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27 February
link : thoughts (3) : track it (4) : in work & money stuff

there's been grumbling over the number of h1-b visa holders in the us recently, specifically the idea that they're taking tech jobs away from citizens by being willing to work for less money. it seems to me, though, that the secret to foreign workers's getting jobs is not their willingness to work for less (though i suppose that's a factor), but the specificity of their skills. most of the programmers i know who are here on visas are either extreme specialists (ie they know one technology amazingly well) or generalists who are also early adopters of everything. and none of the americans i know who also fit into those categories have had a hard time finding jobs.

in other work news, yesterday i ate my lunch with a spoon because i couldn't find a fork. i'm a little paranoid; non-replenished stocks of utensils and other kitchen supplies have come to be equated in my mind with the last days.

also, i wish the guy with the hershey kisses wouldn't keep them right on the end of his desk like that. i keep grabbing one, or three, when i go to the bathroom. and i drink a lot of water. it's not good for me to eat this much sugar. if i am what i eat, today i'm chocolate syrup.


26 February
everything smells
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i quit smoking. sort of. again.

i'm not sure i could have moved away from the water if i hadn't been a dedicated smoker at the time. i might have noticed how well the salt breeze covered the ick that was everything else.

i contend that the urban world is better smelled from behind a cloud of smoke. not just the obvious exhaust and fermentation of cars and trash, but the subtle things. living around the block from so many restaurants and their intermingled food smells. people who smoke. dogs. cheese. meat. your sweated out perfume. the insides of office buildings. standing water. gravelly dirt (it absorbs all the other bad smells for later rebroadcasts).

everything just smells so much, and the good smells are such light notes compared to. i mean, on a warm day, you can smell your cement sidewalk. it's horrid. and it's not that all urban smells are awful, particularly southern ones (blooming magnolias and hot streets, for instance, is a smell like an extraordinary thai meal). it's just that so many of them are noxious and vaguely smoky, which means that smoke, like defocusing your eyes on those mall posters, reveals the subtler fragrances.

maybe i need to get away. drive a few miles and smell walnuts fallen from trees. or water.


23 February
actual site news
link : thoughts (3) : track it (0) : in books & tv & internet stuff

okay, i never bother to post actual site news, so here. since last update in january, i've added: five or six new photos in the art section, somewhere between five and ten designs to my portfolio, a teeny handful of rings and independent site portals/collectives, several new journals and domains in the exits section, moved this blog up to the front of the site and added more info to this section (the "about me/site" stuff). also made several little nipping improvements after some of you started seeing javascript errors and, in unrelated news, bought a domain for me and my cheerleader friends. *

and, as does not require saying, written a month's worth of new journal entries.

is the world a better place because of this? no. but i'm taking up a lot more space in it.

*note: no actual cheerleaders, past or present, are involved.

update: actually, i lied about that last bit with the cheerleaders. apparently.


22 February
cute little anti-globalisation lady
link : thoughts (0) : track it (0) : in generally political stuff

oh, you just have to read the third page of salon's latest "state of emergency" article. that's "state of emergency", the game.

the bit with barbara garson is priceless. it makes me want to go find out more about the people leading the anti-globalisation movement (all i know about her is gleaned from another salon article, though i should read her book.).


friday five (birthdays)
link : thoughts (4) : track it (0) : in nerdy & silly stuff

1. Hey, baby, what's your sign? Do you think it fits you pretty well?

I'm a Libra. It pretty much fits, but those things are very generic. My more complex chart doesn't match quite so well.

2. What's the worst birthday gift you've ever received?

I once had three people give me the same Europe cassette. I kept two, cause one was from a boy I had a crush on and the other was from my best friend. Shut up! It was the eighties.

3. What's the best birthday gift you've ever received?

My first pair of doc martens, which rang in my high school punk rock phase.

4. What's the best way you've celebrated your birthday thus far?

We have the best costume parties for my birthday. Any one of those could easily be the best birthday. The year (sometime in college) I went to NYC with my mother was great, too; I have a lot of fun travelling with her.

5. What are your plans for this weekend?

Driving around looking for a new neighborhood, and maybe some family stuff or party-going.

The Friday Five. Everyone's doing it.


