Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tumbling

I'm hanging out over here for a little while as a blogging experiment. I will do my best to put comments on it. For some reason it feels more welcoming -- and the dumb thing is, I think it's because the edit post screen in Blogger is BRIGHT EFFING WHITE and sort of makes me feel like I'm in a doctor's office. I just realized that. Memo to UI designers.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

More JS.



More. My dad told me to watch this. He's feeding the obsession. I should start a new blog. It could be called "Segelize It." Ha!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Inanity

I'm really spaced out today due to work and also I went off antidepressants and the withdrawal is kicking in (oh yes, I was on them, fun fact, internet), so I am really dizzy and having sort of strange out-of-body twitches. So I am in bullet point mode.
  • Yesterday at Walgreens I bought these new "Tic Tac Chill" things. They're larger versions of Tic Tacs and they have no sugar, and they are freaking DELICIOUS. I am so glad I bought them on a whim. Basically you put one in your mouth and get that awesome white-Tic-Tac flavor, and then after a little while it dissolves in a little frenzy of sweetness. To quote Dan, "it's like a little climax." With very little fear of being judged, I completely agree with him.
  • I am reading John Green's "An Abundance of Katherines," which I bought a while ago on a Lindsayism recommendation, and started reading since Casey introduced me to the awesomeness that is John Green's blog. While I am only two chapters in, I loved the dedication: "To my wife, Sarah Urist Green, anagrammatically: Her great Russian / Grin has treasure -- /A great risen rush. / She is a rut-ranger; / Anguish arrester; / Sister; haranguer; / Treasure-sharing, / Heart-reassuring / Signature Sharer / Easing rare hurts." It's accompanied by this Roth quote (from The Human Stain): "But the pleasure isn't owning the person. The pleasure is this. Having another contender in the room with you."
  • I was listening to a "This American Life" this morning (the Ten Commandments; I'm only partway through but I love Shalom Auslander to pieces) and it reminded me of the one that Peattie and I listened to on our drive to LA a few weeks ago. It's called "What I learned from Television" and the best part about it is this little segue bit when Ira Glass reveals that he loves the OC. Seriously. Ira Glass. The OC. It's almost as mind-blowing as seeing Sasha Frere-Jones stoned on Pot Psychology. (NSFW, obvi.) The best part about it is that a) Ira Glass admits that he cried at the OC finale and that b) to explain the character Taylor Townsend, he says she is "pretty much exactly like Paris on the Gilmore Girls". I bet he has a soul-absorbing crush on Jason Segel, too.
Ok. Enough for now.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Boys of My Youth.. part 1

Last night I finished my book club book for this month, "The Boys of My Youth." I won't get too into it since I want to save that for after my book club, but I really enjoyed it. It wasn't what I expected and yet it was still fantastic. Very well written, shocking, sad, and yet comforting, too. And familiar despite the fact that in many, many, ways the author's life is very different from my own. But I loved this last bit (not entirely a plot spoiler, but it is sort of a spiritual-ending-of-the-book spoiler, so as a warning -- Sarah, I'm looking at you), when she and her best friend from middle school are listening to a voicemail from a new man in her life:

"Hi, Jo Ann, this is X," he says and then leaves a long, rambling, totally coherent message and hangs up. Oh man. He's shimmering in my living room like a genie released from a bottle. I don't know whether to faint or kill myself. Elizabeth laughs unbecomingly. I put both hands around my own neck. We do our silent screaming routine. We are no longer bored.

I feel pretty good about the women in my life these days, and I think it's in small part to moments like that one. I guess maybe all of us feel that way, at least sometimes, but maybe it's all the time, and maybe it never goes away, and I'll feel that way when I'm 50 as much as I do now. I think that is comforting... it's sort of scary, but comforting, just because I'm not alone.

More on this later.

Monday, June 30, 2008

This is what I mean.

Sarah: have you checked bwe today?
Sent at 2:56 PM on Monday
me: no
Sarah: omg
me: ?
i am lookign at it now
Sarah: animals
pressed
against

Memo to David Plouffe & Barack Obama

Dude. I love you. I have donated. A lot, actually, considering my economic situation at the moment (somehow spent away my yearly bonus, my stimulus check and my tax refund within the span of like two months). I believe in the whole grass-rootsiness of your campaign, even to the point where I've forgiven you for backing out of public financing despite your embrace of it in principle. I'm finding it hard to forgive you for never mailing me my T-shirt that I bought back in January, even though at the time I wrote it off as just another $40 worth of a donation... or for having a really crappy customer service phone line. I am also pretty skeptical that you will ever mail me my "limited edition" DVD of your "More Perfect Union" speech, even though I donated before your "deadline" (read: end of the month, for reporting purposes, obvi) for that and before my friend Peattie did, and he got his DVD two weeks ago. Plus, I'm pretty pissed that you decided that the death penalty is ok, even if you only think it's ok in extreme cases, and I'm also pissed that you backed out of the fight on the FISA bill. So now I'm especially pissed that you keep sending me, every day, e-mails urging me to donate now! in order to get another "limited edition" T-shirt. So. Stop. Thank you.

We read blogs.

Sarah wrote her own post about Friday night here. It's much more coherent (and, arguably, more honest) than mine was, due in part to her lack of a blogger hiatus and also to the fact that I mostly just wanted to talk about Jason Segel.

It is highly entertaining, and awesome, that I have a friend here in the city who is just as plugged in to ridiculous interwebby incestuousness as I am. Someday we'll break through.

Word Overload

Well I watched a lot of TV this weekend. It was all actually a result of what happen Friday night, which was essentially accidental drunkenness. Sarah and I went to Zeitgeist right after work on Friday, split a pitcher, and then rolled up to Zoe's house where she cooked us a fabulous meal -- Parma ham and melon, caprese, and polenta cakes with a sort of veggie-mess-of-delicious-onion-and-mushroom-and-garlic-saute on top. A brief dance party at her place (where Sarah and I spent most of our time trying to perfect the Peattie dance) led to a trek to our favorite ground zero of non-divey dive bars, the Lone Palm, which is conveniently yet occasionally unfortunately located exactly halfway between Zoe's house and my own. We adjourned to my place for drunk munchies (although, since I have been watching what I eat, the available snacks consisted of a salami stolen from Dan, rice cakes, Laughing Cow cheese, and graham crackers. Seriously) and Arrested Development and all fell asleep on the futon. Morning started with each of us wondering exactly how we had ended up in such a state, and then Zoe and Ace and I went to Bar Tartine for brunch. Ace and I promptly returned home and back to the futon, where we watched a full disc of Undeclared and then adjourned for naps -- and then after that we started the next disc, which I finished on my own. At 9pm I faced the world briefly, renting the third disc and purchasing a very strange assortment of food at the bodega -- a Cup-O-Noodle, pickles, chocolate milk, and sour apple rings. I should clarify that I have not eaten Cup-O-Noodle since college, and damn, was it salty and delicious. I also ate it with a salad! Go me. Anyway, I finished Undeclared, which was only alright, but had enough cute moments to carry me through, and also led me to develop a weird crush on Seth Rogen with glasses. Yeah, I know. It's ok though, since Jason Segel continues to be number one. There is one episode where Lizzie, the main girl in the show, has sex with Adam Sandler, and is all worried to tell her boyfriend Eric (hrm, Jason Segel) about it. When she does, he's super thrilled for her, and my comment to Ace was that Adam Sandler was on her "list" -- i.e. the list of five celebrities that you are allowed to sleep with (given the chance) even if you are in a relationship. This may be some freakish invention of my generation but I know a lot of people who have lists. I am stating now that Jason Segel is on my list, although I don't know if I can really have a list if I'm not dating anyone, but perhaps it's more of a disclaimer: "Be prepared to share second-degree cooties with someone who wrote himself a movie role where he is fully, frontally nude, and also is obsessed with muppets." Um, ok, stopping now given the utter improbability of all of this.

Anyway, as it happens the Adam Sandler appearance in "Undeclared" inspired me to rent and watch "50 First Dates," which is actually very cute although totally ridiculous and unfortunately still riddled with awful Adam Sandler movie gags (you know, Rob Schneider's entire being, a walrus puke joke in the first ten minutes, an ambiguously female/male person making sexual comments). I subjected Ace to this movie just two days after subjecting her to "Definitely, Maybe," which is cuter and has less ick factor, and I have a girl crush on Isla Fisher. Then! We watched an episode of "How I Met Your Mother" on one of those illegal movie and TV episode aggregator websites.

