Sunday, November 30, 2003

today in local news, a social life loomed on the horizon...

...but experts are expecting that it should pass shortly after the holidays. Stay tuned for updates on the phenomenon's progress through the city and how it will effect you.

Between seeing Bela on Tuesday, talking to Megan for four+ hours on Thursday, having the girls over Friday night, and bowling last night, yes, I am a girl in demand. Or rather, I am demanding that people demand me. Excellent.

Last night Chappie called and invited me to come to 11-1 two dollar bowling at the dear old high school haunt, the Poway Fun Bowl (oh Fun Bowl, how do I love thee). I skipped over after work, bowled about seven frames, and was rudely interrupted by our lane being turned off. Apparently it only goes until 12:30 now. Oh well, at some point in there Dave and Steve showed up, and we packed up and went to Dennys (oh Dennys, how do I love thee). The group, Dave, Steve, Shaun, and Josh, hasn't changed much. They are still silly and random. I enjoyed myself immensely, and it was good to talk to Dave again (is it possible for a mouth to get bigger with age?). Since we broke up (holy five and a half years ago) I've forgotten most of what he's actually like and how our relationship must have been.

Outside of parenthetical side comments on my budding social life, I really don't have too much to say about it. Between this and work, and going to TJ next weekend (hurrah!), I think I will have something resembling a busy schedule. Maintaining trombone playing is the biggest challenge and I definitely need it! Quitting JCP after the holidays should help out a little. I do want to do a recital but I am decidedly slacking in the preparations department. I think I have my pieces almost ready, but as to location, and pianist, um, yeah, and date...well I promise that if you were thinking about visiting for my recital I will keep you posted (This edition of "wink wink nudge nudge" is dedicated to Jason).

Tired. These have been late nights for poor little old me, especially when usually I've been sleeping until a leisurely 10:30 and leisurely putzing around until noon at which point I get down to the business of leisurely practicing and surfing the internet. Well, I hate to stop boring you with the details, but I must. Time to get ready for work.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

feminist ranting!! hurray!!

On another note, I meant to post about this a while back but life got in the way. You know how it goes. This is what is known as the Gender Genie. It performs a nice bit of scientific magic and determines by syntax and pronoun usage whether an author is male or female.

Guess what? According to the Genie, I am overwhelmingly male. I put in four blog entries, three came up male and the fourth female. To be fair, I didn't really carefully select the entries I put into the program; three were rants (Average Joe, Drugs, and The Beauty Myth) and one was an old school Buddha Stew posting about Ryan. Guess which one came up female?

The Genie measures gender based on an algorhythm and scans texts for pronouns that can determine whether the author is writing about relationships (female) or objects (male). For example, I, you, them, and us are, according to the results, the territory of a female author. Quantifiers or identifiers (one, many, a, the) signify a male author. Because my three rants did not use personal pronouns and contained objective language, they are considered male, but the fourth is an emotional testament to my womanhood as I am most definitely talking about people.

The theories that this program brings to mind (men and women are different! see! now, how can we justify that women are inferior because they talk more about silly people-to-people issues?* [and you all go, whoa there crazy feminist, chill out]) seem to me to be utterly insignificant. Stupid. Can't we spend our research money on something better, like cures for serious diseases? So you've proven that men and women are socialized to talk about different things. You haven't said anything people didn't already know. I resent being told that my writing has to have a gender; it's my writing and it shouldn't matter whether I have a penis or a vagina, or even simply a pair of XX chromosomes. It's another example of how our society is so stoically stuck in this black-and-white division of gender as male and female. Men can write emotionally and women can discuss political matters. It's about time we dropped this debate of "masculine vs feminine" and got on with the business of living.

*this issue has come up in "chicklit," the recent trend of woman authors being categorized together by similar subject matter when oftentimes the novels can be very different and on varying levels of depth. The example given here (go into archives, and click on "Marketing Ms Right") is the difference between Bridget Jones' Diary and The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing. The trend is to market all new books about female singlehood and the antics associated with it as "the next BJD" or "if you like BJD..." even when the books are completely different. BJD and the Guide are definitely different books. Surely they share similarities, but it's harmful to lump all books by woman authors into one place. By doing so you diminish the better works and you assume that no one else would have an interest in reading them (like men, for example, oh dearie). Anyway, read the article, it says it much better than I can.

a blog about nothing in particular

I have ploughed through my recently acquired issue of Bitch, successfully made zucchini and tomato curry, practiced the third movement of the Stevens Sonata (and rocked it, subsequently), eaten cheesecake, and talked to Megan on the phone. Happy Thanksgiving.

I am wondering if I have a particular stance to explore on Thanksgiving. Margaret Cho is not so keen on the genocide and racism associated with a bunch of European pilgrims wiping out the indigenous population and claiming the land. I agree, and I especially feel sympathy with her statement that she is "thankful for every other day of my life." But I'm not totally going to give up on Thanksgiving. I think it should be redefined. We could use this day to go out and help fix the things we have destroyed, to show that we are truly thankful for them. Help out at a reservation. Clean up a natural resource. Something. But I suppose it'd be hard to give up that day of the year we get to endorse gluttony and watch a bunch of men throw a ball back and forth and run into each other. Oh wait-we already do that every other day of the year? Well then, what's the problem?

[Disclaimer: I like food and I don't think gluttony is by itself a bad thing. However, our culture does not have a healthy attitude about food whatsoever. Consider McDonalds, compared with evergrowing anorexia stats. Message? I have given up being surprised that society lacks a happy medium. Ai me.]

My curry was good, by the way. I have lots left over. Oh yes, and I have a proposition to make to my friends across the country: If you gift me with your presence this holiday season, I will delightfully return the favor by offering you free room and in town transportation. No other gift exchanges are necessary. Happy after dinner nap, everyone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

does a great band need showy light effects? what do you think?

concert last night: amazing. What's that Victor Wooten? You think I'm a super trombone player and you want to tour the country showcasing our collective talents? Okay, sign me up. hehehe.

It's great to see musicianship like that on stage. Music that doesn't require words (although I did enjoy the songs that had lyrics) but relies solely on the power of the players, the virtuosity and ensemble tightness together. My question to you is: what do you think about flashy stage effects? Are they necessary for a band that so obviously can stand on its own? Or do they dumb down the audience, directing people's attention to a certain player or creating different "moods" that are already expressed in the music?

I appreciate the subtle effects at the beginning and ends of songs, and I did like the opening sequence with the lights when they weren't on stage. But during the songs, I thought the light effects were a little obsessive. Almost to the point of being annoying and distracting me from things I wanted to hear. For example, if the ensemble got soft, the lights would dim and add blues and pinks. If it was hot, fast, and intense, the lights got bright and danced around a lot. Lots of times if one player was soloing, the spotlights would cut off the other musicians. Or a hit in the music would be accompanied by hits in the lights, flashes.

