Wednesday, February 28, 2007
For You
I can't stop listening to the Winterpills.

So, so loverly. Great harmonies....very mellow....sounds much like Elliot Smith.

You'll like. Promise.

And they allow you to stream the album...



Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Change is hard
Very hard... is hard not to talk about Al Gore anymore when there are lovely pieces like this in the Washington Post. And when Jimmy Carter is talking about him on Sunday morning (did people catch This Week? Gore, Carter and PATRICK was my own private party). And when I just like him so. damn. much.

But a promise is a promise....

*le sigh*


Monday, February 26, 2007
Attention DC Internets:
I am writing to inform you that my beloved Modern Skirts will be in your neck of the woods.

ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh i am so happy for you all

Mar 5, 2007
Iota Club & Café
Arlington, Virginia

I can sweeten the deal by telling you folks that the Iota is the place that My Joshie used to talk about on West Wing. (you know...JOSH! Josh?!?! The person I had a pretend relationship with for about 2 years. YES! That Josh! Right!) So...go hang out and listen to loverly music. Oh! AND they have yummy fries there. Mmmmmm.

(Theresa and Paul--I'm looking at you as this is about a mile from your place)



I love this.....This guy is accepting bids on E-bay to become your own personal baseball blogger. Highest bidder receives a season's worth of blogging devoted to their favorite team. And all the proceeds go to Awesome. Seriously Awesome.

He writes.....

WHY would I do this? I am tired of people making fun of me for not having a favorite team. They call me "Bandwagon jumper", "ManWagon", or even "ManWags" for short. I have liked a bunch of different teams through the years, but have never had my "own" baseball team to follow for a whole season. The truth is, I root for baseball! I root for almost every team at one point or another (if the Yankees played a team of Aliens in a game for Earth's freedom, then I might even root for the Yankees, too). I want to follow a team for the whole season, cover them journalistically in my own unique, quirky manners and if they win the World Series, I'll get a tattoo of their logo (just kidding, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities). I just needed a very random way of picking the team to follow!

ALL Major League Baseball teams are eligible (Yes, even the Royals, Devil Rays or *gulp* the Yankees). I will present an average of over 6 articles a month concerning the team of choice through the entire season. Meaty articles with wit, irony, blatent subliminal sarcasm and shenanigans galore!!! I will try my best to get interviews, the freshest of the fresh material and inside information. Who knows what could happen this season? I want to stretch my capabilities as a writer, creative artist and enjoy true fanship for a sure-to-be magical baseball season!

Baseball starts in a month!


Thursday, February 22, 2007
So soon?
The officials of Wimbledon woke up this morning to realize that it is no longer 1950.

Wimbledon bowed to public pressure Thursday and agreed to pay women players as much as the men at the world's most prestigious tennis tournament.

In other tennis news (how about that transition?!)....Drew and I recently purchased tickets to The Davis Cup.

Winston-Salem! Andy Roddick! ANDANDAND Rafael Nadal.

Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap! I'm excited!


Monday, February 19, 2007
Marie Antoinette!

So the weekend didn't really go according to plan. Lots of movie watching...just not so much of the writing. In my effort to blend in with the Southerners, I decided to become one of the many victims of the flu epidemic here in the ATH. Loverly. Loverly. But it allowed me to watch movies and not feel guilty (ok, I felt a little guilty but I really couldn't do much else except pray that god would have mercy on my soul and make Drew bring me more ice chips). We watched a couple subpar movies that don't even deserve discussion (Trust the Man and Hollywoodland) but I do want to say a few words about our one successful selection--Marie Antoinette.

Ok, I feel I should start with a disclaimer. I love! Sofia Coppola. You can tell a lot about a person with that statement. I love a slow moving script with time to feel the movie. I like great attention to detail and I'm okay with silence. Read: Lost in Translation? LOVEDIT! LOVEDITSOMUCH!

The good: Much has been written about the beauty of this movie. With good reason. The entire movie is gorgeous. Stunning. I kept clicking my tongue (in a really annoying way that gave some indication of what I am going to be like as an 80-year-old) as I said things like "would you look at that" and "oh wow!" (for the record, 80-year-old me is very charming...even with the flu) The many desserts? Stunning. The landscape? Stunning. Kirsten Dunst? Stunning. (I know! But she didn't smile much so her freaky vampire teeth were hidden) In all fairness, Dunst was beyond stunning. She was captivating. I loved her in this role. She, herself, looked like a dessert. Absolutely breathtaking.

