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so long, s-k.


Sleater-Kinney is my favorite band. (Which I’m sure comes as a major shock to people who seem to think that I hate all white folks and all things white.) And, after eleven years, it seems like they’re breaking up.

This is a sad, sad day, my friends.

Of course, I slacked on getting my tickets to the NYC show and I totally missed out. I actually tried to buy tickets a few weeks ago, but the damned TicketWeb website wasn’t working. Fuckers! I did, however, manage to get tickets to the Philly show, so even though the trip will be a bit of a pain in the ass, I’ll be seeing them. I’ll also probably try to get on line outside of the NYC show hours early with the slim hope that, somehow, a few tickets might free up. It could happen.

If anyone has any spare tickets for the NYC show that they’d like to sell (at a reasonable price) to me, I’d be a very happy brown butch.


Wow, I woke up to some doozies this morning. Check out the most recent comments by LOLA and Jack Alouet who are, of course, all up in a tizzy about my posts about gentrification. LOLA’s are especially enlightening, especially when LOLA says that Puerto Ricans are the most racist people in NYC.

LOLA also took the time to write to me this morning, grilling me about whether I endorse violence because I approved Tenda’s comment in “innate charm, my ass,” – newsflash, I don’t endorse that sort of violence, as you might have gathered if you read the comment directly below Tenda’s. LOLA also writes that my blog is bordering on racist against white people – yeah, um, no, sorry!

And, the icing on the cake – LOLA is apparently a freelance reporter who was going to write a story about Puerto Ricans are misrepresented in NYC, but after reading my blog, is reconsidering. LOLA even seems to threaten me, writing: “do you think that comment will represent your community in a positive light if it were publicized or made publicly evident for that matter? ” LOLA, I sincerely hope that you reconsider so much that you don’t write that article at all, because I think it would pretty much be guaranteed to suck.

Fifth Radical Women of Color Carnival

A few days late, but… the 5th Radical Women of Color Carnival is up at Fabulosa Mujer. It includes some of what I’ve been writing about gentrification of late, but more importantly, it includes tons of awesome links and quotes from many women of color bloggers, all put into excellent context by Fab. Check it out!

Mi Puerto Rico

My dad called me up earlier tonight and told me to switch on channel 13, which is PBS here in the NYC area. I thought he was trying to tell me, yet again, that In the Life, a lesbian and gay news show, was on; my dad loves to tell me about every single remotely gay thing he sees, watches, or hears about.

But this time, he was calling to tell me about a film that was on, Mi Puerto Rico. I’m really glad he called me about it; it was an excellent film, all about issues of cultural and political identity in Puerto Rico, centered around US colonialism and the question of Puerto Rico’s political status. While presenting all sides of the debate, the film had what I thought was a decidedly independista slant, which, of course, I greatly appreciated.

I’m sad I didn’t get to watch the whole thing from the very beginning, and am tempted to get in on DVD. Only thing is, you can only get the DVD for either $295 from the independent film distributor, or for a $75 or more pledge to Thirteen, the PBS station here. Even though I really need not spend that sort of money, I’m so tempted.

If you’d like to watch it, are in the NYC area, and are the early riser sort, it’ll be airing again at 7:30am this Saturday.

on gentrification in Bushwick

Today I was directed to some good (and not so good) words written on gentrification in Bushwick. For the good (at least, as of the last time I got to look), check out Penpusher’s comment. Some of the good stuff:

But I think deep down, everyone knows that “Gentrification” might as well be called “Manifest Destiny,” as people with the power come in and take what they want from an area, leaving the natives to scramble to get whatever they can before they are completely forced out. What techniques are used to get people to leave? Whatever is available. A person is late with the rent for whatever reason. Maybe they didn’t get paid on time. Maybe they had to choose between feeding their kids and paying a week later. I don’t want to overdramatize this, but this sort of thing does happen. The landlord has an excuse to evict…

… I suppose there will be people who say, ah well, that’s just business and people are permitted to do what they want in our “free society.” But until you are in the position of those forced to move, for no other reason than the metaphorical 100 year storm came and forced you out, because you were doing ok but couldn’t afford to protect your home from the surge that came in and ruined everything, you don’t really know or understand what the other side of “gentrification” is all about.

i <3 our judicial system!

