Wednesday, May 31, 2006

That's My Girl

My best friend since we were 13 is in town this week visiting her parents, who still live out in Virginia Beach where we grew up. I've been taking advantage of her proximity by basically spending every possible minute with her (and her husband and her kids). This evening she called around 8:00 (after dinner with her mother-in-law) to give me directions to her sister's house (also in VB), and it was clear from the suckiness of those directions that she was already wasted. But I didn't realize just how wasted until I arrived and found her rocking out to the Muppet Movie soundtrack. On vinyl.

She was so wasted that her husband finally said, "Honey if you don't stop I'm gonna chain you to something. And I'm not kidding." (He was kidding.)

This would be the same bff whose baby peed on me yesterday. She totally deserves a little rocking out. But, um, the Muppets are an odd choice.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tempting, But No

I am not a baby person. I mean, I like babies well enough, but they don't really do much and I generally like to give them back to their parents once I've grown bored with them. I am not one of those women who gets all goofy and emotional around babies. I have never experienced what I call baby fever -- an intense yearning for a baby of one's own brought on by the mere sight of someone else's baby.

Today, though, I came very very close. I spent the afternoon cuddling my best friend's adorable 10 week old son. I really enjoyed this experience: he was so sweet and cuddly and soft, and he smelled so good and babyish. His little baby hands kept grasping mine and he kept nuzzling his little baby face into my neck. I wouldn't let anyone else hold him or let his mom put him down for a nap. I started to feel the faintest tickings of my own biological clock. Then he peed on me, and I thought, "You know, cats are nice."

And PS, yes, that is a beer in my non-baby-holding hand. A girl has to have her priorities.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Has Anyone Seen My Brother?

He's tall, angry, and scruffy with brown hair:

Happy Memorial Day

Um, I know freedom isn't free, but I'm really confused about whose blood is doing what these days. I thought the blood of Jesus Christ had washed away all my sins and that the blood of countless American soldiers was responsible for the many freedoms I enjoy. Now I find out it's been Jesus the whole time? What the fuck?

And PS: someone should say something snarky about those quotation marks, but I'll leave that to The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

Sound Travels At The Beach

Ask my brother and sister, or anyone who knew us well during our childhood, and they will tell you this: sound travels at the beach. In an effort to keep us from annoying the neighbors, my parents reminded us of this at least 25 times a day when we were kids living in (then) sparsely populated Corolla, NC.

No, we could not call down from the upper deck to ask a question of someone in the driveway. Why? Sound travels at the beach. No, we could not, instead of using the phone, yell down the street to find out what time our friends' families were going to the beach. Why? Sound travels at the beach. No, we could not take the radio outside onto the deck. Why? Sound travels at the beach, and the neighbors did not want to hear Michael Jackson's Thriller album, nor -- as we got older -- did they want to hear Naked Eyes, some old Zeppelin album, anything by REM, or the latest from The Cure. Standing on the deck chatting with the cute guys building a nearby house? No way: sound travels at the beach and, also, that's trampy.

When we were kids, we found this whole "sound travels at the beach" thing pretty annoying. We used to roll our eyes and mimic our parents as they said this. It became a running joke, but one we internalized. We still spend a lot of time in Corolla, which in the summer months is well beyond sparsely populated. We find ourselves saying to one another indignantly, "Dude, turn down the radio, sound travels at the beach," and bitching about noisy neighbors: "Don't they know sound travels at the beach?" We're startled to discover that we're not kidding. Sound does travel at the beach.

My neighbors for this Memorial Day weekend at the beach clearly did not get the sound travels memo. They have been shouting to (and at) one another since they arrived, not just from their upper deck to their driveway, but from their upper deck to the end of the street and from inside their house to the person in their outdoor shower downstairs. To make matters worse, they sometimes do this as early as 8:00 in the morning. And they have New York accents. Not the endearing Tony Soprano kind of New York accents, but horrible whiny, nasal New York accents.

Since Saturday, their car alarm has gone off four times. You know the last time a car was stolen in Corolla? Yeah, never. I don't even lock the doors to the house, let alone my car, and these jackasses are guarding their Dodge Caravan like it's Blackbeard's treasure.

