3.31.2006

Friday Random Ten

I hate busy weeks. Seriously, running at full staff now that Psycho is back at work should have meant a few days of slacking at the office, but I've been busy with random projects every day (stupid month-end!). I even had to put together a tutorial on Excel for my spreadsheet-challanged co-workers; it included helpful step-by-step instructions and handy screenprints and I still had people running into my office completely unable to figure out how to delete a fucking column. I told one co-worker to highlight the column and right click and she looked at my blankly--in all her years working with computers, she apparently never realized that there are two buttons on her mouse. I'm seriously considering posting a sign outside my office saying "IT Department" and demanding a raise.

But at least it's Friday. Yay for Fridays! Two days of sleeping in and generally slacking await. And, of course, if it's Friday, that means it's time for the Friday Random Ten! Here's mine:
  1. It Ain't Me Babe - Johnny Cash & June Carter
  2. Jack of All Parades - Elvis Costello
  3. Tell Balgeary, Balgury is Dead - TL/Rx
  4. Brick - Ben Folds Five
  5. Tip My Canoe - Dengue Fever
  6. Situation - Yaz
  7. Mama, Don't You Think I Know - His Name Is Alive
  8. Ana Ng - They Might Be Giants
  9. World Love - The Magnetic Fields
  10. A Cautionary Song - The Decemberists

Your turn!

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annamaria at 7:18 AM

4 spoke

3.30.2006

Does she lie about her gender, too?*

Ann Coulter has a lot of problems. Al Franken, who she may or may not have claimed to be friendly with, famously titled a chapter in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, “Ann Coulter: Nutcase.” Besides her Tourettes-like tendency to spew invective and hatred at every turn (because, apparently, wishing a terrorist attack on the New York Times building or the assassination of a Supreme Court Justice is all good and well in Ann’s world), Ann seems to have trouble with even simple facts like when she was born and where she lives.

Palm Beach County officials are investigating Coulter's residence status to determine if she voted in the wrong precinct in February:

Palm Beach County's elections supervisor has given the right wing's unofficial mouthpiece 30 days to explain why she voted in the wrong precinct.

In a registered letter scheduled to be sent to her this week, Coulter is asked to "clarify certain information as to her legal residence," elections boss Arthur Anderson said.

"We want to give her a chance," Anderson said. "She needs to tell us where she really lives."

Or else? He could refer the case to State Attorney Barry
Krischer for criminal charges, Anderson said.

(H/t Crooks and Liars)

*Just to be clear, I'm not going to fall back on the incredibly sexist argument that Ann's pronounced larynx is evidence that she is a transwoman--frankly, I have too much respect for trannies to wish Ann into their ranks. Rather, I'm pointing out that Ann's hostility toward progressive causes clearly marks her as a traitor to her sex.

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annamaria at 8:56 AM

6 spoke

3.29.2006

That's Sicilian

I'm sure by now you're aware that everyone's favorite orgy-enthusiast Justice Antonin Scalia made a rather inappropriate gesture outside of a cathedral in response to a journalist's questions about the separation of church and state. Yawn. Do we really care? Cheney told Pat Leahy to fuck off on the Senate floor, and while that was good for a few chuckles, political figures acting like humans (rather than the sainted beings they profess to be) is of little interest to me.

Until my brother Giacomo sent me this article, wherein Scalia states that the gesture is much more innocent than the "up-and-coming 'gotcha' star" realizes:

To back his interpretation of the gesture, Scalia in his letter quoted from Luigi Barzini's book, "The Italians:" "The extended fingers of one hand moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin means 'I couldn't care less. It's no business of mine. Count me out."'

Far be it for me to contradict a jurist of Scalia's stature, but I call bullshit. See, I'm Sicilian too! And I know that while Barzini's description is true, it is the "moving slowly" that makes the gesture a statement of disinterest. If one were to flick their fingers under their chin (usually while saying vaffanculo), that would be the official dago symbol for "fuck off, asshole." As I said in a response to my brother's email--certainly we should know what that gesture means: we've seen our mother make it a million times!

----------------------
PS: Impress your friends! Learn more Italian hand gestures here!

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annamaria at 7:28 PM

1 spoke

Thank your grandpa for my cotton shirt

I've resisted blogging about this issue for a few days now, partly because I've been too busy to give it the attention it deserves, but mostly because I've just been too heartbroken, too soul-sad and devastated to even attempt to put my thoughts into words. Anyone who has ever studied radical feminist literature or theory understands the concept of intersectionality, the belief that classical modes of oppression (e.g., gender, race, class) do not act independently of one another, but rather intersect and interrelate and bring force to bear on individuals in such a way that oppression becomes more than just the sum of its parts. I understand the concept, I've studied it, but it seems that in my life I've been too sheltered to have truly recognized it as something other than theory.

On March 14th, two African American women were hired to dance at a party hosted by members of the Duke University Men's Lacrosse team; what followed was a nightmare of misogyny and racism. According to the local newspaper:

The woman who says she was raped last week by three members of the Duke
University lacrosse team thought she would be dancing for five men at a
bachelor party, she said Friday.

But when she arrived that night, she found herself surrounded by more than 40. Just moments after she and another exotic dancer started to perform, she said, men in the house started barking racial slurs. The two women, both black, stopped dancing.

"We started to cry," she said. "We were so scared."

[...]

This was the first time she had been hired to dance provocatively for a group, she said. There was no security to protect her, and as the men became aggressive, the two women started to leave. After some of the men apologized for the behavior, the women went back inside, according to police. That's when the woman was pulled into a bathroom and raped and sodomized, police said.

Her attackers were overheard by a neighbor as having said, "Thank your grandpa for my cotton shirt."

