchers found, to their surprise, that married and single parents spent more time teaching, playing with and caring for their children than parents did 40 years ago."
Which suggests to me that people who think women who work outside the home are bad, evil mommies should put a sock in it.
Now, I'm no sociologist, but I do recall from Soc 101 that sample size & makeup, not to mention data-gathering techniques are important for understanding surveys. I guess the book has all of that but there's no mention in the article of who was surveyed, how many were surveyed, etc. It does say it uses self-reported data, which can be pretty unreliable.
One is Over the Hedge which is indeed cute animated fun with cartoon villains and a happy ending.
The other, alas, was The Break-Up which was marketed as a cute, funny, relationship comedy. No. Wrong. It was the worst year of my life, compressed into two hours. When I wasn't about to burst into tears, I was like a deer in headlights. There were two really funny moments, involving Jennifer Aniston's brother, but everything else was just not-funny. To add insult to injury, the ending was totally Hollywood bullshit.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I love that Joe Horn. Maybe not so much as I loved me some Sammy Knight, though. Joe's a trooper, a team player, a go-to guy, and I dig those little dances he does when he scores a touch down.
Friday, October 13, 2006
This link goes to one of the best essays ever on how the political and the personal really do go hand-in-hand. It lays out the dynamics involved in the push-pull of getting a man to actually do more than give lip-service to gender equality.
It was written THIRTY SIX YEARS AGO and yet it is still as relevant today as it ever was. For example: My last relationship got mired in an endless battle over his lazy ass expecting me to do all the nasty housework, and re-reading this just raises my blood pressure, I swear. I once even printed this essay out for him and he FREAKED OUT.
Now I live alone, and I still hate housework, but at least it piles up at the one-human-per-household rate, instead of twice that. And I'm certain, very certain, that I'll never live with a man again unless we agree in advance that he cleans up after himself AND we hire a maid for the shitwork AND I get my own bathroom. And that there will be no whining on his part, and no need for reminders or complaints on mine. This is an entirely bourgeois solution, as it costs money to have an extra bathroom and a housekeeper, but I cannot come up with any other solution that doesn't involve CONSTANT VIGILANCE, which is work in itself.
My mother would say, when I was fighting with the ex over housework, "well, you just need to get over this," and I'd say, HOW? I see two solutions: 1. become the maid and clean up after him 24/7, or 2. live in filth. Neither of these was an acceptable solution, and I certainly couldn't afford to pay a housekeeper.
I constantly hear women around me complaining that they can't get their husbands to pick up their socks, or put away their dishes, or what-have-you. My marital advice, at every wedding shower I go to, comes from my mother and is highly valuable. I doubt many people follow it, but here it is:
"Never do anything for a man once if you don't want to do it for him for the rest of his life."
In other words: pick up his socks once, he will forget how to, assuming that you "don't mind," or "it's more important to you," or perhaps he doesn't think about it at all. He'll just quit doing it himself. So just don't start.
I just never understood how anyone who's met me would assume I'd turn into Betty Fucking Crocker the minute he gave me my own keys to the front door. I've had this happen more than once, and I just don't get it. The question, "Have you met me?" comes to mind.
Why would a man be attracted to a feminist woman with a strong personality, a lively intellect, and an active social & intellectual life, and think that this very same person would be totally satisfied and fulfilled by hours of drudging, nasty, thankless housework? If I don't want to do it for myself, why in hell would I want to do it for someone else? And, conversely, if a man loves and respects his partner, why would he want her to be his maid? I find it degrading and disrespectful. I went to college so I wouldn't have to clean up after other people. I'll never understand why a healthy, fully functioning grown man thinks it is some other person's job to follow around cleaning up after him, unless of course he has hired that person and is paying them to do so.
Here's Kim Gandy's much more articulate and well-researched response to the girl-killing school shootings I blogged about last week. Still, she's saying what I'm saying, which is why is the media ignoring the fact that these "school shootings" are really about killing girls, not about schools?
"For the most part, reporting on these two recent killings has glossed over the fact that girls were the chosen victims. Had students from a specific racial or religious group been targeted for murder, it seems likely that the killings would have been deemed hate crimes immediately and vigorously. Not so when gender is the target."
Friday, October 06, 2006
Oxford American Southern Sampler 2006
Bust Magazine - which I have some issues with. Beginning with their apparent position that feminism is mostly about shopping and orgasms. Which it isn't. However, it's better than the New Jane (see the archives for the reasons I'm breaking up with Jane). I think I'll give Bitch a try soon. I never much liked their online content, but I hear the paper version is good.
a colleague who just started chemotherapy
the poet whose arm is still hurting
a deadline - next Thursday - for a paper I haven't started
thinking about applying for jobs in:
West Palm Beach, Florida
why bullies are the way they are, because fuck, a bully can ruin your whole goddam day.
why I sometimes still want to call my ex and tell him all the things he did wrong, five years later.
what I'm going to have for lunch.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I've been thinking about this all day: what the fuck are we going to do about this sick sad world turning girls into the sacrificial victims on the altar of male insanity?
