Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh, You Dirty, Dirty Toothbrushes, How Dare You Put Your God-Stick Into My Shame-Cave

No matter how delightfully snarky and sarcastic I find myself to be (yes, I'm completely narcissistic, deal with it), Jon Stewert is always better. Maybe that's why he's on TV and have a piddly blog with about 5 readers.

Anyhoo, The Daily Show takes on abstinence-only sex ed:



That's Really Gonna Hurt On The Way Out

I apologize in advance for linking to Fox "News." But this was too good to pass up.

During an ultrasound, a mother to be saw the image of Jesus on the cross in her uterus.

There really isn't anything more to say to that.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fun With Celebrity Drug Arrests

I'm not normally into blogging about celebrities. Maybe I once mentioned how Tom Cruise spent over a million dollars on gas in one year. Or things that happen to involve a celebrity but also relate to body image, Hillary Clinton/politics, censorship, etc.

But I'm a big, geeky CSI fan.

So I thought I'd bring up Gary Dourdan's arrest. He has been implicated on charges for possession of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and prescription pills. He was released on $5,000 bail, since, you know, he's a TV star and 5 G's is probably like pocket change.

Let me take a moment and point out that even his mug shot is sexy.

Anyhoo, apparently he's scheduled to leave the show at the end of this season. After the weird, hallucinatory sex scene in the episode "Cockroaches" I'm somewhat unconcerned by that.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Who Needs Clean Living Quarters, Anyway?

A soldier's father posted a video on YouTube showing deplorable living conditions at a Fort Bragg barrack.

Rust, peeling (lead) paint, clogged drains, broken toilets and sewer gas. Goes well with religious harassment, sexual assault and phony discharges.


Let's Just Ignore That Little 24th Amendment Thing

In a 6-to-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that it was NOT unconstitutional for Indiana to require ID to vote.

Um. Yeah it is.

The 24th Amendment states that the right to vote "shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax."

Requiring ID to vote is an indirect poll tax. You have to pay to get a driver's license or non-driver ID in most states (all of them as far as I know). You have to pay to get a passport. You have to pay for any government-issued ID.

Therefore, it is possible that someone would be barred from voting because of an inability to pay. Disenfranchisement for being poor.

As of right now, seven states request photo ID and 18 require ID that doesn't need to be photo.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Killing People Is Only OK In The Name Of Jesus

Why am I not surprised.

Apparently, a soldier names Jeremy Hall is filing a suit against the Army saying he was harassed by his colleagues for being an atheist.

When he complained, the Army claimed it "couldn't protect him." So he filed a suit through the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

So let me just get this straight for a moment. In the military it's OK to sexually harass or even assault women, keep gays in the closet and discharge wounded soldiers then lie about pre-existing conditions to get out of paying veterans' benefits and disabilities...

...but it's not alright to be an atheist. I guess as long as you rape female soldiers in the name of God, it's perfectly OK.


P.S. It also bothered me when I went to Normandy that the graves were either crosses or Stars of David. If you were Jewish you got a star. Anything else and you got a cross. Because obviously if you weren't Jewish you had to love Jesus. There are only two religions out there, after all.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saving Animals In Brooklyn - Now That's Just Bad! Close Them Down! I Said Now!

This sickens me. Ugh.

New York City Animal Care and Control appointed a new Executive Director some time ago by the name of Charlene Pedrolie. Apparently she is a renowned business consultant. But she has no experience working in animal rescue.

Since taking over, she has enacted policy changes that save money at the expense of the health and lives of the animals. As a result, much of the NYCACC veterinary staff has resigned and many animals have been put to death needlessly. They order animals that are slightly sick to be put down instead of treated because it's cheaper. Which means in NYCACC something as simple as kennel cough (which my dog has had) is a death sentence.