Alas, a blog has a round-up of commentary from blogs and news sources, and song4assata has created a new site, Justice 4 Two Sisters, specifically to track the case. Sheezlebub,who recently chronicled the O.C. rape case, has expressed her anger far more eloquently than I ever could.

For me, this case is not only emblematic of the deep-seated and rampant sexism and racism that permeates American culture, but it underscores a fundamental truth: "that patriarchy is a violently tyrannical but nearly invisible social order based on an oppressive paradigm of dominance and submission fetishizing class and status. Patriarchy's benefits are accrued according to a rigid hierarchy at the top of which are rich honky males and at the bottom of which are poor women of color. " [The Twisty Manifesta] In Patriarchy, women are the sex class, and whether individual men treat us as such is of little consequence when society as a whole has pre-determined our status as mere objects of pleasure.

There are feminists who will argue that sex-work can be liberating;* that prostitution and pornography and "exotic dancing" can be delightful and lucrative careers for women. And certainly it seems that women who thought she was merely dancing for a small bachelor party at the Duke Lacrosse house bought that line of thinking (at least the lucrative part). According to the News & Observer article cited above:

The accuser had worked for an escort company for two months, doing one-on-one dates about three times a week.

"It wasn't the greatest job," she said, her voice trailing off. But with two children, and full class load at N.C. Central University, it paid well and fit her schedule.

"It wasn't the greatest job." But it was a job that would ensure that she could continue to work toward her degree while still putting food on the table for her babies. This wasn't a choice borne of the desire to titillate, to be sexy and carefree; this woman chose her profession because her other options--drop out of school, wait tables, etc.--would not give her anywhere near the pay and time flexibility as sex work. Only a fool would look at this woman's (all women's) options and call this liberation.

I make no differentiation between stripping, pornography and prostitution--to me, they are all the same thing. All rely on the objectification of women, the commodification of our bodies and the negation of our souls. All rest on the premise that providing sexual pleasure for men is our raison d'etre, and that the most valuable asset women have resides between our legs. And so long as women are forced to choose between starvation and stripping, sex work cannot be considered some form of liberation--it can only be viewed as rape. As those brutes at Duke have shown, once you've turned a woman's body and sexuality into something that can be bought, it's not a stretch to turn it into something that can be stolen.

--------------
* I refuse to link to adherents of this argument on principle.

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annamaria at 1:26 PM

4 spoke

3.28.2006

Posted (mostly) without comment

No, seriously, Nicholas, tell us what you really think:

It’s easy to be an extremist when it’s not your daughter picking out a maternity dress for her junior prom. When the oats hit the millstone, you fuckers find a way to get your mind around abortion being okay just this one time because your special flower can’t be bothered with changing diapers while she’s working full-time as a sidewalk counselor.

So let’s drop the caring about the babies bullshit, okay? There are more kids in protective custody in South Dakota than there were abortions last year, so if you’re done pushing bloody photos in Sally’s face when she shows up for her pap smear, how about swinging by children’s services and giving one of those whippersnappers a home. Or do your politics stop at the edge of the vaginal canal?

[more]

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annamaria at 7:29 PM

4 spoke

When your baby has a baby...

No, seriously. When your baby has a baby:
In a rare operation, Pakistani doctors on Tuesday removed two foetuses, one of them fully grown, from the abdomen of a 45-day-old baby.

The infant, Nazia, was brought to Pakistan's Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad with a swollen abdomen four days ago by her parents who are poor labourers from the Swat district in the North-Western Frontier Province (NWFP).
Pam asks a very important question: if "pro-life" America truly believes that a fetus is a baby and all babies are precious little bundles of joy that must be saved at all costs, what in the world would they make of this?

My guess--they'll completely ignore it and pray to god that no one confronts them with it. Seriously, it's pretty difficult to slut-bait a 2-month old, even one so unlucky as to have her triplet siblings somehow find their way into her belly. And if the fundies can't have a good old fashioned whore-bashing, well, there's really no point to discussing abortion at all, is there?

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annamaria at 6:57 PM

1 spoke

3.24.2006

why abortion should be illegal...



I am actually giddy with glee.

The title of this post - "why abortion should be illegal" - was entered in Google as a search term, and wouldn't you know it that the religious fundamentalist BOMT blog ended up in the second page of results! I am so proud of the potential people that this may draw to our site.

Like we did with "Human Battling Bitches" awhile back, let's see who else we can get. Leave your favorite anti-choice/homophobic/general Republican statements in the comments, and I'll revise the post to include.

Project, people! I'll start:

hedonistic homosexuals
abortion causes cancer
birth control causes cancer
gay marriage ruins family values

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person x at 2:43 PM

1 spoke

Friday Random Ten



Ugh, super late with this, and super busy at work. Sorry! At least Jen has honed her mind reading skills and posted the very Bill Napoli cartoon I was planning on blogging about today. Thanks Jen!

Without further ado, here is my Friday Random Ten Not Nearly as Nasty as Shane McGowan's Grill Edition:

    1. 90% of Me - Gwen McCrae
    2. Bigmouth Strikes Again - The Smiths
    3. Cocaine Blues - Johnny Cash
    4. Bottle of Smoke - The Pogues
    5. Joanna - Scott Walker
    6. Bridges, Squares - TL/Rx
    7. Twist the Knife - Neko Case and Her Boyfriends
    8. Boys Better - The Dandy Warhols
    9. It's Tricky - Run-DMC
    10. Boys of Melody - The Hidden Cameras


Your turn!

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annamaria at 10:16 AM

3 spoke

3.23.2006

Napoli likes it rough? He gets it rough.


click me to make me bigger!


