Celebrate Amy Poehler and Will Arnett's baby boy by chuckling at four of her best skits!
Exit Art.!I pretty much love everything about this site (I'm sure I would love the actual place too, if I had been...). Exit Art is a 25-year-old cultural center in New York City founded by Directors Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo. It has grown from a pioneering alternative art space into a model artistic center for the 21st century committed to supporting artists whose quality of work reflects the transformations of our culture. As part of the long weekend in NYC I'm always planning and never acting on, I'd love to go see their current show, Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now.
It's been along time since I was an avid reader of Ms. (although it certainly was very important to me as a teen in rural Oregon), but this current issue looks pretty rockin. Maybe it's time I check it out again.
Stay in school, 'cause it's the best! "The United States is now the only industrialized country in which kids are less likely to graduate from high school than their parents."
An article on Feministing discusses the futility of a restraining order in such extreme (although unfortunately not rare) situations. As someone who currently spends two days a week helping victims of domestic abuse get restraining orders, I have so many varied responses to this article ("Is A Restraining Order Ever Enough?" by Feministing.com). Obviously, the situation they are discussing is outrageous and heartbreaking, and the author is 100% right that restraining orders are not, by any means, a cure all for challenging issues of partner violence. That said, I have also seen the process of getting a restraining order be very empowering for clients and an RO can often serve a valuable role in the process of ending violent situations. No one should underestimate the prevalence of domestic violence in our country.
The author writes:
A quarter of women experience domestic violence and the murder of women via intimate partner violence and homicide is the fourth leading cause of death for women of childbearing age and 1/3 of women murdered are by intimate partners. Yet all of the resources that are available to us do not effectively solve the problem, nor do they save lives. Where were the cops? Why was he not being patrolled or why was he not forced to relocate? Or why was he not put in rehabilitative services, counseling, anything? What does it take to take that kind of action? He has to kill her first?
These statistics are true and horrifying. It also takes so much more than an RO, or any one of the actions she lists, to truly solve the horrible problem of domestic violence. It takes parents who raise their kids outside of gender boundaries and in homes filled with respect. Schools where violence and sexism are not tolerated. A criminal justice system that is not riddled with neglect, violence, and abuse. The fact that they are considering the death penalty for the perpetrator may provide solice for some, but for me it is a reminder of the futility of our current criminal justice system. Killing a man will not stop future acts of domestic violence. It is the guilty response of a system that knows it has already failed. And I think this is where the author of the article and I agree: victims of domestic violence, as well as their children, parents, family members, and friends, deserve more than weak attempts at retroactive justice. They deserve a society that tunes in long before the word "murder" is ever in the headlines.
For the upcoming holiday: How to Get Frankenstein's Makeup in 30 Minutes.
NYMag's favorite watches. I love all the new colors they are releasing the G-Shock in!
Jezebel does a J.Crew shopping spree for the ladies of the 2008 election. Love it.
Big news in Boston! From The Globe:
Embattled state senator arrested by FBI
By Globe Staff
State Senator Dianne Wilkerson was arrested earlier this morning by the FBI following an undercover operation that centered around a deal in Crosstown, where Roxbury meets the South End, according to two government officials. One government official said that, as part of the undercover operation, a bribe was offered from an FBI agent to the embattled state senator. Wilkerson's campaign manager Boyce Slayman confirmed that Wilkerson was led away in handcuffs. "I'm with her now at the headquarters," Slayman said, apparently referring to police headquarters.
Wilkerson has represented Roxbury for more than a decade, but lost the Democratic primary to Sonia Chang-Diaz earlier this month. Until today's arrest, Wilkerson has been mounting a sticker campaign to regain her seat in the November election. Wilkerson is also facing the loss of her license to practice law. The Board of Bar Overseers has alleged she lied under oath at a 2005 Suffolk Superior Court hearing, an allegation she has denied. The charges, which were unsealed this morning in a 32-page affidavit, contend that Wilkerson accepted $13,500 bribes in exchange for, among other things, helping the nightclub Deja Vu get a liquor license.
