Listening to: “Deep Red Bells” – Neko Case

I don’t know who these people are. The pissy one might be me. I drew it on the T.


Have you noticed that it’s stopped snowing? It completely slipped past me. Next stop: spring thaw for realz. In the garbage on Linden Street today, there was an honest-to-heck safe, like the kind you lock jewels in, that was a-sploded on top! Looks like a layer of concrete plus some other shit. Bank heists in Allston?

I’m really sleepy. I have work to do. So why am I in the Valley of the Blogs? Happy April!

The health insurance game: freelancer special

Listening to: “Tiger, Tiger” – Bishop Allen

When I was in college, I was covered on my parent’s health insurance plan. After college, I had a full-time gig as an editorial assistant that provided some really crappy health insurance, but it still covered the big emergency stuff. I was laid off from that job in the spring of 2007, and I have been uninsured ever since then. I weened myself off the prescriptions I was taking at the time, and stopped going for annual appointments. If I’m ever in a fix (eye infection, sinusitis, stingray puncture, etc.), I go to urgent care centers and swallow the expense.

Do I want health insurance? Of course. Do I think I’m “invincible”? Of course not. I’m a freelance writer. Sometimes I’m a waitress. Last fall, I got laid off (again) from a “full time” job that didn’t give me benefits. These days, I live paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes without paychecks.

I live in Massachusetts, where supposedly healthcare is universal.


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Annual Valentine’s Day rant

I was hoping to blissfully ignore the world’s lamest holiday this year, but the couple sitting across from me at the Clear Conscience Cafe right now are making that impossible. They’ve been snoogling on the couch for the past half hour, kissing each other’s hair and wrapping legs over legs. And the real coup came when the girl grabbed her boy’s coffee mug and poured it into his mouth for him.

If there is ever a point in time when I see fit to feed another person coffee (unless both of their arms are broken or they are The Human Torso), please find me, throw me in a sack, and throw that sack off a cliff.

I just don’t get it. I don’t get it. There should be a holiday where couples give single people presents as thanks for putting up with their ootsyness and marrying and sofa-picking-out all year.

As for me, I plan to spend my Valentine’s night spitting black bile into a flaming cauldron, mixing that up with frog spawn and battery acid, then pouring the whole batch at random out of my apartment window. And cackling. Did I mention cackling?

Dear Brandeis: suck it.

Listening to: “Do You Realize??” – The Flaming Lips

"Seated Woman," Max Weber

I’ll probably write more in depth about this later, but right now I’m too tired and too pissed off. Suffice to say my dear old Alma Mater has brought itself to the forefront of public attention by SELLING ALL OF ITS PRICELESS ART. The reason? Brandeis’s big donors lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the Madoff scheme, and now the school’s in biiiig trouble.

So the school (young and impressionable in university time, at only 61 years of age) decided the smartest, bestest, most forward-looking thing to do would be to shut down the Rose Art Museum and its collection, without a doubt one of the best things ol’ Deis has going for it. This kind of sale of a large collection by an educational institution is pretty much unprecidented–because it’s a REALLY SHITTY IDEA and NO ONE WOULD EVER DO IT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND.

We’re talking a major modern art collection that includes stuff by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Bob Rauschenberg…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Brandeis is in a perpetual state of identity crisis, trying simultaneously to create a legacy and history in the mold of much much older universities, be really forward-thinking (In the form of ugly-ass campus centers), and establish itself as totally unique and uber-prestigious. Tall order for a university was a veterinary institute up until the late 1940s. I used to work at the Registrar’s Office–I know the history because I spent a month of work study hours in a mildewy cellar deep underneath the humanities quad, rescuing old files and yearbooks from certain moist demise.

My point in all this is that if Brandeis wants to solidify its image and leave a legacy to future generations, about the worst thing it can do is ditch the Rose collection. One of the main things that drew me to the university in the first place was its commitment to the arts. The move is sleazy and dreadful, and makes me feel ashamed to be an alum.


PS: If you’re as pissed as I am, SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Reejekshun – I haz it

Listening to: “To Be Surprised” – Sondre Lerche

Square one sucks. I am really fucking sick and tired of square one. It’s like, this lame stupid square that’s the first one, and I can’t get out of the damn thing. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Butbutbut I have two deadlines, and no time to wallow in self-pity. I wish it wasn’t so goddamn cold out, or I’d run away to New Hampshire and climb a mountain. That’d be nice.

OKOKOK done. Moving on. Next thing. Thundercats are go.

I’ve still got my eye on you, New York. See this eye? On YOU. Yeah. S’right.

Blargh. Methinks the food service industry will soon have me in its gaping maw once more.


