Tuesday, December 25, 2007

ho ho ho

Merry Christmas! For those of you celebrating, I hope you're with people you love. For those of you not- enjoy the day off! Hellz yeah!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

do me a favor...

two favors, actually:

1- forward this link around: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/view_cause/47176 and donate money if you got some to spare sometime between 3pm thursday and 3pm friday.

2- don't take this to mean i'ma advertise for you, too. this is a one-time deal. ;-)

so basically facebook has this "giving challenge" (i know, facebook is trippin) where they are going to give $1000 to whatever organization can get the most PEOPLE (not the most money) to donate in a 24-hour period. there's also some later prize i think that's more money. point is, if like a million people donate a dollar, you win. whereas if one person donates a million dollars, you lose. although i guess either way you have a million, so its win-win. win.

anyways, MTPC is cool. They are working to make sure that the hate crimes bill protecting gender identity and expression, "An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes," HR-1722 will be pass in Massachusetts. You can read about it here:
This legislation would strengthen hate crimes law, and offer legal protection for transgender and gender-variant people in Massachusetts. they need money. hence this post.

you can think of it like a facebook gift. donate a dollar, and then write on my wall (or anyone's wall) saying you did it, and it'll be pretty much exactly like a gift. except you know, a 'gift' is actually just a picture that you pay a dollar for. which is a whole nother reason facebook is trippin. but i digress.

alternatively if you are mad poor, just forward the link to people who aren't as poor as you. i know we all have friends with all kinds of money buying up pictures of josephine baker in france and shit. make them donate dollars. ;-)

alright. just in case you forgot, this is the website, and you have to do it between 3pm thursday and 3pm friday. otherwise you're just not good at following instructions.

thanks and love,


fuck mtv

ok so i'll withhold publishing this post until i get approval from my co-blogger to trash a specific company, but it should be ok, right? because everything i blog is just my opinion. and brittany does not control me. i can hate mtv all i want. and i do. here's why:

so this is a spoiler. but chances are if you don't know who won a shot at love with tila tequila already, you didn't care all that much to begin with. tila chose bobby. ok backtrack a moment, and lets look at the two finalists:

dani: i may have mentioned her in an earlier post. SUPER cute, really genuine and sweet (or at least the cameras portrayed her that way), pretty androgynous, dressed fashionably and definitely not femme-y, refused to wear that crazy bikini outfit tila wanted them to wear in that one episode because "its not who she is," pretty much america's new sweetheart. everyone watching the show is in love with dani. tila seems to be in love with dani, but i guess its always hard to know when you're just watching a show.

bobby: fairly cute (for a boy) but puts way too much gel in his hair, does a couple things that would lead you to believe he's gay and then overcompensates by talking about how much he wants to bone tila all the time. pretty sexist, although they start editing that out more and more in the later episodes and assume you're going to forget some of the shit he said earlier in the season. from upstate new york, homophobic family. he himself seems a taaad homophobic but willing to get over it. not so articulate. sweet and funny, but basically just not as cool as dani.

so its this whole dramatic thing, blah blah blah, tila picks bobby. now first of all let me just point out: BOBBY didn't even think bobby was going to win. which leads you to wonder...

ok so maybe tila really did like bobby better. i find it hard to believe, but maybe. but i still have this sneaking suspicion that MTV planned to have a man win all along. i mean dani is great, but what would it do to tila's career as a sex symbol for teenage boys to have her dating a real live not-what-they-see-in-pornos lesbian? what would it do to mtv to have a show in which a woman actually captured another woman's heart?

i know at this point you're probably saying "kaya, chill the fuck out. its a reality tv show." and i'll admit you have a point. BUT i will continue to whine about this because it actually is really upsetting to me. sure, it is a ridiculous reality show, but if dani HAD won, it also would have really been an amazing thing. i think straight people often forget that even though there are certainly plenty of gays out and about now, it's extremely rare to actually see someone like yourself portrayed as a legitimate person on tv if you're gay. especially if you're a gay woman. like maybe black women can feel me on this: you know that feeling you get when you listen to jill scott and she's really saying some shit that you can relate to? i've never had that feeling.

right up until tila chose bobby and pronounced "i chose a man!" followed by "i can be your wifey," dani was that for a lot of people. and maaaybe tila really did "love dani, but was in love with bobby," but i'm stickin to my story and blaming MTV for taking that away from me.

so like i said, fuck mtv.

and before you ask, yes i do realize its not really "mtv" thats to blame for yet another reaffirmation of the superiority of straight white men, its just mtv this time. but still. fuck 'em.

Friday, December 14, 2007

stop trying to punch God!

Okay, so for those of you who probably got really confused after reading the title of this blog post and subsequently noticing the promotional poster for New Line Cinema's recent release The Golden Compass here is a quick synopsis of 'the deal:'

Okay so basically this movie is based off of the first installment of a set of 3 books written by Phillip Pullman, a great writer, kind of a tool, and an atheist, for those of you who were unaware. Now, for those of you who are somewhat interested in seeing this movie (and the sequels that New Line will no doubt produce) and reading the His Dark Materials books, I will put out the warning now that this blog post will probably contain some sort of story spoilers. So, you know. Be on the lookout for that sort of thing.

Now to get more into the actual substance of this post. I will start by saying that Pullman's novel and the series that it goes with ranks among the top of my all-time favorite books- it's imaginative, well-written and exciting, and I personally think that Pullman does an excellent job of creating fantastical worlds so different from our own and simultaneously linking them all together in a way that allows almost any reader to relate (which is, if you read them, probably a big point). I read the first book when I was about 12 years old and fell in love, but was unable to read the rest for some reason (probably laziness) until this past year, my senior year of college.
So, here comes one of those spoilers for those of you who are beware'ing of them: an interesting and somewhat disturbing feature of the book for me? The fact that they kill God. Or at least the literal figure of God in the worlds of the book. I'll admit that having read the final two books (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) as a more mature adult I was able to take this scene for what it was worth- a bit of literary drama dreamt up by an atheist who, when all is said and done, really seems to want people to put a little more thought into their beliefs (since these beliefs can and have driven people to, in some cases, do terrible things). But what are people's reactions?
Well actually, in most cases- absolutely nothing. That's because, even though the books themselves are really great reads, people just don't bother to actually read anything anymore. As a result, although the books were originally published back in 1995 (which means that I read the first one two years after it was published- go me!) now that a film is being made a good 12 years later people have suddenly started getting their underwear in a twist about the basic premise of the film and the books on which it is based.
Catholics are mad because it makes the catholic church look bad. Christians are mad because... it makes the Catholic church look bad, and the whole "killing God" thing at the end really isn't helping matters. But what I find most problematic is that, instead of using this book to better understand the ways of thinking of others and as a tool to strengthen their faith, they immediately have jumped up in arms about it, most probably without even having read two paragraphs of the stories (I'm sure they let their preachers give them the basics of it). I mean.. it's just so.. ignorant.
And don't get me wrong at all- I am Christian myself and am not ashamed or afraid to say that I am a strong believer and have a close personal relationship with God, but that close personal relationship does not allow me to feel threatened by other opinions or shy away from knowledge in fear. It seems to me that if a person is strong and sure in their beliefs then it'd take a lot more than a book and an expensive ass movie to change their minds...
What do you think?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


i had been wondering what to blog about and drawing a blank. the world? nah. boring. politics? even worse. but inspiration comes in the most unlikely places. and by "inspiration," i mean really hot girls.

ok so no this post is not "meaningful" per se, but it is a TAD meaningful. i'm here to proclaim my love for dani campbell, one of the last two contestants on MTV's "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila." for those crazy folks who haven't been rushing to their tvs at 10 or computers (we don't like to pay for cable) at 11 each tuesday to catch the show, the basic premise is that Tila Tequila, of myspace "fame," is bisexual, but no one knew that until episode 2 of her reality show on MTV. so she got like 16 guys and 16 girls there under semi-false pretenses (always a great way to ensure drama!) and then announced she was bisexual, and made them ALL compete for her heart. the show is ridiculous. and by "ridiculous" i mean "so great." everyone on it is totally insane. but i digress. dani.

