Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Schooled by Anisha Lakhani

Schooled is shaping up to be a good, funny book. (The parts about Lifetime movies had me laughing and annoying my mom by reading them to her.)

The main character is a first year teacher, fresh out of Columbia, at an exclusive private school. I've only made it to the orientation week, before she meets the students.

Right now, she has to read the student's files.

One child has a peanut allergy, "acute, life-threatening peanut allergies. You are responsible if so much as a peanut, or anything in the vicinity of a peanut, enters the classroom. He could die."

Also in the file is the fact that his father had an affair, his family is rich, etc etc.

On the next page, the main character mentally describes the future student as "an overindulged child who would probably think nothing of the sacrifice I would have to make in giving up my peanut M&Ms addiction lest I so much as breathe on him."

I can't get over this sentence. I can't tell if the writer wants us to go what the fuck is wrong with this woman or agree with her, because it's so hard to not eat candy during the school day.

It just really rubs me the wrong way. The kid is undeniably "overindulged," but it has nothing to do with his allergy. And the fact that the writer used to be a teacher...

Of course, this is like complaining because the serial killer on the TV kicked a puppy. I can accept the greater "bad" premise, but little things feel wrong.

Or maybe it's a sign of the character's immaturity?

I mean, what the fuck? It's so hard to make sure one of your students doesn't die.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pain medication

3 Idiots was an almost perfect painkiller - except for some pain from the pants and upright position about halfway through, I was all wrapped up in the story and because it was at the theatre, unable to pause and move around, causing myself more pain.

(3 Idiots is really good - I laughed, I cried, I wrote a cliche.)

But the worst pain killer is my pain medication.

I requested a liver test this year (just another thing to test when the vampires take my blood) and everything was fine.


I react to medications very quickly - within a week or so, what "should" take a month to work, has already worked and stopped working for me. So I build up a tolerance to pain medication quickly.

And run into so many headaches - why are you out of this a week before your appointment?

Because if I followed your directions, I'd be in the ER!

But that's "angry," don't "yell," or "I'm leaving." (Way to be supportive Mom - yes I over analyzed everything, I've been dealing with horrid pain for a week! Because I followed the directions.)

So the polite thing is to just grit my teeth and explain for what feels like the millionth time that "One pill does not last 6 hours."

And of course it's fucking invisible. When I had visible indicators of pain, no one quibbled.

The worst part is that over the last couple weeks, I have been denied the one "safe" place for the people with chronic pain - the bed. Laying down hurts. Taking a deep breath hurts.

I am so tired, and not just because it is 3 am. (Wasn't I going to watch a Punjabi movie a million years ago?)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

School wrap-up and nonsense

Reading accounts at FWD makes me think about how lucky I have been when it comes to the intersection of school and health, especially this semester.

One *dropped* a paper, I didn't have to write a 12 page research paper that I'd been dreading all semester. She also extended the due dates for everything, but I banged out some kind of relevant nonsense a few days before and turned it in early. (And got a B+ which mean it counts as my honors credit for the semester and "junior honors experience" Whew.) She also took an hour out of her day to talk me through my confusion.

The professor with the least leeway just extended my due dates. Yup, the history professor. Hmm. (B+ as well! w00t!)

My art 1030 (intro to art something - no drawing! w00t!) professor was so nice. Even though we're not supposed to (in the syllabus), I was able to make up the quiz I missed and save my grade (an A something). He also said I could make up any future quizzes over the next two weeks and for whatever reason, I could take the final early.

My French professor dropped all quizzes and homework I missed over the last 3 weeks and said just do the final - B something in that quiz. (That's my major.)

My Arabic professor - well, if snow disproves global warming, then his behavior disproves all bad "Muslim" stereotypes /silly sarcasm attempt. I went to class, choked on the heat, and asked him when I could meet with him and said I wouldn't be in class because of the heat. He offered to meet with me *outside*! And it was around 40! I'm still so touched by that. And yes, we went over the chapters I missed, and I eventually just took the test I missed as an exam - or that was the goal before pain attacked and I couldn't. Right now, I've got an A-, but I don't mind if it changes.

And that's just this semester! I have had so many professors and teachers help me and it makes me cry when people are so nice.

I have also run into teachers and administrators who did not help me - high school senior year, I come back after a surgery to get make-up work. I decide to make sure everything's in order with the administrators.

The principal wants to talk to me - if I miss another day or check out early, I won't graduate. Also, "You don't deserve that A, you only deserve that F." The A was in psychology, he let me do work at home. The F was in a joke class, and I was well past the allowed absences so eff me, right? It wasn't all bad - instead of fighting them, we went straight to the doctor and got him to write an order for me to go homebound, and we requested the best homebound teacher ever - and even though she couldn't give me a steady schedule, she still worked with me. And I graduated in the top 20 of my class. So even the bad people can lead you to good ones.

Also, *all* my professors have been nice - I don't get docked for missing classes. (I still suffered because class is important, but at least I didn't have the added stress of being there or being square.)

And I get away with murder and did in high school. No water allowed, pssh. Be in class on time? I'm supposed to go to the nurse's office. Next!

College rules I break? Well, it depends on the syllabus/professor. But there is the desktop fan, which can be noisy in a tiny room when I'm in the front row. There are also cell phones. I have played many games of phone tag with doctors and hate it, so if I'm waiting on them, I keep my phone out and on vibrate. And when it goes off, I bolt out of the room, breaking another rule.

But I don't enjoy it, because it's usually about Dr. Ego or insurance and bleh. It's not like I'm talking to my girlfriends!

Though I have texted my friend Elizabeth twice this year - the second time the text was in French! - asking her where she was, it's class time! So cell phones aren't all bad.

Of course, in high school, we had the 504 and I met with all 6 teachers at the beginning of the year. In college, I have to make an appointment with my case guy in the Disability Office during the first week, get 5 papers for my professors, and give them to my professors, explaining what's going on.

