Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Auld Lang Impeachment

I thought I'd help everyone celebrate New Year's Eve with my Auld Lang Impeachment. Here's how it begins:

Auld Lang Impeachment -- Song Parody (Sing to Auld Lang Syne)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

"Bush/Cheney's wrongs won't be forgot.
Each one we'll keep in mind.
These evil men must be locked up
For all their many crimes.

They spied on U.S. citizens.
They lied us into war..."

You can read the rest of Auld Lang Impeachment here, and you can hear me sing it here.

Happy new year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Beautiful women are in the streets not in magazines!

Link to an interactive movie about the amount of retouching on a photo.

Way to make women who read it feel good about themselves!
Nothing new, we all know that all pictures are retouched, but I thought it was only about reducing celullite and natural skin folds (which is already too much since all of these are natural and need to be accepted!), but now, it goes beyond that, to the point where the perfectly lovely girl in the picture in this example becomes a sad B porno star...

Sometimes I feel like this society not only tries to make its people dumb so we don't ask questions, but even more so women!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bill O'Reilly's Faux War On Christmas -- Song Parody

My latest song parody "celebrates" Bill O'Reilly's faux war on Christmas. Here's how it starts:

Bill O'Reilly's Faux War On Christmas -- Song Parody (Sing to "Get Me To The Church On Time" from "My Fair Lady")

"Bill says we're waging war on Christmas,
Spouting another Fox News lie.
Bill's rarely proper.
Loves telling whoppers.
Ain't nothing that his fans won't buy.

Bill claims we're screwing blessed Christmas.
We're greeting people wrong, he cries.
Not saying merry,
Christmas is very,
Belligerent and most unwise..."

The rest of my Bill O'Reilly's Faux War On Christmas is here and my audio / podcast version is here.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

"Jewcy"

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

Greetings, Blog Sisters, from the Nerd's Eye View foreign office in the middle of the snowy Austrian Alps. Somehow I got picked up in the great TypePad outage of 2005. Though I'm a recent migrant to self hosting on WordPress myself, I must not walk away from the opportunity to post to a whole bunch of strangers. And to express my gratitude for inclusion!

In thanks I give you this frivolous little post:




"In an age when Madonna demands to be called 'Esther,' Jon Stewart is a sex symbol and seemingly everyone speaks a little Yiddish, it's never been hipper to be a Jew." - NYT

This is all fine and well and actually, a little funny, but unlikely to have even the slightest impact on my own "surviving Christmas" strategies. Adam Sandler might have written the Channukah Song from a home like the set of that movie, what the hell was it called, the one with the hot maid, but you've got NO idea what it's like to be "the only kid on the block without a Christmas tree" until you've spent your Channukah in a small town in Austria.

Don't mistake this for complaining. I'm not, really. Spending Christmas in a small town in Austria means you're fairly sheltered from the economic frenzy of the holiday. It's mildly ironic to find that you'd rather spend your Christmas season in a predominantly Catholic nation than in the American melting pot. Why? Because here you get your Christmas with a mighty big helping of Jesus and not so big a side order of rampant commercialism. You don't feel like your insignificant little Channukah has to compete with the sparkle and acquisition of Yankee Christmas. I'm for that.

Back in Manhattan and LA, the tribe might be camping it up, big time, with a fancy menorah hat, but here in the snowglobe, I'll just be fielding well meant inquiries about the holiday at hand. That and swanning about the kitchen in the dreidl apron that a kind Jewish friend pressed upon me shortly before I hopped a plane to the continent.

"If you live in Wichita, the new hip Jewish movement will never reach you."

For example. And no kidding.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Typepad's Loss is OUR GAIN!

Typepad nomads, WELCOME!!! I can't tell you how sorry I am to hear about your recent blogging frustrations, and being a long-time Blogger/blogspot user, I can relate to frustration over downs-and-outages, HOWEVER, on the bright side, I'm sure everything will be okay eventually.

Now in the mean time, please please please get yourself a mug, pour some coffee, kick your shoes off, and make yourselves at home over here. In fact, even once your own homes are back in shape, don't be a stranger--come on over and post with us on the oldest women's team blog on the net. ;-)

It's great to have you.

Sisters let's make the Typepaders feel at home!

...

With a tip of the cowgirl hat and a grim jaw

Howdy! Badgerbag here. Darn you to heck, Typepad!

Last night I went down to the party at the Center for Sex and Culture. It's a very cozy place, and I thought it woud be a nice way to connect with people before the Good Vibrations holiday party across the street.

