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toastykitten

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May. 18th, 2007 12:22 pm

sick again

toastykitten: (Default)
Ugh, I am so tired of being sick.

I am alternating between reading and sleeping. Here are a few things I've been reading:

LA Weekly - this week's issue is all about those independent bookstores that are so elusive.

Is it the Woman Thing, or is it Katie Couric - This article reminded me recently of a conversation I had with Mark:

Mark: Ugh, Katie Couric. I hate her.
Me: (Questioning look.)
Mark: Well, no I don't really hate her. I'm sure that there are as many male reporters that are just as shallow as her. Maybe it's because she's a woman that I expect her to have higher standards.
Me: So...you are proving the point that a woman has to work twice as hard as a man in order to be taken seriously.
Mark: Dammit!

I don't particularly like Katie Couric, but I do kind of feel sorry for her sometimes.

Village Voice sells East Bay Express to editor, investors.

Back to sleep.
toastykitten: (Default)
I watched the first one for Vin Diesel. Didn't watch the second one.

toastykitten: (Default)
I think I might be sick. If I am, I am going to be soo mad!

Anyway, it's been rather chilly here lately, and tonight was one of those "drink tea and watch tv in your jammies" nights. I finished watching the Discovery Atlas China show, narrated by James Spader. I would listen to James Spader read a phone book, but that's just me. It was a two-hour-long show in which the narrator goes into generalities about China today, and illustrates them with various slices of life stories, such as the window-washer who goes home only once a year and looks forward to seeing his three-year-old daughter, the twelve year old gymnast who's been training all her life for the 2008 Olympics, the bow-maker who risked everything to keep the craft alive, etc. Needless to say, I liked the focus on the personal stories more than the general topics, which I thought were too broad - for example, they talk about the Great Wall and how it was one of the greatest achievements of mankind, but never once mentioned how many lives were sacrificed for it.

A few things for me to chew on when I do go to China next month:

How much pride in their nation everyone seemed to have. Everyone seemed to have their own ambitions, of course, but they would also tie it up with how much they wanted to do something for their country, and to show that they were doing something productive for the country. It's a concept that's absolutely foreign to me - I can't imagine that I would in my life decisions, consider what's best for the country, as opposed to what's best for me.

How much ambition the women have. They interview a female cop in the western region of China and she talks about how she's just as good as any of the men. Meanwhile, she also takes care of her parents, and they worry about her being single. (Like most of the others, she's an only child.) She doesn't have a boyfriend, and the ones she dated never understood her passion for her career. The wife of the window-washer prepares a twenty-course meal for Chinese New Year by herself, and while she's cooking reveals that she wants to be a "superwoman" with her own business.

How much focus is on material things - it is one of my least favorite developments about the Westernization of China. I see the results in my relatives, too, who spend a lot of their money on designer clothing, using who bought what and who didn't buy this as weapons in family dramas. It's not pretty.

The wide, wide gap between rich and poor - the window-washer works in Beijing, and cleans the windows of high-rises. Next to that story they talk about the new shopping complex built right next to the buildings where he works, where it's so overpriced he can't afford a bottle of beer.

Anyway, the cinematography is gorgeous, and it made me wish that Mark had the HDTivo already.

Um, I was going to go on about Boston Legal, but I'm too tired. Just wanted to mention that I get that David E. Kelley is a liberal, but he needs to realize you can't solve problems by throwing money at them. This is the second time I've seen already where he has one of the characters give a fat check to a homeless person, as if that'll solve all the problems in their lives.

Good night.
toastykitten: (Default)
I'm trying to deal with Mark's new laptop. All the critical keys are in a slightly different location than his Toshiba, so I'm often pressing stuff, and nothing happens. *sigh*

Going to the Exploratorium was fun, even if it was a nightmare to actually get there. I swear, San Francisco is out to get us, with its deliberately non-existent signs and streets that end without warning. I mean, I've lived in the area forever and I love everything in San Francisco. If only I could actually get to them.

Kaitlin had fun, too at the Exploratorium, but she didn't really pay attention to the stuff she was actually doing. She just ran around playing with all the different displays. That girl has a freakishly short attention span, and she doesn't listen. It's so frustrating - oh, and she's not doing well in social studies, vocabulary or grammar. I wish I could convince her parents to hire a tutor for her, because I'm not in Oakland enough to kick her in the butt to study. She's doing fine in spelling, though - so I think the biggest problem she has is reading comprehension. I probably can't get them to hire an out-sourced tutor because they don't have an Internet connection.