The arrest this morning came after an 18-month investigation which included undercover informants and audio and video surveillance of Wilkerson allegedly accepting payoffs in restaurants on Beacon Hill. According to the affidavit, Wilkerson brought along a grandchild when she accept a $1,000 kickback on Aug. 31, 2007, at the Fill-A-Buster restaurant. On June 18, 2007, Wilkerson allegedly stuffed a $1,000 payoff into her bra during a meeting with an informant at No. 9 Park which was surreptitiously recorded with audio and video.
Check out the pictures - unreal: http://thephoenix.com/Boston/
• Be friendly. Be very friendly. But don't try to be my friend, at least on the first visit. Don't touch me. Don't eavesdrop on my conversation and try to join in.
• When reciting the specials, include prices.
• Enter the orders into the system to ensure that the entrees do not arrive while we are still "working on" (to use your term) our appetizers.
• Check our drinks throughout the meal. They shouldn't get any lower than 1/3 full before you ask for another. Conversely, conversing is difficult when you’re trying to replace my water after every sip.
• Check back with us about 90 seconds after serving. I empathize with you on this one, because there's a fine line between too soon and not soon enough. Too soon and we haven't really had enough time to assess everything. Not soon enough and you're potentially compounding an error by making us wait longer for a correction.
• Look for clues that there may be a problem, even if nobody speaks up: a scowl, a mostly uneaten pile of food left defiantly on the plate, a hushed comment to a dining companion while pointing at the food. Ask if there's something wrong with the dish or if there’s something you can do.
• When placing my second beer or glass of wine on the table, never ever remove the first one if there's still a sip or more left.
• If I pay with cash, don't ask if I want change. Just tell me you'll bring me the change and leave it to me to tell you to keep the whole thing. If you do bring change, bring it promptly.
Via NYMag's Grub Street.
SO FREAKIN' EXCITED! 30 Rock Season Premiere!
Oh wait, can't watch it, my computer died! Yes, after 2 years of loyal duty and 8-10 hour work days, my ThinkPad T60 bit the dust. Should I go Apple? Consensus says yes. Should I get the cheapest Apple possible or aim a bit higher? You tell me. No, seriously, email and tell me. I hate buying technology.
Last night I went with my friend Letitia to the Boston Ballet's production of Cinderella. Other than the Christmas showing of The Nutcracker and one other performance, I don't have much ballet experience. That's the lead in for me to say that i wasn't thrilled with the performance. The first act was very acting-heavy (as opposed to dancing-heavy) and felt more like watching an hour of pantomime than ballet. The second act was better, with some gorgeous group dancing in the ball scene. The most bizarre, over all, was the cadre of men with pumpkins as heads. It was unclear to me (and, it seemed, most people around me) whether they were supposed to be funny, but they were certainly....odd. I really liked that the show had a 1920's feel and styling, but while some of the costumes were beautiful, some seemed quickly done. At the ball for example, Cinderella is supposed to be stunning but instead was in some bland light pink creation with a lazy handkerchief (?) hem. Also, not to nitpick, but of the four men who were the Prince's sidekicks, one was woefully out of sync with the others. Finally, and this isn't really the Ballet's fault, but a woman next to me was taking photos the whole time - how is that appropriate for a darkened performance? Overall, it was great to see the Wang Theatre, and I do love dance performances, but something about last night's performance of Cinderella didn't really work for me.
ps - Another column on that species of undecided voters: Undecided? Really? (Thanks for the tip, Julia!)
This is the Hand Drawn Map Association! As a maker, and lover, of hand-drawn maps, I'm thrilled they are getting the respect they deserve...
36 hours in one of my favorite places....A girl can dream.