21 February
today's grammar annoyance
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the confusion of "as much as" and "more than". as in "twice as much as" versus "100% more than". usually it's just a confusion of meaning, the conversion of percents to actual values and such, but today on the radio, i heard someone say something about the price of sugar being "twice as much [insert several words here] in canada than in the us. hmph.


15 February
what i perceive as a lack of focus
link : thoughts (1) : track it (0) : in generally political stuff

so ralph nader was talking to jon stewart yesterday (or the day before, i suppose, as i tend to watch the rebroadcast of the show). and i have to say.

ralph, i love you, i really do, but even your own mother would have to agree that you undermine your credibility when you start to say things like and they're going to own our genes in that persistent voice you sometimes use.

ralph, you're a smart guy. why not explain these things to your audience instead of sloganeering like that? you suck at that kind of propagandist approach, ralph. and it's not what the people want, anyway. really, it just makes you look creepy.

i voted for nader in 2000, and i've always appreciated his watchdog nature. but i appreciate it much more when he brings us information than when he howls in the middle of the night at leaves blowing in trees. he sometimes encourages the same sort of blind acceptance in progressives that he criticizes in the general population, and that's just not okay.

but then, ralph suffers from what much of the liberal left suffers from: a glut of issues. conservatives tend to have one or two things each that they care passionately about. and will make compromises to get those one or two things done (usually compromises that ultimately benefit them). but progressive politics isn't focused, not at an individual level and not at a leadership level. this was fine during the clinton administration, when we didn't need to be defending things so much, but it's not working for us now.

i'm not sure what to do about it, other than this: pick my issues, and be louder about them.


13 February
i'm an angry girl
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I am an angry girl.

I'm tired of hearing things said like "I said they were fat because they were annoying" because fat is a great insult. That makes me angry. When a fat person says it, it makes me even angrier.

I've been thinking about all the reasons the world doesn't change. That it takes time. That the people who are given most of the power aren't taken to task by the people who give the power. And the people who give the power think it was taken from them forcibly and that they can't take it back. That so many people don't care who has the power and who doesn't. That even more people don't care, period.

The worst thing I learned from hippies. Is that believing in things like buddhism and taoism and "going with the flow" can lead too easily to sitting on your sofa smoking pot and failing to do anything. Because, after all, what's meant to happen, will. With you or without.

The idea that it will all work out. With us or without. Makes me angry. Makes me boil.

Lucky for me I don't hang around hippies anymore. Lucky for them. Because.

I want to kick everyone who complains about things and doesn't do anything. Then I want to kick everyone who isn't paying enough attention to complain in the first place. I think I'll kick those people twice.

Cause I'm an angry girl.


11 February
say hey!
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for cars that aren't broken (less than fifty dollars for inspection and tuning)!

for cooperative coworkers!

for the fact that hobbit names sound like an eddie izzard comedy routine!

for free and tasty pasta!

for the curative powers of gingerale!

for the history of soda pop as a stomachache elixir!

for holidays about sex!

for the end of the day!

i'm going home to celebrate now.

actually, i'm going to rehearse. but i'll try to celebrate while i do it.


being a cog gets complicated
link : thoughts (1) : track it (1) : in work & money stuff

let's just say. this girl on hold with the investment company wishes she had one of those jazzy little headsets, even if they do hurt ears and muss hair.

because this is long. and here's why:

  1. my company messed up my social security number some time last year.
  2. my 401K has been consistently losing money.
  3. ergo, i do not read info from the investment group in much detail (the amount of money i lose is a little depressing, but i do think it's important to contribute to my "good conscience" fund, so the money sits there getting smaller and bigger at the same time).
  4. my 401K has been based on the wrong ssn for some time now.
  5. this makes it somewhat difficult to do things like file my taxes.

so i'm on hold. and not really getting anywhere. this is overly complicated.


09 February
feminist and duplicate
link : thoughts (2) : track it (0) : in feministy stuff

so, i run this feminist zine (which is [hint] looking for more writers, by the way). and it has its own blog. and i end up double posting things all the time. in the interest of not doing that, i've added a link to that blog above.

okay. business aside. i have to say again how i love mariam's zine. glitter! homemade mirror! subverting the system! xerox! i'm so in awe of all of you zine producers.

and then, i've been trawling for images of suffrage, rosie the riveter, etc. basically, early feminist propaganda (really, it's so good). and i found a great suffrage history site and another great photo / history album. not enough of us are informed about what preceeded us.


