Friday, July 29, 2005

Weekend Plans

Well, the blog is all abuzz. Sort of. I finally found two topics that people want to comment on: Vanity Fair and stalkers. Although the tables have turned, and the stalker shall become the stalked.* Yes, we have found Modam. And, yes, we are really bored today.**

On to the weekend plans!

Friday Night
* Taking Rowen to the dog park instead of going to yoga because I suck and didn’t take her last night. She has been so neglected this summer, and last night she took it out on my flip flop. But she’s still the bestest dog ever.
* Going to a birthday party. Bearette24 had a post on her blog yesterday or the day before about being “dumped” by friends. This is a birthday party for a friend I’ve essentially been dumped by. She was my first friend in Austin, and that first lonely summer, we went out to dinner, took her dogs for walks, attended various events. And then, over the winter, she suddenly stopped returning my phone calls. I think she realized what I was starting to get an inkling of: We just didn’t have a whole lot in common. Unfortunately, she was one of two friends. And I dumped the other one after realizing that (a) our values were wildly divergent, (b) she didn’t respect me for who I am and spent much of our time together telling me who I should be, and (c) I never felt good about myself after spending time with her. Anyway, I’m not entirely sure why I’m invited to this party or why I’m going. And I’m very nervous about the Peach Brown Betty that I’m taking because it’s a new recipe and it doesn’t look anything like the Apple Brown Betty that my mother used to make.
* Coming home early from the party to start my DVD & magazine marathon.

Saturday & Sunday
For those just tuning in, I’m in a serious funk this week. So the plan for the weekend is a full schedule of wallowing in self-pity, watching DVDs (Entourage, Season 1, Disc 1; Buffy, Season 4---Riley!---Discs 1 and 2, maybe a couple of movies), reading magazines, and taking naps. I may also finally finish the book cozy and start a new project. Maybe if I get really ambitious, I’ll write a little. Or maybe not.

That’s my weekend. And none of you are invited. But let me know what you are up to. Or don’t.

* Unfortunately I think this is less a stalking than a wave from the crowd. A stalking is much too exciting to hope for in my life.

** And, no, I am not adopting the royal We; I have co-conspirators. They shall remain unnamed. It should also be noted that I am lazy and depressed, so not likely to follow through with any stalking plans.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Imagine There's a Blogger

You know how kids have imaginary friends? And Amy Sedaris has an imaginary boyfriend?

So I'm thinking that I need to create some imaginary readers for my blog.

I might get one of those imaginary boyfriends while I'm at it.


I am thisclose to canceling my Vanity Fair subscription. And finding out that ol' Graydon is putting celebunot Paris Hilton on the cover may be the proverbial straw.

Even though you know that, much like the handful of M&Ms that pushes me over the line from satiated to sick, I'm going to read the article on her. And I'll hate myself in the morning.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Sonic tots = heroin.

I'm Annoyed

Been a while since I've posted a list of things annoying me. I've been more into self-loathing lately. But here's what's stuck in my craw lately:

* Smokers (except Madaes)
* Cell phone users
* Cell phone users who drive
* Old people who drive
* Unnecessarily large vehicles
* Grown men with a 11-year-old sense of humor
* PDFs
* Too tight jeans. This could have something to do with a Vitamin G-heavy lunch.
* Skinny girls
* Pretty people
* Living on a budget
* Not having nap time at work

Pirates Suck

Firefly was a waste of Whedon.

Comic books are for illiterate five-year-olds.

Macs blow.

And space dolphins are way better than space monkeys.

Yay Me

I'm so proud of me. Yesterday I was in a serious funk. And my serious funks usually lead to serious bibliotherapy in the self-help section of the first bookstore to cross my path and a comfort-food binge involving large bags of M&Ms and cheesy pasta concoctions.

And I almost gave in. I found myself standing in the self-help section of a bookstore. Somehow, though, I had the strength to leave the store with only the latest issue of Bust. Then I drove right by all sources of comfort food. Admittedly, I had left over sweet-and-sour shrimp at home. That helped with the comfort level.

Still, good show by me.

Now if I could just get this evil cloud of doom to go away.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

But I Just Can't Help Myself


I've realized that I have just a little more than a year left of being a twenty-something. A third of my life is gone.

And I Was Doing So Well

Okay, not that well, but . . .