(Perhaps you may be detecting a trend, which is that I've watched a LOT of TV lately.)

I'll wrap this up now since I'm sure it's boring, but the last thing I wanted to say is that yesterday morning Ace and I (Ace was sick this weekend, and I was first hungover and then lazy, so we were partners in laze crime) watched "The Bourne Ultimatum." I'd seen the first two movies and while I liked the first one a lot, the second one was kind of a blur to me and I didn't remember it at all. The third movie, however, was really good. Like, really good. I know they always say it's non-stop action, blah blah, but it really is, and it's super tense and only slightly hard to follow. Plus, Joan Allen kind of kicks ass, and this movie brings Bourne and Nicky (Julia Stiles) closer to getting it on, which I have been rooting for all along since I love Julia Stiles. In fact, for that reason alone I hope they make a fourth movie.

Related anecdote: When I was a kid, I remember my mom giving me "Sweet Thursday" to read and telling me that I would like it because there's "a little bit of romance in it." It was my introduction to Steinbeck -- I read that before "Cannery Row" -- and I love that my mom pulled that sneaky middle-school teacher trick to get me to read real literature instead of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book for the twentieth time. When you're a kid, you really don't want your parents to use "there's romance in it" as a persuasive tactic, because, ew, they are your parents, and for some reason we're all raised to pretend that we aren't interested in sex when we're little, but the truth is we're totally fascinated by it. And the funny thing is, I still think I'm like that with books and movies, hence half the tension in "Bourne Ultimatum" for me stemming from this chase scene where Nicky and Bourne are separated and being pursued by an assassin, and I was terrified that the killer would get to Nicky before Bourne could, and then they could never get it on. Seriously, I said this aloud. I am such a damn girl.

Alright. Enough for now. I miss blogging. Sorry for the logorrhea.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I hope and I pray for Hester to get just one more A

I spent half of last week trying to finish "The Music Man" on DVD -- yes, I own it on DVD -- and as a result I had the Music Man on the brain. I had a serious moment where I serenaded Ace with "Sadder but Wiser" and realized how totally effing bizarre that song is. Sort of scandalous or maybe sexist except that the whole movie is a satire, at least parts of it are, and so I take all that in stride. I happen to think that it's one of the best musicals ever, although I admit I'm not a huge fan of musicals in general, but apparently it won the Tony over "West Side Story" back in the day. It's highly cheesy but I love it to pieces, I suspect because it feels somehow familial. My grandparents taped it off of channel 13 when I was a kid (channel 13 became, and maybe was at the time, UPN, imagine that), and one of the kids in the movie (the little blond boy who dances and pushes the library cart around) apparently lived down the street from my parents. Plus, my grandpa was from Iowa, so somehow I imagined that this gave me some kind of personal stake in the movie. Either way, I had a grand old time watching it the other day and was just struck, not surprisingly, with the urge to watch "Sadder but Wiser" again on YouTube, an urge primarily stemming from my wondering whether it was actually on YouTube, which it is, and which in retrospect is not surprising. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This made me miss being an English major.

“Direct treatment of the ‘thing’ ” was the formula of the movement that Pound invented, in 1912: Imagism. In the Imagist model, the writer is a sculptor. Technique consists of chipping away everything superfluous in order to reveal the essential form within. “It took you ninety-seven words to do it,” Pound is reported to have remarked to a young literary aspirant who had handed him a new poem. “I find it could have been managed in fifty-six.” He claimed that his best-known short poem, “In a Station of the Metro,” took a year and a half to write, and that he had cut it down from thirty lines:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

The form “made new” here is, of course, the haiku: two images juxtaposed to evoke a sensation—in this case, according to Pound, the sensation of beauty. It’s important to recognize, though, that the subject of the poem is not “these faces”; the subject is “the apparition.” (Otherwise, the first three words would be superfluous, subject to the Imagist razor.) The faces are not what matters. What matters is the impression they make in the mind of a poet. That is where the work of association takes place. This is what poets do: they connect an everyday x with an unexpected y.

(from The New Yorker, June 9. Also, further proof that you should always read all of The New Yorker, even if you think an article will bore you, as I thought with Pound because, come on, Pound.)

On freckles in literature

Forgive me this indulgence as a freckled person, but I'm re-reading "Middlesex" now and I forgot how damn good the whole part with the Obscure Object is, partly (for me) because of this description of the first time Callie sees her, which is the best description I think I've read of a freckled person. It doesn't make me feel vain and it's not really flattering even, and considering the entire drama of Callie's relationship with the Obscure Object I really don't know if I should be so in love with this passage, but dammit if Eugenides isn't a really captivating writer for me sometime, perhaps especially as he describes people of my kind:

Part of my interest was scientific, zoological. I'd never seen a creature with so many freckles before. A Big Bang had occurred, originating at the bridge of her nose, and the force of this explosion had sent galaxies of freckles hurtling and drifting to every end of her curved, warm-blooded universe. There were clusters of freckles on her forearms and wrists, an entire Milky Way spreading across her forehead, even a few sputtering quasars flung into the wormholes of her ears.

Since we're in English class, let me quote a poem. Gerard Manley Hopkin's "Pied Beauty," which begins, "Glory be to God for dappled things." When I think back about my immediate reaction to that redheaded girl, it seems to spring from an appreciation of natural beauty. I mean the heart pleasure you get from looking at speckled leaves or the palimpsested bark of plane trees in Provence. There was something richly appealing in her color combination, the ginger snaps floating int he milk-white skin, the gold highlights int he strawberry hair. It was like autumn, looking at her. It was like driving up north to see the colors.

This is ultimate vanity, actually, but not the kind that stems from me thinking that the Obscure Object and I have something in common here. It's the kind where I sit around and feel vaguely envious of a fictional creature for having tons of freckles but not so many that they blend together the way mine do. Stopping now, and focusing on how I just really like this part and, in fact, have felt the entire last third of this book lift itself from "it's alright" to "it's captivating." I started re-reading this because my book club was reading it, and the first time I read it I was only mildly appreciative. I thought maybe on second read it would be different, and the first third of the book is indeed fantastic. It slows a bit in the middle, I think, but at least so far the end is defying my memory of the first time around. I'll report back later when I'm finished.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Project Jigsandioffonado

I'm running around a bit this morning but last weekend deserves a mention. Peattie and I drove down to my parents' house in Whittier Friday night for a whirlwind weekend at home for me. Saturday, we went to (the new) Father's Office in LA with Casey and her boyfriend Bob, where we ate the best burgers ever and I had an Alesmith ESB and a Rogue Nut Brown. Then after a brief time lounging around my house, we drove with my parents down to San Diego to visit the new Toronado that opened down there a few weeks ago. There we had even more awesome beer and a lot of great conversation, including a debate about whether to turn my room at home into a library and proof that your parents can always surprise you. Peattie noted that we got some great quote candidates for "Best Quotes of 200gr8". I'll write this for JJ's benefit and say that I had a Port Brewing "Ruby Black" porter, part of a Carnegie 2006 porter (my dad's favorite beer), a Port "Hop 15," and then a Russian River Damnation. Peattie had a lot more than that, but three and a half beers was plenty for me and we all fell asleep in the car except for my mom, who stoically drove the entire way back from SD. Sunday was a nice brunch of baked apples and Belgian waffles, and a long slog through the Sunday crossword puzzle, before it was off north again for a long, but beautifully sunsetted, drive. For a harrowing hour or so, we listened to Game 5 of the Lakers-Celtics, which (thankfully) ended well for me. The radio station we found (after a long search and Peattie saying "fuck baseball" no less than three times, to my actual shock) was from Fresno, so when we cut over to the 152 heading west, it started to get verrrry fuzzy and we almost didn't get to hear the last two minutes of the game. That panic only contributed, as you can imagine, to the panic related to the Lakers' slim four-point lead.

So, as usual, a nice trip home reminded me of several things I want or need in my life. (We were talking at one point about our companies' mission statements and I referred to Google's "Ten Things Google Knows to be True." It's kind of like that.) I forget how much I love warm weather. It was hot as hell Sunday and on the drive back, but completely lovely. I remembered how good it feels to spend Sunday morning lounging around a sunny house, doing a crossword puzzle and reading (if only our living room got some sunshine). And as lame as it seems, doing crosswords with people is so much better than doing them alone. A good plain cup of coffee can make your morning.

