Feb 28, 2005

Question for you

Have any of you out there tried that Eharmony.com thingy? Curious to know what makes this service different...


Don't you ever feel like you should be doing more with your life, but can't be bothered?

I do. I guess I'm a rut right now or something. I just can't seem to get excited about anything these days.

Things I should be doing more of:
  • Dating
  • Making more money
  • Growing, professionally
  • Meeting people
  • Writing
  • Keeping in better touch with my friends
  • Riding my bike

The one thing not on my list, which is surprising, is working out more. I've been doing a pretty good job of going to the gym at least 3-4 times a week.

I think I know the reason why I feel so blah, but I don't want to get into it here. In a nutshell, basically what had happened was a close family member got sick, but is way recovered. But the aftereffects of that experience still haunt me. I guess you could say the experience totally rocked my world, and not in a good way. I'm still trying to get my bearings. I'm getting there, I know I am, I feel it - it's just taking a little longer while than I expected.

Feb 27, 2005

Yes, it's one of those days.

Courtesy of Ember:

What is your name? "Mags"
What is your Starsign? Capricorn
Your favourite colour? Light blue
List your 3 favourite songs: "What about the half," Dennis Brown; "Pagan Poetry," Bjork; "Definition/RE:definition," Black Star (Mos Def & Talib Kweli)
List your 3 favourite films: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Silence of the Lambs, Rushmore
Do you dream in colour or black and white? I don't pay attention
What did you dream last night? I think I was doing the nasty with someone, I forget.
Who is your favourite male actor? Ed Norton, Benicio Del Toro, James Spader, Alan Rickman
Who is your favourite female actress? Uma Thurman, Parker Posey
What is your favourite 'Take Away' food? Carnitas super burrito
Bath or Shower? Shower; baths are just an excuse to luxuriate in your own filth
Salted popcorn or sweet? Kettle corn!
What is your natural eye colour? Dark brown
What is your natural hair colour? Black
When was the last time you cried? I'm not sure. A few weeks ago, maybe.
Which is your favourite flavour of crisps? Cheddar & Sour Cream
Name your favourite perfume/aftershave: Amarige de Givenchy
What was the last thing you watched on television? Something on Food Network, probably
What was the last book you read? The DaVinci Code
What is your biggest fear? Death
List your 3 favourite websites: Salon, BigUpRadio, the Star Wars Gangsta Rap

What is your lucky number? I'll let you know when I win the Lotto.
Opera or Pantomime? Opera. But only Mozart.
Do you believe in fate? Sometimes
Do you believe in reincarnation? No
Who was the last person you kissed? My parents
What was the last thing you ate? Capellini pomodoro with shrimp >burp<

Do you like Marmite? WTF?
What magazine/newspaper do you regularly read? SPIN, The Nation, Rolling Stone, InStyle
Would you rather be too hot or too cold? Too cold
What do you think are your best and worst qualities? Best: I'm generous, loyal, funny, and a good listener. Worst: I'm too introspective and critical. Oh, and some bastards say I'm overly sensitive. Fuck that.
Who was your first love? This guy from high school named Andy. I had such a big crush on him, and then one day I was being a nerd and I yelled at him. Things were never the same between us again. He ended up marrying this cheerleader chick that none of us liked. Sad face.
When was the last time you blushed? A few days ago, when I got in trouble for something
Roughly how many hours a week do you spend on the internet? Hi, my name is Mags, and I'm an Internet-a-holic.
Who is your best friend? Virge and Mel
What was the last website you visited?
NY Times
Score your personality from 1-10, 10 being the highest: I'll say somewhere between a 7.5 - 9.

Feb 26, 2005

Easy like Sunday morning

Man, I'm way domesticated. Or something. I don't even know what to call it. But I love - and I mean j'adore - watching cooking shows over the weekend. I can watch them all day. It's not like I try to cook anything that they make (well, maybe sometimes), but seriously, cooking shows to me are like what football is to some men.

Don't even talk to me, just get me a beer.

I've been watching cooking shows recreationally ever since I can remember. As soon as I woke up Saturday mornings, I'd flip on the TV to my local PBS station and watch Yan Can Cook (remember when he used to have an assistant and totally play up the sterotypical Asian angle, even right up to the squity eyes and bucked teeth?), Jacques Pepin, Amish Cooking in Quilt Country (my favorite, although I suspected the hostess was way uptight), and of course, Julia Child.

