Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I don't watch a whole lot of tv. In fact, there are a few shows of which I have only seen 2-3 episodes. So, how is it that whenever I can't sleep and turn on one of those shows with which I have passing familiarity it always, almost without exception, turns out to be one of the very few episodes that I have seen? Are there just a few episodes of all shows that get shown over and over again in syndication? Or am I just defying the odds?

Either way, the reason I couldn't sleep is because I can never sleep the night before something exciting, and this morning I am going home!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


was when I woke up on my no alarm day. It was lovely.

A no-alarm kind of day.

Tomorrow will be exciting. I am about to go to bed. And I am not going to set an alarm clock. At all. On a typical day, I set three. One on the computer, one on my phone, and one actual alarm clock. On days when I don't need to be up early, I set the real alarm clock. On days I can sleep in, I usually set one alarm, and then usually end up turning it off. But tomorrow, I am not going to set an alarm at all. And see when I naturally wake up.

This is a bad call for a variety of reasons, the primary of which is that I am catching a 6am flight on Tuesday, and the logical thing to do would be to wake up early and establish a normal sleeping schedule so that on the morning that Sondra picks me up at 4 in the morning, I will have had some sleep the night before.

But all semester I've been fantasizing about the day that I can not set the alarm. Tomorrow is that day. I'll let you know when I wake up.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

[instead of a real post]

Katharine Hepburn

You scored 27% grit, 38% wit, 18% flair, and 23% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.

Link: The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Friday, December 15, 2006

One semester down!

I feel like I should write some big semester wrap-up, soul searching post. But I'm not going to. It's kind of like waiting for your birthday all year, getting to it, and realizing that you feel exactly the same as you did a few moments ago, you're just a year older. Well, I've still got work to do.

But you should, whether you know me for real or not, go do this Johari window; I posted it like two years ago or something. Heck, do it again if you've already done it once! If you don't want to go do that, you should play with this. You won't be able to stop.

3 more days 'till I go home. I remember when I made my little wall chart so long ago, thinking that it would never get this close.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Overheard, on the way to the student union

A female student was on the phone:

"Mom, I have not gotten one alcohol-related anything since I've been here. No trouble at all, no police reports.... I know, I'm proud, too!... Well, I just took one [presumably a final exam] and I think it went ok. I'll be finished on Friday and then we're going to go party.... I know, mom [exasperatedly, presumably the mother was telling her daughter not to get arrested]."

Now I'm off to ace a stats final! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

To the world generally:

(I feel appropriate in venting this frustration because I give no context whatsoever.)

If you're typing in Microsoft word, as I suspect most of you are, you are bound to notice a little green squiggly line sometimes underneath your sentences. That typically indicates a sentence fragment. Don't ignore it. The lines are your friends. All you have to do is go back and make sure that you have both a subject and a verb in the sentence. Easy as pie.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Welcome Tom

Tom Delay now has a blog. I haven't read it and don't intend to, but a cursory scroll through shows that you have the opportunity to apply to be an "elite grassroots activist." What does that even mean??

Hopefully, if you're one of the elite, you'll learn how to get sweet deals from lobbyists, knock off those who endanger those deals, misuse your own federal investigation agencies, and so much more. (yeah, just go to google news and search for tom delay. I gave up on linking to news stories, but still... they're out there.)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's so weird to think that 1998 was, like, 9 years ago.

I'm writing a lit review and was about to label something as "recent," when it clearly isn't. That's crazy. I was in the eighth grade nine years ago.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Oh man, I forgot all about my broccoli and it went bad.

And I was really craving some broccoli.

But, don't think I'm being too healthy. I was going to eat it with ranch dressing. So, instead of broccoli, I settled for some celery... with peanut butter.

Friday, December 08, 2006

It finally happened.

As it has been threatening to do all semester, my hair dryer has died. Should I buy a new one, or just deal with it? I have long-ish hair, if that factors into the decision...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

social psych done!

Now to write a lit review.

If you're on the lookout for some procrastination

Here you can find the video of the debate last night between Justice Breyer and Justice Scalia, sponsored by the American Constitutional Society and the Federalist Society, or, as my favorite Supreme Court reporter Dahlia Lithwick calls them in her discussion of the debate, "the Birkenstocks and bow ties of the legal universe."

Man oh man, my favorite two justices! I haven't actually watched this yet because I actually haven't been procrastinating all day, but I figured that some of you might be in need of something to do instead of work. I will probably watch it after I finish revising my social psych paper. Which, incidentally, will be far less fun to finish, because I cheated and already crossed it off my to-do list.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Time to get to work!

Yes, Republican House, there is new management, and you're going to have to start showing up to work again.

Apparently Rep. Jack Kingston from Georgia is used to working only a few days a week. He thinks that Representative is the sort of sweet job you get where you don't actually have to do anything but cash your check. Too bad the rubber-stamp congress is (hopefully) coming to an end. The new House Majority leader, Steny Hoyer, is going to force some work ethic on these guys:

"I have bad news for you," Hoyer told reporters. "Those trips you had planned in January, forget 'em. We will be working almost every day in January, starting with the 4th."

"Keeping us up here eats away at families," said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. "Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families — that's what this says."

You know, it's really sad when it's a headline that "house to work 5 days a week." Man, not that I like Democrats, but this was a needed change. Yeah, the House this year? Couldn't even pass the basic thing that it does: spending bills to pay for... you know... government. They spent less time at work than 1948's "Do Nothing Congress."

Another thing crossed off the list!

Only a few more to go.

Granted, it's not entirely finished. It still needs a title, a conclusion, and probably some revision. It's not great, but I'm okay with that. On my to-do list, I had written "finish theory paper," but, because I couldn't honestly say I'd finished it, and I really wanted to cross it off, I changed the language to "write theory paper," and then put a big mark through it. Might sound like cheating to you, but to me, it's the sweet sound of accomplishment.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's so bad it's...

well... it's really bad...

The Supreme Court--Stayin' Alive

It's that time...

I've finally made it to the point in the semester at which I can list on one small whiteboard my to-do list for the rest of the semester. It's quite a lot of stuff, but it can all be contained on one list. And one of those things got crossed out a few minutes ago. It's quite exciting. Another I could knock out with 5 minutes more of work. And another I could get done in about 2 hours.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

the most important thing I've learned in grad school...

Up to this point, I've learned a lot of things. But one of the most significant things is that I'm not stupid. For instance, back in the day, whenever I would read an article that made no sense to me, or someone would say something that went completely over my head, I would just accept that I just couldn't understand it--it was beyond my cognitive capacities. And, sometimes it was/is. But I've now realized that sometimes, the article/speaker is just confused or doesn't actually make any sense. It's not me, it's them.

Part of it is that I no longer completely skip the stats/methods sections of articles, cutting straight to the discussion. I usually actually get what's going on now, and can pick up on problems.

Non sequitur: I was reading this article for social psych, and I kept thinking that I had read it before. Then it hit me and the memory was extraordinarily clear. It was one of the coolest classes in undergrad (by which I mean the actual class period, not the class itself, which was rather repetitive of other courses I'd had). It was in the spring of my junior year, and it was beautiful outside. So, we decided to have class outside, sitting under a tree. You know, the classic college stereotype. Anyway, that class was typically very quiet and conversations consisted of the professor trying to get one word answers out of us. But something about the reading and the environment led to a really awesome discussion. That was a fun memory. Now back to reading.

Friday, December 01, 2006

See, and this is why I don't read fiction...

I just now finished The Cider House Rules, am in no state to sleep, and have to get up early in the morning.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I now remember why I don't do fiction...

... it's because it is a deep, dark black hole that I can't seem to find my way out of until the book is finished. I walk around reading it, I stay up until 3 in the morning finishing "one more chapter" that turns into four or five more.

I have lamented about this problem of mine before. I'm not sure what to do. The obvious solution is simply not to read fiction. And I generally do that very well. But what can I do when I am currently 120 pages into a 600 page book? This is several more days' worth of commitment. I can't just stop.

See, and it all links back to my unproductive holiday weekend, where I watched The Cider House Rules (the movie). So I had to go get the book. That was a dumb idea.

Anyway, one more chapter, and I'll post on the discussion boards for theory and work on my social psych paper...

I miss law.

I think after I get my PhD (I know what you're thinking--that's quite a ways away, missy!) I'll go to law school. I took several law classes in undergrad (Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights Law, Law and Gender...) and besides a few of my sociology and gender classes (largely ones taught by two professors from whom I took multiple classes), they were my favorite.

Many of my sociological interests are to do with the law--how groups are constructed through the law, how the law is constructed, etc.

