Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Radio Idealism

I feel as if I've lost my innocence.

As some of you know, I have an irrepressible love for all things NPR. It's my entertainment preference-- music is great and all, but NPR provides me with at least half of my current events knowledge and 90% of my interesting anecdotes. (If I had a nickel for everytime I started a story "I heard on NPR....") Despite all these most respectable and venerable qualities of NPR, I have one complaint: Stop showing photographs of your hosts without forewarning!!!

My personal favorite NPR show is Day to Day. It's the radio version of Slate, featuring Alex Chadwick, a seemingly young, dashing man with a fantastic voice. Not so, deemeth the internets! I logged on to NPR.org today to listen to the show, and there, without any warning, was a picture of Alex Chadwick! And let me tell you, he is not young or dashing. My illusion was shattered! I felt angry, betrayed, why, oh why, did you not warn me, NPR? Let me choose for myself if I want my false notions disproven! I would choose ignorance! But I was given no choice. You, dear reader, are. If you want your notions of your favorite NPR host demolished, go to the Day to Day link above and scroll down. But beware.

Incidentally, if you ever see a book by Garrison Keilor, RUN. Do not, I repeat, do not! look at him. He is a very strange looking man indeed. Keep your innocence, lest you become like me and everytime you hear his voice from now on you cannot help but imagine is enormous round eyes spaced entirely too far apart. Save yourselves, because I am ruined.

But in all seriousness, Day to Day is the best NPR show ever. Go listen.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sick blogging

I know I'm way over-due here, but as I've been doing whirlwind tours of Kansas and California this little blog has laid on the back burner. Unfortunately those whirlwind tours left me with a nasty cold, which I'm sure I picked up at Universal Studios (goddamn children! Breeding grounds for disease! Goddamn tourist paragon Universal Studios!) I'm blogging from my sick bed, which happens to be a nice bed settled in the middle of nice Westwood, with a nice boyfriend who makes me nice dinner. It really ain't half bad being sick here. As I've no super enlightening thoughts for today, I thought I'd point you folks to the stuff I've been entertaining myself with from said sick bed:

-- This great Slate article about all those crazy internet sites that get endlessly forwarded by those bored at work. Read it if you're like me, a lucky young person unchained to an office (as of yet) and hence without said bored forwarding network. I was particularly enthralled by/scared of the Pixie Land guy.

-- Heartbreaking, but fascinating WaPo piece on a 675 pound man. Good ol' human interest stuff.

-- I also, though I'm unsure how, got a spark to edumacate myself about Sid Vicious from Wikipedia (aka the best new internet toy ever.) I was one of those people who had a lot of punk/alternative type friends, the kind who actually knew the history of punk music (I hate to admit I'm still ignorant), who enjoyed sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes while discussing the complexities of [insert punk band here]'s lyrics or [insert punk singer here]'s representation of self through clothing, etc. Anyways, go read about Sid if you are ignorant like me, it's a helluva story.

That ends this sick blogging session, but stay tuned for my thoughts on Batman Begins.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Un Apologia

Dear reader,

I know I owe you an explanation about my absence. It's my obligation to inform you about the exciting happenings of the last week. I know you feel neglected and jealous due to my failure to update. I'm terribly sorry, and promise not to do it again. Please don't get angry like you did last time...I'm so sorry.

First of all, I had to attend a debutante ball. It was a big high society affair, and though I respect your unique and special...qualities, I'm just not sure you would have fit in. I tried to get the committee to invite all 50 or so of you, but they just felt they couldn't accomodate so many incredibly interesting people. Their loss, believe me.

Then I had to go to Santa Cruz early the next morning for my graduation. I know some of you felt angry that I didn't invite you, but it was all the way in California, and I really didn't know how you'd behave, and let's just say I was proved right. I know three of you showed up as streakers, running down the hill, and finally taking a big, ostentatious bow for your naked feat, all to get me back for my thoughtlessness.

And it was you, wasn't it, that made my family dawdle and miss the final tour of the Hearst Castle! After driving for 6 hours, I know you saw that pitifully sad look of disappointment on our faces when we found out we'd missed the last tour by 15 mintures. But you just had to have your fun....

Oh, I see your plan unfolding. You caused the horrible traffic as I arrived in LA this afternoon! It's you, sabotaging my every move because you believe I've forgotten you.

Listen reader, I know I didn't invite you along on all my plans and adventures, but my hands were tied! I can't help my enormously busy schedule! I care dearly about you, but if you sabotage this vacation one more time... if I get so much as a splash of water of me at Universal Studios tomorrow, it's over.

