Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jessica Valenti is my feminist icon (but I still like Carrie Bradshaw)

I've been singing Jessica Valenti's praises since I first picked up her book Full Frontal Feminism in 2007. I bought it, went home, read it cover-to-cover, and thought, "At last! I've found her! My feminist self!"

She was funny. She was realistic. She said 'fuck' (a lot). But mainly, she was dead fucking on. As I blogged for The Bloomington Alternative after first discovering Valenti:
"The writing is accessible, funny, full of the actual f-word and other profanities, but most importantly, right to the point. She’s not talking strictly to heterosexual, white females; she recognizes that men also face sexist standards; and she addresses issues that young women deal with on a daily basis, whether we’re conscious of it or not."
Finally, I had found my brand of feminism. I was already a dedicated Bitch magazine reader; I'd taken a gender studies course or two; I had read plenty of feminist lit. Yet still not one feminist voice had completely struck a chord with me since my mother, the ultimate and initial feminist force in my life, had passed away in 2002. Valenti was speaking my language. I was in love.

Soon, I was jumping full-force into feminism in a way I never quite had before. I bookmarked Feministing, the blog Valenti founded, on both my home and work computers, and began telling anyone and everyone who would listen about it. I began paying attention to the news, advertisements, and pop culture in a way I never quite had before—and began blogging about it more and more. When I was interning for In These Times last fall, I suggested interviewing Valenti for a Web feature, "20 Questions," and actually squealed when I saw a reply email from her in my inbox. (I didn't actually interview her ultimately, but ITT did run the piece.)

In the last year, I really feel like I've grown into my feminist identity, and I have Valenti to thank for a lot of that. But my feminist identity started at a young age, with my mother constantly expounding feminist rhetoric my way (even if I didn't recognize it as such). I'd be remiss if I also didn't mention my father's role in shaping me as a feminist. He might not use the F-word directly, but damn if he isn't more of a feminist than some of the women I know. Not only did I get a first-hand glimpse of male-female relationships with an equal power balance from witnessing his relationship with my mom, he was always (if not so loudly as my mother) vocal that I could do anything a boy could do. I didn't realize until I was an adult how big of an influence that had, and continues to have, on the way I view relationships and my world in general.

And this is another reason why I so quickly fell in love with Valenti's brand of feminism: She got it! Men are feminists too! As she wrote in Full Frontal Feminism, "The same social mores that tell young women that they should be good little girls are telling guys to be tough, to quash their feelings, and even to be violent. Their problems are our problems, ladies. Men aren't born to rape and commit violence. Men aren't naturally 'tougher' emotionally. These gendered expectations hurt men like they hurt us."

Pot Kettle Pot Kettle Black!


Taking a break from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack to stomp all over my apartment. My bright red toenails really add to the effect.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Poetry Slam Tuesdays (and the true meaning of Xmas)

I know I've already featured Bukowski in the short-lived poetry slam Tuesday feature, but I just can't help it. One of my presents from Santa and Mrs. Claus (AKA Jay and Jasmine) was my favorite Bukowski collection, You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense.

I love this collection so much that, as a gift, it made it into my Top 5 of the year. And believe me, competition was ROUGH this year. It started off with a bang on the 23rd when Jay handed me my early present, Mickey's Christmas Carol on DVD! (And some say I'm not getting paid for all this blogging!)

Yes, I realize I'm getting away from the thesis of this post, which was to delight you with the words of Bukowski, but all in time. For now I need to delight you with my Top 5 of Xmas '09. Cause that's the meaning of Christmas, right? Presents?

Top 5 of Xmas '09

5. Loafer Slippers (Not only are they super comfortable, they are also bright purple AND sparkly. Yes, sparkly. And the sparkles are a brilliant fuchsia tone.)
4. You Get So Alone... by Charles Bukowski
3. Dirty Dancing 20th Anniversary Edition Soundtrack! (YES!)
2. Sly Stone vintage tee

You might be reading this list and thinking, "There is absolutely no way one person got this many fantastic presents in one Christmas. It's just not fair." Especially not the same person who sunk lower in her chair when her nephews squealed as they opened their MarioKart Wii game and remote controlled spider, "Who are these from? This is awesome!" and the rest of her generous family said, "From all of us!"

Yeah, it's just not fair. That's what I'll be thinking as I dance around my living room to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, wearing my new slippers, Sly tee, and my new sweats. (The sweats didn't make my top 5 but probably should have, as I can't stop wearing them. I'm sick right now. Cut me some slack.) When I get worn out from doing the merengue and Johnny's Mambo, I'll be reading Bukowski aloud to the cats.

Right, Bukowski. The man. He didn't start writing poetry until he was 35-years-old. 35! That means I have just under a decade to get my act together! Hoorah!

A Friendly Pre-NYE Reminder...from your Grandma

Please, don't drunk text your grandma this NYE. Also, use a condom.

Via Bitch.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Take a seat, George C. Scott!

Because I'll always say Ebenezer Scrooge was best played by one Scrooge McDuck.

And Nephew Fred played by Daffy Duck?! Holy crap. It's genius. I hope I can find the old VHS tape at my dad's house this week so I can watch this in full. Then of course I'll be watching:

All Herbie wants is to be a dentist! A dentist, that's all.

I think it's officially Christmas now.

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: The Dreamiest of the Dream Songs

Dream Song 171
Go, ill-sped book, and whisper to her or 
storm out the message for her only ear 
that she is beautiful. 
Mention sunsets, be not silent of her eyes 
and mouth and other prospects, praise her size, 
say her figure is full. 

Say her small figure is heavenly & full, 
so as stunned Henry yatters like a fool 
& maketh little sense. 
Say she is soft in speech, stately in walking, 
modest at gatherings, and in every thing 
declare her excellence. 

And forget not, when the rest is wholly done 
and all of her splendors opened, one by one, 
to add that she likes Henry, 
for reasons unknown, and fate has bound them fast 
one to another in linkages that last 
and that are fair to see.
 -John Berryman

Thanks, C, for bringing this into my life. I started rereading it this morning after Mufasa spilled water all over my night stand in a cruel attempt to destroy the dream songs (and the other six books stacked there)! She's conniving, that cat.

Saturday, December 19, 2009, my dear, so give a kid a beer

This is the first song I'm requesting at Beth and Stephanie's Christmas party tonight.

I'm throwing a temper tantrum if I don't hear this tonight.

It's about a little shameless self-promotion?

If you feel so inclined, check out all the blogging I've been doing the last couple weeks about the U.N. Climate Change Conference (Cop15) in Copenhagen.

It's been featured on The Media Consortium's environmental blog, The Mulch, throughout the conference, and cross-posted on a lot of kickass progressive sites, including In These Times (where I interned last fall).

Today I wrote a post for Gender Across Borders about how climate change affects women. Check it out.

