Monday, December 29, 2008

geographically challenged

I can't go anywhere without missing at least one turn in the directions, or going the wrong way, and I never, ever know which way is north, south, east or west. But! Big Brother has launched satellites, and Santa has given me a magic box, and now Big Brother and the magic box know where I am, how fast I am going, and how to get where I want to go! This is both genius and slightly terrifying, or at least paranoia-inducing.

I look forward to never being lost again. Truly.

Friday, December 19, 2008

outrageous

Just, I'm sputtering, this is so outrageous.



There is one organization fighting for women's reproductive health in Mississippi, and they are in need of an instant cash infusion. Please help if you can:

Planned Parenthood of Alabama (which also serves Mississippi)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Unearthed the sewing machine

...to make Morsbags, reusable shopping bags, which will serve as gift bags this xmas. My sewing skills, being unused for lo these many years, mean each bag takes more like an hour than 20 minutes, but mainly because every time I try to make a bobbin or thread the machine, it's like I'm reinventing the fucking wheel. Why can I not remember how to do it from one time to the next? I hope to bring down construction time with each new iteration. Perhaps one day, I will cross stitch witty sayings or initials or skulls-and-crossbones upon them, but for now, I'm lucky to turn 4 pieces of fabric and a mile of thread into something that holds other somethings. I'm also fortunate in that I inherited my Grandma's sewing supplies - ALL OF THEM - so not only do I have every sewing tool one could possibly need, I have at least three of them. Plus several bins of fabric. Take that, expensive gift bag industry! HaHA!

Herewith, Morsbag 1:



and Morsbag 2:

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Upgrading the apparatus

People, I have made what I suspect is a life-changing home appliance purchase. First, the background. PoopMaster Ferris, the 9-year-old Siamese thug, has recently been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. As one might imagine, the weeks leading up to a diagnosis of feline IBS were fragrant in the extreme. Frankly, as a person not much inclined to cleaning, I was doing a lousy job of attending to the task at hand. Plus, my gag reflex is sensitive. Anyway. The recent regimen of antibiotics and steroids seemed to be working, until midday yesterday, when something apparently distressed his delicate GI system. This weekend's "pet messes" (as the cleaning industry so delicately refers to puddles of wretched stinking poop on my oriental rug) were absolutely soaked into the fibers. I dredged from my memory the recollection of an advertisement featuring a smiling blonde hausfrau in neatly pressed khakis (aren't they always?) happily toting around a Little Green Machine which appeared to suck up huge and horrific messes in an instant.

My friends, I hied myself to the Walmart, as I live in Buttcrack, Mississippi, and the only place one can find a vacuuming or cleaning device of any sort on a Sunday is the WalMart. I was determined to spend any amount of money up to and including the $200 currently in my checking account in order to avoid spending the evening on my knees trying to clean cat poop out of the carpet. I took a deep breath, plunged in, and purchased two - TWO - kinds of cat food in an effort to find one that does not cause the Beast's Bowel to be Irritable, and then I went to the vacuum aisle. Yes! Victory! A Bissell Little Green Machine, alleged to be "Green" as in eco-friendly, even. A bottle of pet-specific Bissell fluid was $20, but did I hesitate? I did not. The self-checkout revealed the $99.98 machine to, in fact, be on sale for $79.98, which I consider a sign that this, indeed, was the appliance for me.

I will pass over in silence the tedious details of cleaning, because, dear MAUDE, cleaning is boring, but I will summarize thus: in a short amount of time, with almost no effort on my part, my task was completed. The machine sits in the utility room, locked and loaded, ready for its next task. And I, my friends, will sleep a little easier tonight.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I love this barn.



Every time I drive past it, it cheers me up. Except for that one time, when it had a Haley Barbour sign on it. But then they took the sign down, and it is, again, a cheerful red barn.

Monday, December 01, 2008

thanks

thanks for the smallpox. thanks for the whiskey and the res. thanks for the boarding schools and the haircuts. thanks for forced relocations, the christianity, the dead languages. thanks for mount rushmore. thanks for the invisibility and the silence. thanks for erasing our grandmothers' names. thanks for the murder, rape, arson, and robbery. thanks for the lies. thanks for the genocide.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What I learned on Facebook this week

My friends are truly, madly, deeply nerdy. I knew this in a superficial way, but didn't see quite how nerdy they were until now.

Srsly. Nerds.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

repetitive

i keep dating the same guy, over and over, and he is an emotional teenager. i've given up, quit cold turkey, but i keep being reminded of that guy. the guy with the bad habits, the dark hair, the jokes he tells over and over and over again, getting huffy if people don't think they're funny the thousandth time. the guy who reads a lot, isn't ambitious, in fact lacks anything resembling a career, he likes scifi and fantasy, he's liberal and non-religious but, alas, completely unaware of his male privilege. he, like me, has working class origins although a middle-class-ish childhood. have i mentioned his bad habits and his bad jokes? his narcissistic self-doubt? i don't know who he is but i dated versions of him for almost twenty years before i learned to spot him, and now i see him, my spidey-sense tingles and ah, yes, i say, here comes trouble. there's another one. that guy. i wish he'd grow up, give up his bad habits, because he and i, we'd get along like a house afire if only... if only he was a completely different person. one without bad habits and the emotional depth of a teaspoon. yeah. then he wouldn't be that guy any more.

Friday, November 21, 2008

migraine again today

Outdoor kitties plus painting in progress:



That would be Polished Silver, a Valspar color, color-matched in Benjamin Moore Aura paint, which is truly amazing and wonderful stuff, on the walls. It's low-VOC so it's not stinky, covers beautifully, and goes on like buttah. Seriously, painting with a nice creamy paint really does help. I'm in the process of painting the woodwork Cloud White, also in Aura.

The larger black cat (at right) is Nigel's littermate; the other three are Mama Kitty's younger litter. Mama Kitty kind of comes and goes, but she made sure to take off for a good long time when the babies were juuuuust young enough that I felt bad about not feeding them. Well, it was either feed them, or come home to a dead bird on the deck every day. So they line up in the window for breakfast.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

fall window

random

Every time I check the email in my spam filter, I feel as though I am sexually harassing myself.

