Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just how gorgeous is this album cover?



This might be my top album cover of the year. The album itself ain't so bad, either.

And, sorry. I don't have anything real to write about (again). And I'm going to try my best to write real posts instead of turning this into a Tumblr. Speaking of which: I have one.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Post-Teen Angst Poetry

I have a new post on This Recording, which talks about dead sharks, Annie Hall, Liz Phair, and features some swell tunes for broken hearts. And you also get to read my very awesome poetry. I didn't have much to write about here today, as I was swamped at work, so the link will have to do for now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I've already learned some lessons in 2008.

If there is one thing I have learned from my last break-up - and from reading Julia Allison's blog - it's that you really shouldn't post things about ending your relationship on the Internet, at least not in such detail. Of course, with the case of Ms. Allison and myself (at least in the context of that whole mess last year), the relationships ended very badly and somewhat warranted subtle Internet defamation. (At least I don't have an ex's blog to link to like Julia does!)

With that in mind, I'm not going to go into detail about the events of last night, only that I'm no longer in a relationship, and I'm feeling kind of miserable today, as I spent about two hours last night crying while trying to express how I felt about things. It was ultimately my decision, and the worst part about it is that I hate hurting someone's feelings or letting them down. I've never had to do it before, and I could have probably done it better.

Afterward, I came home and cried some more at Christina, who tried to cheer me up by making me a Hot Pocket (she's really good with the microwave, you guys). Then I drank some red wine and watched Primal Fear. Somewhere in the middle of the third glass, I think, I decided to heat up some naan. Unfortunately, I only remembered the part about pre-heating the oven. About three hours later, at one in the morning, I woke up to Christina banging on my door, raving about how the apartment smelled like gas and she needed to open my bedroom windows so I didn't die in my sleep. I thought it was a dream until I woke up this morning and every single window in our apartment was wide open. It was rather chilly.

So there you have it: another all-time high in my life, wherein I narrowly escaped a murder-suicide while in a post-breakup drunken stupor. I'm a classy gent.

Friday, January 25, 2008




"I need you not only to vote, but I need you to get cousin Pookie to vote," Obama said. "I need Ray-Ray to vote."

[Source (via Gawker)]

Twenty-five hours to go.



Last night I watched the next-t0-last episode of the third season of The Wire, and I was SHOCKED that [BLANK] was [BLANKED] by [BLANK] and [BLANK], and then I was pissed because I had to go to a show instead of watching the last episode of the season because OMG WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?!

I rarely get so addicted and affected by television (the only show to really blow me away like this was Big Love), but The Wire is completely masterful and as good as everyone says it is. I'm honestly trying to decide if, after viewing the fourth season (which I bet I can finish in the next week or two), it would be worth switching my cable and Internet provider to Comcast so that I can catch up on the fifth season, which is OnDemand, in time for the series finale. Because I know someone is going to ruin it for me if I don't catch it when the episode premiers.

Honestly, this is the biggest stress-inducing decision in my life right now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

These are inside jokes in the forms of pictures that I would leave on Christina's MySpace page if she hadn't deleted her account.

















"I only have one mouth to feed and I think I should be compensated for such a burden."

Today I had a six-hour long orientation session to go over benefits and why sexual harassment is bad. It was, to say the least, not very stimulating. But I was rewarded with at least one outspoken idiot who complained that, as a faculty member, sixty-percent of his salary comes from grants, he can't receive retirement benefits for a year (like EVERYONE ELSE) even though he was a post-doctorate fellow at a previous university, and he can't get extra benefits because he "chose" not to have children, which is, I think we all agree, totally effed-up since employees with children get a discount on their college tuition.

Seriously. The man asked if those who chose not to have children received some sort of prize to compensate for their non-existent offspring who can't get tuition benefits. "Does that seem fair?" he asked the benefits counselor.

I bet he's a Libertarian.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm sure you've been eagerly awating my Oscar nominations reaction post.

I used to get really excited about Oscar season because I was a big movie nerd when I was in high school. I actually would tape the press conference wherein the nominations were announced and watch it when I got home from school. One year, I won the Oscar pool at my local video store, and I got two free movie rentals every week for a year. (My parents blamed me for putting the video store out of business.)

