Monday, December 22, 2008


I believe in self-fulfilling prophecy, but I am still reflecting on how I feel about this article. It's like real-life Good Luck Chuck.*

*Full disclosure: I have never seen, nor ever plan on seeing, Good Luck Chuck.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The sound of pain

I just suddenly became overwhelmed by the sounds around me. I think there are crickets...but it's mostly a high-pitched electronic song, evidence perhaps that we really are in the Matrix? Now that I'm aware of it, it's rather disturbing. I turn things off, but it doesn't go away.

In movies when one stops and contemplates the sounds of the world existing, it always sounds like music. There's a beat, a rhythm, a natural beauty. I guess if you take out the nature, the world sounds like death. I faintly hear crickets. But they are losing the aural battle.


Have you ever watched a commercial and recognized an actor from some obscure, long ago work?

Well, I was recently watching this CitiCard commercial and thought, "That looks like the chick who became the third yellow Power Ranger!" I remember her most from an episode in which she discovers that she's a great baseball pitcher and starts playing for the team. That episode made me cringe because her form was so terrible.

Her name is Nakia Burrise, FYI.

Friday, December 19, 2008


While I am made just as uncomfortable by the cultural and social implications of Burger King's new Whopper Virgins campaign as its many question is, how did they make the Big Macs? They show how they made the Whopper but they don't explain how they took the care to make sure they made the Big Mac comparably to how it would be made in a McDonald's. (Yes, I know, "care" might be the wrong word.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



Whose table is it?

I am a feminist. And as a feminist, I am going to say something that will offend many other feminists who would have me stripped of my right to say that I am a feminist: I am against abortion. Go ahead. Stone me.

Ready to listen now? Look, I do not support illegalizing abortion. I don't support blowing up abortion clinics. I don't support harassing people who want to get abortions. I don't support the sexist(and at times racist and classist) ideas that lead many to oppose abortion. I oppose abortion because it is too much of a gray area, because I am not entirely convinced that that fetus is not actually a human being. But at the same time, I have no problem with the morning after pill, so what right have I to judge where someone else draws the line?

The reason I bring this up is because of some people's unwillingness to see that not everyone who views abortion as murder is a horrible misogynist, out to control the bodies of women. I do not hold an extreme view of abortion, but I think the vilification of those who do view a fetus as a life tends to become ugly and extreme itself.

Currently, there is a lot of hoopla about Obama's decision to have Rick Warren speak at his inauguration. Pro-choicers are angry because Warren is anti-abortion. Gay activists are angry because Warren has a moral issue with homosexuality.

"By inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table," Solmonese said in an open letter to Obama that was released by his organization.*

This statement bothers me greatly! Because what's happening is, Obama is trying to invite many different people to his table. He's trying to unite America and this means opening his arms to many different viewpoints. I personally have a problem with a lot of what Warren has said...but I also have a problem with the way some of his words have been taken out of context. But more than that, I have a problem with liberals who feel excluded, who condone excluding their conservative neighbors, instead of inviting them in and saying, "Hey! Meet me, know me, and realize I'm human too." And maybe that's because they don't realize that the evil, evangelical, white, homophobic, misogynistic man is human as well?


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Book of Face

How many Facebook friends do you have? I know some people who keep their friends list pretty tight, friend requesting and only accepting friend requests from those to whom they are actually already close. Some people friend everyone they've ever met or known and even accept requests from people who they don't know. I know people with friend's lists barely in the double digits, and others who are approaching 2,000 friends. I am somewhere in between. As of this sentence, my friend list (as of this moment)numbers 539. I could go through the list and tell you exactly how I know each and every person on my list. But as you can imagine, the number of those people with whom I am actually in regular contact is slim. (I now have 540 friends).

I often find myself feeling awkward when I become privy to the ups and downs of the lives of these 540 "friends." I have witnessed marriages, births, divorces, deaths. I know when relationships end, when friendships go sour, parties go bad, jobs disappear.

What does it mean for all of this information to be available so publicly? I feel I am a voyeur, given access to people's lives, but not necessarily feeling welcome to comment on them. And so I pray for people when it seems appropriate, silently congratulate them, look at their photos, read their blogs...maintain my distance.

Terrified of being alone, yet afraid of intimacy, we experience widespread feelings of emptiness, of disconnection, of the unreality of self. And here the computer, a companion without emotional demands, offers a compromise. You can be a loner, but never alone. You can interact, but need never feel vulnerable to another person.
-Sherry Turkle

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pillows of Illusion

When I'm Awake, I Drink to Forget the Dreams
Guy #1, leaving: Bye! Sweet dreams.
Girl to guy #2: I hope so, last night I had a really bad dream. What about you?
Guy #2: I had dreams last night. It's my reality that's the problem.

--Hopscotch Cafe

Overheard by: bildita
via Overheard in New York, Dec 4, 2008

War as Life

"We don't get it. We truly can't imagine what it was like. We can't imagine how dreadful, how terrifying war is, and how normal it becomes. Can't understand, can't imagine. That's what every soldier, and every journalist and aid worker and independent observer who has put in time under fire, and had the luck to elude the death that struck down others nearby, stubbornly feels."
-Susan Sontag

In case you didn't notice...

Life does not come with an eraser.


No Life

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Don't get in the way of your own life. Stop the self-sabotage. Stop the fear, the lack of confidence, the hatred, the anxiety, the laziness, the apathy, the weariness, the sense of entitlement, the ignorance, the procrastination, the excuses.


My Playground

There are certain movies that are difficult for me to watch as an adult, despite my immense love for them, because they remind me too much of the childhood dreams that have fallen to the wayside. A League of Their Own is one of those films.

Jimmy Dugan: Taking a little day trip?
Dottie Hinson: No, Bob and I are driving home. To Oregon.
Jimmy Dugan: [long pause] You know, I really thought you were a ballplayer.
Dottie Hinson: Well, you were wrong.
Jimmy Dugan: Was I?
Dottie Hinson: Yeah. It is only a game, Jimmy. It's only a game, and, and, I don't need this. I have Bob; I don't need this. At all.
Jimmy Dugan: I, I gave away five years at the end my career to drink. Five years. And now there isn't anything I wouldn't give to get back any one day of it.
Dottie Hinson: Well, we're different.
Jimmy Dugan: Shit, Dottie, if you want to go back to Oregon and make a hundred babies, great, I'm in no position to tell anyone how to live. But sneaking out like this, quitting, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that.
Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.
Jimmy Dugan: It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008



Kiss Series, The Movie Spoiler Edition: L'Ultimo Bacio

"Don't do it!" you yell at the scream. Carlo is 30. He has a beautiful girlfriend who is pregnant with their first child. He has a good job. His friends are going through growing pains...and so is he. And here he is, at a party with a young high school girl, blond, beautiful, crazy about him. He succumbs.

And the kiss is lacking in true emotion or even sensuality. It's just about sex. Not the sexy sex. The sex that happens to fill some proverbial, non-sexual void in one's life that one doesn't yet realize can't be filled by a good looking person who isn't his/her significant other. It's the kind of sex that increases the void.*

*-No vagina jokes.


I like theories. For me to say otherwise would be for me to state an utter falsehood and display a complete lack of self-awareness. But life is not theoretical. Life is actual. And the actual almost always presents factors that a theorist couldn't even begin to predict, or in some cases, ever even comprehend.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Death by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kiss Series, The Movie Spoiler Edition: Penelope

It's very difficult for a kiss involving James McAvoy to be anything other than incredible and steamy. No psychological analysis for this one. It was just amazingly choreographed, written, and executed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kiss Series, The Movie Spoiler Edition: Anywhere But Here

What makes this scene so memorable isn't the fact that this is some great, deep emotional, teenage romance. It's a quirky and sweet and fairly sad since it's always clear that he's more entranced by her than she ever will be by him. But the look of need in Natalie's face when they finally kiss...the way her vulnerability shines through this cool veneer she's attempted to erect just shows how young they really are. And they'll go on to their separate lives, fall in love with other people, but at this moment...

