Sunday, October 12, 2008

On Foreign Policy and Our Reputation Abroad, by Natalie

Foreign Policy/Our Reputation Abroad
The United States is currently marred by the Bush-Cheney approach to foreign relations, an approach that 1) is based in a unilateralist approach 2) believes the only way to “get tough” is to blow things up and 3) relies on a dangerous refusal to talk to leaders we dislike. These approaches have made the United States, amongst other things, less safe and have brought down our moral standing in the international community. McCain and Palin offer a foreign policy strategy that is unnervingly similar.

• According to several reports, including research from the State Department, the war in Iraq has harmed security in America and has left the nation more at risk. A survey of more than 100 foreign policy experts, conducted in February 2008 by Foreign Policy magazine, found that three-quarters believed that the United States was losing the war on terror. Cleary the Bush/Cheney strategy has not worked.

• McCain staked out anew his position on Iraq, staunchly defending his support for a continued U.S. military mission as the war enters its sixth year and the U.S. death toll tops 4,000. He derided calls by Clinton and Obama for withdrawal.

A coherent foreign policy must be comprised of several tools, including strategic military use and diplomatic efforts. Obama gets this! He is nuanced and understands the complexities of the world we live in today. He understands the need to engage the international community; he also understands that diplomatic pressures are often more effective than military intervention. However, the military is an important tool for Obama, as well: Obama and Biden fully understand the importance of a strong and fortified military and the need to deploy it when all else fails.

• Obama’s foreign policy focuses on ending the politics of fear and emphasizes the need to move beyond a hollow "democracy promotion" agenda to one that promotes dignity. This approach aims to “fix the conditions of misery that breed anti-Americanism in the first place and prevent liberty, justice, and prosperity from taking root.” An inextricable part of that doctrine is a relentless and thorough destruction of al-Qaeda.

“When considering any presidential hopeful's foreign-policy promises, it's important to remember that what candidates say is, at best, an imperfect guide to their actions in office. What proves to be a more reliable indicator of presidential behavior is a candidate's roster of advisers. (If the press had paid better attention, the country would have seen through Bush's pitch about a humble foreign policy and realized that many of his advisers, including Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, were conspiracy-minded warmongers.) Obama's foreign-policy advisers come from diverse backgrounds. They are former aides to Democratic mandarins like Tom Daschle and Lee Hamilton (Denis McDonough and Ben Rhodes, respectively); veterans of the Clinton administration's left flank (Tony Lake and Susan Rice); a human-rights advocate who helped write the Army's and Marine Corps' much-lauded counterinsurgency field manual (Sarah Sewall); and a retired general who helped run the air war during the invasion of Iraq (Scott Gration) Yet they form a committed, intellectually coherent, and surprisingly united foreign-affairs team.” (The Obama Doctorine)

• Obama and Biden will convene a bipartisan Consultative Group of leading members of Congress to foster better executive-legislative relations and bipartisan unity on foreign policy. This group will be comprised of the congressional leadership of both political parties, and the chair and ranking members of the Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Intelligence, and Appropriations Committees. This group will meet with the president once a month to review foreign policy priorities, and will be consulted in advance of military action.

• McCain’s foreign policy has been derided as “schizophrenic” and “out of touch,” a “policy of active exclusion and hostility toward two major global powers.” A foreign policy expert and revered academic warned that McCain’s plan “would reverse a decades-old bipartisan American policy of integrating [Russia and China] into the global order, a policy that began under Richard Nixon (with Beijing) and continued under Ronald Reagan (with Moscow). It is a policy that would alienate many countries in Europe and Asia who would see it as an attempt by Washington to begin a new cold war.”

• McCain’s website does not have a section coherently detailing his foreign policy approach.

For more information on Obama’s and McCain’s foreign policy, visit:
The Obama Doctorine
McCain vs. McCain
Obama website on foreign policy foreign policy brain trusts

On Women, by Natalie

Women are different: we come from different backgrounds, occupations, families and places and we have different beliefs, values and opinions. However, I believe our differences-wide as they may be-are small compared to our powerful similarities: I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t think about the economy; about her job, her financial security and her work/life balance; about taking care of her family, her children, her parents, her siblings and her friends; about the safety of this nation in the face of war and terrorism; about healthcare and gas and food prices; and about the desire for peace in her neighborhood, her country and across the globe. Women also care about their ability to make their own decisions over their bodies and their reproductive futures, about whether they are paid equally and about sexual and gender based discrimination and violence within and outside the home.