Since college, however, I haven't been as excited. Sure, last year I won twenty bucks at an Oscar party, but I'm generally disappointed with both the nominees and the winners. Like most mainstream award shoes, the Oscars tend to shut-out independent offerings and hand out the top awards to fairly bland, crowd-pleasing films (I'm looking at you, Crash. And you, Chicago. And Gladiator. And Titanic. And Shakespeare in Love. And Forrest Gump. Etc.)

This year, however, I'm fairly excited. The best films of the year, There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men, tied for the most nominations. Of course, they will probably not win Best Picture (I've got a feeling they'll split the vote and it'll go to Atonement). I haven't seen Atonement, nor did I catch Michael Clayton during its brief theatrical run. I've got mixed feelings about Juno, and was going to wait for Netflix, but now I feel like I should give it a chance. And while Brittany is right, that it will most-likely win Best Original Screenplay despite the unrealistic dialogue, I'm already not as offended as I was about Little Miss Sunshine. (Don't get me started on that mess. It's NOT well-written, America.)

I share Adam's aggravation that Jonny Greenwood's score from There Will Be Blood was not nominated because it wasn't entirely scored for the film, but as I pointed out to him this morning, the nominated song from Once, "Falling Slowly," was released in 2006 on Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's album, The Swell Season. Ah, well.

On a related note, I saw Persepolis last night, and it was stunning. If Pixar wasn't guaranteed an Oscar for everything they release, I would expect it to nab the award for Best Animated Feature.

Monday, January 21, 2008

This will be the only time I advocate fat suits.

Oliver Stone has announced plans to make a movie about George W. Bush starring Josh Brolin. This, of course, will be his second film about a United States president featuring an incredibly miscast actor.

I, for one, would much rather see a William Howard Taft biopic starring Eddie Murphy. Just imagine how hilarious he can make the scene where Taft gets stuck in the bathtub!

Essential Viewing: The Warriors



John and I watched The Warriors over the weekend, which is easily one of the best late '70s pseudo-futuristic film about New York gang warfare inspired by Greek mythology ever made, especially when the gang members look like this:






The story is simple: The Warriors, a gang from Coney Island, find themselves stuck in the Bronx with every other gang in the city on their trail after they've been wrongly fingered as the outfit behind the murder of a popular and powerful gang leader. They spend the entire film trying to navigate the streets and the subway system home to Coney, with a few thousand enemies hot on their trail.

This is the kind of movie that's so gratuitously violent and misogynist that it has to be taken with a grain of salt. It also helps that you're rooting for a group of gang members from Coney Island throughout the movie. It serves as an example of a film that - if released today - would have a completely softer and more politically correct tone.

In Virginia, most everyone has the day off because we feel guilty about all of that racism.

I'm one of the few who are not honoring Dr. King's legacy today because I had to come to work. And it was a miserable morning to do so, as it's really effing cold in Chicago. (I usually try to avoid cliche blog posts about the weather and public transportation, but I'm about to break those rules right now:) The only good thing about working on a holiday is that you're guaranteed a seat on the morning train during rush hour, but even that small victory is still depressing when you remember that you're bundled up on the train at eight in the morning while the majority of Chicagoans get to think about MLK in bed.

Today also means that no one will be reading my blog, save for the few hundred people who have been DAILY finding it by searching for images of The Hills on Google. I'll be glad when that fad is over.

Paultards.

I decided over the weekend that it's time to announce the group of people that I officially hate: Libertarians.

Now, like Republicans, I hate them in the sense that they are a nameless, faceless mass of people who make terrible decisions and have shitty ideas about how the world should work. I'm sure a few of them are very nice people, and that I could get along with them as friends despite their political stance. But I have a problem with people who, at their basest root, are rich, white, men who are just Republicans who want easier access to their drugs.

I sort of understand the appeal - even I was an Ayn Rand fan for about a month! But I don't support Libertarianism for the following reasons:

1. Even rich assholes should have to put something back into society, because if their sense of entitlement somehow persuades other people to believe that we shouldn't have to pay taxes for public schools, parks, and health care and welfare, then the only people who can possibly move forward would be the rich, white assholes who already benefit from this country's class system.

2. I don't do drugs, and have never really thought drugs to be cool enough to be legal. It's stupid to think that if marijuana, for example, were legalized, then the government wouldn't be "in control" of how we damage our bodies, as the government would still have to figure out who would be allowed to grow it, package it, market it, sell it, and purchase it. Also, I watch The Wire and realize that hardcore drugs are pretty bad.

