Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Arizona "celebrity" sighting!

For those of you who know me, or just read my blog, I am really into celebrity sightings though I never ever see celebrities, since either I apparently am not going to the right places or I'm just missing out. A couple weeks ago four seconds before I arrived at the line for some trendy club in the Meatpacking district, Tina and Kendra saw Lance Bass. I did not. Last week Laural saw a girl from Le Tigre in the line for the bathroom at the Metropolitan. I was there, but I did not, though I probably wouldn't have recognized her if I had seen her, which brings up another important point of celebrity sightings— you have to recognize the celeb by face in order to actually sight them.

But when I went to Phoenix, AZ this week to visit Becca I saw a "celebrity" who I did recognize. On Monday, my last night in town, Becca and I were enjoying margaritas and goat cheese pizza at this restaurant at the mall in Scottsdale. Then this woman walked in, and I said, "Ohmygod, that girl is from Tila Tequila!" recognizing the curly-haired girl as Rebecca, the slutty girl who Tila was really "down with" but then hooked up with Brandi and that other guy in the big bed so Tila kicked her out after feeling betrayed.

I wanted to ask this woman if she was on MTV, but I didn't, though I kind of know my Tila Tequila stars, and while I know is a totally trashy show but is the best horrible show on tv and I still DVR each episode, and a quick internet search revealed I was indeed correct and slutty Rebecca is a go-go dancer in Phoenix. Becca said she was a little embarassed for me but not that much and I agree.

In Phoenix, non-F list celebrity news, I had a lovely time on my holiday. It was really relaxing, the weather was fabulous and I had lots of fun with Becca eating good food, going to the zoo, getting a massage and seeing American Gangster (and reading the ny magazine article that inspired the quite excellent movie). I don't think I'd want to live in Phoenix (not that I'd ever considered it), since I wouldn't want to live in a driving city where everything it located in shopping centers, but it was a quite nice place to visit, and I'm jealous of Becca's huuuge nice apartment with a pool and a tennis court.

And now I still have five days left of my holiday! life is good.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Talkin' bout my generation

Since I graduated and have started interacting with people older than me, I've been really obsessed with what it means to be a party of "my" generation, which I guess is "The Millenials" or "Generation Y" a generation, that as my friend Tony once said, our biggest accomplishment "is popularizing, though not creating, the internet smiley face :)" I feel that I fit a lot of the descriptions I've read--my parents are very involved in my life, sometimes more as "friends" then parents; I am always online, especially facebook; I want a job that is emotionally fulfilling; I'm more likely to talk about changing the world then do anything to actually change it.

So considering all this, I'm surprised that until I read Tina's comments and this article "Generation Overwhelmed"
(http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=generation_overwhelmed#comments) in response to Thomas Friedman's column "Generation Q" I didn't connect my disdain for protests as a part of my generation. I think I didn't make the connection because many of the people I see protesting are older, so I think in some ways the state of protests right now is a comment on the state of the world right now, and not just of people my age. But given the role models set for us people my age are supposed to be leading the protests, so I guess it's all circular? And me, as a liberal college educated person, should be part of that, right? But I'm not reallly.

Ok, to summarize (but do read both yourself): Friedman wrote what I thought was a kind of condescending column based on his experiences with his daughter Orly (who's my age, and it seems everyone I ever met from Maryland was bff with her at some point in their childhood) and his other daughter and some ROTC kids he met on college campuses that were state schools who consistute his random sample.

Apparently our generation is "too quiet" and "too online" for the huge problems we'll need to conquer—terrorism, global warming, the huge debt Bush is leaving us, etc, etc. Then this American Progress writer said we are just overwhelmed by so many choices of what to get involved in, so we talk about the world but we don't really know what to do, so we just go on facebook and have dance parties.

I agree and disagree with both of them. I agree with Progress girl that the protests for the Iraq war left me jaded that we can't really do anything. And I felt the same at March for Women's Lives when I went to D.C. freshman year and was so excited and uplifted until I realized the hundreds of thousands of people marching did NOTHING to stop Bush from staying president as all the speakers promised it would (though I'm sure it didn't help that Kerry didn't bother to show up at the rally and instead sent his liberal daughter as a surrogate). And some point that year me and my roommates, in a burst of 3am genius, decided to launch "Generation Why the Fuck" which was going to be a revolution, but in the end it was just a sign we put on the outside of our dorm room that eventually fell down.

But I don't think it's just that there are so many things going wrong that we're overwhelmed by what to pick. I'm sure there's ALWAYS so much going wrong. It's just that none of the things going wrong are immediately impacting my life right now. It's as David Brooks just said in a column I would link to if I wasn't so lazy: Most Americans are deeply upset with the state of the country but are satisfied with their own lives. And I definitely think that applies to me.

But the false nostalgia everyone has of the hippie days of the late 60s, when the young white elites (of which I consider myself a part right now) were politically active, from everything I've read and heard, the political WAS the personal. I'm not worried about my brother and my friends being drafted, so I'm morally opposed to the war in abstract, but not enough to do anything drastic. I cried when we bombed Afghanistan the first time, but now I barely read the articles about Iraq because I don't want to deal with it. And even the civil rights fight, where the white elites didn't HAVE to do anything, and most didn't, I think it was still much closer to home and was really a part of the fabric of America, though that's just a guess.