I don't think Cousin Eddie is quite as concerned with the environment:

And now I'm off to some holiday parties to drink eggnog! Merry Christmas! Shitter was full!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: "Cocaine"

For this week's poetry slam, your featured poet is ... me. Eek!

I wrote this poem several years ago, and man, was I infatuated with this stupid guy who didn't give a crap about me (Abbs, you know who!).

I blame the jukebox at Crazy Horse (and being 22). He just had to play Van Morrison and wink at me. God dammit. Gets me every time. Men playing my favorite tunes on the jukebox. Needless to say, infatuation ended shortly after I wrote this poem.

I mostly just like the last stanza, but reading this poem, I remember this evening perfectly.

And I wouldn't go back to it for anything.

I watched you,
in my haze of infatuation and booze,
as you snorted your precious powder.

I watched you,
and convinced myself
that you’d need me more
I declined—
meanwhile, you alternated
bending over that table
pushing filth up your nose
and leaning into me
with your misleading embraces.

I didn’t need it
I clutched my goblet
of cheap white wine
and smiled,
content with your proximity.

You were my cocaine
but to you,
I was only the table.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Mix Tapes: Monsters of Folk

Dear Santa Claus,

Please put Monsters of Folk in my stocking this year.

If not, I'll be forced to just listen to this track on repeat.

And that's fine, but...I'd like the whole album.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Have you met Crumpet the Elf? Recommended Holiday Reading

Yesterday I broke out one of my relatively new holiday traditions: Reading David Sedaris' collection Holidays on Ice. If you're going to read any of the stories from this one, read "SantaLand Diaries."

When I first picked up this book at the Borders in Bloomington three years ago, I stood in the store giggling to myself and ended up reading the entire piece before I remembered I was in public. Obviously I bought the book after that.

Every year as I read this and giggle to myself, I tell myself, if David Sedaris dressed as an elf at Macy's before he made it big, I think I can handle paying my dues as a waitress.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Buzz, your girlfriend, WOOF!"

Yep, my Friday night was spent trimming the tree and watching Home Alone. It was terrific. It's Day 2 of the Christmas tree, and so far the cats haven't eaten any ornaments.

But really, nothing quite gets you into the holiday spirit like some good ol' Home Alone action!

And I heard a little rumor that the Festival of Lights started yesterday!

Have a happy, happy, happy Hanukkah!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: 'His Selection, Part Time'

For the second week of the rainbow poetry slams, I'm not really feeling up to scaring you with my own thoughts, so I'm giving you the genius of Anne Sexton instead.


It's a little Walden.
She is private in her breathbed
as his body takes off and flies,
flies straight as an arrow.

But it's a bad translation.
Daylight is nobody's friend.

God comes in like a landlord
and flashes on his brassy lamp.
Now she is just so-so.
He puts his bones back on,
turning the clock back an hour.

She knows flesh, that skin balloon,
the unbound limbs, the boards,
the roof, the removable roof.
She is his selection, part time.
You know the story too! Look,
when it is over he places her,
like a phone, back on the hook.

Anne Sexton, from Love Poems, 1969.

That ending kills me. Absolutely kills me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Mix Tapes: TNC put Ms. Lauryn on my mind.

Inspired by TNC depressing the hell out of everyone today.

Dear Lauryn, I still love you. Love the Score, love the Miseducation, love the Unplugged album, love Back in the Habit (don't deny it!).

Love it all. Especially this:

Then there's the song that's gotten me through all five million of my terrible decisions regarding, umm, men:

And you know you love Lauryn, teenage angst and all:

I still remember walking out of Best Buy with my mom and my brother after buying The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Probably one of my smartest decisions at Best Buy, ever. When my Fugees cd broke in half at college, I almost cried.

But this is still my favorite. I can't help myself:

You're welcome.

And all I could say was, 'hello'

Finally, I get it.

I've seen "Sleepless in Seattle" an embarrassing amount of times, yet until recently never thought to watch "An Affair to Remember". Thank you, Netflix, you've yet again changed my life for the better.

Last night, I finally watched it, and have no qualms admitting that I was yelling at my TV, tears streaming down my face, "Tell him! Tell Nikki why you weren't there!"

Christ. I thought everyone was exaggerating. This all makes so much more sense now:

(In other news, I think I should probably be concerned that I relate so much to Jonah in this movie. Umm, he's what, 10?)

Back to "An Affair to Remember": It was like reading a freaking Jane Austen novel. All talk, no action, so much sexual tension! Come on, no real kiss, after all this? Do it, already!

*Spoiler alert, for any of you who are under the rock I just abandoned last night.*

Good God, I just teared up watching the clip. He almost walks out the door! But then: Epiphany! The painting!

"She didn't have any money, and not only that, she was... she was..."

Just look at Cary Grant's face when he sees that painting, and try not to weep. I dare you.

"If it had to happen to one of us, why did it have to be you?"

"Oh, darling! If you can paint, I can walk! Anything can happen, don't you think?"

Holy crap.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I wasn't kidding. It's a Christmas Explosion.

Aside from the fact that something about this video makes me vaguely uncomfortable—maybe it's her bouncing around in the snow with Santa?—this is the Mariah I grew up on and love.

What happened, Mariah? All I want for Christmas is for you to be Mariah Carey, circa 1994.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or something.

It’s December, which means the Christmas decorations, commercials, and everything else bright and shiny that I think has something to do with baby Jesus, are finally technically appropriate. It’s Christmastime! Wheee!

I guess.

The last couple years, I’ve been a bit of a Grinch. I’ve been pretty broke—okay, completely broke—which makes it difficult to do all the things I want to do for my family and friends (and fuck it, for me) at Christmas.

I had started a little tradition for myself back in Bloomington: After I do my Christmas shopping, I go home, put on Christmas Vacation and then Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, and start getting everything ready. Gift bags for my friends. Christmas cards (and Chrismakkuh cards, because not everyone celebrates Jesus and Santa and the Tooth Fairy!). Wrapping Dad and Jay’s presents.

It puts me in a great mood, even though Layla and Mufasa are trying to eat the wrapping paper, and even though I’m usually alone. And no, it’s not just because I brought home a fifth of Captain for my egg nog! It’s because I love Christmas! The season of giving! Hoorah!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Rainbow Feature: Poetry Slam Tuesdays

After careful consideration and due to popular demand*, I've decided to add a new rainbow feature to the mix: Poetry Slam Tuesdays. I'll tell you now, it's no Sunday Swayze Fest (which I promise, will make an appearance again one day when it's not quite so painful), but I think it will add a nice element to the rainbow chronicles.
 *By popular demand, of course I mean one person, my brother, commented about it.

Don't worry, my plan is not to scare you all every week with my own poetry attempts, but I will brave that occasionally. (Most likely, those will be 2 a.m. poetry slams, as I get a little braver at that time of day. Brave, drunk, tired, whatever, all the same.)