If that wasn't bad enough, she recently banned 7 rescue shelters from taking animals off death row to be adopted. One of the groups, Brooklyn Animal Foster Network has saved 1000 animals in two years. That's one group. And Pedrolie has banned seven.

I know not a lot of people read this, but of those few who do, many are pet owners, right? And I'm sure of those, at least some of you adopted your pet from shelter. Look at your dog or cat. Imagine 1000 just like them NOT finding a home for political, pigheaded reasons.

Her reasoning, if you can call it that, is that she received "complaints" about Laurie Bleier, the head of BAFN. People have alleged that Bleier is abrasive and rude to them.

Let me tell you something about shelters. They're tough. They take an emotional toll. I know, I've worked in one. I only lasted 5 months because of how hard and depressing it is. And people treat you like crap. Especially if you don't tell them what they want to hear. If they don't meet pre-screening requirements, they will argue with you. Usually it's over the phone and you can get out of it quickly. But sometimes they will show up in person in a rage and cause a scene at the shelter. These are the people you have to be short and abrasive with. Unfortunately, these are also the kinds of people who would lodge complaints in order to have you shut down. Nice to know hundreds of innocent animals will be killed over a few bruised egos.

Another false claim by Pedrolie is that one of BAFN's animals was emaciated. This claim was proven to be 100% untrue by the ASPCA. If you don't believe me, call Joe Pentangelo at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450.

When you visit the nice pretty NYCACC website, remind yourself that it was designed pro bono by Laurie Bleier's company, Brainstorm LLC.

By the way, this is Laurie Bleier:

She looks like a terrible, person, doesn't she?

By the way, Brooklyn Paper readers were flooding the letters to the editor after this story broke. Myself included.

OK, it's contact time. I say inundate everyone possible with phone calls and emails until something finally happens.

E-mail the Mayor's office

Call Charlene Pedrolie on her direct line at (212)442-2059 or her cell phone at (732)939-7948.


Care 2 Petition for Pedrolie's removal.

If anyone finds any other contacts or information, please either e-mail it to me or post it here as a comment.


Clinton Wins Pennsylvania!

It's been called by multiple sources. CNN, The New York Times, and Reuters.

Woo hoo!

See, here's the thing. People keep saying she's going to drop out any day now. They say it's coming; she hasn't got a prayer.


She's behind by less than 130 delegates. Know what that is? NOTHING. Pennsylvania alone has 188. And there are more primaries to go. Seven states, Puerto Rico and Guam still remain. That's 501 more delegates. And if you add in PA it's 689 (since we don't know exactly how the delegates will be divided yet). Say they split the remaining races exactly down the middle. If you take their current delegate standings (Clinton 1541 and Obama 1679) and added half (344) to either of them, it's still a razor thin margin. If that were the case, Obama would have 2023 and Clinton would have 1885.

Obama would be ahead, but that's still 2 delegates shy of sealing the deal*.

Basically, what I'm saying is, at this point it would be beyond stupid for her to drop out of the race. Especially with tonight's Pennsylvania victory, the margin between them is so tight there's no telling who's going to come out the winner.

We aren't going to know for sure until August, people (person?). We may have an idea when all the primaries are over in June, but I'm not taking anything to heart until the actual convention and official nomination.

*I realize I am not addressing any remaining superdelegates with this. But my point would stay the same. It's still too close to know, and it would be insane to drop out at this point. No superdelegates were harmed in the making of this post.


Buffalo Is Not New York City.

This started as a Facebook note, but I thought I'd put it up here instead. I know it's not really in line with what I usually write about, but it's my blog and I do what I want, mwahahahahaha. Anyhoo...

It's one of those things I should be used to. It's been happening my whole life. But for some reason it gets to me every time.

When someone asks me if I am from New York I am always going to say NO. Because 99% of the time they mean NYC. Especially now that I am in NYC and I know people are asking if I am from this city.

When I say no I will clarify and say I am from Buffalo. I'm terribly sorry if that confuses you. Yes, it's in New York State. But that's not what you were asking and you know it.