And apologies for the shitty quality of the clip. It's the only one I could find.

Mmmm...Gay Soup Wrestling

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Me and the Constitution Party

This is a letter I sent to a friend recently about the Constitution Party. Note that a lot of my political thinking has been influenced by Jim Wallis.:

So, I wanted to finally explain my issues with the Constitution Party. I finally had a chance to look into them again to make sure I was basing my opinion on the facts and not on any preconceived notions and it really just comes down to me disagreeing with their approach to certain issues. Here's a list I'll try to keep short.

  1. The Constitution - The strongest point of this party is adherence to the Constitution. I totally agree that we get in danger when we outright ignore or possibly even worse, try to reinterpret the Constitution to suit our needs. However, the party is also strongly touting it's Biblical influence. I find it dangerous that they hold the Constitution so highly. It's like they want it both ways: they want to be a Christian party but don't want the government to specifically address our Christian calling. We have to be good Christians unless it steps on the toes of the Constitution. Also, yes, our country was founded by Christians...but our country was founded by Christians who were also notorious for persecuting others.
  2. Immigration - The party supports limitations on immigration that I can't support. I think we should open our arms to anyone seeking refuge (as long as they don't provide an imminent threat to our safety). Strict immigration laws do not make that possible. I can understand the immigration view that opposes mine...but I think this country's history of xenophobia has to end because we were all immigrants at some point!
  3. Environment - They are global warming detractors. You know how I feel about that.
  4. The Role of Government - A lot of these issues can be summed up in our difference of opinion on the role of the US Government in the world and in the lives of its people. I strongly believe in the right to privacy, the right to property, the right to be left alone, etc. But I also can't support a party who wants to take money out of the hands of the poor and say, "Hey, churches, you deal with it!" If the churches had been doing their job in protecting the poor and widows, we wouldn't need welfare. This party focuses too much on lessening the power of the federal government. (This was one of the big issues that led to the Civil War: The South wanted the state governments to hold more power, while the Union was pro-federal government.) I believe that too much state power leads to an even bigger break down in the cohesion of our country. I also believe that as a strong, wealthy country, it is our obligation to be involved in foreign affairs. I don't think we've currently been doing it correctly...but to say that the government should maintain a separatist attitude and that charity should be left to the charities is a highly naive and dangerous assertion on their part. If I am a Christian and a politician and I assert that my Christian morals influence my policy making, then I believe that means that I should support policies that protect and help every single person on this planet. The party touts that it is important to protect Americans and American interests (only)...

Clarification: I am not saying that the US Government should assert any sort of moral authority over anyone or tell anyone how he or she should live or tell any nation how it should govern (except in instances in which that nation's peoples are suffering). The US Government does not speak for God.

But quotes that expound on my opinions:

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is a nation approaching spiritual bankruptcy." -Martin Luther King, Jr

"[U]ntil all the children who died from hunger on September 11 are as important to us as those who died on terrorist attacks, we will not be safe or secure." -Jim Wallis

That quote and following quote all related to this idea that as long as our neighbor is not safe, we are not safe. I am also using both to highlight my views on a separatist government that focuses only on defense and trade and does not get involved in other foreign issues or concerns.

"[D]istance can no longer decide who is our neighbor. We can't choose our neighbors anymore. We can't choose the benefits of globalization without some of the responsibilities, and we should remind ourselves that 'love thy neighbor' is not advice: it is a command."

While I agree that the US has too much become a sort of global police, I don't think withdrawing from the UN or NATO is going to change that. I think that this role is change when we stop trying to control the UN and NATO. We can be involved in the rest of the world without trying to rule the rest of the world. Unfortunately, like it or not, we are the most powerful nation in the world and that comes with responsibility to our global neighbors. Unless they are safe, then the money and property this party is so desperately trying to hold on to will also never be safe.

Obviously, at the end of the day, I respect your views and opinions on these matters. A lot of times politics is just a differing view on how to solve the same problem. I guess now I've stated my disagreement with their problem-solving method.

The Blame Game

On November 4, 2008, it was announced that Barack Obama had been elected the new president of the United States. Despite being a rather tepid supporter when compared to his large, rabid following, I still cried tears of joy at the announcement. I cried, not because I see him as a Messiah in the midst of our country's dark days, but because he is, symbolically at least, a light. I do not know whether he will be able to take the giant strides we all hope he will in getting this country back on the right track economically, socially, and globally...but I hope he does. I do not know if the country's morale will survive if his term is not "successful," but I hope we never have to find out.

At the end though, I cried, because now I can look at my little nephew and say, truly, "You can be whatever you want to be." I cried because it seems that maybe, hopefully, we can end this age of scapegoating and entitlement. Regardless of the past, regardless of circumstance, there comes a time when every person, of every race has to pull him or herself up by his or her own bootstraps. And there comes a time when we must lift our neighbors up too.

It's amazing, because you find a sense of entitlement amongst the wealthy and the poor, amongst all of the races. The wealthy feel entitled, well, because they are wealthy. The poor feel entitled, because they are oppressed. You know what? Now I feel free to say, "Get to work!" It's time to stop worrying about what we're "entitled" to. It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. The time for pointing fingers is not now...because finger pointing will not allow us to succeed and move forward, individually or collectively.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sushi Gaming

Despite having very little free time, I find myself often distracted by, a website devoted to free, online flash games. I've posted one of my favorites below for your amusement.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Have it Your Way?

An excerpt from God's Politics by Jim Wallis, because why summarize when he already says it so well?

She was working the drive-through window at 4:00 in the afternoon. But whenever there was a lull between orders, the young woman kept returning to a table in the corner of the restaurant. Three kids were sitting there, with schoolbooks, papers, and pencils all spread out, doing their homework. And Mom was helping as best she could while keeping straight the orders for Whoppers, fries, and chicken nuggets. Given her low wages, this single mother was no doubt balancing more than fast food and homework - but also deciding between paying the rent, going to the doctor and affording prescriptions when somebody gets sick, or buying winter boots for her kids. She has become an icon for me. I call her Burger King Mom.

In election years, the pundits talk often about Soccer Mom and how she will vote. Both the Democrats and the Republicans court her. Since the president went to Daytona, there is a new electoral icon; he's called NASCAR Dad, and his support is crucial, especially for Republicans. Also, in the 2004 election, attention focused on Security Mom. But who will speak to or for Burger King Mom? She exists in both the red and blue states, but neither party is much interested in her or her family's issues. She is part of the low-income demographic that is most unrepresented in American politics, with the lowest levels of both voter registration and turnout, and includes a high percentage of immigrants. Many low-income people have a hard time connecting to voting: too complicated, too many other things to worry about, too little confidence that the outcome makes much difference for them.

The Republicans look after their wealthy constituents, and the Democrats want to be champions of the middle class, but neither prioritizes the needs of the poor.* Is that because the problems of poverty are disappearing in America? On the contrary, the poverty rate (including for children) has risen over the last three years, more people than ever are without health insurance, increasing numbers of people can't find affordable housing, and the minimum wage hasn't been raised for eight years.

*-Emphasis mine.

Monday, October 13, 2008


PhotobucketMTV has a reality dating show entitled Parental Control in which parents who dislike their kid's significant other choose two other people for their kid to go out on dates with. After these dates, the kid then has to decide whether or not to stay in their relationships or to continue to date one of people his/her parents selected.

As with most MTV "reality shows," it's difficult to gauge how much of what happens has any basis in reality. The directing and scripting are both heavy handed. And the fact that these are not actors delivering the lines makes it that much less credible. However, the fact that these are not actors is what infuses the situation with a believability.

My problem with this show is watching these kids decide to leave their relationships. A lot of the times, the parents' complaints are silly things: they have an annoying voice, they wear weird clothes, they talk too much. (Occasionally, there are situations of obvious, but glossed over, disrespect and emotional abuse.) The fact of the matter is that most of the time these are 16-18 year-olds we're talking about, and they aren't necessarily in the most serious of relationships. Many of them probably do have dead ends. But basically what happens is that, if the kid goes out on a date with someone who's hotter, the original boyfriend/girlfriend gets tossed aside. This is the part of the show where I've actually seen people look hurt and shocked. Even if it's all a big fake, it's a scary, hard, and dangerous lesson to teach teens: someone who you think you love and who you think loves you can and probably will toss you aside for some better looking fame chaser.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Free to Censor?