I personally think this was stupid. Bela doesn't need that, his band works so tightly and perfectly to create moods and feature players that he is cheapened somewhat by the effects. For me, I want to see what ALL of the players on stage are doing at certain moment, and I don't want a lighting system to tell me when to look at someone. Sure, Jeff Coffin's playing a solo, but hey, isn't Futureman doing something different with that whatchamacallit, how does that thing work? Oh wait, I can't see it because they cut off the lights in that part of the stage.

I think you could also argue that the light effects are part of the artistry of the show. A gesamtkunstwerk, if you will. But I got the impression that it was more pandering to the audience's lazy side, the part that watches a lot of movies with intense visual effects and music tuning in at the right moment to let you know when the villain enters. Those kinds of movies, or any kind of movie, is gesamtkunstwerk too, no? A total work of art involving visual and aural effects in many combinations. But how far do we take such works? How far is too far, where you're simply handing emotions to the audience on a platter? I know that Wagner had something different in mind for gesamtkunstwerk; using a movie is the closest analogy of our present time I could think of.

So while the Flecktones stage effects were by no means crazy aerial stunts and fog machines, I can't help feeling cheated by the flashiness. A little insulted perhaps. Of course, I'm used to hearing music on its own, in concert halls and bars. Much of my perspective comes from a classical training and I have more concept of musical forms than the average Joe, I suppose. My dad and I had a conversation the other day about how, when he would go to see my band concerts, he always felt like the music was over his head, and that we should play more common tunes like marches and standards. While I shudder at this (what musician wants to play marches at every concert? Not me that's for sure) I can see that he is coming from a background with little to no musical experience or knowledge. Sometimes art music has to be understood to be appreciated fully. I agree with Davis that art music is lessened by its presence in commercials and movies, but I see it as part of the growing trend of caring only about music if it can be used to portray emotion when combined with a visual effect (or,as the case may be, sell beef). What is needed is more music education, more music appreciation, and less selling out. Hard enough to do as it is. Now throw in a little Britney Spears and stir. Sensationalism. Ye-haw.

An interesting side note though: think about a scene in a movie, say a horror film. The protagonist is entering a scary scene, it's dark, windy, the trees are all bent and twisty, etc. Cue a string bass. Low note, no vibrato. The music builds and builds, leading us to expect that at any minute a crazy chainsaw-wielding mass murderer will leap from a tree and commence bloodshed. Now imagine this same scene, without the music. You might still expect something freaky to happen, but without the characteristic low string note, you might not anticipate it quite so much. Now, take the music without the scene, and you still get the shivers, no? Because music has a power on its own that cinematic effects do not. Music will allow your imagination the full extent of possibility, while a visual scene is often limited to the meaning the director intended.

My conclusion: Music=awesome. Bela Fleck=awesome. Sensationalism=bad.

Monday, November 24, 2003

ups and downs

In the shower this morning I got all sad because I remembered last Thanksgiving and hanging out with Jerry and his family, and it was tons of fun. Unlike this Thanksgiving, which will be a long day of cooking (but I'm making zucchini curry for myself!) followed by a meal in which I will inevitably piss off my father, and then we will clean up and spend the rest of the evening in separate rooms watching TV.

Then I realized that I didn't have to be anywhere today and starting practicing, and I was (sort of) happy again. Then Prof David Jackson, at UM, called me, and talked to me about studying with him. He was super nice and definitely made me more interested in the program (it was at the bottom of my list, to be sure). After I finished up practicing I wrote up my repertoire list, personal statement, and revised my performance resume, and packaged off my UM application! It's done baby, and only two left to do, but now that I've written the PS they'll be easy. Then I have to get started on financial aid forms.

Yesterday I had a moment. I realized that it was silly of my to be working the JC Penny job when I was offered a very lucrative gig playing trombone for twice as much money as I would make in a weekend picking up clothes. So I got offered a job doing what I want to be doing professionally and instead I got a minimun wage job folding sweaters? WTF, mate? All because I was little bit afraid, not of going to Mexico or whatnot, but of giving up my weekends. What the hell do I do on weekends anyway? Jack shit. Nothing, zip, nada. So I'm full of it, and I need the money. So I asked the guy if he still needed me, and he does. And he's willing to work out the weekends I need off to go to auditions. Unfortunately I forgot to tell him I wouldn't be starting this weekend but next, so I hope he's not pissed off at me that I replied with, oh well um shit, sorry, can't do it this weekend.

This means I have to talk to Penneys, which I'm not too worried about. The thing is, I'm holiday help and the only real disappointment they might have is that my mom works there and I don't want her to be embarrassed or anything. But still, if another of their employees was offered a job doing something related to their field of study, they wouldn't hold them, would they? I'm stepping up, right? I'm also justifying this with "since I'm not too sure what I want to do right now, I should try lots of different things." Maybe Penneys'll want me still to come in like once a week. Whatever, ain't gonna say no to more money. I do have to get Mexican auto insurance, and I'm not sure how much that's going to cost me, but my first Penney's check should hopefully cover it. Besides, the reasoning in my head goes like this:

I have reworked my understanding of this year off to be solely for the purpose of my trombonal improvement. This means I get to freeload off my parents whilst practicing as much as possible and making a little bit of money to tide me over. Working at Penneys does not allow me to practice as much as I need. While it does get me out of the house and away from the continuous TV noise (Matlock and Murder She Wrote reruns, oh my), it also keeps me on my feet for eight hours and away from my trombone for precious practicing time. Ok, so I'm totally riding on privilege. And I'd love to get a place of my own. But I'm going to be patient, and use this year to improve musically so that I get into a school AND get the money I need to finance it. With the TJ gig I have all week to hang out and practice (and can still coach), to get things done, etc, and I get to play a sweet gig with cool music. I think I was silly for passing it up. Plus I don't really care if I piss of JC Penney. If I have to hear that stupid Outkast song one more time while reorganizing the pink shirts that are too crowded on the four-way rack I will run down the hallway screaming and brandishing a hanger. What's cooler than cool? My foot jammed up your ass, Outkast.

Josh Chappie has just offered me a ticket to see Bela Fleck tomorrow night!!!!!!!!!!!
Wowie wow wow. yeah. All I can say.
Friend of the Day: Josh Chappie

Saturday, November 22, 2003

heigh ho, the working life

it's 10:10 and I want to go to bed. I'm exhausted. I worked all day again today, picking up the clothes that people are too fucking inconsiderate to at least leave right-side out, if not on the hanger. Plus I have this bruise on my left hand, in between my thumb and forefinger, from putting hangers there while I hang other things up. The floor in the juniors section (who wears these clothes? they're terrible! so ugly. so tiny!) is crowded beyond belief with clothes racks so every time you walk by an overhung rack ten shirts fall off. AND, because lately the trend is to make shirts that aren't hanger-compatible, they fall off the hanger too. Hanging up women's suits and dresses is the worst. They're all heavy and awkward (i've tripped over a few), and they aren't sorted by brand like the rest of the store. They're sorted by something like fabric, or cut. Ri-goddamn-diculous.