We've been talking a lot about Napoil here at BOMT - Annamaria has brought up some good points inspiring us to take action and fight for the rights of women. But what good does it do? Republicans fight dirty. And now, so do we.

In case your memory needs refreshing in order to become full of fury, remember this?:
A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.
Well, some bloggers have a bit of a great idea - launching a grassroots campaign to:

  • Raise funds for Planned Parenthood

  • Be a thorn in the side and make an ass of Napoil

  • Solution? Make a donation to Planned Parenthood in the name of our favorite backwoods friend, with the standard "thank you" note mailed to his house.

    Don't have that address? I do!
    6170 S Hwy 79
    Rapid City 57702-8467
    Home phone: 605-341-2370

    Maybe you might know of some racy porn sites that will send you some fancy lit if you request it. Sometimes you can have stuff sent to friends (or others), too.

    Updated by Annamaria: You can also send letters of support and/or make a donation to the Oglala Sioux Tribe to help with Cecilia Fire Thunder's attempts to open a Planned Parenthood on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Ginmar has all the info, which I am reprinting here:

    Oglala Sioux Tribe
    ATTN: President Fire Thunder
    P. O. Box 2070
    Pine Ridge, SD 57770

    or

    ATTN: PRESIDENT FIRE THUNDER
    PO BOX 990
    Martin, SD 57751

    Also, I Blame the Patriarchy commenter Hedonistic found these phone numbers to contact President Fire Thunder and offer your encouragement and support: (605) 685-6005 and (605) 685-5597.

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    person x at 8:40 PM

    0 spoke

    A parody of a parody is one too many

    Remember when Kerri offered to usher me into the fabulous world of lesbian chic via her patented Sapphic 12-Step Program? I'm a little upset that I still haven't been invited to Soho for martinis and Djarums on the patio. What's up with that, Kerri? Did you lose my phone number? I know I wrote it clearly on that matchbook. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to take the advice of that lovely billboard at the top of this post and visit gay.com to renounce my heterosexual ways without your help.

    For those lacking the ability to recognize sarcasm, the billboard is a parody of several Exodus International ads targeted at "reforming" homosexuals and allowing them to live long, happy and unfulfilled lives as straight people. Fun!

    Of course, Exodus International doesn't find the billboards so funny, and have issued a cease and desist order to both Justin Watt (the creator of the parody) and Ex-Gay Watch. I'm not surprised--how big a step is it from condemning someone's freedom of sexual expression to denying their freedom of expression full stop? Kind of ironic given the anti-gay brigade's incessant whinging* about having their own voices silenced.


    -------------------
    *Thanks, Rich! That's my new favorite word!

    Labels:

    annamaria at 12:24 PM

    1 spoke

    3.22.2006

    Any chance the Democrats are listening?

    Everybody and their mother has posted on this today, so I couldn't even begin to tell you where I first saw it. But that won't stop me from sharing it with all of you:
    When Governor Mike Rounds signed HB 1215 into law it effectively banned all abortions in the state with the exception that it did allow saving the mother’s life. There were, however, no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. His actions, and the comments of State Senators like Bill Napoli of Rapid City, SD, set of a maelstrom of protests within the state.

    Napoli suggested that if it was a case of “simple rape,” there should be no thoughts of ending a pregnancy. Letters by the hundreds appeared in local newspapers, mostly written by women, challenging Napoli’s description of rape as “simple.” He has yet to explain satisfactorily what he meant by “simple rape.”

    The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

    “To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”
    With a name like Cecilia Fire Thunder you know this woman was born to speak truth to power.

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    annamaria at 8:44 PM

    0 spoke

    I feel so butch

    I just spent the past hour researching rear axle ratios and gross vehicle weight ratings for various and sundry luxury SUVs to order for one of my overpaid automotive industry executives. This is definitely not how I envisioned my life.

    annamaria at 3:06 PM

    0 spoke

    3.21.2006

    Wee! $10 Sale at Threadless!


    pandamonium


    My favorite little quirky t-shirt place is having a big giant sale, at which you can get their little quirky shirts for only $10!

    That's $7 off the normal price!

    Here are some of my other faves, which you should certainly check out!:


    flowers in the attic



    evolution

    person x at 5:22 PM

    3 spoke

    It’s my god-given right to raise ignorant children

    According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 42,643 Americans died in car accidents in 2003 (the last year for which data was available). Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. Which is why I am going to demand that my non-existent children never ride in cars. It’s my duty as a non-parent to make sure that my non-children are safe from harm at all times. Of course, it wouldn’t do to send a mixed message about the dangers of riding in cars, so in order to remain consistent on this position, I am going to fail to inform my non-children about safety belts. Safety belts create the illusion of, well, safety, when statistics prove that cars are death traps intent on murdering my poor, defenseless non-children. By encouraging the use of safety belts, parents are telling their children that riding in cars is perfectly safe and no caution should be used, such as obeying speed limits or driving defensively so as to avoid collision with other less morally pure drivers. Teaching the proper and consistent use of safety-belts encourages children to recklessly ride in cars (or, gasp! even drive them!); ignoring all the data that suggests that seat belt use decreases motor vehicle crash fatalities by 72% is the only way to keep my non-children safe from this silent epidemic.

    Imagine if parents made this kind of argument to your local school board, demanding that all references to seat belts be removed from the curriculum so as not to encourage our youngsters to engage in reckless behavior. Rather than teach children that the world out there is sometimes a scary place where terrible things happen—things whose risk can be reduced with simple behaviors like putting on seat belts or wearing condoms—there are people in this country who genuinely believe that by keeping children ignorant of harm and harm-reduction, we can keep them safe. It’s a ridiculous notion, and one that will only backfire; just look at the rate of STDs and unintended pregnancy among teens in abstinence-only classes versus those that receive comprehensive sexual education. If these people were in your school district and demanding that your children not receive information about seat belts wouldn’t you be incensed?