Isn't there a local ordinance for this one? I'd like to be able to call up the Sheriff's Department: "I have some noisy neighbors. With New York accents," I'd say. "Shit! New York accents?!," they'd reply, "We'll be right there!" and they'd rush over to disable the minivan alarm and inform the obnoxious New Yorkers of what everyone else already knows: sound travels at the beach.

So shut up already.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sometimes It Pays To Listen To Your Kids

Unlike two of their three children, my parents are staunch conservatives who voted for Bush in both 2000 and 2004 and who resolutely maintain that this was not such a bad move given the alternatives (that loser Gore and that god-awful Kerry, respectively). They are also, like many in their generation, big fans of Bruce Springsteen, so I wasn't surprised when they told me they'd be forgoing this year's traditional Memorial Day weekend at the beach because they had tickets to his concert. And because I think it's good for them to broaden their horizons, I didn't mention that The Boss has grown decidedly more anti-war and anti-Bush of late.

I just talked to my mom, who called to chat before she left for the concert. As we were getting off the phone we had this little conversation:

Me: Well, have fun at the concert.

Mom: Hey, who's Pete Seeger? (this seemed like a non sequitur to me, but we're talking about a woman who once responded to my query of "are we out of beer?" with "we're in the kitchen. . .come on in," so I usually just roll with it.)

Me: He's a folk singer. Why?

Mom: The concert is a Pete Seeger tribute concert.

Me: (uncontrollable laughter)

Mom: What? Why are you laughing?

Me: He sings protest songs, Mom. Militant political protest songs. Remember that Christmas you bought Brian (my militant left-winger of a little brother) the entire Pete Seeger collection?

Mom: Uh-oh.

Me: (still lauging) I'm sure ya'll will have lots of fun. You know Bruce Springsteen hates the president, right?

Mom: (laughing a bit herself now) Stop laughing. Dad said he didn't know what the concert was about when he bought the tickets. He tried to pawn them off on Laura (my sister) and Brian, but they didn't want them. (Laura, no doubt, because she has other plans and Brian because he shares my view that John Mellencamp, not Bruce Springsteen, is the true musical spokesman for America's working class.)

Me: Okay, well have a great time, Mom.

Mom: (unconvincingly) I'm sure it will be fine.

Me: (more laughter)

Mom: I'll call you tomorrow to tell you just how not-fine it was.

So my parents have paid good money (lots of money, I bet) to see Bruce Springsteen sing the protest songs of a movement they actively avoided in their youth and to listen to him criticitize their president.

I think it actually probably will be fine. My brother and I once caught my Dad humming along to a Joan Baez (protest) song. "You like Joan Baez?," we demanded incredulously. "I like her music, but not her politics," my dad replied. My brother and I looked at each other quizzically and then launched into a joint lecture about how her music is her politics, how art is frequently political, and how you can't divorce art from politics. My dad listened politely and finally said, "I just think she has a pretty voice." We shook our heads in exasperation, but it's this attitude that will carry my parents through tonight's Bruce Springsteen concert. They may disagree with the lyrics (okay, they'll definitely disagree with the lyrics), but they'll enjoy the singing and the actual music. And they will certainly never admit it, but I bet they'll even agree with a thing or two The Boss has to say about the mess our current president is making of the world. After all, my parents are not retarded. They just sometimes vote that way.

Update 05.29.06: My mom's review of the concert: "It was totally awesome! I'm going to buy the CD today!" (at Wal-Mart, probably, which will cause poor Pete Seeger to roll over in his grave.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Better Teaching Through Reggae

I teach a high school course in Human Geography. Yesterday’s class was about how the developed world is fucking the developing world over. This is actually in my curriculum -- they call it Dependency Theory (but they don’t use the f-word). To illustrate this topic, I began class yesterday with a little PowerPoint presentation set to Bob Marley’s “Babylon System.” While this might sound cool to you, the opening notes alone were enough to elicit a chorus of moans and groans from my students, who whined, “Haven’t we already heard this song?”