More good: Jason Swartzman was great. I don't think I can NOT like that guy. I can't. Really. I love everything he has been in.

Even more good: Its always good to watch a movie that's about a strong woman who is sexually liberated and confined by traditional aristocracy. The movie showed her struggle. I appreciated it. There. I said it.

Gooder Yet: The music. Perfect compliment.

The bad: is really! slow. And I mean really. And the silence? Lots of it. I would say you have to be in the right mood to watch this. A slow mood. A slow, silent mood.

More bad: The script? Wasn't Sofia's best work. It was kinda predictable and a little flat. There were moments of greatness. But most of those moments came during the silent parts. The scene where Antoinette is running through the long hall...complete perfection. But no words were needed...So maybe this point is turning into a good--the script was so 'eh' it made you appreciate the silence. There. A good and a bad. Fantastic.

In the end, the good outweighs the bad...


Friday, February 16, 2007
I read this idea:

I am such a nerd that on Saturday nights when we are heading out to meet our lovely, sparkling friends at cool bars or going to shows or whatnot, I not-so-secretly fantasize that it was socially acceptable to bring the Sunday newspaper to one's Saturday night events. Wouldn't it be great if people had Sunday paper parties? Everyone could spread out on the floor, there'd be a fire crackling (preferably in a fire place), wine and snacks, and the Sunday paper. "Look at this crappy Modern Love column!" you could say. "Oh my god, read this infuriating Real Estate Habitats article." Fun, right?

and I thought...Right! And then I asked her to be my friend...

I'm getting ready to settle in for a weekend of movie watching and writing...they are not related. I need some down time. I don't often need down time. But this was the type of week that if I drank scotch, I would. But I don't drink scotch. Because scotch tastes gross....and it makes my face do this:

(thanks to Peter for documenting my experience)

I'm working on it, though. I want to be a scotch drinker. I once shared a few moments with an academic idol of mine (yes--in a bar because that's what I do...)and she drank scotch. Straight. Without a chaser. And I thought it was cool and a sign of a lot of other things....

But I digress....


Thursday, February 15, 2007
Actually speechless....

An ad titled "Special Egg Donor Needed" has appeared in The Red & Black and other college newspapers across the country offering payment for egg donation for a couple.

I only hope you can read the requirements....


Gender Trouble
I love this! 68 year old New Zealand lawyer Rob Moodie (who changed his name to Miss Alice) says he's hanging up his dress for good. The male attorney has been dressing for court in women's clothes. It was his way of protesting the "old boys network" of New Zealand's court system. Unfortunately, yesterday, he was found in contempt of court and fined a large amount of money. He was held in contempt for circulating documents pertaining to a case. The report he released concerned a fatal 1994 collapse of a bridge built by the Army on his clients' property. The report put most of the blame on the military, not on his clients.

After the contempt ruling, Moodie has vowed to quit law altogether.

One of New Zealand's most prominent lawyers and a former policeman, Moodie began wearing women's clothing in court in July to protest what he said was male-dominated corruption in the country's judicial system. 'It's a culture of intimidation, authority, power and control,' said the one-time rugby player and father of three who continued to wear a moustache. 'The deeper the cover-up, the prettier the frocks,' he said. 'I prefer and relate to the gender which is involved in the creation and nurturing of life, giving, sharing and also, I believe, fairness.'


Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Political Lurve
Soooo I hate Valentine's Day. Hate isn't accurate. I don't care enough about it to hate it. But I (at the very least) think it is a pathetic excuse for a holiday and an even more pathetic sign of romance or love. However, I do love love. Yep. Love it. Want to help people find it. (Because I don't want people to find it on MySpace, remember?!) So HAPPY [fake] LOVE DAY, internets... may you find some [real] LOVE....

*clears throat*

I announce the largest site for Democratic singles. was founded by progressive activists, for progressive activists. is the place to meet liberals, Democrats, activists -- folks who actually care about the world. Find a date, find a friend, or find a partner for activism.


Now...before my feminist peeps get all crazy on me...I'm not asserting that people NEED to find someone...just that maybe they want to. And if they do, they may want someone who approaches the world in a similar way as they do.

I used to think that political persuasion didn't matter when looking for a partner. "Different opinions are good...It only matters that they're smart...and able to engage in intelligent discussions....and watch obnoxious amounts of C-SPAN and Sunday morning talk shows," I thought. Well...I thought lies. LIES. It does matter. They need to be intelligent, engaging, addicted to Sunday television shows AND agree with me. At least agree at a fundamental level.