07 February
things you don't care about
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or maybe you do, i don't know.

i'm hungry. this is amplified by two things: a complete lack of cash and a need to leave the office early today. you'd be more lonely if you knew you weren't going to hear another human voice for a year, right? well, the hunger thing is like that. i'd be fine if i knew i could eat.

also, i haven't done an effective job of plugging The Diary Design Auction. this month is all feministy goodness! i need to finish (er, start) my design submission, too.

by the way, thanks nina, for the biggest laugh i've had all week. she sent me there.


05 February
tangled silvery web
link : thoughts (3) : track it (0) : in feministy stuff

i followed a faery tale to find an amazing little zine and an intriguing writer. and then i landed on this inspiration and its source.

so, these are my top ten feminist inspirations, in no particular order:

Bitch Magazine in general and Lisa Jervis in specific. For being confrontational without losing a sense of irony.

Every other womangirl who says she's a feminist. For doing something about it. And especially all my girlfriends, for being so damned smart and fun.

Internet communities and the people in them. For making space to discuss and being worth it.

Buying books. For passing around knowledge and questions. Extra inspiration from Amazon, for being a corporate giant without being bloodsucking and for making it easier to find my books.

Inga Muscio. For being a smart-mouthed cunt.

My boyfriend, James Hillman, Robert Bly and Robert Moore for making me think about masculinity. And Marion Woodman, Kathie Carlson and Clarissa Pinkola Estes for making it make sense.

People who think of me as an inspiration, for making me continue even when I think no one's listening and it doesn't matter.

Kick Ass Radical Feminists (including all those who aren't linked) for making sure there still is a feminist movement that is interesting and challenging.

Lesbian folk rock for being anthemic and singable in cars. And other harder-edged chick music, for the same reason.

The french women who invented the word feminisme, and early feminists in general, for wearing pants, thinking, and kicking ass.

I suspect my influences change almost daily, but those are they. For today, at least. What are yours?


01 February
the friday five (bruises)
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My first ever Friday Five.

1. Have you ever had braces? Any other teeth trauma? I had braces largely because all the other kids had them when I was twelve-ish. It really wasn't a seminal event for me. As for teeth trauma. I hate the dentist, and have let an itsy chip in one tooth go unfixed for months, for fear I will be pestered once again to have my wisdom teeth removed.

2. Ever broken any bones? An ankle. Broken by leaping from a table and landing in lotus position. That was pretty stupid, but it did save me from going to daycamp that summer. Instead, I spent scads of time in hospitals with my dad and was largely spoiled; way better than mosquito bites.

3. Ever had stitches? Only inside. Wonky sinus surgery at age five. No cuts, though.

4. What are the stories behind some of your [physical] scars? I have a chicken pox scar (a white dot on my belly button. It's only remarkable because it matches a mole on the other side, so they're a pair - brown dot, white dot.

There's a set of concentric almost-circles on one of my ankles that has a better story. I was returning (on bus) from a trip to NYC one of the highlights of which was a nightlong debate over the relative merits of science and faith. The boy who had argued that science was based as much on faith as religion at one point exclaimed "Proove Gravity!" Which was so funny the conversation dissolved right there. And then, after surviving an eight-hour bus ride filled with twelve year olds by heavily dosing myself with Tylenol PM, I picked up my bag, swung it around my shoulder, and knocked myself into a gravel parking lot. I ended up with a stone stuck in my ankle, but the main thing I recall was thinking "So, there's your proof." It was really more an example of inertia, but hey, I was drugged.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? Boyless! Learning lines for a play and possibly redesigning a webzine.


harold's oesophagus.
link : thoughts (0) : track it (0) : in artsy stuff

How sad. Harold Pinter is sick. I love Pinter. He's so cute. And, you know, excellent playwright, etc. One of my favorites.

I have to say, though. As sad as the news is, my American eye was somewhat distracted by the older spelling of "esophagus" (with an o) throughout the article. I hope he gets better and the British start using the short spelling.


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