Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

christmas music recommendations.

bets introduced me to a lovely song that she thought i might like. like this: "i mean, it's michael buble, which may be slightly off-putting." and, you know, i like to pretend i don't like his music. but then i keep listening to it, so there you have it. anyway, it's called "haven't met you yet," and it's about how he's going to meet someone awesome, etc. anyway, he has this line that goes, "i guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck." but he kind of buble-style slurs it, and it sounds so much like he's singing, "and the other half SLUT." it makes me giggle every time. i like it.

and here's a song we would have loved in 2003, and that i still love now - "all that i want for christmas (is to give my love away)" by the rescues. i know, right? you already want it. it was on grey's, of course.

and, every year - all i want for christmas is you, and breath of heaven. it's not christmas without those.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

At a bar. People on the dance floor are throwing money in the air.
What is happening.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, December 06, 2009

oh btw i luvs you.

THIS. the lolcats version of twilight and new moon.

oh, and sex and the city. i was bored until the sushi part.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

amazon is judging me.

"still shopping for gifts"?! it's DECEMBER FIFTH. yes, i am still shopping for gifts. jeeeeeez.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

free will, again.

okay, in one of the weirdest coincidences of my life: "It's the beautifully terrible thing about free will: we can do whatever we like but we must be held accountable for whatever we do." didn't i just say something really similar? weird. and awesome. oh, and she's talking about being a porn star.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

free will and team jacob.

happy new moon day! word is, it's a juicebomb. i'm so excited. [and i miss a certain former roommate and co-twilight fan who would definitely go see it with me.]

so my students are currently, when they're supposed to be learning, all about looking at taylor lautner on the cover of men's health. guess what, guys? this child was born in 1992. [which makes the accompanying article that much more ridiculous. he's a good cover model because he gained muscle between the ages of 15 and 17? yeah, that's what happens to people between their freshman and junior years of HIGH SCHOOL. blargh.]

interestingly, he came up in class today when i talked about how being in a real relationship is both better and worse than being in an imaginary relationship with a celebrity. the freedom to give and receive love also leaves us open rejection - right? it's the paradox of free will, students! free will gives us the ability to say "i love you" and have it mean something, but then we eat fruit we're not supposed to and get kicked out of the garden! the catechism calls it a terrible mystery. we can choose to love God and each other, but we can also choose not to...

also, this is the kind of blog feedback i get.
Thanks for the shout-out in the blog. Also, I loved your post on UST. Except, they weren't just uncover as a married couple, but undercover as married ASSASSIANS.
she's right, of course.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

mmm, the internet.

because i love food and graphic organizers: where should i eat?
or, you know, you could also just find the nearest burrito.

both the links above are from the gchat trend of posting links in your status. i like it. i feel like it's the grown-up version of away messages. we've all moved on from emotional song lyrics into, "i thought you might find this article interesting."

OR HAVE WE? confession: i wish it were still socially acceptable to post emotional, mysterious-but-obvious-to-all-my-friends, semi-obscure song lyrics in my away message. how else will i let everyone know what i'm feeling?

oh, on this blog? right.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

some internet things.

courtesty of kathr...

big ben clock on twitter. heh. that's what it says, all right.
go fug yourself, which i'm finding very entertaining. the ads are kind of distressing, but they're probably making bank, yeah?

now, excuse me while i go write a pop quiz on the sacrament of anointing. [woot.]

Thursday, November 05, 2009

roommates + tv.

b: you know who was cute, though? that guy at the next table who talked to us.
s: oh no! we should have gone over there and fallen in his lap!
k: wait. all of us?
s: no! frb could have fallen in his lap! or i could have PUSHED her.
b: yeah, if our life were a crime show. with lots of UST.

unresolved sexual tension, friends. thanks to NEW ROOMMATE, i've found that this is the key to every TV show i like. it's all, "we love each other, clearly. we can't get together, though, or ever admit to our feelings. that is, unless we're stuck together in some sort of hostage situation. or undercover as a married couple. or in a drug-induced hallucination."

[in order, those were SVU, NCIS, and house. yeah, you knew.]

clearly, this is all making me think of JAG. some of you may remember the episode of JAG in which mac tells sturgis that she's in love with harm. then she asks him not to tell and, oh right, he never does. one of you may also remember saying, "that's the PROBLEM with watching a show on HONOR. he actually won't tell."

also, if any of you are thinking that the pesky "plot" is getting in the way of the obvious sexual tension between your favorite characters, well - let me direct you to BONES, in which the storylines about midget wrestling [i kid you not] are always secondary to the smoldering glances, awkward pauses, and long discussions about looooove.

WHY DO I NOT WATCH MORE 30 ROCK? this show is hilarious. they just made a GRAMMAR joke. [what. in my world, that IS hilarious.] later edit: spent all day yesterday watching 30 rock, then wore a liz lemon-inspired outfit out. it was awesome.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

grey's review.

i have the same iphone case as izzie. [because i saw it last season, and bought it.]

i will marry alex karev if he keeps wearing that black shirt.

i am going to watch this show until the bitter, bitter end. i kind of love these people.

best moment of the season, so far - when alex, meredith, izzie, and christina laugh at the funeral. the show can drag all it wants, but watch that scene and tell me it's not awesome.

my life, probably.

the comic's too wide, so you'll have to click on it.

not sure which one of these people i am.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"equality is like gravity."

if you love joss whedon, the creator of buffy, and you love equality - well, this is for you. it's a short speech that was recommended as "funny and poignant" by the creator of this, the inspiration for this post...

we were watching it at work, and, oh, by the way - check out the info, because it's a feminist critique. i'm trying to finish this post with something witty, but i'm sickish and can't concentrate - so just enjoy the links, okay?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

electronic time capsule.

at trader joe's today, this mom goes, "i'll tell you when you're unfrozen. i'll tell you when you're unfrozen." and i look over, and there's her frozen son, going, "can i be unfrozen now can i be unfrozen now can i be unfrozen now!" and holding on to the shopping cart in a semi-awkward position. i was like, NICE. watch me try that with my students.

i was searching for something else [i know, when is that ever NOT a lie? but seriously] and found some old emails. a few observations.

1. the past seems to have passed. this was an emotional email about an event i semi-remember. out of the moment, it makes very little sense, actually. and yet, at the time i had to record EVERY SINGLE DETAIL.
2. i said this - "[friend's former, kind of hateful boss] totally wants to give you a job! will [even older internship boss] recommend you?" weird to remember being excited about a friend potentially getting a job that, later, she ended up getting, then gradually not liking over a couple of years, then leaving for another job...
3. this prediction - "someday i'll be able to wear nylons more than once." is it true yet?

oh, gchat. thanks for giving us a time capsule for our lives since 2005.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No, I will NOT let friendship shine.

Arrrgghhhh former Olympians! Get your disembodied voices out of my

Apparently the Chicago 2016 people have decided to record a bunch of
commercials about how great it would be to have the Olympics in
Chicago - and now they're playing on the bus. Not my favorite thing,
mostly because they're super loud and keep taking me by surprise.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, August 31, 2009

"other people can see that, you know."

kid: and dad? cool it with the twitter updates.
dad: [texting] i'm sitting on the patio...

does anyone else love, love, LOVE this verizon commercial? with the parents, and their technology?

also, i'm watching law and order: ci. at first i was mad because it's obvious who the killer is going to be, because the killer is always the most famous non-regular actor in the show. turns out that you know who the killer is all along, and the premise of the show is that he's THE GUY WHO WORKS IN THE CRIME LAB. i know. crazy, right?!

so anyway, i imdb-ed him, and it turns out that this guy has been in every show i like. without a trace? check. the west wing? check. csi, the practice - apparently this guy is successful.

also, i miss the practice. remember that show? dang.

Friday, August 21, 2009


These people who talk on their phones on the bus in the morning amaze
me. I'm not sure many of my friends are awake enough at this hour to
do that...

