Wednesday, December 30, 2009

formspring.me

In your experience, what is the most delicious use of bacon?

Eating it...

Ask me anything

formspring.me

If you were going to give advice to a woman who wanted to break into on-line journalism, what would it be?

Have you seen my work history? Blog for fun, but don't quit your day job unless you miss eating Ramen and Mac & Cheese for dinner, hate buying new clothes, dislike the daily company of others, and can stand constant attacks on your looks, intelligence, point of view, everything you've ever written and anything you've ever done.

Yeah, I'm kind of a masochist.

In terms of real advice, I'd say if you're just out of school, you're probably screwed unless somewhere you've interned is hiring a fact checker. If you're mid-career, you'll either have to market yourself well as an expert in your field, and/or write for free or almost-free while still at your day job for at least a year or two before you can pick up enough steady freelance work to cover your Ramen and wine bills. Be sure you really want to do it, because it's not lucrative, it's often not fun, it's not steady work these days and you need a thick skin. But that's gender-free advice.

Ask me anything

formspring.me

Favorite person you have ever dated? Least favorite? And why to both?

The favorite is obviously the person I am currently dating, or else I wouldn't currently be dating him.

The least favorite would be the compulsive liar I dated in 2003. He'd be tied with the one from the 90s, but the latter gentleman passed away last year so he gets a pass these days.

Ask me anything

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

formspring.me

If you could suggest five experiences everyone in America should have that would most improve them as people, what would they be?

1. Live somewhere far away from your comfort zone for long enough that you stop minding that you're not home.
2. Talk to people who aren't like you and who disagree with you without jumping down their throats.
3. At least once, do something "unladylike" if you're a woman, and "girly" if you're a man--and preferably as often as you want.
4. Hold someone you care about while they cry without asking them to hush or stop.
5. When you're unhappy with something in your life, change it.

Ask me anything

formspring.me

Don't you sometimes hate blogging?

Beats the hell out of lobbying on most days so... not really.

Ask me anything

formspring.me

Where in the world would you live if money were not an issue? What would do with your time?

If money were not an issue, I wouldn't live anywhere. I'd just travel to as many places as I possibly could, and talk to as many people as I possibly could. I'd probably keep a home base of sorts in New York, and maybe Berlin.

Ask me anything

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jersey Shore Name Generator

My friend Lilit sent me the "Jersey Shore" name generator. It generously named me "Snickers."

Yesterday, in the midst of a sugar craving, I looked longingly at that snack in the office vending machine. I insist this is a coincidence.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I still write things

And right now, you can read one of them on The Guardian: Public options and women's choices

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sign

Getting two of this particular birthday card is a sign that I have both a fucked-up sense of humor and really good friends who have successfully pinpointed it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Continuity

As much as things change, Koppitz and Klimt stay the same.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sodomy Santa

Best blow-up yard Santa ever, unless it distracts you from driving as much as it did me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sexiest thing a guy's said to me lately

"There is a big grey area between consent and enthusiastic participation. I want enthusiastic participation, or I'm not interested."

See also: Amanda Hess's piece On The Difficulty of "Saying No".

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The day of quotes

Anyway, so I gave Lynn Harris a quote on why Congress shouldn't eliminate women's ability to get abortion coverage in their health insurance plans, as though there's some honest debate about why a minority of people's religious beliefs should be the foundation of public policy or business decisions in America today. Oh, wait, there is, because those people are asses. But still.

From Amanda Hess, on rape and alcohol consumption

Go read the whole thing, but here's the part that Amanda puts together really well that too many other people [cough, Arlington County prosecutors, cough] can't wrap their heads around.
The idea that women who drink are an affront to the “ideals of femininity” has contributed to the widespread perception that drunk women are less-than-perfect rape victims. The perception that female drinking is a conscious sexual subversion on the part of women is problematic on a number of levels. First, it tells women who drink that they’re asking for it; that if they are raped, they are somehow responsible for the crime committed against them; that it is their deviant decisions that caused them to be raped. Second, it tells rapists that women who drink are not valued by society; that they are considered “lesser” women; that everyone knows drunk girls are down for sex, and no one will believe they can be raped. In other words, it points out exactly who rapists ought to target in order to avoid the consequences of their crimes.

No taking my idea!

Because I can never resist a good pun, an opportunity to tweak both the whole "slutty Halloween" tradition and the anti-reproductive rights forces, or my friend Erica, I contributed to Planned Parenthood NYC's parade of pro-choice Halloween costumes.

Fair warning: I am really going as a Nuva Ring. Don't even pretend like you thought of it first.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Standing the test of time

In the summer of 2000, I was living in New York because I had been in love with a man here, and because I was too stubborn to let it go at the cost of a boring internship that would pay me a fuckload of money.

We'd broken up, I thought, because I'd been living in D.C. and the fantasies he'd spun of an apartment together near Gramercy Park and the reality of a long-distance relationship were too much for him to bear. In retrospect, the difference between the (extremely traditional) life he wanted and the one he could have shared with me could ne'er be broached.

But, stubborn as ever and with the scent of lucre in my nostrils, I moved here anyway. It wasn't about him, it was about the money, right? I was such a good liar then.

