Could someone please tell me what in the holy hell is the big goddamned deal about Hillary Clinton's cleavage?

Wait: let me backtrack. I don't usually talk about politics much this early in an election cycle. There are still, what, 16 months until the 2008 Presidental Election? So it's about 400 days before the commercials start, and about 450 days or so until the really bad mudslinging gets under way. If my math is right, that's about eleventy bajillion soundbites from the talking heads on the news (which is why, dear readers, I get all the news I need from SportsCenter).

So of course I was shocked to discover that there's been a lot of buzz lately about strong words being exchanged between Hillary and Barack Obama already, with the occasional ineffectual rejoinder thrown in by John Edwards, or something. I'm not really sure what's happening. I will be the first person to admit that I'm not paying attention yet, because the person I really support for President (w00t! Bill Richardson in the hizzle!) is still under the radar. For now. Plus, what news I don't get from ESPN I get from the most awesome blog ever, maruthecrankpot.blogspot.com.

(OK, maybe it's not the most awesome blog ever -- mine is, har har -- but if you've already made up your mind about the relative evilitude of the current "misadministration" and you don't really want hard news, but juicy almost Perez-Hilton-style partisan gossip, Maru is the wo/man. Check it out when you don't have anything better to do.)

So, annnnnnnnnnnyway. Back to Hillary's boobs. I overheard somebody at work talking about some incident with Hillary and some cleavage, and I thought, quote, "[Scooby-Doo noise]?" What? Why on Earth would anyone be talking about Hillary Clinton's breasts? Did I mishear her? Was she maybe talking about Bill Clinton's moobs? (Love the guy, voted for him twice, would have voted for him again if I could have, but let's just call a spade a spade and acknowledge that he isn't the fittest guy in America, m'kay?)

But, no, I continued to eavesdrop (what? I'm a witch! whatever!) and my coworker very clearly said "she." I believe the words "classless," and "hideous" entered into the picture somewhere -- which is funny, because one of the people in my building is a woman who is absolutely the trashiest, crack-ho-iest, most terrible dresser ever in the history of the world and I include the Dirrty-era Xtina Aguilera and the late-model Brit Brit in those calculations, plus this particular woman at work has the worst weave ever oh-my-god-i-don't-even-want-to-talk-about-it-halp! I can't believe Hillary could have been worse than that, but then again, I am not a registered Republican, so what do I know?

So, long story short, I came home and used my awesome Google-fun powers and ... 348,000 hits on the string "hillary clinton cleavage"? Really? The fashion writer for the Washington Post felt compelled to write an actual story about the fact that the Senator wore a pink blazer and a V-neck top to talk about education, and you could maybe if you looked real hard see a bit of boobies? For realsies? And people are writing letters to the editor about whether or not it was appropriate for someone to write a story about Senatorial cleavage? Like, this is what passes for news?

Is it any wonder that I get all my news from SportsCenter?


There’s not a whole lot of good news coming out of the sports world these days – what with the incidents involving doping, strip club shootings, guns and DUI’s, a broken hand in the middle of an All-Star season, dogfighting, and potshots taken at Bob Costas – so when I saw this story, I thought it worth mentioning.
Umpire attendant Ernie Tyler will voluntarily end his consecutive games streak at 3,769 to see another man known for his ability to show up to work every day: Cal Ripken Jr.

Tyler hasn't missed a Baltimore Orioles home game since assuming the position on opening day in 1960. This weekend, however, he will skip the Orioles' two games against the Yankees to be in Cooperstown, N.Y., to see Ripken's induction into the Hall of Fame.

The 83-year-old Tyler will be going as a guest of Ripken, who will pay the bill for the entire weekend.
You don’t hear about stuff like this very often: people, especially famous ones, who put their money where their mouths are. Some celebrities have been very successful at giving back in very big ways – Oprah, for example, or Paul Newman. Tiger Woods. And good on them for it, too. The Socialist in me approves very strongly of those who understand the importance of returning the favor to those who made them fabulously wealthy in the first place.

But generosity in sports is practically unheard of. Most professional athletes seem to be, as a general rule, greedy whores with no qualms about conspicuous consumption and no discipline in their personal behavior. Their “people” seem to be aware of this, so almost everybody has a foundation these days, a sort of social whitewashing. But who really bothers with small acts of kindness? Cal does, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

"I saw him was he was 12 years old. I knew his father well," Tyler said Thursday. "What better time to do it than to go now? When I heard he wanted me to go to Cooperstown, how could I say no? The streak doesn't mean that much when you're thinking about your relationship with the Ripken family."


