Saturday, January 31, 2004

thinking, via we have brains

The collaborative topic for the week at WHB is:
What do you think keeps activist movements apart, both historically and today? Do you feel that movements need to work together, or are we all working on different things in different ways? And finally, how do you personally respond when other work you do seems to conflict with your feminist work?

A disclaimer, first off: I'm not any sort of scholar on the history of women's liberation, suffrage, black civil rights, or any such movement. Most of my information comes from memory, small snippets of history found in books, etc. So, if you feel my information is incorrect or if you would like to add something to my argument, please feel free.

This question came about from a discussion Kerri and Lenee initiated about the reasons the women's movement has not always appealed to women of color. In my understanding this came about first from the general climate of racism and inferiority present in past times, and second from pressures on individual groups not to band because they would lose support for the cause from other groups. The best and most relevant example is of course the ways in which women's suffrage used racist language to gain support from southern Democrats to win the vote before black men (where black women fit into this picture, is, as usual, nowhere). While the women's movement grew out of the great strides women made in abolitionist discourse and protests, once slavery was done away with the backlash began. Talk of giving the vote to black men enraged women campaigning for suffrage who felt their efforts and hard-won independence had been overlooked. Unfortunately, instead of using other reasoning to further their cause, many women turned to racist arguments. From what I recall of Angela Davis' Women, Race, and Class, the argument was that white women as a whole are far more educated than the average black man, and therefore more qualified to get the vote and use it to white supremacist advantage.

I think you can use this example to explain how movements that might be stronger as a unit do not band together. The first wave of feminism was afraid to continue supporting civil rights for the freed slaves because it meant the men in power would take away their small gains. It's a case of backlash politics: the men who reigned supreme in Washington didn't want to see too many changes all at once, and two angry, oppressed groups together would represent more than enough social power to change the status quo. Thus, they worked hard to separate the two units and diminish their strength. This same "divide-and-conquer" tactic can be applied to the backlash against feminism in the 80's: a collective outpouring of false statistics, undermining media imagery, and political movements served to keep women apart and on edge, thus taking away the power the women's movement of the 70s had in collective energy.

In short, and more to the point, movements of social change are kept apart by other forces (read: "wealthy white men in powerful positions") afraid of the amount of change that might actually occur. Civil rights and the early women's movement were kept apart by suitors who had a political interest in seeing the other group fail; in pitting one group against the other they insured both would falter.

When coming into my own as a feminist, it was repeated to me over and over again that you cannot fight against one form of social oppression effectively without supporting all of them. In fact, I couldn't help but gain further understanding of racism, heterosexism, and sizism through feminism because I was beginning to grasp the language of oppression. They are all the same; you can replace nouns in one text on feminism with those from one on racism and the feel is identical. I rant equally on issues that effect all areas of civil rights, from feminism to gay rights to racism. I can't help it, one topic begets another. Therefore, I idealistically state that movements for social change must help one another out in order to make significant progress.

Realistically, is this possible? One of the things about feminism that works for me is that it applies to women of all ethnic and racial backgrounds. Gender inequality harms black women, lesbians, chicanas, transsexuals, poor women, rich women, pregnant women, plus-sized women, etc etc etc. Reading some of bell hook's work, I am aware of her frustration with black civil rights leaders who on some level feel racial equality is a man's world, or that it should come before women's equality. And I feel that this is a great detriment to the movement because it discounts the feelings and rights of half of the black population. So the question I have is: which should come first? Embracing a philosophy of equal rights from within, changing the black community to value women, or fighting against racism first and changing women's traditions after this has been accomplished?

Natalie wisely said the other day that the reason we must keep fighting for our rights is that to stop would mean everything would be lost. Now we are fighting just to stay in one place, just to keep the rights that we have. Thus I think that a movement, such as black civil rights, should embrace all issues of equality at the same time that it challenges social structures. On some level, change will be made. I'm using black civil rights as an example, but it could be applied to any group.

And finally, how do I react when I find myself doing work that conflicts with my feminist ideals? Well, I can't say I've done much of that (conflicting, that is), but in social situations I'm becoming better and better at analyzing the roles I play (in a conversation, for example, or as a musician) and making sure that my participation lines up with my feminist expectations. It's difficult to desocialize, but it can be done. I've learned to turn off the TV when it insults me, read literature that inspires me, and converse with people that stimulate me. It's a fair trade, I'd say. And I'm coming closer and close to aligning my political viewpoints on all issues that effect our country today because of it.

Friday, January 30, 2004

i have a question

and if you know the answer please enlighten me.

Where are we getting all this money?

Lately I can't even complain about Bush and this administration; it just wears me out. So all I have to say to this is:
ARRRRRGH *tearing hair*

The part that bothers me is not so much the money (although all I ever hear from Bush is spend this, spend that when I can't imagine he's ever had to worry about money) but how little sense all this war stuff makes to me. So, there's no WMD in Iraq, and still they make a big deal about it. I thought all this talk about the war on terror was supposed to make the world safer. *snort* So why do we keep spending so much on military weapons and defense systems? Shouldn't we also be setting an example?

Or wait, is that too idealistic of me? Am I just a silly hippy? Silly hippy, peace is for rich people.

things of minor interest

Currently reading:
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, Susan Faludi
Killing Rage, bell hooks

Currently en route to my eagerly awaiting hands:
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, Igna Muscio
Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgarnder

Spend the day with Natalie, chatting and attending two of her very interesting classes. The first, a class on discourse (forgive me, Nat, I'm not sure of the title), was pretty intense. I'm not sure if I could effectively regurgitate any of the information, so I'll just wait until it sinks in a little. I greatly enjoyed the other class, Gender and Reproductive Rights in the Law, for lots of reasons. The professor was awesome. So funny, so foul-mouthed, so wonderful. The class was entirely women, I believe, and it created an air of relaxation and enjoyment that, no offence guys, having men around sometimes dislocates. The cases we discussed were extremely aggravating in the ways they displayed that the law is behind the times (in the case of Alison D, a lesbian who helped raise a child her lover had birthed) and also sexist in the ways it upholds gender stereotypes for both men and women as fathers and mothers.