I think it's almost time for a Summer Manifesto.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

Oh yes. While I'm MIA blogwise, please feel free to check out my shared items. All my non-work related thoughts at work have gone into these, which are the most I can do extracurricularly this week but also the least I can do to maintain my sanity. I think you can see some of the state of my brain by the one-word comments I've sunk to.

Hello for now.

Oh man, what a week. I don't know when the next time is I'll manage to catch a breath. I hate being a shitty blogger, especially so soon after I promised to start a new blog, but with work the way it is this week, and, frankly, with my mind the way it is this week, I just can't focus enough to write much. Work has suddenly gotten a little frantic, partly due to a couple of days offsite and partly due to my boss being on vacation and partly due to God knows what usual magic goes into the insanity of this place. I've forgotten a couple of things lately which I really hate doing. Outside of work I've been busy as usual, although moderately so. I made a vow to myself and my nutritionist to stop drinking on weeknights (exception: very special occasions, so I'm really aiming for not drinking 3 nights a week, which sounds like not very hard except that I'm used to having at least one beer or something nearly every day, embarrassingly), so that's toned down the outside-of-work shenanigans (in the two days since I made said vow). That said, I've been slightly busier of late thanks to the NBA finals which I'm actually following, in a complete bandwagon leap to Lakers fandom. (Disclaimer: Having grown up in LA, and with a Lakers fan father, I think my leap is justified.) I've actually watched every game so far.

This is more of a check-in and a promise to write more when things have calmed down -- I am driving down to LA and San Diego this weekend with Peattie, but I have planted "DO NOT PLAN" nights on my calendar next week for some down time, so the calm is in sight, albeit not soon enough -- and also just a complete random plug for my participation in the San Francisco crafty scene. Elizabeth and I went to the Lotta Jansdotter printing party at the Craft Gym last Saturday, and while we were printing our linen swatches, we got our photo snapped, apparently by an Apartment Therapy blogger. So here we are on their site. (She is the one with the little pink tank peeking out from underneath a brown shirt.)

The plan for calmness also includes plans for more crafting.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A sample conversation (from my work chat!)

Kim's new status message - going just a little bit crazy 1:09 PM
me: i am going a lot crazy
i think maybe i should have all hormones removed surgically from my body. do you think there is some kind of medical procedure for that??

After I sent that message I had this moment where I was worried suddenly I had IM'd the wrong person. Thank God it was Kim, one of at least a dozen people at whom I spew dramatic ridiculousness every day.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Out of sight, Offsite

You may have noticed my blog lacks post this week. I have an "offsite" for work today (well, I had one today) and tomorrow, so I am not glued to my computer as usual. That, and tomorrow night I'm helping host a Belizean dinner party, and tonight I am going to watch (on TiVo) the Lakers versus the Celtics, and the rest of this week I've been pretty insanely busy, as usual. Not to mention, I've even been busy at work thanks to the shortened work week. Shocking, I know. So this is merely an apology for the lack of entertaining and self-referential posts. It's rather disappointing that I've been so busy during the week that Obama finally won the nomination, since I have a lot of thoughts on the matter and no time to write about them. So consider this a promise to be back in full force later on, next week or this weekend, once I've had a chance to catch my breath (and I'm not counting the workshop on meditation I had in my conference today).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Demographics

Awesome graphic on the New York Times front page right now of how different demographic groups in different states voted for Clinton or Obama. Go! Now!

The mundanity of your own life...

I was particularly struck by this quote from this video about a couple (journalists) who spent a day less than 15 feet away:

"The hardest part, I think, is the recognition of the mundanity of your own life. It's all very well to have a mundane life when you're just living it yourself. You know, the fact that you wanna go get up and Xerox something the fact that you, you know, wanna go grab another cup of coffee. And that's fine when you're doing it in your own mind, but when someone else is observing you doing it, you realize, what a waste."

It reminded me of Friday, when Pablo hung out with me while I worked from home. Even when I wasn't explicitly working, he had to sit there and watch me check e-mail, flip back and forth between chat windows, browse my Google Reader, buy a concert ticket online, etc. It made me feel foolish, for lack of a better word. I felt silly when he had to wait a bit longer for me to put sugar in my coffee. All these things aren't actually big deals, but they are sort of strange little mundane parts of everyday life that you don't think about unless someone else is around, reminding you.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I couldn't help but wonder...

Well, I know you were waiting for it... the inevitable "I am a girl, I have a blog, therefore I have an opinion on the SATC movie" moment. I would resist, except I can't. Obviously GIANT SPOILER ALERT, in case you care.

I had the option to see the movie on Friday night, but instead chose to go with a bunch of my girlfriends (like every other woman in the country) on Saturday. After a pretty quick, though delicious, brunch of huevos rancheros at Laurel's house, Laurel and I rushed to the Century Cinemas to meet six other ladies for the insanity. We walked in and beelined to the only available set of 8 seats in the theatre that weren't in the very front row -- the 8 seats on the side in the second row. Yeah, not only did I see this movie, but I saw it REALLY CLOSE UP (things I observed: Steve has some kind of mole on his ass, Carrie had a stain on her dress in the scene where she told Samantha she was engaged, and Big has gray chest hair). I was armed with a Screwdriver and three cans of Sofia champagne. I knew that the movie was two and a half hours long and I was not sure I could take it.

Before I get into my actual criticism of the movie, let me just comment on one irrelevant thing. PREVIEW FOR SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS SEQUEL! It looks like they decided to skip books 2 and 3 and go straight for book 4, probably because America Ferrara or Blake Lively decided that they could/would only commit to one sequel given their new TV fame. Nevertheless, I am pretty damn jazzed.

Anyway, so then the movie itself. Aside from the gross product placement and totally gratuitous, unnecessary scenes (fashion week? Christie's auction?).... aside from the way that things seemed pretty damn abrupt most of the time, in order to cram into a movie the kind of things that normally would happen in a season... Did it strike anyone else as totally unfeminist? Or, if not unfeminist, then, didn't it just seem to you that it was ridiculous that after all that, Carrie still took Big back? That all the girls insisted that Miranda was wrong to leave Steve? I admitted yesterday to my friends that, had the latter event happened in a season, I could have accepted it. I've always loved Steve, and I can accept that one transgression need not be the end of one's marriage. But in the movie, Carrie and Charlotte couldn't seem to blame Steve for cheating, and it almost seemed like you could read into it that Miranda was to blame, for not recognizing the problem in her sex life, for loving her job to the point of distraction/destruction of her relationship. Then, to even act as though Miranda's angry outburst at the rehearsal dinner was remotely responsible for Big's entirely inexcusable freakout! Can we talk about blaming the victims here? Really?

I don't quite share Dodai's rage over Samantha in this movie. I felt as though she was the only person who really took charge. She managed Carrie's broken marriage/wedding. She held them together when it seemed like they would all fall apart. Her compassion was high, and it's irrational to hate her for breaking things off with Smith because she "loves herself more" -- the truth is that he had become the center of her life, and not just her personal life but her job, too, and who wants that? I will say again that the relative shortness of the movie (to an entire season of episodes) probably gave this plot short shrift as well. How did Samantha ever let Smith become the center, plastered photos of him all over her wall? And did she, like Steve, have to leave her relationship because Smith, like Miranda, was devoted to his job (I'm making a comparison for rhetorical purposes, not necessarily agreeing with this argument). Was Smith actually distant? Was he actually in any way aware that he was making her feel dependent on him when he bought her the brooch, and if he wasn't, does it matter?

Charlotte was the only one whose life was drama free in this movie. Ace, my roommate, wondered if that was some kind of message -- you will only be happy once you've settled down, and not just settled down, but settled -- for a man who is less attractive, but rich and giving and blah blah? I'm not entirely sure about that, but it's still worth wondering.

Another beef I had with the movie was the moment when Samantha has gained weight and the girls are absolutely horrified to see her little baby pooch. Seriously? Please kill me now. I believe it was that moment when I turned to Laurel and said "I can't believe that millions of women, including us, are paying for this." It's like being charged for the loss of your dignity.

I hate to hate on things I used to like, but I reserve the right to have a split opinion. In some ways, I was satisfied with the movie, mostly just because it had some funny moments, and it was kind of fun to see the ladies a little further on in their lives. I kind of liked to see Carrie confronted with the fact that she was forty, seeing Brady and Lily (Charlotte's adopted daughter) grown up, seeing all of the women living at least a slightly different lifestyle than they did in the show. But in other ways I felt like it was shoddily made, far, far too capitalistic, and frankly it did not give me, as an American woman, the endings or lessons (or whatever you want to call them) that I feel like I deserve. These women are, and always have been, not exactly archetypes so much as a representation of the split personalities that so many of us have in us. There is a bit of each of the women in each of us, at least there is in me (although I don't want to sell myself short by saying that that is all I am, shudder). How could the producers, the writers, whoever, let them down like that and let them lose themselves, when the entire goodness of the old show was the idea that above all it was yourself and your friends to whom you should be true?