And yes, I've moved to Los Angeles.



Saturday, June 11, 2005

Blogging, Kansas style

I come to you from Kansas in this edition of epiphanies: midwestern style

I'm off to a debutante ball tonight, and since my hair's been done for 3 hours and I don't leave for another two, I'm limited on moving around too much.

Ezra likes to make fun of me when I go home because I get a "Kate at home syndrome"; basically I get bored, tired, and my brain turns to mush. So, in order to stave off this malady, I made myself get on our old-ass unstable PC and start exercising my mind.

I just want to mention a couple things:

First, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson is fantastic so far. Her meditative prose is wonderful and comforting; you feel you've been transported inside the narrator's mind, viewing his descriptions as if watching homemade movies.

Second, this article on dental problems associated with methamphetamine use is fascinating and disgusting. The more I read about meth, the more I'm convinced we've got a huge problem on our hands with this drug. Seriously read it, and in the off-chance you were considering trying it, this will definitely make you think again.

Last, this post by Sue is hilarious. I've had a lot of trouble lately getting obnoxious men to leave me alone. I tend to be a nice, approachable person, and open for conversation, but too many gross men have taken advantage of that. I hate being rude and avoiding eye contact with people, but at a certain point, if you want to retain any privacy or peace when you go out, especially to a bar or coffeeshop, you just have to learn to be a bitch. And even then, as Sue has obviously found, some still won't listen. It's terribly obnoxious boys, so unless a girl keeps looking your direction, save her some trouble. And if any girls have advice on keeping weirdos at bay, let me know. I have a feeling that the general weirdness of Santa Cruz doesn't help the situation. Hopefully it will be better elsewhere.

As for me, soon I will be off to the debutante ball, that lovely tradition where daughters are presented to society (originally for the purpose of marriageability). Now it's just some luxe bash. I'm not the debutante, btw, it's my sister, I'll be the one drinking gin and tonics, trying to find someone unpretentious entertain me for the night.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Stop Complaining

Hilarious article from the free local paper on a guy who compares NPR to Clear Channel. My favorite quote by far:
Like a weed growing up through the sidewalk, Thorn is trying to find space to grow between the inane pablum of drive-time commercial radio and the sober monotony of NPR and its many imitators. And that space is hard to find.

Oh man, great weed analogy. No reporter bias here.

But really, is it any suprise that that space is hard to find? This guy is bitching the whole time about how there's no space for any other public radio, but is somehow completely blind to the fact that there just isn't demand for it. Even NPR would be a bit strapped for cash were it not for its enormous $200 million endowment from Joan Kroc.

So what, exactly, is his argument?
But what is the single most powerful force for media consolidation in America? Sure, it might be Clear Channel, but it also might be National Public Radio.

Alright buddy, you've gone too far. Listen to me good: I'm an NPR junkie. I'll take it over music anyday. My favorite birthday present by far was the NPR memorabilia (courtesy of Ezra, a Morning Edition mug and an NPR t-shirt)

Obsession aside, I also happen to be as liberal as the next girl (well, the next girl in Santa Cruz). Comparing NPR to Clear Channel? That's just delusional. First, NPR's mission is not the broadest possible share of the market, in part because they are not-for-profit. Second, they do not control the news cycle, as there are hundreds of print sources, many with much more influence. Whereas Clear Channel practically dictates if a musician can, well, can even become an musician.

Buddy, you seem frustrated. A bit.. self-aggrandizing. I think you got a little lost in the Santa Cruz grass and woke up in...well, frankly, I don't think you woke up. It's definitely time to get out of the Santa Cruz bubble.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Aw Yeah!

Folks, I just finished my last college paper EVER. Wow. I would celebrate if it weren't time to study for my two finals.

Countdown to graduating: two days.

Holy Shit.

Delicious Paaaastries

Suburban Guerilla catches Fafblog! up to their usual comedic genius:
So You're Being Tortured To Death In An American Military Prison!

Q: Help! I'm being tortured to death in an American military prison! What should I do?
A: First of all, you should get your facts straight. You're not being tortured to death in an American military prison; you're being interrogated to death in an American detainment facility. America does not tolerate torture.

Q: Is there any sort of legal representative or due process I could get before being beaten to death?
A: No. Lawyers, open legal procedures, and basic civil liberties are all tools the enemy can use to escape justice - the justice of being beaten to death in a prison camp.
Q: It's just that my name is Musab Mohammed Khan, the pastry chef, and I believe you have me confused with Musab Muhammed Khan, the al Qaeda associate also known as "The Fist of Jihad."
A: First, there are many terrorist pastry chefs, just as there are many terrorist pastries. Second, competent intelligence and accurate prison records are both tools the enemy can use to escape justice.

