Monday, December 31, 2007

on second thought...

I apologize to dog-kind. I should never have said such a terrible thing.

Dogs are loyal, kind, and honest. They do not troll the internet for a new girlfriend when they already have one. They do not lie or cheat, and when they steal (usually food) they have the decency to feel guilty about it. They are open with their feelings, and make every effort to pay attention to those of their humans. Dogs know when you need a hug, or a laugh, or to be left alone. Dogs are affectionate with no ulterior motives (well, except they might want scritches or a treat).

In conclusion, men are nothing like dogs.

Friday, December 28, 2007

on humor

If this does not make you laugh until you cry, your heart is tiny, withered, and black, and you're probably dead. Go to the hospital, stat.

on feminist anger

At first your anger runs hot like lava, but then it cools and solidifies like obsidian, sharper than steel and cool to the touch. You will learn to wield it when you want to, instead of letting the anger rule you. There will be new lava eruptions periodically, but you will find you know how to respond to them, even though the impact may come all unexpected. You will have episodes of righteous flaming indignation and table pounding, and you will have episodes of zen-like meta-blaming filled with sympathy (and empathy) for your fellow victims of the P.

It helps to remember that your friends are also oppressed by the patriarchy. It helps to remember that you, too, were once oblivious to the P. You can destroy your friends' illusions about the P with a thousand tiny cuts instead of a stick of dynamite. Have patience. Choose which relationships are beneficial to your mental and emotional health. Better to have a few allies than to drown in an ocean of acquaintances.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

o m g

Walmart, 1:11 am. Slightly less horrific than daytime walmart, but it takes a lot longer to check out. They don't have self-checkout fired up. The two NON-express registers are being operated by the s l o w e s t c a s h i e r s o n eeeeeeaaaaaaarrrrrrttttthhhhhh.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

my alma mater was never known for its football team

but this year, our football team made big sports news with a last-ditch multi-lateral-pass touchdown play against Millsaps.

check out the Mississippi Miracle.

crazy cat lady

Have I mentioned that I'm now officially a Crazy Cat Lady? A porch kitty convinced me to feed her one day. Shortly thereafter, she brought a friend. After that, two kittens. I think it's a mama-older sister-two kitties family unit, but anyway: I'm feeding them all. They present themselves at the back door - which is glass - and look alternately pathetic and pissed off at the empty state of their bowls. So now I'm feeding seven cats - three inside, four out - and I'm a crazy cat lady.

But I'm not a crazy cat lady with a piano, which is too bad, because then maybe I could make some money selling cat-playing-the-piano videos on the internet. Maybe I should get a videocamera. I wonder if people would like "cat snatching food off of mama's fork" videos?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

and by the way, Britney Spears:

bless her heart.

teh crud returns

Everybody's been sick at the office, and now it's my turn. Came down on me like a ton of bricks last Friday at about 3:30, and have been hacking up a lung since then. Miserable, coughing, congestion, crud, yuck. Hence, my lack of posting as I am witless for the time being.

Must get well soon. Need to make fruitcake, bourbon balls, holiday mix CDs, wrap xmas presents, plan family xmas party, etc. etc.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

headed to the eastern frontier

I head off today into easterly portions of dumbfuckistan. Alabama, that is. Auburn. Home of the Crimson Tide. Oh, wait. University of Alabama is the Crimson Tide. Auburn are TIGERS. Glad I sorted THAT out before my job interview.

After a marathon job interview, I head to Pensacola for R&R with the Poet, my own personal tech support specialist, who I hope can figure out how to sync music files onto my new Treo phone. Which, by the way, have I mentioned that I'm in LOVE with my PHONE? It's a phone, web browser, PDA, camera, mp3 player, alarm clock, calculator, with a teeny keyboard for easier text messaging!! I can even use google maps while I'm traveling. It only lacks one thing: a GPS. If it included a GPS, it would be ideal. It's really the best new toy ever.

Now, if anybody has a suggestion for a man christmas present that is neither alcohol, clothing, nor books, I'd appreciate hearing about it. The poet doesn't drink and is par-ticular about his clothes and books, so I'm not even gonna TRY one of those.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

formal dressing for the tight-fisted

I have to wear formal attire once a year, to a work event. No-one is looking at me, because it's a social event for the hoity toity, and I'm, you know, WORKING. I refuse to spend a gazillion dollars on a new formal dress every year, for reasons of both frugality and tiny closets.

I have found the perfect solution. You need:

1. A floor-length black silk sleeveless sheath like this one:

















2. A knee-length 3/4 sleeve black velvet dress similar to this one:





















OR

2 simple dresses, black, that feel good and look good.

Either of these dresses can be worn alone or with a second layer or a wrap or shawl.

Wear alternate dresses (one year velvet, next year silk), and change the over-shirt/jacket. I promise, NO ONE WILL NOTICE.

Then, as you are bargain-shopping at the Maxx or Marshall's or Hudson's Salvage, find jacket-y things that you can wear over these.
Top layers are often far less expensive - especially if they've been separated from their other half on the way to the discount rack.

A sampling of top layers I have in my closet:

- a floor-length "coat" - cut kind of like a duster - in sheer, shimmery green/blue taffeta
($12, discounted from $250, at Hudson's Dirt Cheap)

- a red & black burnout-velvet jacket with flowy sleeves
($10, discounted from a $200 2-piece outfit, at Hudson's Salvage)

- a floor-length sheer black over-dress with beaded decorations and frog closures down the front (this was the original partner to the black sheath, the set about $125, but I've worn the sheath dress over and over)

I also purchased a pair of black, beaded satin flats that go with all of these outfits for $30, and I wear them with black tights. Again: no one is looking at me, I'm working and therefore on my feet all night, and I do not get paid enough to buy a new outfit every year. I'm pretty much set for the next 5 years, at least, but I am always on the lookout for another top layer at a bargain price.

I also have a long black tulip skirt and a beaded top (TJ Maxx, $25), but have yet to locate other good tops to go with the skirt. Actual formal tops have proved to be a lot harder to find than formal top layers.

And that, dear readers, is your sartorial advice for the day.

* Despite having developed this collection of interchangeable formal wear, I still have a yen for a tuxedo, which I could then wear to EVERYTHING for years, like men do.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

restruction of the destruction

Apparently I am in the mood for giant robots today:



My first thought upon opening the video was: "Don't these fools know they shouldn't stand so close to a Survival Research Laboratories show?" My second thought was, "I told you so!" Damn, of COURSE shit is going to get set on fire and go sailing into the crowd. That's why they don't announce or get licenses for their shows. They CAN'T. I've loved SRL for many a year and I love that Mark Pauline is still pursuing his nutsy destructo-robot performance art vision. I just wish I could find footage of his hamster-driven robot on youtube.

You can see more pics from this event at the Laughing Squid.

Monday, December 10, 2007

more xmas advice

If you, like me, are a damned heathen, you probably hate being forced to go to holiday church by parental units and the like. Mom says, pathetically, "All I want for christmas is my family to go to church with me, just this one time of year."* And so we troop off to godbag central, which is admittedly, not as godbaggy as a lot of churches, being a mainstream WASPy version of Presbyterian. Nonetheless: I am not down with the sky god and his heavenly concierge, Jesu.

So, I roll my eyes, gird my loins, have a cocktail or three before departure, and do my daughterly duty. Just this once! For mEEEE!!! I go. And I sit in the pew and read the Bible, but only the naughty bits. I'm fond of Song of Solomon (for the sexy bits) and the Book of Revelation (if you want horrorshow trippy bits). In this way I can tune out the terrible xmas tunes and the droning of the minister, and yet I cannot be faulted for reading the bible in church. I mean, it's the HOLY Bible! And I'm in CHURCH!

* Y'know, it's what she SAYS, but I'd be damned with the hairy stinkeye of maternal disapproval if that was, indeed, her only christmas present.

xmas stuff

I'm just not feeling the xmas vibe this year. Just about everyone I know has Too Much Stuff. I include myself in this category. Best to give consumable items, I think. Champagne, baked goods, & calendars may be in order.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

December 6, 1989

a message from my fellow radfem, howlingmonkey, a message I felt needed reposting:

On December 6, 1989 14 women were killed by a lone gunman at l'École Polytechnique in Montreal. He separated the women from the men, and then he shot them down. Because they were women.

(more info here: http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-70-398/disasters_tragedies/montreal_massacre/)

The incident was a wake up call for many of us in Canada as we realized that the incident at École Polytechnique was a symptom of the larger problem of a vehemently misogynist society where violence against women is endemic and indeed encouraged. The day stands in my mind as one of the pivotal moments in my life. It was on December 7 at the age of 12 upon learning of the murders that I first called myself a feminist. I didn't understand much, but I understood enough to know that what happened to them could happen to any of us.