I woke up to a migraine today because I turned on the flourescent lights in my office yesterday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

disarray

since Gustav and the ceiling leak, the disarray has crept through-out the house, furniture moved out of the living room into study, dining room, then crept slowly back, a sofa, a tv, a recliner, a stepstool used as coffee table. baseboards and windows need painting, but i hate painting windows, blinds need replacing from kitten destruction. am i staying or moving? i lie in bed with lists, ever never ending lists running through my mind: paint molding, measure, buy, and hang blinds, clean wax off floor, move furniture, wonder where the mystery pisser has struck in the office, dishes to do, furniture to repair, rugs clean, hang curtains, sew buttons, dry cleaning, send transcripts, choose textbooks, shit I owe j. a phone call and need to call i. as well, check facebook, check forum, balance checkbook, repaint molding and clean windows, blinds in office, blinds in bedroom, all destroyed by cat claw chaos. mystery shitter leaving piles here and there, 2 or 3 days a week, is some feline or other ill or just angry at the disorder? i just want: i want to cook a meal, and sit at a table, with a placemat, and a napkin, and a glass of iced tea, and have a quiet meal. but the disarray is on the dining table too. and the last thing i want to do when i get home is change into painting clothes and have at a thousand little window cross-bars with the cutting-in brush, then do the dishes so i can wash the brush, then clean the catboxes - again, so i check email and myspace and facebook and apartment therapy (which, maude knows, i need desperately), and put out the trash and then lie in bed again at night thinking: tomorrow I will paint, and then the next day paint, and then move everything back into the living room, and the disorder will recede, and then i will be able to sleep at night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

disappointed

"promise not to tell anyone," i said, and he did. he promised. and then he told and what's worse, forgot to tell that the thing he was telling was a secret, and so it wasn't a secret any more. i don't want to lie to my friends but if they can't keep my confidence what then? are they not friends, or friends i lie to? neither suits me. neither pleases me. i'm disappointed by him, and not for the first time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

flew

to the middle of North Carolina on two small planes, fifty-seaters, the one to Memphis just fine but the one to Greensboro bumpy. turbulence is my kryptonite, adrenaline pumps open wide the nanosecond my stomach swoops in free fall. thankfully the klonopin shuts them back down after momentary panic, without it they stay wide open and i am virtually incapacitated the rest of the flight.

people in airports, they clutch their cell phones like lifelines: to email, voicemail, family, work, a ride home. nobody puts them away in pocket or bag, me included, I'm plugged into mine, listening to wilco's lament, sunglasses on, hiding in plain sight. half the riders open up their cells the minute we land and permission is given, all saying one thing: "we've landed, we're on the ground, see you soon."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Loving these: Arthur Wesley Dow prints

I have got a giant case of WANT:




Arthur Wesley Dow
Snowy Peak, Los Angeles, about 1912

Color linocut
3 9/16 x 5 13/16 in. [462-1]

This is one of a whole series of fantastic little woodcuts and linocuts in a current Hirschl and Adler exhibition. Inspired by Japanese Edo period woodblock prints, but simplified, at a smaller scale, more intimate. More hand-made feeling, you know? Also, I love that this is Los Angeles. I mean, really: L.A.? Used to look like that? Who knew? It wasn't even all that terribly long ago. And the shrubberies, they kind of look like centipedes, so I get this kind of visual bounce back & forth from alien-looking wormy things meandering across the landscape to these homely little chubby shrubberies.

Go, look at all of them:


Along Ipswich River: Color-prints by Arthur Wesley Dow

Go.

Vote.

For information on where to vote:

http://www.voteforchange.com/

Also:

If you or anyone you know has questions or trouble with voting, call the hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

It's a nonpartisan group of trained volunteers with access to information about voting (including the laws) in all 50 states. They are there to help people get access to the polls and to document and counteract voter suppression. They can tell you things like when the polls are open, what kind of ID you need (if any), what to do if you recently moved, etc. They can also usually check your voter registration and tell you your assigned precinct number and location.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You know what? Forget about grammar.

Forget about usage. I can't believe I was pissed off because some dumbass cannot manage to tell the difference between "gifted" and "given". Because that momentary outrage was nothing to the way I feel right now.

Because THIS, holy crap, THIS, makes me want to puke:

CULLOWHEE – A dead bear was found dumped this morning on the Western Carolina University campus, draped with a pair of Obama campaign signs, university police said.

Maintenance workers reported about 7:45 a.m. finding a 75-pound bear cub dumped at the roundabout near the Catamount statute at the entrance to campus, said Tom Johnson, chief of university police.

“It looked like it had been shot in the head as best we can tell. A couple of Obama campaign signs had been stapled together and stuck over its head,” Johnson said.

University police called in N.C. Wildlife Resources officials to remove the body and help in the investigation. Bear season is currently under way in Western North Carolina.

“This is certainly unacceptable,” Johnson said. “Someone was wanting to draw attention to the election. If we find out who they are, we’ll make sure they’ll get some attention themselves.”

"Western Carolina University deplores the inappropriate behavior that led to this troubling incident," said Leila Tvedt, associate vice chancellor "We cannot speculate on the motives of the people involved, nor who those people might be. Campus police are cooperating with authorities to investigate this matter."

Anyone with information should call WCU police at 828-227-7301.


What kind of SICK FUCKING DICKBLISTER kills a baby bear, for one thing?

What kind of DOUCHEY MCDOUCHERSON WITH AN OVERCOMPENSATION PROBLEM kills that baby bear, and then staples Obama signs to it, and dumps it on a college campus?

What kind of IGNORANT FUCKING NON-LOGIC decides that killing a bear for McCain is a valid political statement?

Seriously, if that guy wins, shoot me now and staple an Obama sign to my forehead. This is not a country I can live in if the majority of voters are on the same side as this kind of GIANT STINKIN ASSHOLE.

Monday, October 20, 2008

FFS: a note on the English language

When someone hands an item over to you, free of charge, it has been GIVEN to you.

It has not, repeat NOT, been "GIFTED" to you.

Cheesus christ, people, what the fuck?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I am the thirteenth wave.

Revolutionary feminism isn't that new, y'all. Just a little reminder.

If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.

--Abigail Adams, 1776

Friday, October 10, 2008

Presidential Candidates on the Arts

First, the link:

Arts Vote 2008

Next, the brief summary:

McCain's policy on art is one paragraph that, roughly, says "Um, art? Sure, schools should teach it, if they feel like spending money on it. Wev."

Obama's policies consist of three briefs with specific things he has supported and will support. It's a.... whaddya call it... a "platform". Yes. That's it. With details and stuff.

Go, read.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Regarding federal funding for museums

John McCain claimed that Barack Obama voted to give a museum - the Adler Planetarium - $3 million dollars for "an overhead projector."

Let us be clear: the request from the Adler, which was not granted, was for money to replace their forty-year-old planetarium projector, which can no longer be serviced.

Do we want a president that supports science education, or one that can't tell the difference between an "overhead projector" and an elaborate piece of equipment that can re-create the night sky in a domed theater?

Linky

Maybe Donna Brazile will be our next president

I sure as hell would vote for her.

budget woes

Cats! Are! Expensive!

To wit: four sets of annual shots; visit, bath, and shot for nervous cat chewing his fur off; shot and pills for itchy snorty cat; worm pills for two wormy cats; ethical healthy food for the inside cats; flea juju x4; two kinds of cat litter; cheap-ass cat food for the outside feral cats; and Feline Greenie Pill Pockets which are a freakin godsend if you need to get a pill down a cat's throat, no shit, y'all, get some if you ever need to pill a cat. I can't even bring myself to add up the total cost of all that, to tell you the truth. Cats! They're expensive! And poopy!

Plus, soon, as an added bonus, soon I'll have to trap the feral cats under the house and get them spayed/neutered, so that the colony of five doesn't turn into a colony of forty by the end of the year.