I think the most appropriate way to begin Poetry Slam Tuesdays is with a little Bukowski. It's only fitting.

Don Draper is my Wallpaper

In case you’re wondering why I’m not blogging (or returning phone calls, sorry)—it’s because I am busy.

Busy watching Mad Men. Obsessed. I was sucked in after the first ten minutes of the pilot. By the end of this week, I will have finished the first two seasons. In less than a month.

Joan is my favorite character, in case you’re wondering. “She is so much woman.” Of course, I actually started clapping when Peggy got promoted to copywriter. Although I kind of love/hate Peggy, as I do Don Draper. I mean, look at him. But what a pig.

Are you a Marilyn or a Jackie? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Shame on you. Go watch Mad Men. Check out my favorite Betty Draper moment first, though. (Sorry, couldn't embed videos.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Mix Tapes: Rat-a-tatting Boombox Moocher

And I would have given anything to be at this Schuba's show. Mike Doughty, I'll bust up a Starbucks with you any day.

(Video is meh, but audio quality good.)

Anyone have his new album? Jay?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On Jealousy.

Genius passage on jealousy from The End of the Affair.

I'm definitely in Sarah's camp when it comes to this subject. Clearly, Maurice Bendrix and I should never date:
“Sarah and I used to have long arguments on jealousy. I was jealous even of the past, of which she spoke to me frankly as it came up – the affairs that meant nothing at all (except possibly the unconscious desire to find that final spasm Henry had so woefully failed to evoke). She was as loyal to her lovers as she was to Henry, but what should have provided me with some comfort (for undoubtedly she would be loyal to me too) angered me. There was a time when she would laugh at my anger, simply refusing to believe that it was genuine, just as she refused to believe in her own beauty, and I would be just as angry because she refused to be jealous of my past or my possible future. I refused to believe that love could take any other form than mine: I measured love by the extent of my jealousy, and by that standard of course she could not love me at all.”
–from The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene.
How have I never read Graham Greene before? He's so good, I can't stand it. The angst! The agony of it all! And the dialogue!
Sarah : Are you on a new book?
Maurice Bendrix : Of course.
Sarah : It's not about us, is it? The one you threatened to write?
Maurice Bendrix : A book takes a year to write. It's too hard work for revenge.
Sarah : If only you knew how little you had to revenge.
Maurice Bendrix : I'm joking. We are adults. We knew it had to end some time. Now we can have lunch and talk about your husband.
'Now we can have lunch and talk about your husband.' Sounds about right. Love stinks, Maurice.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Dream Woman

It's final: I'm head over heels in love with Alicia Keys. (And her backup singer. Dare I say yum?)

Seriously, though, Alicia Keys is one of my all-time favorite artists. The first time I saw "Fallin'" on MTV (yeah, I actually saw a music video on MTV, once upon a time), I was hooked.

Her voice is so incredibly beautiful. And she's not a bad actress, either. And she's a fox. Want me to keep going?

The Element of Freedom is out December 15. Who wants to buy me a Christmas present?

"Sometimes you just need to start over again in order to fly."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

With this stupid pen you gave me.

I’m still writing with
this stupid pen you gave me.
It says “Boston”
It cost $3.99.

(You didn’t even bother to take off the price tag.)

I’ve never been to Boston
and this pen barely writes
but I keep pushing it harder
on the page
hoping it will come out right.

You seem to not know me at all
but then you do this:
Give me this silly present
maybe the meaning was lost on you
but the pen is perfect
in all its imperfections

and I’ve never been to Boston
but the pen is perfect
in all its imperfections

and this pen barely writes
but I’m still touched by the stupid, silly sincerity
and insincerity of it all

Even if the meaning is lost.
Even if you don’t know me at all.

I’ll keep writing.
You ran out the door
before I could say anything at all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thoughts after my tour of North Milwaukee Avenue.

I left work at The Media Consortium this afternoon (Yes, work, not interning. Don’t use that dirty word in my presence) and braced myself for the headache that would ensue.

I was about to brave traffic at 3:30 on a Monday afternoon. Why would I embark on this silly adventure, you might ask.

Two crucial reasons:
1. Ran out of birth control pills.
2. Needed to exchange shoes at the Gap outlet.

Before you start complaining to your computer screen that I’ve now crossed the line to talking about my contraceptives, slow your roll for a second. Or maybe you’re appalled that I’m not only shopping at the Gap, but mentioning it on my blog.

Either way: Bear with me. For one thing, I like the Gap. I can’t help it. Their sweaters are comfy and brightly colored! Hooray!

Second, and more importantly: the birth control pills. Because I no longer have the luxury of IU health insurance and my fabulous ob-gyn in Bloomington, once my prescription ran out earlier this year, I had to resort to what I did in my poor college days—becoming a patient at Planned Parenthood (PP).

In order to get the sliding-scale cost, I had had to go to the only location in Chicago that still has the funding necessary to make these services possible. (Note that I said the only location. In all of Chicago.) And how lucky for the women of Chicago, this location is in a pretty bad neighborhood that made my K-town bred self a little frightened in broad daylight. Seriously. I felt like a police officer should have escorted me into the building.

Although when I was there, the receptionist took one look at me and argued that I wasn’t eligible for the reduced rate—maybe I was wearing an especially brightly colored Gap sweater day?—after I showed her my miserable paycheck, my situation improved. I was able to get my annual exam, STD testing, an HIV test, three months of pills, and more condoms than anyone could possibly need in a lifetime, all for free. Yes. FREE.

Monday Mix Tapes: You Can't Remember, You Try to Move Your Feet!

My Monday afternoon gift to you.

Eeeeeet, eet, eet.

Isn't she darling?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Magical Moments Waiting Tables: The 6 out of 10 Edition

Thank God for the absolutely ridiculous customers at Logan. If it weren’t for them, I might have to go another day oblivious that I’m a 6 out of 10.

Yes, this is what the middle aged man I was waiting on this evening informed me after we had the following interaction:

“What’s up with these fingers, Alison?” (By that he meant the chicken fingers. Obviously.)

“Umm, I’m not sure…uhh, what?”

“They’re weird. Look at them. They’re weird.”

“Well, we use a black bean breading for them, so they’re a little different from standard chicken fingers.”

“You should have told me that! Why wouldn’t you tell someone that? It’s not on the menu!”

At this point, his friend says, “Actually, it was on the menu.” But this doesn’t stop him.

“Alison, what are you going to do about this? I cannot eat these. You should have told me. What do you think this will do to your tip? What am I gonna do about this?"

Negligence and work and such

My poor, poor blog. It just looks sad and rejected lately, doesn't it? Well, hopefully you all haven't given up on me. The negligence is (mostly) due to my crazy work schedule as of late. There have been so many magical moments waiting tables lately that I really should be sharing! Plus, it's gotten a little crazier lately because I, yet again, have taken on another internship. Except this time I refuse to call it an internship. I'm working part-time for The Media Consortium, which so far has been a great experience.