Extremely interesting. Lately haven't felt too much like blogging but I assure I still think of you often, dear Buddha Stew fans. ;) Right now, it's time for Futurama.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

and he might get re-elected?

Via Echidne here is a funny poem of our President's (all actual quotes):

Make the Pie Higher

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen
And uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the internet
Become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish
Can coexist.

Families is where our nation finds hope
Where our wings take dream.
Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!
Make the pie higher!

I think we can all agree that he makes a great existentialist poet, but maybe not so much a president.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

side effects of moon-induced enlightenment may include...

-popping grapes like a decadent roman empress
-designing a tattoo for placement on right hip
-wanting to clubbing with reckless abandon
-unabashed desires to make out with women
-thoughts of storming Washington DC and talking sense into people
-willingness to educate and similarly enlighten all other women

Because that's what I'm calling this. Enlightenment. Empowerment. And enlightenment, as we should all know from our Buddhism classes (what's that you say? You've never taken a Buddhism class? Sacrilege!), is not the attainment of nirvana but rather buddhahood, in turn supplying our knowledge to the rest of the world through great compassion.

Not that I'm claiming to be any sort of guru. I think I'll stick with good ol' empowered woman. Still, I feel I could do some edumacating around hyeah. Live a little.

Because I really do feel alive. Like I've never really felt before. Is this happiness? Maybe so. But it's also antsiness and I'd like to do me some activism. Word.

Monday, January 26, 2004

life is so goddam beautiful, i can't stop crying

Oh my goodness. What a wonderful, marvelous, beautiful, soulful, intense, hilarious, moon-given moment I just had. I have to write it down before the feeling fades (although right now it might never!) and here I am. I want to share it with you. I want you to know the power of me.

Cunt is such a book. Such a book and a force to be reckoned with. If you have a cunt, you have to read it. I will give it to you for your birthday! Or on your next period. I will! You have to have it. I wish I had it. I have to go to Borders and read it there because I am dirt poor and need to be able to afford plane tickets to Montreal. But I might just get it anyway, because it makes the power of me, the power of woman so wonderful I just can't stop the feeling that hot lava is coursing through my veins and if you asked me to I could change the world with one blink of an eye.

You know me. You know I want women to be equal, recognized, signature human beings. You know I would fight for the death to see things changed around here. Maybe you don't know, but I just went off the pill, and I just had my first non-pill period, my first REAL LIVE WONDERFUL menstration in almost four years. Because you don't really have a period on the pill. You have a fake one. That a pill tells you to have. And that's crap. You should know that it's crap to the fullest extent. Because why would you dislike or abuse something that is natural and becoming and perfect just for womenfolk? Why would you let society tell you it's bad and painful and dirty and you should cover it up or not have it (because when I see those ads for birth control that will skip your period for four months, I feel sick, like that would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Not have my period?!?! But it makes me a woman! It makes me a force to be reckoned with. It makes my day, honestly. I love it.) ??!?? Why? Love your body, love the goddess you are. You can make life or take it away. Men can only take it away. You've got twice the power, twice the love. Use it!!

So I'm going off because there's so much energy and it's channeling into my fingers and I can't keep to the point, but why should there be a point? I feel great goddess buddha-inspired wonderful and nothing can ever stop me now. I was reading the chapter of Cunt about learning about the moon, and how it affects you and your cycle, and on and on. I left the store, and I got in my car, and I drove home. I was going up the hill to my neighborhood when the moon peaked out above the crest. It's smiling! The moon is smiling right now, go outside and look, it's smiling and it's smiling at YOU and ME because things are in your hands, the world is ripe for change and who is going to do it? YOU and ME.
The moon was smiling at me because it knows I'm bleeding and it's happy for me. We can share this beautiful moment where life is renewed again and again through me. I laughed out loud! I laughed so hard and I said "I love you too, moon!" And I laughed and laughed and giggled and chuckled with tears streaming down my face until my stomach hurt but I still laughed and loved the moon and I love myself and it's all up to me. Everything. Everything changes this day forth. I am a full person now. I understand my wonderful, beautiful body and I worship it and it worships me in return. We can do wonders together. We are one, finally.

You may think I'm crazy but what do I care! You don't feel as good as I do, unless you do because you recognize the power of you and you are crying with me because of the truth that I speak. I am crazy. And I am a genius and a lover and an artist all in my own soul. I am me and that is what I will always be. No one can stop me. No one can stop you, either, and let's be goddess and gods together. Let's make something happen. Now.

The moon and I, we're best friends. We laugh at each other and love each other and I dedicate this day, January 26th, to my new and dearest friend Moon. May we have many more beautiful moments together. I wish you the same forever and ever and ever and ever.

tired old chops!

I just ran my audition program, minus excerpts. I did work on some little spots that were rough, but mostly I was just doing it to see if I could. See if I have stamina for this concert tour I'm doing next month. :)

I made it. I couldn't play the high Cs in the Stevens Sonata but I didn't get the low note crap or crazy fracking issue due to fatigue. I feel good. I have earned chai!

Therefore, I am off to Borders to get chai and read some more of Cunt by Igna Muscio. Yay, vulvas!

I hope everyone had a super Monday. How was your Monday? Did you make a new friend? Have a good lunch? Was the weather nice or crappy. Let me how your day was, I'd love to know. Mine, it was good. I coached at Ramona, and taught the freshman to double tongue. I impressed them with how fast I could do it, and it made them respect me a little more which was definitely called for. The tuba player, David, and I woodshedded scales because of his difficultly associating fingerings with notes. A minor problem. :) It was good though, and I was hard on him. I'm learning tuba fingerings fast and I like it. Now to get my hands on a tuba...
Also, it was a nice day and I ate a tuna sandwich. Hurray!