At a basic level, political people shouldn't be with non-political people. It doesn't make any sense. If politics is important to you, why wouldn't you want your partner to share it with you? Why wouldn't you want to inform each other? And send each other interesting articles? And challenge each other?

But at a more complicated level, political ideology matters as well. Ideology is linked to your cultural values and your paradigm for life. And, um, to have a successful relationship you probably should have similar ones. I don't just vote from a feminist perspective. I live a feminist perspective. So, I don't do all the household chores. I don't expect my partner to pay all the bills. I'm not just against the Iraqi war, I'm against violence. That means I don't go to violent movies. I don't play violent video games (now that I actually play video games).

See? A lifestyle.

I guess the argument could be made that life is more interesting if you disagree. And I'm sure that Carville and Matalin have a very interesting life....but not the life I want. I don't want to constantly have to "argue" about the basic tenants of life I know to be true. I don't want to have the same arguments over and over and over...Hmmm...I guess the argument could also be made that I'm just too dogmatic to have a partner who disagrees with me. Maybe people don't have the same argument over and over and over again. But that probably means they aren't having discussions at all. And how fun is that?

Politico has more about this....

[EDIT] This AlterNet article speaks volumes about this subject. A totally lovely piece.

Who you love and how you love them is as much a statement about your social conscience -- perhaps even a far more accurate and moving statement -- as the letters you write to Congress or the votes you cast. It is harder to be good to someone else. It has the potential to make them be good to others. And others are the fulcrum of social change...It is the moment we critically and consciously choose how to shape our love that we move towards freedom. It is a critical response to our commercialized culture of romance, a rejection of that which feels outdated, a vision of a more inclusive, more authentic, more liberating relationship. In fact, the moment we choose to shape our love is the first, most critical step in shaping the whole God damn world.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Witch Hunt
I've been following the Edwards' blogging "controversy" very closely. It deals with all things Kristen: politics, blogging, Edwards, feminism and choice.... and, um, I get a tab obsessive about things...

For those of you living under a rock:
Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan were hired as official John Edwards for President bloggers. Both came from other prominent leftist blogs and both are opinionated, strong, intelligent women--women who happened to speak out against (among other things) the religious right and anti-choicers (or as I like to call them--anti-trusters)

...I haven't blogged about it because I refused to give the "controversy" any more press. The most outspoken critics of the women came from the right (gasp) and weren't going to vote for Edwards anyway...and they would rather engage in ad hominem attacks and smear campaigns than actually answer the arguments the women put forth (another gasp). point is the critics weren't dictating Edwards campaign choices so I didn't really get crazy about it. So what if they didn't like the women? So what if they were trying to imply that Edwards was anti-religious right?

We have this lovely thing here in the US of freaking A called FREEDOM OF SPEECH that allows the women to say those things AND be healthy members of a thriving democracy (although women don't get to enjoy that right nearly as much as our outspoken male citizens--a la Dixie Chicks vs. Toby Keith, Huffington vs. Rush) . Plusssss...the things they had written weren't all that bad. But that! is beside the point.

Edwards (of course) did the right thing and stood by the women (although I wish he had been a little more outspoken) and the netroots rallied behind them.

But Marcotte resigned today. Unable to continue reading e-mails like THIS:

after reading your vile screed against Catholics and the Holy Spirit, I just had to see what you looked like. (I envisioned you eyebrow-less, with no visible pupils, and a blank, dead stare.) I see I was correct about the blank, dead stare, but other than that you're not too bad. I then thought maybe you were mad at God (and by proxy Catholics) for making you ugly, but now I'm figuring you're just mad at him for making you a woman.

Problem with women like you, you just need a good _____ from a real man! Living in Texas myself, I know you haven't found that real Texan yet. But once your liberal pro feminist ass gets a real good _____, you might see the light. Until then, enjoy your battery operated toys

And somewhere....Jesus beams with pride. I'm kidding about that last part...

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Monday, February 12, 2007
More [Final] Words on Al Gore
You are about to see a very strange thing here at DD...I'm about to admit something. Something strange. It involves me being amenable...and questioning..and open-minded. And these things? Well, these things are the opposite of dogmatic.

Settle in, folks....