Not only is it about five minutes away from my apartment, it is also around the corner from my local Starbucks Thai restaurant. (Yes, my Thai restaurant, Anong.) And, even better, they actually treat me like a human being! I get to do real work! Hoorah!

So, please forgive me for neglecting the rainbow chronicles. Hopefully I'll get used to working two jobs again soon, and can find more time for the important things. Like blogging.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dance the dance of life!

Because sometimes we should all follow the wise words of Peter Griffin:

That is all.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Put a Spell on You! Happy Halloween!

Ever since my brother and I retired our haunted trail/haunted garage parties back in junior high, I haven't been too big on Halloween, I will admit. It's just not my thing (with the exception of last year, clearly). In fact, this year I traded shifts at work in an effort to avoid having to wear a costume while I waited tables.

Of course, that backfired. Wednesday we were informed we would be expected to be in costume Friday night as well. Luckily my lifesaver Beth loaned me her black beret, I tied a red scarf around my neck, put on a black and white shirt, et, voila! Je suis francais. OR, a pirate, which is what one of our creepy regulars called me. I almost wish I had left him believing that, because when I told him I was a french bohemian, he began following me around, calling me mademoiselle and trying to kiss my hand.

The only highlight of last night was when a chubby guy in a monkey costume joined one of my tables, asked me for Jack on the rocks and said, "Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

Before I could think of a witty reply, monkey boy reached in his pocket, pulled out a banana, and slammed it on the table.


When I came back to the table with his whiskey, he grinned and said, "You really are a cute lil' artist!"

I hope he washed down the banana with his Jack Daniels.

I'll leave you with some of my Halloween favorites:

"You didn't tell me you were gonna kill it!"

Happy Halloween, kiddos! Be safe. Eat candy. Drink pumpkin ale. Watch Hocus Pocus.

The Blogger formerly known as Thing 2

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The 29th of October

I’ve been debating whether or not to blog today, about today, all week. Because after all, today is just a day: It’s two days before Halloween. It’s my day off. It’s Thursday.

But it’s also October 29th. And for the last seven years, I’ve cringed when I heard this date. My brow furrows when I see it on the calendar.

October 29th.

Seven years ago today, my mother died. So, yeah, it’s Thursday, it’s two days before Halloween. But for me, it is now and always will be the day my mother died.

Am I being a little dramatic? Maybe. I don’t know. Is it okay to be dramatic? Maybe. I don’t know.

The fact is, I think about my mom every day. I miss her every day. But on October 29th, each year, I think about her and I miss her more. This year marks the seventh year of missing my mother, and it brings up a lot of questions.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, me and you.

Isn't it fantastic how Sylvia Plath was completely bat shit nuts and completely genius, all at the same time?

I mean, come on.

From "Lesbos":
I should sit on a rock off Cornwall and comb my hair.
I should wear tiger pants, I should have an affair.
We should meet in another life, we should meet in air,
Me and you
Meanwhile there’s a stink of fat and baby crap.
I’m doped and thick from my last sleeping pill.
The smog of cooking, the smog of hell
Floats our heads, two venemous opposites,
Our bones, our hair.
I call you Orphan, orphan. You are ill.
The sun gives you ulcers, the wind gives you T.B.
Once you were beautiful.
In New York, in Hollywood, the men said: 'Through?
Gee baby, you are rare.'
You acted, acted for the thrill.
The impotent husband slumps out for a coffee.
I try to keep him in,
An old pole for the lightning,
The acid baths, the skyfuls off of you.
He lumps it down the plastic cobbled hill,
Flogged trolley. The sparks are blue.
The blue sparks spill,
Splitting like quartz into a million bits.
I get it, I don't get it, I suddenly feel like my day is going much better than it first seemed. Seriously. Read the rest of that poem and you'll know what I mean. Even if you don't know what the eff she's really talking about, the utter craziness/loveliness of it is comforting.

Or, maybe that's just me. I think I need to quit blogging when I'm tired. 

"Gee baby, you are rare."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear Brandi, I love you, and your new album.

Here's why:

She's talking about sex dreams! Hello!

A walk with my dad.

This weekend I took a walk with my dad. Normally, we take our walks at the cemetery where my mother is buried. That might sound a little weird, but it’s actually a great place to walk. It’s peaceful, somehow.

Every time we go to the cemetery for a walk, we have an unspoken ritual. Dad parks the car in the same spot, by the same tree. We walk over to the grave, sometimes with flowers from the yard to put next to it, more often, not. We stand there for a minute. Nothing is said. I look over at him. Then he says, “Ready?”

And we walk.

This past weekend, we didn’t walk in the cemetery—there’s a new trail along the old railroad lines that he wanted to show me, so we took our walk there—but it still felt like our old ritual.

When we take our walks, sometimes, it’s just a walk. But sometimes I get out all the things I want or need to tell my dad, but can’t seem to otherwise.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In December, drinking horchata!

"Here comes a feeling you thought you'd forgotten!"

What's that? It's the bliss that ensues from listening to the beautiful pop sounds of Vampire Weekend!


I'll be doing the white girl dance all down Logan Boulevard on that day. I don't care how cold it is. If I'm lucky, I'll find some horchata.

They're playing at King's College tonight. Sigh. Don't even get me started.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Poo-tee-weet? Poll Results are In!

With a whopping 13 total votes...

And we've got an even amount of Swayze and Twitter lovers. The Twitter naysayers led, but I'm still undecided. I think I'm going to have to, just for the sake of my future as a journalist and blogger.

Your thoughts?

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Magical Moments Waiting Tables: ‘Never Trust a Drunk Man Playing Golden Tee’ Edition

Tonight, if you plan on getting shitfaced at your local bar and inappropriately flirting with your waitress to the point of her considering calling the authorities, here’s a little advice for you:

Remember to sign your credit card slip. Remember to add in the tip. Try not to drop a twenty on the ground as you storm out of the bar, stumbling into barstools.

My new buddy John forgot to do this last night. Guess who added in her own tip and pocketed the twenty. Yep, that’s me. The girl wearing “ninja” shoes who is “pretty, but would look better in purple than that gray shirt.”

John, who started playing the Golden Tee at about 4 p.m. yesterday while consuming approximately 10 Stella’s and four Crown on the rocks over the course of the evening, started off pretty harmless. Weird, and a bit of creep, telling me he was going to buy me heels because I kept sneaking up on him in my “ninja” shoes —but nothing too disturbing. Just your average borderline sexual harasser.

Not surprisingly, though, once he added whiskey to the mix, he started upping his creepy factor:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An Ocean Sits Between Us

and there's no sign that we'll ever cross.