Obama and Biden get this; McCain and Palin do not. On their website, McCain/Palin claim that “there is only one candidate (John McCain) who has answers to the most basic concerns facing women voters.” I have scoured their website and there is absolutely no reference to the particular challenges women face in the work-force, including balancing work, personal and family demands and the specific obstacles women face in owning their own businesses; there is also scant discussion on the variety of other issues that matter to women. They do however discuss Cindy McCain’s travels. Take a look for yourself. Obama and Biden, on the other hand, have a lot to say-and it makes sense.

On Women and Work

• While women have made unparalleled gains in the American economy, we continue to shoulder substantial economic burdens and unjust practices. Over the past eight years, female workers have faced stagnating wages, declining health care coverage, erosion of pension protections, rising personal debt and have been hard hit by the housing crisis.

• While 62 percent of working women earn at least half of their family’s income, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same work. This is a national shame. Barack Obama and Joe Biden have championed the right of women to receive equal pay for equal work. In the Illinois State Senate, Obama cosponsored and voted for the Illinois Equal Pay Act, which provided 330,000 more women protection from pay discrimination. In the U.S. Senate, Obama joined a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce the Fair Pay Restoration Act.

• 3 out of 4 low-wage workers have no paid sick leave. It is fundamentally unfair that a mother, working hard and playing by the rules, can get fired or lose wages because her child gets sick. Obama and Biden support efforts to guarantee workers seven days of paid sick leave per year, a moderate proposal that should not impose too onerous a burden on employers.

• The Obama economic plan will also give 8.4 million working women a raise of up to $4,700 per year, by increasing the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011.

• Obama and Biden will extend Child Care Tax Breaks to 7.5 million additional workingwomen and provide high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs to an additional 2 million children. Their plan also supports paid paternal leave.

• Women business owners are more likely than white male business owners to have their loan applications denied. Obama and Biden encourage investing in women-owned businesses, providing more support to women business owners and reducing discrimination in lending.

• Obama/Biden will help 8.7 million women business owners grow their businesses and create jobs by setting capital gains rates to zero for small business and entrepreneurial ventures.

• In McCain’s website issues section on the economy, which includes topics like “Supporting Small Businesses,” “Workplace Flexibility and Choice” and “Relief for American Families” neither McCain nor Palin illustrate even the slightest understanding of the specific economic or work place triumphs and challenges women face.

On Reproductive Rights/Healthcare
• Obama supports a woman’s right to choose her reproductive futures-and to access comprehensive reproductive healthcare; he also supports expanding access to contraception, health information and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies.

• McCain and Palin want to restrict and control the options women are able to access when facing unintended pregnancies; this is a direct attack against women’s autonomy and empowerment. McCain does not support a woman’s right to choose her reproductive futures (neither does Palin); in fact, both would overthrow Roe v. Wade if given the chance, making safe abortion illegal in many parts of the country.

• John McCain has voted to terminate the Title X family-planning program, which provides millions of women with health-care services ranging from birth control to breast cancer screenings.

• John McCain voted against legislation that would have prevented unintended pregnancy in the first place! He opposed investing in insurance coverage for prescription birth control, promoting family-planning services, implementing teen-pregnancy prevention programs and developing programs to increase awareness about emergency contraception.

• More than 19 million women are uninsured in this country, and women are more likely than men to delay or not get medical care because of high costs. Obama and Biden are committed to ensuring that all Americans can access affordable, quality health care coverage.

• As dubious as it is to define and fully ensure, choice is critical to the promotion and maintenance of democracy, progress and individual agency. In order to truly have control over one’s life, one must have full control of one’s body, which, undoubtedly, includes access to quality and comprehensive reproductive healthcare. As a woman, I do not want my autonomy jeopardized; and I do not want the state or national legislature to impose its “moral values” on my reproductive healthcare options. I want the choice to dictate what happens to my body and my life. And I want others—regardless of the course they choose—to have that choice, as well.