Buffalo is not an extension of NYC. It's clear on the other side of the state, it will take you 8-10 hours to drive there. It is a completely different world that just happens to lie in the same state borders.

I happen to be from the only area of the country (that I can think of) where you can't simply say the state you're from. Which is why it will always go "Michigan" "Arizona" "Florida" "Buffalo" when I am there.

Frankly, I don't have much love for Buffalo outside of Duff's, the Sabres, and the three relatives I still have living there. I certainly don't want to live there again. The thing is, though, where you grow up shapes you as a person. And since Buffalo is so radically different from NYC, I would probably be a very different person if I had grown up here. So it's important to me to make the distinction.

I mean, if you can go from one end of Brooklyn to the other and pass through dozens of different cultures and lifestyles, how could you lump in a city that is 400 miles away? It would be like comparing Savannah and Atlanta, Miami and Tallahassee, San Francisco and Los Angeles, or Tucson and Flagstaff. Not the same.

I like to think I'm a relatively intelligent person. Meaning I am aware of what state I grew up in. I am also intuitive enough to know that when someone mentions "New York" everyone will think of NYC unless they are actually FROM another part of the state.

To imply that being from Buffalo is the same as being from New York is insulting, at least to me. It ignores the characteristic differences between the two areas, and honestly, attempting to correct my answer is demeaning my intelligence. I heard your question. I know what you were really asking. And I answered accordingly.

This might be the kind of thing only I am sensitive to. And I know people aren't going to change. I spent five years in Georgia, and even when I explained Buffalo was nowhere near NYC people still assumed I was going to fit the stereotype of a "New Yorker." But it's something I still fight. I guess it comes with the territory when your home state and its biggest city share the same name.

P.S. Buffalo isn't Upstate either. It's actually Western NY.

I'm done ranting now.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Football Keeps Me Sane

According to CNN, football great/god Herschel Walker write a book revealing he suffers from Dissiciative Identity Disorder. This disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a condition where people display multiple identities or personalities, usually called "alters." Generally, when in one of these alters, the person won't remember anything about what they did. In Walker's case, he was prone to violent outbursts, at one time attacking and trying to choke his wife, not remembering it afterward.

DID is not what like how it is portrayed in movies. No nifty Primal Fear "third person" or narrator/Tyler Durden dichotomy. Sorry.

Walker claims that his DID didn't really surface until after he retired from football. When he was playing, in college and professionally, he had somewhere to channel his mind, something keeping him occupied. Once he retired, he no longer had that, and that is when his DID really took over.

No, people, claiming to have DID is not a cop-out to excuse violent behavior. It's a very serious mental condition. And mental conditions are as serious as physical ones, sometimes even more so. Walker would have nothing to gain by sharing this story if it wasn't true. Maybe my view on him is skewed (I did go to Georgia, after all), but he hasn't been seen as anything other than a great football player. He hasn't been caught up in some OJ-style crime where he needs this to defend himself. He wrote a book, shared his story, he wouldn't gain anything by lying.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fair Pay. Woo!

Blog for Fair Pay


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yes, Honey, Mommy is Having Water Balloons Put In Her Chest!

File this under "things I couldn't have made up if I wanted to." A Florida plastic surgeon wrote a children's book called My Beautiful Mommy, in which a woman explains to her daughter why she wants plastic surgery "to become even more beautiful than before."

The little girl in the story accompanies her mother on the consultation with her (muscular, hulking, superhero-esque) surgeon, Dr. Michael. Then Mommy explains that she has "extra skin" and it "won't fit into her clothes" and that she needs to have a smaller tummy to feel better. And of course, she comes home with just a few bandages and minimal bruising, and feels so much better about herself and the world is happy again. Gag, gag, an have I mentioned...gag?