Also, a little girl on the bus pulled out Charlotte's Web. Awwww.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, August 03, 2009

oh no! not atticus!

wow, bad week for guys from books i read in high school. is atticus finch a classist? i mean, i always thought he was supposed to be super understanding, right? and since mayella ewell was ready to have tom robinson die rather than admit she was lying, well - i'd like to say i don't hate how he exposes her lie. but, as this jezebel article points out, he's a complicated character in a complicated situation. which is why he rules.

and he is not an alcoholic dickbag. hahahaha, i'm still laughing at that comic.

also, bad week for guys in general. apparently this is how i'm going to ask you out, guys. [from cosmo, obv, because they suck so bad.]
Invite Him on a Group Date
If you can't quite bring yourself to suggest solo time together, try inviting him out with a bunch of your friends which will make you feel more at ease. One caveat: Avoid having your Giselle look-a-like pal tag along — you want to make sure his eyes stay glued to you.
take note: if a girl asks you to hang out with her friends, but only the ugly ones are there, THAT is a date. because guys only care about looks, amirite? sigh. also, i wouldn't be able to do this, because all my friends are pretty pretty.

they also suggest sending him a drink at a bar as a "stealth" way to let a stranger know you're interested. i'm not sure how stealthy that is, actually. [and i'm pretty stealthy.]

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The usual FRB change of heart.

Okay, no offense, because this is something I know nothing about - but
what are pharmacists doing back there? I mean, sure, look up my info
and all, but really... 15 minutes? How involved is this?

On the other hand, Walgreens is the only place I ever hear "Walking in
Memphis," so I guess I can wait.

Awww, also, a little tourist family (I'm on Michigan Avenue, they have
a huge camera, and now I understand why someone would put a Walgreens
here) just got some allergy medicine for their little boy and the
pharmacist gave them a glass of water for him to take it. He's going
to feel better! Suddenly I'm all warm-hearted.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Over my limit.

There are multiple dogs in this bar. I think my limit for dogs in a
bar is zero.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ohhhh I'm on the bus, and the driver just called the cops, and they
bounced these guys off he bus for being drunk and loud. Adventure!

Sent from my iPhone

Pretty sure I just walked by a couple breaking up. Sitting on the
steps, guy looking earnest, girl crying...

Weird, the things that happen around us, hmm?

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Illusions! On topics of this blog!

Okay, everyone look at this. Thanks to How About Orange, some optical illusions that are fascinating. And guess what? The first one's about baseball, and the third one's about gender. I KNOW, right?!

On the gender one - look at the faces, and let me know what you think about the issue of makeup and femininity. (That word took me about five tries to spell correctly.)

Dating without judging?

I was struck by this comment on today's Harpyness post "Huh, So You're Gay Again?"
I feel like anyone who questions someone else’s sexuality just needs a big cool glass of mind your own beeswax. No one but you needs to “understand” who or why you date. Blah, the judginess of the world is getting on my last nerve this week.
I think because I read Jezebel's pro/con on More to Love, including this comment.
My bf always tells me that guys are just lying when they say they don't like bigger girls. They don't want to be "that guy" in their group of friends and be made fun of for not only being into skinny girls. He used to be that guy when he was younger, but now he just tells them that they don't know what they're missing.
Maybe the judginess of the world is also getting on my last nerve this week. Maybe I'm reading too many blogs. And definitely, that thing that happens to me whereby everything I hear seems to surround the same topic. ("Whereby"? Did that work?) But yes, let's allow people to date whomever they'd like to date. And let's NOT have a show about fat girls who, clearly, are all desperate to date - so it's a good thing they found the one guy who thinks they're attractive. Grrrr. (Also, "real women" is derogatory. There are lots of different ways to be a woman. Or a human being.)

Also, I need a tag for my hatred of Mr. Darcy.

If you like him, read this comic. If you hate him, read this one.

[FORMAL BLOG CORRECTION: I got too excited and am embarrassed to admit that the second comic is not, in fact, about Mr. Darcy at all. UNLESS THERE IS A HIDDEN MR. DARCY SUBTEXT. And I think there may be. Betsy would also like me to add that the Bronte sisters hated Jane Austen, or something? Whatever.]

Criticism and helpful advice.

I'm such a sucker for articles about something I already think about a lot. So in that vein, what to do with your laptop (or other stuff for that matter) when you're working at an internet cafe and have to go to the bathroom. Right?!

A headline that makes me giggle, for some reason - Pope Explains How to Help Jesus. Hehehehe. Like, "Listen, guys. Jesus needs our help. Let me lay it out for you, one more time." What does Jesus need from us right now? And why does the pope need to explain it in so much detail? The article's actually fine (about priests, though, which isn't clear from the headline), but I think the person who wrote the headline is the same person who writes the chapter headings on DVDs of The West Wing. (This might appeal to a very small percent of my readership, but seriously. They're strange, bad-punny, and often only tangentially related to the show. I mean, Aaron Sorkin isn't writing them.)

I'm thinking of switching to capital letters. That is, I'm thinking of being grammatically correct. It's the influence of iPhone auto-correct, I think. Big life change, after ten years or so of insisting on lowercase everything - what do you all think?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bang Bang.

Overheard at a wedding: "I mean, I'm not happy Michael Jackson died,
but I have a new appreciation of his music!"

Also, just had a conversation with the bartender about how Love Shack
is the worst song ever. Want to know why I talk to strangers? Because
they agree with me, that's why.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not my own jokes, no.

I chewed a piece of Carefree sugarless gum and I was still worried.

(Listening to a lot of Mitch Hedberg with my brother.)

Also, I'm pretty good at tennis, but I'll never be as good as a wall.
A wall is relentless.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, July 12, 2009


One of my mom's friends, on why she doesn't watch Lost:
"It's so frustrating. It's like the game Sorry - you spend all this
time getting ahead, and then someone comes along and knocks you back
to the beginning."

Hear that, ABC? You're like everyone's little brother, in the 80s.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, July 10, 2009

Are Love And Hate On The Internet Just Love And Hate Of The Internet? - Online love - Jezebel

My life since high school. Here, on the Internet.

Sent from my iPhone

More MJ, overheard.

Dad, with baby: I'm going to dangle her over the railing in honor of
Michael Jackson, okay?
Mom: STOP talking about Michael Jackson.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

invisible knapsacks, MJ.

okay, i'm going to bed, but real fast - postbourgie on the lack of visible leadership in the gay community.

let's talk about straight privilege and how this is another thing i don't worry about. "oh, you're a straight person? you must be just like _______." [let's NOT talk about who i must be like because i'm catholic, though.]

postbourgie always makes me feal realreal uninformed, but in a good way. and then, as a bonus, they have jon stewart's rip on press coverage of michael jackson's death. worth a watch if you, like me, watched five hours of cnn at applebee's the next day. [what? just us, then?]

Monday, July 06, 2009

things babies like.

here's an interesting take on genderizing your baby, which i've blogged about before.

for the record, i'm still mad - and seriously considered getting a new girl babyfriend a "daddy's little helper" outfit [because who isn't?!] but decided that it's not really my place to make a statement about gender on behalf of my friends and their baby. i mean, with my own hypothetical baby, yes. with someone else's baby, maybe not.

but, if you'd like to de-gender your baby, anyone - i'll find you some yellow-green clothes if it's the last thing i do.

"we take this very serious."

grammar alert! [quoted by maureen dowd, who doesn't point it out because - she has already used every possible insult? it's too obvious to mention? she's trying subtlety for a change?]
As Palin’s spokeswoman, Meg Stapleton, says, “The world is literally her oyster.”
i'm going to go ahead and link to this wonkette commenter, but feel free to make your own snarky one-liners at your leisure.

in which FRB has some delayed-action hope, then outrage, then feels vindicated.

[old news, guys, but i just got around to finishing and posting this draft.]

well, this is interesting.
Mostly, I feared that single value ethics about abortion, on either side of the debate, would result in a coarsening of our respect for both women and for life.
obviously, this isn't the end. but i've seen a lot of knee-jerk reactions on this. but hopefully, steps [and articles] like this one are good news, hmm? i still have no solutions, but i also don't know where the outrage is getting us - i'd like to see if maybe we can approach this issue with a lot more sensitivity [yes, this is a personal decision that people should be able to make] and a lot less pre-judgment [no, people on the other side of the issue aren't necessarily evil].

[and, this was a separate draft.]

i've heard so many complaints lately, guys. and now, a little parable about one of them.

i was in one of those social situations in which many people are my parents' peers [and in my hometown, too], and i never feel old enough to argue - even when they're talking about something i actually know about. [i don't know everything, but seriously, i do know about some things, and i don't need a lecture about, say, what TEACHING IS LIKE.] and then they got on the subject of how you can never call 800 numbers because the people are always from india. always a crowd pleaser, right? now, i can see where there are problems with outsourcing, but apparently the only thing these people had a problem with is that they're talking to someone from india. and isn't that just racism? right?