Perhaps I could call my congressperson and get added to the bailout. I'm kind of in over my head here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

armchair diagnosis

As I have watched a lot of procedural crime dramas, I consider myself an armchair expert in, you know, the Mind of the Criminal. According to all of them, one of the signposts along the way to full-fledged serial killer behavior is the torturing and/or killing of animals. It's like practice for killing humans.

I've long found sport hunting repugnant, which I distinguish from killing things which one intends to eat. In fact, I think anyone who wants to eat meat should *have* to kill their own, so they know exactly what it is they're eating: Death. Not a pre-packaged lump of stuff on a bun or a plate. No, hon, you're eating bloody, howling DEATH. How ya like that burger now?

ANYWAY, sport hunting, in which people go out and kill animals for the fun of it, is inexcusable, repugnant, and unethical. I don't see any difference between trophy hunting in Africa, torturing the neighbor's cat, and, say, shooting wolves from a helicopter. It's all killing for fun. Killing for pleasure. So, sport hunters, I say: you are psychopaths. That includes you, Sarah Palin. I've got your "culture of life" right here, lady. If you loved "life," you wouldn't kill animals for jollies.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I know, I know

I'm a lazy blogger. Very, very lazy. Times are strange and urgent. The election is looming. If you live in Mississippi, you have until Friday - DAY AFTER TOMORROW - to register to vote. Way to enfranchise the populace, State of Mississippi! Make the deadline a month ahead of the election! Awesome!! At least we've done away with poll taxes and testing, those time-tested ways of keeping people from voting.

I'm worried about voter fraud, but not worried enough. I'm worried about the economy, but probably not worried enough. I can't even worry about the polar bears because if I think about them, I will end up in a ball on the floor, weeping. I mean, the polar bears! They drown! It's AWFUL. See? Now I'm all weepy. Must think of something else.

Should I lay in a year's worth of rice and beans? Is there any money left in my IRA? Should I move to Canada and freeze my tits off for six months a year for the rest of my life?

There are certainties. Sarah Palin? A nightmare. No more a feminist than I am a giraffe. McCain? Same nightmare, different plumbing, more power. Watch the video, then go donate some money to Planned Parenthood in the name of Sarah Palin. They'll send her a little thank-you note for your honoring her with your donation. Anti-woman policies may sound like a lot of theoretical woo to some people, but on the ground, in our real lives? Women are suffering from them. They can't afford birth control, or pap smears, or pre-natal care. You know who helps them with that? Planned Parenthood. Send 'em a few bucks. Note that the following is a production of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which is legally a separate entity from the PP that runs clinics and provides healthcare for women and free contraceptives to anyone who walks in the door. Srsly. You need some condoms? Walk in the door and they will hand you some. No shit. Free. Go! Glove up!

Friday, September 19, 2008

OMG SHOES



Neil Patrick Harris has shoes for you.

On Double Standards

Let me get this straight ...

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."

Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers -- a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track -- you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

Attend five different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

If you spend three years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a constitutional law professor, spend eight years as a state senator representing a district with more than 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees ... you don't have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is: local weather presenter, four years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with fewer than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people ... you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising two daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner-city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.

If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude," with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.


hat tip to: The Snarky Squab

Also, I changed a few words here and there that I felt were sexist. Even if I don't like Sarah Palin, there's no need to call a grown woman a "girl", you know?



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Republican candidates and the Arts.

You know THIS will be a short post, yeah?


Here's what you need to know about McCain's policies re: art and culture:

Desperately Seeking John McCain's Arts Policy

and, a little tale from a small museum in a small town, circa 1997:

Anchorage Daily News (Alaska)

August 6, 1997, Wednesday, FINAL EDITION

MUSEUM STAFF QUITS IN ANGER

BYLINE: S.J. Komarnitsky; Daily News Mat-Su Bureau

SECTION: NATION, Pg. 1A

LENGTH: 975 words

DATELINE: Wasilla

Opal Toomey, Esther West and Ann Meyers don't seem like politically active types. There are no bumper stickers on their cars, no pins on their lapels.

But the three gray-haired matrons of Wasilla's city museum decided to take a stand last week. Faced with a $ 32,000 budget cut and the prospect of choosing who would lose her job, the three 15-year-plus employees decided instead to quit en masse. They sent a letter to the mayor and City Council announcing they plan to retire at the end of the month, leaving the museum without a staff. They also sent a message: They'd rather quit than continue working for a city that doesn't want to preserve its history.

"We hate to leave," said Meyers, who at 65 is the youngest of the three. "We've been together a long time. But this is enough." If the city were broke, it would be different, she said. "If they were even close to being broke."

Instead, the city is flush thanks to a 2 percent sales tax passed in 1994 that has left it with $ 4 million in reserves. There is no reason the museum's budget should be cut, Meyers said.

But the mayor and several City Council members who supported the cut say the budget surplus is beside the point.

They were elected on a platform to minimize government and concentrate on infrastructure -- paving roads and extending sewer lines. They appreciate the museum and the work the women do to manage it and several buildings that make up a historic townsite in downtown Wasilla. But the operation needs to be more efficient, they say.

"I think everybody was in agreement there were ways to make the museum more efficient, to spend taxpayers' dollars wiser over there," Mayor Sarah Palin said.

The museum, which had an annual budget of more than $ 200,000, was costing roughly $ 25 per visitor, she said. Besides, she added, "if you talk to someone in Wasilla (about) where they want their tax dollars to go, nine out of 10 say, 'Fix my road. I still don't have water in my area. And protect our lakes with a sewer system.' "

That philosophy, supported by Palin and many City Council members, has been debated in the town since the mayor took office last fall. Some say the museum is just the latest example of cutting government at the expense of the community.

The women are only the latest to leave the city payroll, noted John Cooper, who was the museum's director until Palin fired him last fall.

In addition to Cooper, Wasilla Police Chief Irl Stambaugh left last winter after Palin fired him, and planning director Duane Dvorak and Public Works director John Felton turned in their resignations this summer.

"People are voting with their feet," he said.

Palin maintains she is doing what voters asked. To have $ 4 million in reserves is prudent. That's not even an entire year's budget, she said.

Much of the latest flap over the museum is a misunderstanding, she said.

All the council wanted was to cut back the museum's hours in winter from seven days a week to five. The women made the decision to resign, Palin said.

West, Toomey and Meyers disagree. They say they were told that one of them would have to leave in September.

Regardless of what was intended, museum supporters say, losing the women will be a blow to the city.

The three have run the two-story building just off the Parks Highway since the early 1980s. And while it is no National Gallery of Art, its collection of mining materials, homestead memorabilia and early Wasilla history has its charm, said Fran Seager-Boss, Mat-Su Borough anthropologist.

"It's people and characters of the area you wouldn't find anywhere else," she said. "It reflects their location and is unique."

Several of the items in the museum were donated or are on loan, including an ore stamp mill built in 1900. Used to crush ore, the hefty-looking piece of steel machinery was carried from Knik to a mine north of Wasilla by four Chinese laborers, according to the man who donated it.

Nearby is an ancestor of the modern game of foosball, with handcrafted soccer players in place of molded plastic figures. Miners paid a dime a game to pass long hours at the mines. The outside edges still bear burn marks where the players placed cigarettes.