I don't know what it is about these cooking shows that I love, but there's nothing more fun to me than yelling at the TV at the Barefoot Contessa ("Jeremy's never home because he can't stand your faux-posh Long Island accent!"), drooling over Tyler Florence, or wishing that Paula Deen was my long-lost Southern belle aunt.

The Food Network is like, the best channel ever. My TV used to be glued to MTV. Now my default station is Food Network. Jesus, I'm old.

Feb 23, 2005

That's what I'm talkin' about!

So Margaret Cho put out additional presale tickets for her June 17 show in San Francisco. I managed to snag two this time. Yay me!

Oh. Mah. Gah.

I just realized that today is Wednesday, and tonight is the Project Runway freakin' season finale!

My heart is all a-twitter. Hold me.

Morford's back!

My favorite columnist, Mark Morford, is back from vacation. I love this man. I dedicate my ovaries to him. Even if he already has a girlfriend, I don't care, I'll cockblock for this sucka.

Morford's first article back discusses the death of Hunter S. Thompson and the implications this has on modern journalism. Don’t get all offended by his reference to "cutely agitated bloggers." His message is much greater than that.

Journalism is supposed to inform and encourage dialogue among its readership. It's supposed to question authority. This space we inhabit, this so-called blogosphere - just might be the "check" on traditional media that is so necessary. This discourse already exists in our world. Bloggers have been responsible for being the first to break some of the top news stories in the last few years. Let's keep it going.

Read up, bloggers. And comment. And counter-comment. Even if mainstream media spoon-feeds the general population its own brand of McNews, at least there will be a bubbling undercurrent of unfettered discourse taking place in our world. Maybe it'll be just the thing to get mainstream media to get real.

At least, that's what I'm hoping.

Feb 22, 2005


I've been trying for 15 minutes now to buy tickets online for Margaret Cho's upcoming show in San Francisco. I'm in her "fan club," (I think it's just basically a mailing list) so I'm trying to buy tickets in advance. But I keep getting this damn message saying there aren't any tickets available that match my request.

Wait, let me try one more time. Hang on.

Bah. I give up. These tickets were for the first 10 rows. I'm sure they've sold out by now.

Dammit, Moran, why do you have to be so cool and stuff?

There are some tickets still available for the Sacramento show, but do I really want to go there? I hate the 916.

No offense to those (there's gotta be at least one of you out there) reading this in the 916. It's not you, it's me.

Now I have to wait until 2/25, when the rest of the tickets go on sale to the Great Unwashed.

In other news ...

Woke up at 1 a.m. this morning because I was so excited to try the new iPod I bought yesterday. I don't know why I didn't get this sooner. This is like, the best invention ever. So far I only have 314 songs loaded (I was impatient last night), but you know I'm going to devote the rest of this week to importing the bulk of my CD collection into my little, lovely, sexy iPod.

I've wanted an iPod ever since they came out. When it comes to technology and consumer electronics, I guess conceptually I'm an early adopter, but in practice, I'm sort of a straggler; a latecomer, if you will. I always get all miserly and stuff when I'm faced with the actual challenge of shelling out the bucks it takes to own one of these cute little gadgets. I really need to just go with the flow and buy the shit I want, when I want it. It's not like I'm married or have kids to support, shit.

Yesterday was the first day of the SELF Magazine Challenge. I guess it's this online thing where you get diet tips, nutrition facts and workout goals spelled out for you. My friend Stef got me into it. Today's the second day. We'll see how things go with that. I forget how long it goes for... If any of you in the blogging world want to give it a shot, click that link to sign up. We could root each other on or something.

Nothing else new to report. Going out to lunch with my cousin today, maybe a little shopping on the lunch break, who knows.

Talk amongst yourselves. And leave me a comment or six.

Feb 21, 2005

Instant gratification

I bought a new iPod during my lunch break. You know, one of those 40GB ones. When I want to spend money, I don't mess around. I was thinking about getting the photo iPod, until I realized it didn't actually take pictures. Don't laugh, I never claimed to be a technogeek.

I know you're jealous.

Some of you visiting from BlogExplosion may have clicked here after seeing my banner. Props to Ang for giving me instant gratification and coming up with a quick and rough version for me to use.

