I've been struggling with my about page since I started this blog almost five years ago. The request I'm about to make would have made more sense back then, when I had upwards of 100 visitors a day. These days, I like to think of Ouranophobe not so much as "poorly read" as just a "secret to everybody," like that kindly old guy from the Legend of Zelda used to say right before he gave me 10 rupees. (He wouldn't be so kindly after I stabbed him repeatedly with the sword I had just dug up from the graveyard, but everyone knows he totally deserved it.)

Anyway, I have an interesting request of my loyal readers. Some of you know me in real life, some of you know me through various degrees of separation and still others of you don't know me from Adam and got here by Googling "crooked electrician" and "Craig T. Nelson." So obviously you're the perfect sampling of people to help me write my bio.

Here's the challenge: No matter who you are and how well you know me, if you read this site on a somewhat regular basis, I would love it if you were to write a single sentence about me. It can be a spot-on assessment or simply a random guess about how I grew up, the kind of person I am or the things I enjoy. Run-on sentences are highly encouraged as is drinking before writing. I'll splice it all together and have an about page that will make Merv Griffin's autobiography look like, you guessed it, a dead hobo.

Please send your sentences here or just leave them in the comments section. Make me proud.

02-28-2006 4:31 PM - comments (2)

Making Bridezilla Look Like a Dead Hobo.

In my ongoing reverie, I've been somewhat...dazed. A prime example: On the document where I keep track of what I've accomplished throughout the day at work (my department sends out weekly status reports, and my memory is dismal), I distractedly typed "Took care of stuff."

In the past few weeks, entries on this document have included pitching an expert to a USA Today reporter, writing a press release about fatty liver disease, conducting a media escort at the hospital and writing an internal story about a faculty member's new book.

Who knew all along that was better expressed as "taking care of stuff"? It's also comforting to know that if media relations doesn't work out, I have a shot at the Dell Dude job.

P.S. Thanks for all your congratulations, and try not to worry that Ouranophobe will become an obnoxious wedding blog, wherein my true identity -- an amalgamation of Joan Crawford, a hungry T-rex and an Al Qaeda operative -- is revealed through sarcastic stories about incompetent salespeople, dissertations on the subtle-yet-critical differences between maroon and burgundy in relation to bridesmaids gowns, and rambling, self-important declarations of the Awesomest and Most Troglodytic (insert wedding-related topic here) ever. Try not to worry, but rest assured it will happen anyway.

02-27-2006 1:14 PM - comments (1)

"I Know This Much Is True."

Last night, on top of a turtle sculpture and underneath a sky blanketed in waffle-shaped clouds, we first sang to "A Day in the Life" and then listened, hearts pounding, to "First Day of My Life." When the song ended, Michael kissed me intently, the two of us shivering in the crisp night air.

Most of the rest is blurry, but I do remember him admitting he was nervous and then asking, in a voice I will never forget, if I would marry him. I don't remember if I said yes right away, but I do remember him pulling out the most stunning ring I've ever seen from a grey box from his jacket and slipping it onto my finger, and I know I was alternating between crying and laughing; I remember being happier than I have ever been, and the feeling hasn't begun to subside. I'm not sure it ever will.

Earlier in the evening, we had enjoyed dinner at the Melting Pot, one of my favorite places, and I wasn't expecting what was going to happen. I had talked about it constantly, but I'm very much a theoretical person; I have a hard time envisioning the possible reality of my fantasies. On the way home, he seemingly missed our exit and kept driving, and I realized he was headed toward Turtle Playground, one of our favorite places in St. Louis. My heart was thumping then as reality finally began to set in.

I kicked off my shoes, and we climbed onto the first stone turtle. Michael said he was going back to the car to get a blanket; even with a wrap sweater, my new sleeveless turquoise dress wasn't enough to keep me from shaking. He came back empty-handed, or so I thought, claiming he must have brought the blanket inside when he was cleaning out his car. He pulled out Roy G. Biv, and we each took an earbud and listened to our song as if for the first time. After he proposed, we took pictures by the sculptures for a while, ignoring the cold (and, for me, the pebbles under my bare feet while my shoes rested on the grass) and feeling dazed.

