Sunday, December 31, 2006

Musings from an Angeleno: The Back Home? edition

I wish there were something meaningful I could say about my Christmas vacation to St. Thomas this year, something that would distinguish it from the seven other Christmas vacations that I've flown back home for.

It was better than the year Mummy embarassed me on New Year's Eve.

It was not as good as my first year of college, when I came back and discovered that in addition to going out to the Old Mill on Saturday nights like we did in high school, the places to be were Duffy's on Fridays, and the Green House on Tuesdays.

It was better than the year I missed Christmas with my friends because I was in St. Kitts on a cruise, and I spent New Year's Eve crying on the Lido deck after Grammy had been mean to me.

It was not as good as my senior year of college when I was hanging out at Duffy's and one of my former classmates told me that I looked good. He was buzzed, but I still liked the accurate appreciation of my physiognomy.

It was better than that time I was only home for 48 hours.

It was more eventful than last year. And that's saying something.

I'm glad I went, and I'm glad I'm back. But every time I make that 12-hour journey from St. Thomas back to LA, a part of me always wonders if either place will ever completely feel like home.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Musings from a St. Thomian: The Christmas Eve edition

(Imagine a picture of A Charlie Brown Christmas here.)

Being in St. Thomas for Christmas vacation is always an adventure. I've been making some poignant observations over the past few days. If any of my soupcons of brilliance grab you, feel free to share my bon mots with your friends. (Warning: Any or all of the words I wrote above, or below, may have been used incorrectly by me.)

1. People. Please keep your octogenarian relatives off the road. This goes for individuals 90 and above as well. If your Grandma or Auntie or Nenie was alive when the US purchased the Virgin Islands (in 1917), they should not be driving up and down Donkey Hill! Be a good grandchild or godchild or great-niece and give them a ride.

2. I miss the trio of Christmas bushes my Mummy put up last year. They deserve their own separate post, but long story short: it was like my mother had adopted three of Charlie Brown's unfortunate Christmas trees. The kind you have to wave your hands over with your big-headed friends to make look halfway decent. This year, Mummy got a real tree. Meaning something in an actual tree shape. Not something that came from the ground. If anything, it came from some plastic laboratory where the scientists create trees that grow their own lights. It's pretty. And Mummy added some new ornaments to make it extra festive. But I miss our sad little bushes. I liked them, Mummy!

3. Tonight at the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service that Mummy, Grammy and I attend each year, I encountered one of my many old crushes from high school. No, not the valedictorian that went to Yale. No, not the Jewish valedictorian that went to Yale. No, not the other Jewish one. Nope. That one. Yes, that one. I went up to him and said, "Hey." I wasn't completely sure it was him. Like I cared. I go up to anyone and say hi. I don't have to know them. I'm charming and adorable. Well, apparently he didn't think so. He was cordial. Cor. Dial. Yes, he did ask me if I was still in LA, and then he bragged about my film-related job to his parents. And he told me what he was doing with his life and where he was, and how he hung out with some of our classmates one time. But still. He wasn't impressed by me. And I am impressive. Hello! I looked so cute, too. :(

Whatever. He's not even going out while he's here. What is that about? Like he's too cool now to hang out in dirty parking lots outside of rickety-old shacks? Okay, yes, this past Friday at Duffy's was lame. But, come on. What else are you going to while you're here? I personally need to be entertained while I'm here, even if it is by people I barely talked to in high school, and skeevy old guys whose two-for-one drinks have deluded them into thinking I would dance with them. To each his own, I guess. :)

4. My niece. Well, my St. Thomas niece. She is so cool. She's ten months old now? Yes, ten months. I'll go with that. I'm so glad I finally got to meet her. I wish I could see her more often. She's friendly and curious and happy. And yes, she's very cute. But I don't like to say that about babies. Because most babies I see are cute. But what if you have a baby in your life that isn't cute? Furthermore, it's not like they can control how they come out. I was a cute baby. Then I went through an awkward phase, from when I hit puberty hard at eight, So.

5. My parents. I so should have gotten that family therapy session that I was talking about earlier this year. Dude. You'd think my Mummy and Grammy would know how to effectively communicate with each other by now. Mummy scoffs whenever I suggest therapy. But if it was a gift, she might be more receptive. I don't know about Grammy, though. I could tell her we were going to the mall, and then when she gets out of the car, Surprise!

6. I have watched all my Daria videos. I am now watching all my Flash Forward videos. In every episode, Ben Foster seems to be channeling Matthew Perry. Not really Friends Matthew Perry, but Studio 60 Matthew Perry. It's really weird. I doubt anyone reading this has tapes of Flash Forward so you can see what I'm talking about. But it's bizarre. It's like they went to the same Acting School for Dry Comedy Moments.

For those of you celebrating Christmas tomorrow, like I will be, have a good one. For those with other plans, enjoy the lack of traffic and the elbow room at the movie theaters.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Love The Office! You Should, Too.

Since my latest posts have been so heavy and thought-provoking and emotionally-draining for some (i.e. me), today I offer something light-hearted and fun:

Reasons I love The Office.

1. It's so funny.
2. Rashida hearts Jim.
3. Pam needs to say something to get Jim back. She burned him but good. But like in "Foreverwood," the last episode of Everwood (I'm still not over it, Dawn Ostroff!), where Amy waits outside of Ephram's apartment with the giant Ferris wheel, and Ephram's all, "I've always loved you, Amy"? Pam can do something big for Jim, and Jim will be all, "I've always loved you, Pam." But what about Rashida, Jim? What about Rashida?!


4. Stanley and Phyllis. Love. Them.
5. Ryan. Break up with Kelly already. But for real this time.
6. Angela. Because green is apparently a whory color. Who knew?
7. Dwight. He owns a beet farm. He thinks you can buy gaydar from Radio Shack. Finally, someone dorkier than I am.
8. Michael Scott. "Spamster."
9. Take Your Daughter To Work Day. Awesome. Ryan was so scared. Ha ha, Stanley was so funny.
10. Boys and Girls. "Do black people like pizza?"
11. The webisodes! So cute. When is Oscar coming back from his looong vacation? I miss him.
12. Creed staring that woman breastfeeding, then taking a picture of her boob. So inappropriate. So hilarious.
13. Kelly not knowing anything about Diwali, and Dwight knowing everything about Diwali. Perfect characterization about one of Dunder-Mifflin's "most ethnic employees."
14. Jan. Oh, Jan. So neurotic, so reluctantly in love with Michael.
15. Kevin's poor uncle Bernie, and Ryan's cousin Mufasa. Ha!
16. Michael, then Dwight kissing Oscar. Uncomfortable. I, like Ryan, had to look away.

I have many, many more. But chew on those for a while. I encourage you to suggest your own reasons for loving The Office as well.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"I Can't Get a Job Because I'm a (White) Male."

It all started with this article in the latest issue Vanity Fair, entitled "Why Women Aren't Funny," by Christopher Hitchens. Here's an excerpt from the witty tome:

" argument doesn't say that there are no decent women comedians. There are more terrible female comedians than there are terrible male comedians, but there are some impressive ladies out there. Most of them, though, when you come to review the situation, are hefty or dykey or Jewish, or some combo of the three. When Roseanne stands up and tells biker jokes and invites people who don't dig her shtick to suck her dick—know what I am saying? And the Sapphic faction may have its own reasons for wanting what I want—the sweet surrender of female laughter. While Jewish humor, boiling as it is with angst and self-deprecation, is almost masculine by definition."

"Hefty or dykey or Jewish?" Okay, wow. There is so much wrong with that paragraph, and with the man who wrote it, that I won't even bother to attempt analysis.

I found out about Mr. Hitchens's piece (hee!) while browsing and Feministing. The writers and readers of Feministing had some choice words for Mr. Hitchens. But pamie's post on the subject this Saturday was the one that sparked the "comedy blog war," i.e. humorous yet informed discussion, that I'm hoping to contribute to.

The first retallion shot was fired over the bow by pamie's friend Irwin on his blog, From Studio Twelve A. Irwin is currently "holding a knife to [his] penis" because "girl writers are getting hired just because they are girls ALL THE TIME. And some of them, aren't funny. Or they are funny, but not as funny as other people. This is fact." He asserts that since women comedy writers are as rare as "polar bears, or Native Americans" they are in higher demand, and are therefore taking away jobs from him and his fellow white male friends.