Just to prove I am, in fact, NOT making this up:


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Feminism and the Clinton Campaign

New York Magazine has a great article this week about the effects of Clinton's campaign on modern feminism. It makes a lot of good points, the most notable of which is that, even if Clinton doesn't get the nomination and become the first woman president, she has started a national dialog and opened up a lot of people's eyes to how sexist our society really is.

Too many people thought that past waves of feminism had cured the U.S. of it's misogynistic ways, but they didn't realize that just because they didn't experience anything overt in their daily lives doesn't mean it isn't happening elsewhere. Besides, what they perceive as equal is still sexist because differences between genders are still noted. Women's successes and failures are still seen as successes or failures of their gender as opposed to the individual. Sexist and derogatory remarks are still made around the office, and covered up as "jokes." Women are still judged for their appearance hundreds of times more than men are. Pay is still unequal. Etc. I don't think I need to continue.


Feel Like Ripping Your Hair Out?

The Guardian posted the most hate-filled, bigoted, discriminatory, anti-fat drivel I have ever read. Apparently we're "wrong" and that "there's nothing remotely beautiful about eyeing up a bunch of heart attacks waiting to happen" (aimed at Dove's wonderful Campaign For Real Beauty). Unfortunately, commenting has closed for the post, or I'd recommend several thorough verbal floggings, but I thought everyone would like to be as nauseous as possible.

By the way, sorry it's been awhile since I posted. I guess I was just too fat and lazy to do anything. I must have been too busy laying on the couch eating McDonald's (because that's obviously how I spend my days).


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Start Smelling Like The Irish

For funsies. Oh, you have to scroll in about 40 seconds to get to the actual video.


Quickie: Truest Cartoon Ever


You Know What? You Can Keep Your Glaciers And Beautiful Scenery!

Ugh. Alaska just passed a bill reqiring parental consent for underage women to get an abortion. They had passed a similar bill way back in 1997, but after 10 years of legal battles it was ruled unconstitutional. Which it is.

OK, here's the deal. It would be wonderful if no teenage young woman ever needed an abortion. And if she did, it would be great if every young woman had the kind of family she could discuss this kind of thing with. But the sad fact of the matter is that there are many young women out there who CAN'T go to their parents about this sort of thing. For a multitude of reasons. In an extreme case, she could be a victim of incest and the father could be a member of her family. Her family could be abusive. Or it could be that her parents are crazy religious maniacs and would disown her, kick her out, or in some way severely punish her for a) having sex and thus getting pregnant and b) wanting an abortion. Teenage young women are much more responsible and perceptive than they are given credit for. In this situation, generally if they can talk to their parents they will. But if they choose not to talk to their parents there is usually a very good reason.

All these parental consent laws do is take young women who are already in a tough situation and make it worse. They also potentially put young women in danger. Think about it, if a family would harm a young woman for having an abortion, how will they react when she is visibly pregnant?

I guess you can't expect much from a red state.


Monday, April 7, 2008

A Stricter Standard For Women - Perish The Thought!

The New York Times website posted this article about weight bias. Basically, it says that women are scrutinized more harshly for weight and discriminated against at lower weights than men are. After weight gain, women receive more bias than men. Also, we receive it after a smaller gain (women only have to gain about 15 pounds to be discriminated against, men have to gain about 60).


Why do you think we have shows like King of Queens? Do you ever think we'd see a show with a heavy woman and a thin, attractive husband? Has there even BEEN an overweight female protagonist on TV since Roseanne?

I can tell this by living my life. I've been in the process of losing weight, and how I am treated is slightly better as I get smaller. Salespeople and waitstaff are nicer to me, people don't talk down to me as much, men look more, etc. I'm still considered "fat" but I'm smaller than I was and it's improved. It's really stupid, since I'm the same person I was 6 months ago, just with a little less meat.