Oh, yeah, and this is my favorite part: I left to go to the bathroom, on my way back folded some sweaters, and walked back into the dressing room to find that Hurricane PregnantWoman had been through, along with Tropical Storms OmigodSixteenYearOld and YoungJetSetTrendyWoman. In ONE (1) dressing room, there was a pile of maternity clothes on the bench and a heap or two of blouses on the floor. ALL of the blouses were inside out. Several hangers were broken. All of the Misses stuff has to be taken back to the Misses section, and there's a fucking lot of it. I left it there. They can come and get it for all I care. The maternity stuff is easy enough except while I was sorting through one dressing room, ANOTHER pregnant woman came by and left a different dressing room in shambles. Now, the maternity section can't be more than a hundred feet long. It had to have been seriously depleted by this nightmare.

Not really diggin' the job so much. Let's say this, my feet hurt. I was walking and standing for eight hours. Yesterday too. My co-workers are nice, but it's not the kind of job where you get to stand around and chat because JC Penney has sale after sale after sale, and the bargain shoppers are endless. Everytime I go to put one pair of jeans back on the rack, another has shown up in its place. I feel like there is an appropriate metaphor for this phenomenom, but I can't recall it at the moment. Maybe something like removing grains of sand from a beach with a tweezer. Maybe that's it. Argh. Well, I do it again tomorrow and then I have two and a half days off. Neat-o. Because schools are closed I don't have to go in for coaching, so that's nice too. I'm a little bit worried that working such long hours will cost me a lot of practice time, especially since when I get home I just want to stare at the TV until I feel it is a reasonable time to retire. Sigh. Planning on campaigning for smaller chunks.

Today my moving back to Madison meter is leaning back over to going. I am especially missing Jerry and the comfort he would be giving me after such a long day. Being realistic is hard when you're lonely.

Friday, November 21, 2003

lately, cleaning supplies are starting to seem a little...phallic?

The past two nights I've stayed up late to watch Talk Sex on Oxygen, I've seen a strange trend in cleaning supplies. Nevermind that Oxygen, while being a women's network, still plays on all the old stereotypes of who cleans the house, let's focus on these two products, shall we?

Lysol has come up with a handy new way to clean your toilet. Check this out. The Lysol Ready Brush allows you to squirt cleaning fluid from the tip by pressing the trigger at the base. A white foam emerges from the brush head.

Wow. Now if that ain't phallic, I don't know what is. Except maybe the Dawn Dish Brush, which makes cleaning those hard to reach places in glasses and such easier. The brush head also spins around. No white foam is ejaculated, unfortunately, but you get the picture.

The appearance of both of these ads during a sex show leads me to form the following conclusion: cleaning is definitely sexy! You'll like cleaning if you clean with a penis! Hurray! Or something like that. The Lysol brush cracks me up. They've gotta know what that looks like. C'mon, people. We're not dumbasses.

Davis has done a blog about the recent MA ruling that the ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. Chris, your state is awesome. Anyway, I would also like to do a blog on this but I'm afraid the eight hours I spent putting things on hangers today is preventing my brain from functioning properly. I would just like to say, where the hell do people get off being so goddamn bigoted? Gay people are obviously going to make you have sex with them, and then sodomize your children. If they get married, then we might as well just flush America down the toilet (and then clean it with the Lysol brush). Because God will strike us down with lightening and damnation.

FUCKING bastards. The more I think about it, the more 'separation of church and state' is a load of bullcrap. Bush keeps bringing biblical morals into everything, faith this and that. We say that we're a country of free citizens, but we can't marry whomever we want. If gay marriage offends some people for religious reasons, they don't have to look. If they say that legalizing these unions will offend and disregard their personal religion, then they are bringing church into the state. If it offends you, look the other goddamn freakin' way! People need their rights, and if Christianity (or someone's messed up version of it) says that certain people are exempt from rights, then Christianity has no place in the US government. I think that we can embrace and use some of the religious mores that our country has been built on. Jesus taught some pretty kickass things, and accepted everyone. The greatest strength humankind has is the ability to shape society, and that means we can shape religion as well. Take the good stuff, and leave the bad, the bigoted, the obsolete. It is the reasonable, loving, common sense kind of thinking that will make our country a place for everyone.

Also. You. who insist that men and women get married to make babies. That. is the most inane justification for banning homosexual marriages I have ever heard.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

that's me, your jc penney recovery girl

tomorrow I start work at JC Penney picking up the shit people leave in piles in the dressing rooms. Yee-haw. It helps to have a family member in the business.

I took a long hike today, through Los Penasquitos Canyon. I hadn't been there before today, and it was beautiful! I walked three miles in to see the waterfall, ate lunch, and then walked back. So I'm sore, but happy. It was a gorgeous day and it was nice to explore. I will have to go back.

I'm giving a little more time to any major decisions such as moving. It's annoying even to me the way I keep wandering back and forth between yes and no, and I think it needs to simmer on the back burner. If I do stay here, I'm definitely getting an apartment. And I think that I'll make my grad school move in the summer, and get settled in. Moving back to Madison is actually starting to look a little like another sacrifice, kind of like Blue Lake, and I think I would regret giving up some of the coaching that I've been doing. Like I said, back burner. Updates as necessary.

I sent off my McGill ap yesterday, and UM will be sent off tomorrow (well, that's what I said I would do, but now that I'm starting at work I might finish it up at night and send it Saturday). That leaves me with just DePaul and ASU, and then financial aid stuff. Last night I FINALLY got to see Sean, and we chatted over dinner about music stuff. He put a lot of things in perspective for me (he tends to do that a lot). Mostly he told me that I shouldn't feel too bad about "wasting" so much time not practicing as an undergrad, because I shouldn't feel that I have to measure up to everyone else's standard of preparation. That maybe my undergrad years were more a time of social learning and having fun, and the real work begins now that I've matured and understand what needs to be done. I completely agree; right now I'm finally feeling the joy of playing and practicing and I can't wait to get back to work as a grad student. Afterward we played some duets and I ran through a little of the Stevens Sonata for him to hear. All's well in the trombone world.

Song that's been stuck in my head all day: Shrug, by Ani DiFranco
Really good book I just finished: The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

i don't really want to talk about this, but maybe i should

those of you wondering what was up with my Nov 16th post will now have your answer.

Despite my ill-advised efforts to keep up a long distance relationship with Jerry, things backfired on Sunday and we had a long and terrible phone conversation in which I pretty much freaked out and said I didn't want to talk for a long long time. That if it was going to be "over" in the sense that we weren't lovers anymore, then I needed some time to recover before I could be friends again.

Monday was miserable and I ended up doing an also ill-advised tearful "why can't we think of something better" phone call. I got schooled by Jerry, who didn't want to hear it. I don't blame him, although I did want some sensitivity.

I called back again, later, and asked if I moved back to Madison we'd be "together." No promises. I said I was planning on moving back. I feel like I'm going to vomit.

I'm standing here, at a crossroads, and I can't do anything but cry. Every decision I consider feels terribly wrong. I think about life without Jerry as my partner and things get fuzzy around the edges and look terribly dim. I think about moving back to Madison and I feel it would be foolish, because what new tortures would I be subjecting myself to? When I'm perfectly familiar with the tortures out here? When I think about staying here until I go to grad school, I want to shoot myself from the hours and months of boredom I foresee. I wish I hadn't ever taken this year off, but let's not dwell in the past. What good can I get out of this?