Irwin, put the knife down, and get over yourself.

pamie, who is a girl and a working comedy writer, then responded to Irwin's post with valid anecdotal evidence to prove her point. Here is one of my favorite passages:

"[Irwin's] main complaint is that a woman gets the job he thinks there are hundreds more men qualified for. There's one more slot in the room of ten writers, but instead of going to goes to "some girl," and it doesn't matter if that girl is funny or not...

...Maybe the reason he's sometimes working with "the girl" who isn't funny is because in some cases when they have to hire "the girl," they go to their go-to girl: one they know won't make problems, or one they know from before, or one they don't think is pretty/sexy/flirty/single/straight enough to cause "problems," or one that has been waiting for such a chance and they're taking a risk, or whatever...Irwin fails to mention how many times he's found himself working with a man who's intensely unfunny, who every day he's like, "Guy! Why did they hire him?" Does he shrug his shoulders and go, "Must be because he's a guy. Damn this patriarchal comedy system!" No, he doesn't. The dick is never the reason why that dick got hired."

Exactly. There is usually ONE girl in the comedy writers room. ONE. The rest of the writers are guys, and they are almost exclusively white. Did Irwin ever question why most writers on television shows are white males? I doubt it. Because he'd have to take a hard look at the industry he works in, and admit his privileged place in the white patriarchal structure that runs it. He'd have to acknowledge that even though white males constitute less than 30 percent of the US population, they control over 90 percent of what goes on TV. (And countless other industries as well.) Yes, I know that Irwin is not one of the people who decides what programs go on our televisions. But the fact that he shares the same color AND gender of most of the the people who do make those decisions at every level? He needs to admit that gives him a leg up on the normalcy ladder, no matter how many polar bears and Native Americans are applying for the same job.

Today, Irwin posted a response to pamie's response. He asserts, "1. There are far less women writing comedy than men. Period." and, "2. Pamie does not fully understand because she is a great writer so it doesn't matter." He concludes his argument by stating, "now I shall go back to trying to be funny, despite the handicap between my legs."

Oy vey.

Again, too many eye-rolling things to comment on. I will agree that pamie is a great writer, proven by the fact that I purchased both of her novels. I just get so upset when I hear or read (white) males professing, "those women/minorities are taking our jobs!"

Irwin, have you ever considered how many jobs you have gotten simply because you are a white male? Before you automatically say, "None," I encourage you to think about it. Even if "none" is the correct answer, think about why the comedy writers' world is such that a distinct effort must be made to find a "female voice" for a show. Women make up 51% of the population. Why do the people who make comedies need a special search to find out how to speak to the majority of this country?

Additionally, why do you think you need to "hire a gay guy" to fill that niche? I'm neither gay, nor a guy, but I am a writer, and I am funny.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Musings from a Black Woman: That's a big bag, little lady.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

I stumbled up this while reading Racialicious. When I hear certain people talk about how great it is here in the US of A, and how racism isn't such a big problem anymore, I like to refer to number 46:

I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.

Now you know full well there are no brown colored Band-Aids to be found in any drugstore, supermarket or SuperTarget in any corner of this country. That's a big reason why I purchase colorful Sesame Street, Care Bears or Hello Kitty bandages. It looks better than having some tacky peach colored adhesive strip on my skin. And people with that peach colored skin probably have never though about it ever. But I think about the implicit racism, every time I get a cut.

Yeah, not being able to find bandages in my skin color is not a life threatening issue. Neither is not being able to easily find face powder and concealer in my skin color, which happens a lot. But almost every one of those effects listed has occured to me at some point in my life, often repeatedly.

1. I can't arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time. I am still in need of a black friend here in LA. And I'm not going to take and exact count, but over 60% of the people I work with are white. Ergo.

2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me. Well, I wasn't trained to mistrust anyone in particular.

3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live. Okay, considering I live in LA, and rent is skyrocketing in every area (as if it was ever cheap to begin with), this isn't so much a race issue as it is a class issue. Or a Southern California issue.

4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me. Most of my neighbors, right now, are nice. They represent a few different colors and nationalities, too. But if I moved to a wealthier area so my currently nonexistent kids could go to better public schools, I don't know if my neighbors would be so tolerant of my brown-skinned presence. Hypothetical jerks.

5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed. Okay this one is a biggie. Half of the time I enter any store outside of my immediate neighborhood, I get asked by some ninny, "Do you work here?" or "Where can I find this?" In most cases, it is very clear that, No, I do not work at CVS (rolling my eyes), considering I'm not wearing a blue polo shirt or a nametag. Idiots. I am this close to getting that shirt made that I've been thinking about for months, that says, "I don't work here" on the front, and "What makes you think I do?" on the back. Unfortunately, half of the time the person asking is elderly or a child, so I can't YELL AT THEM like I want to. But the other times...I'm working on it. If one more uppity middle-aged white lady asks me snidely, "Do you work here?" I am going to let her have it. It will not be pretty, and she will leave the store crying. I'll be making men cry, too. No one likes to be called a racist, but sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. Yeah, I said it.

Go through the others yourself. There are 50 total. Either you'll feel bad about the privilege you never knew you had, or angry about the privileges that you never realized you deserved. It's guaranteed to make you feel neither warm nor fuzzy.

Some of my best friends are white people.

"I’m sick of white folks. It’s not just that we command an unseemly portion of the world’s resources, exploiting hundreds of millions of non-white folks and causing horrendous environmental damage in the process and then patting ourselves on the back for paying the merest lip service to righting our wrongs. It’s that when we make movies about the atrocities committed for our benefit and with our tacit consent, we insist upon setting up one of our own as the hero. It’s really pretty sick."

Check out Jeremy C. Fox's review of Blood Diamond at Pajiba. Even though I'm not personally "sick of white folks," I was totally digging his account of Hollywood movies that focus on the trivialities of white people at the expense of the more important stories of the brown people involved. That was why Bring It On: All or Nothing warranted such a favorable review from me: even though Hayden Panera Bread was the lead, the movie focused on the brown people as well. Unlike its predecessor, Bring It On, which followed Kirsten Dunst and her pale cheer-stealing team, instead of Gabrielle Union and her band of plucky brown performers.

And yes, I love me some Leo DiCaprio. I have since Growing Pains. However, I must echo the sentiment, "
What accent does Leonardo DiCaprio think he's doing?" Because I so cannot tell from those commercials. Blood Diamond takes place in South Africa, but from the way he was talking, I thought he was The Last King of Scotland.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving Brilliance, only a few days late.

I'd love to share this poignance with the idiots complaining about the "foreigners" coming into our country and "taking our jobs." Dear, most of your jobs are going to China and India. Didn't you watch that episode of 30 Days?

Addendum (12/7/2006): Because I can't keep track of every comment on social injustice, people. Here is Robert Jensen's article, "No Thanks to Thanksgiving" found at AlterNet. I'll still be celebrating the holiday every year, but my progressive smugness will be almost unbearable next Turkey Day. With passages like,

"Thanksgiving is the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers."

how can I resist ranting at my mother and other assorted relatives about the slaughter of the native peoples of our country, as I ask them to pass the cranberry sauce? (In the can shape, of course. Yum!)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pumping Boobs.

Okay, you can all calm down. The search is over. I found the post I was looking for on the underwear drawer earlier. The paragraph below had me in silent stitches:

From his bottlefeeds, Cal takes about 3-4 ounces every 2-3 hours while awake. However, he's supposed to be getting somewhere between 2 to 2.5 ounces per pound per day (or about 5 ounces per kilo per day) so it seems from my record keeping (we have this little binder of all his ins and outs so that we can round on the baby every day--only partially kidding) he's getting closer to 3 ounces per pound per day. Of course, some of this is only extrapolation since I'm still nursing him part of the time and my boob has no calibration on it (at least not that I can locate), but it has me thinking: are we feeding him too much? See, this is EXACTLY the type of question that, when I was a Peds resident, would have me ROLLING MY EYES at the CRAZY FIRST TIME PARENT because dude, your kid is FINE, he's not getting super-fat or puking up his feeds or looking distended and uncomfortable, so just CHILL already, Nervous Nellie, GOD. But now, see, here now is my punishment for being so "there there now, silly parent" about those concerns--now I know EXACTLY where those parents were coming from. Are we feeding our kid too much? How much is he really eating, anyway?

