28 September 2008

bitching, hurrah.

Can I just say that I am having the hardest time getting into this semester? With a month of classes behind me I still feel like I am wading in, getting accustomed to the feel of water on my swimsuit yet at the same time completely not giving a fuck about the whole ocean before me. Ugh. With week after week of procrastinated research and feeling completely disengaged from my readings, I can't help but wonder that anything will ever get done-- and when it inevitably (despite my doubts) does get done, if it is going to be anything all that meaningful.

It's not that being a historian in training doesn't have its fun times-- I love getting around the table with my American West class every week to haggle over what's Turnerian and what's New Western History. I love those moments when I am actually digging into my thesis and I can be like, "Oh, Phyllis" because there she is again, stirring shit up. But those rare moments of satisfaction during the week do nothing to slake my yearning to simply go to work, work, and then be done with it when I go home. I seldom feel expert. I rarely feel the motivation to keep going through this process for at least 5 more years, and then the added seeming eternity between then and retirement. Shouldn't I care more? Shouldn't I be more excited by this? It's not boring by any means-- and I am completely aware that lifestyle-wise, grad school is hard to beat-- but I am starting to wonder if this is really the best thing to be doing, you know, forever.

And Utah, Utah is really starting to get under my skin. I love the climate and Salt Lake is ultimately a really nice city, but I am starting to feel so ground down by local culture. But that's another post entirely.

So what do I do? I suppose first, I go home to Tacoma next week for some much needed R & R with my fam-fam. Hopefully that will help kick me into gear for the rest of the semester. Second, I am thinking that I could just can the whole PhD thing and go to library school.

27 September 2008

mystery meat.

Part of the magic of living with The Chinese is wondering what they are eating.

When there is hair growing out of it, I start to raise questions. Though there's not the questions raised about Afghanistan like Obama raised or the questions raised about every military conflict that has happened (and was consequently supported by John McCain) since 1983. But I digress. Really, the issue here is meat ON OUR COUNTER that has HAIR ON IT. I think it's pig skin; in honor of college football season maybe? GO UTES!

26 September 2008

mmm shiner bock.

I am so glad I found some of this stuff at Whole Foods yesterday (only $5.95! Bargain!!!). I tried it in St. Louis and fell in love, and now it's getting me through this exercise in yelling at the TV that is the Presidential candidate debate.

happy friday.

This song is "it" for me right now:
Jordin Sparks - One Step At A Time

Step on step, as Heinz would say.

statler and waldorf on the debates.

FINALLY the Muppets get an Op-Ed in the Times. This completely makes my day. Mostly because I feel obligated to watch the debates but am so tempted to skip out because I have "Baby Mama" from Netflix. Glad I'm not the only one.

25 September 2008

my head just exploded.

The logic of John McCain: If I say I won't be going to the debate until a consensus is reached on the bailout, and then I show up with a new plan after the consensus has been reached to try to thwart the consensus, maybe I won't have to debate The Barack?

God help us all.

Also: this kind of tempered the anger.

And yes, I am getting all my news from Gawker because that's about all I can handle. Thank goodness The Office comes back tonight!

ADDENDUM: Gail Collins makes me chuckle with her use of Sarah Palin quotes as daggers.

19 September 2008

she smells like whiskey and feet.

Things got a little heavy around here today, so let's focus on what really matters: my favorite SNL sketch of all time.

And just to show I really care, here's Tina Fey talking about the sketch BECAUSE SHE WROTE IT. BECAUSE SHE IS AWESOME.

And because I really, really love you, here's her brilliant imitation of Sarah Palin.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to eating chocolate dipped oreos and drinking champagne, because that's my Friday folks!

this is an outrage.

The following article can also be found here. I have posted it in full because I find the proposed rule so upsetting and despicable.

"September 19, 2008
Op-Ed Contributor

Blocking Care for Women

LAST month, the Bush administration launched the latest salvo in its eight-year campaign to undermine women’s rights and women’s health by placing ideology ahead of science: a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that would govern family planning. It would require that any health care entity that receives federal financing — whether it’s a physician in private practice, a hospital or a state government — certify in writing that none of its employees are required to assist in any way with medical services they find objectionable.

Laws that have been on the books for some 30 years already allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions. The new rule would go further, ensuring that all employees and volunteers for health care entities can refuse to aid in providing any treatment they object to, which could include not only abortion and sterilization but also contraception.

Health and Human Services estimates that the rule, which would affect nearly 600,000 hospitals, clinics and other health care providers, would cost $44.5 million a year to administer. Astonishingly, the department does not even address the real cost to patients who might be refused access to these critical services. Women patients, who look to their health care providers as an unbiased source of medical information, might not even know they were being deprived of advice about their options or denied access to care.

The definition of abortion in the proposed rule is left open to interpretation. An earlier draft included a medically inaccurate definition that included commonly prescribed forms of contraception like birth control pills, IUD’s and emergency contraception. That language has been removed, but because the current version includes no definition at all, individual health care providers could decide on their own that birth control is the same as abortion.