[those of you with long memories may recall my epic conversation with the dell man who chatted with me about the friends episode i was watching and tried to convince me to vacation in manila, and those of you who were in the faculty room at the time may remember the nice woman who gave me a free replacement phone even though it was out of warranty. so, for the record, i have some pro-outsourced-800-number bias.]

so then, since my life is a movie, i was looking for directions to the rental car place a few days later and saw a yelp review [in my google results] that said, "do NOT call their customer service number! i ALWAYS get someone in india." then i got lost on the way to the rental car place. so, despite my pro-indian-call-center outrage, i was disappointed to find the toll-free number was the only contact number i could find. sigh.

so, i talked to the nice man in india - who answered right away and gave me very clear and appropriate directions. "no, ma'am, i believe you should have taken exit 4B. just follow the signs for rental car return..." wait. what were people's complaints about this, again? because that was exactly what i needed.

i think that's india three, judgy people zero.

and, this one's especially for my lunch friends - if i can't be the prophetic voice, hopefully i can be a little more understanding.

Monday, June 29, 2009


spent the weekend with some of my biggest fans, and i'm in trouble for not posting. i have a couple ready to go, but most of my time today has been taken up by...


yes, friends, i now own an iphone and a guitar. apparently i'm about to become awesome.

in related news, ever wondered what you're teaching your phone? i have, obviously. and that's why i love this blog post.

i'd blog more, but i'm all caught up in jezebel's "fine lines" feature. what? you don't read it? DID YOU READ BOOKS AS A CHILD? [and are you my age, or a little older? and do you have a slight preference for books about girls? and are you nostalgic about them now?] well, then, this colummn is for you. and the writer has a blog and a book out, too.
Guy in seersucker suit completes the look with a nautical-themed belt. SIR, YOU ARE A CARICATURE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

While working for my grad school program, I ran into a student from the school at which I teach. Accidentally introduced myself using my first name. Summer!
Engaged in professional ministry: setting things up, putting things away.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"earth's the right place for love," part 2.

totally overwhelmed by an episode of a prairie home companion today.

now, some of you may remember that i subscribe to the podcast of "the news from lake wobegon," and that i have trouble describing what it is. some extra-old readers might remember how awesome i think garrison keillor is, in general. anyway, here, he rants about mosquitoes and unfair competition and children leaving for college - and then this.
life is not fair. it is not fair. but it is generous. there is no justice in a state of nature, but there is... grace. there is an enormous degree of grace, as you know if you have ever been in love. if you have ever been deeply, deeply in love and you have walked on your most exalted day with her down the street, with your arm around her waist, your little finger hooked into the belt loop of her jeans, and you were walking so beautiful in this world, full of the wisdom, the mystery of love, you knew more than senators and congressmen and presidents and boards of directors and all the important people in this world, you possessed the secret of life, the secret of life which is... which is... love.
and then he literally BREAKS into SONG. sings a love song, just a capella right there. seriously. who is this guy? also, he does this every week without notes.

my june 2007 post about garrison keillor says, "this is one of those times when i feel like i'm going to spend the rest of my life reading this stuff without ever figuring out how to write it. not a bad life, though." still there - although, one barometer of how i've changed is that i'm determined that of COURSE i would never be so HETERONORMATIVE in my own writing. so either i'm more sensitive and accepting of others, or more full of outrage. not sure which i want.

in related news, a friend recommended religion dispatches [he likes it because their tagline right now is "exhilirating the breakfast table since 2008"] and i've added it to the sidebar, maybe just because of this line - "The sad truth is that neither a feminist’s nor a theologian’s work is ever done." um, YEAH. i share this opinion. as you all may know. from this blog.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Heard the engine noise from around the corner and ran because I thought I was about to miss the bus. Turns out I was about to miss the garbage truck.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

murder is not pro-life.

terrorism is not pro-life. shooting a man outside of his church on a sunday morning is not pro-life. ugh. this murderer is not speaking for everyone - let's not confuse extremism with an abortion-rights debate.

and, to all the "christian" bloggers ready to condemn dr. tiller to hell - does the fact that he was serving at CHURCH mean nothing to you? seriously. this makes me so sick.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

quiero decir, ¿realmente?

that is - "i mean, really?" i've been playing around with google translator and translating my blog. it's a trip, because when you put in a web address it takes you to that page, only translated. but i wrote this... and here it is, in another language...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"is this not enough?"

IMPORTANT. when was the last time you listened to pig, by dave matthews band? and when you listen to it now, are you worried that your lack of listening to it daily has distanced you from the carefree, idealistic, loving sixteen-year-old you once were?

oh, just me, then? fire up the itunes.

i think i underestimate the impact that listening to before these crowded streets [minus the scary songs] every day had on my life. but, seriously. don't burn the day away. [is this not enough? this blessed sip of life, is it not enough?]

Monday, May 25, 2009

strangers, being stalked.

bonus points if you can use my complaints below to find out where i went on public transportation today!


hung out with one of my biggest blogfans this weekend, and he heckled me a little for trying to be "mysterious and anonymous" on the blog. [he also calls me FRB in public. i like it.] i mean, i realize my identity may be obvious to most of you, but i like to think it's not clear to strangers - right?
Dear Cubs fans, when the door opens, GET OFF THE TRAIN. You know it's your stop. You can see Wrigley. I don't understand your hesitation. Love, FRB
I swear, I've spent more time at the bus stop outside Target than at any other one in the city. Some of you know the one - this bus NEVER comes.
Bad day file: Walked in the rain to get to the bus stop with the shelter, and the shelter is GONE. Just a pile of rubble and cones...

"no one has ever seen God..."

my favorite reading was at mass yesterday.
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.
no one has ever seen God, except when we love one another - that's when God is with us. BAM.

meanwhile, a couple in front of us brought a baby, who woke up halfway through mass. she was all sweet and messy-haired and sleepy, and her mom picked her up and whispered, "i love you!" and the baby GRINNED. it was the sweetest thing i've seen all week. or ever.

in less-sweet news, has everyone heard the abuse scandals that are coming out of catholic schools in ireland? cathy kaveny's blogging about the implications for the church - specifically, in terms of virtue theory.

Most people are virtue theorists — or rather, practitioners of virtue theory–whether they know it or not. On difficult moral questions, most people trust the judgment of those who have shown themselves to exemplify probity of mind and judgment about a thousand incidents, important and unimportant. We trust the claim that a way of life is important and good because we trust the judgment of those who are further along that way. Conversely, we do not trust, and ought not trust, those who advocate patterns of life whose destructive nature we can see for ourselves, or who have proven themselves morally deficient in important and grave respects. It’s not a question of one or two mistakes–it’s a question of a pattern of life.

This sensible instinct to trust those whom we have reason to believe are trustworthy is what is strained in the Irish abuse cases.

sigh. and this is also the problem with a clergy-centered church. we're not into this God thing BECAUSE OF PRIESTS, guys, right? the washington post article, interestingly, also mentions how many witnesses "emphasized the enormous difference that just a kind word or gesture made to their daily lives." i mean, right. because they were victims of abuse. i feel like this is a common trope in fiction, too - kid is in an abusive situation in a boarding school, except for that ONE PERSON who is NICE to them. not an excuse, really, but i hope people in positions of moral authority begin to take their responsibility to heart.

also, if you're interested in the new statistics about how many americans are identifying as pro-life, i think this post, and the article it links, are good food for thought - from what i understand, many people are actually not single-issue voters and voted for a pro-choice candidate for other reasons [perhaps because he's pro-life, if you're really paying attention to what the term means, in other ways]. these statistics don't actually mean that the pro-life movement in this country is succeeding in outlawing abortion. [dan savage pretty much discounts the survey results, and i thought his point about polling language was well-taken until i read the poll itself.]

anyway, at my parish, we pray for politicians to "find creative solutions to complex problems" - isn't that fantastic? perhaps the two-sided debate is too small. perhaps we should be open to the movement of the spirit on this one. or always.

speaking of which - i gave my frozen lemonade to a guy on the street. i'm often frustrated with my lack of ability to give people things on the street, especially when i'm literally walking by them with a bag full of food i just bought and don't need. like, when i'm walking out of corner bakery thinking, "this sandwich is too big. i don't want to eat it all," and a woman is sitting on the street with a sign that says, "i'm just hungry," why can't i GIVE HER SOME FOOD? sigh. so i had already walked by, and was frustrated. and then i was headed to old navy and thinking about what i was going to do with the rest of my frozen lemonade, and a guy goes, "ma'am? spare your drink?" and i was like, okay, this is too pointed. so i get very little credit for kindness, i think. but it's a step, right?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"my name is monday. i'm a mathematician."

hard for me to explain how much i used to love mathnet, so i'm going to try something...

well, here's a good example. i'm beginning to see why my dad thought this show was hilarious.

and just in case something happens to it, here's the link to the search page. did that work?