This November? Disability was no help! Because they were swamped as it was time to schedule final accommodations. And when I came back, it was even closer to finals! So I did most of the work myself, working so hard to type those e-mails. (Actually, it was hard at times, and I'd just send the same e-mail to all 5 profs.) But I had the paperwork to cover my butt in case anyone gave me a hard time.

Anyways, this was going to be a reply at FWD, but it got too long. And I realized that some of you out there in internet world (hello!) may care.

If you have snow, don't tell me. We're raking leaves and I took a walk yesterday in a tank top and shorts.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My depression is mean.

I am behind in school work.

I am in pain.

I do not need to be all weepy and tired and blah.

My stomach obeyed me last week when I wanted deviled eggs. Why won't my body listen now?

Anyways, I'm reading the comics. It's not quite as fun as taking the Sunday paper apart (after walking or riding my bike to get it) and getting to the comics last, around noon and spreading it out on the floor and gazing at the colors...

And no, you can't read the comics until I do! Why are you up anyways?

Back to the comics.

Today's Curtis made me laugh.

For some reason, Curtis always shrinks when I post it here. So in the interest of saving your peepers (and make my little read blog more accessible), here is a transcript (I used to have HTML skills, but I'm afraid this is too much for an ALT text):

1st panel - Inside. Michelle is walking away from Curtis, saying, "I am a child born for the limelight!"

2nd panel - Still inside. Michelle is facing Curtis. She is saying, "I used to crawl hearing Smokey and Little Richard! I took my first steps to Quincy and DeBarge!"

3rd panel - The bottom is curly, this is an illustration of a memory. It shows the baby Michelle - with huge eyes - tap dancing. Michelle's head is floating near the top and she continues, "When I was two, my mother enrolled me in dance class. I was a natural!"

4th panel - Back to the present, still inside. Michelle has her back to Curtis, she is angry because, "I was cast on the "Muppet Show" but was let go 'cause Miss Piggy was threatened by my flair for talent!"

Curtis responds, winking, "Can't upstage th' pig!"

It's the last panel. Particularly Curtis's response. Miss Piggy is THE diva of divas.

Maybe I don't really enjoy Curtis and say I do so I can be like, look at me, I'm reading a comic about black folks! I ain't racist. Where ya'll going? /bad southern accent

I don't know. Curtis doesn't make me laugh a lot, but there's this sweetness about it and an originality and creativity (have you seen the Kwanzaa strips?) that has little to do with the race of the characters. They live in the city. Money is tight. But they never age. Michelle and Curtis will never get together. The hat will never come off.

And that's ok.

In other news, today's Cracked is SO AWESOME! It's called "6 Mental Illness Myths Hollywood Wants You to Believe." So. Cool. (Even though it's riddled with errors, I think Cracked is pretty big. An article like this will hopefully change one person's mind.)

Also, this made me laugh, even though I nothing about old or new school video games. (I played the Sims. Not the Sims 2!)

Monday, November 30, 2009

I hate name bashing.

I really do.

Full on racists will talk about somebody having a "black name." Or just make up stuff because the name is too "foreign."

Name bashing is always directed at the person with the name.

I did not pick my name.

I did not pick its spelling.

Yes, I know you don't know how to spell it. Excuse me if I get a little pissy - you're not the first person this month, this week, this day, this hour that I have had to spell it for.

I am not changing my name.

I like it, I consider it a part of who I am. I even like the spelling.

Stop bashing people's names.

What stirred me to write this?

Against my better nature, I started reading Roommate Confessions on CollegeHumor. One could be considered ableist --

Remember when I gave up trying to protest your overbearing OCD/hypochondria that you used to dominate our dorm? Yeah, that's about the same time I started having sex on your bed when you went home on weekends, or, you know, to class.
Sandra Flores, GMU

Another bashes the roommate's name and her mother in addition to using disgusting ableist language --

Brittannie: first of all, teach your trashy mother how to spell a simple name right. It makes you look retarded right off the bat, but then again, perhaps she knew it would be fitting later on in life.

Another shows somebody who is incredibly cruel and ableist (it's funny to hurt your roommate!) --

That wasn't pink eye. I put some steel wool shavings in your contact case and dipped the tip of your eye liner in dish soap.
Dee B, BSC

However, all is not lost.

Right underneath that disgusting confession is this --

You wrote in to Roommate Confessions to brag about a prank you pulled on me. A prank that resulted in severe bodily injury. Well, I never mentioned it, but I did bookmark the page and show it to my parents. And our lawyer. And the dean. Guess what, dumbass? You might've looked like a badass on the internet for fifteen minutes, but you're the one who got kicked out of college and is getting sued for every cent you're worth. Checkmate, bitch.
John T., School Not Given

I applaud you, John T. Most of these confessions are of roommates vandalizing their roommates' property, spoiling their food, and just being a jerk in response to jerkiness.

I don't know much about CollegeHumor's reputation, but I do know that it - like most "humor" sites - seems to be marketed towards boys. The front page always has a "cute college girl" on it.

I mostly visit for "Parents Just Don't Understand" which chronicles parents, siblings, everybody who has trouble with technology. It's the least objectionable part of the site.

Back to names - I cannot stand it when people complain about the spelling of a "traditional" (White, WASP) name. Before the previous cycle of ANTM, cycle 12, the website Jezebel put up the finalists. One had the name Kourtney. Cue the "I hate her!" cries - because her name is spelled with a K.

Names are not sacred. There are no rules - at least not in America. I do not care that my name is considered a derivative of a "better" name. This is my name. Stop insulting me.

And also, would it hurt to pronounce it right? I'm not talking about when I write it - total chickenscratch city - but when it's on a computer printout.


No H's, no R's. I am not Katherine. I am not Kathleen. I am not Katrine. I am KAITLYN.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy.

I only watch Judge Judy (and other judge shows) with my mom. I couldn't stand them by myself.

On today's episode, I only paid attention to the beginning. She asked somebody where his brother was. Turns out the brother was back home. Not because of work, since he doesn't work. He's 19 and lives with Mom.

Making him a bum.