    Well, someone needs to have a talk with parents like Nick Comaianni and Mary Koslowski, then. These are two New York City parents who are opposing the teaching AIDS and HIV education in their public schools. Fundies like Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights claims that the program "represents a coordinated effort on the part of city officials to sexually engineer our children." I’m not sure what "sexually engineer" means to someone like Donohue (it reminds me of that episode of Buffy where Warren creates that sexbot to replace his ex-girlfriend), but somehow I doubt it has anything to do with teaching kids to wash their hands. According to the New York City Department of Education, the curriculum for grades K-3 includes these controversial topics:

    General basics of disease prevention: washing hands, covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and cleaning and bandaging cuts. Later they learn not to touch other people’s blood, and to ask adults for help when someone is bleeding.


    The horror! That children might learn not to handle someone else’s blood or cover their mouths when they cough!

    Donohue’s anti-education rant continues with comments like this: "If they were truly interested in protecting kids from diseases, they would start by teaching them about such things as food poisoning." Oddly, I couldn’t agree more. What I want to know from Donohue is why does he assume that a lesson on not eating undercooked meat or mushrooms from your backyard is somehow threatened by teaching five-year-olds that it’s generally a good idea to get help from an adult if little Timmy splits his head open on the monkey bars. I understand the limitations of time and funding might force public schools to make decisions about what material to cover and what to ignore (might I suggest Calculus in the latter category), but I’m pretty sure that something as fundamental as avoiding food poisoning is going to make the "to teach" list.

    HIV/AIDS prevention is not a moral issue—it’s a public health issue. People have HIV, and it doesn’t really matter in the long run if they got it through unprotected sex, intravenous drug use or a blood transfusion, the truth of the matter is the only way to make sure that our children are protected against this and other diseases is to teach them that these things exist, and that there are ways to reduce our risks of contracting them. Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away, and refusing to talk to your children about the inherent risks of all behaviors doesn’t make your moral, it makes you every bit as irresponsible and reckless as you don’t want your own children to be.

    Labels:

    annamaria at 9:49 AM

    3 spoke

    3.17.2006

    This makes me not hate everything today.



    I need to get one of these rooms in my place.

    How much happier I would feel if I could jump in this panda pile when I'm having a bad day?

    Watch the video and die from cuteness.

    Seriously. Watch it. I don't demand too much from you, but this you must see.

    person x at 12:03 PM

    3 spoke

    Friday Random Ten

    The Knife.  Damn those crazy Swedes!
    So, it's 7:38 a.m. and Psycho is still not here. She hasn't been here all week, which explains why I've been so quiet lately, since I've had to do her job as well as mine. I decided to make it a game--I was going to do my own work plus all of hers so well as to send a message that she is, in fact, expendable and might want to get her ass to work more often lest she finds herself in the unemployment line. Of course, I had an epiphany of sorts last night and realized that my little plan might backfire--she's probably angling for unemployment right now so that she can go to school and still get paid, and since I've done two jobs so well all week I'll be stuck with twice the work once they fire her. I've decided that I am going to slack all day while randomly walking around the office complaining about how busy I am to remedy the situation I've created for myself. I figure if I whine enough...

    Fuck! Literally as I was writing this my manager stopped by my office to inform me that Psycho is still sick and won't be in today. This is why people go postal.

    Anyway, here's my Friday Random Ten, surprisingly upbeat dispite my dour mood.

    1. Gepetto - Belly
    2. The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side - The Magnetic Fields
    3. Heartbeats - The Knife
    4. Desperate Guys - The Faint
    5. Loyal to My Sorrowful Country - TL/Rx
    6. Charlie - Colin Meloy
    7. P.Y.T. - Michael Jackson
    8. Oliver's Army - Elvis Costello and The Attractions
    9. Yellow - Petra Haden and Bill Frissell
    10. Teardrop - Jose Gonzalez

    Your turn! And feel free to supplement your FRT with co-worker horror stories.

    Labels:

    annamaria at 7:38 AM

    1 spoke

    3.16.2006

    As if the country wasn't fat enough...



    Yes. That is a burger served between two Krispy Kreme donuts.

    I think it's one thing to serve a donut as a side, a la Tim Horton's, however to serve a donut burger at baseball games? Well, its no wonder the global community thinks we are all complete a-holes.

    person x at 10:42 AM

    2 spoke

    From the Irony Department

    German pharmaceutical company TeGenero AG conducted a clinical trial in England for their new drug, TGN1412, an anti-inflammatory drug intended to treat rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia and multiple sclerosis.

    Unfortunately for six men involved, the anti-inflammatory drug caused severe fevers and the swelling of their faces and internal organs landing them all in the hospital. Two men are currently on life support in critical condition; the remaining four are reportedly improving, but still listed in serious condition.

    One of the clinical participants who received the placebo described the situation like this:

    Raste Khan, 23, said he was terrified as the six men, all previously healthy, "went down like dominoes" screaming that their heads felt like they were going to explode as the anti-inflammatory drug, never before tested on humans, began to have a devastating effect.

    Mr Khan, one of two participants given a placebo in the clinical trial, told The Sun: "First they began tearing their shirts off complaining of fever, then some screamed out that their heads felt like they were going to explode. It was terrifying because I kept expecting it to happen to me at any moment. But I felt fine and I didn't know why."

    One volunteer’s girlfriend described the swelling as resembling the Elephant Man. Her 28-year-old boyfriend’s doctors told her, "He needs a miracle; those were their words, he needs a miracle."