Roland S. Martin recently wrote an op. ed. piece for CNN in which he chastises Lifeway Christian Bookstores for removing an edition of GospelToday magazine that featured a cover of women ministers, from its shelves because the Southern Baptist Convention, with whom Lifeway is affiliated, has officially sided with the school of thought that scriptures indicate that only men can be ordained ministers.

My main problems with Lifeway's actions are this:

  1. They did not give the magazine any warning. The polite thing to do would have been to issued some sort of statement to GospelToday saying, "We are sorry but our views on women in the pulpit have led us to pull this particular edition of your magazine from our shelves, etc. etc." You get the idea. But they took the measures without warning or any contact.
  2. Pulling the magazines in such a secretive way also pretty much hindered the possibility of a healthy discussion of the issue. Roland Martin puts in his 2¢ on the issue, but it is sort of awkward and ill-placed. It is not a forum for healthy discussion on the topic. And when a topic is shrouded in an unhealthy controversy such as this, healthy and educational debate becomes nearly impossible.

See Earlier for Cross Application: A Kingdom Divided

So much news to note!

Links of Note:
  • Turkish singer defiant in court - A transsexual Turkish singer is on trial for publicly making comments criticizing Turkey's military. What makes this story fantastic is that Turkey is a society in which a flashy transsexual can become a star but is also a society in which can be legally tried for questioning the government.
  • Google In Quotes - A new (temporary?) tool from Google that lets you compare quotes from the presidential candidates in which whatever word you search for appears. I received no quotes on "pizza."
  • Shipping containers could be 'dream' homes for thousands - Another example of how creative engineering has the potential to improve people's quality of life.
  • Campbell Brown Rips McCain Camp's "Sexist" Treatment Of Palin - I've bemoaned the sexist attacks on Sarah Palin lobbed by many liberals...but Campbell Brown rightly points out the fact that the Republican party likewise treats her not as a worthy politician, but as a "delicate flower."
  • Evangelist: 'Puberty' is age of sexual consent - Considering that I know girls as young as 8 who have reached puberty, I have to say that Tony Alamo is batshit crazy. We live in a world in which physical maturity does not at all equate mental maturity, and our laws regarding sexuality and consent should reflect as much, in my opinion.
  • The White Dude Knows Best approach to women's health - I'm just going to lift a quote straight from the article: "Compulsory or coercive sterilizations for low-income women, disabled women, and women of color were extremely common up until the 1970s, and slightly less common but nevertheless occurring with regularity the the decades since. The paternalistic attitude that "certain women" cannot be trusted to make their own reproductive decisions is still an underlying theme of a lot of backwards legal and policy decisions."
    See also: State Boys Rebellion
  • A Wish List for Young Parents - Again I'm going to directly quote this article: "A lot of criticism capitalizes on this trend, saying in effect 'Hey, unwed mothers! If you had more money, childhood poverty would be less of a problem!'"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Because I believe in change

I can't believe I haven't posted this before.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Brilliance in unexpected places

This gem of a comment thread was recently come across by my roommate and I. I would provide analysis of why it is so beautiful, but I will trust that you will understand. Original thread found here.

Click on the picture to see a screen cap. Photobucket

Saturday, September 6, 2008

No Comment...Yet

"I don't want to encourage young women to become prostitutes," she says. "But they should know that being objectified is not all that bad."
-Secrets of a Hipster Hooker

Control your periods! (or your birthing)

Right to Choose Right and Red Bull

see more hipster robot webcomics and pixel t-shirts

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


What exactly does one say when one has nothing to say?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Imagine we live in a world where you can just hop into a van and drive away from your stress and find strangers with open arms.

Monday, September 1, 2008


New Yorkers Love a Game of "So You Think You Have Problems?"

Screaming child: Mommy, I want to go home!
Disgruntled employee: You think you have problems?! Try graduating from art college in the middle of a recession! Then you can cry!

--H&M Store

via Overheard in New York, Sep 1, 2008


I write because it is through my words and inventions that I can live all of the lives that I don't have the time and/or resources to live in the "real" world.


American President

While watching the movie Dave earlier today, I got inspired to compose a list of my favorite fictional American Presidents. However, as I was making the list out, I realized that it would all just be an elaborate ruse, superfluous fluff intended only to justify the posting of this video, of this fictional president whom I would follow to whatever end:

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Food for the Middle Class, Bleeding Heart Liberals

This quote is in reference to Hurrican Gustav, currently a Category 3 storm heading towards the Gulf Coast, but I think it explains a lot about the working class, the less-than-rich...

"Lot of folks around here are gonna make do with what they have, and you won't hear a terrible amount of complaining," he said. "You can't just come in here and expect to hear people fussing about how they don't have nothing. People just be used to not having much, and so you don't even think too hard about it until someone starts asking you questions."
-Sidney William

This is not to say I condone attitudes that turn a blind eye to the needs of the less fortunate, that glorify the less wealthy, or that pretend that vast discrepancies in wealth distribution are A-OK. But a lot of people are perfectly content with life and are not angry or bitter because they don't have what other people think they should have.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


At the moment, I'm that person...the one who's completely apathetic about politics...who doesn't watch the conventions or get into debates about the candidates. I just can't care anymore because it's true: you can't trust anyone. Why? No matter how awesome a politician may seem, he or she is still a person, subject to all of the failures and weaknesses of any other person, and well, I've met a good number of people in my life and every single person I've ever met is a fuck up in some way. I don't want my government to be run by people; I want it to be run by gods and goddesses, heroes and paladins. But it's never going to happen. Tomorrow, next week, next month, I'll return to my normal sense of devotion to selecting the lesser of however many evils, my hope in humanity, my drive to champion the democratic process and the importance of the involvement of every single citizen. But right now? Right now I'm that person who just says do whatever the fuck you want with my country because no matter what, life is going to be hard.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Food for Thought

"I truly believe that people like myself, who are in a position of entertainers in the limelight, should keep their mouth shut on politics because at the end of the day, I'm good at writing songs and singing. What I'm not educated in is the field of political science. And so for me to be sharing my views and influencing people of who I think they should be voting for ... I think would be very irresponsible on my part."
-Kid Rock

Movie Review: Penelope

Penelope was actually quite a pleasant surprise. I'm obligated to love Christina Ricci, as her onscreen, adolescent angst corresponded with the budding of my own offscreen angst...but as an adult, she has proven herself to be an inconsistent actress. However, there's something about her huge brown eyes in this movie that make you ignore her rather annoying way of speaking (has her voice gotten higher as she's gotten older?) and fall hopelessly in love with her innocence and spunk. James McAvoy is, as always, beautiful and brilliant as the main love interest, and not surprisingly at all, Reese Witherspoon stands out even in the smallest of roles.

The movie calls itself a modern day fairy tale and like a fairy tale, is a thinly veiled moral lesson, as anyone can see that this hideous pig-faced girl is a hottie and not the monster all of the characters in the film make her out to be. But the film's higher goalss never seem forced or too over-bearing, as the tone is always light and sweet, a necessity if the audience is not to be offended. Consider this a delicious, healthy cupcake, with slightly too sweet frosting.

The sanctity of life

The only creature I ever kill without feeling any guilt or remorse is the cockroach.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This is why you should always keep a stash of cookies handy

12PM I Finally Had to Call Security on That Blue Muppet with the Weird Googly Eyes
Office worker: Okay, who started the cookie rumor? I have 45 people coming to my desk asking me for some cookies that I made!

