Monday, July 11, 2005

For anyone who periodically checks in for updates...

I've started blogging at Typepad at the following URL:

http://caryatid.typepad.com/

I like Typepad infinitely more as a blogging tool, and I wanted a fresh start to use all of what I've learned on my "training ground" here. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

More Information Than You'd Ever Want to Know About Me

I read this list on a blog that I am a *huge* fan of and was sucked in by its incredible time-wasting potential. I've never linked to someone else's blog before and, because I am new to this whole blogging thing, I'm not entirely sure what the etiquette is. But here goes anyway (I've added a few of my own comments with "*"s):

Copy this whole list into your blog. Bold the things that are true about you. Add something that is true about you.

01. I miss somebody right now.
02. I don’t watch much TV these days.
03. I love olives
04. I own lots of books.
06. I wear glasses or contact lenses.
07. I love to play video games.
08. I’ve tried marijuana.
09. I’ve watched porn movies.
10. I have been in a threesome.
11. I have been the psycho-ex in a past relationship.
12. I believe honesty is usually the best policy.
15. I curse sometimes.
16. I have changed a lot mentally over the last year.
17. I have a hobby.
19. I carry my knife/razor everywhere with me.
20. I’m TOTALLY smart.
21. I’ve never broken someone’s bones.
22. I have a secret that I am ashamed to reveal.
23. I hate the rain.
24. I’m paranoid at times.
25. I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free.
26. I need money right now.
27. I love sushi.
28. I talk really, really fast.
29. I have fresh breath in the morning.
30. I have long hair.
31. I have lost money in Las Vegas.
32. I have at least one brother and/or one sister.
33. I was born in a country outside of the U.S.
34. I shave my legs (females) or face (males) on a regular basis.
35. I have a twin (or a triplet, or somesuch).
36. I have worn fake hair/fingernails/eyelashes in the past.
37. I couldn’t survive without Caller I.D.
38. I like the way that I look.
39. I have lied to a good friend in the last 6 months.
40. I know how to cornrow.
41. I am usually pessimistic.
42. I have a lot of mood swings.
43. I think prostitution should be legalized.
44. I think Britney Spears is pretty.
45. Slept with a Suitemate.
46. I have a hidden talent.
47. I’m always hyper no matter how much sugar I have.
48. I have a lot of friends.
49. I am currently single.
50. I have pecked someone of the same sex. (given that pecked means kissed…)
51. I enjoy talking on the phone.
52. I practically live in sweatpants or PJ pants.
53. I love to shop.
54. I would rather shop than eat.
55. I would classify myself as ghetto.
56. I’m bourgie and have worn a sweater tied around my shoulders.
57. I’m obsessed with my Xanga or Livejournal.
58. I don’t hate anyone. I dislike them.
59. I’m a pretty good dancer
60. I don’t think Mike Tyson raped Desiree Washington.
61. I’m completely embarrassed to be seen with my mother.
62. I have a cell phone.
63. I believe in God.
64. I watch MTV on a daily basis.
65. I have passed out drunk in the past 6 months.
66. I love drama. (Somebody else’s, not my own)
67. I have never been in a real relationship before.
68. I’ve rejected someone before.
69. I currently have a crush/like someone.
70. I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.
71. I want to have children in the future.
72. I have changed a diaper before.
73. I’ve called the cops on a friend before.
74. I bite my nails.
75. I am a member of the Tom Green fan club.
76. I’m not allergic to anything.
77. I have a lot to learn.
78. I have been with someone at least 10 years older or younger.
79. I plan on seeing Ice Cube’s newest “Friday” movie.
80. I am shy around the opposite sex.
81. I’m online 24/7, even as an away message.
82. I have at least 5 away messages saved.
83. I have tried alcohol or drugs before.
84. I have made a move on a friend’s significant other or crush in the past.
85. I own the “South Park” movie.
86. I have avoided assignments at work school to be on Xanga or Livejournal.
87. When I was a kid I played “the birds and the bees” with a neighbor or chum.
88. I enjoy some country music.
89. I would die for my best friends.
90. I think that Pizza Hut has the best pizza.
91. I watch soap operas whenever I can
92. I’m obsessive, anal retentive, and often a perfectionist.
93. I have used my sexuality to advance my career.
94. I love Michael Jackson, scandals and all.
95. I know all the words to Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story”.
96. Halloween is awesome because you get free candy.
97. I watch Spongebob Squarepants and I like it.
98. I have dated a close friend’s ex.
99. I like surveys/memes.
100. I am happy at this moment.
101. I’m obsessed with guys.
102. I am bisexual.*If a 2 on the Kinsey scale counts as 'bisexual', then I suppose so*
103. Democrat.
104. Conservative Republican.
105. I am punk rockish.
106. I am preppy.
107. I go for older guys/girls, not younger
108. I study for tests most of the time.
109. I tie my shoelaces differently from anyone I’ve ever met.
110. I can work on a car.
111. I love my job.
112. I am comfortable with who I am right now.
113. I have more than just my ears pierced.
114. I walk barefoot wherever I can.
115. I have jumped off a bridge.
116. I love sea turtles.
117. I spend ridiculous amounts of money on makeup.
118. I believe in prophetic dreams.
119. I plan on achieving a major goal/dream.
120. I am proficient on a musical instrument.
121. I worked at McDonald’s restaurant. (How about Burger King?)
122. I hate office jobs.
123. I love sci-fi movies.
124. I’ve never been in love.
125. I think water rules.
126. I am going to college out of state.
127. I am adopted.
128. I like sausage.
129. I am a pyro.
130. I love the Red Sox.
131. I have thrown up from crying too much.
132. I have been intentionally hurt by people that I loved.
133. I love kisses.
134. I fall for the worst people and have been hurt every time.
135. I adore bright colors.
136. I love Dear Abby.
137. I can’t live without black eyeliner.
138. I think school is awesome.
139. I think pigtails serve a purpose. *If that purpose is to hold my short hair back...*
140. I don’t know why the hell I just did this stupid thing.
141. I usually like covers better than originals.
142. I don’t like multi-textured ice cream
143. I think John Cusack is adorable.
144. I f**king hate chain theme restaurants like Applebees and TGIFridays.
145. I watch Food Network way too much.I
146. I love coaching youth sports.
147. I can pick up things with my toes.
148. I can’t whistle.
149. I can move my tounge in waves, much like a snakes’ slither.
150. I have ridden/owned a horse.
151. I still have every journal I’ve ever written in.
152. I can't for the life of me keep my room clean for more than a day.

