Wednesday, April 29, 2009

but dottie had a heart condition

in the absence of any current substantive information re: swine flu, today i'm kicking old school and returning to the days of emergence of the latest pandemic. the swinging 70's.

from me to you. enjoy.



*note that this confirms what i have been saying all along about children being the greatest incubators and transmission enablers of infectious disease. although it seems old people are also a problem...

Monday, April 27, 2009

bird flu is so five minutes ago.



as if there isn't enough for me to worry about these days. moving. trying to graduate. remembering to buy cat food. emotional bankruptcy. mass genocide. nuclear holocaust.

now the WHO has identified the next big thing so far as super contagious diseases are concerned. forget the bird flu, which was portrayed as impending devastation for the u.s. and then no one i knew actually got it. lots of other people around the world did, though. i saw the pictures. fucking horrible.

this season it's all about swine flu. or pig flu. whichever you prefer. which, in case you wondering, you can't get from eating swine. you get it from other people. people who don't take the spread of germs seriously.

the scenario i'm picturing is 24, season 3, chandler plaza hotel. did i mention i am a hypochondriac?

special thanks to time magazine. for the article entitled "swine flu: 5 things you need to know about the outbreak." which were actually things that you didn't care to know, not things that would help you in the face of infectious disease.

i'm going to disinfect now. luckily i don't have to go far, as i keep my value size hand sanitizer within arm's reach. too bad everybody doesn't.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

human dignity...not as lame as it sounds...

thanks to andrew and jill for the title of this blog.

under normal circumstances i could give a fuck about the miss america pageant. but i've been thinking about the ongoing dialogue(?) concerning the ill contrived answer given by miss california in response to the question of gay marriage posed by one perez hilton. her answer is as follows
“We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman,” she responded during the televised event. "No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

on a side note, let it be known that n=1 hearts perez hilton and considers him to be the preeminent authority on celebrity gossips.

in the media (and by media i mean omg) it seems to be split between people (by people i mean celebrities) who think that this was kind of a ridiculous answer that was completely inappropriate and people who are applauding this person for speaking their mind thus introducing the right to free speech into the equation.

admittedly, my sample population suffers from serious flaws concerning generalizability as it is not only a very small N, but also does include people like angie harmon and shana moakler. and michael phelps. which are arguably people who are better seen and not heard (except for angie harmon whom i could deal with not seeing or hearing as i have NEVER understood why she is even a model). and also people like sean hannity. who is, at best, a plague on society and an affront to human dignity, generally speaking. and also the state of alabama, nothing shocking there. intellectual outliers all.

the issue here isn't free speech. because, yes, you have the right to disagree with gay marriage. yes. you have the right to disagree with homosexuality. yes. you have the right to think gay people are going to hell. yes. you have the right to vocalize these opinions.

the conversation has become really more about people hiding behind the idea of free speech to defend what is actually hate speech. that's right. hate speech. because no matter how politely you phrase this sentiment it is premised on the idea of denying another human being the right to be treated equally before the law. just because of their preferences in the bedroom.

think about it this way. what if the question had been about marriage between people of different races. which was up to states to decide the legality of until 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court put a kibosh on that practice with Loving v. Virginia.

what if the question had been about whether or not states could decide for themselves to systematically oppress jewish people nazi style. because that's how the nazis ran shit. they didn't just dive straight in with "the final solution". this solution was the culmination of years of policy and practice. to get to this point took years of systematically and deliberately eroding the rights of german jews at the institutional level, starting with "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" which declared jews to be unfit and ineligible for state employment (gays in the military, anyone?). this law was follwed closely by laws banning jews from practicing medicine and law. then the nuremberg laws which stripped german jews officially of their citizenship, and among other things, prohibited marriage between jewish germans and non-jewish germans. (this is a very short overview, you can find more detailed information about this here )

as horrific as this was, there are still people that would support the rights of states to decide for themselves this sort of policy. probably enough to fill a state or two. even in america. even in 2009. however, try finding even one person that would openly defend this supposedly free speech. i mean OTHER than possibly sean hannity, rush limbaugh, or ann coulter (definitely her).

