Thursday, January 29, 2009

in the last 48 hours...

Blazers win! Rudy Fernandez's sweet reverse dunk was definitely a highlight, as were every single one of LaMarcus Aldridge's 25 points and 9 rebounds.

Iceland - perhaps because of their own economic hullabaloo, perhaps because they're AWESOME - elected its first lesbian prime minister. She was a union organizer, and the public seems to trust her, that she "actually cares about the people." Woo!

President Obama signed the Ledbetter Act. See the previous post for more on why this kicks ass.

Book club tonight. We read Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, and I'm not crazy about it. Metafiction annoys me, and I guess I prefer a more spare style of prose because damn! The wordiness killed me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have now received confirmation that all of the law schools to which I've applied have complete copies of my applications. Great. Now I just get to sit in my puddle of anxiety (at least I hope that's anxiety) and wait.

For the record, I applied to Lewis and Clark, UW, UO, Berkeley, Temple and Northwestern. Northwestern was very prompt in rejecting me - fully anticipated that, and none too bothered.

Tonight, however, I will dissipate some of this tension with a Blazers game! They're playing the Charlotte Wildcats. Let me just say that I'm pretty well over the whole NBA musical mascots. New Orleans should be the Jazz (Utah?! Come ON), Charlotte should be the Hornets, and Utah can deal with the Wildcats or some other insanely generic mascot. Don't wreck my frame of reference, NBA. Also, I know Seattle's having some hard times, but letting Oklahoma City take the Sonics was just cold. Calling them the Thunder, even colder.

At any rate, I will continue to harbor my illicit straight crushes on LaMarcus Aldridge and Martell Webster. They're adorable, and I'm not apologizing.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Holla: Lilly Ledbetter

Today, the Senate passed (by an astonishing 61-36 margin) the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a landmark case in labor law. The holding is a little difficult to capture in a single sentence, but I'll try: Former employees seeking back pay as a result of a successful pay discrimination suit (race, gender, age, etc.) are now entitled to back pay starting up to two years prior to the alleged discriminatory act. Further, as the Library of Congress summary points out:
Amends the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 to declare that an unlawful practice occurs when a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted, when a person becomes subject to the decision or other practice, or when a person is affected by the decision or practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid.
This is really fundamental. No, really. Every time an employee gets a paycheck (or tips or what-have-you), it's a throw-back to Ledbetter. It's a legal check mark against a discriminating employer. Rather than look at the entire scope of an worker's employ, the courts must now look at each paycheck as a separate discriminatory act. This, rather than damages assigned as a blanket fix-it, seems like a more accurate dispensation of justice and a protective measure for those who do not get the pay they are owed.

Frankly, I'm stoked. Lilly Ledbetter campaigned and lobbied hard for two years to see this done. She was a plant manager at a Goodyear tire factory who realized way too late that she'd been getting crummy pay on account of her gender. Short version: legal loopholes stood between her and her back pay, so she took her fight to Congress. Props, LL.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Watching Out for Dykes (or: A Paean to Alison Bechdel)

Alison Bechdel blogs. I knew this, at least, I'd heard it from her very mouth at Wordstock '08, but until now I hadn't actually bothered to check it out. Naturally, her blog is as insightful, intelligent and rad as her comics. Check it:
[Lesbian author Jeanette] Winterson... talks about being identified as the “homosexual authoress” in her small village. “I suppose I should be writing racy novels in a tweed skirt and brogues, but then everybody else around here wears those.” This calls to mind my own experience of lesbian rustication here in New England, where everyone dresses like a butch dyke, even the gay men, which is sometimes confusing.
This statement also very aptly applies to Alaska, if you're lucky enough to be outside of Anchorage. Having been mistaken for a gay man (COME ON) in both urban and rural settings*, this little blurb reached out and grabbed me. The number of layers a gender-ambiguous person wears is, in my experience, directly proportionate to the incidence of incorrect pronoun/address usage (see also: don't call me "Bro"). Relatedly, I've been getting some interesting looks on the light rail when I bust out the Michelle Tea.

Back to Bechdel, though. Perhaps I've already gone on at great length about her interview in the Comics Journal #282, wherein she speaks to the satisfaction one can derive from chopping wood and her desire to do so naked (which happens to be her cover illustration for that same issue). The entire interview, which I re-read from time to time to validate my need to demonstrate my rather bitchin' vocabulary, is fantastic, but what stands out to me is how well she articulated the need to connect bodily to things outside one's head. One's head is a difficult place.

Anyway, Alison Bechdel is rad, and now her radness graces my RSS feed.

*and, most recently, been mistaken for a transguy on a plane. (I appreciate your coolness with that but again, COME ON. Also, don't ever inquire about the "hormone thing" EVER on a plane to anyone in any context. What compels people to speak sometimes?)

Monday, January 12, 2009

breakfast recipe

3 parts coffee that the roommate made half an hour to an hour before
1 part hot water to take the edge off the above

Add any one of the following

Granola bowl-a:
1 part granola
1 part yogurt or soy milk or fruit or tahini by accident (while looking for peanut butter)

2 parts cooked rice from last night
1 part anything else
dash of bragg's, yumm sauce (if available), peanut butter by accident (while looking for tahini)

Sandwich on Stale Bread a la Pre-Caffeine:
Two slices stale bread
PB & J
cheese and hummus
cheese and that god damn tahini (pathetic leftover salad greens optional)

The Holy-Crap-I'm-Already-Late:
Handful of cashews
Piece of fruit hastily thrown in bag
Spoonful of yogurt followed by spoonful of jelly
Absolutely no tahini
Be sure to forget coffee. Curse loudly while running to catch public transit, as the bike is once again broken.

Monday, January 05, 2009

hangin' on the cusp

Last year, I:

-Lost a dog and finally stopped blaming myself for it
-Switched jobs and got a better picture of what I'd like my big girl career to look like in so doing
-Applied to law school (see above)
-Moved again and again hoped it would be the last time
-Spent 7 months+ as a vegetarian and a month of that as a vegan
-Took some sweet trips - Seattle, Montana, the Sierras, Puget Sound and Phoenix* - to see some of my nearest and dearest
-Rode my bike nearly every day
-Started my first garden
-Learned to knit
-Got back into counseling
-Came out as a birdwatcher (expect more bird blogging)
-Occasionally got laid and even dated someone for a bit
-Fell out with a good friend, made some good friends, wrote faraway friends
-Reasonably accomplished my 2008 theme of "be mindful" - resolutions are too constraining, maaaan...

Next year I'd like to:

-Keep up with the above, particularly the travel and hobby parts
-Attend all five weddings (!!) I've been invited to without using my credit card (much)
-Get back to Alaska at some point
-Start at Lewis and Clark or UW Law (fingers crossed!)
-Write folks
-Call folks
-start a spanish class
-Figure out excel - hate that shit
-Take up the themes "get organized and follow through" - those are hard.


*This is my cousin's baby, Lia Beatrice aka the Bean. She's the happiest baby and the folks at Trader Joe's in Phoenix agree.