Thursday, November 26, 2009

I love Thanksgiving

It may be my favorite holiday. It's secular, delicious, and with low capitalist sellout potential.

Just be careful with how you gloss over the whole Pilgrims thing.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just a rant.

I am gently amused/annoyed that whenever something in the news cycle makes white people scared of Islam, my Muslim father suddenly has a lot of speaking engagements advising church groups how not all Muslims want to kill everyone.

It's always some group of Presbyterians or something, and they're always so proud of themselves for reaching out to Muslims by asking my poor father the same stupid questions over and over again. There's also often an uptick in interviews with the local news or newspaper. "Look, a Muslim, and he doesn't have claws or fangs or a bomb or anything! He's black and speaks Spanish and drives an SUV!"

It's also the only time anyone at the fairly conservative masjid in town calls him looking for help (there's been a growing split in the Muslim community here between conservatives and liberals. Which I think is great! I mean, the community is growing large enough to support two different masjids, there's no reason to smoosh everyone together. Not even in Albuquerque is Islam a monolith).

My father is happy to do these things, and in fact sees it as his duty as a Muslim. I however, find it annoying. Which is probably part of the whole being an atheist thing. I don't suffer foolishness very gladly.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

RIP Claude Levi-Strauss

What a full life!

I always liked his work on art the best. What's the quote about art and the tools to appreciate it being made in the same shop? Something like that. I swear, I've seen that line quoted in a billion different ethnology papers.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Welcome to my bloodstream, H1N1

I didn't want to get left out of this pandemic. By the way, swine flu sucks. Don't catch it.

Although Tamiflu apparently kicks the swine flu's ass. Abbie was better after one dose. Gotta love modern medicine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stay klassy, guv.

Governor Schwarzenegger asks if you seek Amy.
His office swears (pun intended) that it's unintentional. But reading down the lines, it sure looks like California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger dropped an F-bomb on his critics in the California State Assembly.

San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross show how, in a veto message, the guvernator's words line up so that if you read down the left side it spells out ... well, we can't write what it spells out. Let's just say it's a pretty common two-word combination in which the first word is four letters long and begins with "F" and the second word is three letters long and begins with "Y".
I'm still waiting for him to go all "Thulsa Doom, you killed my father!" on someone.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Best. Lawyer. Ever.

So the people behind the satirical website are, shockingly, being sued by Glenn Beck. Putting aside, for the moment, the tediousness of yet another rape=hilarious joke (not!) issue, which, honestly, in this situation I could kind of see myself arguing both sides of (but, you know, with the whole Roman Polanski thing going on at the same time, don't even fucking get me started), the dude's lawyer in this case is full of sheer win.

Quoted from the NPR article:
"Only an abject imbecile could believe that the domain name would have any connection to the Complainant [Beck]," Randazza writes, taking issue with both Beck's legal argument, as well as his politics. "We are not here because the domain name could cause confusion. We do not have a declaration from the president of the international association of imbeciles that his members are blankly staring at the Respondent's website wondering 'where did all the race baiting content go?'"
Snerk. Love it!

Also from the same article, my second favorite of those "Hitler yells" clips from the movie Downfall (which is actually a really excellent movie and if half the people who see these clips actually see the movie than it would be awesome).

My favorite is still the one where he finds out about the giant space squid getting taken out of The Watchmen. Hee!

Which, to go completely off on a tangent, makes me think of Inglourious Basterds, which I finally got to see. Awesome movie, perhaps even the best Tarantino movie since Pulp Fiction, if not so far. The only thing that really, really bugged me was that the best (and arguably the main) character was left out of the ad campaign entirely. I'm guessing they were going for the same demographic that makes the tedious rapes jokes (i.e., the young male internet set) that they figured wouldn't particularly identify with Shoshanna the vengeful female. Which is stupid, because that character is archetypal to a lot of things that demographic likes, and because it would have been cool to have a realistically badass woman feature strongly in pop culture for a change.

See, isn't she awesome?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Consider my ears wormed.

Pro: Exposure to They Might Be Giants seems to have cured Abbie of her Kraftwerk addiction. Con: Abbie is now addicted to They Might Be Giants.

Sigh. Someday I will be again allowed to listen to a song, once, and them move on to another, different one.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009


**added** But wait, there's more!

Very Country Joe and the Fish, no?

And here's the official website for Paul Hipp.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Youtubing, Youth Indoctrination Version

Via daddytypes, videos from the new They Might Be Giants album, "Here Comes Science."

"Science is Real." Can I get a woo hoo?

"Electric Car"

And my personal favorite: "I am a Paleontologist."

Hooray for Pachycephalosaurus! (Song starts at 0:55.)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Obama-doctrination Day!

So right wingers are in a tizzy over the President's speech to schoolkids tomorrow. And it's not like I don't understand. Would I like it if George W. Bush made a speech to my kid about, oh, I dunno, how awesome preemptive war is, or how tax cuts for the rich totally worked? No.