You have already heard this song, but I like “Babylon System,” okay, kids? And here’s the thing: you do too. Because what I notice whenever I play “Babylon System” (or any other song) in class is that you’re paying attention. Sure, I could stand up and talk about Dependency Theory, but it would sound like this: “blah blah blah IMF, blah blah blah third world debt, blah blah blah corporate colonialism, blah blah blah sweatshops,” and within three minutes your eyes would glaze over and you’d start whispering to the kid next to you or surreptitiously text messaging your friends.

I get it: caring about stuff is so not cool. That became clear to me way back in November when we talked about Female Genital Mutilation (also in my curriculum) and all you had to say was that it’s “pretty wack.” I also get that music is cool, which is why I use it to trick you into learning about stuff you would otherwise pretend not to care about.

So go ahead and complain about having to listen to “Babylon System” again. You're not fooling me: your eyes are glued to the screen, half of you are tapping your feet, and a handful of you are even singing along under your breath. And that, despite your whining smokescreen, is what tells me you might be a little more into this whole learning thing than you like to let on. It's how I know I'm doing my job successfully and what gets me out of bed every morning. These are the moments that constitute the joy of teaching.

So thank you, kids, for yesterday's little moment. It probably seemed like I didn't care whether or not you were engaged, but I was just pretending. You know, kind of like you were pretending you're too cool for school.

PS: For an amusing examination of Bob Marley’s popularity among the frat boy set, click here.

Monday, May 22, 2006


On my walk home from school this afternoon, I swung by my favorite local independent bookstore to pick up the copy of Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping they'd special ordered for me. By the register was a nice little stack of these stickers:

So, even though I was there specifically to purchase a book about defying the culture of consumerism, I bought one. I mean, it was only $3. How could I pass that up?

I couldn't. And you shouldn't either. Click here to get one of your very own. As it turns out, a portion of the proceeds are donated to groups like Amnesty International, the Sierra Club, MoveOn, and Rock the Vote, so it doesn't even count as vapid consumerism.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Somebody's Sure Crazy For These Crackers, Cuzzin

I just discovered this on the back of my box of Harris Teeter brand Wheat Snack Crackers:

What wonderful things crackers are! Unequaled in the kitchen, crackers are a stalwart worker. They are a dedicated palate to hold an imagination's worth of delectable toppings. . .they are a tool to excavate hearty dips and spreads. . .they are willingly drowned in our soups and crushed on our casseroles. All in the name of better taste. With this honorable service in mind, our traders created a line of the finest crackers available. . .each ready and eager to be served. Enjoy!
You know, I like crackers as much as the next guy, but I don't know that I'd go so far as to describe them as stalwart workers. I mean, they're crackers, for the love of god. And you're going to have a really tough time convincing me that these crackers are eager to be served. What, they're just dying for an opportunity to excavate one of my hearty dips? Puh-leaze.

Somebody actually gets paid good money to write these odes to crackers, probably better money than I get paid to teach the children. But I can sleep at night.

Lamest Protest Ever

According to an article in today's Virginian Pilot, about 50 people turned out yesterday to protest The Da Vinci Code:

The article says that most of the protesters recognize the DVC is a work of fiction and they just wanted to "encourage people to study the Bible to learn the truth." While I agree that the DVC itself is a fictional story, the religious part of it -- the part that people are so pissed about -- is probably not any more fictional than, say, the Bible.

The best part of yesterday's DVC protest? The original plan was to spell out "Jesus is Truth," but, um, not enough people showed up. And there was a heckler.

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Guardian Angel Is Hotter Than Yours

About two years ago, I left my fiancé six weeks before our wedding and five days after we'd moved in together. This was one of the more difficult things I've done in my life, and it probably goes without saying that I agonized over the decision. However, I'm confident that it was the right decision, and it's not one I've regretted for so much as a split second since I made it. On occasion, though, I do think about how close I came to a marriage that would have made me miserable, and I breathe a little sigh of relief while thanking my lucky stars for my friend DH.

