Saturday, May 26, 2007

Gauche and Unsophisticated List Part 2

I tend to think that most question and answer sessions at academic conferences or at guest speaker presentations are little more than academic pissing contests. Instead of asking one to two sentence questions, academics and annoyingly pretentious students have to describe their entire dissertation or all the foundations of their beliefs which takes ten minutes, usually to prove that they are smarter and more nuanced than the presenters. So I usually avoid them.

I actually said this out loud in class once. At least my professors laughed instead of rolling their eyes or getting horribly offended and kicking me out of class.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Welcome to the Blog!

Well, I have decided that it was time to become more adult and have a blog on Blogger instead of Myspace. Go me! I copied and consolidated the two postings below from my old blog because I thought they were amusing. So if you've read my old blog, they're still funny so you should read them again!

Also, I may never write about anything substantive, but people I know do. They even link to news articles and make salient, sophisticated arguments. So in the interest of making sure all your reading needs are satisfied, you should go read their blogs afterwards if you feel my posts are too shallow.

The Gauche and Unsophisticated List Part #1

Along with being a bad liberal, I'm also not the most classy person on the block. One would think that by going to college and law school, I would have gained a modicum of worldly taste and good breeding and sophistication. Nope...and here are a few reasons why...

I really don't like wine at all...except for rose and riesling. And not the few good roses that the food snobs actually appreciate, but the cheap, crappy, almost tastes like artificially flavored fruit juice rose, preferably from the box.

While we are on the topic of alcohol, the whole concept of good beer is totally lost on me. I don't think "hoppy" or "dark" or "stout" is a good thing, and it just makes it harder to chug.

I can't read books where I don't like the characters. If I think they are ass-holes within the first twenty pages and that they have no endearing or redeeming traits, I will stop reading. (Somehow though I still made it through The Time Traveler's Wife and if I wasn't required to read The Great Gatsby for junior honors English I would have stopped after Nick passively watched Tom Buchanan beat up his mistress with no opinion or reaction grr...) The Corrections...ugh! Seriously between the passive aggressive mother and the son who felt so unfairly punished by the university because he screwed around with one of his students, I was done. Witches of Eastwick...ew! Besides the fact that the three witches seemed like utterly awful people, Updike had a misogynistic tone and his metaphors were just crass and not edgy. However, I have still continued to read the Stephanie Plum series, even though the books really have not been that good since #7, and I have reread such classics as The MacGregor Brides and The Red Hat Club Strikes Again numerous times along with other fickle, shallow books with no redeeming literary value.

I LOVE TV! There I said it, and not just the fairly decent shows "Brothers and Sisters" or "Six Feet Under". Oh no, currently I'm obsessed with "Degrassi: The Next Generation" even though I have been out of high school for five years, this summer I watched both "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Last Comic Standing." I also LOVE America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, Shear Genius; and many bad competitive reality TV shows. Though I watch more TV than is probably healthy, I've never seen a full episode of Arrested Development and was not sad when it was cancelled. I also wasn't sad when Everwood was cancelled, it had a great first season, but after that I stopped caring.

I try listening to independent music, but these efforts fail frequently. So I'll just stick with the catch tunes of Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, and the many, many songs I hear on the radio that are just catchy. The only reason I know of some decent songs and can tell Nirvana and Pearl Jam or Our Lady Peace and The Smashing Pumpkins apart is because my sister actually has decent music taste.

I love chain family restaurants...Applebees, Chili's, Tony Roma's. Nothing makes me happier than fried appetizers and baby back ribs. But Billy McHale's beats them all. least Billy's is fairly local (and has $4.00 Three Mile Island Iced Teas).

Finally I cannot schmooze or make small talk to save my life. I still haven't figured out how I'm going to be a decent lawyer if I can't even schmooze. Because I really don't think, wandering around nervously while twirling my hair is going to make law firms or prominent public interest organizations think tough lawyer who will win us gazillions of cases and get us a bunch of good publicity.

The Bad Liberal List Part #1

So, now I claim to be a liberal, I vote for democrats during the election, and according to all internet tests I am quite liberal. However there's all these little things in life that make me think that I am a bad liberal. Here's quite a few. I'm sure I will think of more and add them to my ongoing list.

I'm ambivalent about Democrat dominance in Congress. With so many "conservative" Democrats coming in (many of whom are pro-life and anti-gay marriage), and the loss of some more liberal, moderate Republicans, I'm not sure that I am going to get what I want. The Democratic leadership, though, is still very liberal so I still have a smidgen of hope.

Aaron Sorkin is highly overrated, and I definitely don't want him to be my Democratic, progressive representative since he is a pretentious, condescending ass who can't seem to admit his own failings. Also for being so supposedly progressive his female characters tend to be obnoxious and unable to do anything on their own. Seriously, they were Press Secretaries, Presidents of Networks, and Headliners on Comedy Shows and they knew very little about how the world worked and always needed their UNREQUIETED, yet wholly uninteresting love interest to come and save the day. (Okay CJ is not as bad as the rest.) Also I liked Ricky and Ron a hell of a lot more than Matt and Danny on Studio 60, which is absolute crap by the way. Also The West Wing was never amazing. Sorkin is a prime example of repeating plot points, characters, and even dialogue, even though his three shows took place in totally different environments.... Bite me Sorkin, and quit justifying your drug use, how you treated your exes and other unresolved issues on my TV. Seriously get a blog like every other person in America.