Crazy first time parent. Hee hee! Even though I'm not going to be a breastfeeding enthusiast when I have kids, I will certainly have some other aspect of childrearing that I too will be obsessed about. One of them will be gender neutrality, taken directly from X: A Fabulous Child's Story. Read it and learn, people. And remember, I'd like my baby's clothes in yellow, please.

My Monkey Baby.

New addition to The Sites I Like: the underwear drawer. It's a blog by a woman named Michelle, who works as a resident at some big hospital in New York City, and lives with her husband Joe and their 1-and-a-1/2-year-old son Cal.

In Michelle's Thanksgiving entry, she shares somes photos of Cal from Halloween this year. Yes, he is adorable. But he is dressed up as a monkey. I bring this up because I was watching the season finale of Def Comedy Jam this morning. One of the comics, Chris Spencer, of Significant Others fame, brought up how he had to stop his "Latin," (and I'm guessing) non-black wife from dressing up his black son as a monkey for Halloween. His joke wasn't that funny, but the concept amused me. He then asked her pointedly, what if they dressed up his son as a gardener, with a leaf blower to clean out people's yards? That part was funny, and got his meaning across, too.

Now, I personally could never dress up my (nonexistent) child as a monkey, or any type of simian creature, no matter how cute they looked. Hello, that would be so inappropriate! A little brown baby walking the streets of LA begging for candy in a monkey outfit? I don't think so. I would shame black people everywhere.

It's so unfair. What if my baby loved Curious George? Or Planet of the Apes? Or BJ and the Bear? That last one would be pretty sad, actually. I'd have bigger things to worry than a Halloween costume if my kid liked a live-action television show about a trucker and his chimpanzee.

Anyhoo, check out the underwear drawer. I can't find the post that truly inspired me, about how Michelle was doing her residency with 24-hour on call days, and stuck to her own anal-retentive breastfeeding/pumping schedule, out of fear of...well, I don't remember what she was afraid of. But reading about her self-inflicted insanity confirmed my ongoing proclamation that I will not be breastfeeding my biological kids after my maternity leave is over. After two months (or less), my monkey babies will be drinking formula, and they will like it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Addendum: Why I Hate Studio 60 (subtitled: Kristin is never coming back, Aaron!)

So yeah, I'm still going to watch the presumably last four episodes of this tres horrible show. But tonight I have found another explanation of why I hate Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. In the Television without Pity recap of last week's episode, "The Option Period," Miss Alli breaks down how Aaron Sorkin's misogyny and his inability to get over his ex-girlfriend Kristin Chenoweth are bleeding all over the show. The setup is, Harriet wants to pose in her underwear for some magazine, but Simon and Tom don't want her to do it, because right now she's "classy," and if she does the photo shoot, she will be "bargain bin...K-Mart." Yeah. Oh deary deary dear.

Miss Alli sums up the situation nicely:

Tom insists that "[the magazine is] getting the better end of the deal." [Harriet] wants to know why. "Because they're enhancing themselves, and you're diminishing yourself." Yes, by posing in your underwear, you are less. Literally, Tom just said that women who pose in their underwear are diminished. They are less. You can ogle their boobs, you can make comments about how much you want to see them naked...but if they give you what you are asking for and drooling over, then they become less than they were. It's pretty shocking, in that it's presented as logical rather than blisteringly misogynist, which it is.

And I love the slam on Aaron that immediately follows:

And if you want to get really creepy, just remember the subtext is that Aaron Sorkin is addressing his relatively recent ex -- who is frankly at least as talented as he is -- telling her that she is now diminished. She is now less. Sorry, Kristin Chenoweth. Forget Wicked. You're diminished, and your asshole boyfriend has decided to announce this not only to you, but to the general public as well. That guy's a class act all the way.

Preach the word, Miss Alli.

I knew there was something about The West Wing that always skeeved me out, even though I own Season 1-4, and adore so many of the episodes. That Sorkin way of being perplexed by strong, intelligent women often appears in his writing as simultaneous admiration of and disgust for those women owning their sexuality. I'm not saying that Harriet should or should not pose for Maxim (yeah, I said it). I am saying that it's none of Aaron's business what a woman chooses do with her own body. He definitely has no right to judge her about it, essentially lusting after her half naked body, then calling her a dirty whore if she dares show it to anyone else. And, he has no logical reason to make this non-situation the life-or-death plotline that Studio 60 hinges on for an entire episode. Who cares?! God, get over it, Aaron.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How I Learned to Love Studio 60

After watching last night's god-awful episode, "The Option Period," I was tempted to never again watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Even though most likely there will only be four more left to watch ever. Anyway, the writing sucked, the characters' motivations were terrible, and if Harriet wants to pose in her lingerie, she should just do it. Who cares what Matt, Simon and Tom think? Furthermore, don't Simon and Tom have anything else going on in their lives besides obsessing over their coworker doing a photo spread?

So. Today I happened upon this post on the MOM & Pop Culture blog, entitled "studio 60 -- the show i love to hate." I particularly enjoyed this excerpt: "Part of me hopes that Studio 60 goes on forever. Because right now I am so damn amused by its awfulness -- in the same way that I used to be amused by Baywatch. Believe it or not, Studio 60 has way BIGGER BOOBS than Baywatch."

Hee hee hee! With this new perspective, I am now reinvigorated to watch Aaron Sorkin's latest masterpiece. And by masterpiece, I mean trainwreck.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Heart Stephen Colbert: The Thomas Jefferson Edition

On Wednesday's episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen interviewed three Thomas Jeffersons to find America's Top Jefferson. I was concerned that he would only ask them about being the third President of the United States and appearing on the nickel. But then Stephen won me over, as he always does, by repeatedly asking the three Jeffersons about his legendary "affair," i.e. forced sexual relationship, with Sally Hemmings, who was not only one of Jefferson's slaves, but also his wife's half-sister. Nice.

The Jeffersons tried to dodge the subject, but Stephen kept nailing them, asking them if Thomas Jefferson wanted to be remembered as the "guy who banged his slaves." Check out these clips on the Comedy Central website, labeled Thomas Jefferson Pt. 1, and Thomas Jefferson Pt. 2. Stephen also presses them about Jefferson's penchant for weed.

Kudos to you, Stephen Colbert, for asking our "Founding Fathers," i.e. slave-owning hypocritical genocidal tax cheats, the tough questions.

Monday, November 13, 2006

"Happy Feet"? Well, I'm not happy about it.

I was reading the latest Leadership issue of The Hollywood Reporter when I happened upon this review of Happy Feet, the latest animated movie involving anthropomorphic, not-so-funny animals, thrust upon us by Disney and Pixar.

In the review, Kirk Honeycutt writes that Mumble, the adolescent penguin voiced by post-adolescent Elijah Wood (I love you, Elijah! I don't care if you're going to be the next celebrity to get "lanced."), "runs into a group of Latino penguins, the Adelie Amigos, who convince him that his dancing is actually cool."

What? A group of Latino penguins? Where do I begin?

Penguins come in species like Emperor, and King, and yes, Adelie. They don't come in Latino. They aren't descendants of Spanish conquistadors and the people they enslaved and/or slaughtered. They are penguins. They don't have the oppressor-imposed ethnic categories, like "Latino," that we humans have in America, Furthermore, Adelie penguins are from Antarctica. Unless I'm mistaken, there isn't a big influx of Latino culture from Chile and Argentina permeating that ice shelf.

As if that wasn't bad enough...who is voicing the leaders of these Adelie Amigos? Robin Williams.

Apparently I didn't get the memo that Robin Williams is now Latino. Last I heard, he still thought he was a sassy black man from the 70s. Or an African.

Tom is my friend.

