Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Well, I'm feeling particularly good about myself today because I rode four miles and didn't have to walk the bike. It took me about an hour, but I'm feeling a bit like WonderWoman right now.

But it's getting darker earlier and I'm working later, so unless I get a headlight and reflective clothing, my hourlong bike rides in the evening hours are probably numbered.

I finished The Crimson Petal and the White last night- not terribly good at the end, I'm afraid it kind of just peters out. Which is particularly disappointing with an 800+ page book. You want something more . . . something to make it worth it.

Ah well, at least I'll get to ride down to the Library later to drop it off. And find something new!!

Only a single woman with no social life gets that excited about taking her bike to the library. I am a 19th century spinster daughter. I ride my bike and read a lot. Where's Alice B. Toklas' phone number- I have it here somewhere! (Obscure joke. Ask an English major.)

Speaking of, Queer Eye was a little odd last night. It seemed more stagey and scripted than before, and the guy they worked on was a little more reluctant than the last few. I mean, he was living like a coke addict (his mattress was on a DOOR for Chrissakes) and he was a total klutz. He had 59 cent shampoo . . . It all makes me really wonder who is bringing these guys up. Why do they live like this? Why do they deprive themselves? I guess my experience with guys, straight or not, has always been that they have at least a modicum of taste, style, hygenic standards . . . Where do guys come from who think it's okay to leave food under furniture and wear clothes they found in a dumpster?

I read an NY Times article that the show is a success because the five gay men are like father figures to the straight guy. We live in an age of absent dads, and the days of the father teaching the son the finer points of shaving, personal style, and how to treat a lady are gone-- not only because of the lack of interactive dads, but also because these skills are from a bygone age. Sixties and seventies parents rejected the concepts of stringent dress codes, and the entire idea of the lady/gentleman dichotomy. How gay men came to be the reliquaries of such knowledge is beyond me, but I'll takes what I gets.

Bad news. They fired my boss. Things are getting very scary around here and It's all I can do to keep my numbers up and cover my ass . . . a job's a job but this one is built on shakier ground than Sinkhole Heights Subdivision. Perhaps its time to reassess . . .

Monday, September 22, 2003

This stupid blog is formatted differently every time I look at it. How irritating is this four-inch wide all yellow format? The template is like, Turkish html, and I can't figure out how to fix it.

Anyway.

I went to a bridal shower and bachelorette party (my first). I personally prefer the brit term "hen party" for these types of affairs, it has less of a bizarre cartoon quality to it. Let me explain. Smurfette. Chippettes. Bachelorettes? Seems lame and derivative to me. I think I'd rather have a hen party. Or better yet, what about a vixen party? Guys get stag parties, perhaps we should have doe parties? Nah, that sounds like we'd all be sitting in a meadow placidly sipping at margaritas while the occasional rustling sound causes us all to stampede.

Or something.

It was pretty low-key for me, we got a spa treatment and then went to the actual shower, which included much underwear and kitchen products (think of how future anthropologists will discuss the sexual/domestic connotations of such affairs as these!) and then off to the smarm-oozing Boulder bar scene. I'm not a big fan but I thought I'd be a good sport. And once the ribald yet oddly fertility-ritual phallic-themed party favors came out, I decided to bow out gracefully and call it a night.

Margaritas have never been my favorites- I am much more of a clean-and-neat, martini or mojito kind of girl, especially because of the college-sorority-chick (sorry Lizzie) connotations of margaritas. They fall with Long Island Iced Teas and anything frozen and blended, under the get-me-drunk-now-so-these-guys-will-think-I'm-cute heading . . .

For me, drinks are like accessories. Unless I look good holding it and enjoy the process of ordering it, unless it is muted, understated and classic, It's not going to occupy my little cocktail napkin. Margaritas are like a big ugly LL Bean tote bag. They do the job but not with any style. The drinks I like are like Fendi baguettes. They cost too much but the charge you get is incomparable to anything so utilitarian as a Margarita.

When (and if) I get married, I'm thinking an extended hen party- a road trip, actually. To Vegas or Palm Springs. Get all the girls in the Cutlass and head west . . . I think the anonymity of being far from the people you know is a much more interesting concept than hitting the local grogshops. Take a week and sit by a hotel pool, have fun all night and hit shopping or spas in the daytime.

Now that's my kind of party.

Well, work calls. Until next time . . .

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Yay! I have line breaks!

As an afterthought, rummaging through an ever-diminishing drawer of clean clothes, I chose an I "heart" NY shirt. It was clean, I work in a casual office, I didn't give it a second thought until I remembered what day it was.

