Friday, October 31, 2008

helping poor people is hilaaarious.



After wanting to crumple to the floor after reading racist comments about Obama on a conservative blog, this clip made me feel warm and fuzzy again.

(About the twatwaffle at 1:27...can't you just tell he's an asshole by the way he looks? I saw him and just KNEW. I know it's bad to judge people based on appearance, but he has perfected the art of expression.)

this is why I love cats.



They make absolutely NO sense.

{via the daily what}

all hallow's eve.



I guess by now it's officially Halloween. Got any good plans? I was thinking of just donning a mask like this, but I guess that's kinda lame. It makes for a good picture, though.

{via pamelaklaffke's etsy store}

Thursday, October 30, 2008

how can one dislike obama?

some things boggle the mind. But if you're undecided at all, watch these clips and your mind will be made!





Tuesday, October 28, 2008

portland, I love you.













I miss Portland. I know it's so far away, and it's probably awfully cold right now, but it's such a nice place with nice people.

Church & State (which I've written about before) is also nice and, wouldn't you know it, located in Portland. These images come from their Fall lookbook. Aren't they lovely?

{via unruly things and lots of other blogs}

altruism.

My friend's mom was feeling guilty about not having done any campaigning this year on Obama's behalf. When Kerry was running, she drove all the way to Ohio to help out and on election day, drove elderly voters to the polls. So what did she do this time, with the election only a week away?

Volunteered to let five politically-minded Obama-fanatic students from Columbia University crash at her house while they campaign in Virginia this weekend.

I love this woman.

cold-hearted snakes.

I know this has happened before, but seeing it with my own eyes is surreal.

Phony Virginia Flier Tells Dems To Vote November 5

A phony flier, purporting to be from the Virginia Board of Elections, is circulating in the African-American-heavy Hampton Roads region of the state, falsely informing people that, because of expected high turnout, Democrats should vote on November 5th.

The election is November 4th.

It reads:

Due to the larger than expected voter turnout in this years [sic] electoral
process, An [sic] emergency session of the General Assembly has adopted the
following emergency regulations to ease the load on local electorial [sic]
precincts and ensure a fair electorial [sic] process. All Democratic party
supporters and independent voters supporting Democratic candidates shall vote on November 5th as adopted by emergency regulation of the Virginia General Assembly. All Republican party supporters and independent voters supporting Republican candidates shall vote on November 4th as precribed [sic] by law.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but felt this was the
only way to ensure fairness to the complete electorial [sic] process.

WHAT THE FUCK.



ter·ror·ism (těr'ə-rĭz'əm) Pronunciation Key n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

Monday, October 27, 2008

left behind.



The title of this post is taken from a popular series of fear-mongering books about the Rapture. Kirk Cameron starred in the movie. One of my college roommates was reading the series. Somehow, somewhere, people enjoy these books, which include such plot devices as an activist group battling the literal Antichrist.

The idea that all devout Christians will be taken from earth to be with Jesus and all us sinners left behind sounds positively lovely to me, actually. But what I find more apparent is that it's the conservative Christians who are being left behind. Culturally, technologically, and politically. I was thinking about this point while listening to "Two Weeks" by Grizzly Bear, one of my favorite songs ever. You can tell it's going to be epic by the beginning few notes. They performed it on Letterman and, though live, it sounds phenomenal. Aside from the clapping at the beginning, nobody would be able to tell it was live simply by listening to the mp3. Observe:


The reason I bring this up is that most of the members of Grizzly Bear are gay. They write songs about gay lovers, they use "his" and "he" in love songs rather than "her" and "she". They're also one of the most critically acclaimed bands on the indie scene, where nobody bats an eye about their sexuality. It's hard to imagine a conservative Christian enjoying their music as intensely while believing that these men are engaging in "vile" acts by "choice". In fact, most members of indie bands are outspoken liberals. The Knife and Metric sing about leftism; Regina Spektor and all members of the Arcade Fire are registered Democrats. I googled "liberal indie bands" for reference, and I came upon an NPR poll from February of this year wondering if all indie bands were this way.