Yes, this study is flawed. Self-report isn't the most reliable method of research. But I don't doubt the truth of the results. I've also seen this other study: this woman, who was thin to average, went into a store and looked around, and took note of how the salespeople treated her, how many greeted her, etc. She then went back to the same store a few minutes later wearing a fat suit and measured the same people and how they treated to her. It's probably no surprise that the same people were ruder to her and paid less attention when she was in the fat suit than when she was her thin self. At least after that was over she got to take off her suit and be treated nicely again. We don't all have that option. Fat suits are like blackface.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Medical Terms On A Medical Database...Shock!

POPLINE has reconsidered censoring searches.

Abortion has been re-instated as a searchable term.

I hope that other organizations learn that censoring something isn't going to make it go away.

The Dean of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health released this statement:

I was informed this morning that the word "abortion" was blocked as a search term in the POPLINE family planning database administered by the Bloomberg School’s Center for Communication Programs. POPLINE provides evidence-based information on reproductive health and family planning and is the world’s largest database on these issues.

USAID, which funds POPLINE, found two items in the database related to abortion that did not fit POPLINE criteria. The agency then made an inquiry to POPLINE administrators. Following this inquiry, the POPLINE administrators at the Center for Communication Programs made the decision to restrict abortion as a search term.

I could not disagree more strongly with this decision, and I have directed that the POPLINE administrators restore "abortion" as a search term immediately. I will also launch an inquiry to determine why this change occurred.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge and not its restriction.


Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH
Dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


You Weren't Mugged, You Just Gave Away Your Belongings

A little something to make you want to stab something/one:

A court in Nebraska has denied an appeal against a woman who contested a judge's move to ban the word "rape" from a rape trial.

The initial ban happened last year when Pamir Safi was on trial for raping Tory Bowen. The judge banned the use of the words "rape," "sexual assault," "victim," or "sexual assault kit." The only words allowed in describing the incident are "sex" and "intercourse."

The judge's reason? That "rape" is not legally neutral, where "sex" or "intercourse" are. So, if you are ever robbed, don't say "I was robbed" say "I gave my wallet to that man." If at a murder trial, only say "he died" not "he was shot in the forehead." Get the point?

Bowen (the victim) immediately refused to abide by the ban, saying "I refuse to call it sex, or any other word that I'm supposed to say, encouraged to say on the stand, because to me that's committing perjury. What happened to me was rape, it was not sex."

The initial trial resulted in a hung jury, and the second was declared a mistrial before it even started, under the guise that jurors would be biased because of media coverage. Which is a huge disappointment, because this woman deserves to see justice for what happened to her.

And Dahlia Lithwick of Slate couldn't have said it better when she said

The fact that judges are not rushing to ban similarly conclusory legal language from trial testimony—presumably one can still say murder or embezzlement on the stand—reflects not just the fraught nature of language but also the fraught nature of rape prosecutions. We as a society still somehow think rape is different—either because we assume the victims are especially fragile or because we assume they are particularly deceitful. Is the word rape truly more inflammatory to a jury than the word robbery?

The victim's father has been speaking out as well, reminding everyone that his daughter's First Amendment rights have been violated.

Rape isn't really about sex, anyway. It's about power, violence, coercion, and hatred. It is manifested though an act that is sexual, but the actual crime isn't about sex.


A Little Something I Just Noticed: File Under "Stupid" and "One of the Many Reasons I'm Glad To Have Left Georgia"

OK, everyone (both of you) know that commercial for the digital pregnancy test? The one that says "it's the most sophisticated piece of technology you will ever pee on." Well, I just realized something. Here in New York, the commercial plays in its entirety and as it was written. When I was living in Georgia, however, the commercial was censored. The voice-over says "the most sophisticated piece of technology you will ever - ahem, you know." But it still had the pee stream on the screen. Dumb.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Roses Are Red, Nintendo Wii's Are Blue?

Here's a little something I found on Feminist Gamers: Best Buy held an event on March 30 called Wii for Women during which they gave away spa certificates as prizes.