Well for one, it's time to face facts: Jerry and I had a great relationship. It's not going to work anymore, because our futures are going in different directions. If I move back then we have to do this again. I don't think I can do that. I accept the friendship he is offering. Sometimes you can love a person so much--but it just won't ever work out. Fate? Whatever. I'm afraid of a lot of silly things-how can I do better than Jerry? Afraid of being alone. Of never having that mental connection be so strong. Oh man. Laughter. Spooning. Smiles.
Regardless of my fears, I have to get past this. I learned a lot. I'm not proud of the person love and desperation have made me in the last couple of months. I'm having a hard time forgiving myself for things I've said and thought.

The hardest part is I feel like I have no one to lean on. All I really want is a hug, and a shoulder to cry on until I can get rid of all this pain and guilt and start new. I want someone to tell me that I'm strong, that I can get through this, that there are amazing things ahead. I can think this all to myself, but it's easier to doubt it. What if what if what now, what then, why not, how so, who?

Of course I don't need to define myself with a relationship. I can do better than that. I'm afraid. I'm confused. I'm tired of thinking. I'm tired of crying. I'm tired of being miles and miles away from of all of my friends. I'm tired of time passing and hopes and dreams.

I may not be here for a few days. This was difficult to write and I'm not sure if it's good thing to post your personal despair on a public site. *sigh* I'm plugging through. I'll make it. Hopefully.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

i don't understand. why does it have to be this way? doesn't this kind of thing take work? i don't want it to end this way. i don't want it to end ever. but i guess that this is the only option-we've stopped listening to each other and we don't agree on what should be done. but i want to fight for this! i want it to work, i don't want to bow out gracefully. i don't have anything else right now. i don't have anything. now I have even less.
what's left, life? anything else you want to throw back in my face? why don't you just stop now and give us all a break. fuck you.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

here's little miss posty

I keep forgetting to add this, but I have some other things I want for AKGPT day.
They all fall under the heading of Technology:
Mini disc recorder and microphone
Portable CD player, with car stereo adaptability (mine stopped working. maybe I shouldn't have stepped on it)
Camera-digital? That would be cool. Either than or old school like Emily's
Something fun from Toys in Babeland (Warning! do not click if you are sensitive to sexual matters or just plain don't want to see sex toys-whoops did I give it away? har har)

Pretty much these are all parent-type presents. Except of course for that last one. *snicker* Although I'd like to think that if I ever have a daughter I will be hip enough to give her a vibrator.

Buddha Stew Annoyance of the Day: why won't blogger remember my info? I have to keep logging in, although in the past they have always remembered my pass and log in name. I swear I clicked the "remember me" box. Gr.

welcome back mike zens!

I am very proud to welcome my dear old friend Mikey back to my link list. Let me say some good things about Mikey, because I like him a lot. He is a good guy. He and Katy make the cutest couple ever. For rizzle. To top off his intelligence he is also kind and understanding. He has an A+ giggle, which is one of my favorite characteristics in anybody.

Some of my memorable moments with Mike include:
Trashcan random object catching
Drawing sheep on bicycles
"Is that what you guys do at night?"
That time I agreed to go running with him and couldn't walk for three days afterward
and, perhaps the best thing Mikey has ever done for me:
Snapped me out of my nervous pace-the-hallway almost-chickening-out attitude the day I asked Jerry out. Made me feel like I was awesome, Jerry was worth it, and that nothing nothing gained.

Thanks Mike! You're awesome. You are Buddha Stew's friend of the day.

DAMN YOU BLOGGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, it wasn't a particularly exciting or enlightening post anyhow.

Let's have a poll, shall we? I am considering moving back to Madison in January. What are your opinions on this? Please refrain from saying things like "Well you should do what makes you happy," and "Well I really can't make that decision for you." Sure you can. Go ahead, tell me what to do. My brain has stopped giving me advice.

Friday, November 14, 2003

tonight i learned an important lesson

two months of living with parents, having few social engagements, and working with a long distance relationship finally caught up with me tonight. I snapped and beat the crap out of some innocent pillows and blankets.

let me tell you. It felt GREAT. It felt fucking awesome. I needed the release and there's nothing to get your adrenaline going like taking out all your anger. Afterward I collapsed on the floor and was greeted by my dog who was understandably baffled by my outburst. But I felt better. Cooped up energy is not good for you, especially when you're in a negative place emotionally.

and right now-my parents are off with the Loomises at a movie, and I get to listen to music loudly and dance about. Fuck all, ain't it! Of course none of my problems are effectively solved but at least I'm not moping. I would love to have company right now. But I'm not going to dwell on that because I will get angry and frustrated again. And I don't think my pillows would appreciate that.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

in which i provide you with another fun link to peruse, and some other stuff

God Forbid!!

Actually, I would love to have such a good and on-the-same-page relationship with my parents that I could allow them to freely read and comment on a webpage of mine. But it just isn't meant to be at this stage in life. Although my mom is not as ditzy as the one described in the article, she would comment on every little thing and probably disapprove of little things I said or thought. Hopefully she would also refrain from referencing me to all my relatives. *Sigh*Let's not get into the dad politics right now. I had a long day ("for once!", you all scream in relief) and this is what it looked like:

8:00 AM PST Sectional coaching at Hidden Valley Middle School. One tuba, one treble clef baritone (my least favorite of the valved brass variety! for lazy converted trumpet players), and one trombonist. Plays too quietly, is pretty impressive actually, and doesn't know notes, respectively. Sectional goes okay although I hate working on Christmas medleys (is that how you spell the plural of medley?) and wish I could take young trombonist aside and teach to play properly. The happiest part is that I got a check! Hurray for that $70 dollars! That's half of my trip to Madison right there. Well, not half, maybe not even a third, but I like to think positively.

12:20 PM PST The time I was supposed to arrive at Ramona High School for sectional coaching. Such event did not occur as traffic cops at Poway Rd and Espola directed me back INTO Poway instead of happily on my way up the Poway grade to 67 which would transport me efficiently and dutifully into Ramona in half an hour's time. Lorn hauls ass up to 78 only to realize that 78E is ANNOYING AS FUCK and traipses blithely all about Escondido before getting down to its real business of directing people into Ramona. I had also lacked the presence of mind to recall that 78 is easily reached via San Pasqual Valley Road, thereby avoiding all the Escondido sightsee-ery.

