Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Personality quiz!

I have not updated in a while since I'm lazy. In fact, although I am also cheap, I am much lazier than I am cheap. As college students and/or people in our 20s we often say, "I'm so cheap!" or "I'm so lazy!"? Are your cheaper or lazier? Here is a simple question to help you ponder this huge problem.

Crisis! You realize you only have one pair of underwear left. Do you:

a)Do laundry immediately
b) Go to the Gap if you are in Evanston/any store if you are elsewhere and buy a 6-pack of underwear.
c) Wash your underwear in the sink using Woolite
d) Wear a bathing suit bottom tomorrow then dirty underwear the next day.
e)This situation could never happen, since you do laundry every other Sunday, obviously.
f) This situation could never happen, since you have an unlimited supply of underwear and/or you pay someone to wash your clothes.

If you answered a) you are cheaper than you are lazy, but you're not that cheap. You are a fairly responsible human being, if slightly irritating.
Friends character you most resemble (i can't think of a more modern analogy): Ross

If you answered b) you are lazier than you are cheap. And you are pretty damn lazy.
Friend persona: Chandler

If you answered c) You are not super-lazy. But you are pretty cheap.
Friends character you most resemble: Phoebe

If you answered d) you are lazy, cheap and kind of dirty. Friends character you most resemble: Joey (duh)

If you answered e) you are not lazy or cheap but you are slightly OCD.

Friends character you most resemble: Monica

If you answered f) you are not cheap. You might be lazy. But mostly you are spoiled.

Friends character you most resemble: Rachel (circa season 1)

In the idea of full-disclosure I will say that I am a Chandler, though occasionally (but not usually) a Ross, thus fulfilling my lazier than cheap prophecy.

If you (my remaining readers who have stuck with me through the hiatus such as Josh, Becca, Marcy and possibly Christine and Irina) would like me to guess which character you are, I will gladly guess as long as you don't get mad at my astute analysis of you.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Learn about AIDS

Ugh, I've been so bad about updating. And right now I'm in Evanston with no goals (other than having fun) so I really have no excuse.
Anyway, I got back Friday from the 2006 International AIDS Conference in Toronto. It was pretty great.

I attended the conference because I got a grant to research AIDS activism in the post-antiretroviral(ARV) drug era. This essentially means that much less people in the developed world are dying of HIV/AIDS, but that the developing world is still fucked because they can't afford money for drugs. Right now only 25% of people who need the drugs are getting them, but that number is thankfully increasing now that more money is being thrown at AIDS by the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and more governments are realizing that 8,000 people are dying from AIDS a day it's a serious problem.

24,000 people gathered in Toronto to discuss anything and everything about the global AIDS pandemic. The hot topics this year, in case you are interested, were microbicides (a form of contraceptive that's in development that would allow women to insert a gel in their vaginas to protect against HIV) and male circumcision (self-explanatory) as prevention tools. Women were a big topic since their infection rates are increasing and it's related to poverty, etc. Also money, money, money, but I have to imagine that's a topic every conference.

I talked to someone who worked in the Swaziiland health department who told me about the denialism in her country and a doctor in South Africa who said he took a quick crash course for treating HIV/AIDS when he saw so many cases appearing in his practice. I saw a former HIV-positive Canadian prisoner speak about the seriously inadequate treatment of HIV-positive people, even in a country we think of as not messed up with stuff like that.

Oh, and I saw celebrities. These include Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, the far-superior Melinda Gates, an old and fat-looking Richard Gere and my personal favorite, Ethan Zohn, from Survivor 3. Ethan was exciting because I celebrity-spotted him on the escalator. Oh, and Barry White opened for Clinton, but I was so sure Barry White was dead I didn't realize it was him until the end. [EDITED TO SAY: It wasn't him! Barry White is dead! I will get to the bottom of who this imposter was! Thanks Josh for the news! RIP Barry White! Maybe Christine can write a poem!] I willmissed Bill Gates both times, but I saw Melinda who was cool and said (gasp) sex workers are people.