    TeGenero AG and Parexel, the firm administering the clinical trial, are both shocked over the outcome of the trials, which were successful in animal testing, and several British scientists have expressed concern that the publicity might deter volunteers from joining human clinical trials in the future. No shit!

    annamaria at 9:34 AM

    4 spoke

    3.14.2006

    She's baaaack!*



    Hey, remember how I told you about my coworker Psycho? The one who didn’t show up to work for three days because she had a tummy ache? After a severe talking to from my boss, she went on this amazing spree wherein she not only showed up to work every day, but even managed to get there on time. That lasted for a few months, and we all thought the worst was behind us.

    I’m sure you can see where I am going with this. We were all wrong.

    It is March 14th, which means that we have had exactly fifty working days since the beginning of the year. Psycho has missed fourteen of those. She’s also been late twenty times. Sometimes being late means showing up at 7:37 when you’re supposed to be there at 7:30. For Psycho, being late means showing up at 8:15.

    She called in yesterday, claiming the flu. Then she called our supervisor to let her know that she wouldn't be in today either. This is the best part: when our supervisor asked if she had seen the doctor, Psycho told her that she didn't go because she had to go to school last night. Fuck! She's well enough to go to her little interior design** classes, but heaven forbid she get her lazy ass out of bed and make it to the job that pays for her fucking tuition!

    Our computer systems have just been upgraded (which is another thing I've been bitching about around here), and for the next few weeks we're running dual systems to make sure that all the information we put in the new inventory system is backed up in the event that the whole thing crashes. In Psycho's absence, I've been doing her job, which means that I have to do my own job twice (dual systems), and then her job twice. I'm angry and stressed and I'm pretty sure that I am going to hurt her when she finally shows up to work.

    Okay, end rant. Deep breaths. My doctor has already scheduled me for a stress test, and it wouldn't do to have a heart attack before then. In the meantime, I'm going to find a picture of her and tape it to my wall...as soon as I can scare up some darts to throw at it.

    -----------------
    *Isn't it funny that Psycho's absence corresponds with Jen's triumphant return to blogging? Hmmmm...
    **No offense to interior designers. Some of my best friends are interior designers.

    Labels: ,

    annamaria at 12:59 PM

    2 spoke

    3.13.2006

    "HIV and my teeth"


    I wonder what they found, other than our site.

    Love,
    Sitemeter.

    person x at 10:28 PM

    1 spoke

    3.12.2006

    I like shit from Target, but I pay for my shit from Target.


    sorry, couldn't find the mug shot.


    A former Bush aide known for his "holier than thou" moralising has been charged with serial fraud in the latest embarrassment for a White House which has prided itself on its discipline.

    [emphasis mine.]

    Turns out that Claude Allen, top policy advisor to the Bush administration who bailed in February, should take some of his "holier than thou" advice to heart.

    In January he was caught running my favorite ghetto scam - where you buy some shit, take it out to your car, go back in the store and get the exact same shit...but then, instead of taking it to the checkout line, you go to returns instead. Now, this is like the biggest 'hood move in the book. But, apparently, I guess that in his position as top domestic policy dude he wasn't really bringing in enough green to keep his family living at the level of luxury he wanted.

    So he stole shit from Target.

    Or, well. Maybe no.

    Turns out he was pulling 161K/year, tied at the same level with the likes of Karl Rove, Andrew Card, and Stephen Hadley.

    What's interesting, though, is the timing of it all. Caught on January 2 by some bright-eyed young kid in Montgomery. Resigned on February 9 "to spend time with family"? Apparently took about a month to figure out that they couldn't pay of the sanctimonious pricks from Target?

    Described by some as "a notorious homophobe, a ferocious enemy of abortion and an opponent of safe-sex education who for years has been one of the AIDS community's principal enemies," I can't say I feel bad for the douchebag.

    But I think by calling him that, I'm giving bags of douche a bad name.

    Labels:

    person x at 8:30 PM

    2 spoke

    3.10.2006

    Moral Dilemma.



    So. Here's the thing - I come home, and there's a FedEx package. Inside is a paystub. From a job i had like three jobs ago. And it's a live check, for something like $550.

    Now it's sitting on my coffee table, staring up at me. I hated the job, and I like money.

    Kerri, you might be familiar with this place of employment.

    If you were a girl who just got a free $550, what would you do?

    [Not what would Jesus do, because that's obvious. What would you do?]

    Labels:

    person x at 7:23 PM

    10 spoke

    Friday Random Ten

    So I'm still upset about the Project Runway finale. Stupid Chloe! I thought her collection was terrible--all that shiny fabric and puffy sleeves; it was like something straight out of Dynasty, only with less class. And I didn't think that was possible. She had a couple of decent pieces (see outfit on the right), but over all I thought it was tacky and unattractive.

    Daniel might have missed the mark on creating a cohesive story (I'm still not seeing the whole military/Asian theme), but his sportsware collection was beautiful. He created a line of clothing that would flatter just about any woman, particularly this gorgeous double-breasted wool coat and beautiful wrap sweater.

    I honestly didn't think Daniel was going to win, but I figured if he was going to lose Santino would be the winner. Say what you will about his dickish attitude and general inability to make any of his clothes fit an actual woman, the man is a fucking visionary. While Daniel creates beautiful and wearable clothes, Santino creates works of art. They may not appeal to everyone, but you can't deny that they are original and creative pieces. Stupid Chloe!

    Is it wrong that the last time I felt this completely out of touch with voters was when Bush was re-elected?

    Ugh. I'm so upset!

    Anyway, since I am the only one that cares about this show at all, I'm just going to stop now and give you my Friday Random Ten. Hopefully that will cheer me up!