These guys are molesters, so they kill little girls. They have sexual ideas about little girls, so they kill them. Little girls. Die. Because men blame them for their perversion? Because they are unattainable? Why?
addendum: I'm tired of the media acting like this is a "school shooting" story, because I don't think it is. It's a girl-shooting story.
I named myself Jezebel on account of we spent a lot of time debating fundy christians on 504-area-code WWIV boards and a name like Jezebel just put them right out of sorts from the git-go. The Guild was my home away from home, and I still miss it. But also there was the Ugly Truth and Cat's Cradle and a bunch of other boards I used to call all the time. I was never a hacker, never into code, so my visits to a BBS were social and political in nature. I never got long distance codes and dialed long-distance boards for free, but a lot of my BBS's had networked discussions, so you could find yourself in long debates with users from all over the country. Topics ranged from politics to education to book clubs and music, you name it. There were flame subs, poetic war subs, pagan subs, wiccan subs, recipe subs, and I'm sure a zillion others I've forgotten because I didn't fool around with them. Lots of tech/code oriented subs, I'm sure.
Every christmas newbies with new modems would flood into the boards and make a nuisance of themselves by acting a fool and TYPING IN ALL CAPS and all the other crap that newbies do. One christmas I got a 2400 baud modem and I tell you whut: I was ROCKIN the BANDWIDTH. Woot. So I made friends with people online: Cerridwen, HappyDogPotatohead, Steveo and Minx, Dee, and Shinobi and Slasher and more. The Ugly Truth started hosting crawfish boils/barbecues/beerfests in City Park and a lot of these friends crossed over from BBS friends to real-time friends or at least acquaintances. The Ugly Truth in particular was a sort of tattooed scruffy alternative bunch of geeks.
I'm still Jezebel(la) but once the internet - AOL and Prodigy and Compuserve - got more widespread, the BBS community got smaller and smaller. Eventually the sysops gave into the inevitable and took their boards down. WWIV wasn't the only BBS platform, there was at least one other I can't remember the name of, but I stuck to those. Most WWIV boards had lists of numbers for other BBS's - I guess like today's blogroll, yeah?
Now I find the occasional online community on a blog somewhere, where there will be a thriving community of regular posters, but these tend to be cults of personality. One person rules the roost, and determines and directs the topic of conversation. A good BBS sysop was truly a moderator, teaching newbies, banning fools, and directing conversation while keeping subs maintained. Chrysalis at the Guild was in my view the perfect sysop. I bet she's still got an email address somewhere with the name chrysalis in it. There are people who still call me "Jez," after all.
So here it is, over fifteen years after I first dialed up the Cat's Cradle & the Guild & the Ugly Truth, and I'm finding blogs and livejournals written by people I met online back then. One BBS friend, Cerridwen, recently became real-time friends through LiveJournal with a mutual friend I went to high school with. She's Zeldakitty now, but when I read her posts I was sure it was Cerridwen. Sure enough. Cerridwen was the final sysop of the Ugly Truth, which was so beloved that it was passed from one sysop to another (Naked Jester, Steveo, then Cerridwen).
It's a strange little world these days.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Thanks to Twisty.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I kind of want to rant about Dan Savage's suggestion that a woman who's attracted to a man who can't be bothered to pick up after himself just, you know, suck it up and BE HIS FUCKING MAID, but you know what? Others will handle that, and with much more skill than I care to throw at the problem. Personally I think she needs to refer the guy to a good maid service.
Instead, I'm interested in the exchange farther down the page, where a fat girl writes to Dan with the problem that lots of boys want to fuck her, but none want to date her. Or, to be blunt: they won't be seen in public with her. Dan's answer starts down the right path, wherein he explains that young men are so concerned with other people's opinions that they are embarrassed to be seen dating the people they actually are attracted to. He got it partly right, and for that I applaud him. However, herewith, an open letter to "No More Dater Haters":
My chubby sister, you have one important lesson to learn, and it is a very hard & depressing one, but listen closely: A man who wants to fuck you doesn't necessarily LIKE you. In fact, some men who don't like you at all want to fuck you. They're all of a breed: racists who dig interracial porn; homophobes who are repressed homosexuals; woman haters who fuck women; and fat-girl haters who want to fuck fat girls. The time is now to kick all of the motherfuckers out of the bedroom who will not be seen with you in public. Demand that your lovers also date you, and you'll find they break down into two groups:
1. The ones who bail because really, they don't like you. Put a boot in their ass and put 'em on the Do Not Call list. They're no loss.
2. The ones who really do like you but are so concerned with what other people will think that they are afraid to be seen dating a fat girl. These boys need to GROW UP. If you really like one of these boys, tell him he needs to butch up, grow a spine, and be man enough to stop cowering in fear that his buddies might snicker because he's not dating a barbie doll. If he's not mature enough to do this, you know what to do: dump the motherfucker already.
