Thursday, October 30, 2003


i'm going to be CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING GIRL for halloween. i have a whole superhero outfit planned. first i thought i'd go ahead and be PROBLEMATIC MAN! but, i mean, you know, i am a girl and all, and this isn't sager. kross might be PROBLEMATIC MAN! together, we'll be a team, fight injustice and randy goldstein wherever they may hide.

and if someone shows up in blackface to THIS YEAR's halloween party, PROBLEMATIC MAN! and I will handle it, the PROBLEMATIC! and CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING way.

point 1.: it's exciting that the campus has finally gotten itself into a controversy that has nothing to do with either issues of queer identity/representation or israel/palestine. it doesn't even matter what i think, particularly, although after reading various opinions, pro and con, including professor tim burke's, i still don't have a strong opinion. that's okay! this isn't queer issues! this isn't israel! i CAN be kinda here, kinda there, not totally invested. and what a relief that is.

point 2.: i have abscesses in the cornea of my left eye. no, i don't know what abscesses mean, or how to spell the word. i had to go to chester/crozer yesterday to have a cheerful doctor tell me to keep wearing my glasses at least until saturday and put in two kind of eye drops ten thousand times a day. he did say whether this will cure me; i can only assume it will.

meanwhile this has rather affected my week. constant headaches, in one instance exorcist-type projectile vomiting (green, no less!), & lots and lots of sleep because my vision in my dreams at least is not impaired. i always wonder in these situations whether i'm being punished for vanity, or pride, or one of the other seven deadly sins in which we jews do not believe.

in fact, i only believe in a punitive god when it seems i'm being punished. i try to take it meekly: i'm wearing the glasses and even somewhat getting used to them, though i once declared i would not leave the room in them. now i need only design a holloween costume around them ...

Monday, October 27, 2003

fish are jumping, and the cotton is high ...

is that how you spell cotton? oh well. we high-an-mighty authors do not have time to check piddling potential spelling errors.

my biggest coup of the weekend, easily, was finding one of my favorite cereals at the dollar store. it wasn't even expired! cereal = the best food you can eat straight out of the box.

the rest of the weekend was fun too. ben recounts it in detail. yes, once again, he came up this weekend, rather than even allow for the possibility that in my loneliness and frustration i run off with someone else. except, here at swarthmore, who would that be? my male friends are gay. my female friends are gay, and in relationships. attractive strangers don't exist here. you think you see one, and it turns out to be a tree.

the capitol steps, my first political/satirical influence, made that joke several times when they played here saturday evening. twelve years after i last saw them, i still found them funny. the packed auditorium seemed to agree with me, and seemed to appreciate, as i did, that they -- in particular one group member, the father of a swattie sophomore -- made such an effort to personalize the second act.
granted, that boiled down to, You all are ugly and have no sex and will never make money in the real world! You should have gone to Harvard! but, like, in a funny way.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

calendar girl

i am going to be swarthmore college's ms. december.

or rather, the woman in charge of the december parents' newsletter has decided to do a thing on me and my poitri. she's going to print "our visit," aka the t. s. eliot poem, as well as my poitical inspirations, plans for the future (ha), and a picture. the picture scares me. after all, ich ne look like this pas:

although wouldn't it be great if i did? i mean, wow.
an xiety

i've resisted this for some reason. now i give in. witness!: margaret cho's blog. she has a beautiful tribute to elliott smith, who everyone in america and his mother must realize recused himself yesterday.

when i was little, one of my good friends told me a story repeatedly about her aunt who stepped in front of a metro train. the story drove me crazy cuz the aunt's name seemed to be ester -- was my friend telling me this story to prepare me for my own future? was she dooming me?
turns out the aunt's name was hester, or hesty, or zesty, maybe, something different enuf from mere ester that i didn't need to worry.

that is my first association with suicide. i am very, very lucky.