Q: I seem to be losing all feeling in my lower body. Is there a doctor in the gulag?
A: Please: we find the term "gulag" absurd and offensive. A "gulag" is Russian. You are not being interrogated to death by Russians. You are being interrogated to death by the greatest country in the world.
Q: Is there a more accurate term you'd pre- aaaa! AAAAAAAA!
A: We prefer "outpost of liberty" or "island of freedom." Stringing together Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram Airbase creates the Freedom Archipelago.
Q: So! Much! FreeedaaaAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGH!!!

Q: When I die in a few minutes, will my death help the cause of freedom?
A: Not really. But in a way, isn't death itself just freedom from life - the greatest prison of all?
Q: Wow... you've *HRAAACK* totally blown my mind - and my lung and ribcage and my kneecaps!
A: Oh, don't thank us - it's all part of being tortured to death in an American military prison!



Loving Post Secret. I had to link to this one, it just.. wow. I have a friend who is very liberal, a times a socialist, but her boyfriend is conservative and serving in Iraq. I can't possibly conceive being in her/the author's shoes.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Saturday Night Blogging

Tis the weekend, so I'm trying out various recipes. Tonight's was the Whole Wheat Fettucini with Raw Tomato Sauce from The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles. Making this recipe led to an important discovery: I do not like raw tomato sauces. Now, to be sure, I'm thankful for this discovery. No longer will I go to a restaurant, and God Forbid, waste money on a raw tomato sauce dish I hate. But all the same...after all the chopping and anticipation, I'm pretty disappointed. The author talks a lot about the sorry state of tomatoes in the U.S., and actually prefers to make tomato sauces with canned tomatoes (apparently fresh are really that bad). I just hate making a dinner and then well...hating it. In any case, the book is quite good, I highly recommend it.

I've also been tuning in to the Food Network recently. Can I just bitch about something?

I hate Emeril. Emeril drives me crazy. The idea of a cooking show with a live, all black jazz band, just strikes me as so...contrived. But moreso, his persona irritates me. You can tell he really believes he's hot stuff. The audience is even worse -- they clap and cheer in an totally absurd manner. In the episode I watched tonight Emeril was adding vodka to the dish, and everytime he did the audience went wild. Who are these people? Are they an AA group brought for kicks? I mean, really, it's just alcohol. But they were acting like kids at a frat party when a new keg comes in.

One more thing: does anyone know if they have a vegetarian cooking show on Food Network? The recipes primarly depend on meat, which leaves this vegetarian out in the cold.

Well, that's all for now...guess I'll scrounge around the kitchen to redeem my taste buds...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

XXX-tra, XXX-tra, read all about it

It's 11:28 and I've only got 1/2 a page of a 4 page paper done. Do not despair for me, dear reader, because I've got great news for you. While perusing Google News (yes I was procrastinating...) I came across this great headline:

Code-Abiding Porn to Get .xxx Domain

If sites like "xxxhotsluts.com" or "cumshots.com" weren't enough to identify porn, the internets has made it even easier! All porn will have a .xxx domain! Now that's one giant leap for porn stars, one small step back for mankind...

Back to the proverbial pen, readers. Hope you're sleeping, heads full of fantasies about all the new .xxx sites you'll get to visit (don't even deny it. I know you pretend to be interested in politics and culture, but deep down you're just as perverted as the rest. )

Have a nice life, bitches

Last line from my ridiculously bureaucratic graduation email:

"If you fail to return your cap, gown and hood, you will be billed.
We love you--good bye!! Have a meaningful life!!"

Um, thanks?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Fun article on people's grievances toward their google searches. I, for one, do not exist according to google, which makes me very sad. But I'm harboring hope that someday I too can have my very own awkward college picture on the web forever, courtesy of google.

Nice move

So, in my efforts to ascertain the motives for France's and the Netherlands' no votes, I came to a realization: Europeans are awesome. Apparently they're feeling a bit upset with their leaders, so they vote in a way that reflects that.

This is a very curious practice to me, as an American. Far as I can tell, when my leader screws up really bad he gets more votes.

Just one thing you guys: could you maybe, um, not derail the whole EU constitution with your complaints, and vote your mind during normal elections? Cuz, while we refuse to change our leaders and get more of the same, you all are seriously fucking with progress.

Quote o' the day

"We're like a Peace Corps, but it's surfers."

From the New York Times article on surfers who are doing mission work. Gotta love the comparison.