so of the people who made it into the final like, not a million people, dani was the only even semi-androgynous type girl. tila claims that she usually goes for really feminine girls, but dani is now the only girl remaining on the show, so i guess someone's had a change of heart. thank god. because most of the "feminine" girls on the show were actually more "batshit crazy" than anything else. except amanda. who was "freakishly strange looking." but again, i digress.

my point is this:
a) everyone should watch this show and dani should win because she's great.

b) the reason she's great is she's just a normal-ass person instead of a crazy person. you know, like she's nice, and considerate, and generally doesn't make a fool of herself.

c) its actually kind of cool because now dani has this like, GIGANTIC fan base (even bigger than tilas, according to mtv's website!) which is probably some kind of television first. so this is actually kind of a big deal. regardless of whether she wins or not (she better win), i feel like all of a sudden a lot of people who watch mtv think that butch (or "futch," as dani likes to say) lesbians are cute, instead of weird. so thats some kind of victory.

anyways, thats pretty much all i have to say about that. go ahead and check it out. you know you want to.

over and out.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Theater Review: Yellow Face

that's right, i'm a city girl now. and that means i can go to the theater and write reviews of it.

ok, maybe thats not the "exact" definition of "city girl" these days, but i think my main point here is that i saw a play the other day and i thought it was good, and i feel like sharing.

so the play was David Henry Hwang's "Yellow Face," which I had not even heard of, seeing as how i never hear about things until someone calls me and tells me about them. but apparently its been getting rave reviews, and i see why. the play was autobiographical/fictional, which is already fun because especially if you're someone like me who didn't know anything about the story until you saw the play, you're always wondering which part is which. the basic premise is that after a controversy (not fiction) in which a white british actor was cast as one of the leading asian roles in Miss Saigon, the main character (who is based on AND named after the playwright) becomes involved in protests of "yellow face." things take an awkward turn for him, though, when he accidentally casts a white man as the leading asian role in his play that is supposed to be a satirical critique of yellow face. he manages to fire the actor, but the play flops anyways and the actor, Marcus, having finally found that feeling of acceptance he's always craved among the asian american community, uses that moment to propel himself into a career as an asian actor. and no one notices that he's white.

thats pretty much the end of the first act, and i have to admit that at that point, i was still confused. i liked the play, but i was having trouble connecting to it. act two really stepped up its game, though. act two brings you into the real-world moment in which wen ho lee was accused of being a spy, and fear of china was "in" ...again. the protagonist's father is being investigated for "suspicious" money transfers to his bank from a bank in beijing, and the white actor now calling himself "Marcus Gee" is at the forefront of asian-american activism protesting it all. the protagonist/playwright has a very powerful stand-off with an unnamed new york times reporter (if i knew more, it would be "obvious" who it was, but alas), and the play ends in a bonanza of meta moments (god i love those) in which the protagonist and marcus discuss their roles in the play.

ok so maybe that summary didn't make THAT much sense. i'm not an actual theater critic. i just wanted to give a summary in case it inspired you to go see it. anyways my point was, i thought this play was amazing. it was one of those things where as you're watching it you just have moment upon moment when all of a sudden you get exactly what the playwright is talking about. like the moment in the stand-off with the reporter in which David Henry Hwang asks why he is criminalizing chinese-americans, claiming that it would be like suspecting the reporter of being un-american and pro-white. "but there is no conflict between being white and being american," the reporter exclaims. bam. brilliant writing.

this play does a wonderful job of taking a number of relatively simple, unsurprising moments and revealing just how ridiculous and shocking they are, and their importance to the fucked-up nature of our society's issues with race. i could pretty much ramble on forever about how i enjoyed it, but the point is it made me think, so you should see it, because it will make you think too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

he's an idiot, but y'all knew that

da big boss coon, yeah he had to do that...

i hate to even give it publicity, but i saw this on one of my favorite blogs, and i couldn't NOT pass on the info. in fact, i won't even explain it. just watch this:

and this...

i guess he couldn't let flava flav take ALL the coonery. that would just be unequal distribution of coonin'.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

in lighter news...

queen latifah is engaged to her "secret" girlfriend, jeanette jenkins. awww. i mean who was she ever trying to fool, but still. i'm happy not to have to read about it in O.K. magazine anymore. because i'm trying to quit that shit. its unhealthy.

point is, thats fun. power to the people. although the comments sections on some of these gossip blogs might make you a little sad, so be warned.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I know I should do this in comments, but I'd like to point out to everyone that there are definitely employment opportunities that lie somewhere between the realm of public service and finance. They are often called "regular jobs." I have one such mythical job (which I am sitting at right now, oh the wonders of the internet and a reasonably liberal company that doesn't block all fun sites) and I find myself making enough money to live, save, and oh you know, go out from time to time.
Don't let Harvard fool you, you can have all sorts of jobs and futures!
Okay that was my rant. Damn, it's time to go home.
P.S. (To Kaya) Did you know that Virgin Megastore in Times Square has a whole "Gay & Lesbian" section? Food for thought. Guess where your Christmas present is prooobably going to come from..

Sunday, December 2, 2007

well? shall we go?

yes. let's go.

i just thought i'd share this little new york times article with you: its about a production of "waiting for godot" in new orleans. its interesting. give it a read. it got me thinking abstract thoughts. which i'll proceed to share, in a rambling fashion:

its amazing to me, or rather, a bit horrifying, how easy it is for us to forget new orleans, to not be apalled at the fact that rebuilding is at best a dream deferred. and this article really made me think about the mentality a lot of people seem to have towards not only new orleans, but pretty much every atrocious situation in this country: it'll get better. it has to. all i have to do is wait. perhaps we all read "waiting for godot" when we were too long to understand it. maybe i still don't totally "get it," but i think the take-away message is that dude is not planning on showing up. so we might want to get off our asses and get something done for ourselves. a lot of people, especially people of our parents' generation i think, see THIS generation as an apathetic one. and its obvious why, but i really don't think thats precisely whats going on. i almost wish it was apathy - i think its something a lot more like defeat. we're all hoping that things won't get worse, yet they keep getting worse. hurricane katrina happened and we thought, "well this is a wake-up call." but it wasn't, and people in new orleans are still waiting. and the majority of the country is ignoring that and every other problem, or is doing whatever small thing makes us feel like we're helping without having to make any real sacrifices. because we figure eventually something will happen, and we'll be saved.

Vladimir: We'll hang ourselves tomorrow. Unless Godot comes.
Estragon: And if he comes?
Vladimir: We'll be saved.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

rationalizing your way to a fortune

I don't like to blog about harvard TOO much, because i don't like to remember harvard too much. but since the black community lists don't seem to be taking up the issue, i feel like i have to put it SOMEWHERE on the internet...

here's what happened: the Harvard Crimson ran a 3-part series entitled "Living by Harvard's Rules." The series is a focus on now-senior Bryan C. Barnhill, an active member of the black community, and soon-to-be i-banker (or perhaps consultant). I'll do my best to make my summary quick, since 3 articles is a lot to get mad about:

basically the articles are broken down like this:
article 1 talks about how Bryan came from a very poor neighborhood in detroit. harvard gets a quick shout-out for being so financially diverse (can you believe that 1 in every 4 students comes from a family making less than $80,000 a year? wow, i feel normal already!) the article talks about how Barnhill, and many others, feel disoriented when they arrive at harvard. Bryan makes a decision to drop the do-rag and baggy pants, and take up a collared shirt.

article 2: barnhill finally finds a feeling of inclusion in the Harvard Spee (for those who don't know, the spee, and other final clubs are kind of like frats. except way more steeped in racism, sexism, and classism). he doesn't feel tokenized, even though he sometimes can't afford to hang out with the rest of his "brothers." his parents, when they visited, were impressed by the spee's rich history (of rich white men). article 2 ends by noting that people from bryan's neighborhood are not jealous of his success, they're proud.

