Tuesday, December 30, 2008

jätte bra, sverige!

from the christian peacemaker teams winter 2008 newsletter signs of the times (volume 18, number 4, page 14):
Swedes disarm Iraq-bound weapons
CPT Reserve Corps member Martin Smedjeback and three other activists entered two arms plants in Sweden 16 October and disarmed weapons destined for use in Iraq.

The simultaneous actions at BAE Systems and Saab plants disabled antitank grenade launchers, parts for Howitzer 77 and Archer artillery systems and other armaments used in the illegal war and occupation of Iraq. After disabling the weapons, the activists alerted police of their presence inside the supposedly high-security areas.

"When your government supports an illegal war and sells arms to dictatorships, it's time for ordinary citizens like us to take action," said supporter Annika Spalde.

christian peacemaker teams, whose motto is "Getting in the Way," asks, "What would happen if Christians devoted the same discipline and self-sacrifice to nonviolent peacemaking that armies devote to war?" during the season in which christians observe the birth of christ, it seems like a particularly reasonable question.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

can we all just agree that brother bear's return to kallyfornia is a wonderful thing indeed?

can we all just agree that tights are awesome?

although i've had pink ballet tights and other colored dressup tights for quite some time, i recently got my first pair of cycling tights. and oh man, are they fantastic. the dad and i went for a nice ride when i was there for christmas, and i got to try them out for the first time. they're kind of fleecey on the inside, but still breatheable, and they make me feel aerodynamic. and i like how spandex accentuates my leg muscles. tights! try them out!

can we all just agree that brother bear + sarah in the same time zone is one of the best ideas ever thought?

less than twelve hours. assuming the airport picnic works out without the magic of telephones.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

can we all just agree that rick warren is an unacceptable choice for obama's inauguration?

i agree that it is important to build bridges between people with different opinions. i know that this is a particular strength of barack obama, and i admire him for it. at this point, i've given up on the idea that an american president would be as progressive as i'd like. i get it. i'm going to be disappointed sometimes.

but seriously. rick warren?

from a beliefnet interview published december 17, 2008:
WARREN: The issue to me, I'm not opposed to that as much as I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

BELIEFNET: Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?

WARREN: Oh, I do.

seriously, obama? that was who you thought would be a good choice for your inauguration? rick warren? who this week compared same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, and "fundamentalist mormon" marriage? was rick santorum not available or something?

equality california's got a petition demanding that warren be uninvited here.

i'm still in shock about this one. what a slap in the face to gay and lesbian people and their allies. for shame, obama.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

my blog report on "alicublog" by sarah.

alicublog is one of the best places on the entire internet. i told you about it before, but in case you haven't been reading it daily since then, i will remind you about it now.

roy edroso, alicublog's proprietor, is a lifelong new yorker with a beautiful talent for the written word and a superhuman tolerance for reading the craziest wingnut crap in existence without punching his computer screen right in the face. in addition to keeping tabs on (and funny nicknames for) such notable nuts as peggy noonan ("the crazy jesus lady"), bill kristol, and the miserable jonah goldberg, he also finds time to write about arts and culture (and the hilarible results of combining wingnuts and culture.) like donkey punch, the comments are worth your time as well.

back when c.w.a.j.a.?. was brand new, i was stunned to find a link to it in roy's sidebar. (to be perfectly honest, it still kind of surprises me when i see it.) i emailed him to thank him, and it was the first of a few cordial exchanges over the years. his encouragement has meant a lot to me, and it makes alicublog all the more enjoyable to know that there's a real person behind it who is willing to make some time to be friendly to a stranger.

so! go! read!

(read more blog reports)

can we all just agree that it's about time for a word that describes situations both hilarious and terrible?

hilarible. you're welcome.

spam never sleeps.

i used to pay a lot more attention to my spam than i do now, because i found the titles (and sometimes even the emails themselves) so amusing. (i still like these two in particular.)

the gmail spam filter is pretty solid, though, so i haven't seen much of it lately. (although once and awhile i notice that i have 1000 message in my spam folder. awesome.) in the last month or so, though, some spammy spam has been sneaking into my inbox. a lot of it has been in hebrew, so whether or not it has amusing content i cannot tell you. there was one the other day entitled: "ASSISTANCE" and inside it said, "ASSISTANCE" and there was a word document about which i am very curious but which i am not planning to open because compy is grumpy enough already without being asked for ASSISTANCE by strangers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

can we all just agree that karaoke is excellent?

because it is. b.f.h. and i started the evening off right with "girls just wanna have fun," and along the way we got in "livin' on a prayer" (which caused me to realize that many classic rock songs have choruses that are super fun to sing and quite well-known, and verses that are neither. you've been warned), "bohemian rhapsody," and "take my breath away" (i went for the high notes, and i'm not sorry.) we finished with "time after time." it was quite an evening.

next time, madonna.

it seems like it might be worth a try:

if, now or at any other time, the phrase "habitus checker" is or was amusing and/or meaningful to you, please get in touch with me.

thank you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

well, that's one way of looking at oceanic convergence

someone asked my geomorphology professor what happens when two oceanic plates converge. his response: "they draw straws and they say, 'okay, you go under!'" (according to science, the older plate is denser, so it subducts.)

this was right before he explained "mountains are made out of stuff."

and now you know.

Monday, December 01, 2008

just so you know:

avocado and goose poop look remarkably similar, especially when you notice it on your pants.

(mine was avocado. phew!)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

doctor brown, on holidays:

"it really depends on where you are. i remember many holidays in the middle east - but sadly, many are religious-related - so you're supposed to be extra "godly"
i prefer the ones where you can sit around and be a drunk - like thanksgiving."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

my blog report on "Just a Little Guy" by sarah.

Just a Little Guy features pictures of cute animals (no cats or dogs allowed) and commentary that is generally confusing and almost always obscene. i love it, but it should get updated way more often. awww, the mysterious proprietor, tends to come and go as he pleases (kind of like a neighborhood cat, you know, the one you start to care about and put out food for, who is occasionally around for weeks at a time but will then disappear for a month or two, only to return like, "what? why are you acting like that?")

of particular note: possums in a box (safe for workish, except for the use of the f-word in the description)

fan boy friday II (reader-submitted photos, awww-provided totally nsfw commentary)

but seriously, you should just read the whole site. it is fantastic.

(read more blog reports)

we're downsizing!

it recently occurred to me that since the super slow load time of c.w.a.j.a.?. kind of bummed me out, it might also bother others. and it further occurred to me that since i'm the only one who could actually do something about it, i should.

so, c.w.a.j.a.?. has now slimmed down to 50 posts on the front page, instead of 100. (this has the additional advantage of getting the really slow loading [but hilarious!] "grandkids in the movies" clip off the front page sooner. because sheesh hulu, is your server powered by hamsters on treadmills or something?)

and now you know.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

tengo un anuncio:

¡vijaré al perú en enero! ¡woo!

evil/evil genius/genius?

tonight, in the thanksgiving-crowded grocery store (where just about everyone, my fluey self included, was kind of on edge.)

kid: "i have to go to the bathroom!"

mom: "you have to go to the bathroom?"

kid: "yes!"

mom: "do you want to look at the candy first?"

Monday, November 24, 2008

jesse danger is wise.

"people can be really stupid when they use many unrelated words to convey something they don't want to say."

my goodness, where do i sign up?

from the most bizarre banner ad i've ever seen (it was for old spice):

"come experience what it would be like to make various two things happen online!"