One final note. I read Dodai's rant about the movie with interest. It has always been obvious to me that the SATC girls are incredibly flawed. Materialistic, obviously. Self-absorbed? Obviously. Incredibly privileged and whitewashed? Yes. Yes. Yes. (The moment where Charlotte said she wouldn't eat anything because she was in Mexico was perfectly in character and I didn't take offense because of course Charlotte would say shit like that. Miranda's "Look! A white guy with a baby" I was more iffy about, just because I'd hope Miranda would be more wise than that, but it's not hard for me to accept that she isn't. Louise from St. Louis was really hard for me to take, since she was all of a sudden the only non-white -- or adopted, sweet, dressed in pink Asian four year old -- character in the movie and represented some terrible kind of sweet, down-home innocence that I couldn't help [ACK] but take in a bad way. Oh, those clueless black folks from the middle of the country.) It's one of those cases where I was not at all disillusioned by those aspects of their characters, because they have been there all along. Instead, the question is: do the writers/producers know that about the characters, and more importantly, do the millions of women paying to see this shit in the theatres know that? And do the masses that watched this movie this weekend realize that in many ways, their heroes in Blahniks let them down and are leading them on the wrong path? Are those viewers going to fight back, or continue to be misled? I hate to start judging media (it reeks of Tipper Gore to me), or suggesting that producers have some kind of moral right to tell a properly empowering story, but I am also pretty damn convinced that this stuff is poisonous to women.

Grr. All I know is, I yelled a lot at the screen on Saturday. So much so that I got shushed. I don't really regret it, either. Now I'm just trying to forget all this hoopla and find something else to think about.

I like that my friends support me for my typos and neologisms.

10:49 AM Zoe: favorite saturday moment=you coining the term "neuroticism"
10:52 AM i really want to go to more movies, buy slurpees, and dump a half a bottle of vodka into them
=best idea ever
10:55 AM me: hahahaha
let's do it. whats the next ridiculous moies we want to see
moies = movies
thats about as real of a word as neuroticisms
10:58 AM Zoe: moies about neuroticism
obvi

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Paella Party

"We are so a Stuff White People Like post right now."

I don't know if I'd put it that way (even though I did). What we were was more of a New York Times Style article that Stuff White People Like would have posted about. Yesterday, after a day in the sun at the park (so what else is new), a group of my friends and I made paella for dinner. I know this all sounds really awfully pretentious, and by "this all" I mean arguing for your inclusion in a Times trend piece, but seriously. Let me paint the picture, since none of us remembered our cameras.

Justin just recently moved into a new place, this goofily-floorplanned place with a relatively small, though airy, kitchen, blessed with an awesomely retro stove and a dishwasher, thankfully. It's tucked in between a narrow hallway and a big, high-ceilinged "breakfast nook" type sun room with giant windows that yesterday were letting in golden light and cold breezes. There's plenty of room to cook while others stand around with wine glasses and listen to music, which is what we did. Hot Chip and Spanish wine, here we come.

Paella itself, it turns out, is really easy to cook. Wine glasses in hand, we stirred up two giant skillets, loaded with sausage, lamb, mussels, shrimp and baby scallops. While we were waiting for the rice to simmer, Dan suggested we ad-lib the game of Apples to Apples. He started with the adjective "gregarious," which I won with "bees," and then I threw out "sour," which got me some choice political nouns, and then Ace moved to "vestigial," which I unfortunately did not win with "pennies." (Peattie won with "liver.")

The conversation was also peppered, pun slightly intended, with Ace's question of the weekend: if you had to gender salt and pepper, which would be which? I don't want to taint your answer, so I won't give my opinion, but I will admit that salt is a frontrunner for female. (I pointed out that women like salt more than men, something evidenced by me, Laurel, and the giant pickle I'd eaten as a hangover-appetizer for dinner, which had more than 120% of my daily recommended sodium.) Somewhere in the middle of the cooking time, there was also a brief, though intensely yuppie, conversation about the difference between paella, jambalaya, and bouillabaisse (and just thinking about this is making me hungry.)

That moment was the moment when Pablo, who was visiting this weekend from Edinburgh, and who had already expounded on Dan's and my yuppie lifestyles (which we argue is much more bobo than yuppie, as evidenced by, among other things, the shitty state of our tiny old apartment), looked meaningfully at me across the room and I yelled out "Yuppie!" for him. Then I said we belonged in a Times style piece. Which we do. I love my friends. We are bohemian and bourgeois, techy and fuzzy, political, active, outdoorsy, cultured, mainstream, indie, all that. And nights like yesterday sort of epitomize that. So maybe we don't belong in a Times trend piece so much, we just belong in our lives. And the glory of documentation lies in the recognition and savoring and saving (and remembering) of the variety and, er, spice (saffron?) of life.

Next up: Dirty Apron Kitchen Club does summer picnic. I can't wait to learn how to make me some fried chicken.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

M&Ms

I may be the only person on the planet who considers M&Ms a friendly food for those suffering from orthodontic work. The day after my wisdom teeth were removed, I went to a barbecue birthday party and ate ice cream, then sucked on M&Ms for the rest of my meal. Today, I gave up and started doing the same. It kind of works, because part of the trouble of these damn braces is that the pain is just distractingly bad, and eating mitigates it somehow, therefore making me feel less like a chipmunky loser and leaving me more able to concentrate. So a continual M&M in the mouth helps with this problem. Plus, the braces completely prevent me from rushing through the (miniature) bag, and that's probably better for all involved.

After my teeth stop hating me, I'm going to absolutely devour a salad and some apple slices. And a piece of bread. And a Giordano Brother's sandwich (last night we were going to go there before the Jamie Lidell show, but went to Kennedy's instead, thank God, because I can actually eat paneer and rice).

Done dreaming of food now. You guys must think I've entirely lost it.

Parisian Flashback

This morning Dan drew my attention to a post from the Frugal Traveler about a week living in an apartment in Paris, and compared it to our Thanksgiving weekend there in 2003. It's fitting that today I would indulge in such nostalgia because Pablo, our long-lost-to-kilts-and-PhDdom friend, is descending upon our household this evening for another brief weekend. So without further ado, I present a few shots from Paris, back in the day. (Confession: The night these photos were taken, the four of us -- Dan's now ex girlfriend was there too -- bought four bottles of wine. Devon decided she didn't want any. So we took it upon ourselves to finish the rest. I think I could probably hack a bottle-plus these days, but back then I most definitely could not, and the night did not exactly end well for me. However, I have survived to post the photos on the Internet.)

The three of us. Check out my sweet PJ pants.

Possibly one of the most ridiculous photos of these two ever taken.

Shadowy me and Dan.

All IKEA, all the time!

The Road

I'm actually really excited for the film of "The Road," even though I loved the book and have no idea how it will work in movie form. The Times did a really interesting bit about the filming here.

(via)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Condi



I saw Condoleezza Rice and David Miliband speak at Google last week. It wasn't nearly as rage-inducing as I expected, even though I'm still baffled by Rice's obvious intelligence yet complicity etc. with the Bush administration. She is terrible at delivering the party line, but sticks to it stubbornly, as you'd expect.

I found David Miliband kind of attractive. Is that wrong? He was in any case much more interesting than she was.

Also, you can see the back of my head in the video. I'm sort of in the second row in the shots where you can see 3-ish rows, towards the right, in a white shirt with shortish brown-red hair.

Beards

I've totally written about this before but I continue to love men with beards. Saw this dude at the A's/Red Sox game on Sunday (he was also wearing a kind of funny hat) and really, I cannot explain my extreme attraction. Anyway, so in a related note I really appreciate this dude who is trying to grow "all types of beards." I feel like he is not playing entirely by the rules because sometimes he grows a full one and then shaves off bits to make a moustache, instead of growing just the moustache. But that is because I am a weird advocate for facial hair (best realization of the weekend, of which there were many: Friday night, while at dinner with my friend and his parents, I saw fit to text my friend Justin and tell him "BTW, I love your moustache." I have no idea why, and I was not drunk either, so there's no excuse for my lack of remembering the reason for this). Anyway this is pretty amusing, mostly because you can see how facial hair totally changes the look of someone's face! Like, look at the soul patch (how nerdy, ew) compared to the Van Dyke (like, hello, ew, looks like a criminal) compared to the Zappa (charmingly nerdy in a way I can't explain) compared to the everything. It's worth a look.