Now, phase two: what next? I have a few suggestions. First, consider moving southward if you aren't already here. Practically everybody is fat & happy in the south, and you see men of all sizes dating women of all sizes. I've never been so suitor-less as when I lived in the snowy north. Down south, not so much a problem.
Second, date black men, latinos, or men of any race who grew up in working class families. I find there's a lot less fat-hating & fat-fearing in these communities. Your average middle-class white boy is a waste of time. Hardly any of them are smart enough to escape their training and do something that might be "weird" to their friends & families. They're more interested in appearance than substance, so let 'em date the skinny princesses.
Third, the corollary to Dan's advice: if you're dating the young, have patience, as it may take a few years to get both sex and companionship from the same guy. And make no mistake: if you want both, you deserve both. Do not settle for less.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Totally entertaining, totally useless. Enter your name or any other group of words, and the generator spits out all possible anagrams. My favorites:
CHANCE LILAC HER JELLY
ARCANE CHIC HELL JELLY
CHANCE HAIRY CELL JELL
ACHE RECALL CHIN JELLY
EACH LA CLINCHER JELLY
CALLER JAY LICHEN LECH
CLEAR CHINA LECH JELLY
CLEAR ACHY LICHEN JELL
ACHY CAR CHENILLE JELL
ACHY JEAN CHILLER CELL
CHANCELLERY JAIL LECH
CHANCRE HELICAL JELLY
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I confess, I bawled all the way through the opening ceremonies. Bono was singing about my city! Irma Thomas sang the national anthem! The Edge! I totally should've been there.
If you do not get the Oxford American, hie thee at once to your local independent bookseller and GET THIS ISSUE with its awesome FREE CD. Even better, go to the Oxford American website and subscribe. The CD sampler alone is worth the cost of admission.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Watching: This may take a while, as it consists of lots of mumbling interviews between Dylan & clueless British reporters.
Craving but valiantly resisting the temptation to eat this stuff until I'm sick as a cheese-filled dog
Never forget we are all only temporarily able-bodied. Sooner or later something is gonna quit working.
Point: I'd make a terrible nurse. When someone is in pain and I can't fix it I grow faint & nauseous or I get wound up & start pacing & twittering, and then if I get snapped at, I snap back, also I need more than 2 hours of sleep in a row to be a nice person, so I can, you know, go do what needs doing, but I'm not so good at the warm & friendly bedside manner part of the job. Not that I ever considered being a nurse, but still, it's confirmation that medicine was definitely not a career path for me.
Point: the medical industry is not patient-friendly. The ER sent him home with grit in his tore-up arm. Nobody referred him to a burn specialist til almost a week after the accident. I had to make a seriously pain-in-the-ass nuisance of myself at the bone doctor to get the doctor into the room a mere FORTY-FIVE MINUTES after the time of the appointment. The bone doctor's nurse handed a man with a completely non-functioning right arm a giant stack of papers to fill out. He's right handed, naturally. And the papers asked the same questions over, and over, and over.
Point: somebody needs to get on with it and develop beam-me-up technology because it's a long way to Pensacola from here.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Got junk? You know you do: old cell phones, PDAs, whatever, that are sitting at the bottom of a drawer somewhere. Go to this website to find out how you can help a charity and clean out a drawer at the same time.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
State's library is pretty nice. State's football stadium is a freakin colossus. And I hear the football team mostly sucks, so why spend fifty bazillion dollars on an enormous stadium? Not that I care about college football.
I resisted the temptation to get the Best Biscuit in Mississippi at the Parade gas station on the way there, but it was touch-and-go for a while there.
As irritating as teaching can be, I really do miss being on a campus. It was nice to futz around, have coffee with some people, and poke around the library. Haven't done that in much too long.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I'm just sayin'. Kind of makes the board meetings, navy blue suits, and all that worth it.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Okay, so you know he was bound to die in a freak wildlife-related accident, but it still makes me sad. He was only 44 and he's got two little children.
Back when I had cable, I loved watching the Croc Hunter. The ex and I once went as Steve & Terri Irwin for Halloween, matching khaki outfits and all.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
woman # 1: Are you going to see that Talladega Nights movie?
woman #2: No I am not! It's just a MOCKERY of NASCAR.
[this reported to me by the poet. I was there but in a state of near-catatonia caused by the wailing, piercing alarm going off in the camera department. I was informed that said alarm would probably continue for some time, as camera staff had recently departed for the night]
At the Shell Station food store:
"Did you see my new car? I'm riding in STYLE, it's a brand new Ford Expedition. I got in a wreck, did you read about it in the paper? I was in the paper.... I was in a wreck up in Stringer, and the paper made it sound like it was my fault, when THEY hit ME.... Didn't you see it in the paper?"
Unfortunately I cannot duplicate the sheer red-necked-ness of the hardcore white trash Piney Woods Mississippi accent in print. The poet thinks I should just carry around a voice-activated recorder at all times because in truth, I do witness gems of this sort on a regular basis.