I spent most of stats class today looking at the faculty at top law schools. It's not uncommon for them to have both JDs and PhDs. I think this is really something I'd be interested in doing (becoming a law professor, that is).

Only problem with law school is that they tend to charge you for it. It costs a lot more than grad school. There are a few funded LL.M and other law master's programs out there. That might work. I just feel like I love the law but don't really have a great grounding in it. Not near as much as I would like anyway.

I also want to be on the Supreme Court one day, and what better way to start down that path than to actually go to law school?

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Despite my grand ambitions on this long weekend, my greatest accomplishment has been watching more movies than I have watched during this entire semester. I have watched more television than is strictly decent, to quote Ron Weasley.

What have I watched?
The Cider House Rules
Love Actually
Miss Congeniality

In addition, I have watched various History Channel specials on the engineering of the Roman Empire, the history of tobacco production and consumption, and far too many episodes of Reba and Still Standing.

It's truly pathetic. Why can't I seem to be productive at all?

Edit: add, um, My Best Friend's Wedding to that. I'm starting it right now. Damn TBS. I'm reading during commercials, though!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy belated birthday!

This blog is now two years (and a few days) old. Except for exceptionally slacking summers, I've kept up okay. At least I haven't abandoned it, as I have two livejournals, one Xanga, a myspace, and untold scores of diaries.

In I-am-an-idiot news, I just wasted the about $15 dollars I spent on printing today. I decided to get some of the reading done by taking a nice warm bath. I had (illegal in my apartment) candles set up, lovely music in the background, and started filling the bathtub. I let it fill a little too long. And the little drain near the top of the tub didn't work. So it overfilled. Only slightly, I caught it before there was too much spilled water. But enough to drench (and render unreadable) my printed articles.

In further illegal news, I want a cat. This living with no one is kind of sucky. But, no, I don't particularly want a roommate. Unless it's Ema, but she's far away. A pet would be lovely. But not a dog--dogs require taking out regularly. No, a cat would be lovely. I know I can't bring Nino here. And if I got one now, I'd have to deal with the taking it home in December problem. I don't know. But I do know that the permissible pets (i.e., fish in small tanks) won't do the trick.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

They already have Bill O'Reilly....

More info on this supposed FOX conservative humor show that I talked about a post or two ago.

I still don't get it. Humor is often humorous because it is anti-establishment. It takes pot shots at the people with power, with those at the top of society. John Stewart isn't "liberal," he's funny. He finds humor in the system, in the media, etc. (Stephen Colbert is a conservative character, thus making fun of conservatives, but again, his humor relies on the media system, which he is parodying... the cult of personality talk shows.)

Speaking of right wing comedy, here is comedian Julia Gorin. It's painful to watch, but you should try. She almost sounds like she's a parody of conservatives when she's talking about how she feels positively liberal when she sees skinny women: "some people have so much while others have so little. It's the only time I want to share." uh. So, for your joke to work, there's an assumption that conservatives are completely unconcerned about inequality. As a non-conservative, I don't think that's completely fair to conservatives, but whatever. Anyway, have a look. She's in front of a sympathetic audience, but near the end she looses even them.

I wonder if this new conservative comedy will be hiring conservative (not-so-)funny man Michael Richards. Remember? Kramer/racist comic.

From my experience with right-wing humor (remember, I listen to conservative talk radio), here are examples of what will probably be their standard jokes. Variations on:
Nancy Pelosi is a man.
Ted Kennedy is a drunk.
Michael Moore is fat.
Bill Clinton is a slut.
Feminists just want abortion rights so they can be sluts like Bill Clinton.
Howard Dean yells like a girl.
Monica Lewinsky was fat anyway.
Hillary Clinton is... Hillary Clinton.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

important books (fiction edition).

Little Women. Damn Louisa May Alcott for not getting the Jo/Laurie plot right. But, part of LW's appeal is that it has this problematic ending that girls have re-written generation after generation. If it had been done properly, the book probably would have passed into obscurity. I feel like I'm in good company. Very Important Feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote that "the relationship between Jo and Laurie touched me to the heart. Later, I had no doubt, they would marry one another; so it was possible for maturity to bring the promises made in childhood to fruition instead of denying them: this thought filled me with renewed hope." She re-read and re-read, hoping the ending might change. Realizing how stubborn text can sometimes be (as I did), she re-wrote the ending (also, sadly enough, as I did). Alcott's ending to LW is part of its continuing appeal, regardless of how much it continues to piss me off.

Gone With the Wind. Obviously, this post is primarily about LW because I just watched it, reread the end, and am upset at LMA again. But GWTW is pretty great. I read it for the first time in 7th grade. It was worth 36 AR points! Totally wrote fan-fiction about this one, too. I also carried around a big binder of GWTW "facts" and interesting information. I am still known in some quarters as "the Gone With the Wind girl."

Anne of Green Gables. I reread this series every spring break. Well, not the whole series. I always stopped after Anne of the Island, the third one, after she got engaged to Gilbert. What was the point after that, really?

Harry Potter series. Man, am I ever grateful to Mrs. Terry and UIL Lit Crit for this one. I would never, ever have thought to pick up HP. Can you believe I used to root for Harry and Hermione? Ew. Totally Ron/Hermione and Harry Ginny. But unlike with, say, Anne, this is not primarily about the romance plot (though Anne is wonderful, regardless of Gilbert). Harry Potter just plain rocks my socks off. I've gone to every midnight release (book and movie) since book 5 and movie 2 and I intend to go to the next (and last!!) book, whenever it gets here.

Pride and Prejudice. I only ever started to like Jane Austen because Laurence Olivier, who was married to Vivien Leigh (until that horrible, horrible person Joan Plowright broke them up), who played Scarlett O'Hara in GWTW, was in the (horrible, completely unlike the actual book) 1940 version of the movie. But, that led me to the book, which led to to all the other Jane Austen books (and movies), which, sadly enough, led me to not only fan-fiction but fan-poetry.

Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles. I ran across this one in Ms. Schneider's 10th grade world geography classroom. It was on the shelf, I picked up one day, and Ms. S said I could take it home. I was hooked. I became obsessed with British royalty. I once, I kid you not, had a mapped out genealogy of all the royal families of Europe, poster size, on my wall. Most importantly, my engagement with the story of Mary Stuart began my severe hatred of the murderous Elizabeth I of England, who even surpasses Joan Plowright on my, if I were Stephen Colbert, "dead to me" list.

Other important, though far less influential, fiction books:
--To Kill a Mockingbird
--The Secret Garden
--A Little Princess
--The Chronicles of Narnia
--Handmaid's Tale

Monday, November 20, 2006

Watching Little Women makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Even when I'm sick and tired but can't get to sleep.

the death of irony.

So, apparently, FOX News is planning to create its own Daily Show/Colbert Report-esque comedy show. Really? So, FOX news is going to have fake news? Wait, is this new?

I mean, they'd essentially be making fun of themselves. Probably a left-wing version of themselves, but the problem isn't the ideology they hold, but the way in which they present themselves as "fair and balanced."

I mean, Jon Stewart is a pretty equal opportunity kind of comic. Republicans have been in power, so they've been the targets, but Dems will get it just as much.

I don't think it will sell, either. Talk radio doesn't sell on the left because lefties tend not to like yelling ideologues telling them what to think. Parody won't work for the right because they take themselves too seriously.*

Satire is difficult to pull off. It requires a particular kind of cynicism and skepticism about the system rather than blind acceptance and adherence. But if FOX can do it well, I'll watch.

*I am aware, my conservative and liberal friends, that these are generalizations. But generalizations that are borne out by the data and the failure of Air America Radio.

I can't get to sleep.

Of course, it doesn't help that I'm trying to sleep to Supreme Court oral argument audio. Right now I'm listening to Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood, one of the abortion cases argued earlier this month. I've come to a few conclusions:
  • late term abortion is really, really horrific. I support a ban (on that kind of abortion), though there must, must, must be exceptions for the mother's health. That is, of course, was the present case is about.
  • training in statistics should be mandatory in law school. It is really important for lawyers and judges to know what's going on with statistical significance, etc.
And, unrelated:
  • I just realized, while not sleeping, that I have no luggage, suitcase, or duffel bag with which to bring clothes home for Christmas.
  • I'm craving some la Madeleine, which does not exist in Tucson.