lately i've been having dreams where i'm so tense i wake up scared i'll twist my neck again and have to drag my sheepish self back to the chiropractor. it doesn't make sense to me. in waking life, i'm calm -- honestly -- even happy. in dreams, the small stuff i don't usually sweat is all there to haunt me.

also, via the nytimes, another kind of coming out altogether. i guess i'm glad for these women, that they can be proud of themselves and flaunt their bodies, regardless of what methods they used to obtain them. the suicide rate for women with breast implants, however, is astronomical. reading the article, particularly the doctor's warning that your life may not change that much, i could understand why.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

politics. (sorry.)

i'm not disagreeing with krugman. he's a smart man, he knows his foreign policy, he knows his history. but ... well, let's back up. according to the globe and mail, mahathir refuses to apologize and insists that the world's reaction to his statements prove his point:
Mr. Mahathir has refused to apologize for his comments, insisting they were misinterpreted and taken out of context. In a newspaper interview published this morning in The Bangkok Post, he said reaction to his comments proves that Jews control the world. "In my speech I condemned all violence, even the suicide bombings," he said. "That was the whole tone of my speech, but they picked up one sentence where I said that the Jews control the world.

"Well, the reaction of the world shows they control the world."

He said his comments were only partly reported by the Western media because "many newspapers are owned by Jews".
this blog entry, from "edstrong: the only radical left," um, scares the shit out of me. it quotes some of the rest of mahathir's speech. this is the context out of which mahathir insists his "offensive" comments -- "the europeans killed 6 million jews out of 12 million, but today jews rule the world by proxy. they get others to fight and die for them" -- were taken:
[The Jews] survived 2000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking.
They invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others.

With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power.

We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains also.
so is this the part that received the standing ovation justifiably? the part that summons to fight "we" and "them," "them" being goddammit a tiny group of people to which i happen to belong? no offense to christians, but why do jews need to take the heat for bush's 99% christian administration and its policies? especially when jews vote, as a bloc, democratic?

back to the initial point: krugman also conflates america with the jews. that's my problem with his article (linked above). krugman sez,
And bear in mind that Mr. Mahathir's remarks were written before the world learned about the views of Lt. Gen. William "My God Is Bigger Than Yours" Boykin. By making it clear that he sees nothing wrong with giving an important post in the war on terror to someone who believes, and says openly, that Allah is a false idol � General Boykin denies that's what he meant, but his denial was implausible even by current standards � Donald Rumsfeld has gone a long way toward confirming the Muslim world's worst fears.
why is THAT confirming their worst fears? boykin = goykin. rumsfeld's goykin too. neither of them has anything to do w/ the rothschilds.

if mahathir is urging the muslim world to fight the west, even just by thinking, i'm part of the west & that would affect me. but if he is urging the muslim world to fight the jews, EVEN JUST BY THINKING, even just as a political tactic, as krugman suggests, that affects me more. krugman doesn't suggest a solution except, implicitly, that since jews are taking the heat for the evil of this administration, it will help to get a new one. if that's what it takes, i don't care who it is -- dean, clark, gep -- but for god's sake, go get 'em.

Monday, October 20, 2003

first drafts

protesting my screenwriting prof charging us students $15 per screenplay, i found this early copy of adaptation on script-o-rama. the changes are amazing. the love interest is totally different! susan orlean kills herself! you have to read it to believe it.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

coming out week

out of the closet on bush hating. an interesting, even-handed analysis of the bush-hating issue. it raises the important point that by constantly insulting bush's intelligence, critics come off as insulting the intelligence of the average american.

it'll be an even more important point during the ensuing election. berating bush for stupidity might very well alienate folks who don't find him stupid and enforce the opinion that bush-haters -- & leftists in general -- are a bunch of snobs.

on that note, the post also has a good article on our man clark. it seems like he could combine the admirable aspects of dean (courage, speaking-ability, directed rage) with legitimacy on national security / foreign policy issues and, crucially, height.

also, in case it needed stating, i officially no longer care about baseball. it was a fling; it ran its course. now onto a new fixation: um. i'm open to suggestion.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

from the bottom of this cub fan's broken heart

i kept having to get up and leave the room while watching the cubs get trampled, and i don't even care about baseball. i did think about sarah and that poor adorable woman with the bright orange hair and white cap who the cameras kept bouncing back to for reaction shots. at the end of the game, she cried.

yesterday was all heartbreak, wasn't it? the ferry accident, after which the captain slit his writs and shot himself twice but didn't manage to kill himself; the bomb in gaza which killed 3 american diplomats seeking palestianian student to whom to award fulbright grants.

well, i had a good day. not to be contrary. but after all, i woke up on the hardwood floor of my boyfriend's new unfurnished apartment. that's such a very bohemian start to things. later i enjoyed an autumnal dog walk (i've had few of those since sheba died), a dinner with friends, and an exciting sox/yankees game to tie the series again.

mom says, You know so much about baseball all of a sudden!
i say, I read about it on the internet.

Monday, October 13, 2003

angry white men

the bloom family did something remarkable this evening, something i can't remember ever doing before. we gathered around the tv, with dinner as a backdrop, to watch game 4 of the sox/yankees playoff. no, we don't care about baseball. and i could count the interesting things i have to say about baseball on the fingers of one hand, and have one finger left over to express how i feel about yankees.

after saturday's brawl, which my mother, grandmother and i heard about in the hotel room in rochester, and then after yesterday's game was rained out, i figured tensions must be at their peaks. hence, drama: and i like drama. so we turned on the game at the top of the 3rd and were riveted thereafter.

my parents make delightful color commentators. to wit:
my mother: oh! that was a bad swing!
my father: that was so low, he needed a shovel for that!
i wasn't too much better. mostly my reactions were limited to gutteral sounds or pointing out herpes sores on a pitcher's lip. or saying, didn't mussina use to play for the orioles?

in honor of columbus day this morning i read the columbus chapter in lies my teacher taught me. in honor of columbus day this evening i did my patriotic duty and cheered as the dogged underdogs won the game to tie the series.

Friday, October 10, 2003

mawwiage ... mawwiage is what bwings us
During Marriage Protection Week, I call on all Americans to join me in expressing support for the institution of marriage with all its benefits to our people, our culture, and our society. ... I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.
all together now folks: oh for god's sake. why does w. need to go out of his way to set aside a week for the devotion of marriage? our entire culture is built around marriage. only in a culture like this could a happily independent, citified, ambitious, east coast 21 year old like me have an anxiety dream about my theoretical wedding: how will i pick the right hoop skirt? what if i can't step to the beat down the aisle?

there's also just something amazing to me about a culture that sanctifies what is already santified, codifies what is already codified, and urges the culture as a whole to reaffirm the segment of the culture that is traditional, mainstream, and safe. one-man-one-woman unions are not in jeopardy, not of being beaten up on the street, not of expiring from lack of interest.
i mean, what's next, a week devoted to mayonase? to movies that end happily? to love? (wait, we have that already.) to disney world? to time-warner? to MONEY? ... wait that's really good. we should do that. & w., look!, february is wide open.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

reasons to clap, in case you needed one
  • i got a job! one on campus, not in the real world, but it bodes well. i get to work with books and history and elisabeth oppenh. and i may get to personally transcribe and edit a quaker's diary from 1770 - 1820!
  • week after week my column in der phoenix has been buried somewhere around the bottom of the 4th page of the living section. i kept meaning to query my editor about this but couldn't bring myself to on account of it seeming petty and self-involved. this week, without any particular change on my part, my article ("fans of fine food" ... again, not my title) appears as the lead. ich complain nicht.
  • i may have gotten a job offer for the real world as well. that one's more nebulous and can only be discussed once/if it's nailed down.
  • my lovely friend tamar is here, if not for much longer. she's the last of my good friends to come visit me here In My Element.
  • the weather!
  • the weather!
  • fall break!
  • the weather!