This is obviously just a snapshot of the many issues that matter to women. If you want to read more about what Obama and Biden will do for women in relation to healthcare, jobs, caretaking responsibilities, retirement and investment, technology and scientific advancement and empowering women abroad, check this out.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Haviland & Riese Vloggetry: The Music Behind the Mystery

Vlog 25: Ladies Love Cool Carlytron
0. Intro
Jimmy / M.I.A.
1. Two Girls and a Gay
Drag King Bar / Bitch & Animal
2. We're Here Today Because We Love You
Comfortably Numb / Scissor Sisters
3. The Way We Were
S.O.S. / Rhianna
4. Internet Love
The Love That I Crave (strategy's strata club remix) / The Blow
5. What I Want, When I Want It
What u See (Is What U Get) / Britney Spears

Vlog 24: House of Wax
0. Intro
Starts With One / Shiny Toy Guns
1. Tinkerbell Takes Hollywood
California Girls / The Beach Boys
2. Camera One, Camera Two
Gimme More - Sia
Paper Planes - m.i.a.
3. She's Got the Look
She's Got The Look - Roxette
4. Ending
Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers

Vlog 22: Whatever You Want Whatever You need
0. "Intro"
Heartbeat / The Knife
1. "Dancing with the Rising Stars"
I Want You Back / Jackson 5
2. "Tinkerbell Wants a Vodka Tonic"
My Baby Just Cars For Me / Nina Simone
3. "My Favorite Sport is Lozoball."
Memphis Belles / Prodigy
4. "Come on kids we've got trees we've yet to live in."
Overprotected / Britney Spears

Vlog 21: Littlefoot Moonwalks

0. "Intro"
Ice Cream/ New Young Pony Club
1. "has anyone ever told you that you look alike?"
Two Little Girls / Ani DiFranco
2. "cavity search"
When I See You Smile / Bad English
3. "Gold Star"
Hot as Ice / Britney Spears
4. "For Kalitter."
Come on Kids / Tegan & Sara
5. "The L Key"
"Gin and Juice" Snoop Doggy Dog
6. Ending Credits
"You Better Work" Ru Paul

Vlog 20: And On and On and On
0. "Intro" ("This is the fourth time ...")
Do It / Nelly Furtado
1. "It's How You Play the Game."
Take my Breath Away Remix / DJ Sammy
2. "The Kid Stays in the Picture."
Hey Pretty / Poe
3. "Lexicon."
All the Things She Said / T.A.T.U
4. "(4)"
Build me up Buttercup / The Temptations
5. "Outro" ("This isn't a golf match, Lozo.")
Only You/ Portishead

Vlog 19: The Show Must Go On
0. "Intro" ("You're the hot one, I'm the cool one."
Ramalama (BANG BANG) / Rosin Murphy
0a. "Intro Part 2" (Alex: "I don't know what I'm doing right now.")
Born to Run / Bruce Springsteen
1. "Haviland and Lozo: One of These Things is Not Like The Other."
Showdown / Britney Spears
2. "The Sport."
Let's Get Ready To Rumble / Jock Jams
3. "A Lozo PSA"
Do You Realize? / Flaming Lips
4. "I Believe That Children are the Future."
Baby, it's You / Smith

Vlog 18: We'll Always Have Miami
Puttin' on the Ritz / Shiny Toy Guns
Act Naturally /The Beatles
La Isla Bonita / Madonna
Breathe In (Aphrodite Full Vocal Mix) /Frou Frou

Vlog 17: Jig it Out
Senorita/ Justin Timberlake
Deja Vu/ Beyonce & Jay-Z
Miami / Will Smith
These Days / Nico
What I Am / Edie Brickell
Decepation / Le Tigre
Fuck Me Pumps / Amy Winehouse
Summer Never Ends / Northern State