Your latest braces update

Someone just pep-talked me into eating a grape. And cottage cheese may be my new favorite food. It's like cheese curds! Only non-fat and sort of foamy, which is, let's be frank, the creepiest part.

This is what we are up against.

(via)

Graffiti + Jesse's Girl = Amazing

Yes.

Postcard from the Baby Daddy?

This particular Postcardfromyomomma is pretty fascinating. You have to read the comments. Aren't you on the edge of your seat?

Things I have eaten today

-Oatmeal
-Smoothie
-Cottage cheese with honey in it
-Two pieces of sushi. This part was very difficult, but it was those ones with the soft wrappy thing around plain rice, so I could just kinda choke it down. I was desperate for something solid.

When you are spending a day experimenting with soft foods, you end up Googling things like "cottage cheese" just to come up with a way to make it less disgusting. My friend Laurel eats it with yellow mustard and let me tell you, I would have killed for yellow mustard around 11:30am. Then I read the entirety of this post and got hungry for more cottage cheese with all these fixings. It's amazing what you want to eat at times like these.

Currently I am just dreaming of a milkshake. There really is nothing else I can imagine not hurting right now.

Oh, and by the way, this is all much, much, much worse than the time I got my wisdom teeth out.

Adventures in Bracey Eating

(That was a poor attempt at making an "Adventures in Baby-Sitting"-like title.)

Last night my friend Kevin and I went out to dinner. At first we were going to go to Lolo, this newish place that is supposed to be pretty cool. Then I found the menu online, and everything was encrusted in nuts or panko or something ridiculously not good for my mouth at the moment. So instead we went for Weird Fish, because I figured fish is kind of easy to eat. What was awesome about it was that Kevin was all for the constraint of eating only newly-braced-person-friendly food. So we ordered clam chowder, tortilla soup, blackened catfish with sauteed spinach and pureed yams, and fish cakes. It was pretty hilarious. Kevin ate the tortillas from the soup and we mashed the oyster crackers deep into the chowder to make them soggy. The coleslaw, unfortunately, was all him. But the peanut butter cream pie...

Today, of course, I'm in major pain as these stupid things have rubbed my mouth raw. And it's harder to chew. I am on to smoothies and oatmeal for breakfast. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A little late for the holiday weekend, but...

Brace Face

I am now officially starting my orthodontic journey. this morning I got braces put on my (bottom) teeth. Before you ask what color I got, I will explain that they are apparently a new kind of braces... they are called self-ligating brackets, and they are like little snappy things that are glued to your teeth and then clip down over the wire, instead of having bright bandy things on each tooth. They look absolutely terrible and I totally am glad that I never mocked anyone in my youth for being a metal mouth, because if I had not I would be really, really afraid of karma's bitchiness. At any rate, I am now making strange faces all day because these things feel so damn weird, and I can't believe that at the age of 24 my fate for the next year and a half (plus or minus 6 months) is to floss my teeth with one of those weird fisheye threaders and refrain from eating popcorn and uncut apples. Really, I knew that I was a late bloomer in many ways, but do I have to get the adolescent dental experience as well?

So it doesn't hurt right now, I just look and feel like some kind of freak. But that is the report. And don't ask for pictures. I'm not ready for that yet.

Read the full description.

WTF?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

no subject

Bacon IN a mimosa. it just happened.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A life of leisure

Last night I had a date. I even slept over.

Don't get excited. It was a "date" with my friend Zoe, and it consisted of the two of us sitting on her floor drinking kir and eating brie, and concluded with me getting so tired (not, I should clarify, drunk) that I ended up deciding that the four blocks' walk back to my house was far too far, so I stayed there. I miss sleepovers of the girl sort. I woke up this morning and, since my boss had essentially given me carte blanche to work from home today anyway, sent a quick e-mail and then hopped off to Happy Donuts for breakfast with Zoe and her two visiting friends from Carleton (who arrived fresh off the super shuttle last night around midnight). After a decadent breakfast of crullers and white-frosted cakes, not to mention coffee (I'm back on that bandwagon, too) and milk, I walked home in the sun from Noe Valley.

Let me tell you, there is nothing so nice as a leisurely weekday morning in San Francisco in the spring. I never really get to enjoy days like this -- even now, I'm working in my house, which has the strange kind of blue-tinted lighting that masks the orangey-ness of the daylight -- but the glimpses I get always surprise me. There are so many people out and about! There was a line at Ritual out the door, and crowds clustering to eat breakfast at Boogaloo's -- on a Friday! It's so social and inspiring and all I could think about was how much I want to work here in the city, preferably in some absurdly flexible job that allows me to wander around city streets during the daytime. Also, I want to go thrift shopping. I have certain wants.

I also thought of what I personally think is a great idea for a blog. I'm going to think about it a bit more and let you know if and when I start it. It's not a money maker, just an intellectual exercise, and something I think would be really good for me to focus on. (And, ok, dream of working in coffee shops in the sunshine.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Take me out to the ball game

Ok, so it is probably no secret that I am obsessed with me and my little sister as children. It's sort of weird, but I love pictures of us. I don't know if it's some strange existential angst or nostalgia or what, but whatever, I've come to terms with my strange self-love, and so should you. Anyway, so my dad has been on this binge of scanning all our family photos to digital copies, and he's also been turning our old family videos to DVDs. He sent me this digital file today. Please watch and enjoy the adorableness.

Things that make me want to tear my hair out (a list of one)

This article:

...another Obama supporter, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, calling Obama the first black politician to "come to the American people not as a victim but rather as a leader." You hear this kind of talk all the time. Never mind the dignified glories of Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Colin Powell, Kurt Schmoke, and others. We have arrived at the crux of the matter. So much of the educated white people's love for Barack depends on educated white people's complete ignorance of and distance from the rest of us. [...]

Which brings me to South Carolina, where I was born and raised. I was there before and during the primary. Recall the moment. Obama was gaining on Clinton--but had also just lost New Hampshire and Nevada. A loss in South Carolina, and he would have been done for.

It's worth remembering that the majority of blacks still think O.J. Simpson is innocent. And, in times like these, when a black man is out front in the public eye, black people feel both proud and vulnerable and, as a result, scour the earth for evidence of racists plotting to bring him down, like an advance team ready to sound an alarm. Barack needed only a gesture, a quick sneer or nod in the direction of the Clintons' hidden racism to avail himself of the twisted love that rescued O.J. and others like him and to smooth his path to victory, and, therefore, to salvage his candidacy. After Donna Brazile and James Clyburn started to cry racism, Barack was repeatedly asked his thoughts. He declined to answer, allowing the charge to grow for days (in sharp contrast to how he leapt to Joe Biden's defense a month earlier). But, while he remained silent about the allegations of racism, he gave speeches across South Carolina that warned against being "hoodwinked" and "bamboozled" by the Clintons. His use of the phrase is resonant. It comes from a scene in Malcolm X, where Denzel Washington warns black people about the hidden evils of "the White Man" masquerading as a smiling politician: "Every election year, these politicians are sent up here to pacify us," he says. "You've been hoodwinked. Bamboozled."

By uttering this famous phrase, Obama told his black audience everything it needed to know. He was helping to convince blacks that the first two-term Democratic president in 50 years, a man referred to as the first black president, is in fact a secret racist. As soon as I heard that Obama had quoted from Malcolm X like this, I knew that Obama would win South Carolina by a massive margin.

(via)

Just because I can

I am inexplicably stressed out. By which I mean, I am half-explicably stressed, and the rest is just some kind of pent up stress that is probably some combination of hormones and medications and my own peculiar anxious brain and chemicals. So as a result, all day I have just sat at my desk and tried to think of blog posts to write, because at some point this morning I had a truly brilliant insight I wanted to share here and then I totally forgot and oh, I actually think that is part of my stress. I believe that this is the kind of occasion that could potentially call for one of those apparently-so-addictive-doctors-don't-prescribe-them-anymore Xanaxes. In other words, come on chemicals.

I think part of my angst stems from reading a lot of blogs this week, which gives me a really strange, antsy feeling, because I want to live my life and chronicle it at the same time, and yet I am stuck at my desk, which is none of the above. This is also why I overeat.

