Wednesday, April 29, 2009


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 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.


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.
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."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Michelle says

I should travel with this lighting.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Late night rain

I missed the bus tonight or, rather, I misread the schedule and thought that there was one between 9:30 and 10:30 that did not exist. I contemplated, upon finally getting the schedule on my crackberry, heading back to the bar and flirting with that guy, but I decided to stick it out in the damp almost-cold of post-happy-hour New York.

Instead, I'm listening to the rain on the roof of the bus shelter and on the street, contemplating whether it's appropriate to trust certain people, wondering why it is that I'm not invited some where tonight and yet knowing why. I should just work when I get home, I shouldn't curl up into the ball I want to curl up in and let it all matter too much but, oh, God, I want it to matter. I want to hide. I want it to matter more than the waves the humidity is imparting to my hair, or the numbness my toes are starting to not-feel, or the unadulterated breeze on the spot where I inadvertently ripped my stockings, or the fact that there is still no bus coming down this dark street.

Hello, haters

Yes, this was a joke. A joke at the expense of some people that take themselves far too seriously. A joke poking at the idea (that it is now really obvious that some people have) that what we as editors do all day is super easy and fun-fun good times, that our entire life's purpose is to spend hours researching and writing about issues like rape in the Congo or the wage gap or politics or the feminist movement for the sole purpose of allowing commenters to talk amongst themselves, and not because we think those issues are important and want people to (gasp!) read about them. At the people who get really up in arms about their inability to express their opinions for a couple of hours, but think that us editors should shut the hell up about ours already. Some jokes aren't meant to make you laugh out loud, they're meant to make you challenge your assumptions about certain things (which is why I like some of the most uncomfortable bits of Sarah Silverman's or Lisa Lampanelli's comedy acts, by the way). But, more pointedly, the point of an April Fool's joke is that you get to laugh at the person you're pranking and, if they are slightly self-aware, they get to laugh at their own gullibility or overreaction. Plenty of people in comment threads and on e-mail and IM did exactly that. Some didn't.

I was a commenter on this site for many months before I was asked to guest edit in October 2007; I then half-wrote Crappy Hour for more than a year with Moe (and Spencer, Jason, Ana Marie, Latoya, Jill, Rebecca, Steve, David, Asma and Kay) and wrote sporadically (post-Wonkette-firing) from January until getting bumped to a regular contributor last summer. Between January and the summer, I played a lot in the comment threads with the other commenters because, being only partially-employed, I had the time to do so. That I don't anymore is far and away a function of the fact that I must sing for my damn supper and thus simply don't have time.

The way some of those people have turned against the editors since the days I first started commenting and feel it's their right to get people fired or make nasty personal comments about them has been disheartening. Today was a case in point. Some of the comments I saw on my Facebook news feed today were incredibly disappointing -- especially coming from people who had friended me. Like Dodai, between that and the emails and the final Tuesday comment thread, the level of "The editors are all shitty writers and nobody reads them anyway" that abounded among a certain class of commenter struck me as incredibly nasty and not particularly related to the issue of comments being (obviously) temporarily gone.

Anyway, so, I screencapped some of what I saw today. Some people were reasonable (Newt, like normal, was reasonable even in the midst of his grumpiness) but others were... not. But this was what I saw much of the day.

For the record, to correct the mistaken assumption a lot of people continue to make, no one at Gawker Media gets paid by page views any more (not that we did exclusively, regardless -- that was our bonus system to make up for low salaries). Even if Gawker Media did still pay its full-time writers by page views, some of us no longer write for them full time and thus do not -- except we can get canned if we're not bringing in any.

Anyway, I'm about to go delete some "friends" on Facebook.

In the absence of comments

Untrue. As much as I do love a good dick joke -- and, oh, how I love a good dick joke -- I knew as soon as I said I would write about the anti-circumcision movement story that it would go crazy because I've written about it before. And although they might be able to laugh at hecklers during a protest, they don't laugh about it on the Interwebs, sadly.

That said, I was sad that so few people made any dick jokes.