The short version: their art exhibit was by a photographer who, many years ago, took photos of me and during the shoot, started jacking off. I told him to quit it... he stopped... I explained why it wasn't okay... but then he freaked out and started begging me never to tell anyone. Stuff like "I feel so bad... I just couldn't help myself... Please don't tell or my whole standing in the community will be ruined... My wife is upstairs and she would kill me..." Needless to say - I did not "never tell" and in fact told lots of people in the queer sex-positive community. Response was muted. The idea seemed to be that I should not make a fuss.

So anyway I went up to the dude, Michael Rosen, at his own art show and explained to him in public what he did and why it was wrong! And told him not to lie - and not to involve other people in his lies. If you want the long version, it's here. I told the wanking photographer what I wanted to talk about and said this was his opportunity to have a conversation about that incident. He acted like he didn't have a clue what I was talking about, and I yelled at him a bit and walked away. I was very angry.

I made an ass of myself, but at the same time I was glad to stand up for a minute and deny this jerk the ability to get away with his secret jerking. I heard that he was still doing it in his photo shoots - always with women alone and never with the famous ones. You'd think it would be easy to simply walk up to a guy, tell him to go to hell, and walk away. But it was way more difficult and scary than I thought it would be. I wanted not just to yell at him, but to give him the opportunity to respond, explain, and apologize. Writing about it in this public way will likely call down a world of hell on his ass -- also possibly on mine -- and yet it also is an opportunity for him to learn something. You don't get to respond to gossip and rumors directly. But he can respond to this all he wants. I am open to having a conversation about it. Whatever conversation happens, I want it in public.

Today I realized the humor in the situation. At the party. I was wearing leather pants, a fishnet shirt, and an insane purple cowgirl hat. In fact I think as I was walking away, I put on my hat and jammed it down low over my eyes while I was grinding my teeth with my chin in the air. I might as well have puffed the smoke and powder off the barrel of my pistol and leaped out of the window onto my waiting horse! Too bad I wasn't in chaps! Stomping, with my spurs a-jingle! Anyway, it was peculiarly empowering to call this perp on his bullshit while my boobs were hanging out and I was wearing a silly hat. I recommend it to you all. Don't just send a letter to that old date-rapist from college! Go up to him at his workplace and don't forget to wear the most ridiculous hat you can find. Pompoms... cowgirl... maybe a chef hat? The silliness will give you courage!

And afterwards I went dancing with my girlfriend at the Good Vibes party, which started out slow but turned out to be super fun. The go-go dancers were just great. (I love Calvin, the cheerful, muscley wrestler! And the naughty schoolgirls!) The dance routine to "Bad Boys" was worth the entire admission price - as hot james-dean style butches flounced around combing back their hair & smoking while their Leave it to Beaver-style parents protested... It was brilliant! We bounced around for a while. On the way out, I got a goody bag with ... get this... "Exploding Vagina Golf Balls". Technically it should be Exploding Vulva Golf Balls. The packaging and the idea really cross the line of dumbness and foray very far into "incredibly odd" territory. I'm fascinated. Who would think of this? What genius was sitting around in the factory and thought, "I know! Exploding Vulva Golf Balls! The world needs them!"

The Gender Divide in Blog Civility

Greetings, Sisters...TypePad Refugee/Evacuee/Disaster Victim checking in...

Well, this is one way of hustling myself on to Blog Sisters - begging Sister Roxanne to set me up with posting privileges while TypePad does its damndest to recover fifty bazillion posts from fifty bazillion blogs that were lost during "routine maintenance". I'm fancying this may be Mena Trott's revenge - I told you people to behave yourselves on your blogs! Bullshit, indeed! But, it's likely just some exotic server issue that only a deep geek can grok.

Let's circle back to the aforementioned business about Mena Trott, co-founder of Six Apart, homebase for TypePad, Moveable Type and Live Journal bloggers. You'll see I linked to the le beeg hoo-haa at Les Blogs in Paris a week ago or so. Mena spoke on the urgent need for Blog Civility. Adjacent to Mena, the back channel, the IRC chat that runs as an undercurrent to the meeting, was projected and rolling along. One Ben Metcalf, 'bullshit' link above, typed in the aforementioned one word condemnation, 'bullshit'. Mena saw the BS word showing up on the back channel and called him on it, pronouncing him an "asshole". Then she summoned him from the crowd and demanded that he explain himself, which he did, actually in an articulate manner. Both Mena and Ben later had a sit down then did a soul shake or something equally congenial and walked into the sunset and a whole lot of buzz and snark on the blogs (aforementioned 'revenge' link).