And another great song by Miss Katie (hat tip to Jasmine for all this good bizness):

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mondays, Mums, and Mom

Because Mondays are my day off, for me, it’s always a disconcerting way to start the week, one totally devoid of any real responsibility or need to be anywhere outside of my apartment. By early afternoon, I’m restless, irritable, and feel useless: Shouldn’t I be doing something?

I miss Monday afternoons at my old job, because even if I didn’t have a pressing deadline, or a meeting to go to, I was still needed somewhere. I had a responsibility. What I wouldn’t give for some metadata to work on right now! Because even though that was the most boring and mundane aspect of being a content specialist, it still was important for each website. Now the most mundane aspect of my job is a toss-up between stuffing napkin holders and refilling ketchup bottles. Yeesh.

So in recent weeks, I’ve developed a new routine of heading out of my apartment, into the real world, every Monday afternoon. Usually, like today, I take a book to Starbucks. If I’m feeling ambitious, sometimes my journal gets pulled out of my bag and I attempt to write. Just an hour sitting in public, drinking my chai (or my pumpkin spice latte, this week), and reading my book, and my restlessness begins to calm, and I don’t feel quite so useless. I should probably be taking this time to apply for jobs, but that has the opposite affect on my psyche.

But today my Monday ritual got me so fired up that after two hours of reading, I finally had to put the book down. (I’m reading The Women’s Room, by Marilyn French.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Recommended Reading: Her Fearful Symmetry

As soon as I read the NYT book review of Audrey Niffenegger’s new novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, I was planning my trip to Borders to pick up my copy (30 percent off right now). 

Before all you The Time Traveler’s Wife haters start hmmphing and questioning my taste, hold it.

While there are some elements to Her Fearful Symmetry that, like TTW, might have you haters rolling your eyes—no, there aren’t any time traveling librarians in this one, but yes, there are ghosts—this is a fast-paced read with clever plot twists. So give it a chance.

Not to mention the characters: Elspeth, the ghost, who becomes jealous when her boyfriend Robert starts falling for…her niece Valentina, one of the twin sisters who has inherited her flat overlooking Highgate Cemetery; Martin, the brilliant, crossword puzzle setting upstairs neighbor…who suffers from such crippling OCD that he can’t leave his flat; Julia, Valentina’s twin, who insists she and her sister keep dressing in matching clothes…did I mention they’re 21-year-old virgins?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Let's Not Forget: Polanski is a Rapist.

You've probably already been inundated with news about the Roman Polanski case. You probably already have an opinion about the situation. Still, I urge you to read this thoughtful and brave post on Feministe regarding Polanski and rape.

From "Getting Over It":

What does rape do to you? Afterward? It changed me; there is before and after. Before, a child, playing with Barbies, looking sideways at boys, wondering. After, confusion. Depression. A litany of fuck-ups and fuck-its, whatevers, mistakes, trusting no one, least of all myself. Before, sex was mysterious; after, miasma. I was tarred as a Lolita. I was called jail bait.

Rape is not the only assault. Around rape is a large segment of the population that questions the victim, a culture that looks down on victims for allowing themselves to be victimized, or keep them victimized, questions about the victim’s credibility, questions about the legacy of rape and how bad it is, because how bad is rape really? Rape, because various levels and forms of sexual assault are systemic and pervasive across all societies, exists alongside one’s experiences of unwanted touching, wanted touching, sexual objectification, sexual desire, sexual harassment, incest, love, leering eyes, cat calls, roaming hands, consent, confusion, tits, vagina, rectum, penis, mouth, rape and not-rape, all of it loaded, all of it veering at rape’s ugly legacy, co-mingling, the legacy that tells us to be more careful, to dress more conservatively, to BE BETTER AT BEING VULNERABLE, or BE MORE POWERFUL, or BE MORE FEARFUL, or GET OVER IT ALREADY. Rape leaks into healthy, consensual experiences. It lingers. It pervades.

Why are Polanski's supporters ignoring his crime? And thank you, Chris Rock, for stating what so many celebrities have seemed to forgotten: "It's rape!"

This petition, that so many in Hollywood are so eager to sign, sickens me.  An excerpt:

The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no-one can know the effects.

Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.
'Take away his freedom' and 'be heavy in consequences,' huh? Sounds kind of like what drugging and raping a child does.

As Steve Lopez at the LA Times writes, "His crime was graphic, manipulative and heinous, and he got a pass. It's unbelievable, really, that his soft-headed apologists are rooting for him to get another one."

LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING! (More Magical Moments Waiting Tables)

Although I’ve more or less adjusted to my erratic hours at my job over the last year—working until 1 a.m. Saturday nights, then going back at 9:30 the next morning, working at 5 p.m. the next day, you get the picture—one aspect I simply can’t adjust to is the inevitable bizarre eating schedule that goes with it.

Not only do I now eat dinner anywhere from 4 p.m. to midnight, I also routinely work the last half of my shift with my stomach growling and my head aching because I haven’t eaten anything in over six hours. Yep, waitresses are supposed to be robots. No eating during your shift. Of course, there are the lucky days when our manager lets us share some food or eat some soup, but normally, if you’re paying attention, you’ll see servers sneaking pieces of bread or begging the cooks for some extra fries or chips. My go to is pickles. Why, I don’t know, but it helps the hunger pains more. I also enjoy the amused look Luis or Antonio get when I plead, “Can I get some pickles, por favor, corazon?” (If I'm lucky, they're in a good mood, and say, "Anything for you!" and hand me a plate piled with pickles. If I'm not so lucky, well, clearly I don't get my pickles.)

The other night was a particularly painful one for me—not only was I effing starving, but for almost two hours, I only had one table. Maybe you’re thinking, that’s a perfect time to eat at work! Why wouldn’t you be able to eat right then? You’re standing right next to a kitchen!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Why don't you call? Don't you miss me at all?"

Rachael Yamagata knows a thing or two about heartbreak, something a friend and I were talking about tonight at length. Our conversation made me think about something my mom said to me when I was 18, maybe because most conversations make me think about something my mom said to me. Or, let's be honest, the things she'll never get to say to me.

What my mom said was this: "Alison, your heart's been broken enough by your friends and boys alike. It only makes sense that you're going to have to break a heart or two."

Well, Rexanna Hamm was one smart lady, because we all know she was right. And we all know that no matter what side of the heartbreak you're on, both sides hurt for different reasons. I also know that my mom would love Rachael Yamagata just like I do, because Rachael just gets it. (Not to mention her voice. Damn.) Listen to Happenstance just once through and you'll know what I mean.

It's awful when a friend is going through heartbreak, because you know there's a pretty limited amount to what you can do. Sure, you can listen, you can give feedback, but really, you just want to go knock the person out who made her feel that way.

