succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The past 48 hours

wake up
work half day
watch Germany defeat Costa Rica and Ecuador defeat Poland
drink cheap pints at Sweetwater brewery (attempt, and fail, to make friends with Sweetwater employees attending Bonnaroo and working the Brooer's Festival)
back home, dodge cockroaches while sitting outside on deck drinking beer with friends
head over to boys' new place and party at downstairs neighbor's apt
back up to boys' place, make cookies, watch tivoed mtv movie awards
convince shannon to crash at our place, make guest bed, stay up late talking to mark on the phone

wake up early, only mildly hungover, attempt (and fail) to watch England vs. Paraguay game at Brewhouse
back home, order breakfast from flying biscuit, watch underwhelming England defeat of Paraguay, indulge in mimosas to nurse hangover
thanks to coffee, work up energy for shopping trip to Target and Krogers. obtain much needed garden hose. make plans to wash car tomorrow.
over to the french folks' place for Argentina vs. Cote d'Ivoire
manage to avoid gambling, intend to avoid drinking
think, ah, just one beer
end up drinking absinthe, some very strong peach liquor, and two other unidentifiable french mixed drinks provided by our lovely hosts
somehow manage to keep commitment to head to campus for a tiny bit of work

blog instead of working.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Sid beat me to it, but it bears repeating - Gardasil, a vaccine to protect against HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer, has been approved! Hooray for public health!

In other news, an update on the banner above - Nazanin's death sentence has been overturned! That's the good news. She's set to be re-tried in a lower court, and is still at risk for other forms of retribution and punishment for the 'crime' of being the victim of an attempted rape. But for now, her situation has improved. Click the banner for more info.


I can't sing. I can't act. I'm not being self-deprecating or modest, just a fairly honest assessment of my talents (skillset includes: math - good, writing - fair, strength and flexibility - above average). But this weekend full of nostalgia has reminded me of this moment - Seth and Ken asked me to be stage manager for Into the Woods. Then they asked me to do a 60 second walk-on toward the very end of the play as Sleeping Beauty. To me, this was both huge and terrifying (in retrospect it seems neither; they were in need of an extra and I was conveniently there every night anyway and already knew the play). During tech week, after a few rehearsals of my 'big entrance' (with Mike, on whom I had a raging crush, and who was enough of a veteran to make jokes backstage until the absolute last second, and kept threatening to spank me on stage; which, of course, added to my general nervousness)...anyway, where was I? Oh, right. So, one night, at some obscene hour, we're working something out, clowning around on stage, and Christine looks at me and smiles. What? I say. You've got it, she replies. Huh? It. The taste for it. An audience. Performance.

I haven't thought about this in ages, but it's true. It's cliche, but it's a total drug, and one I've been comfortable with, pretty much since I could stand upright. Gymnastics competitions were pretty much all about everyone staring at you, and dance and theater afterward were a continuation of that. And now that I think about it, so is teaching. Keeping kids awake at 8am while talking about statistics - that definitely requires a non-trivial level of entertainment.

Anyway, I'm tipsy for the first time in what feels like forever (but what realistically is probably only a month or so) and as I tipped over onto my bed and was tempted to just fall asleep fully clothed with the lights and tv on I remembered that night that AWB and I stumbled home and I literally fell asleep on top of her, mid-conversation, on our couch in the living room. Why I thought of that and not the myriad of other times I've come home drunk in the past three years here in atlanta I don't know, but I've been fiercely nostalgic for weeks now, so we'll go with it.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Handicapped - to help or not to help?

So I've read before that people in wheelchairs appreciate the kind of niceties you'd extend to people not in wheelchairs (like holding the door open) but that often other offers (such as to push them) are offensive. But twice recently I've witnessed individuals in wheelchairs struggling uphill and it seemed appropriate to offer to help. Both times they've politely declined and I've left feeling there an appropriate way to handle this situation?

Oi-vey. This reporter should have received lower grades in his science classes (emphasis mine):

OVER the span of his college career, Andrew Lipovsky has taken summer courses at Pace and Columbia in New York, spent three semesters at Northeastern here, and then transferred across town to Boston University last year. While he has majored in business, he has incidentally performed a kind of science experiment, in which he has been the control and those four universities the variables.

The actual topic of the article (grade inflation/deflation) is a whole 'nother big topic I'm not ready to tackle right now.


Everyone, regardless of socio-political beliefs, should be able to agree that efforts to discourage voter turnout and/or make it more difficult to vote are unforgivable.

If there was ever a sign of a ruling party in trouble, it is a game plan that calls for trying to win by discouraging voting.


This year, Mr. Blackwell's office has issued rules and materials that appear to require that paid registration workers, and perhaps even volunteers, personally take the forms they collect to an election office. Organizations that run registration drives generally have the people who register voters bring the forms back to supervisors, who can then review them for errors. Under Mr. Blackwell's edict, everyone involved could be committing a crime. Mr. Blackwell's rules also appear to prohibit people who register voters from sending the forms in by mail. That rule itself may violate federal elections law.