    1. Leave You Behind - Sleater Kinney
    2. The Bagman's Gambit - The Decemberists
    3. Ace of Spades - Hayseed Dixie
    4. Good Year for the Roses - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    5. Lullabye - Ben Folds Five
    6. Freaking Out - Graham Coxon
    7. I Disappear - The Faint
    8. Whatever Happened to Corey Haim - The Thrills
    9. Bizarre Love Triangle - Frente!
    10. The Twist - Metric
    Your turn!

    Labels:

    annamaria at 7:57 AM

    5 spoke

    3.09.2006

    Two more reasons to love Ted Leo


    You already love him for being confident enough in his indie-rockitude to cover Kelly Clarkson and Bruce Springsteen, and his signature wristband and anti-war guitar just proves that Ted Leo is a man whose coolness is almost criminal--he's claimed so much of the cool for himself, there is a lamentable shortage for the rest of us. So, it is with heavy heart that I inform you that Ted is actually much cooler than we ever gave him credit for. Last night Ted informed the small crowd at the Blind Pig that he was going to be a little off his game that evening because he was upset to be missing the season finale of Project Runway. Yes, that's right, Cooler-Than-You Ted is a Santino fan. So, Project Runway haters, I do believe I have just been vindicated!

    The other reason to love Ted? This bag:


    While some bands content themselves with t-shirts and buttons, Vegan Ted encourages you to shop organic with this lovely canvas tote bag. And I thought the Decemberists onesie was cute...

    Labels:

    annamaria at 12:53 PM

    0 spoke

    3.08.2006

    A moment of levity...



    Did I mention that I'm going to see Ted Leo & The Pharmacists tonight at the Blind Pig? So excited!

    And for the Michiganders in the room--anyone planning on taking in the Franz Ferdinand/DCFC show on April 18th*? My stand-by concert date has cooled on both bands and isn't interested in going. Anyone want to accompany a lonely blogger for a fun-filled evening of indie rock goodness? I'll buy you a Guinness in honor of Ted's shirt.

    Also for Michiganders (though non-Mitten State denizens are welcome too), Bethanne's theme for this week is "Say Yes to Michigan!" Go on over and score some songs from various Detroit and The-Rest-of-the-State bands.

    *Edited because I got the date wrong.

    Labels:

    annamaria at 1:32 PM

    3 spoke

    In case you've been wondering what Jen's been up to

    I wonder if Ian knows...

    Hood College is reviewing its homecoming rules after a lesbian was crowned king, a college official says.

    But Jennifer Jones, the 21-year-old senior who beat out three men for the honor, says her victory last month was a plus for the private liberal-arts college. “It is cool that Hood allows people to be themselves,” Jones, of Newark, Del., told The Frederick News-Post. “If people didn’t want me to be king, they wouldn’t have nominated me and voted for me.”

    Alright, so it's not our Jen, but it is damn funny!

    annamaria at 1:01 PM

    2 spoke

    Today is International Women’s Day. Tomorrow we’ll be commandeering your uterus.

    There is an old joke that if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. I always thought that notion was ridiculous; if men could get pregnant, they would be the ones that are oppressed. If men could get pregnant, they would be women, and sometimes I think that is their biggest fear. Today is Blog Against Sexism Day, and while most days around here seem to fit that bill, today I’m going to tackle the subject from a different angle. You see, I’ve had enough of preaching to the choir. Today, I’m going to focus on men.

    Just to be clear, I’m not going to talk about how Patriarchy hurts men, too. That’s a given. No, today I’m going to ask our male readers to--if only in their minds--don a pair of pumps and imagine what it is like to be a woman. It starts out something like a Kafka novel, only this morning when you woke up you discovered not that you are a cockroach, but something infinitely more disgusting and reviled—you’re a woman.

    So you woke up today, International Women’s Day, and found yourself stripped of your male privilege and in possession of a uterus. Only, it’s not that simple, because even though that uterus happens to reside inside your body, forces are aligning in the world around you to deny you true ownership of your own internal organs. For example, legislators in South Dakota and Mississippi have decided that your uterus is public property, as if that ridiculous eminent domain decision has suddenly extended into your body. For the good of the community, the state will lend you your uterus until a zygote takes up residence, at which time they will call in the lease, evict your own personal morals from the premises, and force you to grow the seed from blastocyst to baby against your will.

    Of course, being benevolent patriarchs, they will make some exceptions to this uterine slavery. For example, if the continued pregnancy will kill you doctors will be allowed to perform an abortion to save your life, but only after exhausting all medical possibilities to save the fetus. And only to save your life—since there are no health exceptions, if a pregnancy will cause you irreparable physical hardship for the rest of your life but stop short of actually killing you, your relegation to breeder cow will still hold. The terms of your conception are also beyond the scope of the debate: you will be expected to turn over use of your uterus to your rapist, be he a stranger or your father, since you’re most likely a dirty slut that asked for it anyway. As the Salt Lake Tribune recently said about Utah's new parental consent law, "incestuous dad knows best."

    Should you discover that your newly acquired uterus comes pre-equipped with its very own fetal squatter, please do not look to moderate “straight-shooter” republicans to save you—John McCain would like to own a piece of that prime real estate, too. South Dakota Representative Bill Napoli, in a surprising show of candor, has offered what he thinks is the best (and presumably only) candidate for the rape exception that doesn’t actually exist in South Dakota: the Sodomized Virgin Exception.
    A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

    Crooks and Liars has the video, and it’s a good thing because even I, cynic that I am, couldn’t believe someone could actually say something that repulsive. Watch as Rep. Napoli recounts with glee the tortures the poor, virginal girl of his dreams would have to endure before he would deign to consider her plea for an abortion. Ironic, isn’t it, that it is only when we are broken, beaten and brutalized that women’s lives are more valuable than a fetus.