3. I'm believe that we do need the government telling us what we're allowed to do to ourselves, because, generally, people are really stupid and frequently need someone to hold their hands as they make their daily decisions. I mean, for example, look at people who decide they're Libertarians!

These are a few reasons, other than his racism and homophobia, why I hate Ron Paul and the people who support him.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Even Prince at his worst can prove incredibly influential.

Last night I went to Berlin for Jackie's b-day (which was the THIRD Friday in a row I've gone there, which seems weird to me), and I had a blast. The DJ played one of the new Hot Chip videos, which I've had in my head all day, and now I think I need to go see them live in March.

Observe the fantastic video:



Also, related:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy birt'day, Jackie!

Did you think I forgot your birthday, Jackie? Well, I almost did. But I didn't! So, to celebrate it in my special way, I will now post an embarrassing video of Jackie stuffing saltines in his mouth and then spitting them out. BFF!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Instant Messages from the Mothership

Every now and then, my mom and I will be on AIM at the same time. It rarely happens, but when it does, it's magical.

First, in response to my post on This Recording:



She's talking about my buddy icon, which I find hilarious. She does not.



Apparently, she's trying her hand at ethnic cuisine:



...And is always quick to give out advice:



She told me to use this picture instead:





If she reads this, she will probs disown me.

"Is that chocolate or poop?" is my catchphrase for 2008.

My CLOSE, PERSONAL FRIEND, Julie Klausner, emailed me (and most likely a hundred other people, whatevs) with the great news of a new video, which is hilarious and informative!



Also, the trailer for the 30Rock movie Baby Mama, which kills me every time I watch it.

Things that happened this afternoon.


4:25pm: I learn that there is a film adaptation - currently at Sundance - of Michael Chabon's enjoyable, if rather silly and farfetched, coming-of-age novel The Mysteries of Pittsburgh! I'm excited; I just read that a few months ago and it was quite good! (And made me think about moving to Pittsburgh for about two weeks.)

4:26pm: Oh. Sienna Miller is in it. I'm less excited.

4:27pm: Wait. The character of Arthur Lecomte, one of the MAJOR three characters, is not in the film? Does it have something to do with the homosexual affair he has with the protagonist, Art Bechstein? (Oh, spoiler alert, by the way.) I am no longer excited.

Lessons I learned from living in rural Virginia


Mike Huckabee confuses me. I once saw him on Letterman and, because I was probably drunk, I was like, "Oh, wow. He's a likable guy. I mean, he's a Republican, but he seems like some guy I know - very down to earth!"

This means, of course, that he seems like someone I know from back home. You know, the types of people my parents are friends with who are certainly wonderful people despite the fact that they are Republicans and affix American flag decals on their cars right next to whichever NASCAR driver they support.

But as I read more and more about Huckabee and how he's downright batshit crazy, especially in regard to what he wants to do to the Constitution (in other words, change it to represent God's laws), I realize that, yes, he's just like those people I know from back home, and no matter how nice they are, they certainly shouldn't be allowed to run the country.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This just took place on GChat:

I am not clever enough for a title.

I remember going to bed angry last night, and I'm not sure if it was because I got home at one and was drunk (which I don't normally do on a weeknight, but there were dollar-drinks involved), or if it was because I've been in a week-long fight over "Strawberry Wine" (see my last post; SOMEONE refuses to accept how great it is). In any event, I woke up this morning in a (relatively) fine mood, but confused about what fueled last night's ire.

I realize this makes for a rather lame blog post, but I've been busy this week and today is the first time I've been able to sit still for a while. You know those flash ads - usually for home owner's insurance - that feature cartoon people dancing in a way that can only be described as "getting jiggy with it" (which is what the Indian marine scientist suggested his apprentice do in Spring Break Shark Attack - reference to earlier post number two! - instead of wasting time figuring out why mangled sea turtles kept showing up on the beach)? Well, I spent ten minutes staring at a woman who was so excited about getting a degree in thirteen months, and after doing so I find it's really difficult crafting a well-written missive about anything other than my hangover.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Spring Break

First of all, I think it is a crime that there are some people in this country (I'm not naming names, but some that are VERY CLOSE TO ME) who have not heard "Strawberry Wine," which is perhaps the most important country song released in the 1990s. So, for those of you NOT IN THE KNOW (and probably leading sad lives because of it), here's the video for it.



