Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm a bad girl

By which I mean, not that I am a bad person who is female, but that I'm bad at being a Girl.

Exhibit A: I hate wedding planning.

I mean, truly and deeply hate it.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Home Work

Today I have what I hope is just a nasty bout of allergies, and in conjunction with the fact that I had people over for dinner last night and have a ton of home-based crap I didn't get done over the weekend, this led me to opt to work from home for the day.  As you can see, I'm quite busy at it.

Telecommuting, if I'm not mistaken, is a uniquely modern concept.  It's part of that big, double-edged sword of technological connection.  Many companies offer as a perk the option of telecommuting, either on a regular basis or as an occasional option.  My fiance's company offers the option to regularly telecommute one day a week -- any day of the employee's choosing.  His understanding is that the unwritten rule of this place is that they're open to more frequent telecommuting as long as the employee in question is getting his or her work done, which strikes me as an eminently reasonable approach.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

But this rock is so cozy!

So, time will only tell if I'm "back," as in for good, or at least for long enough to matter for the internets. But I'm back today, anyway, if anyone still has me on their RSS feed or randomly stumbles onto my page via an ill-conceived Google search.

Why now? I can't point to any one reason. Partly because I've missed blogging, or at least the aspects of it that drew me to it in the first place. Partly because an old friend of mine recently started blogging and has inspired me to return to it. And partly because I've been going through some major life changes and, well, I suppose that's as good a reason as any to bare my deepest thoughts to the gods of web cache.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Teh video games is destroying are kids!!!11!!one!!

Lulz. Apparently only boys play GTA4, and apparently Rockstar is more effective at military training than the government. I think the solution to our problem is obvious: draft those little hoodlums and put 'em to work killin' Iraqis!! I mean, duh.

Okay, for reals, the game can actually be totally socially responsible. For example, the game discourages drunk driving, because it's so freaking impossible to drive when your character's drunk. Observe.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008


We're in a recession, people. You really care so much about who the people down the street are having sex with that you're going to waste millions of dollars so you can pass a law making their lives more difficult? I swear, you people spend more time thinking about gay sex than the gays do. It's like a sick obsession.

You people suck. You disgust me.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Woo hoo!

Look, all I'm saying is, even if you're hesitant about the whole gay marriage thing (don't worry, you'll get used to it), if you live in California this can only be a good thing. Think about all the money that's going to pour into California's wedding industry. My state can kiss the recession goodbye!!

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008


People kinda suck. Shit like this is almost enough to make me run to Oregon, register to vote, and vote for Barack Obama.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Keith Olbermann, Sp.D. (Doctor of Spinification)

I'm tempted to be annoyed (given my physical inability to join the Cult Of Obama), but I simply cannot help but be impressed with the sheer brilliance of Keith Olbermann's spin-tastic take on the never-ending Primary War of '08. Here's the (kind of long) piece in case you haven't seen it:

My, Keith, but you have a flair for the dramatic. William Shatner, take note.

But aside from the compelling "gotcha!" nature of the clip, what's truly inspiring here is the intellectual sleight-of-hand taking place. Keith does two things: 1) he makes it sound like he's revealing something Hillary is trying to hide by (gasp!) repeating exactly what she has said and 2) he accuses Hillary of "spinning" facts she has not fabricated or, really, even changed, while simultaneously injecting his own "suggested" version of the facts (one that actually makes up facts).

Hillary says, like, actually with her own mouth, that she is counting Michigan and Florida in the calculation underlying her assertion that she is winning the popular vote. The unfortunate state of affairs for the Obama campaign is that, technically, she's one hundred percent accurate. More people have voted for Hillary than have voted for Obama. That's a fact. Whether or not it means anything, it's a fact, in the same way it was a fact that more people voted for Al Gore than for George Bush in 2000.

Now, granted, Hillary won't get all those votes -- and she agreed not to take all of them, and has to live with the consequences of her agreement (I don't see anything in the clip, by the way, suggesting that she is in fact trying to get out of it). But for Keith Olbermann to play this as though she's being dishonest is unfair, to say the least. And, to the extent the Obama campaign is encouraging this sort of unfairness (as they almost certainly are, given the campaign's history of brilliant strategic covert attack operations), it's outright hypocritical. How can Obama, on the one hand, argue that the leaders of the Democratic party "should" go with what "the people" have said, through their votes, they want*, and on the other hand, fault Hillary for pointing out that "the people" want her? In other words, how can Obama say, on the one hand, "we should alter the rules of the nomination game so that all of the superdelegates vote for me," while saying on the other, "we should not alter the rules of the nomination game if it would give Hillary more votes"?

This is sophistry at its finest. The rules of the game are this: the superdelegates vote for whomever the hell they want to. If all of them go with Hillary and she overcomes Obama's pledged delegate lead, guess what? It's in the rules. Live with it. And, frankly, the pledged delegate argument has always struck me as a pretty bad one, anyway. Obama wouldn't actually be pointing to the "popular vote," but rather to the popular vote that "counts" according to party rules. Which is perfectly fine. Except that if you're going to invoke "the will of the people," rules or no rules, it's a bit uncomfortable to simultaneously take the position that all votes are equal, but some votes are more equal than others.