Writer Bob Boilen says, "I don't think I've met a young, creative musician who was not politically left of center. " And the comments reflect a similar mentality. Boilen wonders why this is, and commenter EP says,

"It's hard for me to conjure up a lot of canonized 20th C., non-classical musicians who were raised in environments that would foster what is (currently) considered conservatism. Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Woody Guthrie, Charlie Patton, etc... The processes of censorship, Social Darwinism, and (in Freudian terms) sublimation that neo-conservatism has aligned itself with ignores the causes of poverty, sexual/drug abuse, and social injustices (see Bush's proposed budget for 2008). And it just so happens that a great number of popular musicians dealt with these issues before they even picked up an instrument."
Another interesting comment comes from Jesse M., who I can certainly relate with:
"While I certainly fit your theory as a left-wing lover of DeVotchKa and Delgados, my friends who lean more towards the punk lean more towards the republican and libertarian. My new favorite band, Black Jake & The Carnies (americana with a hint of punk) are staunch supporters of Ron Paul."
I know a lot of liberal guys who like punk (Black Flag, the Sex Pistols, the Dropkick Murpheys), but a few conservative/libertarian ones, too. I don't know a single indie rock lover who is also an admitted conservative.

This quote from John McAteer is definitely true:

"If you just look at indie rock fans and their political leanings, it will seem like there is a connection between good music and left leaning politics. But if you look at left leaning people as a whole and see what they listen to, you'll be surprised at how much crappy music pops up. Arcade Fire fans are most likely left leaning, but are they more left than Dave Matthews Band fans?"
I can't imagine it's a welcoming scene for Republicans to enter. With websites like Barack Rock!, where indie musicians donate music and design in an effort to elect Obama, and music projects like Rock Against Bush (which included CD compilations and live shows), I can understand their trepidation. But I also think that a lot of the music these days, whether it is in protest to our current president or about things like gay rights, is a bit uncomfortable for them to listen to.

I find it funny that McCain's campaign used songs by Heart and the Foo Fighters, only to have these artists harshly criticize and distance themselves from the Republican party. Sure, the McCain camp had the legal rights to use these songs, but why not pick a musician who shares their stances? I think it's because, beyond Ted Nugent, the fellowship of conservative musicians is largely a pop-country-music-oriented scene. This doesn't help when McCain is trying to appeal to the youth or middle America, who find current country music as unpalatable as the rest of us. I'm not talking about Johnny Cash or Dolly Parton, two country musicians with much more progressive views and enjoyable music. I'm talking about Toby Keith, who wrote a song about 9/11 with the lyrics, "We'll put a boot in your ass the American way". Blegh.

Beyond music, I can't imagine what it must be like to be a Republican trying to enjoy culture. Even Homer Simpson voted for Obama (you could argue that he is a stupid character, but Matt Groening is an admitted huge liberal). Jon Stewart and Colbert have done a brilliant job in skewering the McCain campaign. Tina Fey, everyone's favorite female comedian these days, has said that she plans on "leaving Earth" if the McCain/Palin ticket wins. Ellen Degeneres, everyone's second favorite lesbian these days (Rachel Maddow has trumped her!), has been very vocal about her opposition to Sarah Palin and Proposition 8, which would make gay marriage in California illegal. Even the Wassup? guys have made an Obama commercial.

Where is the conservative humor or mainstream solidarity? The only funny conservative endorsement I can recall is when Chuck Norris stated his love for Mike Huckabee. Other than that, can you think of any?

On a broader scale, their views are contrarian to current scientific thought, such as evolution and sex education. In a brilliant New Yorker piece, Margaret Talbot tells us that:

-The vast majority of white evangelical adolescents—seventy-four per cent—say that they believe in abstaining from sex before marriage.

-But, according to Add Health data, evangelical teen-agers are more sexually active than Mormons, mainline Protestants, and Jews.

-Furthermore, evangelical Protestant teen-agers are significantly less likely than other groups to use contraception.

-More than half of those who take such [abstinence] pledges—which, unlike abstinence-only classes in public schools, are explicitly Christian—end up having sex before marriage, and not usually with their future spouse.

-According to the sociologists Peter Bearman, of Columbia University, and Hannah Brückner, of Yale, communities with high rates of pledging also have high rates of S.T.D.s.

A national study shows that abstinence-only sex education is ineffective. On the topic of abortion, even The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Nurses Association, and the American Medical Women's Association say that partial-birth abortion (a misnomer for intact dilation and extraction) is at times medically necessary.

Where do they turn? Though I don't think there is a "liberal media" out there, plain old facts just seem to add up against conservative beliefs. This explains why they go to these beacons of conservatism, like Fox News, for the information they want to hear: because they can't get it elsewhere.

A part of me feels bad about this fact, that American conservatives are an increasingly marginal voice in mainstream American media, but mostly, I just want them to get with the program. Especially Kirk Cameron.

Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks

my favorites.



These two songs are almost painfully beautiful.

bitone - all is full of love (bjork cover)


ivana xl - risa


{image via nerijuskio's also-beautiful photostream}

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the ring.



I love this.

{7 stack loose ring set, iosselliani, $400 at refinery29}

This is how I feel.

How I feel, but not how this next week and a half will be.

Larry David: Waiting for November 4 (from the Huffington Post)

I can't take much more of this. Two weeks to go, and I'm at the end of my rope. I can't work. I can eat, but mostly standing up. I'm anxious all the time and taking it out on my ex-wife, which, ironically, I'm finding enjoyable. This is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Actually, it's worse. Biopsies only take a few days, maybe a week at the most, and if the biopsy comes back positive, there's still a potential cure. With this, there's no cure. The result is final. Like death.

Five times a day I'll still say to someone, "I don't know what I'm going to do if McCain wins." Of course, the reality is I'm probably not going to do anything. What can I do? I'm not going to kill myself. If I didn't kill myself when I became impotent for two months in 1979, I'm certainly not going to do it if McCain and Palin are elected, even if it's by nefarious means. If Obama loses, it would be easier to live with it if it's due to racism rather than if it's stolen. If it's racism, I can say, "Okay, we lost, but at least it's a democracy. Sure, it's a democracy inhabited by a majority of disgusting, reprehensible turds, but at least it's a democracy." If he loses because it's stolen, that will be much worse. Call me crazy, but I'd rather live in a democratic racist country than a non-democratic non-racist one. (It's not exactly a Hobson's choice, but it's close, and I think Hobson would compliment me on how close I've actually come to giving him no choice. He'd love that!)

The one concession I've made to maintain some form of sanity is that I've taken to censoring my news, just like the old Soviet Union. The citizenry (me) only gets to read and listen to what I deem appropriate for its health and well-being. Sure, there are times when the system breaks down. Michele Bachmann got through my radar this week, right before bedtime. That's not supposed to happen. That was a lapse in security, and I've had to make some adjustments. The debates were particularly challenging for me to monitor. First I tried running in and out of the room so I would only hear my guy. This worked until I knocked over a tray of hors d'oeuvres. "Sit down or get out!" my host demanded. "Okay," I said, and took a seat, but I was more fidgety than a ten-year-old at temple. I just couldn't watch without saying anything, and my running commentary, which mostly consisted of "Shut up, you prick!" or "You're a fucking liar!!!" or "Go to hell, you cocksucker!" was way too distracting for the attendees, and finally I was asked to leave.

Assuming November 4th ever comes, my big decision won't be where I'll be watching the returns, but if I'll be watching. I believe I have big jinx potential and may have actually cost the Dems the last two elections. I know I've jinxed sporting events. When my teams are losing and I want them to make a comeback, all I have to do is leave the room. Works every time. So if I do watch, I'll do it alone. I can't subject other people to me in my current condition. I just don't like what I've turned into -- and frankly I wasn't that crazy about me even before the turn. This election is having the same effect on me as marijuana. All of my worst qualities have been exacerbated. I'm paranoid, obsessive, nervous, and totally mental. It's one long, intense, bad trip. I need to come down. Soon.

barf.



OH NO SHE DID NOT. Elisabeth Hasselbeck is so annoyingly stupid. I love that in the first twenty seconds, she brings up Equal Pay for Equal Work -- which McCain voted against.

And the best part, if you can bear it, is when Elisabeth says, in reference to the $150,000 Sarah Palin wardrobe fiasco, that "All the media wants to talk about is her clothing! It's sexist! Women should be judged by their actions, not their OUTFITS!" and then five seconds later, admits, "But Sarah Palin SURE knows how to dress!"

Pot? Kettle. Vomit.

I've got a birthday coming up...







I've put myself on a spending freeze. Yep, I'm using a hatchet, not a scalpel. I sure love this dress though.

{avant-garde dress, california select ebay store, currently at $26}

Friday, October 24, 2008

I want these forever.



{photo via bloomacious.}

did anyone ever tell you you have no imagination at all?



How do we feel about this one?

(What I want to know is: Does she understand how mirrors operate? Why didn't she go for the fail-proof, more ubiquitous "O"? And how might I fake that scratch for Halloween?)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

loverly.









These prints from abby try again are fantastic.

{via unruly things.}

O.M.G.