I am serving jury duty at State Supreme Court in Brooklyn today. Right now, this consists of eating good Thai food outside of a restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, a neighborhood that I have never ventured into before and never realized was so chi-chi. (took me a little while to find an affordable lunch special.) A one and a half hour lunch break, and I’m stealing someone’s wireless to boot. This rocks!

Jury duty itself is a mixed bag. The morning waiting around was pretty tedious, but then I was called into a jury pool which has been thoroughly amusing. The three people interviewed this morning were not selected, so I’m really hoping that I get interviewed this afternoon. It looks like so much fun! I don’t know how much I actually want to serve on the trial itself but I want them to ask me questions.

I spoke to a friend a little while ago who said that I’m the only freak they know who actually enjoys jury duty. Any other freaks out there?

(By the way, the subject of this post is, of course, completely facetious. I haven’t lost my mind here!)

Welfare in NYC: not as pretty a picture as Bloomberg would like to paint

Last week while listening to NPR, I heard news of the drop of welfare rolls in NYC to a 40-year low, a statistic that Mayor Bloomberg is touting as a major success. From a City Limits article published today:

“We promised to move New Yorkers to self-sufficiency and we are delivering on that promise in a historic way,” Bloomberg states. Of those who leave welfare for work, 88 percent keep their jobs for at least three months, and 75 percent still have them after six.

Now, when I heard those figures, I was immediately skeptical. Those numbers sounded good, but it’s easy to make numbers sound good by leaving the bad stuff out. And, as the City Limits article reports, it seems that’s precisely what’s going on here:

But the press release [put out by the mayor on April 5] never explains that those numbers apply only to the 23 percent of former clients known to have jobs at all. The other 77 percent aren’t tracked by HRA, according to spokesperson Robert McHugh.

Most of those 77% simply stop showing up for their appointments. Welfare advocates say that much of that drop off is due to the severe difficulties, obstacles, even hostility that people face when attempting to access welfare benefits. As Jillynn Stevens of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies says in the article, “There is every attempt to not sign people up, to exclude them from eligibility, to make it as unfriendly and difficult as possible to be a welfare recipient.”

Bloomberg can dress up the numbers all he wants, but the truth remains that welfare reform has done far more to harm poor folks than to help them. To his credit, Bloomberg is currently seeking to make it easier for some adults to get food stamps, but there’s a lot more to be done to redress the harm done by the anti-poor policies of current mayor and his predecessor Giuliani.

Supporting unions while you travel

My current job has me travelling for work more than I ever have before, and that involves frequent stays at hotels. One thing I never thought about before now is respecting hotel workers unions and their struggles with various hotels – avoiding hotels that are being boycotted or where workers are on strike or lockout. My girlfriend clued me in to the Hotel Labor Advisor, on a website maintained by UNITE Here. I’m going to make sure to check this before making my reservations in the future; hope y’all do, too.

Tagged, I’m it!

I have something of a rule against memes on this blog, but since I was tagged by Brownfemipower over at Woman of Color Blog, I feel obligated to break that rule.  It actually brings up a general internal debate about where I post different stuff.  I’ve got a livejournal for the fluff and the really personal stuff, and a defunct website where I used to have a public, personal blog.  Maybe I’ll wind up consolidating stuff somewhere at somepoint.  But given that I barely blog lately, with the exception of memes… well, anyhow.  Hopefully I’ll get back on track with the blogging here soon, but for now, a meme.
Four Jobs I’ve Had in My Life:

  1. Circuit Rider – my current job.  It means I’m a travelling computer techie, working with non-profits and grassroots organizations.
  2. Shipper at a feminist film distributor
  3. Worker at an arboretum
  4. Manager of one night a week at the most slackerly campus café ever

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over, and Have

  1. Immortal Beloved (Gary Oldman as Beethoven?  Can’t get much better than that.)
  2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  3. PCU (and I’ve never even watched it while under -any- influence.)
  4. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Four places I’ve Lived

  1. Hillside, New Jersey
  2. London
  3. Swarthmore, PA
  4. New York City – Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn, so far

