Monday, December 29, 2008

generational feminism.

i know, i know, i'm all posting-insane lately. but lots of stuff has happened! and i'd rather not grade my students' essays on human suffering! [really.]

this 23-year-old feminist just died - and her stuff's everywhere lately, and awesome.
Most young women said that their first strong role model was their mother, whether she was feminist or not. If not their mother, it was a teacher, an artist, a musician, but always a tangible woman who made strength and creativity seem possible.
this is the experience of feminism, not the word - and she points out that many younger women reject the label of, for example, "feminist artist" while still exploring gender in non-traditional ways. it's a very cool article. she seems cool. sad.

and, a related memory - my female, older-generation relatives telling me that a vote for obama in the primary would be throwing away everything they worked for. wait. i thought feminists worked for our freedom to choose. the best candidate. despite gender. right?


"Here’s to humility and equanimity everywhere in America, starting at the top, as we negotiate the fierce rapids of change awaiting us in the New Year." some interesting reading on whether obama really loves gay people or not. at the very least, lots of links.

okay, so, i freaked out with happiness when obama included gay and straight in his categories of people on election night. i really did. because he didn't have to, and it's still a rare shoutout, and i thought it meant something.

rick warren - sigh. is a critic of gay marriage. but which religious leader do you pick to pray at your inauguration? especially when you've had problems with your favorite ministers in the past? and you got some crap for the pray-er at the dnc, too? i don't know what to say about who obama should have picked. really, really don't. who's not controversial? [unless my "keep religion out of politics" idea might work. hmm?]

i read the purpose-driven life. i don't recommend it unless you subscibe to a bible-based, protestant view of religion. and i guess i feel the same about rick warren, himself, at least what i've read of his stuff. he's narrow-minded, yes. has done a lot of good, for sure. and here are his comments that have been so controversial - judge for yourselves. [i didn't find a lot of commentary on this issue that actually quoted him. i think it's important to read, though, yeah?]

you all know i don't agree with his "sin" talk, but here's something - how about his warning about judging others before we judge ourselves?
So why do we hear so much more - especially from religious conservatives - about gay marriage than about divorce?

Oh, we always love to talk about other sins more than ours. Why do we hear more about drug use than about being overweight? Why do we hear more about anything else than about wasting time or gossip? We want to point that my sins are perfectly acceptable. Your sins are hideous and evil.

again, i don't appreciate his "sin" language. his point, though, makes me at least give him a nod. if you're all bible-based and can't get past it and believe homosexuality is a sin, well, at least realize that you have some sins to deal with, yourself, before you start condemning everyone else. [i wouldn't use a phrase like "your sins are hideous and evil" saracastically in public, though.] i'd also like to talk with him about whether religious leaders' obsession with rules about sex has a little more of a freudian origin...

anyway, check out the man's comments. i'm pretty sure that he's trying to do good - of course, you could say the same for a lot of people with a lot of harmful biases. and he can talk about "the 5,000 year old definition of marriage" all he wants, but i won't listen to him until his government and religious leaders won't let him marry someone HE loves. i've had enough of straight people thinking everyone would be happy if they were straight. because, you know, it feels so good to us! wheee! aren't we awesome?

oh! thoughts on being "home."

i had a gchat recently in which i asked a friend how it feels to be "home" - that is, back at her apartment, with her job and roommates and real life. but i'd asked the same thing a week ago, when i asked her how it felt to be "home" at her parents' house.

hard to say which is which.

at a family and friends gathering, a group of college-y and post-college people started a game of circle of death - a game that i, many of you, and the cashier at a local convenience store all know. it's the game where you pick a card and have to do something, based on the card. and one of the most difficult cards, for everyone, is the one that makes you create a rule for everyone. this group already had to wipe their mouths before they drank, i think. and they weren't allowed to say anyone's name. or whatever.

t: okay, what should the new rule be?
g: oh, here's one my roommate thought up. after every time you drink you have to say [as his mom walks into the room with a plate of cookies] "bitch tits motherfucker."
hm: [speechless, with cookies]

it was one of those moments in which we all COULD have, maybe, warned him that his mom has just come down the stairs. [into the basement, of course. remember the basement, that land of iniquity and secrets?] but it was too close, and happened too fast, and turned out to be too darn funny...

Friday, December 26, 2008

it's a christmas miracle!

highlight of my christmas, i think, was our family video gchat with our faraway family members. seeing my 91-year-old grandma [in her christmas sweater, of course] say, "well, isn't that wonderful!" into a webcam from a thousand miles away - yeah, that's pretty great. oh, the future.

also pretty great - deciding we were too full from appetizers [an all-day event, as those of you who know my brothers already know] to eat the turkey and sitting on the couch watching NCIS instead.

yeah, NCIS. i'm totally hooked. remember everything you loved [and hated] about JAG? now, throw in every crime show convention, multiply all that by a hundred, and add lots and lots of flirting. among every possible permutation of characters. and that, my friends, is NCIS. i hated the first five episodes i saw, but episodes six through twenty were gooooood. and there's a marathon on tomorrow...

[later note: best full episode player ever.]

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"it's jimmy 'santa' clausen and golden 'frankincense and myrrh' tate..."

watching the game, playing around on my laptop [three laptops and four family members in here], waiting for brother to get home from the base so christmas can start...


if you've got some time, i'm kind of into this new yorker article about elevators. introduced to me, randomly in the middle of a gchat, with "this article is FASCINATING." i was like, really? but it IS.
In the old system—board elevator, press button—you have an illusion of control; elevator manufacturers have sought to trick the passengers into thinking they’re driving the conveyance. In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn’t work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.) Once you know this, it can be illuminating to watch people compulsively press the door-close button. That the door eventually closes reinforces their belief in the button’s power. It’s a little like prayer.
ohhhh. this is totally up my alley. i took a social psychology class once. i KNOW.

and now, an overview of my favorite and least favorite elevators.
1. the elevator in pip's old building. too fast. made me want to puke. thanks for moving, pip.
2. the elevator in the library in college also made me want to puke. not as much when i used to take it from the first to the second floor. WHAT? that was a really, really long staircase.
3. the elevator in my dorm in college. SO FREAKING SLOW. i moved to the top floor just so i could take it without guilt. [on rereading - does that make sense? we'd all glare at the non-top-floor girls who took the elevator, because it took forever to open and close.]
4. the adventure i had in the sears tower, trying to get to an office on the 60-somethingth floor. first, you have to get on the right elevator on the first floor. then, you have to take three different elevators. they're all around corners. you have to keep getting off one elevator and getting on another one. it's really difficult. possibly to keep the rifraff out?

on the moth podcast recently, there was a really sweet story on the moth podcast that involved an incident of making out in a stopped elevator, which stopped all the other elevators in the building and showed the maker-outers on elevator cam in the lobby. so awesome. [looked it up - the story is "what goes up," by katherine russell rich, and it was on the podcast on 12/01/08. and you can still get it! go!]


from slate, in my browsing tonight:
- have you all seen this guy, who writes about "bogus trends"? i feel like he's actually writing about, you know, bad writing. not checking your facts, using lots of generalizations - i'd like to use it in class, actually. [none of my reporter friends would ever write something like this.]
- a little action about the name of jesus. lots of talk about greek and aramaic and the difference between i, y, and j. nicely done.
- related to a previous post, from dear prudie - "According to sociologist Kathleen Bogle, author of Hooking Up, once people who've only hooked up graduate from college, they do start dating one person at a time, but since some have never even been on a single date, they're as clumsy at it as high-school freshmen." [she's giving advice on a girl who's been hooking up with a friend - should she tell him how she feels? should they stop hooking up? wow, what a new and interesting situation! BOGUS.]