Peace and love to all y'all.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

i just wanted to see how many states i'd been to and i'm bored

Bold=state I've been to
Bold/Italic=state I've lived in

1 - Alabama 25 - Missouri
2 - Alaska 26 - Montana
3 -Arizona 27 - Nebraska
4 - Arkansas 28 - Nevada
5 - California 29 - New Hampshire
6 - Colorado 30 - New Jersey
7 - Connecticut 31 - New Mexico
8 - Delaware 32 - New York
9 - Florida 33 - North Carolina
10 - Georgia 34 - North Dakota
11 - Hawaii 35 - Ohio
12 - Idaho 36 - Oklahoma
13 - Illinois 37 - Oregon
14 - Indiana 38 - Pennsylvania
15 - Iowa 39 - Rhode Island
16 - Kansas 40 - South Carolina
17 - Kentucky 41 - South Dakota
18 - Louisiana 42 - Tennessee
19 - Maine 43 - Texas
20 - Maryland 44 - Utah
21 - Massachusetts 45 - Vermont
22 - Michigan 46 - Virginia
23 - Minnesota 47 - Washington
24 - Mississippi 48 - West Virginia
49 - Wisconsin
50 - Wyoming
51 - DC

17!!! And most of them this past summer. Should I could Blue Lake as living in Michigan? It certainly was an experience. Meijer and the stupid U-turn dealies and all.

Also for your amusement: 100 things to do with your boyfriend or girlfriend instead of "it." Stolen from Green Fairy, who stole it from someone else.

My favorites:
26. Look up all the synonyms for "love"
32. Visit a Japanese restaurant and do karaoke (that's not blatant stereotyping right there, is it?)
45. Have a burping contest
48. Head to Wal-mart to try on shoes-in styles you'll never buy (when I think romance, I think Wal-mart and shoes. Nothing gets me dripping like Wal-mart. Oooh. I get it.)
64. Watch a scary old horror movie. (because the teens having sex are always the ones that get killed)

Part of me feels this list could be used as a crackerjack way to build counseling teams at summer camps across the nation. I mean, it builds so much group spirit and cooperation! Putting things together without looking at the directions! Walkie-talkies and secret missions! Huzzah! I love camp.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

practicize! lift that lower jaw! lower it! lift! exhale!

While practicing today, I thought it might be a good idea to compile all of the stuff I've learned/been taught/discovered in this particular stage of my musical career.

*warning! Extremely boring for non-musicians. Proceed with caution*

I've discussed aspects of this with some people, but the big challenge for my trombone playing during my year-off (of what? private lessons I guess) has been the crazy noises coming out my horn when I wanted the noises to be less crazy and more like solid, perfect, beautiful notes. Preferably the note I intended it be, but I'll take any note over *bzzzzfartwhzzzzplop* (if you're curious, that sound has indeed from my bell and it was not pretty). Any sort of "zzzz" sound, I feel, is not recommended for classical audition training. To combat this problem I have been doing a fair amount of reading (mostly on the Online Trombone Journal, an excellent reference and a good way to get advice from all ages and levels of trombonist), practicing with different embouchure and breathing techniques, trying vainly to get Sean to meet with me and listen, and buying stuff. With t-minus two weeks to my first audition (ASU), things are finally starting to fall into place. My new-found love of practice and improvement has helped, but I'd like to give props to a few things I feel are doing me the most amount of good. I think that some of these are instrument-transferable; thus I hope I can lend a hand to any musician who wants some advice.

1. Breathe, breathe, breathe. For a long time this winter when I was struggling with weird noise issues, I was also sniffly and in between colds. I've always recognized the importance of breath control, but how easy it is to forget when you're sick! Post-sick, I still wasn't breathing, and I couldn't understand why playing still made me feel woozy like a Chris McGann 21st birthday. I started doing some exercises (my favorite: breathe in 8, hold 8, out 8, hold 8, increase value until room spins) and dusted off my BERP, Voldyne, and the ever popularly phallic Breathe-right. Presto! Not only did I feel less dizzy, some of my embouchure issues righted themselves.

2. Posture. I get nailed for this all the time, but it took Chris Houlding to drive it home and have it make sense for me. People are always telling me, stop moving so much, it's distracting, you're not making any more music, etc., but it was Chris saying how on top of all of this, excessive movement is hard on the chops and just wears out your muscles faster. Thus, more frack, more weird noises, less music.

Well, why didn't they say so before?

I'm like the crazy Mullins lady: if you want me to fix your apartment, tell me there's a water leak damaging the house foundations. Except substitute "fix my cracked notes" for "fix your apartment" and "tell me I'm making cracked notes worse by moving around a lot" for "tell me there's a water leak damaging the house foundations." So, I keep still and hold my horn comfortably in front of me, like Mark Fisher told me to (now he'll like me better at my DePaul audition :).

3. Open your throat. With posture and breathing fixed, those crackly low weird not-notes were rare, but not non-existent. Chris helped me with this as well. With my tight neck and throat, I was unable to play lower notes. Singing as low as I could and thinking "o" is a tremendous improvement over *bzzzfartwhzzzplop*. In fact, using it for every register has expanded my high range as well, helping me relax and not tense up for Bolero. Ugh. *moment of distaste for bolero*

4. Get a mini-disc player. Or something! Jerry was kind enough to give me his minidisc, and I purchased a mic. I have a tape recorder, but damn it sounds like ass, and it's not you, I promise. The minidisc, while sounding better and helping you to identify all aspects of playing up for improvement, is also extremely fun to play with. Also, you can make CDs from it and do all sorts of fun stuff (I have yet to get the proper programming, but someday, my son, someday...). The other night I went through my Ralph Sauer excerpts tape (highly recommended for trombonists), listened carefully, practiced, and then recorded the same excerpts. I learned a ton about my playing, and I wasn't freaked out like I thought I would be. There's a lot of work to do, but it's at least doable.

