Sunday, September 28, 2008

Your 80s Primer

For those of you who will be attending my 80s Dance Party and you're not quite sure what to wear or you don't remember the 80s (for whatever reason- I know mine) or you just want a refresher before the actual par-tay, read, and watch, on. 

The 80s according to Wikipedia:

VH-1's Top 100 Songs of the 80s (compiled in 2006 when they should have known better)

The Geekier Version: NPR's Top 10 Pop Songs of the 80s (kudos cuz they include videos- try not to clap during the Styx song) (Hey! You may get an outfit idea!) (I WILL MAKE SURE ALL OF YOUR DRINKS ARE PAID FOR IF YOU WEAR A TEAL JUMPSUIT)

The Top 10 Michael Jackson Songs of the 80s (yes, he was so prolific in the 80s, you can actually have a top 10 for him JUST FOR THAT DECADE)

The #1 Song on the Billboard Chart on my 16th birthday (yeah, it was in the 80s): "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder (who I love, but that is not one of my favorite songs by him) Look up a #1 song for a particular date here.

And, well, watch this video for a lovely fashion show of 80s fashion

... and this one for more fashion but more nostalgia.


"Steeping in the literature..."

Translation: read A LOT and talk about it JUST AS MUCH...

Here's my grad school update:
  • We are deep into the fall semester. Four classes...
  • ...this means we are all really CONFUSED about what is due when...
  • We've started talking thesis... EEEEEEEEK!
  • The term "action research" will be misused over and over again, ad infinitum, to full comic relief, I guarantee it.
  • It's tiring to go to school and work full-time.
So now you know...

Thursday, September 25, 2008


We're gearing up for a friend's Obama-rama party... I have until Saturday to learn this:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MORE on White Privilege cuz it ain't going away...

Just li'l ol' me again, ragin' against the machine. But I'm not alone.

Read on... very edifying (and SCARY and MADDENING...)

This is Your Nation on White Privilege
By Tim Wise

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.

White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a “light” burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain…

White privilege is, in short, the problem.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So, how do the women (and men) of Anchorage feel about Palin?

Read all about it... the BIGGEST political rally in Alaska, EVAH!
Big LOVE to my liberal sistahs to the north...

(FYI- I'm baaaaaaaaack.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

The top ten reasons to walk 60 miles in 3 days...

10. You get to camp where you normally wouldn't be allowed to. Taking part in a huge, national foundation-run charity walkathon has its benefits. We camped on Crissy Field, a short walk from Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge. I could unzip my tent and behold the bridge in all its orange glory. Proof:

(The pink tents were our homes for two nights- they are donated to local Girl Scout troops after the event. In 2006 when I did the 3Day in San Diego, our tents were blue... pink is definitely more festive and pink ribbon-esque.)

9. Unlimited Gatorade of all flavors, water, and Uncrustables. Yeah, Uncrustables... have you ever eaten one of these things? 
I love them and have only ever had them on the 3Day. Yum. I am praying my children never get wind of these things, or it will be ALL OVER. But yeah, while you are walking your 14 to 22 miles in one day, there are pit stops every 3 miles or so with snacks and beverages so you're always hydrated... which leads me to...

8. The CLEANEST portapotties on the planet. I do not lie. If you have to use a portapotty, you are DAMN glad it is so clean. On the 3Day, you spend all your, um, potty time in them. In fact, I took photos of my teammates after their first 3Day portapotty experiences. See how impressed by the cleanliness they are?

7. Camp entertainment. Yeah, you read right, camp entertainment. After you've walked almost a marathon, you're ready to just veg out and be entertained, right? So, every night, there's something on the stage. We were big fans of 3Day RockStar, which is a little like American Idol minus Randy, Paula, and Simon, but including the talent, and a different kind of talent at that... The winner was crew member Rob who qualified with his fantastic version of "Piano Man" ("well they're sharing a drink they call Gatorade".) This was followed up the next night with his 3Day version of "Uptown Girl" (apparently, Rob loves Billy Joel) titled "3Day Girl" ("and when she's walkin', she's lookin' so fi-i-ine") 

6. Free Milano cookies from Pepperidge Farm and other cool stuff from sponsors. Yeah, in 2006, one of the sponsors was Motrin and we got FREE MOTRIN... but they've figured out that ibuprofen sucks the electrolytes outta ya and, well, you need those when you're walking from San Francisco to Marin and back... anyway, the sponsors this time were Pepperidge Farm (FREE Milanos in camp), New Balance, Golden Grain (spaghetti dinner on the first night), and La Croix (they do sparkling water.) I won the La Croix raffle on the second night and am looking forward to receiving my cooler full of La Croix products! They also have a tent at camp with foot massagers! Here are our feet getting a much deserved massage:

OK, that last one is just gratuitous... Thanks HOT Sausalito cops! Now that's what I call community support!

4. HOOKERS, and other Walker Stalkers... The folks who cheer you on along the route (who aren't crew and other walkers) are called "Walker Stalkers". Our favorites were the Hookers for Hooters because they were dressed like ladies of the evening and drove around blasting upbeat music. It was fun to holler "HOOKERS!" whenever we saw them, even if we were in Mill Valley (heh, heh, heh.) 

They were just one set of stalkers... there were the two older dudes who showed up at different points on the route to cheer us on... 
the Boob Lady who invited everyone to touch... 

the folks who got up early to cheer us as we left camp on the last day... We couldn't have done it without any of them!

3. Incredible support by the crew... From the food, to crossing guards, to helpful police officers in different cities, to folks who bused our tables, to the medical crew, to the folks who scanned you in, to the sweep van crews... AMAZING. Made me feel like I had a vacation, even though I walked 60 miles in 3 days!

2. Showing off my knitting and knitting publicly. Sorry folks, you knew knitting had to make an appearance somewhere... I knit boob hats and they were very popular! Tons of folks took our pictures, well the tops of our heads. Here's my fave photo of the infamous BOOB HATS which I've titled "Boobs by the Bay":

And some photos of us being crafty at camp:

And the #1 reason to walk 60 miles in 3 days...

Enjoying your friends, making new ones, and being reminded of why we really walk. It was truly wonderful to spend 3 days and 60 miles with my two friends and neighbors, Michelle and Deena. I was so glad to have them join me on this journey. We were able to meet a lot of other fabulous folk, including other Ravelers (Team Unraveled in particular), my fantabulous, beautiful, energetic and incredibly fast walker tentmate Dee Ann, and Pink Beard Barry, who is completing all 14 of the 3Day events this year.

While walking through Golden Gate Park, we came upon a group of women in lawn chairs, cheering us on. I noticed that one of them was covering up the hair she was losing. I asked her if I could hug her (it's my thing to hug survivors and future survivors) and she held me close and said in my ear, "Thank you so much. I'm fighting this thing and I'M GOING TO WIN." In those few words, she boiled it down. 

Thank you. Good luck. I'll see you in 2 years.