Or, you can burn her a Rachael Yamagata album.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oh, Bitch Magazine. Why must you hurt me so?

If you ever been to a bookstore with me, you've probably watched me scrounge around, looking for the newest copy of Bitch magazine. You've also probably watched me throw a hissy fit when Border's either A) doesn't have the newest issue, or B) insists on hiding it in the back of the Gay and Lesbian section. I mean, that's fine, Border's, put it there instead of the Women's Interest section, FINE. But quit hiding it from me!

I love this magazine. It's my thing. I daydream about seeing my byline in there, and in typical Alison fashion, just keep daydreaming and don't actually submit anything.

So you get it. I love Bitch. Now why must the Bitch bloggers hurt me so? I couldn't even believe I was reading this post today.

1. What in HELL compelled you, as "feminist blog readers," to want to follow the hype surrounding Jennifer's Body? What about this says feminist movie to you: Megan Fox strutting around, being a bad actress, eating high school boys and making comments like "I go both ways," in a preview that leaves a lot of bros with boners gleeful that she might make out with another girl.

Hmm. Boy-eating demons, new wave of feminism!

2. My journalism professor is shuddering at the fact that you called this post and video a review. That is all.

3. Stop watching Megan Fox movies. Stop writing about them. Stop making videos with poor audio about them. Just stop it. I'm depressed I just had to use Megan Fox's name on my own blog.

I think I'm going to have to watch the entire first season of "It's Always Sunny" to snap me out of this bad mood. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hooray, Blogger!

Today I discovered an exciting update to Blogger that I've implemented on my most recent posts: the "Read More" link. Hoorah! Before when I tried to add the necessary HTML code to make this happen, my entire blog exploded. Now Blogger made it easy for me. Thank you, thank you.

Now, my longer rants won't take up an entire page. I hope this makes the rainbow chronicles more enjoyable for you all, my devoted fans! (Please know that I'm cracking up to myself in front of my Macbook at the thought that I have devoted fans.)

But please, please, do me a favor. Read more. I promise you, it'll be entertaining. Well, maybe. It's worth a shot.

On Hitting the Wall, and Getting Back Up Again.

These days, it feels that I’m not just hitting a wall when it comes to finding a job. It feels like I am sprinting into the wall and body slamming it, over and over again. Each week I peel myself off the floor and get back up, ready to sprint. All this sprinting and slamming is getting pretty exhausting. (Almost as exhausting as all these metaphors.)

I keep daydreaming about when I can finally make that victorious phone call to my dad—“I got the job!”—but these days, I’m so disillusioned, I don’t even know what that job would be. I feel like I’m applying for anything and everything I find posted that has the word ‘writing’ or ‘editing’ in the description. Then, I wait. Then, I follow up with phone calls and e-mails.

If I’m lucky, I get a response.

The more time that passes, the more terrified I become that I’m going to be waiting tables until I’m 40.

Nothing hurts the very essence of my being more than that thought.

So what do I do after I body slam the job search wall yet again? I blog. I watch “Sex and the City” episodes. (Yes, “Sex and the City” episodes. I love it. Get off my back.)

Or, like yesterday afternoon, I force myself to walk away from my computer that holds all the jobs I’m not getting, and I go sit outside at Starbucks, drinking a $4 chai latte that I have no business drinking, and I read Anna Karenina. Why is it I feel like a more valuable person when people see me sitting and reading a book than I do when people see me serving food at my job? I need to get over myself. Nobody gives a shit. But the truth is, I sat there and hoped that people thought I was a grad student. Because for some reason, that makes me feel better than when I’m at the convenience store and a guy recognizes me and says, “You’re that Logan girl!” That happened Sunday.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If She Was a Blonde, I'd Tell Her Go Home...

but Mandy's a brunette.

February is too long to wait for Citizen Cope's next album. And not just because he appears to have a penchant for brunettes.

He's on his West Coast tour now...GRRR. Come to Chicago, Clarence. Now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Magical Moments Waiting Tables: The Lesbian Sprinter Edition

Oh, my job. Just when I think people can no longer astound me with their bad manners and inappropriate behavior, a new customer teaches me a lesson. This week was a particularly educational one. The bad behavior started at the beginning of the week, when a middle aged couple got blitzed off of our Oktoberfest drafts at 4 in the afternoon and then began making out and going to second base at the table. But that was nothing—mildly inappropriate at the most, compared to what would happen Friday afternoon.

Let me preface this by saying: Don’t call your waitress ‘sweetheart’ after you demand six drinks for you and your five other friends who haven’t even arrived yet. In fact, don’t call your waitress sweetheart, ever! Especially if your waitress is me. I don’t like it. It makes me angry. I’m not your sweetheart. You call me sweetheart, and I’ll probably still smile at you, but you better believe I’m thinking about smacking you with your menu.

So, after I begrudgingly put in his order for double Stoli’s on the rocks—“Easy ice, splash of Rose’s Lime, sweetheart”—his friends arrive. They’re all military guys, accompanied by one tiny blonde woman who looks rather terrified. (After her fifth Captain and diet Coke, she was decidedly less nervous.)

They are loud and rude. And they all bark at me: “Plates. Wings. Heineken. Lemonade. Lemonade’s sour. Hennessy.”

You get the idea.

Because I’m already growling under my breath before I even take their food order, I decide maybe I should adjust my attitude a little bit. Only one of the guys was actually in uniform, but judging from all of the “Citizen Soldier” t-shirts at the table, I knew it was a safe bet that they were all in the Guard. I decided to make nice.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Headline I've Been Dreading...

I am devastated. I think you already know why. Patrick Swayze died today.

The news is really too fresh for the proper post that the love of my life deserves, so for now, I'm going to watch Dirty Dancing and cry. I don't know if I'm going to make it though. Right now I can barely stand to look at my DD wall calendar. (If you think I'm exaggerating, please consult any member of my family immediately.)

There's also a North and South marathon in my near future. Please don't interrupt me. Although you might want to call me tomorrow around 4 p.m. and remind me I still have to go to work.

For now, I can only leave you with this. And this:

Only my brothers will really get the significance of this clip from North and South to me, but let's just say when I was about six years old, I ran around the house having fake duels with Bent, exclaiming, "Have a cigar!" and "At your service, sir." (Yeah, I know now that they're not actually saying, "have a cigar." Shut it.)

God, I love Patrick Swayze. May he rest in peace.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Art of the Cover Letter

As someone who loves to write, it’s depressing when I don’t actually enjoy writing something. I mean, I even enjoyed writing (most of) my papers in college. But there’s one writing task that hurts the very fiber of my soul, and that is writing a cover letter.

If I could write three paragraphs of pithy self-deprecation, I promise you I’d have gotten a job within a month of moving to Chicago. But nooo, I’m supposed to write a few concise paragraphs about why I’m great. Are you serious? Obviously I don’t feel too great—I’m writing a cover letter and essentially begging you to hire me. I am a hooker. [*Disclaimer* I am not a hooker. But this is how you make me feel, COVER LETTER! Damn you!]

