January 31, 2008

Real, live Bacher sister conversation.

Kari: So I bought Proactive off the tv at 2 in the morning
Me: Hahahahahahahahaha.
Kari: It's not that funny. Anyway, it came with a free 30 day sample, and it's only like 2 ounces. I can hold the entire thing in my hand.
Me: Maybe it's just because you have big hands.

I saved a tree!

I know you were wondering how my plan to save trees worked out. Well, it went fine! I went downtown late morning, brought my laptop with me, and read the articles in the library and HGS (Hall of Graduate Studies).

Sterling Reference Room

Hall of Graduate Studies

I used my laptop in class and brought up the articles when I needed them. Carrying the laptop around all day wasn't too strenuous on my shoulder, I saved paper and looked pretty cool while doing it. I rock. I'm definitely going keep it up, since that class has articles nearly every week.

By the way, apparently I go to school with Harry Potter at Hogwarts. Seriously, that's how the rooms look.

January 30, 2008

Quaker bonnets, carbon emissions and me

I have a fairly low carbon emission score. I don't own a car, use public transportation and walk most places, recycle as much as I can, bug others about recycling (I yelled at my friend for not recycling when he was sitting right in front of a recycling bin), unplug my appliances unless in use, use energy conserving light bulbs, plus the apartment building I live in is mostly solar powered.

I felt pretty proud of the fact that I was able to greatly reduce my ecological footprint through very little inconvenience to my daily life, until I was cleaning out my school notebooks in preparation for the new semester. I have a huuuuuge stack of papers, mostly journal articles, that I printed out for reading and use in class. I printed a bunch of them double sided and ended up recycling those (because I'm not kidding myself - I'll never read them again plus I can find them online if I do decide to torture myself), but I still have a two inch stack of one sided paper. I'm saving them to use as scrap paper, but I'll probably be graduating from here before I ever, ever, go through the whole stack.

While looking at that huge stack of paper, I decided that I'm going to read my articles online from now on because it saves paper and saves me the 7 cent cost of printing it out. It'll be hard to adjust to, just because I underline when I read and I like have physical printouts in front of me. However, it'll be one major thing I can change in my lifestyle to make it more ecofriendly. In addition to that, I've decided to use re-usable dishes in the school's refectory. If I can remember to grab a plate before going to pick out my lunch, I can save a plate. If I grab a spoon after I get my soup, I can save a plastic one. These are specific choices I can make to readjust my thinking to be centered on environmental issues.

Anyway, because of that conscious decision, I brought my laptop to work at Holy Grounds tonight so I can read my articles for tomorrow. I have read 0 of 3 articles for tomorrow (but I finished the book that's due). They even sound interesting! I just need to read them. The one I especially want to read is on the eroticization of Quaker bonnets in religious art... should be pretty enlightening and fun to read... I just have to do it.

January 25, 2008

The best Democratic candidate?

I've been thinking about the Democratic primaries and who I want to see on the ticket. I think Hillary Clinton would make a great president. I feel she'd give the underprivileged and overlooked her attention and I admire her health care plan in it's all encompassing scope. Also, at this point, I feel the others don't have a plan - just ideas for health care. I think her leadership style is one that makes sure all of the bases are covered and that she would run the country efficiently. Her ties to corporate America do make me uneasy, but I think it's hard to be a national candidate without some sort of corporate endorsement.

However, here's the thing. I don't think she can get elected. Well, that it wouldn't be easy for her to get elected, especially depending on who the Republicans are running.

Like the rest of the Democratic candidates, Obama promotes himself as an agent of change but he gives an aura of actualizing this change more so than Clinton or Edwards. When you go into the voting booth with change and fresh beginnings being relevant to you, you're less likely to vote for someone who has a family legacy and more likely to choose someone who hasn't had a shot at the White House already.

While I think Clinton would be a great president, I also think Obama would be a great president as well. He'd bring fresh ideas and new outlooks to the position, he can admit his faults easier than the other candidates, and image-wise, he can be very inspiring domestically and internationally for people who are not old, white men (although very easy to argue Clinton can act in the same manner).