and now, a heartwarming christmas story.

brother and i went out to get some groceries for tomorrow. discovered that all the grocery stores are closed here in middle america. hmmm. we needed ingredients to make appetizers. [oh no! a christmas crisis!] so we went to the convenience store and, just for you all, had an awkward conversation with the [female, 20-ish] cashier.

b: [checking out with hot dogs, pita chips, cream cheese, and sam adams] yeah, we're playing a game called "what real food can we make out of things we can buy here."
c: have you ever played the game circle of death? with drinking?
b: ... YES.
c: yeah. that's fun.

i had to pause a minute to collect my thoughts. i said something about the random food i was buying, and she asked me about a drinking game? that i might play later, with my sam adams? she wanted to suggest a drinking game i could play, while eating hot dogs with pita chips and cream cheese?

maybe she didn't understand the "we're playing a game called..." turn of phrase. do i use that too much? hmmm.

also, one of the other guys working there [they had way too many people working for christmas eve, i'll tell you what] let me try the difference between "egg nog" and "holiday nog." as far as i can tell, the difference is that the holiday nog tastes sort of like banana.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Think of it as a one-night stand with someone you know."

hey, guys! we're famous. some interesting stuff in the new york times...

first, this one on how the delay in adulthood affects organized religion. [i found one of those "note to self: find this article" things on my computer recently, and hey, it's really interesting.]
Today, many young people spend more than a decade between high school and marriage “exploring life’s many options in unprecedented freedom.” And, it should be added, in great uncertainty.
and this one on how we don't date anymore.
Under the old model, you dated a few times and, if you really liked the person, you might consider having sex. Under the new model, you hook up a few times and, if you really like the person, you might consider going on a date.
it's weird to read about this stuff in the paper, hmm?

i was talking to my dad on the phone about how i bought myself a new ipod today [yellow! nano!] and felt kind of bad buying something big for myself at christmas. [even though i waited until my old one really, really died.] then he told me a story about one time in the eighties when they were all going to buy stuff for themselves for christmas, or something - and i was like, "wait, 'greed is good' was real? i thought it was just something people wrote about in the paper!"

it's almost like these columnists are really on to something.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"i want to change the world. instead, i sleep."

i have a list on my computer of songs i can't find on itunes. then i check itunes periodically to see if they're available yet. tonight, i downloaded "keep breathing" by ingrid michaelson [yes, my favorite genre of music is "songs i heard on grey's"] and the title of this post is an actual line from the song. shoot. a little close to home, there, ingrid.

song's good, though. sort of the opposite of "world on fire," but i like it.

cursing, acting cool. winning friends and influencing people.

written on the door of the bathroom at the bar last night, each line in different handwriting:

but it's ok.

nice, hmm? mutual support, in the ladies' room. i like it.

in contrast, written into the cement on the sidewalk on the way to my apartment from the train:


i'm always like, well... if that's how you feel...

anyway, hadn't been to this particular bar since i started this post [quoted below]. and, coincidentally, just found it.
bitter, bitter debate at the bar this weekend over whether snuffleupagus is real or imaginary. turns out there's a whole story about how only big bird can see him and no one believes he exists [imaginary friend, guys!], but then big bird proves he's real after all. so i think i was RIGHT. that he's imaginary. ha.
impressed a stranger last night by ordering the dogfish head 90 minute IPA. thanks, beer club. you know how you always want to have those things that you can order, or listen to, or read, or casually drop in conversation so that people will think you're cool? YEAH, you do. don't lie.

things this makes me think of...
1. my favorite episode of friends ["the one with the embryos," which i've apparently already blogged about], the one where the girls lose the apartment in the trivia game with the boys.
ross: rachel claims that THIS is her favorite movie.
chandler: dangerous liasons.
ross: her ACTUAL favorite movie is...
joey: [points at rachel] weekend at bernie's!
2. my favorite band. and being called out for liking them. i don't even care. COUNTING CROWS RULE ALL.
3. the other day, at trader joe's, the checkout guy was all, "you listening to any good music?" because i was doing my new favorite thing where i put my headphones inside my scarf so they're conveniently close to my head, even when i'm not listening to them. and instead of being all cool and starting a conversation about something cool, i decided to tell the TRUTH. ah, the truth.
tjcg: you listening to any good music?
b: um... ahh... actually, the prairie home companion podcast... [shut up. it is FUNNY. and no, i am not 55 years old.]
tjcg: [all polite] oh, yeah? what is that?
b: it's like, garrison keillor... it's a radio show on npr... and he has, like, a funny monologue...
tjcg: isn't there a movie about it? what's the movie about, then?
b: [blanking] i think it's about... making the show, or something...
seriously, one of the MOST awkward conversations i've ever had. especially since i've SEEN the movie. and i can tell you that it's about the variety show "a prairie home companion," on npr. and the podcast is garrison keillor's "news from lake wobegon," in which he uses dry humor and makes fun of people who live in the northern midwest.

i think it was so awkward because i immediately wished i had lied. and said i was listening to... hmm. any ideas?

Monday, December 08, 2008

dan's so pretty. and spunky.

for those of you watching gossip girl right now...

b: why's she lying?
k: she's not. she's just... a bad actress.

and "i carried the garment bag" = "i carried a watermelon"? was that intentional? because i LOVE it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

it's the FUTURE.

you know what i love, on friends? [you're all like, "besides EVERYTHING?"] i love it when someone is all indignant, like, "WHAT?!" about something someone else says, and phoebe just repeats what the first person said. louder. it's so awesome.

on further reflection, this is when i usually decide that my obsession is out of hand. "oh, it's so funny when phoebe does that!" as if she's a real person, or something. in college, there was a billboard for hacienda that said "monica and chandler shouldn't be your only friends." and i was always like, HEY. too close to home, guys.

at the apple store... thanks, apple store guys...

b: [holds out vintage ipod mini, sadly]
asg: oh, you need support. [well, i did.]

basg: well, how big's your hard drive now?
b: forty gig...
basg: oh. wow.
b: well, at the time, you could pick forty or eighty. and back then, i thought - who could EVER need EIGHTY gig of hard drive?!
basg: well, the future you, apparently!

[that was BEARDED apple store guy. beards are back! especially in the apple store!]

also, hey, let's live like presidents! becauuuuuse, you know, presidents have their own cologne and shopping sprees and jewels and things. although, here's the problem with the fake news - i clicked on this because the podcast said that the package includes a PUPPY. and i was like, a puppy! wow! but, no.

first post in forever, and it's random and trivial? well, yes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

yes, yes, i know.

to tide you all over until i'm together enough to post more creatively, google's life photo archive. this is very, very, very cool.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


courtesy of smiller, life imitates art in the parallels between the current campaign and seasons 6 and 7 of the west wing. but, i mean, vinick was originally supposed to win until john spenser died and we were all so sad [or not - apparently this is one of those "the characters choose their own destiny" kind of things that margaret hates, according to the west wing writers. scroll up from the link].

