Monday, September 29, 2008


am I misreading this?

In this morning's Globe there is an opinion piece by James Carroll called "Obama's three challenges."

It's a fairly short piece, but in case you don't feel like reading, Obama's three challenges are:

Carroll introduces the three by saying, "Race, gender, and class define American identity, but Obama, just by being who he is, directly challenges the core assumptions that undergird each category."

In regard to race, Carroll is saying that Obama is just as white as he is black, though he defines himself as black. In this way he uncomfortably challenges people to think about their definitions of race and what it means to them (and society as a whole).

With gender, Carroll says that Obama successfully avoids that threatening "angry black male" stereotype, but he also "eschews the informality, and ethos, of blue jeans," and he is NOT a hiphop gangster sort, both of which prevent him from connecting with those potentially useful demographics.

Finally, class. Carroll proposes that since Obama is educated and financially secure — even though he worked very hard for these two achievements — "his very distinction is taken as evidence that he must regard himself as better than others... ."

Carroll then follows up with a paragraph that states how McCain is untouched by these three questions/concerns/etc; that McCain fills each spot perfectly, in an acceptable Americanized way that makes him appealing and "deeply of the status quo."

I'm not denying that Obama faces challenges that McCain does not. Color of skin is a very big factor for some people, and it shocks me when I read or hear about rampant racism that's alive and well. At the same time, the Obama campaign has cleverly turned race on its head and used it to its advantage. Who messed up the economy? An older white dude! Who's running against Obama? An old white dude! Change is the battle cry!

But what really concerns me about this piece is the implication that if Obama loses someone's vote, it will be because of one of those three factors, or a combination of the three. Why would Obama lose my vote at the booth? Why, of course because he's black (a black male that threatens us white people's stereotypes at that!), and because he's more successful than I am, therefore making me feel inadequate and stupid and a failure.

Obviously Obama wouldn't lose because of his position on various issues. That couldn't possibly come into play. Right?

In the introduction Carroll said, "Pundits focus on race as the pivotal issue, boiling Obama's problem down to unspoken national ambivalence about an African-American president."

I'm not sure if anyone is surprised, but MY pivotal issue is abortion, not race. And while I'm perfectly fine with Obama's race, gender and class — in fact, I admire his so-called elitism — his position on abortion unnerves me to the core. So although I haven't yet made up my mind, it seems as though Carroll has already made up his mind about me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


definition time!!

I've noticed the term "navel-gazing" popping up more and more, but I'm not quite exactly sure what it means. But I do suspect that I'm guilty of it, haha.

So, a few definitions:

na·vel-gaz·ing noun Slang. excessive absorption in self-analysis or focus on a single issue.

from merriam-webster (online)
noun : useless or excessive self-contemplation

Well, that about exhausts my list of reputable online dictionary sources. But I wonder - what's the difference between introspection and navel-gazing? Is it introspection when you think about an issue, but navel-gazing when you can't stop talking about it and don't let it go?

(and yes, I'm aware that I'm flirting with the line of navel-gazing about "navel-gazing" right now...)

Saturday, September 27, 2008


tempting fate, probably.

Seamus is erratic...sometimes he's good, sometimes he's a pest. Two weeks ago I was taking him for a walk, and things were going well. I suppose I got cocky, because I think I was holding something in my right hand, and I was barely holding onto the leash in my left. He saw a particularly appealing puddle or something and tried to take off, and I GUESS the leash was wrapped around the top of my left ring finger, because the top third of the finger been pained ever since. Well, it feels fine now, just a little sensitive.

(good thing nothing important is on that finger. zing!)

It's been very interesting observing when and why I use that finger, or more specifically, that part of my finger. As far as I can tell, there are very limited circumstances.

1) Writing. Luckily I don't put much pen to paper these days.
2) Turning on the blinker in the car. Particularly when turning right.
3) Washing my hair. Apparently that's a very important function for that little piece of that finger, because that's when I noticed the pain (okay, perhaps "discomfort" is more appropriate) the most.

This has been very instructional and I'm sort of thankful for the leash-pulling event. In a way I almost look forward to slightly injuring other non-essential parts of my body, just to see when I use them the most and in what way.

Key words there, of course, are "slightly" and "non-essential." I have zero interest or inclination in learning just exactly how often I use my legs...or arms...or back....or throat...or derrière...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


PSA for you ladies (and gentlemen?)

Earlier tonight I had posted an entry complaining about something, but decided to take it down because I had that whisper of "oooh, you might regret this..." that I get before I end up doing something that I shouldn't have.

So! In its place, a PSA:

Do not buy CVS brand eye makeup remover. It does not work. In fact, I suspect it kinda grinds the mascara and eyeliner further into your skin, thereby achieving the exact opposite result.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I thought this was a nice quote

I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.
- Anna Quindlen

Thursday, September 18, 2008


quilting a blanket of seduction

My quilting class began this week — as dorky as it is, I was actually excited about "going back to school." Making new friends! Learning new skills! Being in a temple of education!

To be sure, most of my fellow quilters are on the other side of 60, but there's nothing like making friends of another generation, right? And I almost had a mental breakdown around 8 p.m. while trying to figure out the proper cutting techniques, but I'm blaming that on being a lefty. And though the local high school is hardly a temple, it's rather large and airy.

SIL and I picked out our fabrics the day before. The directions were a bit nebulous. We were told to get a dark fabric, a medium fabric, a light fabric with a design, and a lighter beige fabric that used the other colors, maybe in a small-scale pattern. It seemed like there were a lot of ways to go wrong, but somehow we each managed to pick something out.