5. The tuning CD. Lorn-tested, Buddha-approved. I found a free, legal one for download here. One of the things my minidisc told me to fix was intonation. Fine tune it. For the most part my intonation is good but as a graduate student, I want to rock the trombone without having to worry about intonation. I got other shit to learn, yo. Each track on the CD is a note droned for two minutes or so, and you can repeat the track indefinitely listening for beats, tuning other pitches to the note, etc. Basically do whatever you want. Already I can hear some major differences in my intonation, and from better intonation comes better tone and clearer sound quality.

If you don't have burning capabilities, or just can't figure it out, let me know and I'll burn you a copy. Spread the intonation goodness!

6. The finger position mentality. For trombonists, because we are stupid and forget these things while the rest of you with keys are like, yeah, duh?!?!
While reading up on tuning CDs, I found the following advice:
"you've got to hold the slide with your fingertips."
why? because:
"The nerve-rich finger tips are closely connected with the brain and therefore the ear."
He goes on to say that Joe Alessi will get you on this, if you're not holding the slide correctly. Audience members can clearly hear how intonation slips when the player gets lazy and changes grip.
Hey, if my hero Joe Alessi says so, I'll do it.
So I'm working on remembering that aspect of posture along with the others. When working with the tuning CD, it's really apparent how much it helps.

I'm pretty jazzed about all my new toys, techniques, and advice. Worrying about grad school auditions has been driving me up the wall; not knowing what to expect and not having anyone to help me out is Stress City. The minidisc player has taught me I can just as effectively be my own feedback, and the more I experiment, the more I feel not just like a better player, but a full-fledged trombonist as well.

After saying all this I'll probably come back next week and tell you I've chucked my horn out the window. Just another week in the life of a musician.

because choice is on my mind...

Here's another article for you to peruse on the subject of birth control.

I would especially like to hear from the men in the audience. Would you consider taking birth control? If so, would you prefer the hormonal kind, which the majority of women taking birth control use, or this RISUG injection that will offer up few side effects, no loss of libido, and is somewhat long-term?

I think this RISUG sounds like great news, and I'm terribly saddened to hear that it won't likely turn up in the US. Anyone who says capitalist corporations don't control our choices is a damn fool.

I, for one, would like to see this because I know hormones aren't a great choice. They work fine, and are reliable, but how often when I was on BC did I feel a little weird about putting extra crap into my body? Long term effects? Loss of libido? Not to mention that I like to feel in touch with my body and knowing to the day when my period was going to come was always a little disappointing. Call me crazy, but it's kind of fun. Annoying, sometimes, waiting around until one day it unceremoniously stains your panties, but still fun. I'm just one woman, and we all have different experiences with cramping, spotting, and whatnot. I recommend you all read the first few chapters of Cunt by Igna Muscio, if not the whole thing (as someday I plan to do, when I can afford to buy it or find it at the library), on getting in touch with your cycle. *insert touching woman power moment here*

Anyway, back to my original slant. If men can escape the hormones for something better, then perhaps they can help woman do it as well. I resented the one urologist's comment "I think what we've already got works pretty good" because shouldn't medicine continually explore new and better options even if there's a "longer track record" studying an existing treatment? Call me idealist, but there's probably something better.

link via Bloggers for Choice

Friday, January 23, 2004

one more thing

Sign it!!!

or you're not my friend anymore.

just kidding. sort of.

assorted items about women in the world today

Yay, sexism!!! The President of FIFA declares women's soccer would be more popular if...
link via Ms. Musings

Yay, vibrators!!! Operation Vibration. South Park fans will want to read the FAQs.
link via swirlspice

Yay, porn!!! A discussion about porn goes deep at feministe (pun intended).

and finally, I saw possibly the worst boob job ever at the airport today. Caused my to cough and say *ahem boob job* in that way, where you cough and say something in the cough. Yah, you know the one. Boobjobilicious. Except hideous. Where does she find shirts to fit over her boobs? My humble B cups strain the best of trendy tees. Lord. If I were man or lesbian I would be sickened to see those naked, popping out of a shirt like so many melons falling off the cart at the grocery store. Not to mention that you'd probably have to help her up if she fell over, like a turtle, and couldn't find her feet.

Ladies. Please. No boobjobsnoboobjobsnoboobjobsnoboobjobs EVER! Boob jobs=bad. *ahem*

Thursday, January 22, 2004

just a quickie

I love my horn player friends, so I apologize if this offends you. Except that I don't care.

Why in the world did Brahms have to go and ruin one of the most beautiful moments in trombone section soli history with a friggin' horn solo?!?!? I can't hear my bones in the back. Goddammit I hate that horn solo.

more frustrations

I never have this house to myself. If I wake up at 9:30 (which almost always means I won't get out of bed until 10:11) I only have an hour until my dad comes home from golf. He immediately sits down and begins watching Murder, She Wrote. Yesterday he was watching MSW until 5:30. I had no idea that show was in so much demand! It's friggin' ridiculous. I don't care if he's doing other things, like the crossword, at the same time; he's still watching TV all the damn day.

If you've lived with me, you know how much at stressful times I desire almost complete silence. The sounds of TV or music aggravate me beyond belief when I want to escape into myself and figure things out. You can be home, fool, but don't you dare interrupt my thoughts.