the nazi's renegotiated who was human. which is not only something that is very much NON-NEGOTIABLE. not morally. not ethically. and assuredly not under international law.

and this renegotiation has potentially devastating implications for societies. that's where the post-WWII push for international human rights law came from. so that the events of the holocaust would NEVER happen again. not to anyone. not at any time. not in any place.

yes. i realize that the events of nazi germany and the situation facing the lgbt population in america are different. by comparing the two, i am doing so with all respect for the victims of the holocaust. and the victims genocide everywhere. thankfully, it has not and hopefully will not ever reach that point here. or anywhere.

yes. right now, america is moving in the opposite direction from the third reich circa 1933. but for things to truly change, people in this country must take responsibility for the significance of their actions and their words. and responsibility for the actions and words of their government. a true appreciation must be developed for the connection between these actions and legislation. and then between legislation and the lives of actual human beings.

people must let their governmental officials know with all certainty that we will not let them legislate who is human and who is not. even with something as seemingly innocuous (innocuous as compared to the final solution) as marriage.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

pop culture observations

i fucking hate hipsters. luckily i am not alone.
exhibit a: a blog called look at this fucking hipster.
let me clarify that i am all about style. i am all about the incorporation of vintage pieces into one's contemporary wardrobe. i am all about avant garde style. i am all about self expression through style. but i have a strong enough sense of aesthetic to realize that dressing like one of the golden girls is not acceptable. nor is selecting the WORST fashion offerings from two of the most offensive style decades EVER, which are the 1980's/1990's respectively. i lived through that shit (which admittedly, most of these kids did not). i'm not about to accept its revival. and some of the fashion is kitschy enough to come back. but people aren't focusing on those things. meh..just read the blog...or the cobra snake...and pray these children aren't our future...aesthetically or otherwise...the nicest thing i can say is that at least they're not carrying louis vuitton...

in other discouraging, yet devastatingly expected, news...proving once again that beauty queens lack the essential connection between thought and speech, enter miss california and her expression of the sentiment (when questioned by perez hilton, of all people) that marriage should be between a man and a woman only. there isn't enough time to explain the inanity of this answer. but, seriously, who does she think makes up a good portion of the audience? it's always a good rule of thumb not to alienate those people with your answer...

it gets more absurd than that...coming to the defense of lgbt everywhere are britney, miley, and heidi...all via twitter...ok, ok i'll cut these normally mockable ladies(?) some slack...if you're going to shamelessly whore yourself to the media, you might as well send a valid message every once and a while...

which is that miss california can shut the fuck up and go back to whatever it is she does when not in training to be utterly worthless.

and on a totally unrelated note re: michael jackson...i am seriously unconvinved that even in 1982 ANYONE (much less some girl named billie jean) said you were the one. don't worry, we all know the kid was NOT your son.

still the advice was sound.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

deep in the (black) heart of texas

apparently texas feels that their relationship with the other 48 states (known as the united states) is toxic and they want out. the governor there has been getting all kind of criticism from democrats for alluding to the the idea that if things don't change in the relationship, then texas is going to have to leave.

because i don't want to color these events with liberal bias, i must point out that not everyone is a critic. the texas governor has been getting some very important endorsements. enter tom delay and rush limbaugh.

when i hear texas talk about maybe sort of leaving if they don't get their way, my first reaction is "see ya." you will not be missed. take your rampant executions ,racist, and "pro-business" (read unrestrained market capitalist making scores of cash for the top 1% at the expense of the worker) ways and fuck off. and don't bother calling when you need money for highways and such. cause america is changing its number and blocking your calls. we will get a restraining order if necessary.

however, in fairness to the people in texas that aren't in favor of mass executing the intellectually disadvantaged, non-white, poor, or otherwise non-republican persons generally speaking, i'm thinking that we can't just let the crazy texans ruin for all texans. so it should really be the other way around. it is america that needs to be handing down the ultimatums in this relationship.