Judge Judy is very rude to people who live at home beyond what age she deems appropriate. I remember many episodes where she ends it by saying, "Grow up and move out of your mom's house! *bangs gavel*"

Then there is the joke of "nerds" in their mother's basement. (Never their father's, or their parents'. Always mother's.)

It's a shortcut to calling somebody immature.

So I read Slate - I like the ad and shopping reviews - and this caught my eye a couple weeks ago. The headline is "Prudie counsels a husband-to-be whose bride wants her own bedroom—and other advice seekers." The main issue I took away is not that the bride wants her own bedroom, but that she's never lived alone. And she's a "woman old enough to marry."

The comments were disgusting. Many people had no problem with separate bedrooms, but others called the bride (that they only know about through her fiance's letter) immature.

My first thought was hello, not every culture shoves their kids out at 18.

But as I started reading FWD/Forward and this entry, I realized the other problems with the response to the letter and the idea of living at home once you become an "adult."

There are many valid reasons to live at home after the magical age of 18. One of the many reasons is health - some of us cannot and should not live alone. I live in the dorm while I'm at school, but right now I am at home because of the kidney stone. For one thing, I'll be less tempted to try to go to class. It's not more convenient for Mom, but I feel miserable and I get to see my puppies! Mikey is a trip - he totally beat Mom up tonight. And right now he's sleeping on her butt, quite happy.

Then there is my mother's health - what if she were in my flipflops? I'd want somebody to be with her. I'd feel I should take care of her.

I think there is a problem with America - we place so much importance on certain markers of "independence" that those who do not follow the rules are "immature" and "weird." We also do not place a lot of emphasis on family. No, I don't want to move in my with husband's family, but I don't want to be demonized for living with my mom at 21.

And not having a job.

And not driving. (That is a pain. My sister drops the issue for a while, but it's back up again - "Why don't you drive?" "Because I don't want to" is not a valid answer in her eyes, and admittedly, if I were to stay here, I'd have to drive. But I don't want to - I want to live some place where a combination of walking and public transportation can do a car's job for me. Plus, I don't think I legally can drive, thanks to all my medications.)

It is nobody's business why people live like they do, and as long as no one is being hurt or any laws are being broken, no one has a right to judge.

I am not a bum because I live with my mother.

I am not immature, either.

And it is none of your business why I do it. (Except I already told you. Eh, shut it.)

Time for a Bollywood movie!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's so nice when one pic sums up your day

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

I couldn't walk, sit, or stand without pain today. It led to some... interesting contortions in the waiting room. (They don't like it if you lay on the floor - however, if you lay on the floor *and* barf, you'll get seen sooner, or at least shoved out of the waiting room so you don't scare people.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Spoon Theory and Me (It's all about me)

I've been reading about the Spoon Theory and kinda going, yeah, that doesn't apply to me. (Basically, we all have a number of spoons that represent what we can do that day. Healthy, temporarily able bodied people (age will get us all!! Run!!) have an unlimited amount. Those not so able-bodied do not.)

Thinking about the Spoon Theory and applying it to my life is scary because dammit, if I write down that it hurts, then it really happened and it just won't go away. If I don't classify it, it's not there. Denial is awesome unless WILL YOU STOP STABBING ME. See?

But I do use it, I realized today.

I had a terrible night, could not fall asleep or stay asleep. Went to my 8 am class (hello Arabic!) in pain, a bit disoriented, just not steady on my feet. It was worse when I got out of class about an hour later.

So I laid down, planning to rest until lunch and then go to my one o'clock class.

Ate lunch around noon, no problems, a bit of pain, whatever.

But as I walked out, I was like, hey, hey, HEY! It's not supposed to hurt to walk. And this class is relatively far away when it's raining or I'm in pain. And then there's the hour and 25 minutes of uncomfortable sitting, followed by a bolt across campus to my next class.

I just sat down and cried. I still am. I hate it.

But I'm in my room, comfortable (though still in pain) on my bed, and I will go to my 2:40 class and hopefully make it through that hour and 25 minutes in one piece. Last Thursday, maybe I should have done that, because I reached a point in the latter class where thought escaped me. (Especially putting thoughts into French words.)

Maybe I'm not thinking of it as little spoons, but I know that if I went to my one o'clock, I couldn't go to my French class. And we're watching a movie in there. And the other class is all online - podcasts of the lectures, powerpoints, everything. Except on Thursday, I have to be there because I'm giving a presentation that I have totally started on.


Gotta go.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Responding to your message"

Dear Kaitlyn,

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office about Senator Franken's amendment to the FY2010 Defense Appropriations bill dealing with arbitration. Your input is important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts.

Senator Franken's amendment stemmed from a truly horrible crime committed against Jamie Leigh Jones, an employee of a company performing work in Iraq under a contract with the Defense Department. Please know, this amendment had no impact on law enforcement's ability to pursue criminal prosecution against anyone involved in committing these crimes, and dealt only with the agreements between employers and employees to resolve civil claims in arbitration rather than through litigation. What happened to Ms. Jones in this case is abhorrent and the culprits should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Separate and apart then from any criminal prosecution, Ms. Jones filed several claims in court in a civil suit against the company. The company argued that Ms. Jones could not sue in court because the employee signed an arbitration agreement to bring any claims against her employer to arbitration instead of being tried in court. However, the court ruled in favor of Ms. Jones by nullifying the arbitration agreement as to her claims of (1) assault and battery, (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress arising out of the assault, (3) negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of employees involved in the assault, and (4) false imprisonment. The court therefore said that employers can not require that civil claims of sexual assault be resolved through arbitration and that employees like Ms. Jones retain the ability to sue in court.

The Franken amendment sought to codify this court ruling in favor of Ms. Jones by requiring that contractors with the Defense Department exclude those four claims from their employee contract arbitration agreements. However, this amendment went much further than the court ruling by also requiring the exclusion from arbitration agreements of many of the possible employment claims an employee can bring against an employer. First, it is important to note that the Obama Administration opposed the Franken amendment because of its broad application and the problems associated with enforcing it. Rather than a targeted attempt to prevent the types of obstacles that Ms. Jones faced when she fairly sought restitution for the horrific acts that occurred, this amendment went well beyond in an effort to make a sweeping change to existing law among issues that never impacted this employee and that the court never addressed in this case.