I'm going to the gym. I've switched to Coke Zero. Bad name, good taste. I've even cut down to three Starbucks trips a week. And eliminated the pound bag of M&Ms from my Friday night ritual.

But today I'm sunk in a funk and struggling to get myself through to 4.30 and unable to focus on anything other than the contents of the vending machine. I've already given in to a Snickers bar craving. But I want more.

I need help.

And I should definitely not kill time by browsing the Barnes & Noble Web site (which, you know, is exactly what I'm about to do, credit cards be darned).

Monday, July 25, 2005

But . . .

I got a lot left to go.

Go here to make your own.

Check Me Out

I've been a lot of places.

So Tempting

So while trying to look someone up on, I discovered this.

It's so tempting to put in a couple of names. But is my future happiness worth $49.95?


So I had this idea. Bush is systematically taking apart the Constitution. So far he's stripped out the checks and balances between the three branches, usurped Congress's power, and dismantled the first and tenth amendments. The Supreme Court took care of the fourth amendment.

My idea is for the people to put the Constitution back together. Literally. Through arts and crafts.

The basic plan is this: Each word of the preamble of the Constitution would be made by different people in different ways---cross-stiched, knit, embroidered, painted, quilted, whatever---anything that could be sewn together. The individual words would then be gathered and stitched back together. If a lot of people signed on, we could have multiple versions of each word, stitch those together into a panel and then attach the word panels to each other. The final product would then somehow be presented. This last part would depend on how many people participated. If we only get a few people, then we would just mail it to the White House. If we get a lot, we could probably get some Democratic members of Congress to help put together a press conference.

Ideally, I'd like to have the final product finished in time for the State of the Union (mid-January).

So I'm posting this here for two reasons:
1. To get your opinion on the basic plan.
2. To get your ideas on how I could spread the word about this and get people to participate.

What do you think?

I Hate Cell Phones

Or, more accurately, I hate cell phone users.

Cell phones themselves have their place. I have one. When I first moved to Austin, I was subletting apartments for 2-3 months a time. It made more sense to get a mobile phone than to pay the phone company's set up charge every couple of months. And, as a woman, I like the security of having a phone should I ever have car trouble or get into a situation where I need help RIGHT NOW.

I don't like cell phone users who drive 35 mph in a 55 mph zone because they are on the phone. Or who can't bother to check to see if I'm in the next lane before they attempt to change lanes because to do so might mean pausing in their oh-so-important conversation.

Because I'm nosy to a high degree, I kind of get a kick out of the people who share their lives in public over the phone. I sometimes take notes. But I'm kind of freaked out by people who are seemingly having conversations with themselves. I like to be able to see a phone connected to the ear.

I bring this up because of a funny/annoying incident at the dog park. A middle-age woman was having a very animated conversation on her cell phone about the new Harry Potter book. What was funny was that a middle-age woman was so animated about a children's book. What was annoying was that she was describing in detail what her dog was doing in the park---rather than actually playing with her dog. Fortunately, her dog was pleasant. Had it been troublesome, my dog's toy may have been "accidentally" thrown in the vicinity of her head. Which isn't actually much of a threat because my idea of getting something "in the vicinity" is in the same zip code. And, well, I throw like a really wimpy girl.

Also fortunate is that I don't care about Harry Potter and no children were in the area. Because the woman repeatedly and very loudly revealed who kicks it in the book. WTH? Whatever.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Weekend Plans

Because we all know I’m not above begging for attention: Would it kill ya’ll to post a comment?

Friday Night
* Ditching work early---this is why I never have vacation days---to take Rowen to the dog park. I had promised her that we would go last night, but my cupcake experiment went very awry and I spent the whole evening on that instead. So Rowen spent the whole evening positioning herself a maximum of six inches from me to induce the maximum amount of guilt.
* Going with Sandy to hear Gina Chavez sing at La Tazza Fresca (37th & Guadalupe, 9 p.m.).
* Still not watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3, Disc 4 because Netflix still sucks. I want to write them a nastygram, but my nastygrams are never very effective and then I spend days feeling guilty about sending mean notes. Still . . .