Vlog 16: Seasonal Displays of Affection
Lindsay Lohan - Rumors
The Blow - Babay (Eat a Critter, Feel Its Wrath)
Ludacris - Growing Pains
Paris Hilton - Stars Are Blind
Air - Ghost Song
Kanye West- Breathe in Breathe Out
Jay-Z - Girls Girls Girls

Vlog 15: Year in Review
Outkast - Vibrate
Depeche Mode - I Just Can't Get Enough (Schizo Mix)
Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run
Afroman - Because I Got High
Britney Spears (Jack D. Elliot Radio Mix) - Stronger

Vlog 14: Nice Shoulder
Britney Spears - Everybody
Nine Inch Nails - Closer
Scissor Sisters - Laura
Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
John Lennon - So This is Christmas
Big Punisher - Still Not a Player
Justin Timberlake (Linus Loves Remix) - Sexyback

Vlog 12: Are You Ready for Winter?
Joan Jett - Bad Reputation
Scisssor Sisters - Comfortably Numb
Britney Spears - Ooops ... I Did It Again
David Bowie - Ground Control to Major Tom
Jay-Z - Can I Get A?
Kanye West - Jesus Walks

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Automatic Universe Glossary

This here is under construction.

i. Some Abbrevs
Because We Are Very Busy, we cannot say every word all the way through. We understand mortality and its implications, and shortening words packs as much excitement into life as possible.

Some shortened words:

w/r/t=With Respect To
Probs = Probably
Obvs = Obviously
Totes = Totally
Defo = Definitely
Mos Def = Most Definitely
Whatevs= Whatever
This's=This is
Hands Down Totes = Without a Doubt, Absolutely.
JK=Just Kidding
LOL = Only intended for past tense usage or oral speech, not appropriate to represent present tense laughter as in "lol" w/o the "I am loling" or something like that.

ii. Definition of the word "Critter."

I've asked Cait, the Critter authority, to provide a definition of the word "Critter."

Critter: A critter is someone who does things that normal people do in a way cuter than the average person. It can be used as a noun, adjective, or a greeting. For example, Haviland is a total critter. Alexandra Vega has critterish tendencies. If I was to see you on the street randomly I might say, "Hey Crit."

Examples of critter behavior are as follows: being super cute and fun all the time, not causing drama, wearing hoodies that make you want to cuddle no matter what your relationship is, a stranger being super nice for no reason for no personal benefit for themselves, making the best out of awful situations, always being up for anything.

Critter is totally not a sexual term at all, although obvs we've probs all had sex with critters, it is by no means a qualification for the term.

Pop culture references to critters: Brandon Walsh, Uncle Jesse, Charlotte York, Shane when she's your friend, ALICE obvs, Marie Lyn Bernard/Riese.

iii. The Name "Riese"

As a little girl, my Mother used to call me "Ree" or "Ree-Ree." She also sometimes called me "pumpkin-head." "Ree" of course is short for "Marie," my real name. Howevs, Marie conjures images of powdered wigs and other such things, not fitting to a rascal like me. This nickname continues to this day.

Krista and Ingrid were my suitemates in boarding school in 1997-98, we were very busy, they too often called me "Ree," but with a sort of soft "s" at the end. We called Ingrid, "Ing," that's how busy we were. So, we wrote a lot of notes to each other, as suitemates, e.g., "took your shirt," "meet me at the mel-caf" etc, and Krista always wrote "Ris" -- pronounced "Reese." I don't know why, it's just what she did.

When I met Haviland in '06 she said she didn't think the name "Marie" fit me -- and I think she saw something somewhere in my room where Krista had written something to me and written "Ris" (Krista and I also lived together as adults) and so Hav started calling me "Ris" and introducing me to everyone that way. Then we realised that when people saw that written out, they thought it was pronounced like it rhymes with "Kiss." So, 'cause I also felt it suited me better, my agent and I figured out a better way to spell it, and thus it became me. Ta-dA!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

