Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Damn Shame

Kwame Kilpatrick, Mayor of Detroit

No words. There are just no words.

Read about it elsewhere.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mating Season and the Modern Panda

I saw a news report yesterday about the artificial insemination of the female giant panda, Mei Xiang at the National Zoo and it got me to thinking. Apparently, it's been very difficult for her to get pregnant since pandas are generally sexually inactive. One of the zoo doctors said that she "doesn't assume the brooding position which makes it very hard for the male". At a zoo in Thailand, the male hasn't been cooperative either. According to a report last April the male was shown videos of pandas having sex but this didn't help. The director general of the Thai Zoo said that he just didn't want to mate and was looking at the female as a friend. And even artificial insemination hasn't worked very well. So why are we trying so hard to get these pandas to mate? Tourist revenue, human amusement? I have issues with keeping wild animals locked up in an artificial environment but I will leave that alone for now. I do think these pandas have the right idea. First of all, I strongly believe that friends should not be having sex. I am not an advocate of the whole "friends with benefits" phenomenon. For me, a friend is a friend. Why blur the lines? And why would the female panda want to be pregnant? Most women I know go to extreme measures not to get pregnant until they have decided the time is right. She's probably still enjoying her single, childless life climbing trees and eating bamboo all day. And she may not think the male panda would make a good father. Then too, she's already pretty huge so I'm sure she doesn't want the extra baby weight. Women get awfully cranky in that last trimester. My 9-months pregnant sister almost ripped me a new one when I joked about how big she had gotten. I don't think Mei Xiang wants a bunch of people gawking at her when she's dealing with swollen ankles that she can't even see over her gigantic belly. Even humans can't come up with good reasons for having kids. Ask enough parents and I'm sure they will tell the zoo keepers to just give those pandas a few shots of Patrón. Couple that with the panda porn and we'll be seeing some bouncing baby pandas in no time!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Saint

This year I had a pretty laid back St. Patrick's Day. I started off at McCormick and Schmick's (or M & S Grill as this location is known as). This has to be one of the cheapest happy hours in town for food and drinks. And given the fact that this particular holiday seems to be about nothing more than drinking lots of cheap, decent bear and eating heavy, brown food, why not? What I love about DC is the ability to meet people who are familiar in some way anywhere you go. Like seeing my landlord next to me at the bar on Friday night. Tonight I ended up meeting a guy from my hometown named Jake. He was very nice and we had lots to talk about. But the real story was his friend who showed up later. Once he arrived, I got the full story of how the friend had just gotten stabbed the night before by his baby mama of two years. Apparently, he had gotten a speeding ticket a couple of days before and she wasn't speaking to him. When he got home last night she was having drinks with her girlfriend. Or so he thought until he was awakened by yelling and a knife in his face. After a few slashes, he managed to lock himself in the bathroom and call the police. Call it the luck of the Irish, but he managed not to be too badly injured. Now according to Jake, prior to this relationship, he would have thought that his friend deserved such bad treatment because of his philandering ways. But in the two years with his baby moma, this friend had done nothing wrong - he had managed to be a saint. So, a stabbing was unbelievable and quite shocking. Neither could understand it. This woman had never gotten upset, raised her voice, or done anything out of the ordinary in the entire two years (which I find hard to believe). But even after all the baby mama drama I've heard over the years, this was very shocking to me. The part that didn't shock me: Jake's friend chose not to press charges and left the bar when she called to ask that he come home. She didn't even understand why he stayed with Jake last night - after the stabbing.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008


Misguided, it appears, was Silda. Kind of like a modern fairy tale. Smart, young woman goes off to law school. Graduates with high honors and lands a high-paying job that has her in demand. But along comes a man to take her away from the big, bad world and gives her the pot of gold: to be married, stay at home and have many children. She gladly accepts and lives happily ever after until the world learns that he has spent thousands of dollars to have sex with a hooker.

This thought came to me after reading an email link Megan sent to me describing Silda Spitzer's background on Slate titled, "Don't Quit Your Day Job."
Maybe Silda had bought into the idea Barbara Dafoe Whitehead argues in, Why There Are No Good Men Left. The Atlantic Monthly summarizes the basic finding in her book this way: the time in their lives when they feel ready for a partner, young women are at a loss as to how to find one. Contemporary young women, she points out, have been raised to seek fulfilling careers rather than husbands. And upon college graduation they want to spend time out on their own, making their mark on the world, rather than pairing off right away and exchanging their independence for family life.
The problem, she explains, is that when these women reach their late twenties or thirties and at last become interested in settling down, the large pool of eligible young men to which they had access in college—with backgrounds and ambitions similar to their own—has disappeared. A woman at this stage in her life is likely to be trapped in a somewhat narrow routine that includes work, working-out, and socializing with a circle of friends. Her odds of encountering her future spouse in these limited spheres are extremely low.