And, since I'm sharing, I happened to finally see Spring Break Shark Attack tonight, and I swear, it exceeded my expectations. For all of you chumming fetishists, this film is for you. Bonus points if you love Kathy Baker as much as I do!

Two clips of this great achievement in cinema made-for-TV film history:



Friday, January 11, 2008

Baby baby baby!

I'm writing this from Justin and Katy's apartment. I came up here to feed their cat, Lily, and also play with her a bit as she has spent the day alone (she better get used to the neglect).

I went by the hospital after work to see Justin and Katy's (as of this writing unnamed) baby, who is gorgeous. I kinda cried a little bit when I saw her for the first time, and when I watched her stare right at Katy with her tiny little eyes. And I swear that she smiled when I put my hand on her head so SHE ALREADY HAS A FAVORITE. And I kinda want to tear up a little bit again, and, yes, I'm rather surprised that I'm so overwhelmed, but I've never really experienced seeing someone just hours after they came into the world (my brother the only exception, but he doesn't really count) (haha JK LOLZ!).

Anyway, it's been a long week and I'm kind of overwhelmed with emotion. I blogged about losing my childhood pet and then crying over Justin and Katy's daughter. I'm gonna go get drunk and do something dumb tonight, if only so I can have something not sentimental to write about on Monday.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not rubies, or sapphires, or pearls, or opals. Diamonds, y'all.

I try not to blog from work anymore but I'm so stress right now that I need a ten-minute break to not think about anything that actually matters. So here are some things for us all to think about.
Would you take nutrition advice from that woman? Me, neither.

Unrelated, but still quite nice: I did an interview with my faves, Julie Klausner and Jackie Clarke, and it's on This Recording.
Also, be sure to download the Natalie Cole cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," which is not your "Unforgettable" era Natalie. It's the coke-fueled version that truly compliments the Beatles' original LSD vision. (Says Julie: "My fave part is when Natalie goes, 'What are you doin' up there, Lucy?' Because she has no idea.") The fun back-story behind my love for it: John put it on a mix CD for me recently, saying that he used to work with a tranny who would perform (read: lip-sync) to it. That tranny then started stealing money from their employer and tried to frame John. Cute!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Best Album of 2008.


Check out Fighting With Your Thoughts by Gilles Vaillancourt here. And thanks to Adam and Jackie for the tip.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tex.


Once during the summer after I graduated high school, my cat Tex got out of the house. He was an indoor cat and he escaped all of the time. When he was a kitten, he'd climb the trees in the backyard and look down on us as we shouted at him from the ground. Eventually he'd jump back down, his fur matted and sticky with sap. He'd usually come back inside when he realized that the only thing outside for him to eat was grass, which he'd cough back up on the kitchen floor a few hours later. The mounds of cat vomit were another example of why my mother cursed us for talking her into getting a kitten. She knew that even though we had promised to clean the litter box and make sure he was fed, we would forget - I was in seventh grade and my brother in first when we adopted him, after all. The only pro of us getting a pet, I'm sure, was the learned responsibility, which never really took.

We had Tex declawed when he was about five years old, and his escapes became more of a nuisance. Because he didn't have any claws to defend himself, we were worried that he might have a run-in with one of the other animals in the neighborhood. Usually, however, he was fairly safe, as there weren't many dogs in the area that ran wild. Tex would just lay under bushes (since he could no longer climb trees) and eat more grass, which would later end up on the floor. He had also become extremely fat; my father, who had taken over the feeding duties, would fill up his bowl several times a day - anytime Tex happened to flash him a hungry look.

On the day when he ran outside - the summer I was seventeen - I made my usual chase after him, only to slow down after I saw him run around the side of our house. I walked back inside so that I could go out the front door to catch him. When I jumped onto the front steps, I saw that two dogs, which belonged to a family down the street, were barking and jumping and one of the bushes. I ran toward it, but not in time to catch Tex, who had darted out across the lawn in an attempt to evade the dogs. I started after the three animals, and watched as the bigger of the two caught up with Tex, lunging at his front leg, which he caught in his mouth. I yelled and ran toward them, effectively chasing them off, and then tried to catch Tex, who, even with a limp, was able to make it to safety under a bush.