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

rationality, appropriate vocabulary.

at trader joe's after school, talking to the trader joe's guy...

b: oh, don't let me ruin your thing. just chillin.
tjg: no, no problem.
b: i'm sorry, i teach high school. sometimes i say things like "chillin."
tjg: oh, i understand. i used to be a teacher.

i think i was trying to say, "don't let me disturb the lettuce display you're working on. i'm just looking around."

okay, as you may know, i try to teach my class without a political slant. it's really important to me. but here are some things obama mentioned in his special tonight that i definitely teach in my class:
1. the dignity of work.
2. taking a longer view.
3. moral obligations.
4. being our brothers' and sisters' keepers.

i mean, maybe i cried a little. seriously, HOW CAN YOU NOT VOTE FOR THIS MAN.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

1. has a feminist agenda.

from feministing, mccain on palin - "she is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for america." i mean - what? "vote for me, i'm against women's rights"? i know it's old news, but i canNOT get used to feminism being used as an insult.

also, if you really want to feel some impending doom, check out mccain's use of air quotes when he talks about women's health. i mean, he has a point that, if you're hardline anti-abortion, "health of the mother" is kind of a trap. perhaps people who are talking about the health of the mother might trick you into being secretly pro-choice in some cases. that is true. however, you can NOT AIR QUOTE things like women dying in childbirth. i would never air quote "military service," you know? it's a real thing that people go through. and also, you try getting pregnant, asshole.

okay, so then, the ad on the top of the page said, "your life is all over the place." i was like, WHAT? so you KNOW? then, it was all, "luckily, so are we." it was for a doctor's office. i looked them up, though, i'm not going to lie. might as well go to a doctor who KNOWS me.

i let a relative stranger listen to my ipod, and he was all, "hey, this is really loud." i wanted to be like, my LIFE is loud. i feel like i often can't really hear my ipod, even when it's turned up all the way. anyone think it's a metaphor for my life?

anyone got a pen?

oh, i do! i have seven red pens in my purse, one purple pen, and three black pens. also, for some reason, a glue stick.

[update: was finally going to join the parish i've been attending at mass tonight. didn't have a pen, because i took them out of my purse to count them for my blog. seriously, metaphor for life?]

"it's like college, with guns!"

"tell your friends about it! you were in the belly of the beast! where the man lives!"
- my brother, on our reactions to visiting him on the army base.

we did spend a lot of our time being like, huh. so this is the army. interesting.

there's a sign there that says "no hat, no salute." it took me a while, but apparently when you're in that particular covered walkway, you don't need to wear a hat, nor do you need to salute. it's not, like, you can't salute if you don't have a hat.

i recently discovered that you can take contact solution on the plane. like, a big bottle of it. did everyone know this? it's totally changing my life. and it bears on the rest of this story.

i got to the airport really early this morning, and i went up to the southwest counter and was like, "hey, would it be helpful if i got on an earlier flight? like, does someone need to be on my flight?" and i was about to tell them about all the grading i have to do, and how i could do it there or at home, and the lady goes, "um, you were supposed to fly out yesterday?" and i was like, oh. so, never mind that.

please ONLY fly southwest from now on, guys. they didn't charge me for missing my flight and having to get on another one. and i still got home earlier than i was supposed to.

but then, going through security:
b: [holding bottle] this is contact solution. is that going to be okay?
security guy: [all flirty] well, seeing that it's you, i guess it's okay this time...
b: aww, thanks!

wait a second. did i just flirt my way past the TSA? i don't think i'm okay with that.

[i'm not trying to be all, "ohhh, i'm super hot. even the TSA can't resist me." but really, it was weird.]


and, some things i've been saving up for you all.

"chivalry is merely mortally wounded."
- guy on plane, helping with bags.

"they have the best salad in the fucking WORLD."
- southwest guy, at potbelly.

thoughts on this last one:
1. well, he should know.
2. best salad in the FUCKING world? or the non-fucking world? i'm just asking.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

awww, the internet past.

courtesy of feministing:

google yourself in 2001!

this is fun. apparently i'm on the ROWING team.

Friday, October 03, 2008

liberal media! yayy!

LOOK what i got in the mail today! best gift ever, right?!

please enjoy www.democratic i could have a LOT of fun with the special interest buttons section...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

pumpkins! scarves! beer! sarah palin!

beer store guy: ... and this breakfast stout is actually made with fair trade coffee beans.
b: get out! i'm a total sucker for fair trade. could you tell by my scarf?!

i think i might be getting a little too enthusiastic, in general. but - let's wear our cute fall clothes and enjoy the landlord's halloween decorations! wooo october!

i think of this onion story every time i get an email from obama. or michelle obama. or david pfloufffe [or whatever his name is]. or john kerry. or whoever's doing community organizing downstate. but the problem is, i think it's true. so i'm like, "even BARACK OBAMA deletes these emails." and then i'm like, oh yeah. the onion is mostly fiction.

but tina fey is totally messing with my concept of satire vs. reality....

i mean, right? anyone else? my roommate was showing the real interview, and then the skit, and i kept having to be like, wait a second...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

all that you can't leave behind.

some things you shouldn't live without for much longer...

the new storypeople ebook! brian andreas makes me cry every time. i'm having a very "i don't know exactly what a prayer is" moment about it...

but it's free, so you should go ahead and download it. unless you're like me and you need to get an external hard drive asap and have no room for anything else.

and speaking of which, itunes genius. has everyone gotten the new itunes update? because, DO IT. it's like pandora, with music you already own. genius indeed, especially when you have many songs that are neglected most of the time because you're always listening to, you know, "world spins madly on" or something.


i'm back in the phase of my life where i have to ask everyone's advice about everything. remember that? [it IS much like 2003 over here lately, come to think of it.] but probably the best advice i got today was, "you all are thinking like GIRLS. maybe he just means what he says."

burned the crust of my cheesecake this morning. after all that work, it only takes a minute to ruin the whole thing. i really, really hope this isn't a metaphor for life.


Monday, September 22, 2008

appropriate behavior.

m: yeah, the cookie monster eats vegetables now. he tells you about your five a day... he's all, "cookies are a sometimes treat!"
j: ahhhh, they should bring back the cigarette monster.

and, in the category of "signs you gchat too much":

e: how are you?
b: i think i need to be productive, actually.
e: oh! alright.
e: are you... mad at me?

bah, grading.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WWJD, plus many more letters.

in the faculty room, while laughing out loud at this craiglist posting [courtesy of hill]...

k: is that how you laugh?

b: they should really take away my grown-up card. i'm spilling coffee everywhere...
c: no way man, you totally just got your card stamped by asking if anyone has your tupperware.

i had a friend send me this awesome, awesome storypeople.
Loose guidelines for living: Part I
#3. Just think to yourself: "what would Jesus do?" & if you don't like the answer, try again with a slight variation: "what would Jesus do if he were in your shoes & had all those bills & he was used to all the perks of being an American, too? Would he do it any different?" & usually the answer is No.
i mean, theologically, WWJD doesn't really work as well as "what would jesus want us to do?" because jesus did some things that we're not allowed to do. like, judge people with his heart-reading ability. but that's something that's really nerdy and i don't usually bring that up.

Monday, September 15, 2008

playing normal.

so, this weekend, i was really glad that i own some great rain boots. i just wore them everywhere. with my coat, and my umbrella. and was still wet. i mean, i realize that this is not an actual problem... [apparently my parents' house got no rain and all of the wind. interesting?]

remember that time i saw the dog with boots?