The cover letter is the first of many painstaking steps to getting a potential job. Next, you check your email 65 times a day, or maybe an hour, hoping this potential employer has responded. You jump every time your phone rings, thinking that might finally be the call asking for an interview, only to discover it’s a message from Sprint telling you your payment’s overdue. Or…maybe that’s just me. But, in brief moments of blissful hope and possible employment, you land an interview! Then you get to sell yourself in person.

Oh, the interview.

What’s even better is when you have the interview that goes so well, you leave just knowing, deep in your gut, that tough times are over. In my case, that happened in November, when I interviewed for a job at Northwestern. Clearly my gut, as John Cusack would say, has shit for brains. I drove back to my apartment that day, smiling, daydreaming about buying the fam Northwestern shirts as Christmas gifts. Hmmph. Yeah, I’m not working for Northwestern. In fact, even though they assured me that, no matter what, I would hear from them about the position, let’s just say this: Not only am I not working for Northwestern, I’m still waiting on my rejection.

In this past year, I have gone on no more than five interviews. FIVE! Have you any idea how that compares to the number of cover letters I’ve written? Any idea?

Well, my math isn’t that great, but I’m pretty sure I’m doing something wrong.

So, tonight, as I was pondering how to master the art of the cover letter, once and for all, I had a breakthrough. What would Costanza do?

“I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright, oh, maybe not academically speaking, but I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party.”

I know exactly what you mean, George Costanza. And that’s why I wrote a cover letter tonight, and instead of ending with my tried and true line, “Thank you for your time, and I will follow up with you in the next week to see if I can provide you with any more information,” I wrote this:

“I'm sick of serving beers. I'm ready to use my talent. Please give me a call.”

This was the follow-up to my opening zinger, “I am a motivated, talented writer/editor, and my skills are being wasted while I serve beers and burgers at a Logan Square bar and grill.”

What do you think? Cover letter suicide? Or did I make Costanza proud?

Friday, September 11, 2009

"We're not Mexicans, we're from out of town."

I just woke up from my Kuma's-induced food coma to realize that I now have 20 groupies. Err, followers. Yes! Soon, I will be famous.

This is how I plan to celebrate:

"We don't got no beer—just tequila."

Okay, so in reality, I'm going to go see Inglourious Basterds, but in my mind I'm dancing with the three amigos.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Because I remember when I was you.

A conversation I overheard this past Saturday keeps popping up in my head. I thought about it while I was driving back to Chicago Monday afternoon. I thought about it while I was putting on my makeup the other day. I thought about it while I was waiting on a table last night. It just keeps popping in my head, uninvited, at random moments. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because it has nothing and everything to do with me.

I was out to lunch in Indy with my brother and his girlfriend. The restaurant was crowded, and the table behind us was a group of loud, giggly young women. My guess is they were freshman or sophomores at Butler—they all had that excited, freshly realized air of independence about them. From my seat, I was facing their table. While we were waiting on our food for what seemed like forever, I was getting increasingly cranky—a combination of being so hungry I was about to start chewing on the tablecloth, and the table of loud women. If one of them giggled one more time, I was going to throw a bottle of hot sauce at them. Basically, I was hungry. (If I’m this cantankerous at 25, can you imagine what I’ll be like at 65? Yeesh.)

Anyway, once our food arrived, I pretty much forgot about them, until I overheard one girl talking to the now silent group. She was talking about someone going through chemotherapy and how it had been really tough so far. “But the good thing is, she hasn’t gotten any mouth sores yet,” she said. By this point, I had realized this girl was talking about her mother. My sandwich, which had been absolutely delicious until I heard that statement, became tasteless. In that one statement, I heard how scared she was, and how much she needed her mom to be okay. I looked up, and the girl who’d been talking was directly across from me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What, there were no women around?

As if we aren't already inundated with Tyler Perry's bullshit movies and television show where he insists on dressing in drag and not being funny, now I've received the upsetting news that he is adapting Ntozake Shange's "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf."

My faithful readers might recall my previous posts on For Colored Girls...not to mention that the choreopoem was a major inspiration for my blog title. Rainbows, ahem.

I'm unhappy. Aside from the fact that I can't think of a single project Tyler Perry's done that I've liked, umm, hello? This is a woman's piece. A woman's perspective is crucial for this piece. Crucial. You can't tell me that Tyler Perry read "for colored girls" and thought, "Exactly. I've been there before." He's not even believable in drag. Come ON.

So he's going to adapt monologues like this:

ever since I realized there waz someone callt
a colored girl an evil woman a bitch or a nag
i been tryin not to be that & leave bitterness
in somebody else's cup/come to somebody to love me
left screamin in a street fulla lunatics/whisperin
slut bitch bitch nigga/get outta here wit alla that
i didn't have any of that for you/i brought what joy
i found & i found joy
i used to joke abt when i waz messin round/but a real dead
lovin is here for you now/cuz i don't know anymore/how
to avoid my own face wet wit my tears/cuz i had convinced
myself colored girls had no right to sorrow/ & i lived
& loved that way & kept sorrow on the curb/allegedly
for you/but i know i did it for myself

This movie should be adapted by a black woman. I don't really see how we can argue otherwise. It's the heart of the piece, and I'm so disappointed that Tyler Perry's not using his influence to do this movie with a talented black female writing and adapting it. He could still produce it! That's fine. Whatever. But a woman should write it, and a woman should direct it.

No surprise that I got this bad news passed on from Jay, via TNC. You can read a couple more perspectives there.

Sigh. Tyler Effing Perry. To quote from "for colored girls":
never mind sister
don't pay him no mind
go go go go go sister
do yr thing
never mind
He better pull this off. Check out these two clips from a performance of "for colored girls." These are two of my favorite passages.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Okay, I know August was not a good blogging month for me. But now it's officially September, summer is officially over, and I took a sorely needed long weekend in Indiana which has given me the inspiration to get off my uninspired ass and blog again. 

However, you're going to have to wait just a little bit longer for a "real" post, as I am still at Poppa Hamm's house. He's making omelets. I'm in heaven. 

While at home, I schooled my cousin Ian on blog etiquette, and I'm happy to see that for once, he actually listened to me and is now following my blog. The visit home has provided me with so much blog material that I'm overwhelmed and will have to spend the drive up 65 plotting which parts to share on the blogosphere.

Do I write about Ian's coyote and black panther conversation? The number of Asians at Rib Fest? The number of white teenagers chain smoking Marlboros at Rib Fest? Scolding Butler undergrads at the Margot & the Nuclear So and So's show? The cat training school my Uncle Roy has encouraged me to start? My dad calling Debbie while in the same house? 