Back to Keith: my favorite part of this clip is where he blasts Hillary for "spinning" the facts by laying out explicitly how she reached her conclusion, and then proceeds to argue in the alternative that Hillary is factually incorrect because, in essence, if things were fair, Obama "would" get votes he didn't get in Michigan. Let me get this straight: Hillary is bad because she has stated the truthful fact that more people have voted for her. Keith Olbermann is good for making a related argument based on a nonexistent fact.

See, this is why I got out of politics.

* To be fair, it appears Obama may have backed off and begun softening his insistence that the superdelegates follow the pledged delegates.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

An Easter Penguin

I decided that I would give myself Easter weekend off. Completely, one hundred percent off. I did check my BlackBerry, but not before promising myself that if I was asked to do anything, my response would be "it's Easter. See you Monday." Fortunately, I ended up not having to piss off my boss to enjoy the weekend.

SO. Given that I've actually set aside this whole big chunk of time for myself, I finally -- finally -- had time to finish Bianca Reagan's entertaining first outing in the world of published fiction (not counting the fictional aspects of her blog, which is a different sort of publishing). Bianca -- whose real name is Mahlena-Rae Johnson -- has taken the path of the true entrepreneur and self-published her first book. Boy, I admire this woman's guts. I'm scared to even submit a short story to a college magazine, and here she goes publishing her own whole book. Sheesh!

The book, which, like her blog, is titled Steve the Penguin, is set in the not-too-distant future, where we're not quite told that Hillary Clinton has won the election (possibly (?) with Barack Obama as her vice president -- oh, Mahlena, I do love your optimism :)), and, more importantly, where our heroine, Bianca Reagan Erin-Dempsey, is about to attend her ten-year high school reunion. Fraught with mixed emotions, Bianca tries to simultaneously juggle her demanding career working for a programming VP at a small entertainment company, a friend going through a difficult divorce, the requisite drama of visiting family you haven't lived with in years, and the most hand-wringing of all: the prospect of facing her high school crush.

Mahlena captures the stress and self-doubt I think most of us feel at the prospect of facing people we haven't seen in years, and thereby facing a version of ourselves we haven't seen in years. Have we improved? Have we stagnated? Have we grown up? Have we gotten old? Have we abandoned our hopes? Have we fulfilled them? Bianca reflects on her years as an argumentative, unpopular teen and realizes that, for some reason, she now cares what these people think of her. She hopes to impress them -- and perhaps to erase some of the sting of the rejection she, like the vast majority of us, faced in high school.

The book's tone is informal and conversational, which makes it an easy read -- and much moreso if you're relatively "up" on pop culture. As is fitting for a book about a woman enmeshed in the entertainment industry, a healthy familiarity with that industry will add to the book's resonance, as the book is liberally sprinkled with pop culture references. In fact, the title itself is a pop culture reference -- or, rather, two pop culture references tied together.

The book also has a thing or two to say about stereotypes and assumptions. Bianca, herself a victim of many such careless stereotypes, comes to realize that everyone deserves a fair shake -- including those she herself might have prejudged. Although not a new lesson, it's one that bears repeating. Through the experience of her high school reunion, and subsequent return home, we see Bianca's evolution from awkward high schooler to a more confident, hopeful version of her teenage self.

Steve the Penguin is something of a reverse fish-out-of-water story. Bianca seems more at ease with the life she has chosen for herself, in Los Angeles, than with her former life on the small island of St. Thomas. The intrigue, and the action, focuses on how she reconciles the two, and makes peace with her own childhood. I won't spoil anything, but I will note that one of the last few scenes seemed reminiscent of one of my favorite guilty pleasures, Bridget Jones' Diary.

The end leaves open a few plot points I found myself wishing were resolved. When I turned the last page, though, I realized I need not fear: a sequel is already in the works. And I feel like I kind of have to read anything titled Hot Penguin Action.

I highly recommend checking out Mahlena's book -- and Bianca's blog, which is full of musings about all things political and cultural -- some serious, some irreverent, and some completely hilarious.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Oh, Los Angeles

Or maybe it's Starbucks I should be blaming. Or probably a combination of the two.

Anyway, every time I order a drink, at least one thing gets screwed up. I ask for nonfat milk, they give me 2%. I ask for two shots, they give me one. I ask for flavoring, they don't give me anything. Most recently, I asked for whipped cream and got a naked drink.

Now, look. Okay. I "get" that when someone asks for nonfat milk in her drink it's a somewhat reasonable assumption that she's doing it because she wants to watch her calories or something. The problem is, this isn't really true for me. I mean, I watch my calories and factor them into my decisions about what to eat each day, but my choice of nonfat milk for my lattes has much more to do with the fact that I've been drinking skim milk for over a decade now, and anything else tastes like pure cream to me. 2% milk in a latte makes me feel like I am drinking a dessert.