I finally broke down and made myself a MySpace page, as you can see on the Sites I Like list. You can visit me at It's rather sparse, but it does have a song. So, come be my friend. I'm a fun girl!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democrats take control of the Senate.

And the House, too.

So what do I get out of this deal? I voted yesterday; I deserve something.

I'm hoping for universal health care, a raise in the minimum wage, and an end to the illegal occupation of Iraq, for starters. And a pony.

It certainly took you long enough, "news" media.

Check out The Miraculous Appearance Of An Agenda by georgia10 at Daily Kos. Those Daily Kos people are mad bloggers. How do they have the time?

What took so long?!

Here are two separate stories that occured in the past 36 hours, two stories that shockingly elicited the same response from me: What took so long?! (I love the interrobang. You should, too.)

Rumsfeld to resign

Britney files for divorce after 2-year marriage

It couldn't last forever. Thank goodness.

Midterm Midtacular: Election 2006

Democrats win House; Senate now tied. What I want to know is, who are the people who voted for Senator Macaca Goldstein (tm Jon Stewart)? Those Virginians should be ashamed of themselves.

Mr. Allen should be proud of his North African/Jewish/Californian heritage, not hide it under a white hood. Furthermore, he should get some professional help to deal with his history of hurling racial slurs at innocent Americans. That's not cool, Mr. Allen. That's not cool.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Musings from a Black Woman: Full Frontal Feminism

The picture above is the cover of Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Women's Guide to Why Feminism Matters, available in April 2007. It was written by Jessica Valenti, Executive Editor of

I, as a black female human being with well-developed and defined pop-culture sensibilities, have multiple concerns about the cover art, including the messages it presents to potential buyers. As the book doesn't come out until the Spring of next year, I cannot comment either favorably or negatively on its content. But I could rant extensively about why the naked body of a skinny white hairless, headless woman (it's a woman; Ms. Valenti confirmed that) is being used to market a book about feminism to young women.

I'm a fairly young woman, even though I will be exiting the 18-24 demographic by the end of this year. I get the idea of using of the sexualized image to simultaneously subvert the patriarchy by claiming your body as your own, and attracting an audience that may not otherwise be interested in "feminism," but already believe in feminist issues. Even though I don't agree with the effectiveness of this method, I do get it. But by using this image, the book alienates potential readers who are neither skinny, nor white, nor hairless. Nor naked.

My first problem is, why does the woman on the cover have to be white? My second problem is, why does she have to be skinny? My third problem is, why does she have to be naked, and hairless, blemishless, unfreckled, whatever?

My biggest problem with this entire situation is, why must the discussion turn hateful when individuals bring up these obvious (obvious to me and others, anyway) questions about this controversial cover art on a book which clearly has something important to say inside? To understand what I'm writing about, take a gander at the posts And the winner is.... on, and i'm not a hater, but.... on blac (k), along with the litany of comments that follow each of them.

I understand the deep emotions and insecurities that come from writing and publishing a book. I also personally understand the anger that stems from being dismissed first as a woman, then additionally as a person of color, size, and intelligence, and then from being yelled at by people who do not understand your complaints, and therefore refuse to acknowledge the justification for and existence of your frustration. If you are not a woman, or if you are not a colorful person, and especially if you are neither, then you probably have never thought of the multifaceted issues that women of color (and basically anyone who is neither white nor male nor straight in America) have to deal with on a daily basis. Just because you don't have or know about our problems does not mean our problems don't exist.

Above all else, I wish people on all sides of the arguments could calm down and realize that although their complaints may be valid, they are also not personal. I also wish I had a pony that lived on rainbows and dreams.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mixed people are cool, too.

Please note the addition of Racialicious to the list of Sites I Like. From "About this Blog":

"Racialicious (formerly known as Mixed Media Watch) is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves newsflashes. It is written by Jen Chau and Carmen Van Kerckhove and is a production of New Demographic, an anti-racism training company."

I've been sampling new blogs all day, and so far, this has been my favorite one. Thank you, Feministing, for introducing me to Jen and Carmen.

Enjoy, peeps!

“Those shoes are definitely bi-curious.”

I loved last night's episode of 30 Rock. For a queer analysis on "Blind Date," please check out Sarah Warn's article Tina Fey, Stephanie March Get Lesbians right on 30 Rock on

My straight girl analysis? I am so going to be Liz Lemon when I am 36 years old, working in tv, worrying about dying in my apartment alone, having coworkers set me up with their lesbian friends for whatever bizarre reason, as if my shoes scream "Gay!" Thank you, Tina Fey, for explaining to the NBC audience that just because you're a smart, funny woman who hasn't found a decent guy yet, that doesn't mean you're a lesbian. It means you're unlucky. :(

Or it means you're a woman with exquisitely refined tastes. :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pajiba Love: Man of the Year

I saw Man of the Year this weekend with one of my friends. It was...not good. My friend was great. The movie was not. To understand its badness, please visit Pajiba, and read the Man of the Year review by Dustin Rowles.

Also, save your money, and do not see this movie in the theater. If you want to see a better film in the same satirical Presidential campaign genre, rent Primary Colors, Wag the Dog or The Contender (starring Joan Allen) instead. You can thank me later.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Battlestar Galactica: Worthy of my time?

I've been hearing good things about this Battlestar Galactica. Most recently, Scott at Hollywood Momentum wrote, "What’s most impressive to me about Battlestar Galactica, though, and most likely to keep me coming back, is the way it uses sci-fi tropes to deal with the problems and concerns inherent in both the war in Iraq and the larger War on Terror: occupation, collaboration, asymmetrical warfare, etc. The parallels are unmistakable..."

I'm not usually into sci fi. Although my VHS tapes of The Twilight Zone (1960s and 2002 versions, and the John Lithgow movie), Planet of the Apes (the first series of films, not the atrocity with Marky Mark), and Vh1's short-lived Strange Frequency, along with the Ray Bradbury stories and Orson Scott Card Ender books choking my shelves, would beg to differ. So maybe I dabble in the science fiction realm. ("Dabble," says the one person who actually liked Galaxy Quest, and enjoyed SeaQuest DSV for more than just Jonathan Brandis. And did I mention that watched every episode of the show that followed, Mann & Machine?) I usually avoid Sci Fi (the network) like the plague. Why? Because of their Sci Fi Original Movie titles, including Chupacabra: Dark Seas, Man with the Screaming Brain, and Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys. I did not make up any of those names.

I almost watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica during Emmy screener season. On the covers of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, there were free DVDs cloaked in blackness, with only quotes of critical acclaim as clues for the readers to guess which show was promoting itself on the trades that day. As in, the Battlestar Galactica people wanted to trick you into watching their product by not showing you a picture of what it was. They didn't want your prejudices to stop you from checking out their work. They wanted you to love the series for what it was inside, not for your preconceived notions of what a series on Sci Fi (shudder) was all about.

I tried the same tactic on Meaning, I put up my profile without a picture, hoping people would be attracted to my inside first, and eventually fall in love with my outside after I showed it to them, thereby giving people something they might not have known they wanted.

Yeah, well, it didn't work in either case. Boys are shallow. They got to know me, really liked me, then disappeared after I showed them my picture. And regarding Battlestar Galactica, I opened up the plain back DVD case, discovered what was inside, and promptly threw it away. Once I found out it wasn't one of my favorite shows, or even a show I had ever watched, I didn't want it cluttering up my apartment.

I guess Battlestar Galactica = Me. I'm special inside, but people might not want to get to know me because I look like...a dorky series on a low-rated cable network? Sure, I'll go with that.

Musings from a Black Woman: In the "Ghetto"

Christian Finnegan nailed it on the head with this one. While describing on his blog one of the less than posh establishments on his comedy tour, he wrote the following: "...this time out I wanted a scuzzier experience, and what can I say--the Casino Queen more than delivers! This place is what you might call "extremely ghetto", if you were the kind of douche-y white person who misappropriates terms like "ghetto". The buildings are decrepit, mysterious stains decorate the hideously patterened carpet, and the buffet features a big discount bottle of supermarket-brand salad dressing you just pick up and squeeze yourself..."