I agreed with the court ruling and believe that the civil claims arising out of the sexual assault should not be arbitrated. However, I believe the amendment was too expansive, and went well beyond the situation the amendment was trying to remedy. I believe that arbitration can provide employees with a more efficient and cost-effective avenue for resolving their claims against their employer and I do not believe it should be largely eliminated as an alternative to what is sometimes a very lengthy, contentious, and expensive court process.

Thank you again for your letter. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with me.


Bob Corker
United States Senator

The fact that both sent me quite similar letters tells me I'm not the only one to write them about their vote.

And I'm quite sad - where's the snail mail? You wanted my street address for a reason.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Correspondence From Senator Alexander"

Senator Alexander (I hate that I share a name with that man!) has responded by e-mail.

Dear Kaitlyn,

Thanks very much for getting in touch with me and letting me know what's on your mind regarding arbitration agreements.

Arbitration is a better option than litigation for many employees, but the courts can step in where arbitration doesn't sufficiently protect the rights of workers. Arbitration is neither designed nor intended to address criminal matters, such as sexual assault, but rather to provide an opportunity to resolve civil matters in a more timely, less expensive way than pursuing them in court.

What happened to Jamie Leigh Jones was deplorable, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit made the right decision by saying her case should be resolved in the courts. Specifically, the appeals court held that Ms. Jones' injuries were not related to her employment and thus not covered by the arbitration clause in her employment contract.

On October 3, 2009, the Senate passed the Franken amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, which would prohibit the Pentagon from contracting with any company that requires its employees or independent contractors to sign mandatory arbitration clauses regarding certain claims. The Defense Department opposed the Franken amendment and was right to do so because it was too broad and banned arbitration in too many cases. When arbitration is inappropriate, the courts should overrule it as they did in this deplorable case.

I'm grateful you took the time to let me know where you stand. I'll be sure to keep your comments in mind as this matter is discussed and debated in Washington and in Tennessee.




Justify it.

I just wish that the democrats in this state had BALLS. Maybe this is about arbitration in his mind (ha!), but I wish his opponents would say it was about rape. If the parties were switched, the Republicans would be all over calling him a rapist. I mean, they ran an ad against Harold Ford Jr saying he would steal all the white ladies!

Why do we have to be so nice and wimpy? Swear to god, when I watched local TV in 06 and 08, I could not tell the "pro" Democrat from the Republicans until the end. (The anti... ooh, this one Mississippi anti-Democrat ad was hysterical! It showed the groups of people who had donated to the candidate in the worst light possible. Unfortunately, I don't remember the names or the year.)

One priceless pro-Republican ad for a state senator/something on the state level... it showed the candidate shooting guns with her family while the voice over talked about the sanctity of life!

I love it, I wish I didn't have to live it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Franken Senate Defense Appropriations Amendment

You are a disgusting, vile piece of humanity. I am ashamed that I did not get to vote against you in 2006.

You voted against Sen. Al Franken's amendment which would protect RAPE VICTIMS. Surely, rape is an issue both parties agree is bad?

But no.

Franken is a Democrat. This interferes with business.

You disgust me.

I just sent this to Bob Corker and Lamarr Alexander, who are 2 of the 30 Republican men who voted against the amendment.

I am so glad it passed, but damn, what is wrong with people?

Corker wanted my phone number, but Alexander didn't. I'll probably get a form letter in reply. I have before.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I watched Dor last night.

It is an amazing movie! Om Shanti Om introduced me to Shreyas and I can't believe it's taken this long for me to see him in another movie. He was so cute!

Of course the female actors were amazing as well.

Go see Dor! Netflix has it...

A sweet scene from the movie:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Barney Fife was the best cop ever!

don knotts
see more Lol Celebs

Funnier people than I think so.

And I'm sure he was better than the Ropers!

I want this as a poster. The picture, don't care about the words. It takes a special kind of cop's kid to idolize Barney, and I'm just that crazy.

ETA: In light of the link at FWD/Forward (love ya'll!), I'm looking at some of my older posts for ableist language. I'm not going to remove it - life is a learning process, and you have to see where you've been to see how far you've come. (Or something cliched like that.)

If I was writing this post today, I'd replace "crazy" with "that cop's kid." "Weird" might work as well, but I like the repetition aspect. In fact, when writing this (before finding FWD), I'm sure I grappled with word choice. "Crazy" was the cheap, easy way out, and I apologize if it offends anyone drifting over from FWD and finding themselves so bored they're willing to read my ramblings.

Barney Fife forever!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sex in movies - Crash vs. Amélie

These are just some thoughts.

I saw Crash for the first time on Monday in Culture, Identity, and Politics anthropology class.

It is very interesting, with a few flaws, but overall it is emotionally draining. (Plus family drama and first day back drama... tears everywhere!)

It's rated R, and it should be - the language and subject matter are mature. It's also probably rated R because of the nudity. (All female.) We see one woman's breasts while she's having sex with her partner. And earlier, we see a painting of a nude woman, full frontal nudity. The nude scenes and sex just seemed to be in there because they could. (Though the sex scene is important, we don't need to see her boobs.)

I really think Bollywood has changed my viewing of movies, which is why I'm bothering to think about this. Plus, it was during school, and nudity with the teacher in the room? Never mind it's college, and I'm the youngest in the class at 21, there's still a feeling of discomfort.

I saw Amélie this spring in French 2020. I'm watching it again in French 3301 (conversational French - the textbook is about conversation using cinema). There are some sex scenes and some boobies, yet it doesn't feel explicit. I remember reading that it has an R rating here because of those scenes, while it has a U rating in France.

The sex and nudity in Amélie feel natural, while those in Crash seemed designed to shock. This probably has a lot to do with the differences between French and American culture, especially our Puritan background.