[do do do doooo do doooo do do... squaaaaaaare one!]

Thursday, May 21, 2009

serious internet roundup. or not.

lexy: you slept with george?! [death glare from christina] oh, no talking unless it's medical.
[meredith walks away]
lexy: so, medically, meredith and george had... sexual... intercourse?

hahahaha. my students also like to say "intercourse" when they're trying to be polite and classy. as in, when they want to be class-appropriate. but when have i EVER used that word? seriously. and did everyone know that outercourse is a thing?

wait, no. this was supposed to be a things that happened on the internet roundup. let's see...
baseball commentary is sexist. oh yeah?
michelle obama is classy. and i know someone who knows someone who met her yesterday. I'M JUST SAYIN.
related - it's possible our president is the cutest president in history.
it's iced coffee weather. hellz yeah it is.
advice for young feminists looking for jobs - or for young d0-gooders, i think.
worth noting that i've seen a lot of inspirational catholic vote videos, but i didn't see this one coming.
subways, worldwide, drawn to scale - this is FANTASTIC. worth a click. i don't know why i find it so awesome, but i do.

but, most importantly - the little mermaid came out 20 years ago. is it a coincidence that i just made a little mermaid reference this week? or do i just love it that much? right. and try this quotation, guys, it's often useful - "isn't it obvious, daddy? ariel's in loooove."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

public service announcement.

gender stereoypes hurt everyone, guys. believe it. okay, so comparing men to animals isn't exactly what i'm talking about. but, UGH. this is how i feel when people are like, "oh, i'm a GUY. that's why i'm so [whatever negative or offensive trait]." i mean, really? must i have such low expectations for all the amazing men in my life? can we please get just a little bit up in arms about things like this?

on a bad day.

yeah, so i had kind of a frustrating day today.

i say this because i hear my blog seems like i'm always having a good day. and, i mean, i kind of am. but it was just one of those days in which i spilled my water bottle all over my bed, and everyone's in a may teacher mood [it's like senioritis, only worse, because you're all, "why must students YELL ALL THE TIME! STOP YELLING!" and such], and i left school late, and was tired, and then the wait was really long at the burrito place, and my heel hurts from running [once again], and blah.

anyway, to start, here's one of the best things that happened:
as i was approaching the coffee grinding machine, my ipod headphones [excuse me, "earbuds"] got caught on my trader joe's shopping basket. and i thought, OH NOES! i'm an urban stereotype! hehe.

so i smiled for a minute. and the checkout guy was cute, and bearded.
b: [with overflowing shopping basket] heyyy, so i just stopped by to get the absolute essentials.
cg: yeah, and you definitely need... persian cucumbers.
b: yeah, are they good? do they taste like cucumbers?
cg: yes. the reason they're called "persian" is that they're from the fertile crescent, which is where most food originated.
b: [checks label] ahhh. they're actually from mexico. i feel like i've learned a lot in this conversation...
cg: hey, never stop learning.
b: i know! i'm a teacher. [usually a good lead-in, with people who have a potential of liking me later.]
cg: oh yeah? where do you teach? [i told him.] oh, my boyfriend lives in that neighborhood!
and on to a conversation about how cute his boyfriend is, even though he is the executive director of a dance company but NOT a dancer himself. sigh. dear cute bearded trader joe's checkout guys, please stop being gay, especially when you're kind of cute and my day already kind of sucks. thanks. [no, it's okay. you can be gay. i like it.]

please note that, above, i had already typed "trader joe's carrying thingy WHAT IS THAT THING CALLED when you know you'll get too much stuff if you get a cart and you won't be able to carry it home" when i remembered. shopping basket. okay, frb. too tired to blog.

and that brings me to the LAST BAD THING that happened tonight. i was carrying a bag of groceries, a thingy of toilet paper, my huge purse [obvi], and this takeout from the burrito place. ["essentials only," my ass. i always do this.] the problem, i think, was the burrito - i'd gotten a burrito DINNER, which comes in one of those styrofoam meal things. i already hate styrofoam, right? and those meal things are so annoying, because the refried beans get everywhere when you try to carry them in a plastic bag, because the styrofoam container won't stay horizontal. YOU KNOW?! grrr.

anyway, getting to the point, i dropped the little containers of salsa while i was trying to balance everything. and one BROKE OPEN. and it got all over the sidewalk. and then i had to clean it up, because i always complain when people leave things like that on the sidewalk. because, like, who else is going to clean it up? NO ONE, except the person who DROPPED it. so i picked it up, and it got all over my bag. then i couldn't put my bag on my shoulder, because it would have stained my new cute shirt. and i had to try several contortions to get everything in my hands again and get home. blarrrghhh.

i told this story to my roommate pretty much verbatim, and because she is awesome, she said, "awww. you really DID have a bad day."


this is one of these moments where my grandma would remind me that i have my health. and i do. and everything's really wonderful - but i just wanted to blogvent. thanks, friends.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

yessssss NCIS!

i'm so happy i remembered to watch the NCIS finale! it's on so early in central time. [this is related to how i think people get a lot more sleep in the central time zone, because the shows are on earlier and people get up at the same time, you know?] so far, it seems like ziva's directions are "look like you just cried" and tony's are "squint, as if you're looking into the sun." mcgee is completely oblivious to the interpersonal stuff that's going on, and abby is over-involved. don't worry, gibbs will save them, if the director doesn't coopt his plans.

i know, it sounds like every other episode. but in this one, they're in tel aviv!

Monday, May 18, 2009

everything is amazing, part two.

today on the bus, i waved at a baby in the car next to me. the baby did that "i'm going to give you a suspicious look, then i'll smile" thing that babies do, and she said something in baby language. her mom was like, whaaat? then she looked back and saw me jamming on my ipod [to dmb's before these crowded streets - remember THAT album?] and waving at her baby, and she smiled. i smiled back. and just like that, i felt like i was in a liberty mutual commercial.

it's a good thing liberty mutual is my insurance company for real, or i'd feel really awkward about how much i love their commercials.

then i came home and had this picture in my inbox! bus tracker for EVERY route, guys!

and i went for a run!
and i didn't get rained on!
and my favorite blogger is back!

i didn't think it was a great day at first, but man. look at all this cool stuff that happened.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In conversation with an iPhone user: You have to sell your soul to AT+T to get one, but who needs a soul? There's an app for that.

"everything is amazing right now, and nobody's happy."

has everyone seen this video, of comedian louis ck on conan? i found it here, but obviously it's a copyright infringement and nbc has already taken it off youtube.

[update: here? although i don't like it so much when it's called "people in today's society take things for granted."]

also, is everyone still WATCHING GREY'S?! [again, the link has sound] because it is AWESOME.

i was in cvs today, doing my usual thing where i talk to the cashier about how i don't know how to use the credit card machine. whatever. and she goes, "you know what's the worst? the guys who are on public aid who play dumb. i'm like, i THINK they taught you how to use the cards when you GOT them." then she scoffed. and i was like, WHAT?!!?!???! on the inside, though.

i wish i reacted better to this stuff, especially since i feel like this happens to me a lot. like, i've become insta-acquaintances with this stranger just this minute, and all of a sudden, she's like, "i hate poor people!" and i'm like, oh no! now what?

i was sharing a similar story with a friend, and she passed on some advice from her dad. he said that whenever someone says something he disagrees with [on belief, i guess], he doesn't feel like he has to defend his belief. he just gives a weekly reader report. i don't quite remember this about weekly reader [although i remember weekly reader, oh yes i do], but apparently it's all stories about people that just give a little bit of information along with the story. so what i should have said was, "oh, i knew a guy on public aid once, and he was very competent at the use of his card!" and then, after my weekly reader personal story about the topic, what is she going to say? "no, you didn't, and you're a liar"? and i can be satisfied that i've said something, at least.

or, i guess i could have said, "well, i can't use it either!" or i could have punched her. i mean, come on. it must be humiliating enough to be on public aid without having to decipher an already incomprehensible credit card machine.

randy pausch also says, "don't tell people what to do. just tell them stories." and they'll know what you mean, and remember better than if you'd lectured them. not coincidentally, the video of randy pausch's last lecture is definitely my students' favorite thing that i show them - and i show them a lot of stuff. highly recomended.

pip and maria both ran marathons today - SO AWESOME and i'm so proud of them. links are to their race reports, so get excited and read them. and since we're talking about good deeds, i'd like to point out that pip made her goal with the help of a stranger who saw her running along, asked what pace she needed, and said "i'll get you there. come on." talk about a good deed, right? and of course my former teammate had it in her. i knew from experience - holla for team sports.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

- You're not going to delete my pictures! They're MINE.
- Then don't TAKE pictures of me!
- I'll take whatever I want, because I love you! Fucker.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

happy mothers' day.

overheard at church: "yeah, because my wife has two cats. she has two CATS. [pause] no, my wife makes me celebrate mothers' day because she has two cats."

i couldn't hear the other side of the conversation, but i think whoever he was talking to was as confused as i was.