Not just obscenely expensive handbags, the most recent issue of Elle also contained what I found to be an interesting article on Cathi Hanauer's experience with Celexa. (I was also glad to see that Jezebel gave it a shout out). SSRIs, and the choice to go on or off of them, can be a sensitive topic but is one that deserves discussion. It can be hard for those with experience on SSRIs (such as myself) to discuss their decision publicly, since everyone is ready to give an (usually) ill-thought-out opinion (most commonly on the rampant over-medication of American society), so I appreciate the step in the right direction taken by both Elle. Likewise, Jezebels article acknowledges the complicated reality of the topic, writing: "It's hard to find a really nuanced take on psychotropic drugs these days. TV ads try to convince you that meds will transform your life from horrible to awesome (cf. the current Abilify commercial, in which a woman describes her bipolar disorder while wandering a lonely beach, then returns home to bask in the embrace of the man Abilify apparently helped her catch). On the other side, an increasing number of naysayers (backed up by disturbing but conflicting evidence) warn that Prozac leads not only to suicide but to the decline of Western civilization." As always, the comments about the article are as interesting as Jezebel's introduction, so check 'em out.
It's been a while since I saw a good movie. A good movie being one without parts where I rolled my eyes, characters that I actively disliked or disbelieved, or multiple points where I looked at my watch to see if it was over yet. So it was quite a relief to see In Bruges (2008). At turns funny, sad, pithy, romantic and violent, In Bruges is the story of two hit men in the Belgian, medieval city of Bruges, unsure what they are doing there. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson (who I had never heard of before but found riveting) play the hit men on vacation and Ralph Fiennes is their boss back home. The story is quick and unpredictable and the film is buoyed by a cast of supporting characters - including the city of Bruges itself and endless glasses of cold Belgian beer.
Disclaimer: one of my most trusted movie reviewers hated In Bruges, so I guess great minds can disagree. He claims I was swayed by my female response to Collin Farrell, but I don't have a particular penchant for Farrell - most of the movie I was actually a little distracted by his caterpillar-like eyebrows. So who knows.
Guilty fluff read: Glamour's Smitten blog. So sue me.
I've probably spent way more time on here than is considered cool....The Online Etymology Dictionary.
Alec Baldwin imitates Sarah Palin. Thanks for the heads-up, Phoebe!
Although it's all outside of my price range, I like the picks at Just My Cup of Tea.
Perpetual Kid! A great place for silly and cute gifts of all prices.
This week's episode of Bones (a guilty favorite of mine) includes a transgender character. Every step counts.
Gorgeous: The Golden Age of Trains in Black and White.
I'm so excited for Amy Poehler's new show Smart Girls At The Party. Love her. And the fact she and Will Arnett are married, and procreating!, is outrageously awesome.
Potentially awesome: Liquid Comics Banks on Indian Epic With Ramayan 3392 AD Film
Who doesn't love the Look Book.
I agree with all of this: Here's The Problem With Fringe.
10 Beautiful Movie Posters.
As a professional women with a tattoo (that is undetectable when wearing a long sleeve shirt/suit) its something I struggle with. While I have never regretted getting my tattoo, for what it represents to me and also for the time in my life I made the decision, I will admit that it is more of a pain in the butt professionally than I anticipated. When I got it I thought, hey, whatever, it will be covered up when I'm in court so who cares. And I'm not gonna change for The Man! But there is so much time when I'm not in court and I don't want to be paranoid about always wearing a long sleeve shirt/jacket. I think it will become less of an issue in the coming decades, because tattoos are so popular in my generation, but I still think it's an interesting question. Especially since I find myself being oddly conservative and judgemental about what other people wear in court - I think any skirt above the knee is inappropriate, anything tight has no place, and wacky haircuts etc can distract from your job as your clients representative....but what do I know?
Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog.
Longtime favorite Found.
Every year as October 12 approaches, there is a certain sense of dread that can be felt in indigenous communities in the Americas. That it is a federal holiday in the United States is regarded as hideous, a celebration of genocide and colonization. However, beginning thirty years ago, indigenous peoples formed an international movement, demanding, for one thing, that October 12 be commemorated as an international day of mourning for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Informally, the day has been appropriated as Indigenous Peoples Day.