After some more anniversary night revelry at home, neither of us wanted the night to end, despite how exhausted we both were. We got into our comfiest pajamas, made some popcorn topped with shredded cheddar cheese (a tradition in Michael's family) and watched "The Wedding Singer," our favorite movie and one we can watch a million times without getting sick of. Around 2:30 a.m., we collapsed into bed, more content than we had ever been and utterly in awe of what had been and what was to come.

(Pictures of the ring TK. It's a stunning round brilliant diamond set in a platinum band with 10 pave-set round diamonds on the top and 30 tiny ones on the front and back of the band. I'm not much of a jewelry person, but this is absolutely gorgeous, and I can't stop staring at it.)

02-25-2006 4:32 PM - comments (8)

Special Delivery.

If I knew how to e-mail myself photos from my new Razr phone, I'd post two images: one of the gorgeous pink, red, purple and white tulips my wonderful boyfriend sent to me for our anniversary and one of the ridiculous smile on my face.

This day just keeps getting better and better.

02-24-2006 4:38 PM - comments (1)

Tidings of Joy.

You know it's going to be a good issue of Vogue when:

1. The most beautiful actress in the world (Natalie Portman, of course; dyslexic Keira Knightley is such a dead hobo compared to her) graces the cover. This will be an early five-year anniversary present for Michael.

2. The letters don't start until page 228.

3. It's all about spring fashion, baby. The annual spring issue is a lovely reminder that sandals and A-line skirts will soon return (I look a lot sexier in those than in turtleneck sweaters and trouser socks), along with Major League Baseball. I'm so excited I could cry.

02-23-2006 5:40 PM - comments (0)

"Idol" Picks.

Major accomplishment: I've convinced Michael to start watching "American Idol" with me. Quite a bonding experience, really, except for when he's ogling Katharine and I'm ogling Ace. At least it's fair, right?

My picks, from best to worst:

Paris Bennett. I've been on the bandwagon since Day One. Really unique, rich voice, though she's not the most technically able.
Katharine McPhee. Beautiful, not anorexic looking, great singer.
Lisa Tucker. My first impression of her still stands: She's the next Whitney Houston. Let's hope that doesn't include the personal life.
Kellie Pickler. I hate myself for saying it, but she's adorable, and her voice, while not great, has potential. But I'd really like to see a non-country singer win this year.
Mandisa. Why did Simon have to apologize for calling attention to her weight? She's obviously very pretty and talented, but she's going to have to make some sacrifices if pop stardom is her dream. We need to stop enabling obese people by calling them "curvy" or "voluptuous"; we're not doing them any favors. She's dangerously overweight, and while I'm sure she has some sort of chemical inbalance that causes her to need food more than other people, a little bit of discipline and some exercise would work wonders.
Ayla Brown. Really, really boring, but she has a tremendous voice.
Stevie Scott. I hate her speaking voice, but she does have a pleasant singing voice. Now quit with the whiny falsetto. Great fashion sense, though.
Brenna Gethers. I'm sure she can sing, but she's damned obnoxious. And why, why, why did she think that miserable "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" drivel is good enough to perform when millions of people are watching? It must be really hard to get the rights to decent songs; I became convinced of this after Simon said called Bon Jovi's "Live and Let Die" "modern."
Kinnik Sky. She's forgettable, but I have to put her above the following people based on principle.
Becky O'Donahue. She can't sing, and I've really had it with the tired, leering twins references. Does anyone not care that twins having sex with one another is incest?
Heather Cox. Just become a porn star already, Heather. You know you want to.
Melissa McGhee. I hear there's a part available in a porno starring Heather Cox. Seriously, how do these trashy girls get this far? I'm going to send her a care package containing Clinique eye makeup remover and a bomb.

