Category Archives: our sarah

Lovin the Leos

Apparently I love Leos. I just can’t get enough! Roughly sixteen of my closest friends were ejected into this world between late July and late August, along with my mother, my little brother, and of course the one to whom I pledged my troth (in August, natch).

Having been hatched on July 19th, I narrowly missed being a Leo myself, for which I can only thank the vagaries of fate, cuz have you noticed what strong and often clashing personalities you Leos tend to have? I’ll take my Cancer oversensitivity any day.

On behalf of Leos and their special days, I have gone bowling, at which I played two games without breaking 50 either time. I did manage to drop the ball twice though while trying to aim! I have gone eating, I have gone drinking (without drinking), I have tried to go to Jon Stewart. Though I reserved the tickets eight months ago, that plan worked about as well as the bowling, thanks to circumstances beyond my control; I missed a banner episode, too. Oh well. I have traveled and I have stayed put. I have exhausted myself trying to think of semi-original things to write on Facebook walls.

But birthdays go round every year. Why does this August seem so intense? Usually there isn’t news, at least not beyond Hey Look, Cute Kitten! stories, or anything worth seeing in the theater. This year, we’ve had to contend with heroics from mayors, idiocy from former mayors (Death Panels!!), Democrats actually having to respond to “Death Panels”, the Middle East cracking down on women, pirates, clunkers, and lots of revelations of the obvious: Bernie Madoff was short where it counted; the Bush administration politicized national security.

Julie and Julia, District 9, and Ponyo are all out now, competing for my attention. Coming soon, to make matters worse: Inglourious Basterds! WTF, August? Will you let me breathe and process the fact that my dad is not getting better and my book is not getting published and —

Actually, you know what, maybe I’m okay with not having time to think. More birthday cake for everyone!

the happiest time of the year

It’s been Michael Jackson Week for about nine days now, with short interruptions in which we were instructed to laugh at the ramblings of Sarah Palin. (“If I die, I die,” she says now, nonsensically. I wonder if she even knows who she’s quoting.)

The AP begins a story on the funeral by describing the somber atmosphere:

Michael Jackson’s public memorial started out more spiritual than spectacular Tuesday, opening with a church choir singing as his golden casket was laid in front of the stage and a shaft of light evoking a cross as Lionel Richie gave a gospel-infused performance.

I’m not sure “spiritual” is the word I would use for any of that. Then again, Harry Potter trailers are as close to spiritual as I get.

The Harry Potter movie is only one Michael-Jackson-Week away! It is one of the many reasons I am crazy about summer. Also Twelfth Night in the park and Harold and Maude in the other park and the idea of my birthday on Governor’s Island.

Over July 4th, Mr. Ben and I basked in the good weather in Asheville, NC (“the San Francisco of the South!”) with his mom and ten thousand other tourists, pasty from the past month or so of rain. To justify its reputation, the town had one gay bar and the local movie theater was playing “Every Little Step,” the documentary about the making of A Chorus Line. But it was still the South. For every rainbow, there was a Jesus fish, and in the midst of the tourists in the town square waiting for the fireworks, there was a man dragging a large wooden cross. We don’t get a lot of those in Brooklyn.

It was a nice change of pace, as well as a nice transition into my favorite month of the year. July will turn me into a 27 year old, even if it doesn’t turn me into a published novelist (the prospect of which dims with every passing minute). Ah well, who’s counting? And who’s lining up to join the fun and help take my mind off the failure?

What Not To Say

Did you hear about this hilarious Republican congressman who compared to Obama to Hitler? Yeah, he wishes he hadn’t done that:

Republican Paul Broun is sorry for calling President-elect Barack Obama a ‘Marxist’ and comparing him to Adolph Hitler, the Georgia Congressman said Tuesday.

“I regret putting it that way,” he told WGAC radio in Augusta, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I apologize to anyone who has taken offense at that.”

He also called Obama “liberal.” Since Communists hated liberals, liberals hated Nazis, and Nazis hated Communists, in one breath, Broun has taken history and bent it into an infinity symbol. It would literally make more sense for me to compare Broun to Stalin because they are both from Georgia.