I had another pseudo-realization last night -- which is, why the hell are people freaking out about the oversharing on the Internet? Why does the fact that people blog about their lives throw people into some kind of major tailspin over the "Millennial" generation? Because last I checked the entire purpose of blogs was to overshare. Is this some kind of genius simplification of an overwrought New York Times trend piece type situation, or am I just stating the obvious?

Stating the obvious should be the name of my blog.

I love my friends.

Sarah: ok, i sent the "we're total fucking bad asses" someecard to our flip cup team
and he just responded...he woke up still drunk this morning
finally, i was less drunk than someone!!
9:46 AM me: woo hoo!
Sarah: i puked and rallied at the bar, so maybe that's why

And it continues...

Earth to the Clinton campaign:

In other words, the Florida/Michigan brouhaha is much ado about nothing. Even if Clinton gets her way with the two states, she'd still need about 80 percent of superdelegate commitments to secure the nomination. Clinton's arguments about electability and the popular vote might persuade a dozen delegates, or a couple dozen, or perhaps even the majority. It won't persuade 80 percent. (Or more realistically, the 90 percent she'd need if there is some sort of compromise on Florida and Michigan).

From here. This is all driving me absolutely crazy. I really, really, really can't handle the kinds of arguments that are coming from the Clinton campaign about FL and MI. It actually feels unhinged to me.

(Of course, the above argument assumes that the MI delegates that were not for Clinton get counted for Obama. Which the Clinton campaign does not want to happen.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Doodle4Google

These are pretty awesome, although there is an excess of "What if we saved the environment/achieved world peace" doodles. Not to mention -- two doodles made from hands (see grades 4-6, region 2, and grades 10-12, region 7)???

The ones I like best are the ones that, like real Google Doodles, replace the letters with other objects (check out grades 10-12, region 2 and 3, and grades 7-9, region 1, 5, and 6). I also quite like the one from grades 4-6, region 10.

I think the winner of this competition is going to have their doodle up on Google tomorrow. Not a bad deal.

On Tina Fey being "curvy" (or not)

Since I had lost my April 28 New Yorker, it took me a while to actually read the Anthony Lane review that had people pissed off back in, well, April. Here's the part in question:

Angie is skinny to Kate's curves, loose-tongued to her zipped-up sense of fun, fertile to her barren jealousy. Angie wears pedal pushers and tank tops, whereas Kate stalks around bare-legged in skirts that lurch to a halt two inches above the knee, which is a length that Christy Turlington would struggle to carry off. It's possible that Fey, like other television stars, is unused to being framed in full length, and, thought in complete command of her deliver -- dry, spiky, but unthreatening -- she hasn't yet made up her mind how funny her body is meant to be. She isn't big enough to make a joke of her ripeness, like Bette Midler, but she's no Lily Tomlin, either. She could do worse than steal a trick from Lucille Ball -- a lovely, elegant figure who taught herself to be graceless.

Alright, so obviously* this is annoying, but besides being sexist, it's also inaccurate. Tina Fey isn't big at all, nor is she curvy to Amy Poehler's skinny. Hello? Look at them here. I always thought -- and think -- that Tina Fey is kinda bony -- her body and her attitude/delivery are sort of the same -- "spiky," wry, laidback. She's not ripe at all, and in this movie she's the opposite of ripe because she is, oh that's right, unable to have children of her own. If anything it's Amy Poehler who is ripe -- and she shows off what "curves" (I fucking hate that word**) she has way more than Tina does because she dresses kind of skanky. Tina's skirts that "Christy Turlington would struggle to carry off" actually professional on her, which, hello, dumbass, is part of her character. (She is just a little tightly wound.) Plus, they actually look pretty good most of the time.

So in other words, not only are you apparently kinda sexist, Anthony Lane, but you kind of sucked at reviewing this movie. (Which, for interested parties, was actually pretty good.)

*Emily Gould comments that Tina Fey is "normal-sized," but I have to say that the women of the Gawker blogosphere (by which I mean the Jezebel girls and then Emily Gould), for all their more-mainstream-than-Feministing championship of women and all that, still totally suck at perceiving "normal" women's bodies. For them "normal" seems to be "unfamous," but still thin as shit. Perhaps that is because they are all some kind of pseudocelebrity themselves (case in point), and therefore have skewed perceptions. At any rate, I think Tina Fey is pretty hot.

**Every single magazine that has a "size" issue or a "body" issue or who wants to show you jeans or swimsuits or what-have-you "for your body type" always labels one type "curvy." That is their PC word for "fat," and they never actually have clothes for real people who are overweight and not like big boned or whatever. I want clothes for people who are supposed to be kinda skinny with not a lot of waist, but who have managed to add on 20 pounds at some point and therefore are "curvy." Not to go off on a rant but one good thing about Self magazine (besides everything) is that when they do a body breakdown, they actually do it by shapes, like "bigger in the middle" or "bigger on top" and shit like that. Anyway, just a thought.

On a related note...

I finally cleaned my room yesterday in preparation for the house cleaner's visit. I'm not one of those people who cleans for the cleaners, I'm one of those people who is so dirty that in order for the cleaner to enter the domicile, I have to clean. Not kidding. The past two or three weeks my room literally exploded and I had approximately five separate piles of clothes (laundry, coats, recent clean laundry, clean laundry pulled from drawers, and clean laundry that had been air dried) and like 14 days worth of mail in the entry to my room. It was truly sickening and probably hazardous to my health. (I think there were also like 8 glasses of water half drunk and also a mostly-drunk PBR can on top of a stack of New Yorkers. Not kidding again.)

Anyway, so the point of all this is that in an amazing, unheard of twist (I am full of these non-revelation revelations today), I feel much more relaxed and clear-headed today. It appears that a clean room does indeed equal a clean mind. After the room was mostly clean, I found myself discovering new things I could do to make it feel more clean. I put the subwoofer I'm no longer using in the closet. I got rid of my desk which I'd replaced with a piano two months ago. I managed to find real clothes for work today instead of a tshirt with jeans and a sweatshirt. I even remembered to floss last night before bed. I feel like I can face the world. This, my friends, seems to be a true accomplishment. Now if only I can sustain it through this weekend. Hurrah!

I am writing the title to this post after the rest of it and I feel an extreme amount of self-distaste right now.

This is probably going to be a really lame post but whatever, I believe in honesty and over-sharing on the Internet.
It's funny that Ellen posted about this book "Frugal Indulgents: How to Cultivate Decadence when your Age and Salary are under 30" on her blog this morning, because last night Justin and Elizabeth were talking about living decadently/extravagantly. I remarked that I was certainly living decadently because our house cleaner was coming this morning and I was planning to take my laundry to the wash and fold (which I totally did). This morning, while I waited at the counter for the wash and fold woman (who was late) to be dropped off by her husband for work, I felt totally sick of myself for being such a goddamn yuppie. I swore to myself that the only reason I pay for others to clean my laundry and house (the latter rarely, the former increasingly more frequently) is because it's better for my mental health and also because sometimes it's just like paying for time rather than service (like, for my own time). I also swore that my next apartment would have a washer/dryer so I could avoid this kind of self-hate before 8am. Then I heard my dad's voice in my head, telling me that everyone has 24 hours in every day (this might be blended with Liv Tyler's dad's voice in Empire Records, except I am not on speed), and saying that you don't have time is not really an excuse because you have a lot of time. Only not really, I tell myself, so I paid my $22.50 for my laundry and marched back home.

Anyway, all this is sort of part of this recent realization I had which is that (surprise) I don't have it that bad. Please bear with me during this awful, terrible, white upper-middle class professional city-dweller moment while I realize that while I want things I can't afford, I can actually afford most things I want. Plus, I can afford to pay for my laundry, buy the occasional episode of "Gossip Girl" on iTunes, purchase organic vegetables in the middle of a global food crisis, not to mention get $65 haircuts and $12 manicures. This is all very terrible of me but I feel like I've been living under the impression that I wasn't well off, and suddenly I realized that I actually kind of am, comparatively speaking. It is sort of a strange experience to come to terms with the fact that maybe you are one of those privileged people you've spent a majority of your life judging.

I can't believe I just wrote this entry. It's so much worse in print. Ack.

Oh yeah, and also, we got HDTV last week.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A poem

I finally got to the April 28th New Yorker after losing it twice (I ended up borrowing a copy). I am glad I got it for a lot of reasons, but I especially liked this poem.