I think I've posted enough for today.

Monday morning ramble

I’m a zombie today. And I don’t even know why. It’s not like I did anything really strenuous yesterday or anything. My Sunday consisted of me lying in bed, watching the Project Runway marathon on Bravo. I think I only got up to eat, use the bathroom, or check e-mail.

You thought I was kidding when I said I was into that show, didn’t you?

I’m getting really self conscious about myself these days. Not in the usual, girly sense of “I’m so fat” self consciousness. It’s more along the lines of “am I taking advantage of all that life has to offer?” Actually, it’s not even that profound. It’s more like I’m caught somewhere along a continuum, with “status quo” on one end and “higher level of intellectualism” on the other.

Let me try to explain. I have a master’s degree. It’s from a well-known journalism school back east. But my current job has nothing to do with media. Back in 2001, I quit my previous job at this huge, international bank because I wanted to make a change. I wanted to go back to school and change careers. I moved to New York, got my degree, and graduated in a post-9/11 economy in which media jobs were highly coveted and hard to get for someone like me.

Anyway, after about two years of looking and looking for work and being depressed about not being able to find work, I finally got a job back here in California. And I really like the company I work for now. I believe in it. I love the product that we sell. The people I work with are so inspirational in the amount of knowledge they have about our products. I’ve never had this level of admiration for any place I’ve ever worked or for the people I work with. I’m happy here, for the most part.

But from time to time, I struggle with the fact that I don’t work in the media. Like I wasted $40K to pursue a graduate degree in a field in which I’m not even working. And essentially starting over, careerwise. Part of me thinks I’m an idiot for throwing away a promising career in financial services, where I had a good title, decent salary, and almost 10 years of service under my belt. But then again, my two-year-long, unsuccessful search for a job in public relations left me feeling really bitter and jaded about that industry. Like, really bitter.

So if I’m happy with my current company, where is this self-consciousness coming from, you ask?

This is going to come off sounding really arrogant. And I really don’t mean it to, but I think that I have this self-inflicted expectation that I must be well-informed on every single thing going on in the world. I try to keep myself in the loop: I read The Nation, a whole slew of online newspapers, political blogs, nonfication books, etc. And sometimes I try to write about how I feel about what's going on in the world.

But sometimes I get tired of it all. It’s like staying informed becomes, in many ways, like a job in and of itself, when sometimes I just can’t be bothered to think about the implications of how much Dubya and His Freakshow have fucked us over and is now making a ham-handed attempt at making things better, for example.

So I also get a kick out of watching shows like Project Runway all day. And I read US Weekly, and bestsellers like The DaVinci Code and The Devil Wears Prada. Stuff that doesn't require all that much "thinking" on a higher level.

So where does the self consciousness come into play? I guess it’s because I feel like I shouldn’t enjoy these things. I should find them trite and banal. But I enjoy them. Really. And because I enjoy them, does this bring my intelligence level down a notch or two? Or does it make me well rounded? I feel like I should be climbing Mount Everest, or learning a foreign language, or running marathons, or in the Priory of Sion (just kidding), or making more money than I do now.

Fuck it, I need more coffee. Talk amongst yourselves.

Feb 19, 2005

Because I feel like it, that's why.