Monday, May 04, 2009

profanity warning.

so i saw a guy on the street with a fuck you, you fucking fuck T-SHIRT on. [i think the appropriate response is, "what a badass." or something.] at first i thought, "hey! he's quoting the sidewalk!" but then, i realized it might be, you know, a thing.

after some research, i discovered it's a quotation.
A more succinct example of the flexibility the word is its use as almost every word in a sentence. The phrase "Fuck you, you fucking fuck!" is a memorable quote from the movie Blue Velvet from 1986, and is still used today as heard in Strapping Young Lad's "You Suck" from their 2006 album The New Black. Another example is, "Fuck the fucking fuckers!"
and i also learned many other things. wikipedia is so weird.

also, on friends, when ross tells isabella rossellini he's a big fan of hers, he goes "blue velvet! woohoo!" i'm just saying.

[is this what people mean when they say my blog is difficult to understand?]
I just got to hear half of a very intense fight. Also, some very interesting medical history...

Remember, friends - when you talk on the bus, people HEAR you.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

new on the internet!

so, maybe i hate animals, but this onion story is pretty priceless either way...

i'm claiming 8 out of 10 on this impossible fonts quiz. want to throw down? [one of my coworkers responded, "well, i got 83% on the ben and jerry's flavor or pottery barn paint color quiz!" apparently there are a lot of awesome quizzes on this here site.]

and, timely - do i have swine flu? thanks, kris, for advocating for public health. [that site reminds me of things i did last night, which i also love - which in turn reminds me of sorry mom, i bang the worst dudes, which always makes me a little uncomfortable. but i'm slightly more comfortable now that i know it's not just, you know, one girl's reeeeally crappy love life.]

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

near-death experiences, the kindness of strangers.

guys. i fell down the stairs today. i fell DOWN THE STAIRS today. getting off the el, going down the scary metal stairs, surrounded by people, i tripped over my too-long pants and tumbled. in slow-motion in my head, but i still don't have a clear idea of what happened before i landed on my back and everyone was standing over me looking panicked. clues: i have a slightly skinned head, shoulder, and knee. AND my favorite work pants are ruined, which is really a shame. and i lost the battery cover to my phone. sigh.

um, it was really scary. i think in one of those instinctive, oh-my-God-i'm-falling, actual bodily danger kind of ways - enough so that after it was over, i called my mom and cried and cried. [her comments: "awwwwwwwwww honeyyyyy. that IS scary!" "you'll be sore tomorrow. go to bed early." "i guess you don't have osteoporosis!"]

everyone i've told asked if people helped me. of COURSE people helped me! i was blocking the stairs. but a very nice man helped me up, and his girlfriend and another girl found my phone and the battery, and they were all very concerned to find out if i was okay. i was like, "um, well [mentally taking stock of body parts] i feel okay - do i LOOK okay?" but i had to convince them that i was really all right, you know? and i really appreciated it. and i told my mom, and i'll tell you all, that it really made me think that if i had actually gotten hurt there would have been people to take care of me. also, nice job by my reflexes!

after taking stock of myself, a few hours later - i look okay, if you don't look to closely at my knee, shoulder, or forehead. hopefully i'll be all healed up before i have to wear that one tea-length green dress...

Monday, April 27, 2009

cheap eats!

i've been giving extra points [life points, not class points] to people who can use the economy in every conversation. i'm telling you, guys, it always applies. so yesterday, as we were shopping for a dinner friend date, kevin got mad points for, "i'm really glad we're staying in and cooking, in this economy." nice. later, when we picked out the chocolate lava cakes from the frozen section, i remarked that we were moving out of the money-saving kind of dinner. he goes, "oh, now we're trying to stimulate the economy." well-played.

articles like this one [not to mention my book club's reading of animal, vegetable, miracle] always make me want to cook lots of things at home - especially bagels! they're cheap! they taste really good! i could do this, right?! [this is the beginning of a dangerous line of thinking that involves, at the very least, setting off the fire alarm in my kitchen - which i narrowly avoided, in fact, this very morning.]

and, related in cheap and good eating, jezebel asks if women bear the burden of ethical eating. [a good salon article, actually, about eating ethically for cheap.] several commenters, and i, respond that women bear the burden of many eating decisions in many families. and, more notably for me, one commenter starts a string of amazing vegetable-related puns. nice!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

in which FRB reads articles about religion to see if she likes them.

yes, again, stressing myself out on purpose while practicing my rhetorical skills.

in the case of miss california, gay marriage, and "opposite marriage," a sojo piece about culture wars. good call on re-framing the issue - i mean, we're talking people, not issues. and maybe i'm swayed by a reasonable-sounding article that actually mentions the way culture wars hurt actual people. i'm always a little suspicious about "tolerance doesn't mean condoning" line, because i think it's not very nice, when you come down to it - but, again, this article is a relatively calm spot in a mean debate.

here's a kind of bizarre article about mel gibson [with his "ultra-othodox catholicism"] getting a divorce. here's my rundown.
- mel gibson is getting a divorce, and is crazy. he's been seen with one of several women named oksana. [apparently not oksana baiul, although THAT would be a twist.]
- mel gibson has religious views that are not those of the catholic church. and i appreciate the author's treatment of this. but. then don't call him orthodox. you're actually saying he's un-orthodox. and don't call people who don't like vatican II "traditional." [also, apparently he called JPII an ass. really? an ass? i mean, of all people.]
- now, about annulment. "Most Catholics find the procedure demeaning and hypocritical." grrrrr. really? or do you think it's demeaning and hypocritical? then, more about how people getting annulments feel. and how women feel.
- even mel gibson shouldn't have to get an annulment! so the catholic church should change its beliefs. [honestly, i didn't see this coming.]

grrrrrrrrr. this bothers me for two reasons. first, it doesn't acknowledge that sometimes people seek annulments because they really feel that their marriage "didn't take." and second, it doesn't acknowledge that some people actually choose to care or not care what what it means to have a sacramental marriage. i mean, it's more complicated than that, for sure, and a lot of people have been hurt in the name of church teaching, and we certainly shouldn't just blindly accept what "the church" says and move on. but i'm putting a lot of my life into convincing kids that, even if they disagree, they should look at why these teachings exist and try to see the good behind them.

this article would not receive a good grade in my class.

okay, three reasons it bothers me - i don't appreciate feeling lumped in with "most catholics" like this. i think that's what really makes me mad. you know? i just want to yell, "but I'M not like that! and i'm not really that crazy, either! i'm both catholic and relatively normal! honest."

[i misspelled catholic, and it reminded me of a one-liner my grandma made recently - "our cats were always everywhere. we even used to take them to church. we're cat-licks."]