Here Name Your

My friend spends all summer
mending fence for the elk to blunder

back down and the cows to drag
the wires and the snow to sit and sag

on, so all the twist and hammer and tauten
and prop amounts at last to nought, knot, tangle.

The next year he picks
up his pliers and fixes

the odds all over again. There are no
grownups, and I think that all of us children know

and play some variation on this theme, the game of all join
hands so that someone can run them open.

Then war whoops, shrieks, and laughter
and regather together

as if any arms might ever really hold.
I'm trying to finger the source -- pleasure of or need

for -- these enactments of resistance, if Resistance
is indeed their name. I'm trying to walk the parallels to terminus --

call them lickety-split over rickety bridge,
tightrope, railroad tie, or plank as you see fit --

trying to admit to seeing double,
innumerable,

to finding myself beset by myself
on all sides, my heart forced by itself

for itself, to learn not only mine
but all the lines --

crow's flight, crow's-feet, enemy, party, picket,
throwaway, high tide, and horizon -- to wait

in the shadows of scrim each night
and whisper the scene. Always, some part

of the heart must root for the pliers, some
part for the snow's steep slope.

--Dora Malech

It's one of those poems where I feel like the tricks are obvious ("nought, knot" for example, or "lickety-split over rickety bridge") and yet I don't think I ever would have thought to do it myself. Well, most poems are like that, but this one's charms are sort of obvious and sort of obscured by the obvious ones, if that makes any sense.

Forgive me for this twee-ness

The last few days I've been semi-methodically clearing out feeds in my Google Reader in an effort to waste less time on the Internet. That sounds paradoxical and it totally is. But I have so much backlog from various blogs that I needed to clear out all the unread items so I could start over without feeling burdened. So that led, today, to me going on an Etsy binge. I haven't bought anything... yet... but that is not the point. Check out these tailor-made-for-Emily finds...

Bunny ring
They have owls too.

Sad owl print:
HER NAME IS MINERVA, FOR CHRISSAKE.

And this whole set of little drawings that I love! They are sort of Frog-and-Toad/Beatrix Potter esque. I think I like the raccoon and squirrels the best.

I wonder if my animal obsession is some bizarre nesting instinct. Sarah and I were just talking about nesting instincts (mine is nourished weekly by Bethany's three blogs chronicling her motherhood), and I think this is just further damning evidence.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's like some kind of periscope into my head

I have the craziest dreams lately. Last Thursday night, I had a dream that Jim actually had proposed to Pam, after the Andy business, by teasing her about something being in his coat pocket, so she had to get it out and then there it was, a ring. Friday night, I dreamt that a ton of us woke up late (like 9:15) for Bay to Breakers and had to relocate from the start to around Alamo Square. And then last night I had a dream that the Oregon and Kentucky primaries took place, and Barack Obama's expected 16+ elected delegates from Oregon somehow had been discounted (not that they'd gone to Clinton, they just somehow did not exist) and he still didn't have the pledged majority and the race was still, still, still going on.

All this gives you a somewhat disturbing image of what my brain spends its time on. (The sad part is that the third dream is probably going to come half true - even if Obama wins as expected, Clinton shows all signs of going on with the race, including claiming that 2025 delegates is not the required majority, and Obama's camp is not planning to claim the nomination even if he hits 2025 tomorrow.)

B2B2KGreat


Wow. Wow. Wow.

Those were the words Obama said facing a crowd of 75,000 in Portland and those are the words I say when I think about Bay to Breakers yesterday.

B2B really is San Francisco's finest moment. Saturday night, Peattie said, "I wish Bay to Breakers wasn't tomorrow." I thought he meant because we maybe weren't prepared, because he was tired, because he wanted to do something fun Saturday night and knew he shouldn't in order to rest up for the next morning, but no. He clarified: "Because it's going to be another whole year before it happens again." Somewhere around the starting line yesterday morning, I realized I completely agreed with him. Seriously, it's such a great day. I can't really picture it for you if you weren't there, but I came away from the day with a million little snapshots in my head, and I almost want to write them all down here to ensure I remember them forever. However, I think I'll spare you. All you need to know is that we started at the beginning. We lost people immediately and found them again, as you are wont to do. We lost people at what I call the Bermuda Triangle, the block between Hayes and Fell on Divisadero. Those people we didn't find again. We picked up a keg at a friend's house on Fulton, and I don't remember what happened to it. We saw the buffalo. And hours and hours later, we made it to the beach. I dipped my toes in the ocean. And then we took an epic N-Judah ride back to Duboce Park, where after a stop at JJ's house, we went to Naan and Chutney on Haight and wolfed down our only food since (in my case) a bowl of cereal at 6:30am. Satisfaction of a race well staggered.

God, I love Bay to Breakers.

Some pictures. The top one is the entire alphabet, plus symbols, minus H, Q and U, who were running very late. So we met them at 7th and Howard, except by that point we'd lost, like, everyone else.

This is the first word we spelled.

They were really excited about this. The colors... so amazing.

Not spelling anything, just felt like posting this one. Me, Laurel (R), and Zoe (Z). W (Sarah) is on the left you just can't see her face.
All Laurel and I wanted to do was spell "drunk." U was late, so we spelled "DRINK" instead. Ace (D), Laurel (R), Eli (I), Nick (N) and me.

Then we spelled "DRANK." JJ is "A."


Then they realized they could spell "RAW" and I just wanted to be in the letter so after they did that I threw myself on the end for "RAWK." (Laurel, JJ , Sarah, and me.)


Hours later we finally found U, and then we had lost N. This is me, scanning the crowd, looking for someone who could fake being an N. (Ace, Laurel, this guy Rick I met yesterday while I was yelling at him for not showing up earlier, and me.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Brought to you by the letter K.

I've sort of been hesitating to post about this because I'm worried about blowing the total awesomeness of it all, but... screw it.

Bay to Breakers, a.k.a. Best Day Ever, is this Sunday, and my friends and I have collected together (with a lot of people I don't know, but who are friends of friends and visitors from out of town) to be the ALPHABET. We are all going to be wearing bright t-shirts with letters (some of us are symbols). We can spell things all day. It will be really awesome. My friend Peattie had the idea and we're all sort of shocked and awed that it's actually happening, but it really, really is. Obviously it hasn't happened yet, but there's been enough entertaining buildup to get me jazzed about it. Such as: calling each other by our letter names all week (I feel like I am in Gossip Girl, especially every time I address Justin as J) and sending out lots of videos of Sesame Street. Like this one, which Laurel sent today, and which I am pretty sure I've drunkenly sang before (Sesame Street is so deeply embedded in my brain) and which we are planning to drunkenly sing again, this Sunday, while winding our way through the maddening crowds of San Francisco on the Best Day Ever.



I'm not the letter E as you might expect -- Elizabeth got that one -- instead I've gone with K for Kettering, which is swiftly becoming a nickname that I actually respond to.

When Obama wins....

You know how they talk about how TV totally changed politics? And then how the Internet changed politics because of blogs and stuff? I feel like this election has really reached a new Internet, media peak. The sheer numbers of weird memes and things... as evidenced by the fact that I've posted about most of them. Anyway, here is the latest (a little late)... When Obama Wins.

A John Hagee Is Crazy Alert

Here.

When Sen. John McCain was forced to distance himself from Pastor John Hagee earlier this year, he denounced the pastor’s attacks on Catholicism. But asked why he wouldn’t “repudiate” Hagee’s endorsement of him, McCain found something to praise.

“I'm grateful for his commitment to the support of the state of Israel, and I'm very grateful for many of his commitments around the world, including to the independence and freedom of the state of Israel,” he told CNN’s Campbell Brown on April 29.

Hagee’s commitment to Israel, however, is itself controversial: It’s rooted in the belief that the Jewish state will — soon — be the site of Armageddon.

It's not even so much a critique on McCain for seeking out and enjoying his endorsement. It's mostly just a comment on how some people out there are batshit insane.

Things that are Younger than John McCain

First let me make a small disclaimer: sometimes I like things for purely humorous reasons and not because I think they matter (much) politically.

So, John McCain, as we know, is pretty old. For a Presidential candidate. I've seen him speak twice in person and he looks/seems even older in person. But whatever, he seems to be generally mentally on top of things so I won't judge. That said, this site "Things that are Younger than John McCain" is really funny. It's good especially because of the comments, like those on this post (check out #8 and #9). Plus, it is sort of educational! Chocolate chip cookies, born in the 30s. Good to know!