article 3 (my favorite): is about how bryan came to harvard with a desire to change the world. to "dismantle capitalism," even. but he soon realized that doing good is for crazy people. no, more to the point, its only for rich people apparently. barnhill felt "hoodwinked" by campus liberals who told him he didn't have to be an i-banker. "they didn't seem concerned about their wallets," he said. but bryan (unlike the rest of us) has responsibilities back home. he needs to be able to help his family out, to take them on vacations, to help his brother go to college. for that, he needs i-banking. and he hopes to give back to his community first by becoming a personal success, and then sharing the wealth.

ok, so not a super-short summary. sorry. ANYWAYS, since you know i love bullet points, here are my concerns. and i'd like to note, first, that i'm sorry in advance if any of this comes off as mean. i know bryan, and i like him. but i heartily disagree with his point of view on this matter, and i'm offended that he agreed to let this story be published about him. here goes:

- the most offensive part of this to me was the part where he implies that those of us who go into public sector work do it because we don't need money as much as he does, because our families don't need us, or because we're just rich. if someone could please tell that to my checkbook, that would be great. because i don't see the riches he's implying. i do see a salary i can survive on, and even save a bit to help out family members who might need it, but no - the harvard mantra is to never settle for "fine" when you could be making 80,000 or more a year. like yes, obviously i-banking pays better than public interest. no duh. but i am SO offended by the implication that public interest careers are a privilege that people from working-class backgrounds can't afford. if you really want to help out your community, why don't you go teach their children? no salary in the world is so high that it's going to lift your old community out of poverty, so dont kid yourself into thinking you're "giving back," when you're just "giving a bit." and don't kid yourself into thinking you're doing this for someone else, when you're doing it for yourself. (and like i said, not to be mean. this isn't me yelling at bryan, its me yelling at every single harvard student who uses the same rationalization i'm seeing in this article).

- the article is right, harvard is NOT very welcoming if you don't come from money. joining a final club will not make it more welcoming. sure, you'll have friends. and maybe they really aren't tokenizing you, although i doubt it. but how in the world does that make the situation better for anyone else? again, don't kid yourself into thinking its about someone other than yourself.

i could go on for days, but then you would stop reading. so, in conclusion: this article is a shocking example of the entire reason i was constantly angry when i was at harvard. what bothers me most is a) that its about a member of the black community, and b) that NO ONE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY IS TALKING ABOUT IT. seriously, for those of you reading this, what the fuck? are you scared people won't like you anymore if you disagree with one of the 'popular' kids in the black community? do you all just agree? or is this just not an issue anyone is even interested in?

this is one of those times i'm so glad to have graduated. even if it does mean having to live in the "real world" on a less than phenomenal public interest salary.

Friday, November 30, 2007

republicans are good for something after all...

i've been a bit lax on the blog lately, so in a last-ditch effort to inspire myself, i turned to the cnn youtube republican debates. bingo. a veritable goldmine of idiocy and terror. i'm watching them now. or rather, i'm watching whichever questions look especially juicy. as i go, i'll let you know what i think. i'll include the videos for your perusal in case you so desire to judge for yourself. but in case you don't, i'll rain judgment down upon them right below the video:


ok what the fuck? a) why does america love to fear taxes? i mean i get it. no one loves to look at their paycheck and see that it is not much. but you know what i bet a lot of people love? education. and roads that are not going to cave in under your car as you drive. and clean drinking water. and pretty much everything else that your tax dollars help pay for. i mean i'll be the first to agree that taxation is fucked up in this country, but thats not because taxes are bad. its because rich people don't pay nearly as much as they should. cut my taxes if you want. but raise theirs.

i won't put in this video because i just have a quick comment about it. how come when asked what three federal programs he would cut to save money, the first thing that came to ron paul's mind was "department of education?" are you serious?


why are republicans so creepy? duncan hunter got his hunting license at the age of 9? you know killing animals is one of the first signs that your child is a sociopath.

Black-on-black crime:

mitt romney can go die.


mitt romney can go die.

The Bible:

have you noticed the people who ask the questions to the republicans are on the whole a tad creepier than the ones who asked democratic debate questions? also, separation of church and state has clearly flown straight out the window. no one's even trying to pretend anymore.
oh and also, mitt romney can go die.


i feel like i'm starting to sound like a broken record, but...
john mccain actually gets points from me on this one. first of all for being against torture, and second of all for really bitch-slapping mitt romney. ouch. although after having watched mccain's answers to a couple of questions, i'm starting to suspect that he has PTSD. now i feel a little sorry for him. not sorry enough to elect him president, but sorry enough to suggest he seek help.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

ok FIRST of all, most of the army is conservative?!?!? yeah, maybe most of those kids who sit down with their families over breakfast and decide they want to serve their country are conservative. but most of the people in the army are not those kids. try poor black and latinos who didn't get an education and had to join the army if they ever wanted to be able to afford one. and i'm sorry, "conduct?!?" so you're saying its ok to be gay in the military, but don't run around all day having sex with anything that moves? oh wait, that doesn't actually happen? well now i'm just confused.
oh and mitt romney: guess what you can go do.

ok well now i'm just tired. so i'll sign off for now. but dear lord, people, i just have to say one last thing: at the rate this country is going downhill, i'm starting to doubt i'll make it to my 30th birthday. i'm seriously frightened. i'd been planning for some time to take off for canada when the going got tough, but now i'm realizing the going's so tough, i don't think canada is far enough. suggestions, please. i want to live.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

would an hour by any other number be as useful?

"The first and great necessity of the present to free labour of this country from capitalist slavery, is the passing of a law by which eight hours shall be the normal working day in all States of the American Union. We are resolved to put forth all our strength until this glorious result is achieved."
Okay. So first off I would like to say- thank you Labor Movement and political pioneers for ensuring that industrial workers had rights that not only included the right to benefits and unionization, but also the eight-hour work day. This was an excellent idea, and a most advantageous step forward for the regular people's cause. All that being said, I feel that an eight hour day in corporate settings is now all but complete bullshit.
While you might think that I am only just recently realizing/learning or feeling this because I know have a regular ole' 9 to 5 but no no no, I realized this back when I was just a lowly intern and S.A. I mean, how do people in a corporate environment usually spend their time? Let me break it down for you in the standard 9-5 work day.
9-9:30 Settle In. This includes turning on one's computer, checking e-mails (and by checking I mean only looking to see that they are of course there, not actually reading them), putting away jackets, coats, etc. and deciding whether or not you are hungry enough to go get something to eat.

9:30-9:40 Still just figuring it out. Are you really hungry? Well damn, it's almost ten, you really ought to get it together.

9:40-10:00 Settle down.. again. So this is the time where our hungry and/or thirsty workers would go grab a cup of coffee or bagel or yogurt or order something. If you are not eating? This time is probably spent saying hello to someone in the office, either someone passing by or someone that you sit within close proximity off. High-wall cubicles are at risk of a 30 minute "settle down again" as their work spaces contribute to people walking by and standing within the otherwise isolated cubicle for a more intimate, and thus longer talk.

10:00-11:45 Get Down On It. Good job, you are really being productive. Answering e-mails, setting up or attending meetings, calling internal and external partners. This is great, this is what working is all about!!!

11:45-12:00 So, is it time to eat again or what? These fifteen minutes are crucial to your stomach, because this is the time that you will decide whether or not you will eat soon. You will also probably use this time to call an office friend or gchat some potential lunch partners. Then you will need to also figure out where you are going. We really should have dedicated 20 minutes to this.

12:00-12:45 Work it Out. So you've decided to push lunch back to one. Good! Now you can productively use this extra hour! You continue to e-mail and call and do other corporate-like work things.

12:45-1:00 Let's Get Ready to Rumble. During this time you call or chat your lunch parter to make sure that they will be ready to go. You establish a meeting place and destination. You check your personal e-mail and then make sure you have your wallet/purse and get your coat if you need it. Getting together these items is essential, you are lucky you can fit this into fifteen minutes.

1:00-2:10 Lunch! The most glorious part of the day. You eat something delicious and have a conversation. Excellent.

2:10-2:20 Settling Some More. Now that you're back at your workspace you have to un-get-ready. That means put away your personal items, say some more hellos to people in your office and look to see if you have voicemails.

2:20-2:40 Voicemail tiiime. Listen and respond to these. This is a very necessary but very boring part of your day.