Anyways, look! My blog is snowing! Doesn’t that just fill you with Effusion and Christmas Cheer?

Political coverage, and other diversions

Listening to: “Freddie Freeloader” – Miles Davis

I never thought the day would come when I’d say this, but: I’ve become a political junkie. But I’ve always hated politics. What is wrong with me? I’ve been asking myself this question in between sessions of checking the polls, watching clips from the Rachel Maddow Show, witnessing Sarah Palin fuck up again and again and again, and looking at photos of Obama being gosh dern cute. (I know, I’m a filthy, filthy liberal aren’t I? Oh yeah, baby, you liiike it.)

But why is this my new form of online procrastination? What happened to photos of narwhales, minimalist webcomics, obscure music blogs and anonymous people’s impotent rage? Why do I care so goddamn much about this goddamn fucking election?

There’s probably a longer answer, but the short answer is that Barack Obama is the first politician in years that hasn’t struck me as a total dickbag. ((It helps, of course, that the competition is sooo dickbaggy.)) In fact, I really think I like him. He’s actually an inspiring, intelligent-seeming guy who actually makes me feel kind of good about America–not what it is now, lord knows–but what it could be. Like when he says stuff like this. He really does work as if he lived in the early days of a better nation (That’s an Alasdair Gray quote, by the way, swiped off the side of the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh).

All this keeping up with the news has even made me try to, well, keep up with the news. I started puttering around some major news sources’ homepages to see who thought what was important. A snapshot of some pages’ headlines, around midnight EST:

The NY Times is all about how a circus ringmaster is retiring. The BBC wants us to know that Communism is trendy again. The Guardian’s on about a PM embezzling from the Russian government. The Washington Post talks about some botched federal contracts. The Boston Globe’s top coverage is the Secretary General of the UN’s speech at Harvard. The LA Times highlights a piece about the President of France’s crisis-handling capabilities. The Times of India has what should arguably be everyone’s headline — the launch of India’s first moon mission. Al Jazeera, oddly enough, centerpieces Obama leaving the campaign trail. The Wall Street Journal highlights his edge in the polls over McCain. USA Today offers a dreaded trend piece about US travelers abroad getting grilled on politics. Le Monde in France spotlights a doctor shortage. The China Daily’s top story is Bush’s talks with President Hu. The Chicago Tribune talks about sadistic local cops. South Africa’s News 24 covers a fatal plane crash.

Moral of the story(s)? No two agendas are alike. Obviously, papers are more localcentric. But even take a look at the American papers alone, and you see a very different set of priorities.


OK, I just watched the Palin-Drew Griffin interview on CNN, and I’m too mad to write anything more that’s even remotely coherent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more useless journalist than Griffin. They might as well’ve let a Teletubbie interview her. She twisted Joe Biden’s words so viciously, and dodged questions, and Griffin nodded and smiled, and she lied and lied and–OH GOD I HATE HER. I have to go stick my head in a tub of ice cubes now.

The real issues

I have spent the past 24ish hours forcing myself to pay attention to the Republican National Convention, and being subsequently enraged, nauseated, and depressed by what I see. The speeches themselves (Giuliani should be excommunicated from New York City for that shit he tossed), the coverage, and worst of all, that sublimely ignorant grin on the face of America. But this article in the Herald really, really, takes the fucking cake:


Will the “Sarah Barracuda” beehive be the updo of the season?

The Republican vice presidential nominee wowed the crowd with her speech – and her hairstyle – Wednesday night, prompting fashion pundits to predict that the deconstructed coif will be the most requested look for fall.

“The half-up, half-down look is pretty current,” said stylist Mitch DeRosa, owner of Mitchell John Salon in Boston. “And I like the bangs to the side. I think yes, a lot of women are going to want the Palin look.”

Better yet, ladies can show their political preference by sweeping their bangs to the right or the left, DeRosa added.

Yes. Because that is what we should be concerned about. Sarah Palin’s up ‘do. Her violently pro-life stance? Her flat denial of the human role in global warming? Her lack of non-Alaskan experience? The fact that she wants to de-classify polar bears as an endangered species? The fact that the GOP brass aren’t letting the media talk to her cause then they’ll find out she doesn’t know shit? No no no, silly woolly-headed lefty. The hair is the real issue. Funny, I haven’t heard anything about Joe Biden’s fab tresses.

And women of America? Screw voting. Let’s leave that to the menfolk. We can broadcast our political views proudly with some well-placed bangs.

I suddenly wish I didn’t even have bangs.

Finally, here’s some dirty laundry-shaking from the fantastic Jon Stewart on the “Gender Card”: