Tuesday, August 30, 2005


This is just the way I'm wired. There is nothing cuter in the world to me than babies attempting to walk, fluffy dogs, and gays. My heart turns to jello pudding. This ad, therefore, despite being strangely off-topic and -- well, just plain strange, is utterly redeemed by its ending.

On the less bright side, though it makes me glad, it won't make GLAAD happy. I guess I can sympathize with their point: as always, white males forefront, possible dykes out of focus in the back. Still, I take my jello pudding moments where I can get them.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Math is hard. ... No, really

Try your hand at 8th grade math. If you make it past the first question without turning internet tail and running as fast as your mouse can carry you, you're a better mathman than I am. Hell, I'll go ahead and proclaim you a better mathman than I am right now cuz the odds are seriously in your favor. (Ask me what I got on the Math GREs! Actually, please don't. I almost committed ritual suicide right there at the computer screen as it blandly displayed my results.)

I feel like if I were a better feminist I wouldn't be so crappy at math, or vice versa. I feel like I'm letting the sisterhood down every time I get scared my a number -- or 2 numbers -- or worst of all having to DO SOMETHING with those numbers. Maybe a number killed my mother in a past life or something, I don't know.

I can still read though! And continuing on my Burning Through Books streak (and, though coincidentally, books about love triangles and Christianity) I finished The Queen's Fool yesterday. Historical fiction about the Tudor court at a time when it was having dynasty problems. Yum.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The inappropriate entry

This is going to be short, but it is also going to unsuitable reading material for adults of any relation to me. ADULTS: I'm not kidding. Read on at your peril.

First of all, did you know amazon.com sells sex toys? Fo shizzle! And get your credit card ready to call now, cuz they're just-fell-off-a-truck cheap. (Not used, though. Just fell-off-a-truck.)

Secondly, remember that story about the man who was fucked to death by a horse in Washington state? (ADULTS! I told you: PERIL.) Apparently its ripple effect has yet to subside. A Republican state senator has introduced legislation making beastiality officially illegal. Although such a law makes sense to me -- especially as a vegetarian -- I gotta wonder whether that horse fucking guy could have been deterred. I mean, someone whose need for horsecock fudgepacking is so strong that he's willing to die for it has gotta be bigger than the laws of man can contain. (ADULTS! What'd I say? Why are you still here? Mom? Mom? Did you think I was joking?)

Last but not least, I've gone from Anna Karenina to mysteries of small houses, towelhead, and now the end of the affair by one of my emerging-favorite authors, graham greene. A good multi-culti mix, although I didn't plan it that way. I've enjoyed/am enjoying all of the above, despite the (in my opinion) cop-out ending of Anna K. -- such a wonderfully nonjudgemental book, and then the moral, appearing in the final 50 pages, is, Got Religion? ugh! -- and the intensity of towelhead. In fact, I found the only way to get through the latter was to flip to the end of various sequences to assure myself they ended okay ("okay" being relative) before I could go back and read each through.

Okay, so that last part wasn't obscene. ... But it could have been. ... Horsecock pudgepacking! (Mom!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

before the fall

There are freshmen -- everywhere. On my way from the subway to my apartment alone there are two dorms and like salmon upstream go the new students up the stairs with their lamps and laptops and big comfy pillows. I kind of can't stand it. This is the first year I haven't moved anywhere, changed anything for the coming of fall. Fall will be here and it will mean nothing, for the first time since I was a toddler, except No More Summer.

Maybe that's why I've been in a little bit of a funk lately, because I'm running out of opportunity to be a child prodigy. (Memo to self: if you make it through college without being Discovered, that window may be officially closed.) A friend of mine from college who's been abroad for a year came home and, as we sat in Washington Square Park watching the little new-to-NYUers swarm by, he mulled over the dilemma that faces anyone interested in being an artist: will grad skool kill your ambition or refine it? Is it soul-killing or basic and vital to earn money? If you decide to be a teacher, are you giving up?

Yesterday at work when everything felt hopeless and pointless for a minute, I stepped outside for some fresh air. I collected myself and started back, and, while crossing 10th Avenue, I glanced at the window of a mud-splashed blue Ford Expedition and recognized the driver. He looked right back at me and looked like he was trying to place me too, although I had already placed him: I'd know Tony Soprano anywhere. I smiled slightly and nodded, the way I would to an acquaintance, and kept walking. I didn't even look back. But that was all I needed to make it through the rest of the day. Thanks, Tony!