Sarah Palin has me shaking my head in mock-admiration, also:

“But not me personally were those cheers for,” she said to Ms. Van Susteren in an interview shown Monday night on Fox News. “But it was just for the representation of a woman on the ticket, a mom, somebody who loves this country so much, somebody very, very committed to policies that I believe will progress this country in the right direction.”

Dan Savage got a lesson in What Not To Say after he blamed blacks for the passing of Prop 8. Though they did come out en masse for Obama and, while there, pull the lever to ban gay marriage, King Nate Silver has absolved them of any kind of responsibility: there just aren’t enough African-Americans in CA for them to have made a decisive difference. Savage on Colbert last night acknowledged this, shifting his ire to “old people,” who, as he pointed out, “are dying, which is some comfort.” Okay, Dan! You’re getting there!

On the other side of this debate, there are the comments on this topic from The Root that draw from the word of God to give their opinions legitimacy:

just because we accept people for the color of their skin, which is actually something that the Bible teaches us to do, does not mean we should let two people of the same sex get married, which the Bible vividly prohibits. … this country was founded on the principals of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus and to confuse loving thy fellow man with telling him it’s o.k. for him to marry another man is not what this country is supposed to be about.


Interracial marriage should have never been an issue but was an issue with this country but because of prejudice it was. God never condemned interracial marriage but does condemn same sex marriage. I just hope and pray that this country stands for what is right in the site of God. God defines marriage is between a man and a woman, not between two women or two men. When it comes to immoral issues it is wrong. Again interracial marriage is not a moral issues but gay marriage is. Let us understand that there is a difference between the two. If anyone having problem with that person is having a problem with God.

Again with the wrongness. Opponents of intermarriage absolutely thought — and still think — they had Jesus on their side. I mean, Deuteronomy, dude: Deuteronomy 7:3-4: ‘You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son, for he will cause your child to turn away from after Me and they will worship the gods of others then the L–rd’s wrath will burn against you, and He will destroy you quickly.’

Of course, that’s silly, cuz that Old Testament God is only talking to Jews there and the passage is specifically about religion, not race. He wanted a strictly limited gene pool for His chosen people, possibly because He wasn’t paying attention in high school genetics class, and also because He’s a jealous, overbearing God who likes to make rules. Whatevs.

The judge who ruled in the Loving case in 1958 also said, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no case for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did intend for the races to mix.”

Sure! And the fact that He gave us Barack Obama shows us that He knows the fabulous results mixing can have.

In short, this is all bullshit. Can’t we just admit that the idea of Group X getting it on with Group Y squicks out Group Z, where Group Z is those who aren’t in on the fun? Let’s leave religion out of it.


Post-election, life feels strange. It lacks urgency, lacks tension. Part of me feels compelled to stake out bars near off-off-Broadway theaters to try to find some High Drama friends to help make up the difference.

Instead, I’m joining a Swarthmore alumni book group whose curriculum is set by a current prof. You know who could have been an alum but isn’t? Barack Obama. True story! This both adds value to my degree and subtracts value from it, since I *was* accepted, but who could care about having been chosen by a place with such poor taste?

It does allow me to picture an alternate universe in which Obama is a Swattie, though. He graduates, as my friend Rebecca E. put it, full of “relentless criticism and liberal despair.” He spends a summer working at an alternative camp for disadvantaged city children; this inspires him to join Teach for America, where he meets a cute fellow teacher, a Peruvian-American anarchist. They get married in West Philly, where they set up house and grow food in an urban garden. Every once in a while Barack feels a disembodied itch to be doing something more significant with his life, for which his wife chides him and then asks him to remember to stir the compost.

Of course, he still has holes in the bottoms of his shoes.