Of course, the Bollyfan in me squirmed internally at the sex/nudity in Amélie as well as Crash, but intellectually, I can see the difference between the two.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some silliness before I lose my mind.

School starting Monday, moving in tomorrow afternoon, packing tomorrow at noon, health concerns, worry over healthcare (my idiot cousin agrees the system is fucked, but we can't have a government option because that's the first step toward communism!), and, of course, the worry over which movie I will watch tonight.

Maybe a trailer will help me decide.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The health care "debate" is pissing me off.

I like the "birther" movement. They're idiots. The "mother" went on the Colbert Report and said they wouldn't go away until Obama posthumously made his father a US citizen.

Stupid, but harmless.

Unfortunately, they have gone away, they've been shouted away by ASSHOLE IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS.

I can't read any article about the protesters without seeing red, the recent "news" about the dropped public option almost killed me, I can't stand it.

Why aren't people like me on the TV? People who need the public health option? (Though we want France's system or Japan's or Canada's or...)

People with the gall to survive childhood cancer - uninsurable.

People who had to file bankruptcy because of an illness - especially if they were insured and discovered they were underinsured.

And me.

I'll be dropped August 11, 2012 from the health plan I've been on all my life. Throughout that life, I have had at least 3 separate "pre-existing conditions." If I can get a job, if I can get insurance, I will pay through the nose and get shitty coverage. But I'll take it, because I need pills to live. (Junkie, you know.)

I would rather have my taxes pay for my healthcare - and others.

Whatever happened to love thy neighbor? How can people be so cruel?


Your grandfather, now...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

I'm going to pretend I haven't posted since April.

Everyone has their own little superstitions, right?

Mine actually made me do something kind of good - I got out of my pajamas, despite the fact that I'm staying home today. (And tonight.)

I used to think you had to wear red, white, and blue today, or you'd get pinched or something. The consequences were murky, but dammit, you needed all three of those colors!

So today - gray shorts that say USA on one leg (cheap at Kohl's in... 04? 03?) and my Red Sox shirt from 04, for sure. It's my only blue shirt with red and white on it.

Silly, but what are you going to do?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My sister has a clone

Michelle Was Also Amazed With the Ewok/Koala Exhibit

Fat preppy girl: Oh my god! Is that a rhinoceros? I didn't know they still existed!
Friend: Yeah, that's one right there.
Fat preppy girl: But I thought dinosaurs were extinct?

--Bronx Zoo

Headline by: JohnAustin

· "Apparently, You've Never Watched "The View"" - PeterG
· "No, Just My Faith in Our Education System" - Jeff
· "She Thinks That About Salads Too" - Tom
· "That Would Explain Why the Hippo Looked So Real!" - Pat
· "This Is a Creationist Zoo" - Coyoty
· "Why Didn't You TELL Me We're in a Museum?" - Emily Leonard
· "You're Confusing It With the Do-Ya-Think-He-Saurus" - Skug Skellum

Click here to see the new Headline Contest

via Overheard in New York, Apr 23, 2009

Seriously - that girl thought rhinos were extinct for the longest time.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm in love.

It's addicting as hell, though yes, the video is cheesy.

This is Armenia's entry into this year's Eurovision contest.

It's going up in the first semi-final on May 12, so you know, all my European readers (ha!) who won't vote for their own country or however its done.

Eurovision sounds somewhat interesting, depending on my mood - I mean, this is the fifty-fourth one. That's a long time, says my 3am brain.

According to my exhaustive research (clicking on the "history of Eurovision"), Vatican City is one of three European countries to still not participate. That one is the funniest of all, because they could compose a stirring ode to Catholicism or abstinence, all set to funky dance beat!

I'm going back to bed.

One more bit - that same page says that lots of new countries entered after the fall of communism.

I thought there were no books about Eurovision from an earlier Amazon search, but I was wrong. That makes me happy. Something this old deserves a book. I hope it's good. What? I'm not going to buy it. Liking one Eurovision entry, some ABBA songs, and a Greek singer does not mean I need to shell out over $21 for a paperback about something I have no experience with!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I love Netflix.

Truly, I do.

Sure, it doesn't have some very popular Bollywood films from the last 10 years, but still, I'm new to the game. I've got time to catch up. (The weirdest missing DVD - they've got the special features disc, but not the disc with the movie on it! D'oh!)

Anyways, I've created some lists about Bollywood and the 3 southern films I've seen so far, but none about the Hollywood movies I've seen.

So here we go -

First movie I ordered was Toy Story 2, to prove my sanity. (Second was Om Shanti Om.) I loved both, but I only bought one. (OSO, of course!) Toy Story 2 - 5/5 stars.

Futurama: Bender's Game - also 5/5 stars. Very funny.

Sweeney Todd - 5/5. Good movie, though the English singing freaked me out at first.

Princess Bride - 5/5, though i was already corrupted by Bollywood and felt that it could have used some singing (in Hindi, natch).

Ed Wood - 5/5. Oh My God! This movie is amazing! Better than Sweeney Todd, not that Johnny Depp did a bad job in that one. It's just this one is a better movie.

Girl, Interrupted - 4/5. Different from the book in some ways, I'm sure. (It's been a while since I read it.) But still good. But not memorable a month later, like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Tropic Thunder - 5/5. So damn funny!

Americanizing Shelley - 3/5. Stale jokes, but catchy soundtrack and three good actors.

Bend It Like Beckham - 4/5. Awesome music, great story.

Penelope - 5/5. This is a fairy tale with modern elements, and it works. It's so cute! I recommend it to all Netflix members. It stars Christina Ricci and James McAvoy. Check it out!

Oh, in the non-Bollywood, non-Indian, non-American, non-English category, we have Train Man, a Japanese film my friend begged me to watch after I introduced her to Bollywood with Bunty Aur Babli. (She loved it.) I give it 4/5 stars because it was a great story, but I didn't really connect with it. Plus, as I kept teasing her, it didn't have any songs! And it was a love story! Come ON!