I just can't.


Via Feministe.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Take that, Krugman, you lazy bum!

Tom Friedman's piece today is about how people in India and China are willing to work much harder than people in western Europe, working longer hours for less wages and less benefits (lisez: "French voters are trying to preserve a 35-hour work week in a world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day. Good luck."). Then, at the end of the article, it says in italics:

Paul Krugman is on vacation.

I know this actually means that Friedman is taking over his op-ed spot or something while he is on vacation, but it still struck me as pretty amusing.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Have another post about Star Wars

I realize Star Wars is not the type of flick you go to if you want to learn something about yourself or the way the world works, but when I saw SWE3: RoTS this past Friday, my hang-ups with the movie prevented me from enjoying from what I'm sure were some truly cutting-edge lightsaber fight scenes. Or something.

First of all, as with the first two movies, the dialogue and acting were horrendous to the point where they distracted me from the plot; I think I snickered through about 70% of the scenes I wasn't supposed to snicker through. The one exception was the following exchange, which takes place shortly after Yoda enters the room where Darth Sidious is lounging and hurls two guards against the wall (with the Force, no less):

DARTH SlDIOUS: I have waited a long time for this moment, my little green friend. At last, the Jedi are no more.

YODA: Not if anything to say about it, I have!

How badass is that??

My real bone to pick with the movie was not with the dialogue, but with the character who was once Queen Amidala, then Senator Amidala, and now might as well be referred to as Mrs. Anakin Skywalker since she apparently left her identity by the lake on Naboo. Seriously, George, what did you do to Padme?