- for anyone else whose mom has been bugging them to check their credit, i'm inclined to trust this site.
- has everyone been listening to foy vance? just making sure. he's rockin.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh, this is going to be TROUBLE.
Mobile blogging?!

new grey's!

found this in a gchat from 2007.

e: my love for sandra oh knows NO bounds.
e: she is breathtakingly perfect.
e: she can make me cry with, like, no facial expression whatsoever.
b: how does she DO that.
b: my hair is going to be like hers.
b: maybe i need a diffuser.

didn't ever get the diffuser. sigh.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

just as he said.

happy easter, alleluia alleluia. more later! but happy easter.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

in which one of FRB's favorite shows is threatened, and it makes her snarky.

dear nbc, if you take chris and mariska off SVU - i don't even KNOW.
Yet a source close to the matter said talks stalled when the duo -- who, like in their previous negotiations, are banding together -- attempted to go after back-end profits, a perk that's almost never granted in the L&O universe (although exceptions were made for Vincent D'Onofrio and Chris Noth).
how does that mean "hardly ever"? i mean, vincent makes the show. CI is totally different without his weird sideways lean and randomly punctuated speech. [i would make fun of him so bad, if we were friends.] and chris noth is a BIG star. [hehe.] and i defy you to got to itunes, download "doubt," and tell me the show would survive without either eliot or olivia.

also, from a commenter: "I'm angry at their lack of gratitude for what they have! Any one I know would love to earn 7 million a year." well. do you know any television actors? right. i feel like it's a different issue. as a teacher, i earn whatever. in a different position, i'd expect to earn something different. and if the network [are we really calling NBC "the peacock," btw? it sounds very gossip girl. "uh-oh, peacock. could this be the end of uncontrollable sexual tension on SVU?"] is making a ton of money off their performance, they can either make a ton of money, or the network can. that's how the economy works, right? we all make different amounts? because we're actually NOT communists?

[too conservative? i guess i'm just saying that pay disparity between people with different jobs is a bigger problem than these guys, and probably not solved by their lack of contract negotiations.]

what's with the snark lately, FRB? i don't know. i will let commenters use "i feel" statements, especially in this economy. sigh.

FRB is apparently emotionally attached to all this.

wait. this is mean, right? [a one-sided interview in zenit? whaaaaat? emphasis mine.]

Q: What are the reasons behind the fact that so many Catholics voted for Obama in the national elections?

Sullivan: Like any decision made privately by thousands of people, the answer is both complicated and unknowable.

Political life can be challenging for a Catholic; the truths we embrace do not align smoothly with either major political party. The patience to uncover and reflect on the philosophies and records of individual candidates is necessary to cast a Catholic vote.

That kind of in-depth inquiry is unfamiliar to modern American culture, in which everyone is entitled to her uninformed opinion. Catholics, of course, are not immune to that.

Just a casual look at the Catholics I know can tell us something about how the Catholic vote worked this year. Some believed, in good faith, and without much attention to facts, that the president would honor his promise to find moderate common ground and unity between the parties.

Others factored environmental policy, or health care policy, or economic policy most heavily in their decision-making calculus. Others, dissatisfied with the candidates, settled for various but important victories, like the prospect of ending torture, or the possibility of increased aid to the poor.

Others voted on emotional grounds -- they felt the "hope" that swept the nation. Others didn't have a decision-making calculus at all.

The famous Catholic vote did not appear as a bloc in the last election. Our voting was as divided as we are, and there were significant shifts toward Obama among the traditional conservative Catholic vote.

now, i agree that a catholic vote takes reflection. [voting for anyone takes some reflection, i hope. but i think her point is that catholic morality doesn't fit in one political party. lesson one in my class, by the way.] but i feel like she's saying, "catholic voters didn't vote the way i think they should because they didn't REFLECT like i did." but wait. if the catholic vote isn't straightforward, and requires reflection, maybe people could come up with different answers. if you're going to catchily call it "pro-life" instead of "anti-abortion" - well, maybe you'll find your platform is a little more broad. i wish she'd said more about the "without much attention to facts" part, and i also wish she'd base her interviews less on "a casual look at the Catholics I know." i mean, really.

but! i've recently been reflecting on how emotional this is all making me. i can't hear catholic news without either getting angry or feeling relieved. maybe you've noticed. i don't know if this speaks more to the state of the catholic church right now, or my state of mind.

related - david brooks, i think, is not actually writing about the end of philosophy [whatever, david brooks, call your colums whatever you want, see if i care] but about how "moral thinking is more like aesthetics" - to oversimplify, we make moral decisions more based on how we feel than how we think.

[semi-related - watch out! old news, apparently still relevant, about how abstinence-only education doesn't work, just like south africa's driving exam.]

and now, for something you know FRB will definitely like - joe's post on hope, the common good, and baseball.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

happy baseball season!!

and, to celebrate, this commentary from the always-hilar guest blogger bets.
Bronson Arroyo is a big question mark - he's pitching Thursday with a cortisone shot in his hand to help his carpal tunnel syndrome. (Note to Bronson: You are not a famous rock star. Stop pursuing your nonexistent music career, as it is causing all of us a great deal of stress. Sincerely, Cincinnati. P.S. We are also uncomfortable with your chosen hairstyle.)
and, furthermore.
I love how everyone is like "It's from playing the guitar!" and he's like "What! It is not!" And then he produces ZERO EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY and continues to play his guitar. Seriously, one article was like "There has been speculation that this was linked to his guitar playing, but Arroyo has stated that this is not the case."
oh, bronson. are you the new ken griffey? ARE YOU? hold on to your forks, is all i have to say.

but, seriously. you are a PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER. remember in high school, when our coaches used to tell us to be careful not to lift heavy things in case we got injured? and when i played the clarinet and there was a tiny, tiny indicator that i might someday have tendonitis and my teacher was like STOP EVERYTHING! i can only imagine that it's more serious in the pros [says FRB sarcastically]. i mean, carpal tunnel is serious, and you should stop brushing your teeth and cutting up your own food if it's going to help it get better. honestly, bronson.

my future?

thanks to the many people who sent me this story about a friendly and interesting cta driver. he's not the guy i heard the other night, but please note this.
He met his wife, Elaine, because she had the same reaction I had: She was a passenger on his train and she was curious about this guy who made the unusual announcements.
can i please, please be that girl who is the only one to notice the cool thing that someone does? i feel like this might be in my future. "hey, i love how you ________!" "really? no one's ever thought ________ was cool before..."

right?! [and one more that wouldn't fit.]

Friday, March 13, 2009

"welcome to the train fantastique. that's the fantastic train."

cta adventure! that's right.

i got on the brown line friday evening and heard, "this is a brown line train to kimballllllaboard." see how he did that? that's clever. but, for those of you who don't know, the cta drivers don't usually talk. they have a recorded voice that can say pretty much whatever. and usually when they do talk, they sound appropriately bored and distant.

so, of course, the excited-sounding driver made everyone nervous.

at the next stop, he said, "will all the people with chocolate sculptures please come to the front? i enjoy chocolate..." some people behind me were like, is he high? what's he talking about? and i sat quietly, admiring the chocolate sculpture the girl in front of me was holding. [not very observant, my fellow passengers.]

when i got off the train, the driver was leaning out the window [i'm not sure how it works other places, but on the el, the driver looks out the window to make sure everyone's on the train] talking to chocolate sculpture girl, all "why didn't you come up?" and she was all, haha, thanks, whatever. now, the driver was cute. i told him thanks for talking. and he was like, "there were chocolate sculptures!" but then he had to go. he was driving a train.

would you all still be friends with me if i dated a cta driver? and, do you think he'd let me drive the train? i'm just asking.

after the train left, i was walking next to the girl with the chocolate sculpture and asked her about it. while we were talking, i ran into a pole. it was one of those incidents where i wasn't like, "crap, i ran into a pole" - more like, "why am i not walking anymore? and what just hit me?" it's always a little embarrassing, though, especially with a stranger who might think i'm crazy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

in which i, once again, confuse the west wing with reality.

everyone i love [oh, that's a lie, but you know] loves rachel maddow. right?!

anyway, she interviewed megan mccain and pilgrim soul at harpyness blogged about it. [and linked to the video.]
We were all 24 and opinionated once! Many of us continue to own “serious hair” flatirons out of sheer professional necessity!
hahaha. that's kind of unrelated to the rest of my point, but that's the first reason i loved this post. see how serious my hair is! i am a serious adult!

well, after watching - yes, ms. mccain does sure take herself seriously. she does seem a little naive. but i kind of like her. and here are my reasons.
1. i tell my life story to strangers too! YEAH. we'd be BFF, probably.
2. i'm no politician - but i LOVE how she admits she doesn't know the answers to the economic questions. i mean, her whole "i'm curious about politics!" is a little strange from a supposed voice in the party, i think, but she's not running for office and i appreciate her honesty.
3. she's ainsley hayes! only not as brilliant and incisive.

do you all remember the ainsley hayes storyline from season 2 of the west wing? she was a "blond, leggy, republican" who went against sam on a political show and got a lot of anti-feminist [and anti-republican] flack for it - and i really liked how the show handled the story. she got some lines to explain her positions [most interestingly, i thought, about how she thinks the ERA is patronizing because the 14th amendment gives women rights already], and she got CJ to defend her.
cj: [everyone hates her] because she's a blond republican woman, and i think it's prejudiced in a bad way, and i'm coming down on her side.
toby: by the way, you are a beautiful woman, and nobody ever assumed you were either ambitious or stupid.
cj: toby. it took two years.
right. don't tell me that there hasn't been any prejudice against me, guys. in the same way you don't tell other races that racism's over.

anyway. related in politics!

this whole thing about putting up a billboard in rush limbaugh's hometown. [in response to how he hopes obama fails.] here's the email i got from the democratic party.
Last week, I asked if you had a message you'd like to send Rush Limbaugh. The response was overwhelming. We received tens of thousands of submissions, and we picked the top five:
  • "Americans didn't vote for a Rush to failure"

  • "Hope and change cannot be Rush'd"

  • "Failure is not an option for America's future"

  • "We can fix America, just don't Rush it"

  • "Rush: Say yes to America"
Now, we're putting it up for a vote. Decide which slogan Rush will see in his home town.