2:40-3:10 The Internet is Your Friend. Let's not lie to ourselves. You will probably use this time to check your favorite blogs, see who has new pictures on facebook, answer a couple g-mails and/or do something for one of your out-of-the-office ventures.

3:10-3:30 Time for a Snack! This time is used procuring a snack or beverage of some sort. You will run into someone you like along the way and have a conversation either at their desk or in front of the water cooler- proverbial or real.

3:30-4:30 Work work work. Good job, you are back at your desk ready to contribute. You are a rock star at this point and get a bunch of crap done.

4:30-4:40 Lullaby Baby. Okay I'm not going to lie, you don't really do anything during this time. At least you don't really complete anything.

4:40-4:50 Oh Crap! It's almost time to leave, you better do something!

4:50-5:00 Ahhhh. You get something done. Check! Look at your checklist- don't you feel acomplished?

5:00-5:05 Peace Up, A Town Down. Somehow you manage to get ready, say goodbye and get your things in 5 minutes. You peace out until tomorrow.
Okay, so after reading all this, and if my entry-level brethren are completely honest with me and themselves, you can see that during the work day you spend a good 25-30% doing absolutely nothing that contributes to your company's bottom-line. I bet some of you even spend more time than I put on that schedule doing things like checking facebook. Let's see what the actual breakdown was:
240 min. Working
115 min. "Getting Ready"
90 min. Eating
50 min. Personal Internet
Like really, word? The most crazy part? YOU WILL DO THIS AND GET EVERYTHING DONE THAT YOU NEED TO DO ON-TIME OR EVEN EARLY. And be really honest with yourselves and break down your day's work-to-not-work-but-really-crap ratio and see what you come up with. Clearly I cannot speak for my finance and banking people- but if you are honest I am sure that none of you spend 100% of your work day doing things other than working and eating. All this has led me to believe that the eight-hour work day in these sorts of environments has become both null and void and that we need to institute something new. Something daring. Something different. Something like...
Oh come on, like you didn't see that coming.
I mean really, I feel like 6 hours would be such a more useful structuring of our time. More time to rest at home so that you are productive at work, less time to dilly-dally around. When you have less time most people have a fire under their ass to do things. I feel like this set-up could potentially really increase productivity ALONG with workforce contentment.

How do you feel?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

today is trans day of remembrance

and our friends over at quench have started a conversation about what that means. I really encourage you to check it out. as always when one of these "days of remembrance" or "history months" rolls around, I'm reminded of how annoying it is that we can't remember EVERY day, or learn everyone's history in school. but trans day of remembrance is kind of special in that I think a lot of people don't even take this ONE day to think about it. so you've been educated - today is trans day of remembrance, and for me that means at the very least taking a moment to realize just how many people, and especially people of color, all over the world have been killed or otherwise victimized because they are transgender. so take that moment. and maybe look around the internet a little bit and learn some more about it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

with inflation, what would 40 acres be today?

alright so first of all, i recognize that brittany (*cough cough*) and i have been a bit lax in updating. turns out a blog is a lot of work. life can get hectic. sorry. we'll do better.

but back to business: skimming through the "most emailed" section of the new york times, i was delighted to find out that skip gates has an article in the op-ed section. i had been going through severe withdrawal since graduation, and since i've been watching less tv, it seems like "finding oprah's roots" is on less and less too. i refuse to ever admit to "missing harvard," but if i DID miss something about harvard, it would definitely be the af-am department. so when i saw that dr. henry louis gates jr. had written an article called "40 acres and a gap in wealth," i was on it before you could say "doesn't he mean 'mule'?"

ANyways, harvard ramblings aside, i'm pointing it out on the blog for a few reasons:

1 - this way i dont have to email it to anyone, so its almost time-saving in a way
2 - i really needed to update the blog.

but more importantly, 3 - gates is pointing to something i think most of us know about, but for some reason hasn't made it into the canon of "things wrong with black america:" land ownership. the difference between owning property and not is huge, and gates is pointing out that this difference back in the day can be seen in the present (oprah's ancestors owned land. so did whoopi goldberg's). and of course people have all sorts of things to say about that. maybe if black people owned land they'd be more invested in their communities. maybe they'd be more upwardly mobile. etc. etc. the point is, it's clear that property ownership is a big step in the "right direction," and is a step that most black americans either haven't taken, or haven't been able to take.

so in the spirit of a) finding out how many people actually read this blog, and b) friendly conversation (or not-so-friendly argument. either way), i have a question to ask you:

so most people didn't get that 40 acres and a mule they were promised. those who did seem to be significantly better-off than those who didn't. so lets talk about reparations: how does the idea of straight-up land change the reparations debate? what if instead of getting a check, black people got some property? i'm not saying lets do this, because i think we all know it won't happen. but i am asking what you think.

Monday, November 12, 2007

you know how they say...

"guns don't kill people, people kill people?"

...people kill people WITH guns. its not rocket science.

cups don't drink water, people drink water.

that's all.

Friday, November 9, 2007

i'm making a list

i might not bother checking it twice. but the list of people who are "dead to me" just grows by the hour.

admittedly today's subject, sarah silverman, has been dead to me for quite some time. ever since i saw her feature-length special...what was it called again? oh yeah, "jesus is magic." anyways, that such a huge waste of life that i wrote her off forever. but lately i've been seeing her face on the train a lot, apparently because she has her own show. now answer me this: why would comedy central devote a whole show to sarah silverman? perhaps equally important, why would they then let her do a whole show in blackface?

yes, you heard right. sarah silverman is doing blackface now. you can check out a clip of it here (even though i hate giving her publicity), or click "older videos" on this list to find all of them.

so i shouldn't even have to say much more than that, but i will say just a couple things:

1 - blackface is never funny. people like sarah silverman and those who watch her show think "oh but dave chappelle did it that one time, so why can't i?" they clearly only watched the preview of chappelle's show, because any time blackface appears in the context of socially context black comedy or film, its not FUNNY. its uncomfortable, and its commentary. when spike lee made "bamboozled," i don't think he wanted you to laugh. when dave chappelle did "whiteface" on his show, he wanted you to think. sarah silverman doesn't even know HOW to think. which is how this show came into being, apparently.

2 - there is like, some kind of epidemic spreading of people doing ridiculous shit on tv and then claiming free speech, or that they didn't mean to offend, or blaming "pc culture" for making them the victim of some kind of "high-tech lynching" (thats right clarence, you get a shout-out). i don't really get that argument. like if you want free speech, take it. but if you say or do something hateful, "free speech" does not mean "no one can get mad." it means "you can't get arrested and thrown in jail for saying that." so congratulations, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. etc. etc. people: you're not in jail. but your show still fucking sucks. and i'm not going to watch it, and also i hate you.

3 - on a personal level, sarah: you are not funny. ever. obviously this blackface thing wasn't funny, but also you are never funny. how did you get a show? like seriously. anyone who has ever seen her perform for more than like, 30 seconds can probably back me up on this: she must have learned in some class that "incongruous" is a small component of comedy, and then dropped out. so she says and does stupid shit and then looks at you like "isn't it funny that a small white jewish girl said that?" and you're like, "no..." and then she does it again. anyone on the planet could do a better job at comedy than sarah silverman just by getting drunk and standing on a table. she's ridiculous. she's dead to me. oh and sarah, in case you're reading this, in addition to the blackface, i also didn't think your immigrant jokes were funny, and i thought your rape jokes were in poor taste too.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

bye bye barack

you know, i wasn't even gonna post on this mainly because i'm lazy, but a recent trip to the comments section over on the field negro's post inspired me to have my (belated) say.

so you (hopefully) have heard already: Barack Obama fucked up big-time and booked "ex-gay" Donnie McClurkin to share the stage with him on his gospel tour. Needless to say, the gays got upset. among some of McClurkin's more memorable statements have been equating homosexuality to lying (its wrong, but some people just like to do it), and announcing a war between the gays, and the rest of "normal" america. i don't really want to go into the whole thing, so for your convenience i'll just go ahead and link to all the articles on this story over at pam's house blend. read from the bottom.

anyways, i have SEVERAL beefs i really just need to air and be done with it. so it's time for a good old-fashioned number-the-rage:

1. Obama: what the fuck? i mean i know you're not even that cool, and i never liked your face anyways, but this is a low even for mr "let's build a wall to keep the mexicans out." i mean not only did he book the guy, but when there was an outrage, he chose to stand by donnie "i used to be gay and now i'm not because its sinful, please don't interview my lover and blog about it because that would be awkward for me" mcclurkin.

did he expect NOT to lose the gay vote? and does he think he doesn't NEED the gay vote? like aside from being a shitty thing to do, it just seems straight up dumb. the amount of votes he might have gained by having a gospel tour cannot possibly be close to the amount he just lost for this fiasco. whoops.