In a roomate situation, that's fixable. I can negotiate times of day I want silence and be understanding of times people want music or tv. This is not a roomate situation. My 'roomates' are a crabby, thinks-i-owe-him-constant-love-and-affection-in-repayment-for-tuition-and-clothing wino with a bad back and a penchant for the most inane tv shows imaginable (The Match Game, anyone?), and my dear sweet mother who just wants to know how my day was (and it is as it always is: a combination of practicing, sitting, blogging, mmmmaybe running some errands...) but can be awfully invasive about it. Me, I'm the other crabby roomate but I can be pleasant in a you-scratch-my-back-i'll-scratch-yours kind of way. I.e. turn off the damn tv until at least five pm please! There's nothing good on tv at 10:30 am! It's all stupid movies and bad anime cartoons and tv shows "designed" with stay-at-home wives in mind. Ala Murder, She Wrote. (although, props to smart chicks)

I'm going to die here. Not physically. Little pieces of my good humor and patience are going to slough off and fall away, and I'll never be able to regain them. I'll be a pissy old woman when I'm thirty. And Angela Lansbury's theme song will always be stuck in my head.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

the frustrations of rancho bernardo are upon me

Curse you, suburbia.

Where are your coffee houses, your indie record stores, your neighborhood bars?

Who keeps destroying the beauty of our hills by building cookie-cutter houses on top of them?

When will I greet my neighbor cordially? When will I next see my neighbor?

Why must everything be just ever so much beyond walking distance?

What cost, safe and affordable family living?

Just a few reasons why I miss dear old urban Madison- Expresso, Pinkus, Exclusive company, Hawks, A Room of One's Own, the boys upstairs, James Madison park, easy use of the busline, not having to worry about hills because of the lack thereof...

I'm an urban girl, ultimately. Living in Madison always felt free, easy, moderately inexpensive (when you know where to go), so very delectably independent. Of course, that's because I didn't have a car, shared apartments, borrowed furniture, and lived 2000 miles from my parents. Who paid my rent. *ahem* Not to say that there weren't inconveniences, but even they seem ever so sweet. It's Madison I miss, but I would settle for anywhere urban...just to get me out of this hellhole they call suburbia.

Curse you, suburbia.

Here in RB I feel like a rat in a cage (ala Smashing Pumpkins). Not to slight the parents, but they just never really let you grow up, do they? And I'm so sick of driving. I would give anything to just walk to the convenience store. Meet some friends for coffee. I want to be able to go out without worrying about having a DD. Everyone should stumble home drunk! No child left behind!

Will I grow out of this urban mentality? When I grow up and have a family? (I shudder to think) Whatever. Right now I know that I'm not ready for suburbia yet. I'm not settled by any means. I want hodge-podge furniture I found on the street and upstairs neighbors having loud sex. Parties of wild abandon. Lateness caused by misreading the bus schedule. Gigs.

I repeat:

Curse you, suburbia.

curiosity caused the cat to waste some more time

although it was quite informative. If you're looking for an easy answer regarding the next presidential election/democratic nomination, take this quiz courtesy of Echidne of the Snakes.

My results:
Kuchinich 100%
Sharpton 90%
Kerry 89%
Clark 84%
Dean 82%
Edwards 79%
Lieberman 77%
and last and certainly least,
Bush 8%

First off let me admit to a certain ignorance regarding finances/economic issues- I can't say that fixing our budget matters to me as much as fixing social issues. So it may be that there is a wider gap amongst these candidates when you actually answer the economic questions instead of going "huh?" and putting down no opinion.

So, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed about this whole "understanding where everyone stands on the issues" dealie. Armed with my new socio-political awareness, I'm prepared to take on women's issues head on! But when I think about having to slog through all this campaign jargon and make an educated choice...ugh, I just get tired. In other words, I feel that I should make a better effort to know what's going on politically in order to best make a decision regarding the issues that are important to me, but I still hate hate *hate* (HATE) politics. Grr. I'd rather rally. Or do some grrl power stuff. Sadly I'm torn between going all out and burning my bra, and making informed, educated, and well-researched actions based on politcal consciousness.

It's really tearing me apart here. *sob* Excuse me, I need some time alone...

As Lorn walks away, she puts her arm around Kuchinich's shoulder and says:
"So, Dennis old boy, this political quiz thingie I found on the internet told me I should like you. Being as I don't feel like doing the research myself, why don't you just go ahead and tell me what I want to hear..."

They walk off into the sunset, talking animatedly. Sweet violins sing and fade in time with the darkening screen. Roll credits.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

the historic debate: lorn vs. mom on gay marriage

I watched a little bit of Monkey Face's (ahem, I mean, Bush) address tonight and was aggravated again by his stances on abstinence and same-sex marriage. Of course. Who in their right mind isn't? But I brought this up with my mom, and we promptly got into a discourse (ie, rather heated argument) about gay marriage.

It makes me shake to think that such a thing as a definition of marriage as man and woman would be put in the Constitution. In the bleedin' Constitution. It's just so fundamentally...wrong. My mom, however, interprets it not as denying rights to gays, but creating something that straight marriage advocates can keep to themselves. She argues that marriage is traditionally between a man and a woman, and therefore we should keep it that way. Give same-sex couples all the same rights and benefits, but call it something else. Marriage is for straight people, she says.


First off, traditions change. "What's wrong with tradition?" she asks me. Well, tradition's all fine and good yo, except when it excludes someone from a civil right. Keep your traditions, but adjust them to the times. Make them fair and reasonable, please.

Secondly, how much does this smack of "separate but equal" to anyone else? Okay, so we've got equal rights on both sides, but only straight people can get "married" and gays "something elsed"? So my mom is married to a man. How is that marriage weakened, harmed, or even embarrassed by a man being married to another man? I don't think it's possible. It's just a word. A definition. Your own marriage should be what you make of it, not what other people are also participating in it.

But most of all, I am just absolutely baffled by her tenacity and stubbornness to retain this concept of "marriage" for straight couples. Despite my best reasons (but you create two different classes of citizens! tradition can't always stay the same! why does it matter?), I could not convince her. Marriage is to be specifically for a man and a woman. It's an aspect of the same-sex marriage debate that I can't say I've ever heard before, and it is quite the brick wall.