Would I *read* said speech to make sure it actually contained such content before having a hissy fit and making a damned fool of myself on camera? Yes. But that's just me. I'm rational like that.

(Also, I don't think the mere idea of my child just being exposed to differing political beliefs would make me burst into tears. Cheesus, people, get a grip! Do you really have such little faith in your own parenting skills that your kids can't even *hear* a different point of view?)

Obama's speech tomorrow has a perfectly acceptable, bi-partisan message about working hard and staying in school. But that's beside the point.

It has nothing to do with what Obama says. It's the fact that he exists, that a bi-racial president with a funny name exists, that bothers these people. That's what they don't want their children to see. That's what's making princess blondie burst into tears. Her racism.

Someone in my Facebook feed made the point, in today's Shamwow hard-sell advertising culture, why do they even bother pretending? Why just not come right out with it? Birthers, Deathers, people preaching the coming doom of "Obamunism," just say what you really mean. Black men scare you.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The President follows internet memes!

I am amused to note that President Obama's Facebook status now reads: "No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day."

Now if only he were in the position to do something about it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm back

With like nuclear fallout sunburn. Ouchie.

Here's the pics. Not even the really great looking ones do the place justice. If anyone ever offers you a trip to Kauai, run, don't walk to the airport.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's depressing 'cause it's true.

Indian film mega-star Shah Rukh Khan, in the US to promote a film he made about racial profiling, is detained for questioning at the airport.

I'm sure it wasn't motivated by racial profiling at all.

In a less depressing/more hilarious vein, apparently the cops harassed Bob Dylan, having no idea who he was. Even Abbie knows who Bob Dylan is, ferchrissakes.

Weird Dream Last Night...

So last night I dreamt I was back on stage at my old high school theatre playing Berger from Hair: The Musical, dancing around with Beverly D'Angelo while Claus von Bülow watched me sing "Manchester England, England."

Then, I realized Beverly D'Angelo was from the movie, not the play.

Then I realized Claus von Bülow was from Reversal of Fortune and it should actually be Claude Bukowski.

And then I woke up and the news told me it was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and that probably explains the whole hippie thing somehow.

Anyway, in honor of my weird dream and hippies here is my favorite song off the soundtrack, from a German revival of Hair set in a modern-day circus. Enjoy.

Oh, and here's a clip from the movie.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Everyone Listen to the Nice Young Lady

Please, frightened old middle-American conservative white people, understand that Barack Obama does not want to eat your Grandma. Or you. If you're going to act all crazy about patent falsehoods, please do it about something that won't cost my family affordable health care and be a Birther. At least the Birthers are entertaining.

Why I Love New York

A cool bald lady shakes it in front of a drum circle and horn jam in a subway station while someone in a dolphin plushie outfit offers "Free Bouncy Rides."

I miss living in a real city. Via daddytypes.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Biraciality and other odds and ends

So I'm just barely now reading Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father, a birthday present from my dad last year (before the election was over), and I'm honestly impressed. (Although I do feel kind of dorky reading a book by the president. USA! USA! USA!)

I mean, I'm not even past the introduction and I'm nodding in agreement. Let me quote this paragraph:
When people who don't know me, black or white, discover my background (and it usually is a discovery, for I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites), I see the split-second adjustments they have to make, the searching of my eyes for some telltale sign. They no longer know who I am. Privately, they guess at my troubled heart, I suppose -- the mixed blood, the divided soul, the ghostly image of the tragic mulatto trapped between two worlds.
And let me say that I have had exactly this feeling before.

Another thing I watched recently is volume two of The Black List on HBO. (No, I have not yet fully clued in to the fact that I can't afford cable anymore. Petty indulgences are the American Way!) Here's the trailer.

Anyway, Maya Rudolph is in it, and she talks about being biracial, and how everyone always wants her to choose, and actually, she doesn't have to choose, thankyouverymuch. And I've had that feeling too.

Which made me think of the several occasions that I've had to choose, for Abbie, when filling out this or that government form for this or that government program. The first time I had to fill in the little spot next to "race" I didn't know what to put for her. I mean, she's Irish-German-Italian-Afro-Cuban-Chinese. Where's that bubble? I remember trying to explain to the lady behind the desk and getting a blank stare in return, and an insistence that I had to fill in something. I just put "white" on these forms now, although it doesn't feel right at all.

Anyway, back to my book, although I hope to leave enough of it for beach reading. Have I mentioned I'm going here in a few weeks? (Thank you, Dad! Best graduation present ever! Summa cum laude, bitches!) Any recommendations for nice places to eat on Kauai that are also cheap and not touristy? I hate being a tourist, it makes me think of this movie (come to think of it, though, I don't know that, other than a honeymoon in San Francisco, I've actually ever been a tourist). Although, damn, do I need a vacation like, right now. I think my mind is already there, waiting for my body to join it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

So I'm going to Kauai in August.