Name: Mags
Sex: F
Birthday: December 25
Height: 5'6”
Hair color: Black, with some brown and slightly blonde highlights around the face, for warmth.
Is your hair long or short: Long
Eye Color: Dark brown
Birthplace: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Location now: Same
Siblings: None
Parents married/divorced: Married
Who makes you laugh the most?: Virge
Who knows the most about you? Mel and Virge
Boy/girlfriend status: UBER single
Do you have a job? Yes, finally
What are you scared of? Death
Who's your role model? Alexis Carrington on “Dynasty”
Most interesting thing you did last summer? I can't even remember what I did last week
What store do you shop at the most? Target, Old Navy
Have you ever done any drugs? Hell yes!
Are you a ditz? I got my moments...
Day of the week: Saturday
Thing in your room: My CDs
CD(s): “Mama’s Gun,” Erykah Badu; "Mezzanine," Massive Attack, "Who Is, This Is," Voodoo Glow Skulls, "Elephant," The White Stripes
Song(s): "What About The Half," Dennis Brown
Animal: Dogs
Ice Cream: Breyer’s natural vanilla with real vanilla bean specks
Drink: Water, Diet Coke with slice of lemon
Thing to do: Laugh until I can’t breathe
Movies of all time: Pulp Fiction, Cinema Paradiso, The Silence of the Lambs, Heathers, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Hangout: My room
Favorite pizza topping: Pepperoni and mushroom
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Very, very rich, and hopefully happily married
If you could live anywhere: Amsterdam, Hawaii, Manhattan
Dream house: Brownstone in Manhattan or Brooklyn, beachside property in Hawaii, or a nice gabled home on the Prinsengracht
How many kids do you want? As many as I can have
Been in love? Sometimes I think I've been, but then I usually get checked
Lied? Once in a while
Cheated on a test? Yep
Cheated on a boyfriend/girlfriend? Nope, not my style
Tied your shoes together? Nope
Eaten something with a lot of fat? Hell yes
Had sex? Uh huh
Worst feeling: Betrayal
Best feeling: Love
Do you get along with your parents? Yeah, when they don’t treat me like a kid
Are you ticklish? I don’t think so
First thing you notice about the opposite sex? Teeth (any missing?), fingernails (clean?)
Perfect "dream" date: Doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, it all depends on chemistry
Who is your best friend of the opposite sex? Paco
What do you look for in the opposite sex: A dry sense of humor really gets me going
What do you wear to bed? T-shirts and underwear
What's your bed time? When I’m sleepy
Do you wish on stars? No
Is there a TV in your room? Yes
What's the last thing you do before you fall asleep? Read
How many schools have you been to? In my lifetime? Six.
Are you passive or aggressive? Depends on my mood, and who I'm with
Vanilla or chocolate? Swirl
Would you rather be hot or cold? Cold – better fashion opportunities
What is your curfew? Please, I’m 32
Person you can trust the most: Virge
What is the best quality of a friend: The ability to bring me back to reality when I need it
What friend do you have the most fun with: Virge
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? My beer belleh!
Have you ever tried to kill yourself: No way, death freaks me out
Do you know anyone who SERIOUSLY wanted to kill themselves? No
Who do you really hate? George W. Bush and his entire freakshow
Do you like jewelry? Bring it on
Do you wear a watch? Only when I workout, and then only sometimes
Do you believe in God? Yeah
Do you believe in love at first sight? That’s the way it is with me a lot of the time
What are your favorite tv show(s)? Project Runway is the best reality show ever
What color tooth brush do you use? White and blue Oral B battery-operated
Is the glass half empty or half full? Depends on what’s in the glass

Feb 18, 2005

You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore

It feels good to chill out at home. It's been a rough week.

My guitar instructor is starting to teach me flamenco stuff. I guess the first style I'm learning is soleares. I know there are different styles, but to be honest, I only know them by name only. I wouldn't even be able to tell you the subtleties between them. All I know is it's some badass shit.

I've basically been practicing the same 12 counts for a week now. I'm trying to execute the perfect rasgueado, in which you strum the same chord using your index, middle, ring, and pinky fingers one after the other. Pretty hard to do, but it sounds just ... cool.

You know those kids who pretty much stay in their room all day playing guitar? Those antisocial, artistic types? I think I'm becoming one of them. I've been back and forth between hospitals and work and my friend's house all week, and all I could think of the whole time (well, aside from the drama at hand, of course) was how much I couldn't wait to practice my guitar. I can hardly wait until my next lesson, I totally enjoy my weekly hour with my instructor, and I've never been so into learning a musical instrument before. And I've tried my hand at a few - piano, violin, clarinet. The artist in me is happy that I've managed to maintain my interest level so far, but the cynic in me is just waiting for the moment when I get bored.

Although, as I've mentioned before, I loves me some flamenco, so I don't see me getting bored for a long while yet. Ole!

The only thing I want to come between us is latex.

Today’s Salon has an article discussing the recent mutated AIDS virus scare. Apparently doctors and public health advocates are trying to do some damage control, saying that it’s too soon to worry that this may become pandemic.

I don’t know about you, but HIV and AIDS is scary enough without having to worry about mutated viruses and everything else.

