11.30.2005

Oh, for Christ's sake!

Contraband


First Wal-Mart, and now the city of Novi*--when will the persecution of Christians end? A local family was told by their subdivision association to remove their lawn nativity scene, because it violates association by-laws against lawn statues:
The multicolored nativity scene on the Samona family's front yard is under attack.

The Samonas' neighborhood association has ordered the Novi family to remove its seven-piece plastic display or face possible fines of $25 to $100 per week.

The family isn't budging and neither are its three wise men. The Samonas have vowed not only to keep the display, but also are threatening to enhance it."If you take this out, it's not Christmas anymore," said Joe Samona, 16, as he reached down and scooped baby Jesus from the creche on his parents' front lawn.

Do you hear that people? When you refuse to acknowledge the piety of gaudy lawn ornaments, the baby Jesus weeps. Nevermind that when this family moved into their neighborhood they knowingly signed an association contract specifically forbidding lawn statues without the express written permission of the association. Just because you've signed away your property rights doesn't mean you don't get to bitch about it later.

I live in one of these subdivisions with nonsensical association by-laws against lawn ornaments and having too many vehicles parked in your driveway. They are fascistic and ridiculous, and when we sell our house you can bet that we will reserve our right to complain about the by-laws which keep our property values artificially high all the way to the bank.

My friend Jay and I were discussing the "Happy Holidays" issue last night, and we both concluded that "Christians" are upset for all the wrong reasons. The problem isn't that Happy Holidays has replaced Merry Christmas, or even that tacky nativity scenes are being taken down. The real problem is that Christmas has become so commercialized it barely resembles a holy day anymore. Last I checked, Jesus did not tell us to go forth and buy Playstations for our children as a way to show our faith, nor did he ever ask us to put pretty baubled trees in our living rooms and leave cookies and milk for a fat man in a red suit. If "Christians" want something to complain about, they should be looking at the vapid, consumerist nightmare that Christmas has become. But everyone loves a good sale, so they are more than willing to overlook the secular aspects of Christmas when it suits them.

------------
*Fun Fact from the Mitten State: The City of Novi reputedly gets its name because it was the 6th stop on the rail line from Detroit to Chicago. The station sign read No.VI

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annamaria at 8:36 AM

6 spoke

11.24.2005

Aloha!



After what could possibly be the worst quarter in my academic career, I am now in Maui on vaca with my friend Mack.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone. If you see a Native American today, be sure to thank them for the land, and apologize for the "treaties," murder, and diseases.

person x at 10:20 AM

1 spoke

11.23.2005

Sixty-two days and counting…



...until I am officially unmarriageable. Or, at least, happily marriageable. According to a study conducted by the National Fatherhood Initiative, getting married after the age of 27 reduces your odds of being happy in your marriage. The reasons they posit are hilarious: "Some people may be just too picky or too choosy or not extremely desirable."

And you know who they mean by "some people" don’t you? (Hint: it’s not confirmed bachelor George Clooney). Studies like these exist for one reason and one reason only: to remind women that our biological clocks are a-ticking, and if we don’t just suck it up and marry the first decent guy that asks us, our lives will be over. That means that if you, like me, aren’t married at the age of 27 (with only 62 days before my 28th birthday), you must be too picky—as if that is a quality that hinders happiness. You know what, I am picky. I’m really picky. And I think that I should be—after all, this is the person that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with, you’d think a little discrimination would be a good thing! But it’s just that I’m picky, it’s that I’m picky when I don’t have the right to be. I’m not extremely desirable, according to the study, so I guess I should just take what I can get, right?