My graduation present from my father and stepmother is a trip to the ludicrously beautiful island of Kauai.


Which means I have to buy a bathing suit.


What I really want is this but even Esther Williams thinks I'm too fat to wear it.

Actually strike that. What I would actually feel comfortable in is this, but I don't feel like giving my money to people who think the clothing choices of women serve as "stumbling blocks" to others. I'm considering this paired with these as a substitute, but since I can't afford any of it and am only getting a bathing suit because my sister is making me and my mom said I could put it on her Lane Bryant card, I will have to go with one of these, none of which I like and if I might like a few of them they don't come in my size.

Sigh. I don't *need* a bathing suit, do I? I'm not even a good swimmer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Meant to post this last week.

But I've been busy. There are a few lingering things I wanted to say about Michael Jackson. For posterity, I guess.

I was a kid in the 1980s, when Michael was at the (post-pubescent, anyway) height of his stardom, back when his fey elfin qualities seemed cool and not creepy, and before his obvious taste for facial plastic surgery went beyond affectation and into the realm of disturbing self-mutilation. My father bought "Thriller" (on cassette tape!) the day it was released and played it relentlessly. Like many black kids of the 80s, Michael Jackson was an icon of my youth. So the news of his untimely passing should have been more striking to me than it was.

But it failed to elicit more from me than a sense of confusion, that such a character, a creature made entirely of tabloid photos and courtroom allegations, would die so suddenly. One half expected a 90-year-old MJ to have himself cryogenically frozen alive, awaiting a future where new noses could be grown from stem cells and doctors had discovered a cure for vitiligo. To die of cardiac arrest at age 50 didn't seem *weird* enough. But it wasn't sad, per se. I think what happened is that the cool, slick Michael of my childhood died long ago, right about the time Elvis's daughter dumped him and he started naming children he conceived via surrogate after himself. The Michael that influenced Usher and Justin Timberlake was already long gone.

That is, until the final moments of his circuslike, televised funeral service, when his eleven-year-old daughter began to cry for her lost daddy, whom she loved so much. Then I realized that Michael was not a lost style icon or misguided pop star, but just a regular human being like the rest of us who left behind a saddened family in the wake of his departure. This is the fate that awaits us all. The transformation of the young, stylish, talented Michael Jackson into the bizarre Norma Desmond-like figure of the latter half of his life was tragic, but it can't compare to the loss of a child's father.

Friday, June 26, 2009


The "All-Abbie, 'Cause-its-your-birthday" Edition

And because she's a strange German Electronica-loving monkey:

Good Times.

Perhaps my favorite dance sequence from my favorite movie ever to include a donkey sex show scene.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Well, there goes this news cycle.

So, Michael Jackson died. It makes me feel kind of old.

But I hope this doesn't keep us from talking about more important things.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Yeah. This.

I mean, I feel nothing but 100 percent solidarity with the people of Iran protesting for reform, but the sort of ghoulish thrill people are getting watching her bleed to death over and over again is seriously disturbing to me, more so than similar previous videos of Oscar Grant's shooting I've posted myself here.

I think it's because there's no record of the crime committed in the video, or of the criminals who committed it. It's just a woman dying horribly. It's like it's written in the passive voice.

I don't know. It just makes me sad that this woman had to die in order to be an icon for the people of Iran. Because it seems to me that the living Neda was pretty awesome.

RIP Neda. I'm sorry agents of your government murdered you. I'm sorry video of your death, what should have been an intimate, private moment between you and your loved ones at the natural end of your life, is being shown without your permission to a world full of creepy rubberneckers. I'm sorry you were so quickly abstracted into a symbol instead of a person, like you were some kind of sacrifice on the altar of democracy or something. (And I'm sorry if the thought of accidentally killing people like you wasn't enough to keep certain politicians from singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran!") May peace and solace come to your family as soon as possible.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm sure everyone has heard about this by now.

But I'm especially saddened by the shooting at the Holocaust Museum in D.C. because for me it was the location of my Obama inauguration experience. Tragedy and triumph, so close together.

I actually remember asking a nice black male security guard for directions that day. I wonder if he was the man who was shot.

I wish I had something pithier to say on the subject.

Happy 0th Birthday!

To my new stepcousin, Logan! Wow, two new babies in one week! What the heck was going down nine months ago?

Monday, June 08, 2009


Umm, yeah. Even as a Sesame Street segment, Twin Peaks remains the freakiest thing ever to appear on television.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Battlestar Galactica = Good

So I've been watching BSG on dvd. How come no one told me this show was so dang good?

I kind of feel like it would have been better to see as it was coming
out, though. It feels very very much about the Bush years, in a way that's almost triggering.