The three women bring their life experiences to the collection. During a recent tour, Toomey, 77, added snippets of her years growing up and homesteading in the Wasilla area. She remembers riding the train from Anchorage to Wasilla and waiting at the freight station where the family received its furniture, lumber and other goods.

"That was how everything came in those days," she said.

West, 74, recalls wearing metal hair clips similar to ones under a glass display at the museum. The metal curling irons next to them, which were heated on stoves, were before her time though, she explains.

The three also bring their institutional memory. The museum used to be a community hall that was built in 1932, they said. Dances were held there, and the City Council used to meet in the basement. It was dedicated as a museum in 1967.

Seager-Boss said she frequently calls the three for information that could take much longer to gather from traditional sources. "Opal is my source," she said.

The museum and a farmer's market held each Wednesday in the old townsite, she noted, have given a heart to a town that is mostly business.

"Everything else is strip mall," she said. "But suddenly there's a nice little area right in downtown."

Palin said she doesn't downplay the museum's importance but at the same time she has to look out for the city's budget.

For now, there are no plans to try to woo the women back. For their part, none of the three expects it. Palin said she plans to meet with members of a local historical society to discuss options for finding replacements.

LOAD-DATE: August 7, 1997

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

GRAPHIC: Photo By Stephen Nowers; Anchorage Daily News; DOROTHY PAGE MUSEUM EMPLOYEES ESTHER WEST, OPAL TOOMEY AND ANN MEYERS

Copyright 1997 Anchorage Daily News

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I sat on this for a while.

Partly because I was digesting it, partly because I figured it's a story that would disappear after a minute or ten of outrage. So, just as a reminder, in case anyone forgot:

Five women were buried alive in Pakistan this summer. Stop reading. Now.

Buried. Alive.

Got it?

What was their crime?

Expressing a desire to marry a man of their choosing, rather than be subject to an arranged marriage.

Imagine if you will, facing a lifetime of being raped by, bearing the children of, and being the property and domestic servant of a man chosen by your family. Your family which, by the way, will kill you if you express an opinion or desire a smidgeon of free will.

So, go to this link: Buried alive and think: a lifetime of sexual and domestic servitude, or death?

I note with interest the tone of the article, which seems far more interested in pointing out that such "tribal customs" are not in fact approved by Islam. Okay, got it. Murder = Not Islamic. Is that even the point here? The Senator - Balochistan Senator Sardar Israrullah Zehri - defended this murder as "tribal custom," not Islamic custom. It's all beside the point, for fucks' sake: five women were murdered and a bunch of dudes in Islamabad are squabbling about whether it was an Islamic custom or a tribal custom? Cheesus.

Men I know wonder why I'm so passionate about feminism, why I can't have a "friendly little debate", for funsies. And this is why: because feminism is a LIFE AND DEATH MATTER. Until women are acknowledged as humans the world over, women will die at the hands of our oppressors.

People who think gender is "irrelevant," that feminism is "done" (Sarah Palin, I'm looking at you!) - those people are blind and ignorant and selfish. When women can't see how much work there is to do, I am stunned, grieved, shocked.

announcement

Henceforth, I am no longer "single" or "unmarried." I am a "bachelor". The other two sound dull, and sad, and lonely not because it is true, but because our culture designates the solo female as such. The implication is that one should be something Other Than single or unmarried.

The Bachelor, on the other hand: fun! independent! whee! A bachelor chooses the bachelor lifestyle, which is a lifestyle envied by her married friends. A bachelor goes on vacations to places that aren't designated "Family Friendly," and hence are not overrun with screaming children. A bachelor spends her disposable income on whatever she wants to.* A bachelor never has to eat at Chuck E. Cheese. A bachelor never finds man-whiskers in her sink, or tube socks in her living room. A bachelor doesn't let a man leave his masculine products in her bathroom, because that would be too much like a commitment.

No, don't even think "ette". EFF the term "bachelorette", because that brings to mind bachelorette parties, which only take place when said female is about to give up her fun-loving lifestyle for the tedium of monogamy and lawn care.

*Alas, the female bachelor, operating at a 30% deficit on the male dollar, has substantially less disposable income, but let us pass over this little detail for the time being.

That is all.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sarah Haskins, I love you.

Seriously, if you ever come to Mississippi, I will buy you dinner. And drinks. Coffee? Cigarettes? Yogurt? Really, whatever it is that you want, I love you and I'll see that you get it.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

My obstreperal lobe is tired today

So y'all are going to have to figure out for yourselves why this story is outrageous and un-fucking-believable and just, gah, So Wrong.

Woman wearing veil told to leave Italian museum

Which reminds me of this:

Woman in lesbian.com t-shirt told to leave Social Security building


So, basically, two ass-hat dudes with a modicum of authority believe that women who are unfuckable (to them, anyway) should not be seen in public. "Hi! I has a badge! Look hawtt and fuckable or get out of my sight! How can I tell if you're hawtt if you're wearing a veil? And you, lesbian, I obviously don't have a chance with you, so Get. Out.!"

Cheesus. When are we going to put men on world-wide fucking house arrest until they can prove themselves capable of acting like human beings when they walk out the door?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Katrina Pain Index, per Shakesville

A whole lot of depressing, but not surprising, statistics.

a sample:

0. Number of apartments being rehabbed to replace the 963 public housing apartments demolished at the St. Bernard Housing Development.

0. Amount of data available to evaluate performance of publicly financed privately run charter schools in New Orleans in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years.

0. Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant.

Go read the whole list.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MIRA gets a separate post

For the non-mainstream-media point of view, please go visit:

Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance

MIRA should be a go-to for info on the ICE raid. I note with interest that they saw this coming; here's the full text of their 8/22/08 press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 22, 2008

TO: All Media Outlets

Contact:
Patricia Ice-office 601-354-9355
Bill Chandler-office 601-968-5182

JACKSON, MS - A series of preparations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the Gulf Coast has local advocates on edge about the possibility of yet another worksite raid, and yet another devastating blow to businesses, families and communities in the name of immigration enforcement.

"The preparations we are seeing ICE make are alarmingly similar to what occurred immediately prior to the raid on the Agriprocessors, Inc. Kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, a few months ago, " said Patricia Ice, an immigration attorney and spokesperson for MIRA. ICE has reportedly booked dozens of rooms in hotels on the Gulf Coast. They may be checking in as early as tonight.

Perhaps even more worrisome are the reports that the federal court in Hattiesburg is being readied for a response similar to the response to the raid in Postville, when nearly 400 plant workers were arrested on trumped up identity theft charges, and slammed through criminal prosecution and judicial removal (being forced to waive all their criminal defense and immigration claims) within just days of the raid.

"What happened in Postville was an absolute travesty of justice that must never happen again," said Ms. Ice. "ICE must assure that any future enforcement actions are conducted in a humane manner and that detainees are permitted their constitutional rights to due process and to legal counsel."

With all the signs pointing to an impending raid, Ms Ice, other staff and local leaders are working quickly to identify possible targets, educate workers and assemble a team of attorneys to offset the burden on public defenders and provide immigration advice.