And, last but not least, seen but not heard: A big dude and his mini-me friend, decked out in sunburns, hunting camo, and faux Oakley shades, shooting at deer on the deer-hunting game, the one with life-sized plastic rifles for shooting. Man, they were having some fun on a Friday night at the Walmart.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
|You Failed 8th Grade Geography|
Sorry, you only got 5/10 correct!
I can be a US citizen, but I can't pass 8th Grade Geography? Hell, damn, shitfire. I could've passed if I'd had a globe or atlas in front of me, I'm sure of that much.
Of course, I actually refuse to be held responsible for knowing information NO ONE EVER TAUGHT ME. I never took geography, as I was not required to. Through 8th grade, it was Social Studies. In high school, I took History for two years. Maybe three? Nope, two, World History (aka history of where white people lived. I learned nothing about Africa, Asia, or the Americas outside of the US, as I recall), and American History with Sister Mary effin Henry, the evillest nun in the history of evil nuns. (yes, sister HENRY, you read that right. The Dominicans are curiously gender-neutral in their choice of saint names.) The only teacher who got me involved with maps was Miss Gould, my 8th grade Louisiana History teacher. We had to learn all 63 Louisiana parishes. (64 if you count both sections of...that one that is in two sections).
Point being, however, you can't hold a kid responsible for what adults fail to teach them. And why would I know where Uruguay is? It's in the Americas somewhere, and if I had a map, I could find it.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
via Manolo for the Men:
Can you get brain-freeze from cuteness? Can you implode because all of your sci-fi goober nerves are being tweaked at the same time as your loving-cuteness nerves AND your irony center? It's all too much. I don't know who this guy is in the Vader suit, but he's a freakin' 21st century pop culture mashup GENIUS.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Okay, so it's basically a design problem, but it's still a problem: I am sick of looking at stacks of CDs in jewel cases. I want to put them into pretty CD binders and get rid of my growing forest of CD racks. West Elm has some nice canvas-covered ones, $30 a pop, which are the best I've found so far. Canvas covered binders, in cream, brown, or light blue. They're nice, but not, you know, *exciting* or pretty or anything else very wonderful. However, they are Not Black Nylon, which is a rare thing indeed in the world of CD binders.
Apparently Case Logic still employs a design strategy that is aiming at the 16-24 mostly male demographic. I don't WANT black nylon, or black plastic, or anything with flames or skulls or psychedelic graphics. I don't NEED a zipper all the way 'round, because this isn't for carrying around in my car. I just want nice binders of CDs on the shelf next to (or nearby) my stereo. Is this so much to ask? To be fair, Case Logic's competitors are on the same page, as well.
I even emailed Grace at Design Sponge to see if she knew of any good CD binders/books. If anyone has her finger on the pulse of office supply design, I knew it would be her. Sure enough, she turned me on to a great office supply website (See Jane Work) but, alas, no luck there. Not with CD books, anyway. They do have tons of amazing cool office stuff, pretty file folders and pens and things that I want one of each of everything... I mean, wouldn't work be much more fun if folders looked like this?
instead of the boring manila envelopes above, which are there because I'm too lazy to figure out how to make the pictures I upload go where I want them to.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Apparently this week is "Poor Pitiful Me" week for white boys at the New York Times. This article is about guys who won't marry because they're afraid they'll lose their houses. Or because they're afraid they might get divorced. Or because they're afraid they might have to compromise on something, anything, EVER.
Now, really: is this a story? Seriously? So some middle-aged guys aren't married - not because they might have some reprehensible personal habit, or perhaps they just like being single - but because they don't have college degrees? Because, no matter what the interviewees say, the Times reporter keeps harping on the no-college-degree business. Which is a load of crap, in my view. I live in Mississippi where less than 25% of men have college degrees,last I checked, and most people are married.
Maybe it's a pity party. Maybe it's a made-up story where there isn't a story. I don't know, but I'm tired of reading about the woes of gainfully employed, healthy white men who don't have exactly what they want at all times. "I want a boyfriend and a wife!" "I want a good job, not just any job!" "I want a perfect, risk-free marriage, or none at all!" Wah, wah, and wah.
These stories have all been in the top-ten most emailed in the last few weeks. Because, what, there isn't any other news?
Friday, August 04, 2006
So this is Bennet. He's five years old and does not like strangers. In fact, I think only two people besides me have seen his entire body in person. Usually, if you hang around long enough, he'll come into the hallway and peer around the door to see what's going on, but he won't come out and say hello. However, when I'm home alone, he's all over me. He will actually shove his head under my head, demanding petting. He's learned from Ferris the trick of demanding attention by sitting smack on top of my right hand - my mousing hand - while I'm sitting at the computer.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Oh, these poor gay men who want to have it all - the benefits of marriage AND a boyfriend to boot. This sums it up:
“I love her, but she wants me to be in love with her,” Dr. T. said. “She wants to be my one and only. Everything we have will be at risk if, God forbid, we divorce.’’