(I've also been watching a lot of random independent documentaries from the past few years that occasionally show our last president at work, and each and every time I get a little catch in my throat, like a mixture of sadness and relief. Obama's not perfect by a long shot, but seriously folks, out long national nightmare is over.)

Oh and can I put Starbuck in the same category as Angelina Jolie's
character in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
? The, "Vanessa *swore* she was straight" category?

Ahem. Apparently I have a fetish for butch white women who fly future planes. Who knew? Is there a complicated latin word for that? Is it related somehow to my thing for Sawyer on Lost?

I'm only on season two, again, which is apparently when I feel the need to announce these things to the internet. Nobody spoil me this time either.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Because I think we all could use a good laugh.

My new favorite obsession: literal videos. Try not to laugh until you pee, I dare you.

And this one is the best because, wtf is this video about anyway?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

RIP Dr. George Tiller

An act of terrorism was committed on American soil today.

Dr. George Tiller was an American Hero. May his murderer rot in jail forever.

Feministe has a list of links up to places you can donate in Dr. Tiller's memory.

**added** Read this commenter's account of a personal experience under Dr. Tiller's care.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009


The "Ahhh Summertime" edition.

For me, summer and music are linked. That's true for everyone, right? I mean, in summer you have the time to blast loud music and dance around in your kitchen or something. (Not that I've been wasting my time on that recently, not while I need to put together a CV and try to find a real job, no siree.) Summer needs a soundtrack. So, here goes.

Firstly, because it reminds me of my misspent youth, and driving around in blisteringly hot weather for no reason in a crappy car when gas was cheap with all the windows rolled down while blasting the radio, and maybe later drinking a slurpee with rum in it (or maybe a frosty with whiskey in it) while lounging about on the front porch.

The Clash - "Rudy Can't Fail"

This one's for Abbie, who continues her weirdo love for Kraftwerk and all things roboty and electronical.

Kraftwerk - "Music Non Stop"

And because it's a good song, and in honor of being suspicious of any government who so readily denies civilian death tolls without letting anyone investigate, (methinks the lady doth protest too much) there's this one.

M.I.A. - "Sunshowers"

I've been finally watching Battlestar Galactica on DVD this summer, and quite like it, but I really like the music, funnily enough.

Bear McCreary - "The Dance" (not a particularly exciting video though)

And finally, because its the best summer song ever, (although here they are performing it the year I was born...neat!) and also optimal for kitchen dancing purposes.

The B-52s - "Rock Lobster"

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I apparently actually graduated summa cum laude, not magna cum laude.

I promise to stop talking about graduating now.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I'd known about the original Solomon Linda version of Mbube (or "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" for the culturally appropriative amongst us) but I'd never heard it. I had no idea it was an isicathamiya song (a la Ladysmith Black Mambazo). At least it seems to be that way to my Western ears.

Thought that was interesting, anyway. Just being an ethnomusicology nerd. Professor Feld (look, you're in wikipedia!)would be so proud.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Class Privilege Meme

From Daisy's, this is originally an in-class exercise that's been adapted to blogging.

For blogs, bold the following facts that apply to you:

Part I, when you were in college:

Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor. (Semi-estranged aunts and uncles.)
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Were read children's books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 (still don't have one)
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp
Had a private tutor
If you have been to Europe
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
There was original art in your house when you were a child (by relatives, not by recognized "artists"--but it WAS original!)
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
You had your own room as a child
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

Part II, in childhood:

If your body does not bear long-term signs of malnutrition. (Like Daisy, I have major teeth issues)
If you had orthodontia.
If you saw a doctor for anything other than emergencies or school-mandated shots.
If you heated your home with clean-burning fuels or had properly vented heating.
If you grew up in a house without vermin.
If you had running water.
If you had a basement or foundation under your house. (sometimes yes, sometimes no)
If you had an indoor toilet.
If your parents and immediate family were outside the criminal justice system.
If you yourself remained outside the criminal justice system.

If your parents had a new car.
If you never went barefoot so that you could ’save your shoes for school.’ (I don't think my paranoid mother would have allowed going outside barefoot, lest we step on something fatal or something.)
If your parents never argued in front of you about having enough money for food to last out the month.
If you ate hunted and fished meat because it was a recreational activity rather than as the major way to stock a freezer.
If your laundry was done at home in a washer rather than in a lavandaria. (Laundromat)
If your hair was cut by a professional barber or hair stylist instead of your parent.


Counting correctly this time, I get eighteen. I don't know how I feel about this meme. I kind of feel it's too vague to really measure anything. I don't know that having books is a class privilege thing, honestly. I know plenty of upper class people who don't read, and plenty of poor people who obsessively collect used paperbacks (me, my father, my husband). And getting read to as a child also seems to have little to do with class (well, other than maybe working such long hours you don't get to see your children at all). Ditto going to museums and stuff.