Protease inhibitors help slow the pace at which HIV becomes full-blown AIDS, often bringing the viral load to levels that are barely detectable. Advances in modern medicine – miracle drugs that help sustain the lives of people living with the virus – also bring along negative effects. People who engage in high-risk behaviours think they have some new kind of “insurance” against the virus, thinking they don’t have to make any changes in their lifestyles to protect themselves against contracting this disease, because if they catch it, hey – they can just pop a few pills and be alright. Right?

HELL no.

Here’s my problem with the messaging regarding this new mutation. And maybe I’m reading this the wrong way, but in light of recent evidence to the fact that the virus CAN and DOES mutate into forms that become resistant to existing treatment methods, shouldn’t this be a good time to remind people to be extra careful? Maybe a little epidemic scare is what people need to have a nice little “oh shit” moment and perhaps, you know, maybe ... use a condom or a clean needle or something? Protease inhibitors have given non-infected people (or maybe even infected, who knows, really) a sense of complacency. I think the correct message is that, until there’s a cure, one should never reach a level of complacency. Be on guard. Always.

One rationale behind the genetic mutation is that the guy in Manhattan in whom they discovered it is a meth user, and how use of crystal meth leads to unsafe sex and the spread of AIDS. Meth users, the article says, are more likely to miss their regular doses, which helps the virus mutate. Even meth users who take their meds regularly have a higher level of the virus in their body. But the article does go on to state that there is no medical link between meth and the virus advancement rate.

Maybe it is a mutation, maybe it’s not. Maybe the faux mutation is unique to this one individual. In any case, the messaging should be different. Basically, don’t do drugs, and practice safe sex should be the messaging here, instead of “don’t be alarmed, no mutation to see here, no siree” because people will return to that same level of complacency.

The article mentions something called a “booty bump,” in which the meth is mixed with water and administered rectally in order to get high. Who knew!

I swear, those drug addicts really do have quite the imaginations, don't they!

Feb 17, 2005

"One of you will be in, and one of you will be umlaut."

I’m sure the news that Negroponte being named as intelligence czar is worthy of some discussion and debate. I’ll leave that to everyone else out there in BlogLand to discuss.

Today, I’m here to talk about more important stuff, like “Project Runway,” and how much j’adore.

For those of you living in a cave – or those that don’t have Bravo – “Project Runway” is this reality show (what a novel concept!) that takes 12 aspiring designers (some fresh out of design school, some working in the business for a while), sticks them in the basement of the Parsons School of Design, throws wacky challenges at them (“make a dress out of materials you find at the grocery store!”), while Seal’s boo, Heidi Klum, kicks someone off every episode. Until only three remain. These designers then get the opportunity to show their collection at NY Fashion Week, and a winner gets chosen.

So last night, I caught the last 30 minutes of the “reunion episode,” in which all of the contestants come back and bitch and moan and talk about what went on behind the scenes, etc. Wendy Pepper was there, the backstabbing, opportunistic, and ambitious-in-an-annyoying-way designer, whom I liked at first, because I thought she was nurturing and cool in that let-me-hug-you-I’m-a-mom kinda way. They showed clips of Kara Saun getting in touch with her inner hoodrat sistafren, telling Wendy “I don’t like you” to her face. There were clips of Jay – whom I hated in the beginning because I thought he was just some catty, troublemaker queen who actually turned out to be hilarious and super talented – coddling a baby he made out of a stuffed pair of pantyhose, and of him performing his rendition of the Star Wars Kid.

I love this show because, aside from my interest in fashion, I love watching the artistic process at work more than anything else. These designers manage to create beautiful clothes under the strictest of deadlines, with the most meager budget available. They get to work in the Parsons School of Design, under the watchful eye of Tim, the dean, who provides well-placed nuggets of design advice. And unlike other reality shows that throw in a bunch of party-hearty twentysomethings in a flashy apartment, ply them with alcohol and hot tubs (“and from here, the laughs ensue!”) and videotape them waiting for something interesting to happen, Project Runway’s contestants are just more interesting, stylish, and talented. I mean, these people actually create what can be considered works of art (example: Austin’s cornhusk cocktail dress from Episode One).

They also create drama, and have the best one-liners (“You’re like a cockroach!”). Ever.

Next week is the two-hour finale, in which the three remaining designers show their collections at Fashion Week, and then the winner is selected. I can’t freakin’ wait.