Boston, Massachusetts

Overheard by: maryk
via Overheard in the Office, Aug 22, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Food for Thought

"john edwards is a chump but bush stole all of our money and killed innocent babies and children and women with it...there's a frickin scandal for ya! and he doesn't even have to answer for it one one hundredth as much as edwards is being assailed for knocking up one slutty showbiz junkie. The media cares more about sneaky sex than about torture death and holocaust."
-Roseanne Barr

Monday, August 11, 2008

When you see in color and culture and Christianity

After reading the following article:Why many Americans prefer their Sundays segregated, I thought it appropriate to post this e-mail that I received from my father this morning:

The Average White Church:

  1. Service and Sunday School are over by 10:30 a.m.
  2. All cars in the parking lot are either new or three years old.
  3. The Pastor delegates his preaching and does not preach every Sunday or every service.
  4. When the Pastor retires, they don't have a problem retiring.
  5. No one leaves the choir during the entire service.
  6. There is only one choir.
  7. Choir rehearsal is only once a month, not every week.
  8. There is children's church every Sunday, not once every six months.
  9. There are 52-inch flat screen TV's posted in the sanctuary, which is where announcements are posted and not read audibly.
  10. No afternoon and night service.
  11. You can't tell the pastor's car because everyone drives a nice car.
  12. Women wear less jewelry because they know less means more.
  13. Communion takes 30 minutes, not two hours.
  14. Communion is packaged together and not served in four gold trays.
  15. Babies are not passed around in church; they sit only with their parents.
  17. Scriptures and bible verses are posted on the FLAT SCREENS IN THE SANCTUARY.
  18. Caucasians know the difference between winter white and summer white.
  19. Mothers feed their kids FRUIT, GRAINS, AND ANIMAL CRACKERS before service.
  20. 80% of the congregation wears real furs in the winter and don't walk in service late to show them off.
  21. IT TAKES TWO DEACONS TO COUNT $10,000+ in offering.
  22. There's only one offering.
  23. 95% of the congregation is married.

The Average Black Church:

  1. Service starts at 11 a.m., but 50% of the members arrive at 12:45 p.m.
  2. All the cars in the parking lot have been freshly washed.
  3. The pastor doesn't come out until 45 minutes after service has started.
  4. Only 30% of the choir is on time.
  5. The choir discusses ten minutes over which song to sing.
  6. The choir sings the song, but the musician doesn't know how to play it.
  7. The parents whip the kids during worship.
  8. The audience has to help the announcement clerk pronounce the words on the church bulletin.
  9. Two of the church deacons have gold teeth or NO teeth!!!!!
  10. The members socialize and speak during the tithes and offering.
  11. When church is over, no one discusses the pastor's message: they just compliment each other's outfits and hair.
  12. Members pay $20, but stand there waiting for $18 in change back.
  13. The single women give each other signals when a handsome guest minister is invited.
  14. You find notes after church that say:
    'That's not her hair,'
    'Who is that baby daddy?'
    'He need to sit down,'
    'What you fix for dinner?'
    'I know she ain't got that on,'
    'Let me borrow $1 for offering'
  15. It takes eight deacons two hours to count $400.
  16. There is a slot on the tithe envelope marked 'Building Fund.'
  17. That afternoon service is either: Choir Day, Usher Day, or Men and Women's Day (don't forget Youth Day, Education Day, Pastor's Aide Day, Hospitality Day, New Member Day, Church Anniversary Day, Pastor's Anniversary Day, and Revival).
  18. The Pastor's car has either a rag top or rims.
  19. The women have on expensive heels, but have house shoes in their bags.
  20. You see more than five people pass someone gum or a peppermint.
  21. Someone will feed a baby Cheetos, sugar cookies, crackers, or vanilla wafers in the sanctuary.
  22. Men will have on suits in the color of bright yellow, lime green, hot pink, sky blue, and candy apple red with shoes to match.
  23. People will have a $80 Bible, but will have to look in the table of contents to find the text of the pastor's message.

Unanswered Questions

by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

I'm suddenly feeling very naive

PhotobucketI was going to write this a couple of weeks ago...when it became obvious the National Enquirer was in fact not bullshit. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. Because somewhere, deep down, I wanted it to not be true. Ok, it was not so deep down. I still want it to not be true.

When the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, my thoughts were: that's fucked up. He's an asshole. He shouldn't have lied. I don't care what happens in his private life, though, as long as he does his job. So why is this different for me? Because I was actually stupid enough to believe in John Edwards as a person and a politician. How often does that happen? How often do we have 100% decent people working hard and making strides in politics? A part of me needed to believe that someone in Washington could make a difference...and live with the same idealism they spit at the public. To walk the walk, so to speak.

The thing is, most politicians are self-centered, self-important, slicksters. But I truly believe that any person who pursues politics with any sort of sincerity must realize that he or she now has obligations to his or her constituents...examples to set in lifestyle that reflect one's political agendas. This means sacrificing selfish desires, just as parents have to do, just as couples have to do. Sure, people make mistakes, and I am not judging Edwards for his mistake. I am just disappointed that he could not look in the face of temptation and walk away for the sake of the American people, if not for the sake of his family who should have been enough.

Also, the lack of coverage of this by the media prior to Edwards' confession is very suspicious. See:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield: Or a Profound Exposé On the Single Life

What's so Right About Twilight?

PhotobucketWhat is it about Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series that is so right? After reading the first book, I've wanted to (and have on occasion) rant endlessly about everything that is wrong with the series. But the intensity of my emotional response to these books is too overwhelming. I recently stated that the only other piece of literature that has elicited such a strong emotionally ambivalent response in me was Toni Morrison's Beloved. And I assure you that my response to Beloved was for very, very different reasons. So, simply, about Twilight, I have too much to say. So I'll start with a list of the bads:
  1. No writer should use any form of the word smolder unless discussing a fireplace...and she uses it multiple times in each book. "His eyes smoldered." I literally cringed every time I read something to that effect in the books. Perhaps this was the first thing that bothered me about Twilight: It wasn't that well written.
  2. A reader should relate to the hero(ine) of the story but Bella is a complete and total twit. Slightly insecure klutzes can be endearing but Bella is completely lacking in self-awareness and self-preservation skills. Some readers like to feel as if they are Bella: beautiful girls who simply don't know that they are beautiful, who are loved by perfect men despite their imperfections. Ok, seriously, the chicks who are really like that are super annoying! Bella's not a bad person, I just know that part of the reason I got over my romance novel phase very quickly back in middle school was because I was tired of reading about these spunky, yet unavoidably helpless women getting saved and loved unconditionally by these perfect and condescending men. I like my romantic couples to be evenly matched.

But this is where the internal conflict comes in: I can't help but to love the Twilight series anyway. Each book has been better and better written and these insufferable characters are growing on me.

I'm trying to bite my tongue, which wants to blame Meyer's Mormonism for the obnoxiously traditional values that permeate the love story. But it makes sense. I can be considered fairly conservative myself when it comes to issues of love and marriage...but I can't help but feel nauseated by this common theme of Bella pressuring Edward for sex and him constantly telling her to show some self-control. Of course she's the out of control floozy and he's the mature, protective male full of restraint.

Sigh. I'm rambling. The final book comes out in approx. 36.5 hours. I'm looking forward to it. I can't decide whether or not I can stomach watching the film when it comes out, but we will see. No matter how much this series infuriates me for its shortcomings, what will always infuriate me the most is the fact that it is clearly doing something right.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Darkest Parts of The Dark Knight

**SPOILER WARNING**The following post includes information that may be considered a spoiler to those who are grossly unfamiliar with the Batman universe.

I do my best to not have specific expectations when going to see a movie, but obviously it is impossible to enter without any expectations. Just as with Batman Begins, my expectations were completely shattered by The Dark Knight.

First, it is worth noting that all of the hype around Heath Ledger's Joker is warranted. It is one of the finest performances that I have ever seen on film. And as the critics have decreed, his acting did outshine the acting of the rest of this absolutely fantastic cast. (Even the "extras" were high-caliber.) I, in fact, wish that Heath was given more to do because at the end of the day, he was not actually the most interesting character in the film.