Remember that "study" done in the 80s suggesting that a woman had a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than getting married after thirty? Well, this new study is the same kind of panic-inducing, sensationalist tripe. How did the National Fatherhood Initiative (more on them in a bit, I promise!) determine that those married between the ages of 23 and 27 have the happiest marriages? Well, they asked a bunch of people* questions like: "How old were you when you got married?" and "Would you say that your marriage is happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?" Needless to say, the overwhelming majority (68.5%) responded that their marriages are very happy. Interesting, considering that the national divorce rate hovers around 50%. That means that at least 18.5% of those respondents are lying. Either that or their partners would give a much different answer to that same question. The problem is that the survey asks people to self-define their marriage as happy or not, and while certainly it is their opinion, along with their partner's, that matters most, it's just simply not a good way to determine if a marriage is truly happy. How many times have we seen celebrity couples publicly affirm their love on the red carpet, only to file for divorce three weeks later? People don’t like to admit to strangers that their relationships are troubled. You can hardly expect them to open up during a 15-minute telephone survey, particularly when their dear spouse might be listening in the other room.

The best indicator of marriage stability has nothing to do with age, and surprisingly little to do with shared faith or beliefs (another contention of the NFI study). According to Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage, a History:

Most of the emotional expectations and the kinds of tasks that people brought to marriage involved women shouldering the physical work and emotional work that makes life goes on. So it is women that have an interest in changing the traditional terms of marriage. They are the ones most likely to ask for change. And people who actually study marital dynamics report that it is one of the best predictors that a marriage will last and be happy is when a women asks for change and the man responds positively. So I think that the difference in divorce rates is that if the woman is more egalitarian than the man, she's more likely to not get the changes she wants. But if the man is equally or more egalitarian, she is likely to get the change she wants and that marriage is going to work better, for the man as well as the woman.
[emphasis mine]

It is the ability to evolve and meet the needs of one's partner (particularly the one that is responsible for most of the work that keeps that marriage going) that will determine if your marriage will be happy and successful. Seems like a good reason to be picky to me.

So, why am I spending all this time on what would normally be a mildly interesting fluff piece about marriage trends? Is it because I am feeling insecure and unloved in my unmarried state as I rapidly approach D-Day**? Nah, I don't even want to be married! No, the thing that so intrigued me about this study was its author: The National Fatherhood Initiative. Their website states that "NFI's mission is to improve the well being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers." Sounds great, right?

NFI Marriage Initiative Billboard

Except when they use racist tactics and their ties to very, very far Right organizations to bully women into marriage. Check out who the NFI gets in bed with:
To further this objective, Bradley supports the organizations and individuals that promote the deregulation of business, the rollback of virtually all social welfare programs, and the privitization of government services. As a result, the list of Bradley grant recipients reads like a Who's Who of the U.S. Right. Bradley money supports such major right-wing groups as the Heritage Foundation, source of policy papers on budget cuts, supply-side economics and the Star Wars military plan for the Reagan administration; the Madison Center for Educational Affairs, which provides funding for right-wing research and a network of conservative student newspapers; and the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, literary home for such racist authors as Charles Murray (The Bell Curve) and Dinesh D'Souza (The End of Racism), former conservative officeholders Jeane Kirkpatrick, Jack Kemp and William Bennett, and arch-conservative jurists Robert Bork and Antonin Scalia.

I wouldn't invite any of those people to my wedding, let alone let them tell me how to conduct my marriage.

Updated to ask if this is the logical end result of marriage initiatives...

----------------
*A bunch of white, middle-class Christian men from the South to be more precise. Here's the actual survey and results, the demographics are mind-boggling!
**January 24th for anyone that wants to buy me a "Congratulations! Your Marriage Prospects Have Severely Dwindled You Old Spinster Hag!" gift.

annamaria at 9:23 AM

1 spoke

11.21.2005

Actual conversation overheard at lunch

The Poseidon Adventure


Co-worker #1: "We saw the remake of The Poseidon Adventure the other night. It was terrible.

Co-worker #2: "Is that like a reality TV show or something?

Annamaria: shakes head and sighs

annamaria at 1:02 PM

4 spoke

11.18.2005

Friday Random Ten

Smoosh


A few months ago I wrote about the fabulous Willie Mae Rock and Roll Camp for Girls, and at the time I thought it was such an amazing project: to take young girls and instill in them not only the confidence but the skills to be musicians and performers. I thought then, and still do, that even if none of these girls ever became the next Sleater-Kinney or Le Tigre, at least they were told in their formative early-teen years that they have a voice that is worth hearing, and that their gender should never be an impediment to pursuing their dreams.

