succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Just got back from my "hot date" with April. She introduced me to the wonder that is Melissa Ferrick. Seriously, go find this woman's music right now. She FUCKING ROCKS! Drive - the best, dirtiest song every written. So yeah, just spent the last 2 hours listening to some really fucking awesome live "folk" music. That's technically how her show was billed, but that's really stretching the genre. Anyway, some of the stuff she said, and the day being what it is and all (my anniversary with dan was on v-day - I know, how gross and sappy is that?) I thought maybe I'd address some of the stuff that's been percolating around up there. So it's been nearly 4 years, and yet somehow this past october was the first time I decided to deal with some of this crap. Which makes me sound so much more emotional and melodramatic than I am. All I'm saying is that dan was really, truly, the first boy I was ever in love with, and perhaps if I'd addressed how much leaving him was going to mess me up at the time, instead of pretending that I was all healthy and normal about it, then I wouldn't be here now having this conversation with myself. Those of you who helped me hash this out a few months ago already know that part of the reason I freaked out so rapidly over chris was that it was perhaps the first time in years I really liked a boy. I mean, over the past 3.5 years I've flirted and dated and fooled around and gotten crushes and I thought the lack of anything even resembling a serious relationship was just a side effect of my life. I realized that right after breaking up with dan I had zero interest in anything close to commitment, but I just figured that as time passed I slowly became ready for relationships again and just didn't seem to have them. Right. All my friends are laughing at me right now, 'cause they apparently knew what was up the whole time and it's pretty damn funny that it just dawned on me this past fall. Anyway. So, with some help, I finally put that one together. And I was just thinking about it again, because, well, I always think about dan around this time, but also because I am interested in a (actually more than one) boy again and it's so startling and interesting to me how different this all feels. Like moving the hell out of Ohio just broke some dam inside me and suddenly I remember how to do this again. Well, not really. I mean, I never had a clue in the first place. But I guess I remembered how to want this again. And it's nice. And every so often I get the desire to contact dan and ask how he's doing and tell him I'm doing all right, better than all right, but that I was really fucked up as a result of leaving him and I hope he never thought it was something I did lightly. And about a zillion other things. But I can just never figure out how to say them without sounding like I want something from him or hurting him again, so despite advice, I never contact him. Then again, I've never said this stuff so "publicly" before, so perhaps it's some sort of intermediate step, working up to having the...nerve? courage? words? to talk to him.

Thursday, February 12, 2004


In previous post when I insult the Justice Department I should have said "enforcing." The Justice Department enforces bills, it doesn't pass them.

And so it begins. Or rather, continues. I'll try to keep my expletives to a minimum, as I realize they tend to devalue an otherwise credible argument, but this sort of thing makes me want to put grad school on hold, temporarily move to DC, and work full time for the women's movement. That's how serious this is. The Justice Department (no doubt at the behest of John Ashcroft) has requested patient medical records from at least 6 hospitals in NY, Philadelphia, Chicago, and other cities. Why? To defend the partial-birth abortion ban. The plan is to "prove" that late-term abortions were performed when they were not "medically necessary." That's right, a justice department that has its head so far up its ass it passed a bill that didn't even contain medical language is now going to determine when a procedure is medically necessary. Apparently being a lawyer and being a doctor just became the same thing. Thank god at least one judge has a semblence of reasoning left:

"A woman's relationship with her doctor and her decision on whether to get an abortion 'are issues indisputably of the most sensitive stripe,' and they should remain confidential 'without the fear of public disclosure,' the judge, Charles P. Kocoras, wrote in a decision first reported by Crain's business journal in Chicago."


"Advocates for abortion rights said they were particularly troubled by the subpoenas because of Attorney General John Ashcroft's history as an outspoken opponent of abortion in his days in the Senate.

'This notion of John Ashcroft poring over medical records in a fairly unprecedented type of fishing expedition is exactly the type of privacy invasion that worries people,' said David Seldin, a spokesman for Naral Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights organization. 'The government just shouldn't be involving itself in private medical decisions and second-guessing doctors' ability to advise their patients properly.'"

Even if you personally are not pro-choice, even if this isn't your particular fight, you must realize that this level of invasion of privacy is insane! Just in case you were still wondering, this is why it's SO IMPORTANT to march in Washington in April. And if you need more reasons, google the phrase war against women.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Blarg. Spending 45 minutes trying to show that a gamma distribution is a member of the one-parameter exponential family is less fun than it sounds. If that's even possible. Then messing up other problems on the test because you're so burned out from the first problem just sux. I swear, I need to go back and re-learn 7th grade algebra. Ah well. On the plus side, I don't really have anything that *must* get done tonight, so I've been able to indulge in some laziness since getting home a few hours ago. And on the extra-plus side, my friends say that this boy likes me. They seem to know more about this stuff than I do, so I'll just believe them.