In Canada December 6 is day of remembrance (sort of like a November 11 or memorial day for women). I'd like to take a moment to honour and remember those women who have fallen. École Polytechnique. Vancouver Eastside. Eastern Congo. Afghanistan. The whole world.

Let's take a moment today, wherever we may be, to remember and honour women everywhere who are impacted by men's violence.

Let's remember today, so we can wake up tomorrow and keep fighting.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

uh huh

feral celery

drive-by body pierce

get crazy with the cheez whiz

ka-sheep-ity

Monday, December 03, 2007

1 week late, or 51 weeks early

Whichever the case, William S. Burroughs is genius. I miss that guy. I saw him speak at The Nova Convention Revisited in Lawrence, KS, back in the late 90s. He could've read a phone book and I'd have been on the edge of my seat. Of course he didn't. He talked about art and using his fame as a writer to get a museum exhibition and I don't know what all any more, but it was mesmerizing. I was on the fourth row, center. Debbie Harry performed, and Laurie Anderson, and Patti Smith (who scared the crap out of me by stalking back and forth the front of the stage and sneering at us), and Gregory Corso talking about fooling around with Andy Warhol, something about shoes and ejaculation. That whole night was a high point in my cultural life.

Friday, November 30, 2007

i'm gonna dance one leg off in the rain

The Butthole Surfers perform Movin to Florida at the original Tipitina's in New Orleans.

Florida Street housing projects in San Antonio were the place to buy acid back in the early-to-mid-80s, so going down to Florida isn't a reference to a beach vacation. Or so I've, uh, been told. By people whose names I don't remember. Who also happened to mention that the Florida dealers switched to the crack product in the late 80s as it was more profitable. And that Gibby Haynes was accounting student of the year at Trinity University, his (and my) alma mater. His dad's a Dallas celebrity: Mr. Peppermint



And that, faithful readers, is your random indie rock trivia for the day.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

new TV addiction

I am completely addicted to Ninja Warrior on the G4 network. Gah.

the band I love the most



When I was in high school, I loved The Cold. All the cool kids loved The Cold, and all the not-cool kids loved The Cold. All the girls wanted to BE Barbara Menendez. I still love the Cold. Just the other day I was karaoke-ing to The Cold's CD. About five years ago, I went to see a reunion gig at Howlin' Wolf and saw like a zillion people I hadn't seen since the 80s.

Random factoids for those of you NOT from New Orleans: Bassist Vance DeGeneres is Ellen DeGeneres' brother. He also was one of the creator's of SNL's Mr. Bill, and was a correspondent on the Daily Show for a while. He is also likely the origin of my string of crushes on dark-haired bassists. Lead singer Barbara Menendez, I hear, shows up on the Ellen Show periodically. She has a different last name now, but she'll always be Barbara Menendez to me and her legion fans.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

okay, it's a little tired, I know...

but it's still kind of funny. I particularly like the ADD one.



1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

3. Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

5. Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and
Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....

6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

8. Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna
Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the
froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?

10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle

Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle

Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle

Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle

Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Yankees, take note:

Thanks to my pal Dick Ford, you can see what Real Southern Cooking and Eating looks like.

Check it:

southern eating

(Yo, Dick: if I'm farking your bandwidth, let me know and I'll cut it out.)

Note that the giant pan of fried chicken is the first to fall.

While you're there, go look at his video art: Dick Ford

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yoga as a practical skill

Say you wake up one morning to find that your toilet seat has a crack in it. No idea how it got there, but these things happen. The crack, however, pinches the back of your thigh. You go off to Lowe's and buy a mid-range white wood toilet seat. You pass up the twice-as-expensive ANTIMICROBIAL toilet seat in fancy space-age plastic, despite your inner germophobe's best efforts at getting you to spend the extra fifteen bucks.

You figure, well, if they sell them at Lowe's, and the box says "easy installation," all you need is a Phillips screwdriver, it can't be all that hard. Right? In theory, yes. You unscrew the bolts holding the old seat down, lift, drop a new seat on, attach bolts & nuts, tighten, bada-boom.

But wait. The old toilet seat does not appear to have bolt tops visible. No, no indeed. You must unscrew the nuts from *beneath* the toilet bowl rim in order to get the bolts off. Your bathroom is very, very small. You cannot find your socket set (socket wrench? check. Sockets? Who the hell knows?). You try to unscrew the nuts by feel instead of sight. It takes a while to figure out that the righty-tighty-lefty-loosey rule is in fact REVERSED when unscrewing the nut. It's impossible to grip a nut with pliers if you can't actually see it. It's wedged up under the rim, at an angle. Onto the floor with you.

For the bolt to the left, you must lie on your side, bend to the left (like an L) and tilt your head up about 45 degrees while unscrewing the bolt that has been stuck there for at least 6 1/2 years. Fortunately it's not stuck or rusty, but it's awkward as hell. Okay. Broke a sweat there. Now for the other side. No way can you lie down due to tiny, tiny bathroom space. Lo and behold, yoga comes in handy! You stand up, perform a deep waist bend, hang your head to your right, lower than the rim of the toilet seat, turn your head to the left, use your right hand to unscrew the bolt, and after a great deal of non-yogic cursing, that nut comes off.

NOW it's easy-peasy. Lift seat, put down other one, plastic nut, plastic bolt, yadda yadda, nice new non-cracked toilet seat. I hope the fifteen dollar seat lasts a while, because I really, really, do not want to do this again.

I also hope the damned thing wasn't made in China. I forgot to look before I bought it. Hell.

dementia

When my grandmother was living with my parents after my grandfather's death, I lived in their garage apartment. Somewhere on the road to full Alzheimer's dementia, Grandmother forgot she had grandchildren. Hence, she believed that I was some poor homeless orphan that my mother, out of the kindness of her heart, had taken in, since I had no proper family.

Whenever I called her "Grandmother," she would smirk a little and get this look on her face like she was humoring me by answering to that.

Monday, November 26, 2007

extreme lounging

Well, hell. My Saints finally get a big win and where am I? Sleeping through the whole damn game. Sumbitch.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

should've named him Martha

Apparently Bennet, the middle cat, does not approve of lackadaisical housekeeping. He has taken to peeing on clothes left on the floor. One item is fine. Two items? Constitute an impromptu litterbox.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

parades

Tonight' t-day party was less chaotic than usual because the Designated Drunk is in NYC. She went for the Macy's Parade. None of us New Orleanians understand why one would want to attend a parade where they don't throw stuff at you. Furthermore, you can't drink and it's frackin cold.

This is not a parade protocol I can get behind.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

OMG

I will have to poke myself in the ears with giant, er, poking sticks, if I see or hear one more "news" story about "cutting calories at the holidays". Is there really and truly so very little happening in the world that there's time for "Weight Loss Wednesday" in a 30-minute newscast EVERY SINGLE WEEK?
Somehow, I think not.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

CNN debates

I sure like that Dennis Kucinich. I'd like to live in a country where he is electable.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

do you blame?

election time in Mississippi

Yesterday, I voted for a dude named "Popcorn" because his opponent was the Douchebaggy McGee who wanted to know about my John Kerry bumper sticker a few weeks ago. Well, McGee's also a pro-life, anti-gay, pro-business godbag. I have no idea what Popcorn stands for, but he ran as a Democrat* and he wasn't the other guy.

Also, when I got to the voting precinct, some godbag had taped flyers for a church revival on the front door and on either side of it. I told the election workers that I felt a revival flyer was inappropriate in this venue, and to their credit, they agreed promptly and went and took them down right away. I was kind of ready for an argument, and was also ready to take them down myself. Fortunately I did not have to stamp my feet and make a scene.

*Alas, running as a Democrat in Mississippi is a nearly meaningless exercise. I only saw one third-party candidate, from the "Constitution Party," which I hear is even farther right than the R's.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Saints are coming back! Woot.

They tromped all over the 49ers yesterday, to the point where I kind of felt a little sorry for San Francisco, losing so badly at home. Not bad enough to wish they'd won, obviously.

So, we're 3-4, woohoo. We looked great, and the 49ers fell apart. We do best when Brees mixes it up, passes the ball to a different person every time, like to people who I never knew existed. It's a good strategy, and one I've never seen the Saints use before the Peyton/Brees era.

I'm noticing that a lot of my favorite Saints have moved on: Sammy Knight, Joe Horn, Michael Lewis (who's with the 49ers now; I had wondered where he'd gone), Ricky Williams (in spite of, or perhaps because of, his complete eccentricity), and Morten Anderson.