[pause while i look for the time i blogged about this...]

GASP. apparently i haven't blogged this story. it was so, so awesome.

last winter, i was walking on the icy sidewalk when i came upon a guy my age walking a dog, and the dog was wearing, like, patagonia boots. they were parka material [you know?] and they had velcro around the ankles. it was a tiny dog, too. with skinny little legs. i thought it was ridiculous. and before i thought much more, i was like, "is your DOG wearing BOOTS?"

and he, obviously, was like, "yeah."

so i had to think REALLY FAST about what a normal, dog-accepting person would say. and i went, "that is sooooo cuuuute!" then i jumped into the car with my friends and was like, "GUYS. YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE THIS."

anyway, apparently dogs need boots because the salt gets into their cute little paws, or something. i still scoff. i'm sure my friends at the dog vote will disagree, but there you have it.


spent all day sunday at the coffee shop. it was lovely. had some friends drop by, drank some excellent specialty coffee drinks. caribou likes to put, like, chocolate shavings and marshmallows and shit on top of your toasted marshmallow mocha. i mean, i'll take it. all in all, i felt very college about the whole thing. and i liked it.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

post-able conversation, in which a stranger thinks i'm funny.

b: [door closes on her while she's carrying plates] ahhh, disaster... [catching the door] wait, i'm okay.
w: you know, the best thing about that was the play-by-play.

"you're pretty fucking likeable."

see? now THAT'S the kind of thing that will get you into my blog.

hahaha, i kid. but i have been talking a lot lately about the pressures of blogging.

e: I notice that you have a new blog post
e: because it's the first thing i check every morning
e: and I notice
e: that it does not include me
b: i can't do it under pressure.
b: i mean, it just looks forced.
b: i can't compromise the blog like that.
e: hahahahahahahaha.
b: that might make it.
b: nice.

so there you have it. and for the rest of you who are never quoted on my blog, well - you may notice that i'm trying to be as impersonal as possible. i've been worried since the beginning about the fact that this stuff is all on the internet, and not everyone would like to be all over the internet as much as i do. or as much as i do now, because there's also the issue of how this blog will look to me in the future. that is, until the internet becomes obsolete and is replaced by, i don't know - telepathy?

so one of my co-workers told me to literally and figuratively check out a book that we have in the school library. way to rock the literal and figurative when i least expected it.

and still, from ani: "i'm wired this way, and you're wired to me..."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"karl rove appears bitterly divided..."

watch these guys lie it up. BOGUS.

i got this in an email from a co-worker addressed to "colleagues and fans of reason." i mean, yeah, it's all spin - but DANG. it's too easy for you, jon stewart. you are TOO GOOD.

Monday, September 08, 2008

mccain, words, etc.

all late about it, very brief convention report...

this is my favorite article [in my very, very limited reading] because it makes fun of the republican change-ish slogans. but no one wants to mention how mccain's speechwriters put "change" into the thesaurus, decided against "adjust" or "amend," and decided that mccain is going to "shake up" washington. like, what? what do you MEAN by that?

i'm super flattered that this reminded a friend of my blog. but HOW AWESOME is it to compare the words everyone is using in their speeches? well, it's SO awesome.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

shock me, shock me, shock me...

so, you know when someone's talking on the phone on the train and you listen in? yeah, today that was me. there was a cute guy, you know, and he was definitely looking at me. because he was listening to my phone conversation and probably judging me.

because, um, here are some things i said:
"so, what, you're going to tell me you're NOT gay?"
"well, okay, unless you want me to wear something sluttier..."
"hey, while i have you on the phone, can you think of some gospel passages about morality that i should use for a prayer service for my kids?"

i did not speak to said cute guy when we got off the train. but don't you think that, if he had liked me based on that conversation, we would have had a great future together?

and, i mean, this is why i don't usually talk on the phone on the train.

learned today: things that are interesting on the blog are not always interesting in real life. also, apparently teachers could use my blog to teach kids how NOT to write.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

this IS grand.

courtesy of pip - the CTA voice is a real guy! [i won this particular argument.]

haven't i always said that i love him? i mean, i'm just sad that he's married.

Monday, September 01, 2008


so, stayed at the bellagio this weekend.

my life is very much like ocean's 11. [hahaha, remember in that one movie, where hugh grant lives in the hotel and says his life is very much like monopoly? what's that movie, where sandra bullock eats all the time and loves the environment and hugh grant's an ass?]

b [stepping into the elevator as the doors close]: oh, sorry! i think i left my phone down at the pool, and i'm running down to find it.
fellow bellagio guest: you know what, though? even if someone finds it, i bet they'll turn it in.
b: yeah?
fbg: yeah, my friend lost hers yesterday, and someone totally turned it in. i think it's because everyone here's like... rich? and they don't need a phone, you know?
b: yeah... [i was thinking, randomly, of the time my students told me that my phone was about to get "jacked" when it was sitting on the table next to me at the restaurant. i was like, by whom? the fourteen of you, in my homeroom?]

now. was she thinking that i was a rich person, and speaking to me about rich people things? or was she [correctly, judging by my exclusively old navy and target clothing] assuming that i was observing all the rich people from somewhere much more teacher-y?

she was a little bit fancy. so i think she was rich. and she probably thought i was rich, too, right? or else that would be kind of a rude thing to say. so maybe i'm rich-looking. yay? or not?

my filet at stack was the best thing ever. not just the best steak ever, but the best THING i have EVER EATEN. and the colorist from shear genius was there. after his day of hanging out with BRITNEY SPEARS. and also, someone saw leonardo dicaprio.

i mean, i'm basically famous.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


okay, watch this immediately.


overheard on the bus: "manchester is, like, the cleveland of england."

today i shared the story about the guy who called me fat on the bus, and a friend who knows more than i do about such things goes, "B. that was supposed to be a compliment. he liked you, and that was his come-on." and i was also, apparently, being totally culturally insensitive in assuming that everyone has the same, you know, ring code that i do. for some people, every ring is meaningful...

gahhh. of course, he didn't say that i was being culturally insensitive. but it's like - i hate it when it turns out that i'm so much less open-minded and accepting than i thought.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

for posterity.

just so you all know the narrative i'm writing about all this.

b: so i was SO EXCITED to get your biden text message! 

k: yay! 

k: i'm SO excited he picked biden! it was an excellent choice 

b: i really want to tell my grandkids about this 

b: like, "THEN, i got a text message from aunt k!" 

b: and they'll be like, "don't you mean aunt SENATOR k?" 

b: (this is the part where i imagine what we'll be doing in 50 years, based on what we're doing now.) 

k: hahahahaha 

k: excellent! 

k: and then the grandkids will be like, what is a text message? why didn't you just communicate telepathically, or something


b: yes! 

b: i think i might blog this conversation. 

k: i'm for it

[still, the formatting eludes me.]

i can get so lost in adam duritz's blog. like, this one. i guess he doesn't post that much, but he's a rambler [as those of you who have ever, um, heard his music might know] and i love to see how he writes. read a lot of poetry today, looking for some stuff on symbol for the sacraments class. found this rockin one by anne sexton. not really applicable, but rockin. and hey, my favorite translation of neruda's soneto 17 is here in's top 50. [if you're looking for a poem, this is kind of fun.]

so, this is great. women religious, faith and public policy, advocacy for the poor. the stuff linked from it [especially the comments on the original blog post] is not. i'm just - i mean, most of you know how i feel about this. i cannot stand it when people can only spew hate. yes, our beliefs are too important to lose. yes, these are big issues. but personal attacks? really? really, this is how we're living the christian life? 