No, that honor goes to one, Mr. Harvey Dent. Although I have not read many Batman comics and have not seen Batman Forever in years, or watched the cartoon in years, I remember who Harvey Dent is: Harvey Two-Face. And it was this knowledge that made this film gut wrenching. Watching a pure evil person (i.e. - the Joker) do evil things is interesting, exciting, etc. But watching a good man do good things while knowing that he too will some day become evil is almost unbearable.

It was this which stayed with me when I left the theatre. The evil I see, that I can look at and know by name is frightening and disheartening. But even more frightening, even darker, is the evil that lurks in the hearts of good men.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Rose is Just as Sweet

PhotobucketI had the pleasure of trying this sorbet recently by Wine Cellar Sorbet. It was absolutely delicious. Their marketing tries a little too hard to appeal to people's desires to be elitist snobs, but I'll forgive them for that because they have a sumptuous product that would appeal to any age, race, class, gender, religious affiliation, sexual preference, etc.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sometimes living is a work of art

"My life has been the poem I would have writ,"
by Henry David Thoreau

My life has been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Before thinking that people are expendable, remember...

"It's like you think you're safe or something 'cause you can just walk away anytime because you don't like, need her; you don't need anyone. But the thing you didn't realize is, you're wrong." -Jordan Catalano in My So-Called Life

Before making impulsive changes, remember...

"Life sucks no matter what, so don't be fooled by location changes." -Daria Morgandorffer in Is it Fall Yet

But don't let that stop you from trying.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wallowing in my Mediocrity or my way of apologizing

I've managed to piss off a lot of people lately due to incoherent tirades on various topics. I think the following link will be helpful in understanding the rants that appear in this blog: Required Reading from The Angry Black Woman blog. Those writers are much more eloquent than I am. They still manage to offend...but more intelligently. The required reading list just also explains a lot in regards to my feelings about race and gender.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A reminder for those of us with too little time

A Time to Talk
by Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.


io9: Found Footage: Y Not Two Last Men?:

Photobucket A popular theme in science fiction films is a future (or hidden or extra terrestrial or Amazonian) world in which men have been eradicated* and women have formed their own lesbianic society. Usually what happens in these films is that a man or group of men who act as our main protagonists, wander into these worlds and in the end, couple up with some woman/women and everyone learns that the sexes really do need each other.

Hahaha. I'm just joking. What really happens is that the men teach the women that yes, women need men. I've managed to find a few of these films entertaining despite their sexism, because they were just silly. I think Queen of Outer Space is the only film that left a horrendously bad taste in my mouth. Today, however, perhaps it is the fact that I am in the middle of reading Second Sex and io9 posted the above clip that has me in such a tizzy.

You see, I am not offended by the proposition that men and women need each other. No, that's fine. I'm a red-blooded heterosexual woman. I love men. I'd hate not having men around. It's just the fact that men feel the need to tell us that we need them which is slightly offensive. Men (I am now using this term to refer to the patriarchal and misogynistic variety of the male homo sapiens) have always understood that they need women:

  1. Women provide sexual pleasure (for heterosexual men, who make up the majority of the male population)
  2. Women are necessary for reproduction
  3. Women take care of children and handle other domestic chores that are unappealing to many men

If men did not need women, they would have eradicated us. But instead they have enslaved us. As our societies have changed, men's superior strength has become less and less of an evolutionary advantage. As woman began seeking equality, man got scared at the threat to his supremacy. If woman no longer needs man for protection and science and cloning can make reproduction possible without man, then woman can survive without man.

I leave you with a quote from Second Sex:

In truth women have never set up female values in opposition to male values; it is man who, desirous of maintaining masculine prerogatives, has invented that divergence. Men have presumed to create a feminine domain - the kingdom of life, of immanence - only in order to lock women therein.

Ok, I lied. One more thought before I go: Can anyone tell me of any movies in which the opposite is true? In which there is but one woman left?

Movies of Note:


*In some cases, there are men around for breeding purposes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Literature Killed the Radio Show?

Photobucket7th Son recently was brought to my attention by the sci-fi blog, io9. 7th Son is basically an audio book series by J. C. Hutchins which he released via podcast and which is now scheduled to be published in 2009.

So, the plot sounds amazing. I encourage you to go to the site and read about it. I even listened to the first few minutes of the first book and was immediately intrigued. The problem? After those first exciting minutes, my mind started to wander. You could blame it on the current state of our society, the need for every part of us to be stimulated, the death of radio at the hands of video...and you'd be partially right. I couldn't just sit and listen because my eyes would wander and my hands would wander causing my mind to traipse right along behind them. But it's not a film version of this story I am longing for. No, so much gets lost in film translations. I want the book. I want to hold the pages in my hands and get lost in looking at the print. I want my imagination to run wild, creating my own images of what the author is describing.

Perhaps it is the fact that I am a visual person which makes me less interested in audio-prose. I can handle books-on-tape or a radio show when I'm in a car...but that's the only time and place. Are there still people who sit at home and listen to radio shows? What do the 40,000 listeners of 7th Son do while they are listening?

Monday, May 12, 2008

A politician by any other name is just as sleazy

Can We Do That?

[At a Thurston Moore solo show]
Girl in front of crowd: Thurston, who are you going to vote for?
Thurston Moore: The black dude or the chick. ... Actually, fuck 'em all.

--Knitting Factory

via Overheard in New York, May 12, 2008

On Cookies

I believe that the emotional benefits of eating a delicious cookie far outweigh any nutritional deficiencies said cookie might have.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Acting Out

I created a Facebook profile for a friend of mine this previous evening. While not the first time I've made a Facebook page for someone else, it is the first time I've done so without the person over my shoulder, without me giving over the reigns of the page immediately; it's the first time when I've felt as if I were pretending to be someone else. And I feel that my fascination with that thought gives birth to the notion that perhaps with a different set of skills, I would be an actor.

But isn't this why I write? So that I can create the lives I want to live? I invent characters so that they can make choices that I can't and/or won't make. I get to travel the world, meet all sorts of people, get married, fly planes, be a samurai, play baseball, run marathons, paint masterpieces, understand mathematics...without ever having to be anyone other than myself. I can sit at my computer, caress the keys, and experience entire worlds that would otherwise be well out of my grasp.


If I had the language of a food critic or a beer connoisseur, I could describe to you with a uniform set of words what it is that makes drinking a Guinness so amazing. Perhaps if I had any sort of understanding of science or psychology I could discuss the proteins and hormones involved in the enjoyment I receive from putting the pint glass to my lips and pouring the dark liquid into my mouth. But I am not adequately equipped to do this, so suffice it to say, Guinness can make a dark day bright again.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Making the most of it

If Platitudes Won't Sway Me, Nothing Will
Guy #1: Well, they do say life's short, gotta make the most of it.
Guy #2: I am pretty positive life is the longest thing I am ever going to do. And I am not going into that strip club, okay?

via Overheard Everywhere, May 8, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ramble, ramble, mumble, mumble

Sometimes I am thinking of a word but I can not think of the word itself, its letters or syllables, but merely its definition and its implications and so I ramble and ramble, go on and on spouting minutes (hours?) of thoughts that all add up to one word.

"What I'm Trying to Say" by Stars

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tower of Babel

This painting is hanging in my office. It is one of my favorites:

Tower of Babel

Further reading:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Just a thought

Perhaps growing up is learning when it is okay to eat ice cream for breakfast.

I believe in dreaming

The Uses of Poetry
by William Carlos Williams

I've fond anticipation of a day
O'erfilled with pure diversion presently,
For I must read a lady poesy
The while we glide by many a leafy bay,

Hid deep in rushes, where at random play
The glossy black winged May-flies, or whence flee
Hush-throated nestlings in alarm,
Whom we have idly frighted with our boat's long sway.