The rule would also allow providers to refuse to participate in unspecified “other medical procedures” that contradict their religious beliefs or moral convictions. This, too, could be interpreted as a free pass to deny access to contraception.

Many circumstances unrelated to reproductive health could also fall under the umbrella of “other medical procedures.” Could physicians object to helping patients whose sexual orientation they find objectionable? Could a receptionist refuse to book an appointment for an H.I.V. test? What about an emergency room doctor who wishes to deny emergency contraception to a rape victim? Or a pharmacist who prefers not to refill a birth control prescription?

The Bush administration argues that the rule is designed to protect a provider’s conscience. But where are the protections for patients?

The 30-day comment period on the proposed rule runs until Sept. 25. Everyone who believes that women should have full access to medical care should make their voices heard. Basic, quality care for millions of women is at stake.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a Democratic senator from New York. Cecile Richards is the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America."


she is gambling that he is good.

So I hadn't heard of David Foster Wallace before his death, but after reading about his work around the internet I was definitely interested. I stumbled over this powerful short story yesterday at The New Yorker and found it deeply moving.

(post title comes from the text)

17 September 2008

write in candidate.

Got this little gem from my grandpa this evening. I don't know what's more entertaining: that it's "from" Bill Cosby or all the policy suggestions. Disclaimer: I'd like to think that my grandpa is laughing with me. Because if Bill Cosby is a more appealing candidate to a geriatric veteran than ANOTHER geriatric veteran, McCain is in big trouble. Without further ado....




(1) "Press 1 for English" is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait at the border until you can.

(2) We will immediately go into a two year isolationist posture to straighten out the country's attitude. N O imports, no exports.
We will use the 'Wal-Mart's policy, 'If we ain't got it, you don't need it.'

(3) When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it.

(4) All retired military personnel will be required to man one of our many observation towers on the southern border. (six month tour) They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTHBOUND aliens.

(5) Social security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn't put nuttin in, you ain't gettin nuttin out. The president nor any other politician will not be able to touch it.

(6) Welfare - Checks will be handed out on Fridays at the end of the 40 hour school week and the successful completion of urinalysis and a passing grade.

(7) Professional Athletes --Steroids - The FIRST time you check positive you're banned for life.

(8) Crime - We will adopt the Turkish method, the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more life sentences. If convicted, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for your victim; gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

(9) One export will be allowed; Wheat, The world needs to eat. A bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.

(10) All foreign aid using American taxpayer money will immediately cease, and the saved money will pay off t he national debt and ultimately lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we'll ask the American people if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision whether it's a worthy cause.

(11) The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in Congress.

(12) The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes but a vote for me will get you better than what you have, and better than what you're gonna get. Thanks for listening, and remember to write in my name on the ballot in November.
God Bless America !!!!!!!!!!!

Bill Cosby!!!!!!!!


Please Forward This to Everyone you know no matter which side of the fence they're on.

16 September 2008

my natural heat.

I actually got up at 8 this morning, none of my plants have that collapsed sad look and I am writing and responding to emails. This is progress, people.

You know what else is progress? Mad Men icons for one's desktop. And can I just say, I am so glad that Betty finally kicked philandering Don's ass to the curb. Sunday was definitely January Jones's best episode since "Shoot" last season (i.e. my favorite moment in television ever).

Also! Weeds season finale posted on the interwebs. Good thing Must See TV is coming back soon. Which reminds me! Biggest Loser tonight! I hope you'll all be gathering around your tellie with pizza and friend(s) because that's what I'll be doing!

Ha! This entire post is about TV! And exclamation points! The perfect response to BS, who thinks all I have on the brain is bikes and politics. Here, I'll throw in this book I'm reading that is totally awesome and fun just for some balance. And I won't start whining about how LAME IT IS that my research is yielding NOTHING.

15 September 2008

dear big brother.

You will never figure out what the hell is inside this package.

14 September 2008

thou shalt have no other bikes before me.

Today I went to West Valley to look at a bike.

I've been thinking about growing my fleet for a while now, getting an affordably priced yet durable road bike for exercise and maybe the occasional trip up and down the beasty hills or on the Trax that the Old Dutch can't really handle. So I saw one on Craigslist that seemed to fit the bill and I went out to West Valley to give it a spin.

It was, as my brother had observed, over priced. It looked like a bike that had been well used, and it rode like a bike that for what it was, was not a bad ride. But it was not a great ride. It was not revolutionary-- not at all!-- in fact, it was completely lacking in the sublime spirituality that I feel when I hop on the Old Dutch Treat. It was like driving a Geo Metro after one has been driving a BMW. It was too rickety, too light, too close to the ground, just too awful. Even the Costco Special rides better.

I offered the lady a sum I knew she would not accept and then made my hasty retreat. I had escaped the clutches of a bike I would never love, lesson learned.
The Old Dutch has ruined me forever.

12 September 2008

in my new shirt.

This picture is supposed to represent the discomfort I felt as people stared at my chest at various points in my day, trying to read the words over the rear fender. One of the perks of coming from the family I do is that that kind of thing never happens.
I like how the shirt fits though; as we used to say in our pep band days, it is both tight and tiiiiiiight.
Thanks again, Big Brother and BS!