Anyway, I listened to this song a lot that summer.

Damn, it holds up. Thankfully, it's not about him anymore. But it's such a weird feeling, the sense that your emotions have become Fortunato and you're Montresor, walling them up with the cask of Amontillado, ignoring their screams until they die off, going from that sense of deep knowledge to mere acquaintances.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New author archive

With the new launch, there's a new archive of my stuff on Air America. Click here to see it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And in The Guardian...

And, one for today and one rather late: my articles in Comment is free on The Guardian's site.

A is for abortion (today's)
Shrinking white men

Me on Maddow

Meant to post this last week, naturally...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Second beer wisdom

Wall Street is like an attractive dude with a 3" dick. Girls come onto him all the time, giving him some "confidence," but he's always going to be worried about his value when the rubber meets the road.

Things weekend getaways are made of

Bacon cheddar burgers, pumpkin beer and fries with garlic mayo. And awesome friends.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Neg

In the height of the pick-up artist fad, I was negged at a bar in New York. Seated on a banquette with two girl friends, a guy who looked like a nice guy walked up and started talking to me.

I like nice guys and my friends aren't judge-y, so I smiled politely, made eye contact and tried to hear him over the loud music and other people talking. And then, he asked me how tall I was. It was an odd question--he was more or less average height himself-- but I thought maybe it was related to my 3" heels or something, so I said, "5'4"." And he replied, "No, you're not at all." And I thought that was extremely odd, the thought that I would lie about my height (particularly as I don't even lie about my weight). So, I stood up and said, "Yes, actually, I am."

And then, despite the fact that I was actually 5'7" in my heels, he continued to deny the obvious reality that I was as tall as I am, insisting repeatedly that I was no more than 5 feet tall. And I was bemusedly wondering as I sat down, annoyed, what sort of drugs the dude was on, what he'd been smoking or whether he was far drunker than he seemed when I realized: he was trying to neg me. He was trying to make me interested in him by insulting me with the purpose of making me feel so desperate to be liked that I'd do whatever.

The entirely stupid thing was is that if he'd just walked up to me and been nice and polite, he probably would've gotten at least my phone number. Instead, by trying out some technique designed to force me into feeling so desperate for his approval (a bad tactic to try on me, generally speaking) that I would do anything, he failed to get even another word out of me, despite continuing to stand in front of me for a good 30 minutes. When we got up to leave, he gave his sad, disappointed you're-not-leaving face and I said, "Why would you be disappointed? I lie about my height."

All of this is to say: Amanda Marcotte is the queen of the neg, and I bow to her.
But I’ve found that insulting someone, especially by using a back-handed compliment, is a really great way to run off a guy that’s hitting on you in the most douchebaggy way. I recently told a guy who came up and dropped a really stupid line on me that I was surprised he had the nerve to approach me, because I’d imagine a guy like him would usually be intimidated by someone like me. I think that fit all the neg rules---there was a back-handed compliment buried in there, I established that I had a right to cast judgment, established my social dominance, and implied that he should feel insecure, which pick-up artists promise will make the neg receiver try to prove their worth. Instead, it threw him for a loop, and he didn’t like it, and therefore wasn’t even remotely interested in stalling me as I made my escape.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tonight's distraction

Fenway Park, mofos.

Biggest Champagne Thursday ever

It's pouring rain in Boston, we ran out of champagne and then Josh provided us with the biggest bottle of champagne ever to make up for the wet, wet walk. Aw, family times.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Discarded rose on the subway platform

Is that he loves her, or he loves her not?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Duh moments

If you're searching for what I'm writing, turns out it's all here. You can even RSS it.

That said, the new site is going live shortly, and it'll get even easier (both to find me and for my life in general).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Litterers are shameful humans

My friend, my roommate and I watched this ass actually litter out his window. If you see him, flip him off. We did.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Snark, Therefore I Am

What happens when someone for Esquire asks me why I drink rum and coke.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This ain't your mama's AARP

But it is mine. And did you ever think Bruce Springsteen's biggest (and unauthorized!) Magazine cover this year would be AARP? Feel old yet, too?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Vampire backlash

I'm thinking Queens isn't the vampire show demo...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I know everyone has typos


By why you gotta talk about my sister that way?

(This came via a good friend who shall remain nameless.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Other things

Also, I started a new job two weeks ago, where I'm still writing, and editing, and getting up to speed with everything. It's been a bit crazy (and, yes, I know the site is hard to navigate BUT bear with us, there are big changes in store rather soon!), so I haven't been posting links but I'm starting here and now.