Oh, I forgot The Namesake. 4/5 stars. The story never clicked with me, but Tabu, Irrfan Khan, and yes, Kal Penn were all amazing in it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bollywood appeals to my mature, intellectual side.


In the interest of full disclosure, I think the original should be up here as well.

This movie is amazing, for more reasons than this song. (Its stupidity is a joke. A catchy, sexy, shirtless joke.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Something that pissed me off

I have an Obama sticker on my laptop.

My Kerry sticker went on my bedroom door as a reminder of the first election I gave a damn about.

So Thursday, I was on my computer, trying to get the damned thing to work (it did), and Becky's friend John came over. He saw my sticker and groaned. Apparently, he sees Obama stuff everywhere and it's killing him.

He reminded me of this bumper sticker I saw (on a SUV or truck with shell with TENNESSEE plates) that said "Conservative in exile." Hello, you're in Tennessee. Tennessee went to McCain, remember? Ugh.

Anyways, apparently ***black people*** wear shirts that say Obama is their president, among other crimes. Oh noes.

My mom did it too, right around the election. "The black teachers and students are so excited, they're calling him their president, but he's half-white." And she voted for him.

I don't get this bullshit and I hate it.

And it's so damned stupid that I can't think of anything to say back. Not that it matters if I do say something. I tried to get John and Beck to stop using "gay" as pejorative, so they switched to homosexual.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A song entirely in English

The Hollies - On a Carousel

I watched East is East on Netflix Instant thingie last night.

The movie is good, though I can't believe it was marketed as a comedy! It did have plenty of comic and touching moments, but it was much more of a family drama than a comedy. On the Netflix scale, I gave it three stars because I'll never watch it again. The ending was happy, but too much back to the same old thing.

Anyways, a bit about Netflix Instant. They don't have a copy of East is East and the distributor removed it from the Instant thing today, so I had to watch it yesterday.

On Monday, I watched Jodhaa-Akbar Instantly on my laptop. It's a long movie by a Bollywood standards - 3 and a half hours. It's quite beautiful. I gave it 4 stars, loved the romance.

However, it was hard to watch because I abuse the pause button when I watch movies on my laptop, especially when I'm not physically just so. The oh so comfy recliner, it turns out, is not suited for passively watching something on your lap. TV watching, surfing the net, reading, sleeping (oh yes, sleeping), those are all fine.

So yesterday, to save myself the trouble (not to mention $99!), I bought a VGA cable and an audio cable thing. I can now connect my laptop to the TV at home. And the sound works. (We got the wrong sound cord at first, when we got the right one I hopped around the living around shouting yes over and over again.)

So I watched East is East (an hour and a half) on the TV. Unfortunately, my dorm TV is analogue, and you need a converter for that that costs about as much as Netflix Instant device! I need a new TV anyway, one with a remote. One where the volume will go down when I hit volume down and not the channel.

Happy Spring Break

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Chicks and Pups

see more dog and puppy pictures

This just makes me laugh.

loldogs, cute puppy pictures, nugget, chick, I Has a Hotdog
see more dog and puppy pictures

This is so Dixie, except she wouldn't wait for it to be killed by any sissy humans or any of their machines. She can do it herself, as she showed us in Nebraska.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Oh wow.

This movie is breathtakingly beautiful. It's so beautiful I thought Salman Khan looked good. (In 2007! I know.)

I can't say much more, just wow wow wow.

Have to get this movie, love it love it love it.

I have now seen 9 Bollywood movies, 10 if you count Kandukonden Kandukonden. (KK is a great movie, but it's Tamil and not Bollywood.)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I hate loud noises.

Well, I like my loud music. If I know I'm not bothering anybody.

But sometimes my suitemates... (we share a bathroom, so when they yell, we hear it), they don't seem to care.

This Married to the Sea comic seems to sum up their attitude on every day but Friday. (I think they leave campus on Friday.)

Married To The Sea

It's not just them, there's just so many people shouting and screaming this week. Yes, spring break is next week, but this week isn't over yet, why won't you shut the fuck up?

It really doesn't help that I've felt rotten all week. Tuesday was my shittiest day in a long, long, long time. I had to leave French class. We were doing review work and the pain got so bad I got up, asked for the other review sheets, and told the professor I felt so bad I couldn't think. I really couldn't. It was scary.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sign LOLcats are getting to you

(and that you'll never be mature, never)

Every time you take a French test or quiz and have to write your name, you think of this.

Because what's French for name?


Not that it makes up for the existence of tests. Blargh.

Plus, the school post office won't make with the Netflix, and the status at the Netflix website for Sweeney Todd is "at home" when it most certainly is not! Plus, there's still one more day left in this week. With an essay test! In friggin history! Where you it's always been multiple choice/fill in the blank with maybe one or two essay Qs. Very nervous, and very glad I botched my speech in oral comm on Wednesday so I won't have to worry about that tomorrow as well!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Today's Mark Trail cannot be a coincidence.

The Mark Trails on Sundays are dedicated to information about a particular animal.

Normally I do not read it, unless it's posted on the Comics Curmudgeon and Josh says something funny about it. (I wonder, were cult leaders comedians? I read what he tells me to read, though I have yet to buy any CC merchandise. Yet.)

Anyways, I was going through the Washington Post's comics collection and something made me decide to click on Mark Trail. I don't know why, I never have before.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

Well, what happened on Thursday the fifth?

Stephen Colbert had yet another child in the animal kingdom. The man is giving Zeus a run for his money!

I just thought it was too awesome a coincidence to pass up, and a quick search of the most recent comment page showed no mention of Colbert, so here's mine. Not much, just a juxtaposition of the two.

This Mark Trail is actually quite odd, since Mark isn't there. I guess he couldn't afford to go down to their habitat even though it's summer now! Perhaps his job wouldn't foot the bill. He writes animal stories - animal stories that matter. Like, he stopped the draining of some wetlands. And some punching did as well. His absence is really weird. Stephen would assume the seals ate him.

And since there's no dialogue, there's no talking potatoes or anything else weird, which is quite sad. They have had gossiping moose and squirrels, though never a moose and a squirrel together chitchatting.