It was DH who -- exactly eight weeks before my wedding, on the very day I'd mailed the invitations -- was the first to give voice to the doubts I'd been harboring for at least a month when he studied me carefully and finally said, "I don't think you should get married."

This turns out to have been a view shared by a surprising number of my friends, not because they didn't like my fiancé (because everybody likes him) but because they could tell I wasn't happy. There's a lot of gray area between support and enabling, and I'm grateful that my friends chose collectively to lean toward the supportive side despite their concerns. I am equally grateful for the insight of DH, who admittedly had little to lose and probably enjoyed playing my knight in shining armor simply for the ego boost, but who forced me to examine my relationship and evaluate my future.

Although my friends give me more credit, I maintain there's a 99% chance I'd be married to the wrong guy right now if not for DH. Molly tends to agree with me: she once described DH in all seriousness as "a gift from God." And while she still carries his business card around in her wallet because she thinks DH is hot (and his picture is on his card), she was not referring to his appearance.

I'm not much on God, but I have been known to refer half-jokingly to DH as my guardian angel. And really, if you compare DH to Clarence, George Bailey's guardian angel in It's a Wonderful Life, you have to admit DH is a little easier on the eyes.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Okay, Who's In?

This was being passed around school today:

Apparently a "jump off" is a party. I didn't know this -- I had to ask my students. I strolled in to class waving the flyer as the bell rang and said, "Hey, what's a jump off?" The kids looked a little startled. One girl said sheepishly, "Um, it's like a trashy girl." "No, no," I said, "what if I were going to a jump off?" "Oh, that's like a party," they responded, relieved.

Even though ladies get in free (I like how that bit is in quotes -- like, is "ladies free, niggas $2" some sort of catch phrase I'm just not familiar with? What are those quotation marks for?!), and I'll be able to find the jump off simply by following the music, I don't think I'll be going. Why? Well, I'm not much of a dancer, and the flyer specifically states, "If you ain't gone dance don't bring yo ass!!!" That's three exclamation points, so I think he means business.

But if you want to go, feel free to hit Omar up. As long as you have him on the phone, tell him the dollar signs go before the numbers.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. . .

This is my little brother. Needless to say, he's got "angry" down. Note his proximity to both beer and attractive women. Nevermind the fact that he's at a cheesy sports bar and that the women are practically his sisters -- there's beer and there's chicks, and therefore there's no excuse for that grumpy face. And the middle finger. . .my god!

The thing is, angry is my brother's natural state. Being pissed about everything is like his version of happy. If he's not scowling and giving you the finger and calling someone a douchebag, something's not quite right in his world.

I have a secret though: he's not really that angry. He just pretends. Oh sure, he's fired up about Darfur and religious fanaticism and the erosion of our constitutional rights and all that, but he's not one of those people you hate to be around because they're so negative and they never stop bitching. He's more like a funny guy whose bitching makes you laugh. Sometimes even he has a hard time not laughing at his own angry act.

Occasionally though, he walks a pretty fine line. Referring to him as "Dad" is usually enough to make him snap out of it in a hurry, which is good because really my brother is this guy -- the happy one with a smile on his face and his middle finger being used only to grasp a can of Bud.

I like funny angry little bro' an awful lot, but it's funny happy little bro' I really love.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sunday News Round-Up

Prominently featured on the front page of today's New York Times : 1) a story about the most recently negotiated cease-fire in Darfur being just as meaningless as every previous cease-fire, as evidenced by Thursday's attack in which one woman was killed and 15 were raped by janjaweed militiamen; 2) an account of Southeast Asia's successful efforts to combat the avian flu; and 3) a story about post-9/11 conflicts between the NSA and VP Cheney over the constitutionality of intercepting domestic phone calls without warrants to do so (crazy-ass Cheney, as one might expect, contends that there's nothing in the Constitution to suggest this might not be permissible).

Prominently featured on the front page of today's Washington Post: 1) a story about the US Border Patrol's ineffective "catch-and-release" approach to curbing non-Mexican illegal immigration, and 2) a touching compilation of interviews with Iraq war veterans that details the difficulty of readjusting to life at home in the face of our indifference. (This story brought tears to my eyes. Read it!)

Prominently featured on the front page of today's Virginian Pilot: a story about the film version of The Da Vinci Code coming out on Friday, and how some religious people won't touch it with a ten foot pole while others are pleased that it provides them with an opportunity to promote traditional Christian beliefs in the face of such blasphemy. You know, just in case you hadn't heard about that yet. Thanks, Virginian Pilot, for that bit of hard-hitting reporting on a topic of such global importance.

To be fair, the Pilot is an excellent local paper, and it did run the NYT's Darfur story on page A3, their avian flu story on page A22, and the Post's immigration story on page A11. But The Da Vinci Code as front page Sunday news?! Come on.

The Da Vinci Code, by the way, is complete crap as far as literature goes. The writing is terrible and the plot is even worse. What makes The Da Vinci Code interesting (and what I suspect explains its 159 weeks on the bestseller list) is its exploration of the historical suppression of the divine feminine. There's a whole body of reputable nonfiction on this fascinating subject, starting with Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the authors of which sued Dan Brown (and lost) for plagiarizing their work. For those interested in the religious aspects of The Da Vinci Code, I offer. . .

Five Books to Read Instead of The (Stupid) Da Vinci Code:

  1. Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln
  2. The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler
  3. The Woman with the Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird
  4. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
  5. The Gospels of Mary by Marvin Meyer

Or, if you like crap, just wait a few days and go see the movie.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Honey, He Is The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

It seems Hillary Clinton and Rupert Murdoch have more in common than having both been recently mentioned on my blog: Murdoch, who owns a significant chunk of the mainstream media -- including that beacon of fair and balanced reporting, Fox News -- will be hosting a re-election fundraiser for Clinton this July.

Not that Hillary is at the top of my "politicians I respect and admire" list (it's a short list), but is there anyone in politics who will not sell his or her soul to stay in politics? I mean, this is the guy whose network led the charge against Hillary's lying cheating husband. When she centered her ridiculous "stand by your man" routine around a "vast right-wing conspiracy," she was talking about Rupert Murdoch. But hey, if he can raise a few bucks on behalf of her campaign, I don't see why she can't overlook a little thing like completely biased pseudo-reporting that squelches any sort of meaningful political discourse.

A Song From The Darkest Hour

If there's a happier song than "Sit Down" by James, I damn sure haven't heard it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Why I Don't Watch 24

Another Monday night, another exciting episode of 24. I know, everyone loves this show. Steve spends each Monday sternly reminding everyone he encounters that it's Jack Bauer Appreciation Day. I spend a small portion of my class time (my instructional time) on Mondays trying to get my students to stop talking about what's going to happen on 24, and a much larger chunk of that class time on Tuesdays trying to get the kids to shut up about what did happen on 24. Every Monday they ask me, "Are you gonna watch 24 tonight?" and every Monday I tell them, "A) I don't own a television and B) I want no part of 24." Every Tuesday they ask me, "Did you see 24 last night?" and every Tuesday some kid who actually pays attention in class says, "Dude, she doesn't have a TV!" and some other kid adds, "Yeah, and she doesn't even like that show."

The thing is, I used to. Like everyone else, I used to love 24. I was a devoted fan throughout seasons 1-3. I've spent more than a few Tuesday mornings at the proverbial water cooler animatedly discussing the events of the previous night's episode of 24 as if it bore some resemblance to real life and the characters were actually my close personal friends. I've even attended a season finale party or two. I see the appeal: the gripping suspense, those bad guys you love to hate, the fate of the world hanging in the balance, that hottie Keifer Sutherland. But in season 4 something changed for me. . .24 began to seem irresponsible.

I became more and more concerned about how expendable people are on 24, not just bad guys but good guys too. I started to keep a running body count. A lot of people died in each episode, most of them not-so-nicely. And we're talking episodes that are only supposed to represent an hour of real-life time.