February Auto-Fun Archives

quote: "If somebody is superfunny, you have to assume that there's some hell that broke loose somewhere that's really a fountain for them. I know that for me, once I realized that I could not only make other people laugh but make myself laugh, I used to laugh to keep from crying. So it wasn't a choice: it was, 'If I don't laugh today I'm gonna feel like I'm doing a slow dance with death, so I'd better start chuckling it up.'" (Nicey Nash)
links: Writing Sex Work (@bookslut), Goodbye to All That: Why Obama Matters (@the atlantic), What the Waitress Saw (@The Financial Times), Just Watch This Please (@youtube)
quote: "Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone." (Paul Tillich)
links: The King of Kong (@fourfour), Clinton & Obama: Realistic vs. Romantic Worldviews (@NY Mag), Atlantic Archives Are Free Online Now(@the atlantic), which means you can read The Future of the American Idea AND Lost in the Meritocracy!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January Auto-Fun Archives

quote: "If reality isn't my picture of it, I'm lost." (Kathy Acker, Empire of the Senseless)
links: On Second Person (@NYMag Book Review), The Antinomian Crisis, by Jean Gallagher (@pebble lake review), Can The Novella Save Literature? (@The Guardian UK), Amateur Photo Contest: Hoodies (, Gay For Pay (@Radar)
quote: "I want to pick lemons off my tree and sell this house and go everywhere." (Eileen Myles)
links: RECAP! The L Word, Episode 504 (@autostraddle), The Murky Demimonde of Amazon's Top Reviewers (, Books That Make You Dumb (@Virgil Griffith), Nominate Me For Lesbo Blog of the Year! (@TLL)
quote: "The internet is, for loners, an absolute and total miracle. It is, for us, the best invention of the last millennium. It educates. It entertains. It transforms. It facilitates a kind of dialogue in which we need not be seen, so it suits us perfectly. It validates. It makes being alone seem normal. It makes being alone fun for everyone." (from Anneli Rufus' "The Loner's Manifesto")
link:Ten Famous Writers Reveal Their Works That Never Made it Into Print (@Independent UK),Dr. Dippy, Meet Dr. Evil (@NY Times), The Ballad of Heath and Michelle (@Radar Archives)
quote: "There are so many different ways to be connected to people. There are people you feel an unspoken connection to, even though there's not even a word for it. There's the people who you've known forever who know you in this way that other people can't because they've seen you change. They've let you change." (My So-Called Life)
link:Exercpt from "The Face of Seung-Hui Cho" (@n+1), A President Like My Father: Obama (Caroline Kennedy @The NY Times), Nominate Me For Lesbo Blog of the Year! (@TLL),
quote: "I don't know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life, anybody's life, my life. All he'd wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got?" (Bladerunner)
link: Primary Choices: Hilary Clinton (@The NY Times), My Preferred Medium is Prejudice (@fourfour), A Life Less Cartoony (@The National Post)
quote: "The reading of these [excellent] books seems to perform a curious couching operation of the senses; one sees more intensely afterwards; the world seems bared of its covering and given an intenser life. Those are the enviable people who live at enimity with unreality; and those are the pitiable who are knocked on the head by the thing done without knowing or caring. So that when I ask you to earn money and have a room of your own, I am asking you to live in the presence of reality, an invigorating life, it would appear, whether one can impart it or not." (Virginia Wolff, A Room of One's Own)
link: Finally Good News w/r/t Publishing (@mediabistro), Calling Out of Context: I Worked the Phones at the Victoria's Secret Catalogue (
quote: "Big city, hmm? Live. Work, huh? But. Only peoples. Peoples is peoples. No is buildings. Is tomatos, huh? Is peoples, is dancing, is music, is potatoes. So, peoples is peoples. Okay?" (Pete, The Muppets take Manhattan)
link:The Ticking is the Bomb (@Esquire Magazine), Nominate Me For Lesbo Blog of the Year! (@TLL)
quote: "There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier." (James Joyce)
link:Kickstart My Heart (@n+1), NEW L WORD RECAP: Episode 503: Lady of the Lake (@Autostraddle), Heath Ledger, Alex Balk Finally Says Goodbye to His Soul (@Gawker), Nominate Me For Lesbo Blog of the Year! (@TLL)
quote: "I do not consider myself less ignorant than most people. I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to me." (Herman Hesse, Demian)
link: NEW L WORD RECAP: Episode 503: Lady of the Lake (@Autostraddle), Poem:Science Fiction (@The New Yorker), Have You Had Your Oates Today? (@Post-Gazette)