What exactly do "we" have in this scenario? HE wants "everything" and SHE wants her husband to be loving and monogamous. I'm not saying an open marriage is impossible, but that isn't what these guys want. There's no mention in this article of the wife's point of view - what she gives up in a sexless marriage to a man who isn't devoted to the marriage. He just likes the benefits (social acceptance, health care, child care, domestic assistance) but I just don't see what a woman would be getting out of it. Personally, I'd bail. I have to say it: these guys sound like selfish whiny bastards who don't give a shit about their wives' happiness & fulfillment. It's disappointing that the author couldn't be bothered to consider it from the point of view of the "beard."
I guess what it comes down to is this: I don't see any real difference between a married man who believes he's entitled to a girlfriend on the side and a married man who believes he's entitled to having a boyfriend on the side.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Powerful stuff. Pregnancy really is a giant biology experiment, isn't it? Dangerous, difficult process.
Having not had children, I don't really "get" why women want to tell their baby stories, over & over, in excruciating detail. Pregnant women I know get addicted to that "Baby Stories" show (is it on Lifetime?) but somehow I am inclined to think ignorance might be bliss. Apparently as soon as you start looking pregnant, everyone wants to tell you their labor & delivery horror stories... what is that?
I guess the project is something like that, only with pictures, and come to think of it, no one's pregnancy stories follow up with "and now my belly looks like bread dough, my calves are veiny, and I've got scars and stretch marks here, there, and everywhere". The baby stories usually end with delivery - or at least the narrative switches from mother to baby once delivery is complete.
The pics make me suspicious of the Hollywood chicks who are back in flat-tummied form six weeks after pregnancy. Do they just hand off their children to nannies and spend 24/7 working on their abs? Do they all just get tummy tucks while in the hospital? I've seen really young women bounce back to their old figures, at least clothed, but it seems like the changes are more than the shape of your ass or the bulge of the stomach.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
...whose wives, when they have them, apparently enable them in their lazy ways. Get this slice of shit pie:
"Their two incomes are not enough to cover expenses, which bothers Mrs. Beggerow, although not enough to badger her husband to take a job, any job. She respects him too much for that, she says."
Bless his poor widdle heart, the Big Important Man doesn't want a less-than-perfect job, so he's gonna sit on his ass reading novels all day when he could be working. I bet these lazy-asses vote Republican and are opposed to welfare, but that's exactly where they'll land if they don't get off their princess asses and get a job.
Gawd: entitlement, it's the fucking theme song of the patriarchy and it makes me want to spit.
Arrogant, lazy, entitled motherfuckers. I especially am fond of the ones who figure if they don't work, they won't have to pay child support. That's nice.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Monday, July 24, 2006
You've gone and fucked it all up. I used to love getting my Jane Magazine in the mail. I'd drop everything, pile up on the couch, and read it cover to cover. It was a chick magazine for grownups, not a "fashion" magazine, nor a mommy magazine, but an all-kinds-of-cool-girl magazine. Real Jane didn't try too hard to be cool. But New Jane? New Jane is killing me.
1. Real Jane was about attitude, not age. New Jane keeps blathering on and on and on about how its readers are twenty-something. I find this alienating.
2. Real Jane gave both sides of the story; New Jane has had two articles about how much money you can make in the sex industry, but doesn't even mention that there might be a downside to making money doing internet porn, or getting paid to have sex with your boyfriend while a pervert wanks off in the same room with you.
3. Real Jane published interesting articles with celebrities; New Jane publishes two-page puff-pieces. With Heidi fucking Klum? Seriously? I have read more incisive interviews in Readers' Digest and Us Weekly. What the hell?
4. Real Jane's naked issues included men and women both; New Jane's "naked issue" features only very young, very nubile women.
5. Real Jane used complete words and sentences; New Jane is littered with nauseating cutesy abbreviations. For examples: "totes" instead of totally; "prob" not problem. Seriously, NO ONE is too cool, too hip, or too busy to read the word "problem" instead of "prob". This is standard written English, people, not a fucking text
6. Real Jane was a no-bullshit enterprise. New Jane keeps publishing shit that sounds totally made-up. Like this month's "it happened to me" article about getting thrown out of someone's apartment naked and having to take a taxi home and walk up the street, naked, despite the fact that the author's clothes were thrown over a balcony onto Park Avenue. Why not pick up the clothes and put them on before hailing a cab? I call bullshit. There was also an article a few months ago - more like a longish blog post in the ink/paper medium - describing the high-flying sex-ay lay-day life of a bisexual Manhattan girl who has three dates a day. Seriously, even if it's true, it's boring. I don't care how many people some random person is hooking up with on a daily basis.
7. Pretty much everything in the New Jane reads like a mediocre blog entry, not like an actual magazine article written by an actual writer. Why are you dumbing down? Some of the same writers are there, but obviously the editorial department is cutie-fying, stupid-fying, dumb-ifying the text. Cut it out.
This leaves me with NOTHING. NOthing, I tell you. Fashion magazines are one step removed from hate speech, the other women's magazines are about mommy stuff and/or diet stuff, and then there are the specialty mags (like women's health, or yoga, or whatever)... but Jane was the only multi-topic magazine for women who aren't consumed with diapers, hubby, dieting, and planning their weekly menu.