And apparently she can talk for hours about cartoons.

Of interest:
Sara's Sunday rant, in which she debunks all the myths about Canadian health insurance.
One of Mark's colleagues, Val, got fed up after one of her community sites Linux Chix got digged and outed herself as a MAN.
toastykitten: (Default)
I so do not get the obsession that Chinese people have with males carrying on the family name. Several million Chinese people have the same surname! It's really not that special.
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Sep. 23rd, 2005 06:29 pm

women

toastykitten: (Default)
I like that the Cantonese equivalent of "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" is simply "Never betray a woman". Succinct.
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Women in Free Software, by Fernanda G. Weiden

Great article on barriers to entry for females in the free software world; don't read the discussion threads unless you want to bang your head against the wall, which might, in fact, actually be less painful than listening to people say stuff like "There's no such thing as a gender barrier; it's UP to YOU to make it happen!"

Apparently 9/11 is an occasion for gaudy, tacky memorials. SBC Park put up one right around their Willie Mays statue. I shit you not, it was a gigantic glitter American flag ribbon, surrounded by huge purple banners of names or some such thing; I didn't get close enough to read. (I wondered where the SUV was.) I couldn't take my eyes off the huge, ugly thing; it seemed to me to represent the worst aspects of American culture - the sentimentality, the exaggeration, the thoughtlessness, when it should have been a day of reflection, of remembrance.

Speaking of Ugly Americanism, I bought Vanity Fair again. I should just subscribe to them already.

(Is it me, or is it kind of disingenuous of James Wolcott to be bitching about "the media", when he is the very friggin personification of it? I mean, I agree with his stuff, but come on, he works for a national magazine!)

My HMO has a website. When you click on the "Contact Us" link, it takes you to an email form. There is no listing for a phone number, in case you might want to talk to an actual person. If you use the email form, you get a note saying that they won't be able to get to your email until at least 48 hours later. Last time I sent my HMO an email, it took them almost a week to respond.

I hate my HMO.

I hate my DMO, too.

I am trying not to watch the news, because I'm afraid of what I might hear. Reading stuff is making me sick already.
toastykitten: (Default)
I found this dumb article via PopGadget: Would you rip files at a high or low bit-rate? Do you prefer AAC, WMA or MP3? If you are completely baffled by these questions, you are probably a woman. The terminology relates to downloading music, and a recent study by the British Phonographic Industry found that 96 per cent of tracks are downloaded by men.

Not only do I know what those questions mean, I do not prefer any of those file formats - I prefer oggs, which have the advantage of being both open-source and less compressed. I have quit downloading and converting music because it's just way too time-consuming, which maybe they should have considered with the 96 percent statistic.

Arrgh, and the women they interview! "If I'm honest, most of the time I deliberately act helpless, because I know there will always be someone who can help me, whether it's my husband or a male colleague at work," she says. "If I take on board a little of what I am taught about a computer or an iPod, I will have to learn the rest myself. Whenever I hear some new music that I like, I'll just make a list of songs for my husband to download for me." That's just lovely. Now go back to the fifties, where you belong.

Really, learning how to use an iPod or the computer is not very hard. It is just annoying, and Hello Kitty packaging will not make it less so.
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Roeper talks about his preference for seeing "conventionally gorgeous women" in advertising, saying things like "If I want to see plump gals baring too much skin, I'll go to Taste of Chicago, OK? I'll walk down Michigan Avenue or go to Navy Pier. When we're talking women in their underwear on billboards outside my living room windows, give me the fantasy babes, please." Predictably, women get pissed. Consequently, Roeper still doesn't get it and remains a dick.

What I want to know is - who even asked Roeper in the first place what he finds hot? Does anyone give a shit about what he finds attractive? Why does he feel he has to inflict that preference on us? If he doesn't want to see normal-looking women on a billboard, I don't want to hear him prattle on about what he (or Ebert) finds "erotic" every week on the goddamn show, because really, I find him kind of gross. I'd rather vomit in a bucket o' poo.
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