Ace Young. They should just save time and name him the winner now. I honestly have never seen a reality TV personality so magnetic, gorgeous or talented. He makes Brad Pitt look like a hobo who died from a particularly bad case of leprosy. Simon was right; "Father Figure" was a perfect song choice. My mind is buzzing with future song possibilities. Mmm.
Taylor Hicks. Michael and I love him. I'm incredulous he's gotten this far, but he's so interesting, captivating, all that stuff. We're convinced that Simon was talkin about Taylor when he said during Hollywood Week, "I can't wait to see what he does next."
Chris Daughtry. I've loved him since auditions. He's got an incredibly rich, steady voice, and I'm looking forward to hearing what else he can do. His backstory is really sweet, too. (I'm not so big on the chin strap, but what can you do?)
Will Makar. So he's a little too show-choir for me, but he's from the Woodlands, which is right next to where I grew up in Texas and where I still spend all of my money when I'm home. So I have to, er, represent.
Jose "Sway" Penala. I loved his Earth, Wind and Fire performance last night. He reminds me of a Phillipino Jamiroquai. I dug the falsetto, the outfit, his cute little parents dancing in the audience, everything. Dedicating a song to your parents is usually totally lame, but that worked.
David Radford. I'm a sucker for cute Dino-wannabe teenagers. That Elvis stuff was not working last night, though.
Elliott Yamin. The two Ls and two Ts in his first name work in his favor, as well as the fact that he can actually sing. Not in his favor is looking like Mr. Tumnus' mentally challenged brother (without the horns, of course). Simon was simply not right in his glowing assessment last night.
Patrick Hall. His face creeps me out, but he can sing, I suppose. He really needs to pick some better songs, though.
Kevin Covais. I like that he's still in the competition; he gives high-school geeks something to be proud of. He can sing, but he's very, very boring.
Bobby Bennett. Cute guy, but he doesn't belong in this competition. "Copacabana"? At least it wasn't some stupid Brian McKnight song.
Gedeon McKinney. Seriously, I hate this guy. Yuck, yuck, yuck. There is nothing redeeming about him whatsoever. What was his mom thinking with the "e" instead of an "i," anyway?

02-23-2006 10:56 AM - comments (4)

Too Much Information.

I just spilled some Diet Dr. Pepper on my keyboard and reached for a tissue to clean it up. After that experience, I'm adding tissues to my list of things I can't stand touching. Other things on that list are silk (I honestly shudder when I accidentally touch a silk shirt while shopping), Vaseline and paper napkins.

I joked to Michael last night that I'm sort of superhuman. It's not that exciting; if I were going to Mutant School, I'd be in all basics classes and probably be held back a couple of times. But it's true: I have extraordinarily developed senses. I can hear the screechy alerts people put on their cars to scare away deer. I can smell the scent of onions on my nails a full 24 hours after cooking, long after I've scrubbed my hands raw, used the neat little metal tool Michael got me for such a purpose and showered in extremely hot water with extremely expensive soap. I can taste everything, which is why I love to cook and, unfortunately, eat so much. Sitting in a cozy booth at a crowded restaurant is a pleasurable experience even before the food is served.

My sense of touch is almost as strong as my sense of smell; I'm abnormally affected by slight changes in temperature to the point where it drives me -- and everyone I know -- crazy, and I have strange reactions to various materials, such as the aforementioned Kleenex and silk. It comes in handy if I'm giving Michael a massage; I can actually feel what he feels. I know it sounds totally bohemian and therefore totally laughable, but I have physical empathy in spades (my emotional empathy leaves something to be desired, unless it comes to animals. That frog scene on "Lost" last week almost did me in).

My only sense that isn't good is sight. In contact lenses, I'm a -4 in my left eye and -4.25 in my right eye, but when I was in high school, people always asked me to read billboards or scoreboards at games because I had terrific vision. That changed almost overnight, and now I'm like Patricia Arquette in "Stigmata" (sadly, without the sexy Gabriel Byrne love interest); without my contacts, the world is like a kindergartener's waterpainting.

I wonder about the usefulness of my exaggerated senses every now and then. Why can I smell rain before it begins to fall but not realize I'm full after a big meal? How is it that I can hear the person across the room nervously and annoyingly tapping his feet but continue my sometimes-painful nail-biting habit?