Oh – and this Sunday, Bravo’s having a “Project Runway” marathon starting at 11 a.m. Guess what I’ll be doing.

I know, I’ll seek help after the season is over.

Feb 16, 2005

Lawd, help me please ...

Hershey's Kisses with caramel centers. Mini pretzels. I can't seem to get enough of them today.

Ugh. And yet, yum.

Life's pimpslap

If my posting is sporadic over the next few days, it's because a friend of mine has fallen ill, and I'm busy running around between hospitals and work and home and back to hospitals and work and home. I'm not going to discuss the details here, out of respect for his privacy and because the whole ordeal is bringing back painful memories of my own. Anyway ...

I'll try to post as regularly as I can, but in the meantime, check out the sucker punch The Governator's giving us. I don't know why people think showbiz folk make good politicians. Thanks to my good friend Ann for the link.

Anyway, talk amongst yourselves.

Feb 14, 2005

Hidey ho! Y'all smell so nice and flowery!

Looks like Britney and Paris are having a little squabble over their spoiled little foo-foo dogs. It's a battle of the "I had mine first" vs. "Mine is cuter."

Chile, please.

These bitches have way too much a) time and b) money on their hands to be wasting Internet bandwith over this. I mean, seriously. Who has time to fight over these stupid non-dogs when we have the Grammys to chat about?

At some point in my late 20's, I stopped watching awards shows because I just got disgusted by the predictability (all of them), "who-you-wearing?" materialism (Oscars), gratuitous shock value (MTV VMAs) and ersatz sentimentality (all of them). But hell, there was nothing else to do last night, so I put them on. Here are just some random musings:

  • Opening number: I think the highlight for me was the Gwen Stefani/Eve portion. I bet the kids these days don't know that the song she performed is a total re-make of "Rich Girl" by reggae dancehall mavens Michie One & Louchie Lou, which takes its "inspiration" from "Fiddler on the Roof." This makes me feel old. You know Topol's going crazy.
  • The end of the opening number - where they brought out all of the artists that performed in the "medley" to play their songs all together - was a complete flop. I mean, I get it - the whole idea was to show that hey, here we have these so-hot-right-now bands, from different genres, playing separately, now together, creating some new musical blend that is supposedly wonderful and kumbaya-ish. But I'm sorry. "In-the-round" singing went out with 5th-grade Outdoor Ed trips, alright? I'm 32 years old, bitches. I don't need to see this. Plus, it ended up being a cacophonous, jarring, and just plain stupid exercise that insulted my intelligence. Leave the mash-ups to the DJs.
  • Fuck the Black Eyed Peas. Seriously. And take that "Kids Incorporated" broad with you.
  • Melissa Etheridge looks great with a bald head. Plus - and I don't usually enjoy her - there was something somewhat touching to see her rock out like she did despite having just gone through chemo. Or am I just being sappy?
  • Joss Stone, I swear, she's so hot and so talented. I rushed out to iTunes to download and buy her first CD during her performance.
  • Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx's performance was pretty good too, but Jamie needs to stop with the Ray Charles stuff already, before people forget how funny and talented he actually is.
  • Kanye West/John Legend performance: These guys have their backgrounds in the Baptist church, as evidenced by their funeral-service-in-a-Baptist-church presentation. And I mean, I can respect this, because I bet I'd have more fun than we Catholics usually do, with all the singing and rhythm and clapping and "Lawd, help me pleases" and the "Testify's," but this Grammy performance became an almost comedic caricature of (what I assume to be a) typical Baptist church service. I'm all for having people understand where you come from, and I really appreciate you sharing that part of your life with me, but understand that people are going to NOT get it. Mainly Red staters. Okay, there, I said it.
  • Queen Latifah: PLEASE. Come back to hip hop. You used to be so cool. Now you're working that tired, old "Chicago" thing to death. C'mon, remember "UNITY?" That song was the shit. Bring it back.
  • And how come you look better in a strapless gown than I do? Your boobs are just as big as mine!
  • Jack White and Loretta Lynn. I understand he's idolized her and everything, and I guess they put out a country record together for which they won an award, but I don't know. There's some weird Diana Ross/Jacko thing going on there that I don't even want to explore. I hope it's not weird like that or anything, but anything's possible - I mean, Jack White *did* date Rene Zellweger. Ugh.
  • If I see or hear about the Ellen/Portia hook-up again, I swear, I'm going to have to boycott her. Ellen, that is.
  • J-Ho and Marc Anthony: Nobody cares, seriously.