While I think that it *is* a privilege to grow up in a family that cares about education and knowledge, I kind if think it tips towards negative stereotyping of the poor to suggest that caring about books and reading is something that only the middle class does. Is that good-parenting privilege, then? As a parent now, I can see the thousand little tiny ways my parents, who were both working and getting their masters when I was born, and who both came from working-class backgrounds (my father grew up in the projects of Spanish Harlem, my mother was the daughter of a plumber and a widow), must have busted their asses to provide the kind of culturally-rich childhood I managed to have.

An important one to unpack from your knapsack, sure. But not the same as class privilege.

**added** It occurs to me that this might be another one of those things that growing up in New Mexico, where we're all pretty much poor and the division between the classes isn't so sharp, and education at state schools is relatively cheap for residents (hell, you can get your pre-recs fulfilled for a couple hundred bucks for a few semesters at CNM, the local community college, like I did), might affect my worldview. I've found it also affects my point of view on race issues sometimes, as in New Mexico everyone is brown and race is not mapped so tightly to class (or education level) as it is elsewhere. Hrm.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Done for reals yo!

Long fricken day. I'm going to take a nap for the rest of the
afternoon, now that I'm officially unemployed and not just a student.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


So I took my last final today. I got a cap and gown (that fits - don't ask).

Woo hoo!

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

For the moment, though, this sums up my mood.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Hey, I really do love college

So I'll finally have my BA in a few weeks. Anyone who knows me personally knows how hard it's been for me to get this done financially (it's taken several tries over a decade). I won't say that I'm not feeling a little maudlin about it, kind of like I'm getting laid off of my job or something.

But it does make me kind of want to give Asher Roth a spanking. Oh, for you college is just an opportunity to party while presumably living off your parent's dime? No trying to juggle a job, childcare, real bills, and a marriage with your freaking homework? How nice for you!

Although, come to think of it, I should thank Asher Roth and other peddlers of the drunken college student culture. Thanks to the fact that most of my classmates spend all of their time staying up all night partying, wake up late, then doing it again it's that much easier for me to make magna cum laude level grades. It'll be that much easier for me to make it in to grad school! So thanks, Asher Roth, for thinning out the herd a bit!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Republicans say the darndest things...

The burns!!! I'll never understand why people who don't know what they're talking about think that if they just say something with enough arrogant conviction, it will make it true.

Via Pharyngula and Scanners.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

RIP Bea Arthur

I can only hope that when it's my turn to go there's footage of me singing to drunken aliens to play at my wake.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


"I'm feeling like it's Summer already" edition.

Cheb Khaled - Alech Taadi

(You might recognize this song from a certain late 90s Bruce Willis movie about an element.)

The Aggrolites - Banana

You might recognize this from a show with a magical orange D.J.

Dil Se - Chaiyya Chaiyya

Some Bollywood action for you.

Mahotella Queens - Umculo Kawupheli

I've posted this before, but I lurve it, so deal.

Desmond Dekker - The Israelites


Hrm. Apparently I'm feeling international about summertime.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hey, dumbass.

The problem, you see, and the reason why everyone is so up-in-arms about the whole issue, is that, with four exceptions, you don't live in a country where people can choose between same-sex marriage and "opposite marriage."

But you know, thanks for playing. Don't call us, we'll call you, etc., etc.

Lookout, the fat lady is pissed!!!

You know what I hate? Whiny skinny people complaining about sitting next to fat people on the airplane.

Because you know what? However uncomfortable those 700 complainers were that United Airlines is claiming to be fighting for with their new no-fatties policy, I can guarantee the 700 fat people they were sitting next to were about ten thousand times as uncomfortable.

Oh, maybe the fatties shoulda thought of that before they gained all that weight, eh?

Here's a similar argument: Maybe poor single mothers should have just kept their legs closed so teabagger taxphobes can avoid having to pay for their children.

Maybe Arab guys should just stay out of the sun until they're pale and can pass for Jewish, and not frighten the nice white ladies so much.

Maybe gay people who wanted to get married should have just acted straight!

Look, reality tells us that, for *whatever reason* there are fat people in this world. And if you really think that being fat is *just* a sign of overeating, sill, in the meanwhile, there are fat people who will need to travel for various reasons. And unless you want to invent a time machine for fat people to travel through at security, so they can stop themselves from getting fat before they get on the plane, then fat people deserve to sit on the plane just like the tall guy whose legs splay out into the aisle, or the broad-shouldered who have to put their arms over the seat, or they crying children who are just as uncomfortable as everyone else, or the cobags who recline their seats all the way back until they're looking up the noses of the people behind them, or the people who drink on the plane and then act really annoying, or the people who deign to be Muslim and obvious about it, or whatever.

Because let's face it, like the security checkpoint dance, this is theatre. The airlines are only doing this so they can continue their fucked-up business model where they fail to charge what their service actually costs and therefore have to overbook their flights and cram as many individuals as possible into every square inch of the plane in order to compensate. Because now, instead of begging for volunteers to give up their seats on overbooked flights, they can merely just point to the nearest fat person and have them removed, to everyone's relief.