Everything seemed a blur. I called my father at work and screamed into the phone; luckily, he was still in town and managed to speed over in his Coke truck in a matter of minutes. Tex was still under the bush, hissing at us as we tried to reach out at him, with blood running down his leg as well as his mouth.

We drove almost a half-hour to the animal hospital. I was sobbing in the front seat of my car, glancing back to look at Tex in his cage, terrified to touch him through the holes. I had remembered that my mother once told me that she had a kitten who fell off of her piano when she was little; it had broken its leg and had to be put down. It didn't dawn on me that veterinary technologies had improved so much that, thirty-five years later, Tex would be able to survive a broken leg.

He did, of course; the vet put a pin in his leg, and then put on a cast. And several years later, when my father took the cat to the same animal hospital for shots, the vet told him that he never forgot that "little red-headed boy" (remember, I was seventeen but looked about twelve) who was so worried about his cat.

Tex was my first real pet. My parents had a cat, Ray, who lived until I was about six years old (I'm guessing, as I don't really remember her at all). I had a few hermit crabs and fish, but those aren't the kinds of pets that make an impact on you. I had a dog for about three hours; she was a black lab named BenHur (I had named her Ben before discovering it was, in fact, a girl) and I adopted her at my town's fall festival from a couple who had her sitting in a box. They had promised that if they didn't find a good home for the dog, they'd have to take it to the vet. Unfortunately, my parents weren't as sympathetic. A week before I was born (on my due-date in fact), one of the neighborhood dogs killed Bucky, the cockapoo my parents adopted soon after they married. In an impassioned speech my mother told me that I didn't understand what it was like to have an animal I loved so much be taken away from me. She had never gotten over her dog's death, and feared that her attachment for another dog would similarly be crushed.

I suppose my parents thought that having a cat would be better since they didn't expect to be too attached to one. And I always thought they weren't too attached to Tex. As my mother didn't want him in the first place, but finally relented after years of pleading on my part, she always had a dislike for the animal whose hair shed all over the living room couch, or who scratched the curtains on the family room door. She admitted to me a few months ago - as a joke, of course, because this is the kind of thing that we would joke about (see where I get it from?) - that when she said yes to us getting a cat, she did so under the assumption that it would surely be dead by the time my brother left for college twelve years later. In September, however, she was stuck feeding Tex and cleaning out his litterbox and she was not happy about it.


My mother took Tex to the vet this morning to be put down. For the last month, he hadn't been eating. When I went home for Christmas, I was actually shocked to see how skinny he had gotten. When I was last home in August, he was still about eighteen pounds. His hair was matted and dirty because he had stopped cleaning himself. I took him to the vet - the same vet who fixed his leg, mind you - the day after Christmas. He told me that Tex had developed a heart murmur and had fluid building in his lungs. I left with a prescription for Lasix and the idea that possibly, with the medicine and some time, Tex might be able to recover and still have about five years ahead of him.

My mother told me this evening that she didn't sleep at all last night because she knew what she was going to have to do this morning. She woke up early and searched all over the house for him. Tex had taken to hiding in strange places all week - closets, bathtubs - and that was, of course, a sign that he was looking for a place to die. When she brought him to the vet, he said, "I expected you to come the next day." She felt awful for thinking that he had suffered longer than he needed to as she tried not to jump to conclusions and act too quickly.

She told me on the phone that as she walked back out into the waiting room with Tex, who wrapped up in a towel in his cage, several people whom she recognized from home were crying with her. It’s so funny to me that she experienced, in a room full of almost-strangers, that sense of compassion. I found myself much less upset this evening than that day seven years ago when I found myself expecting to lose my cat because of a broken leg. And it is hard for me to imagine anyone reading this essay thinking, slightly, in a mocking sense, “Why is he, a twenty-four-year-old, getting so philosophical about the death of his cat?” I would most likely have the same reaction, as I never found myself to be the kind of animal lover who gets attached to other peoples’ pets. But perhaps in that waiting room, as people sat with their sick animals in line after my mother, experience some sort of fear of their own. My mother, indeed, found herself uncontrollably attached to our cat, which shows that sometimes, even the pets we have taken for granted, as simply the dependents that roam around our houses, are something more tangible to our lives. As silly as it sounds, it’s hard to think back on my young adulthood without picturing Tex pouncing at my feet, chasing balls down the hallway, or even throwing up grass on the kitchen floor.

Notes from the Weekend.