I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't need spa prizes and pretty little giveaways to go get a Wii. All I needed was a Target ad that said "we have Wiis in stock" to get me to the store.

Women play video games. We don't need pedicures and facials and pretty little things to get us there.


The Government Oversteps Its Boundaries...I Know, What A Shocker

POPLINE, a government reproductive health database/search engine, has censored the word "abortion." The search engine turned the word into a stop word. Stop words are words that are excluded in a search engine. Usually words like "and," "it," and "the" are excluded from searches because they would yield pretty much every website out there.

Want to hear something ironic? If you were trying to use the database to argue against abortion, it still wouldn't yield any results. So whoever it was who decided that we shouldn't be reading about the process didn't realize they were also taking away resources for the anti-choice side too.

1. Drop a quick comment on their webpage.

2. Call/E-mail the INFO Project P.I. and Project Director:

Professor Jane Bertrand, Principal Investigator
The INFO Project
(410) 659-6300

Earle Lawrence, Project Director
The INFO Project
(410) 659-6300

3. call the Hopkins/Bloomberg School of Public Health, Director of public affairs, Tim Parsons, at 410-955-7619 or email him at
Tell him that blocking abortion information through POPLINE constitutes political censorship, and is a stain on Johns Hopkins.

Really, this isn't about whether you think abortion is right or wrong. This is an insult to free speech, to net neutrality, and to education, as POPLINE is an educational database.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Hate Florida, And It's Not Just Because The Gators Suck

In an attempt thinly veiled as "safe health care," Florida legislature has voted to require a woman to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. This is terrible on so many levels.

Uno, this implies that women don't think about what pregnancy and abortion mean and that we need to have a medical test to teach us about our own bodies.

B, any responsible doctor or clinic will perform an ultrasound before an abortion for several (legitimate) reasons. They need to confirm that the woman is, in fact, pregnant and that her pregnancy is not ectopic (occurring outside the uterus). I know that at PP-NYC they will perform an ultrasound and if your pregnancy is ectopic they will escort you to the emergency room right away.

Three, we know their reasoning behind this isn't really promoting quality medical care, it's encouraging doctors to show women the ultrasound and point out the embryo in an appeal to them not to terminate. Which as we all know is a disgusting invasion of a woman's agency over her own body.

Oh, and apparently this bill also adds that causing a miscarriage through violence against a pregnant woman will result in a murder charge, no matter how far along the pregnancy is. It defines life as beginning at conception for criminal proceedings.

Now, if a woman is pregnant and you commit a violent act against her, yes, there is something wrong with you. But the crime is against the woman, and that is where we should focus our energy.

Defining life at conception is a serious attack on our right to make decisions over our own bodies. This is a step in a slippery slope toward completely taking away our freedom of choice. They have disguised it as only taking place during a violent act, but all this bill does is get it into the law that life is at conception, which means the anti-choice woman-hating right wing can point at that in the future and say "see, it says here life is at conception, so we should take away abortions!" They are sneaky and crafty like that.


Celebrity Moms and Body Image

Denise Richards told Shape magazine she will never talk about weight with her two young daughters. Fortunately for them, body is largely genetic, so they will probably never have weight problems. But I do hope she can stick to this as her daughters grow up, especially if either of them does end up gaining weight. I also hope other mothers out there follow this example and leave the body comments behind when they talk to their daughters. Plus, Richards has said she won't say "I look fat" in front of her girls because she doesn't want them to emulate any insecurities. Which is another thing all moms should think about. I am 24 years old and still when I hear my mom say she is fat I wonder what I am, being a few clothing sizes larger than her.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No Schwartzenegger Jokes, Please, Let's Be Adults

This is really interesting. There's an article on The Advocate about a transgendered man who is pregnant. He talks about how people act towards him, especially doctors who treated him differently or wouldn't treat him at all. His wife had a hysterectomy due to endometriosis many years ago so she couldn't carry a baby. Oh yeah, he became officially registered as male so he is legally married.

