Saturday, January 22, 2005


Is not a romance movie. It's not a movie about people falling in love. It's not, in fact, about real people.

Cardboard Heroine: There's danger here! I'm so confused! Do I want to run away with my rebel-leader husband, or the drunk non-communitive ex-lover of mine who's treated me like shit from the moment I walked in the door?

Drunk Bar Owner: Obviously, I'm in love with this woman. She's so hot. Obviously. Love=hotness. Yes, I realize there are other Hot Women around who pine after me, but this one puts up with me treating her like shit, and that's pretty tough to find.

I mean, c'mon, what the hell do these two people find attractive about each other? Does she juggle? Does he read Kant? What, exactly, do these two people talk about when he's not going, "You bitch!" and she's not going, "I'm so confused! Think for me!"

I mean, don't get me wrong, it's got great dialogue, the dueling national anthems are great, I love the war theme. But is this what love is? Is this all we get as a template?

Sweet fuck, no wonder more than half the people who get married get divorced. I would too, when I found out my partner wasn't "a feeling in Paris" and really was a drunk, non-communitive bar owner.

As Someone Who Absolutely Loathes..

For those in SF circles, you may be aware of the Trent/gabe & friends circle jerk (no, I won't link to him. Matt does. See link to Matt below). I guess I should just be gleeful this time around because he addressed the reader as "you" and reserved "him" for describing any character you might want to write, like a pedophile, who's of course a default he. All he's saying this time around is that you should "force genetic rules" on a character to make them - I mean, him, this is Trentland, after all - more interesting and "truer."

Trent insists that people are boring and consistent and undergo no change whatsoever, or that they follow these "rules" that you can chart like math, so your characters should be boring and totally predictable, too, just like physics.

I'm sorry, what was that about physics? Theories, not facts? Oh nevermind. I mean, that's all psychologists, you know, those people who study people, really do with their time. They make these complex math formulas that tell you that if Sara had a coke at 3pm and Shawna kicked a ball close to her at 4pm, then Sara would "turn into" a lesbian and lose all her money betting on horses when she turned 40, and marry a gay guy named Enrique at 60 who made model airplanes.

Sweet fuck, if people were boring, I would have no friends.

Anyway, people should be just like math problems. Which is why that Golden Age SF stuff had such incredibly fascinating, riveting, characters. Trent has once again stepped down from the mount to exposit to all us "newbies," "wannabes" and "maybes" about how we're supposed to be writing, what we're supposed to be writing, and etc.

I think he mainly writes these things cause he's not spending enough time writing his own damn fiction.

But I don't have to even address this flailer, because Matt Cheney already has.

Bless you, Matt.

Shit, What Did You Expect?

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) is readying a new budget that would carve savings from Medicaid and other benefit programs, congressional aides and lobbyists say, but it is unclear if he will be able to push the plan through the Republican-run Congress.

Where else was the money supposed to come from? No more SS, no more medicare. We have a deep, abiding interest in *life* after all.

Want to know who the 50 most loathsome people in America are? Here's a list (no, not PC, sometimes funny):

50. Ann Coulter

Crimes: Coulter plummets down the list as she slips into irrelevance. As her columns degenerate further into absurd, incoherent attacks against her own personal paranoid fantasy of fanged, drooling, Saddam-loving liberals who hate America and childish France-bashing, we find our outrage slowly giving way to a baffled “I can’t believe I used to go out with you” feeling. Her arguments are ridiculous, her vitriol forced, her hatchet face even harder to look at. Still, she insulted a one-armed war veteran, called reports of the hundreds of tons of missing munitions in Iraq false, claimed Wesley Clark was pro-infanticide, and blamed Abu Ghraib on the presence of women in the armed forces—they’re not all like you, Ann—and on and on. It’s just not worth debunking someone who has no credibility in the first place.

41. Everyone who got together to watch the final episode of “Friends”

Crimes: Allowing a trivial sitcom about living in New York, made for people who’ve never been anywhere near New York, to become a focal point in their shallow, meaningless lives. Watching TV together is not a bonding experience; it is a distancing experience, a way in which people can cohabit a room without actually having to engage each other or connect personally. Whoever’s ultimately responsible for the “watch ‘Friends’ or the terrorists win” meme should have a special room reserved for him in the bad section of hell.

28. Ben Affleck

Crimes: His uncanny ability to produce an unending stream of shitty movies and still get work rivals that of even Kevin Costner. Has coasted for years on a reputation built largely on a former association with Matt Damon, but has done nothing to justify his star status aside from boning Jennifer Lopez. Gigli was the cinematic equivalent of the Madrid bombings.

