Day ruined

Posted by andrea - September 30th, 2006

It’s a beautiful day, so of course I am stuck indoors chained to my female nature. It’s almost enough to make me want to go back on the Pill (which might have made me bloated and weepy all month instead of for a few days a month, but at least those few days were cramp- and almost drip-free). Grrr.

Update, Oct 1: the day got unruined later. I felt better, so I got on the bus and went to the mall and found a couple of pairs of pants at JC Penney’s, so things weren’t a total loss. About the unfortunate fact that my body shape is incongruent with the clothes I like, nothing can be done — at least nothing right away. It looks like serious dieting is in my future — oh, okay, I’ll start now. It’s too hot to go out now, but later I think I will take one of my long walks.

Imagine there’s no imagination

Posted by andrea - September 29th, 2006

True confession: I’ve never liked the John Lennon song — excuse me, “anthem,” — “Imagine.” I always thought it was one of the dreariest, most depressing songs ever recorded. A much better song by a Beatle that had the same beat and nearly the same tune is “Something,” which also had a nice guitar solo instead of dum-dum piano exercises, as well as decent, hopeful lyrics instead of a bagful of hackneyed hippy greeting-card phrases.

If you want to read more from someone else who was unthrilled by the Lennon mystique, here is Kathy Shaidle’s old article on the man upon the occasion of his untimely demise. Considering what boring twaddle the album he release before he was shot was, I wonder if he’d be as adored today if he was still alive. Well, actually I don’t.

Spill the wine

Posted by andrea - September 26th, 2006

God, work was the pits today. Mostly due to the fact I hadn’t slept much the night before, due to staying up too late reading Gone With the Wind. (No, really. It’s an excellent character study of all American Southern types, and a comedy of manners under a veneer of conventional historical “romance.” Would Oprah have published it? One wonders — there are remarkably few victimized black people, slaves though most of the characters of color were. More later, when I have finished reading it and am not so freaking tired.)

Culture Notes

Posted by andrea - September 25th, 2006

Presented without comment because I think none is necessary — or possible: I was subbing for the receptionist while she was at lunch today, and she had an issue of Oprah magazine on her desk. I flipped through it and came to an article that explored the stunning fact (which everyone has known forever, but this is a woman’s magazine with the usual obsessions about aging and losing one’s looks) that being the leader of major world powers puts years on a man. And the leaders they chose to show in photographs (comparing their younger, early in power days to their current ones) were UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and…. Bill Clinton, EX-president of the United States.

Random itchy feet post

Posted by andrea - September 24th, 2006

If I ever decide to go to foreign places (not counting my visit to Europe when I was eighteen nor my family’s trip to the Virgin Islands — technically not an entirely “foreign” country since it was to the US part), here are some of the places I’d be interested in visiting, in no particular order:

New Zealand

That’s it, really. I didn’t list Canada because I don’t really count them as “foreign,” even though they are a separate country. Sorry, Canucks, if this makes your heads explode. You speak the same language, and your accent is virtually indistiguishable from that of Americans whose states border yours. You do have funny-looking “money” though, so you have that going for you. The rest of you peoples whose countries I didn’t list, don’t feel bad — I’m just one woman, there are lots of other people in the world who might want to visit you.

Hot hot hot

Posted by andrea - September 24th, 2006

I’m really getting tired of this weather. The little bit of almost-cool weather we had a few days ago has been blasted back up north again, and we’re back to the burning heat and the clammy humidity. Did I ever mention that one of the main reasons I hate Florida is because of how I can’t go outside during the day most of the year, and this is one of the reasons I’ve porked up? I live in a nice neighborhood, and could go on great long walks, save for the fact that I’d have heat stroke after going a few blocks. If it were not for the fact that my carless states means I have to walk whether I like it or not, I would probably be two hundred pounds overweight instead of fifty.

I’m a little frustrated, because I am antsy today and just wanted to go somewhere, yet I don’t really want to go out in this weather. I’ll just get hot and cranky, the way I did yesterday. All I did was go to the store and walk around a bit, and I was good for nothing the rest of the day. I really need a vacation. And a car.

Best line in a blog post yet

Posted by andrea - September 24th, 2006

“Honestly, these brats make my ovaries shrivel up like Clay Aiken’s nuts.”