My ambivalence towards American Apparel has grown to HATE. Now it's not just that their clothes are expensive, they don't fit correctly and make me look fat and square, and I don't like looking fat and sqaure. So I am increasingly frustrated that they are the go to company for independant shirt printers. I want smart alecky shirts too! So now I just wish that another "sweat-shop free" shirt company comes into the fray, that actually makes shirts that fit, or that one of these companies will find a wholesaler that makes shirts that fit nicely and don't condemn someone who has boobs, at this point I don't even care if that wholesaler is from China!

Slate Magazine is so incredibly obnoxious. All the authors are so self-rightous. Also, I'm still pissed that the spent at least a paragraph in one of their Harriet Miers articles bitching about how she went to SMU for law school and not Stanford. Of all of Harriet Miers's problems, not going to an Ivy League law school was not one of them, so please zip it elitist ass-holes. Also, I preferred their original Dear Prudence to the latest one.

I do not listen to NPR, and the idea of listening to it makes me shudder. Of course I think this is because Mr. Sayles, our bus driver, would force the entire bus listen listen to All Things Considered after he forced us to listen to his bad pirate songs. So I think it is more psychological trauma from riding the hick bus in middle and high school than anything else.

I still haven't seen the documentary exposes on the latest evils, like Wal-Mart. I think I avoid it partially because I already know that Wal-Mart is bad, bad, bad, but it doesn't seem like anyone can come up with a solution to the problem. They just whine about how one-stop shopping is ruining America and making us fat and ending the world. (If the latest documentary doesn't just whine and actually provides a solution, then please let me know.) But then when Wal-Mart does anything decent, like cut back on its electricity use for example, then other liberal pundits whine about how it is all a PR move. Well, don't you want to save the environment, people? Don't bitch about companies who are already making efforts even if its just a PR move.

I love Disney! Except for the sequels, Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahantas. I loved vacationing at WALT DISNEY WORLD after last summer, even though I realize that I should vacation in areas where I can learn about the local culture and give some money to the local economy, and Disney is destroying the world according to some.

I thought George P. Bush (the nephew) was hot during the 2000 election. Also I now think Mitt Romney's five sons are quite attractive as well. Their answers on the Sixty Minutes interview were insufferable, and overly rehearsed, but they are quite attractive.

Teresa (pronounced Ter -AY-za) Heinz Kerry is quite annoying. I really did not give a damn how honest she was about her botox treatments.

I think most Food Co-Ops smells funny and therefore the shopping experience is not so pleasant.

I don't buy organic food because it is expensive and I cannot tell the difference.

I love Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, but I hated Rent. Maybe it was just a bad production - but I thought the two lead males had some major entitlement issues, why should they get the apartment for free just because their friend was the landlord? I know, I know, I'm missing the larger point about love and it was really cruel of the friend to renig on the offer. Yet I like a musical about hickish, macho men kidnapping the loves of their lives against their will...hmm... Also according to pretentious movie blog Pajiba, my hatred of Rent not only makes me a bad liberal, but a bad person (good to know that religious demagogues and pretentious movie bloggers both agree that I am an awful person condemned to hell - one less thing to wonder about).

I have enjoyed chai and hot chocolate at both Tully's and Starbucks - the evil, huge, coffee monoliths. However when I'm home I do go to the small espresso stands too.

I EAT MEAT - lots of it, including red meat, and I hate tofu.

Following from that I like hotdogs as well. And even worse my favorite hotdog at Spike's Junkyard Dogs is the Texas Ranger.

I HATE YOGA!! There are no such things as sit-bones! It's a tail-bone, there is only one. Or just call it a butt, or ass, or derriere! Yeesh! And no position has made me more aggravated, annoyed and pissy than downward dog, it is not fucking relaxing!

Hemp is itchy (but I guess I'm good at making hemp bracelets). On the same token I hate the smell of Marijuana.

I did not go precinct walking or do any phone banking for the 2004 election. Since people do not like being cold called by telemarketers or pestered by missionaries of various religions, I figured that acting like either group is not an effective strategy to get people to vote.

I did not protest the inauguration. (My Ferndale friends who remember me as quite radical are sure to be disappointed) But again I don't think pestering people with placards really makes them sympathetic to one's cause. In fact I've never participated in any protest. (Shocking, I know.)

I hate the smell of incense.

I have actually purchased some items from Wal-Mart. I did feel really, really, really bad afterwards though.

Bowling for Columbine was not that good of a documentary, and Michael Moore's exaggerations probably did not help his platform.

I shop at Barnes and Noble. I'm sorry, but the last time I went to Village Books all of the clerks were ass-holes, until they get friendly I will not patronize. But I do go to many used book stores because I'm cheap.