in honor of life seeming benevolent, i will help myself to a chai.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

traveling mercies

have i mentioned i think anne lamott should be canonized? "operating instructions" is the only -- and i mean ONLY -- piece of any kind of art -- EVER -- that made me feel it would maybe be okay to have a baby. at some point. eventually. plus it made me laugh, cry, and do the chicken dance: it must be good.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


i adore my film professor and i'm enjoying her class, but why she can't pick a happy movie for us to watch is beyond me. last week it was birth of a nation followed by within our gates. gates was considered so potentially-inflammatory in its time for its depiction of the lynching of innocents that it wasn't even released in america.

the week before we had the searchers. john ford + john wayne = john racist texas propoganda.

this week, the jazz singer followed immediately by the crowd. easily one of the most dismal message movies i've ever seen, the crowd tells the story of a man who desperately wants to be Somebody but must realizes he never will and become content with that.

from the first twenty minutes or so of the jazz singer i could have sworn i'd seen the thing before. then i realized i was thinking of the simpsons take off with krusty and his father. if you happened to find that portrayal stereotypical, you should see this one. still, the jazz singer's treatment of jews is nothing to the blackface routine.

together it's overwhelming. i think i need to crawl into bed, pretend schwartzenegger is not about to elected to office, & not think about movies for a while.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

irish baby-boomers

i appreciate it when random-seeming tidbits convene in a way that creates a coherent subject, something conducive to writing about. VIZ.,

first last night i read gail collins's stand up women, an article in the nytimes magazine about how new york city has no statues of actual women (you know, as opposed to hera and alice in wonderland). particularly noteworthy in this piece of course is her paragraph on victoria woodhull, my whoa-man.

this morning i read evil maureen dowd's article which unironically includes the phrase "feminism died in 1998." not acceptable, maureen. even aside from that criminally stupid declaration -- which puts feminism's life-or-death at the feet of icons gloria steinem and hilary clinton -- she bursts at the seams with in jokes, chatty cattiness, and exhausting pseudo-clever wordplays.
witness the following:
It was no surprise on Friday that Mr. S was backing off his promise to release those "Springtime for Hitler" outtakes from George Butler's 1977 documentary "Pumping Iron." No dummy, he knew years ago his "Nazi stuff" could be trouble. He bought up the incriminating evidence, 100 hours of histrionic interviews, for a mil, and worked with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, giving it a mil in guilt gilt.
she means "gelt" not "gilt" and anyway: ugh! can you even unearth her point under the blizzard of blather?

interestingly, once i started researching gail collins, i found this slate article comparing her and dowd. it seems to give collins the advantage but it also paints collins with the same brush that i use above on dowd: "This is not commentary, this is hyperactivity." why do both feel they need to move a mile a minute, whirlwind into each sentence a jab or a jibe? why, in essence, do they write like bloggers? unlike the famed skimmers of the internet, people who read the nytimes are supposed to have an attention span.

as an answer to my rhetorical question, slate also offers this: Oh no; It's a Girl! apparently men are more likely not to leave their wives if their wives, like good wives, produce blessed boy-children. it presupposes that divorce = men leaving their wives. i'm not an economist, i have no idea whether most divorces are in fact initiated by men. although the article does not address that point, it makes some interesting other ones, such as:
One of Dahl and Moretti's most striking bits of evidence comes from shotgun marriages. Take a typical unmarried couple who are expecting a child and have an ultrasound, which more often than not reveals the child's sex. It turns out that such couples are more likely to get married if the child is a boy.
however the article, while pretending to address the subject evenhandedly ("Dahl and Moretti wisely decline to speculate, and I will follow their example") seems to relish its conclusion: "Maybe boys are just more fun to have around."

Saturday, October 04, 2003


omg, wtf, my friend jamie just placed FIRST in her age group in the triatholon that she ran/swam/biked in the cold and rain. and she's taking care of my boy while he's homeless in CP so the dogs and drunken frat boys don't get him. jamie = my new hero.