* Taking Rowen to the dog park. Again. She’s really good at the guilt.
* Reading. I’m hooked on Practical Demonkeeping sort of like I was with 24. As I’m reading it, I keep thinking, This is so bad. And you can’t possibly write “Help! I’m trapped in supermarket hell” across the surface of a jar of peanut butter. It won’t fit. But at the end of each chapter, I want to read the next.*
* Craft supply shopping. A new paycheck means a trip to Hobby Lobby. I may also hit one of the better art supply stores.
* Watching Life and Debt.
* Cleaning my apartment. I have more clothes piled on top of my dresser than in it. And my kitchen is on the verge of being condemned.

* Taking Rowen to the dog park. Really, really good at it.
* Going to the gym to work off the cupcakes from last night and today. I don’t even like them that much. But I love all the icing I heaped on top.
* Writing. I have an op-ed submission due August 1. I’ve known about it for, um, two months. So of course I waited until now to start working on it. I also have one due on August 10 that I should start on. Unfortunately, neither of these are paid gigs. But a clip is a clip, right?
* Meeting the Meet In Austin folks for the Austin Symphony in the Park. If it isn’t raining. Or a steam bath. Or if I’m not too tired/lazy/depressed. So, yeah, probably not.

Okay, back to chillin' with John Denver and pondering my lunch options. Sonic or Dog Almighty?

*Catywumpus. Hee! Somehow, I don't think that word will show up on the GRE, though.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bad Mom!

My neighbor has a dog named Rowan. Which has occassionally caused some confusion. The other night my Rowen and I saw them out playing games and working on Rowan's obedience training. Needless to say, my Rowen was very jealous and proceeded to do a crazy dance while whining about how we never do anything together anymore. Which is kind of true.

That Rowan has a blog.

I started a page on Dogster for my dog. And that's about all I've done. I also bought a bunch of stuff to make a scrapbook for my dog. I got as far as stenciling the title on it.

I am such a bad mother.


Why do I even bother reading Lewis Lapham? I never understand him.*

From his "Notebook" column in the August 2005 Harper's:

"The infotainment to which we've become accustomed over the last thirty years, for the most part made with the machinery of the electronic media, replaces narrative with montage, substitutes for history the telling of fairy tales, grants authority to the actor, not the act. The country swarms with whistleblowers willing to provide particulars about any number of high government crimes and misdemeanors---whistles blowing every hour on the hour somewhere in the blogosphere, secrets revealed on every week's best-seller list---but who among the truth-tellers can compete for attention against the rumors of Brad Pitt's once and future marriages, or with the news just in that Russell Crowe has thrown a telephone at the concierge in a New York City hotel?"

Somehow this relates to Rip Van Winkle and Deep Throat. I lost the thread way before this paragraph.

It reads like one of the test paragraphs we used to have in my editing classes---the ones that we had to sort through for the real meaning and rewrite into intelligible English. Or Ted Casablanca's Blind Items. I can never figure those out, either.

So, again, I say, "Huh?"

*I realize that L'il E and Chamizo are infinitely more intelligent than I and therefore not only will understand Lapham but also will scorn me for not appreciating Lapham's erudite and sophisticated prose. To which I reply, "Bite me."

I am not a fashionista.

Not at all. So I'm currently very glad to be working in a super casual office in Austin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Flip Flop in the White House

Gasp! Say it isn't so!

So the president is ramming his Supreme Court nominee down the nation's throat. He also may have been involved in leaking the identity of an undercover CIA operative. He and his party probably rigged the 2004 election and definitely engaged in voter intimidation. He definitely lied to Congress. He ignored intelligence that may have prevented the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. He's fucked our children, the economy, and the Constitution.

But all that pales in comparison to this: Some college athletes wore flip flops to the White House.

The media isn't even trying to pretend anymore like they're still interested in real news.

My Favorite Word

I can't really pick a favorite. I love so many. Except for ones with lots of s's---those tend to trip me up. And I'm still scarred from having a lisp as a child (and how cruel is it to name a problem with pronouncing s's with a word that has an s).

I also don't like invigilate, draconian, nihilism, and bonk.

But I'm loving My Favorite Word. Because I can procrastinate on work and study for my GREs at the same time.

So what words don't you like?

Living on the Hellmouth

So I stopped by my mailbox yesterday and peeked in and saw the tell-tale red envelope that means I've received a DVD from Netflix. Yay! Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3, Disc 4 had finally arrived! Woohoo!