I was also interested (and somewhat amused) to hear that she thinks most people aren't homophobic. I wonder about that woman. She needs to see some more of the world. Just because we have Queer Eye for the Straight Guy doesn't mean we're post-homophobia. In the same ways we are by no means post-feminism or post-racism, we cannot claim that discrimination is a thing of the past.

hans! hans has a blog!

Or a livejournal, but whatever. Beware, it is very blue. You are warned -I will not be held responsible for impending eye injuries.

This is particularily exciting for me, as I am a great admirer of Hans' body of work (most of which has been sent to me via email with the admonishment "please don't hate me forever and boycott all my future plays if it's bad" attached to it) and he is the creme-de-la-creme of witty. For those of you who don't know, Hans and I have been AIM buddies for...ooh goodness, five years? Since I broke up with Dave, maybe (a historic moment here: that's probably the first time I've used my breakup with Dave as a marker). We met when we were young and fantastically obsessed with the musical Les Miserables. We went through a brief period of flirt, to be replaced by an awkward understanding of each other's psyches.

Thankfully, we are no longer fantastically obsessed with Les Miz, but I can say that we are still young. These days I sincerely look forward to my chats with Hans, because I know I will a)laugh, b)discuss juicy romantic events, or c)have all of my value systems and fragile knowledge of politics shattered into nothingness. Also, when talking to Hans I find myself rapidly exhausting my vocabulary list of big words like "fantastically" and "admonishment."

Do Hans and I have plans to meet in the future? Who knows: perhaps someday I will write the score for his musical, or edit his first novel. And we will dance ribbon-clad in a field of blue daisies. Amen.

"Como cambien la gente"- la madre de Hans

Monday, January 19, 2004

lorn decides she loves this vegetarian thing

(and not a word about the orange chicken, jerry).

I love if it only that it means I have discovered Henry's and its excellent quality, cheap, old-timey organic goodness. I think I could work it where I only shopped there, getting away from all the crappy processed crapety crap going down in the major chains. Screw conviences. I've got all the time in the world to cook. I made veggie curry tonight. And Henry's helped me. Six different kinds of vegetables for ten bucks? I think I can handle that. Oh, and I can get some wholesome cereal too? Okay. Apples are a dollar a pound? Well, sign me up. Is that basmati rice I see there? Why yes, it is, why don't you take some? Don't mind if I do.

And...I'm officially in love with a food market.

Natalie informed me the other night that in France, it's illegal to use any kind of preservative, hormone, or genetic engineering on food. Therefore, she said, despite eating a lot of "unhealthy" foods, she lost weight. I've been thinking about this and in lieu of my love of Henry's, am going to do my best to watch what kind of crap I am putting in my mouth. Already I've been cooking more and experimenting with the leftovers, and I can claim I feel healthier (how much of that is just psychological is up to you, but I can't knock that either). When I get a kitchen of my own I'm going to take the time to stock up and get the essentials that form the basis of most of my recipes, and only have to do shopping for vegetables and other perishables.

Hehe. I already have this silly vision of me, in my kitchen be-aproned with spatula, dancing around to some techno music and creating glorious piping hot vegetarian dishes. And I will have a cat. And it will go, "meow?" and eat my mushrooms, for which it will receive a smack on the bottom and a "silly cat!" Ah yes. I can see it now.

On another note, like so many blogs of note, I have decided to do a "What I'm Listening To" list in my sidebar. I HIGHLY recommend that Beth Orton album. I'm jamming to it now, and it's fantastic. Schmu-licious.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

popcorn teeth

I love popcorn and all, but I always have to floss after I eat it. Since the braces trauma of high school (nothing like being the loser whose senior picture is a flash of metalmouth), I've been pretty obsessive about keeping my teeth clean. Plus, playing trombone with gritty teeth is just no fun. Popcorn shell stuck in my molars is like water torture to me. I find myself constantly straining my tongue to reach those wedged skins and ending up doing nothing but shoving them farther back into the recesses of teeth. Lord. Therefore, this time I have immediately gone for the floss, to prevent tongue soreness.

I slept late today after a relaxing night with Natalie-we watched Lovely and Amazing, which was quite good, funny, depressing, and heart-warming all at the same time. We got a kick out of how Jake Gyllenhaal seems to be the indie films version of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate-playing all these jail bait roles. And Catherine Keener shows up again as her usual self. All in all, a good movie.

My goal for the next two weeks is to practice at least 3 hours a day, more if possible, and I will rigidly make sure I do this. I was practicing a lot before, but I think only for short periods and the result is that my stamina is lacking. So three hour sessions or two hour and a half sessions a day is my resolution. And, as usual, that's what I should be doing instead of blogging. Adieu, mon beau ami.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

i'm bumming

I don't feel like doing much of anything today, although it's not like I have that much to do anyway. I should do laundry, and clean my room. But I'm clinging to the little bits of Jerry's presence that are still there: the marks on the carpet where his suitcase was, the smell of his shampoo on the pillow, the memory of being held while watching tv. I could practice. I need to exercise. There are plans on the table to hang with Natalie tonight. So far all I've been able to do is curl up and read Pam Ribon's book, Why Girls Are Weird, which is very good and I had a hard time pulling myself away to write this entry. It's a Catch-22, you want to keep reading, but the book inspires you to do your own web journalling.

I've long since realized the folly of wishing I had done things differently this year. Although I could techically go back to Madison, what I really want is to never have left at all. Of course that's impossible. Right now I'm wishing like that again though. Because the time I spend with Jerry is so happy, so carefree...and then it ends? That's not the way...nonono. I hate seeing him on a timeline, I wish that we could live in different apartments in the same town and see each other lots and often, but send each other home when we were annoyed or tired. A week's visit makes me feel like I have to always enjoy myself. Not to say that we are often annoyed-it happens quite seldom in our mutual company-but the small moments where it does happen make me sad beyond belief because I can cure them with private time. I'm worried about the worst-when (what if I don't?) will I see him again? Will we always be happy together like this?