I'm growing rather fond of Scott Fujita & Mike McKenzie. They've got style and panache with their bone-crunching tackling skills. They kinda look like they're having a good time, ya know? Well, and there's Reggie and Deuce. Ya gotta love them, but it's too obvious. I hate that Deuce McAllister is out for the season. The man is reliable like a tank and seems like a nice guy to boot.

For some reason I'm never all het up about the quarterback; I guess it seems too obvious. Kinda like in fourth grade, when I refused to admit a fondness for Shaun Cassidy. I preferred the brunette Hardy Boy, Parker Stephenson, because it was the contrary thing to do. Likewise: sure, Drew Brees is doing a great job out there and seems like an all-round good guy, but he's got all the fans he needs. So do Reggie and Deuce. Give me a scrappy eccentric with less visibility any day of the week. I'm leaning towards Fujita as my main man this year.

In slightly related news, I'm still looking for the perfect fleur-de-lys tattoo. I can't get a Saints tattoo for fear that Tom Benson moves the team. I sure don't want to be marked as a "Peoria Saints" fan down the road, right? So I need a good NOLA fleur-de-lys that translates to the ink-on-flesh medium. It'll invoke the Saints without being an actual Saints logo.

More Mississippi Idioms

Not only does one "cut off", say, the air conditioning, one can also "cut it on".

Furthermore, and I may have mentioned this before but I'm too lazy to check: hereabouts, one uses a "buggy" to shop for groceries, not a grocery cart.

And if you're going anywhere, in any direction, you are going "down to" wherever. Someone from Mississippi could very well tell you he'd gone "down to Alaska" last week.
[I'm kind of afraid to parse this one.]

Friday, October 19, 2007

where I live

Alas, I cannot find anywhere the Robert Smigel "Blue Christmas" TV Funhouse that calls the giant red state I inhabit "Dumbfuckistan." The giant red state that is all the red states squished together, the ones between the enclaves of un-affordable blue states.

Mississippi isn't nearly as bad as everybody thinks it is. Whenever you see Mississippi in TV shows and movies, it's usually a version of 1965 Mississippi. People do not get lynched here anymore. Old white men do not stand around gas stations chewing on straws and squinting at yankees who are about to uncover the civil rights murder no southerner was smart enough to solve. People do have running water and electricity, and hardly anyone wears overalls. We do all own shoes. We have movie theatres and sushi and health food stores and spas and museums.

But it does suck. A lot of people are poor here. Really poor. Public education? It sucks. So poor people aren't very well-educated. They smoke when they're pregnant. They leave their kids in front of Cartoon Network 24/7. They give babies sweet tea in their bottles. Not from meanness or stupidity, but sheer ignorance. Just don't know no better. Most educated people give lip service to equal rights, but the level of ignorant racial bigotry just beneath the surface is sometimes mind-boggling. The misogyny is even less hidden. Homophobia? It's what's for breakfast.

On top of poverty and ignorance, slather on a layer of evangelical christianity of varying stripes: southern baptist, pentecostal, church of christ, megachurch, you name it. Whatever it is, it don't like no homos, no jews, no evolution, and it sure as shit don't like no democrats. Not the yankee kind anyway. Because Mississippi Democrats are nearly indistinguishable from Mississippi Republicans.

To wit: we have a gubernatorial election coming up. Our incumbent, Haley Barbour, is a former lobbyist for big tobacco and big oil. He is anti-gay rights, anti-abortion, pro-development, pro-business, and a Republican. His opponent, John Arthur Eaves, carries a bible around in his ads. He is anti-gay rights, anti-abortion, pro-prayer in schools, pro "family values," a personal injury lawyer and a... Democrat?? Huhwhat? As far as I can tell the DNC is having nothing to do with Eaves. I have no idea why he's even registered as a Dem, except that it allowed him to get on the ballot, because Barbour would've knocked him out in a Republican primary. So basically, we have one godbaggy republican, or the other.

I live here, and there are things about it that don't suck. The landscape is nice. The food's pretty good. People are generally courteous to one another, and the cost of living is low. There's a lot of music and literature to be had.

On the whole, I tend to blame evangelical christianity and its bedfellow, red-state republican brainwashing, for most of what is still wrong with Mississippi. If anybody in charge gave a shit about anybody but rich, white, heterosexual christians, the public school system would work. Welfare and Medicaid/Medicare would be fully funded. Everyone would have access to reproductive health services, day care, and post-secondary education. But that's not the case. The poor keep on getting poorer and more ignorant; and the rich? They get richer and build bigger walls around their gated communities.

And those gated communities don't look a damned thing like Mississippi. They look like Phoenix, and Houston, and Atlanta, and every other boring cookie-cutter McMansion gated community in America. It's their loss, but it's also our loss. If I were anything but white and hetero, I would've never moved here. There is an as-yet undocumented brain drain (I'm willing to bet) of talented and brilliant African-American and homosexual Mississippians who just had to get the hell out. It's not about violence, or structured bigotry, though. There just aren't many opportunities for people who don't meet the honky heteronormative model.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

so get this

Local state senatorial candidate rolls up behind my place of employment last week, and asks a co-worker who's standing out back:

"Whose white car is that with the JOHN KERRY sticker!?"

Asks it, I might add, in a state of RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION that someone in this godforsaken shithole of a godbaggy small town should DARE, DARE to sport a Democratic bumpersticker.

Now, I know that election is long gone, and I am a lazy-ass mofo who should've taken the sticker off long ago, but you know what? NOW it's staying on until I decide which presidential candidate I'll be supporting.

Ass-hat, godbaggy asshole. I dare him to come have a chat with me about my freedom of speech. I don't give a rat's ass if he works with my boss's wife or has a stupid rush-limbaugh-wanna-be radio show: I will fucking well rip off his head and shit down his neck if he steps on my freedom of speech. Ass.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Why you should read Jane Austen novels

I heart Jane Austen with an irrational passion. You will find yourself wondering, "Why do I even give a crap about these bourgeois assholes and whether they marry well or not?" But you WILL give a crap. You will find yourself cheering women who find ways to survive in a culture that, even more so than ours, limits women's lives in brutal fashion. Marry, or die. Or: marry, get pregnant, die young. Or: marry a complete arse just to have a roof over your head. You get the drift. Her world is circumscribed but within it, there is great depth.

Austen's wit is often subtle. It is pointed. She is a great inventor of Characters. Nobody is immune, from either criticism or praise. Rich, poor, smart, stupid, beautiful, plain, male, female: it doesn't matter, the character may be reprehensible or entirely laudable.

I re-read the whole Austen oeuvre every few years, and always find something new. She grows on you; you identify with different characters at different times in your life. You might find a novel sad on one reading, hilarious on the next.

Go forth and read.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

why I need to leave Mississippi

Editorials with statements like this:

"Here's what I believe: Someone else's beliefs - even the backward, despicable ones - don't really hurt anyone."

AAAAAAAHHHGGGGGGGGFISDJGldkfjfuckityfuckfuckodsufojusputter....

there's so much wrong with that statement I hardly know where to begin.

I've GOT TO get out of this place.

onslaught

Here's the thing: isn't this sort of like the tobacco industry making anti-smoking ads?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

germy

I've been abed, nursing a bottle of codeine cough syrup, since Wednesday eve. It's amazing how much snot the human body can produce.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Unrequited Art History Crush

I've seen Sven Haakanson speak at several conferences, in sessions ranging from large to rather intimate. I was watching a documentary about grizzly bears last year sometime and about fell out of my chair when he turned up as one of the interviewees. I think the person I was watching the movie with didn't really know what to think when I said, "Hey! I know that guy! I've seen him at AAM."

Anyway, I have a big art history crush on him, as he is charming and brilliant and passionate and, yes, pretty dang cute.

And now, my unrequited art history crush? He's a MacArthur Genius.

Alutiiq anthropologist honored as a MacArthur 'genius'
Award comes with $500,000 for Haakanson


Sven Haakanson learned of his award in an early-morning call.

By MIKE DUNHAM
mdunham@adn.com

(Published: September 25, 2007)

An Alaska Native anthropologist from the Kodiak Island village of Old Harbor has received one of the most prestigious -- and lucrative -- awards for intellectual achievement in America. Sven Haakanson, 41, is among 24 new MacArthur Fellows announced Monday.

A press release from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Fellows Program called Haakanson "the driving force behind the revitalization of indigenous language, culture and customs in an isolated region of North America." It also mentioned his artistic accomplishments as a mask carver and photographer.

The so-called "Genius Award" comes with a f $500,000 grant that recipients may spend as they see fit. The selection process is famed for its secrecy and candidates usually have no clue that they are under consideration.

Haakanson learned of the award in a crack-of-dawn phone call on Monday of last week/ "They woke me up at 6:30 in the morning," he told the Daily News. "Anybody calling you that early, you think: Is this a joke?"