Tyler can appreciate the irony of having his streak end to see Ripken, who also had the opportunity to determine when to finally sit down.

"If I were ill or got hurt, there might be some remorse," Tyler said. "But under the circumstances, there are no regrets whatsoever. I thought about it for two weeks now, and I'm just overwhelmed and honored to go up there with him."
To hear those words from a guy who’s been around Baltimore baseball since my own father was a kid is a thing of unexpected beauty to me. I hope I am not just saying that because this is about Cal, the Iron Man, he who still shows such love of the job he had, the game that he was able to play for so long, the passion he was able to share with his father and his brother and now more than 700,000 kids around the world.

I am a statistics girl, a baseball wonk who reads box scores like the Bible. Just the word “sabermetrics” gives me a thrill than cannot be described in mere words. I genuinely care about ERA’s and OBP’s and OPS’s, and I work the figures in my head: If the Red Sox are 7½ games ahead now, how many more losses can I bear from the Phillies before I stick my head in the oven?

But sometimes you can’t measure the greatness of a ballplayer by his numbers; sometimes, you need to consider his goodness, too. How does he treat his family, his friends, the umpire attendant who has worked every home game in Baltimore since 1960? How does his hometown newspaper describe him in articles in the week before his induction into Cooperstown? This article in the Baltimore Sun contains just one paragraph about Cal on the field. And it starts with this:
Very rarely in today's society do you find sports personalities who you hope your child can idolize on the playing field and in the game of life. Cal Ripken is one of those stars.
Congratulations, Mr. Ripken. You deserve at least that much respect.


Question: Am I too old, at my advanced age, to still be picturing myself in Wonder Woman Underoos?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, I should mention that I am speaking metaphysically here, and not literally. The question is not "Can I still squeeze my big fat ass into a pair of Wonder Woman Underoos?" Because I already know the answer is no. Not even on Halloween, or for really awesome kinky sex. Hell no. Unless and until Lane Bryant starts selling novelty comic-book-based underpants, they're just not meant for me these days.

What I really mean is, at what point in your life do you become too damn old to need a costume and a secret identity so that you can vanquish your foes and just make it to the end of the goddamned day without crying and pulling out all your hair and threatening to quit 75,000 times?

Because apparently I haven't grown out of the phase where I see myself as a superhero, one of the good guys, and everyone who dares to oppose me is my sworn arch-enemy. While I'm busying fighting for truth, justice, and the American way, or whatever, everybody else is trying to oppress me, to bend me to their will, and I don't wanna.

I know I'm prone to melodrama, but it sucks going through life without superpowers. I mean, sure, I have the Amazing Brain, but in the comics the smart guy is either the Sidekick or the Evil Genius, and I'm not really cut out for either role. When is it my turn to be the hero? When do I get to fly around in my Invisible Jet and brandish my Magic Lasso of Truth and force the world to do my bidding? What if I promise to use my powers only for good? I don't want to take over the world; I just want to keep the Forces of Evil at bay for a little while so I can get some work done for a change without wondering who is trying to rat me out and take me down.

Alas, though, stupidity is my kryptonite, and the faces of the Rogues' Gallery are peopled with the narcissistic, entitled, and self-interested. The older I get, the less tolerance I have for morons and laziness and interpersonal politics. I don't like the way the world works, and mere mortal that I am, I so often feel powerless to change anything. Spend enough time on a cubicle farm and you begin to understand why the Dark Knight is so conflicted and misunderstood. Having Indestructible Gauntlets will only get you so far if you're not allowed to arm the Invisible Jet with nuclear missiles, you know?

But man ... if I still had Wonder Woman Underoos? Watch the hell out, world. Plus, I'd look killer in those boots.
(Picture credits here - sorry that I'm lame and haven't learned how to embed yet.)


o hai
u can leve comints now

also: now that i'm figgering this thing out, don't be surprised if you start seeing random mystery posts with old dates showing up. i'm going to be transferring blog posts from everywhere else into this blog (or at least trying to), so that all the tmi's and assorted other nonsense is all in one place. for, um, posterity.

nothing else to see here. these aren't the droids you're looking for.
get off my lawn, you damn kids!


The end, my friends, is nigh. Oh yes, the end is nigh and the sky is falling and the world as we know it will soon cease to exist. (And I feel fine.)

Beginning 36 hours from now, I will be observing radio silence, along with about 95% of the rest of the world. No phone calls, no television, no Internet, no nothing, until I have finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Nada, nothing, nil. Total media blackout.