quote: "Here's a secret: Everyone, if they live long enough, will lose their way at some point. You will lose your way, you will wake up one morning and find yourself lost. This is a hard, simple truth. If it hasn't happened to you yet, consider yourself lucky." (Nick Flynn, Esquire Magazine: "The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Torture.")
link: Should Nabakov's Final Work Be Destroyed? (, Planet Podcast for Episode #502 (@The Planet Cast), Is the Bookworm an Endangered Species? (@Harper's), James Joyce's love letters to Nora.
quote: there is. no fun. (carly, alex, riese, haviland, et al.)
quote: "I'm on vacation. Oh, and if anyone asks, I'm also on smack." (Peter, The Family Guy)
links: What's in a Font? (@The Atlantic), Shoplifting from American Apparel (@Vice Magazine)
quote: "Writing is what I did when I was alone with no one watching me or telling me what to do. I could do whatever I wanted." (Kathy Acker)
links: In Praise of Melancholy (@Chronicle of Higher Ed), The MySpace Suicide Hoax (@The New Yorker)
quote: "How naive of me to suppose that I could track down a past moment of reverie and precisely recover it in words. I find it impossible to determine which of those two records is the more accurate one, because together they constitute the memory that is left of the event." (Jonia Agee, Harper's)
links: Bookslut @ PW, Are You There God, It's Me Jamiroquai (@archewood), I Really Actually Liked Him A Lotalot: Actor Brad Renfro Dies at 25.
quote: "Marco enters a city: he sees someone in a square living a life or an instant that could be his; he could now be in that man's place, if he had stopped in time, long ago; or if, long ago, at a crossroads, instead of taking one road he had taken the opposite one, and after long wandering he had come to be in the place of that man in that square. By now, from that real or hypothetical place of his, he is excluded; he cannot stop; he must go on to another city, where another of his pasts awaits him, or something perhaps that had been a possible future of his and is now someone else's present. Futures not achieved are only branches of the past: dead branches." (Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities)
link:Q&A with David Mamet (@NY Mag), Lozo's Open For Business (@wdwgdab), Effective Social-Climbing on Facebook (@RADAR)
I keep unplanning the same Sunday. Leg/and flower, breeze and terrier, I have no garden/and couldn't be happier. Please, don't lose me/here. I am sorry my clutch is all/tendon and no discipline: the heart is a severed/kind of muscle and alone. I can hear yours in your room. I hear mine/in another room. In another's." (Brenda Shaughnessy)
link:Recap: Episode 502, The L Word (@Autostraddle), Anon: The Best Writer Ever (@The Guardian UK)
quote: "The art of losing isn't hard to master;/so many things seem filled with the intent/to be lost that their loss is no disaster." (Elizabeth Bishop, from "One Art")
link: Has Gawker Jumped the Snark? (@NYTimes), Essay About Popular Adaptations of Classic Literature (@NYTimes Sunday Book Review), The Case Against Starbucks (@Washington Monthly).
quote: "So it's not that kind of optimism -- a crisis out of which a reversal will erupt. Nor is it of an apocalyptic nature where a revelation of truth will take place. This is why there's a great, pervasive depression, because there's no revelation forthcoming --- that's the revelation! There's no sudden revolution or reversal to be hoped for (nor necessarily to be desired)." (Avital Ronell)
link: read this NOW-Just Because I'm a Fag, It Doesn't Mean I'm a Bitch(@fourfour)
quote: "Hyperbole is the single most crucial tool in any writer’s war chest. More important than paper or any writing implement. Without it, there would be no poetry—no written communication of any kind. Eventually people would stop talking, their mouths would seal over, no one could eat food, and everyone would die—slowly and grossly, with blood spurting out from our eyes like from ebola. Thank God as big as ten thousand football stadiums! Thank Jesus who’s prettier than Marilyn Monroe and Ru Paul combined! Thank the universe’s most ultimately awesomest chocolate cake and all that is sacred and holy in this great country of ours for hyperbole!!!!!!!!!!" (jennifer knox in a bookslut interview)
links: interview w/jennifer knox (@bookslut), music after the apocalypse & 3 other poems (@coconut seven), BRILL: murder unscripted - law & order w/o writers.
quote:"My experience of life as essentially unhappy and uncontrollable taught me to examine the way people, including myself, create survival systems ... for themselves in unorthodox and sometimes apparently self-defeating ways. These inner worlds, although often unworkable and unattractive in social terms, can have a unique beauty and courage." (Mary Gaitskill)
links: Michael Musto Has a Blog! (@Village Voice), New Planetcast (@The Planet Podcast), The Death of High Fidelity (@Rolling Stone)