What I didn't know at the time is that the Willie Mae ethos was already staring to pay dividends: meet Smoosh. Thirteen-year-old Asya, and her eleven-year-old sister Chloe* write and perform all their own songs, and this isn't some Hanson-style pre-teen drivel folks. This shit is really good! So far, Smoosh has opened for Rilo Kiley, Cat Power, Mates of State, Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie (Jason McGerr produced their new album) and Pearl Jam. Not bad for a couple of kids! So, check out the Smoosh song in the random ten, and the bonus track below:


  1. Rad - Smoosh
  2. New Kicks - Le Tigre
  3. All the Money or the Simple Life Honey - The Dandy Warhols
  4. Dear Catastrophe Waitress - Belle and Sebastian
  5. Borderline - Chris Mills
  6. Smokers - Old 97's
  7. Little Dawn - Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
  8. Janie Jones - The Clash
  9. Roses - The Magnetic Fields
  10. Wicked - Willard Grant Conspiracy
  11. bonus track: It's Cold - Smoosh

Your turn!

-----------------
*Ahhh! These kids are the same age as my nieces!

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annamaria at 8:21 AM

6 spoke

Briefly...

another Christian we like


Check out this year's edition of The Top 40 Bands in America. I'm pleased to see that my Decemberists are in the top 10 (#9, up from #20 in 2004). Adorable Michigander Sufjan Stevens tops the list with his ode to the Prairie State, Illinoise. Not a huge Sufjan fan, myself, but he did write a song about John Wayne Gacy, and I guess that's pretty cool in a twisted, morbid kind of way.

And Clint and Rich will be proud to see their little hoodrat friends, The Hold Steady, in the top ten as well. Still not seeing the allure, guys...

annamaria at 8:07 AM

4 spoke

Sorry boys...

I’ve often wondered when men are going to take a serious look at the consequences that the Religious Right’s obsession with sexuality has on our lives. Thus far, the attacks have been aimed squarely at women: parental consent laws, abortion, birth control, etc. Well, boys, now the Right’s after you: they don’t want you to get blow jobs:

Certain cases of mouth cancer appear to be caused by a virus that can be contracted during oral sex, media reported, quoting a new Swedish study.

People who contract a high-risk variety of the human papilloma virus, HPV, during oral sex are more likely to fall ill with mouth cancer, according to a study conducted at the Malmo University Faculty of Odontology in southern Sweden.

"You should avoid having oral sex," dentist and researcher Kerstin Rosenquist, who headed the study, told Swedish news agency TT.

But, wait a minute! you’re saying. That’s a Swedish study, and we all know that there are no more liberal people on the planet that the Swedes! Why, it must be a crazy man-hating radical feminist conspiracy to keep women (literally) off their knees!

Wouldn't be crazy if there was some kind of vaccine which prevented not only HPV, but cancer as well? And it wouldn't it be even crazier if it was the feminists who were among its biggest supporters? And wouldn't it be unbelievably crazy if the Right was leading the charge in preventing FDA approval for the vaccine?

annamaria at 7:22 AM

0 spoke

11.17.2005

Christians we like


Sometimes I feel like I’m a little too critical of Christians. I don’t mean to paint all Christians with the same brush, and lead anyone to believe that I think them all ignorant and bigoted. It’s the "Christians" that I can’t stand; fundamentalists who ignore Christ’s teachings about social justice in favor of focusing on a few punitive passages about homosexuality or who spend so much time absorbing Paul’s misogyny that they forget that one of Christ’s most trusted friends was a woman.

There are quite a few Christians in my immediate family, both Catholics and Lutherans, and I don’t think any of them are evil or stupid or hateful. I think they are wonderful people who simply believe differently that I do. And I can accept that, and accept them, despite our differences. I hope they do the same for me.

Every once in a while, I come across a Christian that I really like. Rich and I have decided that if more "Christians" were like Johnny Cash and Jimmy Carter, the world would be a much better place. Unfortunately, there are those who disagree, but rather than focus on them today, I’d rather talk about this guy:
To protest Virginia's laws banning same-sex marriage, [Pastor David] Ensign and the church's governing council decided recently that Clarendon Presbyterian will no longer have any weddings, and Ensign will renounce his state authority to marry couples.