How uncomfortable can it possibly be to remain in contact with someone's thigh and upper arm for a few hours of your life? As uncomfortable as having to slide your kneecaps slightly out of place so your long legs will fit in the tiny space left by Reclining Joe in front of you and sitting that way for six hours? As uncomfortable as desperately twisting your hips into the inexplicably immovable arm rest of the window seat (seriously, why does the arm rest in the middle raise up, but not the ones at the aisle or window? I'd bet the majority of the space issues would be relieved if people could raise those armrests if they needed an extra inch to spread in to) until you have an armrest-shaped bruise in your flesh, just because the dude sitting next to you keeps giving you a little dirty look every time your thigh deigns to brush his?

Please, 700 skinny whiny plane passengers, realize, you're being played. Your disgust at the existence of fat people is being used by the airline industry to hide their shady business practices. Soon, they'll shrink the seats even more and the only people comfortable will be Kate Moss and/or eleven year-olds. Don't come crying to me when that happens.


Rant over.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Totally Awesome

I thought this was cute. Also, I want that dress Joy Nash is wearing.

I wish I could make my mom sit down and watch every Joy Nash video on the internet. Every time I talk to her she insists I'm secretly dying of diabetes and won't admit it because I'm punishing her for being a bad mother.

Honest. She wants me to go on the Dr. Phil show with her. I'm half tempted.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What is it with this show?

I'm talking about the talent show "Britian's Got Talent."

Apparently Britain is populated by unassuming schlubs with amazing singing voices. I'm probably the last person on the internet to hear of Susan Boyle. But damn! Way to make me crack my jaded cynical facade!

Of course, we all remember Paul Potts. I've watched this clip literally a trillion times, and still get choked up.

What do we have to offer in return? A hot lady who shoots arrows with her feet. Which is makes me want to cry in a different way.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy chocolate egg eating day

Remember kids, Jesus died for your sins.

OMG. My face hurts from laughing.

NSFW explanation for those more pure of form than I:

Seriously, lol.

Don't worry, Republicans. Just breathe through your collective noses.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dancing with the Abbies

As you might have noticed, I have a paper to finish this morning, and am procrastinating like a mofo.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Oh those backwards Canadians!

Did the lack of US-style medical care kill Natasha Richardson?

No, probably not.

But without a doubt, the lack of Canadian-style medical care certainly killed Deamonte Driver and who knows how many other Americans.

So STFU. And mebbe DIAF.


When I watched this movie trailer I was seized with such an immediate nostalgia and longing for my own late 70s/early 80s childhood that I teared up a little. It looks awesome!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Still in hospital

But feeling much better. Probably will be here at least for the
weekend. Thank you for all the well wishes.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Music history test tonight

I really don't have a head for this stuff. I don't know my ostinato from my oratorio, my concertos from my cantatas.

In honor of my lackluster effort in studying for this, here's some of the music pieces I'm supposed to know.

Dido's Lament, sung by Jessye Norman. This brought me to tears when we listened to it in class. I'm such a girl.

Vivaldi's Spring, which makes me think of the scene in every rom-com ever made where they girl is about to marry the wrong guy at the beginning of the movie, and this is the music they have playing at the wedding.

Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik, which makes me think of foofy, beautiful people in wigs and amazing clothes taking way too long getting ready for a fun night out partying.

I also need to know some Bach, whom I find way too organized. Fugues trigger my latent OCD. Wish me luck.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Kids Movies

So, as much as I love Kung Fu Panda, I'm tired of watching it over and over again. I decided to reach back to my childhood memories and make Abbie watch movies I liked as a kid. Recently we tried Annie and The Black Stallion, two movies I loved loved loved as a kid. Annie she adored, mostly I think because it's easy to replace "Annie" in the song lyrics for "Abbie." (In fact, she's been running around all week going, "Lets go to the mov-ies, Abbie, yooooou and meeee!") The Black Stallion I think she got bored with. Might be better for older kids.

And honestly, watching Annieagain after all these years, I kind of think the child Vanessa unconsciously absorbed a lot of this movie. I was watching it going, hmm...scrappy street urchin who hates chores and likes going to the movies? Dude, this movie is totally about me. And do I secretly want her big red cardigan? Yes, I do.

Also, it's stuck in my head, now it's stuck in yours!

Definitely some jokes in this one I didn't get as a kid.

Carol Burnett brings the hilarity. "I guess I'll never know the feeling, of running fingers through your HAIR!" Lol.

Also, no 80s movie is complete without racist stereotypes. Check out Punjab and the Asp.

Isn't that the dude from the 7up commercial?

Anyway, blogtopia, I thought I'd ask, any long-forgotten childhood movies you think deserve a rediscovering at Casa Vanessa?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Go watch this rightnow!