I HATE when people, especially those with a light pigmentation, use the term "ghetto" as an adjective to talk about how unsophisticated or slovenly they found a person, place or thing. "Ghetto" is a noun, as defined by

1. a section of a city, esp. a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.
2. (formerly, in most European countries) a section of a city in which all Jews were required to live.
3. a section predominantly inhabited by Jews.
4. any mode of living, working, etc., that results from stereotyping or biased treatment: job ghettos for women; ghettos for the elderly.

I knew it wasn't just me who had a problem with it. Thank you, Christian, my white brother, for pointing that out to the world.

Maybe another of my favorite comedians will take on the inherent racism of the phrase "white trash."

Musings from a Black Woman: Angry Little Feminist

Friends, Romans, Countrypeople.

You may have noticed the two latest additions to the Sites I Like: Angry Little Girls, and Feministing. Please visit them in remembrance of me.

If you need some encouragement, here is my favorite recent posting on Feministing:

Cause calling girls sluts is always funny.

"Keith Olbermann stays classy by reporting that Paris Hilton has "had worse
things happen to her face" than being punched. And you know exactly what he

Mr. Olbermann. How dare you gain my respect for you with the inspired This hole in the ground and Bush owes us an apology, then shatter my trust with this misogynist nonsense. Darn you, Keith Olbermann. Darn you to heck.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

30 Rock-ing My World.

I watched the pilot of 30 Rock on the NBC website last night as was eating my dinner and supposedly doing other productive things. I had read the script a long time ago, and I thought it was good then. Now I'm watching the show...and I am loving it. Everyone is so funny. I'm sad about the demotion of Rachel Dratch, but I guess that Jane lady's okay. As long as Rachel gets to guest star in episodes, I'm cool with that. I'm taping tonight's episode, too, even though I watched the whole thing last night. The online one was all jumpy and grainy. Work on that, NBC Universal IT people. I likes my quality.

Onto the obvious comparisons between this thoroughly entertaining sitcom and the tired, misogynist, too smug for its own britches pile of gar-bage that is Studio 60. When Matt went to the Bombshell Babies performance at the Roxy to get a black boot signed in black Sharpie (good call there, continuity people) to make Harriet jealous, I was disturbed by the inherent sexism in the scene. And in the following scenes, as well. This isn't Las Vegas. This is Studio 60. I don't need practically underage (compared to Matthew Perry), barely dressed, overly made up burlesque dancers, i.e. high class strippers, spreading their legs for male tv writers and waving their tassles in my face. What was that about?

Now when Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan were drinking it down in the Bronx strip club, I didn't have a problem with any of those scenes. Even when Tracy was literally tossing bills at two girls dancing around a pole, and then Tina went up and joined them, shaking her money maker while wearing a club t-shirt and Laura Bush's wool skirt, I thought it was funny.

I'm still trying to figure out why I approved of the 30 Rock scenario, while I loathed the Studio 60 one. Maybe because the 30 Rock one starred and was written by Tina Fey, who can write funny material, and the Studio 60 one was written by Aaron Sorkin, whose female characters always happen to be leered at, demeaned, mocked or sexually harassed by the men they are conversing with, and then stupidly tell those men, "Please, sir, I want some more?"

Musings from a Black Woman: The first CW edition

I have lots to say about the CW. But today my issue is their view on women's sexuality.

Apparently the CW thinks it's fine to repeatedly portray their female characters as rape victims on Veronica Mars. But God forbid illogically-pregnant Lane on Gilmore Girls actually consider her reproductive rights not to have the baby that she and her husband obviously are not ready for. Lane has spent the last two episodes of Gilmore Girls freaking out about having a baby. She and Zack don't even have real jobs to support this child, much less the maturity or desire to have one at this point in their lives. If the writers have the temerity to get Lane pregnant after one terrible sexual enconter, they should have the guts to also let her explore her options.

Raping whory sorority girls on Veronica Mars? Super! Allowing women on Gilmore Girls who aren't ready to raise children make the informed choice not to have them? No way. If ladies are shown as having healthy sexual experience and allowed to make educated decisions about their own bodies, who knows what could happen?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I am still figuring out which gym to join.

I had quite the humorous experience at a Bally's today with one of my friends. Apparently, the sales managers there thought I should be at a comedy show since I was in a happy mood. Whatever. Maybe they should have their prices posted so we wouldn't have to go on a "tour" of the facilities while the managers questioned whether I was "serious about working out." Hello? I am standing in your gym asking how much a membership costs. Why don't you just give me that information, instead of asking if I want to join to "tone, firm up or lose weight?" And when I respond to your question by saying, "I want to go to the classes," don't keep asking me if I'm there to lose weight. Tell me about the classes! The friend that I went there with said we should open our gym. I told her, "but then we would have to run a gym." What's the point in that?

It didn't help the situation when my allergies started to act up, and there were no tissues in sight. All that money sucked from preying on people's vain desires to perfect their bodies, and they can't afford a strategically placed box of Kleenex. Argh!

Reza Aslan: So Cute.

When he makes appearances on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to continually promote his book No God But God, I literally squeal at the tv. I could overlook the whole age differential between us: he's at least nine years older than I am, and 5-6 years is usually my limit. But our belief systems would probably keep us apart. He follows the teachings of Islam, and I'm not into organized religion. I believe in the People Upstairs who take care of me.

Like Reza Aslan would ever be into me. I guarantee he has eager Persian women throwing themselves at him left and right. Not to mention all the non-Persian ladies, like me, who want him, too.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

It goes there.

Watched the premieres of Degrassi (Season 6) and South of Nowhere (Season 2) this morning. Excellent. Manny was right: Sean did get hot. It's okay to ogle him; he's 21 in real life. And he's 18 on the show. So why am worried?

In South of Nowhere news, Clay and Chelsea were too cute. Who? The two people on the show who aren't drama-filled. I was totally relating with Ashley on the whole half-sister appearing out of nowhere situation. I have half-siblings, aside from my brother, whom I have yet to meet. I have no idea who or where they are. But unlike Ashley, I have no $12 million trust fund to share with them. Our dad wasn't a rock star. But he was great parent who was actually around when he was alive.

BTW, loved the commercials during the break. The love triangles and hexagons. Catfights. Guys not being able to keep on their shirts. Keep that shirt off, Michael Copon. I do not mind at all. Then when Aiden offered him baby oil? Hot.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Nobody's Watching.

This discarded pilot on YouTube is funny. I LOLed repeatedly. But I could do without that blonde lady's boobs hanging in my face. I wasn't feeling the script when I read it a while ago, because it involved Jeff Zucker, whom I didn't really like in Fat Actress. Loved Marc Curry, though. And the guys in the original script were over 30, while their female counterparts were about 23. I never like that old guy, pubescent girl age disparity. But in the actual show, they are only a year apart, which is much better.

I like the weird guy in the suit who keeps staring at the camera. He has about five one-word lines, but he's already my favorite character. Probably because I recognize him as a Hey! It's that Guy. I'd look him up, but, Hello? La-zy, party of one right here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Shows I'm loving, liking, and tolerating.

The Office. Love cubed. Favorite part: Michael, then Dwight sexually assaulting Oscar. Second favorite part: Rashida Jones making the "Jim" face to the camera. Third favorite part: "That's what she said. Or he said." Good show of tolerance, Michael.

Studio 60. I, um...well... The end of the second episode was entertaining. I'll be watching next week, too. So... Favorite part: The Big Three. Nate Corddry is so cute as Derek Jeter. Or "Tom," whatever. I want him to have my babies. Yeah, I said it.

Gilmore Girls. The writing. Ugh. The new writers are trying too hard to imitate the classic GG style. How many times must I hear the word "racquetball" in one hour? I miss Amy already. Daniel can stay gone, though. Are we going to be stuck with Logan forever? Favorite part: Paris. "I can scare the stupid out of you, but the lazy runs deep." Second favorite part: Sookie's interminable, uncut, nonsensical monologue. Part I should have loved, but didn't because of the sloppy dialogue: the reference to the episode of The Twilight Zone, one of my most favorite shows ever. Every New Year's, whose tv is tuned to the SciFi marathon? Mine.