11 September 2008

deep thoughts.

"Would you kiss Phyllis Schlafly with that mouth?"


10 September 2008

before and after.

Big Brother asked for some pics.

On my birthday, I was turning into scraggly princess ponytail:
And now:

I look more like myself.
It's kind of round and graduated in the back--
more or less the usual short hairstyle of The Mel.

Disclaimer: I don't look as bobble-headish in person.

more maptasticness.

A map of the top Craigslist missed connections, by state.

A corrected version of a map I may have posted ions ago that shows you which cities have the most single people of a particular gender. It's interactive now so you can play with the age range!!!

A map of the world... in the shape of a plane! Eeee!

09 September 2008

simply a reservation.

So after getting shit on all day by some cosmic anus beyond my control, I am really enjoying these vintage Ben Folds videos that transport me back to the magical world of ten years ago. Mmm, time travel.

There, that's better.

Now that I've got my wits about me, I can do what I do best-- beyond making idle threats to sell my ovaries, become a prostitute or dig a hole and move underground-- and provide you with news that isn't really newsworthy but reveals great writing. Because while I got excited about the news that Google is going to start digitizing newspapers, I got even more excited about the following quote:

"Newspapers will get most of the money Google makes from its news-archive website, executive Marissa Mayer says. Yes, Google gladly shares advertising revenues — like European settlers sharing warm, comforting blankets with native Americans. Is the space on the Web page left over after one places the Google search box and runs the AdSense banners simply a reservation?"

Ha! I am such a Western historian now. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go drown my sorrows in chips and salsa as I simultaneously spin my head around pondering the absence of all that hair I had whacked off this morning.

05 September 2008

if the real thing won't do the trick.

I was glad to read that Heart does not abide by the McCain / Palin campaign's use of their song "Barracuda." As someone who has seen Heart live-- I like to emphasize this fact as much as possible so let's say it one more time-- As someone who has seen Heart live in a venue of under a thousand people and considered it a transformative experience, I was glad they took a stand. Because as someone who has seen them live, you can just tell that they are my kind of bitches-- when you've seen them live you know they aren't passive. (Ok, I'll stop)

Anyways, bummer for the McCain people because besides being a song full of rage, it is probably the best song that could've been picked for Palin. And not because of Palin's "Barracuda" nickname, which I think Ann and Nancy would agree is the dumbest nickname ever. But check out these lyrics:

"You lying so low in the weeds
I bet you gonna ambush me
You'd have me down down down down on my knees
Now wouldnt you, barracuda?"

or how about this:

"If the real thing don't do the trick
You'd better make up something quick

You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick
Ooooooh, barracuda"

My goodness that embodies what a joke this whole thing is!

I am kind of at a loss for where the campaign might go from here. Something by the Dixie Chicks might've worked but they were damned to hell a couple of years ago by the GOP. Maybe "Ironic" by Alanis Morrisette (don't ya think)? She probably wouldn't like that either. If we're going Seattle themed, maybe "Better Man" by Pearl Jam? McCain could be the woman in the song who "can't find a better man." Too bad Eddie Vedder might just spontaneously combust at the thought. I take it back.

Post your suggested Sarah Palin campaign songs in the comments, even if the artist would go apeshit.

i am running out of clever titles.

This is just my speed.That pantsuit thingie looks comfy.

Here's another thing I like.

Gold star for the day goes to my favorite sarcastic former neighbor:
She wrote: "if the difference between a pitbull & a hockey mom is lipstick, then when I need help with errands, I'll put lipstick on Sahara. Then she can run the US too!"

I have been laughing at that shit all day.

04 September 2008

i rescind my threat to cut you off.

Dear Humanity,
Due to an mild uproar amongst my readership-- particularly those concerned that they might be left in the dust by the spiritual experience on wheels that is Church of the Granny Bike-- I have decided to keep this blog open after all. I will save the uberpersonal for those who deign to actually pick up their phones and call me or you know, the occasional email transmission and whatnot.

Smiles all around,


03 September 2008

to tired to write a headline.

I interupt this regularly scheduled programming of NOT SLEEPING to bring you MORE NOT SLEEPING. Because THAT IS WHAT I DO (or don't do?). Anyways I know you are all like WHY ARE YOU YELLING? And it's because everybody else I know, anywhere, IS PROBABLY ASLEEP. So anyways I am up and when I go to meet with my chair tomorrow he will tell me I look haggard. FOR THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW.

[self censored for a paragraph of bitching about the myriad reasons for my restlessness] [that shows real growth, no?]

So you must go to Best Week Ever. All of their posts on the 1st were "written" by Kanye West and I found it amusing. This one was my favorite, featuring this video:

But if you don't like rap, I found the Bert and Ernie video featured at the end because WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW is BOOGIE WOOGIE SHEEP!

01 September 2008

thunder, lightning.

Praise the deity, we've got a thunderstorm for Labor Day! I haven't seen rain in so long, and don't even get me started on the blissful nature of gray skies. Even better, I am housesitting and one of the kitties has sought me out for comfort. Pet therapy and a rainy day: lucky, lucky me!