Then there's the torture thing. The good guys frequently torture the bad guys to get information out of them, which I guess is supposed to be okay because the good guys need that information in order to save everyone from the bad guys. This is a serious moral question that deserves serious attention and contemplation. Instead, 24 portrays each instance of torture as if it's some sort of Machiavellian necessity not worth dwelling on.

And there's, of course, the stereotyping. Almost all the terrorists on 24 (at least in seasons 1-4) are Muslims who hate America simply because they are crazy Muslims. Nothing new here. Likewise, those who don't hate the terrorists must by definition hate America and therefore be on the side of the enemies. Hell, in season 4 the Secretary of State had his own son tortured because he had maybe gone home with some chick who knew some guy who had maybe been involved with planning season 4's attack.

I know it's only a TV show, but is this sort of thing really constructive? Do we really need to glorify such callous disregard for human life and fan the flames of bigotry and intolerance? See, there's no gray area on 24. There's good guys and there's bad guys and it's us against them. You are, as our simpleton of a president once said, "either with us, or you are with the terrorists." This is an incredibly dangerous mentality, which is why I've sworn off 24 and why I attempt to convince anyone who will listen (which, frankly, isn't a very large group) that 24 is perhaps more harmful than all of Rupert Murdoch's other enterprises combined.

To be honest, I haven't made much headway, but I'm hoping I'll win a few converts now that Tom Tomorrow's come out in support of me:

(From Working for Change)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

On Protesting (Or Not)

A few weekends ago my brother and I had talked about going up to NYC. UFPJ had organized a protest against the current war on Iraq, the impending war on Iran, and the war-mongering Bush administration in general. My brother and I both felt a sort of moral obligation to add our voices to the protest, but we also didn't feel like going to New York, and we doubted that any amount of protesting would change BushCo's approach to foreign policy.

I firmly believe that every single American citizen could be in the streets protesting and Dubya would merely pause to shake his head in condescending pity for our stupidity, and would then return to the business of fucking everything up. This is because the man actually believes that God talks to him:

2000: "I've heard the call. I believe God wants me to run for president. . . .I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it."

2003: "God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then He instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East." (By striking somebody, probably. Or maybe smiting.)

2004: "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job."

Bush and his administration have demonstrated repeatedly that they don't really give a shit what the American people think. Why should they when they're doing God's work? 55% of Americans think BushCo deliberately misled the public into war and 60% of Americans believe that war has not been worth fighting. Big deal. 100% of Supreme Beings (of which there is, of course, only one) think Bush is doing a bang-up job.

This, however, is no reason not to protest, and I've felt guilty ever since I skipped the NYC protest. I felt especially guilty this morning when I read Melissa's lovely post, which reminded me that it's important to stand up for what you believe in, even when it seems that doing so is unlikely to change anything. Despite the fact that BushCo is impervious to dissent, there are lots of good reasons to protest, namely that it is the right thing to do regardless of the outcome. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter," and as Ghandi said, "Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it." And as Elle Woods said in Legally Blonde 2, "One honest voice can be louder than a crowd's."

This is (or used to be) essentially my whole m.o. as a person, and especially as a teacher. If my students learned nothing else, I hoped they would leave my class believing that they could make the world a better place. When the hell did I stop believing we could make the world a better place? I didn't go to a protest because it wouldn't do any good and New York was too far?! Yikes. When's the next protest? I'm so there.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I'm Not A Shrieking Hateful Harpy, But I Play One On TV

Confession: I've recently exchanged an email or two with my ex-fiancé.

This is how he came to know that I have a blog on which he could post Thursday's witty "there she blows" comment, and also how I came to know that he has a blog on which he refers to me as a "shrieking, hateful harpy."

(So Steve, yesterday when I said I had no idea how the comment got there, I was kind of lying. Sorry. I'm totally coming clean now.)

At first I was really pissed about this whole harpy thing. In my head I compiled a long list of evidence that conclusively proves I am not a shrieking, hateful harpy (for example: I rarely even raise my voice, so "shrieking" is, you know, a bit of a stretch). But then I realized I am merely a literary device. Referring to your ex-fiancé as a shrieking, hateful harpy is funny, whereas referring to her as "probably the most sensitive person I have ever met" (as he recently wrote to me) is not. So I've decided to be a good sport about this. Hell, every blog needs a shrieking, hateful harpy.

For those close friends and family members who were present for years and years of the Megan & Bryce rollercoaster and who are now thinking, "Uh-oh. Emails? Here we go again.," rest assured, we are not going there again. For starters, Bryce and I now live several hundred miles apart, so to go there again would be impractical. Secondly, he steadfastly refuses to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and you know I'm not havin' that. Lastly, he is madly in love (and good for him, really) with a girl he refers to as Baby, which is a term of endearment that literally makes me cringe.

I have never allowed anyone to call me "baby." "Shrieking, hateful harpy"? Sure, knock yourself out. But "baby"? No fucking way.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It's Hard To Be In A Bad Mood When You're Wearing Whale Pants

It's even harder when you're also wearing whale underpants. (no picture of that)

This uncharacteristically preppie look is what's going to get me through the day. That and the fact that it's Cogan's Thursday.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Come November 4th, 2008, I Will Be $100 Richer

My dad, die-hard Republican and defense contractor extraordinaire, is in town overnight for a briefing tomorrow. He took me to dinner this evening and we got to talking about politics (imagine that). This is a topic that usually does not end well for us (see the die-hard Republican bit above). However, this discussion of politics was oddly civilized. At one point my dad even said, "You may have a point there," which is a phrase I don't think I've ever heard him utter before. The most heated portion of our chat involved a discussion of whether the Democrats will regain control of Congress in the midterm elections (um, hellooooo, we're talking 32% approval ratings here. . .of course the Democrats are going to regain control of Congress) and what will happen in the 2008 election.

Here's where the $100 comes in:

Dad: And you think that momentum will continue right up until we get stuck with Hillary?

Me: (laughing incredulously through a mouth full of beer) Hillary?! I don't even think Hillary can get the nomination.

Dad: Huh?

Me: Well, for starters, she's a woman. And also, the Democrats have this strategy of running only namby-pamby, pandering to the middle wuss-bags, which Hillary actually is, but conservatives hate her so much there's no way the Dems would nominate her.

Dad: She's exactly like her husband. Everything she does is politically motivated. She has no conscience.

Me: I don't exactly think Bush has a conscience.

Dad: He does, you just don't like it. I think Hillary will run, and I think she'll win.

Me: You mean the election? The presidency?!

Dad: Yes.

Me: No way. There is no way we're electing a female president. Not anytime soon.

Dad: In 2008.

Me: Care to put some money on that?

So the bet is for $100. I asked my dad if we were betting on the nomination or the election. He said it didn't matter, he'd be happy to take my money either way.

Dad, honey, Hillary's a girl. You are so gonna owe me $100.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Although I Have T-Shirts Attesting To The Sexiness of Both, I Can't Decide Which Is Sexier: Reading or Voting

Today was Election Day in the City of Norfolk (as well as throughout the rest of Tidewater). We elected new city council members and a new mayor. Well, actually, I suspect we elected the same old city council members and the same old mayor, but my point is that those were the offices in question.

So anyway, since democracy is not a spectator sport, I voted this evening. And what's more. . .I walked to the polling place. It's 0.4 miles from my house! I know I've lived in the city for almost a year now, but I still can't get over the number of places I'm able to walk to. Work, for starters. Plus numerous restaurants/bars (including Cogan's!), two wine shops, the movie theater, the video store, two coffee shops (one of which is Starbucks and therefore doesn't count since I'd never go in there anyway), the hospital, the bookstore, the health food store, two grocery stores, and lots of cute little shops I've never even been in.

I think we ought to add "walking" to my list of things that are sexy. It might even be sexier than voting.

Although. . .I noticed a seriously attractive guy (a "very nice boy my age") at the polling place this evening. Sadly, he drove away in an SUV, so I guess the sexiness of voting (and being hot) gets kind of cancelled out by the non-sexiness of driving an SUV. That's the trouble with boys these days. . .