That's all for now. I hope I catch 30 Rock whenever NBC decides to premiere it. Oh yeah. And. Degrassi and South of Nowhere return to The N tomorrow. Yippee! Yeah, I am in my 20s. No, obviously I'm not a teenager. What's your point?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Farewell to a Trusted Friend

My printer died this afternoon. It had been with me for seven years, since my first week of college. It outlasted most of the friendships I made in college. Now it's sitting in a dumpster, ready to move into the afterlife.

After my printer sputtered out, groaned and refused to process another page, I got a new one in three hours. It's on my desk now, up and running. If I hadn't needed one so quickly, I would have taken more time to make the purchase, like I usually. Maybe waited for a sale, or looked for a store offering a rebate. Then I would have stared at in the store, contemplating the impact that this item would have on my life. Instead, I looked up the least expensive inkjet printers on the Office Depot, CompUSA, Best Buy and Staples websites. They all had the same printer I liked at the same price. So I went out, bought it, and brought it home.

If only all my purchases were that easy.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm clearly not the only dork out there.

Other people like Sudoku, too. So don't judge me!

Because I rock so hard, you may have noticed that I recently added Jigsaw Sudoku to my list of favorite sites. Sudoku has been around for a loooong time. But the news media seems to have discovered it only last year. It's become a major industry, with Will Shortz as its crown prince. I used to think of it solely as the extra pages taking up space in my Math Puzzles and Logic Problems magazine. Now it's an acceptable way for me to pass the time, but only after I finish determing by process of elimination which friend with what last name brought which gift to whose party on what day of the week.

What? I love logic problems, too. And I am very particular about how I like to do them. Shocker. I'm anal-retentive about everything. I like the ones from Dell magazines. The ones in Penny Press don't give you enough room to write things down. I usually stick to the three-star to five-star rated puzzles, with the rectangular grid that you fill in with Xs for no and dots for yes. I'll take a three-, maybe a four-star with a picture diagram or a grid where you fill in the names and descriptions, but that's only if I've already completed the other puzzles to my liking.

But why, you ask? Well, I like moving the pieces around. They are different colors, so you have more visual cues when figuring out what goes where. And it's not just numbers. There are letter games and symbol games, too. Fun!

I'm getting all excited about games in paperback booklets and on websites that challenge me mathematically, and I actually enjoy engaging in these activities on a Saturday night. No wonder I'm alone.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm not supposed to care about SNL anymore.

Saturday Night Live and I broke up at the end of last season. To be precise, I was the one who dumped SNL, after waiting two or three years longer than I should have. Anyway, Mad TV and I already had a thing going on the side for a while. I was enticed by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele doing "Man Up," stomping and clapping to their own beats to mollify their frequent superstitions. But it became real for me when Jordan and Crista Flanagan started krumping. Oh, the hilarity! Now Mad TV's my Boo. The FOX sketch comedy show might not have the pedigree of NBC's SNL, but who cares about a show's history when it's Bor-ing. ER, take note.

The last really good time SNL and I had together happened in late 2003, with the Justin Timberlake perfomance. "Bring it on in to Omeletville!" Good times, good times. Even with that ephemeral spark of humor from JT, SNL couldn't stop its choo-choo train from staying the course on the downward spiral to oblivion.

As reported on Defamer, Horatio Sanz, Finesse Mitchell and Chris Parnell were officially kicked of the show today. Regarding Parnell, my only words are, what took them so long? Horatio and Finesse? Eh. Getting rid of them is not going to make the show any funnier. That's like fishing some dog turds out of the sewer to improve the scent. Hey, SNL people. Y'all still stinky poo. The only people worth keeping around on that show are Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers. Seth only gets a nod from me because I saw See This Movie, and it wasn't that bad. Everyone else? Get those headshots ready. Your buns won't be safe for long.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What's in a name?

Ever since I discovered the need to entertain myself online a few years ago, I often find myself laughing out loud at a certain website. No, not Black People Love Us!, although that site is darn funny. I'm talking about Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing, found at Oh dear, are those baby names fun-nee! What were those parents thinking?

I revisited the site recently when my friend Ava was having her first baby, my darling niece Darien. Lucky for everyone involved, Darien's parents did not suddenly discover their Welsh side, and thus eschewed such monikers as Llio Meinir and Ceiros Eurwen. They also stayed away from Sharmonica, LaPleasure, Argyle Emmaleigh and Tierrainney Mariecon.

Unfortunately, my half-brother Lincoln and his lovely wife did not have the same approach in naming their offspring. The latest addition to their family, baby number 5, is a wide-eyed boy named Colby. Your first instincts might be to say, Yeah, like the cheese? That's not so bad. Well, no. It's tolerable. Until you meet his older brother Carrington, Cary for short. I see a whole mess of shoulder pads, catfights and big diamond necklaces in their futures. Maybe they'll be feuding, fabulous linebackers in the NFL.

Who am I to judge what names parents pick for their children? My first name is Bianca, and I still don't know why. My Mummy and Daddy chose it for whatever reason. The last name they gave me was a hyphenate of both of theirs. Then they mistakenly gave Lincoln the honor of selecting my middle name. Reagan seems innocent enough, like the girl from The Exorcist. Ha. I would have preferred if that had been his reasoning. But no, like most other children made in the 80s with that name, I received it in homage to our 40th president. And vehemently so. Even at 13 years old, Lincoln was the Alex P. Keaton in our otherwise moderate family. He didn't just name me after a US president; he named me after a REPUBLICAN president, the leader of HIS party. He told my parents that it was fitting, because President Lincoln had freed the slaves, and President Reagan was bringing truth and justice back to The White House. Pfft. I bet even as a newborn, I blew a raspberry in his face then, too.

One might acknowledge the bond Lincoln and I have as siblings with such patriotic names. One might be thankful that my brother in his whimsy did not middle-name me Ronald, or Ford. Or Nixon. But not I. I just wish he would take the same interest in me now as an adult, as he did when I was a little kid, before our father died.

A Book about Me!

20Something Essays by 20Something Writers

It's not entirely about me. It's about my people. Which people? The 20-somethings. The people who are becoming grown-ups in the 00s.

I devoured most of the book while I was at Borders this weekend. I dragged a step stool to the writing section, sat down on the plastic contraption, and read page after page of prose about the human experience. The misery of "temporarily" moving back in with your parents. The shame of working at a low paying job in the service industry which your higher education has clearly overqualified you for. The schizophrenia of balancing your real world relationships to people with your online ones. (Do I really need to IM, email, call, page, fax, MySpace, Facebook, and, god forbid, Friendster my associates if I can meet up with them in person?)

I bought the book today, so I can enjoy it in the privacy of my own home. I'm sure the Borders people appreciate my continued patronage. And to the 20-Something Writers, here's some free publicity for your book. I like to pretend influential (i.e. any) people read my blog. It makes me feel special.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Too little, too late?

So, Christian Finnegan himself has noticed that he has lost weight. 70 pounds, he says. And he wrote about it today in his own blog, probably before I did. The nerve of some people. Where does Christian get off writing about his own body on his own website? That was MY story. Now I'll have to post thoughts about my own weight loss, and how I'm not fat enough to be able to lose 70 pounds. If I lost 70 pounds, I'd have to check myself into Promises. But I think I'd need a drug or alcohol addiction to qualify for their in-patient care. Sex addictions count, too. I could do it. Anything for my art. Meaning, this blog.

There was an old man named...

Christian Finnegan?

In the song, it was Michael, and Christian's not old yet, but I digress.

Over the past year, Christian Finnegan, one of my favorite comedians, has lost weight. He's not down to a need-for-concern type weight yet, just a Hey-you've-lost-some-weight weight at the moment.

I was first made aware of Christian through his appearance on Chappelle's Show, where he played The White Guy in the Mad Real World sketch. I continued to find his chubby little punim endearing when he made the move to Best Week Ever, where he is still charming and funny.

So why am I talking about him? Because I want Christian to know that like him both with the weight and without. I liked him when he was fluffy. I like him now. I'm sure he's hitting a higher quality of poontang now that he isn't so husky. I'm also sure he doesn't really care what a quirky girl like me thinks of his body. Like he reads my blog. But truly, it was never the looks that drew me to Christian. (That sounds bad.) It was the quality of his work, and his sweet demeanor. I guess the only difference now is that there's a little less Christian to hug.