I'm using my dad as a sort of litmus test on the electability of each candidate. For as long as I can remember he's voted Republican, although there might be a few independent candidates over the years. But he's mostly voted Republican for their fiscal policies. However, he would vote for Obama. He wouldn't vote for Clinton. In his tone of voice, he used a thoughtful, sincere considerate voice when talking about voting for Obama. He just called Clinton a bitch and left it at that - don't worry, I called him on it and the underlying sexism.

So using my dad as a standard, in an election between Clinton and Romney/Huckabee, I'd like to think he'd vote for Clinton, just because Romney and Fuckabee are such nutjobs. However, put Clinton up against McCain and I'd bet he'd go for McCain every time. To my dad, Obama wins over Romney, Fuckabee and McCain.

Today the New York Times published their endorsements for each party ticket - Clinton and McCain. I think they nailed the issues with the Republican candidates on the head - as a group, McCain stands out as a leader because he's the only one not completely off his rocker. Giuliani touts 9/11 out for political capital and loses respect every time he does it; Fuckabee panders to the religious right for their vote by saying things like since the 10 Commandments can't be changed, we must change the Constitution, plus he's generally incompetent when it comes to foreign policy, and Romney wants those ultra-conservative votes just as much as Fuckabee and will change positions to get them.

However, the craziness of these Republican candidates makes them far more attractive than McCain - because they'll be easier to beat. Put Obama or Clinton against any of those stooges and they'll win. Put them against the somewhat sane McCain, and for Hillary, it'll be a tougher race. I have a glimmer of hope that she can beat McCain, since he still supports the Iraq war and doesn't give any thought to an exit strategy or rebuilding their devastated country.

After the past two presidential elections and the tense neck-in-neck races, I want a resounding election, where voters symbolically throw off the yoke of eight years of war mongering, fear politics, falsified information on foreign "threats," partisan plays, implicit and explicit approval of torture, lost emails and memos, pandering to campaign contributors as opposed to doing what's right, the disregarding of children, women, the lower class, the middle class, immigrants, minorities, the GBLT community, and generally those in need. A big, nationwide "screw you" to Bush and Cheney, the people responsible for the state of Things.

I suppose it really all depends on who comes out on top in the primaries. I'm waiting for my "screw you" moment, though, come November.

January 23, 2008


Today I bought my plane ticket for Ireland! Whoohoo! I'm leaving March 7 at 8:30 AM (yuck - means I'll have to be up early early to get to the airport) and arriving in Cork at 11:25 PM. Then, on the way home, I'm leaving Cork on March 23 at 4:00 PM and arriving at JFK at 11:00 PM. And then there's another 2 hour drive home. So, apart from the annoying drive to and from the airport and the annoying long flight, it's all very nice. The nice part is the time in between the flights when I'm in Ireland with Andrew. He's my boyfriend. He's nice. So many nice things. Now that I've spent the majority of the money I saved in the fall on my plane ticket, I have to save some money to do things in Ireland, like see castles and drink beer. I'm working more hours this semester, so that should be helpful, at least. Plus it's my birthday soon and it's tax time (rebate! unless I've been screwed by The Man). I have to save lots of money. I put away about $50 every week or two this semester, so it should be easier now that I'm making more. I think once I'm done saving for the trip I'm going to keep up saving at this rate. It's a good habit to have, plus it'll come in handy next time I have to pay over $250 for books for one ONE of my classes.

I started second semester and all of my classes are going well. It's way nicer to have afternoon class as opposed to morning class. Less of an opportunity to sleep through it. Here's my schedule:
M: 1-6 work at the library
Tu: 9:25-11:15 Cinematic Spectacle, my Film class downtown
1-6 work at the library
7-9 Theology and Cinema
W: 1:30-3:20 Christianity and Culture
6-10 work at Holy Grounds
Th: 3:30-5:20 Reading the Visual Culture of American Religion
F: 9-12 work at the library
S: Nothing!
Su: Nothing!

I'm so excited not to have to work Saturday morning. I hate hate hated it last time. But now that Susan, my boss at the library, loves me, I don't have to worry about working crappy shifts anymore. Sunday I even got to train one of my friends and close the library. You know, the high rolling stakes of being a circulation desk employee.