Monday, August 25, 2008

round here.

aaand we're back to the falling off the back of the treadmill feeling. is this my life? ["is life like this? must novels be like this?"] i like it, but... there's something funny about it...

anyway, had a quick conversation with someone who's known me a long time.

b: i did too much work, unfortunately.
d: hm
d: somehow i am not surprised
b: really? am i THAT person?
b: boo.
d: well, no, not always
d: but it sounds very teacher-ish
d: you were the one, however, that taught me that people are more important than sleep
d: and by extension, people are more important than work
b: awww, that IS true. shoot.
d: so no, you are not a workaholic
d: but you are a teacher

so hey, that's nice to hear, right? i'm not sure how true it all is, but it's good to hear from someone who loves you. even if it's based on who you were years ago.

she's also the only friend who joins me in being legitimately excited that adam duritz is happily dating someone [after she said "he's always dating someone"]. happily, as in, "she's looking at you - i've already got a girl for me!" let's not think it's creepy that i know every live version of every song. like, oh, it's the "so you want to be a rock and roll star" intro to mr. jones! and i'm getting excited too soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

exciting times!

saw a tattooed, bike-riding hipster wearing this awesome shirt today, and i wanted to yell, "i know you got that shirt at the gap!" but then, you know, he would have known that i also shop at the gap. not that my polo shirt and denim skirt weren't already giving that away.

at school, i use a lot of old folders that the religion teacher before me left in my desk. the one i'm using currently says "Existence of God" - but that's crossed out, and next to it is written "Fun Day." what should i put in this folder?

so joe biden emailed me today to say, "Barack has the vision and the courage to bring real change to Washington. But even he can't do this alone." hehehe, EVEN he, yeah? i got a text message from a friend at 2:30 am to hear about biden, because i haven't signed up for the thing. i hear they sent it in the middle of the night because the news had already leaked. but i think it was a brilliant strategy, because it was so exciting!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

this is where we used to live

broke into the old apartment the other day. my life is very much like a barenaked ladies song.

okay, not really, but fedex told me that they had already delivered my football tickets (!!!) to the old address. i buzzed the guys who live there now, and they were like, "no, we don't have anything for you!" and i was peering in the window to the lobby, when who should happen by but lady with dog! the one who parks by the gate and is kind of mean!

lwd: you trying to get in?
b: yeah, i think i've seen you before [thinking that i've said hi to this lady before, awkwardly]. i used to live in the building and i think i had a package sent here...
lwd: i think i saw something here a couple days ago.
b: really?
lwd: yeah, and i was wondering about it, because i saw your name wasn't on the mailbox anymore.
b: [how do you know my name how do you know my name] well, shoot...
lwd: well, it's their responsibility! they shouldn't just leave it. raise hell!

so i did.

well, no. instead, i just let someone do an AWESOME GOOD DEED and send the envelope marked "notre dame ticket office" back to fedex. i mean, i was freaking out. but see? people are nice. or, we're going to be so bad this year that no one even wants to steal tickets.

of course, i had to drive to skokie to pick them up. first time in an i-go car, and i had a good time trying to explain to people from other cities what "you have to drive to skokie" sounds like to me.

here's something people aren't talking about enough - batman is FREAKING SCARY. i was afraid for two hours and forty-five minutes straight. you know when people are like, "heath ledger is sooo amazing as the joker"? what they mean is that he makes you want to hide. forever. i mean, he completely convinces me that he's a completely unpredictable evil genius. 

i feel kind of un-american about this, but i'm really annoyed with the airshow. i mean, i don't like having fighter jets fly over my house. is that okay?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

well, they blew up the chicken man in philly last night...

david schwimmer: [as ross] i knew it! i KNEW i wasn't crazy! [laughs, breaks character] oh, poor ross...
lisa kudrow: [giggling uncontrollably] have you ever seen the show?

i think my favorite parts of the friends gag reel are when the guys make fun of each other when their voices crack.

today on npr, i heard this story on the theology of bruce springsteen. two interesting things, here. [NERD ALERT. warning warning.] first, the interviewer and the guy who wrote this book have a disagreement on whether the song "mary's place" is about the church community or about heaven. i want it to be about the church as the foretaste and presence of the kingdom of God. the both and, anybody? [can everyone tell that i spent time with some of my favorite theology nerds this weekend?] and i'd also like to talk about mary, of course. it's more of a catholic song than this unitarian minister is talking about - i mean, not that i blame him.

also, "the rising." the interviewer asks this minister, because he's said it's "an easter song," if the song's about resurrection. and he answers, "when i've heard springsteen sing 'the rising' more recently, it has started to sound more and more like a song of insurrection rather than a song of resurrection." whaaaat. YEAH it does. because what's a bigger insurrection than overcoming your own crucifixion? who else rebels by accepting evil rather than doing evil, and wins anyway? YEAH insurrection. 

anyway, put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty, and meet me tonight in atlantic city.

and also, nice website, bruce springsteen! i appreciate it.

update to the last post: on the way home on megabus, my new seatmate ALSO asked me if i like my computer. guys. apple is a really successful company. ahead of pc in sales to college students. have these people really never met anyone who has one before?

Friday, August 08, 2008

i mean, literally.

jimmy john's guy: what's your name?
b: b. do you need my last name?
jjg: no, you're cool. it would be too personal. i just can't handle it.

so, today, i rode megabus. i had my computer in its case in my lap, i had my ipod on, and i had my eyes closed because i was trying to sleep. the lady next to me, however, TAPPED ME ON THE SHOULDER to start talking to me.

lntm: is that an apple computer?
b: yeah, it's really great.
lntm: [nods knowingly] do you like it?
b: yes, i love it.
lntm: oooh, but is it one of the really expensive ones?
b: no, the cheapest one they have.
lntm: i've been thinking of getting one...

[here, please keep in mind that i have my ipod on STILL. i am not budging an inch for this woman. incidentally, she is not budging an inch for me either and is determined to take up more than her seat.]

b: you should, it's totally worth it.
lntm: i don't know.
b: really, it's great.
lntm: i bet. my husband got me an ipod, and it's my favorite thing he's gotten me ever. i work at [wherever], you know, in a lab, and whenever people around me are talking and i want to do work, i just put it on!

um, oh. so then YOU KNOW what an ipod is for. i mean, what? i was literally trying to sleep.

i judged someone i just met for using "literally" inappropriately the other night. don't judge me.

i'm watching friends, the one where rachel eats all the spicy food to try to induce labor. i got really excited that she was eating tapatio, my favorite hot sauce. and then i realized that a) i notice what kind of foods fictional characters are eating, and b) i can recognize a tapatio label on a tiny computer dvd player screen. i'm quirky.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


on the reds' ESPN page, this AP article is linked as "reds try to stop losing, hold players-only meeting."

ahhh, trying to stop losing. america's game.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


yes, thrice [as in "have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets"] tonight, i started to say something that i had already posted on my blog. i am apparently boring. 

there goes my "slyly give away my extra books as birthday presents" plan. [oh, not really. i was in the middle of TELLING him about it, and he was like, "oh, i read this on your blog." better than the time someone told me i had to leave his cubicle so that he could read my blog instead of actually talking to me. i'm just saying.]

