Thursday, April 10, 2014

Agree To Disagree

If your view that there is an absolute (liberal) truth out there and all you need is to make the truth sexier and more accessible then Vox maybe a great website for you.

"And Vox may be here to bring us unvarnished facts, but ideology, which can instill a coherent philosophical framework to your positions, is undeserving of its bad reputation. There’s little reason to doubt that many people seek out evidence to bolster their own worldview. And by many people, I mean smart folks like Ezra Klein, who retreats from Vox’s raison d’être only a few thousand words into his article. On climate change, for example, Klein contends that evidence tells us that “action is needed quickly to prevent a disaster that will happen slowly. There, the reckoning will be for future generations to face.” Evidence may prove climate change exists, but evidence does not prove that “disaster” beckons if we fail to pass progressive environmental policies immediately. It’s merely his opinion. One can find evidence to bolster the argument that it would be less costly and damaging for us to adapt to environmental changes rather than hamper technology, growth, and prosperity to institute regulations that would inevitably do very little to mitigate global warming, anyway." 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


This seems like it has plenty of good ideas on not just making list but keeping yourself accountable & productive:

Saturday, November 30, 2013

L. Cohen on the Hippies

"No self-discipline."

Leonard Cohen On Depression

I really liked his description of depression.

I’m Your Man, Leonard Cohen Biography by Sylvie Simmons


Also loved this poem:

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I'm still bitter that all my comments from long ago are gone. The whole neglecting blog thing has its costs. Sigh.

Paglia Is the Best

Some gems from this interview:  

On Hillary:
It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party’s best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished — beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She’s certainly busy, busy and ever on the move — with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts.I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi. In saying “I take responsibility” for it as secretary of state, Hillary should have resigned immediately. The weak response by the Obama administration to that tragedy has given a huge opening to Republicans in the next presidential election. The impression has been amply given that Benghazi was treated as a public relations matter to massage rather than as the major and outrageous attack on the U.S. that it was.
On the porn:
The problem is that explicit sex has become so diffused through the general culture that it’s lost its charge, which once came from the sizzle of transgression. 
On the state of scholarly publishing in literature (part of the reason I fled acedemia myself):
In this tight job market, young scholars are in a terrible bind. They have to cater to and flatter the academic establishment if they hope to survive. Furthermore, they have not been taught basic skills in historical investigation, weighing of evidence, and argumentation. There has been a collapse in basic academic standards during the theory era that will take universities decades to recover from.

I wish I had Paglia as a professor, maybe then I could have learned something more useful, critical, and insightful than queer theory....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On Self Loathing

I'm sitting at my work desk seething with anger.

We have a busybody at  my work - who fancies herself more important than others. She has mentioned  to me a few months ago about leaving my stuff out in my cubicle - citing thefts in the past. This morning, after coming back from a coffee run, I noticed my phone disappeared. I'm pretty mindless person, so my first thought was "I left it at home," then "maybe it's in a drawer." Neither of which proved to be the case. I was a little perturbed but not enough to have to be in full out freak out mode. Then, maybe fifteen minutes later, this co-worker comes in and drops off my phone. It seems she wanted to teach me a lesson about how easy it was for someone to steal it. I was so shocked, I didn't know what to say. I went and spoke to my boss - I told her I felt violated. Even my mother wouldn't do that to me, last time I checked I'm not a child and for someone to just blatantly take someone else's property - borders on criminal. Let me repeat, she took my phone out of my purse, which was on my desk, in my cubicle. What. The. Fuck?

Just now she came to apologize - it was one of those a non-apology apologies. "Just doing it for your safety. Let me know if you want keys to your desk?"  she cooed sweetly. And while I should have told her that her intentions are not the issue here, I just dumbly stared at her, nodding my head. Wanting the experience to be over as quickly as possible.