Now, you knew about all that. If you don't, then you're doing a great job minding your own business and attending to the excellent wordsmithing on your own blog. But, if you're nosy like me, in keeping up with this issue, you'll note that the snark directed at Mena was from males. Men. Guys. Dudes. I have not seen one female blogger and/or commenter taking Mena to snarky task on her response to Ben Metcalf.

Perhaps this is all so very Men from Mars, Women from Venus, but I can't help but compare this snark slinging to what we have understood from John Ford westerns - that the gender division in the American frontier was characterized with the men folk in bar room brawls, shoot outs and testosterone poisoined with general bad behavior and the women folk, setting up the town churches, schools and modeling general good behavior.

I can't imagine this Les Blogs business going down at BlogHer. The closest we got to bad manners at last year's inaugural meeting was when someone asked the mommybloggers to extend their blogging beyond stories about their kids and this was smacked down in the nicest possible way by a famous mommyblogger who rallied the whole conference by reminding all that "mommyblogging is a radical act." The point was well taken and Technorati did not go all neon with a blitz of finger wagging posts on this exchange.

All of this will be explored in a grand manner at the upcoming South by Southwest Interactive Media confab in March. Nancy White, respected communications consultant and admitted chocolate addict, will be leading the panel which will include the gracious company of Bill White(update 12-21-05 - I MEANT Bill Anderson! Sorry, Bill) , Koan Bremner, Tish Grier and your new Blog Sister, me. At this talk, I'm not going to be shy about tossing the gender issue into the mix. As for the back channel rolling on a screen behind us, I say 'bring it' as I will welcome any living, breathing examples of what/what not to do in our discourse.

Until the meeting, your thoughts on blog conduct are respectfully solicited right here, or, at my little corner of the web, I Am Dr. Laura's Worst Nightmare.

del.icio.us tags:
SWSWpanelprep
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The Bluest Christmas Evah

AKA "The Fire"

[This was originally posted at my site, but got eaten by the Typepad Gods sometime in the middle of the night.]

As promised...

So, it's 1988. I'm newishly out-of-school, newly escaped from Ziff, slinging $12 classified ads at the local alt-weekly. Although I have the entire week off between Christmas and New Year's, I decide to stay in Bland-Diego instead of going home for the holidays. Besides, you gotta sling a whole lotta of $12 classifieds to be able to afford to both put enough gas in your orange '67 "Cuomo 88" personalized license-plated VW Squareback to make the trip up the 99 and get an $80 spiral perm at Ralph's Hair Place in Hillcrest. I don't have enough dough for both. Naturally, I opt for the perm ... which also means that I'll have the extra coin I won't have to invest in presents for family, to invest in a Christmas Fete for my friends.

***

It's Christmas Eve and I'm sitting in "the chair" at Ralph's. For five hours. Unless you've had 2.5-3 feet of hair wound around hundreds of 3-foot long curling tubes, you have no concept of the twin anguishes of pain and tedium I'm experiencing. The Patchouli/clove-cigarette-soaked-Siouxsie-clone who's doing my "do" tries to make the situation more palatable by choosing the shop's tunes. Hmmmm. And I'm thinking, How many times can one hear How Soon Is Now? without committing mass murder with a pair of pink razor shears?

***

It's Christmas Day and my hair is cool. [Okay ...cool for '88.] Well worth the sacrifice. My roommate, Fernando, leaves the house early because he's going to spend the morning with his momma and his boyfriend. Also, cool. Because now I won't have to listen to the original Broadway cast of Into the Woods for the next several hours. So, I get to prepping the Christmas Fete for my friends. We're having turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce ...you know, all the accoutrements. And I've got most of the day to myself to get the job done.

So, I'm peeling, chopping, buttering, sautéing, and stuffing. I preheat the oven --an old Wedgwood. 20 minutes go by and I reckon the oven is preheated enough that I can shove the bird in. I open the oven door and notice it's cold. The pilot light must have gone out and now I need to re-light it and wait another 20 minutes for the preheating procedure. As you do, I grab the box of matches we keep on top of the stove for such circumstances, strike the match and ....

FUCKING KABOOM!

I'm standing in my kitchen. In shock. I smell something strange. It smells like a really hot blow-dryer in here. I look down at my bare forearms and notice they're red. My face feels tingly. But really, I'm more obsessed with this strange smell. Okay, the smell is getting worse. Then, in a flash, I realize my hair is on fire. I run into the bathroom, jump in the shower --clothes and all-- and blast myself with cold water. Ah, that's better.

Okay. I'm thinking, What just happened? I think I'm in shock. I think the oven just exploded. I think I'm burned. And maybe, pretty badly.