Simply too much material. I'm going to eat my omelet. 

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thoughts on My Invisibility

Thank Jesus I can't find a job in my field, because now that I've been waiting tables for some time, I've had a revelation: I have a super power.


Not only that, apparently when I speak, I can hear myself, but customers can't! It's magic.

Seriously, people, didn't your momma teach you any manners? You most certainly didn't have my Aunt Linda around, who scolded me every time I asked for another helping of Kraft Mac and Cheese without saying 'please' when I was a kid.

Please, please, when you go to a restaurant, and your friendly server comes to the table, will you acknowledge his or her existence? Last night I almost fell over the first time someone made eye contact with me and--gasp--smiled.

I got to the point last night where I was contemplating pulling a Clark Griswold when my tables left: "Kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah."

So if you really want to break a young woman's spirit on a Saturday night, come sit at one of my tables, refuse to make eye contact with me or respond to my questions, and never by any means say please or thank you.

I mean, give me a break people. It's Saturday night, I'm making $4.85 an hour and I'm wearing an apron. You're drinking beer and eating nachos. Acknowledge me!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"These two penguins are raising a kid. Have we even thought about the children?"

Can't. Stop. Watching That's Gay.

Bryan Safi, where are you so you can become my new best friend? I love you.

"Seriously, what the F**K did you tell your mom?" Hooray for That's Gay!

Thanks to Bitch blogs, I just discovered my new love, Bryan Safi.

"Homosexuality is totally cool when the dudes approve. So if they're getting off, the ladies can get off. It's all for the bro with the boner who's watching."


That's Gay: Lady Kisses

"Let's face it: Katie Perry's 'I kissed a girl' went number one for a reason. Cause nobody wants to hear a fulltime resident of Vag Town sing this: 'I kissed a girl and I liked it, makes sense cause I'm a lesbian.'"

Watch more That's Gay! Love. It.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wanted: Exercise Motivation for a Lazy, Poor, Beer Lover.

Please. Someone. Help.

In case you don't know me, I am said lazy, poor, beer lover. And I need to exercise. Apparently I only have five years left before my metabolism completely hits the shitter, my beer gut really becomes a beer gut, and my belly ring is officially 100 percent ridiculous. (I'd say now that I'm 25, it's currently at approximately a 75 percent ridiculousness level.)

Now, if you're over 3o and are reading this, please know I'm not trying to be insulting. It's just that all the exercise magazines I buy and read while laying on my couch eating pudding snacks tell me that in your 20's, your metabolism is at its peak. I decided completely on my own that my belly ring is pretty ridiculous at this point in time.

Yesterday I was walking down the beach by the lake, surrounded by all these lunatics jogging, running, rollerblading, bicycling, or playing sports. I panicked. Is this what other 20-somethings do while I lay around with my cats watching It's Always Sunny episodes?

I looked down at my pale, non-existent bicep and made my decision. "It's time to change my lifestyle," I thought. "Join the lunatics!"

Just then, I saw a sign: Chicago Boot Camp. Perfect! I'll take the plunge and be a joiner for once in my life. I'll get fit. I'll get motivated.

Then I looked closer at the sign. EVERY WEEKDAY AT 6 AM SHARP!


Yet, for a brief moment, I envisioned myself running down the beach at 6 a.m., surrounded by like minded, motivated, healthy people. It was a great 20 second daydream.

Yeah, right. Like I'm going to get out of bed before the hour of six and run down the beach while some crazy trainer screams at me. I can't run. Let's be honest here: They're called boobs. It's not fun for me.

What am I going to do? Life was so much easier when I was forced to workout at the start of volleyball or softball season. I also had my 16-year-old metabolism working for me.

So. Clearly I'm not going to do boot camp. I can't afford a gym membership. However, I am a big fan of the workout tape, starting from back when I was about eight, doing Jane Fonda's Workout tape with my mom while Jay sat on the couch eating potato chips and making fun of us.

In recent years, I've upgraded to the workout DVDs, and have such marvels as the Self Bikini Ready Fast and Fat Burning Pilates (which I miraculously made it through today, as Mufasa sat on the couch and glared at me). Also, in one of my many moments of insanity, I bought a Crunch Cardio Dance Blast DVD, but after tripping over myself in my living room once or twice while trying to follow the foot movements and hip swivels, I admitted to myself that maybe "dance blast" wasn't the workout for me. The Bikini Ready fast is actually a great workout. The only problem is that I do it once, then my thighs hurt for an entire week and I don't exercise again for another month.

But TRUST, I still have my Jane Fonda VHS tape. To make it even cooler, it's a recorded VHS tape.

So. I have the workout materials. What's needed is the motivation. How do I get this motivation? Please advise.

In the meantime, check out Jane's leg warmers. What a babe!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cry me a river.

"Ladies, if you're in the habit of driving yourselves home after having a few, convinced you can talk your way out of a DUI -- think again."
So starts Zach Christman's article regarding escalating DUI arrests of women in Chicago. The Sun-Times reported that the rise in arrests of women "probably reflects a change in attitude by police."

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for it. I think it's ridiculous that a police officer would let a woman get off from a DUI for simply being a woman. Certainly, you shouldn't be able to cry your way out of a ticket. It only perpetuates sexist treatment of women if we take advantage of the system in such a way. Of course, I'm sure I probably would burst into tears if I got caught drinking and driving--but not because I'm a woman trying to talk my way out of it. I'd start crying because I would know my dumbass was in some major trouble. But that's beside the point. I cry if my cat looks at me the wrong way. I'm a crier. Yet I do understand that some women admittedly purposely try crying to get out of tickets. I'm not pretending this doesn't happen.

HOWEVER. Is it really necessary for this writer to start his article with such a condescending tone? If you're going to talk about women crying their way out of tickets, you better back it up with evidence, as the Sun-Times did when the article mentioned video surveillance. That's fine. I get it. It happens: Some women cry. Some women try to beg their way out of tickets. But I'm pretty sure if I asked my brother Tom, a police officer, he'd tell me that men try to plead their way out of tickets too.

So can we cut the patronizing bullshit, please? This is so unnecessary:

"Women who plead and cry don't get a break like they used to.

So ladies, if you're getting behind the wheel, keep the tap closed -- both on your water works and the one behind the bar."

Thanks, buddy. I'll try to keep the tap closed on my water works. Even his use of the term "ladies" feels insulting to me. Insulting and annoying.

So, LADIES, here's my advice:

Don't drink and drive. Obviously. Cabs are lined up outside bars in Chicago for a reason. Use them.

Don't ever feel bad for crying, but for God's sake, don't do it to weasel out of a ticket. I want to be treated equally ALL the time, not just when it's convenient for me.

Okay. Whew. I feel better now. I haven't ranted about anything in a week or two. I was actually a little excited when I felt those first twinges of annoyance as I read this article.