The slogan with the most votes will be put on a billboard where Rush can't miss it.

It's up to you to let Rush know that Americans reject his desire to see President Obama -- and our country -- fail.
i mean, how is this useful? according to the donation website - "Americans know that when President Obama succeeds, we all do. It's time to leave behind partisan attack politics and stand behind the policies that will strengthen and renew America's economy."

and putting up a billboard in rush limbaugh's hometown is TOTALLY NOT partisan attack politics. because, see, this time our side gets to be mean! seriously. this is what you want my money for? because it seems like it could me more cost-effective to, i don't know, send him a telegram. and then we could use the rest of our money for CHANGE or something.

also, all those suggestions are really, really not clever. puns on his name? seriously? and we've always seemed like such a funny party, in general...

ah, i remember this well.

thanks, friends, for studying abroad in college right after i got my laptop. and amazing me with the ability i had to talk to you, online, even across the ocean.

i really love to come home, unwind, and blog about my day. i don't know what the connection is, since i don't like to journal or return emails or do many other productive things - but i love doing this.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

FRB, gardener.

my daffodils are blooming! i bought them at trader joe's for $1.69. they were not in water when i bought them, but don't worry - there was a multicolored sign explaining why. [well, not really why. just that the farmer recommended it.] i got a bunch with all the buds closed, so that it would be more exciting. then i cut off the end of the stems and put them in a guinness glass in water. then they bloomed! and that, friends, is the limit of my gardening ability.

wait, that and the fact that i am reading animal, vegetable, miracle without a translator.

also, stumbled on [um, that's a lie, because i clicked on it on purpose] this facebook group on abbreviations, and of course, immediately checked to see about "usj." they're saying "uje" - i don't know, guys.

Monday, March 09, 2009

awesome three bean polenta vegetarian mexican lasagne of awesome.

[i'm trying out some search engine optimization here.]

invented a delicious recipe tonight. and i'm not sure i can explain it with "proper measurements" and "a list of ingredients" - but here you go. i'd recommend a nine by thirteen pan, but i used a smaller and higher-sided pan [one of those ones that has a cover] and a ramekin, and then i had some left over.

1. i greased the pan with my misto olive oil sprayer [best purchase ever] and sliced up the polenta to lay it in the bottom. polenta's that thing that's made out of corn and comes in a tube like jimmy dean sausage. i tried to fill in all the gaps with tiny polenta pieces, but then i just crumbled it all up with my hand and that worked much better.

2. i sauteed up a bunch of peppers [trader joe's frozen three-pepper blend, which is a staple of my diet] and onions and garlic, like i always do, and put them on top of the polenta. should have added salt and pepper, but i forgot.

3. invented some mexican rice! it came out gooooood. there was like a cup and a half left in the bag of brown rice, and i used the extra water from a container of trader joe's fresh salsa plus some more water to make about two and a half cups total. so, a little less water than the directions called for, because i was also adding the fresh salsa. should have seasoned it here with chili powder, cumin, and such, but i forgot and added it later. anyway, cooked up the rice and added it as the next layer.

4. poured a can of enchilada sauce over the top, and added some tapatio hot sauce. [mmmm, tapatio, mi mejor amigo.]

5. drained three cans of beans - one pinto, one black, one cannellini. i always rinse them just a little bit. don't know if that's a good idea. but then i put them on top of all the other stuff.

6. and i covered the whole thing with cheese.

7. and put it in the oven at 350 for like twenty minutes, until the sides bubble and the cheese melts. it doesn't need to cook a ton, because it's all already cooked - i made it for tomorrow, though, so i'm not sure if it was warm all through because we're going to reheat in anyway.

my camera's broken. but i promise, it looked and tasted great.

all googly!

i'm a top hit!

i feel proud. even though it seems like the way to get people to click on my site, then leave immediately [i'm like, stay, guys! look around!] is to name a post with lyrics from a kind of obscure indie rock song. sorry to disappoint you, google searchers.

but look! in a search that people might actually make...

are you looking for a catholic blog about faith and reason? then stay! but, apparently, beware of my sometimes-hatred for catholic bloggers.

an interesting piece on public transportation - kudos for mentions of convenience and people's assumptions of what we can and cannot do if we don't own cars. i remember overhearing a woman [with a baby in a stroller, too] asking if she could interview that day, instead of coming back the next day, because she had taken the bus [in the un-bus-friendly city where i grew up]. and, in chicago, i had a neighbor who walked with a cane who used to walk up the million steps at our non-accessible train station. and, when i scoot to my seat as the bus is already moving or climb over ice piles on the sidewalk, i think there might be other reasons that older people move to the suburbs. city life seems to demand a certain amount of health and ability to get around, especially if you're living on a budget... in a building without an elevator... commuting without a car...

"Just Try and Get Past Us, Uglies!"

yup, i'm going to go ahead and vote for this poster's caption [in the post title]. hey, we can't all agree. that's why it's called an open caption.

who's excited for the new twilight? this girl! [but not tina fey.]

a popular and important tv show.


that is, nobody except kelly kapoor. [okayyyy, i know her real name. it is mindy kaling.]

well helloooo, smiley mccrinklyeyes. hey, look over here! remember when you were in all those movies we studied in shakespeare and film class? those were some good times.

i know the wire is supposed to be all serious and all. i've never watched it, and really, i feel a little jerkish being flip about cute boys in a show that's about some things that are really, seriously, both bad and true. but this is the viewpoint i was missing on the wire, as a tv show. [if you're into hetero-normativity and gender roles.]
Are you seriously not watching this show yet? Haven’t your most insufferable male friends told you this is the best thing since “The Shield”? (but girls, unlike the very good but bafflingly hot-guy-free “The Shield”, this show features dreamboat and Mona Lisa Smile alum Dominic “Black Irish, Super Babe” West).
and i promise that, if and when i watch this show, i will think of all sorts of serious things and not just dominic west.

fyi, shane west is not on the wire. i hate nicholas sparks because of one time when he was mean to my friend. ["you want to be a writer? my advice to you is to sell out and write what people want. it's the only way to be successful."] and also, blarrghhh to all his books. but my roommate in college watched a walk to remember one night, and i was all scornful for approximately two seconds before i cried and cried. and fell a little bit in love with shane west, who is older than he looks.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

FRB hates catholic bloggers.

well, i sometimes do. except this one.

yes, friends, welcome to lolsaints. [i've always thought there was something vaguely outrage-worthy about lolcats, but wikipedia tells me it's all okay - surely the best thing about wikipedia is its forced seriousness. and, did you know richard dawkins invented the word "meme" to talk about religion and such? that's a connection in this post that i did NOT see coming.]

so, anyway. moving on to more things i love and hate. i had a pretty bad day reading all this.

[the good]

i'm not sure i agree with this exercise of faith, in which a nurse is fired for offering to pray for a patient. although this is interesting...
"A sensitive inquiry as to whether a patient would value prayer may well be an appropriate part of a medical consultation especially in an NHS [National Health Service] where some NHS trusts actually pay spiritual healers as part of the care team," said Saunders.
anyway, the thing that really struck me was this string of responses.
1. bad christians are to blame for a bad perception of christians.
2. secularism is not the same as atheism.
3. "I want to be able to attend a public event without someone officially praying their belief over me."

remarkably fair and balanced, i thought. i was really surprised, coming from zenit. but separation of church and state! churchy people like it! yayyy!