My classes all look great. They're all about stuff I'm very much interested in and potentially classes I hope to teach at some point, so it's nice. Lots of reading for my Visual Culture class... although the "Reading" in the title kinda gave that one away. But I'm reading some pretty cool books, so no worries there. I don't know if I can read the pretty cool books at a rate of 2 per week though.... so I lied about the no worries. There are some worries. Small worries. I'm especially excited about my Christianity and Culture class. The professor is very cool and he's paired some really traditional theology of culture readings with pieces of literature, art and music. It's a pretty interesting way to do it.

I went to bed early last night (10:30 Mom, just like you) and slept until 10... it was great. I woke up a bit and rolled around, but I always got back to sleep right away. I had some crazy dreams, none of which I can really remember. I used to be really good at remembering my dreams. I need to start doing that again. I need to put more importance on writing my dreams down right away once I wake up. I have my journal by my bed, but I need to move it to a more prominent position, I think.

Ok. Goodbye.

January 22, 2008

35 years of Roe

Happy 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade! Happy day late MLK Jr. Day!

More later.

By the way... What the?

January 17, 2008

I popped the question!

I don't know where the concept came from, but someone somewhere at some point in time said that an engagement ring should roughly be one month's salary. I think it's way too much money to spend on a ring, but whatever. I just spent one month's salary on my school books for the semester. Going by that standard, does that mean that I'm engaged to school? Look for save the date cards in the mail.

I made a to-do list yesterday. Here it is:

the legacy of White supremacy
global warming
conflict diamonds

I canceled my iTunes subscription to The Colbert Report until the writer's strike is over. I figured if they're striking over online revenue, I might as well do my part and not give them any online revenue. This also includes watching on websites, so unfortunately I won't be watching at all.

Since I'm engaged (oooooh!) to my school work, I thought I should probably pick up some more hours at the library so I can afford that lovely dishwasher my beloved wants so badly. Not to mention the cost of the wedding! As I'll be living light and tight because of the new dishwasher and the wedding, it's just groceries and porn for me. No extra spending at all! I don't need the latest copy of Rolling Stone.

As my birthday is coming up soon, here are some suggestions for things you can get me:
Across The Universe (conveniently comes out the day before my birthday!)
The Keeper
A Cow
Money for Ireland

t minus 20 days until Kari comes to visit
t minus 50 days until I go to Ireland and see Andrew
t minus ?? days until I see Mom

January 15, 2008

Al Gore and his hurricane producing factories

I watched An Inconvenient Truth today for the first time, and let me just say that I learned a ton from Al Gore.

Did you know that Al Gore owns a factory at his childhood tobacco farm that can produce a hurricane? He's so smug about it he even put it on the movie poster. I say we vote against Al Gore and take away his hurricanes!



January 11, 2008

50% of the country has a vagina - get used to it

Anyone else mad at the sexism running rampant around the media coverage of Hilary Clinton's campaign? Anything think, in particular, Chris Matthews of MSNBC is ridiculous because he can't stop being amazed that a woman is running for president? Called her a she-devil and put up a graphic of Hilary with horns? Pinches the cheek of a presidential candidate?

Me too.

Media Matters put out a call to let MSNBC know that this isn't acceptable anymore, and I highly suggest you take the 2 minutes to e-mail MSNBC and Hardball to tell them Chris Matthews shouldn't be on television.


Chris Matthews

I am just so sick of this. Stop pretending like it's not happening, because it is. Do something about it. If we let this slide, it'll get worse.

Maybe it's because it's late, and maybe it's because I'm tired, but I really feel like concerned people everywhere need to do something about this one. If you call yourself a feminist, write in. If you think that a woman should be paid the same rate as a man for the same job, write in. If you think everyone, regardless of chromosomes, should be able to vote, write in. If you think Matthews has a silly haircut, write in. Whatever you do, just write MSNBC.

The mere fact that this is a problem in the first place is utterly demoralizing and insulting. This is so important, because it sends the press the message that we don't want bullshit pundits who are more concerned about sound bites than about debating real issues.