Ok...I think I'm giving up on Gore in 08. Don't get me wrong, he is the BEST Democratic candidate. He has no controversial war record, has extensive political experience, is an outspoken and effective Bush critic and leader on one of the most controversial issues of our day (policy change). He has tapped into the entertainment media, the netroots and the international community (hello Nobel prize nomination...). But that is on paper. ON paper, Gore is so, so, so fantastic. Fantastic I tell you. But elections aren't waged or won on paper. And as I watched Obama on Saturday, I realized that Gore can't compete. He can't compete in a sensationalized political world that now expects sermonic rhetoric and charisma. I don't think sermons and likeability are bad. Quite the contrary..I think they are just what Democratic and undecided voters need. They need hope. They need excitement. They need ceremony. Pomp! Circumstance! They probably *get ready* ...don't *tear* ...need *deep breath* ...Al Gore....America needs him. We need him behind the scenes. Making movies. Writing books. Being huggable, lovable and smart. But we don't need him as commander-in-chief.

So, Internets, I am re-thinking my Gore-lovin stance. Still love em...just not waiting for him to join the race. We have enough horses. Good horses. Good horses who couldn't really be his VP nominee anyway. Let's say Gore clinches the nomination....can you imagine Obama as his Vice President? No, I can't either. Same with Edwards. They have too much pomp! and circumstance! You're reading it correctly. I'm hanging it up. Done. Done with the Gore touting. Done with the Gore in 08 posts. Done.

I need a moment....


Wednesday, February 07, 2007 this is what they would write about....
'They' being my friends who are going to write that tell-all book about me.

Some commentary about rhetoricians...

...graduate students in the social sciences are early on initiated into the craft of research and publishing by participating on team projects, leading to multiple-authored publications (with the idea that the student eventually rises to the top of the "et al." list). Other than Celeste Condit's genetics project at Georgia, I can't think of an equivalent in rhetoric. Rhetoricians tend to be solitary (if not nasty, brutish, and short) in their habits.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Growing up, I was a nerd (surprise!). I had all the nerdy qualities...loved school, wore glasses, joined clubs called 'Word Masters' and 'Odyssey of the Mind,' attended debate camp, had limbs that were slightly too long for my body and therefore moved in a slightly awkward you have clear a mental picture? A NERD.

I wasn't a dork, however. Dorks were socially inept and had braces. I never had braces and I have some social skills. I got asked to prom and went on dates. Also, dorks liked science fiction and played video games (at least in my school and I bet in yours as well...I'm pretty sure that you can like science fiction and not be a dork...but all dorks like science fiction. Don't they? Think about it. Yep, they do). Obviously I mean to ill-will to the dorks out there (some of my best readers may have been dorks...I can't say for sure).

I abhor science fiction. I don't even really like fantasy fiction all that much (except for Roald Dahl. I love Roald Dahl). And I don't play video games. Ever. The only video game I have played since the original Nintendo is poker. I've played poker...once (granted I played it for ONE very long time and then returned it as I was preeeetty sure I was addicted to poker. not the video game but the gambling game.) ....on a video game system. I don't even really know what that video game system is. It is either an X box or a Sega or something...You get the idea. I don't do video games.




We went to our friend Ammon's and I played the wonderful WII. Um. HELLO. Howfunisthisthing?! The player holds a remote that has a censor and moves your character as you move. So you don't have to mess with all the buttons and remember what button does what and at what time. Instead, if you want to swing at the tennis ball, you swing your arm. And it is awesome.

A total phenomenological experience. You are IN the game. It is crazy. Crazy good.

However, this does not make me a dork. Nope. You know why? Because I'm really, really bad. So, I won't be playing often. I tend not to frequent activities at which I fail. And, um, I still have those limbs that are awkward and too long for my body.

Translation: I swing at the tennis balls and I miss (more than) half the time.

But that's okay....


Monday, February 05, 2007
Difference of opinion
K: So Edwards hired two bloggers over the weekend. That is their job...blogging... they are moving to Chapel Hill to blog...full time. I'd be really good at that...if I had all the time in the world to blog about politics?!

D: *blank stare*

K: You don't think I would be good at it?!?! *indignation*

D: I..I..I just don't think it is a real profession

K: *blank stare* I'm a graduate student....I spend my days in coffee shops....reading...legitimacy means nothing to me

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Friendship and telling secrets.
'the myth has its charms; but the truth is far more beautiful.'

