29 November 2006

Holiday kissing tips.

I was sitting at the salon tonight reading Redbook while waiting for my color to take. Nary a Sports Illustrated or Newsweek to be found, so I made do.

I came across these holiday couple tips. My favorite by far is this one:

5. Share a seasonal smooch.
Married men like minty kisses, while single men prefer kisses that taste like alcohol, according to the book What's Your Food Sign? by Alan R. Hirsch, M.D. So to increase your smooch potential, sip on some eggnog if you're not hitched, or put on that peppermint-flavored lip balm (or lick a candy cane!) if you are — and get ready to pucker up!

It makes sense. Well, the part about single men liking kisses that taste like booze makes sense to me. It also cracked me up. But Redbook, I have a question and I desperately need an answer.

Will I have all my bases covered if I swig some peppermint schnapps before I make out with my married boyfriend?

27 November 2006

Year-end lists.

I Voted in 89.3 The Current's Top 89 Albums of 2006

Of course, I had to write in The Slats. I voted for 20 of my favorite albums from this year. There were plenty on the list that I wanted to vote for, but couldn't because I have yet to obtain the album or I have it and haven't given it a proper listen yet. I've come into a ton of music over the year and I'm slogging my way through it as best I can.

My 20, because you care (in no particular order):

South, Adventures in the Underground Journey to the Stars
Editors, The Back Room
The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Broom
CSS, Cansei De Ser Sexy
The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
The Roots, Game Theory
Elbow, Leaders of the Free World
TV On The Radio, Return To Cookie Mountain
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
Guillemots, Through The Windowpane
Jim Noir, Tower Of Love
Wolfmother, Wolfmother
We Are Scientists, With Love & Squalor
Grizzly Bear, Yellow House
The Slats, Boom Patrol

22 November 2006

I feel like a grown-up.

I guess technically I am a grown-up. I mean, I'm 32 for Christ's sake. I rarely feel like a grown-up, though.

I'm having The Lesbians over for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. And possibly another guest. Me. Hosting Thanksgiving. How did this happen? I'm only doing part of the cooking and we'll probably eat in the living room. But it's still the first holiday gathering I've ever hosted.

There is the tiniest bit of guilt hovering over me for not going down to the farm. However, a few years ago I told my parents that I was going to start spending Thanksgiving with my friends. The first two years it turned out that everyone was in the Minneapolis area, so I could do both the family and friends thing. Last year there were some break ups and new partners and everyone scattered, so I went home, too. There will be at most four of us this year, but I don't think the size of the group really matters that much. And if you looked at our menu, you might think there were 10 people coming for dinner.

I'm looking forward to maybe being able to get up and go to the gym before I have to do anything tomorrw. I can drink and not have to worry about staying overnight or stopping early enough so I can drive 75 miles home, because I want to sleep in my own bed. We can eat whenever we want. We can watch football -- while we eat, even!

This is really cool. It should be a lot of fun.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

21 November 2006


Justin Morneau was named AL MVP today. I was totally prepared to be disappointed with the inevitable Derek Jeter selection. (Hey Derek -- 1989 called and they want their high-top fade back.)

Some of my faith in humanity, or at least in baseball writers, has been restored. I mean, it was a given that Supernatural would win the AL Cy Young. It would have been pretty difficult to screw up the Cy Young. And it's really nice to have my faith in at least one group of people restored when these people are constantly eroding my faith in humanity.

All this gives me much hope for next season. Which can't come soon enough.

14 November 2006

When does it end?

Seriously. Every time I decide I'm okay it turns out that maybe I was a little hasty in coming to that conclusion.

It's nothing major; just stupid little things, really. I can't bear to read the goings-on between UND and the NCAA about the Fighting Sioux nickname. Why? Because he went to school there. Anything about Africa? A little pin in my heart. Or a big pin. Not like a stake or anything, but you get the idea.

I had a postcard from Augsburg in the mail yesterday touting their master's program in leadership. Nice. He got his master's in leadership just about a year ago. I'm surprised the postcard didn't give me a paper cut and cause me actual physical pain. There were women in the locker room at the gym on Saturday morning talking about playing tennis. But they weren't just talking about playing tennis; they were talking about taking lessons from someone. Too bad he's gone, because I could have recommended him. I'm surprised that there's not a Dave Matthews Band song playing in the background when all these things happen. That would be adding insult to injury, though.