August 21
South African Runner Caster Semenya On Trial For Her Gender
Abramoff Scandal Nets Another Indictment
Netroots Nation Health Care Opinions, Part 4 (VIDEO)
Federal Judge Upholds South Dakota Anti-Abortion Propaganda Law
Michele Bachmann Wants The Government Out Of Her Body (Except Her Uterus)
Terrorist Al-Megrahi Returns To Hero's Welcome In Libya (VIDEO)
Elizabeth Edwards Never Gets To Just Talk About Health Care Reform

August 20
Poll: Which Actress Will Go Gay-For-Pay? (VIDEO)
Tom Delay Sashays Onto The Birther Train
Conservative Talker Smerconish Interviews Barack Obama, And We're Tortured
Tom Ridge Admits He Quit Over Politicization Of National Security
Blackwater Hired By CIA To Assassinate Al Qaeda Leaders
Adulterer John Ensign Thinks He's A Special Snowflake

August 19
Steve Brody Wants To Scare Gynecologists
Modern Day Slavery Chronicled In Eastern Europe
Netroots Nation Health Care Opinions, Part 3 (VIDEO)
Tiller's Killer May Admit To It, Claim Justification
"Fishy" E-mail Collection Ended
"Grassroots" Health Care Protests Costs $10,000 A Pop
Bipartisanship Declared Dead By Obama Administration

August 18
Obama Joker Creator ID'd As A Kucinich Supporter
Governor Paterson Pledges Support For Legislation Unshackling Women During Childbirth
New Airline ID Rules Cause Worries For Transgender Americans
Netroots Opine On Health Care And Town Halls Part 2 (VIDEO)
U.S. Senators Seek To Block Release Of Lockerbie Bomber
John Boehner Throws A Fit About PhRMA
Jenny Sanford Thinks Mark Needs To Get Over His Midlife Crisis

August 17
More Companies Decline To Be Associated With Racist Glenn Beck
Howard Dean To Ron Reagan: Giving $60 Billion A Year To Insurers Is "Crazy" (VIDEO)
Another Wingnut Shows Up To Greet Obama With A Gun (VIDEO)
Senator Jim Webb Secures Release of American From Myanmar
Anti-Choice Groups Raking In Dough By Promoting Civil Rights Of Zygotes
The Death Of The Public Option Is Imminent, Declare Dems
Ahmadenijad Tries To Placate Women By Appointing Three
Tom Delay To Dance For His Dinner (And ABC Audiences)
Hurricane Seasons Starts Late, But With A Bang

August 14
What Do The Netroots Think About Health Care And Town Halls? Part I (VIDEO)
Arlen Specter Decides To Help Dems On Union Legislation
Netroots "Commies" Welcome Bill Clinton, But What The F On LGBT Debate?
Death Panels Die A Quick Death In Senate
Damon Weaver, 11-Year-Old Reporter, Finally Scores Interview With Obama (VIDEO)
Sarah Palin Punks CNN On Twitter

August 13
Town Halls Produce Assassination Threats (And Their Little Dog, Too)
Equality Now Thinks Prop 8 Can Wait

August 12
Lockerbie Bomber To Be Released
Air America's Ad Blacklisters Throwing Money At Right Wing Talk
France's Strict Environmental Laws Bearing Fruits De Mer
$6,000 For 3 Stitches: Insurance Companies Throw Doctors Under The Bus
Santorum Gets Into White House Race
Conservatives Admit They're The Party Of No

August 11
African-American Congressman David Scott Hit With Racist Threats
Pistol-Packing Protesters Show Up At Obama Town Hall
Blackwater Seeks To Continue Bloodbath On Government Dime (AUDIO)
Ron Reagan Takes On Teabagging Mommy Blogger On CNN (VIDEO)
Hurting Glenn Beck Is So Easy A Caveman Could Do It
Clinton Visits Eastern Congo, Pledges $17 Million To Combat Rape
Republican Party Punk'd By Lefty Humor Site

August 10
New Obama Death Threats Incorporate The Joker
Aung San Suu Kyi Convicted, World Leaders Condem Myanmar Junta

Also: I'm on the Huffington Post now.

Things I've been doing

As I mentioned in a couple of places, I read a piece of mine at the True Sex Confessions Night of Rachel Kramer Bussel's "In The Flesh" reading series. They videotaped it, so here it is.

(Dad: you can watch until :40, but then, for your sake, you probably ought to stop.)

End of childhood dreams

Winnie The Pooh was my guardian against nightmares, mean people and anyone who might hurt me. I guess I'm on my own now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Been a bit

But I'm "splitting" seared scallops with wild mushrooms over roasted garlic polenta with a carafe of sangria mulled, infused and completed with cut strawberries and apples.

What was I talking about? Right. New job. Later. Did you see this polenta?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

In all likelihood, neither are you

But the kyriarchy enables you to earn it in a way it does enable the rest of us. So, you know, fuck you. I want mine, too.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Ken Layne Has No Balls

On January 10, 2008, Andrew Cuomo referenced one of the Democratic debates and suggested that now-President Barack Obama was "shucking and jiving." Pam Spaulding has a good go-to explanation of why this is a racist, asshole sentiment that shouldn't be tolerated in our elected officials.

In January of 2008, I was working at Wonkette, and Ken Layne had been our managing editor for almost an entire week. After John Clarke's departure, myself, Jim Newell and intern Greg Wasserstrom had kept the site afloat (and increased traffic over the previous December, by the way) for about a month; Ken's new position was announced to us after it went up on the masthead. Ken is, let's say, not a particularly communicative boss and left us to our own devices and actively discouraged communication amongst ourselves. Having become accustomed to claiming stories, timing posts and generally being helpful to one another, it wasn't a great new environment.