[…]

"What we're saying is that in the commonwealth of Virginia, the laws that govern marriage are unjust and unequal," said Ensign, 45, who has served as the church's pastor since 2003. He said that the matter had been bothering him for months and that he suggested the policy to the congregation's leaders because his conscience would not allow him to continue performing legal marriages on the state's behalf.

The small church’s congregation (fewer than 100 members) have mostly supported Ensign’s decision. Couples wishing to be married at the church are given special "celebration ceremonies," and then told to see a local judge or justice of the peace in order to be officially wed. The Church's official statement can be found here.

So, I say, good on you Pastor Ensign! You show those fundies what a real Christian looks like!

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annamaria at 10:35 AM

3 spoke

11.16.2005

And this is why I will remain childless...


Babies are an expensive-ass hobby, according to the baby calculator that a child-free web site linked to:
Here's what you're likely to spend to raise a child. (Before you despair, remember that your income is likely to increase over time!) Click on each category to see what's included in the expense. Note that you can change the annual amount you plan to spend on each category or the age at which you expect each expense to start or end and then recalculate your total.

Expense: Housing
Starting Age: 0
Ending Age: 18
Annual Cost: $5040

Expense: Food
Starting Age: 0
Ending Age: 18
Annual Cost: $2689

Expense: Transportation
Starting Age: 0
Ending Age: 18
Annual Cost: $2295

Expense: Clothing
Starting Age: 0
Ending Age: 18
Annual Cost: $965

Expense: Healthcare
Starting Age: 0
Ending Age: 18
Annual Cost: $1077

Expense: Childcare/Education
Starting Age: 0
Ending Age: 18
Annual Cost: $1618

Expense: Misc.
Starting Age: 0
Ending Age: 18
Annual Cost: $1738

Expense: College
Starting Age: 18
Ending Age: 22
Annual Cost: $44200

Total amount needed to raise a child: 454,396

Find out how much your little bugger will/would cost ya.

person x at 5:32 PM

7 spoke

I hate final exams.


Or, more precisely, term papers.

That's the hell I am in right now, so if you don't hear from me until after next Tuesday, you will know why.



person x at 12:59 PM

0 spoke

Happy Holidays!


This rainbow proves that the
godless fags are out to get Christmas.


My love of the Concerned Women for Patriarchy America has been well documented here. Their tireless campaigns against such evils as Harry Potter and the National Education Association are an inspiration to liberty-loathing fundies everywhere. I am particularly impressed with their stance against sexism. After all, most groups purporting to represent concerned women would be lead by women. Not the CWFA! No, they buck all forms of gender discrimination and are lead by a man! Take that you evil man-hating feminists!

Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America’s Culture & Family Institute (a man!), recently brought to light a horrible injustice in America today. Seems the evil, God-hating despots of Wal-Mart are doing their best Grinch impersonation and are single-handedly destroying Christmas. By recognizing that other religions also celebrate their high holy days in late December, Wal-Mart is terrorizing "Christians" and killing babies...or something like that:

"Wal-Mart has done so much good over the past few years, aiding the Salvation Army and other good causes, that it’s heartening that they won’t have this anti-Christmas albatross hanging around their necks as the Christmas buying season begins in earnest," said Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America’s Culture & Family Institute. "Now they need to take the next step and free their employees from the tyranny of having to say the vapid ‘happy holidays,’ and to let them wish people a ‘Merry Christmas,’ or, when appropriate, ‘Happy Hanukkah.’"

That's a fabulous idea Mr. Knight! When a nun walks into the local Wal-Mart, employees should feel free to wish her a Merry Christmas. And sales associates should be encouraged to wish Hassids a Happy Hanukkah. Now, what to do with those pesky millions of other people who don't wear their religious affiliations quite so boldly? Perhaps we need to institute a policy whereby, oh, I don't know, Jews were required to wear something...a Star of David, maybe...which would signify their religion. That way, when they go to Wal-Mart, cashiers and sales clerks are sure to use the correct holiday greeting. I think this plan has real potential...