1:30 PM PST The time I actually arrive at RHS, home of the Bulldogs. There was much confusion in actually finding the school, as I was led astray by a decoy stadium and directions that pertained only to my having arrived on the 67 as planned. Anyway, I missed the first period of low brass (don't worry, more on them later) but arrived just in time to coach a worthy young man by the name of Dave and his contra. I was jubilant to discover that he had "young blood brass" scribbled on his marching band music, and happy to offer him assistance in getting hold of their music as he expressed difficulty in doing so. Dave and I explore the many facets of brass playing and he proves to be an exceptional kid and a decent player. Daniel James, the director, asks me to stay and coach an after school sectional with the three players I missed while touring the neighborhoods of urban Ramona. (A side note: both Daniel and Jeff, the HVMS director, are very cute in that late twentysomething band director kind of way. I likey) So I agree, and I am subjected to an hour and a half of frustration with the Three Stooges. Freshman, in other words. Freshman boys. Let's not get into the details, for I am afraid reliving the experience would cause me a few gray hairs.

4:00 PM PST I am released from my torture and free to return to RB where I can relax in peace. Somewhat. My way home (properly, on 67) turns into a tour of the mast extent of the fire damage. Entire hillsides are blackened and I can see the places where houses used to be. It is very humbling. I am grateful that we were spared and I hope that the rebuilding process is not too draining for the victims. At home as usual the TV is on loudly (are my parents going deaf? i think so) and I just want to crawl into my room and subsequently into a book. Which I do. Until I realize that the food items I have at my disposal are unappetizing at this point in time and my parents provide little else to nuture a vegetarian. They are, for example, having hamburgers for dinner. So...

7:00 PM PST I head off to China Fun and purchase veggie lo mein. Yummers. I eat and then go to Borders which has become my favored escape from the sounds of TV. Plus, I get chai and I get to look at books and music. I like Borders and I don't care if I'm selling out. They do an okay job for a corporation. Anyway, at Borders I start making a mental list of...

Things I want for AKGPT Day*
Manifesta, Richards and Baumgardner
Fast Food Nation, Eric Schl....please forgive me I'm too lazy to look up last names
Nickled and Dimed, Barbara Erleinbach?--ditto to above
Pink Think, Lynn Peril
Stupid White Men, Michael Moore
Skipping Toward Gomorrah, Dan Savage (thanks to Adam for reminding me)

The Hours
Bend it like Beckham

Ani Difranco--it occurred to me the other day that although I am a big fan, my ani listening was always Jerry-sponsored, and thus I have none of her cds except Evolve
Brahms German Requiem
Shostakovich and Bartok string quartets
Prokofiev anything (although I have lots already-you can't get enough of good old Proky!)
Mahler (my collection is severely lacking in Mahler goodness!)
Bend it Like Beckham soundtrack

*sigh* I would buy all of these things had I the money. I would check out the books from the library if they had them, which they might, but I haven't looked yet. But-both of my parents have birthdays soon and I also completely neglected their anniversary last month.

Oh yeah-*Atheist Kids Get Presents Too. I didn't make that up. I read it somewhere and now I can't remember where. I think it's hilarious. For those of us who've lost the Christmas spirit but still want the goodies.

post spellcheck note: how is Prokofiev in the blogger dictionary but Shostakovich is not? I find that a little weird. Not that Shostakovich isn't in the spellchecker but that even Prokofiev is, when he is generally ranked under Shosty in terms of popularity. Oh well. Go Sergei! You are my dream date, you big hunk(ok, really skinny and weird looking) o' man you!

now that's just cruel...

I flipped to FM 92.1 on my car radio dial, expecting to hear their usual dose of bad popular rock/punk, and instead got KSON. Country. They turned an independent rock station into a country station? WTF, mate? Think of all the poor San Diegans (mostly males, aged 14-30) who are crying into their pillows today because they can no longer hear the latest Puddle of Mudd. Instead they were forced to listen baffled to 30 seconds of Toby Keith or what have you before they regained the presence of mind to switch to the safety of 91X. This is a travesty, I tell you. There is now a great hole in the middle of what was once the "Great 90s" for when you press seek from 91X you have to go all the way up to 94.9 before you get even some semblance of rock music. Even 93.3 in the middle cannot quell the sorrow, for its collection of bad hiphop and top 40 is no match for the giant that has today fallen, 92.1. Oh the humanity!!!

Actually, despite the dripping sarcasm, I am a little sad, and I'm wondering if they've relocated on the dial. It was one of the last radio stations in SD that wasn't a Clear Channel ass-whupped media mouthpiece. *Sigh* Well, I'll continue with my practice of recycling my tapes of Beatles albums through my tape deck. Maybe even pull out the time-tested En Vogue "Funky Divas" album. And shed a tear, just like that Native American guy did when we trashed his land. Or not.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


I've been somewhat keeping up on the atrocities Bush commits in the name of life, but I just now saw this. Anything wrong with this picture? You get one guess. There ain't nothing that chills my blood quite like 10 white men grinning like they just got picked for the football team. May I refer you to Davis's blog from Nov 5th for an official rant. I'm too disgusted.

well, ain't the internet something?

Margaret Cho has a blog. Kick ass, man! She is so damn hilarious.

I had a funny thought this morning while I was lying in bed waiting for my uncle to be done with the bathroom so I could pee. You know how sometimes guys'll have contests seeing who can grow the best beard? I think women should start having "Best Leg Hair" or "Best Armpit Hair" contests. I think that would be hilarious and maybe even help teach people that woman hair is NOT bad. Plus, you wouldn't get those nasty red shaving bumps for a while.

Well I did promise that I would revise my manifesta. I'm still working on it. Unfortunately right now I have to concentrate on a lot of other things- getting my applications done, writing my personal statement, studying for the GRE, and planning my late December recital. Perhaps somewhere in there I will take a break and get all bitchy again. Sweet.

I am still waiting to hear about this stupid lifeguarding job. I hope it's today, although I have a sinking feeling that they will not hire me. If they do not, I will go ahead and take that Cuban band gig in TJ. Hey, why not? It's money baby, and it gets me out of the house three days a week. Plus it gets me out of doing the terrible terrible youth band thing that I agreed to do. Wait-okay, it's not that terrible. The only terrible thing about it is the two people running it. Mostly Don, the old guy. As I mentioned to Felicia, if you're shakin' you ain't got no place keeping time. Also, "ready, play" doesn't always work so hot. And I get the feeling that Betsy's kind of insane. She gave me like eight hugs in the two hours I was there. The kids are great, and Kyle and Tea seem nice. I think you could do a lot with the band, and it just isn't happening because you can only milk so much knowledge of music out of the same four armed forces marches. (Not to mention my immediate distaste for the glorification of the armed forces and also marches in general)

*sigh* Well, I've got to put together this packet for Profs Smith and Richardson, so they can recommend me into a good music program. ASU is pissing me off for not getting directly back to me with simple information, such as APPLICATION DATES and whether or not recommendation letters are REQUIRED. Fuck fuck fuck. The problem is I really do want to go there, as it is one of my top choices and all. So I don't want to screw up the application. Unfortunately the website has the honor of being extremely uninformative. Typical. Okay, enough bitching, fuck them, I'm going to Montreal, baby! yeah!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

keeping americans living in fear one high school student at a time

Here's another ode to stupidity and conservatism.

Hm, what topic out of the many that come to mind when reading about this event should I discuss? Drug culture and our various reactions to it? Police abusing their privileges? Creating an environment in which teenagers can feel trusted and responsible? The education system as a whole-do we consider schools the places that should police our children? Are schools a place where kids can feel comfortable and open? (consider my own high school and the infamous panty raid) Or- hell, why not violate civil rights? It's fun, yeah?