In the first two films, Padme Naberrie Amidala (I just had to fight the urge to be lame and add 'Jingleheimer Schmidt') had the air of regality and authority. She was confident. She made difficult decisions quickly and with sound judgment. She even got to go shoot the bad guys right alongside everyone else. But then, BAM!, she gets pregnant and all of a sudden she's all weepy and frightened and appears in all of about two scenes outside of the apartment she and Anakin share. I think she might even be barefoot. Here are some real gems from her :
PADME: You don't need more power, Anakin. I believe you can protect me against anything, just as you are.

PADME: Oh, Anakin, I'm afraid.

PADME: Anakin, all I want is your love.

Now, I understand that it must be difficult to be secretly married to someone who is slowly turning evil and losing his soul, and I appreciate the artistic attempt to illustrate how deeply this troubles Padme, but come on. Does she really need people telling her to rest all the time? Does she really need C3P0, the droid who is scared of the dark, to "watch over" her when she leaves the house? And what's up with her hardly working at all while she's pregnant? Did the Senate fire her when they found out she was knocked up? Is it possible that this galaxy far, far away contains beings of all different sizes, colors, and, erm, textures that interact without any kind of interspecies discrimination yet the basic principles of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act are completely foreign to them??

The line that really blows my mind is one she delivers when she is lying in a medical clinic half-unconscious because Anakin lost his temper and tried to kill her. Girlfriend opens her eyes, looks hazily around the room and says:
PADME: Obi-Wan, is Anakin all right?

Are you kidding me?? Shouldn't the first line out of her mouth be something like, "Excuse me, Mr. Medical Droid, can I please have a cold glass of water and a baseball bat? I have some Revenge business of my own that I need to attend to." And as if that wasn't enough, she later dies because she loses the will to live. That's right. Her hubby goes nuts, and she has nothing left to live for. Not the fact that she is a former monarch and has a powerful position in the Senate (from which she could possibly lead some sort of internal resistance against the rising Empire). Not even those two kids she just gave birth to. She just, you know, doesn't want to live anymore.

It's really too bad that this Star Wars movie had to veer so horribly off track with its female lead. In Episodes 4-6, Leia was just as much of a 'hero' as Luke and Han Solo were (to me, one of the most memorable scenes of the Trilogy was in the beginning of Return of the Jedi when Leia goes undercover to rescue Han), and those films were made nearly thirty years ago. I hope in this galaxy we see a little more social progress.


Speaking of love...

I saw this gorgeous specimen in bright orange in a shop window near Dupont the other day and was instantly smitten. I am seriously. Jonesing. For this bike.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

What is love? (Baby, don't hurt me or I'll stalk you)

Apparently it's something akin to severe, Ophelia-style psychosis. So how long do you suppose it will take for Merck to crank out a treatment drug and the FDA to approve it?

No, seriously. Now that it is believed that a person can actually die from a broken heart, and there is mounting evidence that a chemical explaination exists for a drive similar to "craving for drugs" that "can be stronger than the will to live," I wouldn't be surprised if a Methadone for Heartbreak would soon be in the works. It would sure beat the traditional cure: drinking heavily and listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley.

SUPER INCONSEQUENTIAL BUT RELATED ADDENDUM:

Just had this IM conversation, which very aptly illustrates some of the points in the article:

Friend Person: What gives with this [love business] being so hard?
Me [sounding uncharacteristically wise]: If it were easy, most of the Western canon wouldn't have been written.
Friend Person: fuck the canon
Friend Person: get me the chick

Friday, May 27, 2005

Star Wars as the chronology of my post-adolescence

You're always at least to some degree cognizant of how drastically your life is changing in your late teens/early 20's, but I was reflecting earlier today on how conveniently the release of Episodes I, II, and III of Star Wars serve as markers for that change (this is about as sci-fi geeky as I'll ever get, so don't blink or you'll miss it).