Last week, I met with a couple of otolaryngologists to talk about the return of the cochlear implant program at the university I work for. One asked me if I'd rather be deaf or blind. That's easy, I said, thinking to myself I'd been asked that question a million times before. I'd much rather be deaf. He told me that's what everyone says, but that the sense of isolation the hearing-impaired must deal with far exceeds that of the vision-impaired.

He asked me to close my eyes and tell him what I heard. An ambulance, I said. We work in a hospital, he responded. Listen more closely. The secretary two doors down sounding impatient with someone on the phone. A cell phone chirping, one of those bad Japanese ringtones that come with the phone. The quiet, persistent whir of a copy machine. Your breathing. He seemed impressed. If you couldn't hear, he said, you would rely on your vision for cues. But all you can see is what's right in front of you: the autumn-scene desktop of the Dell computer, the dated family photos, a receipt from Vito's, the nearly closed oak door, me.

People with normal hearing subsconsciously block out most sounds because those sounds, coupled with everything in their line of vision, would overwhelm them. They would drive themselves mad if they felt, heard and saw everything all at once. But for the blind person, those sounds stand out like individual musicians to a symphony conductor. They rely on every piece of information that they have access to, which is why they get stuck being thought of as having superhuman senses to make up for their one deficiency.

Would I rather be deaf than blind? I get where this guy was coming from, but his medical expertise relates to hearing, so he's biased. I'm thinking a cardiologist would rather have heart disease than hepatitis. If we're talking hypotheticals, I'd rather not have to change the temperature in my apartment every hour just to feel comfortable, and I'd rather breathe in the lush scent of Dior's Pure Poison lotion on my fingertips all day long instead of the whole damn produce aisle.

02-21-2006 12:59 PM - comments (0)

Game Night.

Michael and I went to Fritz' video game party and had the most wonderful low-key evening. First, we stocked up on snacks at Trader Joe's/Dierberg's: white cheese popcorn, chips, guacamole, salsa, chocolate-covered cherries, hippie beer, vodka, lemons and pomegranate juice so we could prove we're hip, toasted ravioli, Bugles (oh yes), chili cheese Fritos and various other things. One would have thought we were overdoing it, and yet I think we nearly polished it all off. Oh, and this isn't even including the two Imo's pizzas we ordered!

We played Mario Party (Michael and I were Boo and lost to the couple who played Toadette, but that game is usually fun no matter who wins), Pac Man Vs. (a game where three people play the Pac Man ghosts and can only see a small square of the course and one person plays Pac Man by using a Game Boy and can see the whole screen), Super Smash Bros. and the very best, Dr. Mario -- for the Game Cube. It's a Japanese version that Rob and Jen have somehow, and let me tell you, while I'm the undisputed Dr. Mario champion in the Midwest, that game was another story. The controls were not only different, they were super sensitive, and the pieces hooked to the left when you were about to drop them (most of my strength comes from how quick I am at dropping). There was definitely a learning curve, and I was proud I was able to start kicking ass once I got the hang of it. (Even if Michael was better than me -- argh!)

So I know a video game party sounds lame compared to, say, going to a bar, but consider this: when we got home, I wasn't $30 poorer (though Michael and Fritz certainly were because of the snacks), I didn't need to take my jacket/shirt to the dry cleaners because of cigarette smoke, and I could actually remember conversations I had had with my friends because I could actually hear them talk. So if that makes me a geek, I'm cool with it. (I'm not cool with the fact that all of that junk food is now resting on my hips.)

02-11-2006 9:38 AM - comments (1)

If Only Sandy Cohen Had A British Accent.

This Yale student's "'The O.C.' Characters as the World's Players" theory is ingenious. (Ganked from Gawker.)

02-09-2006 10:29 AM - comments (0)

Sin of Omission.

I can't believe I left "Only" by Nine Inch Nails off the list. Please squeeze it in between "Hate it Or Love It" and "Since U Been Gone." Quite possibly the best Nine Inch Nails song there is, and I'm amazed I could forget it. "There is no you, there is only me"? I'm nodding again.

02-08-2006 12:22 PM - comments (0)

"These Are the Rules I Make."