I just hope I don't need too many celebrity sightings to make it through the fall.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A beautiful mind

It's sad to me that not only did this White House not nominate a woman to fill Sandra Day's seat, but it decided to nominate an anti-woman man. Sure, he's married to a feminist now, so Phillis Schlaffley, to name one notable perturbed by the recent relevations about the future justice, is mollified. Sure, he wrote some of his most objectionable opinions while still in school. I've said some pretty stupid things myself while in school and I wouldn't want them held against me. But at this point I won't feel comfortable -- and more importantly, I wouldn't want the country to feel comfortable -- with this man until he gives some kind of explanation. "I was being hit on the head, repeatedly" would do, for a start.

I hate who this man is turning out to be. I hate the Good Old Boy behind the shiny apple cheeks and how we're only supposed to see the apple cheeks and no further. We're supposed to think he's friendly. Look how friendly! He's smiling in all those pictures, isn't he? He's not all straight out of the 1950s, no! But let's someone get this man's opinion on Joe McCarthy, just to be safe, hmm?

I'm going to put on my own tin-foil hat for a second and speculate. Welcome to my version of The Seduction of John Roberts.

TIME: some years ago. PLACE: a home in Bethesda, MD.
JOHN (male, white, single, conservative, good-looking in an All-American, all-boys prep school sort of way) sits at his desk with a glass of scotch late one night, chuckling at a book.

JOHN (to himself): Oh, that Ann Coulter. What a sparkplug!

Bang! An APPARITION appears in a puff of black smoke right by JOHN. She is a severe, prim woman in a suit. JOHN screams.

JOHN: Who are you?
APPARITION: I'm here to help you, John. Don't be alarmed.

JOHN does his best to catch his breath. After a moment, he looks more closely at the APPARITION.

JOHN: You seem familiar ...
APPARITION: I should. I appear to Republicans fated to serve our glorious cause, good men who need a little help.
JOHN: No, I've seen you somewhere.
APPARITION: You've seen me everywhere, John. I've served as secretary to Oliver North, before that as secretary to the great president Richard Nixon ...
JOHN: Rosemary! Of course!
APPARITION: Aliases are necessary in my line of work, yes. But you can simply call me Guidance Counselor.
JOHN: Well -- okay, Guidance Counselor. What can I do for you?
APPARITION: You're not married, John.

JOHN's game face droops. He plays with his glass of scotch.

JOHN: I know. And Genesis says --
APPARITION: I'm not interested in Genesis. I'm interested in the future of the GOP. We're going to call on you, John. You're going to help our glorious cause cement control of all three branches of government. Oh, it's going to be brilliant, John. Just wait til you see it.
JOHN: When?
APPARITION: The year 2005. President Bush --
JOHN: Jeb?
APPARITION: No, the other brother, George.
JOHN: George? That monkey-faced alcoholic do-nothing?
APPARITION: Things are very different in the future, John. George has cleaned up and found God. He can't do anything about the monkey-face, it's true, but we all have our crosses.
JOHN: George ... huh. Who'd have guessed.
APPARITION: The problem is, however, that you're not married. And you've written a couple things that are going to make you seem a little insensitive to women's rights. You're going to take a beating.
JOHN: How bad will it be?
APPARITION: It'll chap your ass like a plague of boils, that's for damn sure, but you'll get through it, John, because I've got a plan. We're going to marry you off. Oh yes. And here's the stroke of genius: to a feminist.
APPARITION: I'm afraid there's no other way.
JOHN: Well, why don't I cut off my own johnson right now and save her the trouble?
APPARITION: Hear me out. She's not going to be just any feminist: she'll be a Feminist for Life.
JOHN: Feminist for the Life of Unmarried Career Women who want Vending Machine Abortions?
APPARITION: It's an anti-choice group but it's one the Left can't argue with. The f-word in the title acts as a sort of stun bomb on them. It's a terrific weapon: it leaves them gibbering and staggering about for hours.
JOHN: Okay, but she'll still cook for me and everything, right?
APPARITION: Everything.