When he realized the caller was serious, he felt humbled, he said. "To have someone even nominate me is wonderful."

Then the caller informed him that he would receive a half million dollars, no strings attached, over the next five years.

"I was shocked," Haakanson said, still sounding a little breathless.

For 20 years, Haakanson earned money as a commercial fisherman. He is the son of the late Sven Haakanson Sr., the longtime mayor of Old Harbor and a respected elder.

The younger Haakanson said his interest in anthropology began when he attended a youth conference in Denmark in 1988 and heard University of Alaska Fairbanks professor Lydia Black speak about the history of "Aleut people."

"I thought to myself, 'Why am I on the other side of the world learning about my culture when I should be at home doing that?' " After the lecture, he sat and talked with Black for an hour or more.

Inspired by Black, he attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he received a bachelor's in English in 1992. He then went on to graduate studies at Harvard University, where he earned his master's and doctorate in anthropology. He was selected as the executive director of the new Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak in 1999, a year before receiving his doctorate, and had to defer taking the post until he could finish his degree.

Through the museum, Haakanson has spearheaded efforts to acquire and exhibit rare items from Alutiiq history scattered in collections around the world. His recent projects include taking a group of Kodiak elders and artists to France to inspect Alutiiq masks collected in Alaska in the 19th century. As a result of that trip, some of those masks will be displayed in Kodiak, then in Anchorage next year.

He's also in the process of identifying a trove of petroglyphs and other stone carvings near the village of Akhiok, on the south coast of Kodiak. Working with villagers, he said, he has been able to locate 800 such carvings in recent years.

He relishes such fieldwork, he said, but can break away only for about one week each year. Administrative responsibilities keep him near the office in Kodiak, where he lives with his wife, Balika, and daughters, Eilidh and Isabella.

He hopes that the MacArthur money will free him up to get out to historic Alutiiq sites more often, he said. And some will be used to send his mother, Mary, on a pilgrimage to Orthodox churches in Russia.

But the majority will go into savings, Haakanson said, because "I don't have retirement for my job at the museum."

This is the second time an Alaskan has won a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2004, Katherine Gottlieb, president of Southcentral Foundation, received the award for helping to streamline the health care services for Alaska Natives.




Linky:

Sven Haakanson

Monday, September 24, 2007

secrets and lies

Today I'm thinking about secrets and lies. Honesty is very important to me, one of my bedrock values, and I avoid lying whenever possible. But when I have someone else's secret, I will avoid, evade, dissimulate, and outright lie if I have to in order to keep that person's secret. I don't violate trust like that.

But when I have my own secret, it's different. I don't feel entitled to keep it. I'm really a terrible liar. I get all hinky when I have to dodge questions, when I am not in my usual full-disclosure mode. Even when it's in my best interest - or in someone else's best interest - to keep information to myself, I have a hard time engaging in the verbal dodges necessary to do so.

So my question for myself today is: why do I not think I'm entitled to secrets? Why do I think I need to tell everybody everything they ask?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Where's Waldo?




Actually, this game is called, "Where's Pippin?"

I swear, he can hear the dryer door opening from all the way across the house, and is in amongst the hot, clean, NON-FREAKIN-FURRY laundry within a millisecond of the door opening. Then, of course, he snatches at every article of clothing I withdraw, for I am depleting his cushy bed of hot laundry. By the time he's one year old, I'll have to replace every single garment I own, for everything, EVERYTHING, is covered with tiny kitty-claw picks.*

Pippin recently experienced detesticulation, after he started spraying. That non-fixed-kitty-pee? STINKS. BAD. Fortunately, he's almost completely unfazed by the loss of his balls. However, they also clipped his claws pretty short (at my request), and it's bugging him. He likes to leap at me, claws extended, and hang off my clothing. Or, you know, hang off my bath-towel. Whatever. With short claws, this doesn't work so well. He's bent out of shape that he doesn't have ten little razors at his disposal at all times.

*Do people outside of the South use this term? "That cat will pick your shirt. Watch out for his claws."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Book of Jezebella: The Chapter in which I am a Misanthrope

1. Average is stupid.

2. There are assholes everywhere.

3. Boys are smelly, and you should throw rocks at them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How to battle diet chatter in the workplace

I work with a few diet-obsessed women. They drive me mad with their thirty-minute conversations about the calorie/fat content of things like coffee creamer. I'd had enough one day, so this conversation ensued:

"You should try the Sex Diet."

Ears perk up. Eyebrows raise. "What's that?"

"It's the diet where you have so much sex you don't give a fuck how fat your ass is."

[cue crickets chirping]

The diet chatter dramatically subsided, at least when I'm around. I highly recommend this tactic.

What's in YOUR closet?

I'm not a confessional-type blogger, but lately things have been movin' and shakin' in Jezebella's head. I've been living in my head for nigh on forty years now, and since I finished every degree I ever intend to have, I've been poking around the "body and soul" category of my existence. I've been stuffing all related issues into a big closet in my mind labeled "ignore! IGNORE!! IGNOOOOOORRRRE!!".

Recently, I opened the door and found a big stinkin' mess. It's gonna take forever to clean this one out.

Here's one of the messes I've located and am trying to figure out how to get rid of:

It has to do with food. It has to do with living in my body. This is going to sound like mother-blaming, when in fact, my mother learned it from her mother, who learned it from her mother. So it's not mother-blaming. It's systemic family crap. And it's my job to fix it for myself, I'm aware of that.

So, two things:

1. As a child, I, like most kids, was absolutely powerless in the household. I ate when I was told to, slept when I was told to, and lived according to my parents' needs and desires. This means that I ate whether or not I was hungry, because It Was Dinner Time. NOW IS WHEN YOU EAT. I was to eat everything put on my plate, regardless of my hunger, or lack thereof. So what is a kid to do? You try to do what you're told. I was a picky eater - still am - and when something revolting was on the plate (boiled okra, anyone?), a battle royale ensued. I spent many evenings at the dinner table in front of some disgusting food as I was not allowed to leave the table until I ate some particular portion of that disgusting food. So food became a means of control, and I was never taught, encouraged, or even ALLOWED to eat according to what *my own body* wanted or needed. I learned to ignore what my body was saying and eat when it was time to eat, and eat as much as I was given. I figured out that this was a systemic family issue when I remembered going to visit my maternal grandmother at age 7 or 8, and re-enacting one of these epic battles-royale over a pile of mealy, disgusting garbanzo beans. [You know, I was never invited back to those grandparents' house again without my parents. Probably to do with my refusal to eat disgusting things on demand.]

This is also an effect of scheduled school lunches and snacks. Children are scheduled according to the convenience of adults.

Result? I am trying to retrain myself to know what my body wants or needs. It's hard, after those early years of training. I spend a lot of time looking thoughtfully at half-empty plates of food, trying to figure out if I'm hungry or not. It should seem obvious, right? But it's not. I'm just now learning what "hungry" and "sated" feel like.

2. The other thing is also a maternal legacy. My mom, a yo-yo dieter, no matter how thin or cute she is, always looks in the mirror and says something like, "Yuck, my stomach is poking out, I'm so fat." She has said it every time she looks in the mirror since I was born, probably. At least since I was little. Kids learn what they hear, right? So recently I saw a picture of myself at age four or five, with a little poochy belly. Not FAT, just a pooch. Normal, right? But not. Because I knew, from pre-school, that my pooch meant that I was disgusting, fat, gross, all of those things my mother called herself in that mirror. I had a clickety-light-bulb moment about this one a few years ago when mom, at 60+, having dieted down to a size 10, looking just as cute as a 60-year-old woman possibly could, looked in her mirror and started in on how disgusting her fat stomach was. She's been pregnant several times, she's 60+ years old, she's cute as hell, and all she sees is that her stomach isn't perfectly flat. Huh. Wonder where I got the idea I was fat?

Because, see, I wasn't a fat kid. Thought I was. Mom always told me to "diet" but she wanted me to avoid getting fat, whereas I assumed I didn't need to be on a diet unless I was already fat. Plus, the mirror litany already had me convinced I was fat. I didn't start gaining weight until I was 17 or 18, and didn't even reach what you might call "fat" status until my early 20s. I had the self-esteem of a fat kid, but I wasn't a fat kid. Just how fucked up is that? I tell you what: it's fucked up.

All those diet tips were never about healthy eating or exercise. They were eat less, eat less, eat less, never "eat healthy." Never "be active." I was in elementary school when the diet chatter started coming at me. I got sent to school with "diet candy" in the third grade.

Result? I've spent the last few years trying to figure out how to have a healthy relationship with food, and rejecting "diet chatter." I refuse to engage in "diet chatter" or call myself "bad" for eating something I "shouldn't." When the women in my office start in on diet chatter, I walk away. It's like nails on a chalkboard. Like learning to listen to hunger, it's a process.