3. You (me)

Crimes: You gaze idly at the carnage around you, sigh, and go calmly back to your coffee and your People magazine. You can’t stop buying useless crap, though you’re drowning in a deepening pool of debt. You think you’re an activist because you bitch all day on the internet, but you reelect the same gangsters at a 99% rate. You consider yourself informed because you waste a significant portion of your life watching the same three news stories cycle over and over again on your gargantuan, aerodynamic television set while you eat processed food. You really thought everything would be okay if Kerry won. Not only do you believe in an invisible man who magically farted out the universe, you also excoriate and marginalize those who disagree. You have a poorer understanding of your country’s foreign policy history than a third world peasant, but you can’t wait to see what Julia Roberts will be wearing at the Oscars. You cheer as Ukrainians challenge an election based on exit poll data, but keep waiting around for someone else to fix your problems. You can’t think, you can’t organize and you won’t act. This is all your fault.

What, you think I can argue with that?


Dude. 6 or 7 inches? Actually, over a foot, and still falling.

Jenn has pictures. I'll try and steal them.

Guess who's getting up early tomorrow?

EDIT: for those reading this post before the one below, Julian reminds me to remind those of you heading out to parties tonight that I'm talking about -- the SNOW. I am talking about the SNOW. Pictures of THE SNOW.


Digging Out

Waded up and out to class today, then dropped by Old Navy to buy a new pair of khaki pants.

Unfortunatley, the one pair I liked and wanted they didn't have in my size. Or, rather, they had it in my size, and it didn't fit, so I got the next size up, and *that* didn't fit, and the wash of failure and oh-dear-god-I'm-going-insane-I'm-working-so-hard-and-I'm-the-size-of-a-house feeling overcame me. I then realized they were an "ultra low-rise" cut, which means you *have* to buy them a size or two bigger than you usually wear.

Trying on regular cuts, I fit in them fine.

Panic averted.

Oh, to be white and middle class, with a cozy job with government ties and an apartment with hardwood floors and central heating! Oh, to be one of the few who can waste enormous amounts of mental energy angsting about whether or not she can fit into manufactured clothing sizes! To be so lucky!

Yes. I'm aware of the sheer idiocy of this. Now... to make myself stop.

In fact, the best way to make myself stop was to go upstairs and shop in the boys' section. The coats all fit better (broader shoulders, and the pants are longer - for some reason they don't sell women's khaki pants in a "long" cut).

I was wearing a bulky black peacoat of the Chicago variety, and had my hair tucked up under a navy green newsboy cap, and I was wearing the boots I've got that put me at about 6 feet tall, and I breezed past one of the saleclerks trying to sell Old Navy cards. I had just come from class, so I had that boxer's walk (read: very masculine walk), and she says behind me, "Sir? Sir...? Uh... Ma'am?"

I turned. She apologized profusely.

I, however, thought being mistaken for a boy was supremely funny, and told her it was no big deal, and no, I already have an Old Navy card.

I admit that much of my anger about the "girls vs. boys" generalizations as far as height, weight, and strength are concerned comes from the fact that I'm not and have never been very small. Not in height or weight or the breadth of my shoulders. So when I look at guys on the train, and I'm being honest with myself, I'll think, "You know, there's not much of a difference."

This is, of course, because I'm as tall as, or taller than, half the men in the country (the average guy is 5'9), and outweigh him by ten pounds or so (average guy is 180-90). So, in my universe, when I have my confidence back and look around, what I'm seeing are a lot of people who don't look all that differently, and whose differences have more to do with everybody trying to wear what they think they're supposed to wear and eat as much as they think they're supposed to eat, and pretend they're bigger or smaller or whatever.

When I was in Denver, I caught an interview with Taye Diggs on the Chris Rock show. If you know Taye Diggs, you'll know that he's absolutely beautiful. The guy smiles and the whole goddamn room lights up. Rock was harrassing him about being so pretty, and how women must go nuts over him, and Diggs said,

"You know the first thing women say when they meet me in person? -- `Damn, you're short!'"

For the record, he's about 5'10.

Funny, how we all get our little complexes based on what we're supposed to be like. Women always worrying about being too big, men worrying about being too small.

Kind of stupid, isn't it?

If the coats fit better in the guy's section, maybe it's not me that's fucked up, maybe it's the clothes.

Anyhow, it's a mess out here in Chicago, and I've got to go dig out my roommate's car from about six or seven inches of snow... and counting. For the record, it's not that she couldn't do this: it's just that if I do it, it won't take as long.

Gosh, you'd think that without a boy in the house, we'd be housebound, huh?

Bah. It's funny, how in real life, nobody bats an eyelash, but talk about being strong and capable and smart outside a "real life" setting: in cyberspace, in a classroom, anywhere in academia, and people freak out. They forget to remember all the people they actually hang out with, the ones who get up every morning and live their lives. If you don't get up and live, you'll die a lot sooner.

It doesn't behoove Natural Selection to select for dumb-and-weak-without-the-Y.

But I think this is one of those days when I'm preaching to the choir.

I'm off...