The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) is a membership-based alliance which guarantees the human rights of immigrants and all workers in Mississippi. MIRA works to support immigrants in the exercise of their rights through providing services, organizing, advocacy and public education.

PS

Oh, and by the way: that woman reading the news in the video? That could not be a more perfect example of the homegrown Jones County accent. It's enough to set your teeth on edge, ain't it? I call it the Jones County Whiiiiiine, with a dash of Mis'sippi LazyMouth. I have no idea why women around here pitch their voices so damn high, I swear.

ICE comes to town.

Indeed, yes, lil ole' Laurel, Mississippi was pleased to welcome several helicopters, a bunch of buses and cop cars, and some armed ICE agents this Monday. They swooped down on Howard Industries after a weekend of rumor-flying amongst the immigrant community. By Monday afternoon, word was that some 350 people had been detained. By yesterday (Tuesday), word on the street was up to 600 or so detainees.

Every Mexican restaurant in town is closed, and has been for at least two days. I hear employee attendance at the local chicken processors (Sanderson Farms, Southern Hens, Tyson are all nearby) is very, very low.

Here's a quick hit from Feministing, which reminded me to post about this:

Quick Hit

Local coverage, featuring the least informative slide show in the history of the internet:

Tuesday morning

Local update:

Ripple Effect Continues

Wednesday Morning Update

New local video featuring nearly four minutes with ICE Southern Regional Communications Director Barbara Gonzalez and less than 30 seconds with Pastor Roberto Velez, who has taken on the role of spokesman for the local Latino community:

ICE Raid at Howard Industries

What y'all may not know about the little ol' town of Laurel is that Mexican immigrants have been staffing all of our major industries (Howard plus the chicken plants) for over a decade, and a second wave came in to staff the construction industry after the storm. Best estimates over the last few years are that there are about 2000 Hispanic immigrants in a town of about 20,000 or so. No, I don't have the exact numbers - check with Jones County EDA before you quote me! I've linked to their 2000 census info, but the face of Jones County has changed a lot since then.

Now, this is the part that is totally unsubstantiated, but word on the street is that there were people at HI who actively assisted workers with getting forged papers. People, Laurel is a VERY small town, rumors spread like you wouldn't believe, but I always take them with a grain of salt.

ETA: see, I'm not the only one who heard this rumor!

"But Robert Shaffer of the Mississippi A.F.L.-C.I.O. said it was “common knowledge” that Howard and other area employers “kind of cater to the undocumented workers.”

“You ask anyone in the Laurel-Hattiesburg area,” Mr. Shaffer said."

I note with interest that workers are up in front of judges today, but no one in the Human Resources office seems to be taking a fall. Hm. Interesting, that.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why I love Randy Cohen, the Ethicist

The persistence of murder does not compel us to ignore burglary.

I can't tell you how often feminists get trolled, dismissed, and generally harassed for being concerned with matters deemed "minor" by dudes the world over. "Street harassment? Sexist advertising? Fake pregnancy clinics? Why are you so upset! THERE ARE PEOPLE DYING IN DARFUR!". Substitute any manner of women's issues short of a world war, and some ass-hat is going to tell us we are petty, shallow, hysterical women who should be focusing on Important Things. Things that matter to *men*. Not housework, or reproductive rights, or sexual harassment in the workplace. So, now, thanks to Randy Cohen, I have my new favorite pithy response to that kind of bullshit: The persistence of murder does not compel us to ignore burglary. Nicely done, Ethicist Guy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dear Designer People:

Could you all maybe schedule a year with some purple in it sometime soon? Because all of these yellowy greens and aqua blues and bright glossy oranges and Chinese reds are harshing my mellow. There are SO many lovely shades of purple: aubergines, plums and lavenders, lilacs and magentas and violets, oh my. Grapes! Don't forget the grapes!

But for quite a few years now, the only purple in Design Land is an astringent synthetic purple that they're using in children's decor at big box stores. It just won't do.

I need grown-up purples, the kind with chocolatey tones, with ruby tones, the colors of amethyst and jasper and purple sapphires and topazes. Purple tulips and pansies and day lilies. There are really a LOT of nice purples there, waiting to be picked, standing on the design sidelines with their hands in the air shouting, "Me! Me! I'm pretty, too! pick me!" Bless their little purple hearts, they're lonely. Purple looks good with brown and with black and red and dark blues, and of course PINK, and warm rich purples look nice with all kinds of wood and stone and metal. There's nothing richer than purple velvet. It's the color of kings AND queens!

Look, look at these:

Purple Gemstones!


Isn't it time for *purple*, designer people?

Sincerely,
Jezebella

PS: Indigo! Petunia! PRINCE! Please?

The Bro-Bot on Sexual Harassment

Courtney from Feministing published an email she got from a dude about sexual harassment in the subway, in which he:

a. blamed the victims of sexual harassment
b. claimed he was within his rights to be a total douchebag
c. said, basically, "lol ur fat so ur jealous"

Do they give out a script for this shit? Are they actually Bro-Bots, grown in vats? What the fuck? I mean, has this dude, let's call him "Chance Noble," for that appears to be his name, has this guy got the notion that he's having an original thought? If I was *trying* to write a more stereotypically douchey response to Courtney's op-ed, this is what I would have written. Well, me or any other woman who's listened to an entitled ass-hat explain why he's a drooling idiot ruled only by the whims of his dick.

*My google-fu yields a "Chance Noble" who's a competitive cycler, but I think it's more likely that Douche McDoucherson has named himself after the main character in a potboiler called "Vampire High Council." Wow, that's slick, ain't it?

Friday, August 08, 2008

now see what happens?

You fart around on the internet long enough, refreshing your google reader long enough, and you run across this video:



cheered up. stat.

My week of assholes

Four day work-week, three normal sized assholes and and one BIG GIANT ASSHOLE.

1. The asshole neighbor who left his 2-year-old home alone, or rather, in the yard alone, locked out of the house, with no food or water. After pounding on doors and finding no one home, the neighbor and I decided that, the child having been outdoors and on her own for nigh on 2 hours by our mutual count, it was time to call the police. Anybody could've snatched her up in that time. Anybody. I can't even think about the horrors her father's neglect might have led to.

2. The asshole who ripped me a new one on a forum for no fucking good reason except that she had an urge to be a presumptuous, judgmental, verbally abusive asshole. It's an invitation-only forum, which means everybody there has been vouched for as Not An Ignorant Asshole. And yet, she insisted on talking to me as if I'm a functionally illiterate sheet-wearing yahoo. I mean, after all, EVERY Southerner is a sheet-wearing yahoo, right? Fuck that. The entire goddamned nation of the USA was built on the backs of Native Americans, and the entire economy was built on slavery. So any fucking northerner who wants to get all HolierThanThou and pretend like the legacy of slavery is strictly a *Southern* thing can kiss my white ass. Europeans aren't guiltless in this matter, so don't get all fucking smug if your people came over after 1865, crackers!