Maybe it's just hormones again. I think in the 22 weeks since he left (I did have to actually count that ... I'm no longer mentally keeping track), I've only managed to have one month where PMS and related hormones managed to let this issue slide. Or, it could be that next Wednesday is the day we met one year ago.

I don't care what the reason is, quite frankly. I just want this to stop. I don't want to care anymore. I don't want to spend time writing about it.

Stupid time. Why do you take so long to heal all wounds?

13 November 2006

Zicam = Thumbs up. Or maybe not.

Thumbs up is totally lame, I know. But I can't come up with anything clever like the pineapples over at Critical Fluff. I mean, I do have a cold and all.

Oh, but this isn't a normal cold. I don't know why I'd never tried it before, but after work on Friday, when I'd started feeling that familiar foggy-head feeling that indicates my getting sick, I went to get some Zicam. It's supposed to shorten the duration of your cold and decrease the severity of the symptoms. I figured it was like anything else I'd ever tried; a crock of shit, basically.

Turns out I was wrong. At least that seems to be the case so far. I haven't felt any worse since Friday. The cold hasn't traveled into my throat or lungs, as it usually would have done by now. I've been able to work out and sleep normally, which is a pretty big deal for me. I'm kind of sneezy today, but I'm sneezy every day at work.

I have no idea how this stuff works, nor do I really care, to be honest. If this is the worst I get with this cold, I will use Zicam forever. Seriously. This stuff is the bomb, yo.

Update: Now I remember why I had never used Zicam. It can cause permanent loss of smell and taste. My senses seem to be fine at the moment, but I think I'll stop using it now.

08 November 2006

Playing through the pain.

Maybe it's the post-Election Day blues. And not blues as in I'm disappointed by the way things turned out. Save for the Minnesota governor's race, I'm really pleased. It's more like post-holiday blues. Because ... what now? Of course, it could be my wacky hormones.

Whatever the reason, my day seems remarkably similar to the day going on over at L'Austin Translation. Except for the productivity point. I've got nothing there.

There's no let-up in sight for me. I'm going to be relatively cut off from the world outside of work (where there's little social interaction) and my gig house/dog/cousin-sitting out in the 'burbs. Except this time, it's two dogs and another teenager in addition to my cousin. For five days. They don't need me being sullen and withdrawn.

I'm sure by the weekend the clouds will have cleared. Maybe even before that. They always do. Somehow, though, that doesn't make me feel much better right now.

06 November 2006

Get out the vote, bitches!

I've still not made up my mind about how I'm going to vote in the governor's race tomorrow. It is really looking like a game-time decision. I think I'll know the right thing to do when I step in the booth.

On Saturday, I went home to the farm with my sister and nephew. We were at the house for about three hours before taking off to do some shopping. In that time, my parents had at least four pre-recorded political calls. I had two calls last week from Minneapolis Mayor, R.T. Rybak. I arrived home yesterday to find several pieces of campaign literature stuffed in the crevices around my front door. In short, I'll just be so glad when it's over.

I know there are many people out there who are frustrated by all of the ugly, ugly campaigning. But we still have to vote. It wasn't that long ago that women and blacks couldn't vote. I just can't understand why people wouldn't vote, when so many people worked so hard and suffered so much to give us this right. I mean, people fucking gave their lives so you could take some time out of your day to cast your ballot. So, what the hell are you waiting for? VOTE, dammit.

I'll even help you out with some information, if you live in Minnesota.

Did you know you can find your polling place in a flash?

Did you know that Minnesota allows you to register on Election Day?

Guess what! Minnesota law requires employers to give you time off without loss of pay to vote the morning of the election.

What else do you need to know?

Plus, you get that nifty little "I VOTED" sticker to wear with pride all day long. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Get out there and vote, slacker.

03 November 2006

Values or Strategy?

You may or may not know this, but there is an election coming up in a few days. There's so little news about it and all that, I can understand if you were unaware.