So when I ask for whipped cream, it's because I want whipped cream on my drink (on it, not in it), not because I'm actually so stupid that I don't understand that putting fatty, high-calorie whipped cream on my drink will more than make up for any calories saved by foregoing the 2%. But, this being LA and all, and me being healthy instead of skelatal and all, how could I possibly care about anything besides calories? A fatass like me really ought to watch what she puts in her body. I mean.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Popularity of Hope

I'll never be popular. But at least, if and when the United States is overswept with some horrific social philosophy calling for, say, the ritualistic murder of red-headed children of Ukranian descent born on the full moon, I'll be one of the martyrs instead of one of the conspirators. Um, yay.

I've never been "normal." I've always liked Sci-Fi (which is bad enough for boys -- I can personally assure you that it's really unacceptable for girls). I never had great fashion sense. I have never, ever cared one whit about brand names. I think MTV and reality television shows are boring beyond boring. I do not understand Dane Cook's appeal, and I never will. I was using computers long before it was cool. (In fact, I was one of the few who joined the first-ever online networking site -- pre-AOL, let alone Friendster, MySpace, or Facebook). I didn't particularly like Britney when she seemed relatively normal, but now that she's so screwed up I feel sympathy for her (unlike those who love nothing more than kicking a girl when she's down). I was loud when I was supposed to be quiet, and bored when I was supposed to be interested. I was homeschooled. I was not remotely popular, ever, as a kid.

So it really shouldn't come as a surprise that, once again, the ocean is flowing one way and I'm facing the other thinking "what the fuck?" To what am I referring? Why, the U.S. presidential race, of course.

Now, here's the thing that really kinda gets me: I was a trendsetter here. I liked Obama before it was "cool" to like him. I liked him when he was an underdog with beautiful ideas and inspiring speeches. I liked him before probably even knew who the fuck he was. Nothing's particularly changed since then... so why am I so goddamn sick of the Obama love orgy? Shouldn't I like the fact that people recognize and value character (or at least, apparent character) in a politician? Shouldn't I be glad that we might actually have a black president?? I mean, aside from political differences (an issue with every politician, in spades), how AMAZING would that be.

And yet. I just. Ugh. I can't feel it anymore. I can't get into it. I watched the video the other day and by the time it was over I was feeling pretty emotional... about the fact that apparently I'm the only person in my generation who doesn't "get" how "important" it is elect someone with such a message of hope. Is it because I disagree with the message? Of course not. And I really, really love how even-handed he's been, as a general rule, throughout his campaign (although, sadly, I cannot say the same for many of his supporters*). Is it because I don't like his policies? Well, they certainly aren't ideal from my quasi-libertarian perspective, but they're far from the worst in this election. In the past I have certainly supported candidates with whom I've had at least as much disagreement.

I worry that it may be some bizarre, vaguely misanthropic distrust of mass support and popularity,** with a bit of a thing for underdogs thrown in, brought on by the fact that the people that everyone flocked to when I was younger were: 1) not me, 2) not my friends, and, most importantly, 3) complete tools.

Because... I can definitely get behind an idea that lots of people support. If the situation were simply that Obama was winning all the states, without some powerful, emotionally-grounded mass movement driven by college students and celebrity musicians, I think I'd feel a lot less wary of it. Even though I'd likely still suspect that a lot of the support was based on platitudes rather than pragmatism, at least I wouldn't have people screaming in my face constantly about how I have to vote for Obama if I believe in hope.

I went into this election season discouraged -- as usual, not a single legitimate, consistent, rational libertarian-leaning candidate out there (no, Ron Paul does not count). I'm afraid I may end it even more discouraged that I belong to a generation of lemmings (and, to be clear, I'm certainly not suggesting that all of Obama's supporters aren't thinking and researching for themselves -- but I am suggesting that many of them aren't).

*Don't even get me started on the rampant sexism this campaign season. Yes, there's definitely been a heaping dose of equally-ugly racism too, but not at the level of hecklers yelling at Obama that he should get back to the plantation (compare, e.g., "Iron my shirt!"),*a and, perhaps more importantly, not en masse from Hillary supporters -- very little aggravates me more than supposedly progressive sexists. At least from the right wingers (even the nice ones are generally benevolent sexists, which is less emotionally offensive but no less limiting) I expect it.

*a That said, if I have to listen to another person talk about how Obama wants to turn us all into Muslims and anti-white Christians simultaneously (how this is possible, I have no idea), I may just march up to the local Democratic party headquarters and demand that an extra vote be added for Obama's name, just to spite the racist asshole.

**And it probably doesn't help that my favorite subgenre -- the only type of book, other than caustically sarcastic humor, that I could honestly say I regularly find myself reading "voraciously" -- is dystopian fiction. I need to remind myself that just because everyone loves Obama doesn't mean he's Big Brother.

I hope.

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I'll be ready

Your Score: You Made It!

You scored 91% smarts, 69%

balls, 82% dumb luck!

You're pretty brave and know where to go, but if it weren't for that 120-watt bulb on top, you'd be Zombie Chow.

Link: The Super Zombie Survival Test

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