I'm still wearing it, in case you wondered.

For all the idiocy that has been unfairly predicated upon the disaster, I am no less affected by it than any knee-jerk flag-waving Bushite. It's just the way we think about it that's different. I see an event in no way provoked by the victims, but rather the culmination of generations of misinformation and hate among young Muslim fundamentalists, an event that shook the country to its foundations, but in ways the perpetrators never imagined.

But in watching a show last night on the Discovery Channel (yeah. I'm a geek.) on the roots of Muslim rage, I realized that the very idea of a "war on terrorism" can only fuel the same ideas and attitudes that caused those young Arab men to indiscriminately destroy the greatest symbols of American capitalism, democracy and power. We see it as a war on terrorism. They see it as a continuation, and escalation, of an American war on Islam.

148 thousand troops are in Iraq. That's about twice the population of my hometown. Three quarters the population of Cedar Rapids, the second largest city in Iowa where I went to college. Just a thought.

So although I think I see the events for what they are, a random and hideously violent outpouring of propaganda-fueled hatred, I deeply regret the actions our nation has taken as a result of this tragedy. When the world was willing to reach out to us, with sympathy and even, especially in Middle Eastern nations, empathy, we stubbornly acted alone, on a solitary crusade in which intent is a fluid and multi-faceted concept. To many Americans, the intent was justice, the freedom of the Iraqi and Afghan people. But to them, and I think it's important to remember this, it appears to be bloody retribution and an ideological affront to all they believe in. I mourn the loss of many things today, the innocents in New York and Washington, the soldiers, newly out of high school receiving marching orders to Baghdad, the Iraqis and Afghan civilians mercilessly killed in the crossfire, the firefighters, policemen, etc.

But I also mourn the loss of an opportunity. An opportunity to have taken the high road, to have taken chances to find the real perpetrators of this crime, the loss of an opportunity to win in the greater sense and gain (or keep) powerful allies. I mourn the loss of a nation's credibility after the world poured its heart out to us. America will go on, it will recover, and hopefully it will more deeply consider the long-term ramifications of refusing such opportunities in the future. America has not seen the last of tragedy. As we continue to destroy and the propagandists continue to construe the war against terror as a war against a faith (we are hardly making it more difficult for them to construe such things) the attacks they see as divine retaliation will continue. I dearly hope that future generations can somehow put an end to this cycle.

Terror begets terror. And until both sides can take a true look at their faiths and see that Christ and Mohammed were not crusaders, but compassionate, not warriors but truth-seekers, not hatemongers but advocates of love and understanding, we will see many more heinous crimes committed in their names.

And although I've never been there, I still "heart" NY.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I will no longer be responding to anything but "Cassie san." It has a very nice ring to it.

I got an email today from a Japanese rep who greeted me in this way and I liked it.

I have coined a new term that I dearly hope the Dems will use in this next election campaign. President Bush has instigated ADD Foreign Policy. He can't focus, he can't finish anything, he acts compulsively and he seems to be oblivious to common-sense advice. In short, we need to find Foreign Policy Ritalin so we can somehow finish all these projects, focus, move on.

Anyway, tons of work today. Got to go plug away at references long since forgotten by sales reps who make lots more than I do . . . lots more than they should . . .

Until next time.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Holy canoli. It's been almost a month.
Well, here's the story. I've been had. I can easily ignore this, and put "junior copywriter" on my resume, and keep on going hoping I'll get promoted to a real position where I'll be writing snappy collateral for IBM printer brochures. But the truth is, I'm basically doing data entry for grumpy German salesmen who spell my name with no "e" at the end, and I haven't put pixels to paper for money since last summer.

So I've been had. They said copywriter, they meant first, last, and only line of defense between the real writers and the disgruntled, overpaid salesforce. And as for upward mobility, that was a luxury of better times, Clintonian times, if you will. Now they can hire someone from without, with more experience than anyone here, for less than it would cost to promote from within. I saw Office Space last night, and it nearly made me cry. "People aren't supposed to live in little cubes!" . . . sigh.

I suppose this is what they mean by "paying your dues," working one's way up, etc etc. But for now it feels like a well-paid dead end with no real experiences that will help me in the long run. There's also no sign of publishing jobs in the Denver area for now, and I think that's what I really want to do. Maybe I'll sock away my money and move someplace where publishing has an actual presence- LA, Seattle, Chicago . . . I'll miss the mountains but they offer only the slightest consolation as it is right now. I feel like I'm pissing away my early 20s in a dim little cube, arguing virtually with distracted foreigners. I've been here for three weeks. There was no honeymoon.