JOHN reflects.

JOHN: I've always sort of wanted a wife. She'll be pretty? She has to be pretty. I can't stand ugly bitches.
APPARITION: Who can? Yes, she'll be pleasant-looking and well-groomed.
JOHN: Okay, then. I guess I can take this one for the team. Anything else?
APPARITION: Everything else, we'll take care of.

SHE moves to leave. JOHN stands up.

JOHN: I -- I want you to know I appreciate this, guidance counselor. I won't let you down.
APPARITION: Not me, John. Our glorious cause.
JOHN: Right.
APPARITION: Oh, also. There will be a senate page in 1999. You’ll meet at a dinner party at Grover Norquist’s and you’ll have … feelings. You must not act on them, John.
JOHN: Yes, ma'am.

He hangs his head. She tips his chin up with her finger.

APPARITION: No apologies, John. Remember: you're a Republican.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

emooooo, emoooooo

First: My sympathies for Cindy Sheehan decreased. Usually I hate Hitchens. In this case he happens to point out a relevant on-the-record quote. Boo, Ms. Sheehan! Boo to your tin foil hat propoganda!

Oh, but then: Wait a minute! Cindy insists those quotes are made up. She doesn't believe the elders of zion are behind her son's death and bush's war after all. Phew. We can be friends again, Cindy! Let's have fun. Except ... you're still scaring me a little. With the taxes stuff, you know? That was Thoreau's game. It's been done. Oh man, I'm so confused.

Let's let the kittens decide.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

file under: WHAT?

Supposedly, Nicole Kidman, who looks like Nicole Kidman, would prefer to look like me. This is like Madonna renaming herself "ester" folks -- okay, "esther" but close enough. Maybe I should abandon my femmey instincts towards self-critcism, accept the fact that Hollywood wants to recreate itself in my short, curvy, jewish image, move to the West Coast and let the money pour in. Then I could afford cable!

"How to be like me" lessons I could offer to the insatiable elite:
Withering glances and eye-rolling
Web surfing for eight hours a day -- not as easy as it sounds
Forget this boho shit and rock the pleather!
Tarot cards
What the Rabbis Say (about any given topic. Whatever I don't remember, I'll make up)
How to make things up but sound really convincing
What's Going on in Washington DC -- Who Are All Those Ugly People and What Do They Do Again?
Movies you've never heard of
Why the movies you know are sexist/racist/classist/objectionable and, now that you mention it, why you are too

Yes, that would be fun. The trick would be to capitalize on my inexplicable appeal before my fifteen minutes are up, then take my money back to NYC, buy real estate in the one up-and-coming neighborhood that's been curiously ignored until now, kick my heels up and eat Pirate's Booty on my ivy-drenched balcony until I'm financially set for life. Man, why didn't I realize getting rich would be this easy?

the other day, mr. ben and i were talking about starvation in niger and i was like, oh man, what's that word for when the belly distends and the limbs have wasted away? and mr. ben was like, starvation? and i was like, nooooo, there's a word, a medical word, i learned it in bio 2 with mr miller ...

for several days i've tried to remember, refusing to look it up. and THIS MORNING this word floated into my head: kwashiorkor. no way could that be it, i thought. kwashiorkor? but google affirmed me. i even spelled it right.

thanks, mr miller!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Adulterous Russian snakes!

coworker C: I need a book to read. A classic.
me: Well, i'm reading Anna Karenina ...
C: Is that about snakes?
me: *howling with laughter*
C: It's not like Sense and Sensibility right? I hate that shit ...
me: *still laughing*
C: *protesting* Well, maybe you have a funny accent and it sounded like "anacondra!"

Speaking of which, I am enjoying the book, which is not at all like Sense and Sensibility. Some mental block keeps me from "classics," generally. At least the Russian ones. I assume that the hordes of people over the centuries who have enjoyed these books have been masochists; that the people who labeled them "classics" in the first place were stern, humorless English professors who read everything, even magazines, with pens in hand.

Or quills.

But see, then I start reading one, like Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, and LOVE it. Read passages aloud to friends. Laugh when remembering bits and pieces. Then, when the next stout little paperback with the familiar name rolls around, I regard it with distrust all over again. Someday, perhaps a year from now!, I'll learn.