One of Jerry's favorite things to say about drugs goes along these lines: "I was the star student in my school's DARE program, and two years later I was smoking pot." Pretty telling eh? I'm using Jerry as an example because my own shy, non-rebellious teenagerhood doesn't give me any depth of experience. I'm wondering which is more compelling- that DARE and other drug resistance programs don't really "keep kids off drugs," or that we often use scare tactics to educate rather than helping ALL kids to be self-sufficient and self-confident and make their own decisions (while also giving them a real, honest teaching on drugs and addiction).

Now, before you go jumping on my back and saying, "Of course drugs are bad! Do you want our children to become a nation of addicts?" allow me to defend myself. If you raise a child to be confident, responsible, and free-thinking, all the while trusting them to make their own choices and educating them with honest facts, you will likely get an adult (or teenager) who can take things into perspective. If you have an ad campaign that is based on wrongful facts (take the current ad campaign against marijuana- I heard tell of one commercial that said smoking weed led one kid to shoot his best friend in an argument-any of you feel like a shoot out when you smoke up? To me that seems contrary to the effects of a pot high) and scare tactics combined with a generation of kids whose parents are afraid to let them make their own decisions, I predict you will get a fair amount of kids doing drugs.

And do you think this is fair: It is admitted that alcohol and tobacco are just as addicting as most drugs on the market. Like drugs, they create a dependency on an outside stimulant. Yet every day we are bombarded by ads for beer and cigarettes that are perfectly legal. So what message are we sending to kids? "Well, cocaine'll kill you so don't do it. Look at all these pictures of people that have been made terribly ugly by cocaine. Oh, but once you're 21*, party like a frat boy and get all the hot chicks with your can of Bud Light!!" (*Oh but we don't care if you do it before, as long as we make money)

I don't think the problem is that alcohol and tobacco shouldn't be legal. I think the problem is choice. Do we have the choice to an education about drugs and their real effects that also allows us to make the decision for ourselves? Or are we presented with scare tactics and false facts when we don't have a choice in the first place?

Disclaimer- I have no real experience with illegal drug use. As I said before I led a happy childhood terrified that someone would offer me drugs and would turn me into nasty slut that got bad grades. I am admittedly underresearched on the topic and am mostly just speculating. To my knowledge my DARE program gave me accurate facts about what would happen to me should I become addicted to heroin. However, I remain insulted by the fact that they chose to present me with these facts in a way that intimated that should I become addicted to heroin I would die a painful and lonely death. That drug addicts are terrible people with evil eyes and bloody noses, and get bad grades. Where's the love, people? Can't we all just get along?

special! two rants for the price of one!

that's right me lovelies. I have one more thing to rant about, but I'll keep this one short, I promise.

I DESPISE blanket racist statements such as this one: "Well, it's a nice neighborhood. I suppose you don't get many hispanics? Or are they everywhere these days?"

Makes your blood boil, doesn't it? But, I am ashamed to admit that it came out of the mouth of someone I dearly respect, my uncle Dick.

Makes me want to respond to this later statement- "Well I guess I did see a few Mexicans"- "Oh really? And they weren't stealing or shooting each other? Good lord! What kind of Mexicans are they? Are they dangerous? Should we pass a law about it? Oh dear Lord! I can feel my white privilege slipping as we speak!"

*sigh* Again I say, can't we all just get along?

Monday, November 10, 2003

lorn, queen of html

or...not really, but at least I'm smart enough to follow instructions and to pick out matching colors. Thanks to BlogSpeak I now have a comment function! It is compatable with Blogger and requires little maintence. Please use it wisely and post only constructive criticism or positive remarks. I will remove any posts I feel are hateful or contain offensive remarks. I don't want no trolls!

In the process of adding my comment function I learned that HTML is not as scary as I was previously led to believe. In fact, I am perfectly capable of fixing the problems that arose whilst adding the code. Hurray for me! Now comment, people, or I shall be forced to keeeel you. Like a boat. keel. har har. oh never mind.

thank you, moopheus

This is hilarious. Check it out. Go PETA! hehe. I think it would have been even better if they'd made "Leo's" voice a little more Bill and Ted, you know?

anyway, that brings me to the point where I think, well with all this other activism stuff I've got going on, why not go green as well? I pretty much already am. Makes pooping easier (Jerry will attest). Right now I'm on sort of a "well I won't buy or make meat for myself but oh, okay, you made a steak? Right on" kind of diet. Hmm. Some cogitating will be done on this.

I have some revisions to make to my Manifesta, which will be arriving in due time and with the necessary research completed. I'm planning on changing my stance a little, and refocusing some energy on different things. Further reading: Gloria Steinem's piece "Sex Lies and Advertising," which I found in her book Moving Beyond Words. I won't give anything away-tune in later for more.

Rock on. Today I've promised myself a practice session, something that I've been avoiding for a week and a half. Gotta find the love in the trombone man-gotta snap out of the laziness.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

for those of you who were wondering my opinion...

on NBC's new reality tv show Average Joe.

Last night I was flipping channels and came across this program. I must admit I watched it with some amount of fascination. The premise, if you are unaware, is that one lovely lady will have a chance to pick her "dream guy" from a cast of 16, ala Joe Millionaire. Unfortunately, as the website states, "the joke's on her" because her dream guys are less than beautiful. The show is playing a prank on Melana, who is advertised as being every hetero man's dream girl- a "former NFL cheerleader and beauty queen"-and who was also quoted as saying that she was "looking for a good personality."

Well, Melana has stood up to my expectations and proven herself to be a genuine person-although the camera made much of her initial reaction to seeing an "average" slightly overweight and shiny-skinned man step out of the limo, she remained gracious and friendly throughout the evening. She seems like a great woman, funny, intelligent, and understanding. I think she realized that the show was playing a joke on her and she decided to make the best of it and shove it back in their faces. Those viewers who are looking for the stereotype of a catty, shallow beautiful woman will not find it in Melana.

Now, as far as my opinions on the premise of the show go, let's jump right in, shall we? It's a terrible idea and just one more indication of how far our culture of beauty has gone to make people feel bad about being "average." And that placing a beautiful woman in the company of 16 self-admitted "geeks" and "nerds" who have been played up to be slightly less than Prince Charming is ample material for humor and sensationalism in today's society. Because we all know that beauty and average cannot co-exist. While being terribly insulting to the contestants (were I in their place I would certainly consider breaking contract), it is also insulting to the girl herself by assuming that she will prove the stereotypes about her.