I've never had a tougher decision to make in an election than the one I'm facing this year in the Minnesota Governor's race. A couple of years ago, I was saying that I would vote for anyone from the DFL (Democrat-Farm-Labor party in Minnesota, 'cause you know, we have to be different) who was running against our current governor.

Turns out I was wrong about that. The DFL's candidate for governor is Mike Hatch, Minnesota's Attorney General. Now, Hatch has done some good things as attorney general, I don't dispute that. Some of it smacked as political; aimed at increasing his visibility in preparation for running for governor. He's not the only one who does that, I know, and it's fine.

However, his campaign has really turned me off. Hatch really comes off as a pandering tool. There are scenes of him hunting and toting a gun in some of his campaign ads. I'm not against hunting; many of my male relatives hunt. It just comes off as trying to hard.

Worse, though, is his lameass support of capital punishment. He said in this MPR piece:

For Mike Hatch, the issue is less clear. He supports the concept of capital punishment and says there are some criminals who do not deserve to live. But Hatch is concerned that too many innocent people have been wrongly executed in death penalty states.

"I would have no hesitation supporting a death penalty, if I thought there was a statute that could guarantee certainty with regard to the conviction," Hatch said. "But I have not found that statute yet."

That is such a cop out. First of all, he didn't seem to be in favor of capital punishment in 1994. But the position he has now is trying to be too many things to too many people. He knows that there is no way to guarantee certainty, and that the chances of the death penalty being reinstated in Minnesota are pretty slim. So, he can say he's in favor of it now, without having to worry too much about it actually happening on his watch or otherwise. So, maybe I shouldn't worry about it? I know the chances of the death penalty coming back in Minnesota aren't that good. But there is still the matter of principle here. I absolutely do not respect his stance, because he really isn't taking one.

Hatch has also jumped on the immigrant-bashing bandwagon. The catalyst has been the Minnesota Dream Act. The act would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition for Minnesota colleges. These are kids whose parents brought them to the U.S. These kids have attended Minnesota schools. The act doesn't cost anything, yet Hatch is against it (as is Pawlenty, shocker!). How is giving these kids an opportunity to go to college a bad thing?

And now most recently, Hatch has accused Pawlenty of "beating up on a woman" for attacking Hatch's running mate, Judi Dutcher. Dutcher couldn't answer a question about E-85 on a campaign stop. Her response to the question seems to indicate that she just didn't quite catch what was asked. Of course, the Republicans will make a big deal out of it, but what else is new? Hatch's response, though? I find it pretty offensive. His response seems to indicate that he thinks she's inferior because she's a woman. And just when you thought things couldn't get any worse: Hatch calls reporter a "Republican whore."

Given all of this, I've been strongly leaning toward voting for Peter Hutchinson, from the Independent Party. I've had friends, a DFL door knocker and God knows who else, essentially tell me that I'm throwing my vote away.

I know Hutchinson doesn't have a chance. I know the race between Hatch and Pawlenty is tight. So, now I'm supposed to make my vote politically strategic as opposed to make it a statement of my values, of my conscience? I always thought that one of the most important ways to make our collective voice heard was by stepping into the voting booth and making a choice. Now, I'm supposed to ignore some pretty big things and vote for someone who makes my stomach turn, so we can get an even more evil douchebag out of office? How do we ever make a change, if that's the case? If I don't vote for the person who I really believe is the best choice to lead the state, what's the point?

At this point, I'm still not sure what I'll do on Election Day. Do I go with my conscience and vote Hutchinson? If I do that and Hatch loses to Pawlenty, will I feel guilty about helping damn Minnesota to another four years of decline? If I vote for Hatch and he wins, will I feel dirty? Or will I at least be able to say, "He may not be the best choice, but hey: he's not Pawlenty." That doesn't seem like much of a consolation.

01 November 2006

An ode to hormones.*

*Or the end of Daylight Savings Time or whatever the hell is causing me to spend the day weeping at my desk.

O Hormones
You make me the woman I am.
And keep me from being a man.
You let me know every month that I will not be a mom
With sadness and rage that goes off like a bomb.
I cry because I cannot make my sister's birthday.
I cry because I'm conflicted about my choices on Election Day.
I cry because it's All Saints' Day?
My heart feels the weight of crushing sadness.
But sad at what?
There's nothing there.
It's madness.
What the fuck?