This year feels different in indigenous communities as they celebrate the great victory of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the General Assembly on September 13, 2007, the culmination of a three-decade struggle by indigenous activists at the United Nations. The UN Declaration was adopted by a majority of 144 states in favor, with only four votes against: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Interestingly, these are precisely the four nation-states where intentional genocidal policies were pursued, policies that sought to exterminate all the indigenous peoples living in the lands seized by settlers from the British Isles. The populations of those states should be ashamed, not only of their horrific pasts, but of the present refusal of their representative governments to make amends with the descendants of thos indigenous peoples who survived these genocidal policies.
Perhaps those governments and their citizens think they do not have to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples within their claimed boundaries because the populations are small. Yet, the survival and flourishing of indigenous communities and nations is important to the future of humanity and to the survival of habitation on earth.
Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on September 16, Bolivian president Evo Morales stressed the need to understand the indigenous way of life, saying that living well in a community meant living in harmony with Mother Earth. “This new millennium must be the millennium for life, placing our bets on human dignity.
Transform Columbus Day.
See also Thom Hartmann's Columbus Day Celebration? Think Again...
See also the Unitarian Universalist Association's 1993 Justice for Indigenous People Resolution
If fascism comes it will come because those liberals thought voting for Barack Obama was all they needed to do; it will come because they allowed themselves to believe that politics is what a person does every four years, but not at work, and not in the neighborhood, and not at the dinner table. Meanwhile, know-nothings filled with hate, nurtured on racial and religious bigotry and who have overdosed on the kind of hypernationalism that has always proved fatal to those places foolish or craven enough to allow it a foothold, talk of their visions for America at every opportunity. They raise their kids on that sickness, they build churches whose very foundation is rooted in that cancerous rot, and they will think nothing of steamrolling those who get in their way.
After years of love (and I mean love - I listen to the man while falling asleep!) I finally saw David Sedaris live. He was great. He could never live up to my expectations entirely, since I would want to hear every favorite story of his that I hold dear and that would take....days. But he was political and inappropriate and generally great. I'm not a fan of seeing live comedic performances (although comedic doesn't really encapsulate his work) since I get performance anxiety for the person on stage and I always feel like people laugh at the wrong times (obviously I laugh only at the right times). But he was so droll and so cynical and yet so absolutely loving towards the audience, that I fell in love with that little elfin, Southern man all over again.
Since starting this blog more than one person has asked me when, exactly, I got so chipper. As intended, this blog has become a collection of things I love and make me happy (with the exception of the occasional political rant...which sort of make me happy in their own way, I guess). I guess if you read it and didn't see me often (poor you! I'm awesome!) you would think I was chipper all the time. But it's actually sort of an inverse measurement. Sometimes the crappier things are going, the more I need a place to remind myself of the things I am grateful for. And this week has had moments of supreme, exquisite crappiness. Wrapped in heartbreaking disappointment.
In some ways, seeing David Sedaris tonight, especially alone, was just what I needed. He's so funny, but also so sad - his usual themes are his own struggles with anxiety, self-hate, and dysfunction. Oh, and also the pathetic state of the US. He's been a drug addict, suffered the death of his mother, and didn't find professional success until his 40's (until which time he worked a series of profoundly unimpressive jobs...like being an elf). And he's just plain rude. He talks about poop and sex and drunks and revels in all things awkward and politically incorrect. And he pulls it all off. Because he does it as a way of engaging with the world. He doesn't sit by and write what he sees while others do the living. He asks the wrong questions, takes candy from strangers, disagrees with himself, and seems as surprised by his moments of happiness as he does by his moments of depression.
And because I went to see him by myself, I left before the night was over. Not because I didn't love listening to him, but because I could. Leaving at intermission, or before shows are over, or, as the case was tonight, during a Q&A (good god I hate Q&As!) has become a favorite pastime. Sometimes I don't want to sit somewhere and hear someone else talk for one more minute, or stand somewhere and listen to someone play music for one more song. I just want to be by myself so I can remember why I chose to be around people to begin with.