That day, Jim Newell claimed this story, and, chagrined, I let him have it. His response, lost to the internet, was fucking epic, people, and began like this.
Andrew Cuomo's Advice for Slave Barack Obama
Jan 10, 2008, 3:05pm
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of Mario and nephew of Luigi, loves him some Billary, and he's not afraid to get racist when it comes to black candidate Barack Obama. Yesterday, he used the words "shuck and jive" in reference to Barack Obama's campaign tactics. "Shuck and jive" is a term we use frequently on Wonkette to describe the same thing —...
Unfortunately, this post was lost to the interwebs. Currently, all the links reroute to this edited bullshit.
Andrew Cuomo Uses Phrase That Made Some People Uncomfortable

(This post was updated at 5:16 p.m.) Andrew Cuomo’s press office says he wasn’t referring to Barack Obama but to the overall primary campaign when he used the term “shuck and jive” during an interview Wednesday. Some people think that’s a racist phrase. Some don’t. But Cuomo’s press office seems to agree there’s something unsavory about saying “shuck and jive,” because now Cuomo claims he meant to say “bob and weave,” which doesn’t mean anything at all. And none of the “jokes” in this post make any sense now, so they’re gone. — Ed.
The "Ed" in that is, of course, Ken Layne. Why, might you ask, would Ken Layne, Managing Editor of Wonkette, remove a piece of fucking hilarious, awesome satire of an elected official's racist comments from Wonkette in an election year? Well, I think the title is some idea.

Less than 30 minutes after Jim's post went up, Andrew Cuomo's flacks emailed us, requesting that we edit Jim's post based on their clarification. They weren't exactly clear on the consequences if we didn't: it was just clear that they were going to do something. This didn't happen to us often, so we emailed Ken. We IM'd Ken. For 90 minutes -- which is like a week in blog time -- we got no response from Ken. And so, in typical lobbyist fashion, I replied to the email and encouraged them to send whatever bullshit explanation occurred to them to send after their boss trotted out a racist phrase in a public forum.

You'll note, from the time stamps, what happened. Ken deleted Jim's post. He replaced it with that time stamp -- which, by the way, is utter bullshit, because Jim's post was missing well beyond midnight that night. He caved. He didn't want to deal with Cuomo's flacks, he told Jim and I that "shucking and jiving" was not a racist term and that he wasn't going to deal with us antagonizing people.

Anyway, so when people tell me how funny and smart and subversive Ken Layne is, all I think is about this time when one call from some asswipe in Albany made him delete a funny post rather than call Gawker's lawyer and tell the guy to fuck off. And, why, yes, my reaction to this was probably a precipitating factor in me getting fired, because my reaction was that this was bullshit and that Jim had better not be in fucking trouble over this and Ken didn't really appreciate that.

Eight days later, I was canned for not being "funny" enough.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Always wanted

Having the gay costumer neighbor is like the best thing ever.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Not that anyone cares about my comment system opinion

I always viewed comments in the "Classic View" after the last change-over and I scroll to the bottom to "Show All Comments" now, even when I'm not responding -- and anyone in my own threads will find me responding to grey comments especially when they're interesting. I don't even really notice the grey/black difference on my laptop.

I do love the fact that I don't have to go to Hortense or Anna to take out threadjackers and trolls, though. The first time I disemvowelled anyone, I enjoyed it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I can't not

Will I ever be able to resist this line?
Click here for a slide show of animal-masturbation videos from YouTube.
Nope. And neither should you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A small favor

My friend, Drew Evans -- who authored this article with and about me after I was canned from Wonkette -- would really like to go to Antarctica. Yes, he's possibly crazy. But, to do so, he needs to win a contest to blog for the company that goes. So, if you have a minute, please vote for him (it requires registration, as these things generally do).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Racist trolling

Dodai got this reply to her status update that she was enjoying the positive feedback.Personally, I'm out for blood, and so is everyone else.

Monday, July 6, 2009

[Slaps forehead]

For the better part of a week, I have been puzzled as to why Sarah Palin was so offended by the Photoshop job of her baby Trigg, in which a right-wing radio host's head was pasted over Trigg's in a picture. I mean, even for Palin, it was a bit out there.

I just realized that there are two, equally legitimate interpretations of the Photoshop job. One is the one offered by the blogger: that she did it in an effort to portray the radio host snuggled in Palin's loving embrace and dependent on her. From that perspective, it's an insult to the host and not to Trigg in any way.

The other interpretation: the blogger was calling the host a "retard." That's what Palin thought the picture was intended to convey -- which, given that the post was pointing out how stupid the host was, is a legit interpretation of the picture, and a reasonable thing to be insulted about.

Anyway, off to write something high-minded about insecure women that treat their significant others like crap.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pretty much everything I read today has me doing this

And I'm looking at: McCain staffers; man that circumcized himself with nail clippers, R. Kelly, Joe the Motherfucking Plumber and

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm not gonna lie

I wrote this post about carnivorous furniture for io9 because made me think of a Zombie Cherry the Chair chasing down terrified humans.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The below "Thiller" video is a poor substitute for the original which, naturally, I can't embed because music companies are fucking stupid about this shit.