I hope for more updates about Stelephant Colbert on the show, hopefully where he picks on the others, especially Jon Sealwart, "a smaller male."

Maybe he and the eagle will team up to fight crime. Stephen Jr. will patrol the skies and Stelephant, well, the beaches. Does he still have that sea turtle named after him?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

More on Slumdog

I really want to finish my homework, but you know, I haven't looked at my notes. The internet is such a tempter.

Dev Patel was on the Daily Show last night! His British accent is still so jarring, even though I've seen some of the daytime shows he's been on.

Now AR Rahman needs to go on The Colbert Report. Or you know, whatever. I mean, Stephen has mentioned Bollywood stars before, butchering their names, but he mentioned them. That is something.

Anyways, last night, instead of sleeping (or doing homework), I started reading the Slumdog thread at the Bollywhat forums. (I love this site and the forums and joined last month and will post an introductory post soon, I swear! I just feel like I have a lot to live up to.)

And here come MAJOR ASS SPOILERS, but no one reads this thing anyway, and I just wanted to say my bit.

In the book the movie is based on the character is given an Indian everyman name, so he could be Christian, Muslim, or Hindu. By changing his name to Jamal Malik, they made him Muslim, and his mom died in anti-Muslim violence.

I knew the last bit, that there were the anti-Muslim riots, and his mom died, but I did not know he was Muslim. Ignorant Westerner, to be sure, but I did not see the visual cues. I assumed they were some religion in name only, without "NOT MUSLIM" tattooed on their foreheads during the riots. I saw his religion as I see many Americans, maybe calling themselves something without practicing. (So he could have been Hindu and not had a shrine to the god in his house...)

Yeah, this is a muddle.

Which is why I couldn't just go into the Bollywhat forums as a newbie who's seen three (count 'em, THREE!) true blue Bollywood movies and say something like that.

And yet this hasn't inpsired me to summarize my horrendous Ancient Government class. We're "reading" Plato's Republic, and were supposed to read Book 2 last weekend. Only I had a cold and managed to process Slumdog Millionaire, so there! Ok, so my cold got worse as the weekend progressed, but still.

And Plato really made Socrates out to be an asshole in Book 1. "Come eat dinner with us, Socrates!" "Okay." "Here's my dad." "HOLY HELL YOU'RE OLD!" And it degenerated from there.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I saw this on Friday and hacked around with a cold all weekend.

Instead of doing homework, I looked up the AWESOME soundtrack on youtube and this was on the videos I found.

I can't coherently review Slumdog, which should say something about how good it is. Not that I am an expert on films.

I'm so glad I finally got to see it, and I want to see it again and again. The last time this happened, the movie was on DVD. No such luck. Now I actually have to give a damn about the Oscars!

Man, I hate paying attention to things as they happen.

You never know how it ends.

Like America's Next Top Model. I'd watch the marathons on the weekend, and already know the winner. Then I started watching the "cycle" as it aired last year, and damn, I want to know already.

See, that's why you can't take me seriously about movies. ANTM and Slumdog? Though Slumdog is great great great great. Last year I saw a hyped movie around this time (There Will Be Blood) and it was great, and Daniel Day-Lewis should do a shirtless Bollywood dance scene...

That top video is great for letting you know a bit about the movie, but this one is too cute.

God, that song is addictive!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My sister's made it to Alabama!

Aristotle's Really More Of an American Eagle Dude
Girl #1, leaving the mall: Go to Aero... Ari... Aristotle.
Girl #2: Aristotle is not the same thing as Aeropostale.
Girl #1: Then where did I...?
Girl #2 (interrupting): History. You learned about Aristotle in history.
Overheard by: Ashley
via Overheard Everywhere, Jan 26, 2009

She would so say something like this.

If she'd ever heard of Aristotle.

They still do this?

So I'm watching NCIS on our local CBS affiliate when a short blurb comes on for the local news at 10.

They're doing a story on local people rushing to the grocery stores because of the predicted snow.

First of all, people still rush the stores at the hint of snow. Ok, that is news to me.

The local news feels the need to cover it. Also news to me.

So perhaps it is appropriate.

Oh well, it's on at the same time as The Daily Show, so all I have to go on is that damned ad.

I really hate local news.

Also, McGee should so watch Golden Girls with me. It would be so sweet!

ETA: Gus from Psych(Dulé Hill) is in ad for DirecTV right now! He's in a bank that's being robbed, and he doesn't scream his usual scream. In fact, he's almost as collected as Shawn is, without pissing off the robbers. Anyways! Gus! On the TV! On Tuesday! On CBS! (Shilling for a satellite company.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today is AWESOME!

Okay, first I watched 3 episodes of Golden Girls and an episode of What's With that House that I'd never seen before.

During all that braindeath, I got a text from my mom asking me if it was snowing here.

Normally, I don't go to the window and open the blinds, but this time I did.




Unfortunately, most of it has melted, and it's on and off flurries, but still. So magical.

I've never seen an inauguration, never cared about them. I imagine most of the students here are in the same boat. (Hell, most of voted for the first time in a presidential election this time around.)

My first class starts at 9:40 and the prof never showed. We waited until about 10, and then a guy put MSNBC's coverage up. Boring, people walking. Famous, presidential people, but just walking. So we all signed a sheet of a paper. I took it to his office in another building and then found out he'd been in a wreck. (He's okay, though.) So I was right, he was gone because of the snow, not the inauguration.

If it wasn't showing (and isn't) in your building, go to the next one!

I was in the library when Biden and Obama were sworn in, and I felt chills. The last time I watched news coverage with people was... september 11th. I knew I couldn't stay for the speech, because I figured I'd catch all of it later than a bit now before class.

One of my friends decided to watch the speech, and wasn't even going to go to class, but you know how awesome Obama is? She felt guilty, and she came in late. But she came to class!

So have some hot cocoa, stare in awe at the teevee, and be jealous of those you know who went. (This guy in my english class, so jealous! My friend's boyfriend lives in DC! etc)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Can I just say one little thing about Oprah, Firefox?