2. Donnie: also what the fuck? first of all, don't embarrass yourself. you're claiming that you "quit the homosexual lifestyle" circa 2002, yet i just read an interview with a dude who claims to have been sharing your bed from 2001-2004? it just doesn't quite add up. also, i don't like you.

3. EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET: just shut the fuck up, really. i know, i know. don't read the comments on blogs, dont' read the comments on youtube. it will only make you mad. but guess what? i read them. and i'm mad. over on field negro's post, the conversation about obama and mcclurkin quickly did a downward spiral into various people arguing over whether homosexuality is a choice or not, whether boys who play with dolls are gay, how if gayness grosses you out that doesn't make you a homophobe, and of course how most lesbians are totally still attracted to men.

come. on. if you don't know what you're talking about, there's no need to write an essay about it and post it on the internet. just think what the internet would be like if before hitting "post comment" people stopped and said to themselves "i wonder if what i just wrote has any value at all?" and possibly "i wonder if anything in my life has made me knowledgeable on this subject, or whether i'm just talking out of my ass." ugh.

bottom line: if you're homophobic, and apparently most black people still are, maybe there's nothing i can do about that. but don't go bitching all over the internet that we shouldn't be so hard on obama. he, much like yourself, lost my respect a while back. i know black people continue to hold on to him and defend all the stupid-ass shit he does, but this is my announcement: i'm officially over it. obama sucks, and frankly i doubt he'll ever get a chance to prove that. but if by some miracle he does, don't say i didn't tell you so in 2009 when the supreme court cuts down roe v wade and affirmative action in one fell swoop, and obama shrugs his shoulders and goes back to building his wall.

Friday, November 2, 2007

popcorn now, genocide later

So, one of the cooler parts of working at a media corporation is that sometimes you get cool perks. Sometimes it's a heads up about a party, a cool artist is doing an afternoon performance in your building, sometimes it's that you see John Norris or Sway in the cafeteria, or discounts on Broadway tickets, or maybe that you get a discount on your phone bill (but let's be real, what company isn't giving those away?). Other times you get to see movies- they can be funny, smart, boring, but very rarely political. So when the opportunity came for me to see a *free* advanced screening of the Warner Independent film Darfur Now you know I couldn't pass it up.
For those of you who haven't heard of it- and I'm willing to bet that "people who haven't heard of this movie" makes up about 70% or more of the population- I'll go ahead and give a brief synopsis:
The documentary Darfur Now follows the effect that the genocidal conflict in Sudan has had on six people's lives as they try to affect change in what has been an almost 5-year strong (at least in violence) genocide that has devastated not only the lives of the people living in Darfur, but the land's resources. Pulling on Warner Brother's connections, the movie follows Ocean's 11-13 and Hotel Rwanda star Don Cheadle (and features a good bit of fine-ass George Clooney) in order to get some Hollywood type leverage with the public.
Things I liked about this movie: I feel like they do a pretty good job of giving historical context to the genocide at the beginning of the movie with facts and dates. Most people (read: regular Americans) are just getting up to speed on the fact that something is even happening in Darfur, and of that small percentage of the American population, even less are likely to sit down and dutifully research (read: go on Wikipedia) the history of the conflict. I mean I'll admit, I was one of these people at first, so I can't even act like I'm above that. So yeah, this was definitely a plus for the movie. I also liked that the movie showcased change and action rather than depression and trauma- it is a film that is about moving you to do something other than just feel sad.
While I liked all that about the movie, I will say that this being a production of Time Warner (Warner Independent, we know you are owned by something bigger.. psh) probably made it more likely than not that this was a little watered down. I mean, I can't be mad- if you want to get a message across to people here you have to package it in a certain way. Unfortunately, while making a genocide cinematically appealing (have a good plot line, characters with whom the audience can engage and a visible villain that all can unify against) can really draw in people emotionally and intimately connect them with a theme, it also runs the risk of fictionalizing not only the event in question but the people living in and through it. Once you connect to and internalize a person's struggle through a movie based on real life, I feel like people are apt to illegitmately assume that they understand that person's struggle when really they don't. And when you feel like you understand something you feel like you are living through it. And if you're living through it okay, what's the rush on changing things?
So yeah. I mean, all in all it was a good movie. It gets wide release today, so I encourage those of you who have a local theater where it is playing, and have an extra $20 to spare (I threw some concession $$ in there for you- y'all know I got your backs ;) to go and check it out. It's worth it.
SIDENOTE: The saddest moments of the movie? When the Black Sudanese hoped for help, and encouraged fellow displaced persons that "The white people will come soon, they will bring troops and save us."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

just had to post it...

i don't even really have anything to say about this. except the obvious: don't have sex with people and then deny you did it. it takes two to pretend like nothing happened.

exclusive: "i had sex with larry craig"

well isn't this typical

I mean come on, it's not like you weren't expecting it:

James Watson Retires After Racial Remarks
James D. Watson, the eminent biologist who ignited an
uproar last week with remarks about the intelligence of people of African
descent, retired today as chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on
Long Island and from its board.
In a statement, he noted that, at 79, he
“overdue” to surrender leadership positions at the lab, which he joined
director in 1968 and served as president until 2003. But he said the
circumstances of his resignation “are not those which I could ever have
anticipated or desired.”
Story Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/25/science/25cnd-watson.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
You know, people just run their mouths all crazy nowadays. I'd feel more of a sense of justice being served if it weren't for the fact that he'll just comfortably settle back on all of the investments and just made-it-nesses that he's got going on in his life.
What a prick.

More substantial (but not political lol) post coming up soon. Just you wait.

Monday, October 22, 2007

most internet people are idiots.

That is all. I'm going to go read a book so that my head won't hurt as much right now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

entitlement in U.S. reaches all-time high

I don't usually make it to the "fashion and style" section of the new york times, shockingly enough, but today i was directed there by a friend. specifically, i was directed to the "modern love" article today: a terribly-written little essay by a girl named Alexis Wolff, entitled "Too Bad for Me That She Was So Well-Loved."

I'd really recommend that you read the article to get the full effect, but just in case you don't want to/don't have time, here's the quick summary: this girl (Alexis Wolff, henceforth known as ms wolff or possibly the big bad wolff) spent a semester abroad in Niger. there, she fell in love (modern love) with a little 2 year old child, despite the child's rotting teeth and oversized features (features which reminded her of underprivileged children she's worked with right here in the us!). not speaking the language (because studying abroad in west africa is fun even when you have no idea what the fuck anyone is saying to you), she chose to hang out with this two year old and her shockingly young grandmother instead of getting to know some people her own age. now comes the bad news: she had to leave Niger and return to her life of privilege in the united states. and all she wanted was to just be able to take that child with her. its too bad she's not one of those orphaned kids you see on the news all the time, because then it would be easy and totally unproblematic for ms wolff to just take her. but alas (and now, she takes a quick little side-trip to remember her terrible childhood of a wealthy but dysfunctional family. tears well in my eyes as i read about her father's drug problem, which made even her pony-filled birthdays somehow less perfect) alas, the young child has a family who loves her. and ms wolff can't "just have her." she has to go home emptyhanded.

i could go on, but it would just be embarrassing for poor ms wolff. she sees no problem, apparently, with announcing in a national forum her horrifying amount of privilege and entitlement. sees no problem with the racialized words she uses to describe the people she met in Niger. apparently doesn't even see a problem with wanting to have a black baby of her own. too bad for her slavery is over. and luckily for that baby, and every other baby, there are some rules about adoption.