Every month since New Jane debuted, I've thought: this sucks... what happened... well, I'll give them another shot. I think the time has come, though: I'm going to have to break up with Jane.
It's not me, it's YOU, New Jane.
PS: Would somebody please tell me what Jane Pratt is up to? She's the only editor who's ever made the women's (and girls') magazine format smart and likeable.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
son of a bitch. my head is spinning. The article linked begins with this sentence: "There is not a single movie theatre in Jackson, Mississippi."
This is patently UNTRUE. I've been to the movies in Jackson. What the fuck?
Also, it also refers to Jackson as a "small poor Southern town." 2 out of 4 gets you an F, sir. It is neither small nor a town. And "poor," well, how do you define that, exactly? As in all of America, Jackson's African Americans are poorer than whitey, but Jackson isn't exactly wallowing in the stench of poverty. It is a smallish city, but by no means is it hooterville. I'm not a fan of Jackson, and particularly dislike the abundant snooty Jacksonians - but damn!
Friday, July 21, 2006
Do you need to get out of Lebanon because the Middle East is all fucked up? The government will arrange it, but they'll bill you. And let's hope they don't contract it out to Halliburton, because you'll be paying off that "repatriation loan" with your social security check.
Bring it On! and
WTF is it now?
Monday, July 17, 2006
1. At the salon, woman being shampooed next to you describes how her mother-in-law got bitten by a copperhead snake after disturbing a nest of them while cleaning up hurricane debris. Not four hours later, while at the doctor's office, you hear a man describing how his wife got bitten by a copperhead snake. After disturbing a nest of them...while cleaning up hurricane debris.
Really, what are the odds?
2. You pass by the funeral home (the only funeral home in town, or at least the only one white people use)* and see a long line snaking through the parking lot, in July heat. Given the size of the crowd, you wonder who died, and why you didn't hear about it at staff meeting this morning. You plan to inquire with your boss the next day, as he will surely know who it was.
*Seriously, I hate to admit it, but I live in a town with two funeral homes, one serving whites, one serving blacks. It's not like, the LAW, or anything (we do live under federal US law, after all), but it's the way it works out.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Clearly Fred Flare has inserted some sort of spyware into the shopping portion of my brain and figured out exactly what I want in every possible shopping category. I could buy one of EVERYTHING on this website and not regret it, I think. I'm all of a twitter, a swoon, with the shopping vapors, and trying very, very, very hard not to bust out the credit card and do major damage.
Cute but not twee, ironic but not snarky, and, believe it or not, everything is REASONABLY PRICED. Holy crap, it's unbelievable.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
In any event, I spent a few days in NOLA on Thursday & Friday, seeing a cousin who had been out of the country for two years. *Excellent* catching up with her; I'm hoping her years abroad are coming to an end and we can see each other more often now.
Thence to Pensacola, where the poet and I loaded up and headed eastward to the Atlantic Coast, specifically Ponte Vedra Beach, just south of Jacksonville Beach. Turns out that, if you look for a hotel a few days before a holiday weekend, lots of hotels are sold out! Huh. Who knew. Actually, though, the Ponte Vedra location worked out nicely. It was an easy drive to Jacksonville and a slightly longer but relaxing & scenic drive to St. Augustine.
St. Augustine, by the way, is a MOB SCENE. It's pretty cool but jampacked with tourists. I'd like to go back in the off-season (IS there an off-season?) The drive down the A1A is lovely, though. And the beach at Ponte Vedra is nice, good waves, not too crowded or rowdy. The poet was ruing his decision not to bring his surfboard, but he got some body-surfing in. I wish I could see without contacts so I could really let loose in the water, but being blind in crashing waves (even small ones) kind of scares me. The pool at the hotel is more my speed. At the beach, I stick to the kiddie-pool zone. Either way, though, I like being in the water. Must have something to do with my watery Scorpio nature. It's like the opposite of a traffic jam: all the stress is leeched out of my body, whereas in traffic, I turn into a whirling ball of stress.
Jacksonville has a great vibe, good sushi & thai & seafood restaurants, and the traffic doesn't suck. Also the Chamblin Book Mine is the most amazing bookstore, truly. I spent $70 on mostly out-of-print things, and could easily spend every saturday afternoon there, trading in books and hunting down treasures. You should see their Beat Literature section. I wanted the whole damn thing, at my house, I tell ya. I did buy a copy of Kerouac's On the Road, as my copy has gone by the wayside. No bookshelf is complete without a copy of On the Road.
Monday, June 26, 2006
The Mississippi Delta: it's just hot up there, what can I say? Also, never accept a dinner invitation without inquiring whether the dinner is 1. a club meeting, and/or 2. followed by a guest speaker. I'm just sayin'. You might get trapped in an hour of self-involved speaking by a loathesomely inane local writer. It could happen to you. Don't let it. Do, however, make an appointment to visit Mama's Dream World Museum if you care for folk art or needlework.
