Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Slow couple of weeks at Bald Marys

I know I've been neglecting my blog lately. Apologies all around to the tens of people who visit me:) I woke up this morning, positively spritely despite going to bed at 3:00 a:m last night. But it's right around noon, and my head is droopy. I was at the office kitchen and while on que for the microwave, I was forced to listen to a discussion about food, and eating out, and spending too much money on restaurants for an entire 7 minutes. This one girl said most vegetarian foods were "too ethnic" for her, so she liked this one other restaurant that has "American" vegetarian dishes. Lentil meatloaf. Rolling my eyes in contempt, I stuck in my ethnic food and breathed a sigh of relief when they at last left my universe.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Overheard in Tyra: Part II

Boyfriend of Slightly Chubby Girl (SCG): Well, like, she thinks there's an emotional attachment to the physical.
Tyra (to SCG): What do you think?
SCG: Well...
Tyra: Because lemme tell you something. I had a good friend years ago, with your same problem. That's why I wanted you on the show. She was madly in love with this man, and she wanted to please him. But she couldn't. Sexually. You can't make someone fall in love with you, girl.
SCG: Like..honestly? I had never thought of it that way. Like until right now.

Overheard in Tyra

Tyra: If you could choose between sex and utter happiness, which one would you choose?
Slightly chubby Girl (SCG) : I would like choose utter happiness...in like a second. A second. If I could have a great relationship with lots of sex, that's exactly what I would want.

*Pregnant Pause*

Tyra (turning to the psychiatrist lady): Well doctor, it looks like she is in touch with her problem a little.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Overheard in DC

Girl #1: I totally hate books like that, but like..
Girl #2: Oh I know, I’m totally just reading it ‘cuz my roommate’s making me.
Girl #1: but like, no..sometimes you got to read something not deep, you know?
Girl #2: Oh I know, that’s why I am reading it.

---Metro Red Line to Shady Grove

Friday, January 13, 2006

Who wants my Reuben Burger?

There was this lady at the cafeteria downstairs that got the wrong lunch from the grill chef yesterday. She meant to get a salad, but instead ordered this big fat reuben burger with these fat, oily golden french fries. Apologies were exchanged, and the mistake rectified. Except, she didn't wanna just throw away this perfectly good burger. So she spent the next fifteen minutes asking the other customers if they wanted her lunch, "because wouldn't it be a shame if it was just thrown away."

Nobody wanted her lunch. It was thrown away. Lord knows why, but she annoyed the crap out of me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Moonless Night

I procrastinate.


This post that I am typing that you are reading should be words on my essays for fellowship applications, or emails to people asking their help to get me a cool job. I even cleaned my room. Sort of. I picked up all the clothes off of my floor and categorized them into a). clean b). not clean c). not clean, but not beloved enough to clean. So my room is a little less shameless. Yay me!, I say.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Shake and Wiggle to a Hip Hop Song

Awesome little blurb from the AV Club...part of their "The Best of the Worst" Feature.

LFO's "Summer Girls"
Joyless curmudgeons might hate it because: It's a gleefully inane 1999 pop song built around a wussy Extreme sample ("More Than Words") and features nonsensical free associative lyrics rapped by a bland white hunk who both looks like an Abercrombie & Fitch model and name-drops "Abercrombie & Fitch."

But we love them because: "Summer Girls" is a miraculous instance of all the wrong elements inexplicably combining to form the perfect pop single. Besides, there's something strangely hypnotic about the sheer randomness of MC Rich Cronin's stream-of-consciousness lyrics about his digestive system (Chinese food makes him sick), boy-band predecessors (he notes indifferently that New Kids On The Block had a bunch of hits), and sociology (he mistily observes that his summer love comes "from Georgia where the peaches grow/they drink lemonade and speak real slow").

At least we could claim: That Cronin is an avant-garde wordsmith obliquely lampooning the plastic emptiness of contemporary popular culture and the vapidity of song lyrics. Or not.

Friday, January 06, 2006

What does Bill O'Reilly and the Bald Mary Have in Common?

I'd like to begin by calling Bill O'Reilly a huge fool.

Having said that, it turns out that O'Reilly and I independently observed the same cultural phenomena and kind of..., sort of..it's hha..hard for me to say this…*some water please* agree.

I went to this poetry reading in 2005, and the host wished us a hearty "Merry X'mas!" before laughing and saying, "oh wait, sorry..I mean Happy Holidays!" I laughed, everyone did. It snuck up on me. This new rule. And it helped me put my finger on exactly what has been irritating me this season with the santa and elf symbolism plastered all over the place. Along with being a wonderfully effective marketing conduit, Santa also works to dilute the religiousity inherent in Christmas. Christmas is about family, santa, gifts, lights, trees, red and green. Which is all good and fine, but what happened to Jesus, and Mother Mary and the manger with the three wise men? Isn't there something insincere about bleaching out Christianity from Christmas in the name of inclusion, and then going ahead and making it this huge national holiday that effects everyone regardless of whether you celebrate it or not? Or is it because it makes people uncomfortable to talk about Jesus on Christmas? Are these people aware that we are celebrating his birthday and not some guy climbing down our chimney?

It also serves as a classic example of how uneasy America continues to be about cultural and religious diversity. It continues to operate on an old model that calls for mixing everything together, so that whatever comes out is cute and acceptable and everyone can claim as their own since it belongs to no one. Diversity can be upsetting, it can feel intrusive and can make you feel excluded. But that doesn't mean it's a bad thing, or that you can't learn from it. God forbid we have the same level of enthusiasm and pride for Ramzan Id or Diwali or Kwanzaa, those are ethnic holidays, celebrated by ethnic people. For all of its rich cultural diversity, America still hasn't quite gotten the hang of celebrating differences. Of allowing for uncomfortable contradictions in its cultural landscape. Maybe I can blame capitalism for this too. What if you were Sears or Kmart and were trying to boost your sales during Christmas. Why would you want to limit it to just the Christians? Sure makes sense to try and sell it to the Muslims, the Jews, and those Hindus. Or maybe there's a less cynical explanation. Maybe people are genuinely trying to include everyone during the holidays, and it doesn't feel like inclusion if you wish someone Merry Xmas and that someone don't Xmas. Perhaps.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sideways Bike

I got back to DC today from a nice, too-short visit home. I could put in thought and deliberation and write a well-crafted blog to usher in 2006, but alas I care not enought. Instead, here's a wonderful new invention I ran across--the Sideways Bike! Check out the inventor's webpage here.