Yes, I know that there are now just over 28 hours until the book is "legally" available, but while I am crazy in my own sorts of ways, I will not be one of those wackadoodle Hogwartsheads who will be camped outside the Barnes & Noble so that I can get my grubby little mitts on my very own personal copy the second it goes on sale. Let's not get crazy, now. Like any civilized person, I preordered my copy from Amazon, so I know it will come in due time. (Whee, Amazon Prime and free guaranteed publication-date delivery!)

Or, if it is not here by 7am, I will track that shit down and start stalking the UPS man, so help me Jeebus.

My plan at this point is to read all weekend long. Read, and probably nothing else, until I have finished all 700+ pages. I don't remember exactly, but I think that's what I did when the sixth and penultimate book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, came out. So far the weekend is shaping up nicely to encourage that sort of behavior: G has to work 2nd shift on Saturday, so for at least a few hours I will be here alone with no distractions.

If I play my cards right (and if I get to bed early enough on Friday night and/or sleep late enough on Saturday morning), I should be able to read all the way through at least once before I need to sleep - and by then, I expect, I will need the sweet escape of slumber.

The spoilers are out there, but except for the New York Times' review of the book, I haven't read any. I don't think the NYT article gives very much away, so I will reference it here, but if you want to remain totally blissfully ignorant until you read Harry's final adventures for yourself, then by Merlin's beard, DO NOT CLICK HERE.

I expect that at the end there will be some weeping and blubbering and rending of garments, and then after all is said and done ... what? I came late to the Potter party, not reading Sorcerer's Stone until just after Goblet of Fire came out and apparently shook the adolescent literary world to its core, so for me this is just the end of a series. A big one, definitely, but not the last book that will ever matter, and certainly not the last one that I will ever read.

Reading the Harry Potter books has revitalized my love of fantasy fiction, so I have sought out books that focus on the magical and the supernatural. I have discovered Cornelia Funke and her excellent Inkworld novels (Inkheart and Inkspell), and also the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. Both of these authors have more greatness to come, no doubt.

Also, I have expanded my collection of "adult" books and started reading more Christopher Moore, who is so amazing I just can't even tell you. Love this guy. If you've never heard of him, pick up Practical Demonkeeping and don't stop until you've read everything. Let me know when you get to Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff - I defy you to tell me it isn't one of the very best books ever written.

But, for now, until sometime on Saturday, I have to keep my Google-fu in check so I don't get ahead of myself and try to find out what happens to Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Neville, Luna, and the rest of the D.A. What will become of McGonagall, Hagrid, Hogwarts, the Order, and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named? Who is R.A.B., and what really happened in Godric's Hollow that fateful night so many years ago, when the love of a mother saved her son and gave him phenomenal cosmic powers? Where is Sirius's flying motorbike?

My God ... what am I going to do when it's all over but the crying?

(Cross-posted at MySpace)


This is not the blog post I expected to be writing now. You see, I just came from what is maybe the most infamous event in the history of all sports: the Philadelphia Phillies' 10,000th regular season loss. It's a big, bad milestone, one that was 125 years in the making, and I got to be there to share the moment with thirty thousand other Phillies fans.

I went into the game thinking that I was going to make a joke of it. It's actually kind of ridiculous to keep track of this kind of thing, and I am not the least bit surprised that it was first mentioned (as far as I know) in the New York Times. What do you do when the Yankees are 9 games behind in their division and 6 games under .500 with only a few weeks to go before the All-Star Break? Why, pick on somebody else, of course. Schadenfreude, and all that rot.

So I packed a bag and went to the game with a notebook that I was prepared to fill with all these pithy little observations about how bad the game was and how terrible the Phils are. Things like:

"4:49 PM - The parking lot is full but there was no traffic - is everyone in Philly here already? Will there still be crab fries for me? Can't lose a game like this without proper nourishment."

"6:00 PM - Starting lineups are announced. It will never stop being fun to boo Scott Rolen."

"6:02 PM - Batting third for the Phillies, second baseman (and my future stepfather) Chase Utley!"

"7:01 PM - Overheard: 'Everyone's numbers are better than Pat Burrell's. Adam Eaton's numbers are better than Pat Burrell's.'"

There's more, even stupider shit than this. Baseball is a very hard sport to blog because, well, when you sit deep in right field right by the bullpens in Citizens Bank Park, it's not like you can actually see much of what's happening. I saw a lot of Shane Victorino's back, and I noticed that Juan Encarnacion's name is so long that the letters on his jersey go down to his waist. Otherwise, the game is what it is, and while I love it, it's definitely one of those "you-had-to-be-there" kind of things.