Episode I:
I was a junior in high school. My drama geek friends and I spent three days taking turns standing in line to get tickets to see on opening day. I was personally too nerdy to miss school, but I was badass enough to ditch Fiddler on the Roof rehearsal to catch the 3pm showing. I sat in the front row with my significantly less nerdy significant other who would later go on to become prom king and, I hear, nearly fail out of college on several occasions (he would also later go on to break up with me for being, euphamistically, a 'shiksah goddess'). Life goals: become a neurosurgeon, a philanthropist, and a New Yorker.

Episode II:
I was halfway finished with college. I saw the film in the same theater in Denver where I had seen Episode I. I was scarred enough by the presence of Jar Jar Binks in the first one that I didn't bother waiting in line for days (or even hours) this time, but George Lucas still had enough of a place in my heart that I the film two days after it was released. My moviegoing companion was my father, who quipped at least four times before the show, "It's Star Wars... even if it's terrible, it's just one of those things you have to see." I was starting to prepare (mentally, at least) to leave for New York for the summer and for Europe for the following year. I managed to pick a better significant other this go-round; he would go on to be an attorney and remain one of the most kind-hearted people I'm sure I'll ever cross paths with. Life goals: become a human rights advocate and a regular at the ECHR (or, alternatively, get the US involved in the int'l human rights system), a humanitarian, and, eventually, a New Yorker.

Episode III:
I'm a year out of college and into whatever cheesetastic sociological catch phrase you want to use to describe the post-college years. It has been over a week since Episode III was released, and I have yet to see it (I was "saving myself" to see it with, euphamistically, a 'good friend of mine' but he, erm, made other plans). Life goals? Good question. Become something awesome, I'm sure. Oh, and, eventually, become a New Yorker.

I think we can all issue a collective "phew!" that Lucas isn't serving up another round of these, but here's hoping that in May of '08 something Star Wars-themed reminds me to take a minute crack a smile at how drastically my life will have changed yet again.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Interpret THIS!!!

I finally got around to seeing The Interpreter last night -- I say 'finally' because they don't they don't make movies that are tailor-made for Katherine that often (seriously; a suspense movie about the UN, African politics, and the importance of diplomacy?) It did everything I want my suspense movies to do: it gripped me, it intrigued me, it had a clever but predictable twist at the end. Overall, I'd give it high marks for entertainment.

BUT (yes, here comes the but), as with all movies that involve Africa, I had a hard time getting past the fact that people in this country have a view of Africa so narrow that you have to step sideways to get through it. I think people must know a combined total of about three things about the whole damn continent (yes, contrary to what you learned from watching Mean Girls, Africa is actually a collection of countries, not just one). Hollywood has apparently dictated that movies about Africa must contain some combination of the following:
- Genocide
- Cheetahs
- Tribal masks (I can't really explain this one, but they always seem to be there)
- AIDS
- Music heavy on the drums underlying at least 50% of all scenes, and 100% of the canned shots of the Serengeti at dusk (of which there must be at least three)

This movie had 'em all. What I don't get, though, is this: African history, culture, and politics is so much richer than this, and the producers of this film clearly had *some* interest in bringing to light some of the political conflict in a set of countries about which we are ignorant. So why not use a major motion picture as a vehicle to educate people about some more nuanced aspects of Africa instead of reenforcing the same five pre-conceived notions about Africa that we currently hold? For God's sake, will someone please make a movie about some other part of Africa than nebulous 'sub-Sahara' or at least make the point that the countries IN Central Africa have distinct histories, languages, cultures, etc.?

On the one hand, I'm glad that people (well, male people) are finally starting to concede that most companies as they currently operate are not ideal (to say the least) for women who want to work and have a family. But I'll admit that I'm irked that both Tierney and Miller write about this as though a) it's some novel idea that they are among the first to trumpet, and b) they are doing some noble deed by speaking on behalf of women (just look at the titles: "What Women Want" and "Listen to my Wife", respectively). Women have been saying this stuff for decades, guys. I'm glad you're now starting to tune in, but do you really need to be so patronizing about it?