Needless to say, I've learned my lesson. No more awards shows for me.

Feb 11, 2005

Friday night, just got paid ...

A few weeks ago, I received this 25-page pamphlet/booklet in the mail entitled "No mandate, no surrender," by some guy named Sam Webb. The cover of the pamphlet shows an artist's rendering of some folks raising up this white flag with a red "peace" symbol, in the style of that now-famous military image of troops raising the Stars and Stripes. (Thanks to Paul for the URL) Since it was a pretty substantial pamphlet/booklet, I thought I'd save it for later to read, if I was bored or something.

To be honest, when I first saw it, I had no idea what it was, or where it came from, so I really didn't give it much thought. One day - probably a week after throwing the pamphlet/booklet on my already-crowded desk - I looked on the inside cover and found out that Mr. Webb is the National Chairman of the Communist Party, USA.

Of course, I thought this was hilarious. I mean, I'm a registered Democrat, and I like to think of myself as somewhat of a progressive thinker, but how the hell did the Communist Party, USA get my address? Did that last pair of low-rise jeans I purchased online land me a spot on their affiliate sharing list or something?

Growing up, the resounding message has always been "Communists, bad." As a student, I never really understood why - I mean, in THEORY, Communism sounds great: collective ownership of property and organization of labor for the benefit of all members. Everyone's equal, right? Everyone is working for the common good of man, right? All good intentions to be sure, but History tells us the concept doesn't exactly work.

So - for curiosity's sake - I just gotta read this thing. I can't throw it away. I mean, how often does the Communist Party, USA send you stuff?

And then, this thought pops into my head: Does this mean I'm on some blacklist somewhere? If we were to have another McCarthy-esque run, would I be "outed" as a pinko?

Too funny.

... or is it?

Anyway, if this pamphlet/booklet turns out to be interesting reading, I'll share my thoughts on it here. I'm pretty sure it's some poorly written piece of propaganda though, and I'll end up throwing it in the garbage after reading three pages into it. We'll see.

Feb 10, 2005

Should I even be surprised?

The blogging community has already brought to light the fact that a non-journalist with the pseudonym "Jeff Gannon" has infiltrated the White House press corps. I read about it in a Salon.com article this morning.

As a recent recipient of a master's degree from a highly regarded journalism school, I am just floored by this. How can the right wing continuously complain of liberal bias, when time and again, there is rampant evidence (and here) of right-wing partisan hackery? What kills me is that Talon News - the publication Gannon was supposedly a reporter for - had previously been denied press credentials by Standing Committee of Correspondents. He had been denied because Gannon couldn't prove his "editorial independence" from GOPUSA, which owns Talon. But Gannon was still able to receive one-off press passes each day. Strange.

I remember hearing somewhere that reporters on the White House beat are the laziest, because they don't really have to do any real "reporting" - they just go to press conferences and briefings. After reading this, there's nothing in my mind that persuades me to think otherwise. The honest, ethical, journalistic community is having a hard enough time trying to maintain its credibility in light of media scandals such as this.

If one day we all woke up and found out it was some crazy Howard Stern prank, I swear to Jah, I still wouldn't laugh.

Feb 9, 2005

See, I was stylin' even way back in the day. Posted by Hello

Heh heh...

Most of the time, I don't like e-mailed jokes. Until now. Who cares if it's authentic. It's just funny as hell.

This is the actual radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. Radio conversation released by the chief of naval operations, 10-10-95.

CANADIANS: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.

AMERICANS: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collision.

CANADIANS: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.

AMERICANS: This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

CANADIANS: No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.

AMERICANS: This is the Aircraft Carrier US LINCOLN, the second largest ship in the United States Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied with three Destroyers, three Cruisers and numerous support vessels. I DEMAND that you change your course 15 degrees north. I say again, that's one-five degrees north, or
counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

CANADIANS: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

Don't denigrate, tolerate!

I’m not addicted to it or anything, but I check the “Rants & Raves” section of Craigslist several times a day when I’m at work. Most of the time, the rants go off on fat chicks and how they should be eradicated off the face of this earth, or come from insane bigots with fucked-up logic. A few times I’ve posted my two cents, mostly in response to people’s postings.