Same with the ACT UP protests of the 80s. Those "gay white men" and friends everyone talks about who had those amazing protests were fighting for their lives. Literally. I have to imagine if half of my friends were dying of AIDS and the government wasn't doing anything to help, I would hope I would do something, but again, I don't know. Now, I have lots of friends with HIV/AIDS...but only because of my job, not because lots of people in my normal circle of upper-middle class college grads are getting infected in droves But even my friends and colleagues with HIV are thankfully not wasting away. While many people in the U.S. are of course still dying of AIDS, if they have money and catch it early enough, HIV and AIDS is manageable, so the fight is for the minor details. And of course things are different in Africa and other parts of the world, and I don't think I was there long enough or exposed to enough people to TRULY feel engaged. But like both columns said, our generation is going abroad to feel connected to the world. Still it's different volunteering or observing than being.

Considering how many people my age I know without health insurance, you'd think that that would be a fight that people would lay their lives on the line for, but I guess it's not enough?

And I know global warming is going to suck for my hypothetical kids or grandkids, but right now I'm ambivilently enjoying the weather and recycling when I remember. And blogging about it. God, I'm a cliche.

Friday, November 09, 2007

just saying hi

ok, what has been going on in my world since I've last checked in? ummm, not that much of note.
-i went to a work-sponsored benefit and bought a cute wintery Diane von Furstenberg (sp? I only know her from Project Runway) dress for $85 instead of $425 that tried on in the middle of the store and made a work acquaintance tell me if I looked good and she kindly listed the reasons (good color/material/i could wear a normal bra). Once I buy a shawl and shoes I will perhaps wear for New Years since I always want to wear a dress on New Years but I never have a cute wintery dress.
-I attempted to buy curtains at Bed, Bath and Beyond but it totally stressed me out, so I just left.
-I was Jan "Brush 'em, brush 'em brush 'em" for Halloween, which I thought was a good last minute costume since I got a pink jacket at Salvation army that i can totally wear again
-I saw some NU friends and friends of friends from out of town and walked around to trendy clubs that we didn't get into and I learned that "the meat-packing district is not my scene" and was just as happy when we went to a dingy pub in the east village.
- I had an adorable bookclub with my Ossining friends and a friend's birthday dinner with other Ossining friends and I am so grateful I have Ossining friends who I love so much.
-My computer still isn't working properly because IT is lame, but then I'm like, ok, I didn't have to pay more my computer, maybe this is a sacrifice I have to make?
-I'm getting Friday-Friday off, my first real break since June and visiting Becca in Arizona! And then spending Thanksgiving with my family so I won't have a Thanksgiving depression like last year, hopefully.

oooh, i had an ideal I meant to blog about when I was very passionate about this ideal but I'm not as much anymore but I will try to regain the passion so I can tell use the soabox i built effectively. Socialist Emma Goldman once said something along the lines of, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be a part of your revolution." Well, I decided that there shouldn't be a revolution just so you can have a dance party, Emma.

In my line of work I've found people are so quick to be like "Let's have a protest!" when they haven't quite decided what they are protesting or what this protest will actually accomplish. Now I've covered and participated in (and sometimes with this job both) dozens of protesty things, and some are great and bring attention to an important issue. But if I am ever a grassroots organizer, which I don't think I can be since I don't know if I could keep my snarky comments to myself, I wouldn't plan an action unless that action was actually going to stimulate change. Obviously protesting is really fun and everything, but a lot of things are fun. And protests that happen all the time for no reason at all except people love picking up signs and being against the man are just silly and make the people protesting look silly and are a waste of resources and my time if I have to cover it and /or plan it because it's my job. Yes, there are always bad things in the world worth protesting against but to say "Let's have a protest!" and then to pick one or more of these bad things from a list is just LAME.

ummm, is that all i have to say? I think so.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I was hit by a car

So my computer is in the IT shop, hence my not-blogging, but now I'm in Ossining for the night, after the superfun book club we had, so I will tell this story that has been meant to be blogged since the moment it happened Friday.

I was walking back from a coffee shop in my hood—where I had been reading the very good book The Time Traveler's Wife and EVERYONE else was on their Macs — and I crossed at a crosswalk. I was probably spacing out because I'm spacey but I still don't blame myself for what happened.

I walked into the street, just a normal side street where there's a crosswalk and I was HIT BY A CAR. Literally. The car pushed me forward and I screamed, not out of hurt but out of shock. I then gave the car's driver a 'what the fuck?!' type look. They didn't speak English and said 'aqui, aqui' (here, here) so I went over. Unfortunately 'aqui' is about all I absorbed from high school spanish (since that was what we had to answer when the teacher took attendance) so since this coversation barrier was to much to bear, I accepted their apparent apology and moved on with my life, since I actually wasn't hurt at all, miraculously, or predictably since the car was going slow and had just half-stopped at the stop sign.

But I was HIT BY A CAR. How does that happen? Even weirder, my good friend Laurel was hit by a car a mere 2 weeks earlier. So think how many people are hit by cars all the time but don't know eachother. Maybe we'll start a support group.