I started up the computer and settled in with my dinner (salad from Whole Foods) for an evening in the Whedonverse. But upon opening the envelope: No Buffy! It was the other DVD I had ordered: Life and Debt, a look at the effects of globalization on the poor in Jamaica. Which will make for an interesting evening sometime soon. But not really what I was in the mood for last night.

I've been waiting for the Buffy DVD for nearly a month now. I've even reported it missing and Netflix supposedly sent a replacement---and supposedly sent it even before Life and Debt.

I'm beginning to think that my mailbox is a portal to the hellmouth.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My Birthday!

Is in 36 days. Which still gives you plenty of shopping time.

But I'll make it easy on you: has a new Team Prozac t-shirt. And I plan to medium again someday. In Spring Green. Jr B.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Then Again

Sometimes drugs are just bad. Very, very bad.

On the Pile

Been a while since I've done a reading round up. Probably because I've spent most of my waking hours watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Arrested Development on DVD. And because I've significantly reduced the number of hours that I spend awake.

That has not stopped me, however, from acquiring more and more books---some borrowed, some bought. So hum the Reading Rainbow theme to yourself---or outloud, why not?---while you imagine LeVar Burton beating the stuffing out of Dennis Hastert.

Meanwhile, I'll be reading the following

Democracy Matters by Cornel West
Cornel West is brilliant. This book is brilliant. Why it isn't being quoted far and wide and made required reading for every American is beyond me. If you haven't read it, put down the mouse, stop humming the song, and get your ass to a bookstore to get a copy. And as Madaes pointed out, when I say "ass," I mean business.

If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit by Brenda Ueland
I'm not as in love with this book as I was during the first half of it. And I don't think it is going to change my life. But it does have one of my favorite quotes about writing:

"You should feel, when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten---happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another."

The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
Yeah, so I'm not so good at art. But just looking at the picture of the Dalai Lama on the cover makes me a little happier.

Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore
Yes, Eric, I'm finally getting around to reading this. It's been so long, you've probably forgotten that you lent it to me. I'm three chapters in and so far, I'm meh. But I loved Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, so I'm willing to give this one some time.

Virginia Quarterly Review
I broke my promise about not going into bookstores this weekend. I also broke my promise not to give up on the GREs. But I kept the one about not going on a date with Michael Schaub or Marc Blucas. Anyway, so I bought VQR (and a few paper craft magazines to give me some ideas for more crafts I can't afford). It's got Isabelle Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Sven Birkert, among others.

From NA to OA

Sometimes, you just have to say yes to drugs.

And I realize that I'm the last person who should be making fat jokes, but well, I'm not that far gone---yet---and I know that I need to wear a bra.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Today: Plamegate. Tomorrow: Plameout.

So the navel-gazing media columnists have themselves atwitter with the latest developments in the Plame leak, namely the speculation that if Rove was the source, did the president know?

Given the press's track record with Bush-related scandals (lying to Congress and the United Nations about proof of WMD, falsifying his National Guard records, failing to follow up on crucial intelligence related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, stealing the election, etc.), I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this story will die within a week. Bush has worked some sort of hypno-mojo on the press that has rendered them incapable of focusing on an anti-Bush story for more than 48 hours.

And even the media did pull their heads out of McClellan's ass and we did find a preponderance of evidence that Bush either ordered or knew of a leak of a CIA operative's identity, what can we do about it? Both chambers of Congress are dominated by Republicans, many of whom owe their seats to the Bush fundraising behemoth. The Supreme Court doesn't have any jurisdiction in this, and even if it did, with O'Connor leaving, we'll have a conservative-stacked court.

I hate to sound fatalistic (although I do love being pessimistic), but I really don't see any point to getting excited about this. Our options as I see them:

1. Wait out Bush and focus on (a) setting a Democratic agenda that goes beyond being anti-Bush and (b) finding a viable Democratic candidate.
2. Take down the Republican members of Congress who are shielding the Administration from accountability.
3. Move to Canada.

Weekend Unplans

Because I don’t actually have any good plans for this weekend---or any plans at all---how about a list of what I’m not going to do:

* I am not going to buy, read, or in any way partake in the release of the new Harry Potter book. Unless avoiding bookstores at all costs until Sunday counts as “partaking.” I'm not even going to link the title in this post. I have nothing against the little wizard, but at this point, it’s become a source of pride to be one of the few to have never read any of the Potter books. Sort of like my pride in having not seen the complete Star Wars series. (I did give in to the hype to see the first in the second series---I can never remember the name of it---and I was coerced into watching the one with the little furry guys---can’t remember their name, either---but really only saw a small part of it. Ewoks! That’s what the furry guys are called.) I may be missing something good or interesting, but I’m willing to live with that.