Anyway, I wanted to treat the whole thing like a joke - whoo hoo, look at us, we really suck! - but the problem is, we don't. The Phillies are playing some really good baseball this year, and while sometimes leading the NL East is like winning the Special Olympics, this year it's actually a competitive division. Jimmy Rollins, Victorino, Chase Utley, and Aaron Rowand are playing some of the best ball that I've seen in Philadelphia in years.

So as much as I want to pretend that this loss doesn't matter, it kind of does. But not for the reasons it should: I am tired of Philly fans being - well, Philly fans. We're obnoxious, cranky, and completely bipolar. Remember the Eagles, how they did so well for so many seasons in a row? We expected them to lose and win at the same time, which ... how do you do that, anyway? How can you cheer for a team when you almost want them to choke, just so you can say "I told you so"?

My feelings about the Phillies are further complicated by my being a Red Sox fan. Philadelphia teams haven't won "anything," they say, since 1983. Melodramatic much? The record shows otherwise, and anyway, twenty-four years is a blink. Some teams have never won at all. The Rockies, Mariners, Rangers, Nationals/Expos, and the poor hapless Tampa Bay Devil Rays have never even gone to the World Series. Ask those fans how they feel. Or a Cubs fan, or a White Sox fan, or a Red Sox fan. 86 years is a long time to wait for something you want - 24 years is nothing.

So for me, this loss is just a minor bump in the road. The Phillies have a way to go, but they've come a long way, too. I'm going to keep cheering for them, and I'm going to hope that they feel like this particular event is just a stray bad night in a long string of good things to come, just as I do. I am no stranger to keeping the faith - I did it for the Sox in 2004, and I can do it for the Phils this year. And I will, even if everybody else wants to be so damned Philadelphian about it.

In the meantime, on the way home from the game, it rained. It was like a message from the Heavens, the same way that rain on your wedding day gives you a fresh start. Let the past soak into the dirt; learn from the experience, but don't let it define you. 10,000 losses. Big whoop. Game over. Reset. Full steam ahead.

Cross-posted at MySpace.


It's funny how stuff hits you clear out of the blue sometimes and knocks you flat on your ass. Like the flu, or suddenly having columbines blooming in your garden two months out of season, or getting your period when you thought you weren't going to, or hearing a certain song that makes you all weepy and blubbery and leaves your husband no choice but to kill you, or else buy you cheesesteak stomboli for supper.

That song shit happens to me all the time because of my iPod. Put that sumbitch on "Shuffle" mode and there's just no telling what might happen. Like, today I spent all day having all sorts of bipolar fits: two songs by bands that really rock hard -- say, They Might Be Giants and then Alice in Chains -- followed by two slow and sleepy songs that make you want to go give yourself a swirlie (I am thinking here of the dynamic duo of Ryan Adams and Coldplay). Lather, rinse, repeat, with only the occasional disco song in there to break up the pattern.

(When Gloria Gaynor or Thelma Houston comes on, I defy you to stay still in your seat for the whole song. I double-dog-dare you. It simply cannot be done. Physically impossible. It's like Newton's Fourth Law of Motion: "Bodies at rest cannot possibly stay at rest when a Holy Noise pours forth from the mouth of one of the Disco Goddesses. So dance, bitch!")

Of course, a lot of this is my own damn fault, because who is the brilliant genius who loaded all those songs onto my iPod in the first place? Me, durr. I loaded Poddy up with Pearl Jam and AC/DC and The Cure and Imogen Heap and trashy Europop bands of the 80's and Earth Wind & Fire and whatever the hell all else. This is my fault. The original London cast recording of Les Misérables and the Avenue Q Broadway cast album -- yours truly. I'm a wingnut with no real musical attention span.

So I have absolutely no one to blame by myself for the totally emo moment that is "Simple Kind of Life." I should have just turned it off and skipped to the next song, or dug around for Garth Brook's cover of "Hard Luck Woman" or the theme song from Jem ("truly outrageous! truly, truly, truly outrageous!") or something. But no, I had to listen to Gwen do her thing and sing her song and share her angst and break my heart all over again.

Because, honestly, that song is the story of my life. It reads so much like my own autobiography that I wonder sometimes if Gwen and I are two pieces of the same puzzle, or two personalities that belong together, or what. Of course she would get the gorgeous and glamorous part with the rock star husband and the fashion sense and the Asian groupies and the beautiful child, because she is from California, and I? Am from a small town in southeastern Pennsylvania with a lot of chemicals in the water, which explains everything. But whatever.