Here's the thing: I know where it comes from, I know what the damage is, but I'm not quite sure how long it's going to take to undo the damage. I'm not sure I know how. But I guess knowing is half the battle. It's a start, anyway.

it's been a rough week

And I have two choices: I can either get all Garfunkelly on the Youtubes, or I can go totally Office Space, because my boss is being a complete ass.

For today, I choose Garfunkellation:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

From the Book of Jezebella

Jezebella's Crazy Cat Lady Rule is as follows:

If there are more than three furry pets per adult human in a household, that household is a Designated Crazy Cat Lady Zone.

If you're below the limit, you may have another kitten. If above, you may want to seriously reconsider DCCL Zoning. DCCL Zoning often results in everybody in the neighborhood bringing you strays to "find good homes for," and as we all know, the good home we find is usually our own.

I myself, am at maximum feline density prior to rezoning as a DCCL Zone.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Jezebella on Tour: Two things about Kansas City

1. I got to spend about an hour in the newly expanded Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Nicely done. It's got great soaring ceilings and terrific light, great for big-ass paintings both modern and contemporary. Yet the space flows slowly downward from one room to the next - I hesitate to use the word "room" here because they're more like separate spaces with some architecture defining your movement from one area to the next. Beautifully done. Nice floors, good collection, good lighting.

I love their Rothko. I was going to add a link to it, but Rothkos are impossible to understand in photographs. You have to get up next to the canvas to see the subtlety and sublimity of black-on-burgundy-on-black that goes on in his dark paintings.

I saw this show: Manet to Matisse which was kind of, meh. It's a private collection so it's a little uneven. The Cezanne oil study of a man smoking a pipe is FANTASTIC. Nothing else really stuck with me.

I got to see the first two rooms of this show: Developing Greatness and wish I'd had time to see all of it. I love daguerreotypes. I have no idea how they managed to light a zillion hanging daguerreotypes so visitors could see them. If you've ever handled one, you know that you have to kind of tilt it back & forth to get a good view of it. It's a thin metal layer on glass, a positive one-of-a-kind image, not a print made from an original negative. I'd go back & see the rest of that show if I could.

And, continuing my newly-found love for Kiki Smith, I totally fell for her installation called Constellation Totally love her work. Want to see more, and more, and more.

2. I got on the elevator at the hotel where two large, burly, black transvestites were meditating upon the buttons. "They said Room 237," said one. Said the other, "But there isn't a button for 2." I said, "L is the same as 2. The lobby is the second floor." And then I pushed the open door button and off sauntered the most deep-voiced man in extensions, a denim miniskirt, and acrylic nails I'd ever laid eyes on. The two of them seemed to have some sort of, ahem, *appointment* in room 237.

I use the word transvestite intentionally, because these were not drag queens in overdone makeup and sparkly dresses. Nor were they transsexuals, as neither had used hormones, depilation, or was even bothering to try to raise their voices. These were, simply put, dudes in skirts, extensions, and a little makeup. With fancy nails. One of them even had some razor stubble on his/her cheeks.

My people, it has been a long time since I've been on an elevator with a transvestite.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Because I am Very Busy and Important...

I will be in Kansas City for the next couple of days.

Snacks are in the pantry, phone numbers on the fridge, try not to burn down the house or otherwise horrify the babysitter.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Foxploitation this season

I've been seeing ads for Fox's new cop show, "K-ville." Set in New Orleans, featuring cops. Oh, joy. I so love it when mainstream television tries to capture the je ne sais quois of NOLA.

First, let me say, that although some communities refer to themselves as "Katrinaville," I've never heard anybody use the term "K-ville." So that's BS from the git-go.

I am not going to bother looking up the publicity on K-ville, but I have some predictions to make:

- There will be wild geographical inaccuracies every single episode.

- Hardly anyone will get the New Orleans accent right.

- There will be an abundance of terribly rendered rural Cajun accents, even though people who are NOLA natives do not have this accent.

- There will also be an abundance of terribly rendered Southern accents. Again, the NOLA accent is not Southern.

- Within the first 60 minutes of the show, the cops will have some important dudely cop reason to go have a drink in a titty bar on Bourbon Street. The camera will pan leeringly up & down the body of one or more strippers, stopping just below the chin, while the dudely cops talk about something entirely unrelated.

- Within the first 2 episodes, there will be a plot involving voodoo.

- Within the first 4 episodes, we will see drag queens. There will never be a plot involving gays and lesbians, however.

- By Christmas, an old civil rights murder will have been solved.

- By Christmas, there will probably have been a ghost story as well.

- By Mardi Gras, they will have staged a float parade smack through the middle of the French Quarter. Which, by the way, NEVER HAPPENS. Only walking parades are seen in the Quarter, only a few, and one of them features dogs.

- If they possibly can, they will get Harry Connick to guest-star in an episode. Failing that, they will recruit a local musical celebrity on the order of Kermit Ruffins to go busk in Jackson Square. This will be promoted as a shout-out for NOLA insiders.

- They will film exteriors of local clubs and then the interiors will be completely different places.

- Even though the city is now full of Mexican immigrants working in the construction trades and opening taco stands, there will be no Mexicans visible in the series. In fact, viewers will probably never see any Asians, either, despite a well-established Vietnamese community.

- Some dude with PTSD will carve up his girlfriend and eat her. Then he'll kill himself. Because Hollywood is out of ideas.

- Local residents and celebrities most likely to be courted by Fox for cameos: Sean Payton; Chris Rose; Angela Hill; Harry Lee; Drew Brees; and John Goodman. I make no predictions about whether they will appear or not, however.

- And, so help me, if the producers of K-Ville in any way fuck up my enjoyment of the Saints season or horn in on my Saints viewing in ANY WAY, I'm gonna get a drag queen voodoo priestess to shrink their testicles into tiny testicle-raisins by means of a bloody chicken sacrifice on the roof of the Superdome.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

feminism and fat: "what about teh menz?!"

Because the lovely ladies at Big Fat Deal linked to me, I find myself in an interesting conversation over there about fat, feminism, and what about teh menz.

I've noticed that conversations about feminism often turn to the men in the conversation arguing that they, too, are oppressed, because they are short, or working class, or fat, or gay, or bookish, or black, or Hispanic, or dyslexic, or not athletic, or what have you. Then they want to claim that I am holding some kind of competition to decide who's the most oppressed. Which I'm not.

There is no competition.

Women get the shit end of the stick in patriarchy, period. The patriarchy creates a hierarchy, yes, and tall blond rich buff heterosexual American men are at the top of the heap. Men who do not conform to this standard are discriminated against. But women are always and already the inferior sex class. Men, no matter who they are, reap the benefits of patriarchy, whether they wish to or not. Just as white people reap the benefits of racism, heteros reap the benefit of homophobia, and so forth. The foundational submission/dominance model of patriarchy renders the non-ideal man Less Manly, and for that he suffers. Not just because he is gay, or fat, or black, but because he is deemed inferior, and thus more like a woman. But he'll never be a woman (unless he's trans, but that's a whole other kettle of fish).

People raised male in this culture are raised with patriarchal privilege. Men who are wrapped up in their own battles seem to find it hard to acknowledge the feminist battle, and this I do not understand. A man who suffers oppression seems that he should be a likely feminist ally, and yet this is most often not the case. Men of all stripes wish to deny the always-already state of oppression women experience, even when they have suffered under the exact same system that oppresses us. This is not rational, sensible, or even sane. I do not pretend to understand it. I find it extremely frustrating.

Monday, August 20, 2007

pedantic asshole alert

In the event that any pedantic assholes wish to quibble regarding feminism, hie thee to this blog: Finally Feminism 101.

Because I don't have time to educate every misogynist prick who stumbles through here and demands instant attention.

I suggest you start with the FAQs.

In which I bitch about summer some more.

It's hot. Africa hot. I'm going to get all my hair cut off tomorrow. And you know what? I'll still be hot. Where are the air-conditioned lycra suits of the retro future? It's the TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY for christ's sake.

We should all be wearing silver climate-controlled jumpsuits and eating food pills and driving hover cars. Remember in Logan's Run, when Farrah Fawcett popped into the cosmetic surgery pod and got free, painless, risk-free instant new face and hair?* How fun would THAT be, to change your face at whim, weekly? Also, laser guns. Feminist utopia. Babies grown in vats, so nobody has to be pregnant, EVER. And talking robots to clean your house and cook your dinner.

What the hell happened to the future?