now according to the times, Alexis Wolff lives in New York, New York. I happen to be a member of that facebook network, so in the spirit of investigative journalism, i searched her name and found an unrestricted profile. there i learned that young ms. wolff attended Yale undergrad and Columbia to get an MFA in nonfiction writing. some cross-reference with my former roommate who is now getting an MFA confirmed that columbia offers no funding, so apparently her family's hearbreaking dysfunction did not extend to denying her limitless funds to pursue her educational dreams. and apparently columbia's MFA program is not all its cracked up to be.

what really made me sad, though, was not that someone could think that this article was good (more than someone, as evidenced by all the praise she's receiving on her facebook wall). i mean i think we all know there are plenty of fucked up people in this country who think that they're liberals because they're not scared to go to africa. what bothered me most was that this was published in the new york times. i kind of hoped when i graduated harvard that i'd finally be free of the kind of culture where complete ignorance is rewarded and praised. but the sad realization i've been coming to is that the real world is actually just one big harvard.

if that's not enough to depress you, i don't know what is.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

yet another gay celeb...

oh wait, he's not actually real. still, apparently dumbledore is gay. which i find to be quaint. i was going to let brittany post this since i know she loves harry potter more than i do, but this way it'll be a fun surprise for her too. plus i think she is still out of town.

apparently some fan asked Rowling if Dumbledore "ever finds true love," and she responds "Dumbledore is gay." which in retrospect, i find to be a tad odd because it in no way answers the question. but i'm guessing he doesn't, since she never mentioned that he had. which is really too bad, because he was pretty cool.

update: a quote from one of the books, pointed out to me by sara -

Veelas have no effect on me whatsoever. Curious, that."
- Albus Dumbledore

Friday, October 19, 2007

someone really put a lot of work into this...

which is cool, because it entertained me for a solid 15 minutes at least. and i have a short attention span.

what if conservatives had their very own facebook?

i would totally be ann coulter's facebook friend. and i would write things on her graffiti wall.

Monday, October 15, 2007

the tale of al snore and his wildly undeserved fame

i wanted to write this a few days ago but i got lazy, so we'll all just have to deal with that. here's the thing: Al Gore just won the nobel peace prize. or half of it, technically, i guess. congratulations and all that, but come ON. are we serious? i really honestly would like someone to explain to me what exactly al gore has done that deserves any kind of prize at all, yet somehow he's managed to scoop up an oscar AND a nobel prize. did anyone besides me even SEE his movie? wait, did i say movie? i meant power point presentation. and it looked like he used one of the pre-made templates for it. talk about a big payoff for something that probably took him 2 hours to make.

here's the thing: it seems like all the conservatives are all pissed about al gore winning the nobel prize, and as a result all the liberals are rushing to his defense and congratulating him. perchance could this be yet another example of liberal political thought in this country being nothing more than a reaction to conservative thought? i mean i don't like ann coulter any more than the next person (that's a lie, i'm kind of amused by her), but that doesn't mean i'm going to eat shit just because she says she finds it disgusting. i'm here to say it once and for all: Al Gore's movie was the worst fucking movie i've ever watched, and I think america should be embarrassed that it's gotten as much publicity as it has.

now i'm in no way trying to say that the issues themselves aren't important. global warming is a HUGE issue, and i bet there are tons of people right now who actually spend their lives working on environmental issues that legitimately deserve a nobel prize. but al gore did not get a nobel prize for helping the environment. he got a nobel prize for helping make global warming a sexy issue. and he made it sexy by being already famous, because apparently americans are too stupid to pay attention to an issue if it doesn't have a famous face attached to it. i mean i get it. if he hadn't made "an inconvenient truth," maybe no one would have watched any of the actual movies about the environment, and maybe the oscars wouldn't have 'gone green' this year and blah blah blah. but if you can get a nobel prize just for having a memorable face, i think michael jackson got robbed. twice.

i guess at the end of the day, it boils down to two main things that are really pissing me off:

1) that it took almost-president al gore making a shitty movie and hiring some really REALLY good PR reps for people in this country to even notice the damage we're doing to the environment, and chances are people will forget about it as soon as celebrities stop talking about it and we'll all drown in the next hurricane

and 2) that people who have probably spent their whole lives working towards an oscar or working towards a nobel prize got robbed this year by a dopey-looking dude who can't even make a halfway decent power point presentation. i mean seriously. if your documentary had been nominated for an oscar this year, how would YOU be feeling right now? al gore is sitting there with his on some shelf in his house thinking "oh that old thing? i had my assistant make that movie on his lunch break."


Sunday, October 14, 2007

madame president

i have to say - i wasn't planning on going to Drew Faust's installation this past week, but I'm glad I ended up there. in my experience Harvard University is not the most enjoyable place as a minority or as a woman, but i actually felt a little bubbling of optimism inside me as i stood in the rain and watched Harvard's first female president in 371 years accept the responsibility that comes with that heavy load. i think you may know by now that i'm not one for optimism, but what can i say? i think i have a bit of a crush.

President Faust really went all out making sure her installation was focused less on tradition and more on positive change. all of the food and materials for her installation weekend were locally made and grown. she requested that her procession be led in by the pan-african dance troupe. she invited all of her teachers from elementary school on to be a part of the "president's division" at the ceremonies, because each of them helped her get where she is today. i mean seriously. what DIDN'T she think of? she's fabulous.

her speech was also clearly well thought-out. she challenged criticisms of higher education today: "Those who long for a lost golden age of higher education," she pointed out, "should think about the very limited population that alleged utopia actually served." she was humble but inspiring. and she ended on a humorous note:
"Last week I was given a brown manila envelope that had been entrusted to the University Archives in 1951 by James B. Conant, Harvard’s 23rd president. He left instructions that it should be opened by the Harvard president at the outset of the next century “and not before.” I broke the seal on this mysterious package to find a remarkable letter from my predecessor. It was addressed to 'My dear Sir.'"
my point: for once i'm not feeling particularly rageful. i think the coming years will bring improvements at Harvard, especially for those of us who felt less than welcome under the slightly less inspirational figure of Lawrence H. Summers.

My dear Madame, welcome to Harvard.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

is ann coulter an idiot?

Short answer yes. Long answer yessss?
Click this link to read Coulter's latest comments, these happen to be about the Jews, and how they can perfect themselves. A few choice quotes below:

Asked by CNBC host Donny Deutsch what the U.S. looks like in her dreams, Coulter said it would look like the Republican National Convention in 2004
"People were happy,” she said, according to a transcript provided to CNN by CNBC. “They're Christian. They're tolerant. They defend America."
When Deutsch responded, "It would be better if we were all Christian?" Coulter said "Yeah."

You know, part of me wonders whether or not it's all some big joke. Like one day she'll reach up into her scalp and pull down a zipper, and Samuel L. Jackson will pop out and scream "YES THEY DESERVED TO DIE, AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL! BUY MY BEER! I'M SAM JACKSON!"

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Okay so first of all, if you couldn't tell, I'm at work, which means that this point will be short and probably not that juicy. But you know, I felt compelled to make a little entry. And p.s. this won't be like about politics or gender or race or society, but just about the crazy culture that is post-grad living in the city.