The call of the mild

Posted by andrea - September 22nd, 2006

Here’s another writer that everyone on the “right” fawns all over but for the most part her stuff goes down my gullet the wrong way and gives me gas: Peggy Noonan. She’s said a snappy thing or two, but most of her stuff tends towards the soggy, such as this bizarre column on how we need to be all nice to Venezuala Clown-in-Chief Hugo Chavez, because, because… well, I don’t know why, really. It all sounds too much like the sort of talks I’d get from my elders, about having to be the Good Big Sister to my juvenile delinquent of a younger sibling, and not get all mad when she did things like steal my clothes and give them to her friends, scream drunken abuse at me, and so on, but instead to “be her friend” and “be a good example” and so on. Reading Peggy Noonan brings home to me just how much the high school experience has a death grip on the American psyche. There is the odor of political clubs and honor society councils to too many of her utterances. Don’t believe me? Well, take these passages from her piece:

But the temperature of the world is very high, and maybe we’re not stuck in a continuum but barreling down a dark corridor. The problem with heated words now is that it’s not the old world anymore. In the old world, incompetent governments dragged cannons through the mud to set up a ragged front. Now every nut and nation wants, has or is trying to develop nukes.

Harsh words inspire the unstable.

Coolants are needed. Here is an idea. Don’t try to ignore Chavez, answer him. With the humility that comes with deep confidence, with facts, and with some humor, too.

And how about this:

As for the administration, it is so in the habit of asserting, defending and repeating, it barely remembers how to persuade and appeal. It speaks starkly and carries a big stick. It feels so beleaguered on a daily basis, and so snakebit, that even its mildest players have taken refuge in gritting their teeth and tunneling on. They take comfort in this: They think Chavez helps them. See what we’re up against? But that’s not a response, it’s a way not to respond. It doesn’t help, because it doesn’t even try to cool things down. Which is no good, because the temperature of the world is very high.

With all due respect, this is just nonsense. The only person needing “cooling down” is Chavez, who basically got up in front of a pantheon of world leaders, sniggered, and said “Eew, George Bush is stinky.” This sort of preteen behavior from a grown man does not need us to respond with “humility and humor.” It needs the overgrown brat who uttered it to be ejected from the company of adults forthwith. And we might also tell the people of Venezuela who elected this gross, fat peccary (hey, I’m not a world leader, so I can indulge) that we’ll talk to them when they go back to being governed by grownups. In fact, most of the world needs to be told to put its big boy pants on and quit whining at mean old America for not letting them play with its toys, or touching them, or sitting on their side in the back seat, or whatever their fucking problem is. Get over yourselves or have fun continuing to be losers, world. As for the Democratic Party, there is another lost cause we should drop. Screw all the big talk about needing a “loyal opposition,” because the Dems ain’t it anymore. Their reaction to Chavez’s tantrum was presented as belated patriotism but it really has the stench of frustration about it — another leftist hero let the side down when he dropped the mask.

I’ll be blunt: I’m sick of all this talk that’s sprung up in the past few weeks, or maybe it’s been months, about how we’re the ones who have to tone down our rhetoric, while the ignorant and malicious spew of our open enemies and sly unfriends gets more and more blatant by the day. Look, people, if you’re feeling “war-weary” and fearful and bored with it all, I wish those of you who have the eye of the public (most of whom don’t even know what a blog is, but they do know about newspapers) would just keep your yaps shut about it. I mean it. Ever heard of morale? You’re cutting it down, just as much as the open attacks by our enemies and by the morons on the left (but I repeat myself). Instead of writing more dreary moans about how everything sucks, go on a sabbatical to Australia or something. Just go away if you can’t grow a spine. We have a war to fight here, and you’re just in the way.

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

Old bat complains

Posted by andrea - September 21st, 2006

Damn, I don’t know what I did to myself, but my body is shot to hell. I can barely walk, my head feels like it’s going to break off… Want to know what dinner was? A grilled cheese sandwich, a glass of wine, and an Advil. No, I don’t care if that combo will make my stomach do flip flops. (Yes, earlier today my digestive system took a nose dive.)