Anyway, my "Thriller" story. From my mouth and my attitude, you'd probably never know it, but I led a pretty sheltered childhood. My parents still don't have cable; they don't listen to Top 40 stations. We watched a lot of "Murder She Wrote" and the family-friendly shit ABC aired on Fridays and I used to sneak downstairs at an ungodly hour to watch "Dukes of Hazard" and "Jem" on the teeny TV in my dad's workshop because I didn't think they would approve.

I saw the Thriller video when I was 5, at a winter camp thing that involved a bunch of father-daughter bonding with other fathers and daughters (a YMCA Indian Princesses sleep-away, though I'm sure they call it something else now). The girls ranged in age from 5-12 (or so), and I was the youngest. They gave me a Pepsi -- and my parents didn't let me drink caffeine, so I ended up high as a kite and up all night.

I also ended up scared shitless. It was at least 15 years before I could hear the Vincent Price interlude without shuddering and having nightmares. I may have cried. I'm pretty sure this is why I still can't really stand zombie movies, despite an overwhelming love of gore and action pictures.

That summer, our babysitter's kids had the vinyl record. I couldn't listen to that song, but we danced around their basement like crazy to the rest of it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health care in this country sucks

I was on CNN.com Live yesterday, talking health care, single payer plans, the public option and why it all sucks.



Yes, when it's hot and humid, I wear my hair curly because it's too hot to blow it dry and it won't stay straight anyway.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Moral dilemmas

Now, I promised I would visit my grandfather this weekend. Promised! But Werner Herzog! Speaking! I want to say my grandfather would understand, but he wouldn't. Sigh.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The (Re-) Start of Crap

Crappy Hour is back! Today with Spencer Ackerman; tomorrow... well, you'll have to read!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sample things said when seeing this sign

"Yeah, if your child doesn't grow over 5 foot"
"'My girlfriend thinks it's creepy, but it was an investment!'"
"If your child dies young, sure."

Breakfast of champions

Coffee and a pomegranate mimosa -- 2, and Johnny D's let's you keep the glass. I'll be keeping the glass.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lunch at Gloucester House

Beer and bacon-wrapped scallops, nom nom nom. Gotta bring your own awesome friends, though.

Drunken music

Regina Spektor: "Beneath the stars that came falling upon our heads, but they're just old light. They're just old light"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Food blogging, cont'd

Two whole chickens, brined whole in salt and sugar with lemon juice. Garlic and quartered limes under the skin; rubbed in mint, kosher salt, thyme and oregano. Grilled on charcoal, bitches. JC is the man.

I am obsessed with food right now

It used to be, when I was employed full time, I ate out all the time. Recently, this has not been the case, save special occasions. Today, though, blogging from Boston I ordered a small pizza and it cost me $7. This is a $7 pizza, dudes, it is 3 meals easy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Memery

Yeah, we went to a bar and seriously just ordered a side of motherfucking bacon. Sue us.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summer memories

Drinking a Kolsch off a Hofbrauhaus coaster... Ahhh 1998.

Rapunzel, Redux

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

This was probably a really creative name

20 years ago.

Also, my driver is playing Oleta Adams. You know he doesn't listen to this on his own. I feel somewhat insulted that he deemed this my taste in music. Only somewhat, because I do own this song BUT it is not on my iPod, which I feel is the definitive list of what I really listen to anyway.

Friday, June 5, 2009

You Should Have Bought It

But if you didn't, the full-text version of my Ms. article on Hillary Clinton is finally available online.

Gene-stealing, Bat-language and Vampire, oh my

The folks at io9 keep asking, so I keep writing: on gene-patenting and bat languages.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It Won't Eat Your Face, But It Will Shit Your Car

My newest io9 post, on how scientists are trying to create bacteria or algae to shit scarce metals, like manganese and colbalt, and avoid armed international conflict.

Related: do you know where the metals in your cell phone were sourced from? (Answer: no).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fatboy Slim, Christopher Walken and Nuclear Annihilation

And my other io9 piece on our ability to actually destroy the Earth with nuclear weapons, with bonus "Weapon of Choice" video.



[With special thanks to my friend Dan, who fact-checked my incredible rusty math skills]

I'm a huge geek...

Do you read io9? 'Cause I do, and I've written my first piece for them, on beating futuristic lie detectors. There will be more to come...

I want you to be crazy, 'cause you're boring, baby, when you're straight


So many reasons this song, and that lyric, means something to me, and so few I will write about in public. Best explanation: never be with someone you loves a version of you. Be with someone who loves you with full knowledge of who you are and loves you because of it, rather than in spite of it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Breakfast of champions

Am I breakin' up?

I am currently addicted to Rilo Kiley.

When I was little, I had an aversion to rain. When I got to college, I convinced myself that I hated the feeling of squinting when raindrops hit my eyebrows.