I don't want anyone to be worried about me, by now I've got this kind of depression down to a pat science. I deal. I just have to be careful about wishful thinking.

On a non-related side note, and to proove that I'm not totally curled up in a mental fetal position stuffing Ho-hos into my mouth and mumbling about cat people, can anyone think of a reason why my microwave burrito tastes and smells like it's been soaked in champagne?

ode to jerry

First off, comments are back up, thanks to Haloscan. So, Jerry, you can get free commenting from them if you like.

Second...Jerry's flight is leaving as I type! *tear* We had a great time, and already I feel lonely and sad. But no matter, it's only a month til we meet again. I get to go back to my pathetic existence of practicing, coaching, and sitting around getting chubby. Yee-haw. While I can't wait to see him again, for my own sake I hope it feels like plenty of time to get my audition stuff together for real.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

happiness is...

It is the middle of my week with Jerry, and I will be sad for it to end! But I feel that in recent weeks I have managed to put things in perspective (finally) and can deal. Plus, only a month and I'll be in Madison again. So yippee.

Went to see Chris Houlding's recital tonight. Chris teaches at the Royal Northern College in Manchester, England, and he is a fantastic trombonist. His performance was truly virtuosic, and I look forward to playing for him tomorrow night and getting a feel for his teaching style. Sean has encouraged me to talk to him about study at the RNCM, so I plan on discussing that with Chris as well. Plus, Manchester! What I want to do is pull a Griffin and just get offered grad school to me on a silver platter. What's that you say? I'm not Griffin? Ah well, a girl can dream, can't she?

Tomorrow for some sun and swimming as well. I am feeling fat and sassy lately, and have need to get some exercise.

One last thing- my comments have disappeared. Boo. This is because BlogSpeak has apparently lost its domain or server or some such. Grr.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

i'm wasting time

...until it's a reasonable time to leave and pick up Jerry at the airport. I should be practicing, but I'm too excited. Does that make sense? I guess it's a focus issue.

For fun I attempted to convert my handwriting into a font at Fontifier. I printed out the template, wrote in all my characters, and scanned it back into my computer. Unfortunately I am having trouble getting my computer to save it as a .gif file, which is what they want. Grr! I will go back later and try to figure it out. How cool is that though? You could have your very own font. My handwriting is pretty plain yogurt, but I could see someone like Dan Breilmeier having an awesome font. If you could read it. Good luck there.

I'd like to try to be a little bit more web tech savvy. I took part of an html tutorial and have a basic idea of how to implement colors, fonts, tables, etc., but I'm looking into getting my own domain and I'd like to be able to make the best of it. Have a really cool, well-designed site, like. Whereupon I will be well-recognized by the weblog community not only for my brash and insightful opinions but also my flashy banners as well. Huzzah.

(I have a design for a trendier Buddha Stew simmering around in my head, but what to do?)

Okay, I'm just killing myself with anticipation. The best thing for wasting time: attempting to understand where I am in Riven and figure out all the damn codes and signals so I can beat its mo'fucking ass. Yee-ah.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


I've put all my blog links on Blogrolling so now you will be able to see when they are updated, and I can add blogs with more ease. The rest are reorganized and some have been added. I'm tired of writing a href=blah blah blah over and over.

Please note the additions of Feministe, Squishy, Some Grrrls, and Margaret Cho. These are sites I read fairly frequently and have only recently linked. They are awesome, enjoy!

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

a link, a button, and a rambling

Hilarious. Pamela Ribon is famous for her online journal, also she's written a book, Why Girls Are Weird, and screenplays and helped donate hundreds of books to the Oakland Public Libraries. She's also fuckin' hilarious. I laughed all the way through this entry. Enjoy, as a gift from me to you.

The button at your left is the US's current terror alert status. I'm freaking out man.

Speaking of terrorism, what do all y'all think of fingerprinting of foreigners visiting our country?

I'm not against it. Desperate times...well, at any rate, I think it's fine as long as it is used rationally and equally. I am a little disturbed by this:
"The only exceptions will be visitors from 27 countries; mostly European nations; whose citizens are allowed to come to the United States for up to 90 days without visas."

Hm, I personally think if we're going to put our spines up and distrust people, we should do it across the board, eh? Ah well, I'm not sure how much safer a fingerprint and a photo will make a plane with a terrorist on it, especially if that terrorist is not recognized or brand new. Well, I wouldn't mind being fingerprinted if traveling, but then again I'm whitebread and I get to do whatever I want. So is there a race/nationality issue here? Could this be abused by US officials if they "suspected" someone of "suspicious" behavior?

That wasn't what I was going to rant about, but no matter. I'll give you a topic:
Bring It On, while being your typical teen romantic comedy, appears to be at heart a feminist vehicle. Do you agree or disagree? Discuss amongst yourselves.

a bold statement

I'm going to risk incurring the wrath of Grant Harville, Chris McGann, Shaun Haber, and any one else I know who worships The Simpsons. But I have to say it, because it's true.

Futurama is just so much better.

First of all, any theme song that uses glockenspiel is genius, in my book.

On all levels the show is wittier, racier, and more intelligent than the Simpsons (although intelligent is always used loosely when referring to televison), and it's prettier too. Those yellow people always got on my nerves. I think it has something to do with having more options to work with: suburbia middle America or the wide wide universe. Which has more room for comedic gold, honestly?

I suppose you could make a case for both shows being genius as they are from the same pen, but I think that Futurama is Matt Groening all grown up and given free reign to really annoy people. The more I watch it, the less I am able to stomach half an hour of the Simpsons. Unfortunately for me, Futurama has been sent to rerun city and the Simpsons remains a prime time hit.