*and, seriously, if you don't remember Logan's Run, or have fond memories of it, NEVER WATCH IT AGAIN. That shit does NOT stand up to the test of time. Lawd-a-mercy that is a terrible movie.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dick Cheney was right.... in 1994

In 1994, Dick Cheney had at his fingertips the certain knowledge that an Iraq war would be disastrous and deadly for the US and Iraq, and that it would destabilize the entire region, particularly Iran and Turkey.



So what the hell happened to him?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Awwww, yeaaaahhhhh

The cheese edition

http://www.comics.com/comics/getfuzzy/index.html

I read this and got a headache, a stomachache, and a fear for my future consumption. I hit Google to see if this was some kind of sick joke. Because if so? NOT FUNNY. Do not joke about cheese, my man.

Sadly, it wasn't a joke. Lots of cheeses are made with a veal byproduct called rennet. I am deeply disturbed and depressed and a little bit nauseous, because I frackin LOVE CHEESE. But I don't want to eat things that involve killing animals, and rennet comes from dead baby cows. The only thing I ask people not to eat around me is veal, because veal makes me sad. Turns out that my beloved snack of cheddar and Triscuits? Not vegetarian. I am devastated. I may never be able to eat out again.

NOOOO!!! NOT MY CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE!!!

This is as bad as when I found out Oreos had lard in them, and I couldn't eat them for years. Every time I went to the grocery store, I'd check to see if the ingredients had changed. And lo, one day, one glorious day: there was no lard in Oreos!! There was exultation in the cookie aisle. There were milk and cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

And now, I must find a cheese made without rennet.

Damn you, Darby Conley!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

global warming update

97 degrees, 103 heat index. At 7:15 pm.

Fuckity fuck.

Mmmm, lemony!

I've been wanting to paint my kitchen yellow for about three years now. I finally went to Lowe's, bought a gallon of paint, a new paint brush, and some blue tape. Total: something like $45. Is that all? Why the hell did I keep putting it off? I have no bloody idea. I'm painting like an hour a day because if I paint too long, I get bored and sloppy.

I picked a shade called "soft duckling" which was very similar to both "tulip" and "lemon" in two other paint lines. It's a sunny lemony yellow, like hollandaise sauce. It's even kind of thick and creamy like hollandaise sauce.

The cats? The cats ain't happy. The fridge was in the middle of the tiny kitchen, and this was Not Good. There was a footstool in the kitchen. The cat food was moved three feet from its usual position. Not Good. There's yellow paint in Pippin's tail. Not Good.

In conclusion: yellow kitchen, Good; the cats' opinion on home decoration: Not Good.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hey, global warming naysayers! SUCK IT!!!!

It's 96 degrees outside. 51% humidity.

ONE HUNDRED AND NINE is the heat index.

the bare minimum

On days like this, when outside smells like ass and feels like a sauna, I often wonder why I bother to wear makeup at all. I walk outside, and condensation forms on my body before I even get a chance to sweat. Of course, the glistening (girls don't sweat!) commences about thirty seconds later. Criminy.

But all this to say I've recently taken the whole makeup thing to the bare minimum. I'd rather sleep in the morning, really. It's expensive, time-consuming, and pointless. My eyelashes, however, are invisible, and my skin, quite pale. If I wear no makeup at all, people want to know 1. if I'm feeling quite alright; b. if I'm tired; or III. if someone has died in my immediate family.

After much experimentation, I've determined that the absolute minimum makeup I can wear, and continue to avoid the above uncomfortable questions is:

1. Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer (in their very lightest shade, Alabaster)

2. Bourjois mascara in brown, not black*

That's it! Remarkable! I've been wasting time and money on the daily wear of concealer, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick...psh. No more, I tell you! I do keep a lipstick in my purse and randomly dab it on, in the event I reach in there for lip balm and I touch the lipstick first.**

I still have all that stuff, so I did the full-face thing the other night for a dinner engagement. It looked a bit overdone, now that I'm used to this minimal look.

*crappity crap crap. I just went to the Bourjois website to see what mascara it is. They've redesigned their mascara line so of course, now that I've found the perfect mascara, it's been discontinued. Bastards.

**My name is Jezebella, and I am a lip-balm-a-holic. I confess that I am powerless to go more than thirty waking minutes without a lip-balm application. I ask that you not judge me for my weakness in the face of an overwhelming need for moisturized lips. Sigh.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Infiltration at the gym

The campaign to bring feminism with me to the gym, so as to be less bored on the elliptical trainer, begins. It's the only antidote to the fucking Faux News that's on every stinkin' monitor.

Day one: bring a sharpie and scrawl feminist critique all over a copy of Jane magazine. Especially the ads. I think I wrote "airbrushed and photoshopped" on every single ad. Next time you look at an ad with a picture of a woman in it, look at her upper arms. They're usually photoshopped so that they are narrower than her mouth. Miraculously, find a recommendation for Shulamith Firestone's "Dialectic of Sex" in a reading list. Highlight it in dramatic fashion with lots of exclamation points!! READ THIS! YES!!!!

Day two: wear Planned Parenthood Escort shirt to work out. Get a few raised eyebrows, and repeated stinkeye treatment from one old white guy.

Day three: Wear shirt with a picture of a cow with googly eyes and the caption, "Hamburgers are made of WHAT?" No responses noted, but it was Friday and attendance was quite low.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Where are we at with "bitch"?

This question was posed over at the IBTP Forum and I've been meditating on it. It's offensive, demeaning, and misogynist, and I've done my rock-solid best to eradicate it from my vocabulary. For me, it's a litmus test. If someone calls me a bitch to my face, I get this strangely triumphant feeling, like, "I KNOW who I am dealing with. Now I've got this person's number." It doesn't hurt my feelings, but it is clearly used with a vicious intent. When someone chooses to use that word, he is at the bottom of his bag of tricks. If it's an argument, I've won. There's no doubting it, because a "bitch" is what you call a woman when you can no longer keep up your side of the issue, and you want to derail her by hurting her to the quick. Call me a bitch, and you're beneath my contempt. It's an eye-opening term.

The last person that called me a bitch to my face was shopping at Target. She and her sister were having a loud conversation in the dressing rooms: one was outside, one at the far end, and they were shouting up and down the hall to each other. It was unbelievably annoying. One said, "I think she doesn't know what she sounds like." I couldn't stand it any longer. I said, "I don't think y'all know what YOU sound like." You could've heard a pin drop. Then dressing room sister says something about how it's none of my business. I tell her she shouldn't talk so loud, then. She starts ranting about how she's got four kids and she can't help it if she can't bring them into the dressing room with her. I almost, ALMOST, said, "Well, that was YOUR lifestyle choice." I refrained. Fast-forward a few minutes. Sisters are haranguing the dressing room attendant who, bless her heart, is saying, "Oh, I think she's gone." I walk out, we lock eyes, and she knows it's me. She starts ranting again, as I pretty much ignore her and go about my business. She finally says, "YOU ARE A BITCH." I smile. I know she's lost it. I look slowly at her two children, sitting in front of her, looking up at mommy, and say, "You are a fine role model for your children," and walk off. I admit, I was full of adrenaline but she didn't see me flinch. She didn't say another word. I knew, KNEW, that she was beyond discussion, beyond reason, beyond her temper.

The second to last person who called me a bitch to my face took it a step further: she called me a "fat bitch." This was a co-worker, who, thankfully, resigned a few months later. She crossed the line with me. She MEANT to say the most hurtful possible thing. She said as she was walking out the door, too afraid to face the consequences. While we worked together, I answered her questions but never said hello or acknowledged her existence otherwise. Since then, I see her now and again. I do not speak to her. I make no bones about it. If her name comes up, I'm not going to pretend like she is anything but persona non grata. I've told people what she called me; I'm not ashamed of it. She should be ashamed. She is a mean, crazy person and deserves nothing less than contempt and snubbing.

The third-to-last person who called me a bitch got forgiven on a technicality: an ex told me I was "acting like a bitch." I stopped speaking to him then and there. I refused to finish the argument. I only answered his questions, I didn't look him in the eye, and I left whatever room he was in. We were living together, but somehow it took him three days to put the puzzle together. He walked in and said, "You're not speaking to me, are you?" No, no I'm not. "Is it because I called you a bitch?" Yes. I got a sincere apology, and I started speaking to him again.

In all three cases, a strange calm came over me because the line was crossed. There was no "maybe I'm overreacting, maybe I'm being too sensitive, etc." No. When someone calls me a bitch, I know how to react. Maybe that's why it makes it easy to deal with. You can't pretend like you didn't MEAN to hurt someone when you call them a bitch. It's sort of like a racist just going ahead and wearing a swastika; at least you can see 'em coming, right? I figure anyone who calls a woman a bitch is outing themselves as a hateful piece of shit, beneath contempt.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of reclaiming the word. It's demeaning, because it's dehumanizing. Quite LITERALLY: it's calling someone a dog. And, frankly, most dogs are a hell of a lot nicer than most people I know, so it's also an insult to dogs. If someone says I'm a bitch, part of me wants to snicker and say, "Why yes, yes I am." If it doesn't work as a verbal cudgel, it loses its power.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Note to self:

To a kitten, dental floss looks a lot like string.

ergo:

To a kitten, "mama flossing her teeth" looks a lot like a fun new game.