So here I am. Angry at the incident, feeling violated, but more importantly feeling angry with myself for not having the strength or the gumption to stand up for myself. I thought I was getting better at advocating for myself as I got older. Not so.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A Good Morning

I had a fantastic morning. A mundane kind of fantastic. I decided to actually care about my health and general well being than anything else. Usually I worry about making it to work on time but today when I finally forced myself out of bed  - I exercised, washed the dishes, made myself a really delicious breakfast, prettied myself up a bit and picked out a put together outfit. I even got to kiss Peter a few times. So yeah, these kind of mornings are rare and thankfully I have the kind of job that allows me a little bit of flexibility (oh the joys of being the lowest on the totem pole) hence I was a bit late, it's good to remind myself I can do that from time to time. And most importantly, while I don't have kids, I can prioritize my time for me.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Watson Has A Mustache!

On David Sedaris' Writing

I'm finally reading the newest book by David Sedaris. So far, as most of his writing, it doesn't disappoint. His stories/essay have the rare quality of entertaining; making me laugh, and in the next page (especially the endings) to be gut wrenching astute in their sadness and many times profoundness. The whole essay can center on the annoyance/frustration even hatred towards the subject only to end on a curve ball of love and repentance. Not only is this done for pure emotional effect, but it re-casts the whole story, letting us see, if not from a different angle than deeper one. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

WTF Cosmo?

I haven't read Cosmopolitan since I was a teenager. But yesterday, I ended clicking on a link from Facebook, not sure for what or why. Returning to the browser today, I noticed a suggested link: "Our Latest Naughty Sex Position: The Whistleblower
Seriously, Cosmo? Seriously? That "story" is half-heartily trying to be topical yet missing the mark by so much that it inspires one and only response of WTF? I just tried to imagine how this post came to be. I started writing, but it just led me to write: stupid and uninformed, I guess that sums up the writing stuff & readership of this magazine, so why even bother. Ugh.

Friday, May 10, 2013

For People Who Never Experienced Depression

At first, I'd try to explain that it's not really negativity or sadness anymore, it's more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can't feel anything about anything — even the things you love, even fun things — and you're horribly bored and lonely, but since you've lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you're stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is. 
This is a nearly perfect explanation of what it is like to be depressed. The sense of nothingness & deadening of feeling is captured perfectly. Go read it if you know someone who is depressed or you've experienced the crushing weight of depression yourself.

And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something — it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing. You can't fill it up. You can't cover it. It's just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem.

Perfect Saturday Night Song

Makes me want to twirl.
Michael Jackson Edit "Get Lucky" Daft Punk ft. Pharrell

Monday, April 15, 2013

College Is Mostly Useless Waste of Money (unless you're the sciences, engineering, or mathematics)