For, lest o'ersaddened by such woes as spring
To rural peace from our meek onward trend,
What else more fit? We'll draw the latch-string

And close the door of sense; then satiate wend,
On poesy's transforming giant wing,
To worlds afar whose fruits all anguish mend.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Live a Life of No Regrets

"Gerry, I'm a woman! We don't say what we WANT! But we reserve the right to get pissed off if we don't get it. That's what makes us so fascinating! And not a little bit scary."
-Lydia in Sliding Doors


I have a problem with Grand Theft Auto, not because I believe that it will turn children violent. No, it might inspire violence in someone who is already a powder keg, but that sort of potential would likely be ignited by some other source, anyway. My problem with Grand Theft Auto is that it reveals the part of ourselves which would wish away the moral codes by which we live. It shows that somewhere inside of us, we would like to live a consequence free life, steal cars without remorse, beat people without regret, degrade women without regard...It shows that no matter how dearly we value our social codes, or how much we respect justice, somewhere we think life might be more fun without these rules, more liberating without God himself.

Eye of the Beholder

PhotobucketI like to think that I have a pretty perverted mind, but I must admit that I saw nothing scandalous in the already over-discussed Annie Liebovitz-shot Vanity Fair photos of tween sensation, Miley Cyrus. To me, she looks like a young teen who's just woken up. That's how many of my friends looked first thing in the morning, ten years ago. Granted, pajamas were worn when with company, and the lips were not quite so rosy...

Perhaps the scandal is a result of people lashing out about what is in their own minds? Is this simply another side effect of of our culture's obsession with sex? We see "sexiness" all of the time and instead of dealing with the unhealthy aspects, the reactionaries rebel against the human body itself. ("What is so offensive about Janet Jackson's nipple?" is a question I can't get a straight answer to. I can't understand how a child would be traumatised by the sight of one human breast on a television set.)

Further reading:

Pretty Unconvinced

Pretty in PinkI only recently learned that John Hughes originally intended for Andie to end up with Duckie at the end of Pretty in Pink. In fact, the ending had to be reshot with Andie and Blane together after the test audiences responded very negatively to the Andie/Duckie pairing.

"They wanted her to get the cute guy," Hughes says rather disgustedly during a featurette in the "Everything's Duckie Edition" of the DVD. While he eventually wrote the ending in a way that would satisfy him and all of his "critics," it is clear that he still wishes Duckie got the girl.Molly Ringwald is the one person who feels the way I feel about the situation: Andie and Duckie did not belong together.

(Ringwald admits that when Robert Downey, Jr. was being offered the role of Duckie, the eventual romance made sense. She, as a woman, found him attractive, and he could play the sort of guy for whom Andie would eventually fall.)

Now, don't misunderstand me: Duckie is quite a catch. He's adorable, well dressed, loyal, and thoughtful. But he is also insecure, immature, and obsessive. Andie is a girl who has everyone's eye because there is something special about her; she has the potential to eventually supercede her financial status, to overcome the limitations of her life and truly make something of herself. She is special. And this potential is too big for a relationship with Duckie. They would never be equals. This is not because Duckie isn't smart or because he also doesn't have potential, but because he worships her so humbly, that he could never provide the mental stimulation or emotional challenge that would be required to make an equal and balanced romantic relationship.

Hughes calls the film a fairy tale when discussing his resignation to the fact that Blane would get the girl. It is also a fairy tale to believe that Andie would ever be truly happy with Duckie without wondering, "What if?" In fact, I think only a man could come up with the idea of Duckie and Andy together. (See any Judd Apatow movie. Don't get me wrong; I think most of his protagonists are hot, but only a man could come up with a revisionist romantic comedy in which the goofy, immature guy gets the really hot chick. A woman would say, "I want it all or nothing. I want a guy who's goofy and mature or I want to be alone.")

Some Kind of WonderfulHughes finally got the ending he wanted with Some Kind of Wonderful. Why was this ending more palatable for audiences? Because the genders are switched. The regular girl helps her regular guy friend woo the rich, popular girl, and in the end, the regular guy realizes that he should be with his best friend. Why is even this slightly more palatable to me?

  1. Because the girl knew all along that she wanted the guy and girls know these things before guys do. To paraphrase Ringwald, "If there's no spark, you can't just force a spark at the last minute." There's visible sexual tension between the two protagonists of Some Kind of Wonderful throughout the entire film. In Pretty in Pink, there is no plausible sexual tension between Duckie and Andie, save the attraction Duckie feels for her.
  2. While Keith is rather dull compared to Watts, they are more evenly matched. She pines for him rather pathetically, sure...but when she gets overwhelmed by her pain, her lashing out isn't quite as whiney as Duckey's.

Maybe audiences felt this too? Or maybe not. Some Kind of Wonderful does not resonate as strongly today as Pretty in Pink.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Red and Blue and White All Over

3PM Bill Clinton: "That Stuff's Still There?"

White dude to black coworker: The cool thing about Obama is that he is able to transcend race. He's the ultimate embodiment of American multiculturalism and pluralism. He's white and black, and his race doesn't matter, he's got character, which was Martin Luther King's dream, that people would be judged according to the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
White dude #2: Yeah, well, I just can't wait until Obama gets into office and he invites MTV over to the White House to film an episode of Cribs and he's got a stripper pole in the basement right by his poster of Scarface.

130th Street
Tacoma, Washington

Overheard by: Stan Green

via Overheard in the Office, Apr 22, 2008

All art should be as delicious as this


Monday, April 21, 2008

True Horror

PhotobucketOk. I have a confession to make: I don't really like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Don't get me wrong. I don't think it's bad. I mean, it's campy. A successfully campy film is not bad in my book. As far as camp movies go, I think this is at the top of the pile. And all it takes is one look at my DVD collection to see that I appreciate camp. (You want proof? I own Hell Comes to Frogtown.) I guess, when it comes down to it, I'm just over it.

No. It's not about its popularity. I love popular campy things. No. It's not the people. Some of my closest friends and favorite people are hardcore RHPS fans. At some point, it just became boring.

I remember the first time I saw it: It came on television (VH1, maybe?) when I was in middle school, and the next day, most of my friends in my small, private Christian school had also watched it. It was scandalous! It was naughty! But we all had to shrug it off as, "Of course this is what we would watch. Nothing new."

Now, it isn't anything new. I can appreciate what it is and appreciate what it's done, but when it comes down to it, I don't appreciate it enough to have a desire to ever sit through it again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've never been more alive


impotence... searching through the depths of your mind for the word or words you need to suddenly be human, to be able to communicate, and being unable to find it or them. It is the powerlessness and frustration that comes with scrambling through your memory, grasping desperately at syllables and letters and sounds, hoping that eventually your thoughts will become clear, but knowing that most likely, they will remain firmly, inexpressibly in your head.

Kiss Series: Letting Go

it may not always be so; and i
by e.e.cummings

it may not always be so; and i say
that if your lips, which i have loved, should touch
another's, and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart, as mine in time not far away;
if on another's face your sweet hair lay
in such silence as i know, or such
great writhing words as, uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;

if this should be, i say if this should be--
you of my heart, send me a little word;
that i may go unto him, and take his hands,
saying, Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Good luck with that

Harriet Found That Acting Crazy Got Her to the Front of the Line More Quickly
Woman: I'm getting married.
Man she just met: Oh, congratulations! When is the wedding?
Woman: When I find a man who wants to marry me.

--DMV License Xpress, 34th & 8th

Overheard by: Irritated Eavesdropper
via Overheard in New York, Apr 19, 2008

It Ain't so Bad

Earlier: On Loneliness
Here is a further thought to expound on what I was implying, which is that loneliness isn't necessarily a good thing, but it is a universal symptom and a healthy acknowledgment of the spiritual/emotional lack in our lives.

"It is not 'abnormal' to be empty, sad, and lonely at the deepest place in our souls that was fashioned for eternity - to be dissatisfied with the empty provisions of this world, sad over the destruction of beauty, lonely for the companionship of lost friendships. It is not only not abnormal, but wrong to be otherwise."
from Bold Love by Dr. Dan Allender and Dr. Tremper Longman III.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Keep Looking....

"Who am I when I am not with you?"

Creating labels for ourselves limits us and impedes upon our ability to live up to our full potential.

Defining ourselves by, or revolving our lives around other people is also dangerous and destructive.

But it is so very easy to do.