Vote for who you want to vote for, but don't let the campaign become one where the press spends more time writing about a candidate's "cackle" or clothes. If she's going to lose, it had better be over issues and not over the fact that she's got a vagina.

And by the way, I'll let you know that Mitt Romney has cried three times during this election season, and YESTERDAY Bush had tears in his eyes at Israel's Holocaust Memorial. Where's the news coverage on that?

January 9, 2008

books, bookcase, beer - my break!

I've finished the first 5 books out of my 50 books to read in 2008, which is a vast improvement over last year. Although, last year I was back at Hamline for J-Term by this time taking my Disability studies course with Reynolds - good class, got an A. I really enjoyed that class and studying disability. I wrote my final paper proposal on the way (dis)ability is constructed in the X-Men movies, a paper I still kind of want to write at some point. Anyway, that's a bit off my original thought process. Here are the five books I've read up to this point:

1. Democracy Matters, Cornel West
2. I am America, Steven Colbert
3. Candy Girl, Diablo Cody
4. Atonement, Ian McEwan
5. Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert

Democracy Matters - Pretty interesting, a book I've wanted to read since I accidentally bought it for my Political Economy of Misery class. It was ok, but I might have gotten more out of it if I was reading closely for a class, as opposed to pleasure reading.

I Am America - I like Steven Colbert and the character he plays on tv, which comes through brilliantly in his book. Quick read.

Candy Girl - As it was set in the Twin Cities, I know most of the places she references (which is nice), and the writing style is easy to read. I thought she could have included more about why she got out of stripping, but that's the feminist in me wanting to highlight the mere paragraph where she talks about how sleezy strip clubs influence the way women are viewed by the patrons and by themselves.

Atonement - I'm excited to see the movie and see how Hollywood butchers the story. I liked it overall, although the writing style isn't too much my thing.

Eat Pray Love - Interesting travel book. Her section on India was fascinating, just because I'm not familiar with meditation.

Now I'm going to go stain my bookcase. My grandpa built me a bookcase for Christmas last year, and I finally have the time to sand and stain it this break. I picked a nice antique walnut stain, so it's nice and dark. I'll take a picture when I'm done with it, but it looks nice. It's relaxing to be completing something that's done with my hands, not just my head.

Thursday I'm going to Milwaukee to see Uncle Matt. I'm excited. There will be beer drinking.

Bacher, out!

January 2, 2008

Winter break, numbers style

Number of...

Times told by my dentist my teeth looked perfect: 1

Political Mario/Luigi '08 t-shirts received: 1
Sizes too big of said t-shirt: 2
Days of Bush left in office: 383
New Presidents to elect this year: 1(!!!)

New digital cameras bought: 1
Best Buy camera salesmen who hit on me while buying camera: 1
Boyfriends in vicinity while being hit on by Best Buy employees: 1

Instances of sushi eating: 4
Instances of making sushi at home: 2

Times I myself have driven between Minneapolis and Green Bay: 3
Times driven through a snow storm/falling snow: 3
Forays into the ditch on the side of highway 29 because of said snow: 1
Cute cousins that missed Christmas because of a snow storm: 3
Christmas services attended: 1 (down from 2 last year)

Books planned to read cover-to-cover* in '07: 50
Actual books read in '07: 47 (48 if you count the Clifford children's book I read last week)
Books planned to read in '08: 50
Books sitting on my desk waiting to be read: 10
Books finished in November '07: 8
Months it took to finish the first 8 books: 2 1/2

Roommates reunited with over New Years: 4
Champagne bottles emptied: 2
Hangovers of roommates: 0 (down 500% from last year)

Boyfriends who left the country on New Years Day: 1
Weeks until I see him: 9 1/2
Weeks I'll be in Ireland visiting: 2
Days until I return to New Haven: 11
Upon my return to New Haven, number of weeks until I see Andrew: 8

Times I want to watch this video: 10 billion

How much I wish I was an otter, floating and holding hands: very much.

*My goal is defined by completely finishing a book, front to back. Unfortunately, this rules out a lot of books assigned for classes based on the sole fact I only read specific sections of those books, not the whole thing. I've read parts of more than 50 books, just not 50 whole books.