In any case, I continue to be disgusted at the majority of posts on here that display the ugliness of humanity. Let’s take one of the current arguments on the board: Women who call themselves “BBW” (big, beautiful woman). In a nutshell, people are just busting veins trying to justify how they think fat people are ugly, how dare they call themselves “beautiful,” how it’s their fault that they’re overweight, how they’re jealous of skinny people, how they should just shut their fat asses up and get to the gym, etc. Most of the time the “arguments” degenerate to adolescent name calling. Right now, posting disgusting pictures of super obese people is all the rage.

Now, I’m no model, that’s for sure. But I’m a human being, first and foremost. Yes, I think the term "BBW" is cheesy as hell. Yes, people should strive to be as healthy as they can be. Yes, I get disgusted when I see super obese people doing absolutely nothing to eat right, get exercise, just plain give up on themselves. However, for people who are trying to make a difference in their lives, reading shit like this is just plain disconcerting.

I’m trying to turn all this negativity into positivity, using it as a means by which I can bolster my own efforts to get in shape. It’s working sort of, since I pretty much am beginning to second-guess everything I put into my mouth. And I’ve been going to the gym on a regular basis. The last thing I need is hearing noise that makes me think it’s all an exercise in futility.

But it is also making me somewhat afraid and distrustful of people. I mean sure, people are nice to me face to face, but what are they thinking about me, really? And do I care? Really?

Let’s all take the high road and say that these people’s opinions don’t really matter. That they are superficial jerks. That they are bigots blinded by their rage. That they are hateful slime. That some "BBW" must have pissed them off in a past life or something. I, for one, know who my true friends are, and they enjoy me for the kind of person I am.


To some degree, yes. I care. I mean, who doesn’t want to be liked? Plus, one of these fuckers could be responsible for deciding on whether or not I get that promotion one day. Or whether or not I get the house I want to buy. Or whether or not I receive every opportunity available to me. Discrimination is discrimination.

I guess my point is – and I hope that I’m preaching to the choir – that we should be bridges, not walls. We shouldn’t judge. We should treat others the way we'd like to be treated, despite their behavior. If you don't find fat chicks attractive, all good. Just don't make them feel like shit because of it.

Feb 8, 2005

I'm an artist, and I'm sensitive about my shit.

After coming to the conclusion that I need to do something constructive with my life, I started taking guitar lessons last week. Flamenco guitar. I figured this would be a great way to tap into my artistic side, involve me at a deeper level with my fascination with Spain and all things Flamenco, and to finally learn how to play the guitar.

Now, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But man. I had no idea.

My fingertips hurt like a mutha. They feel like I slapped my fingertips on a sizzling-hot skillet, on purpose. Right now, they sort of tingle, but after a while of practicing my chords and some plucking, my fingers feel like they’re going to fall off.

And let’s not forget my funny guitar-playing posture. I am convinced that I am a freak of nature, born with abnormally short arms and fingers. As I reach to play the G7 chord, I find myself contorting my left arm into some overexaggerated undercurl in order to come close to playing the chord correctly.

But I am liking it so far. It’s only been a week, and I find myself holed up in my bedroom, practicing my six chords ever so diligently. If only I had the same approach to my many years of playing piano. My life would have been so different. Perhaps I would have gone to the University of the Pacific, majored in music and, by now, travelled the world performing in concert halls. Wearing formal dresses and shit.

Even now, after only three days, I’m already having daydreams of someday playing flamenco guitar on stage, maybe with two or three other guitarists, and a few dancers getting their stomp on. And I’d be all into it too, making those crazy guitar faces, feeling the music. I’d be the only woman flamenco guitarist in the circuit which would be somewhat of a highly marketable novelty, but I'd be respected because of my talent. Stunned audience members would whisper to each other,

"It's amazing - she's only been playing for a year, and she's already that good?"

I’m sure professional, female flamenco guitarists exist already, but this is my fantasy, dammit.

Anyway. I won't lie. Right now, I suck at the guitar. To the max. But I'll get better. Maybe not concert-hall good, but I-won't-be-embarassed-to-play-for-my-friends good.

And we're back!

Here I go again ... stay tuned for more rants and raves from yours truly.