I'm sitting on my bed, dripping wet, and thinking, I've got to go to the hospital. What should I wear? I linger there, thinking about what I should wear to the hospital, for 10-15 minutes. It finally dons on me that it's more important for me to get to the hospital ASAP than for me to sit around thinking about what I'm going to wear.

How will I get to the hospital?

Then, the pain. Un-fucking-imaginable pain. I start to cry. And now it hurts worse. Because salty tears and open wounds on your face don't mix. Okay, I've got to get to the hospital right fucking now.

I run back into the bathroom to grab a wet towel to hold over my face while I drive myself three blocks to the hospital. And for the first time, I notice myself in the mirror. My eyebrows are gone. My eyelashes are gone. All but four or so of my new curly locks are gone. And all four of the surviving locks are on the left side of my head. My face, chest and arms are lobster-red and starting to blister. Fucking hell.

I run out the front door of my Park Blvd. apartment in dripping wet clothes and a wet towel wrapped around my face, leaving the door wide-open, and head down the street to find the Cuomo-mobile. Where the fuck did I leave that car? I find the car, get to the hospital and am immediately seen by the third rate med student who has to work the emergency room on Christmas Day.

[If you've never been to the emergency room on Christmas Day, count your blessings. The waiting room provides enough fertile material for an entire post all on its own.]

The med student is freaking. Why is he freaking? He gets a full-fledged doctor to examine me. Stat! Full-fledged doctor examines my eyes and throat first, which perplexes me because my eyes and throat don't hurt. Full-fledged doctor wants to give me a tetanus shot. I start to cry. Which hurts like hell. Because tears and open wounds on your face don't mix. But, I suck it up and get the shot. Because I'm afraid of getting some deadly face disease from the dregs of humanity waiting in the emergency waiting room.

The full-fledged doctor also gives me drugs. Boy, these drugs are working fast. He gives me instructions to go with a bottle of extra drugs he gives me. But I'm not listening. Because I'm drugged. And exhausted. And sleepy.

Full-fledged doctor tells me I have to wait in the waiting room until somebody can pick me up. But there's nobody to pick me up. It's Christmas Day. So, I wait around just long enough for full-fledged doctor to forget about me and I head out the door to drive myself the three blocks home.

I manage to get home without further injury, even though I'm drugged, probably because it's Christmas Day and no one else is on the road. Except for the dregs of humanity on their way to the emergency room.

Now I'm home. I drop on the couch, front door still wide-open, and remain there, passed out, until my Christmas Day Fete friends show up for their Fete. They walk through the still wide-open front door, bypass my passed-out carcass on the couch, to find a raw turkey on the floor of the kitchen. They notice the smell of burnt hair. They finally notice my carcass on the couch. They shake me. When I finally open my eyes, the shock I notice on their faces makes me cry. Which hurts like hell. Because salty tears and open wounds on your face don't mix.

We quickly decide to ditch the Christmas Day Fete. And my friend Joe-Jerry says, "Why don't we go to the movies?" Which I'm up for. Because it's dark in the movie theater and no one will see me. In deference to my malady, they ask me to pick the flick. But I don't give a shit at this point.

So we head out the door to the local calendar theatre to see Salaam Bombay! It's a very sad movie about poor orphans, prostitutes and other dregs of humanity living in India. Which sucks. Because salty tears and open wounds on your face don't mix.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Rox, Capture those moments of your life!

As noted below, Roxanne is close to making good on her new year's resolution, which makes her my favorite ambitious (read: crazy) bookworm. Rox, why not take pix of the book covers, or your exhausted carcas, and do a 30 second audio for each one in your own BubbleShare (yes my client) album (see the Add This Album to My Blog button) to shorten your review process?

OR with the RSS feed, we can easily subscribe to you "Rox Reads" album for NEXT YEAR'S READATHON!!?

GET IT? NEXT YEAR'S READATHON?

Of course, you could just post, but I'm biased. ;-)

My new year's resolution is for Rox to read 25 books aloud to me in 2006.

For a quick sample of a BubbleShare album, get the commentary and pix (AKA: FOOD) from a charity event George and I went to last weekend. Remember to scare yourself by clicking the audio button and hearing my voice. ;-)



To see KC & The Sunshine Band (YES HE IS STILL ALIVE!) visit my blog. ;-)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Honor Killings in Iraq

This is a subject that cuts across political lines and every other line you can name. It's something we must all start talking about because it's a crime against humanity, but also because the Iraq war has led to these types of atrocities against the women of Iraq.