(FYI, I've never met Christian Finnegan in person. If I ever do, though, knowing my luck, he'll probably be a dick.)

That's Entertainment!

There was this big "expose" last week about lonelygirl15 and the fact that she wasn't really a homeschooled 16-year-old named Bree living in small town America. She is actually a 19-year-old actor named Jessica performing scenes created by three California guys in their late 20s.

I hadn't heard of the YouTube based project until the "controversy" warranted enough notoriety to be featured in the LA Times. Apparently some fans of the ongoing lonelygirl15 series were shocked, SHOCKED, to find out the melodrama of Bree, her friend Daniel, and her controlling parents were fabricated. They weren't even truthy. They were well-scripted lies. How dare someone post fake video diaries on the internets? If something's online, it has to be true, right?

To see what all the hubbub was about, I watched about half of Bree's videos this weekend. I liked them. Their entertainment value wasn't diminished by the fact that they aren't "real." I appreciated how the writing, the acting and the mis-en-scene were carefully crafted to suck viewers in to Bree's world, making them question who she is, where she lives, and what creepy religion her family practices. It's kind of like Lost, except shorter, and with a better chance of me watching an episode. (I lived on a strange island for 13 years; I don't need to watch the guy from Party of Five do it every week.)

My point is, I don't care that lonelygirl15 isn't real. This isn't some James Frey fraud perpetrated on the public. Additionally, I didn't care that A Million Little Pieces wasn't "real" either. Memoir or fiction, I wasn't going to read the book anyway. People who are mad that Bree isn't someone just like them have way too much time on their hands. I would understand the anger of the views if the creators of the project had their actor asking for help or something serious like that. But they didn't. Like all good television producers, they crafted a fantasy world that captured the attention of their viewers. For those people who are so concerned about individuals lying to them through some media outlet, I have a better target for their attention: "Journalists," like ballroom dancer Tucker Carlson and loofah/falafel enthusiast Bill O'Reilly who spout falsifications on a daily basis on national airwaves and call it "News."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Well, if Ms. Garcia wasn't offended...

Nope. I'm still offended. I guess it's "the black blood" in me that's making me "very hot." At least, that's what Arnold Schwarzenegger believes. I wonder what part of his ancestry is making him an ignorant buffoon.

Don't Let Jeff Probst Ever Talk Again

Apparently Chinese, Japanese and Koreans are all Asian, but they don't all necessarily get along. Thanks for the insight, Jeff. I eagerly await his next public announcement informing the media that Hispanic people aren't all from the same country either. Or even the same continent. I wonder if anyone let him know that all white guys aren't from Wichita.

Zach Braff, please find some real problems.

Then, and only then, make another movie coincidently starring yourself. Garden State was good. Except for the forced Hollywood ending. I know you're supposed to write what you know. But seriously. It's not that hard being 30-year-old upper middle class white man in America with family and friends that obviously care about you. If you are still experiencing existential ennui, Zach, go to a developing nation and then reexamine your life. If you don't have that kind of time, take a walk along Wilshire Blvd from Santa Monica, through Westwood and Beverly Hills, all the way to Downtown LA. I'm sure you'll be able to find some people in your own neighborhood who can provide you with stories of real dire straits. Yes, overmedication featured in your first opus was valid problem to deal with. But being a dick and contemplating cheating on your fiancee because you can't figure out the meaning of life does not make your follow-up protagonist someone to care about.

Brian Palmer's blog entry, Zach Braff’s 10 Easy Tips for Writing Films About Twenty-Somethings®, really does it for me. So satisfying.

One day I hope to create equally culty works of art that future generations can tear apart in their blogs. That way, I'll know I have truly arrived.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Naps or bathrooms?

Which ones do I like more? I'm looking forward to the nap I have planned this afternoon. But I also like visiting bathrooms, especially in classy establishments with shiny faucets and perfumed soap. I don't like interrupted naps. And I don't like stinky bathrooms. Goodness knows I've done my water business in some questionable facilities around the world. One can live without naps, but one really needs a bathroom. Or at least a hole in the ground. That excrement has to go somewhere.

Why don't I throw smiling babies into my comparison? They make me happy, too. I love trying out my funny faces on the under-2 crowd I encounter on the mean streets of LA.

The world could live without naps. Most of the international population lives with indoor plumbing or even an outhouse. But without babies, there would be no more people. So babies win. Yay babies! But only the smiling ones. Unhappy babies are so not cool.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's not because I'm fat.

I am on the search for a gym to join. One that has classes. Preferably Step. Really, anything aerobic and techno-enhanced will do. That isn't too expensive. And is close to my house or work. With friendly people. And clean facilities. With free parking.

No, I'm not picky.

I stopped going to the gym, any gym, a year and a half ago because at the time, I'd just started a new job. I haven't set foot in a fitness facility since then, and this weekend, I realized how much I miss it. It's not just because of the gradual weight gain that has afflicted my body this summer. I miss the camaraderie of hanging out with other active people and bouncing around in a sweaty room together, hoping that our instructor won't make us do another set of squats.

I don't miss the machines. I've never liked the machines. One, most fitness contraptions are designed for large men. I'm neither large (hey!) nor a man (I have a vagina), so they don't work well for me. Two, they're boring. Even with a personal cable television attached to my treadmill, and you know I love my cable tv, walking to nowhere on a revolving rubber band while I watch King of Queens still isn't as enjoyable as a Hip Hop Hi-Lo Cardio Funk Conditioning class with an engaging instructor.

If I actually follow through by finding a gym that suits me, paying the exorbitant fees and finally attending the classes on a regular basis, I'll let you know.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Because Race Relations aren't Bad Enough in America.

What is wrong with Mark Burnett? E! Online reports, "the 20 castaways for Survivor: Cook Islands will be grouped by race, with competitors divided into four tribes consisting of whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics."

Like the Randal/Rebecca controversy wasn't bad enough on The Apprentice. If Donald Trump wanted to give Rebecca a job, he should have GIVEN REBECCA A JOB. Why would Donald Trump, the infamous megalomaniac, ask Randal's permission to employ Rebecca at his own company as well? Jacob at Television without Pity made a very lengthy statement about this racially-charged conundrum at the time it happened, so I won't even attempt to speak as verbosely on the matter as he did.

If host Jeff Probst is so worried about "the criticism that Survivor was not ethnically diverse enough" because they "always have a low number of minority applicants apply for the show," then hire casting agents capable of finding more non-white people for the show. Don't complain about people calling your show racist, then segregate your contestants based on their color and facial features. That's stupid! You're not just being hypocritical; you're proving your critics right.

No wonder I've never watched Survivor.

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

I haven't finished watching all of Spike Lee's documentary about Hurricane Katrina's affect on New Orleans yet. It's 4 and 1/2 hours long, and I have a job, people! What I have seen, though, in my Mummy's words, was heartwrenching. I kept screaming at the tv because I have been through hurricanes, albeit ones under the previous administration, and I have always known the situation during Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Rita as well, could have been handled without the egregious incompetence and subsequent widescale suffering. I have seen firsthand how well the Federal Emergency Management Agency can work when it is run by able, informed, caring people. When it's run by a former commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association and the drug-addled alcoholic C-student who appointed him to the position...well, you all saw what happened.

Today I have been telling almost everyone I encounter in person or by phone about this epic tragedy playing on HBO this month. Half the people I talked to don't get HBO, so I will be recording it again so they can watch it, too. The other people already have it TiVoed, so I guess I'll be talking with them about it more extensively later.

If you four or five people who have happened upon my blog have not seen When the Levees Broke yet, what's holding you back? If any of you shelled out 10 bucks to see United 93 or World Trade Center, but haven't seen this yet, I'm putting you on notice. If you have made the difficult decision to watch this documentary in its entirety, bravo and brava to you. Tell your friends!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'm okay. Aren't I?

Today I am wearing my new size 16 blue and white striped button down shirt from the Gap. It's quite comfy in the arms and waist, although I could do with a little lycra or Spandex for stretchiness. The best part is that it fits well across my chest. No tightness, no bunching, no embarrasing button openings. It makes me look almost normal. Like I'm not in my Fatty McButterpants stage.