So as most of you know or have probably surmised from all of these posts and the things I tend to write about, I am a newly graduated young woman living in the Big Ole' City for the first time. What you may not have known is that apartment living is rough and I have been living on an air mattress and out of a suitcase for the past month. But no more, I say! Well, at least to the suitcase (the air mattress is here until I get together those thousands of dollars that places charge for decent mattresses!) because this past weekend I made a trip to- da da da daaaa-
Yes yes, cheers, jeers and deers, everyone
Okay so if you're post-20 years old and don't know what Ikea is, then please crawl from under that rock, wipe the crap out of your eyes and clean your ears. I mean really, it's time to catch up with the times. Ikea is a wonderland for all new graduates and starting-anews, an emporium of well designed furniture at highly competitive prices.
Translation? A warehouse of trendy particle board in boxes that you have to assemble yourself.
So making it to Ikea was one story (word of advice: if your directions say to take the Upper Level of the GW Bridge- do not take the Lower Level- this would be classified as a bad choice and can lead you to frantically screaming "WHERE ARE WE" while driving somewhere in Jersey with shallow pools of dank water and ominous crowds of geese flying everywhere) but once we got there it was all gravy.
I mean, the people at Ikea know what they're doing. Do a little glitz and glam with the blue and yellow thing (and you probably thought that our designing skills at afropologë had no rhyme or reason. Yeah suckas, showed you, didn't we??), make re-creations of amazing rooms furnished entirely with their crap so that you "ooh" and "ahh!" and try all of the features (okay so I swirled a couple lazy suzans and lifted up the secret-storage bed, don't judge me!) and you can reel in the masses.
What you don't realize until later- when you're hauling that 60 pounds of wood "finish" and pressed wood chips up to your fifth floor walk-up, stopping every floor to break for air with tiny dogs barking at you through doors and bachata coming loudly from somewhere- is that you have to put this crap together, and that even though they say that it's easy unless you have power tools it's a ridiculous task to undertake.
So I finally get the crap up to the apartment, get it out to put it together, open the instructions and.. THOSE CRAPS WEREN'T IN ENGLISH.
Not only were they not in English, but they weren't in any other language, either! Just pictures of an oddly-shaped smiley-faced dude putting together things, with arrows and angles and pictures that left way more to the imagination than I would have liked. It's like okay I get it- you're an international company with branches all over the globe, printing out a billion different instructions with languages suited to a particular country could be a pain. But I'll be damned if figuring out how to put that crap together wasn't like reading hieroglyphs.
The moral of the story? When within the realm of my affordability, buy quality furniture. Additonally, pay someone else to move it in and set it up.
P.S. Doesn't Lazy Suzan sound like something dirty? Like the town ho who brings a little chair to her corner so the bottoms of her feet don't get sore? Yeah, I thought so, too.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"my grandfather's son" or "how i sold my soul for a chance at the big time"

i don't even know where to begin. but it just really seemed like time i stepped up and let the world know how much hatred i have for clarence thomas. i mean seriously. compared to this guy, condi seems like kind of a sweet, pretty girl with normal teeth.

so you've probably heard he has this new book out, and maybe if you have a tv, you've even seen some of his interviews or something. just in case you haven't, this'll get you started...

ok so seriously though. i watched the whole interview, and i know 60 minutes thought that it would prove clarence thomas is "not the man i thought he was," or at least it kept saying that, but i'm confused about where they got that idea from. what did they think people thought of him? that he was some kind of raving lunatic or neo-nazi? obviously he has to have some semblance of sanity to be on the supreme court. but nothing he said in that interview gained him the slightest bit of respect in my eyes. if anything, i think less of him than i did before. and let's face it: i didn't really think that was even possible. here are just a couple of my responses to some of the ridiculous shit that came out of that man's mouth:

1) when asked how much of his life was determined by being black, he responded, "how much of your life is determined by being a man?" - um, try a lot, idiot. he then compares that to being 5' 8'' as if there is no difference in this society between the importance of someone's height and the importance of their gender or race. and you expect me to believe that he's NOT enough of a sexist to have done those things anita hill said? please.

2) when asked, "so you think of yourself as a black man?" he replied, "i'm a man." i'm sorry, but that sounds a lot to me like you DO have some issues with your own race. its hard for me to believe all this shit about "i'm not an uncle tom" and "i do care about black people" when you can't even force yourself on television to utter the words "i am a black man." and they claim he read james baldwin in college? must not have understood it.

3) he claims that his yale degree was worth 15 cents because he couldnt get a job. how poetic. except for the part where he got a job working for a yale grad. whoops. i guess what he meant was "i'm a huge fat liar in more ways than one."

4) when george bush interviewed him about his nomination, he looked him "dead in the eye" and told him "i will never criticize any decision you make?!?" i mean i believe it, but i fail to see where that's a good thing. pretty much every decision he's made has been horrible. so criticizing horrible decisions is a bad thing why? oh right. neo-conservative politics feeds on solidarity, lies, and the exploitation of those less fortunate than uncle thomas.

5) did anyone else notice that he mentioned that the whole anita hill thing set a precedent for "things like this" harming president clinton in the future? ok now i'm no genius, but president clinton DID have sexual relations with that woman, right? now i'm not saying i approve of how much of a deal the media made of the whole clinton-lewinsky fiasco, but the reason clinton got in trouble is he eventually admitted he was lying. i guess clarence thomas is a little smarter than bill clinton after all. america doesn't care what you did, it only cares that you continue to deny it for as long as you're a part of the government.

6) and this will be my last point, i swear, but how much did he pay them to do this 60 minutes special? he basically calls anita hill a lying bitch on television and they don't even give her a chance to respond. in fact the only negative portrayal of justice thomas in the entire piece is an old CLIP of jessie jackson, who i'm sure also wasn't contacted. like seriously? fair and balanced press? no? ok just checking.

ugh. i'm just...ugh. i know i just wrote a whole lot (what can i say, i ramble when i'm angry) but if you have it in you, i'd really recommend that you read frank rich's op-ed in the new york times. i think he brings up a lot of the points i failed to make.

oh, and just a side note, am i supposed to find it ENDEARING that he sometimes parks his gigantic gas-guzzling mobile home in the walmart parking lot? that sounds like something satan himself would find fun if he ever took a vacation here on earth. wal mart? seriously?

when thomas's grandfather said "don't shame me, don't shame the race," i can't help but think that this wasn't exactly what he had in mind.

eminent post!

So first off, I know that this was a long time coming and I apologize for that- mostly to Kaya (by the way have you seen the previews for that "Kaya" show on MTV? Weirded out) since she's had to hold down the fort in my absence. And for you little internet surfers, well I suppose I could be sorry for you, too, but you know you probably didn't even notice. And if you did and were angry then you should send me a cookie for motivation. Oooh or a cake! Delicious.
Anyway, as time has gone by I've become ore accustomed to a New York state of, well, living and have not only gotten used to my neighborhood (yeah, emphasis on the hood) but have actually started to like it and get used to the heavy skew toward an almost completely minority-filled population (good luck if you not only can't speak Spanish but can't understand Spanish accents). Interestingly enough, though, just as I've started to get use to it all, I've noticed little variations to the pattern. For example: as I was walking up about 3 blocks with my giant blue Ikea bag full of my laundry and quarters (and my hair tied up in a scarf, what what, keep it real y'all) I noticed about 2-4 sets of white people. So okay, each set was about one or two people and none of them had a little fluffy dog, but even so they didn't look like they were white Latinos, and they definitely looked a little out of place- and that's to me and I am from Ohio and went to an Ivy League school.
And it just made me think about gentrification as a whole and how it affects places all over the country, but how its effects seem to be so much more noticeable in a tightly packed city like NYC. Especially when, on your train ride to work, you always see a big sign (in both English and Spanish, mind you) that says:
Yeah, Columbia, that big Ivy Leaguer just south of Harlem that, like Harvard, is trying to push its way into a local community. Even though Columbia didn't seek the bitches way out by going the Eminent Domain route (which could've been done not only in consideration for the residents but to oil the university's PR machine) the fact of the matter is it is still expanding (up to about 133rd street, I think) and people are still being "pushed out." I mean, there are some (and at times I can even be one of them) that argue that Eminent Domain exists for a reason- that it is a community's right to be able to expand, develop and improve itself for the good of all its citizens, even if that good requires that some private property is taken away from people who have been living in it for generations or months. On the other hand it's quite obvious that just up and kicking people out of their homes without their consent (and oftentimes without much means to find at least equal quality housing) is more than just a little fucked up. What about the people that don't have money saved up to pay first and last month's? What about the people who will now have their one hour commute turned into a 2.5 hour commute because they had to move into the Bronx or somewhere even more far than not-even-Harlem-because-it's-so-uptown?
The fact of the matter is, gentrification does do a lot of good- I mean look at lots of lower Harlem and Morningside Heights- thriving businesses, safer streets, cute cafes and little fluffy puppies, and seriously the expansion of a school and its research facilities will in the end provide a greater good than some abandoned buildings and a few hair salons (yeah, and the apartments above them). But I think the questions that we have to consider don't just involve the benefit of this sort of expansion, but the detriment.
Yes, people get kicked out, but where do they go? Because crime is lessened in one area, is that indicative of crime decreasing as a whole, or has it just set up shop somewhere else? I mean if you already live in a rough neighborhood you know your area, know people, have roots so it's not as bad as if you just plopped down in the middle of some projects from some other city. But if you're kicked out of the shitty area that you were at least used to and forced to find some other place to live (which according to your budget is still probably going to be pretty shitty) then what the fuck are you supposed to do when you move into a new hood that is even more dangerous because you don't know anybody?
Even though I am a big part of the gentrification of Harlem and gentrification as a whole myself (yeah, I'm real with myself) I think that there is still a big problem in the fact that for some reason the State and communities don't find value in trying to improve communities and areas by attacking tough issues like poverty, unemployment and education systems, but instead by treating the people who live in areas infected with these problems like roaches that have to be cleared out to make way for more suitable residents.
But I guess Americans turning a blind eye to the helpless severely in need of aid is nothing new.. and don't even get me started on that.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

wait 'til next year...

