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Showing posts from March, 2008

we don’t care about the young folks

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The Eagle had landed, and possibly crashed. According to the bar’s website, Wednesday night was still Shotgun, a hipster girl-night island in the middle of a leather-daddy week, but the population was pretty dudes-in-chaps-heavy and the patio had been boarded up. The only constant was the hardcore (gay male) po rn playing silently on five or six video screens. “Have you noticed how we’re starting to be the old ones in the bar?” said Nicole. I thought that was a little unfair, since she was the youngest among us, and I was about to have a birthday. Also, I’m determined not to become one of those old people who’s constantly talking about how old she is. “I don’t think that’s true,” I said. “We just happen to be standing next to that group of really young girls. But the people playing pool over there—well, I can’t really tell how old they are. They’re kind of just a blur from here.” It’s hard to prove your youth and vibrancy when you can’t see across the room. Julie, meanwhil

because it's march 25...

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…and I sometimes like constraint-based writing assignments, here are 25 words each about the three books I’ve read most recently: 1. I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley: Pros: funny, thoughtful in unexpected places—like a This American Life piece. Cons: too familiar, with occasionally forced conclusions—like a This American Life piece. 2. The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta: Liberal health teacher Ruth and ex-druggie Christian Tim are complex grownups with believable pasts. Perotta aces middles but falls flat with endings (a minor crime). 3. Bloodvine by Aris Janigian: This tale of farming and feuding in the Valley is a poetic portrait of Armenian America. But it’s a first novel, so prepare for unevenness.

the best easter bonnet ever

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This Easter, I learned that AK's brother-in-law has a phobia of lizards. So I wouldn't encourage him to see The Goat's Dance: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide at the Getty . But everyone else should definitely go.

rafael pérez-torres for president

I do not believe that Barack Obama is my new bicycle . I believe he's a politician who will sell out as much and as little as Hillary has, given time. But I do think he's bringing something new to the national dialogue. In this case, it's a highly refreshing take on race: http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/hisownwords . (Since I've been traveling lately, I'm out of the media loop, so my apologies if this is sooo a week and a half ago. For some reason, the remote in my hotel seems to bypass CNN and land on The Real Housewives of New York City every night.) Anyway, the speech is worth a read or a listen. Obama's refusal to disown anyone reminds me of my college Chicano lit professor 's mantra that "We are all the oppressor, we are all the oppressed." (And yes, that's more literal when you're talking about mestizo lineage, but I think almost everyone has had a taste of both roles over the course of their lives.*) Most importantly, I a

stopping terrorism

This week I'm working from my organization's New York office, which recently moved from Soho to the Financial District. The good news is that I now feel slightly less shabby--no matter how hard I tried to look cute in Soho, I always felt like I was wearing stonewashed jeans with pleats and a shirt with a big soup stain down the front. The bad news is that the Financial District, while diverse and bustling if corporate during the day, is a tad dystopic at night. The streets are deserted except for cops with machine guns guarding the New York Stock Exchange. Big metal ramps--the kind that would stop a speeding suicide bomber's car, I guess--blossom like mushrooms in the middle of the street, and there are squad cars and ominous black SUVs everywhere. This morning, the giant American flag that covers a third of the Stock Exchange's facade had been replaced by a giant Visa ad that said, "NYSE takes Visa."

ski for yourself

When I uploaded the videos below to YouTube, I chose “sports” as the category. I think you’ll agree with me that that’s a little optimistic. 1. Here’s me, trying to make a mountain out of a molehill: 2. I think I’m posing for a still photo: 3. AK gets her cross-country on: 4. AK carefully, carefully prepares herself to go downhill: 5. Check out AK’s Olympically intense concentration. This is what it takes to be an athlete, folks:

mammoth mountain high

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saturday: the wiki said it would be like this The thing that made our trip perfect right from the start was Christine’s mind-boggling organization. As a control freak with OCD tendencies, I am never more grateful than when another OCD sufferer releases me from my duties. All AK and I had to do to prepare for four days in Mammoth was hop on the wiki site Christine built and print out the relevant pages: directions, packing list, map of who’s sleeping where, photos of ski clothes available for borrowing, menu. “We’re having shrimp and co rn chowder tonight,” I informed AK on the drive up. It was nice taking a road trip that didn’t involve the 5. As we drove past jagged red rocks, tiny ghost towns, spiky Joshua trees and sprawling strip malls, AK said, “I had a college friend who was from Palmdale, and one time another friend and I drove her home. She thought she lived in the most beautiful place in the world and was so excited about the Joshua trees in her back yard. As soo

fake blood

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I’m waiting for someone to add this entry to the (mostly stupid, but that’s another post) blog Stuff White People Like : #82: Writing Memoirs In The Voice Of Underprivileged Youth. First there was teen truck-stop prostitute JT Leroy, a.k.a. a middle-aged woman from San Francisco . I had some strong thoughts about that little scandal. Now there’s half-Native American former Bloods gang member Margaret B. Jones , a.k.a. Margaret Seltzer, a white woman from Sherman Oaks who went to private school. Supposedly, Seltzer wrote the memoir to give voice to friends who’d actually had experiences like those she described: “I just felt there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it.” Here are some tips for the would-be Seltzers of the world: If you want to help gang members in the foster care system, volunteer with gang members in the foster care system. Don’t get famous pretending to be one. If you want to pretend to be a gang m

upon driving by a billboard for horton hears a who!

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CHERYL: So the premise of Horton Hears a Who! is that the Whos are really small, right? They live on like a grain of sand or something, and Horton the elephant is the only one who can hear them cry for help? CATHY: I think so. CHERYL: Then that means that the Grinch who threatened Whoville in How the Grinch Stole Christmas was also really small, which makes him less scary, don’t you think? AK: Do we know that they were the same Whos? Maybe there are different sizes of Whos. CHERYL: If they’re the same species, they can’t come in different sizes. There aren’t different sizes of humans--I mean, within a couple of feet. AK: What about the Lilliputians? CHERYL: They weren’t humans, they were Lilliputians. It’s like, there’s only one size of giraffe. There aren’t big giraffes and miniature giraffes. CATHY: But there should be. [Reverent pause as all consider the wonderful implications of miniature giraffes.] CATHY: Okay, what about Tiny Elvis ? There