Once, in grad school, there was a Noah-ian storm, and finally I donned a swimsuit and headed out. I loved it. I love even more being clothed in a storm as an adult and feeling the rain pound my face and body in its randomness, curling my hair and soaking my clothes and deliberately connecting me to some reality I was drinking to forget.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I remain unable to resist songs featuring curse words

Especially when it's how I feel about Prop 8 supporters. (With thanks to Hugh Ryan)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Whoops, I did it again

Video from today's appearance featuring a new jewel-toned shirt, a hint of cleavage, way better audio and a number of people wondering why the girlie blogger knows so damn much about the history of CAFE standards and the car/light truck differentiation.

How you know I've been on TV today

Lipstick mark on the coffee cup. You know I'm a slob because of the drip marks.

They're having me back

I'll be back on CNN.com Live today but instead of talking beauty queens and political infidelity, I'll be talking about Obama's new CAFE standards and economics. Yeah, it's a weird life I lead. Video clip will be available here shortly thereafter.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

You know you dodged a bullet when

Someone you dated tweets this.

Especially when it's extreme flattery.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What would I say

I guess I don't have any questions I would put to her. I never really ask "Why?" anyway.

I took a really interesting class once called Microsociology, which was the study of discrete human interactions -- completely mind-bending and fascinating. One of the things we were asked to think about the fundamental basis of being asked to give a reason. One is only asked to provide a reason for one's actions only when those actions differ from an established social norm (unless your reason for doing something in the first place is to differ from the established social norm). In effect, you are asked to justify behavior you, at the time, believed completely normative. You only, therefore, ever come up with a reason after the fact. To ask why she did it is just to ask her to put into words some post-action understanding that what she did differed from the social consensus -- i.e., to give an excuse. I don't need her excuse.

Notes from the battlefield

Dear Susannah Breslin,

You know, for a sex writer, you sure are keen to defend a slut-shamer just for the sake of caterwauling against a sex-positive women's site you have some sort of ideological problem with because we're also fans of political equality.

Sincerely,
Megan

P.S. You really can stop sending us links every day to The Frisky's stuff. Honestly. I asked around. I was the only one who ever read them, and your friend Wendy cured me of that.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CNN.com Live

Whoops, major misunderstanding! I was actually on CNN.com Live, which is a streaming webcast? Anyway, here I am.

Seriously

I don't shut the fuck up for anyone, Linda Hirshman.


Related: Neither do a lot of other people, like Spencer Ackerman (who is one of my closest and dearest friends, too), the inimitable Jason Linkins, the wonderful and talented Jill Filipovic, the beautifully-souled Hilzoy (reprinted here), feminist attack-magnet Jessica Valenti, the brilliant BitchPhD and my fellow colleague at Jezebel and, apparently, in slutty rape-baiting Tracie Egan.

Then there's also Pilgrim Soul, Meg, Rosa Sparks and Little Dragon.

(If you blog it, email me or put it in the comments and I'll add away).

Showering early today

If you've got a TV, tune it to CNN around noon, when I'll be on with a panel of other bloggers to discuss Elizabeth Edwards and John Edwards' skeezy affair. There will probably be embedded video at some point, too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The world doesn't revolve around your personal feelings

Life is cruel, brutal, ugly and, for too many people, really short. Most everyone reading this is lucky enough to spend theirs in a developed country with access to nearly everything that civilization, society, science, stable governments and money has to offer. Bearing witness to what happens to other people when they lack access to those things -- rather than looking at pictures on CuteOverload all day, say -- really is the least anyone can do.

(Also, for people that constantly say that I write about FGM, rape, women in developing countries, politics, abortion and the ugly things that go on in the world for the money, I don't know what fucking universe you live in, but I'd sure as hell like to go there because I write about vibrators, porn, dating and celebrities for the money, not serious things that no one wants to read about or bear witness to. And I'd be more than happy to never write about vibrators, porn, dating or celebrities again if I could write about important things and actually make any money.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm not proud

But I only opened it because I was convinced it said "CockSavvy.com".

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Squee!

This month's issue of Ms. (on newsstands May 5th! Go buy it!) features an article by me about the new importance of women's rights in foreign policy under Hillary Clinton... And I just got my copy tonight and it's actually on the freaking cover, people. If I had champagne, I'd be popping it.

Reaction shots

I must've gotten 20 emails and IMs and Facebook messages yesterday about Wendy Atterberry's pity-party story (still not linking! Google and read the cached version if you must!) about how I am obviously an miserable singleton looking to justify my miserable little life by pretending to be happy as I am -- including from a guy I like (who likes me), who thought it was fucking hilarious. He said, because he is great:
the woman she described is not you. i've certainly met those women, but you are not it.
From the people that don't actually know me, I think the reaction can be summed up as some measure of insulted on my behalf (thanks!) and insulted at the thought that single women are not coupled because they simply don't try hard enough to be -- and that their singlehood (which they feel she automatically deems problematic) can be solved with a little make-up, a cute skirt and a couple nights out on the town or a Match.com profile. For instance, one response I got:
i'm too angry after reading her column to write anything remotely intelligent or coherent about why she is a horrible human yet i feel how despicable she is with all of my being. i'm sure you have many, many more intelligent and insightful things to say about that. atterberry is a brainless wonder, pandering to a sect of people who want the return of the good old days when men were men and women knew their place.
I think she falls into the "insulted" camp.