    Oops! Spoke too soon! And I also forgot to mention that your brand new uterus comes with a special free gift with purchase—your very own vagina! And this is the most important step for your MtF transition; after all, it takes staggering feats of legislative prowess to rape a uterus, but anyone with a dick can rape a vagina. Take these gentlemen, for instance, who seem to have ripped a page from Bill Napoli’s Book of Sadistic Rape Fantasies:
    The woman, now 20, was 16 at the time of the incident. […] She said she awoke the next day to find herself naked from the waist down, with parts of her body covered with obscenities that had been scrawled with a felt-tipped marker.

    The woman testified she remembers nothing from the moment she lost consciousness during the drinking contest to the time she awoke. A female acquaintance who attended the party reportedly told her Missbrenner and another man had sexual intercourse with her while she was unconscious, and that a third man videotaped that activity while a fourth wrote some of the slurs on her.

    Oh, but we’re not done yet. Men might think that being raped is one of the worst things that could possibly happen to a woman, but as new women yourselves you’re about to find out that sexual assault is just the beginning. Your rapist’s job might be over, but the state needs to take a crack at you too:
    A Naperville woman's refusal Tuesday to view or comment under oath on a videotape that reputedly depicts her gang rape could end up derailing the trial of one of her accused attackers.

    Fifth District Cook County Circuit Court Judge Kerry M. Kennedy has given the woman until this morning to decide whether she will answer a defense attorney's questions about the video. […]Kennedy on Tuesday warned the woman she could face charges of contempt of court and possibly jail if she continues to refuse to view the tape and answer [defense attorney Patrick] Campanelli's questions about it.

    Campanelli on Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss the case against Missbrenner based on the woman's refusal to watch the video and submit to questions about it.

    The video tape had already been declared child pornography by another Illinois court, which means that viewing it under any other circumstances would violate federal law. But apparently the rape exception that South Dakota rejected in their abortion ban made its way over the our federal child pornography statutes, and it is now perfectly acceptable to view the sexual assault of a minor in open court and require the victim to relive the experience in front of everyone’s prying eyes.

    Campanelli’s strategy might not win him much support in the court of public opinion, but it worked on twelve jurors—Missbrenner was acquitted. The tape supposedly showed the victim patting one of her attackers on the head, an innocuous gesture that, according to Campanelli, indicates consent. This should serve as a very important lesson for you newly becunted* folks: even if you are so drunk that you drift in and out of consciousness, the slightest movement you make will be construed as evidence of consent. Remember, according to Napoli's Calculus, if it isn't "as bad as you can possibly make it," then you just haven't suffered enough.

    To paraphrase some award-winning misogyny, it's hard out here for a woman. You see gentlemen, we're in the midst of a war, a War On Women, and while you personally might not be a rapist, abuser or overt misogynist, you're a foot soldier in this war nonetheless. As the Spinster Aunt reminds us
    You do this by demonizing feminists, by renting women for lap dances, by letting rapists off the hook in court, by buying cheap crap Victoria’s Secret thongs for your woman, by congratulating your girlfriend on her boob job, by ignoring mass rapes in Rwanda, by passing along the URL to Paris Hilton’s fuck video, by ogling that girl at the bus stop, by letting your mom do your laundry, by “giving away” a bride, by voting control of women’s uteruses over to godbag politicians, by pressuring your girlfriend to take it up the ass because all your friends are doin’ it, by having an opinion on the size of human labia, by arguing that stripping is “empowering,” by claiming you’re “hardwired” to be turned on by women who emulate the ludicrous fashion practices of strippers and centerfolds, by your inability to conceive of sex without dominance, and by refusing, despite 30 years of intelligent, educated women telling you otherwise, to concede that you don’t really, truly view women as human beings in anything approaching the same light in which you view yourself.
    Our enemies will not stop with abortion. The Arizona House of Representatives has just passed a bill that will bar women from selling their eggs (though no mention is made of men selling sperm). Missouri is considering a bill that would name Christianity as the state's official religion. Michigan is using its public indecency laws to prosecute nudity--on TV! Cable television at that, which has traditionally been given wider berth for nudity and "offensive" language because of subscription costs. The National Institutes of Health are lying to the American people about the health risks associated with emergency contraception--and I'm sure that has nothing to do with the FDA's refusal to make a decision on Plan B, which has been going on for 1,848 days. Pam at Pandagon has a great overview of what happens when we ignore the Religious Right: candidates campaign on issues like sentencing homosexuals to death and they aren't immediately shamed out of the party. These are not unrelated issues--the Religious Right's obessession with sex and sexual purity makes all of us who are even the slightest bit "deviant" targets for their hate and discrimination. And when they've banned abortions and birth control and shoved gay America back in the closet who do you think is next?

    ------------------
    * Shamelessly stolen from Amanda.

    Labels:

    annamaria at 7:12 AM

    4 spoke

    3.07.2006

    Is it just me?


    Or do those Dick deVos All over Michigan ads make you think that he's less interested in being governor than trying to drum up some more cult members multilevel marketers for Amway? Just what Michigan needs: more bored housewives hawking vitamins and soap.

    annamaria at 9:22 PM

    2 spoke

    3.03.2006

    Friday Random Ten

    Laurie Anderson

    Busy, busy, busy today! And it's not even 8:00! I'll have to present this week's FRT without any preamble:

    1. Example #22 - Laurie Anderson
    2. Caring is Creepy - The Shins
    3. Why Can't a Man Stand Alone - Elvis Costello
    4. I Threw It All Away - Nick Cave
    5. Whatever It Is - Ben Lee
    6. Music is the Victim - Scissor Sisters
    7. Sign O' The Times - Prince
    8. Here Comes the Rain Again - Death Cab for Cutie
    9. Dear Catastrophe Waitress - Belle and Sebastian
    10. Suedehead - Morrissey


    Your turn!