b: ken griffey! you belong in cincinnati! [shakes fist at TV]
cuuuute waiter: you know, he's lucky any team will take him.
b: oh, you mean because he's kind of a jerk and he's injured all the time?
cw: well yeah, because he's all, "oh, i was eating and i dropped my fork on my finger and now i'm out for three months."

now, you might think i was upset about the ken griffey hating. but actually, if you read between the lines, you'll see that i'll totally sell out ken griffey to talk to a cute waiter.

this one!

okay, this could keep me busy for a while. [oh, i'm sorry. this web-based computer application for creating pictures out of words could keep me busy for a while. jerk.]


so i'm looking for a white file cabinet. i got a little disappointed when one of the first hits was from a blog about how they couldn't find a white file cabinet and painted theirs instead. but then i got into this blog, and doesn't it kind of sound like me? [i also write about how my blog is risque.]

okay, THIS SITE IS SO AWESOME. here's a wordle of my blog, guys. note that the most popular words are the biggest - haha, oops. i can't believe they let me be a teacher.

go ahead, make your own.

the move crushed the little fake diamond in my "diamond strength" nail polish. not a great sign.

Monday, August 04, 2008

it's like i'm unpacking... myself.

so, in the new apartment, i decided to alphabetize my books. nerdy, right? but also USEFUL.

i discovered that i have two copies of the a lot of books. por ejemplo - great expectations, the horse and his boy, prince caspian, the secret garden, narrative of the life of frederick douglass, catch-22 [which, annoyingly, i just bought because i didn't think i had it], little men, the chosen, orlando, the fledgling, and, weirdly, selected shorter writings of mark twain. i mean, who has two copies of selected shorter writings of mark twain?

along with, of course, three copies each of a separate peace, the scarlet letter, and huck finn. because why not.

and i'm keeping some of them. i mean, they were gifts, or the original is falling apart, or one's  a critical edition, or they both have VERY USEFUL notes in them. very useful. 

here's the thing i've been realizing lately - being a pack rat gets really annoying when you can't find something. like, i have multiple copies of the aforementioned books, but i can't find my copy of plato's symposium from sophomore year of college. now, if i were breezy and low-key, i could be like, "eh! i read that sophomore year, but of course i don't have it now!" but instead, i'm all, "dammit, why do i have EVERYTHING if i can't find the ONE THING I NEED?"

okay, if you haven't read the fledgling, you should know that it's one of my favorite books ever. i wrote my college application essay on it. it's about this girl who learns how to fly from a goose. and the goose can teach her, see, because she's so small for her age. [it's really more like gliding.] it takes place near the town where i grew up [i think that's why i got it as a gift], and between the rationalization of why she can fly and the realistic location, i remember thinking a lot about how it was possible to write something that seemed true but wasn't actually true. heyyy, fiction writing. and if you're thinking this all sounds really cheesy, well, do you remember college application essays?

i love that i get to have this kind of conversation with friends who work in DC.
b: how are ya?
k: doin ok
k: like, SO ready for recess

i still laugh at recess every time.

Friday, August 01, 2008


things i did for the first time this week:

1. gave a stranger a pen. he was on the phone like, "shoot, i don't have anything to write this down..." and i secretly looked through my purse and found a pen to give to him. he liked it. and, you know, i didn't realize until later that it was one of my favorite lasalle bank clicky pens. i hope he's enjoying it, because that's a great pen.

2. sent food back at a restaurant. but my burger wasn't really cooked so much. certainly not medium well, ahem. and i didn't want to eat it like that. i felt really weird about it, though.

3. drove in chicago. a lot. i miss the cta, but i certainly have a lot more time.

4. hired movers. so worth it.

so, you know. new experiences.

in baseball news i care about, ken griffey is moving here to be with me. or, as he says, to have "a chance to win." um, OUCH, ken. i thought we had something. no wonder you didn't really work out in the nati [as i've reported here and here], despite everything. [and, in a shoutout to my brother: "ever heard the song 'won't get fooled again'? ozzie guillen hasn't..."]

i joked today that i don't really talk about baseball much anymore, and an old friend said, "yeah, you don't really talk about reason, either."

and to that, i say - BOGUS.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

this is the kind of thing i blog about...

... especially when i'm still moving and haven't read anything else.

got this from a friend today. and, oh fine. it's totally true.


most of my quirks are getting the backseat this week, however, in the face of my MILLIONS OF BOXES OF STUFF. i've made this reference many times, but last year, the boxes of books made my brother ask if i've ever heard of the internet.

6-year-old on the phone: "grandma! you know how rich people have those signs that say no trespassing? i got one! and it says BEWARE OF DOG!"

i, too, went to the hardware store this week. i love the hardware store. everything there is so awesome.

Monday, July 28, 2008

thoughts on traveling to go to the wedding of two people i really love.

my hair, like everything else, is bigger in texas.

dallas love airport has three security lanes - casual traveler, with a silhouette of a cowboy riding a horse, but all slow-like; expert traveler, with a cowboy with a lasso; and families and passengers needing assistance, with a stagecoach. oh, texas. i tried really hard to look casual, like the casual traveler i am.

then, as you walk through security, there's a world map in the floor tile. JUST like in carmen sandiego. remember how hard that game was? i feel like that part was really difficult to win.

"mom! it said to put on my mask first!"

- 4-year-old kid on the plane, who is a good listener.

"how do you expect me to grow if you won't let me blow?"

- rachel, in "the one where eddie won't leave." i LOVE this episode, where the girls feel all empowered by the book about being your own windkeeper. then they fight.

h: What are you up to?

b: well, moving today!

h: OH my god. That sounds horrible. What are you doing online then?

b: um, well...

okay, fine. here are the articles that the guy ahead of me and across the aisle was reading. i didn't think it was okay to ask him for his magazine, so i'll be reading them when i have time and internet again.

the pursuit of teen girl purity, about those purity balls.

subsidized in the city, about people who still take money from their parents.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

this almost makes me miss writing my thesis.

two reasons i love virginia woolf.
May I conclude, as I began, by thanking your reviewer for his very courteous and interesting review, but may I tell him that though he did not, for reasons best known to himself, call me a highbrow, there is no name in the world that I prefer? I ask nothing better than that all reviewers, for ever, and everywhere, should call me a highbrow. I will do my best to oblige them. If they like to add Bloomsbury, W.C.1, that is the correct postal address, and my telephone number is in the Directory. But if your reviewer, or any other reviewer, dares hint that I live in South Kensington, I will sue him for libel. If any human being, man, woman, dog, cat or half–crushed worm dares call me “middlebrow” I will take my pen and stab him, dead. Yours etc.,
Virginia Woolf.
from "middlebrow." man, i love that comma. "i will take my pen and stab him, dead." now THAT is scorn.
The writer seems constrained, not by his own free will but by some powerful and unscrupulous tyrant who has him in thrall, to provide a plot, to provide comedy, tragedy, love interest, and an air of probability embalming the whole so impeccable that if all his figures were to come to life they would find themselves dressed down to the last button of their coats in the fashion of the hour. The tyrant is obeyed; the novel is done to a turn. But sometimes, more and more often as time goes by, we suspect a momentary doubt, a spasm of rebellion, as the pages fill themselves in the customary way. Is life like this? Must novels be like this?

