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Offbeat Empire weekend redux

By on Oct 14, 2011 in Life

Last weekend I went to Seattle for GeekGirlCon, but mostly to hang out in real life with the GAHMAZING ladies of the Offbeat Empire. It was a quick trip — Friday to Sunday and I am heading to Boston this weekend for the Wakanday conference, so I am too tired for a full redux. Instead I am going to point you to awesome posts and photos of the weekend. The two of you that read this blog will love it! The low-down from Offbeat Bride including a badass video. Post Mortem from the Offbeat Empress, Ariel. Photos from the AMAZING photographer with the unfortunate name, Jonas Seaman. Photos from Coco, ex-Offbeat Bride intern and BFF of Offbeat Bride managing editor Megan. Photos from Offbeat Mama managing editor, Stephanie. Redux from the super amazing event planner,...

Positive vs. negative human rights

By on Oct 6, 2011 in Politics

… the United States [has a] constitutional tradition that sees human rights as “negative” rights–rights against government–not “positive” rights that can be used to oblige government to take action to secure people’s livelihoods. I was stopped by this quote in the article, “Who says food is a human right?”, in The Nation’s recent Food Issue. While I am a huge advocate of Medicare-for-all and other progressive, social safety net programs, I have always felt uncomfortable at the mention that “Healthcare is a human right” or “Food is a human right.” For some reason the idea that healthcare or food or shelter are human rights on par with freedom of speech or religion feels wrong to me. I could say that historically food or shelter haven’t been rights, but then neither has freedom or speech or...

The Descendants, Roseland Ballroom, 9/23/11

By on Sep 26, 2011 in Music

Thank you for playin’ the way you play The Descendants are on of my favorite bands and I credit them with getting me into punk rock. I spent the summer of 1996 training and swimming at Niles Ice Arena in Niles, IL. One of my first days there, one of the guys put on some music during warm up. It was The Descendants’ “Everything Sux” and I was like “Wha-what? Punk can me hard and fast and melodic and sweet? Who knew?” Then I found out that Milo had a Ph.D. in Bio-chemistry, which, as the child of two Ph.D.s and a big nerd myself, made me fall ever harder in love. That next summer those same guys took me to the second ever Warped Tour and my first punk rock show … and possibly show ever, but I can’t really remember. During the Descendants set, I crowd surfed for the first time … because, well, I was young and naive and weighed a lot...

Europe’s real terrorist threat: Region not religion

By on Sep 8, 2011 in Politics

“According to Europol, between 2006 and 2008 only 0.4 percent of terrorist plots (including attempts and fully executed attacks) in Europe were from Islamists. The lion’s share (85 percent) were related to seperatism. Put bluntly, if you have to assume anything when a bomb goes off in Europe, think region, not religion.” Europe’s New Fascists, The Nation, by Gary Young

What I learned from All Time Low

By on Aug 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Saturday I dragged Mr. Bzzz to Jersey to see All Time Low with May Day Parade, The Starting Line, and We are the In Crowd. It was an interesting show. I had a great night. I learned many things. Those things are these: All Time Low’s stage show is exactly like seeing Blink 182 circa 1996 … with more dick, and less fart. Unlike Blink, however, they don’t carry that same dick and fart jokes mentality into their lyrics. Bands making dick jokes, talking about getting laid and impregnating girls, and hanging bras on their mic stand when the average age of the crowd is about 15 is creepy. Super fucking creepy. To be fair, I’m pretty sure it was just as creepy when I was 15. All I’m saying is: Check IDs, guys. Perhaps because they are still around, Green Day’s influence is highly highly under-rated and Blink 182’s is highly overrated. (Which is not to...

Behind my music: drums for Good Intentions

By on Jun 24, 2011 in Music

I recorded an acoustic, guitar-only version of this song back in 2005 or 2006. It was time to record the rocked out version. Let’s start with the drums. Ask any of the drummers who have tried to play this song. It’s tricky — the chorus has an abrupt, total rhythm change. That’s what I get for playing to my own rhythm. (Ha!) Verse: Chorus: Here is the tricky part. It doesn’t sound so awesome with just the drums, but when it’s all together, I think it’s gonna sound...

Monday notes on politics: Weiner’s weiner

By on Jun 20, 2011 in Politics

As his almost-constituent, I may have followed the Anthony Weiner scandal a bit more closely than most. After refusing to resign, then having Democrats throw him under the buss, and going into “therapy,” he officially resigned on Thursday. I’m fucking pissed about it. First of all, sexting with adults on twitter, while inappropriate is not illegal … like, say, sleeping with prostitutes (ahem, Elliot Sptizer) or getting a blow job from your intern and then lying about it under oath (ahem, Bill Clinton). I’m not even going to get into the Republican sex scandals, but suffice to say that for a political party that purports “family values,” they sure have a lot of politicians fucking hookers and soliciting gay sex in bathrooms. Second of all, what the fuck is wrong with Democrats? I don’t care if you don’t particularly like Weiner, you...

I love Elizabeth Warren and my microwave not exploding

By on Jun 8, 2011 in Politics

It’s not just Michael Moore who has a huge crush on Elizabeth Warren. It’s me too. I first heard Elizabeth Warren in the documentary Maxed Out, which will simultaneously blow your mind and make you cry. Those are qualities I dig in a documentary. After the economy exploded, she was made the chair of TARP. Later she was appointed a Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of the Presidency. As Ari Berman from The Nation says in his recent article, “Warren is a major celebrity in Washington, an Oklahoma-born Harvard law professor who’s done more than anyone since Ralph Nader to put consumer protection on the national agenda.” Her baby, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is currently under attack in Congress. The idea for the CFPB came out of an article Warren wrote in Democracy, which has the tag line “If it’s good enough for microwaves,...