I haven't really much of a case here, as I haven't watched any of the new Simpsons episodes in a while, and I'm tired and in desperate need of snu-snu. I'm still impressed by the glockenspiel.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

the crazy things they do in sweden

I have been randomly getting the Christian Lindberg newsletter; I didn't sign up for it but I suspect they snagged my email address from the OTJ. Even if I knew where to sign up for CL's updates, I probably wouldn't. Because lately he's been getting on my nerves. Here's the latest:

>>Guess Lindberg´s Marathon time and win
Edition Tarrodi´s CL-Marathon-CD Box
On 5th of June Christian Lindberg will run a Marathon for the fourth time, in Stockholm, Sweden. First time in Stockholm it took him 4 hours and 15 minutes, second time in Berlin 3 hours and 54 minutes, but last year an injury stopped him at 29km. Edition Tarrodi, who publishes Christian´s compositions, will present no less than ten prizes to the ones who are closest in guessing Lindberg´s time this year.
There is no cost whatsoever involded. Just simply write the time you guess, together with your home adress to:<<

First off, if you don't know who CL is (and I can't blame you for trying), he's the Britney Spears of trombonists. Not to mock his talent (which is enormous) or his work ethic (you don't go from beginner to world performer in two years without doing some time in the practice room) of course, but puh-lease.

However. *Ahem* Lately CL seems to be...a tad full of himself? Getting this email is akin to receiving those family christmas letters that rave on and on about how wonderful the children are and what high powered career they have chosen. So Cl is raking in the dough composing, performing, recording and conducting, and he runs marathons on top of it all?

(is four hours good for a marathon? It'd probably take me four weeks, as I am, as always, NOT A RUNNER)

And what do you win if you guess his time correctly? Christian Lindberg goodies!!!
The first prize is 25 CL cds, and the runners up either get more cds or scores he's arranged.


Too bad I have a hard enough time going to your run-of-the-mill CD shop and finding someone BESIDES Lindberg playing the David. Because I could win it too. Wow.

Well, I'm just being cynical anyhow. Anyone want to wager a guess? We can make an average of all the guesses logged on Buddha Stew and send in our answer. I'll burn you a copy of Christian Lindberg Plays the Classics with His Bumhole.

Or better yet, you can just have it.

Friday, January 02, 2004

to party or not to party

Adam has invited me to his house tonight for a bash. I'm torn about going, I'm not sure if I'm tired or hyper, I'm not sure if I feel like driving, staying the night, or socializing. Part of me is afraid I'll wake up to another raging fire (it seems to be a trend when partying with Adam). Kidding.

If this were Madison, and I could walk there, no problem. But Adam, I live in lame-ass north county! (your words) And you are so far away.

Actually, the drive is just a way of justifying the incredible lack of energy I have for parties right now. I've entered a phase were I really only feel like hanging out with one or two people at time; anything more is a strain on my already tapped social lexicon. Or maybe I'm just becoming a hermit. Or maybe I just need hugs and love and parties are often the opposite of that. Maybe maybe maybe!

May I reiterate: I cannot wait to start grad school. New adventures. Challenges. Things within walking distance. I'm excited.

the year i turn 23...

Happiest of New Years to you. I think I definitely enjoy New Years-it's one of the only holidays I remain uncynical about.

My NYs consisted of two vodka cranberries, half a bottle of champagne, a baileys hot chocolate, and the one-two punch of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean. Katie came over and we bonded with the alcohol and the hotness. Spent a great deal of today regretting the champagne. Bleh.

I'm not one for resolutions but I have a few things I want to accomplish in the new year.
-Get into graduate school
-devote all my energy to becoming a rockin' trombone player
-start swimming again
-become a competent vegetarian cook
-have steady income, increase cd collection
-kick bush out of the white house!!!

After some thought I've decided to postpone my recital until after auditions. I'm picturing sort of a farewell/send off concert before I move off to grad school. The thing is, I am really struggling with embouchure issues and I feel that I might be doing more harm than good with the work I've been doing. So I'm going to cancel the recital, see Sean and hopefully figure out what the problem is. Then I have a month to readjust and perfect my music. I'm golden on the pieces I have prepared; I just can't play them very well because of my difficulties finding the correct embouchure. Right now I'm having trouble shifting register, and still getting that rough sound when I play loud. Preparing a recital is definitely something I want to try on my own this year, but it's not a good idea right now. I plan on paying my accompanist for a few sessions though, so I can play the pieces with piano and get used to that.

Countdown to Jerry: 6 days!

My mom surprised me the other day, and asked if I'd like to have Jerry sleep with me while he's out. I like this. I like knowing that my mom trusts me and respects Jerry. It's nice to be considered an adult. Can't say fairer than that.

Tomorrow we find out if I am staying on as a Penney's employee or join the ranks of the unemployed. I'm definitely done with that job. This will probably come out sounding terribly stuck-up, but that job is definitely below me. I resent that it makes me stressed out about silly things, how the jeans are folded or how much I have to pick up off the floor. I have respect for the people who do these things, I just don't feel that it's something I should get upset about or bitch about. I'm going to go hunt around and see if I can't find a place that's willing to hire another lifeguard, just to bring in some cash while I prepare for auditions. I'll get some from coaching, but it would be nice to get out of the house every now and again as well. Plus, it'll make me swim, I'll have no choice. :)

I spent so much time napping and lazing around today that I have no desire to go to bed, which is bad because I want to get up at a respectable hour and get stuff done. I'm tired of sleeping in so late (don't laugh at me, I am a nerd) and feeling like I only experience five hours of daylight (which is true). If it's nice tomorrow I'll go for a walk or ride my bike or do something! I've been slacking on exercise-which doesn't bother me so much as how I've spent the good portion of the last two months indoors. I'd feel better about myself if I get outside and get some fresh air.

Okay, enough talk. Gotta find something to wear myself out so I can actually do these things.