3. The asshole I work with who spends all of her time chatting about boys and shoes and lipstick and therefore can't be bothered to answer her email or do her job in a functional, timely, and competent fashion. The one who doesn't even have so much as a bachelor's degree in the field she's been hired to work in, but who thinks *SHE* is better than ME because she's in the fucking Junior League or some shit. [which I would join under no circumstances, never, even if they were to join the 21st century and consider asking an unmarried woman to join their stupid little sorority]. She's such an asshole that, even after I had left the building, done some deep-breathing, AND taken a chill pill, I STILL called her up and shouted at her that she was a total asshole. AAAAASSSS HOOOOOLLLLE. I did. She's an asshole. And a republican. Lazy, incompetent, judgmental, hypocritical, provincial, immature, two-faced, snob who is actually, despite the fact that she acts like a twelve-year-old, in her forties. I want to squash her with my thumb and forefinger. I hope I ruined the start of her vacation with her equally asshole-ish boyfriend. Twit.

Finally, let me just add this: the entire town of Buttcrack? It's an asshole. An oppressive, hot, provincial, self-absorbed, delusional, judgmental, hypocritical town that thinks it's nice, but you know what? It's not. People here are EXACTLY as nice to me as they were when I moved here seven years ago. No more, no less. I don't follow the script. I am not married, with children, and a church-goer. I don't play Garden Club (which, btw, it's not about gardening! it's about tea parties! who knew?), I don't give a fuckity fuck about Junior League or the country club or the god-awful musical revues put on by the local amateur theater. I don't play golf or tennis or bunko. I'm not desperate for a husband, not even a doctor or banker or lawyer. In fact, I have a policy of NOT dating doctors, bankers, and lawyers. I was here for six years before anybody unrelated to my employment invited me to their home. Let me note, however, that she only invites me to "girls' nights". Single women don't get invited to her other parties. Everybody here thinks they're soooooo niiiiiiice, but if you don't get with the program, the best you can expect is the same formal courtesy you got on Day One.

Assholes, every one.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Yo, writers? Pay attention. I have an announcement.

Anyone wishing to be a "writer" should fucking well learn to spell correctly. A passing familiarity with correct grammar is also desirable.

I read a lot of blogs and I run across really basic errors all the bloody time. It's crazy-making, especially on the "big" blogs, the ones with lots of writers, lots of ads, and therefore lots of income. Professional writers need copy-editors, and one thing that is clearly lacking in blogistan is proofreading. Why can't these big-ass group blogs institute some kind of peer review?

Why yes, yes I DO have a BA in English, as a matter of fact. I'm even a recovering English teacher. I had to give up reading the local newspaper because the writing is so horrific. Every time I give it another chance, I end up throwing it across the room in disgust. I have the (apparently) antiquated notion that newspapers should be a bastion of correct Standard Written English.

[Given the fact that I'm just a wee blogger with no staff, no co-bloggers, and no income, I don't have a proof-reader or peer reviewer. So, irony being what it is, there is surely some heinous error in this here post. ]

been travelin'

More on my travels later, but I have just a few bullet points today:

* Mice aren't cute.

* My boss is a raging asshole.

That is all.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Reasons not to vote for John McCain, #3



All of those expressions on his face say to me: "I could not begin to give a crap about this subject, why is she asking this?"

The average sound bite is 5.5 seconds; it took him 8 seconds to even speak a word.

Why should he know about this sort of thing? Because access to birth control and reproductive health services is not just a women's issue, it's a HUMAN issue. Even two-parent hetero legally married christian nuclear family suburban 2-child households care about birth control. I've even heard - and do correct me if I'm wrong - that sometimes, Republicans? They have *sex*. And they use *birth control.* Really!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

why grow my own?

When tomatoes are in season, everyone has extra. I've been bringing bags full of tomatoes (cherry, roma, and..uh.. round ones? I don't know the variety. But they're round. And homegrown).

I have spent the last four or five days eating some variant of tomato-cheese crostini or bruschetta for lunch and dinner. I keep thinking I'll try something else, but they're both so *easy*. For the first one, you cut some slices off a baguette, layer a slab of brie, a slice or two of tomato, drizzle olive oil, salt & pepper, and broil for a few minutes. I broil 'em in the toaster oven, which is awesome because it doesn't heat up the house. Bruschetta, well, that's just diced tomatoes tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper, on top of toasted baguette rounds. Tonight I added a little balsamic vinegar and some chopped garlic and let it set a few minutes while I sliced & toasted the bread.

I'm also completely addicted to rosemary flavored sea salt. I found a tub of it at TJ Maxx, of all places, and when I run out I'll probably have to chase all over the internet for it and have it shipped from freaking Sardinia or something. It's that good.

Monday, July 21, 2008

brand new information about my lawn

So, I totally love it when I find out that some habit of mine has A Name and A Movement. To wit, the "Freedom Lawn":

The freedom applies both to the plants and the people, the latter of whom
needn’t water, fertilize, pesticize, or other otherwise interfere. Nurseries now
sell Freedom Lawn seed mixes, for lawn owners who life in parts of the world
that have been shortchanged in weeds. But even before I came across the official
term, I thought of my yard as a Darwin Lawn. Whatever could survive the mower
and the drought was welcome to stay.


I am a lazy unmotivated lawn owner. I just can't bring myself to care about the lawn. I pay a guy to mow it regularly, but invest not a whit of water or chemicals in its greenification. This is perhaps the result of frugality as much as laziness and my general feeling that the lawn? It's a low priority in my life and my budget. After seven years of benign neglect, my lawn looks much the same as my neighbors' lawns. Patchy under oak trees, a few brown spots, but on the whole greenish when it's rainy and brownish in winter. There's no point in trying to grow grass under a tree, for heavens' sakes! It's all shade, all the time. I've noticed a bit of moss growing in between the roots, and that's nice-looking. I'm not at all opposed to it. I, too, refer to my gardening habits as "survival of the fittest." It's why I'm not so good at keeping plants in pots alive. You have to pay attention to them on a really regular basis.

So it turns out, Freedom Lawn is good for the environment! Yes, yes it is! Woo. I'm a greenie pro-environment lawn-owner and I didn't even know it. Sweet.

Where I learned about the Freedom Lawn:

Turf War: Americans can’t live without their lawns—but how long can they live with them?

I also liked this bit:

The Freedom Lawn is still mowed—preferably with a push-mower—but it is watered infrequently, if at all, and receives no chemical “inputs.” If a brown spot develops, it is likely soon to be filled by what some might call weeds, but which Bormann, Balmori, and Geballe would rather refer to as “low growing broad-leaved plants.

I suppose where I fall away from Greenie Perfection is the lawn guy who I pay to ride around on his enormous riding mower and weed-eat with his noxious gas-powered weedeater. He comes every two weeks in summer, once a month in winter. I'd love to do away with the expense, but I'd have to buy equipment, build a shed in which to store it, and worst of all: mow it myself. In summertime. With the bugs, and the heat. I'm not ready to go that far, not yet. At least, not until I find an acceptably non-ugly shed to build, which I can also afford. Because gardening sheds are either ugly or expensive. Often, they are both. As a commitment-phobe, I cannot bring myself to build or buy an ugly shed. Or an expensive one. So, lawn guy is on the job. For now.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Giant kitteh loves his mamma!