But my other friends were actually pretty bemused by the whole thing. Here's my best friend for the last 13 years (a dude).
This made me chuckle, especially since I don't see much similarity in anything the writer assumes and you, especially the 'don't go out and meet people' thing. What if there really are few decent guys to date? Is it anti male for me to say that I think there's a lot of men out there that I wouldn't want anyone to date because I've met way too many douchey guys that I couldn't even in good conscience recommend to people I know for a one nighter? There's always [hot guy friend who you had a flirtation with] but he's married now I think. Course, I could always let you know about [hot dude friend you made out with once]. Anyway, you've probably seen your mention but I got a kick out of it.
Because, see, the thought that the article is about me cracks him up. Also, if you live in Boston, he is awesome and single, so, you know, it's real easy to find my email address.

Anyway, for everyone that emailed me and asked why I'm not responding on Jezebel, or why the site isn't responding, I repeat: Wendy Atterberry is attacking me in order to make a name for herself and promote her site, and I don't need to help her -- she's certainly provided me with zero incentive to do so, let alone to ever link to anything on her site again through Jezebel (and I'm about the only writer who has despite their general snottiness to our site and me in the past). It is hard to write interesting things on a daily basis that encourage people to read your work and link to it -- God knows I know -- but The Frisky has featured interesting pieces from good writers like Rachel Kramer Bussel and even Susanna Breslin ("caterwauling about the patriarchy" cracks aside) and I've not minded sending them traffic or encouraging people that read me to think about them and their work. I don't see as where I have any incentive to continue being collegial like that.

And, on top of it, when I've said that there's nothing else to do but laugh at a piece that offers advice to women like "always look nice" and "go out a lot" so that dudes will notice you and you can fulfill your life-long dream of living happily ever after with your Prince Charming, I meant it. You really have to laugh at that shit. I mean, if Wendy Atterberry is happily engaged, you know, good on her. I wish her no ill will in life, feel neither pity nor Schadenfreude (nor really anything) at her romantic situation or the fact that it makes her happy/sad/whatever --I don't assume that her happiness or lack thereof has any bearing on my own. As I've written about Jessica Cutler, Ann Althouse and Jessica Valenti: their happiness has no bearing on my own, and their marriages neither validate nor invalidate my life choices. That my willing contentedness with my singlehood (and my willingness to write about it) rather obviously doesn't inspire the same benign apathy in Wendy Atterberry, well, that says a lot more about her than it ever will about me.

That said, she did make my original piece my most-trafficked piece yesterday, so her attack on me just enabled me to justify to my bosses my lunch date yesterday with the fabulous Becky Sharper and two important pieces today that will not do great traffic but are, to me, more important than who is or is not participating in the Wedding Industrial Complex. So there's that, too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And I thought it was insulting before


Wendy Atterberry, my pussy does not smell like fish. However, I'm pretty sure that it's had things done to it that are banned in some states... but that is a secret, just like the weapon he's been using.

Amusingly, this email was sent to me by a reader whose Google Adfeed presented her with Wendy's oh-so-thoughtful article while it presented me with ads about illegal fishing practices. I'd link to it, but then you'd all go read it and get offended on my behalf while presenting her with the pageviews she was so thirsty for in the first place that she felt it necessary to attack my personal life, dating practices, attire, make-up, attitude and whether I leave the house enough to really ever meet a man which is, of course, the be all, end all of a woman's life. Many of my friends fell off their barstools laughing when they read it on my Blackberry, so divorced was it from the reality of my actual life. It included the advice for ladies that they go grocery shopping in make-up to meet men, so it's hard to be offended at that shit.

Masochism

Sometimes, when I like to torture myself a little, I listen to this song. I was raised Catholic, sometimes I just do it to remind myself that life is pain. Usually, that happens when I've had too much to drink.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Warm Sundays

I'm home, catching up on work, trying not to sweat too piggishly and making up for lost time on iTunes by downloading various things, including this, which I'll listen to over and over again for a bit.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The meaning of what?

I am a inveterate procrastinator, which means I sat down today at 4:00 pm to do my freelance taxes, which involved two 1099-MISCs, other business income, a variety of expenses, deductions and various other things. It required one short call to the IRS helpline. The question is, what does it say about me that i called the IRS help line and the dude that answered thinks i should work there?
Or, rather, what does it say about the IRS?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Facebook Status Of The Day

Some people are going to have to step up their game. Me included.