Friday, November 17, 2006

bullet points

  • I should stop listening to CSPAN's Supreme Court justice profiles at night. I can't sleep, but I know a whole lot about David Souter. I wonder if it'll help me tell his voice apart from Breyer's during oral arguments.
  • A quick look at the UTD calendar confirms my suspicions: this week was indeed the last full week of classes for my alma mater. Oh how I miss those long winter breaks. They've got next week interrupted by Thanksgiving, then like one day of classes, then it's finals time.
  • I'm sick. I don't know what's up. Probably allergies. I didn't go to class or into the office yesterday. I probably will tomorrow though.
  • I'm married to Jon Stewart now. On facebook, anyway.
  • I am now using Firefox, and I really like it.
  • I can't wait for Christmas. Or at least Christmas break. Well, the 19th, when I actually go home. Maybe tomorrow night I'll make a paper chain. Or get a calendar and start crossing off days a la Harry Potter. Of course, he was counting down days until he got to go back to school.
  • Speaking of Harry Potter, when is that next book coming out?
  • Because I was drugged up on sudafed all day, I slept a lot, and I'm not tired now. But I need to be up fairly early in the morning. This is never good.
  • I'm really interested in the actions of courts that are appointed vs. elected. Does anyone know of any good research on this?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

If nothing else good comes from this change of power...

Reuters: The outgoing chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, James Inhofe (R-OK), on Thursday dismissed a U.N. meeting on climate change as "a brainwashing session."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Have I ever told you how much I love CSPAN online?

Well, I love it alot. Where else can you watch Justice Scalia (with whom I often disagree but love intensely*... I named my cat after him) debate the president of the ACLU?

I guess the only other place is on CSPAN. But on tv, you have to sit through British parliamentary hearings about who knows what. At cspan.com, you can just skip right to the good stuff.

*Seriously, Scalia is awesome. Say whatever you will about his being evil and all, his opinions are masterpieces of wit and outrage. They are often wrong, but they are wonderful nonetheless.

Monday, November 13, 2006

"...But there's no 'white history month'"

I just flipped through the radio on my way home and heard some local talk show host lamenting the fact that "if you give a scholarship just to white young men or want to create a 'white entertainment television,' you'd be considered racist."

I hate, hate, hate this.

Every month in every history class is white (usually male) history month. Sure, sometimes you get the little sidebar in the textbook about this or that famous black person/white woman.

I seriously want to punch people in face when they say this. Do they not realize how much privilege they get by being white?

This makes me think of that Peggy McIntosh article about white privilege. I always try to get people to read it and they never will. I can't wait until I teach a class so that I can assign it. If I give quizzes, they have to read. This might be my primary reason for wanting to be a professor. I can make people read things.

So, I'm not going to post the entire article. Just the list. You should read it.

But first, a great quote: "I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group."

  • 1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
  • 2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.
  • 3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
  • 4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
  • 5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
  • 6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
  • 7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
  • 8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
  • 9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.
  • 10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
  • 11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.
  • 12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
  • 13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
  • 14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
  • 15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
  • 16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.
  • 17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.
  • 18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
  • 19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
  • 20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
  • 21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
  • 22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
  • 23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.
  • 24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.
  • 25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.
  • 26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
  • 27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
  • 28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.
  • 29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.
  • 30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.
  • 31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.
  • 32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.
  • 33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
  • 34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
  • 35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.
  • 36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.
  • 37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.
  • 38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
  • 39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
  • 40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.
  • 41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
  • 42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.
  • 43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.
  • 44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.
  • 45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.
  • 46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.
  • 47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.
  • 48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
  • 49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.
  • 50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.
Update: So, I thought I'd wikipedia "white privilege" and, sure enough, I found this entry. But, this is funny: a conservative talk show host (not unlike the one who sparked this post), said, of white privilege: "[i]t's not 'unearned.' It was earned for you by the hard work and self-discipline of your ancestors and relatives."

lol. Brilliant. Why don't we just go ahead and make a caste system? The people on top had very hard-working ancestors.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

How much have I gotten done this weekend?

None. I'm like halfway through an article I need to write a paper about. I need to do stats, and it looks relatively time intensive. I need to come up with a final outline for my social psych final to show to H.W., I need to work on a lit review for K., and I need to get some SNA stuff done. Now that I write it out it doesn't seem as long as it does in my head. But, right now, most of all, I need to get something to eat. I am hungry, but I have no food in my apartment. And I would have to shower and get dressed in order to go to the store. So I'm going to drive through Wendy's and get a baked potato and a Caesar salad. I would go to subway or quiznos, but that would require getting out of the car. I wish I could describe to you how disgusting my hair is at the moment. I can't get out of my car. Then I have to come home, get work done, and take a shower.

Update: So, I went to the store anyway. Sometimes, I read other peoples' blogs and feel better about myself. This is an opportunity for me to make you feel better about yourself. So, I decide to go to Fry's. Bear in mind that my hair is disgusting (last night I took a bath, where my hair got soapy wet, but I didn't shower after that, this morning I worked out, was going to shower afterwards, but ended up napping instead, and haven't showered yet..but it's not horrible, because I've put it up in a bun), my clothes are just whatever I could find (crappy t-shirt and some capris), and I'm wearing black flip flops that I've had for about a year. First thing, in Fry's, I manage I knock down a medicine display with my cart. Then I manage to accidentally shoplift. Which I got caught for. (It wasn't so bad... a thing of sugar-free orange drink mix had slipped into the side of the shopping cart, I hadn't seen it, and the person at the door asked about it on the way out.) So, then I'm walking out in the parking lot, hands full of heavy, heavy bags. And I trip. Into a water(?) and mud mixture. I look disgusting. When I'm standing up, I manage to somehow break my flip flops in such a way that repair is out of the question. So I throw it away. The ride home wasn't so bad. But, while driving, my hair falls out of its bun, so I go to re-do it. The band breaks. So, you know how gross, dirty hair looks after it's been up for a while? Yeah, my hair looked like that and there was nothing I could do to fix it. When I got home, I could only find a parking space on the fourth floor of the garage. So, with my muddy clothes, one shoe, and disgusting hair, I walk down floor flights of steps with an overload of groceries. Surprisingly, I do not fall. I do run into people on the way, though. These people studiously avoid making eye contact. I would too.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I will withhold the gloating.

I'm happy, but not naively so. But any change is good change from that bunch. And some pretty awful people are out, so that can only be a plus. This video I found on youtube makes me happy. It might make you happy too.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Are we going to let them get away with it this time?

Voter intimidation, calls telling people their voting location has changed (from "democratic volunteers), that they will be arrested if they vote, fliers in African American communities that say "SKIP THIS ELECTION," voting machine problems... and that's just what's been documented in Virginia.

I just saw on CNN that people have been calling Montana voters and telling them that they will have to cast provisional ballots that are subject to challenge.


When voting tomorrow, report any fraud or intimidation you see. This is important. This is your democracy.

(Is John McCain seriously doing commercials against Janet? lol. Doesn't going against like 70% of the people hurt his credibility? Well, he's also doing ads for Prop. 107. So who knows what's going on in his mind.)

Finished with social psych and stats

And it's not even midnight. I could read and respond on the discussion boards for theory. Or I could clean. Or I could go to bed. But instead, I think I'll sit here and fret about an election I can't do a thing about, looking at poll after poll, stressing about Montana, sending prayers for the voters of Tennessee, crossing my fingers for Virginia, and debating the Lincoln Chafee question with myself. I would like to say that it will be lovely 24 hours from now when it should all be over. But I fear that most of the most interesting races are going to end up contested, with no results for days or even weeks.

Happy Election Eve!

I don't know how tomorrow will go, but I have high hopes. Right now I don't have time for any detailed post. But, here are some bullet points.
  • I have an extremely low tolerance for awkward silences in classrooms. I don't know how much more social psych I can take.
  • Speaking of social psych, man, am I an idiot. This weekend, while I spent time relaxing, reading for the final paper, I completely forgot about the paper that's due at noon today. Yeah, it's 7:15 right now. Not really a paper, a presentation write-up for Wednesday. No one ever gets them in on time. But I'm still an idiot.
  • Still need to finish up stats.
  • I got the tastiest chai tea bags and now make the tastiest (no? well, ok, the cheapest) chai latte ever.
  • Jim Pederson is rising in the polls.
  • I hope we hire the person who gave a job talk in the department today.
  • I got four hours of sleep last night, and tonight's looking iffy.
  • ELECTION NIGHT PARTY TOMORROW. My place. Whenever. We'll watch Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and make fun of the CNN and FOX guys.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

more on this later, but

Isn't it kind of ironic that Bush is calling out Kerry for a mangled speech?

