Friday, November 28, 2008

Marxist alienation

I'm really feeling the Marxist alienation today, as I get ready to go to work, aggravating my carpal tunnel and repeating the same ten words over and over again (Yes, I'm sorry, the office is closed for the weekend.) in order to earn money to buy crap I've been living fine without so far.

And I peruse the news and see this.
NEW YORK – A Wal-Mart worker was killed Friday after an "out of control" throng of shoppers eager for post-Thanksgiving bargains broke down the doors at a suburban store and knocked him to the ground, police said.

At least four other people, including a woman eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals for observation or minor injuries, and the store in Valley Stream on Long Island closed for several hours before reopening.
This is a sick culture, sometimes.

And then I find myself wondering, which is worse? Killing each other on purpose, for made-up religious differences? Or on accident, to be the first of many to get a common, cheap crappy DVD player for 60 percent off? I'm not so sure which horrifies and shames me more.

This day after Thanksgiving, I'm thankful to have had the privilege to grow up in a family that taught me (sometimes, despite themselves) to be tolerant of others and to be grateful for what I have. I should be more grateful than I am, actually.

That sounds a little snobbish, I know. I don't care.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

YouTubing, Circle of Life Edition

It's almost the end of the semester and I have to start switching gears from coasting-along-procrastination mode to oh-shit-time's-almost-up mode. So as usual this semester, I'll just link to some YouTube videos instead of doing a real blog post.

But let me tell you, I think my kid is fantastic. Abbie says to me, "Mama, Abbie wants robot music." (She has an odd thing for robots in general, Wall-E and Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba! in particular.)

So I say, "Okaaayyy (wracks maternal brain), ummm, ah! Eureka!"

Abbie, meet Kraftwerk:

I used to play her this song when she was a baby, but she didn't remember. Anyway, she liked it, doing the seated butt-shake, head-nod dance she does when she likes something.

This led to:

This appears to be from a recent-ish concert in Japan (it's weird to see them middle-aged) which she deemed "cool" (or rather, koooo, as she pronounces it). "Autobahn" was deemed "too weird" and "Trans Europe Express" got a "That's a crazy guy!"

And then I had a sudden flashback to my dad playing me Kraftwerk records when I was a kid, which I loved because there was a song where they sampled a Speak 'n' Spell (remember those?) which I found hilarious.

It was a very "circle of life" moment.

Incidentally, off-blog, belle recently turned me on to the phenomenon of mashups on YouTube, and I can't get enough of these two.

Toxic Love Shack:

Do You Wanna Cuz it's Tricky My Sharona:

This one's pretty cool. Sweet Dreams are Made of Seven Nation Army:

And Abbie's favorite, of course. That's Not My Name: Yo Gabba Gabba Mix:

I also spent all morning coloring in a My Little Pony coloring book with her, which was also a big circle of life moment. It's weird how having a kid makes you feel young and old at the same time.

Incidentally, one of my best friends from high school is having her second kid right! Happy birthday Chrissy's baby!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Okay, this is funny.
Nicolas Sarkozy saved the President of Georgia from being hanged “by the balls” — a threat made last summer by Vladimir Putin, according to an account that emerged yesterday from the Élysée Palace. . . .

The Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.

Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked.

“Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?”

Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah -- you have scored a point there.”
Poor. Bush. I almost feel bad for him

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear frightened white people,

This is just a joke.

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

This is a picture of my dad in a dashiki and a funny mustache.


He is not part of Obama's special army.

I swear.

Incidentally, here are my parents looking very funny, albeit in a completely unrelated, yet still funny way.

parents in the 70s

Poor things. How did they live in the 70s?

Anyway, this is all related tangentially to several threads at Palin PUMA Watch, my new favorite blog. I know it's not nice to laugh at people having a freak out, but I woke up this morning and read this article, so I take what bitter joy where I can.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I'm procrastinating again.

I have several biggish school projects to be working on now. So obviously, I'm posting pictures to the internet.

Abbie at the park the other day, for a fleeting moment.

halloween 2008 019

Abbie as Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba. Happy Halloween!

abbie and the duckies

Abbie at the duckpond.

abbie at school

Abbie jumping on clangy metal in the ground on campus, making terrific noise.

Now, get to work, Vanessa.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Have I mentioned my girlcrush on's Heather Havrilesky? I have? Well, I'll say it again. Because this rocks, and again totally sums up my feelings on the subject.
But when we watched Barack Obama's victory speech on Tuesday night, we looked into the eyes of a real leader, and decades of cynicism about politics and grass-roots movements and community melted away in a single moment. We heard the voice of a man who can inspire with his words, who's unashamed of his own intelligence, who's willing to treat the citizens of this country like smart, capable people, worthy of respect. For the first time in some of our lifetimes, we believed.

Suddenly it makes sense, what you've been trying to tell us about John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Sure, we knew all about their roles in history, we'd learned about them in a million classes, through countless books and documentaries. Eventually, though, the endless memorials and tributes and TV specials and Oliver Stone films grew a little tedious. We didn't quite understand why you've never let those two go, why you'd speak so relentlessly about a better time.

But how could we have known? We were raised under Ronald Reagan, smiling emptily under a shellacked cap of shiny brown hair like a demon clown, warning us (With a knowing nod! With a wink!) about those evil Russians stockpiling nuclear arms thousands of miles away. We were raised by "The Love Boat" and "Eight Is Enough" and "Charlie's Angels," a steady flow of saccharine tales with clunky morals. There were smiling families, hugging and learning important lessons on every channel, while at home, our parents threw dishes at each other's heads. We went to church and learned about God's divine plan every Sunday, but all it took was one Dr. Seuss cartoon about an entire world that existed on a speck of dust, and our belief in God was deconstructed in an instant. Our childhoods were one long existential crisis. We ate Happy Meals while watching the space shuttle blow into tiny bits.
Go read the whole thing. Why this woman is just their TV critic I'll never understand.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This is how I feel this morning.

I feel cracked open.

To continue the Les Miz theme from yesterday:

I know Barack Obama is a politician and like any politician he'll fuck something up in no time or he'll pander to the center or be otherwise disappointing somehow.

But this morning, in a country founded on the unwilling blood and muscle of my people, Barack Hussein Obama (because, that middle name is nothing to be ashamed of) was elected president.

It's a good feeling. I think I'll just bask in that glow for awhile.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President Obama!!


Can't even say anything more than that.

YouTubing, Super Mood-Swing Tuesday Edition

I'm a weird weepy nervous wreck today. Come, cathart with me!

This, via Dw3t-Hthr probably would have made more sense if I posted it yesterday.

Also this is very cute.

This made me cry.

This is an official Obama video, but it still made me cry.

Finally, children explain your civil duty to you, some with surprising intelligence and some with total cuteness.

John Stewart said on The Daily Show last night that if Obama wins today, it's a "show-not-tell" moment. As in, instead of having to tell your kids, "Oh yeah, you can be President if you want to," African-Americans (and others) can now see that for themselves.

Gah. Here's to hoping, folks, here's to hoping.


I can't sleep.

Abbie, for some reason, can't sleep either.

This is going to be a long next 24 hours.

Monday, November 03, 2008

You don't want to feel like a motherfucking asshole, do you?

Jay Smooth, as usual, is master of the internets.

By the way, if anyone I know (and you know who you are) who hasn't early voted despite my constant needling of them to do so winds up not voting tomorrow, I will personally poke you with a stick for five or six minutes. So go vote.