Twenty years ago, old big ears Spitzer probably seemed like a supreme catch and the fairy tale became reality.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Psychology of Men

Here we go again. Another really, really, crazy politician and his sex habits revealed - Eliot Spitzer. What governor of a state solicits prostitutes without being crazy? I have always disliked the argument that boys will be boys because I find it too simplistic, accepting, discourages change, and it just sounds stupid. But most of all, I find it odd that no one is calling for an examination of this almost exclusively male behavior. And when I say examination I mean, why hasn't Congress called for a national forum to examine why men just can't seem to keep their dick in their pants even when they face jail, being forced to resign, having their children find out, massive humiliation, and all sorts of other traumatic consequences? Just look at the list in recent times and it really is unbelievable, so much so that I think these cases are losing their shock value and as a society we are becoming indifferent. Let's see, we've got a U.S. President, a couple of governors, congressmen, mayors. I just don't get it. And don't even get me started on the crazy women who stand by these men. I've already posted my two cents about that.
It is amazing that men with so much to lose would engage in this behavior. Less intriguing but just as odd is that men with so little to profit from freaky behavior engage in it with such regularity and passivity as if normal. I love the attention given to DC street harassment in the City Paper not long ago. DC Newbie recently shared her own cab driver harassment experience. Those guys are notorious. The cat-calling, yelling, whistling, hissing, groping, following....This stuff doesn't work but guys do it anyway. Even exposure. Today my friend Leah reminded me of an incident at Chief Ike's a year ago. I was dancing with a seemingly normal guy on a crowded dance floor. At one point I looked down to make sure I didn't step in spilled beer and low and behold, it was out - his entire penis! I looked up at him and he was smiling. I was so shocked that all I could do was immediately leave the dance floor. Ok, so who's going to chair the committee to examine crazy men? Volunteers?

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Forward

Did you all remember to set your clocks ahead? I didn't and was later than usual. Well, I apologize if this post makes no sense. My thoughts have been rather jumbled lately. Blame it on the lunar cycle, my cycle, no sex in the past few days (hey, I'm in my 30's - girl's gotta have it), whatever. I'm just tired of cold weather and looking forward to spring. I also didn't need to lose an hour of sleep. Hell, I don't sleep enough as it is. Anyway, this was a good weekend for me to purge, clean, reflect, and introspect. What do I want? What do I want to get rid of? What do I want to do differently, better? This is the time to think of those things. The newness of Spring inspires those questions. Spring cleaning, right?
So, tonight I went to see a new band which included a favorite keyboardist of mine, Will Rast. His new 9-piece band is called, Will Rast's Funk Ark. Anytime I hear the words funk and jazz together, I'm down. They were all good but the drummer and trumpet player blew me away. Just what I needed. A nice intimate performance at The Space.
I also got a chance to see my nephew this weekend. What's better than being a singleton and seeing the sweetest, cutest, funniest, smartest, 2 and 1/2 year old in the world? Nothing. And what aunt doesn't say that? Kids are the happiest people in the world and another inspiration to do just that - be happy!

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Never Compromise, Settle, Give Up, Give In.....

Today I got one of my favorite email newsletters. It was from Barbara Winter, the queen of Joyfully Jobless. She is truly one of my heroes. In it she quotes Steve Jobs from his famous commencement address at Stanford, "The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know it when you find it. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle."
So true as I realized tonight about my recent dating history. While I would rather not bring up that crazy article again about women and settling, I must. Where I think Ms. Gottlieb is wrong is in assuming women have such great choices in unappealing men and that it's just as easy as picking our fugly of choice. Uh, no. What I see is that women from days of old have been settling for really bad pickings just to say they are in relationships. Like my married sister who claims that living life with one person for almost twenty years now is so great but is on antidepressants because of a husband she calls, "Morbid Man." I mean really, where are all these old, fat, balding dudes who treat us like gold? My attempts at being nice, making excuses, compromising, being forgiving, etc. have resulted in men who: don't speak English well (and I mean those born and raised in this country), have bad breath, stutter, are so short and slight in build but big in ego they remind me of Frankie Lymon, are angry Catholics who scrub down after sex, can't get it up, have children (especially more than one), suggest going to a strip club on a first date, are too cheap or don't know how to tip at a restaurant, only text message rather than call for a date, suggest having an illegitimate child because they think it would be attractive... They have all been assholes. Believe me, nothing is worse than feeling like you got slighted by one of these! Go ahead, seek out what you want in life with perseverance. Even if you don't get it, at least you tried.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Wine (Whine) Overload

After Goldilocks gets her fill of good porridge, does she go in search of greater sustenance? Or, does she eat until she can't eat anymore? Shit, I live in DC. Goldilocks goes in search of good wine and food! So, the Wine and Food Fest was great if all I wanted was wine and bullshit talk from wine producers. My favorite characters were the rock star dudes from Miami Winery even though I would probably never drink mango, lychee, or guava wine. My main complaint was the lack of food. Why not just call it a Wine Fest? There were bread and cracker stations throughout, but real food samples? Nonexistent. I didn't feel so bad since I got in for free in exchange for volunteering the day before. Pam and I were drunk even though we didn't make it there until the last hour and a half. And so were many others. I don't envy the Ronald Reagan Building staff for having to get rid of all the people drunk from way too many tastings. When we got outside, there were guys doing push-ups on Pennsylvania Avenue, apparently as a result of too much wine.
But I needed it. I made the decision to say goodbye to my twenty-something heading off to active military duty. So, of course I needed more wine. Noticing the time, we realized that Vinoteca has happy hour from 4-7 pm on Sunday through Thursday. I'd been saving the place for a fun night out with a fellow blogger, but we were truly starving. We hopped on the 68 bus and jokingly told the bus driver not to stop for anyone. Several riders did not appreciate our comments because he seemed to take us seriously. He wanted to know where we were in such a rush to get to and we pointed out the place as we ran from the bus into Vinoteca. Fortunately, we made it and the bartender was very amused. After about twenty minutes into our drinks and sliders, in walks the bus driver! We couldn't believe it. Where was the bus? Apparently, he ditched it and was so interested in where we were rushing off to that he decided to come in and buy us a drink. Very nice gesture I thought. Interesting though how he spent most of his time on the phone with his girlfriend explaining why he wasn't at home. Men. Gotta love 'em.

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