I met Inigo Montoya (from the Princess Bride) while volunteering for Obama this afternoon! He's a huuuuuge liberal.

no choice in the free market.



If you read Jezebel/read the news/know anything about women's rights, you're probably aware that a pro-life pharmacy just opened in Chantilly, VA. I actually live twenty minutes away from it and reading about how pissed everyone is, I was dying to go down and do something. But then I thought to myself, "What good would it do?"

As much as I HATE refusal clauses (or "conscience clauses" if you're using anti-choice/pro-life rhetoric. These are what allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control. They use the guise of religious freedom as their foundation, that everyone has the right to follow their religion and more importantly, that employers can't discriminate based on religion.), I wonder if our legal system is so backwards that this kind of misogyny is legally permissable. A pharmacy is, I guess, a business like any other, one that is free to operate by its own rules. But when those rules interfere with half of the U.S. population, allow one's beliefs to get in the way of their job responsibilities and violate the idea of patient-doctor privacy, I think that's problematic. I used this example in the past, but is a butcher allowed to hire a devout Jew who refuses to handle or sell pork?

Closer to the point, when does religious freedom in the pharmeceutical industry reach a limit? Are Scientologists allowed to work at pharmacies and refuse to dispense anti-depressants? Are Christian Scientists allowed to work at pharmacies and refuse to dispense ANY medication? The point is, why become a pharmacist if you have a problem with the job duties?

Another point that makes me livid is the fact that, to my knowledge (and I've researched this!), birth control only prevents ovulation and, to a lesser extent, fertilization. I almost hate to get into the specifics of this because I frankly do not give a damn if an egg has been fertilized or not. I believe women should have bodily autonomy whether she's a virgin or 18-weeks pregnant. Obviously I want to reduce the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies, and it'd be great if we could make adoption a more viable option, but I think women have the right to decide their own fates.

But back to the original statement. Birth control does not affect an already-fertilized egg. Once conceived, that egg/BABY PERSON IF YOU'RE CRAZY is free to do what it wants. All birth control pills do is prevent a women from ovulating and thicken their cervical mucus to prevent sperm from meeting egg. Sure, lots of crazies think that ANY contraceptive method is bad, but when you're arguing about abortion, people center on the "conception" issue. And, I repeat, birth control does not affect an already-conceived zygote. So if you think birth control is any way commensurate with abortion, so are condoms. And masturbation. And monthly PERIODS, for god's sake. This makes no fucking sense.

And forget the idea that, with better access to birth control, we could prevent many of the abortions women seek. Let's consider the fact that before they ever have sex, many women have to go on birth control for other reasons. Endometriosis is one. Dysmenorrhea is another. When I don't take birth control regularly, I have excruciating periods that leave me sobbing on the bathroom floor. Regardless of pregnancy prevention, many CELIBATE girls take birth control pills as a hormone therapy. And there is NOTHING ELSE they can take.

We could presume that maybe, just maybe, this pharmacy would be okay with stocking birth control for these types of girls as long as their doctors sent along a note saying, "Don't worry! Little Sally isn't having sex, she has ENDOMETRIOSIS!!!" But this is ridiculous. These pharmacists would probably accuse women of lying to their doctors en masse, because a key tenet to the pro-life argument is that women are conniving and evil.

So I think it goes without saying that I think their pharmacy model is vile. The fuckers also don't stock candy. I wonder if they dispense Viagra? But I just don't know how to constructively, peacefully protest. And actually, maybe it's better that all these anti-contraception pharmacists concentrate in one place. This way, we can safely know that when we go to CVS/Target/wherever, we won't run into a crazy who refuses to fill our prescription.

The free market argument for these pharmacies is that, well, the market will sort this out. In 2002, 41% of U.S. women used some form of birth control. That's a pretty big market segment. Most of these women are going to feel pretty offended and inconvenienced by the fact that they have to go to a different pharmacy to pick up their birth control. If women don't shop at this pharmacy, their profits will suffer, and they will ideally go out of business.

The problem is this: while Chantilly is, like most of America, a mecca for pharmacies, other places in America aren't. When I was in South Carolina, I was at a traffic light where, on three corners, there was a mega-pharmacy chain. Rite Aid on my left, Walgreens to my right, CVS straight ahead. For an area like Chantilly, it's fine that there's a pro-life pharmacy in the running, because there are a bazillion others with less overt political messages.