Like everyone who matters, I'm ridiculously late.

Top 15 Singles of 2005:

15. "Do You Want To" - Franz Ferdinand. Hell, I'm as bad as Spin (see #9). They have to make an appearance here, if only so you read the rest of the entry. Please don't hate me. I'm a victim of capitalism.

14. "The Blower's Daughter" - Damien Rice. For almost two-thirds of this song, the feeling is sparsely heartbreaking. Those are the two-thirds the exceptionally depressing (and depressingly exceptional, I suppose) film "Closer" decided to use in its trailer, and it's what convinced me to download it. I'm still happy with that 67 percent; it's evocative and makes me miss all of the people I cast out of my life willingly and accidentally. The rest is sort of...farmers' market-esque, if that makes any sense. It does to me.

13. "Because of You" - Kelly Clarkson. This Celine Dion-sounding ballad with Liz Phair-inspired lyrics tricked me into liking it almost instantly. What better way to show the world you're way cooler than an "American Idol" survivor than a song like this? Hauntingly beautiful, which not a lot of songs can claim.

12. "Why Do You Love Me" - Garbage. Let's get one thing straight. I can't stand most female-led bands. IThey make whiny music best suited for piping into grocery stores; think Sixpence None the Richer and Natalie Merchant. Shirley Manson is the continual exception to my rule, and this song, epitomizing her aggression and confident sensuality (but also her remarkable left-field insecurity), demonstrates why I've idolized her for more than a decade.

11. "Gold Digger" - Kanye West. Kanye's got the obnoxious arrogance thing going on, which white people are supposed to treat with a certain degree of respect, sans question. I'm not normally one of those people, but let's just say he wouldn't need no prenup to get with me. (Mainly because prenups are legal agreements made prior to marriage, not random hookups, but still.) He's sexy in those shades and even sexier when he says publicly what we're all thinking about our fuckup of a leader. A terrific song that will sound just as good in 10 years, unlike a lot of modern-day hip-hop.

10. "Hollaback Girl" - Gwen Stefani. When Pitchfork dissed this song, I was honestly angry. I bought this when "What You Waiting For" was released, and though I have never been able to embrace Gwen Stefani's vision, I respect her for it. I listened to this song on repeat last April when I visited Christie for a magazine journalism conference in Columbia (granted, I was delirious most of that time due to severe illness, but it's good sick music). This was the standout on the record, and Pitchfork is finding itself in an awkward position now that it has declared the song one of the year's best. The lesson? Music critics, like religious fanatics, can be wrong. We get to decide. Isn't that cool?

9. "Dare" - Gorillaz. So by now you know I'm not an indie ostrich with my head stuck in the underground record store. I'm thoroughly mainstream, if by "mainstream" you mean listening to equal parts "All Things Considered," "The Dave Glover Show," Howard Stern (well, until recently) and my iTrip. I get Spin and laugh at the eighth cover they've devoted to Franz Ferdinand, and I miss CMJ. So I fall somewhere between insufferable hipster and insufferable Black Eyed Peas fan. That all said, this song is the best dance song to hit the airwaves in a couple of decades. Deal with it.

8. "I Only Want You" - Eagles of Death Metal. This whole album is fantastic. I only wish I had been exposed to it before the hour we spent in the Savvis Center parking garage trying to leave after the Nine Inch Nails/Queens of the Stone Age show, because they honestly rock my world, and if you knew how much I hate that expression, you'd understand how fucking awesome they are. Raw Southern rock that doesn't take itself seriously. Seriously, download "Peace Love Death Metal," even if it's totally 2004. Put it on during a party, serve some Jack Daniels and see what happens.

8. "Feel Good Inc. (Album Crossfade)" - Gorillaz. This is one of those songs that I remember every detail of the first time I heard it: I was driving down Lindell to meet Michael for lunch at Rasoi. I turned it up, marveling at the fact that I had heard a good song on St. Louis' alternative station. It became my summer theme, played everywhere from an English pub in Chicago to my friend Gazi's ice-cube-laden apartment-warming party. Reaffirms my love for all things Damon Albarn and sparks a new love for old-school hip-hop, a la De la Soul. "We gonna go ghost town?" Yes. Yes we are.