Personally, I demand Bush apologize for the horrible, horrible threats he made against the people of the United States. "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." --President Bush, Aug. 4, 2004. Obviously, that was a not-so-veiled threat. And he has yet to apologize. Despicable.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

we're not in texas anymore

Oh the joys of living in a semi-swing state during an election year. You're like the cool kid and everyone wants to be your friend. All the popular people are coming and telling you how fun and important you are and how much they just love you.

What popular people? Well, tomorrow evening I'm going to go hear President Clinton speak on behalf of Arizona congressional candidates.

Last week I met John Edwards. A few weeks ago, I could have met Nancy Pelosi. But I wanted to sleep in. How cool is it that I live in a place where I can choose to sleep in rather than meet Nancy Pelosi? If I were in Texas, I would wake up at 5 in the morning for this. But here? Run of the mill election year hype.

I've met many Arizona national and state-level candidates, including Jim Pederson and Gabrielle Giffords. I've heard Gov. Janet Napolitano speak twice. I've gone to rallies and debates.

In Texas, this kind of involvement would indicate an amazing level of commitment. In Arizona, it's right down the street. In fact, it's difficult to not be involved.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

super dork

Why, when I no longer attend UTD, do I watch the website to see what courses are being offered in the spring? Why do I get excited and then dismayed to see that there is a graduate social movements course? Excited, because it's probably super cool, and dismayed because I won't be able to take it. Plus--there's a political sociology class being offered (never was when I was there!) as well as a soc of religion class (for real, not one that focuses on religion and immigration).

Why is it especially dorky that I am dismayed about not being able to take these classes? Well, next semester, I am going to be taking a graduate social movements class of my own. And, this semester I'm TAing for an undergrad soc of religion class.

Dude, there are only 2 classes listed for Gender Studies. One, psych of gender, is horrible. The other, Gender Society and Politics, is in the top 3 classes I've ever taken.

What is this "Women, Work, and Family" class? It's listed as soc, I've never heard of it, and it's not listed as gender studies. It's taught by Dr. S, who I had for Gender and Education as well as American Popular Culture. She's not a sociologist. But I'm sure it'll be a great class. I wonder how it's different from the other Dr. S's (a sociologist) Gender and Work class.

Ahh, that idiotic Women in Management class is being offered. That class was so stupid I wanted to cry every Tuesday and Thursday for a whole semester.

Come to think of it, UTD offers a whole lot of classes about gender and work issues. And I've had them all except this Women, Work and Family one. Did they really need another?

All in all, lots of cool classes, graduate and undergrad. I really miss UTD. Despite the wonderfulness of Arizona.

But, I am excited. Next semester I'm going to take an out-of-the-department class, Contemporary Feminist Theories, from the Women's Studies Department. It should be good. Other classes are: stats, methods, social movements.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

november surprise

Interesting, isn't it, that Saddam Hussein's verdict is scheduled to come out just a few days before the midterm elections? Thank goodness the liberal media hasn't started asking questions about this.

"Here's what you can do: vote."

So, I've been sitting here (not working on my theory essay) watching a documentary on video google about the myriad problems with electronic voting machines. It presents the problems reasonably well (okay, not well at all, but I do realize that there is a problem), but what really got me was the ending. There was no real call to arms, no opportunity for action. You've given me this information, what am I supposed to do with it?

The last words of the short film are: "here's what you can do: vote." Are you kidding me? You've just spent 40 minutes telling me why that doesn't work.

The screen then faded to black to the presumably-not-intended-to-be-ironic strains of "People have the power..."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sociology of Knowledge

  • Why have I not been formally introduced to this (ever)?
  • It's amazingly exciting.
  • In a few of my undergrad courses, a soc of knowledge type of analysis seems to have been the basis of the class, the whole point, really.
  • These were my favorite, favorite classes.
  • I just read Berger and Luckmann and am giddy and excited.
  • But, I kind of always assumed that "good sociology" was a form of sociology of knowledge (even though I didn't know the term for it), that it considers the origins of ideas, the construction of concepts, questions taken-for-granted assumptions, looks at the definition of the "problem" and examines how that definition leads to certain answers and solutions. How does social structure influence the very categories we use to think and construct ideas? This is what originally excited me about sociology.
  • I'm learning that what's considered to be good sociology does not always do this.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I think I've come to an important realization.

Work doesn't have to be good ('cause no one cares). But it does have to be done. That's the important part. People don't care enough to notice if it's less than perfect, but they sure will notice if you wait so long for perfection that it doesn't get finished in time. This, I think, is generalizable to most situations in life.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

sorry for the snarkiness

I have a fascinating with scary right-wingers, so I happened to be on the website for the Campaign for California's Children, where I saw this:

CCF President Randy Thomasson explains how a liberal Republican "will hurt the church and culture more in the long term because he will dumb down the Church, dumb down the Republican Party, dumb down conservative and Christian talk radio stations."

I'm not sure this is possible.

Update!! LOL! I'm watching that same guy speak on video google and he totally just said that the California vote for their DOMA "was a vote from the gut. Now those on the liberal left like to say 'don't vote from your gut." This reminds me of my good friend Stephen Colbert. "That's where the truth comes from, ladies and gentlement. The gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your stomach than in your head? Now, somebody's gonna say, 'I did look that up and it's wrong.' Well, mister, that's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, try looking it up in your gut. I did. And my gut tells me that's how our nervous system works. Now I know some of you may not trust your gut. Yet. But with my help, you will. The truthiness is, anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news at you."

Here's the video:


Along with a new name (which I'm not thrilled about), the School of Social Sciences--err, the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences--at UTD has gotten a webpage makeover. About time. Their webpage was even worse than the sociology website here at Arizona. And that's saying something.

Well, gee whiz, turns out I understand stats after all.

I don't pay attention in statistics. Because the class is in a computer lab, I believe I have even blogged from that class more than once. It's not that the professor isn't great, and it's certainly not that I just understand all the material so there's no need to take notes and follow along. I am just not an auditory learner. I can hear a lecture, but unless I write it down, it's gone soon thereafter*. I can read a book, but without a highlighter or pen in my hand, marking important passages and taking notes, none of it sinks in. So, I'm not really a visual learner. I must be a tactile learner. I have to write things down, work out the problems, before they finally sink in. When trying to think, I have to physically draw a map "x-->y," etc.

All this semester in statistics, I've done the homework by carefully following the steps laid out in the book. I didn't understand what I was doing, I was just following instructions, plugging things into the proper equations. But in prepping for the midterm, I actually sat down and did the problems in the book; I drew the areas under the normal curve, felt it and visualized what it meant; I thought about the equations and broke them down into their parts to figure out why the equations are what they are. This may sound simple, but to me, statistics has always been a plug-and-chug kind of event. You memorize some rules and get an answer.

I now feel like I understand why I'm getting the answer, the logic behind statistics. In undergrad stats, we could have a notecard with all the formulas we'd need for the exams. And we could use our textbooks (yes, it was that pathetic). I could continue just blindly following the formulas laid out for me. But, this semester, this stats class, we have to memorize all of the formulas. Obviously, the easiest way to memorize formulas is not to memorize them at all but to understand them. So, that's what I'm doing.

And I'm surprising myself that it is, for the first time, actually making sense.

But I won't get too prematurely excited. The midterm is on Tuesday.

*I realize the response to this is, "well, write down lectures during class." My response to that response is that I can't. Not with stats, anyway. It takes me time to sort through and figure out things. I can write down what the instructor is saying, but I'm just writing down numbers, letters, and phrases that mean little to me, and soon I mentally check out and either become really drowsy or start doodling on my notes. I suspect this is why I had a tendency to skip stats classes in undergrad (still got A's, though, so it speaks to the degree to which 1)these classes were ridiculously easy and 2) my learning in math-y things depends entirely on my own study time, classtime is useless). I don't skip in grad school, you will be relieved to hear.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I realize there is a danger in this blog just becoming the space in which I post videos that I find funny.

But I choose to ignore that possibility and post this anyway. It's reporter David Gregory on Jay Leno, recounting some of his moments with President Bush. It's funny. Ignore the weird guy at the beginning of the video who appears to need to set up the story for us.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I was having kind of a crappy day...

But this video makes me inordinately happy. It combines two of my obsessions, Harry Potter and RENT. It's "La Vie Boheme" set to a sequence of scenes in the HP movies. It's, objectively, not all that great, but it made me happy and I needed that. It's funny because these two things, while both favorites of mine, are a very unlikely pair. So the choices made of what lyrics to match what scenes are funny. Obviously, some of lyrics are difficult to fit into a HP film plot (e.g., the line "bisexuals, trisexuals, homo sapiens, carcinogens, hallucinogens, men, Pee Wee Herman" doesn't fit neatly into Rowling's stories).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Professorial quotes

Statistics: The midterm exam "is both dense and not unlengthy."