[the bad]

this article, however, makes me want to say fuck you, you fucking fuck. [it's okay. i'm quoting the sidewalk.] phdork at pursuit of harpyness tipped me off to this [while also teaching me the word "limn," which i didn't know] and gives a really reasonable "maybe i don't know everything about catholicism, but" viewpoint on it. thanks for going for a little humility as far as recognizing that you're not an expert on catholicism, new blogfriend. [i don't always expect as much from "secular" bloggers. see below.] and thanks for making yourself look normal, because this guy is SO BAD. on so many fronts.
I completely understand that Mr. Thompson doesn’t like what these sisters stand for, and he has every right to address what I would guess he views as their heretical perversions of the One True Church’s teachings. But he’s not doing that. He’s bagging on nuns for their looks.
i'd guess she's right, yeah? and besides this clear anti-feminist crap, what i hate is this toxic hatred for the other side. i can't take it. i'm so done with people equating "faithful catholic" with "hierarchy lover" or "lockstep traditionalist." i mean, how can you have even a cursory knowledge of church history and ignore the fact that God is still speaking?

from the sisters...
But I think if we believe in what we are doing (and I definitely do) we just have to be peacefully about our business, which is announcing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, fostering the Reign of God in this world. We cannot, of course, keep [the Vatican representatives] from investigating. But we can receive them, politely and kindly, for what they are, uninvited guests who should be received in the parlor, not given the run of the house.
HONESTLY, damien thompson. compared to this, or compared to anything else, you look like an ass. the papacy doesn't need your help. i'm sure that the vatican can handle their own supposed problems. they are not being THREATENED by NUNS who want to HELP PEOPLE, and neither are you. it's not like they're kicking puppies or publicly denying the pope. they're expressing caution about the vatican representatives' visit and wondering if their form of religious life will be understood. which, you know, seems reasonable. and even if you feel threatened, can you bring yourself to have enough faith in the hierarchy you respect so much to let them decide about what these sisters are doing?

or, have i caught you thinking that you're the one in charge of doctrine and heresy? right.

and, for the record, "birthing" is a legitimate metaphor for creating something new. it takes work. it brings life. it's difficult and miraculous. [not that i'd know, but still.] the assumption that mother church has nothing to do with women is something i still argue about, even with my friends. the feminine images for God are there, guys! in the bible, in our tradition, even in the catechism that many traditionalists love so much. they make some people uncomfortable because we're not used to hearing them. because of years of patriarchy. because some men [and women, let's not forget] have unjustly kept God looking like a man. because of the inequality between genders, which, theologically speaking, is a result of the fall. not a result of God's creating man and woman both in God's own image.

[the untrue]

so time accused the catholic church of making up this whole FOCA thing, and jezebel's all over it. now, i usually love jezebel. but here's the thing. first of all, the headline - "Bishops Manufacturing Abortion Controversy To Keep Parishioners Engaged." seriously, WHERE do you get the bishops' motive out of this news story? i hear the politics and culture wars thing. maybe i hear the money thing, although i've never heard an abortion-related collection taken up in church for anything except pregnancy crisis centers. [usually it's just prayer and outrage. we're not actually collecting money for the republican party, guys.] but let's say you believe that abortion is murder, as they say. wouldn't you also overreact to actually hearing obama say that he wants to sign FOCA, as an astute commenter points out? [the youtube video is linked, and the same commenter writes about what she thinks he actually meant.] and, i mean, let's hold off on blaming the hierarchy for an email chain of over-reaction on a bill that's not actually being considered. that part's an overreaction to something you heard in the news. kind of like what's happening here, on the other side of the issue.

yes, i personally think the abortion issue is too high on the list of things on which many catholic people like to spend their money, time, and outrage. but if you believe life begins at conception [or might begin at conception and does begin before birth, which is the actual party line], then it's hard to get away from it. again, still important to temper all of this with care for women, actually-born babies, people who are poor, people who live in places other than america, all kinds of other things - but this is a faith-based and rights-based issue, on both sides, and we're going to need to find some other ways to talk about it. on both sides, i hope.


of course, i'm very lucky. i asked my students if they know any catholics who only care about abortion, and THEY DON'T. i was amazed. we pray for all kinds of things at my parish, including people who are poor, people out of jobs, politicians, soldiers, and victims of war. where i live, i hear a liberal message if i hear any slant.

but i read blogs of all catholic types, and i worry. on all sides.


hi, friends. most of you know i haven't really been myself these few weeks. but i've missed you, and missed blogging. and you know what brought me back? yup, that thing that goes before and after a fall - pride.
Hi, faith.reason.etc (faithrb).

Barack Obama (BarackObama) is now following your updates on Twitter.

Check out Barack Obama's profile here:

which means, clearly, that barack obama is very confused by my convoluted tweets right now.

okay, here's what it's supposed to say, from bottom to top...
  • 12:00: Ask your local Starbucks guy if Via is any good. Maybe he'll be like mine and give you a FREE SAMPLE!!!
  • 3:00: You know when you're at a coffee shop and a guy strikes up a conversation with you, then his smiley girlfriend comes over...
  • 3:00: ...with two coffees and joins the conversation? I feel like I'm on a sitcom.
  • 4:30: A coffee shop baby just ran up to another baby to chat. His message: Hi! Then, pointing: Look, my dad!
  • 4:30: Both babies have frog boots.
  • 8:00: Gave up meat for Lent. Living out my faith by eating a lot of sushi - although I did successfully walk by Rib-O-Rama on the way.
[the missing tweet appeared as i was writing this post. never mind that i sent it eight hours ago. for the record, i blame MY STUPID-ASS PHONE.]

Sunday, February 22, 2009


b: i read in an etiquette book that a gentleman should get in the cab first and scootch over - you know, so the lady doesn't have to scootch over in a dress.
j: haha, yeah, but what if the guy leaves before the girl gets in?
b: well, then you know he's just not that into you.
everyone: [general merriment]
cab driver: you laugh, but that actually happens...

NICE. [i also like to preface things like this with, "if you're into gender roles..."]

at a recent fancypants dinner, i ordered a gin gimlet, which is delicious and very, very classy. then a guy in our group [who hadn't heard my order] said, "you know what drink is classy? the gimlet." i was like, yessss. fooled them again.

i've mentioned before that it's weird to read articles about things we do - including this one that calls us all out on our facebook habit.

you all know, though, that i ALWAYS agree with the pope. okay, not really, but i like to hear him out - especially this time. sure, facebook's not the best, but i think it's a representation of something good [our desire for human community] and not something bad [gossip, or whatever]. like any form of communication or community, it has a light and a dark side. right?

on the oscars:
i love marisa tomei's dress and amy adams' necklace.
cried a little at shirley maclain's intro of anne hathaway. what is WITH these intros? they're so sweet and heartfelt. i notice, for the first time this year, how much these people consider each other a community. i love how anne cried, and how happy she was when kate winslet won. she is a classy, classy girl. [betcha she drinks gimlets.]

"well, it's not a shampoo bottle now!" - kate winslet. omg, and getting her dad to whistle from the audience. [this is a little bit of a liveblog.]
sean penn DOES lose himself in every role. it's so true!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

faster! i demand it!

many of you know that i looooove the cta. really love it. but it's made me get used to taking a long time to get places. so i leave really early if it's important, or i carefully bustrack, or i plan on being late. and i bring a book. and my ipod. and a water bottle. and a map.

so, anyway, tonight i was waiting at the bus stop and realized i'd never make it home in time for grey's. and i took a cab. i'm not sorry. but, as is my wont, i was chatty. i breezily told the cab driver that i was taking a cab because i wanted to get home before grey's. and he was like, "i'll do my best!" then i remembered that i was paying him, just as he did some illegal driving maneuvers. and it was awkward, because i was like, "oh, it'll be fine! don't get in an accident, really." but i think he just thought i was being nice about the serious demands i make on my cab drivers.

i just saw a local political ad in which two kids are, supposedly, bickering like the candidates do. [i know, it's like - get it? politicians are childish?] then the local political candidate comes in and says, "i support this message, because as president obama said, it's time to put aside childish things." gratuitous obama-quoting aside, i say - do you know you're quoting THE BIBLE, there, local candidate?

some of you will be proud to know that tonight, i learned that it can be enjoyable to walk a dog. but i also narrated the entire walk, out loud, as if i were talking to a person.