* I am not going on any dates. Especially with Michael Schaub or Marc Blucas. Because despite my Google stalking of them, they don’t know I exist. And I haven’t found their home addresses. Yet.

* I am not writing the Great American Novel. I may however work on my own novel or on one or more of the op-eds I need to get done by the end of the month.

* I am not going anywhere near the following establishments: Barnes & Noble, Bookpeople, Borders, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s Crafts, Old Navy, or any other place that will accept small plastic rectangles in exchange for goods.

* I am not giving up on the GREs.

* I am not watching Buffy, Season 3, Disc 4. Because Netflix and the postal system both suck. I may watch the rest of Arrested Development’s first season. Why didn’t anyone tell me how absolutely funny that show is? Okay, so every critic in the United States has been saying it. But still. So funny.

* I am not listening to any music from Napster, because I’ve discovered that I have the wrong type of MP3 player. And, of course, in the six months since I bought my player, the price of the good players has done down from three gazillion dollars to closer to my price range (although $200 is still more than I would pay for an itty bitty music player).

* I am not going to do anything that will get me hospitalized, pregnant, arrested, or dead. Because I am boooooring.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I'm a Superhero!

Stealing again from Bearette24 (who stole from someone else).

Your Superhero Identity For Today Is

Name: Scary Flame
Secret Identity: Lisa
Special Power: Bionic Blast
Transportation: Electric Rollerblades
Weapon: Dimensional Grenade
Costume: Carbonite Helmet
Sidekick: Samwise
Nemesis: Marvin the Puzzler
Tragic Flaw: Narcolepsy
Favorite Food: French Fries

I guess it's better than being Scary Spice. And I am tired. And I do have a craving for tots, which are kind of like fries, but better. But I love that Samwise is my sidekick, because he's my favorite hobbit.

So who are you today?

Emmy Nominees Announced

And could they be any more boring? About the only exciting nominee is Antiques Roadshow for Best Reality Program. I really want the Roadshow to stomp all over Queer Eye and Project Greenlight.

If you need a dose of duh today, you can see the nominees here (choose from pull down menus).

More Republican Values

I have many warm fuzzies for DC. Really. I've even given serious thought in the past few weeks to moving back there. I miss the Smithsonian, the Mall, public transportation. Where else can homeless vets and upscale queens get along in semi-perfect tolerance?

But even I'm not surprised that DC is running a close second to Detroit as the world's least sexy city.

Once again, I find myself saying, Thank God for Detroit.*

*This is usually in reference to baseball. As long as there's Detroit, Baltimore won't be the worst team in the AL.

Well, so . . .

I feel a little bad about what I said about Brad Pitt. Turns out that he has viral meningitis. Which is kind of nasty.

Although I know from experience that when I go to a doctor and say that I'm not feeling well and have returned from Africa, I get a whole different response. One that involves, "Go home. See if your symptoms get worse. We'll run a few outpatient tests."

Then again, maybe my doctor just sucks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Dead Germans

Which Dead German Composer Are You?

I'm Franz Schubert*:

"Franz Schubert is, without a doubt, the leader of the lieder. He composed over 600 songs in his lifetime, though he only lived into his early thirties. He did a good deal of chamber music and symphonic writing as well, though a good portion of this is incomplete. Schubert was rather secretive in his lifestyle and about his compositional processes; he was shy to show anything he didn't himself enjoy. Fortunately, he along with everyone else found his own melodies to be beautiful."

The quiz is fun, even if I don't know my musical periods (how come 80s wasn't a choice?).

Thanks to Bearette24 for the link. And for reading. For now. Ethan disappeared. I chased off Joe. And the Pall has been cast on the others. Be warned, Bearette24!

*And really desperate for something---anything---to post.


I'm not a Harry hater; I just don't care so much. But I'm loving the flame thrower.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

When You Are A Celebrity

So what do you do when you have flu-like symptoms?