Friday, November 21, 2008

and this is what happens when you antagonize everyone, for eight years.

bush at the g20.

also, i find it kind of funny that some random dude on cnn is now joining the bush anti-fan club. toward the end there, when he starts yelling about his google research, he starts to remind me of keith "for shame, mr, president" olbermann.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

yelling and standing up. this is what i did today.

this morning i went to a rally for equality. it was really good.

this evening i went to a cyclocross race. also really good.

i am going to sleep now. because all the yelling and standing up has made me really, really tired.

Friday, November 14, 2008

your question makes me concerned. or jealous.

the search that led someone here: "what does it mean when your heart races in the shower?"

my answers:
a) it means that you need to go to the doctor.
b) it means that you're showering with someone really, really fun.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

a strange thing happened to me yesterday

i was at work (a newish job that i really like!) and the phone rang. when i answered, there was a gap (like the sort you hear with autodialers) and then a woman came on the other end of the line. she sounded a lot like miss cleo, and she asked for me by name. she told me that she was calling because she had to check recent activity on my capital one credit card account.

since i don't have a capital one credit card account, you can imagine how confusing this was for me.

i had been kind of suspicious from the beginning because of the autodialer pause, so i started briskly asking her questions. i got the phone number from which she was calling (or, at least, a phone number), and i asked for the number of the credit card she was calling about. she gave me the last four digits (or, at least, a four digit number) and then she hung up on me.

i called the number that she had given me, and it was indeed capital one's automated system, but that doesn't really mean that was the number from which she was calling.

and then i spent several hours this morning ordering my free credit reports.

and that is what happened.

Monday, November 10, 2008

can we all just agree that something big is happening? or, prop 8 thoughts.

i was devastated at the passage of proposition 8. sad and hurt and angry and ashamed and generally miserable. wednesday was a horrible day.

in my head, i know some things: this can't last forever; this is a struggle that's been going on for a long time, much longer than i've been alive; society will come around eventually; people have to be patient; etc etc etc.

and as much as it is horribly unfair to tell people that they have to continue to wait for full acceptance and full recognition of their worth as human beings, i do understand, at least on an intellectual level, that the fight for civil rights is continuing, and will ultimately succeed.

the distance between head and heart, as usual, is pretty huge. my heart broke last week as i talked to friends and heard their hurt and confusion, and feelings of danger and rejection. and as much as i thought i'd be ecstatic over an obama victory, i have been so upset over the success of prop 8 that i've hardly felt anything over obama's election at all.

but i realized something tonight, as i heard about and read about still more protests and campaigns against prop 8 and for equality: proposition 8 has touched off something huge. there are many people who have been diligently working toward equality for decades, and now, as never before, there is a groundswell of popular support for equality. and more straight allies are emerging than ever before.

the next days and weeks and months are sure to be exciting and scary times, for many reasons. but this is just another one.

something big is happening. i feel it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

c.w.a.j.a.?.'s quick and dirty california proposition endorsement time!

1A: yes! trains!
2: yes! bigger boxes for the chickens!
3: no. it's money for construction only, and only a few children's hospitals will benefit (the same ones who paid to put it on the ballot...waitaminute!)
4: hell no. not all girls can talk to their families; restricting abortion for minors will lead to more girls harming themselves while trying to end their pregnancies without doctors.
5: yes. rehab for nonviolent drug offenders instead of expensive, unhelpful jail.
6: no. we don't need more prisons.
7: no. good general idea, bad specific execution (bought onto the ballot by a rich dude whose own business interests will benefit. no thank you.
8: HELL NO. don't add discrimination to california's constitution. love is love. discrimination is wrong. mormon church out of california politics.
9: no. costs a lot of moneys, doesn't improve things.
10: no. another good general idea bought onto the ballot by a rich dude whose own business interests will benefit. sheesh.
11. no. redistricting is a good idea but i'm freaked out at the total randomness of the system 11 proposes.
12. yeah, i think so.

Friday, October 31, 2008

seriously, no on 8.

today i got a yes on 8 mailer. and i'm still pissed about it. i can't really write logically about it right now because i'm too damn angry. but:

for anyone interested in helping stop prop 8:

1. donate: your money puts ads on the air. the mormon church has pumped millions of dollars into the yes campaign, and turned public opinion from 38% in favor/55% opposed in mid-september to a majority in favor today. donations are being matched dollar for dollar until midnight tonight (10/31.)

2. call voters: the yes on 8 campaign mobilized thousands of people (many from out of state) to call and knock on doors, spreading lies about prop 8. you can sign up online to call people, either at a phone bank or from your own home. for calling from home, they use a fancy calling system that means that your number doesn't show up on people's caller id, and you pay no long distance fees. i've been doing it, and although it makes me nervous, i am proud to be a part of this effort.

3. talk to your friends and family about prop 8: i've definitely got friends who support/considered supporting/used to support prop 8. there are still people who haven't really heard about prop 8, since there's so much noise about this election. others have only heard from the yes on prop 8 people, and may be convinced that without prop 8, all elementary school classes will be replaced with mandatory, non-age appropriate sex ed. (for the record, parents have always, and will always have opt-out rights in the state of california...remember those permission slips you had to return before awkward sixth grade sex ed time? still the law.)

i talked to both of my parents about it. my mom donated, and my dad's thinking about it.

for more information: http://www.noonprop8.com

Sunday, October 26, 2008

vote no on proposition 4 (again.)

in november 2006 i wrote this about proposition 85, which can be seen as the parent of proposition 4. (proposition 73 is the grandparent, i suppose; anti-choicers have been trying to force through a parental notification law in california for a long time) [i only changed the proposition numbers and the date references; the rest is vintage 2006 c.w.a.j.a.?.]:

so two years ago, california voters rejected prop 85. and this year, i hope we reject prop 4 as well. it's a law that would require parental consent for all minors seeking abortions. and it's a bad plan. in a super ideal world, no minors would have to seek abortions, period. (you know, that world in which no one is ever a victim of sexual assault, and all birth control is 100% efffective? that super ideal world.) in an ideal world, all minors would be able to talk to their parents and those parents would be supportive, emotionally and financially, if a minor decided to seek an abortion.

but here's the thing: we don't live in either of those worlds. sometimes girls can't talk to their parents about needing an abortion. because sometimes their parents would kick them out of the house, or kill them, or force them to keep a baby they didn't want and couldn't care for. and sometimes, those dads or stepdads are the fathers of the babies, or those moms or stepmoms are the ones who knew that girls were being raped and didn't stop it.

so seriously, california voters, think about this. sometimes girls will not be safe, and cannot get what they need, from their parents. awesome for you and your kids if that isn't your situation. but realize that this isn't the case for everyone. think of the girls who can't talk to their parents. and vote no on prop 4. it's a horrible idea, just like props 85 and 73 were two and three years ago, respectively. no on 4.

and there you have it. the bottom line is this: not all girls can safely tell their parents that they are pregnant. although proposition 4 provides an option for girls to seek a waiver from a judge, that is an unacceptable solution. the last thing a scared, pregnant girl needs is to have to navigate our legal system and then be forced to justify herself before a judge, who may or may not decide that she has to tell her parents because he finds her explanation why she can't uncompelling.

oh. also: making it harder for teenagers to have abortions isn't going to reduce the number of teenagers having abortions. it will just reduce the number of teenagers having saving, legal abortions. if prop 4 passes, more girls will turn to unsafe methods, and their lives will be in danger. no on 4.

vote no on gender auditors, and no on proposition 8.

courage campaign, "gender auditors"

via the always excellent meh-wee-uhn at hai voluto la bicicletta, which used to be called "sleep is the new sex", and which is still wonderful.

Friday, October 17, 2008

jesse danger, on urban transportation:

"i'm waiting for my bus. or as i like to call it, the peoples' taxi."