7. "I Turn My Camera On" - Spoon. I obsessed over Spoon in January-May 2003 and am incredibly grateful there's a show like "Veronica Mars" to remind me why I love their music. This song is on my personal soundtrack. I play it on Roy G. Biv when I've used my primo Bathina bath gel and know if I were single I wouldn't have to be. I think tomorrow will be one of those days.

6. "Rebellion (Lies)" - The Arcade Fire. A first-rate album through and through, but this song in particular is able to express an amazingly sensual, burning throught with a frantic chorus and drumbeat to boot. "Come on, hide your lovers underneath the covers." Metaphorical or literal, I'm impressed with the band's economy of words. You get it, right?

5. "Since U Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson. The ultimate breakup song because you honestly believe she's better off; it's not just a pity party with fruity drinks and patronizing hugs. Sexy and angry. "You had your chance, you blew it"? True dat, double true.

4. "Hate It or Love It (Remix)" - 50 Cent. His version totally dominates the Game's. I wish I were from Brooklyn so Young Buck and I had something in common besides overactive sex drives.

3. "Bad Boyfriend" - Garbage. I'm as in love with Shirley Manson as a straight girl can be. This song, like so many of Garbage's, speaks to me on a visceral level. Plus, it sums up Veronica's relationship with Logan. Hot.

2. "Dakota" - The Stereophonics. The most complicated simple song of the past decade. Everything I've ever wanted to say to a ghost from long, long ago, but the beauty of it all is that I no longer want to say anything at all. I still listen to it and wonder if my ghost thinks of me, but I think that's why music exists.

1. "First Day of My Life" - Bright Eyes. When Michael heard this song when it came out, he knew it would be the first song at our wedding. When he told me this at a friend's wedding back in May, I tried to argue that "Tonight, Tonight" was a better choice. He proved that he was right that night. This song is more us than anything -- yes, even "I Will Survive" -- could hope to be. Hope we can dance to it.

Best Rediscovered Song:

"Stroke of Luck" - Garbage

Best Rediscovered Album:

"Mezzanine" - Massive Attack

02-07-2006 8:35 PM - comments (1)

Please Don't Let it Be the Flu.

I'm not sure what's wrong with me. All I've wanted to do all day was curl up and go to sleep. It's such a weird feeling to be listless.

02-07-2006 6:00 PM - comments (1)

Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones, But Words...


I keep having the same fight over and over with a co-worker about this situation. What it comes down to is both sides' inability to understand the other's values. We believe in freedom of speech and peaceful protest. They believe in violently reacting to a poorly drawn cartoon in the name of Islam and holding grudges against the Jews and anyone who allies with them. And, I guess, in very strict religious rules. No one's asking Muslims not to be offended. (Heck, in the last couple of years, I've been offended almost daily by Israel's actions against the Palestinians. And for the record, I do understand why they're so upset.) We're just asking that they stop resorting to violence each and every time their feelings are hurt.

If I violently protested each time someone in a Middle Eastern country did something stupid (voting in a hardliner in Iran when supposedly the majority wants a revolution, suicide bombings), sexist (making women wear burkas, not letting them drive, not letting them own property, not letting them receive an education), scary (making declarations that the Holocaust never happened, threatening neighboring Jewish countries with nuclear capabilities, not allowing Western music to be played on the radio, not allowing freedom of the press) and/or murderous (stoning women in Pakistan to death for looking at men, beheading criminals in the street, kidnapping and executing journalists, operating a human meat grinder), I'd be...one hell of a protester.

And where the hell is all the protesting when it comes to the suicide bombings, honor killings and other murders? I thought Islam was supposedly this peaceful, beautiful religion. Shouldn't the protesters (and all the other responsible Muslims who we are constantly told make up the majority) use all of that enviable energy and passion to come out against their fellow Muslims who violate the Koran by taking lives? Are they honestly more offended by some dumb cartoon than they are by murder? Or is this, like everything else that's happened on both sides since Sept. 11, just politics as usual?