when i was working at wrigley field this summer, we had a pin that i always wanted but didn't remember to actually buy. It was just the cubs logo, and underneath it said "if it takes forever."


Monday, October 1, 2007

genda discrimination

ok so with all the hullabaloo going on around ENDA, it seem like high time i say something.

i HATE when you read a blog and it assumes you know the background on something, because then when you don't, you feel like an idiot. SO, here's the deal:

the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) prohibits discrimination in the work place based on sexual orientation or gender identity. pretty simple, right? oh so very wrong. so basically what's happening is after a lot of debate, the act is being revised to NOT include gender identity. the ever-popular Human Rights Campaign seems to be o.k. with this, while many other LGBT groups are outraged. Barney Frank (D-Mass-gay), one of the congressmembers who introduced the bill originally, is apparently in favor of dropping trans-inclusion to give the bill a better chance of passing.

so why am i writing about this?

well here are a few of the things that piss me off about this whole affair:

1. a lot of people don't even know about it. solution: write about it in this blog, and then like, ten people will know. good start. good hustle.

2. why do people think its ok to make compromises like this? i mean at this point in history i think its a little embarassing. the first time it happened, in like, 1 BC, i guess it was alright for people to be like "lets fuck over this minority within a minority so some of us can get our rights." when we got up to the civil rights movement and it happened all over again to women and gay people, it was irritating. and got us nowhere. now, its just sad. if you can't learn from history, what makes you qualified to govern the present? you're fired.

3. why are people so terrified of anti-discrimination? like...its NOT discrimination. that should be a good thing. i'm confused about who all these people are who NEED to discriminate against transgendered people. like thats not ok. and when you think about how many transgender people make far less than they need to survive (over 60%, it turns out) its sort of criminal NOT to have protections. like, you need money to survive around here. and you need a job to have money. its not rocket science.

4. (and i defer to pam on this one, because she knows more about it than i do) apparently bush is going to veto this regardless. so why the fuck would you deny a group of people the right to even be CONSIDERED for civil rights? like its bad enough that there are no protections for trans people right now. what they're trying to say here is that even though there is little to no chance that they'll be getting rights any time soon, we don't even want to talk about it? that is SUPER fucked up. and again, a tad embarrassing, wouldn't you say?

ok those are my few cents. come on, people. get it together.

update: apparently gender identity is NOT going to be dropped from the bill. or hopefully. or something. the thing about news is, it keeps getting updated.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

just a note...

i also got a little caught up in "life" and forgot to keep up with the times. i'll post something for real tomorrow, but i just had to mention this now so you can be prepared later when i go crazy.

the cubs have not won the world series since 1908. that means if they win this year, they'll slide in just under a century of losing. i shouldn't have to tell you this, but come on. root for the cubs this year. wear a chicago t-shirt if you've got one. if you're feeling extra-friendly, break the legs of some potential threats out there. just don't tell the police i sent you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

dear world

Babies are not puppies. Puppies are not toys.
Take from that what you will.

p.s. I know I have yet to write an official for-reals post, work has been busy. I'mma try to have something up soonly.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

the jena 6

it seems like no one's really giving the whole background story on the jena 6, even though everyone is keeping up with what's happening now. so just in case you don't want to read the story in Jena's paper like i did (and believe me, you don't) here's a little video clip that gives a pretty good basic summary:

Friday, September 21, 2007

oh no please, don't get up...

so yesterday was the big march in Jena protesting the injustice of the whole Jena 6 fiasco. Today, surfing my new favorite blogs, I came across a few very interesting posts that I thought were worth sharing...

the field negro posted yesterday, following on the heels of good ol' pam, to question the silence on a lot of the major progressive blogs when it came to the Jena 6 case. To be honest, I hadn't even really thought about it until those two posts pointed it out to me, and then I was mad embarassed that I hadn't. Recently I've kind of been in the mindset that its not such a terrible thing that all the major news outlets are shitty as hell, because hey, we've got the blogosphere so now it doesn't matter what fox news reports. but that's a little stupid, isn't it? i mean don't get me wrong, blogging is cool, and blogs are way more fun to read than the new york times. but it seems like we run into all the same problems in the blogosphere as we do everywhere else. things like Jena 6 get swept quietly under the carpet. its kind of fucked up, no?

anyways, just a friendly reminder that racism is still everywhere. kudos to everyone who made it down to Jena for the march. and kudos to all the bloggers who have been keeping up with the case. when i think about how many people jumped up to defend the lacrosse team during the Duke rape case, and how much publicity THAT got... well all i'm saying is its a lot more clear that the Jena 6 are innocent. but i'm not seeing a media frenzy on the horizon. :-/

Monday, September 17, 2007

black tie means white lady

sometimes i hear things about harvard that make me feel amazed i came out of that place alive. this is one such time.

a friend pointed this posting on craigslist out to me (in case the link goes dead, here it is):

Harvard senior seeking female companion - 22

My final club has a reunion this fall, and my relationship of two years ended disastrously earlier this summer. I have an invitation for myself plus one, and am willing to show you a great time. It is a private party, in an extremely classy setting. There is no real way to describe how ornate the club is, but I guarantee that it will be the most upscale experience of your life. Think back to your high school prom, take away the terrible music, and multiply the experience by ten.

You must be white, 5'6" - 5'9", young, blonde, attractive, and intelligent. You must be in school, preferably Tufts or Wellesley but BU and BC are acceptable (definitely not MIT).

You should be able to hold a conversation, know when to be quiet, and polite in all your behavior. I have seen unruly guests embarrass members before, and I hope this won't be a problem. This event is black-tie, and I am willing to procure an evening gown for you.

I hate to sound so harsh, but I have expectations to live up to. No Black, Asian, overweight, or unattractive women please. Ages 18-22 only.

Picture required.

so... what to say, what to say?

i mean this can't be only a harvard problem, and i'm not trying to say it is, but i WILL say that harvard was the first and thus far only place I have ever had to live in which you are surrounded by the kind of people who think this kind of thing is in any way ok. to begin with, you should already be ashamed of yourself for being a member of a final club - for those readers who don't know, they're all-male, predominantly white (no matter what anyone might try to tell you) remnants of those glory days when harvard didn't let in poors, women, or minorities. so you're in this club that just promotes all kinds of inequality and throws parties which are frankly often unsafe for women, and you're so fucking pleased with yourself for being a part of that fucked-up world that you'll do anything to stay in it, even solicit an "appropriate" date off of craigslist in that shameless way only the most privileged of assholes could ever think is ok.

i don't even want to touch how offensive the qualifications are in this guy's mind for who makes a "classy" date to a black tie event. i mean i guess the sad thing is its true. remember that scene in borat when he brings a pile of shit to the table and they're all like, "oh he's foreign he doesn't understand," and then he brings a black woman to the table and the party's over? yup. they probably all went to harvard. and hopefully you didn't miss the part where he said you need to know how to be a nice quiet woman. ugh. still want YOUR kid to get an ivy league "education?"