Thence onward from the Delta to Oxford, MS: a great place to visit for a day. A day is all you need. Go to the Ole Miss Museum, go to the Faulkner House (Rowan Oak), and mosey around the Square for some recreational shopping. Square Books really is a fine independent bookstore. I bought the newest Margaret Atwood short story collection, a memoir about artists in East Hampton called De Kooning's Bicycle and a Moleskine notebook with squared (instead of lined) pages. We stayed at the Inn on campus, which is totally civilized, reasonably priced, and has an excellent pool. The breakfast is continental, so if you need protein, bring your own. Who ever heard of a college with its own hotel? Oxford is such a country club, I swear. It really is a pleasant place to spend a day but I could never live in such a country clubby environment. It'd get real old real fast. My friends who grew up there hated it.
Monday, June 19, 2006
All good. Seriously.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
In the meantime, I have wasted multiple hours in the last day or so trying to get OpenOffice to work right. Their presentation module - "Impress" - is fine for text presentations, but it's a glitchy mofo when you're dealing with big graphic files. And every presentation I do is all pictures, all the time. It's crashy, it's buggy, and after it saves, the pictures get noisy and sometimes disappear altogether....I spent hours at work messing with it then tried it at home on the laptop. Uh uh. I'm just going to have to get the business office to suck it up and pay for real powerpoint.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Ferris, aka the Beast from the East, adopted me by getting locked into our tool shed when I was living on Morrison Road. He's a bully, but he loves his mama, and that's all that matters, right?
Bennet was a porch kitty on Claiborne, near Broadway. He's more refined than Ferris, and considerably nervous-er. Probably due to being raised by Ferris, the thug.
Representing Metairie, but born at Baptist Hospital as all proper New Orleanians are.
Get yr shirts & stickers at Dirty Coast
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Do not miss this if you have ever seen an episode of Mr. Rogers. I grew up watching Mr. Rogers, as so many people have, and even today if I run across a rerun, he just makes me feel better.
He does a brilliant job of explaining why public television, why educational programming, why kids matter, why their feelings matter.
the event: graduation
the hotel: Overland Park, KS
We flew into KC Friday afternoon, drove to Overland Park, got briefly lost (thanks Mapquest!!) then hotel-ward, then dinner at the Hereford House, a steak joint. My parents had to have steak in Kansas City, and thankfully Hereford House is a forward-looking 21st century steak house, so they had a lovely vegetarian polenta dish, with spinach, artichoke hearts, asparagus, and a nice light tomato sauce.
Saturday: lunch at Free State Brewing Company for a lovely garden burger and Ad Astra Ale ("the first beer brewed in Kansas since pioneering days"). Free State was a necessary, must-go, stop on the Lawrence tour. Then to my doctoral hooding, which was a whole lot of chaos that ultimately culminated in a very nice ceremony. Plus the robe with the big poufy sleeves and velvet stripe is way cool. The "hood" is blue & red & black, all satin & velvety. I graduated with my friend D., whose parents somehow managed to end up sitting right next to my parents for the hooding. Afterwards, dinner at my advisor's house with D. and another PhD graduate and our respective families & dissertation committees.
Sunday: Dear gawd, it was hot in all of those robes. We gathered at the top of the hill, waited what felt like many hours, processed down the hill and across the field and into the stadium and up the stairs:
5000 grads, 20,000 guests. It was quite pomp-y and circumstance-y. Also, very hot. Did I mention that it was hot? So, technically, it was only 83 degrees, but in black polyester & velvet, it's like center-of-the-sun hot in an unshaded stadium bleacher.
Monday: checkout, a ride around Kansas City. Ward Parkway is gorgeous, we drove past the Nelson Atkins Museum(alas, closed on Mondays) & saw the giant shuttlecocks by Claes Oldenburg. Thence to the Country Club Plaza, designed in 1922 as "the nation's first outdoor shopping district." Good architecture, free parking, and a ton of fountains. We had cheesecake for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, which I'm pretty sure would not have been approved by any cardiologist anywhere, ever.
So graduation was a long process and at moments, something of an ordeal, but altogether worth it. When I was melting in the heat, I thought "never again!" and then I realized: NEVER AGAIN. I'm done with school. You have to call me Dr. Jezebella now. Woot.
It seems like the only person whose life is "simple" in this scenario is Daddy, who now has a full-time housekeeper instead of a wife with a paying job who needs him to do half the housework and childcare. Sure, there are exceptions, but this is the general arc of the simple living narrative. Also, most people who advocate simple living started out wealthy and are downsizing by, for example, selling their multi-million dollar house and moving to a less expensive neighborhood. Wow, I wish I had thought of that! I should just quit my million-dollar-a-year job, cash out my stock options, move to the country, and start making my own soap! What a great idea.
Tuh, I say, and pshaw.
which reminds me of something I heard the other day:
If housewives were paid fair wages for their labor, they'd earn over $100k a year.