Guilty Pleasure

Ok, so I have to admit that I really enjoy the mornings that I get to catch the beginning of the Ellen show. Because right after her monologue her dj (or whatever) plays some random pop music and Ellen just dances for a few minutes. Which is totally lame, but exactly the sort of thing I do around my apartment. Seriously, if anyone has ever wondered what it might be like to live with me, just watch the first 10 minutes of the Ellen show - that's what 50% of my time in the apartment is like. Well, minus the monologue bit. Just ask Carrie. She used to dance with me all the time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Wow. I'm with Tom Tomorrow - I don't even know where to begin. According to this article, Rummy doesn't remember British Prime Minister Tony Blair claiming that Iraq could deploy WMDs in 45 minutes. Which would be ok, 'cause, you know, who can remember everything that another nation's leader says? Oh, this statement made headlines in every major newspaper at the time? Oh, this statement was part of a major scandal when a BBC report accused Blair of exaggerating? Well, I'm sure it just slipped his mind. But really, my favorite part is this quote (in response to a question about his belief of the British claim of WMD deployment in 45 minutes), "I'd have to see the statement. And to have an opinion, I would have to go ask the intelligence community as to what they thought at that time," he said. "Because what it is they thought very likely would be what it is I thought. And I'd have to go back and I don't know when the statement was made," he said.

And in the completely offensive category we have this "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked about Tuesday's car bombing in Iraq that killed about 50 people, said there are murders in every major city in the world 'because human beings are human beings.'" Evidently our defense secretary is aiming for something slightly below human, or at least slightly below basic human decency.

On the side of good (and astonishing) we have Bill O'Reilly apologizing and the White House press corps doing their jobs.

As for me, I biked about 8 miles today (without actually going anywhere). And that's about the only thing I accomplished.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Um...hello, Andy? Welcome to the world the rest of us have been inhabiting for years. Where the hell have you been?

And just because Sid requested more posting about my life...ah....I got nothing. Sorry kids, my life has been good and busy lately, but mostly boring to the outside viewer. You know, school, work, friends, the cat...perhaps the most interesting thing I did today was put together a mix comprised completely of Vic Thrill and The Thrills. It entertained me greatly. My latest, "If I were to drop out of school I would..." is "Create thematic mixes." Carrie and I composed a brilliant one about candy on our road trip to NY. (for those of you who don't know, I occasionally describe newfound pleasures by saying, if I were to drop out of school I'd...previous examples include "live on rosenfeld's floor" (back when she had that apartment with the groovy purple living room) and "become a dancer for Cher's concert tour")

I did get to talk to Mark briefly online this morning, so for anyone who was worried about him, he's fine (well, you know, as fine as Mark ever is). My friend Travers just finished burning a dvd full of ATHF and SL2021 episodes for him, so a little care package will be headed to russia very soon. (hopefully it'll arrive before mark departs for the states; given the mail system over there, it's a bit of a gamble)

Aight, 1-minute-'till midnight means bedtime for me. g'night!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

So I'm watching Choose or Lose on Mtv (today's episode is actually quite brilliant - they asked a young man just back from Iraq, who's only reason for enlisting was to pay for college, to interview each candidate) and General Wesley Clark said his plan is for every high school graduate who's parents make less than $100,000 a year to receive $6,000 for the first year of college and another $6,000 for the second. Which is pretty impressive. Every kid who wanted to could at least afford an associates degree or to attend a state university (though, obviously, they'd have to come up with funding for the second two years, but still, a huge improvement). But how does he plan to do this? And, as big of a proponent of education as I am, perhaps those hundreds of thousands (millions?) of dollars would be better spent on elementary, middle, and high schools? I dunno.

More intelligence debate in the op-ed pages. This time a historical perspective. The ending quote from JFK is all I want from a president - a little personal responsibility.

"Those now trying to figure out what went wrong before the war in Iraq should bear in mind a simple truth: we are more likely to "know" what we want to know than what we don't want to know. That human flaw is built into the very process of making intelligence estimates. Perhaps the only way to counter it is if those who make the final decision beware taking a large risk on what is, inevitably, speculation. As Kennedy told the National Security Council in the days after the Bay of Pigs, 'we're not going to have any search for scapegoats . . . the final responsibilities of any failure is mine, and mine alone.'"

Which goes nicely with this cartoon from atrios.