Theory: "It would be nice to have theory with connections to, you know, actual cases."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Just to offer an excuse

I haven't really blogged recently because I have a whole lot of stuff to do, some of which I am behind on. Plus, to top it all off, I'm sick. I have a cold or something. I think it's because of all the weather changing all of a sudden. It was in the 80s and now it's like in the 50s and something weird is going on with my sinuses, my head, and my eyes. And I'm not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep. I need to work on this.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

After weeks of search,

I have finally found the place that combines free wifi, great coffee, non-expensive food, and a lovely atmosphere. That place, ladies and gentlemen, is Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea. I've been sitting here for about an hour so far, am posting on the internet, have had some hot chai, and am contemplating a caesar salad. And--the good but not too loud music has allowed me to get quite of a lot reading done. Yay!

Update, 4:39pm: Okay, so the salad wasn't great. I'm not going to judge the rest of the food by this, but, in my experience, the quality of the caesar salad is indicative of the quality of everything else.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ahh, that liberal media...

I noticed this this morning, and so did crooksandliars.com (from whom I took the image).

What's even more interesting than this is how this Foley thing is being spun as a "gay" issue, e.g., we have to expect this sort of thing in a society where we value "diversity" and "tolerance." Plus, my favorite, actually, the Republicans who knew about this thing didn't want to talk about it or call Foley on it because they "might have been accused of gay baiting." Really? There's no difference between gay-baiting and calling out someone who's sexually harassing minors? It is really clever spin, though. I talked to someone today who bought it hook, line, and sinker. "What should they have done? If they made him quit, they would be accused of firing based on sexual orientation." *Sigh*

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Just to clarify:

Everything is totally okay. Thanks for the calls and emails. I didn't mean to sound so sad and pathetic, though. Honestly, it was all just sleep deprivation. Caffeine (temporarily) helped. Statistics was fine, and so was the other reading. And now I'm going to sleep. You all rock, by the way.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Just so you're not feeling sorry for me,

I did just finish the stats homework, and I feel like it makes a little more sense. As addicted as I am to caffeine as a normal part of life (i.e., I get headaches without it), I am always pleasantly surprised by its actual stimulant effect whenever I need to wake up or de-fuzzy my head. Now to read for theory!

It had to happen sometime.

I cried over schoolwork in graduate school for the first time today. Statistics, plus only having slept for three hours the night before, plus feeling sick, plus the need to read quite a lot tonight before I can finally go to bed, led to the first of (no doubt) many grad school related breakdowns. I just want to curl up and go to sleep. But by the time I finish stats and theory tonight, I'll have just enough time to get a few hours of sleep and then it's off to class.

What's particularly frustrating is that I feel that this statistics homework would actually make a lot of sense if I could actually think about it. But my mind is too fuzzy at the moment.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

No updates.

I'm not going to tell you how much I've gotten done so far. I'm ashamed. I will say, though, the feeling of being overwhelmed with work that cannot possibly get done, the feeling that used to be reserved for the ends of semesters in undergrad, has now become a permanent fixture of life. Reading ahead, working on papers well before they're due... the motivation/ability to do those sorts of things is completely gone.

Why am I having a hard time motivating myself to do anything?

Yesterday I kind of slept in. But then I got up and started to get some work done. But, by that point, after I had moved slowly in taking a shower, reading the news, and reading a few articles, it was time to leave for hiking/party. So, I told myself, Sunday would be the day of productivity. I slept till 9 this morning, did not go to church as planned, and instead moved very slowly so that by 11:30 I was ready to get work done. But, my apartment was too messy, so I decided to go set at Beyond Bread and work. I get there, and they are crazy busy. So I go to Borders to start work on stats. Well, turns out I forgot the homework. So I read some of the Simmel reading for Tuesday. Then I drove out of my way to the other Beyond Bread to try and get some of the lit review I've promised Dr. G. out of the way. Well, it's too crowded to, and by that point I'm a little hungry, so I opt against sitting at the Starbucks across the street from Beyond Bread in favor of Quiznos. I get in there and decide to read some more Simmel rather than actually work on things that I need to do by tomorrow.

So, I finally come home, decide to disregard the mess, and start work on either the lit review or the stats homework. I think the stats will require more thinking than I'm prepared to do at the moment. So, I decide to watch some Daily Show clips before settling into lit reviewing. Some turns into a lot. And the Daily Show becomes the Colbert Report as well. And then I start posting on my blog. And here we are.

Things I need to do this weekend (i.e., tonight):
--read Simmel, post on theory discussion boards
--write/get a good start on lit review for Dr. G
--read lots of stuff for social psych and think of insightful (or at least non-idiotic) things to say during class
--do stats homework
--get all reading summaries recorded for TAing
--work on stuff for K. that I have not been devoting enough time to
--do something with NSF proposal or decide that it's not worth the effort

I will update this later and tell you how far I've gotten. Don't get your hopes up.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

This RENT thing is getting way out of hand...

"School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences"

The School of Social Sciences at UTD has apparently changed its name. I guess it makes sense. But for some reason I don't like it. I realize it makes no difference whether or not I like it. Not only do I not go there anymore, but even if I did it wouldn't really matter. Maybe I don't like it because it completely leaves out the "social" part and seems to be deemphasizing sociology? Not that sociology doesn't study economic and political policy, but the name seems to emphasize the school's programs in Economics, Political Science, and Public Policy (obviously), with no mention of Sociology. I realize soc is a smaller program, but I kind of have an attachment to it.

Or maybe I just don't like change. Which is true, too.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

This post is keeping me from dozing off.

I'm sitting in stats right now, actually typing this up in the command window of Stata. We had a pretty good discussion in theory today. But the best part was this quote:

"Lets just stipulate that there can be issues of sample truncation where people get killed before they can get into the dataset."

My kind of research.

(Just for clarification, the study in question was Gould's look at the participants in the 1871 Paris Commune. Arrest records were used as data sources, but, of course, those who were killed were not arrested, so they were not a part of the data set. Our class kind of wandered into a long discussion about the limitations of the data, and this was an attempt to crystallize those issues and to get us beyond them.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

My friends sometimes make fun of my parking abilities...

...but rarely do they charge me $35 for my lack of skill in the area. I just saw that my car had a ticket on it. I was "occupying two spaces." In the "notes" section of the ticket, it said, "rear crossed line."

Fair enough. The back of my car was edging in on the space beside me. It was a straight parking spot, and I was kind of angled. But, I am going to appeal this citation. All of the other cars around me were angled. If I had pulled in properly, the my car would have hit the rear of the car beside me, who was into my space. The car on the other side of me was similarly angled. It was the only spot available. No, this poor parking was not, in fact, an artifact of my lack of skills but a necessity of the environment.

I took a picture of it with my phone, but I'm not entirely sure how to get that onto the computer, so just trust me when I say that angling in was the only way to park. Thus, I will not pay $35.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

What's been distracting me lately?

RENT. I liked the soundtrack. Well, some of the songs. But I had, curiously, never seen the movie. Ema was obsessed. Patrick and Deanna loved it. Everyone told me I had to see it. But I had put it off. But, this past week, when Deanna was here, being the wonderful, lovely person she is, she bought it for me. We watched it Wednesday night, and I thought it was okay. I was mostly distracted at the time, thinking about the work I should've been doing instead.

But on the way driving Deanna back to the airport on Thursday morning, I found the soundtrack cd that Ema had left at the apartment before she left. I stuck it in. La Vie Boheme came on. When I got home I watched the movie again. I laughed, I cried, I bawled. I thought. I felt. Then, the clincher, I watched the documentary about Jonathan Larson, the writer of the original play. The story, his as well as the plot itself, was compelling. I watched the director's commentary. I listened to the music on my computer while I worked. I wasted a lot of time in the car, driving around, (poorly, I'm sure) belting out the songs along with the actors. I told myself I was "lost," looking for somewhere to go sit down and get work done. I mean, I could've gone to campus, or sat somewhere on University. But, no, I had to drive somewhere. I wasted a whole lot of gas. All because I wanted to sing.

Right now, as I procrastinate, it's on in the background. I think I'm becoming obsessed.

My favorite songs: La Vie Boheme, Light my Candle, Take me or Leave Me, Another Day, I'll Cover You, One Song Glory, Tango Maureen... ok, I'll stop. My favorites are all of them.