But what about middle America, where there's only one pharmacy per 80 miles? What if the closest pharmacy is a pro-life one? And what about when these pharmacists, as they have in the past, refuse to redirect you to another pharmacy? Or worse, what if they TAKE your prescription from you and refuse to give it back?

So I hate this place, though I do respect the freedom for religion and all that. I just wonder, when does religious freedom in medical affairs reach a limit? Will I one day be able to book and pay for an appointment with a doctor who, after receiving my money, says, "Oh, sorry. It's against my religion to touch women."

But how do I do anything, besides lobbying? People on Jezebel suggested filling a grocery basket with items, then casually asking the cashier how to transfer your birth control prescription. When the clerk says "Oh, we don't stock that", you say, "Oh, well, bye then!" and leave the bloated cart on the counter. The idea is that they see how much potential business they're losing.

But will that do any good? I like to start arguments, but that's not constructive. I'd love to protest outside the store, to make sure they have to post big signs that display their No-BC policy, but I don't want to waste my time. I guess this is why so many people are apathetic.

I hate cheeky message tees...



Unless it's quite likely the wearer doesn't know what it says (this web shop is based out of Sweden). Is that condescending?

oh my god. Seriously?





{via Jezebel}

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

you're so beautiful, i can't take these sorry eyes off of you.



Have you ever had someone get upset about something legitimately awful and, even though all you want to do is say something to make them feel better, there's nothing to say? This song is kind of like that.

ivana xl - risa

plastic animals.


I think I'm going to start a collection of deer figurines. I've always loved them. I guess that fact reminded me of this photoset by Elizabeth Soule, which is old as dirt on the blogosphere but still lovely just the same. Good thing, too, because the print above is my first collection piece!

See the full collection here. She has an etsy shop, too!





















remember when SNL was edgy?



I loved Amy Poehler's rap from last week's SNL, but when did the show become so TAME? Can you imagine this sketch running today?

(Um, I'm sorry, but I adore the word "whitey". It's so silly! I used it in front of my family once and they looked at me like I had just pooped on the floor.)

decision 08.

No, not the presidential election, MY HAIR. So, hey, I got my hair cut. See below (I also forgot how to operate a camera, apparently).





Now, the question. I've been itching to put some color in it, and I want it to be kind of "edgy", which is exactly the phrase an uncool middle-aged woman would use in a lame attempt to be hip (Wendy Pepper comes to mind). I'm thinking about darkening it a touch and putting in a panel of bleach blonde underneath on one side so it peeks out just so. Unfortunately, I googled and googled the appropriate terms (hair paneling, hair shading, fashion color), to no avail. In FACT, the only way to find pictures of said hair color is to google "scene hair" or "emo hair color", which leads me to wonder: is this too juvenile? Am I going to look back one day and mark it in my "bad idea" book, along with getting a perm and my eyebrow pierced? Your thoughts?

Here's what I had in mind, minus the sad eyes and super-razor-rawk haircut:

big girl fashion, part two.



Remember when I said I was kind of scared to start my professional wardrobe? Well, I don't know if I voiced that, but I was petrified. A few years ago, the thought of ever donning a suit made me nauseous. I just didn't want to look BORING! I also didn't want to "sell out" to "the man". But since finding out that you can be both professional AND stylish? Um, I'm kind of obsessed.

For example, for the past few days I've been wearing some combination of white silk blouse + black skirt + black tights. See photographic evidence, above.

When shopping for business attire, I think the goal is to look like a French girl on The Sartorialist rather than frumpy, conservative or old. Any combination of black and white with a splash of color (to keep it from looking waitressy or costumey) is a safe bet. For example, this outfit from Anthropologie is perfect:



Also, the outfit on the left in this picture, also from Anthropologie, is very stylish-French-girl. The one on the right, however, is borderline frump.



Finally, avoid THIS look at all costs. A POCKET SQUARE for a graphic designer?! Joe, what.were.you.THINKING.



THIS is more like it:



Hopefully this illustrated guide to professional fashion has helped some of you with similar fears of looking like a "Designing Women" reject. Trust me, I feel you.

(Maybe this is pompous of me to say, but I feel like, if I lost 30 pounds to become truly skeletor, made up a bunch of zany catchphrases and wore oodles of fur, I could BE Rachel Zoe. Is that blasphemous?)

the ubiquitous fall '08 outfit.







1. black leather moto jacket (or something equally stylish).

2. black tights.

3. black lace-ups.

4. plaid button down.

Am I forgetting anything?

{pictures via elenita, chictopia, and um...mabez facehunter?}