Monday, July 30, 2007

nouns for verbs

The following words, while frequently used as verbs, are NOUNS. They should not be used as verbs.

PARTY

FELLOWSHIP

SCRAPBOOK



Thank you for your attention, and obedience. That is all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Not right. It just ain't right.

collective memorial services for war casualties

An army base has decided to do one collective memorial service a month instead of individual ones, because the death toll is too high. Support the troops, indeed.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Personality Defect Test


Your Score: Starving Artist


You are 42% Rational, 28% Extroverted, 28% Brutal, and 57% Arrogant.




You are the Starving Artist! Like some sort of emaciated Frenchman, you sit in your fancy little chair and contemplate beauty, meaning, flowers, and all kinds of other ridiculous crap. You are more intuitive than logical, and are primarily guided by your heart and emotions. You are also very introverted and gentle. Of course, this does not mean that you do not have an ego. In fact, you are surprisingly arrogant for someone so emotional and gentle. This is why you are best described as a starving artist. You are very introspective and quite sure of yourself, as any accomplished artist is, yet your views are impractical, guided by feelings, and overly gentle. You probably find math, logic, and similar intellectual pursuits offensive to your artistic sensibilities, and you prefer the open-endedness of artistry because it's infinitely easier to ponder the beauty of a sock than to build rocketships. So really you have no reason to be arrogant, you big doofus, because the skills you value (emotion, spirit, art, etc.) in yourself are valuable only on a subjective level, meaning your arrogance is purely masturbatory, like the insipid self-pleasuring of some twat who spouts artistic nonsense only for the pleasant tinkling sound it makes upon his indiscriminating ears. In short, your personality is defective because you are arrogant, introverted, introspective, gentle, and thoroughly irrational...posessing most of the traits needed to be a starving--and useless--artist. So get out there, write a few short stories that are allegories for the indestructible spirit of socks, and starve!


To put it less negatively:

1. You are more INTUITIVE than rational.

2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more ARROGANT than humble.


Compatibility:


Your exact opposite is the Capitalist Pig.


Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Haughty Intellectual, the Televangelist, and the Emo Kid.


*


*


If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits.


The other personality types:

The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.


Be sure to take my Sublime Philosophical Crap Test if you are interested in taking a slightly more intellectual test that has just as many insane ramblings as this one does!

The following image was made by Stephan Brusche at http://www.sb77.nl, a real-life "starving artist". Check out his website if interested.


About Saint_Gasoline



I am a self-proclaimed pseudo-intellectual who loves dashes. I enjoy science, philosophy, and fart jokes and water balloons, not necessarily in that order. I spend 95% of my time online, and the other 5% of my time in the bathroom, longing to get back on the computer. If, God forbid, you somehow find me amusing instead of crass and annoying, be sure to check out my blog and my webcomic at SaintGasoline.com.




Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hello, Dad? I'm in JAIL!!

Not really. I am back, safe and sound, but for the flames of hellfire licking at my heels. I have been roundly (and loudly) chastised for my wicked ways today. I have witnessed the pagan gods (and sex goddesses!) cast out of Birmingham so that JEEEEZus can reign over Alabama and end the holocaust of abortion mills, the evils of Islam, and the abomination of homosexuality.

And now, the torrential rains are coming towards me, so I am staying home even though I would really like to be in Hattiesburg at a Harry Potter release party. But yea! Lo! Weather.com spaketh of thunder and lightning and fast-moving winds! The Internet, it doth cast a fear into me, a long-seated Pavlovian fear of driving in torrential rainpours, particularly after sunset.

And hark! Lest I forget the most important lesson of the day: Flip Benham himself informed me that THERE ARE NO ROBOTS IN HEAVEN!!! I am devastated by this revelation, laid low by the crashing wave of despondency, for I very much looked forward to having a robot serve me manna while lying on fluffy white clouds with winged angels. Alas. My dream is torn asunder. All is lost.

Oh, wait, never mind. I've got a pizza on the way. I'll be fine.

EDIT: That was NOT Flip Benham after all, telling me about the robots not going to heaven. It's just, you know, all those old white guys look alike. Who on earth can tell them apart??

Thursday, July 19, 2007

But wait, there's more!

I will not be linking to Operation Save America, formerly known as Operation Rescue, but I did want to share this little tidbit from their website:

"The “Hate Crimes Prevention Act” is a giant that must be slain in the Name of Jesus."

In other words, OSA are PRO-hate crimes. Mighty "Christian" of them, ain't it?

longer article about Operation Save America in Alabama

RH Reality Check

An excellent and detailed account of what's happening in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham during Operation Save America's annual terrorism conference.

"Jezebel Rose Up Against Authority and was Arrested"

[let's hope that's not a prophetic title]

http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/535273672.html

That was the byline for an article on the "Christian News Wire" about an abortion clinic director who was arrested in Tuscaloosa this week. There is SO much to blame in this article, beginning with the fact that the director isn't granted the respect of a title or a last name; moving on to the quoting of scripture saying one should submit to the governing authorities; the hypocrisy in the fact that Operation Save America is bound and determined to SUBVERT the governing authorities, who have determined that birth control and abortion are legal; and they quote "The spirit of Christ loves order." Anyone who has seen pro-lifers at work knows that "order" is NOT what they are about.

But wait, it gets better! I mean, WORSE! She was arrested for cursing. The protesters were NOT arrested for being on clinic private property, even though the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances act specifically bars them from coming onto clinic property and interfering with business. Even though they didn't have a permit to protest. And THEY are the ones citing scripture about submitting to governing authorities? Holy mother of....

http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=10429

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

confession

Once upon a time, I had a boyfriend. I was helping him organize his house, and I came upon a box of porn videotapes. I threw them all away and piled a lot of garbage on top of the tapes so he'd never know.

It was a long time ago, and it still gives me the giggles. What's he gonna do, call me up and ask me where his porn went?

Hee.

Monday, July 16, 2007

why is fat a feminist issue?

I wrote this in response to a query over on the IBTP forum, and thought it worth repeating here. Why is fat a feminist issue?

Another forum member asked this question:

But being overweight/obese is unhealthy, and why would you encourage anyone to embrace being unhealthy?!”

And here are my answers:

There's no SOLID MEDICAL EVIDENCE that being overweight is necessarily bad for you. A couple of points:

1. The definition of "overweight" is culturally determined, and has changed even in our lifetimes.

2. Being "overweight" can certainly be a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle, but isn't necessarily going to be bad for you. Slightly "overweight" people have longer life expectancies. It is a danger sign that one might be unhealthy, but no one has proved that it can kill you. I'm talking about being over a size 12, not morbidly, over-300-pounds obese. Size 12 is AVERAGE and it is HEALTHY and in our culture, it is considered FAT. It is a MYTH that being "overweight" is unhealthy. Let me repeat: it can be a symptom of ill health, but there is no proof that it is a CAUSE of ill health.

2a. The point at which obesity actually endangers one's health (stress on the joints, cardiovascular system, etc.) is MUCH higher than the point at which a woman is considered "fat" in our culture.

3. The culturally acceptable size for a woman in the US is actually unnaturally, unhealthily thin.

4. Genetics have at least as much to do with one's weight as one's diet and exercise habits. Expecting women to spend all of their time and energy trying to conform to an arbitrary cultural beauty standard is BAD FOR WOMEN. Like other beauty myths, the beauty and diet industry preys on women's inculcated insecurities about our fuckability. It costs us time, money, and self-esteem. It weakens us.

5. The more time we spend worrying about our weight, the less happy and productive we are. A woman who spends two hours at the gym every day will never finish her dissertation and get a tenure-track job, nor will she make partner at a law firm, nor will she have time to do things that make HER happy, whether that is knitting, political action, or doing yoga.

6. The diet industry is a behemoth designed to make billions of dollars. If diets worked, they'd put themselves out of business.

7. Why is it a feminist issue? Because only women are hounded for our weight 24/7 in every possible media venue. Because women are constantly being pressured to conform to fuckability standards - weight, hair, makeup, clothes, shoes, and sexual compliance are only some of the things that women are subjected to.

8. Men are not subject to these pressures to conform. Men are only considered fat if they are well over 50 lbs. overweight. Every inch of a man's body does not have to be fat-free, sculpted, cellulite-free, etc. for him to be considered a real man. A woman with fat on her body (except breasts and hips) is hardly a woman at all.