At first I thought I liked the Mimi and Roger story line best, but the more I think about it, Angel and Tom are edging them out. I was listening to the director's commentary, and Chris Columbus (director for the first two Harry Potter films!) mentioned that the kiss between the two of them during the song "I'll Cover You" prompted some walking-out during screenings of the film.

So, naturally, being obsessed with scary conservatives (as I am), I went to specifically look for reviews of the movie trashing the homosexuality, etc. I was particularly looking for someone to condemn the movie with Fred Phelps like vitriol (e.g., "AIDS as cure for homosexuality..." who said that? Was it Falwell? I distinctly remember this.).

I looked on the Christian movie review websites (not that I am at all stereotyping Christians as scary conservatives or the type to bash gays!) as the most likely place to find this sort of thing, and was happily surprised/disappointed not to find much of it. There were reviews. Sure, some did mention "morality problems" in the movie, but all acknowledged the quality of the movie, the important questions it raised, etc.

So, anyway, Rent is awesome, and you should see it. It, and the documentary, and the director's commentary, and listen to the soundtrack, and let it suck away as much as your time as it has mine.


I love those moments when things just "click" in your head. They're so exciting.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Quote of the day

"Whether or not you want to get involved with the footnotes, is, of course, a personal decision." --theory professor

Monday, September 18, 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Am I going to die? (part 2)

So, yesterday, when I got home I was pretty hungry. So I opened the bag of fresh spinach that I got the other day while grocery shopping. I cut up some tomatoes, put in some tasty croutons, and added a splash of my new favorite salad dressing: Romano Basil Vinaigrette.

So, I have this lovely salad, take a few bites, and then turn on the tv. It's set to CNN. Just as I'm about to take another bite, I hear Paula Zahn: "Do not eat any fresh, bagged spinach." She said this very emphatically. For a moment, I wondered, "how do they know? is she talking just to me?" I was sure they must have cameras in my apartment and a feed coming straight from Paula to me.

Anyway, it turns out that fresh bagged spinach has been implicated in one death and over 90 cases of e. coli in 20 states.

I'll be honest, I ate a few more bites. That's some really good salad dressing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Am I going to die?

Maybe. The fire alarm is sounding, rather loudly, in my building, and has been for about the last five minutes. I've holed myself and the laptop into the bathroom, where the ubiquitous screeching is less loud. I did this all of the time in my undergrad apartments. Alarms were frequent while fires were few. I suspect that is the case here. However, if I die in some huge fire consuming my apartment building, this post will stand as a final monument to my stupidity.

Card carrying sociologist

So, I joined the American Sociological Association, and today in the mail I had a little packet including, among other things, an ASA membership card. Really? Under what circumstances would I ever need an ASA id?

Random person: "Well, I think that Congress should do X."
Me: "Well, actually, I think society would be better off if we did Y."
Random person: "No, I think you're wrong."
Me: [busts out ASA membership card] "Actually, I am a genuine, card-carrying sociologist. I'm obviously right."

"What's the Taliban?"

I don't have a whole lot of time right now, I've gotta get to class, but right now I'm watching the CNN pipeline coverage of September 11, 2001 as it happened. I just had this incredible moment of connection with the past. I was sitting in Spanish class, watching CNN, and "Taliban to hold press conference" scrolled across the bottom. No one was saying much in class, and I blurted out, "What's the Taliban?" In retrospect, that seems like a silly question. But, I remember Nathaniel Brown answered my question.

It was just weird, to see that on the screen and know that exactly 5 years ago, to the very moment, I was sitting in class, watching this horrific event.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Taking a break.

When I finish my statistics homework, I am going to go rent a movie. Any movie. And I am going to sit down and watch it.

It will be lovely.

Now, some of you may be thinking, "wait! don't you procrastinate all the time? why do you need a break?" Because procrastination, while by definition means not working on what you should be working on, always involves a not insignificant amount of guilt. You can sit and watch videos on youtube rather than reading for theory, but you're not really enjoying those videos because in the back of your mind, you're berating yourself for being lazy.

This is different. This is not procrastination. This is taking an honest-to-goodness break.

Now, I just need to stop procrastinating from doing statistics so that I can take the break.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

smells & memories

I have mentioned before how certain smells are indelibly linked with events and people in my memory. Well, I was emptying a box that I haven't gone through since I moved here, and I found a perfume that I haven't worn since last fall. Specifically, the smell for me is linked with the hassle of applying to grad school, taking the GRE, asking for letters of recommendation, etc. I don't know why, but as soon as I sprayed it, I felt the same rush of excitement and sense of urgency, though it took me a moment to link the urgency and excitement to last fall and grad applications.

This olfactory memory (and a desire not to read what I really should be reading at the moment) caused me to look back at that time via the blog. First, after putting it off for a very long time, I took the GRE. Then of course I waited, and waited, on recommenders to get their stuff out. Finally, I got all the December applications in. But then the January ones came along.

First response: In at Wisconsin, but no funding. I was still having paperwork problems with some schools, though. Despite some pessimism, finally, everything was in.

I then felt like an idiot, but Wisconsin had already accepted me... no take-backs! Besides, my self-esteem was lifted by the fact that I was in at UCSB. A while later, Arizona sent an acceptance letter. Later, I had a two letter day, but one was wait-listing me. And neither of them was Northwestern. It got so bad, I made a CD about waiting. And did I really post a Beatles video?

But I didn't have to wait for much longer to hear about Northwestern: I made $2 on the thing, at least.

I went to visit Arizona and had a good time.

I looked for a post where I actually announced my decision. But apparently I never did. For those of you completely out of the loop and who haven't read anything else on this blog in the past few weeks: I chose Arizona.

And, all that, from a whiff of perfume. And a strong desire to procrastinate.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I can't figure it out.

Is he deluded or evil? In a bubble or solely self-interested? An idiot or cold and calculating?

I can't even figure out which one I would prefer him to be. Either is scary.

(I realize words like "evil" are hyperbolic, but you know what I mean. And, I suspect the truth is somewhere between the two.)

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Today feels like Saturday. And every weekend so far this semester has seemed really short. I finally figured out why. It's actually quite simple, but it never occurred to me before: for the past few years, all of my weekends have been three day weekends. I haven't had Friday classes since my freshman year in college. Friday was always the first day of the weekend.

Here, I don't have any actual classes on Friday, but I do TA in the mornings (no sleeping in!) and then I have a graduate seminar for first year grad students, and then the department brown bag. It feels just like a normal day, not part of the weekend.

Today, I woke up and it felt like Saturday. I have a whole next day to finish things that need to be done this weekend. Which is true, for this week at least, because it's a holiday.

There's really no point to this post except to remind me that Fridays are not part of the weekend, that three day weekends are not the norm, and that, even if they were, I should still be busy getting work done.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I have literally spent 9 hours today (yes, with some breaks, but, really, the better part of that time) creating a data set by copying pasting a bunch of different variables for all 50 states. And I just finished Wyoming. It's a good feeling to be finished, but I'm lacking that accomplished feeling that you often get when you finish a big paper/project/etc. It feels so anti-climactic...I put a bunch of numbers into a bunch of excel files. Go me! Honestly, I feel kind of like I've been sitting watching tv all day. This work is kind of mindless, so I've been watching movies while doing it. I've seen Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mona Lisa Smile, Parent Trap (the old/better one), and am currently in the middle of Mrs. Doubtfire. I feel like I've just wasted the day.

I guess at least now that this is finished I can concentrate on the other things I have to do this weekend.

Dear person/people in the apartment below me,

It is not cool that you play your music so loudly that my apartment vibrates. Just so you know.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

did you ever notice

how things that you've put off forever start to seem a lot less daunting once you actually start them? I don't mean, once you've gotten a good way in, but as soon as you sit down and begin to work on it, it suddenly seems so much more manageable? And it's not because of some realization that it's easier or less work than you had originally imagined... it just feels better... stress that you didn't realize you had goes away...

Eye exams

So, my glasses kind of broke today. I went to get my eyes checked and get new glasses and I am confronted anew with the pressure and stress that comes along with saying which is better, "number one or number two?" You know what I'm talking about: you're sitting in the chair with this huge machine over your face (which smells kind of funny and makes you wonder whose face was in it last and how they clean it), and the doctor goes from one lens to the other, asking which one makes the little illegible letters on the lighted sign on the other side of the room more clear.

I'm often not entirely sure if number one or number two is better. I make a random guess. I'm sure that inside, the doctor is laughing at me because, in fact, they are the same and this is some funny experiment to see if people, under pressure, will come up with an answer or a preference when the two options are identical. Or what if the doctor asks "1 or 2?," I pick 1, then he does another set that's exactly the same lenses (but I don't know this) and this time I pick 2. I look like an idiot.