[a little later on]

"oh, i've got to go! my cab's here."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

for anonymous: this is not a mccain/palin comment.

mike butler's endorsement:
as a matter of principle (or pragmatism?), i don't support third parties in national elections, only local ones. at least at the present time. but i do support cats, and also mike butler (who is both radical and rad. you remember. we've been over this before.)

so, in the spirit of fairness, and of not writing about mccain/palin (anonymous, i'm thinking of you!), here is mike's recommendation.

i just got the courage campaign's 2008 progressive voter guide today, and although it was well-written and quite reasonable, it lacked excellent photos of kitties. i'm glad to have this poster to balance things out.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

the presidential race, in photographs.

option one: obama. this man clearly knows his way around a baby. it looks to me like he participated in the raising of his own children. he's got great technique. of note:

the butt support
that baby's firmly anchored to his tummy. it isn't going anywhere.

the upper back/neck/head support
this baby is too tiny to be held without supporting its upper half, and obama's doing a great job with that.

the look
he's into it. you can't fake that kind of appreciation for a tiny person.

the stance
he's standing so that baby can still see mama, just in case the baby's not as into obama as i am these days.

i am impressed.

option two: mccain. dude has no idea what's going on. he's uncomfortable and confused, he's making other people miserable, and he has no idea how to hold a baby.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

i'll say it: sarah palin is a terrible mother.

1. she knew her seventeen year old daughter was pregnant when she was offered the vice presidential nominee slot. her choices: say no, and keep her daughter's major life issue more or less an alaska matter; say yes, and make her daughter's pregnancy international knowledge.

her desire for her own political career trumped her desire to care for and protect her own child. unacceptable.

2. she was in texas when her water broke, but instead of going directly to the hospital, she gave a speech as planned, then took a commercial flight back to alaska, where she then drove 45 minutes to a regional medical center. any woman whose water breaks needs to go to a hospital or call her midwife immediately. particuarly since palin already knew that hers was a high risk pregnancy, there is absolutely no excuse for her failure to go to the hospital. 30% of newborns with down syndrome require immediate surgery for a potentially fatal congenital heart defect. quite simply, she endangered her son's life by:
  1. not going to the hospital right away;
  2. getting on an airplane;
  3. taking a long flight back to alaska;
  4. driving to a medical facility with a relatively low level of capability for dealing with newborns with special needs.
i've seen a number of strong, independent women tying themselves in knots over sarah palin. these women hate the idea of feeling like something they think or say is demeaning to another woman who has chosen to have a career and a family. i have future aspirations in at least one of those areas, and possibly both.

but nothing excuses the way she has treated her eldest daughter and her youngest son. on a personal level, she has failed.

Monday, October 06, 2008

election thoughts:

so. i'm kind of freaking out about the election. it keeps coming up in most of the conversations i have each day, i'm reading the news and political blogs all the time, i'm having nightmares about how it could turn out (no joke.)

along with many of the people i know, i'm investing a lot of emotional and mental energy in the election. and i realized a couple of weeks ago that the only way i was going to make it to election day was to do at least one thing every week that will help keep sarah palin and john mccain out of the white house. i would like to encourage you to make a similar commitment, if you feel so inclined.

although it may seem painfully obvious to you that palin/mccain is a bad idea (because she's totally unqualified to become president, because he votes with bush 90% of the time, because she opposes abortion under any circumstances—even in cases of rape or incest [so a twelve year old girl who was raped by her father would be forced to carry the pregnancy to term, in sarah palin's america], because he and his buddies are some of the key people who got us into this economic catastrophe, because seeing russia from your house doesn't make you ready to deal with world leaders anymore than seeing the moon from my porch makes me an astronaut, because rich people aren't just those who earn more than five million dollars a year, etc), there is still a very real chance that palin and mccain will win.

you have the power to help stop this.

here are some things you might want to do:

1) register yourself or someone else to vote.

october 20 is the last day to register if you live in california.

you need to re-register if any of the following apply to you:
a) you've changed your name
b) you've moved
c) you wish to change your party affiliation (regardless of your present party affiliation, you can vote for whomever you wish for president)
d) you aren't registered already (duh)
voter registration forms are available at all post offices, libraries, and dmv offices. they're postage paid, so if you get one at the post office you can fill it out and send it in before you even leave the building.

if you will be 18 by election day, november 4, you can register. if you're on probation but off parole, you can vote.

2) volunteer for obama/biden.

they aren't perfect, but if you prefer them to the bible spice/old man mccrazy ticket, they need your help.

the obama/biden campaign in california is focusing on calling and visiting nevada. california is a safe state—although it won't be a landslide, obama will win here. nevada is totally up for grabs, at this point. kerry lost nevada by about 12,000 votes in 2004, and there has been a lot of new voter registration since then. it is entirely possible that the entire election will come down to nevada, and you could be one of the people who helps turn it blue.

the east bay headquarters is located at 3225 adeline street in berkeley, less than one block from ashby bart. it's open 10-9 every day of the week. the san francisco headquarters is located at 939 market street, and it's open from 9-9 daily. (information for the other california offices is here) you don't have to have any experience. just go when you have a bit of time, and you'll be able to make calls to undecided voters. (bring your phone and charger and a laptop if you can, but it's not essential.) they give you a script to read or paraphrase, and you aren't arguing with people. if someone doesn't want to talk to you or says they support mccain, you thank them for their time and move on to the next call (which just might be a 75 year old lifelong republican who tells you how much she loves obama and thanks you profusely for what you're doing.) if you really aren't up for phoning, they might have you do some data entry, or some paper shredding, or some photocopying. if you go in and tell them you'll do anything, they'll put you to work.

also, there are snacks. and it is beautiful to see so many different people coming together for different reasons toward the same goal. be part of history.

if you have time to go to nevada to knock on doors and register voters, go! they'll tell you all about it at the office.

3. donate money (seriously, even $10 makes a difference) to obama/biden or to moveon.org.

they'll make your money go far. obama/biden are funded just by donations from people, none from lobbyists. (palin-mccain take money from wherever they can get it.)

donate to the campaign directly at www.barackobama.com, or donate to moveon.org at, well, moveon.org. moveon.org is sending people union-printed, made in america, american apparel obama t-shirts for a donation of $12 or more. i've found space in my budget to send them a little more than that, twice. they're comfy shirts.

4. vote.

election day is tuesday, november 4, 2008. polls are open from 7 am-8 pm. find your polling place by looking at your sample ballot or calling your county registrar of voters (contact info here, from the california secretary of state's website.)

under federal law, your employer is required to give you time off to vote, if you cannot do it outside of work hours. you may have to ask them in advance, so figure it out now. (if you're registered with an old address, why not reregister with your new one? you'll get a sample ballot with all the propositions and candidate statements, and you won't have to plan to go far away to the proper polling place.)

5. read up. know what you think and why. talk to other people.

a lot is going on right now. it's a scary time to be alive. there's a lot at stake here, for americans and for the rest of the world. there are times when politics and religion and other potentially awkward subjects can be ignored, and there are times when they can't be. you know which is which. but when you have the opportunity, have those tough conversations.