Sita Sings the Blues is available for free online in it's entirety.

You must check this movie out. It's, I think, the best movie I've seen in a bit. Here's Roger Ebert talking about it.

Really, it's that awesome. And free. Just go watch it already.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Was it just me

Or was the Oscar ceremony this year...entertaining?

It starts out all...oh god, he's gonna sing, this is gonna suck, but by the end you're totally with it, "I am a Slumdog, I am a Wrestler, I'll rent The Reader, I am WOLVERIIIINNNNEEEE!"

I also liked the Pineapple Express skit. "Dude, why is there a film crew in my living room. No look, it's Janusz Kaminski!" Lulz.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Random Ten

The "I aced my Dinosaurs test, so why the hell not?" Edition.

1. It's True That We Love One Another - The White Stripes
2. Thursday - Morphine
3. Cloud My Tongue - Amos, Tori
4. Little Man - Waits, Tom
5. Everybody's Happy Nowadays - The Buzzcocks
6. In The Morning Of The Magicians - The Flaming Lips
7. Can't You Hear Me Knocking - The Rolling Stones
8. Close To You - Ethyl Meatplow
9. Faerie Queen - Alexander, Heather
10. Anarchy In The U.K. - Sex Pistols

And because that last one was a little cliche, we'll go to eleven.

11. What Would I Know - The Datsuns

Oh, The Dautsuns were playing the Launchpad when my friend, whom shall go unnamed but you know who you are, got me good and kicked out after harassing the bartender. Good times.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

All I want are some fucking shoes that fucking fit!

Apparently I have two pot roasts at the end of my legs of such unimaginable enormity that no low-cost shoe designer would ever deign to make affordable shoes in my size, lest I be the only person who buys them.

Does anyone else have this problem? Or are my feet really that wide?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Darwin Day!

I'm going to ignore for now how woefully behind in my studying I am and celebrate Darwin Day with a bunch of cool science timewasters.

Check out this cool video from SEED magazine.

lets you compare the bones of A. afarensis with H. sapiens and P. troglodytus.

Sneezing iguanas of the Galapagos!

I'm not embarrassed to say that the arthropods of the Burgess Shale have always given me the heebie-jeebies. Is it weird to have a phobia of extinct animals?

Neat clicky-zoomy deep time timeline thing from

Also from the website for the most recent episode of NOVA, which is about the Dover Intelligent Design vs. Evolution trial.

I'll add more if I find cool stuff.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Please Don't Divorce Us

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

I pretty much started crying .02 seconds into this video. What the hell is wrong with people who would actively seek to destroy the happiness in this video?

Although, I might add, this is the sort of thing you probably want to release *before* the passing of something like Proposition 8.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

Superbowl Ads

I had no dog in the hunt for the Superbowl this year, which I always find kind of liberating because you're free to root for either side and change loyalties if you feel like it. Pretty thrilling game overall.

How about the ads though? Cara at Feministe lists some she hated (the "Talking Flowers" one was so offensive people in the room I was in literally got all quiet and weird for a second).

But here are the ones I liked.

A bit cornball, maybe, but well done. Also, is Pepsi somehow riding the coattails of Obama?

I thought this one was pretty cute, and must admit have had similar daydreamings.

I've had this job.

I've also had this job. In fact, I've screamed in the car in the parking lot just like that.

This one ellicited a cute Abbie response: "Oh no, what are they doing with the soda??!!??"

This one made my dad laugh.

And Alec Baldwin, as usual, brings the hilarity.

You can see them all here. The fact that there was a mixture of horrible, sexist, cute, and moving ads means that at least some advertisers realize that you don't have to appeal to the average male football fan's inner asshole to sell stuff. Not only are there people other than fratboys watching the Superbowl, but a lot of men aren't slaves to said inner asshole.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jay Smooth explains it all

As usual, Jay Smooth says it best.

YouTubing: My two new favorite phenomena

Firstly: Is there some sort of cute tomboy ukulele thing going on? you've already met Molly the ukulele girl.

But now I've also found Julia the ukulele girl.

My heart is torn.

Secondly: random people getting down to "Single Ladies" by Beyonce. (Or is it the Beyonce alter-ego on account of the robot hand? I'm so out of touch.)

I would pay money to be able to shake my ass like that. Seriously.


I love it. You go, internets.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My O-naugural Adventure

Let me start out by saying that D.C. is a lovely, historical town. The culture is a weird combination of Southern Hospitality and New England Practicality that I really appreciated.

I don't think I would appreciate the Obama inauguration quite as much if I hadn't been there. It was as close as my non-believers heart will come to going on a pilgrimage that I suppose I'm going to get. But I met a lot of people there during my long cold march to the National Mall that had been there at MLK's original March on Washington and it was very touching, to use a trite turn of phrase, to see them there again.