Clinton was great and I sat through a ridic boring session on medicine to see him. But I'm unwilling to pat him on the back too hard since his work as a "private citizen" doesn't make up for his lack of it as a public citizen. Like, it's awesome you think needle exchanges should be legal now, but that doesn't really do anything. Speaking of which, I doubt any of my readership is against needle exchange, but just in case: Would you start shooting heroin just because you had a needle? No? Neither would everyone. Ugh, I hate our government sometimes. Like, this whole conference.

This old activist said we should stop treating "Bill and Bill like royalty" since it's the grassroots people who make a difference and think of innovative solutions, but those grassroots people, um, need money.

And this week would not have been complete without the help of the lovely Anne, who lives in Toronto by way of Ossining and who shared her queen-size bed, showed me Toronto, Mean Girls in the park, scrabble, alcohol, put up with my lack of directions-savviness, and provided an antidote to the fact that 8,000 people are dying every day from AIDS.

I feel like I should be providing some link where you can donate money, but whatever, there are millions of charities and I don't think I'm an expert of which one to pick.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Shoes. Shoes. Shoes.

The other night I made my first venture to the 1800 Club aka "The Hundo" since returning to Evanston. I was excited because going to the Hundo, the student bar a block from my apartment, meant only one thing: I could wear my Hundo shoes! These shoes (picture found by my mad googling skill featured left)were originally priced by j.crew for $195. I however, got my size 9s for free at work at a part of the spring closet clean out. I took them because, um, they're free and I'm Jewish, knowing quite well 4" heels are not exactly my thing. Thus my brilliant plan! I would wear these shoes to the one place I wouldn't have to walk far to get to and wouldn't have to do anything when I got there, since 1800 Club doesn't really believe in dancing, just drinking and people-watching. Problem? I still barely made the distance. Rob suggested I channel a model or something for inspiration so I didn't walk like a cripple. However I'm not a quitter. Any suggestions for how to walk in heels are greatly appreciated.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

So Lollapalooza was ridiculously amazing. I just got home and I'm still on a high from MOSHING during the Red Hot Chil Peppers. Yeah, that's right, I was in a mosh pit. I also single-handedly saved a crowd-surfer from falling. Another one fell on my neck. There were approximately 70,000 people watching the show at Grant Park and I was of the front 5,000 I'd estimate. Oh, and the Chili Peppers were soooooo good, but this is about me and my hard-coreness.

At first I was worried I'd be out of place at Lolla since I don't know much about music and am not a big concert-goer. Fortunately, Lollapalooza is meant for people like me. The Trib described it as Disneyland and I see that as a compliment: it was safe, organized, and fun for the whole family. Well, not my particuler family for whom a concert meant "Sharon, Lois and Bram", but other people had fun at Kidzapalooza and/or inappropriately bringing seven year olds into mosh pits.

Top five moments from the past three days (pictures to be included when I upload mine/steal them from Marcy, Becca and Jina):

5. Queens of the Stoneage. Jina crowd-surfed. We bonded later when we mutually didn't get killed at the Chili Peppers.

4. The Shins. No, wait, just kidding, they SUCKED. I blame Zach Braff for tricking us into choosing his lame soundtrack band instead of the far-superior Matisyahu. But p.s. just had the epiphany: Zach Braff is Lollapalooza personified.

4. Feist. She now replaces Jenny Lewis as my hot musician crush. Fun fact: Feist was once Peaches' roommate!

3. The Flaming Lips. So much fun, despite Wayne Coyne's wish to make a political statement when apparently he should stick to what he is good at, which is rolling around in a plastic ball. "Everyone needs to say what's on their minds, " he noted. "Maybe if more people did that George W. Bush wouldn't be in office." We hesitantly clapped hence anyone think we're pro-W, though Wayne's flawed logic did not deserve our applause.

2. Manu Chao. Becca, Marcy and I were three of only 8,000 people who opted for Manu Chao over Kanye, and we were up front to see this Latin-French sensation. Again, evidence for our newfound hard-coreness.

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers. duh.