Me, I usually hunker down for a day off work with some DVDs and a fluffy pillow. I might drag myself out to the grocery store to stock up on OJ, soup, and crackers. If I'm bleeding out the eyes, I'll call my doctor and get an appointment a year from November.

But I'm not Brad Pitt.

Let the Revolution Begin!

You can take away my first amendment rights, my right to choose, and my vote. But don't you touch Reading Rainbow!

This is one step too far. The revolution must begin! And it should involve masses of crying school children gathered on the streets of DC.

Who's with me?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Weekend Plans

So this week, just for kicks, I decided to pay my bills before I went to the craft store. Which means that I’m actually paying all my bills---and most of them on time, for once---but I won’t be going to the craft store. Not such a bad thing. I won’t be able to do much journal making for a couple of weeks, but I have plenty of other projects to work on. I went on one of my cleaning fits last weekend and organized all my craft stuff and found a bunch of craft kits and yarn and whatnot for projects that I’ve meant to do, some of which I’ve carted through more than one continent.

Friday Night
* Ditching work as early as possible to take the puppy to the dog park. Hoping that last night’s rain replenished the creek a little bit. Rowen is the only dog I’ve ever known to like thunderstorms. Rain, she of course loves, because it’s just a puddle coming from the other direction. But she’s also fascinated by the thunder and lightning. She’ll whine and pout until I take her outside and then just stand there. In an open field. Near wires. And a metal fence.
* Yoga with Naomi.
* DVDs and crafty stuff. Please, please let the Buffy DVD be in the mail today! A combination of slowness at Netflix and the post office has seriously hindered my addiction.

* An early walk with Rowen. We both have cabin fever in a bad way, so I might venture out to one of the state parks.
* Housecleaning.
* Holing up inside the apartment so I can (a) stay cool and (b) not spend any money.
* BUFFY SING-ALONG! Meeting some folks from Meet in Austin to go to the Buffy Sing-Along at the Alamo Drafthouse. I’m not sure which is more exciting---going to the sing-along or actually leaving the apartment on a Saturday night. Bonus: The warm-up is a Riley episode!

* Another early walk with Rowen.
* Gym for some sort of exercise. I’ve finally figured out some of the resistance machines, so I’m trying to incorporate more of those. And I still want to try the Latin Spice class.
* Taking a GRE practice exam.
* More hanging out at home, trying not to spend any money. I have a huge pile of reading and that pile o’ crafts. So I should have plenty to keep me busy.

So, basically the same as usual. Sigh.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

God Bless the English

Because they know how not to let the bastards get them down.

Two dispatches (via Bookslut): David Plotz and Warren Ellis.

It's a stark contrast to the reaction on Sept. 11. At the time, I was living about one mile from the Pentagon, so the attacks hit close to home, both literally and emotionally. And I remember the absolute hysteria in the hours and days after the attacks. Our lives came to a standstill. Our government vowed revenge, starting on the war path before we even had a clear idea of who was responsible.

Which made the terrorists' victory that much more sweet. Not only had they killed several thousand people in a single day, but also they had permanently changed the fabric of our lives. They stopped our air traffic, closed down our offices, and rendered us temporarily helpless.

Londoners know better. Whether it's because they are more accustomed to bombs and threats, because their history assures them that the bad times will come and Britannica will survive, or because they simply have a more stoic disposition, they are not rushing to the streets. Tony Blair is not declaring war. Except for a disruption in public transportation, life is mostly going on as usual. They aren't letting the terrorists win.

God bless 'em.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

NeoConservatives 78, Democracy 0

Actually, I may have lowballed the neoconservatives' score.

But democracy has taken yet another hit.

I Hate Martha Stewart

I used to hate Martha Stewart because she made her fortune by perpetuating an impossible image of the "woman who has it all" and then convincing women that they were inadequate if they didn't live up to this image. Nevermind that ol' Martha achieved the image with the help of a large staff and a lot of rehearsal, retakes, and touch ups.

But now, I actually hate her more. Because she is the worst example of celebrity entitlement and detachment from the real world.

Martha was recently released from prison after being convicted for her part in some illegal stock trades (I don't know the technical term for her charges). The poor dear had to spend five months in a detention facility known as "Camp Cupcake" because it's conditions were so cushy. No, being denied one's freedom isn't a whole lot of fun, but her punishment could have been a lot worse.