I always feel like such a goddamned dweeb when I get goofy over a song. Really, what are you supposed to do? Never listen to those songs again because of how they make you feel? How do they make you feel, anyway? Another example of this would be "My Girl," which will forever and always be "our" song, my dad's and mine. The sounds of that song are now no longer distinguishable from the memories of the day I stopped being his daughter and became another man's wife. If bittersweet had a sound, it would be that song.

Which leads me to ... what, exactly? I'm not sure I know either. I suppose that's the point of art, anyway, to make you think about things in a different way, to help you find these feelings and to cope with them, or at least confront them. I just wish I knew when I turned into this farty old person who fears her own mortality, and so I feel I must face it head-on at every turn. Or something.

All I know is this, I guess: "I Will Survive," if you "Don't Leave Me This Way."

(Cross-posted on MySpace)
EDITED: Apparently the links above don't work unless you're already a MySpace friend. Sorry about that. Get a MySpace and be my friend, or email me and I'll cut-and-paste that bad boy into an email for you. I suck out loud, I'm really sorry.


Howdy. For a little while, anyway, I'll be double-posting -- here, and on the MySpace blog, if you have access to it. I'm hoping that eventually I'll be able to winnow everything down to just the one blog: this one. Patience, grasshopper. Wax on, wax off.

( ED.: Why didn't I post here for almost 4 years? Duh, because I forgot I had this blog. Obviously. And since I can't get the G-Man to get me my own website because he stinks out loud, this will have to do. )


So, for maybe the 30th time in a two-year span, I have been invited to a baby shower for a friend. And for the 3,000th time in that same period, another jagged little piece has splintered from my heart, leaving a trail of tears and bitterness in its wake.

I am barren in a boomtime for breeders, one of those increasingly unusual 20- and 30-somethings who is not yet a mother or a mother-to-be. There aren't very many of us left, and that only adds to my heartbreak: one by one, I am losing my friends to parenthood.

The reason why we are childless is because I am literally broken inside, in more than just the psychological sense. I have inherited so many things from my family, and among those "gifts" are bad genetics. The metabolic inconsistency that causes diabetes is also a primary factor behind PCOS.

My ovaries, those two small organs that make me a woman, don't work as they should. They are scarred, damaged, full of cysts, battered from a lifetime of exposure to the wrong sorts of hormones. Too much insulin, too much androgen, not enough estrogen. They don't work.

I spent ten years on the Pill, and I didn't need to. All that money, all that worry, wasted on eggs that will not hatch. I spent two years undergoing infertility treatment that made me crazy, miserable, and suicidal, all for absolutely nothing except an emptied savings account and a view of the brink of divorce.

And in the same week that one of my oldest friends had her first child, I got my period for the first time in almost six months. After two weeks of sore breasts, phantom smells, fatigue, appetite changes, morning nausea, and constant trips to the bathroom. After 14 glorious days of pregnancy symptoms.

Neither of us wanted to talk about it, really, but I think we both thought that this time was It. You don't look a gift horse in the mouth, so we just danced around what we both were wishing for, hoping against hope. This weekend, on lucky 07-07-07, we were going to buy The Test and confirm what we both want more than oxygen.

Instead, we sent flowers to the hospital with a card that said: "Congratulations." Except, secretly, neither of us really mean it. Our friends had not even met when we got married. They bought a house before we did. They forced us to share our anniversary. And then they had the baby that logic says should have been ours.

My hand and my heart are both tired of writing "Congratulations" in so many pastel cards covered with ducks. I don't want to do it any more, and I don't really mean it anyway. I kind of never have. It's not fair, and it isn't right. I have followed all the rules my whole life, done everything according to plan, and this is my reward?

It's become a kind of secret password, "Congratulations" has. It doesn't mean to me what it means to them. It doesn't really mean, "I'm so happy that this wonderful thing has happened to you." It's more like, "How could you betray and abandon me like this? How can you take what I don't have?"

And as much as I know that none of this is my fault or their fault or anybody's fault but God's, that cruel heartless bastard, I still feel ashamed of things that I cannot control. I am the Great White Hope, and I am letting so many people down, and I can't fix it, and I am a total failure because I am the One Who Fixes Things.

So I will keep saying "Congratulations," but what I really mean, secretly, deep down inside where everything is hot and cold and sad and very, very angry, is: "Fuck you."