SNL on Anita Hill

I watched last week’s SNL (yes, Husband and I are the last people on earth who still watch that show. We would still be watching ER if that was still on too), which covered the Anita Hill voicemail story, and the schtick was mostly pointing out how ridiculous it was for someone to request an apology 19 years after the event, not really expressing an opinion at all on whether it was necessary. I don’t know. They keep missing opportunities when they take on major news stories, they either don’t know how to go for the juice of the story or they are prohibited by advertisers from speaking the truth. Either way, it is so unsatisfying. I guess I need to turn to Jon Stewart for my joke news (and as an aside, I’m guessing shows like The Jon Stewart Show make it hard for the SNL news segment seem relevant any more, when he is so bloody truthful.)

New Way to Help Chickens Cross to Other Side

Dude, I can’t eat chicken when they keep telling me about how they’re treated! This is not a question about compassion or concern about humane treatment; I am simply one of those meat eaters who cannot bear to make eye contact with her food. I cannot eat something when I see what it resembled in real life. Like the last time I had a lobster, which was years ago at my cousin Chris’s wedding, I made my father crack it open for me because I was too freaked out. As long as my meat is shaped like a patty in a bun, I’m in good shape.

What My Friends Think of Chicken
My friend Mike thinks this is a messed up attitude — that if we eat meat, we should see and appreciate where it comes from. Not that he goes out and hunts for his own prosciuotto, but I can appreciate the point, though I’d rather not EVER participate in it.

My friend Kirsten used to get stuck in rush hour traffic behind chicken trucks when she lived in Georgia. She would have to stare at these poor things, all jammed into the crates and truck, with no regard to where, you know, the proper placement of feet and heads.

Now I’m not about to go Mary Tyler Moore on you and start befriending chickens and petting them, but that sort of thing seems unnecessarily cruel.

(As another aside, if you google images of chicken, a page full of chicken fingers and chicken dinners appears alongside frolicking chickens. Thankfully, the image attached is a robot chicken.)

Luckily, I live with vegetarians so I don’t have to think about this too much. And the best point of all is, we get plenty to eat! And even if my mother would like us to eat a little less, we don’t go hungry! Hooray!

Award to Artist Who Gives Slums a Human Face

There’s this mystery French graffiti artist who takes photos of locals and plasters their pics on rundown buildings in crappy, poor neighborhoods all over the world – the attached are from Shanghai, but he’s got great ones in Kenya, Brazil, L.A. He just got a grant from the illustrious TED group, and said all the money will be going to create bigger projects. He only goes by initials and always only appears in sunglasses and ski hat, because he’s worried he’ll get arrested, even though his stuff sells at Sotheby’s.

I cannot tell you how cool I think this is. His work is beautiful, surreal, and thereby life-affirming. (It actually reminds me of the use of film in the staging of Brief Encounter.) That’s what I think art is best for – offering proof that life is worth living. Lynda Barry says the same thing, but in a more interesting way – that this is the biological purpose of art, to make sure we keep chugging along. Plus it’s political and gives access to art to folks who might normally get it. Here’s his web site if you want to see his other stuff.

Okay, despite my earlier post, I guess I don’t regret my love of the arts. [Grumble.]

Clarence Thomas’s Wife Asks Anita Hill for Apology

Ugh, give me a break. Leave the poor woman alone. Let her teach and move on. She didn’t feel like going head to head with Clarence Thomas, but felt morally compelled to, and then Clarence Thomas and his deluded paranoia keeps this ordeal alive. I’m not going over the reasons as to why I believe Anita Hill, but you can always read Strange Justice, written by two Wall Street Journal writers, if you want the nitty-gritty. I feel sorry for her because who would want their life defined by one incident. Clearly, she’s classy because never used her fame to host her own reality show.