I'm reading 'The Company They Kept.' A great collection of letters, eulogies and essays written by writers about their closest writer/scholar friends. Some of the essays are boring...but most are intimate, inspirational and human.

As I read about the people's tennis games, graduate school experiences, diary keeping habits and failures as viewed through their friend's eyes, I wonder what my friends would say about me. What would I say about them?

I fully expect many of my colleagues and friends to go on and do great things....and maybe someday I will write a tell-all essay about one of them....and I hope I know as much about them as the people writing in this book...and I don't mean their favorite color or food. I want to be able to tell bigger and better things.

Of course, some of you should be scared by this prospect. I have a lot of dirt on some of you...and you on me. I love reading this type of stuff...but I can't help but wonder how I would feel if those closet to me exposed by private inner-workings. The reason they had that information is because I trusted them. Would I see the revealing essay as a tribute or an expose?


Saturday, February 03, 2007
More words about Al Gore (and some other stuff)
Yey! Yey! Yey!


I think he should announce during his Oscar acceptance speech.

Thanks for the statue and by the way I want to be President. Thanks. Oh...and buy a hybrid.

In other news...(and I know this isn't about Al Gore) I am still really sad about Molly Ivins. She had gumption. And intelligence. And wit. And great hair. This is a lovely tribute.

And last (also not about Al Gore) I'm pretty freaking excited that Al Franken is running in 08. Obviously I like his politics. And he makes me laugh. Out loud. All the time. Well....all the time I spend reading his books.


Thursday, February 01, 2007
Morning person (and other contradictions)
I always thought I would marry a morning person. Not that it was a requirement or a deal breaker or anything...just thought it was fact. I'm really bad in the morning. Really. Bad. And it isn't just that I'm grumpy (although I am) is that I feel physically ill. Mornings make me ill. My stomach hurts. My head feels slightly detached from my body. My hands seem enlarged...almost cartoonish versions of themselves. Everything is slower and darker in the morning. I hate mornings. So, I always envisioned my partner gently waking my up with a cup of coffee and a little kiss. On the weekend the kiss would be the New York Times and the remote to control my Sunday morning shows. And I would nod a silent appreciative thank you. But he wouldn't try to engage me. Engaging me would only end up bad. Very bad. Scowling bad. Sighing bad.

Anyway...I didn't marry a morning person. To say the least. And I realized that I'm okay with that. You know why? Because the only thing more annoying than mornings are morning people. You know the people. The bound out of bed type. The talk a lot, hate to lounge around in bed, greet each day with a smile type. I hate that type. I would never be attracted to that type. I like the silent morning type. I like the sleep through the morning type.

This is the thing about morning people--morning people always try to convince non-morning people that "they won't be able to sleep in forever." My dad always used to tell me that the older I got, the less I would sleep. He's right. I don't need a lot of sleep. But I like my sleep to be in the mornings. I'm an insomniac who sleeps in (this behavior goes well with other contradictions that I have: despise tomatoes but love tomato flavored things, despise capitalism but embrace consumerism, want an individual look but try to cover up my freckles, etc, etc, etc). I don't always sleep well. Have many sleepless nights. But the morning comes and I'm in hibernation.

Morning people also imply that it is my choice to be a non morning person. Hinting that I can train myself to be a morning person. Untrue. Very untrue. I've trained myself to like mustard and white wine (mainly because I liked the aesthetic of both these products). I've tried to become a less aggressive driver. I've even tried to become a morning person. During the week I get up at the same time everyday. I catch up on the news, e-mails, blogs. I get caffeinated. I try to get pumped about the day. Doesn't work. Basically I just sit on the couch mad at the world. And after I eat, drink, shower and get dressed I start to feel half-way human. And then once the clock turns noon, I feel wholly human. At noon. NOON.

Because I liked my last Sarah Vowell venture so much, I picked up another book. Assassination Vacation. I love her writing style. Mainly because it reads like my inner thoughts. Look at what she writes about mornings...mornings with strangers...ick.

The real reason bed and breakfasts make me nervous is breakfast. As if it's not queasy enough to stay in a stranger's home and sleep in a bed bedecked with nineteen pillows. In the morning, the usually cornflake-consuming, wheat-intolerant guest is served floury baked goods on plates so fancy any normal person would keep them locked in the china cabinet...The guest, normally a silent morning reader of newspapers, is expected to chat with the other strangers staying in the strangers' home...I am the black hole of breakfast, a silent void of gloom sucking the sunshine out of their neighborly New England day.