According to NPR, a young girl named "Fahtima" (spelling unknown) was recently kidnapped and the very idea that she might have been raped, caused her to lose her life. To get a medical test to see if she'd actually been raped would have been a bigger disgrace. So, her family killed her. It is called an "honor killing." After all, the family would have been ruined. The father could not lift his head. People in the tribe called "Fahtima's" abduction a "curse" on the family. Tribal customs demanded she be killed, so the family could be washed. They "contained" the situation by killing her, family members said. None of the women asked questions, though the mother wept.

We must speak out because it's simply too late for women in Iraq like "Fahtima."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

52 Books in 52 Weeks - An Update

I'm in the home stretch. My New Year's resolution to read 52 books in 2005 will be accomplished within the next week or so. I promise to surrender both my complete reading list and brief commentary for each selection sometime before the end of the year.

It's quite a thing to succeed in keeping a New Year's resolution. This is my first time. Making time for reading hasn't been that difficult, especially now since I have a 40-minute-each-way SubExurban subway commute. The burdensome piece of this activity has been narrowing down the inventory to match the task. I have but two books left. What shall they be?

[X-posted at Rox Populi.]

Friday, December 02, 2005

Learning to See Goodness

Certain people are rather challenging to my ability to see their true selves under all the !%$@& they've developed on top. I know there is a basic goodness within all of us, how could it not be, but being able to see and relate to it within someone who doesn't see it within themselves, well now that's the test of our spiritual accomplishment.

I also think that being a Buddha isn't about how we relate to people who are being easily lovable. The Buddha is a Buddha because she actually sees everyone as lovable, even those the rest of us would call "hard to love." We don't have to agree with the decisions others make in order to love them. That is the idea I have to keep reminding myself of.

I am learning to separate discrimination from judgment. Discrimination about what we will or will not do, believe, or contribute to, is a responsibility. But judgment is a part of building up our ego identity as "the virtuous one" or "the smart one" or "the martyr" or whatever defines us as "better." For us to be better, someone else has to be worse. We are then defining ourselves by what we are not, and using others towards that end.

So my path of awakening is a path of learning how to see without the confines of all my identities that require me to relate to others by their personality traits in order to define myself as whoever I'm supposed to be. Looking for the "soft spot" Pema Chodron speaks of is something useful to remember in trying to do that. I would phrase it, "look beyond the false; do not be deceived. You will find the truth."

-- from the comments thread at The Goodness Blog

Thursday, December 01, 2005

When Everything We Do (including blogging) Is An Addiction

After perusing today's New York Times, I have determined that we live in a time where every breath, tick, or activity we engage in that is not directly related to work or family is considerd an addiction. Hooked on the Web: Help is on the Way (in the Style section, no less) details the problem that so many of us seem to be developing with our excessive/obsessive Internet use.

Here's the skinny on onlineaholics
These specialists estimate that 6 percent to 10 percent of the approximately 189 million Internet users in this country have a dependency that can be as destructive as alcoholism and drug addiction, and they are rushing to treat it. Yet some in the field remain skeptical that heavy use of the Internet qualifies as a legitimate addiction, and one academic expert called it a fad illness.

Skeptics argue that even obsessive Internet use does not exact the same toll on health or family life as conventionally recognized addictions. But, mental health professionals who support the diagnosis of Internet addiction say, a majority of obsessive users are online to further addictions to gambling or pornography or have become much more dependent on those vices because of their prevalence on the Internet.

But other users have a broader dependency and spend hours online each day, surfing the Web, trading stocks, instant messaging or blogging, and a fast-rising number are becoming addicted to Internet video games.


I don't know...sounds more like it's just easier in many ways to do stuff on the 'net than it is to go out and do it. When there's no longer a town square to venture out to, when one has to drive from here to there, and never meets a friendly soul, one might just as soon spend more quality time online than in the physical world.

Sometimes the better community is online rather than in one's own backyard.

Perhaps, though, this is just the disease-du-jour. In an article titled "Our National Eating Disorder" (NYT 10/17/04), our problem then was carbophobia We'd developed such a reverence for Atkins-style diet programs that many of us here and across the Pond in the U.K. were developing an unhealthy aversion to breads, pastas and potatoes. We were neglecting the need for healthy carbs, and were getting hysterical over Panina Bread places moving into our neighborhoods.

Personally, I think our latest "addiction" is just another buzzword for some enterprising shrinks to solemly banter around, then sell it to some poor souls who have a general existentialist angst about life and feel a pathological need to patholigize themselves.

The problem isn't with unhealthy internet use, or an unhealthy aversion to carbos, but an unhealthy and bovine-like acceptance of psychobabble.

Makes me long for the days of simple patholigies like "sex addiction"...and Bill Clinton.

Now, where'd I put that bag of potato chips?? I'm gonna be here for awhile....

crossposted on Snarkhaholic