As Andrew Sullivan puts it:

One massive supporting pillar of Jihadism has been the West's refusal to treat the Islamic world as it would any other part of the world. If Chinese radicals were ransacking Western embassies because of a cartoon, and were backed by the Chinese government, we would be outraged, demanding apologies, severing relations, and so on. But when Muslims do it, backed by Islamist governments, we are supposed to take it on the chin, to "respect" their religious traditions, issue mealy-mouthed statements, etc. In many ways, this is the real offense: treating Muslims as if their violation of global norms, and thralldom to medieval conceptions of politics and religion, were somehow acceptable. They are not acceptable. Islam must reform itself if it is to have a proud and noble place again among the great religions of the world. Muslim countries must allow freedom of religion for other faiths - and allow their citizens free votes in free elections. Dabbling in Holocaust denial by a current government should be treated as a form of insanity or fascism, rather than as some kind of thing to be "understood". Those who are addicted to the narcotic of religious fanaticism do not need enabling or excuses. They need an intervention. Especially when they are on the verge of wielding nuclear weapons.

02-07-2006 3:58 PM - comments (1)

Brangelina Goes Meta.

I'm as bad as Alanis Morrissette when it comes to differentiating irony from mere coincidence, but I think I might be right on this one.

02-07-2006 8:03 AM - comments (0)

I Could Have Paid My Cell Phone Bill With That.

I'm a busy girl, so I get my dose of congressional voting activity via National Trust for Historic Preservation's MegaVote, which sends me monthly summaries of passed and vetoed bills and who voted for what by state. It's extremely helpful for someone like me, who prefers her daily political news intake to be as reactionary and rhetoric-filled as possible. Who needs cold hard facts when you can have fiery partisanship?

Reading this edition of MegaVote, I was surprised that Congressman Clay voted against the recent budget bill. It seemed pretty reasonable to me.

Recent House Votes
Budget Reconciliation bill - Vote Passed (216-214, 3 Not Voting)
The House gave final approval to a measure intended to trim $39 from the budget deficit over the next five years.

Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay voted NO

*Before taxes, of course.

02-06-2006 3:13 PM - comments (1)

"Brokeback to the Future."

This is almost as funny as the "Lazy Sunday" SNL sketch. (OK, nothing will ever be as funny as that. Or as this, which I read about on Amy's site; I will soon be the proud owner of a T-shirt with Fact #11 because it made me laugh so hard my mouth physically hurt. But it's still pretty funny.)

02-02-2006 2:59 PM - comments (0)


There are some days when being a liberal is an altogether frustrating endeavor. We feel smugly entitled to pin every problem facing this country on the Bush Administration and his colleagues in Congress. We reduce arguments until they are crude black and white caricatures of the complicated matters they once were, and we delight in painting Bush as the evil businessman, twirling his mustache or caressing an oil barrel or whatever it is the old-timey cartoon villains did.

Every retort we make to the latest speech or scandal comes from our comfortable spot on the sophisticated high road, and lately, I've been worried that just isn't going to cut it if we want a meaningful run at taking back the country. It's childish, it's petty and it doesn't do much to hide the fact that we're obviously scared and ready to concede without even fighting. (That is what this Hillary talk is all about, right? Are we crazy? Do we really want to throw the election away on a candidate whose divisiveness is undeniable proof of how poor of a politician she really is? Save your feminist rants and your principled naivete and decide what's more important to you: really changing this country for the better or fruitlessly trying to prove something to people who will never care.)

But then there are days like today, when I realize that being a liberal isn't such a bad thing and that sometimes the mustache-twirling stereotype exists for a very good reason and that if anyone still honestly believes congressional Republicans and their master abide by the Judeo-Christian ideals they so love proselytizing to us about, we're in an awful lot of trouble. If I were a believer, I'd be praying Jesus Christ made good on his promise to come back. I'd love to hear how faithful Republicans would justify this backwards Robin Hood villainy to a man who believed it was easier for rope to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

02-02-2006 9:03 AM - comments (0)