Now, she has five months of house "arrest." I use the quotation marks because during her so-called detention, she's allowed to work 48 hours a week and travel when "necessary" for business (which apparently includes a multitude of social and publicity events).

I'll concede, again, that any loss of freedom sucks. But she did commit a crime, and her "punishment" hardly meets the definition. Yet, Martha has the gall to complain about her "hideous" house arrest and unfair treatment. Poor dear. She has to stay in her multimillion dollar mansion being pampered by her staff and can only go to the Hamptons if her lawyers can invent a reason loosely tied to work. Whatever.

But Martha makes herself even less sympathetic by claiming that she's being treated more harshly because she's in the public eye. Again, I say: Whatever. To the harsh part. I do agree that she's being treated differently because she's a celebrity.

* If Martha wasn't a celebrity, she wouldn't have been in this pickle to begin with because most of us can't afford high-priced stockbrokers who call us to let us in on insider-trading secrets. Most of us are just another account number to our brokers. If we lose our life savings, well, it sucks to be us.
* If Martha wasn't a celebrity, she wouldn't have been able to hire a top-notch legal team, so she probably would have been convicted much quicker, would have received a longer sentence, and would have been sent to a less-comfortable prison.
* If Martha wasn't a celebrity, she wouldn't have been able to continue her business while she was in prison. She would have lost her job. Her legal fees would have drained her bank account. She would have come out of prison broke and unemployed.
* If Martha wasn't a celebrity, she wouldn't be working 48 hours a week while under house arrest. Again, she wouldn't have the legal team to negotiate such favorable terms. But, also, she wouldn't have kept her job. The average person coming out of prison has lost his or her job and reputation. Most people struggle to find work after a prison term; they don't return to heading a multibillion dollar company.
* If Martha wasn't a celebrity, she certainly wouldn't be allowed to forgo house arrest to attend parties in the Hamptons or cover shoots for Vanity Fair. If she was the average Jane, she'd be in violation of her house arrest and sent back to prison.
* If Martha wasn't a celebrity, she wouldn't be spending her house arrest time in a luxurious mansion with a full house staff. She probably would have lost her house to foreclosure while she was in prison. If she wasn't placed in a group home for parolees, she would struggle to find any sort of housing because of her record and her inability to get a decent a job.
* If Martha wasn't a celebrity, she would struggle to rebuild her reputation and her life. She wouldn't be handed a television show, magazine covers, and the reins to the company. She wouldn't be welcomed back into society with open arms and a kid gloves.

Martha Stewart needs to quit her griping and thank the heavens that she is a celebrity. 'Cause I don't think she'd last a minute in the real world.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

It's Gonna Be a Long Week

When I started the previous post, I really did have a point. But then I forgot what it was. By that time, though, I'd spent way too much time looking up names and titles on IMDB, so I posted it anyway.

I apologize.

Why Do I Bother?

Some films that actually have deals:

* A cross between Cheaper by the Dozen and The Pacifier.

Were either of these movies really necessary to begin with? Nevermind that CBTD had NOTHING to do with the original story. Don't you love when movies take the title of a classic and respected work but completely disregard the actual work? See also Sleepy Hollow.

* A younger woman and an older man fall in love, but everybody in their respective worlds tries to break them up, since no one believes they're sincere.

Working Title: The TomKat Career Demolition Derby.

* A high school outsider is invited to join the cheerleading squad only to find out the girls are a pack of vampires.

If Joss Whedon isn't writing it, I ain't seeing it.

* An international assassin known, as Agent 47, works for a mysterious organization dubbed the Agency.

Vin Diesel is attached. Are we surprised?

* The families of the bride and groom take on a competition in a variety of physical and mental games to determine which last name the couple will take.

Even worse: Based on the concept behind Garrity's [the author] upcoming real-life wedding.

These deals depress me for two reasons:
* I've spent the past three years trying to get out a half-way decent story that will probably never see the light of day while people are getting six- and seven-figure deals for rubbish.
* Even if I did give in to the temptation to hack out any old thing just to have a finished script, I still wouldn't get the six- or seven-figure deal.

So either way I'd be a bitter wannabe writer with an unsold script.

End of the Innocence

What do you do when you see a side of someone you never expected to see or would have thought to existed? What do you do when someone you love does something just horrible and cruel?