quote:"No one has normal healthy relationships. My theory, that I have yet to put into practice, is that you pick someone slightly less crazy than you." (Billy, Six Feet Under)
links:Interview w/Will Self on Psychogeography (@World Hum), Help your Heart With Exercise-and Booze (@The Guardian UK).
quote:“It’s a pity if someone… has to console himself for the wreck of his days with the notion that somehow his voice, his work embodies the deepest, most obscure, freshest, rawest oyster of reality in the unfathomable refrigerator of the heart’s ocean, but I am such a one, and there you have it.” (Leonard Cohen)
link: The L Word Episode 501 RECAP on AutoStraddle, Why I Write: Joan Didion (1976 NYTimes), The History of Glamour: Teresa Duncan (@Vanity Fair), Who Pays for Sex? You'd Be Surprised (@Times Online UK)
quote: "Leave everything. Leave Dada. Leave your wife. Leave your mistress. Leave your hopes and fears. Leave your children in the woods. Leave the substance for the shadow. Leave your easy life, leave what you are given for the future. Set off on the roads."
André Breton
links:I Always Skip the First 100 or So Pages of a Biography, Childhoods Are Never Interesting (@The Guardian UK), Interview with Leisha and Kate (@AfterEllen)
quote:“My true place in the world, it turned out was somewhere beyond myself, and if that place was inside me, it was also unlocatable. This was the tiny hole between self and not-self, and for the first time in my life I saw this nowhere as the exact center of the world." (Kathy Acker)
links: The 2008 Poetry Forecast (@Possum Ego), About Facebook (@The Nation)
quote:"Literature is the one place in any society where within the secrecy of our heads we can hear voices talking about everything in every possible way." (Salman Rushdie)
link:The Science of Dreams (@telegraph uk), Sex! Drugs! Study Hall! Choose Your Racy Teen Novel (@RADAR Online), The Reading Cure (@Guardian Unlimited Books)
quote: "If you're not spending every waking moment of your life radically rethinking the nature of the world - if you're not plotting every moment boiling the carcass of the old order - then you're wasting your day." (Douglass Coupland, "Girlfriend in a Coma.")
links: Jesus Christ Decides He Doesn't Want to Celebrate His Birthday This Year (@McSweeny's), The Secret Library of Hope (@The Nation), Ode to the Midwest (@Poetry Magazine)
quote: "I'm awake; I am in the world--/I expect/
no further assurance./No protection, no promise." (from "Stars," by Louise Gluck)
link: The L Word S5, Ep1 Pre-cap (@Autostraddle), The Best of the Best and the Worst (@The UK Sunday Times)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Complete List of Reader-Submitted Ideas for the Top Ten