Each man or woman will forever be lost to himself. We must find comfort in our inability to find ourselves. For the moment we decide that we have been found, we become officially imprisoned in our own fortress of mediocrity, no matter how grand we think ourselves to be.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Laugh Mightier

An excerpt from "Laugh of the Medusa," an article by Hélène Cixous. Some of it, I take issue with, but it is still one of the most thought provoking and profound pieces of writing that I have ever read. I can perhaps even say that it changed my life...or continues to change it.

I know why you haven't written. (And why I didn't write before the age of twenty-seven.) Because writing is at once too high, too great for you, it's reserved for the great - that is, for "great men"; and it's "silly." Besides, you've written a little, but in secret. And it wasn't good, because it was in secret, and because you punished yourself for writing, because you didn't go all the way; or because you wrote, irresistibly, as when we would masturbate in secret, not to go further, but to attenuate the tension a bit, just enough to take the edge off. And then as soon as we come, we go and make ourselves feel guilty-so as to be forgiven; or to forget, to bury it until the next time.

Write, let no one hold you back, let nothing stop you: not man; not the imbecilic capitalist machinery, in which publishing houses are the crafty, obsequious relayers of imperatives handed down by an economy that works against us and off our backs; and not yourself. Smug-faced readers, managing editors, and big bosses don't like the true texts of women - female-sexed texts. That kind scares them.

I write woman: woman must write woman.

Chick Fight

Photobucket A couple of years back I found myself watching the unfortunate chick flick, Little Black Book. When released in theatres, this film held no appeal for me, but when one is stuck in front of a television set with not much available to watch, one can easily be drawn in by Holly Hunter, even if, like me, you prefer your Brittany Murphies to be dark haired and curvy.

I was admittedly slightly impressed by what the film was attempting to accomplish with its exploration of female competitiveness and of course, the ultimate lesson that a woman does not need a man in her life in order to feel complete. Unfortunately, it did not do this well. The film wrapped up with a neatly packaged and carefully explained moral-of-the-story that left the viewer feeling dumber for having sat through the film and simultaneously incensed that the writer and director would treat us like morons and feel a need to spell everything out. Basically, the film lacked subtlety and charm, which was made increasingly frustrating by the fact that it was obviously written by a woman. It felt like something I would write after having a sort of epiphany of the same sort.

The problem is, similar themes have been explored countless times, to be sure, but most notably in the superior, My Best Friend's Wedding. While this film was definitely no Oscar contender, Ronald Bass, a man who's written many a sensitive film, was able to infuse its female characters with a certain genuineness and believability that was completely missing in the women of Little Black Book. Not only that, but he let you figure the lessons out on your own.

Women, it's time to write ourselves, and it's time to write ourselves well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Almost, but not quite

I Have Started to Say
by Philip Larkin

I have started to say
"A quarter of a century"
Or "thirty years back"
About my own life.

It makes me breathless
It's like falling and recovering
In huge gesturing loops
Through an empty sky.

All that's left to happen
Is some deaths (my own included).
Their order, and their manner,
Remain to be learnt.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What I Hoped For

What I wanted most was for you to say what I hoped you were thinking. And so what I said was what I hoped you didn't want to hear.

"Sometimes we don't do the things we want to do so that others won't know we want to do them." -from M. Night Shyamalan's The Village

This is for Naomi, Jessica, and Renita who would all listen to Avril Lavigne with me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's All Been Done


On Loneliness

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.
-Orson Welles

Because of man's sin, he is separated from God and separated from other men, created a remarkable sense of loneliness and isolation within each individual. My thought on loneliness:

Loneliness is unbearable because it is the most unoriginal sentiment. Every other human being to walk the earth has felt a complete disconnect from the rest of mankind. This is frustrating, not only because we are incapable of bonding over our shared feelings of solitude, but also because we can find no uniqueness or special quality about ourselves within this feeling of seclusion.

Monday, April 7, 2008

ExtensionOfBob says "Yes"

Do Girls Have Penises? Discuss

Straight guy #1: I saw this show on TV about guys who would date girls even if they have a penis 'cuz they were so hot!
Straight guy #2: Penis is definitely the deal breaker for me.

--187th St & Broadway

via Overheard in New York, Apr 7, 2008

Blasts from the Pasts

"Spring is walking around Washington Square Park in a sweater, eating corn dogs, eying funnel cakes, and just enjoying the street fair. It's the kids with skateboards lounging around, reminding me of high school. It's the hippies lying in the grass twirling flowers and making movies with cameras that their parents probably used when they were their age. It's the guy contentedly playing his guitar, not looking for money or an audience, and being amused by a squirrel getting his head stuck in the ground. Spring is being reminded of home, but being content right where you are."
-my 18 year old self

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Kingdom Divided

A generally accepted definition:

fem·i·nism (\ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\) noun: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

What can not generally agreed on? What exactly social equality means. To quote Lindsey Gerdes:

As American women have won more and more rights, the feminist movement has had the luxury of branching off in many, even contradictory, directions. Feminist icons run the gamut from activist Gloria Steinem to porn star Jenna Jamison…not to mention our first viable female Presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton."

And this is where the problems arise. It's not so much the differences of opinion that rub me the wrong way. It is the way in which these arguments are played out in the public sphere. Specifically, the sphere of the internet. I am often hard pressed to find any women-focused or -centered blog or webpage in which one does not see other women-focused or -centered blogs/webpage/periodical, etc. bashed in a catty way. Jim Wallis' admonishment to Christians can also be applied to feminists: "The ways we disagree can sometimes be as important as the things upon which we disagree." The hatefulness with which we attack each other will not help our cause. As long as we continue to live up to stereotypes of backstabbing and manipulativeness and cattiness, we will never earn our rightful place in society.

mi·sog·y·nist (\mə-ˈsä-jə-nist\) noun: a man who hates women as much as women hate one another
(This definition courtesy of H.L. Mencken.)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cheers, Darling

As I wrote my 8th grade graduation speech, this is the song that resonated in my head.

So I want to dedicate this to Matt Trotter, who died today. I want to dedicate this to all of my friends I've left behind, to all of the people who've left me behind. This is to forgotten memories, stupid jokes, adolescence and hormones and impending senses of loss. This is to diving in blindly and hurtling along, eyes wide-open. I dedicate this to neediness and fear of change and longing and boldness and willingness to change and the fact that none of these things is mutually exclusive.

I dedicate this to road trips and betrayals and regret and imagined-kisses and true life hugs and tears not ignored. Here's to the boys and girls who held my hand when it didn't seem to matter and who've helped me be who I am today. Here's to the people who have taken the wrong path and made the wrong decisions and to those who made the grayest choices when black and white didn't make sense. To war and arguments and sex and marriage and ceremonial robes and certificates and paychecks and airplanes and blindness.

Sometimes you can sense the storm coming, but you can never sense whether or not you're going to come out of that storm okay.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Some days

"Don't you let ANYTHING cause you to have a bad day today. You keep a positive outlook no matter what! Don't look around you -- look up!"
My mommy, December 13, 2004

Friday, March 21, 2008

Kiss Series: The Kiss of Death

By The Message. Note, I have chosen this translation because of its dramatic style and in spite of its translation flaws. The language is pretty funny. But regardless of how you may feel about the Bible and about Jesus, there is still something rather sad about being abandoned by your friends, no? A more accurate translation, as well as the full context, can be found here.

At that very moment, the party of high priests and religious leaders was meeting in the chambers of the Chief Priest named Caiaphas, conspiring to seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week. "We don't want a riot on our hands," they said.


That is when one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the cabal of high priests and said, "What will you give me if I hand him over to you?" They settled on thirty silver pieces. He began looking for just the right moment to hand him over.


On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Where do you want us to prepare your Passover meal?"

He said, "Enter the city. Go up to a certain man and say, 'The Teacher says, My time is near. I and my disciples plan to celebrate the Passover meal at your house.'" The disciples followed Jesus' instructions to the letter, and prepared the Passover meal.

After sunset, he and the Twelve were sitting around the table. During the meal, he said, "I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators."

They were stunned, and then began to ask, one after another, "It isn't me, is it, Master?"