It's a really interesting article and apparently he is going to be on Oprah tomorrow. I hope she handles it well.


The "Things That Make Me Stabby" File Sure Is Thick Today

Apparently, marital rape is no reason for a restraining order. The court is saying Amy Castillo "continued to have sex with [her husband Mark]" even when she knew he was cuckoo and dangerous and that means she shouldn't get a restraining order against him.

Mark Castillo is the man that drowned his three children. Just FYI.

Shall we mention that she testified to the fact that she only continued sleeping with him so he wouldn't suspect anything was wrong? And that he had mentioned he knew the strongest way to hurt her would be to kill the kids and leave her alive so she would have to live with the loss? Does this not sound like a man scary enough that you would do whatever he asked so he wouldn't be suspicious?



File Under "Things That Make Me Stabby"

These places are sick and need to be stopped. If you ever find yourself in one of these places by accident GET OUT. Do not stop to explain yourself, don't attempt to argue with them, don't attempt to get them to tell you anything truthful. Just leave. Find your nearest Planned Parenthood or other legitimate clinic and get accurate information so you can make an informed decision. And be sure to mention the fake clinic to them, tell them its name, location, and what false information they fed you. This way the clinic workers can be prepared knowing that place is there (if they didn't already) and they can give you the correct versions of the lies you were told.

No, the legitimate clinic isn't going to try and convince you to have an abortion if you don't want one. That's another lie told by the anti-choicers to get you to avoid legitimate clinics. All the clinics will do is give you accurate information so you can make the decision that is right for you.


You Say I Only Hear What I Want To

I found this on Feministing (I know, shocker).

A video from the Feminist Majority Foundation basically using celebrities to promote the universality of feminism.

In case you didn't figure it out/have been under a rock since 1995, the title is a reference to the fact that Lisa Loeb is in the video and, well, I can't even hear her name or see her without "Stay" running through my head in its entirety. On a side note, I really wish I could find awesome cat-eye glasses.


WAM Recap, Or I Love Feminists, Journalism, And Structurally Unsound Convention Centers

Consider thyself forewarned, this is a ridiculously long post.

As I already mentioned, I spent this past weekend at the Women, Action, and the Media (WAM) conference in Boston. It was awesome. I promised a recap, so here it is.

Friday afternoon I arrived on a smelly bus from Port Authority (OK, it really wasn't that smelly, but you know me, I love my hyperbolic adjectives). It was a pretty uneventful trip, actually, and I got to add Connecticut to my list of states I've driven through but never actually visited. Woot. When I got to Boston, I checked into the hostel (not hotel, hostel, I'm cheap like that), stashed my bag (in a locker, so you know it must be a classy place), and maneuvered my way to Cambridge to check out the Stata Center at MIT. I got all checked in and had some time to kill before I had to meet up with the Duck Tour group (yeah, that's right, Duck Tour...apparently it's a WW2 vehicle and "Duck" represents some kind of Army-style acronym...crazy military and its acronyms) so I sat like a nerd and read through all of my WAM material and picked out the sessions I wanted to attend. I'm super cool like that.

I had signed up for a WAM buddy (meaning they pair you with someone so you don't have to attend everything alone), but she wasn't taking the tour, so I figured we'd meet later. But I ran into her in the bathroom before the tour. So random. She is really cool and we got along incredibly well. Hooray for new friends.

The tour was cool. Ducks travel on both land and water, which is fun. It was freezing though. On the tour I saw the first church in Boston to perform same-sex marriages. Among other sites.

Friday night was the keynote speech by none other than the fantastic Helen Thomas, who has been reporting on Washington through eight Presidents and is one of the few reporters today with the stones to ask really tough questions. In her introduction, Feministing's Ann Friedman referred to Thomas as "the patron saint of not shutting up" for her determination to ask the tough, important questions no one wants to be asked and not listening when told to be quiet or act like a lady.