Mr. Blackwell's rules are interpretations of a law the Republican-controlled Ohio Legislature passed recently. Another of the nation's most famous swing states, Florida, has been the scene of similar consternation and confusion since it recently enacted a law that is so harsh that the Florida League of Women Voters announced that it was stopping all voter registration efforts for the first time in 67 years.


But there is one clear way that Ohio's election system is corrupt. Decisions about who can vote are being made by a candidate for governor. Mr. Blackwell should hand over responsibility for elections to a decision maker whose only loyalty is to the voters and the law.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Daily Show just referred to Rumsfeld as "kind of an angry bottom." God I love this show!

Because I am a shameless copycat (thanks AWB!), I too am slowly cataloguing my book collection online via librarything. Random listings in the sidebar. I've even included the embarrassing elements of my collection (see: Ethan Hawke) so should be amusing.

Monday, June 05, 2006


To continue the nostalgia theme, we'll next pick up with gymnastics! I coached my first class in years today, and it was great. Well, ok, a little frustrating too, but mostly great. Seven little kids, mostly in the 4-to-5-year old range. Frustrating just because I grew up in such a strict gym environment, and this one is primarily recreational, I had to sort of remind myself that it was ok that the kids were flopping around and not paying much attention. (I know, I know, they're little, what was I expecting! it'll take a slight attitude adjustment on my part) Reminiscing with the club organizer about our past lives as gymnasts was tremendously fun and playing around on the equipment after class was fantastic. For a while, during undergrad, I'd go back and play around at one of my old gyms once or twice a year, but by now I've managed to let two or three years slip past since my last time inside a gym. Just feeling the leather on the beam under my feet brought it all back. It's funny though, because my brain remembers how things should work, the rhythm and timing of things, but my body just doesn't respond that way anymore. I can still pull out a few tricks, but I definitely had to remind myself to reel it back in tonight. Despite the fun, I know it'll be hard to move tomorrow, and jumping back in at an unreasonable pace means imminent injury, so I'm trying to be at least mildly responsible. The worst part is that you don't realize just how much of a different muscle tone makes. During the height of training your body is so toned that the muscles absorb a pretty hefty impact. Even being in relatively good shape now, I can feel the difference because my muscles transfer so much of the jolt of a landing and my cartilage is less spongey, so a much larger proportion of impact gets transferred almost directly to my skeletal system. Landing a tumbling pass really feels like getting my bell rung, as the vibrations travel right up to the base of my skull. I'm sure that isn't good for me. But damn is it fun.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


The touring production was in town this weekend and went to see the last show tonight with some friends. God, I'd forgotten just how much I fucking love that show! Oh, and there was this awesome moment during the first full musical number when all of us in the 'cheap' balcony seats flooded down to the $45 seats that were half-empty. We stuck around afterwards and met some of the cast and Janette even came over to ask me if I was ok - I must have just been standing there grinning like an idiot I was so damn happy. I just love the idea that these people get to make a living doing what they love, and as exhausting as it must be to come off two shows in one day and pile onto a bus headed for the next town, it also has to be pretty awesome to walk out the stage door to a cheering crowd. They waded right in and signed autographs and gave hugs and took pictures. It was just so sweet and endearing. And of course made me think of all my theater friends, so I promptly came home and called Christine, Seth, Beth, and Ken (the Ford kids turned Chicago kids). I haven't seen or spoken to any of them since I flew out there two years ago (except that Beth and Christine left a drunken version of Without You on my voicemail last Thanksgiving after they went out to see the movie version; what can I say? communication isn't our strong point).

Although I think this article goes a bit too far (it claims "...that a good marriage is the best public-health measure known to man") it does provide a nice reminder of why gay marriage hit the mainstream, decades after gay couples were performing commitment ceremonies and talking about marriage - the AIDS crisis.

But there was also an epidemic of care giving. Lovers, friends and AIDS "buddies" were spooning food, emptying bedpans, holding wracked bodies through the night. They were assuming the burdens of marriage at its hardest. They were also showing that no relative, government program or charity is as dependable or consoling as a dedicated partner.

Yet gay partners were strangers to each other in the law's eyes. They were ineligible for spousal health insurance that they desperately needed; they were often barred from hospital rooms, locked out of homes they had shared for years, even shut out of the country if they were foreign citizens. Their love went unmentioned at funerals; their bequests were challenged and ignored. Heterosexual couples solved all those problems with a $30 marriage license. Gay couples couldn't solve them at any price.

There are whole segments of the population pushing for yet another vote to add an amendement banning gay marriage to our Constitution, a group of Georgian's organizing a special session to re-word our gay marriage amendment (because GA doesn't have a myriad of other problems that might warrant a special legislative session). I find it nearly impossible to believe that if these people actually stopped and thought about it, if you could have a conversation with these people about the agony of not being allowed to visit your partner in the hospital, of having your partner's dying wishes ignored because those wishes were voiced through you, that these people could honestly say those are the outcomes they support. How do we get this debate out of hyperbole and back onto the details we should all be able to agree on? Just call me pollyanna.