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annamaria at 10:34 AM

1 spoke

Sex, Lies and Lawyers

Fieger


Usually, Michigan elections are pretty boring. It’s always obvious that Republicans will win in Western Michigan, the GOP won’t even bother running a candidate in Detroit, and Carl Levin is Senator for Life. The most interesting Michigan election in recent history involved Spencer Abraham’s attempt to slander Debbie Stabenow by comparing her to a snack cake.

Of course, there is always one Michigander who is sure to stir up trouble: Geoffrey Fieger. Is there a more controversial figure from the Mitten State? Say what you will about Fieger (I tend to think that as the brother of The Knack’s Doug Fieger, he can do no wrong), he’s an indomitable force in Michigan politics, which is why recent allegations that he committed elections fraud and attempted to blackmail Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has everyone in a bit of a tizzy.

The entire story is bizarre. Cox’s office was investigating Fieger for allegedly financing $450,000 in TV ads to defeat Republican-backed Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman. Cox claims that unless the investigation was dropped, Fieger, through his attorney Lee O’Brien, threatened go public with proof that Cox had an extramarital affair several years ago. Easy political death for an ambitious young Republican like Cox.

This morning, Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca (the only lawyer in Michigan who loves to see his face on TV as much as Fieger) announced he will not press charges against Fieger and O’Brien, citing a lack of credible evidence, even though he is, and I quote, "100% confident" that Fieger is guilty.

Fieger, meanwhile, is requesting that Governor Granholm launch an investigation to determine if Cox violated Fieger’s civil rights, and the Bank Secrecy Act, when he seized Fieger’s law office’s bank statements this summer. Oh, and he wants a separate investigation into the personal and financial relationship between Cox and, you guessed it, Republican-backed Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman.

Did I mention that Fieger is running against Cox in the Attorney General Race next year?

No offense to our dear friend Kurt, but Michigan is starting to look more and more like Texas everyday!


Sorry, couldn't resist this
old photo from the Metro Times

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annamaria at 9:29 AM

1 spoke

11.11.2005

Enough already!

Damn you, convenient birth control!


I get the point, as a woman I am meant to suffer. I finally stop worrying about my tits and now it's open season on my ovaries:

Women Using the Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch Warned of Increased Risk of Blood Clots, Stroke, and Death

After years of debate over the safety of the Ortho Evra birth control patch ("the Patch"), the drug’s manufacturer Ortho-McNeil (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson – the world’s 4 th largest drugmaker) has finally acknowledged the fact that women who use the product are at a significantly greater risk of blood clots, stroke, and death than woman who use other forms of oral contraceptives.

Ortho-McNeil now admits that women who use the patch can be exposed to up to 60% more estrogen than they would be exposed to if they were taking a birth control pill instead.


You know, I like to joke around about how my 30th birthday gift to myself is going to be tubal ligation. I don't think I'm joking anymore!

annamaria at 2:24 PM

0 spoke

Friday Random Ten

I Heart Nerdy Boys


Well, it's been a surprisingly good week! Apparently, management had a conversation with Psycho, and she's been behaving as of late. No random absences or excessive tardies. Her attitude is decent. I'm almost sorry to see her shape up so quickly, as it means that she in all likelihood won't be fired. Damn. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and hoping that this attitude shift is permanent, because if she regresses I'm going to have to hurt her.

Saw my oncologist on Wednesday. I don't think I'll ever get used to the fact that I now have an oncologist. Shortest doctor visit I've ever had; she looked at my incision, declared it was healing well and that all of my test results were normal. This took all of three minutes. Fairly anticlimactic end to my breast ordeal.

I'm off to beautiful Saginaw tonight after work. My two oldest nieces are making their stage debut in their middle school production of Aladdin. The eleven-year-old will be playing one of the townspeople, while her thirteen-year-old sister will be Jafar's sidekick Iago. Both are mortified that the entire family is making the hour-and-a-half trek to Saginaw to see them. Teenagers.