But perhaps the producers did expect Melana to be gracious and friendly. In this case they are challenging society's impressions of "average" and "beautiful." Maybe they are "average joes" themselves and want to see the "nice guy finish first." But that also assumes that "nice" and "gorgeous" are mutually exclusive, while these guys being ugly or fat makes them the cream of the emotional crop (never mind that one guy's comment "oh yeah, I'm gonna get some hot ass"). I think the whole premise is faulty, and it is up to Melana to prove that none of these things are important. Unfortunately, I can see how this will all get blown out of proportion and a huge deal will be made out of "beauty and the beast" or whatnot. Because our stereotypes and enforced cultural opinions on beauty are steeped in a long tradition of financial backing. But I won't get into that and you can read my Nov 7th post for more. :)

Interesting to think how this would work if reversed. Consider several different options.

1. Keep the same sixteen "unattractive" men (although I consider Tareq to be rather dashing and handsome...perhaps it's because he's not white that he's an "average joe") but find a woman that doesn't meet cultural standards of beauty. Someone who wasn't a beauty queen. Put me in there for example. Measure me up to the beauty myth and you'll find I don't fit. Will those men be equally as gracious as Melana was to them? Or will they be disappointed and angry? Consider that standards of beauty are much harsher for women. What then?

2. One dashing man and sixteen "Average Janes." Some pudgy, some flat-chested, some with less than perfect skin. Again, would the star be gracious and open-minded? Would women stand for their treatment as "average," perhaps seeking drastic ways of conforming to the beauty myth, or would they protest being called "average" and be confident in their beautiful personalities to win the hunk's heart?

3. Sixteen gorgeous women and a less than perfect hero. Again, think about what the reactions might be. Would the hero see himself as king of a cast of beauties? Would he objectify the women or feel insecure in his charm? Again, what price, open-mindedness?

Of course, 1 and 2 would not work because Average Janes are not given any media attention, and are basically denied the right to exist. Woman must be a trophy-and who wants a tarnished or ill-made trophy? Note the contestants' collective excitement that Melana is beautiful. Were they expecting anything less?

What I have learned from this scenario is that we are paying a heady price for our own body images, and for setting up ideals and sacrificing those who don't fit to the category of "average." There is something fundamentally wrong with a culture than can take two people who are intelligent, caring, humorous and open-minded-some of the best characteristics of the human race-and set them apart from each other because one is "beautiful" and the other "average." It is also telling of how the beauty myth is seeping into men's space as well, and how soon we might all be consumed.

I really have to get a comment function on this thing. I'd love to hear your thoughts. an email, perhaps.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

dear father: several reasons that prove you to be a tremendous asshole

In this open letter to my father (which he will never read, as I will prove that he has wholly disregarded and disrespected my capacity for rational thought and thus this would be a paradox for him) I will explore the many reasons which I feel have separated my father and I to this current state of emotional distance.

This blog is sponsored by the following adventure in H family politics:
At dinner this evening, with my uncle Dick as our honored guest, my dad made some crack, I don't remember the context, to the lines of "Ich bien ein Deutchlander" (i apologize profusely to Bethany, Davis, Grant, and anyone else who reads this with any knowledge of German). I laughed and said, "Like I am a donut!" Because I remember someone telling me that JFK's famous "Ich bien ein Berliner" really meant "I am a donut." Well apparently this found offense in my father's ears. This is not hard to do. He said "What?!?" and I said, "Never mind, pass the hot dog buns." And then he got offended. So I attempted to explain myself, saying that someone had told me that JFK's German was incorrect and that it really meant, "I am a donut" (that still cracks me up). But I can hardly get a word in edgewise before he starts rattling off about how he knows German better than I and that I've insulted him and la-di-fucking-da. So witness the two of us, cut of the same stubborn cloth, plowing forth on our respective rants and not paying any mind to the other. I win! No really, I got the laughs. That's right. Lorn wins.

Here comes the point where I say: Why does my relationship with my father have to be a contest of wills? What's his deal? Okay-since the argument (I didn't post about this, but before I left for Wisconsin my dad and I had the long awaited confrontation which I lost, because my stubborn cloth is interwoven with non-confrontation cloth), I have admittedly changed my tune and done my best to endure my dad's lectures, racist statements, faulty politics, and patriarchal attitudes. I have had conversation with him about the events of my day. I have smiled and said good morning. Hurrah. I have put up with dirty countertops and urgings to "help mom out around the house."

What it comes down to is this:
I refuse to be put into a situation with my own father, who should love me and want to hear my opinion on things, in which my opinion is instead devalued and debunked merely on the basis of it being contrary and hostile to his own. I reserve my right to liberal thinking opinions and non-racist policies. I did not vote for Arnold. Go to hell. You are a crabby and obnoxious pig-headed old man and although I am required to love you, I am not happy with you. Deal with it. You're not frigging perfect. Neither am I. But I have the good sense to listen to someone finish talking before I assume anything about the content of their speech.

Dearest BS readers, I am sorry for the intense content of the past couple blogs. I promise next time I will post something more lighthearted, like a picture of a kitty stuck in a hammock. Until then, please accept my sincerest apologies. Or, kindly fuck off. Thank you.

Friday, November 07, 2003

i am hatching an evil feminist plot

mwahahaha. Oh yes. I am hatching a plot. It is very exciting. The first stage of this plot is this:

To my friends who read this:
I have decided to do a personal boycott of the beauty industry. By that, I mean the vast majority of women's magazines such as Cosmo, Elle, YM, Seventeen, Marie-Claire, Redbook, etc etc etc. I will also include all beauty products that use advertisements to tell women that they can "change" or "lose weight" or "look sexier." I include such products that have no medical basis for improving skin care or "firming cellulite." or otherwise in my boycott. I include diet drugs, diet programs and exercise fads. Cosmetic surgery. Clothing companies that only cater to one body type and season after season reduce their sizes and designs. Movies that portray stereotyped and typical women's roles. That hire anorexic actresses. That promote myths about men's "aggressiveness" and women's "submissiveness." Pornography.

I promise to support financially and vocally the counters to these items: magazines that promote positive self-image and achievement, such as Bitch, Bust, and Ms. There are many others, and they deserve support. I promise to promote a healthy sexual outlook in people whenever I get the opportunity, to never deny a teenager the right to knowledge or advice. I promise to let stores that cater to the Beauty Myth know that there needs to be a standard of measurement for women's clothes that includes body types of all shapes. I will support the erotica industry, which promotes loving sexual relationships, or at least equal and non-violent sexual relationships, instead of the violence and misogyny of the pornography industry.

This list could go on and on. Most of you who know me understand that I have been doing this anyway. So why make the statement now? The answer is this: What I am asking my dear Buddha Stew readers is that you join me. I ask that you, too, decline from participating in the beauty myth and make your own personal statement. I know that most of you have a positive outlook on body image, so even if you read a women's magazine for kicks, or just to look, please consider the damage that they do to others and remove your money from their pockets. If you enjoy pornography, perhaps you would consider looking for something that is less violent or unrealistic. Refrain from judging a person on their appearance or clothing until you get a glimpse of their mind and personality. See the beauty in humanity. Realize that in our consumer culture these industries depend on the insecurities they create to keep the money pouring in. The best way to make a stand here to is to take away financial support. Perhaps then they'll take notice.