On Sunday morning, Rowen ate a butterfly. Not a little moth. A big, beautiful butterfly. One moment I was enjoying a sunny moment with my perfect puppy, the next I was watching a vicious killing.

I can't look at Rowen in the same way anymore. She's no longer my sweet, happy, slightly crazy schmoopy face; she's Rowen, the Butterfly Slayer.

And although I certainly didn't raise her to be this way, it may be my fault. I'm worried that I'm leaving the thermostat set too high during the day and she's sustained brain damage that makes her think she's a cat.

Because only a cat could be so evil as to kill a butterfly.


Tom, we get it. You're in love. You're a true believer. You know about psychology. And you are bat-shit crazy. But your public self-destruction has gone from amusing to fascinating to disturbing to just plain boring.

Katie's movie is out and doing fine. You're movie is out and doing great. Can we stop the crazy parade now?

Fourth of July Postscript

My latest letter to the editor didn't get published, so I'm posting it here for you to peruse at your leisure:

For most of us, the fourth of July means a day off work, a barbeque or a picnic, fireworks at night. We may feel some pride or gratitude for living in a free and prosperous country, but like most holidays, the celebration of the day has overtaken the meaning of it.

This year, with our constitutional and civil rights threatened by all three branches of the federal government, let’s take some time to practice the independence that we are celebrating.

* Read the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. These are the principles on which this country was founded.
* Write or call your elected officials. We can only be a government of the people, by the people if the people are participating.
* Contact an advocacy organization that interests you and get involved. Sign a petition. Write a letter to the editor. Attend a rally. The more you exercise your First Amendment rights, the stronger those rights will be.
* Read a controversial or banned book, preferably one borrowed from the public library. Free access to knowledge and ideas is essential for a healthy democracy.
* Watch an independent film, go to an art exhibit, attend the community theater, or listen to local musicians. Two hallmarks of free expression are that it is diverse and it is open to everyone.
* Learn more about threats to our constitutional and civil rights. The Web sites of the American Library Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Common Dreams are a good place to start.
* Visit the Web sites of Amnesty International, the American Friends Service Committee, or international aid organizations. Every day, people are subjected to violence and imprisonment for seeking the very freedoms we take for granted.

Then, having done your part to fight for our ongoing independence, have a barbeque and enjoy the fireworks.

I'm a Feminist

Sheila Jeffreys is just seriously cracked.

Don't go messing with my right to wear lip gloss when I vote.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Weekend Plans: Holiday Edition

A 3 Day Weekend! Woohoo!

Friday Night
How about a 3.5 day weekend? I’m leaving work as early as possible to take the puppy to the dog park for playtime and apologies. I haven’t been in the best of moods for the past two days and have repeatedly told my perfect puppy to go away. So she will get much love---and possibly new toys---this weekend.

Apres-park: Possibly yoga. Although I’m not sure I can deal with rigorous zen tonight. Definitely some DVDs, M&Ms, and working on Max’s book cozy.

* An early walk with the puppy.
* A visit to the West 6th Street Artist’s Market, even though I have no money to spend.
* Shopping on South Congress/South First. See above. But I really want a new purse. My current one is (a) boring and (b) not big enough.
* Maybe a movie. I still want to see Crash and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And supposedly Mysterious Skin is now playing in Austin although I can’t find it listed in the newspaper. Michael Schaub says I must see it, so I must.
* Reading. Writing. Arts & Crafts.

Why can’t every day be a Saturday?

* Another early walk.
* A follow up meeting with a trainer at the gym so that she can tell me that I haven’t lost any weight in the past two weeks. In fact, I think I’ve gained some. This has been a hard week.
* Some exercise at the gym. I still really want to get to the Latin Spice class, but I might settle for the eliptical machine.
* The Book Arts Fair at the Austin Museum of Art--Laguna Gloria.

* Can you guess? Yep. Another early walk with the puppy. Yes, I have been that neglectful.
* Reading. Writing. Arts & Crafts.
* Taking a GRE sample test to see if I have a chance in hell at getting into grad school.
* Housecleaning.
* Skipping the fireworks and trying not to feel like a total loser for doing so.

As always, anyone within spittin'---or driving---distance of Austin is welcome to join me for most of the above activities. The weigh-in is a private event.


The government is stealing all our sunshine.

Going Up to Canada

Gonna drink a lotta beer.