Jesus answered, "The one who hands me over is someone I eat with daily, one who passes me food at the table. In one sense the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense that man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!"

Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, "It isn't me, is it, Rabbi?"

Jesus said, "Don't play games with me, Judas."


They sang a hymn and went directly to Mount Olives.


[H]e prayed, "My Father, if there is no other way than this, drinking this cup to the dregs, I'm ready. Do it your way."

When he came back, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn't keep their eyes open. This time he let them sleep on, and went back a third time to pray, going over the same ground one last time.

When he came back the next time, he said, "Are you going to sleep on and make a night of it? My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners. Get up! Let's get going! My betrayer is here."


The words were barely out of his mouth when Judas (the one from the Twelve) showed up, and with him a gang from the high priests and religious leaders brandishing swords and clubs. The betrayer had worked out a sign with them: "The one I kiss, that's the one—seize him." He went straight to Jesus, greeted him, "How are you, Rabbi?" and kissed him.

Jesus said, "Friend, why this charade?"

Then they came on him—grabbed him and roughed him up. One of those with Jesus pulled his sword and, taking a swing at the Chief Priest's servant, cut off his ear.

Jesus said, "Put your sword back where it belongs. All who use swords are destroyed by swords. Don't you realize that I am able right now to call to my Father, and twelve companies—more, if I want them—of fighting angels would be here, battle-ready? But if I did that, how would the Scriptures come true that say this is the way it has to be?"

Then Jesus addressed the mob: "What is this—coming out after me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I have been sitting in the Temple teaching, and you never so much as lifted a hand against me. You've done it this way to confirm and fulfill the prophetic writings."

Then all the disciples cut and ran.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Kiss Series: Kiss The Girl

The Little Mermaid, the movie that began Disney's rebirth as the masters of animated film (which climaxed with The Lion King and promptly began to collapse thereafter) is the oft declared favorite of people my age. Feminists such as myself can struggle with whether or not Ariel was a liberated character, or if she traded one patriarchal situation for another, but it is difficult to argue with the fact that "Kiss the Girl" is an amazing song.

What girl hasn't sat in front of a guy, the tension mounting, screaming inside of herself, "Just kiss me damn it!!" Who hasn't sat in front of someone he or she was attracted to, weighing the pros and cons of succumbing to the urge to lock lips?

Kiss Series: The Secret Kiss

I hadn't seen him in a week.

It seemed rather presumptuous to assume he was taking the energy to avoid me, but I couldn't help but think that maybe he wanted to make sure that I didn't get the wrong idea about our previous rendezvous. I knew it was all in fun but I was still disheartened that the fun might end so soon after it had begun.

But then, one day, there he was again. I heard him speak to our mutual friend about how he'd just gotten back from vacation. I extracted myself from their presence, going to a back room to do some work and to avoid facing him. I did not want to hear about his vacation.

I tuned them out and set about my tasks; mentally took stock of all of the things I would do that evening that did not involve hanging out with him. My concentration was interrupted by the sound of his approaching voice. I tried to seem even more diligent in my task and uninterested in his impending presence but my movements slowed. I looked up to see him standing in front of me, a self-assured, embarrassingly sexy half-smile on his face. He was still speaking to our friend who was in the other room but he looked only at me, inspecting the shit-eating grin that was slowly spreading across my face.

"You know all about that, don't you?" he said to me, bringing me into the conversation in order to mask his true intentions.

I said nothing. There was nothing to say. He slipped his hands on my waist and pulled me into him. There was nothing for me to do but to get caught up into the moment, the kiss, the feel of his body against mine, the thrill of knowing that no one else knew.

"What're you doing later?" he asked me after we finally parted, after my vertigo subsided.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kiss Series: "a twilight moment"

By misha.

"What are you reading?"

He was older. Handsome in a way that only came with age. She looked down at the cover of the book in her hands, as if she never even knew it was there. Chick lit. He nodded, like he understood the need to just escape for a minute. To forget your own silly little problems and take on somebody else's. He smiled as his eyes invited her to make the next move. To make this conversation. To give him permission to extend that conversation over a drink. To make this what they shared a knowing smile about when other's asked how they met.

But all she did was smile and turn back to her escapism. She couldn't commit to that future smile because she had already made plans to drink with another boy. Wine plans. And even though it was past the time they were supposed to meet, she was enjoying this concrete excuse for a park. The gentle strum of instruments being tuned for the evening concert. The passing glances that kept her from feeling alone and invisible in a city so easy to be just that. It all made her feel nice, but now she was ready to see the boy. They were supposed to meet at seven. Was she supposed to call him?

"I thought I had been stood up. Get over here and help me drink this bottle of wine."

She felt relieved. He had been waiting on her. She wasn't waiting alone. She walked three blocks up and three blocks over and dipped herself into the Bourgeoisie Pig. He was sitting at a table by the door. All gangly, scruffy hair, and stained. He was leaning over the table. Talking to a group of girls sitting on velvet sofas. A half full glass sat in front of him, next to a bottle, next to another empty glass. Her glass. She sat down. He turned and smiled at her. Set about finishing his conversation with the other girls. She waited patiently. Waited to have him all to herself. Waited for him to fill her glass.

"I had this realization last night. That most of my life bores me. I called you, because you're the most interesting person I know."
"Flattery will get you no where with me."

She could see in his eyes that he really believed that. Too bad it wasn't really true. She had learned that simple lesson a long time ago. Flattery gets you everywhere. Everyone wants to be accepted. But she loved the idea that he thought he meant it. She loved how much he believed his own beliefs. And she hadn't intended to flatter. It was the simple truth. She was bored, and she wanted him to be the opposite of that.

"J has to catch up. We're already a bottle in."

They had run into J while she was outside wondering what it would be like to kiss an ashtray. The boy was on his second cigarette when J and one of his ex's crossed the street to them. They all stood on Mcdougal and volleyed back and forth the awkwardness caused by including the ex into the equation. She wondered if the ex knew about J's crush on her when they had first met in Paris and the ex wasn't an ex. She wondered if the boy knew of J's crush on her when J first introduced them at the park she had just left. She wondered if the boy knew about J's crush at all.

"He told me you asked about my performance in bed."

The ex was gone. They traded the tiny intimate table for the more accommodating velvet sofas. They were playing on a familiar equation now. The one they had solved so many times before. Her, the boy, and their mutual friend J. The guy in the middle. The guy spilling intimate secrets on both sides. Things she had only really said to make J uncomfortable about being the net in the middle of their tennis match. Now the boy was getting the wrong idea, but he kept filling her glass, drowning the guilt that came with leading someone on.

"Let's walk over the Brooklyn bridge."

She took J's hand now too. She didn't want him to feel alone. She had been holding the boy's since they left the Bourgeoisie Pig. There they were. Three walking down an empty street. She felt like she was floating, but knew that was just the wine. She had floated her way through Paris for six months, so she was familiar with the feeling. She swung her boy's hands back and forth. Imagined them conquering the steel bridge as a three. But she hadn't floated all the way into the clouds yet. She knew she would never convince them. Unlike her, they had obligations. The boy was house sitting. He had to feed the cats.

"Let's climb to the top of the monkey bars."

She found herself in the courtyard of an apartment building she couldn't afford. On top of a set of monkey bars that reminded her of when she used to be able to fly in grade school. The rusted chains of the swings creaked mixing with J's low attempt at a sexy voice. A swinger talking to his girlfriend. She laid back against the cold bars. Let the boy pull her back up into a kiss. They were all smiles. Like two children in the playground. Like two twenty-something's after four bottles of wine.

"This is nice."

She never wanted to leave the top of that jungle gym. Sitting. And flirting. And kissing. And touching. It felt like the way twilight sounds. That moment really didn't change anything though, and she knew she couldn't stretch a moment into forever. He was the most interesting person she knew, but it still wasn't enough. Descending that jungle gym was like falling from grace. Back on the ground it was just like any other night. Back on the ground she wasn't floating anymore. Not like four bottles in. Not like her grade school self. Not like the way she wished he made her feel all the time.