Why a liberal arts degree is a waste. It starts out with the premise of's profile of two hipsters buying their precious food with food stamps. Other reasons why I loved this post is that it refers to Russians Asians which I thought was a term only I used in my head. Sweeeet. The whole post is brilliant.
First, the obvious: what's wrong with hipsters on food stamps is that these are college educated people who should be able to get jobs, not live off the state.   They're not black, after all.  Hell, one of the two in the article is even Asian.  "What, like Russian Asian?"  No, like Asian Asian.  "Whaaaaaaat?"
"It's the economy, stupid!"  Thanks guy from 1992, but the economy did not tell you to go to college for something you knew in advance would make you unemployable, especially when that unemployable choice cost exactly the same as the employable choice, i.e. too much.  Lesson one at the academia should be the importance of separating vocation from avocation, as character actor Fred Thompson and electrical contractor Benjamin Franklin both understood. When I was six I wanted to be in Playboy.  Just because it's your dream, doesn't mean you should pursue it.   
So what makes them hatable is the seeming choice they have made: they could work, yes at jobs they don't like but hey, that's America; but instead they choose to feel entitled to  $200/month from the rest of us salarymen. 
However, secondly:
Before we blame them for their choice, we should ask why they felt they could make that choice.  I'm not trying to start trouble, but let's choose something I'm familiar with, i.e. women: why would a smart high school junior, 4.0 and AP Everything, think that going to Hampshire College for English Literature was a good idea?  Why would her parents allow this madness, other than the fact that they were divorcing?  What did she think would happen given that she knew in advance there were no jobs for English majors?  Serious answers, please, I'll offer four I had personal experience with: law school; academia; non-profits; marriage.  Don't roll your eyes at me, young lady: let's say you are the daughter of a lawyer and you major in English.  When you were 17 and you imagined your life at your Dad's age-- not the starving poetess fantasy you wrote about in your spiral notebook, but a glimpse of the bourgeois future you then thought you didn't want-- what kind of a house did you imagine in the "if that happens to me I'll Anne Sexton myself" scenario?  A lawyer's house or an English major's house? In other words, the choice to major in English was predicated on information she received from multiple sources like schools and TV-- sources I will collectively call the Matrix--  that every generation does better than the last, that there was a safety net of sorts, a bailout at the end, that future happiness was inevitable, and so we return to economics: the general name for that safety net is credit.  America was the land of the minimum monthly payment.  And if this analogy isn't clear enough for you, let me reverse it: the ability of the economy to offer English as a major required a massive subsidy to make you feel like $20k/yr was the same as free.  If you had to pay it up front, you'd either be an engineer or $80k richer.  That subsidy is now worthless, not because the money doesn't exist but because the bailout at the end, e.g the four options I suggested were operational 1977-1999 which guaranteed the payments would be made, won't help.
Read the whole thing.

I'm kind of stealing this from Peter but I'm of the long held belief that not everyone needs a 4 year degree. In fact before planning on getting a MSW, I was seriously considering going to a trade school because I was desperate to do something useful.

I remember Betka (older physicisit sister) (and my mother) urging me to not get an English degree right before I went and got an English (granted I actually thought I would be a librarian/archivist) a completely useless piece of paper that cost me dearly (more emotionally than monetarily). Because even though a BA means nothing, it's still a prerequisite to be secretary I mean, office assistant. Ugh.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Lyrics of the Night

While you was gone 
you must have done a lot of favors 
You've got a whole lot of things
I don't think That you could ever have paid for - Songs: Ohia

Succinct and cut throat equals me swooning at the lyrics.

Monday, April 01, 2013

30 лет

I still feel like a child.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Accepting Visitors

Yesterday we had a little visitor in our apartment. A mouse was discovered. I stood on a chair for a minute. Then climbed down and proceeded to figure out where it came from with Peter. Peter discovered a hole in the wall and stuffed it up with metal mesh. Hopefully the little (cute according to Peter) critter will not be coming back. The oven top has been thoroughly cleaned and the inside of the oven is next on my list of disinfecting the whole kitchen area.

I'm becoming much more calmer about rodents in my home. The worst part is to hear the sound and not see that which is making the noise. But the actual disgust has for the most part has evaporated, which shows that adaptability is possible.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Melodramatic Pop

I've been listening to a lot of power ballads in Korean. I think love songs in a foreign language makes them that much more appealing. Emotion without the horrible words that get in the way. Either that or I have terrible taste in music.

I actually like this lyric-less version even more:

P.S. I cheated, the lyrics are not half bad.

Some day, a long time from now
These rays of light
Remember the trip
I took to be next to you

At a seashore far away
At the end of the sky somewhere
Keep the precious memories
Of you and me
A blinding vision of azure
You’re my sea
When I gave you my hand
Your dreams broke into white pieces

I’m planning on taking a long trip
A voyage deep into the sea
The smooth, silvery ripples
Take my body to you
A blinding vision of azure
You’re my sea
When I gave you my hand a white
Burst of your smile
You know, too, that I
Love you very much
Wrap me in your softness

 Official version of Badayeohaeng: