Monday, July 24, 2006

Are you trying to break my heart?

An open letter to the editors of the New Jane Magazine:

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


In ‘Separate and Unequal,’ Tom Brokaw Presents a Sadly Familiar Picture of Life in the Deep South - New York Times

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

Friday cat blogging

Behold: my pretty little psychopath, Ferris.

the cost of living

Lebanon Situation Update - July 15, 2006 - US Embassy Beirut Lebanon

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

The Daily Kitten

The Daily Kitten

If the daily puppy doesn't satisfy your need for cuteness, the daily kitten ought to do it.

The Daily Puppy

The Daily Puppy

You know, the world is a really alarming place right now. When you can't take it any more, click on over to the Daily Puppy, because there is nothing like a heap o' puppies to put a smile on your face.

have you been living in a small town for too long?

Here are a few indications that the town one lives in is too bloody small:

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

oh. mah. gaw. | 800-243-9924

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.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


After the sky went dark, I dreamed you and I went shopping for CDs. We found instead brand-new cassette tapes on sale, $2.57 each, a real bargain. I found a Ramones album I'd always wanted, the cover art all bunches of red and creamy white roses.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Where are we now? Trip Number Seven.

Tragically, next week, for the first time in months, I will have to be in my office for five days in a row. I don't know how I'm going to bear it. I much prefer working off-site a few days a week.

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.