I know, you've seen it a dozen times. So have I. It slays me every time.



SO much better if you turn the sound down so you don't have to listen to that sappy Whitney Houston song.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reasons not to vote for McCain, #2

From McCainPedia.Org:

McCain Voted Against $8 Million In Funding For Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Victims Affected By Katrina.

McCain voted against an amendment to provide $8 million for the Office of Violence Against Women to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina. [1]

McCain Voted Against Shifting $2 Billion Is Wasteful Spending To Fighting Domestic Violence.

McCain voted against an amendment to permit shifting up to $2 billion from wasteful bureaucratic overhead and procurement in military budget to address domestic violence. [2]

McCain Voted Against $1.6 Billion To Prevent Violence Against Women.

McCain voted against authorizing $30.2 billion over six years for crime prevention programs, including $1.6 billion to fight violence against women. [3]

McCain Voted Against A Bill To Assist Kids Who Witness Domestic Violence.

McCain voted against helping kids subjected to domestic violence. The amendment would have encouraged service providers to design and implement intervention programs for children who witness domestic violence and authorized grants to be awarded to eligible non-profit organizations to conduct programs to assist children who witnessed acts of domestic violence. [4]


Linky for citations:

http://mccainpedia.org/index.php/Domestic_Violence

Sunday, July 13, 2008

On the other hand: Reasons not to vote for McCain

#1 in a series, today's reason from Shakesville:


"
I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don’t believe in gay adoption.

John McCain, who divorced his first wife and left her as a single mom and has yet to provide any evidence that two parents of the same gender are detrimental to the success of a family.

Just a little queer-bashing and marginalizing to keep the fundies happy. Remind me again of what a "maverick" he is.

"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

on a lighter note

THIS IS AWESOME:

Violent Femmes cover "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley

Oh, Obama

Where does a feminist Hillary Clinton supporter begin? I voted for her for a lot of reasons, and in the top five was this: Women don't throw other women under the bus once they've secured our votes. I knew Hillary wouldn't. I have yet to see a national-level male politician who hasn't.

When Obama spoke about late-term abortions as a decision for women to make with their husbands and their pastors, I nearly choked. When he said "mental distress" wasn't a good enough reason for a late term abortion, I sputtered. And when I read the blog post I'm about to link, I wept.

I've been telling people for ages that there is no such thing as a "partial birth abortion," because that's a non-medical term made up by fetus-worshipers to make late term abortion sound brutal. I've been telling them for ages that women do not have the option to have a late-term abortion without a compelling reason, and that very, very, VERY few are performed at all. I'm starting to think, though, that when I talk about reproductive rights, all my friends hear is "Blah blah blah abortion on demand bleep blorp without apology blah wah wah free to all."

The thing is, reproductive rights are important to me, so I stay informed. I'm not a politician, or a lobbyist, or professionally involved in women's health and rights to it. I just read the news, you know? The information is out there. Clearly, Mr. Obama is not that interested, or he would be as fully informed on late term abortions as I am. It's his job to have informed answers when people ask these questions. But he doesn't. He now has an opportunity to be informed so that he doesn't blithely make up imaginary scenarios about late term abortion, imagining that women who are having a bad hair day are looking to have late term abortions.

An Open Letter to Obama: A Personal Perspective on Late Term Abortion

This letter to came to my attention in the comments section of Twisty's recent post on the matter. Thanks to Lorna for posting it, and to brave blogger Lynda for writing it.

this is hilarious


and brilliant.

Word: eggbenedict.org

ETA: Egg Benedict informs me that one can click through Mary on their website for more info about Pope Benedict the Homo-Hater.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What does a rapist look like?

Look here:

So-Called "Feminist Male" Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault

Yeah, you read that right. Kyle Payne has a degree with a minor in Women's Studies and "Social Consciousness", and he recently pled guilty to sexually assaulting an unconscious student (he was an RA) and videotaping the assault. He's got a blog all about what a great "feminist" anti-porn, anti-rape activist he is, and this is what he really is.

So, dudes, next time some woman doesn't think you're the bees knees if you go around proclaiming your "feminism," remember this: we still can't trust you. And guys like this are the reason why.

More about this at:

Eleanor's Trousers

Buried Alive

Renegade Evolution

Fetch Me My Axe

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Idle Curiosity

I accidentally listened to commercial radio this morning.

And I'm wondering.

When did Linkin Park turn into Cure wannabes?



Here's the thing: if you watch it, it seems all butch and contemporary, but if you just *listen* to it, it's all moody vocals and banks of synthesizers. All of those shouty explodey noises are NOT on the radio track.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

also, my definition of success

the following three things would be signs of my success:

1. Appear in the New York Times by name.

2. Guest star on Sesame Street

3. See the planet from outer space.

the mainstreaming of punk rock



It started pretty damn early, didn't it?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Very Important Announcement.

[not]

Though I am pleased to report that I have, at last, finished home-dry-cleaning the giant pile of sweaters that have been, well, *piled*, for months. I note with interest that it is July 7 and I haven't worn a sweater since approximately February.

It's the small victories we should celebrate, right? Alright, then.

Monday, June 30, 2008

June 30th, June 30th

I always think of Richard Brautigan on this day.

Land of the Rising Sun
sayonara

Flying from Japanese night,
we left Haneda Airport in Tokyo
four hours ago at 9:30 P.M.
June 30th
and now we are flying into the sunrise
over the Pacific that is on its way
to Japan
where darkness lies upon the land
and the sun is hours away.
I greet the sunrise of July 1st
for my Japanese friends,
wishing them a pleasant day.
The sun is on its
way.

Tokyo
June 30th again
above the Pacific
across the international date line
heading home to America
with part of my heart
in Japan

[
shout out to divinentd.com]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I so love this headline: Female Partners to Marry After 55 Years Together

Del Martin, 87, left, and Phyllis Lyon, 84, who have been a couple for 55 years, were among the first same-sex partners to legally exchange marriage vows in California Monday. Marriage licenses for gay couples were officially issued after the state supreme court overturned a ban on such unions.

[disclaimer: marriage being a patriarchal institution and therefore inherently oppressive, it nonetheless in this patriarchy serves as validation of humans who love each other and provides not-inconsequential legal rights otherwise not available to partners. Until marriage is a forgotten quaintness, I get to think it's sweet and lovely and righteous that these two women get the same respect and acknowledgment of their commitment as any two random heteros who decide to get a license and a couple of rings]

Friday, June 06, 2008

Jessica Valenti: pay attention, people.



It's not just feminists and feministing writers who get this treatment. It's all girls and women on the internet, no matter what we do or say, getting verbally assaulted by internet misogyny.

I'm loving her shirt, btw.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

people, they get all grown up and stuff

I just joined linkedin.com, a professional networking website, and have found pages for people I went to college with. Nice to see where people have landed and send them a friendly nod, even if we weren't all that tight twenty years ago.