seriously. texas has been out of pocket for years. a habitual line stepper. it's time for america to let texas know that enough is enough. they need to get on board, stop making with the idle threats contrived for attention getting only, and converge their norms to that of contemporary (not pre-20th century) america, or america is leaving them.

so shape up texas.
or have fun remembering the alamo or whatever the fuck it is you all do down there when you're not executing people or building walls to keep out immigrants all by yourself... without the help of federal funding.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

time for a change

a make-over, if you will. i have entered transition phase, which is typically not a phase i handle gracefully by any stretch of the imagination. everything is in the process of becoming finalized. and this is also scary. i hate feeling stuck. i hate feeling trapped by a deterministic trajectory of events.

i have a commitment phobia.

everything changes. even the lines on your hands. that's why you can have palm readings done at different times with different inferences. nothing is certain. not ever. i think i hate making plans because of the infinite number of things that can go wrong to prevent the plans that i want to see work out from actually working out.

which leaves me at an impasse. as much as i want to reject the deterministic impetus, i am completely terrified of absolute freedom. i am uncomfortable with dasein. but then, so is everybody. i am terrified as in der welt sein, yet that is what i know i am. what i know we all are.

i make a terrible existentialist. embracing the ideas of absolute freedom when it suits me to do so, but always secretly craving the comfort of deterministic trajectories.

is it possible that i see control as a zero-sum game? i do tend to compensate for the perceived loss of control in one area by exercising control in other areas.

in the spirit of that behavior (i'm not going to label it as unhealthy because i'm not sure if it unhealthy or not), i am changing the name of my blog.

it is now officially N=1. i don't think that "vanity" really conveys the spirit of the blog, given that vanity typically connotes an over-inflated feeling of self. which i don't usually have, but does show up from time to time, mostly with attention to the outer self.

it's more like a self-indulgent project. but that is an awkward title. i think N=1 appropriately captures the endeavor as this blog is really just a record of one being in the world.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

straight up now tell me...

aren't you really going to love paula abdul forever?

i know sometimes it's hard to remember how awesome paula is. what with her nonsensical dialogue on idol and all. slurring her words and talking gibberish through a pillish vodka haze. and there are also her questionable fashion selections of the past few years.

but come on...cold hearted snake, anyone? how about some opposites attract? she's totally rad. i heard straight up on my way to work today and it totally made my morning excellent.

i love you paula!

Monday, April 13, 2009

the good news...personal pain, the disintegrating institution of marriage, and some really bad music...

is that, in terms of marriage, times they are a changin'. for the better.

i was reading the gossips this morning about lee ann rimes supposed affair. this isn't the part about things getting better for marriage...that's coming up later. first things first. on the subject of the affair and people being interested in her personal life i can say that she had better be glad that people even care enough to read about this affair. i had actually forgotten that lee ann rimes even existed. then all i could remember about her were some really awful patsy cline covers. i mean who would even try to cover patsy cline songs? it's a little bit absurd. i think her voice is all right enough, but she simply doesn't have the frist hand reference point of personal pain from which to draw to adequately perform these songs. it was like beyonce playing etta james. she sang the songs well, but that just wasn't enough to be convincing. there is some pain that you have to live through in order to convey it to others. i digress.

also interesting about this article...lee ann and her husband have also taken to twitter to let the world know how in love they truly are. come on guys. by the time you have to announce your love on twitter, you are already well down the road to splittsville. it's kind of like hegemonic theory...by the time a hegemon has to actually use actual force to institute or spread norms it is no longer the hegemon. i wouldn't be surprised if they have already begun divorce proceedings.

now for the good news. included in the article was a link to a photo series, courtesy of us magazine, entitled "see photos of stars who wed too young." rimes was only nineteen when she got married. apparently even 24 is considered too young. THAT is good news. i mean i think back to people i dated when i was between the ages of 19-24. to put it mildly, i wouldn't date them now. i think that people change so much between the ages of say 18-30 that marrying in your early twenties does not bode well for marital success. you don't even know who you are. finding yourself takes a lifetime. but so many changes happen in those years. if you don't change, THAT is a problem.