Stop crashing, willya? Twice in under 30 seconds, must be a new record for you. First I'm told it's crashing because I have the latest version (with the bugs yet to be worked out), then I'm told I need the latest one to stop the crashing.

Guess what? Hasn't stopped.

Oh well. It's still not anywhere near as bad as the dark days of CompuServe and dialup. (Youtube was the only video player that worked for us, and god, uploading a photo... I actually uploaded a video when we had dialup. Took a few tries, but I did it.)

Anyways, I said this when I first saw this incredibly! shocking! story! on the incredibly! shitty! show! "Inside Edition" (on before Jeopardy), and what is a blog for but what you say or don't say, because you're too polite and your mom told you to be nice, they're family.

Yeah, it was about Oprah's shocking! weight gain and how ashamed she was and blah blah blah. And the next cover of her magazine. (Never watched her show.)

When I first saw that flash on the screen, I couldn't tell which one was the "fat" Oprah. No, really.

That's my main point. My secondary point is she looks fine at 200 lbs. I can't comment on her health, only her looks. And she looks great.

There is this awful picture of me at my 16th birthday looking really fat (especially in the face, which is especially red), so I know from experience how it can look good and how it can't. I probably weigh more now, but I like what my face looks like (at least in the mirror, and when I smile at little children, they don't start screaming) and I wish my mom would get rid of that damned picture. I mean, Baskin Robbins didn't even get us the right cake!

I think Oprah should listen to me, a little nobody, and just stop this. Work on being healthy, like we all should, and not on the number on the scale. ETA: And she is doing that! But I bet that won't stop her from coming out with her abs bared when she loses some multiple of 5 pounds in the coming year.

Oh god, speaking of diets, some of the latest ads are kind of creeping me out. One shows hunger as a monster that you can beat with their product and the phrasing is so borderline eating disorder, it illustrates everything wrong with diets, especially those advertised on TV. Though I was proud, I guess, of SlimFast's latest, which showed a woman a teensy bit bigger than the women in the other diet ads. Especially Special K's latest terrible offering, where the Mom (in a huge puffy coat that makes everyone look fat) is compared to a snowman by her awful child and runs off to her Special K cabinet.

Speaking of weight loss, I've lost at least 15 pounds in 6 months, and I don't know how. I see my endocrinologist every six months, so I trust his scale a bit more than my OB's, since I see him every month. (Makes no sense, I know, but if something were happening, it would continue happening and show up at the endo's. And it did.)

It was so silly. I was like, "That sounds lower than last time. Is it?" The nurse said yes, and my mom was all "High five!" Sadly, I left her hanging. She said women were supposed to celebrate weight loss and I pointed out that I couldn't celebrate when I didn't even know what I'd even done.

To wrap this up, I've only seen one thing about this (not my miraculous weight loss, Oprah!) and in the entire thing, the author never says she looks good. Though apparently there are health concerns. I check Jezebel daily, and knew there'd be something. And while I agree with everything said, I still expected at least a body positive comment. Perhaps at least one commenter will deliver.

If not, I may have to put on my trust Anonymous hat and comment again. (Just commented for the first time today and I've been reading since some time this summer.) But I doubt I'll have to.

I know somebody else out there feels the same way I do.

Oprah looks great and has looked great every time I've seen her and will probably continue to look great until she dies, which won't be for a long, long time.

ETA: I am tempted to disclose my weight, except I don't remember it. I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to weight. Like Oprah's current weight? Had to look it up. But I can tell you that at Open House at my third elementary school, in second grade, I called the teacher "Mom" or possibly "Mommy" and nobody heard, or if they did, they never said anything.

I also vividly remember the one rude comment about my looks the first time I posted a picture of myself on a message board. (I was compared to Pat of SNL fame.) I have incredibly thin skin.

ETA yet again: Kate Harding said it better, with less asides. (And she's talked to Oprah!) I saw either the Memphis or County mayor in a Memphis Home Depot once, and I totally bashed NBC right to a local NBC anchorman's face while waiting for my English class. We were in another room, watching a movie. My teacher was so cool, we were tardy, it was unexcused, but nothing ever came of it. And I talked to a guy who'd been on the teevee! Also, also, my mom totally met the two main Memphis detectives from A&E's the First 48 at the Rick Springfield concert at the fair this fall. They know my dad, and they've been on cable! Kate Harding is also a coherent blogger, which explains why she has commenters and I talk to myself, only to be embarrassed by something on this later. (I will be important enough to be embarrassed by the blog I started to jot down my experiences in a psych ward, dammit!)

And yes, a commenter did say Oprah looked great now on the first page of comments. Perhaps Dodai thought it went without saying?

Friday, January 09, 2009

"Through Heaven's Eyes" and Kal Ho Naa Ho

Okay, I like Bollywood.

Got that.

But I also like the movie Prince of Egypt, especially the songs. (Especially the French and Hebrew versions, though I'd love to get my hands on a Hindi, Tamil, or Arabic copy of the soundtrack. *aural drooling*)

Though I haven't seen it since we got a new TV, because we've just got the VHS. We still have a working VCR, but it's not hooked up, and well, I'm nervous about these kind of things.

Also, I signed up for Netflix, so I can finally see Kal Ho Naa Ho! Though I've already seen (multiple times) the clips making up the video, since they're the songs from the movie.

Something else that may not seem right... I like Gossip Girl, the TV show. The books have been floating around the house for a few years and I kept trying them, but never clicked. My sister got the first season on DVD, and I woke up one afternoon and she was watching the 4th disc and I decided to watch. And got hooked. And then I watched the rest this Sunday and Monday.

And right now, Golden Girls is on. Sadly, it's on Lifetime, and damn, the commercials for their programming (and the many weightloss products) are a pain, but I like the show.

What are you going to do?

Next is Good Eats!

And tomorrow... new Monk and Psych!

Pigeon hole me, I dare you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Yet another silly animal picture.

This time it's a cat!

more animals

I'm no crazier than I ever was.