You know that book, The Reader’s Manifesto, that I urged you all to read in an earlier post? Udolpho went and reviewed it. I agree with just about everything he says, except his blaming the popularity of the Oprahfied victim-of-the-week lit crap novel on dried up, bitter old post-menopausal women. Actually, what the world needs now are more dried-up, bitter old post-menopausal hags. (And when I am at last post-menopausal, there will be.) No one suffers fools less gladly than a tart, astringent crone who is no longer in thrall to her hormones and thus has gained mental strength to compensate handsomely for the wasted years she spent dripping and seeping. However, thanks to the miracles of modern medicine [/SARCASM ALERT], there are fewer of those every year. No, most women these days, far from being dried up, are far too moist for longer than God and nature intended them to be, in fact they are positively drenched with the stolen juices of other womens’ youths. Elizabeth Bathory used to bathe in the blood of young virgins in order to stay perpetually young — today’s Modern Woman v. 2.0 soaks in a daily bath of the slaughtered innocence of society, where thanks to the zombie stinking of the grave of dead philosophies that is the contemporary “feminist” movement women are free to be sluts and nothing else. And paired with this evil liquid substance is the older, yet no less poisonous, potion that is traditional female morbidity. Too many women of my acquaintance (young and old) are addicted to those creepy medical shows that seem to only feature children with deforming diseases or people who have been in horrifying disfiguring accidents. They are also fond of those shows that feature another kind of deforming disease, the Jerry Springer-type trash talk show. And of course, there is that old standby, the soap opera. And these “likes” carry over into what they read; and that fact combined with the hold Zombie Feminism has on the literary world, has produced the Oprah-approved victim-novel.

Now it is true that men have their own character flaws when it comes to entertainment — the undisciplined (I’d say “uneducated” but the idea of “education” has been too debased these days) male tends to glom onto fantasies of sexual pleasure and pointless warfare. But at least these fantasies have life and vigor to them. The morbid nightmares that too many women are attracted to all have the smell of hospitals and the grave about them. I’m not sure why this should be — maybe because women, being the ones who give birth, are closer to death and therefore more fascinated by such things. This may also explain why I’ve never wanted to have a child. I’m not good at medical business about myself — to me a doctor is where you go when booze quits working — and the idea of being a subject of medical attention in nine months has all the appeal that going to a dinner party hosted by Karl Rove has for a member of Democratic Underground.

When I think of how old, post-menopausal women, if they should be so lucky to live to that great age (fifty or so), once were careful to cultivate reputations as formidable harridans with whom younger people messed at their peril, I want to tear out my hair. Today when we think of a woman with character we think of Martha Stewart, who does good soundbite, or Katie Couric, who is so cute we should drop her into the middle of Iran — they’d endure about five minutes of her hectic perkiness before committing suicide en masse just to get away from her and her Photoshopped hips. I’ll bet you that Couric loves the “literary” mushtomes that pop up regularly in the stinking fields of the New York Times bestseller lists, assuming that anchorbots read. A mean, shrivelled, dusty-vagina’d spinster, on the other hand, would take one look at, say, the latest collection of typed pages to bear the approving stamp of Oprah’s book club and drop it disdainfully back on the pile of other crap literature.

Update: why I will never be a teacher, Reason #27645. Talk about doubleplus ungood. Perhaps in my country (the dreaded Fascist Amerikkkka) you can still say whatever the hell you want to say and not be threatened with “appropriate seminars,” but I am sure that will be changing if it hasn’t already changed. I will come clean now: I don’t hold it healthy to love a career. It has been my observation that for too many people their wonderful careers, to which they aspired all their lives, have turned them into prostitutes who will sell anything to be able to keep their kewl job. Teachers and reporters (I will not call them “journalists”) seem to be particularly susceptible to this, as are, of course, politicians. I am sure that the fact that a certain amount of power over other humans isn’t low on the list of attractions to these jobs. (For example, teachers: “my students need me!” On the contrary, Mr. Chips — your students will most likely forget about you as they pursue their own lives. If you are lucky some will have a couple of reminiscenses that they’ll tell around the family dinner table at holidays while the kids are in the tv room watching cartoons, like the one about this teacher they had who got almost canned because he said “homos think they all that but they ain’t” on his web page so they had him go to a seminar and he had to wear a pink triangle on his shirt collar the rest of the year.) Anyway, I am glad I’m a little office flunky in a job I can forget when I go home.)

Too tired to post

Posted by andrea - September 20th, 2006

So I’m just going to thank the lovely people who sent me books! The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius will help my own little attempt to give myself a real classical education, and the two Demon Princes volumes by Jack Vance now means I have the whole collection of the novels, as opposed to just books one, two, and four, and now I can fill in the gaps.

I’m not naming the contributors because I’m not sure they want to be named, but one day I hope to visit the parts of the world they live in. Thank you!

Now I am off to eat leftovers and read a little before I go to bed.

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