(this is annie)

So I wrote all this stuff about the title, but then I found something that's more important and less personally incriminating: guidelines for treating rape victims omit any mention of emergency contraception.

I am so tired of this chipping away of reproductive rights.


I visited my friend Mike the other night. He's one of my favorite people in Chicago. We call each other by our last names, which makes me happy. We talked about the sadness of the tsunami, and how we're worried that the survivors will be ignored or forgotten or underfunded. The United States' initial pledge of $15 million angered me. I never thought I'd say this, but $15 million is nothing. $35 million, our current pledge, is an improvement — but it's still less than what's being spent on Bush's inauguration ($40 million, not including security). I feel helpless and confused by the nation's slow reaction (officially, anyway). We can and should do better. I hope we will. I keep thinking that if every American gave a dollar — and I'm idealistic enough to believe that if it were put into the context of saving a person's life, most Americans would — we could create a collective swell of help.

For what it's worth, I gave to the Red Cross, and there are more ways to help if you're so inclined.

snl skits in real life

Sometimes, after I take a shower, I like to dry off while watching MSNBC. I know this is a weird activity, but I think it's a subconscious compulsion to make myself feel dirty after I've just cleansed my body.

Anyway, after Bush's press conference the other day, I caught something funny on screen. The people at MSNBC either need remedial spelling, or they have a sense of humor. You can see it for yourself.

a few small california pictures

We had a good time:

We bookended our trip in San Francisco, opting to drive up the coast for a sojourn. While out of the city, we stayed near Bodega Bay, where Hitchcock filmed The Birds. I kept hoping to see some touristy schlock that would point out where all the Birds-y places were, but instead we saw lots of boats. This was the view from our cottage.

The day before we took this photo, my sweet and athletic* boyfriend wanted to watch the sunset at Point Reyes. Because I was recovering from a mild yet painful asthma attack earlier in the day, and being purple-fingered cold from our outdoor adventures, I wanted nothing more than to get to the warmth of our rental car. What can I say? I am totally out of shape, and climbing hills is hard work. The sunset was taking forever, and so we didn't stick around for all of it. The next day, back in the city, we caught this one instead. I think it was just as pretty.

Kittens in the Macy's window.

We went to Japantown and watched a Taiko group. I was fascinated by the woman on the left. She wasn't just happy to be playing her drum; she was visibly filled with joy. Just watching her made me happy.

* I feel like I need to say here that he is not athletic in the no-neck, jockular way, but in the does-flips-on-the-beach way. He has a very pretty and defined neck.

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I really hate my teeth.

I know I should go on this love-your-body kick and thank my chompers for being there and for helping me chew and all that jazz. And yet, I feel like the dental progeny of Mr. Ed and Bugs Bunny. I hate seeing pictures of myself, because all I can see are the four teeth that rush out awkwardly over my lips. And then I start feeling them with my tongue and lips, and they start to feel gigantic, and on bad days it makes me want to cry. My thoughts then rush into warp speed, and I'm convinced that by the time I am 40, the teeth will have protruded to a 90-degree angle.

It wouldn't be so frustrating if I hadn't already had braces twice. Twice! With headgear and rubber bands and everything!

I looked into getting braces —the fancy Invisalign kind, because I refuse to be metal-mouthed again — but even at the dental school, that costs $3500. That's not affordable for me, so instead I push on my teeth from the outside. It probably doesn't do any good, but I like to think that it offsets my tongue thrust. Maybe by the time I am 30, if I save up a little money each month, I will be able to pay for the invisible braces and stop obsessing over my teeth.

on vacation, loving krugman

I'm on vacation, but still I get up at 7 a.m. to do work. There's something a little off about this picture, but it's still refreshing to get away from the midwest for a few days. Turns out there are these things called "hills" and "mountains" out west. Who would have known? Later in the week, Special Gentleman Friend and I are going to a spa for a detoxifying enyzme bath. This was his suggestion, not mine — in case you were wondering whether I am the kind of lady who drags her SGF to frou-frou places like spas. I'm not. I sweat at spas and salons. Everything's hip or serene (or both) and I start to worry that I'll knock something over. Or that I'm not tipping enough people. Or that they'll over-pluck my eyebrows, leaving me looking like Marlene Dietrich after a tussle with an eyebrow pencil. I'm still looking forward to the spa adventure, though.

In less frivolous news, I'm reading Paul Krugman's book The Great Unraveling, and it's good stuff. He mentions some early writing by Henry Kissinger, in which Ol' Gravel-Throat argues that revolutionary thinkers rise to power in part because non-revolutionaries assume that their ideas are so radical that the revolutionaries can't possibly mean them. All the while, the revolutionary force very much means to put their ideology into power, and they do so because most people simply can't fathom the thought that they'd actually go through with such wild plans. Kissinger's paper discusses the rise of fascism in the 1930s, and Krugman is quick to point out that drawing parallels does not mean moral relativism. But the basic idea is still worth applying to our current political situation, I think.

By the way, if you can't get enough Krugman, pick up the new issue of Venus. I wrote a piece in there about Krugman and why he's so h-o-t. Much to my embarrassment, however, his photo is next to a vibrator review. When I saw the layout, my face became a tomato, and then I started to sweat and stutter. The grand finale of this embarrassing discovery? I dizzily walked into a bicycle, knocking it over and nearly maiming two of the editorial interns. So now I have to write a letter to Krugman, saying, "I feel really, really awkward and apologetic because your photo is next to a flower-shaped vibrator."

Finally: They're calling 70-year-old veterans to go to war.


coloring club

I'm all right at being an adult, but secretly I like to do little-kid things. If I had my way, people would still play kickball and ride bikes and play Uno all the time. So that's why I was very happy to be part of last week's Coloring Club. Coloring Club is exactly what you'd think it would be: a group of people dining, drinking, and coloring with markers and crayons. I was so happy. Browse the gallery if you like.


something i'd forgotten

Winter brings a lot of unpleasantries: soggy socks, chapped lips, stalled motors, hidden slush-puddles, traffic delays, unwanted shivers. But I'd forgotten about some of the perks: hot cocoa, fuzzy scarves, fingerless gloves that have the little mitten flaps, rosy cheeks. Last night, I rediscovered another quiet, small joy of winter. We were sliding around the playground across from my house, climbing cold jungle gyms and seeing our breath rise. The heavy snow was falling as the streetlights shed a fuzzy coral glow around us; the scene felt movie-perfect. My face was a little raw from the whipping wind, and when we kissed, it was a little spark of warmth breaking through the chill. I'd forgotten how happy that could make me.

And now I feel like I have to do something that is less emo, so that I come off as detached or unsentimental. How about this:

Maybe it's just me, but I've always seen a resemblance. I really hope that the new director of HOMELAND SECURITY* looks like Ronald McDonald or something. He could change his wig to match the alert level.

* The phrase "homeland security" has always bothered me. Maybe it's just semantics, but "homeland" has a weird nationalistic connotation to it along the lines of motherland and fatherland.

say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


© 2009 avt

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