By the way, I met her (Thomas I mean, not Friedman) and had a book signed. Squee.

That was basically it for Friday. There was a screening of the film Itty Bitty Titty Committee that I had planned to go to, but there was a huge line to meet Helen Thomas and she took priority. I can rent the movie, I can't rent the patron saint of not shutting up.

Saturday morning began the concurrent sessions. The first one I attended was "Networking for Newbies," which was interesting but not quite as informative as I had hoped. We talked about networking but I had hoped for more practice of skills.

We broke for lunch after session A, and I attended a lunch caucus on starting a feminist writing group. Apparently we're going to start a virtual one for the people who attended the caucus, since everyone was scattered all over the country. Hopefully that will work out and be worthwhile.

Still reading? Kudos.

The second session I went to was "Blogging 101" which was really informative and taught me some skills I have already applied here and some I plan to ASAP. Par example, I need to register this site with Technorati.

For the third session, I attended one about investigative journalism. I thought it was the most sensible option and would have the most relevance and aid to my impending career. To be honest, I don't feel like I actually learned anything from it. One of the panelists was friends with Daniel Pearl and is now teaching a multi-semester class at Georgetown dedicated to researching his murder. That was the most interesting part of the session. Which is unfortunate, because I passed on two other sessions at the same time that sounded a lot more fun to go to this one. Plus, this subject could have potentially been really helpful and informative. Now I know not to listen to my sensible side.

After that we broke for dinner then returned for a fun WAM party. We drank WAM-tinis and danced all night (or...until 11:00 when the DJ left). It was a great way to blow off steam and have a feminist-y good time. As I like to call it, "feminists gone wild." Most of the people there would probably hate me for calling it that.

Sunday morning brought more sessions. I first attended one about writing Op-Eds, which was really informative and I hope to put it to use. The people in charge have an organization dedicated to getting women published on Op-Ed pages across the country. I intend to use them ASAP.

The second session of the day (and last of the conference...sniff...) that I attended was about women and video games. I had intended to be sensible again and attend one about communicating with editors, but after the investigative journalism disappointment, I told my sensible side to shut up and went for funsies instead. I am so glad I did. This one was by far my favorite session. I learned a lot, including a new way to look at games and gaming culture, plus the session was just enjoyable and entertaining. It really played to my inner geek.

After the sessions were over there was a farewell lunch and everyone left. I had a few hours to kill before my bus back to New York (on which I had a pair of seats to myself - rock on!) so I checked out Newbury St. It was only a few blocks from the hostel and right around the corner from the subway station I needed.

Wow, did you really make it to the end?

By the way, Boston's trains are weird. They name each line by color and THEN letter. When I first looked at the map I was like "there's more than one B train, WTF is happening here" before I realized the crazy Bostonians had their own bizarre setup going on. When will other cities learn that they should emulate New York because it's clearly better than they are? haha.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

If Only.

*sigh* I am too gullible sometimes. I signed onto MySpace just now and one of the videos listed on the home page said "Legend of Zelda movie trailer." Which I of course watched. Then I Googled it and looked for it on IMDb. I've been Punk'd. It's a fake. Curse you and your ways, April Fool's Day!!!!

Anyhoo, here's the video I found on YouTube, which I watched after I realized the movie wasn't real:

Link's wig is incredibly bad and the fighting is unbelievably fake. Even if I had still thought this was a real movie this trailer would have taken care of that.

I would love to see a Legend of Zelda movie done in the epic, beautiful, outrageously expensive and worth every penny, shot in New Zealand because everywhere else is too ugly style of Peter Jackson. I mean Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson, not King Kong remake Peter Jackson. I don't know what he was smoking when he agreed to that monstrosity.

For now, this is the only Zelda I need in my life:

(I will resist posting any more pictures of my dog, I promise)