9. Fat-hatred is rampant. The stereotype of the fat person - the fat WOMAN - is that she is a lazy,disgusting pig who eats trash all day long.

10. Being fat is considered a failure of personality, of will, of character. For women. Men are encouraged to eat big portions, giant steaks, drippy disgusting burgers and fries: this is considered manly. Women, however, are not supposed to eat in public. Especially fat women.

11. Women in our culture are taught to hate our bodies unless they conform to sexbot standards. This is not acceptable or healthy. It is highly damaging to women who are too tall, too short, too big-breasted, too flat-chested, too dark, too pale, too loud, too quiet, too fat, and even, in extreme cases, too thin. Fat is a large part of this equation.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Well, duh.

You Are 100% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I once read a poem

It was called "All Rabbits are Republicans." In fact, rabbits, like Republicans, do not approve of much of anything human beings do.

Linky: Disapproving Rabbits

Saturday, July 07, 2007

have I ever happened to mention...

That here in the buttcrack of Mississippi, people who keep their plants in pots refer to them as "pot plants." Not POTTED plants, mind you. "Pot Plants." The first time I heard our 60-ish receptionist say she had to bring her "pot plants" in because it was going to freeze, I think I choked, tripped, and my jaw hit the floor, all at once. Huh-what?

Friday, July 06, 2007

July

...is certainly getting off to an interesting start.

Revelations.
Reunions.
Too many cigarettes.
600 miles in three days.
Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters.
Used bookstores.
Death, but no taxes.

And it's only the 6th.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Support the troops

Not with car magnets or waving flags, but with health care, reasonable wages, and proper equipment. Support them by bringing them home.

Army of One

Thanks to Jack-Booted Thug at the IBTP Forum for the link.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pippin Sequence

Finally, Pippin the Bitey sits still long enough for me to snap a non-fuzzy shot:



However, upon noticing the camera, and its enticing dangly strap, calmness gives way to scrambling:



And, within ten seconds of being a calm little poser, he's all up in my face chewing on the camera strap:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

woot!

I'm off to NYC in the AM. It's almost 10 pm and I'm still doing laundry. Yet to come: dishes, trash, cat maintenance, and the obligatory wardrobe crisis.

Back Tuesday; don't wreck the place.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Confessions of a Bourgeois Asshole

I confess: I hired a housekeeper to clean up after me.

I loathe cleaning, especially the bathroom and kitchen. I can organize, tidy, and move piles around with great efficiency. I don't hate laundry or even handwashing the dishes. But I HATE scrubbing toilets and floors.

So, after I finished grad school, I got a recommendation from a colleague, and discovered I could pay for cleaning twice a month for less than I was spending on tuition. Those two Tuesdays a month that I come home to a clean house are glorious. I am gleeful with anticipation, and never less than delighted. My quality of life and mood has improved exponentially. I never have a yucky tub or tumbleweeds of cat fur drifting through my house.

As a feminist, I know that I am exploiting another woman by paying her to do my dirty work. I know that I'm participating in a global patriarchal economy of oppression of women of color. But then I think: why is it okay to pay a guy to do my yard, or change my oil, or paint my house, but not okay to pay a woman to clean my house? Is it because cleaning is "women's work" and I feel guilty for not doing it myself, not being an obedient, conforming woman who scrubs her own floors?

Check this: she makes the same hourly wage I do. I have a PhD, $100k in student loans, and a professional job. I make the same hourly wage as a person who cleans houses for a living. How is THAT fair? Really, we should both be making more money. If she worked for a cleaning service, she'd get benefits and vacation days, but then she'd only be making $7-8/hour. I do get health insurance and vacation days on top of my salary, but when it comes down to it, we're both getting paid far less than we're worth. One because she's doing "women's work" and the other because I'm doing non-profit cultural work.

I just can't defend this choice but I also don't want to give it up. I don't grow my cotton and make my own cloth and clothing; I don't grow my own vegetables; I don't make my own electronics; all of these industries - EVERY INDUSTRY - relies on exploiting the labor classes. I know this. I hate it. I don't want to live off the grid and dig potatoes all bloody day long. I don't think I have to in order to be an ethical person. I do resent being typecast as a spoiled honky because I spend $80 a month on avoiding something I really just hate doing, but I also know that I AM a spoiled American honky. Not as spoiled as many, but certainly living like a queen by third-world standards.

I guess this is all about white liberal guilt, isn't it? It's the oldest and most boring story in the world. Sigh.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Jezebella on tour: Greenville, MS

It's a long way to the ass-end of the Delta: Greenville. It's on the Arkansas border, right on the Mississippi River, and it's a solid four hours from me. I didn't take any pictures, but I can recommend a visit to the Greenville Arts Council to visit their gallery, and their freshly restored, century-old carousel, which is just gorgeous. It's been restored to function, but it's only open a few hours a day.

On Friday night, I ate at Fermo's, which had fantastic eggplant parmesan, a civilized wine list, and home-made fried cheese that was spectacular (not that Sysco fried-cheese-stick stuff). Alas, it being a small town, they were vacuuming and stacking chairs at 9:fucking:20 PM, while we were still seated. Tres gauche.

On my way out of town, I took a ride over to see the new - but not yet open - Greenville Bridge over the Mississippi. It's a fine-looking bridge. The old bridge is a fairly alarming, narrow, two-laned thing. I'd bet it's an old WPA project, it's that narrow. Nonetheless, it gives a great view of the new bridge, and the river really is gorgeous there. It being the Delta, the river is not controlled by levees. This allows for river expansion and silt spread, which is the reason for that rich dark farming ground all over the Delta. Corn, soybeans, and catfish farms are your main scenery up Highway 49W and across 82. It's okay for a while, but then it just gets boring.

Greenville is a bit grim in that broke-down southern town way, but the Arts Council is doing a good job of keeping the community filled with theater, visual arts, and so forth. Some of the older houses are being kept up, but a lot of houses with amazing bones are being let go to hell.

Greenville does have a real live independent bookstore, the McCormick Book Inn. Their emphasis is Mississippi writers and info, plus they have a big children's section. The back room is a kind of de facto Greenville History Museum, featuring books, postcards, and memorabilia from the town. I wanted to have a chat with the owner about the damaging effects of flourescent light on vintage paper & photographs, but I decided to let it be. He's doing a community service by keeping that stuff in his commercial establishment as it is.

Greenville, by the way, has brown water. When I checked into my hotel, I thought someone had left piss in the toilet. Seriously. Turns out the water is brown everywhere, and they claim it's perfectly safe, and there are signs in every single bathroom in town addressing the issue. Ooookay, whatever. It kind of freaked me out.

On my way home I stopped in Leland to visit the Highway 61 Blues Museum. I'll be honest with you: those guys NEED your five bucks. They've got memorabilia, a temporary exhibit of blues musician photos - a lot of Son Thomas and BB King - and I hear their festival is quite fine. Why do they need your five bucks? Because, holy crap, they need some damn air conditioning. Whew. They do have good t-shirts and posters, and they're doing a decent job considering their limited resources. I do believe you would find some truly down-home Delta Blues jam sessions there during festival weekend, if you can take the heat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cohabitation

On Heterosexual Cohabitation:

1. Don't do it.

2. Live next door to each other.

or

2a. Live in a shotgun double with one connecting door.

3. Never share a bathroom.

4. Don't live in the same house as a man unless you can both afford to pay a housekeeper.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Introducing Pippin



It's kitten season! Pippin was found wandering on a busy street by my boss's wife. She drove past, then turned around, because she just couldn't leave such a tiny kitten wandering around in the middle of the street. As they have two unruly children, adding a kitten to their family was not an option. So, she took him to their vet (which also happens to be my vet) and paid for a checkup and shots. She called work to see if anyone wanted him, and I agreed to go visit him to see if we got along.

I knew one thing: if he was a tortoiseshell, I was going to pass. Every tortie cat I've ever met is batshit insane. Pippin is a mix of tabby and Siamese, I think, with little white feet. He is feisty, blue-eyed, and a complete lunatic. I am covered in tiny little kitten scratches because he likes to climb up my back and perch on my shoulder. Last night, he had a claw-clipping. There was much lamentation of the feline, during which I kept saying, "I'm bigger than you! I'm bigger than you!" Hopefully the claw-clipping will get easier. I never did get the other boys into the habit.

Why is the picture blurry? Because he has two modes: running around like a little streak of white lightning, or sleeping on my neck. I never happen to have a camera handy when he settles down to a nap on me, so all my Pippin pics are blurry. One day he'll settle down long enough for a proper photo shoot. I hope.