The random ten this week rocks, if I may say so myself. Not only because my computer seems to be aware of my upcoming trip to LA (there are two Colin Meloy tracks on here, one with the Decemberists, and the other with his former band Tarkio), but also because of the first song on the list. Toto Cutungo's L'Italiano is one of those songs that you hear at every Italian wedding, and inspires some great drunken singalongs. And it features some great lines about "new socks in your top drawer" and "not being afraid of shaving cream" which sound so much lovelier when sung in Italian.

  1. L'Italiano - Toto Cutugno
  2. Dum Dum Club - Joe Strummer
  3. Off the Record - My Morning Jacket
  4. Super Tuesday - The Shazam
  5. Jews for Jesus Blues - Clem Snide
  6. Damn Damn Leash - Be Your Own PET
  7. It's My Life - Talk Talk
  8. The Laws Have Changed - The New Pornographers
  9. Nobody's Home (live) - The Decemberists
  10. Neapolitan Bridesmaid - Tarkio

Your turn!

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annamaria at 10:20 AM

5 spoke

11.10.2005

10 November

Edmund Fitzgerald


When I was in the third grade, Michigan celebrated its sesquecentennial and all the little kids were forced to take part in these ridiculous Yes! Michigan events. My school decided that a Michigan-centric concert was needed, and the highlight was a stirring all-school rendition of...The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I am so not making this up. Not sure who thought that a bunch of school kids singing about a horrifying ship wreck which claimed 29 lives was a good idea, but I have a feeling that person is no longer allowed near small, impressionable children.

If I had audio of little 9-year-old me singing, I wouldn't hesitate to share it with you. But, alas, my parents were not the kind who brought tons of expensive recording equipment to all of our little school functions. Sometimes, I suspect that they snuck out the back door when I wasn't looking. But, I digress. In the absence of my elementary school extravaganza to entertain you, please enjoy these:

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - The Dandy Warhols

annamaria at 6:14 PM

0 spoke

11.09.2005

More Bushisms....


As heard in Brazil:

At one point, [President Luiz Inácio Lula] da Silva even exhibited a map of his country, which is larger than the continental United States. "Wow! Brazil is big," Mr. Amorim quoted the American president as responding.

person x at 3:46 PM

0 spoke

Los Angeles, I'm Yours



So, I'm one of those people, you know, the ones that buy themselves Christmas and birthday gifts? Well, my gift to myself this year is a trip to Los Angeles. How could I possibly turn down a roundtrip flight for only $200? I'd be a fool, people, a damn fool to stay in Detroit this winter when I can spend four fabulous days in Hollywood, sleeping on the air mattress that my dear friend Clinton was so kind of offer me.

While there, I'm treating myself to another gift: a Colin Meloy solo show at the El Rey Theatre. Yes, being the ridiculous fangirl that I am, I'm traveling across the continent to see Mr. Meloy since he didn't see fit to include a Detroit date on his tour. If I didn't love that cute little bespectacled man so much, I would be a pretty angry girl right now. According to My Old Kentucky Blog, the lovely Ms. Laura Veirs will be the supporting act. Fabulous!

In honor of my impending trip to Hell-A, here are a few Colin Meloy solo / Decemberists covers for your enjoyment:

Sister, I'm a Poet (Morrissey cover)
A snippet of Jonathan Richman's Pablo Picasso
I'm Sticking With You (Velvet Underground)

annamaria at 1:30 PM

2 spoke

Post-Election Daze



Let's get the good news out of the way before I rant about the Detroit Mayoral race, shall we?

First of all, congratulations to 18-year-old Michael Sessions, who was elected mayor of Hillsdale last night. Sessions was only 17 this spring, and thus unable to be included on the ballot; he won the election as a write-in candidate with 732 votes. The Hillsdale High School senior, who is the youngest mayor in the college town's history, still lives at home with his mom and dad.

The Detroit City Council will be getting some new faces, most notably Monica Conyers, wife of Congressman John Conyers, and former Motown star Martha Reeves. Can I just say something here? How fucking cool is it that Martha Reeves is on the City Council? Seriously, their first order of business needs to be to pass a law requiring Ms. Reeves to sing "Heat Wave" at the beginning of every session.