Speaking of High Drama types, poor Sarah Palin. Yeah, that’s right. I have now argued with one brother and two parents about this, and I’ll argue with you too if necessary. (At least Flea agrees with me.) Flinging anonymous shit at a person is WRONG, no matter how stupid and possibly evil that person is. Maybe it’s true that Our Sarah didn’t know what countries were in NAFTA or that Africa was a continent. Our President has a pretty iffy track record himself.

As I see it, McCain’s people paired an ambitious, attractive, charismatic woman with an old man to draw audiences, using her the same way Winona Ryder, ScarJo, and Catherine Zeta-Jones have been used (mostly with the same meager results). They spruced her up to get her camera-ready and fed her already healthy ego by putting her in front of adoring crowds while keeping bad news — and the press — far from her.

When their plan backfired, thanks in no small part to Katie Couric and Tina Fey, the gentlemanly thing to do would have been to return her to Alaska and thank her for her service, not leak blind, spiteful quotes to a Fox news reporter. “Jerks” is a kind word for what these staffers are; they should dream of being hanged by their tongues and wake up screaming. Not that I wish them any harm.

because i never blog about fashion

These days, Emma Watson looks much less like a kid and much more like the Dutch au pairs who lived with us when I was little.

(via Go Fug Yourself)

Look, I did it! I made it through an entire blog post without mentioning Our Sarah! … Oh. Shit.

Speaking of Our Sarah, one of my coworkers approached me this afternoon and said, “You’re going to hate me but I actually watched the debates and I liked her! She seemed really great!” In an UNRELATED INCIDENT, another coworker approached me ten minutes later and, when I asked what his girlfriend did, said, “You’re going to hate me: She’s a model.”

“I can’t believe everyone thinks I’m a hater!” I said to a third coworker shortly thereafter.

“You do hate a lot,” she answered kindly.

Yikes! When did I get this alarming reputation? Let’s clear this up. Here is a FULL LIST of the things I hate:

  • One-word footwear (Uggs, Crocs)
  • Dippy, sentimental movies that are a waste of talent and often have offensive subtexts (Love, Actually, Serendipity, 200 Cigarettes)
  • Dictators, except wacky ones straight out of Douglas Adams who force all citizens to read their poetry
  • Mmm injustice? Unfairness? Stuff like that.

And that’s it! Seriously! Now am I a My Little Pony or am I not?

"What’s six times seven?" "No, stuff she knows!"

For posterity, I wanted to capture this, from FiveThirtyEight, whose name reflects how many times I click over there every day:

Right now, on Oct 2, 2008, it’s predicting an Obama victory with 336 electoral votes. This is pre-debate, mind you.

ETA: Post-debate! Palin needs to stop winking at me. It’s disturbing. Either she wants to fuck me or she wants to fuck with me — either way, I don’t like it.

Where I grew up, and that’s Washington, D.C., and I know that’s not Scranton or Wasilla or one of them Real Places with Main Streets, so I figure that means we kill every fourth born child and roast its flesh on the National Mall as we dance around naked, flinging out feces in the direction of the Reflecting Pool and singing about how much we love corruption and hate mavericks, but where I grew up in Washington D.C. … I forget where I was going with this. Let me start again.

God bless Joe Biden. If Sarah Palin wasn’t about to fall down literally foaming at the mouth, and I knew she wasn’t, they would never let her go out there unprepared, then he had to really bring it. He had to be knowledgeable but not abstract, intelligent but not arrogant, forceful but not condescending, and he did it, he really did. Honestly, I think he did it by not watching any of those Katie Couric interviews or the fabulous Tina Fey parodies, which enabled him to go into the debate with real respect for Our Sarah.

People are going to be buzzing for a while about how she didn’t knock her own eye out or start speaking in tongues or striptease into a Betty Boop outfit. And that’s true! She didn’t! That’s why I wanted to capture this image of the map showing America swooning for Obama, because Palin is going to, I think, deliver a bounce to McCain — hopefully not the entirety of what he lost over the past couple weeks, but I think she’ll help him make back some of that ground.

When that clapping dies down, I hope everyone remembers to say, But Biden did better. and That is the man who is seasoned and capable enough to be Vice President of the United States.