Oh, and why in the world is there a "high prescription fee" for glasses if you have particularly bad eyes? That's just stupid.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I'm on notice!

My friend Sarah (whose livejournal I would link to if she hadn't deleted everything from it!) informs me that Stephen Colbert has put me On Notice. She sent me the following picture from his show the other night.

I'm actually not sure where she got it, or I would send you the link so you could have Stephen put other people on notice.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I hate CSA and sociological abstracts.

Actually, I love them. They make finding what I need a lot easier than, you know, flipping through journal articles. However, I want to punch them in their (metaphorical) faces when, after spending two hours going through and marking useful-looking citations, when I come back to get them (I left the page open, not like I navigated away from or closed the list), it says that I have been logged out and I need to log back on.

Of course, the problem is that I had never had a username for that website, I was never logged on. I was on campus, so I was using it through the university. grr. When it gave me the logged out message, I quickly clicked back hoping to see my list, unharmed. No such luck. Just another message telling me to "re"login.

Grr. Of course, rather than starting going through all of my searches again, I am here ranting about it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

despite my wimpiness...

...I managed to lose 3-4 lbs. this week. Why 3-4 and not some exact number, you ask? Well, I have yet to buy a scale, so I'm relying on the one in the fitness room at my apartments, and it's a balance scale rather than a digital one, and I'm never sure I've got the measurement exactly right.

Anyway, this week I have been slacking off my working out. I stopped going at night because it would give me a wonderful adrenaline rush that simply wouldn't let me get to sleep. To fix this, I determined that I would start to go in the morning. However, not particularly being a morning person, my grand plans would be crushed every morning as I pressed the snooze button over and over again for an hour before actually getting up.

In addition, I've hardly been eating healthily. Between pizza (tonight) and chow mien with spring rolls (like 3 times this week) as well as way too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (easier than cooking), I'm really pleasantly surprised at the loss.

Tonight, I decided to go ahead and work out (mostly out of guilt brought on by aforementioned pizza). It was wonderful. I always put off working out, and when I do I get such an endorphin high. Which, of course, means that I will not be getting to sleep soon. Which sucks, because I need to get up early and do work tomorrow!

More on emergency contraception later.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I am getting organized.

I figure beginning grad school is as good a time as any to really overhaul my organizational system. Of course, I say "system" as if there is anything systematic about my present system of keeping track of things to do. Mostly it consists of remembering things, and when memory fails, looking it up (usually in an email).

But no longer. Despite my initial frustration about not being able to forward my U of A email to my Gmail account, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. Rather than check two email addresses, I decided to send them both to Outlook. Now I get all my email at once and get notified when new mail arrives.

In addition to using Outlook to get my mail, I've decided to use its "calendar" and "tasks" functions as well. I am determined to get (relatively) organized, and this seems as good a method as any. As far back as I can remember, I start every school year with a new paper calendar, determined to write down everything, every homework due, every midterm, every final, every appointment, and so on. This usually lasts about two weeks (at a maximum).

It is my hope that this will last longer than that. I am fairly optimistic about it, too. Perhaps the fact that it's on the computer will make it easier to remember to write things down when they occur. Who knows. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 21, 2006

It's easy to forget how red a state Arizona actually is...

...until you read something like this (scroll down a bit). Yes, the Arizona state legislature has passed a law requiring that every public classroom display a flag as well as copies of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Not only that, the flags must be at least 2 ft. by 3 ft. and have been made in the U.S.

So, I'm in the office...

And I start cleaning. It seriously needs it--sticky stuff on the walls, a few stickers, and dust everywhere. I've been scrubbing for over 30 minutes.

And I just now realized that I am cleaning the wrong desk. I thought I had claimed this one, but turns out it was the one next to me. Ah well.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

It just hit me: I'm in grad school.

How awesome is that?

I start school tomorrow!

The beginning of the semester is always the best part. It's full of optimism and excitement; its spirit has not yet been crushed.

As much as I love it here...

It was wonderful to talk to college friends today. I really miss you guys. I promise to keep in touch better than I have been.

How much work did I get done today?

Not a whole lot.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Why I suck.

Yesterday, we got keys to the department and our office. I went to check and make sure mine worked. I didn't think the key to the office was working. I tried and tried and it wouldn't open the door. Turns out, I was turning it the wrong way.

Today, with my grand ambitions to go sit outside and work, I walked down to a cafe on University, only to find that there were no wireless networks available (or so I thought). So I went to the student union, where I knew there was wireless access and encountered the same problem. I just now realized: I had the wireless turned off on the computer. Doh!

I love having a laptop again.

Today, I'm totally about to go sit at a coffee shop and get my work done.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why am I a boring person?

And how do I become an interesting person?

...or at least seem to be an interesting person...? ideas?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I hate long lines.

Today, I waited almost an hour in the Parking and Transportation office in order to change out my parking permit from a garage all the way across campus to the one right beside my apartment building (turns out they have some reserved for apartment residents).

The line actually went outside of the building. There are seven little windows at which customers can take care of their business. There are at least ten employees out front and visible. Only three of the windows are open. Why?

I was about to add: "And why do all the undergrads bring their parents with them to get parking tickets? The line was as long as it was because half of the people in it were not actually getting permits themselves." But then I remembered that my mom had gone with me to get my permit.

Sorry this is not a very interesting post.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

In case you care...

I just made the tastiest mixed berry smoothie. Frozen berries + nonfat vanilla yogurt + ice + water = what I am eating for the rest of my life. I used to make this with bananas and a dash of splenda for sweetener. Little did I realize how much those ingredients were holding back the absolute tastiness of this drink.

Tales of the navigationally illiterate.

Yeah, there's nothing like taking a courtesy shuttle from the car dealership and not knowing where in the world you live. "Umm... it's somewhere near the University of Arizona... yeah, I'm pretty sure it's past that street. Oh, turn in here!" Turns out, "here" was not at all where I needed to be (though it was off of the correct street). But, it was definitely within walking distance, and I wasn't about to get back in and say, "oops, sorry, my mistake. Could you take me down a little bit further?" I guess I'll have to walk back out there when he comes to pick me up.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Meet Oliver.

He is my new computer. I know have Internet access. The world is right again.

This prolonged absence from regular contact with the Internets has impressed upon me how much I rely on the world wide web for everyday tasks.

Who needs a phone book? A map? Just look up whatever you need on Google, then use Google maps (or mapquest, or yahoo maps) to give you directions. I found out that I'm not very good at maps. Sad, really, considering I was once a fourth grade champion in the "Maps, Graphs, and Charts" competition. Ahh well.

And, I've become very proficient at text messaging on my phone, something I had heretofore been reluctant to engage in. I mean, really, what's the point of spending forever typing a single sentence? You can't have a real conversation that way. Can you? Turns out, it's a much more effective tool for communication when your fingers learn how to use the buttons you've got. And when you figure out how to turn on the predictive text.

And--why read the newspaper or even watch TV news? When you've got the NY Times online, CNN.com, and the various political bloggers to keep you informed, paper-and-ink newspapers seem kind of useless. But, if I gained one thing during my extended Internet fast, it's that there is a real appeal to the feel of newsprint in between your fingers, the black ink that it sometimes leaves. You find so many more interesting articles that you would never think to click the link for online.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings about my time without a computer. I have one now, and he's lovely. I hope to update much more frequently now. Cross your fingers!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I'm in Tucson.

I've finally arrived in Tucson, though I won't get a computer until early next week. I'm sitting in the Student Union writing this at the moment.

The drive here was absolutley beautiful, with all the mountains on all sides. When I can figure out how, I'll post some of the pictures I took with my phone.

As happy as I am to be here, and as excited as I am about school starting, I wish I were back in Denison at the moment. I hate being so far away when awful things happen. *Hugs* to Jason and his family.

My apartment is small but cute, and you'll get pictures of that about the same time that you get pictures from the drive up here.

I'm sorry this is a pathetically short post. But--I promise that when I get a computer, I will begin to blog regularly again. Now, I can't promise that it will be good or interesting--but it will be there.

Bye for now. I'm gonna go check out the library!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Just how boring is working in the kitchen of a girl scout camp? (you might ask)

Boring enough to come up with a theory of salad bar usage that could, if one were bored enough, be empirically tested (I would answer.)

See, with every meal, we have a salad/fruit bar available. Obviously, one can predict that when the meal is not appealing or unfamiliar to the kids, the salad bar gets used by many who don’t eat anything else. But, if we were to hold the meal quality/tastiness constant, what would predict the likelihood that any particular girl scout will use a bowl at the salad bar?