I had flounced into JoAnn Fabrics planning on making this nice, sweet, demure and cozy quilt. I was picturing nice creams, maybe a little light pink flower or two, nothing with too much commotion. I was determined to take a "Project Runway" challenge and make a departure from my usual thing, you know? But after a lot of deliberating and switching bolts around, I walked out with this:
The gold fabric caused quite a stir in class. As I laid my find in front of the group, someone called out, "Oh a SEXY quilt!" and someone else teasingly asked if I was going to make "a nightie" with the leftover fabric. Another lady suggested that I make a pair of hotpants, and I said I'd make matching ones for the whole class. Muahaha.

How hilarious would it be if I made short little gold pj pants to match my quilt? I can only imagine a guy's face. I swear I'll make a pair if I have enough yardage left, just to make this ridiculous scene playing out in my imagination happen in real life.

Monday, September 15, 2008


the seven things I hate about you

In order to be fair and balanced here, I'm going to present one sucky thing about being "underemployed" and one nice thing. (But really, know that I kind of don't want to be fair and balanced at this moment because I'm hating the job boards. How is it possible that not one soul has posted a writing/editing job on craigslist yet today?)

I feel like I don't deserve the weekends. People are so excited for Friday (TGIF!) and Saturday, but when Friday at 5 p.m. rolls around, I haven't worked since Wednesday. I love the feel of the well-deserved weekend, and I hate that I don't have that. And try to not be jealous. A periodic vacation is nice, but I don't know one person who would prefer to sit on their ass all the time and not know when they'll be working 5 days a week again. It's always nice to know when your vacation is going to end, you know? Job-searching is work that you don't get paid for (which is why I'm going to buy myself a nice present when I do eventually get a job).

I'm visiting DC for HoCo. Back when I booked my tickets, I (foolishly? optimistically?) believed that I'd have a job by early October, so I decided to leave on Friday. Last night I changed my ticket so that I jet in on Thursday, thereby giving me 24 extra hours in the city of friends and fun. Yay!

I guess the complaint and benefit both revolve around free time. In the first, I bemoan the fact that I have too much of it. In the second, I'm thankful for the surplus. Geez Louise!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


maybe I shouldn't have passed on that pedicure...

Keeping in mind my recent resolution, when the DJ called all the single ladies to the floor for the bouquet toss, I didn't run away. Rather, I stuck where I was, and grabbed my younger cousins so that I wouldn't be out there alone.

It turned out that quite a crowd of ladies gathered behind the bride. I saw a bunch of girls elbow to the front, so I migrated to the back. I heard someone say "The center is where it's at!!!" - so I moved to the right. No need to catch the damn thing, you know? Giving the appearance of participating was what I was looking for.

The lights were dim, a drum roll echoed throughout the hall, the DJ counted "3-2-1" and the bride tossed the bouquet. Looking up, I was aghast to see it sailing toward my outstretched hands, against all odds. I felt a surge of relief as it slipped through my arms and hit the ground.

UNFORTUNATELY, all of the go-getters were at the front of the pack, so there wasn't a scramble to grab the flowers. So I stared at it. Waited. Stared. Then bent down and picked it up.

My little cousins, bless their souls, were ecstatic. "You caught it!! You caught it!" they cried. I gamely held the bouquet in the air and waved it as I looked at my sister-in-law with a look of horror.

I shuffled to the sidelines to watch the garter toss; the guys seemed pretty enthusiastic, which was a bit flattering. I suppose it would be soul-crushing for the guys to run away after seeing who caught the bouquet.

So, a little whippersnapper go-getter around my age grabbed the garter. The DJ placed the chair front and center on the dance floor, and I hesitatingly approached it and sat down. The DJ said something along the lines of "Give us a little dance!!" to the garter guy....and

HE GAVE ME A LAP DANCE. IN FRONT OF ALL MY COUSINS AND AUNTS AND UNCLES. Thank GOD my parents and grandparents had left the reception about 10 minutes before the whole debacle began.

During what seemed to be the longest lap dance in the history of man, I looked at my family, shocked and sorta laughing. Obviously this dude didn't pass body language 101, because it went on far too long for my tastes. I placed my bouquet in front of me as a little modesty shield, maintaining some distance between our bodies.

I thought the whole deal was almost over, but then the DJ asked me to "do a little dance." So I got up, did a quick drop/shimmy to the floor, and turned around. My good old gyrating buddy was sitting on the chair, ready to receive a lap dance that would never come. He got the hint and vacated the chair.

Then I sat down, extended my foot...he was instructed to take off my shoe...and he slid the garter up my leg. Then he put my shoe back on and we exchanged an awkward little hug and I scurried off the dance floor.

Pictures were taken...I'll pass them along when I get them. Or maybe not.

It was just really uncomfortable for that to go on in front of my (very many, much younger) cousins. I hope it wasn't as indecent as I'm picturing!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


In Brief

1) I'm starting a quilting class next Monday with my sister-in-law! I cannot wait...I'm picturing creamy whites, pale pink flowers, and pale green? Something I can wrap around myself when reading on a rainy night such as this. I can't wait to actually be artsy and craftsy for once.

2) In October I am scheduled to...take a hot air balloon ride in Maryland!! I'm going with a friend - I'm trying to not get too excited because these things are easily called off because of iffy weather...but my fingers are extremely crossed.

3) Speaking of crossing my fingers in an extreme manner...I HAVE AN INTERVIEW ON TUESDAY!! Just scoring an interview is a major ego-booster — someone noticed my resume and cover letter! It's not all for naught! I know that what will happen will be for the best, but obviously I am hoping for Fireworks. We'll see...

Things are looking up!

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