Look within and life, it seems, is very far from being “like this”. Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions—trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with the sharpness of steel. From all sides they come, an incessant shower of innumerable atoms; and as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Monday or Tuesday, the accent falls differently from of old; the moment of importance came not here but there; so that, if a writer were a free man and not a slave, if he could write what he chose, not what he must, if he could base his work upon his own feeling and not upon convention, there would be no plot, no comedy, no tragedy, no love interest or catastrophe in the accepted style, and perhaps not a single button sewn on as the Bond Street tailors would have it. Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.

sorry, i don't know what is WITH my formatting, but i don't know how to change it. it's harder than you might think. and i don't write html, guys.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

today's activities.

let's analyze everyone's facebook pictures

sound good?

Friday, July 18, 2008

metaphors and non-metaphors.

"it just seems like people want big government when it benefits them and small government when it benefits them." - guy having an intense conversation with the used bookstore worker. [i mean, the worker in the used bookstore. just to clarify my modifiers.]

i mean, you think? i wanted to alert him to this piece of great satire -  "no values voters" looking to support most evil candidate.  the video's just okay, but YEAH for the idea. it's almost like we're all trying to do what's best. not that i'm a complete relativist, but i'm just saying - people have good intentions. a lot.

this week's episode of this american life made me cry. okay, this post has been sitting here unwritten for so long that now it's last week's episode - "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing." i always really love dan savage [whose sex advice column, it turns out, is a little less feel-good than his usual TAL contributions], and this piece contains some of my favorite things - religion, love, gay marriage, little kids, and sappiness. starts about 18 minutes into the episode, and i'm warning you, it turned me into that crying girl on the CTA bus. in a good way, though.

from the movie definitely, maybe [which i recommend], on the question of what we want to do with our lives - "i don't know. i don't know HOW to know, you know?"

has everyone read this article, about oversharing online? i feel like i remember when it was new...

Like most people, I tend to use the language of addiction casually, as in, “I can’t wait for the new season of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ to start — I’m totally going through withdrawal.” And when talking about how immersed I became in my online life, I’m tempted to use this language because it provides such handy metaphors. It’s easy to compare the initial thrill of evoking an immediate response to a blog post to the rush of getting high, and the diminishing thrills to the process of becoming inured to a drug’s effects. The metaphor is so exact, in fact, that maybe it isn’t a metaphor at all.

anyway, i really love that paragraph. save it in the "i'd like to write like this" file.

oh, and try to get your friends to click on then giggle.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"you were ordering a sandwich..."


okay, i got really excited, but apparently she's not going to make fun of them so much as... oh, she's having a couple on the show who got together via missed connections. dang. but i was already all excited to blog about it.

seriously, though, i love reading missed connections. there's something about what people say anonymously, but also hoping to be discovered. sometimes they're cute, or creepy, or misspelled, or really weirdly desperate - but there's totally something about them.

christina aguilera and her husband had a party for their baby's bris and had penis balloons as decorations. these are the kind of things i learn from watching ellen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

wow, this IS evil.

from gawker, via jezebel - random house would like us to understand just how much skinnier the sweet valley high girls would be today. i was more of a babysitters' club [scholastic can't seem to decide about that apostrophe, so i'm making a statement] fan at the time, so i'm not getting why the twins have to be "a perfect size" anything. you'd think they'd just take that part out. and not, you know, PROMOTE it.

also, how to respond to the obama new yorker cartoon. in 5 easy steps. in case you were confused.

"glory, like a sunset..."

you know how sometimes you put your itunes 25 most played on shuffle and hear "glory" from rent and start rocking out? oh, just me? right.

i'm having trouble believing that maureen dowd posted whom not to marry without irony, but here it is. when i was in high school, they used to warn us against thinking we'd marry the guys we were dating by saying, "someday you'll have kids... and they'll end up JUST LIKE HIM." lots of shudders at that, i remember.

also, i'm going to have to agree with the aclu on this one - pants? really? especially when, as the article notes, there are so many "inappropriate" ways that women dress and somehow remain, you know, unpunished. could it be that many of the lawmakers and law enforcers are men? [please watch the youtube clip if you'd like to hear "apple bottom jeans" again. and i know you would.]

[knock, knock, knock] ... the door.

Monday, July 14, 2008

breeziness, ice cream.

so i was watching friends the other night, the episode ["the one where monica and richard are friends"] in which rachel reads the shining and joey reads little women. and i noticed that, throughout the episode, ross is reading race by studs terkel [which, google tells me, david schwimmer later made into a play].
monica: but it's okay. it's okay, it's okay, because, you know, it was like a casual, breezy message. it was breezy! oh God, what if it wasn't breezy?
phoebe: how could it not be breezy? no, because you're in such a breezy place.
[on message] "... so, let me know. or don't, whatever. i'm breezy!"
joey: hey, you can't say you're breezy! that totally negates the breezy!
those weren't actually from that episode. they're from the episode i'm watching now. anyway, in honor of david schwimmer, studs terkel, and coincidence, here are two things that just happened related to race.

1. these girls were looking at an ice cream truck, and they had these big character heads made out of ice cream - you all may remember snoopy, from when we were kids. anyway, now they have dora the explorer, and this girl goes, "oooh! those look so good - i bet dora's chocolate!" i was like, umm. i don't think you can say that...

2. this twentysomething black guy got on the bus. wearing a white t-shirt, white shoes, dark jeans, and a sideways sox hat. i don't know what kind of look the people in front of me gave him, but he walked onto the bus going, "it's just a hat, it's just a hat..." i liked it. it reminded me of this brent staples article i read in high school. for some reason, i always remembered the part where he whistles vivaldi when he knows people are nervous around him. [goodsearched "white priviledge whistling vivaldi" to find it.]

watched a few good men the other night. [i often have this conversation with a certain friend who owns this movie but doesn't appreciate good-looking men - "why do YOU like this movie?" "i like the lawyer stuff!"] for the first time in my life, i actually understood what's happening in that movie. i also realized that tom cruise, in the movie, is supposed to be just out of law school. not only was he not yet crazy, but he was also 24 years old when that movie was filmed. we're old, guys. and did everyone else know that tom cruise wanted to be a priest? like, was in the seminary? daaaang.

speaking of which [??], i forgot to post this last week, but was reminded by the homily this weekend - three years ago last sunday [the fourteenth sunday in ordinary time, year a] i was reading at the basilica and had, well, an awkward reading. maybe you remember hearing it a week ago. "see, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass." i remember spending all day freaking out that i had to say "ass" in the basilica. i mean, i had to say "ass" TWICE in the basilica. then, as i was reading, i had one of my first experiences of the downside of being as high-drama as i usually am. maybe if i hadn't freaked out all day, i wouldn't be freaking out now, and i'd be able to ignore the group of my friends smirking at me from a pew directly in front of me...

anyway, thanks, three year cycle of readings, for that little memory.

and lastly, the economics of love. it's a good one. oooh, and before i post, this interesting article on forming habits and advertising.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"that's a PHONE FAKEOUT."

is it just me, or has the onion really upped the technological ante since i felt like a badass reading it in high school?

whenever i read the onion, i think about the this american life story about how they choose their headlines. it's actually a great all-around episode. go ahead and listen to it, why don't you?

also, regarding this onion video, i haven't heard anyone use the term "cray-pa" since 1992. are those still around? and can we get a pack of them that haven't been all smudged until they all kind of look like the same color?