Never mind the fact that Clarence Thomas’s wife lobbies for tea party, which is totally unethical when your husband sits on the Supreme Court. Give me a break. She wants an apology? GIVE ME A BREAK!

brief encounter

Husband and I recently saw a cool show on Broadway called Brief Encounter, a theatrical reincarnation of a Noel Coward film that was like a Marc Chagall come to life. The plot is about two married English people who fall in love. It’s terribly repressed and romantic. When they fall for each other, images of the ocean crashing come up on the back screen. On one of their dates, they hang from the chandeliers while silver confetti falls all around them. My favorite was the opening image, where the screen had a black and white film of the cuckolded husband waiting for his wife at home; in front of the stage, the lovers break up, and the woman runs through the curtains back to her husband, and immediately appears in the black and white projection with him. It was so neat and magical, the entire audience gasped and clapped their hands like delighted six-year-olds, myself included.

And for as much as I enjoyed the show, I also cursed it for inspiring another generation of folks to want to pursue the arts, suffer poverty and uncertainty, all for the chance to be part of a cool show. It’s a topic I’ve talked about a lot with friends recently. Nobody goes into acting thinking they’ll be broke; they believe, I think, that at some point, it will become a financially viable way of life, but people like George Clooney represent 2% of SAG actors, and I don’t know. It’s almost a delusional yet irresistible calling. At some point, believe it or not, acting was a mildly financially viable option for me, but it was through work that I found depressingly banal–unfunny, feminist scripts that were supposed to be funny that colleges were paying to see. In my defense, there were no mentions of “tapestries” or generations of women passing on stories, and it was not earnest theater, but it was a job, and nothing is worse to me to think of making art a job.

celebs who don’t age

You know what, this whole cosmetic surgery thing in stars is beginning to creep me out. I mean, enough with the frozen forehead and collagen lips. There’s something about the makeovers that make the eyes rounder and less normal looking. It’s like Hollywood is exporting a new race of cat people. Is that really attractive? Look at Kelly McGilliis. She’s been a drug addict, an alcoholic, a lesbian married to two men, unemployed, raped, and she’s fifty. You know what? She looks it. She looks rough around the edges and all kinds of messed up, but that’s the face she earned. That face is the result of her life.

I’m not saying you have to like aging. None of us are going to be as cute as we once were, but really, is having what looks like a gigantic loaf of bread for a forehead preferable to lines? We all have lines. Even my kid has lines and he’s a baby. But back to the face reflecting your life — what is so bloody awful about aging? As Laura Linney says, some people don’t get to live to your age, so maybe we ought to stop worrying about freezing ourselves like Han Solo at the end of The Empire Strikes Back and just deal.

sleep through this

Mom, Dad

Party at my crib, 2 a.m.

Every night this week!


This was going to be a post on sleep, or lack thereof. Since last weekend, in this new glorious phase of teething (which I think is the culprit here), our nights have been punctuated by inconsolable crying at scream level. No amount of rocking, feeding, meds, etc. seem to appease very loud Baby. And Baby is rather heavy; walking him around the apartment is like lugging around a Butterball Thanksgiving turkey. I have given up and just bring him to our bed when the wailing begins, so that we can all get a little more rest. He wakes up around 1:40 a.m. and toggles between crying and dozing till about 6:30 a.m., when he’s up for the day. In our bed, Baby lies in the dark between us and talks. He rolls side to side in the dark. On one side, he reaches over and grabs Husband’s nose and pats his face in attempts to rouse him (ain’t going to happen, kid) and rolls back around and backhands me on my cheek.

As a result, I am amazed that I’ve been able to do my job, hold a conversation, comb my hair. I haven’t completed the fourth revision of my novel-still-in-freaking-progress, but I think that’s okay, because that would sort of be like expecting a drunk person to thread a needle. Even under the best of well-rested circumstances, it’s a tough task for me, so right now, when it feels like my face is melting off my skull, it’s low-priority.

Nearing the end of Baby Boot Camp Week 1t, we still seem to be massively in love with Baby. This morning, at 4:11 a.m. when Husband retrieved weeping Baby from crib, he settled Baby into my arms, and Baby broke out in a huge smile and started playing with the bunnies at the end of his footie pajamas. Husband and I, bleary-eyed, were utterly charmed. And there is a lot to complain with the whole parenthood thing, particularly this week, but Baby is healthy, hearty, and likes to have a good time, so I think I’ll leave it at that. That cheeky, little stinker. He is amazing.