This is an important question. To me. Because I cut veggies for the salad bar and wash the bowls they use.

Is there an inherent quality (or, at least, an outside-of-the-dining hall quality) that makes one a salad-bar-user (SBU)? Or does the social context of the meal influence an individual’s salad bar usage?

The observed data could point to either conclusion. For instance, when the “hoppers” (those who take the food to the tables and return the dishes after the meal) bring the dirty dishes from their tables (8 girls/table) back to the kitchen, it quite often happens that most people at the table are SBUs or none are. Either they bring back 6-8 bowls for their table or 0-2. There is very rarely a middle ground.

This could mean that one person going to the salad bar encourages the others at her table to do the same. The possible paths for this result include peer pressure (“come with me to the salad bar!”), noticing the tasty things at the salad bar through ones’ tablemate (“that bell pepper sure looks tasty! I think I’ll go get one.”) or perhaps through feeling more comfortable going to the salad bar once a few others at your table have gone.

But there is another possible explanation. Perhaps those who are inclined to be SBUs tend to share characteristics that lead them to sit at the same table and those who tend not to be SBUs have other characteristics that draw them together. What could people who go to the salad bar have in common with each other outside of going to the salad bar? Perhaps they are healthier eaters? Perhaps they are heavier eaters? Who knows. We don’t have enough data to make a call.

One way that we could get at the answer to whether peer influence or table homogeneity has a bigger role in creating the SBU polarization would be to see 1) how often table composition changes, i.e. do the same girls always eat together or is it kind of mixed up at every meal?, and 2) how consistent is SBU-behavior? Do girls who go to the salad bar go to the salad bar every meal or is it kind of random? Are there are girls who never go?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

On worship

What is it like to follow a god simply because he [most people I’m thinking of do refer to God as a “He”] might strike you dead if you don’t? How is that different than following God out of a sense of love and compassion for others? I cannot say that I don’t understand this sort of worship (if it can be called that). I do understand it. For many years, I was a “Christian” because I didn’t want to go to hell. I was afraid that if I didn’t follow the rules, if I hadn’t followed a precise prayer outlined by 20th century Christians, I would die and go to hell. Honestly. But I don’t like using the term “worship” for it. To me, worship is an act of devotion, an act of love, not doing something because it’s better than burning forever in a fiery pit. To me, that’s just good cost-benefit analysis, of course you would decide to not go to hell, and in the long run it doesn’t cost you a thing. Worship, however, does cost. You don’t do it because you don’t want to burn. You do it because you can’t not do it. (wow, look at all the negatives in those last two sentences.)

Many of you have heard tales of my scary conservative boss this summer, and the few (two?) of you who read the other blog have heard my dispatches from crazyland. So, this isn’t new. But, this morning, we were talking about how people can die at any second, just randomly. And s/he said, “yep, I tell my wife/husband every morning, you better make sure you’re not doing anything God doesn’t want you to.” Why? Because if you’re sinning, God will kill you. I can’t imagine worshipping, I mean truly worshipping, a god who made that kind of sense in my mind. There’s no sacrifice involved, there’s no love, no devotion: only fear. I must do what’s right because God will punish me if not. What does that make morality? Truth? Values? It reduces them to bargaining chips with an angry deity. They mean nothing without the constant divine threat of punishment.

According to my boss, this is the same god for whose sake s/he feels “sick” at the thought of Ellen deGeneres and refuses to watch Friends because of “all the homosexuality.” When s/he said this, I wanted to say (in a sarcastic voice), “that’s really Christian of you.” But, s/he doesn’t really get sarcasm and just would have responded, “I know, it really is.”

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It's not (just) laziness, honest!

I know I've been light on posting recently. Don't expect much change any time soon! I'm in Denison, and not only is internet access skechy and slow, in that it's dialup, but my brother is often playing his online video game, taking up the line. I had to do some hard bargaining to get this time. Yes, here at my house it is the Wild West of internet access, a throwback to the mid-to-late 90s. DSL and Cable won't deliver service out here, we live so far out.

But, anyway, thanks to all of you for the encouraging emails and prayers and whatnot. They really do help.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

We swam today and we will swim tomorrow.

And I will get a tan. Or (more likely) I will burn.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

radical faith

Kent responded to my earlier post, and I thought I'd give him a reply here. It's really a reply plus some random rambling and a statement of how I believe.

I’ve grown tired of having to defend my faith from those who either disagree with the idea of religious faith or from those who insist that mine is wrong. But I think there is value in such a defense, so I’ll do it again. But, right now, I’m surrendering my internal fight against the Christian Right. I’m still fascinated by them. And I am professionally interested in them. But no longer is it a personal mission to prove them wrong or "expose" them. Perhaps living my life as an example (or struggling to attain that) can be all the exposure that is necessary.

Because for me, I think, the fight against the CR was less about truth and more about being “right.” It was a pride thing, an insecurity thing. I wanted to show that I, unlike them, really understood faith. I wanted to reassure myself that I was right, more than anything. After a good deal of prayer and thought, I realize that focusing on negating the CR takes away from my focus and my witness. If I can live faithfully and act peacefully, confronting distortions when they occur, but not going out of my way to find a fight, perhaps that act in itself is an antidote to a culture that too readily wants to draw lines, be confrontational and paint the world in black and white.

While I try to live my life according to God’s will, I will have to deal with some confrontations. But I also will have to recognize, as my commenter below does not, that there is room for many ideas in a single faith tradition. There’s lots of room, even room for disagreement. Hopefully there’s also room for some civil debate and discourse.

Now to address the commenter’s comment substantively: I assume what he primarily objects to is historicizing Christianity and the church. I, on the other hand, think it is vital. I agree that one need not have a Ph.D in religious history (or even to have studied it) to be a Christian, but I do believe that it can help faith and help us to understand it. Even if it makes us question our foundations. That is a good thing!

He also says that if I were to just read the Bible, I would know “what a Christian should believe” about things such as gay rights and abortion rights. I don’t think there’s one “Christian” position. I think that my faith leads me to certain positions on those issues. But, as I said, the Christian tradition has room for differing ideas.

That may be the difference between Kent’s faith and mine. I accept those differences and don’t judge him as suddenly unchristian because he has ideas with which I don’t agree. I believe he has different interpretations of scripture than I do. One of the wonderful things about the Baptist tradition is its stance on the personal interpretation of scripture by the individual believer. This is something that, obviously, the larger Baptist institutions (e.g., the Southern Baptist Convention) have gotten away from (enforcing certain interpretations as “right”), but I don’t think the idea is gone at all.

I believe that faith and politics are firmly linked. Kent probably agrees with me :-). I know people in conservative religious traditions who feel politically bound because of their religion. They don’t necessarily agree with, say, the Republican party, yet they feel that they must support them because it is the “Christian” way of voting. This is where I think living my faith proudly can be helpful. Yes, I am a Christian. No, I am certainly not a Republican. It is possible to be both. And it doesn’t mean “separating” your faith from your politics! It means embracing your politics in your faith. For some people, that leads them to vote Republican. But not me.

For me, recognizing that my sense of social justice and resistance to oppression grew out of my basis in faith was like coming out of Plato’s cave and suddenly seeing things for what they are. Seeing the history of the church and the power struggles not only legitimates my doubt about some things but strengthens my faith about others. I came out of the cave and am in a constant struggle to see more clearly.

The ideas of Jesus were radical. One of the most compelling parts of his ministry was his compassion and fellowship with the disenfranchised and marginalized in his society. What was the primary condemnation of him by contemporary religious leaders? That he hung out with “sinners” too much. Sound oddly familiar, no?

I believe that I am in the radical tradition of Jesus. While Jesus may have been lost, while he’s always kind of up for interpretation by prevailing political and religious winds, and while I have no monopoly on the “truth” of Jesus, I can be guided by faith. I can be guided by the words and actions of Jesus. His teachings cut through the oppression of his day. He called out to the poorest, the most reviled, teaching a radical egalitarianism. Jesus and the church he created are not just made for Sunday preaching. They are made for changing the world! What I seek to regain is the sense of Christianity as a social movement, as a movement for peace and justice and equality.

While this faith may sound simple (and it is), it isn’t easy. Sometimes it is easier to have someone else tell us what to believe and how to live. Sometimes it’s easier to see the world in black and white than to recognize the immense complexities presented in the world. Sometimes it’s easier to follow the political and religious winds than to challenge them. But, we need to ask ourselves the deceptively simple question: “What would Jesus do?”