I'm thinking that when I grow up and have lots of money, I'm going to need a tailor. Because comfy as this shirt is, along with every other shirt with enough material to cover my chest, it's a little baggy everywhere else, instead of fitted and shapely. Oh well. Someday I'll be comfortable with my chubby parts. Today, at least I'm not self-conscious. Today, I am happy with my appropriately fitting business casual ensemble.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Yet Another Musing from a Black Woman

I could be Stephen Colbert's...

But he can't be mine.

Yes, it's yet another installment of my Musings. Twice on the same day. You can't get enough.

While spending the better part of a Saturday afternoon, sitting cross-legged on the floor of Borders in the humor section, introducing one of my illustrious associates to Angry Little Girls and its sequel, Still Angry Little Girls, I decided that I need more black friends. This was made especially apparent to me when I said this out loud in the store, and my white friend handed me Making Friends with Black People by Nick Adams. She said it might help. Hey. No fair. Who is she to be agreeing with me and making useful suggestions? It's not like she has a bunch of black friends. I'm her token black friend. And she didn't need a book to find me.

Seriously, y'all. I need some actual black friends in LA. My hairdressers don't count. Although, they are quite entertaining. I mean, what are you supposed to say when someone asks, "Bianca, did you notice my new fake breasts? I just got them done in the six weeks since I last braided your hair." I'm here worrying about whether my breasts will ever stop growing and finally fit unobtrusively into my clothes, and she's going out and making her chest bigger. Oy.

I had black friends back in St. Thomas. It was kind of hard not to, what with us being over 75% percent of the population. But it's hard here in LA. Especially working in tv. Black people are few and far between in the industry. Much of the time, it's just me, and it's not easy always having to be your own black friend. I'm really trying, though. I'm open and warm and funny, and sometimes I think I've found an excellent to fill my "black needs." But then they go away, or lose interest, or forget about me. Which is sad. :(

If anyone has any good advice on how to befriend someone who is Black Like Me, let me know. Or if you personally would like to be my Black Friend, that's cool, too. I have a Samoan quota to fill as well. Native Americans are also welcome.

Musings from a Black Woman

SOS, Please Someone Help Me.

Before I decide to watch a cheerleading movie ever again.

While getting my hair braided this weekend, I was easily coerced into watching Bring It On: All or Nothing, the third in a series of movies dealing the serious issues of cheerleading and race relations. I was laughing throughout this entire straight-to-DVD movie, and not at the appropriate parts, either. The story was predictable, the acting wasn't that great (Solange, turn down the mean and nasty a skosh), and the dialogue was stinky poo poo.

However, I did like this All or Nothing incarnation better that the original. Why? Not because of the "Special Appearance" by Bajan singing sensation Rihanna. All or Nothing just seemed more realish to me (I know, right?). Despite Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union's best efforts in Bring It On, something always bugged me about that movie. It was the same thing that bugged me about Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai and whatever other movies involve some naive white person discovering and/or living among some colored folk: it's never about the colored folk! It's always about the white people who are fascinated with them.

Granted, All or Nothing follows Hayden P. around as she tries to fit at Crenshaw Heights. But this movie STAYS at Crenshaw Heights, unlike the first one which follow Kirsten trying to cope with the fact that her predecessor Lindsay Sloane stole cheers from *gasp* BLACK PEOPLE. Why wasn't Bring It On about Gabrielle's character trying to come up with new cheers for her team after the first ones were stolen, and bastardized, for that matter? That would make more sense, since Gabrielle's team had something serious to gain from the final competition: $10,000 for their poor, run down school, in the "ghetto." All Kirsten had to prove was that she could be a good captain. I could go into how Kirsten's Rancho Carne team had the best of everything, including new uniforms, an expensive gym and a highly paid choreographer, while Gabrielle's team had little more than raw talent. But shouldn't this American movie have been about the plucky underdogs, who go against the overprivileged top seeded team, and win by using nothing but their wits? Like The Mighty Ducks? Or Miracle? Or The Big Green? Okay, maybe that was what Bring It On was about. Kind of. But Kirsten and her Rancho Carne Toros still got more lines and screen time than the black people.

In conclusion, I was actually entertained by All or Nothing, despite its plethora of stereotypes in place of developed characters, and a pop infused soundtrack in place of a plausible plot (competing for a chance to win new computers and an appearance on an old Rihanna music video?) Solange played her role better that I had expected, Hayden actually carried this fluffy excuse for a video rental, and the morals and themes, anvicillious and heavy-handed as they were, impressed me: racism is never cool, saving your virginity is better than having sex with a brain-dead jerkoff, and krumping is a great way to work out your anxiety over being the only white kid in school.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Resistance is Futile.

I failed. I made it through three days of a lip balm free existence. The consequences outweighed the benefits of being addiction free. I could make glib justifications for giving up, like, at least I'm not abusing alcohol, or smoking, or shooting heroin between my toes. But I won't. I do have a need to moisturize my lips. However, I was foolish to think I could simply stop using my lip balm and that the side effects would be negligible. If I stopped the daily moisturization of the rest of my body, I would be driven to rip someone's head off. My skin is naturally dry. It always has been. Why I thought my lips wouldn't react to a lack of emollients, I don't know.

This morning at my neighborhood drugstore, I had a brief dallience with Blistex Lip Infusion™, and ChapStick® All Natural, as neither product had any alcohol included on its list of ingredients. I would have gotten Vaseline Lip Therapy Advanced Formula (i.e. plain Vaseline, overpriced in a tiny tube), but the store only had the Cherry, and that's not how I roll. The Blistex smelled like berries, the ChapStick supposedly like mangoes, and they both made me nauseated. So. I am now back on my ChapStick Original. Though now, I am using it in moderation. Once every 1 or 2 hours. Plus, I do not have it on my person anymore. It is stored safely in my bag, ready when I may need it.

My lips are chapped right now, but I'm not freaking out about it. I'm okay. I'm dealing with the aforementioned failure as well. It's not like I'm David Blaine. I attempted to arrest my dependence on lip balm, not survive in a fishbowl of my on urine for a week.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Angry Little Girl

This no-lip-balm-for-two-weeks thing isn't going so well. I am now empathizing with smokers who try to quit the cancer sticks cold turkey. I feel like I'm on that episode of The Real World: Hawaii, where Kaia and that dyed-blond, sickly looking law student, who later leaves the show (Justin?) embark on a weekend fast. They forego all nourishment for two days, except for this revolting liquid concoction made of eggs, lemon and cayenne pepper, that they got from some book. It makes as much sense as my going off lip balm for two weeks after reading rumors about ChapStick addiction on the internet.

My lips are all tender and swollen, and not in a good way. They're dry and ashy, and they're starting to break. I didn't think this would have an effect on the rest of my physiology. How wrong I was. The dehydration in my lips is causing me to be more irritable towards things that bug me. For instance, right now I'm hungry. And I'm a little tired. And my braces are hurting. Normally I'd be okay. But today, I could choke someone, if I had the energy.

I'm thinking this might be a placebo effect, in that I can't reach for my binkie in my pocket to comfort me like I used to. Maybe the previously omnipresent ChapStick was used out of habit, not because I needed it that much. But I am also thinking that the makers of said product add crack to the formula. I have said the same things about Sierra Mist and Starbucks coffee at points in my life. Sierra Mist, no. But I'd put big money on the crack in Starbucks theory. I know there are at least two different alcohols in ChapStick Regular Lip Balm, including cetyl alcohol and oleyl alcohol. Not only do those dry out your lips, they could contribute to the addictive quality of the product. Or maybe the addiction comes from any of the chemicals I could identify if I googled them but won't since I don't have the will to do so, including arachidyl propionate, isopropyl lanolate, isopropyl myristate, methylparaben, octyldodecanol, phenyl methicone, propylparaben, titanium dioxide. That's in addition to the D&C red no. 6 barium lake and FD&C yellow no. 5 aluminum lake, artificial colorings that I have seen first hand have an adverse effect on people.

So. Only 12 more full days to go. Why am I doing this again?