obviously, this isn't true for everyone. some people make it work. i can't think of any that i know personally, but i think they are out there. but if even us weekly can identify marrying in your early twenties as too young, this is a positive step forward. i think it is a good thing that the next logical step after college dating is not necessarily marriage.

time to do actual work.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

california

for those of you that didn't know, i am in california. i have been waiting my whole life to come to california and now that i am here i gotta say that it is everything i always imagined. i am in love.

it is just like heaven. but pricier.

there are palm trees/desert shrubs everywhere. sunshine. and good vibrations.
it is also just like cheshepe told me it would be. there are so many different people here, but not all hating each other like in memphis. it is really laid back. i thought that given the proximity to LA, everyone would be super thin and beautiful. not so much. thin i mean. there are plenty of good looking people here.

and also good food. i had the best thai food tonight. green curry. now if there's one thing i'm about it's curry. i haven't actually had thai food since i quit working the thai restaurant last year.
this was worth it. i don't know if you all know,or care, but i would argue that making good green curry is a feat. most places fuck it up. the heats ends up obscuring the flavor because the inappropriate amount of curry paste/balancing spices (like lemon grass/thai basil/kaffir lime leaves) are not properly utilized.

however, is one of my favorite curries. i seek it out constantly. not just because it's the hottest. it love the flavor. it's not as interesting, perhaps, as penang, but if it is made correctly it is inherently the most satisfying.

and this was pretty close to perfect. and they put thai eggplant and bitter melon in it. which made it superbad. i fucking love bitter melon. and i love thai eggplant. i hate regular eggplant, but love thai eggplant.

anyway. the point is, if moving to california doesn't bankrupt me, i think i will be very, very happy here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

thesis please don't go

i got one step closer to getting you out of my life for good today. and now...my world is empty without you.

but that's ok. there are so many things i can fill that void with. starting tomorrow when i go to california. sunshine and palm trees. all this stuff with thesis and i haven't even had time to be excited. i would be more excited if i didn't have to be on a plane. i am so terrified of flying. like deathly afraid of flying. but whatev.

only five more pages to write and i can go home and get ready.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

every move i make

you can now be watching me. sort of. i created a twitter account. and now every move i make is reflected in the void that is cyberspace.
follow along...

come on. you know you like to watch.

Monday, April 6, 2009

thesis divorce day, pt 2

dear thesis.
i hope i'm not speaking too soon, but...goodbye. forever. you will not be missed. at all. at least not by me.
i wish i could say that i will look back on the good times and smile, but there
were no good times. except the good time i will be having once you are finally out of my life forever.
i have only a little more work to do today, and then i shall go and drink to the dissolution of our union.

thesis divorce day

i defend thesis at 1. then, god willing, our union can dissolve. we're getting what they used to call a nevada divorce.

things have been plaguing me from the start of this day.

in my last blog i wrote about how i ready the outer self for presentations.

well....i couldn't find the right shoes. apparently all they sell these days are fuck-me heels. which are fashion appropriate, but not school appropriate. then, i woke up this morning and found that my hot rollers no longer work. no farrah hair for me. then it was so cold outside that i am having to wear hose. this is not the end of the world, but it is not how i pictured my day looking and now an insecure feeling is vexing me.

then i read my horoscope and it was all like:

You can't always rely on your heart to steer you in the right direction if things get confusing. Think things through in a more analytical way and be prepared to change the way you go about making decisions, today. If you use your intellect rather than your emotions, you will make a wiser decision -- and you will learn something about yourself along the way. Instinct is good, but right now you need to see things add up on paper before you believe they are true.


fuck....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

i'd be waiting for you in the middle...

but i just like control.

i've been thinking a lot about this lately. like when i look at my actions towards myself and i wonder why i am weight obsessed. i mean...i don't really feel that i am weight obsessed, but i have had other people point this out to me. i believe that if you're pretty, you're pretty it doesn't matter what size you are and i don't really judge other people on that. but i do have a sense of Check Spellingaesthetics when i look at people. it just isn't tied into the prevailing societal stereotypes.

it's more than weight. it's the connection between the outer and the inner.

i want my outer self to match my inner self in fabulousness.

for my outer self you can never be too thin. first of all, i'm realistic enough to admit that i don't have the pretty face. i've been told enough times that i'm not pretty.

example. when i was 18, this person whom i considered to be a friend told me that i might be smart, that i might be able to carry on interesting conversation, but i wasn't pretty and that was the reason why her boyfriend dated her and nobody dated me. experience has taught me that her assessment was undoubtedly biased and she probably only said that because her boyfriend DID like me. but that didn't matter at the time. it was completely devastating to hear that from someone that i thought was a friend. prior to that, i had never had that many girlfriends and the ones i did have weren't catty bitches. the point is...i believed her.

and i never forgot it.

some years later another person, a guy this time, pointed out to me that guys that he knew (more than one) thought i would be hot if only i lost 20-30 lbs. to those people, i can now honestly say...go fuck yourselves. i have lost the weight. and i still wouldn't so much as give the time of day.

but i haven't ever forgotten hearing that either.

thanks to giving up carbs and sugar, i am now roughly the size i was at 18. i can see my ribs when i look in the mirror. i can see my spine. not quite kate moss style, but still exciting. and i eat ALL THE TIME. that is the best part.

it is more than just buying into a prescribed body image. i can't change my bone structure. i can't change the fact that i will always be on the thick side. i can't change the hour glass shape. but i can control what i eat and to a large degree my weight.

i can't control what people say TO me. but i can control what they see when they look AT me. like whenever i have to give a presentation i always buy a new dress. or i wear something that at least the people i'm presenting to have never seen me in. and i wear fancy shoes, usually heels because i like the height advantage (all i need are like four inch heels and i'm almost at 6ft). i put my hair in rollers. this way i know that i have controlled every detail i can. there isn't one thing that is too minuscule for me not to think about.

i can also control what i see when i look at me. and right now i like looking at me.

i would have to say that i still love my body most without clothes on. like yesterday, for example, i spent part of the afternoon trying on lingerie. just so i could look at myself in it. i couldn't afford to buy most of it, but it still made me feel good about myself. now you can probably make some feminist argument about buying into the patriarchal ideal with fancy underwear. i don't agree. i like it because i like to see myself in it.

oh yeah. in case the name of this blog didn't clue you in...i am a total narcissist. especially when it comes to my body. that's why i have always been more than willing to do nude modelling for artists that i know. i've never done it for pay. but i'm more than willing to do it for people i know.

but back to control. i went to the grocery store last night. there was the hottest guy there. and i liked the way he looked at me. and i knew it was because of my body. just like i was looking at him because of his good looks. but i still liked it. because in some ways it is about validation. i've given up trying to find a guy that can validate me intellectually, so for right now, physical validation in enough.

i liked it because i knew that if i wanted to i could have picked him up. easily. that's the thing about guys. they are super simplistic. once you have their attention, the rest is cake.

but i had way too much work to do last night to hit on some hot guy with a case of yuengling. it was just knowing that i could have what i wanted. and it is that feeling that i think i enjoy the most. it's like the cigarettes i keep in my purse that i don't even smoke. just knowing that they are there if i want them is enough for me.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

getting out of bed

basically...why even bother?

i finally forced myself to get out of bed and come do work. cause the work HAS to be done. no choice about that. but it seems today that i could really do without getting out of bed and leaving the house. period.

i don't want to intimate that i am in some super depressed state that is prohibiting me from functioning properly. i just really like my bed. not that bed in particular, but, you know, staying in it all day and watching television and napping with cat.

for one thing, it's raining pollen right now. which is just making me feel totally gross. or it could be all the drinking. could be. but i think it is the pollen.

everything looks really pretty right now though. all the flowers are out. which is nice.

i really wish i had a more exciting blog post for today. it seems that when i was meltdown mode people were hitting up my blog like crazy. now that i'm back to relative normality, hits have dropped off substantially.

it's not that surprising. as britney spears has taught us...crazy sells.

Friday, April 3, 2009

sexual devolution

whatever happened to having sex just for fun? the recent observed tendency of guys to become over-invested emotionally over what is really just some sex has really made me re-evaluate the nature of relationships. and gender roles.

you see, i'm really SO conflicted on this topic. as a person. as a woman. as a feminist. it's kind of hard to even know where to start.

i think so much of this confusion stems from being raised in the transitory period between the sexual revolution and now. actually, it probably to has to do with being raised by a mother that lived through those transitory times. my mother did the best she could with the birds and the bees business. we all do. but i would still say that i came out with this really muddled idea about relationships, sex, love, marriage, and everything in between.

it's really not that surprising. i mean we live in a society/culture that didn't even recognize the clitoral orgasm until roughly the 1970's. and, quite frankly, i think that some people still aren't up to speed on this.

so i grew up with the idea that in terms of the feminist empowerment/sex conversation, the focus centered around pregnancy,the pill, and abortion. i was raised in a very much pro-choice, pro-contraceptive household. but it was always in the context of long-term, committed relationships (read: marriage).

the pill was awesome, because it meant you could have all the sex you wanted with your husband and not get pregnant. but it isn't to be used to go out and have sex with whoever.

abortion is your right as a woman. but don't you go getting knocked up.

sex is fun. but only if you're married. and so i grew up with this idea of sex that was really connected with love. but it isn't like that for everyone. it certainly wasn't like that for most guys i met. and so my feeling were hurt many times.

i understand that this is probably responsible parenting. you don't just want to give your kids a free pass to go out and whore it up. but seriously. if i had waited for marriage to have sex....i would still be waiting.

what i had NO idea about was sexual functioning. when i started working in a restaurant in college and found out that most women actually used vibrators it was mind blowing. i wasn't totally puritanical, not by a long shot, but i just had no idea that this was totally acceptable. this was a defining moment it my life.

i mean that's what the sexual revolution was about. about having sex because it is enjoyable. and that women have just as much a of right, and in the context of the times just as much potential (the female orgasm, clitoral or otherwise, was a myth...remember?), to enjoy sex as much as men.

here's where it gets tricky. at the crossroads between emotions and sex. and i don't know what the balance is. is it so wrong to just find that person that you can drink and few beers with, have decent conversation with, and then fuck...i mean without it becoming a super huge, intense deal? does it have to go straight to committed relationship from there? are the idea of these relationships just a social construct anyway?

the thing is i can't, personally, just go out and have sex with just anyone. actually i can, but i'm very picky and they would have to be exceptional. and i just can't seem to completely justify using a person as a means to an end if i think they like me. but i have a phobia of commitment. mostly this stems from very, very disappointing relationship experiences.

back to the gender role thing. i don't know when guys got so emotionally invested in sex. i certainly never met these guys when i was having sex with people just because i liked them, or because i thought that they wanted to have sex with me because they liked me.

my initial response to these guys is "man the fuck up. stop whining. and just enjoy what we do." but then i realize that i sound like i'm endorsing the patriarchal power structure in reverse. have i become the oppressor?

maybe.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

what a tangled web we weave

done with the freak out. at least for this second. so i'm back to tell you about things that really matter.
always one to be waiting anxiously for celebrities to have to eat their words i bring you this choice tidbit from miley cyrus. the article on omg was entitled (and i'm not making this up)

Miley Cyrus: I Won't End Up Like Britney or Lindsay


i'm leaving it that large, because it's that awesome.
well miley...let me be the first to say...

bitch, please...

remember when britney said she was going to be a virgin until she got married? which lasted until she met justin timberlake. can't say i blame her on that one.

remember when lindsay said she didn't do drugs? which lasted until she was introduced to cocaine. hey...it happens...

all i'm saying is that i'm waiting with bated breath to see how miss miley turns out. it will be SPECTACULAR.
 
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