  1. Riese's most played songs on itunes
  2. Riese's favorite things to put in her mouth.
  3. Things to Do on a Snow Day
  5. Reasons why the gays always win arguments.
  6. Reasons Hollister was created by the devil.
  7. Stage plays/musicals that have been adapted to screen where the film version has been as good (if not better) than the original.
  8. Favorite songs of all time that make Riese want to get up and dance no matter what.
  9. Phrases that people say that make Riese cringe on the inside.
  10. Styles (clothing, hair, etc.) Riese wants to come back (ie: side ponytails, acid washed jeans, parachute pants, mullets)
  11. Best CDs of all time.
  12. Movies that Riese doesn't want to admit that she's watched.
  13. Reasons why Riese is obsessed with Detroit
  14. Reasons why gay parents are the best thing ever
  15. Reasons to call into work
  16. Why Jew is the new Black
  17. Why Riese doesn't do Sports
  18. What Riese should be/have been doing instead of writing top 10s
  19. Reasons commenting on autowin is better than bedtime
  20. Movie/tv scenes to cry to
  21. Riese's ideal boy/girl as composed of the top ten personality traits/physical characteristic/style points/whatevs from various peeps of admiration.
  22. Countries to live in when old and rich
  23. Memory-pregnant childhood/adolscent things hiding in the recesses of Riese's mind
  24. Songs to sing/dance along to
  25. Music-related memories
  26. Places to drink
  27. Top ten of top tens
  28. Things That'll Never Get You A Date With Riese
  29. Things That'll Surely Get You A Date With Riese
  30. Things That Riese Would Do For Free
  31. Things That Riese Wouldn't Do If You Paid Her A Million Dollars
  32. (Famous) People Riese Is Attracted To
  33. Top Ten Drunken Memories
  34. Reasons Lint is the New Cashmere
  35. Reasons Haviland should watch Empire Records
  36. Most comment-garnering posts
  37. Reasons people read my blog
  38. Great cups of coffee
  39. Blank is the new blank for 2008
  40. Auto-universe Collisions with the 3-D Universe
  41. First 10 thoughts that pop into my head
  42. Top 8 things happening on 125th Street right now
  43. Ways to eat a Reeses
  44. Smells/songs tied to a memory
  45. Things I should do at least once or only once or never or everyday
  46. Ways auto-apparel can improve your life
  47. Builders/Architects Who Just Didn't Get It...featuring the 10 most out-of-place eyesores of new construction in NYC
  48. Funtastic things to do with your fave inanimate object (e.g., bottles of vodka)
  49. Which L-word character are you? Create the test...everyone auto-wins!...except if you land on Papi b/c she's in the vortex with Mark creating nonconsensual vlogs or whatevs
  50. Inappropriate sexual advances made by Lozo (successful and/or failed)
  51. Creative uses of/ mock ad campaigns for Auto-Win Apparel (The pics/vlogs of Riese and Hav will make or break this one)
  52. Anything Tegan and Sara related
  53. Pics of Riese, Hav, Carly and the rest of the Auto-Win team sporting boy shorts
  54. All-time fave places to visit after getting hopped up on smack and nose candy
  55. Reasons why Mr. redacted is probs still reading Riese's blog...and loving it!
  56. Things Riese'll do when her t.v. show gets picked up and Riese becomes rich and famous
  57. Comments/suggestions Riese'll make to your BFF, Ilene Chaiken, when she comes to her senses and starts answering Riese's calls.
  58. Things people should tell you within the first month of knowing them.
  59. Books (or anything) that are overrated but you'll hear everyone say they are just fantastic anyway (and you'll agree).
  60. Things Riese Wishes She Could Do
  61. Things Riese just wants to throw out there (Riese's height, Lozo's, etc).
  62. Automatics (.38, winners, straddles, apparel).
  63. Worst moments of The L Word
  64. Ways to get your own vodka on the cruise this summer, so you don't have to pay $9/drink.
  65. Strangest emails sent to you by readers.
  66. Reasons not to gouge out your eyes after seeing Kate hanging out with Paris pictures.
  67. Memoirs
  68. Shows Riese refuses to watch

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

"Each From Different Heights" by Stephen Dunn

That time I thought I was in love
and calmly said so
was not much different from the time
I was truly in love
and slept poorly and spoke out loud
to the wall
and discovered the hidden genius
of my hands
And the times I felt less in love,
less than someone,
were, to be honest, not so different
Each was ridiculous in its own way
and each was tender, yes,
sometimes even the false is tender.
I am astonished
by the various kisses we're capable of.
Each from different heights
diminished, which is simply the law.
And the big bruise
from the long fall looked perfectly white
in a few years.
That astounded me most of all.

[1989. Stephen Dunn, Between Angels.]