Meanwhile, Ferndale has assured its place as the most liberal city in Michigan (Ann Arbor be damned) by passing a medicinal marijuana referendum. Ferndale police have vowed to ignore the ordinance, so take caution before lighting up. Neighboring city Oak Park, meanwhile, wants nothing to do with any kinds of drugs it seems, defeating a proposal that would allow restaurants to serve alcohol. Can you seriously not get a drink in an Oak Park restaurant? You learn something new everyday.

In a stunning display of ineptitude, controversy-riddled Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie managed to lose her seat. Currie, for the non-Michiganders in the room, is currently under investigation by the FBI for her role in an alleged vote-fixing scheme. Do you see the irony there? Perhaps by losing the election, she's setting up her defense.

Finally, I offer this Open Letter to the People of Detroit, from a Concerned Suburbanite:

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE??

Need I list the litany of failures and scandals that have riddled the Kilpatrick administration since day one? Remember the dead stripper cover-up? The Lincoln Navigator? The brilliant strategy to deal with the epidemic of abandoned buildings in Detroit--we'll just turn on the lights during the Superbowl so that they don't look abandoned, rather than do something to, you know, GET PEOPLE INTO THE FUCKING BUILDINGS!

Not surprisingly, people are already revolting--a new poll shows that a full third of Detroiters now want to get the hell out of the city. I live a good 20 miles outside of the city, and even I want to leave now.

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annamaria at 11:31 AM

3 spoke

What in the hell, Detroit?

You decided to re-elect this guy? Despite his various scandals, including the Navigator, stripper parties, rumored "doings" with staff members, credit card misuse...you elect him again.

Michiganders, shed some light on this for me. I just don't fucking get it.

In other news...
A survey released today says that 33% of those living in Detroit want out. That would make the population, oh, about 73 or 74. And they don't just want to move to the 'burbs. They want out of the mitten.

Chicago loves the people from Michigan, so come on over. We've got the Mayor for Life, and Obama and Durbin. Can't beat all that with a stick.

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person x at 11:02 AM

0 spoke

11.07.2005

So, I'm a little depressed.

Had my review at work on Friday. Apparently I am an excellent worker, but a terrible, terrible person. I am actually a liability, for the most part.

It started out in a fantastic manner: two whole minutes about how I am extremely creative and how people love my work. The following 45 minutes told a different story. A story about how I am a sloppy, lazy shit.

So, that's pretty much been the last couple days at work. Having this review, and then dealing with the aftermath. I still don't really know what to think.

One of my other managers says things are fine, and I should just adapt and try and touch base with her in a month or so. Other people say I should just beat her up.

Anyone need a fantastic marketing person who is great at their job but sucks at everything else?

person x at 1:34 PM

7 spoke

11.04.2005

Friday Random Ten

Franz FerdinandScissor Sisters
The two most fashionable bands in the world


Ugh. It's only 10 a.m. here in beautiful Pontiac, Michigan* and I'm already ready to call it a day. Not only do I have a month-end logistics analysis due in, oh, 45 minutes, but I had to sit through a boring meeting about why the terrorists are forcing us to wear security badges at work. Seriously. Then I got to have a lovely chat with someone from New Zealand when I called the tech help desk because my color printer--you know, the one that I need in order to complete the month-end logistics analysis--decided that today was a good day to pull a Psycho and feign illness. Damn you, Printer! I've checked dozens of times and you do not have a fucking paper jam!

The help desk guy was nice, though. This is the first time I've actually talked to a Kiwi at the help desk. Last week, I spoke with a lovely man from South Africa--very cool dulcet tones from that one. I was almost sad when he fixed my technical problems so quickly. The New Zealander was kind enough to stretch out the conversation for a good 40 minutes, wherein he asked me how far Pontiac is from Ohio and Indiana for seemingly no good reason. He also inquired about the weather and my plans for the weekend. Not sure if he was planning on hopping on a plane just in case I needed a date this weekend.