can you feel the love tonight?

g: if you don't think sam adams is great, you're an idiot.
m: okay, jafar...

best comeback ever? yes. and of course it led straight to a discussion of which disney princess is the hottest, with lots of competition between belle [good news for me, i think] and nala, when she rolls over and has those "come-hither" eyes... i mean, not the first time i've heard nala described as hot by guys who are usually normal.

read on a stranger's whiteboard - "dogs are the opposite of starfish." i've been thinking about this a lot. anyone want to tell me what this means? dogs' limbs don't regenerate? starfish can't catch a stick? but they can both SWIM...

some articles i've liked in the past few days:
little omaba on how her dad can be embarrassing, with some obama parenting techniques thrown in.
this piece on young men who discern the priesthood, which is funny if it sounds familiar at all to you. not sure if i'm a fan of this blog, but this particular piece is too on-the-mark not to post.
on the disadvantages of an elite education, oh shit - although, i do think that if you want to learn to talk to people who aren't like you, you should just ride the CTA. the most interesting part for me was the part about fake deadlines and second chances and grade inflation. i really had too few professors who could tell me that the work i'd turned in wasn't my best. think it's true?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

in the neighborhood.

"try not to get drunk!" - 15-year-old checkout kid, when i bought beer for beer club.

also, the people in front of me in line turned out to live in my building. hmm. it really is a city of neighborhoods? [i almost complimented the homeless guy by the train on his new outfit, but decided against it.]

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

this makes me happy.

okay, let's all watch this and then dance around.

this is one of those things i read about in a nytimes article. the article's like, "this video has gone viral!" and i'm like, oh, has it? what? i've never heard of such a video. and then i join all the middle-aged nytimes readers in looking it up on youtube. 

you know what, let's ignore the fact that i'm coming a little late to the party and embrace the fact that i found the video at all.


also in the nytimes today - in medvedev, bush sees "a smart guy." dear my president, will you please SAY WORDS that SOUND LIKE SOMETHING. although, again, i guess his folksy charm has worked for him in the past.

Monday, July 07, 2008

"to run, and not grow weary..."

i love these boys who love the subway. i think we'd really get along. my favorite memory of riding the T when i was a kid was my dad telling us that you could ride it all day for one token, as long as you didn't go upstairs. all day, eh? 

we watched trains a lot as kids. some of you know that i still have trouble remembering that usually people don't like it when they're stopped by a train, driving - we used to try really hard to be the FIRST car behind the gate.

speaking of which, i spent a lot of time with my extended family this week, which means:
1. i drank lots of pinot grigio with ice.
2. i went shopping at discount stores, twice.
3. i talked at length about the weather.
4. i ate lobster four times.

i'm doing this couch to 5k thing, which is lovely so far. [it's like, "do you hate running, even though everyone always says it's so awesome?" and i'm like, "YES! sign me up!"] but anyway, there are these podcasts of each running program that tell you when to run and when to walk, and one of them is a christian music podcast. the guy says, "well, i downloaded [a podcast] and ran to it, but being a christian, i wanted to jam to some good christian tunes while running." i don't think i'm comfortable with that. it's also weird being part of a religion that comes with so much stuff.

you know what else i'm uncomfortable with? a girl in a triangle bikini running. not, like, incidentally running on the beach. like, i'm going to go running and put on a string bikini top instead of a sports bra. that cannot be comfortable at ALL.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

apple bottom jeannnnns

just returned from a lovely wedding weekend with lovely friends, lots of taco bell, the kind of rap we listened to in college, and really cheap drinks - and, incidentally, some of the worst service i've ever had. i always claim that steak and shake has really bad service and no one believes me except people who have lived in a particular small city in northern indiana.

waitress: can you just pass these waters down, so i don't have to walk around all retarded?
us: [blink blink]

we had some dirty silverware [you know, the usjjj]...
b: can we have some more silverware?
waitress: [looks around] well, it looks like everyone has some.
b: [for once, doesn't know what to say]

of course, the steakburgers [and chicken melt, ahem ahem] were totally worth it. once they came. it's really odd when the service is so slow at a place like that, because you can see the waitress... and the people making the food... so, i mean, what's taking so long?

oh, "usjjj" is how we're spelling the short form of "usual." just wanted to keep you all on the up-and-up.

overheard on the train today - "the man my mom was living with is a convicted felon. like, he's doing three to five. and it's a PROBLEM that i'm GAY?" i mean, good point.

you know who it's not a problem with? these kids

Thursday, June 26, 2008


overheard some of my neighbors talking about charlie bit me and felt very cool and connected to what all the kids are watching on youtube.

then i re-watched it, and it's even better than i remember. british babies. yessss.

"we can kick lane tech's ass for SURE."

okay, this is even better than i remember. the song is okay, but please listen to the north shore trash talk.

and, not wanting to load the page with embedded videos, fuck and run was ROCKIN.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"anyone been to wicker park?"

saw LIZ PHAIR tonight. performing all of exile in guyville. guys. if you've never seen one of your favorite albums ever performed straight through live, um, totally do it. SO AWESOME. i will be continuing to gush about this show, so brace yourselves.

this was also one of the few concerts in which i've loved everything the artist said. not just because she was talking about living in chicago and how weird it feels to live both in wicker park and on the north shore. actually, she went to new trier and also took some time talking about high school rivalries in the awkwardly specific way you can do with a hometown crowd. the only thing she said that i actually wrote down was "too bad the guy i wrote this song about isn't here!" then she laughed a lot. for some reason, i really loved this. but i think my favorite part was when she played a clearly wrong chord [especially clear because we were all there because we love the album] and went, "really?" JUST LIKE I DO. liz phair and i could totally be friends. 

according to the know-it-all guy behind me, she was 23 when she released this album 15 years ago. [he was talking about how she "used to be hot," which made me want to punch him in the face. she's hotter than YOU, mr. receding hairline, and do you prefer your women 15 years younger than you all the time?] it was interesting, though, because i think of liz phair as such a rockstar and a lot of her fans are, of course, closer to her age than mine. case in point, overheard from a late-thirties woman on the way out - "natalie's going to kill me when i tell her she did 'polyester bride.' she plays that all the time in her car, and her daughter says, 'why would a bride want to flap her wings, mommy? what's polyester?'"

according to kevin, "guyville" is wicker park. my philosophy professor from college says that it's the male-dominated music world. anyone else think they should have an academic throwdown? kevin also says that the original line in "flower" was "i'll fuck you and your girlfriend too" and her record label [even though it was an INDIE, says kevin] made her change it. it's now "i'll fuck you and your minions too." that's not the thing i would consider inappropriate about that song, but call me a square...

i didn't actually see this transition coming, but hey, on a related note - here's a first amendment case [sorry about the ads - click "enter salon" and you'll get there] that involves one of my favorite things - google, that is. not group sex. [but see what i did there?] it's an interesting test of "community standards" and, you know, how you can ever determine them. i remember thinking this was really interesting the first time i learned how they figure out the laws on this. also, let's start using the word "googly" in conversation.

anyone remember that time one of our high school teachers explained the need for these sort of obscenity standards by saying that "we don't want the supremes to be watching pornographic movie after pornographic movie"? because my QUOTE BOOK does. and this is actually the first time i've thought about how much this blog has in common my quote book from high school.