Four TV Shows I Love To Watch

  1. Arrested Development (big finale marathon riday, folks!)
  2. Jeopardy!
  3. Desparate Housewives
  4. Grey’s Anatomy

Four Places I Have never been but want to go

  1. Puerto Rico.  I actually went with my family for a week when I was around 11 or so, but I think it would be a drastically different experience for me now.
  2. Vienna
  3. Venice
  4. the Pacific Northwest

Four Guilty Pleasure Websites:

  1. (it’s so addictive)
  4. (for all of these, the guilt usually stems from me wasting time on them instead of doing work)

Four Foods I can’t stand and why

  1. Mushrooms.  Something about the texture and the taste combined.  I’m starting to tolerate little ones cooked and mixed in with other food, but the big ones, blech.
  2. Eggplant.  See above, except that I don’t tolerate it at all.
  3. Many types of seafood, especially particularly seafoody tasting stuff.
  4. Tea.  I know it’s not a food, but it really makes me gag.  I’ve tried to like it, to no avail.

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:

  1. Laying out in Prospect Park with my dog and friends, if the temperature was about 30-40 degrees warmer.
  2. Ireland
  3. Amsterdam
  4. The Shire.  Post-War of the Ring, of course.  Alternatively, someplace where I could go roaming through woods and over hills and through streams and generally bask in the glory of nature, preferably accompanied by good people.

Four people whom I tag next:
Maybe I’m no fun, and maybe I just need to get back to work already, but I’m actually not going to tag anyone else.  ¡Lo siento!

Women of Color Blog Carnival

I’m reposting this here (from many sources) both because I think it’s great and that many women of color should participate, and because I need to remind myself to write something for this, too. You know, in between doing the twenty-gazillion other things on my to do list… sheesh!

~~~a call out for submissions~~~

Because Women of Color recognize that real world structural inequalities such as poverty, violence, imprisonment, and community neglect, have restricted our access to the resources the internet has to offer our communities,

Because Women of Color recognize that computer literacy is a right that has long been denied to our communities,

Because the internet has been used as a tool to further racist, sexist, and anti-queer fantasies/representations of Women of Color,

Because Women of Color recognize that these racist, sexist, and anti-queer fantasies/representations have very real world consequences for our communities and us,

Because Women of Color demand that the resources the internet has to offer be available to our communities,

Because Women of Color demand that computer literacy be restructured as to include those of us who must learn the computer in restricted settings (libraries, prisons, institutions, etc)

Because Women of Color demand a powerful, healthy, intelligent and WHOLE representation of themselves on the internet,

the Radical Woman of Color Blog Carnival has been created!!

**Centering the voices, opinions, issues, interests, demands, problems, and solutions of women of color, this blog carnival will be used to connect the real world issues such as poverty, violence, imprisonment, and community neglect to the blogosphere.

**Publication date will be the first (1rst) of every month.

**The first publication will be put out at Jenn’s blog;

What does the internet *mean* to a woman of color?

Although often touted as the “last frontier” and positioned as something which is essential to learn in the modern day world, the internet has often been used to further very scary and unrealistic resprentations and fantasies of women of color. Furthering this passive violence, it is often the sweat shop labor of women of color that creates computers to begin with.

At the same time, however, the interent can be and often is used as a tool to connect isolated young mothers to other mothers, survivors of sexual violence to advocacy groups, disabled women to resources and a whole generation of amazing teens to other teens. The blogosphere is also used specifically as a space to cover stories that mainstream press refuse to or is too scared to.

To harnass the good of the internet, it is essential for Women of Color to better define what the interent means to us, (the good and the bad) and then work together to figure out how we can use it for our communities purposes and needs.

As such, we will be accepting submissions which question, challenge, discuss, explore, and name what the internet has meant and what it *could mean* to women of color. Is it a site of sexualized violence? A site of sexualized freedom? An opportunity to make your voice heard where there was none before? A site of further marginilization and disappointment? Some examples of excellent critiques of the internet that might get your creative juices flowing:
Where Are My Asian Sisters? by Jenn

Why the Internet Hurts Women of Color by Nubian

But of course, these are just examples–creative writing, art, journal type entries, etc will all be accepted!

Send us your stories!!!

Because this is a Woman of Color Carnival for women of color and put together by women of color, this carnival will prioritize those submissions written by and that centralize women of color issues.

To nominate or submit posts, you may email them to Jenn at