There are so many things I'd like to be active in protesting: sexism, ageism, heterosexism, racism, sizeism, the list goes on. I feel that in making my stand against the beauty industry I can cover all of these. For example:

The beauty industry is sexist: it targets women and creates a consumer culture that keeps many from developing their minds beyond worries of weight and appearance. That puts woman at the mercy of how man sees her.

The beauty industry is ageist: it promotes cosmetic surgery of all kinds that reduces the natural effects of aging and denies it a beauty of its own. It denies women a life after 30.

The beauty industry is heterosexist: it feeds on images of "how to please your man" and "the best sexual positions" (read: intercourse). It denies information on alternate sexual experiences.

The beauty industry is racist: consistently white actresses and models appear as cover girls, black models are reserved for months when magazines don't generally "sell as well." Blonde and blue-eyed are beautiful and ideal.

The beauty industry is sizeist: it relies on an ever decreasing waist size to model its fashions. It denies women with curves the right to enjoy their bodies and feel sexy.

I believe in a feminism that allows you the right to choose your path. Of course great progress has been made in allowing women access to public spheres. You don't have to be a housewife if you don't want to. You can be a housewife if you want to. You can be sexually active, lesbian, bisexual, virgin or just plain asexual. But don't be fooled into thinking that feminism is done, that it's served its purpose and retired into history. The beauty industry is part of an intense backlash against women's liberation, an effort to block social change and keep the money pouring into the right pockets. Someone is afraid that women can change the world-and they're right, they can. Whatever version of inequality you look into, be it racial or gendered, classist or sexual, you'll notice this similarity: inequality requires a system of control. Control can translate into capitalism (go ahead, call me a crazy socialist psychopath :), warfare, religious fundamentalism. Control is important to those people who benefit from it, and in our society it happens to be white men. Thus these interests that I express are dangerous to them, because it means change. It means giving up power and admitting to wrongs and having to explain their actions for the past thousands of years. It means admiring all people as people first and ethnic and gender groups last. And losing money.

This is probably, at first read, a complex tangle of every theory I've ever had or read about and assimilated. I want to explain that I consider every action of inequality to be of equal importance and equally deserving of action. I want to do my part, and this is it. I am taking a small step: the personal is political. Change on the national level is hardly worth dreaming about, but with a few small actions multiplied-well, maybe you can dream. So, if you've made it this far without falling asleep or getting pissed off at me, please consider what I am asking, and send me an email if you support it (please no hate mail, although I will gladly take suggestions or concerns). I want both women and men to take a stand on this. I'm not a man-hater; you all know this. That's not feminism. Don't be afraid to challenge the system. All of this depends on money-you have it, and you get to choose where it goes. Please choose wisely.

Readings that have influenced my thinking (only a sample and all I have the energy to cite):
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
SLUT! Growing up Female with a Bad Reputation Leora Tanenbaum
The Gender Knot: Unraveling our Patriarchal Legacy Alan G Johnson
Women, Race, and Class Angela Y. Davis

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

here i go again

back in ye olde san diego. bummer. shit sandwich. fartnuggets.

no, it's okay I think. I am feeling refreshed from my trip and hopefully the happiness will carry me a little longer this time. I've decided to go ahead and do all my grad school stuff, get that out of the way, and concentrate on life. I'm thinking maybe that a move back to Madison is in my future, in January perhaps. In this way (here comes the justification) I may more easily travel to my upcoming auditions in the midwest. This is a rather weak justification. Actually I am questioning my needing to justify it at all. Let's just put it this way: I want to be with Jerry. In being with Jerry I find that I can stop focusing on how I am not with Jerry and focus on how I want my life to be. It's like a reprieve, a retreat from the stark hysterical nights I spend trying to decide the nature and strength of love. In other words, putting myself back into a comfortable situation will help me to make a more complete decision about what happens next. Does this make sense? No one think I'm ducking out here? Or giving up? Well it's possible it won't happen. I know I can do it without Jerry, already I know that the months ahead are not going to be as hard as the past two. Hard nevertheless, but still I have an understanding of what reserves they will take.

I am also coming to understand that it is entirely unreasonable of me to require Jerry to make any decisions concerning the future. I remember what it's like; college seems so protected and distant that it's easy to push off decisions until the last possible instant. Also it is not my life to control. Any and all directions that he may choose to go in are under his command, and his only. I may feel sometimes like I deserve a little effort from him, but I have to remember that this is the part of me that wants a little payback for giving up my summer to spend with him at Blue Lake. The selfish part of me. The part of me that ignores the fact that I made that decision and was not in any way coerced or guilted into going. Except by myself, of course.

Basically it comes to this: I'm deciding on the molecular level right now that I want to reinvent my life. To chance focus. So I become insecure about the things that I've set myself up to do: performance, trombone, music etc. What I am left with is my relationship with Jerry being the only real true understood thing. I need to start from that point and go outward. I need to re-evaluate and take things as they come. For now I should not push the relationship envelope, because that it what weakens it. I need to use the strength that comes from it, and the power that it has, as a safe haven. All things will come from here. This too shall pass.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

in which i am feeling very conflicted

hello all. I am in Madison and happy to be so! It's fall and I love it. Hats and mittens, hurrah! It is wonderful to see everyone so far. Haven't done too much but I think that's fine, just the fact of being here is making me feel calmer and happier. Went to Mikey's Hallowe'en party last night as Rosie the Riveter, and was very surprised that people got it right away! It was the cheapest and easiest costume ever, and the most successful. A lesson learned. Today I walked around, bought two candles at the Farmer's Market, and browsed through A Room of One's Own, Exclusive Company, any stores that I miss, etc. I stopped in the Humanities bldg to pee and talked to Dan Henkel for a few minutes. Otherwise the bldg was pretty deserted. Ha-rumph. I would like to make the best of my time by hanging out with folks, but I'll take what I get. Tomorrow I will see Katie and Cara's recitals, and maybe go to the SAI meeting. Monday I have my lesson with James Campbell, so I need to practice for that.

In respect to my title, I am feeling conflicted because I know I am happy here, and that I am unhappy in San Diego. I want to move back. But should I give up on some of the seeds I've sown in Ca to start all over here? Is it too late? Would people think me strange or weak? Can I even afford it-would I get a job? Am I doing it for Jerry or for myself (well, I can answer that one, it would be for myself because I need to have Jerry around, selfishly)? Anyway, lots of people mention my desire to leave that I expressed often last spring and ask me if I would regret coming back here because I would feel trapped again. I don't think so. What I regret is leaving. But now I have to decide if I consider this "giving up" and going back to a comfortable situation, or if I consider it doing what is best for my mental and emotional health. Also, I argue that moving back here would not be entirely comfortable, as I would have to reestablish myself, find job, apt, furniture, etc. I dunno. I might come back in the summer if it turns out my grad school is out here.
I would also like to talk to Jerry about how we see each other in the future. I don't feel like I would be compromising any of my goals or dreams to make room for him in my future. I just think it's something to consider-when you find someone you love, isn't it silly to give it up? We have a few options and I would like to discuss them.

Well, I'm going to practice a bit and then hit the town for dinner. Yum yum, Himal Chuli :)