    Labels:

    annamaria at 7:51 AM

    6 spoke

    3.02.2006

    Suburbs to Detroit: Fuck Off. Again.


    This adorable picture of a child and prairie dog is
    meant to temper any anger expressed in this post

    First the good news--We saved the Zoo! Sort of. The City Council approved a deal that will turn over the daily operations for the zoo to the Detroit Zoological Society. Unfortunately, the cash-strapped city won't be handing over any funding, and now the DZS is relying on the State to put up at least $4 million to cover the first year's expenses. Of course, since the city council dragged its feet on the issue, the promise of state funding for the zoo is looking less and less likely. Wonderful.

    The DZS is proposing a regional tax for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to cover the $5 million in funding necessary to run the zoo. The millage would amount to roughly $5 per annum for a $100,000 home. Sounds reasonable, don't you think?

    If you answered yes, then you are exceedingly more liberal than the average Freep reader. For instance, take Copper Penny, who had this to say:

    I would love to see the zoo owned and managed by an entity other than the city of Detroit. The only way I'm in favor of a tax to support the zoo would be if the city of Detroit had no access to the proceeds of the tax. I firmly believe current officals of the city are only concerned with cheating and stealing and the amount of money they can put into their own pockets and those of their friends. And as I see it, many citizens of the city of Detroit and the city council are the racists with large chips on their shoulders. They are the ones who play the race card whenever possible. I can just hear the uproar now if a [white] group wanted to build an Irish-, English-, French-American Historical Museum and what about Caucasion-American History Month? African-Americans would have a field day. Why can't you just be AMERICANS like the rest of us? I have as many black friends as white friends and several asian and hispanic friends and we all respect each other as people with no regard to our ethnic backgrounds or our different races. We call ourselves AMERICANS! I have no respect for the Detroit City Council but it's not because they are black...it's because I see them as arrogant liars, cheaters and thieves. There is much being done to the downtown area of the city because that's where the movers and shakers gather for entertainment. I'm ashamed to take my out-of-town friends downtown because of the pitiful slum areas we must pass through on our way. No wonder people are leaving the city as fast as they are able. City officials it seems, have absolutely no concern for the average citizens of Detroit, and that's why the city is failing. I believe the city will never ever be the vibrant and wonderful city of my youth. It's such a pity. Who brought it down?

    First of all, please note the "I'm not a racist! I have black friends!" rhetoric of this particular comment. Darling, if you can't see the contradiction in pointing out that you have black/asian/hispanic friends while asserting that you have "no regard to our ethnic backgrounds or our different races" I'm sure that whatever I have to say here is going to go over your head.

    I wish I could convey to non-Detroiters what it is like growing up and living in and around this city. The animosity between the suburbs and the city is so palpable it's almost comical. The problem is, unlike other major cities, Detroit is no longer the urban commercial and financial center around which the suburbs rest. Rather than the wagon-wheel the city was meant to resemble, Detroit is like a doughnut: all kinds of doughy, white richness encircling a great big nothing. The city doesn't sustain the suburbs so much as it exists as a parable, a cautionary tale of a city gone bad. This is where commerce goes to die. And worse, this is where culture goes to die, as Detroit tries to revamp its image by destroying countless centuries-old buildings so as not to offend the Super Bowl tourists. But at least we got to keep those nifty little map kiosks. Now if we could only get suburbanites into the city so that they can get lost and use those kiosks. God knows navigating Bricktown is tricky.

    But as evidenced by the above comments, and my post from the other day, the animosity runs both ways. And it almost always gets in the way of any real reform. The city council nearly killed the zoo because of what it perceived as the racist motivations of the suburban-based DZS. And now that the council has finally handed over the reins, the suburbanites aren't ready to pick up the tab unless they can completely push Detroit out of the picture. As another commenter asked, will they change the name from the Detroit Zoo to the Overseer Zoo?

    Labels:

    annamaria at 8:29 PM

    0 spoke

    I hate doctors.

    Okay, so I don't actually hate doctors, so much as I passionately dislike the inevitable result of seeing a doctor: finding out that what you thought was a nagging cold is actually acute bronchitis. See these ugly little critters here:



    They've taken over my body and are feeding on my lungs. My poor, poor lungs.

    So, I'm home from work this afternoon, and looking forward to yet another evening of laying* on the couch and watching terrible reality TV shows that I never, ever thought I would be pathetic enough to watch.

    This is your cue to pity me.

    ------------
    *Or is it lying on the couch? The germ infestation seems to have affected my grammar judgment as well.

    annamaria at 1:51 PM

    4 spoke

    Wherein Annamaria crushes on a gay guy...again.


    One of the pitfalls of being sick is that it encourages you to sit on the couch all day and watch television, since doing anything else requires a strength of body and mind that has been sapped by an infestation of evil little germs and an overabundance of NyQuil. Last night, curled up on the couch with a warm blanket and a humidifier, I found myself watching a marathon of Bravo’s Project Runway. I don’t know if it’s the drugs or the adorable Daniel V. (see above), but I watched nearly the entire second season (including one of those damnable reunion specials) in one sitting. They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery; well, it’s official: I am a Project Runway addict. That show is like crack! One hit and you’re hooked. Thankfully, there is only one episode left of the season, after which I can start some kind of rapid detox and get back to life as normal…until season three.

    Labels:

    annamaria at 7:30 AM

    4 spoke