Actual chaos

So, my friend Louis pointed out last night that my new roommate's pet -- and sort of my first pet by proxy -- is named Chaos. So I'm not surrounded by chaos so much as Chaos has claimed my breasts for his own.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

End games

Amanda Marcotte has this great post in response to the steaming pile of bullshit anti-feminist crap that Linda Hirshman unleashed on the unsuspecting world about how domestic violence victims are just too weak to leave and it's feminists' responsibility to hector them until they do. But this isn't about that, necessarily, it's about this that Amanda said:
When I would get into fights with my emotionally and occasionally physically abusive ex-boyfriend, he would often say to me, smugly, “If it’s so bad, why don’t you leave?” It was a rhetorical question, the intent behind it to remind me, as I was often reminded, that his treatment of me was my fault, that someone who was smarter or less emotional or whatever it was that day would command better treatment.
I dated a guy like that, as I mentioned once before:
Several years later, during a fight with a boyfriend in which I told him he had to stop speaking to me in a certain way or else, he said, "Or else what? You didn't report your rape, what are you going to have the backbone to do to me?" I hung up the phone.
I did not, however, leave. There were fights after that, fights during which he would resort to name-calling if he felt he was losing, fights I wouldn't back down from because I don't do fear (I think that's called "hubris"). There were other things, like being compared to his exes, being occasionally called degrading names during sex and being pressured into being "nice" to people I didn't like, that wore at me bit by bit. It was intense, it was destructive and the drawn-out end of it that had more to do with him wanting to achieve our official anniversary than actually wanting to be with me did a wallop on my self-esteem to the point that I avoided emotional intensity, strong-willed men and being true to my emotional and undiplomatic self for many years.

Anyway, it just struck me that I never coded that relationship, in my mind, as emotionally abusive, but maybe it was.

Anyway, it strikes me today, too, that this and the end of my last two relationships are why I have been operating my relationship-ejector seat rather hastily the last year or so. I mean, I don't think I did so in too much haste or that I should have stayed when confronted with dickishness, but still.

Random Sunday endeavors

I am supposed to be working today. At the very least, I ought to be doing my taxes. Instead, a conversation with my roommate sparked a random procrastinatory desire to again read about my astrological sign.

Scorpio persons tend to be somewhat retreating, pensive individuals, however they are usually quite self-confident, with plenty of personal power. Fear levels are low, which allows them to deal with great adversity and danger in the challenges of their lives. It tends to have a certain conservative element to it, especially with strong Saturn influences. Scorpio tends to be dominant in many situations.

They tend to be rather sure of themselves, sometimes a bit too much so. This may be problematic as, being a water sign, Scorpio's perception is influenced by emotions and thus may not be the best source for objectivity. They will nevertheless be pushed to question themselves deeply when an issue blows up in their face.

Although ambition is a trait often attributed to Capricorn, Scorpio is really the most ambitious sign in the zodiac, however this often gets exhausted through idle conflict, intrigue and lack of good vibes. A strong chart can push this through, although then they may well overdo it.

This sign has a certain tendency to be disorderly in things that it is not intensely interested in.
Like, perhaps, doing my taxes. But, to continue:
This sign has some tendency for being heavy-handed and manipulative, a result of a naturally overbearing personality, strong desires and obsessive mentality. There is a certain tendency to do things in a rather controversial manner, as it tends to be poor in diplomacy unless Venus is strong in the chart. They feel things so intensely that it is difficult for them not to enter altercation. In its essence it can be somewhat rowdy and crude, but is often influenced by strong social pressures to moderate its outer demeanor. It tends to be demanding, sometimes even annoyingly so.

Some may find them somewhat tough to love, as there is a certain roughness in the Scorpian character. Similarly, they can be poor in awareness of hurt they cause some people, and be baffled when someone treats them badly, seemingly out of the blue. Part of this is caused by issues of ineffective communication. Nevertheless, Scorpios can be amazingly protective of their close ones and be ready to go to extreme lengths for them.
I am an ineffective communicator, it's true. And the other chart says:
Reputed to be the "most powerful" sign of the zodiac, Scorpios lead fate filled lives and have intense and dramatic personal relationships.
Um...
Much to do with a Scorpio remains ever secret. Their eyes often blaze with feelings that words never express, and beware on the days or nights they hide their feelings behind dark glasses, there is likely to be a storm of some kind brewing. When you deal with a Scorpio you have to always deal with them on a psychic intuitive level. They often wear a mask. Too often they say "no" when they really mean "yes". They have contrary natures. Once they find true love they can be the most faithful dedicated of all partners but fall out badly with a Scorpio and you are likely to find they will never forget or forgive.
I don't wear my sunglasses at night, but I don't tend to let things go, it's true.

Anyway, I swear I'm going to go do some work now.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The clouds have lifted

And the sun is setting.

Misty watercolored memories

About a year ago, I wore these stockings and this skirt out one night with a group of friends. The police collected them later that night after the dude broke into my apartment and sexually assaulted me. And in evidence storage they sat most of last year, while he all too briefly sat in jail.

They came back with the rest of my stuff, but I still hadn't worn them until last night -- something about the memory of the cops fishing them out of my toilet that night, I suppose. (Fishing? Fishnets? I love a good dumb joke.) Last night, I grabbed them out of the drawer and texted my awesome friend Erica that I was putting on my party fishnets. And, party we did. These are now my party fishnets. Fuck history.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Full moon

Heading home in a cab tonight, obsessively listening to Rachael Yamagata's "Reason Why," I noticed it was a full moon as she was singing. "I think about how it might have been. Spend our days traveling. It's not that I don't understand you, it's not that I don't want to be with you, but you only wanted me the way you wanted me."