What has blown my mind, however, is the profiles of two of the biggest druggies on campus in my day, who are now functional, employed, respected individuals with PhDs and thriving careers. I mean, these guys - who I certainly shall not name - were the kind of guys who would walk around campus in their bathrobes singing the Oompa Loompa song while tripping on mushrooms. It seemed to me that they would do any drug they ran across, in excess, and though they were brilliant and charming and funny, I would've never expected them to end up with Titles and Real Jobs.

Granted, one of them took 16 years to finish his MA, but now he's a professor. Both of them got their PhD's in the same field, even.

I mean, okay, people grow up and get married and become responsible adult parental employed people. It happens. But in the case of these guys, it blows my effin mind. I'd like to think it speaks to the high quality of students at Trinity somehow. Even the dudes who were wasted every weekend were high-level intellects who would become functional, successful members of society.

I will pass over in silence the profile page of the dude who was the biggest drug dealer on campus. Hm. Wonder what *he's* selling now.

Friday, May 30, 2008

How to tell if you are a total nerd

You're supposed to go have cocktails and see the Sex and the City movie tonight, but you've just realized that you're going to miss BOTH Battlestar Galactica AND the National Spelling Bee finals if you go out. This makes you sad, and you wonder if it might be better to just stay home and see Sex and the City another night.

Yep. Total nerd.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

anti-feminist bingo

For noting on the Apartment Therapy comment section that the aforementioned BigA$$Pinata was offensive, I got piled on by a bunch of design snobs, who were defending, let us be clear, a tacky piece of crap.

It was anti-feminist bingo in in time at all:

'It's funny. You have no sense of humor. Lighten up.'
'Why are you upset over something so trivial?'
'I'm a feminist and I think it's funny.'
'Fretting about little stuff does a disservice to *real* women's issues' (thanks for the backup, sister!)
I got called a slut in a sideways sort of way (non sequitur mention of a "walk of shame"?), spoken to with condescension, and of course told to "get over it."
Oh, and the same dude suggested that it had been too long since I'd seen a naked ass - I would call that the slightly subtle equivalent of telling me I need to get laid.
Ah, also, several people explained to me, as though I were five, that beating a pinata is NOT the same thing as beating a woman. Because I obviously am not smart enough to tell the difference between a real woman and a disembodied female body part product.


Over, LET US BE CLEAR: a tacky piece of kitschy crap.

Man, the d00dz, they sure don't like having their love of disembodied female body parts criticized. And the d00dz, what they don't get is that I tossed off a snarky comment and only entered a so-called flame war after being piled on by a bunch of assholes. Oh, yeah, I was told that name-calling wasn't a good rhetorical move. Thanks, man. Appreciate that. By the time I called one dude an idiot and another one an ass-hat, it was clear that adult conversation with either would be impossible, so why not just let it rip, I say? Asshats. Idiots.

Lesson learned: Let no one be fooled by a slick modern apartment full of tasteful decor: a dude with Eames chairs is just as likely to be an ass as a dude with a plaid recliner and a painting of dogs playing poker.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

misogyny in design today

Inspired by Shakesville's "Today in Disembodied Things" series, I bring you two new objects to heap your scorn upon.

First up, the "Big Ass Pinata," brought to my attention by Apartment Therapy for some reason.

I mean, not only is it offensive and sexist, it's just not an interesting or original product. I am loathe to link to the company in question, so find it yourself with your google-fu if you're interested. After several commenters noted that it was sexist and offensive, the "what about teh menz" contingent appeared with the "How do you know it's not a man's ass?! (because of the exaggerated hip-to-waist ratio, idiot!), and "why are you assuming they don't sell a male version?" (because I checked the website, dipshit!).



Point being: violence against women is neither fun nor funny. Neither is beating the crap out of a disembodied female ass.


Next up, Pharrell Williams' "Perspective Chair".


Huh huh huh, said Beavis, it looks like they're DOING IT. Yeah, that's fucking hilarious. Or is it sexy? Or stupid? It's such a fine line.

Allen Jones did it what, forty years ago? Please. It was offensive when it was done with some measure of aesthetic quality. Here it's offensive AND ugly.

Hey! Link-a-riffic!

I ran across this recently:

An archive of Biting Beaver's posts.

A project of the AntiPorn Activist Network.

Check it out, yo.

[shout out to Izzy at Damage Control for the link]

The Jena Six still wait for justice

Sure, you heard about the protest in Jena months ago. You know that six African-American teens have been targeted with unfair charges, denied bail, and subjected to a biased and corrupt judge, AFTER having been subjected to nooses, racial slurs, and insults by the white kid they eventually (allegedly) beat up.

It's still going on, people. Those kids are still in the system, and still haven't had a fair trial.

Read all about it in Jeff Chang's column at the Huffington Post.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Trinity Football

I seem to have forgotten to post this back when it was fresh, but it's still worth a look if you appreciate creative football plays at all.

Yeah, it's my alma mater. So?

Monday, May 19, 2008

House 05.19.08

Yeah, so watching House made me cry last night, but it also irritated the ever-living shit out of me. Why? Because Wilson is NOT Amber's "family." He's her boyfriend. Does she not have a next of kin? Shouldn't someone have *called* her next of kin to make the big life-or-death decisions? Man, that's aggravating. House is usually better-written than that.

Lots of people curious about what Gaeta is singing

...on the last episode of Battlestar Galactica ("Guess What's Coming to Dinner?" is the ep title). The song is called "Gaeta's Lament".

Commentary and video can be found here: Battlestar Galactica's Latest Song is full of Clues.

However, I would have to agree with the commenter on that site that the blog post title is misleading. The blogger, Meredith Woerner, doesn't exactly untangle the lyrics and give us a new interpretation. (Also, Meredith breaks up with Gaeta in this blog post. Which if fine. Gaeta can be MY boyfriend if she doesn't want him.)

It's a start, anyway.

Good hunting.

Mid-Century Modern comes to New Orleans

I skim the catalogs of the major New Orleans auction houses regularly, and for the most part, the furniture is gilded and/or Frenchy, but changes are afoot. A solid representation of Chinese antiques and whatnots has shown up in recent catalogues, and this month, a small but excellent selection of awesome mid-century modern stuff is up at New Orleans Auction.

I do not love Frenchy foo-foo things much, especially not in large quantities. In fact, just about any style named after a monarch, I'm not so much into. It's too shiny and ostentatious for me.

For example: O these Charles & Ray Eames for Herman Miller recliners! I effin LUFF these chairs with a mighty passion. If you really loved me, you'd buy me one. Also, you would purchase for me the services of a cat trainer who will keep my quattro cats from destroying it.



If you loved me even more, you'd buy me this fantastic painting by NOLA artist Ida Kohlmeyer:



I would also not be opposed to owning this charming suite of Herman Miller chairs, also designed by Charles & Ray Eames:




Although I am in general not big into vast tracts of French Provincial quaintness, my OCD organizer self loves this a LOT, because I love things with tiny little compartments for the organizing of small things:



Unfortunately it also reminds me of that Friends episode where where Ross and Rachel both buy an apothecary cabinet from Pottery Barn, but Rachel tells Phoebe it's a flea market find, and Phoebe goes on this awesome Pottery Barn rant, but then she ends up loving it anyway.

All images from: New Orleans Auction