(via Serious Eats)

More on R. Kelly (I just can't resist)

I showed Dan, my roommate and resident R. Kelly (and in fact all trashy hip-hop) expert, the R. Kelly trial blog I linked to earlier, and he countered with this.

Seriously, I will never be able to decide if R. Kelly is insane or some kind of secret genius. It's kind of like how I can't decide if people on the Hills are really really stupid, or just really cleverly manipulating the fame machine. In their case I think I think the former, but with R. Kelly it's like I just can't decide. I mean he wrote a hip-hopera! And this is a song about his hair dresser filled with tons of absurd sexual innuendo! And! And! He wrote a song called "Sex Planet" which is also filled with tons of absurd sexual innuendo! Seriously, I just can't express my bafflement and awe at the man who is R. Kelly. Sex trials or not.

Rambles.

Several thoughts are running through my head today. First, I love it when San Francisco is hot. The predicted high for today is 92 in the city, which is absolutely insane, and it completely changes the feeling of things. I happen to be working in the SF office today, and my trip to work got me sweating, plus it made me feel like I was going to work somewhere like Chicago, not my chilly city by the bay. It's not just hot this week, it's sort of hot and humid and hazy, the kind of hot that is also cloudy, and the cloud pins all the heat and (dare I say it?) smog in around you. Luckily I have no problem with heat, although it does make me want to wear shorts to work which is sort of a no-no, even at my company. Instead, I've had to resort to skirts and dresses, which has made me once again question my wardrobe and made me seriously consider a revamp. I half-promised myself recently I wasn't going to buy new clothes until I got rid of old ones, but I keep having to dip into the old ones when my newer ones don't turn out to work in my favor, and in general I'm having major wardrobe malfunctions and stressful moments (when I was dressing for my friend's confirmation on Sunday, in other words, when I was dressing for CHURCH, I actually threw a crying fit, and maybe I also said "Fuck God"). Anyway, this is all not the point. The point is that San Francisco in the heat is a totally different city. On my walk home last night there were scores of people out on patios outside of cafes that are normally dead quiet. Half of it feels bohemian and the other half is the sort of underside of the city that you don't always see - but either way it is good.

The other thing that's going on this week is my second killer sinus infection of the season. I know you're all really excited about a paragraph that starts like that, but I'm not planning on going into the details except to say that my allergies are the worst and if I lived in the 19th century I would most definitely be branded as sickly and confined indoors to knit and stuff like Colin Craven or Mercy in "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" or maybe Mary Ingalls prior to going to the school for the blind. Thanks to, you know, modern medicine and stuff, I am still rallying for work every day, although each night I've gone straight home, watched mindless television, and gone to bed, on average, at 10pm. Anyway, so today I implemented a new strategy... the case of medicines. I busted out an old make up case and filled it with my various accoutrements of illness. I am awesome.

This morning I took the bus to work instead of the BART. I always take the BART, and that means that I always walk by the same crack dealers near the corner of Mission and 16th. Seriously, they are always there in front of the same store, and that entire block from 17th to 16th is like a little obstacle course of high people missing teeth. While that does tend to wake you up a little, I kind of didn't feel like it today, so I took the Mission 14 bus instead. Which is ironic, or something, because the Mission 14 bus is filled with crazy people all the time. I don't think I've ever been on it without crazy people. This morning the crazy person was sitting in the front area singing this almost tuneful, nevertheless wordless song for the entire ride until he got off somewhere around 3rd street. It was loud enough to fill the entire bus, and very bizarre. There is nothing like a little San Francisco crazy person culture to start off your day.

Anyway. Back to it. Whatever it is.

This is why blogs are awesome.

BEST!!

(via)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Obama in an unmoderated debate

I have to agree with Hendrik Hertzberg here. When Obama spoke at Google last year, his speech was good, but his Q&A was better. I think a town hall format, or a non-moderated debate format, would highlight some of his assets very well. He's quick on his feet.

(tip to Justin for the link)

P.S. Yay for Edwards and NARAL endorsements!

Why Kissing Jessica Stein is amazing.

I love Rachel for posting this:

Yoga guy: In what ways do you feel we don’t click?

Jessica:In what ways? We don’t click in any ways. We don’t have chemistry, or banter, or common interests. You’re a yoga instructor, you get colonics, you don’t understand the chaos or absurdity of life, on this planet and in this city. You don’t understand irony, or ethnicity, or eccentricity, or poetry, or the simple joy of being a regular at the diner on your block—I love that. You don’t drink coffee, or alcohol, you don’t overeat, you don’t cry when you’re alone, you don’t understand sarcasm. You plod through life in a neat, colorless, caffeine-free, dairy-free, conflict-free, banal self-possessed way—I’m bold, and angry, and tortured, and tremendous and I notice when someone has changed their hair part, or when someone is wearing two very distinctly different shades of black, or when someone changes the natural timbre of their voice on the phone. I don’t give out empty praise. I’m not complacent, or well-adjusted, I can’t spend 50 minutes breathing and stretching and getting in touch with myself, I can’t even spend 3 minutes finishing an article. I check my phone machine 9 times every day, and I can’t sleep at night, because I feel that there is so much to do and fix and change in the world, and I wonder every day if I am making a difference, and if I will ever express the greatness within me or if I will remain forever paralyzed by the muddled madness inside my head. I’ve wept on every birthday I’ve ever had, because life is huge, and fleeting. And I hate certain people and certain shoes. And I feel that life is terribly unfair and sometimes beautiful and wonderful and extraordinary, but also numbing and horrifying and insurmountable. And I hate myself a lot of the time, but a lot of the rest of the time, I adore myself and I adore my life in this city, in this world we live in, this huge and wondrous, bewildering, brilliant, horrible world.

(sigh) And in these ways, I feel that we do not click.

Yoga guy: So you don’t think it’s gonna work out right now?

—Original scene from Kissing Jessica Stein that didn’t make it into the movie

Kissing Jessica Stein is underrated or underrepresented, probably because of the whole lesbian thing, but the reality is that I relate much, much more to Jessica than I ever could to Carrie Bradshaw or any of the other SATC girls, who are supposed to be our New York archetypal women of our generation (or the one a bit ahead of us). She's such a disaster, but in the ways I am a disaster, and now I feel the urge to go watch this movie as soon as possible.

Standing in Love

I thought this little bit was lovely... it's about the difference between "falling in love" and "standing in love." In some ways it's what we always have known, that the giddy feeling of falling in love must at some point give way to a different kind of love, blah blah blah. But what I liked best about it (besides that idea of "standing in love" with someone) was this:

When you fall in love, you want your partner to be faithful to you because if they are not it threatens your loneliness again. They might leave you, and leave you alone. This is possessiveness. So it is quite possible to find two people who are apparently in love with each other and who actually feel no love for anybody else. These are the kind of lovers who are completely annoying to be with. They are so involved with each other that they do not notice the rest of the world. They make you feel alone when you are with them. They think of love as luck and that their luck is in – and conversely, that everyone else’s luck is not.

There [sic] luck is not in, though, because their love is, in fact, what Fromm calls ‘an egoism together’; they are two people who identify themselves with each other, and who solve the problem of separateness by enlarging the single individual into two. It is in fact narcissism – they love themselves in each other; they see each other as Narcissus starred into the lake. They have the experience of overcoming aloneness, yet, they are separated from the rest of humankind – which is why you feel lonely or annoyed in their presence. In fact, they too remain separated from each other and alienated from themselves, though they daren’t admit it and so become even more absorbed in each other. Their experience of union is an illusion.

When you stand in love, though, you want your partner to be faithful to you but not because you cannot be alone but because it represents to you the faithfulness that must exist between all human beings who are to relate well to each other. In other words, it is not an exclusive possessiveness but an expression of an inclusive love for all humankind, potentially at least. Thus, the nicest people to know who are in love with each other are those who make you feel part of their love, whose love generates a welcoming home, brings out the best in you and so on. They have learnt the art of love with each other and it results in generating love that they have for others.

I have always tried to make the argument that best couples are those who are additive -- who you can spend time with in a group and who don't suck the energy out, but instead add to the room, add their own energy, which is from two people but not only for two people. This puts it a bit better than I've been able to -- additive is such an non-lovey word: turns out the kinds of couples I like, and the kind of couple I want to be a part of, are those who are "standing in love." This really comes back to the essential issue of balance in relationships that I've been struggling with for the past year -- the lameness of codependence and the sweet spot of independence yet coupleness that as far as I can tell is incredibly, incredibly hard to find. Worth looking for, though.

(via)