Or, put another way: if you hired someone to do all the stuff a full-time housewife does, it'd cost you $100,000 a year.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Dirty Coast Press, Nice Shirts : Be a New Orleanian. Wherever you are.
I've got the stickers, now I need the t-shirt. People need to not be thinking that the crisis is over.
I can't even believe Chris Matthews asked our mayoral candidates, on national television, "why rebuild New Orleans?" I would've flown over the podium and knocked him out, I swear. Did anyone ask "Why rebuild Manhattan?" after 9/11? Did anyone ask "Why rebuild San Francisco?" after any of the various earthquakes? Did anyone ask "Why rebuild Los Angeles?" after the riots? Good thing Mitch & Ray are capable of taking a deep breath and actually answering such an idiotic, offensive question.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Drinks on Friday at a yuppie bar, drank something called "DW Lemonade" mixed by a very cute dreadlocked bartender/mixologist. The lemonade disguises the vodka content. Dangerous stuff. The bar, now called "Bridge Lounge" is full of smug yuppies who like all those "something-tini" drinks. I used to go there when it was a filthy punk-rock venue called the "RC Bridge Lounge" with cheap PBR, wooden pallets on the bathroom floor so you didn't have to stand IN the 3" of water that inevitably backed up, and there were mattresses tied to the poles so no-one smacked into a metal pole while slam-dancing. I saw Helmet there once. JEebus, they were loud. Frankly I prefer the goombah punk rockers to the smug yuppie fuckheads. Go figure.
Saturday: the poet met the parents. Went well, I think. Bought a steam iron at Target (everybody in Metairie was in the Target parking lot that day), delivered it to the bride for wedding-dress-steaming to a hotel at the foot of Canal (everybody in Orleans Parish was circling Canal Place that day), then primping, changing, polishing, powdering, adorning, etc., GORGEOUS wedding & reception, terrace view of the river, sunset, fireworks, yummy cake, loverly. Sweet groom, happy bride, it's all good. Plus the poet looked all cute in his new jacket.
Sunday: Mothers Day, lunch, gifts, etc. then drove back home.
Fortunately there was no flying or turbulence involved.
Didn't take the poet on a "disaster tour" but he saw plenty while we were driving all around. It's still grim down there, except for pockets of activity. I hope the universe sees fit to spare New Orleans another storm this year. I can't get over how much so many people have aged in 9 months, how many marriages gone south, how many deaths of older people - not techically "storm-related" but truly: Storm Related.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
At first I thought: no way is a professional football player flying Southwest Airlines, which is all coach seating, all the time. But then I thought: well, Ricky Williams is not your average pro ball player. And then, on the way down, which was far less turbulent than the way up, he tapped me on the shoulder and said in the sweetest deep voice "Are you doing better this time?" I was, but only becaues the turbulence was much less alarming. It was sweet of him to ask, and that voice is nearly unmistakable. So either it was Ricky Williams or his doppelganger.
The sky is big there - you can see for miles. It sounds obvious but it's weird when you're used to being able to see, at most, down the block. I got talked into upgrading to the convertible at the rental place, and it was worth every one of the $33 it cost me ($11/day extra). Brand-spankin-new Chrysler Sebring with two, count 'em, TWO miles on the odometer. Push-button convertible top, so you flip a few handles, push a button, and the top is down. Or up. Easy-peasy. The sun, though, is really bright, so I had to keep the top up from 10-2 and wear a lot of sunscreen for early morning and late afternoon drives.
Went out to Shiprock, and did not take pictures because, really, what's the point? You can point the camera and shoot all you want, but you'll never get the scale of it into a photo. I did however, take pictures at Aztec Ruins National Park, which is actually an Anasazi site (ca. 1000 AD). I asked the park ranger if they'd ever change the name and she sighed and said "Probably not. It's just too late." The guys on the self-guided tour who were walking behind me, one of them kept saying "The aztecs did this, the aztecs did that..." even though every last bit of signage & interpretation BEGINS WITH "This is an Anasazi site." It was hard not to correct him, over & over. Blowhard.
I always think of Cezanne when I see a curving lane like the one in the second picture, his "Turn in the Road" paintings (there are several). This landscape could not be any less Cezanne, however. I wonder what he would've done with such scenery, such brownness and aridity.
I did keep seeing things that made me think of O'Keeffe. I don't have the vocabulary for the geological formations of the southwest, but I think these might be called arroyos:
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Only rapists can prevent rape
A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn’t have long hair and women shouldn’t wear short skirts. Women shouldn’t leave drinks unattended. Fuck, they shouldn’t dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that bullshit, how about:
If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her.
If a women is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape her.
If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don’t rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don’t rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching TV, don’t rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don’t rape her.
If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not, and that he’s not your friend.
If your “friend” tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there’s an unconscious woman upstairs and it’s your turn, don’t rape her, call the police and tell the guy he’s a rapist.
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it’s not okay to rape someone.
Don’t tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don’t imply that she could have avoided it if she’d only done/not done x.
Don’t imply that it’s in any way her fault.
Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he “got some” with the drunk girl.
Don’t perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.