Also, the reality of slavery as an integral part of the history of this country is physically real in a place like D.C. in a way that it isn't in New Mexico. If you go into Virginia there are houses with courtyards where slaves were auctioned, tunnels still visible where slaves were led from the docks into town, and various other physical manifestations of slavery that I'd never really seen up close that made it all so real and haunting and creepy for me. I got a little teary-eyed on a few occasions, to be honest.

Here are some key moments from my trip. One of the first days we were there we went down to Union Station to watch the crowds arrive and ran into Code Pink.

Yes We Can block a stairway!

That same night we wound up in Georgetown, where I got a glimpse of the famous "Exorcist Steps" and also some baklava at the King of Falafel and Cheesesteaks, which I think is the randomest two things to be king of.

obama inauguration 043

Then, the Inaugural Day!

So, I'm sure you saw on the news, but it was cold. Really, really, really cold. I really can't emphasize how cold I was that morning. Anyway, I set out from the place we were staying to a friend's office very close to the mall, one street over from the place where cars were no longer allowed to drive. This was only like two blocks from the National Mall, so I was expecting a really short walk.

However, what no one told me was that it was blocked off for a good long way so what started out as a short jaunt turned into a two-hour long march in the freezing weather which redirected 2 million people down towards the Washington Monument. Once I got *there* there were so many people packed into the place you literally couldn't move forward any more. This was "crush capacity" defined. Also, I got separated from the people I was with and was mildly lost. Somehow I found myself almost down to the Jefferson Memorial (which is far, and cold) before I was able to escape the crowd and move around freely again. I turned around and started walking back, totally bummed that I would apparently be missing the big event.

Parked in front of the Holocaust Museum, however, was a big black SUV outfitted with TV screens facing into the street. The guy inside turned on the screens at like 11:45, just in time for me to walk by and catch the ceremony! A crowd formed around the car that had to be, like 200 people eventually. And this is how I experienced this totally historic moment.

Not what I was expecting, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I felt totally connected with the strangers all around me. I laughed, I cried, I froze. I heard a few other similar stories, one where I guy realized he wasn't going to make it though the crowds in time, called his friend back home, had him hold his phone up to the tv, cranked the volume on his speakerphone and let strangers crowd around him to hear. It's funny the ways people express charity in situations like that.

Anyway, after the big moment, I found myself back to the place where I was supposed to be and went to a nice party at a friend's posh apartment on the waterfront where I had some seriously delicious barley and mushroom soup while watching the various balls on tv.

Later that week I did the monument twilight tours. Did you know that on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King said "I have a dream," it's carved 'I have a dream?' Well, it is.

obama inauguration 144

I had no idea, and literally stumbled across it. That was pretty awesome.

Anyway, I did a bunch more stuff, but not everything I'd hoped to squeeze into the trip. There's so much stuff to see you'd need a month to get it all in. I'd love to bring Abbie back to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, which I got to duck in to for about 45 minutes and was totally entranced by. I also had a half-smoke at Ben's Chili Bowl, which was worth the hour long wait outside in the cold.

So that's my Obama Adventure. I'm glad I went. It made it so much more meaningful than I think it would have been otherwise, to be in town for a historical moment where so many other historical moments have already happened.

School's started now, so blogging may be scarce. But I wanted to get this out.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Still in DC

Hitting the Smithsonian today now that most of the mad crowds are gone.
Back soon!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over

I'm trying to get psyched up for a long day in the cold cold cold

I miss my husband and daughter terribly.

I fear a little less for my daughter's future.

I'm cold and sleepy and miss the warm snoring plane of my husband's back
beside me.

I'm feeling the excitement of 3 million happy people who can barely
believe what is about to happen.

I'm feeling something like the ghosts of the dead slaves whose blood and
sweat stain the white edifices of the myriad landmarks that surround

I'm feeling something like the ghosts of the dead Iraqi and Gazan and
Afghani civilians whose blood and tears stain the white hands of the
President leaving office.

I'm tired, I want to sleep with no nightmares.

Friday, January 16, 2009

In DC for inauguration!

I'll have limited Internet access (I'm sending this via phone) but will
post if anything interesting happens. As it is, I'm just really fricken
cold. Really. Seriously cold.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Arrest made in Oscar Grant case

Let's hope for justice.
A former transit police officer accused of shooting an unarmed passenger in the back on an Oakland, Calif., train platform on New Years Day has been arrested on homicide charges, police said.
Photo: Former transit police officer Johannes Mehserle, accused of killing an unarmed black man on an Oakland train platform has been arrested on a murder warrant in Nevada.

Johannes Mehserle, 27, was being held without bail in Douglas County, Nev., pending his extradition on a California fugitive warrant, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Department.

Mehserle was arrested Tuesday night near Lake Tahoe. He waived his right to contest extradition and will be transported to California today, the sheriff's department said.
I wonder how this is going to play out. I'll say honestly I wasn't expecting an arrest so quickly.