After somehow managing to live without one for five months, Christina and I finally bought a microwave on Saturday. So, hooray for us, right? Now I can heat up leftover pizza and it won't take twenty minutes. I bet this is how my grandparents felt, if they ate pizza.

I watched No End in Sight on Saturday, which was very good, and will / should probably win the Oscar for Best Documentary. It's a very calm, well-paced study on how the United States completely bungled the war in Iraq, as told by people who were placed in charge of that country after we invaded and "accomplished" our mission. The idea that we fucked up isn't necessarily new, but the levels of incompetency and the poor planning are just astounding. The whole mess is probably a good example of why I am so cynical about political motivation these days; I spent so much energy worrying and fretting about the invasion five(!) years ago, and I saw how there was absolutely nothing I could do to make my voice heard or make an impact on the outcome. The administration was determined to do what they did, and they succeeded in screwing it all up. In any case, I expect this to be one of the defining early examinations of the war, as powerful (and hopefully not as forgotten) as Hearts and Minds.

On Saturday night, John and I went to see There Will Be Blood, which was simply stunning and blew me away. From the opening screeches of Jonny Greenwood's fantastic score (which I have since purchased on iTunes) to the final shocking image of Daniel Plainview's bowling alley, I sat there in awe of a chunk of perfection on film. Daniel Day-Lewis is masterful in the lead role, and Paul Dano is completely perfect as Eli Sunday. Paul Thomas Anderson is a simply astounding director who has proven he can't be put into one box. The movie has shot to the top of my list of films from 2007, and I'm struggling to figure out if I actually like it more than No Country for Old Men. You must see it, and you won't forget it.

After seeing TWBB, John and I watched Factory Girl. I was interested in seeing it, but I will admit that I didn't have great hopes for it. I wasn't surprised that I wasn't a fan. As Adam has said, the biopic genre is getting rather old. And it's one thing to watch a biographic film about a musician, actor, or a writer, but it's hard for me to even remotely care about the poor little society girl who flirted with the underground(?) art scene in 1960s New York. Try as it might, the film didn't make Edie Sedgwick seem like an interesting person; she was a mess before she started abusing drugs, and it was almost easier for me to watch her after the heroin than before. I've never been anything more than the casual Andy Warhol fan; I've always viewed his art as, well, poppy - it serves its purpose as "cool imagery," but I can't really say that I've been blown away by it. The movie seemed to be confused about who was the bigger asshole: Andy or Bob Dylan (who was played anonymously - as Dylan threatened to sue the filmmakers for defamation - by Hayden Christensen, who made me long for the five actors in I'm Not There again). Perhaps my cold, cold heart (and watching both The Wire and, more importantly, The Corner) have made me care less about rich girls who screw up their lives with drugs, but I just can't find any sympathy for Edie Sedgwick, who was basically a pretty face with a messed-up mind hiding behind it.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Quote of the Day

I was talking to a friend of mine about Brick, and why we did not like it.

[Redacted]: did you see brick?
Me: yes. i did not like it.
[Redacted]: i wasn't that crazy about it either.
[Redacted]: i mean, i was definitely entertained
[Redacted] and i don't think i quite got the film noir thing, because i haven't seen that many
Me: i feel like film noir is best in black and white, honestly. [For Adam, who will complain in the comments: I said this knowing full-well that both Chinatown and L. A. Confidential are amazing.]
[Redacted]: i wondered why they didn't do that!
Me: and i remember thinking, "when i was a teen i wanted there to be more movies like these with people my age. now i know why they didn't make them: because it's ridiculous."
[Redacted]: yeah, [Redacted] was talking about how he liked it a couple years ago because it felt very much like high school with all the heightened drama.
[Redacted]: but now it falls flat for me.
[Redacted] i mean, i'm eight years out of high school. and i had trouble relating to high school movies WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL because they don't make high school movies about girls who like fey scottish bands and meet men on the internet.
[Redacted]: fuck hollywood.

The reaction to the Iowa caucus you've all been waiting for!

Last night I watched some of the CNN coverage of the Iowa caucus (which, by the way, is my new favorite word. Caucus caucus caucus!), and, despite yesterday's post, I could not help but get a little bit excited for Obama. I prefer Hillary Clinton, just because of the experience she has, but it was still nice to have this sense of victory for the Democrats. I was self-aware enough last night to think, "Well, I was not excited about this all day because I'm not in Iowa and there's nothing I can do about it. But now that the results are here, it's different."