So far, the only good thing about today is that I can share with you, dear readers, this fabulous mp3 that I (okay, it was Rich) found yesterday. Scissor Sisters and Franz Ferdinand cover my favorite Bowie song? This just bolsters my firmly held belief that in a parallel universe I, Annamaria, am actually Ana Matronic.


  1. Suffragette City - Franz Ferdinand and Scissor Sisters
  2. Jig of Life - Kate Bush
  3. Chewing Gum - Annie
  4. Entertain - Sleater Kinney
  5. NY Groove - Ace Frehley
  6. Do You Realize? (live in Detroit!) - Beck
  7. 10:1 - Rogue Wave
  8. She's the One - World Party
  9. New York, New York - Ryan Adams
  10. The Lady From Reims - Reclinerland (f. Colin Meloy)


Your Turn! And don't forget to check out that song!

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*Michiganders will immediately recognize the sarcasm here. Non-Michiganders will be advised to avoid Pontiac at all costs.

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annamaria at 10:06 AM

4 spoke

11.02.2005

Greatest Photo of All Time




person x at 2:58 PM

0 spoke

11.01.2005

Further proof that anti-choicers are out of touch with reality

This man is an idiot

Our friends at Lifesite were kind enough to inform me that Brooke Shields is pregnant with her second child. This news only matters to me because it promises to give us another viewing of an apoplectic Tom Cruise, and frankly, the battier he gets, the more interesting he becomes. Particularly because it detracts from his abysmal movies. Seriously, did anyone see War of the Worlds?

Of course, Lifesite is hardly in the business of reporting on celebrities, so what purpose could they possibly have to comment on Ms. Shields? Well, to damn her for using in-vitro fertilization, of course!

Movie star Brooke Shields is pregnant with her second child. She already has a daughter with her husband, TV writer Chris Henchy, conceived by in-vitro fertilization. Presumably this second child is also an IVF baby, although news sources did not reveal this information.

Shields wrote about her experience of severe depression following the birth of Rowan Francis in 2003 in her book Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression. Australian researchers revealed in August that women who conceive through IVF are four times more likely to suffer from post-partum depression and early parenting difficulties as compared to women who conceive naturally.

IVF creates children outside of the loving union of a man and a woman. Furthermore, the lives of the embryonic children conceived by the IVF procedure are under severe threat since the latest statistics have revealed that over 85% of embryos transferred in the procedure die in the process. With over a million children having been born via IVF, that would amount to nearly six million embryonic children killed with the procedure.

Unfortunately for Lifesite, blaming women for post-partum depression doesn’t make them nearly as interesting as Tom Cruise. Nor does condemning the millions of would-be parents who are unable to conceive children through “natural” means.

I’m going to say this again, because apparently it bears repeating. Embryos die. They die at a rate of 50% during “natural” conception, when for some reason or another they are expelled from a woman’s body before being implanted in the uterus. Spontaneous abortion is as much a part of “natural” reproduction as happy, healthy babies. Death, as much as these people hate to admit it, is a natural and inevitable part of life. Some of us live to a ripe old age, some of us are killed in car accidents, and still others of us never make it past the embryonic stage.

As for the link between IVF and post-partum depression, guess what? Not as clear-cut as Lifesite wants you to think:
The group also found that women who became mothers using IVF were likely to be older, have multiple births and require delivery by Caesarean section. All these factors have been linked to an increased risk of postnatal depression in previous studies. These findings led the researchers to speculate that 'a previous history of fertility difficulties, advanced maternal age, assisted conception, operative delivery and multiple birth may heighten the risk for postpartum mood disturbance and early parenting difficulties'.

Seems that the circumstances that drive women toward IVF (advanced age, fertility difficulties, etc) are the same things that increase the risk for postpartum depression. Correlation, darlings, not causation.

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N.B. - This marks my inaugural Passive-Aggressive Use of Quotation Marks post. From this point on, I will co-opt the favored tactic of the right and use quotation marks inappropriately, paying special attention to words that fundies really like. "Natural" makes its debut here. In the future, I hope to use "heterosexual," "fetus" and "Christian."

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annamaria at 11:30 AM

2 spoke