6. don't give up.

if you want to see a different world than the one in which we currently live, we have a lot of work to do. it won't stop on november 4, but it will be a hell of a lot easier to work toward that better world if we don't have palin and mccain in office.

thank you for reading.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

some free advice for the bigots behind california's proposition 8:

next time, consider getting your yard signs from a union supplier here in the united states like the no on 8 campaign did.

because then you might actually have some. i mean, in california.

free bonus advice: stop being so intolerant. obsessing over the sex lives of consenting adults of legal age is tacky at best. and trying to strip your fellow citizens of basic rights is downright nasty.

bonus free advice for those of you who don't believe in rewriting california's constituion to take away the right of a homosexual person to marry the person he or she loves: you can volunteer or donate money here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

can we all just agree that obama's on it?

selected awesome quote: "when you hear john mccain talk about taking on the ol' boys' network, know this: on the mccain campaign, that is called a staff meeting." -barack obama

go watch!

obama speaking to women in daytona beach, florida
september 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

uniting money and mouth.

over the last many months, but with increasing frequency these days, i've had quite a few conversations with people about hopes and fears (but mostly fears) related to the election. and way too many of these talks have been just that: talk. volunteering takes time and energy; donating takes money; we're all busy and anxious and strapped for cash.

but this week i've decided something: if you really want barack obama and joe biden to win, and/or if you really don't want john mccain and sarah palin to win, you need to do something about it.

every week. something. at least a thing. send a campaign contribution (you can even donate online here.) give some money to moveon here. get involved with the obama campaign in some way—you can even phonebank from home. write a letter to the editor of your local paper. have a difficult conversation with someone who disagrees with you. but something. every week.

there are only six weeks left. six things. do them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

heckuva job, guys.

c.w.a.j.a.?. extends its congratulations to the republicans in the california legislature who have, once again, managed to balance a budget on the backs of children, sick people, poor people, students, and california's public education system.

and to arnold schwarzenegger, who is planning to veto it.

and to everyone involved in perpetuating california's now 78-day-old budget stalemate, the longest we've ever had, which is hurting children, sick people, poor people, students, and california's public education system.

thanks for your support.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

september 11 thoughts.

there is so much that could be said today.

i could write you a roundup of the deaths and injuries and environmental devastation and economic implications and tremendous waste involved in the war on afghanistan and the war on iraq.

i could talk about the people (including john mccain) who have discussed attacking iran.

i could mention the corporations that are making money hand over fist as a direct result of the wars.

i could reflect on the fact that new york/washington, dc/pennsylvania's 9/11 wasn't the only one that will live in infamy in this hemisphere.

i could explore the connections between the bin laden family and the bushes, note that we still haven't found osama bin laden, mention the people who have been arrested, detained, beaten, tortured, or simply disappeared for being, looking like, or sharing a name with someone the united states was looking for, or for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

i could share with you my september 11 story (we've all got one—some are more dramatic than others, but everyone has theirs.)

i could discuss the stark division i see in my own life between the pre-9/11 and post-9/11 days.

but i'm not going to. because i'm tired. and because i think that any of those things might detract from the very most important thing i can say about today, the thing i woke up thinking: if you didn't like september 11, 2001, then don't let that kind of thing happen to other people.

that is all.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

can we all just agree that joe biden nails it here?

biden's talking about the rnc: "it's not so much what i heard...it's what i didn't hear." watch for his elementary school analogy and the reaction of the people sitting behind him. i think he really strikes a chord. and i think he's right.

joe biden on fire

Thursday, September 04, 2008

please pay attention to the rnc protests.

amy goodman explains what happened

journalists, photographers, community activists, food not bombs volunteers, and plenty of other folks are being arrested right now. don't watch this happening silently.

can we all just agree that "pervious" sounds like a really bad thing?

i know it's just a typo, and that they meant to write "previous," but man does "pervious" seem like something inappropriate.

there were also three other typos in my hiring packet, but none of them were nearly as interesting.

in that case, i feel okay about it.

i just got a new job. i like the job a lot. but i had to sign a loyalty oath. this isn't the first time, but it always offends me when i have to do this. except when i think it's funny. so today i was feeling offended and/or amused by the oath, when i realized that the paper i signed actually said that i couldn't become "a member of any party or organization, political or otherwise, that advocates the overthrow of tilt government of the united states..."

1. i feel like this leaves some options open for me. the government is one thing. tilt government? another entirely.

2. i guess my job's safe from sarah palin.

more answers to your questions:

q: "cornchips or chocolate?"

a: yes.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

action alert from mike:

"So things are getting worse in ST. Paul and we need to support our friends can you please post the following on your blog. Feel free to edit it but make sure to include the media links and the phone numbers as it is extremely important to get as many people as possible to call!

Peace, love, Unity,

Mike Butler







Also Watch Democracy Now! Tomorrow as police have arrested a journalist with that show!!

Hennepin County Jail: 612-348-5112
Ramsey County Jail: 651-266-9350

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak
(612) 673-2100
(612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis


3:30pm: Plymouth police refusing to let IWW union workers off train taking them back to Bloomington Station. Diabetic who needs insulin also not allowed. (Twin Cities IMC)
2:30pm: Cops have surrounded train to get at reinstated IWW organizer and escorting friends and fellow union workers. (Twin Cities IMC)
1:30pm - Cops moved in on demonstration of around 30 people in intersection at 6th and Washington. Intersection cleared, no arrests.
Nine arrested from vets march detained
RNC protest groups file court order to stop police seizures
Sixth person arrested in anarchist investigation; advocate says one is being denied meds and vegan food


10:45pm: Permaculture bus impounded? No reported arrests.
RNC Welcoming Committee Organizers Seek Sanctuary From Illegal Arrests
Complete search warrant from Minneapolis raid today
Coldsnap: NLG lawyers ejected from press conference. 2 NLG lawyers kicked out of law enforcement press conference in St. Paul!
3:30pm: One more WC member grabbed on street by police squad.
9:45am: House raid occurring at 3500 Harriet Ave S. Approximately 20 people
9:45am: One person arrested, taken to jail from Food Not Bombs House. One person from Food Not Bombs House Arrested, Charged with Four Counts of Conspiracy
9:45: People from 17th Ave. House Charged with Conspiracy to Riot

Friday night

St. Paul: 10:30 pm CDT: Convergence center on Smith Ave. has been raided by the cops. They have a warrant. The cops have handcuffed everybody at the center and are processing people to get their names and identification. No arrests at this time. Twin Cities Indymedia reports: The convergence space is currently being raided. Police burst in and are using force against people. Everyone inside has been handcuffed. Estimates of people inside currently vary between 20-70. One block radius around the convergence space has been blocked off. Lawyers, legal observers and media are on the way. More updates as they come.
St. Paul: 10:30 pm CDT: No arrests during Critical Mass ride, though there were several crashes."

Sunday, August 31, 2008

i think i'm kind of over energy bars too.

awhile ago a friend mentioned to me that he'd decided he was "kind of over energy bars," and that, in those times where energy bars seemed necessary, he was just going to eat a candy bar instead because they were far more delicious and a lot cheaper.

while i don't think either of us are actually prepared to give up entirely on energy bars under all circumstances, i think i am moving squarely into the candy-bar-instead camp. my conversion took place when i glanced down at the wrapper for an energy bar i had just finished and saw that the ingredients list began as follows: "protein blend, high fructose corn syrup, high maltose corn syrup, roasted soybeans, sugar..."

since ingredients are listed in order of relative quantity, this means that the energy bar i'd just consumed had more sugar (and fake sugar, at that!) than anything else. gross.

also, the ingredients list wasn't finished messing with me, because the energy bar also contained...fish gelatin. and that is gross. it was in the "2% or less" part of the ingredients list, which is more than enough to irritate me (who would guess that fish guts are in a "yogurt honey peanut"-flavored energy bar?) and not nearly enough to make me think that fish gelatin plays a crucial role in anything about the composition of the bar.

in conclusion: candy bars are cheaper, tastier, and vegetarianer. candy bars, i'm in.

Monday, August 25, 2008

q: what does vladimir putin have in common with morrissey and pamela anderson?

a: they're all famous people who i have dreamed about in the last five months or so.

last week i dreamed that i was back at my elementary school (bb: on playground b, near the band portable) and i was walking up behind my friend eliza, who i haven't seen in years. i was really happy that she was there, and i decided to sneak to where she was sitting on a log and give her a kiss on the head. after i snuck up and kissed her, i turned around to see vladimir putin sitting in a golf cart with a henchman of some sort. both were looking very sour. apparently the girl-kissing-girl had disgusted them. although i was kind of surprised to see putin there, i was still really excited about catching up with an old friend.

i told him, "i love her!"

and he responded, "you love her? well then i hate her."

i really did want to stick around and argue with him, but i had to go right away because somehow we had been transported to my high school, and i had to go back to my elementary school and meet my high school debate coach in another portable classroom to play ping-pong. it was an emergency.

and that is what happened.

seven hundred.

it's nice to know that some things never change.

the crisis continues:

"if i have any hesitations about that boy, they're mostly about hygiene."


Friday, August 22, 2008

you can cross corn chips off your list of potential good shower snacks.

yesterday i went on a nice long bike ride that included some climbing. especially since i was a little sore from a ballet class and another ride the day before that, it was hard work! but a really nice ride.

when i got home i was really hungry, but i also felt totally disgusting. i wanted, equally and passionately, a shower and dinner. immediately. after eating a few handfuls of chocolate chips, i settled on a brilliant compromise. inspired by liz hatch's brilliant bath-and-a-beer, i decided that i would have a snack in the shower.

and, just for the record, corn chips aren't a very good choice. they are delicious and satisfying, but since i didn't have anywhere to put them except the ledge that was just a few feet above the bottom of the tub, water dripped down my arm and into the bowl.

but i do think there's something to this snack and shower combination. i've been thinking of snacks that would withstand water better, and i have some ideas for the next time i need to eat and wash at the same time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

five minutes in the city.

there is a man, sleeping? passed out? dead? no, he's breathing. he's on the sidewalk, and when i tried to talk to him, i got no response at all. i thought i should let him sleep it off, and i didn't want him to get in trouble, and i didn't want to get involved, but i called a friend for advice and realized that calling 911 was the best thing to do. i would have felt terrible if he was in real trouble and i saw him but didn't get him any help. (i hate that i couldn't kneel down beside him and try to wake him gently, the way you do with someone you love, but i was afraid.)

i called and explained what i had seen, and then answered a list of questions they were required to ask me (no, he didn't say anything to me. he's unconscious. no, he is not standing. he's unconscious. no, he's not sitting up. he's unconscious.) and went downstairs again to wait for the firetruck.

although he didn't move a muscle when i was trying to talk to him, the firefighters are more aggressive than i had been. one of them starts to talk to him, and wakes up.

firefighter: "see, the problem is that you're sleeping here and the neighbors are concerned about you. if you can't get up and show me that you can walk, i'm going to have to call an ambulance to take you away. can you show me that you can get up?"
man: (pointing at "no parking" sign above where he's lying) "what does that sign say?"
firefighter: (without missing a beat) "no parking and no sleeping."
man: (slowly starting to get up) "heeeyyy...are you bisexual?"
firefighter: "i sure am. you getting up?"
man: "huh. i am too."

the man starts to walk away, a little unsteadily.

other firefighter: (kind of concerned) "hey, did you counsel him?"
firefighter: "oh, i counseled him."

can we all just agree that "ariodante" is a totally ridiculous opera? (spoiler alert!)

a little while ago i got a free ticket to a preview performance of "ariodante." it was really fun to get to see the show, the costumes were cool, and most of the singing was pretty good too...but the plot was unlike any classical opera i've ever seen.

the body count: one. only one. (WHEN DOES THIS EVER HAPPEN IN AN OPERA?)

the bad guy: he ended up being the one who died. he was slain by the older brother of the protagonist, and get this: he confessed his entire nefarious plot as he was dying offstage, and he apologized for it.

the lovers #1 (the pair who couldn't stop singing about how happy they were and how great things were and how the heavens smiled upon their union): things worked out fine, even though it looked for awhile like it was going to be a romeo and juliet situation, because she thought he had died and was going to kill herself and then it turns out he wasn't dead but he takes a billion years to shut up and go tell her.

the lovers #2 (the pair where the man was hopelessly devoted to the woman even though she was head over heels for the bad guy who was, of course, just using her): also come out just fine! she realizes that she loves him after all, or something!

also, several key male roles were played by women, and it confused the heck out of me because it was hard to remember who was who anyway. and that is what happened.

Monday, August 18, 2008

can we all just agree that b.f.h. is, well, the best?

one of the many reasons she is wonderful (in addition to engineering solutions to just about everything i've ever broken and being very firm with hardware) is that she manages to combine scrupulous honesty with politeness in a totally charming way. observe:

i discover, through empirical observation, that not everyone loves the velvet teen as i do. b.f.h. is apparently one of these people. so i stop the tape and start a playlist on the computer instead. that coco rosie song that i like so much [although, just for the record, i still haven't quite come around to the video yet] is the first thing we hear.

b.f.h.: "this song is much better."
me: "really? i didn't think you'd like it but it was a mix, so i thought it would be okay."
b.f.h.: "i didn't say i liked it. i said it was much better."

can we all just agree that the velvet teen is absolutely fantastic?

i have liked them for a long time, but recently i've been listening to a tape that has mates of state (surely you remember them) and the velvet teen on it and it is amazing.

if my tape recorder had fast forward or rewind, i would definitely fast forward or rewind to the velvet teen part. but since it doesn't, i've figured out right about where i need to play the tape until on the opposite side in order to arrive at the velvet teen part.

my favorite favorite favorite velvet teen song is milo 7. i have scoured the intertubes to try to find you a movie of it, but i have been unsuccessful. (there are some nice clips of milo and otis out there, though, so it's not a total loss.)

so. i would recommend to a friend milo 7, and also the album upon which it appears, "great beast february & comasynthesis," which is also known as "plus, minus, equals," and also the velvet teen in general. i hope you like them.

it's a deal!

b.f.h. [to a screw, tonight as she was engineering a solution to a recent closet failure]: "don't make me yell at you with my mouth again!"

common misunderstandings

"jesus...your pants...whatever."

-audra (oh, how i miss you!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

i wonder if that's stickier than regular glucose?

from the ingredients of the "all natural soda premium ginseng ginger ale plus antioxidants: certified with antioxidant vitamins c & e plus vitamin a from beta-carotene no artificial colors or flavors no preservatives no caffeine" that i found in the refrigerator tonight and decided to try:

"filtered carbonated water, gluecose-fructose syrup, brewed chinese ginseng, natural ginger flavor, citric acid, ascorbic acid, vitamin e and beta carotene."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

can we all just agree that japanese television is incredible?

i only wish i could understand what they were saying. brother bear, want to offer highlights to our english-speaking audience?

cat weightlifting

can we all just agree that children's interpretations of the bible can be hilarious?

i know we've already established that three year olds know a lot about science, specifically natural history, but tonight the five year old turned to me while he was brushing his teeth and earnestly explained,

"one time when people were blind, jesus put dirt into their pants, and he peed in it."

he wasn't joking around at all. he was totally serious. i guess that's what two days of vacation bible school will get you these days.

my blog report on "Bike Snob NYC" by sarah.

my blog report on "Bike Snob NYC"
by sarah.

Bike Snob NYC is like a big collection of inside jokes about cycling. at first, one may be confused by some of the more obscure references, but with continued reading, you'll figure them out. besides, who can't get behind some good, old-fashioned hipster-hating?

also, Bike Snob NYC can function as a great learning tool for newer cyclists. making fun of people (or reading about someone making fun of people) is clearly more engaging than flashcards, for example, but darn it if i haven't solidified my bike anatomy knowledge since i started reading Bike Snob NYC. also, the Indignities of Commuting by Bicycle posts are particularly fantastic.

(read more blog reports)

Monday, August 04, 2008

i am so happy to be back to ridiculous dreams.

because for the past few weeks, my dreams have been horrifying. the kind of dreams that take hours (or even days) to start to forget, and the kind of dreams that cause me to wake up terrified and already in tears.

but not last night! last night i dreamed that i still worked at that one job (okay, that part was pretty crummy) but, amazingly enough, the office building was way, way nicer, my cornucopia of nasty bosses seemed much less involved...oh, and also: morrissey was one of my co-workers.

yeah. that morrissey.

i have no idea what his job actually was, or really what he was doing there at all. he didn't really seem to talk to any of the people who worked there, and none of us really talked much to him. i think my co-workers were all either in awe of the fact that we worked with morrissey (i was!) or totally indifferent to him. (believe me, that office was chock full of indifference...to everything, pretty much, which apparently, at least when i'm asleep, extends even to morrissey. crazy.)

having ridiculously handsome co-workers is generally pretty great, i think (seriously dudes, look at him!) but apart from being ridiculously handsome, morrissey (who, for some reason, went by "moz" in my dream [his attempt at traveling incognito?]) clearly didn't take anything about our office seriously.

he came to work sometimes, but not on any kind of reliable schedule, and definitely not on time. and for some reason, he had his own office (in both real life and my dream, this job was located in a mess of a cube farm, and quite a few people had desks crammed into a shared space that was clearly originally intended for only one person.)

and he smirked at everything. he was always very kind to anyone who managed to summon the courage to say hello or to try to make small talk (which we rarely did,) but it was totally obvious that he was completely unafraid of our bosses.

and when he did actually come to work, it was common knowledge that he spent most of his time on the internet listening to music. he didn't make any attempt to hide this fact, and would occasionally leave himself logged in to various music sites on public computers in the building (to show how much he wasn't intimidated by the abusive management, who, for some reason, seemed to generally leave him alone? to encourage us to be brave too? to suggest new music to us? who knows?)

anyway, it was a pretty funny dream, and it almost made up for the yucky dreams that i also had last night. i had the morrissey-as-co-worker dream last, fortunately, so that's the one that's stuck in my head this morning. (sorry, housemate! i sure did tell you this story when you were just trying to brush your teeth this morning, didn't i? ah, the occupational hazards of living with sarah in the morning time.)

in conclusion, despite a poor work ethic where soul-crushing administrative work is concerned and a particular aura of celebrity unconducive to office-based camaraderie, morrissey is likely an awesome co-worker owing to his physical attractiveness, tendency to simply ignore terrible bosses, and kindness toward fellow employees.

and now you know.

mates of state has all the good pickup lines:

"i thought you were alright / but i wouldn't die / without you by my side"
-mates of state, "the law"

i tried to find you a movie of this song, but i couldn't. maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

i like this song very much. i hope you like it too.

tonight was the first time that i saw the video for it, and i'm not sure how much i like it. i recommend listening to the song without watching the video, at least at first, because it's bizarre enough already.

coco rosie, "rainbowarriors"

Friday, August 01, 2008

my blog report on "Donkey Punch." by sarah.

my blog report on "Donkey Punch"
by sarah.

i started reading "Donkey Punch" because of the comments that t4toby, its author, regularly leaves at "Sadly, No!" they are witty and insightful without being mean, and i was happy to see that "Donkey Punch" is the same way. t4toby writes a lot about american politics, with a particular eye to the future and what we can do to try to make it in this scary world. he's not very optimistic about our prospects for survival, but his concerns are totally reasonable, and i think that talking about it is much better than ignoring it. and the comments tend to be worth the read too.

"Donkey Punch" will make you laugh, teach you some things, and maybe, just maybe, help you find ways to approach the future. go see.

(read more blog reports)

dan savage may be moving in on jesse danger's scientific fact dispensing, but jesse danger can give relationship advice too!

"if you dont fall in love within the first week - sarah - it's not worth it
move on"

take that, scientific fact stealer!

grandkids in the movies

grandkids in the movies

my blog report on "I Punched a Flower in the Face"

my blog report on "I Punched a Flower in the Face"
by sarah.

"I Punched a Flower in the Face" is written by jesse danger, who i believe (at the risk of sounding like a high school yearbook) to be one of the funniest friends i have ever had. ever. in my entire life. he also gives good advice and, although he is generally polite to strangers (being minnesotan and all, doncha know,) he will definitely give off an imma-cut-you vibe to people if they push you around at a rock and roll show. trust me on this one.

"I Punched a Flower in the Face" tends to have short posts, and jesse danger seems to specialize in observations about life in the city. also scientific facts. definitely check out the scientific facts. they're scienterrific!

(read more blog reports)

because good advice without context becomes funny advice:

b.f.l.: "i've been thinking a lot about it...you need to be much more firm, and then make exceptions later in the week."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

my blog report on "Sleep is the new sex." by sarah.

my blog report on "Sleep is the new sex."
by sarah.

"Sleep is the new sex." is an excellent place to go for bicycles, movies about bicycles, good jokes, politics, boys, pictures, and...yes...the occasional little bit of cranky. i think it might be c.w.a.j.a.?.'s cousin or something. meh-wee-uhn, the author of "Sleep is the new sex." sometimes sends me fantastic movies. and she is wonderful.

(read more blog reports)

Friday, July 18, 2008

can we all just agree that dan savage is almost as good of a scientist as jesse danger?

in his most recent column, dan savage answers a letter from someone who's heartbroken over an ex-girlfriend. as he usually does, dan gives the poor guy some good advice [time will fix you right up; see other people], which includes:
Did you know that every ounce of another woman's saliva that you swallow, TOH, shaves a week off the healing process? It's a true and totally scientific fact. I distinctly remember reading it in the Science section of the New York Times this morning.
this is impressive science, naturally, but i still think jesse danger's got him beat when it comes to the science.

my blog report on "Running Commentary on Not Much" by sarah.

my blog report on "Running Commentary on Not Much"
by sarah.

"Running Commentary on Not Much" could be more accurately called "Running Commentary on Bicycles and Bicycle-Related Ridiculousness, With Some Other Funny Observations and Also Good Advice on Fenders and How to Use Them." but i suppose i understand why it isn't—that would unfairly omit mention of the computer jokes.

"Running Commentary on Not Much" will make you laugh, and you also might learn something about bicycles. or read a ridiculous story. check it out!

(read more blog reports)

reasons to vote republican

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

my blog report on "There is a Cheerio in my fan..." by sarah.

my blog report on "There is a Cheerio in my fan..."
by sarah.

[note: this will remind the attentive reader very much of my blog report on "So This is Motherhood..." because it's pretty much the same thing. what can i say? she's still whip-smart, damn near unflappable, and a great cook. also, she gives good advice. the nephews' mama is great!]

"There is a Cheerio in my fan..." is written by the nephews' mama, who is whip-smart, damn near unflappable, a great cook, and who has one of the healthiest senses of humor i've ever seen on anyone. this is particularly amazing when one considers the fact that her constant (and i mean constant!) companions are the nephews, who are twenty months and thirty-four months old, respectively. the nephews are hilarious and clever and adorable. and, like all kids, they occasionally try a person's patience. the nephews' mama takes it all in stride, and somehow finds time to write about it too.

she also quilts and tears out blackberry vines. not joking. in addition to wonderful stories about the nephews (who are, in my unbiased opinion, THE BEST DUDES EVER!!!), you can enjoy her observations about life in a small town (think somewhere between mark twain and de toqueville...you won't be disappointed.)

in conclusion, "There is a Cheerio in my fan..." is excellent and you should go read it.

(read more blog reports)

can we all just agree that pineapple chunks and cottage cheese is an excellent combination?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

jesse danger explains hipster fashion.

jesse danger: "god there were some nastified haircuts
i was wondering about the conversations that went on before they got there
'no I can look worse than you'
'oh yeah? watch THIS!'
'look what I'm doing with the curler'
'oh yeah look what im doing with highlights'
people actually try to look hideous in this area
i mean - people do it by accident and because of laziness in the midwest
that i can respect
but here they actually go out of their way to look gross"

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

my blog report on "very small rain" by sarah.

my blog report on "very small rain"
by sarah.

"very small rain," a project of alan wiig, is an eclectic collection of beautiful photographs, passages from books, and observations on modern life. alan is an excellent photographer and has good taste in literature. he loves california in a way that more people should—unselfconsciously, and with an unflinching commitment to deconstructing the false narratives of its past, present and future. he's also a geographer, a map librarian, a talented bicycle mechanic, and a damn good friend. go see.

(read more blog reports)

this is one way to deal with your crummy landlord.

for the record, i like my landlord a lot. but i know some people who don't like theirs. and they want to tell you all about it:

934 Shotwell

Sunday, July 06, 2008

jesse danger knows about all the interesting careers

me: "but really, can anyone sincerely be expected to keep up with [name of friend who has many gentlemanfriends] and his gentlemanfriends?
i think not"
jesse danger: "it would take a crack team of at least a dozen skankamticians"

Saturday, July 05, 2008

my blog report on "THE ADVENTURES OF THE GREATEST PAWS!" by sarah.

by sarah.

is pretty excellent. it is written mostly by some cats. canadian cats. their names are monchi and eloise. since i recently learned from the internets that canadians are a brave and noble people, i don't see why canadian cats should be any different. monchi occasionally writes an advice column, and he is very responsive to the needs and concerns of his readers. monchi and eloise also have a human, rachael, who is fun to write email to, and she has participated in at least one international craft exchange.

THE ADVENTURES OF THE GREATEST PAWS! is a wonderful source for all your cat picture needs. (people in need of dog pictures will also find some of those as well.) THE ADVENTURES OF THE GREATEST PAWS! isn't updated very often, but there are a few years worth of archives that should keep you busy for awhile.

in conclusion, THE ADVENTURES OF THE GREATEST PAWS! is funny and informative, and is sure to be appreciated by those who enjoy photographs of cats, dogs, and donkeys.

(read more blog reports)

life imitates xkcd/xkcd imitates life

like just about everything else i've ever seen on xkcd, this comic made me laugh. it's one of the older ones, but i thought about it again the other day.

i try to avoid looking at the comments on youtube videos entirely (unless the video is one that i'm in. then i read them all. or i look carefully at the empty space where they would be if anyone had made any comments.)

but the other day i was watching the excellently awesome video for ronnie james dio's musical masterpiece "holy diver," and i accidentally looked at the comments.

the one that was at the top read as follows [spelling, punctuation {or lack thereof}, spacing {or lack thereof} and overall hilariousness original author's]:

"Zairron I dont know what prompted your outburst but I do know that the Canadians faught on our side during the 2nd world war,( England) They are a brave and noble people"

and now you know. thank you, canadians, for being a brave and noble people. and for whatever role you played, canadians, in helping ronnie james dio become so awesome. (even though he was born in new hampshire. i guess that new hampshire is sufficiently close to canada that you people might deserve some of the credit for his genius. or maybe not.)

also, here is the video for "holy diver." you might want to be careful of the comments.

my blog report on "So This is Motherhood..." by sarah.

so i've decided to add the fancy new blog list that lets a person know when a blog was last updated. technology! amazing!

and i thought i should take the opportunity to tell you a little bit about the blogs to which i link. and it kind of reminded me of second grade book reports. so.

my blog report on "So This is Motherhood..."
by sarah.

"So This is Motherhood..." (which, at the time of this blog report, is tragically out of commission) is written by the nephews' mama, who is whip-smart, damn near unflappable, a great cook, and who has one of the healthiest senses of humor i've ever seen on anyone. this is particularly amazing when one considers the fact that her constant (and i mean constant!) companions are the nephews, who are twenty months and thirty-four months old, respectively. the nephews are hilarious and clever and adorable. and, like all kids, they occasionally try a person's patience. the nephews' mama takes it all in stride, and in the past (and in the future) somehow finds time to write about it too.

in conclusion, "So This is Motherhood..." is excellent and you should go read it, then join me in anticipating the golden day when the nephews' mama comes out of retirement and returns to writing.

update: dang! "So This is Motherhood..." has retired like greta garbo. so you'll just have to think back on your memories of its awesomeness, or wish you had read it when you had the chance. the nephews' mama keeps telling me that new blog is on the way, though...i can hardly wait!

update update: the ever-excellent nephews' mama has started a new blog for reals! check it out: There is a Cheerio in my fan...

because somebody's got to keep me classy:

me: "it was a heck of a week"
jesse danger: "such language
what's next sarah, 'dang'?
sarah 'acid-tongue' [last name]"

Friday, July 04, 2008

happy interdependence day! (updated)

i am declaring today interdependence day.

i've had quite a few conversations in the last couple of months with other people about how we need to help each other out. this isn't a new idea, i know, but today, for myself and for anyone else who may wish to join me, i'm announcing and affirming my belief that i live in a world filled with infinite possibility for connections between myself and other persons, between myself and groups of people, between myself and other animals of the non-human varieties, and between myself and the physical environment.

i'm committing myself again to making intentional, harmonious relationships, and to seeking out new opportunities for mutual assistance and sharing of all sorts.

this kind of endeavor looks different for everyone, but for me it means doing my best to be open and generous, and to find creative ways to both give gracefully and receive graciously, and in doing so, work to create community and communities that are conducive to justice and met needs, and that take the power out of the hands of corporations and put it in the hands of all people.

i know that a new set of difficulties comes along with this kind of commitment, but i feel up to the challenge of working on my own boundaries, and i'm confident that i will become a better person through the joys and struggles of connecting more with others.

so. happy interdependence day. thank you for being part of my life.

update: so, as it turns out, interdependence day is not such a brand new idea after all. cool! i'm excited about it anyway. i hope you had a good one.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

jesse danger is nothing if not fair.

"im all for alternative medicine - but it needs to play by the same rules as the other medicines"

agreed. also, check out his recent article on a pressing contemporary social and medical issue—an issue that affects us all, and one that's surely going to get worse long before it gets better.

this is why i've had "sexy back" stuck in my head for the last week.

meh-wee-uhn sent me this movie. it features vancouver's b:c:clettes, "an all lady, bike inspired, street-performance collective," who explain, "Our performances are a celebration of bikes and those who ride them."

it has bicycle riding, dancing, tumbling, and plenty of love for helmets in it. also, it will make that song get stuck in your head, which will seem crummy until you realize that it means that you don't have fergie going 24-7. fergie time is now more like 20-7. um, unless that's just me.

food not bombs information + an i.w.w. history lesson in four minutes = double win

check it out! it gets kind of confusing at the tiger party presidential candidate, though...you've been warned.

(thank you, mike butler!)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

happy (belated) fathers' day, part 2: a story about the dad

when i was growing up, we didn't have trash service. it was available in our neighborhood, and all of our neighbors had it, but we didn't. we recycled glass and aluminum, we sometimes burned paper in our wood stove (which was also our sole source of heat during the winter) or in the burn barrel out back, we composted food waste, we donated unwanted household items and clothes to various charitable causes and made rags out of the really unwanted clothes.

and the dad used those prepaid business reply mail envelopes to deal with a lot of the rest of our trash. we'd get tons of them: credit card offers, magazine subscription solicitations from magazines we didn't want, other random stupid mailings that happen to a family whose mailing address has become a commodity.

[i should stop for a moment before you get too confused/disgusted and say that we also had a trash bag going for things that don't recycle, burn, compost, donate, or rag up well. it just took a long time to fill it, that's all. the night before trash pickup, the dad would drive around looking for houses where people had bagged up their yard waste and put it at the curb. after prodding the bag a bit to make sure that it was something mulchable, and not just a few grass clippings on top of mixed trash, the dad would switch out our trash bags for green waste, at a ratio never exceeding 1:1. (even when we didn't have a trash bag or two to get rid of, he LOVED driving around and collecting green waste bags.)]

but the business reply envelopes! the dad considered it a personal challenge to fill them as full as possible. he would carefully fold junk mail or plastic bags into precisely-sized rectangles, and more than once i saw him cutting corn chip bags into strips, for a better fit. twisties would go into the envelopes, and pieces of hard plastic packaging would also end up there.

he never sent anything messy, dangerous, or mean. but his obvious delight at the pennies that a megacorporation would have to pay to receive an envelope full of useless material was fairly infectious. "they send me garbage all the time!" he'd say. "i'm gonna let them throw it away!"

happy fathers' day, fathers of all sorts. keep up the good work.

Friday, June 27, 2008

happy (belated) fathers' day, part 1: a website, a bookstore, and a present

happy fathers' day! i'm sorry i didn't post this on...um...fathers' day. i was hanging out with the dad, and then being stuck at the train station, and the going to school and working and things and before i knew it, it was way after fathers' day. but! fathers' day, i'm not going to forget you.

here is a blog that you might want to look at: rad dad—a zine about fathering in dangerous times. (it is also a pretty nice little zine. also, when rad dad hosted a fathers' day event at book zoo, the best bookstore ever, it was called "i love it when you call me big papa." wonderful! [but seriously, if you're ever in oakland, GO THERE. 6395 telegraph avenue at alcatraz. it is full of the books that you've been meaning to read and they are cheap. i promise. go!])

and now your (belated) fathers' day present: from rad dad, "How to Reclaim Fathers' Day from Ties and Work"
Things Fathers (or really anyone) can do to challenge Patriarchy

1. Remind yourself and others that parenting does not equal mothering.
2. Wear your baby in a sling.
3. Take your kids with you everywhere you can—grocery stores, errands, to your place of work, Sunday afternoon celebrations, meetings
4. Believe in other men’s ability to parent. Talk to other men about fathering.
5. Vocalize your support of breastfeeding moms
6. Consider being a stay at home dad.
7. Take any parent infant class you are interested in. Be proactive in your parenting.
8. Talk to your kids about gender, class, and racial privilege. Be proactive in addressing the subtle ways these things are taught to your kids.
9. Start a new dad’s group, one where you take the baby with you.
10. Volunteer to help set up child care in the organizations you are a part of.
11. Ask others, especially non-parents, to help. Be a parent ally!
12. Make a point to ask if there are changing tables in the men’s restrooms everywhere you go.
13. Fight gendered parental roles – make dinner, do the laundry, mop the floors, clean the bathroom, watch the kids.
14. Combat images of bumbling fathers in the media. Talk to your kids as you encounter these stereotypes ala “Daddy Day Care,” “Mr. Mom,” “The Pacifier,” “Big Daddy.”
15. And, of course, write for Rad Dad as well as create your own fathering/parenting projects. And invite others to participate.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"i love jesus, i just drink a little"

jesse danger sent me this movie. i liked it a lot; old people are great.

gladys hardy calls ellen degeneres

i have to say, though, that "i love jesus, i just drink a little" really reminds me of another "i _______, i just _________."

not a player, by big punisher


brother bear: "i can't spend a lot of time thinking about the conservative movement in the US right now. i get too riled up."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

can we all just agree that same-sex marriage in california is awesome?

i've cried quite a few times in the last couple of days, looking at pictures and reading stories of beautiful, loving couples. the san francisco chronicle has a few great photo galleries of folks. go see!

also, please take a look at t4toby's civil rights are civil rights. i think he hits the nail on the head, so to speak, and his post also includes the first picture that made me cry: a couple who has been together for 55 years. 55 years!

and on a lighter note, jesse sent me the following video:

it's all because (the gays are getting married)

so folks, love is love. and this week is a great time to appreciate that. we've got a long way to go on the road to equal rights for everyone, but for now, take a moment to see beautiful brides and grooms, people in love.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

can we all just agree that the only thing worse than having a drummer in your neighborhood is having two drummers in your neighborhood?

i'm not sure when they started multiplying, but i definitely hear epic drum practice time from two separate directions today. sigh.

can we all just agree that sometimes, translating doesn't work so well?

the other day i decided to buy mouthwash at the hippie pharmacy, and i ended up with jason (oh, sorry, jāsön) SEA FRESH biologically-active mouthwash concentrated 2:1 from the great waters of the world with certified organic blue green algae from klamath lake, oregon and sea salts, trace & ionic minerals and cool spearmint freshness. (i don't know what to tell you. it seemed like a good idea at the time. then i tasted it, and it seemed like a terrible idea. for the first couple days i actually didn't look forward to brushing my teeth [which i ordinarily enjoy], but then i started to like it, somehow, and now that the bottle is empty, i find myself missing it a little bit. the flavor is really strange, though.)

the flavor, in english, is "deep sea spearmint!" [exclamation point jāsön's.]

in french, however, it is "menthe verte des profondeurs de l'ocean!"

just in case you ever need to know, if someone's messing with your cobra coverage and ruining your life, the federal agency who is supposed to help

you can be reached at: (866) 275-7922.

good luck.

Friday, June 13, 2008

do you know what a piece of iceberg is called?

a bergy bit! geography textbooks are the best.


last night b.f.h. and i went to see "hairspray." during intermission, we both decided that we needed to visit the room of rest. we were kind of bummed about it, since restroom visits at any sort of public event generally involve long lines for the women's facilities.

but not this time! we went to the downstairs restrooms to try to avoid some of the crowd, but there was a huge line as soon as we turned the corner...a huge line of dudes! there was no line for the women's restroom! we were astonished! it was amazing.

Monday, June 09, 2008

when there is no word to describe the thing you wish to describe, you should probably just make one up.

i learned several amazing geography facts today. here is one of them:

the earth isn't perfectly spherical. there's a bit of a bulge because of the centrifugal force of the earth's rotation (imagine pressing a tennis ball on a table, and you'll have a good idea of how it's shaped.) there's nothing on earth that's the shape of...well...the earth. so, some geographers decided to come up with a name for the earth's shape: geoidal. the definition of geoidal? earth-shaped. the earth? yeah. it's geoidal. yep, earth-shaped.

update: edited to enhance scientific accuracy.

enjoy your new fixie.

it's about time.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

something is wrong with my bicycle.

i keep getting flats. when i put in new (or patched) tubes, i check the rim and both sides of the tire first. and still, i keep getting flats. today i watched my tire go from fully inflated to totally flat in less than ten seconds. i have no idea what the problem is, and i'm really starting to miss riding this one. (because i have a crush on it.) (okay, okay, i have a crush on the other one too. sometimes i have trouble making up my mind.)

good news for marriage equality!

the california supreme court has refused to grant a request by homo-bigots to delay same-sex marriage in california until after the november general election (when a proposition that would amend california's constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage will be on the ballot.)

same-sex marriages in california will begin on june 17! hooray!

the san francisco chronicle will tell you more.