This morning, however, I'm back to my cynical, "apathetic" self. Talking heads across the country have lauded this as a "historic" day because Iowa is ninety-eight percent white and Obama had such a strong showing regardless. It's like, "Hooray! White people are not racist anymore! Finally, the last fifty years of hard work has come to fruition!" Of course, only Democrats voted in that primary (as well as a few Independents), and generally, they're not racist. So yes, the liberal whites in Iowa like the black guy slightly more than John Edwards, who looks and sounds like every other Southern liberal politician (only this time with a dying wife), and the wife of a former president. We've really come a long way, baby.

I was talking to Adam this morning online, and trying to explain to him my thought process here, which also allowed me to figure it out for myself, as well. I've said this before, but basically, I'm just not as politically motivated as I was four years ago. I mean, yeah, I have a few beliefs that I think are important. I think everyone should be allowed to get married, have equal rights, etc. I think abortion should be legal (despite my general dislike for the practice - which is not my decision, ultimately, anyway). I think the death penalty should not be legal, not because I'm not for capital punishment, but because I think it's a flawed system with too many mixups and until we know with absolute certainty that everyone who has been put to death is guilty, we shouldn't be killing anyone.

But if we have an extreme regime change, will anything be different? There's a checks and balances system in place: as long as there are conservative voters, there will be conservatives in power. And likewise for the liberals. It's very rare that, as fickle the average American is, anyone's mindset is going to change in the next four years. So, am I excited that Obama is the front-runner for the election? Sure, because it's becoming more likely that he could be electable. But do I think he's better or any different than Clinton and Edwards? Not really - I think he can has a younger demographic, which is just as important because if he can get a twenty-something asshole pothead to add a vote for the Democrats, I'm all for it. But do I think that, if he's elected, America will be different in 2012? The answer is nope.

But seriously, let's do all we can to keep this out of the White House:

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008 will be 2000-HATE!

Now that I'm back in the real world (which is FREEZING, by the way), I am no longer all lovey-dovey about the new year. I am starving and I didn't get any sleep last night and all of those stress dreams were VALID because I am freaking out about work all day. I've already received one bitchy email from another science professor (who is now my enemy), and I've somehow got to get a package from Evanston to my office downtown today and no one is able to bring it. And currently someone is banging a hammer on the ceiling of the floor directly below me and I think there's a really good chance I'll either end up with a nail in my foot or fall through the floor.

I have three things getting me through the day: I will be buying a new coat after work, then I will watch Project Runway. And, since I can't complete a coherent sentence right now, you can read a post I wrote about musicals on This Recording. You are very welcome.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 will be 2000-GREAT!

I was mostly busy at home the past few days to come up with any ideas for more year-in-review posts. I was going to come up with a list of my favorite movies of 2007, but I realized I didn't see that many (but I still recommend Once and No Country for Old Men). And I was going to form a list of my favorite songs from the year, but I realized I didn't have the patience to do that and, really, I'm not a great music writer in the first place. It hit me over the weekend, however, that I didn't want to look back on 2007 anymore; the first half of the year was absolutely miserable, but I was lucky that the second half turned out pretty damn well. I think that if you'd been following this blog in the last twelve months, you'd notice that, too.

So I have so high hopes for 2008. I've got a new job that, while stressful (I've been having work dreams for the past three nights in anticipation for my return tomorrow), is a lot better in every aspect than my previous one. And it allows for some of my resolutions for the new year: join the fancy-assed gym that would normally cost me over a hundred dollars a month (but is reduced to less than half that price), pay off my credit card bills while still being able to pay rent (as I make seven hundred more dollars a month), and start working on a master's in the fall.

There are a few others, too, like building my professional outfits (I'd like to own a suit - not that I need one or have a place to wear one, but I want one). I also want to buy a real coat, so I don't have to rely on combining a hoodie and a thin H&M jacket. And I want to get some furniture, like a desk and a dining-room table. Even though I'm making more money, this will still be a challenge. Will I be able to do all of these things and still take a trip to Savannah to visit Laurie? I hope so!

I also plan to stop smoking, and since you can no longer smoke in bars in Chicago, that will probably be a lot easier to do.

And I'm going to start replacing the toilet paper on the dispenser instead of leaving it on the back of the toilet. Seriously; this is the year.