They caught him.
This is truly a tragic day. George Tiller, the brave, brave soul who provided abortion services to women from all over the Midwest in Wichita, Kansas, was murdered today by a fanatical scumbag who proves that the description "pro-life" is a complete farce. Dr. Tiller was walking into church when he was shot. Every single person who has ever donated a dime to Operation Rescue and other terrorist anti-choice organizations should be prosecuted for conspiracy.
Posted on May 31, 2009 at 11:41 AM | 8 Comments
Every time I wonder about a choice of the President's, every time I rail against his position on marriage equality, for example, or on his measured responses to Bibi Netanyahu's maniacal mutterings, I am, within moments, reminded of his nearly supernatural power to get it right. Remember when we were all wailing about his 'mistakes' on the campaign trail and he ignored us and continued in his sober, unflinching way to beat the shit out of his opponents? He seems to be doing it again.
Honestly, the man is blessed. Even the flu pandemic seems to have been designed by a benevolent God. Republican "moderates" eviscerate your health care stimulus spending? Worry not, my man. The Lord your God will send a plague so that you can get the money you asked for, and then some. Don't worry, it won't really be a plague. It won't kill as many people as, say the FLU does every year, but it'll just put the fear of his awesome wrath into Congress and convince the sensible ladies from Maine of their error.
Then our President makes a choice for the Supreme Court that is, at best, a moderate one, and I complain. Where's our progressive intellectual powerhouse? Why not choose Kathleen Sullivan, or Cass Sunstein? Why not ram Larry Tribe down their throats. What about Charles Ogletree! We're a hair's breath away from our 60 votes. We can have WHOEVER WE WANT.
Well, why? Why you ask? Because the man is a goddamn genius, and he somehow knew that the right would choose Judge Sotomeyer's nomination as an opportunity to fling a rope over a high branch, wrap it twice around their necks, and leap into oblivion. The only question remaining is whether they'll die immediately of the severing of their cervical spinal cord, or whether they'll kick at the air a few times before turning purple, eyes popping from their sockets, sphincters letting go in a rush of effluvia.
It appears, to what I fear is my actual delight, to be the latter.
Oh I do love you, Tom Tancredo. I love you from the tips of your gnarled old toes to the wisps of your comb-over. Please continue to refer to La Raza as the Latino KKK. Please keep it up, you dear bile-spewing, narrow-eyed nutcase. Because every time you go on television, another 50,000 Latino voters decide that, Catholic or not, abortion supporting or not, the only party that represents an approximation of sanity is the Democrat Socialist. (That, by the way, is what I am bound and determined to call myself nowadays, whether or not the Republicans can muster the votes to label me thus.)
And Rush, Rush my beloved, my smacked-out Oxycontin honey-bunny. Rush, please continue to ignore and even vilify Senator Cornyn when he tries desperately to shut you and the Newt-ster down. Please rail against him, reminding the entire country that there are no sane voices on the Right. And please please, Senator Cornyn. Make your Rush-Walk-of-Shame like all those others before you.
Glory days, my fellow Democrat Socialists. Glory days indeed.
Posted on May 29, 2009 at 9:06 AM | 2 Comments
I've been on this nutty booktour, running all around, waking up at 5 AM to be on West Virginia AM radio, etc. I was feeling all important, like a big shot. I'm on the radio! I'm on the bestseller list. And then someone sent me this weblink, a voice from above to remind me what's really important in the world, and what some women have to do just to get through their days.
It's The Afghan Women's Writing Project. And they are doing remarkable work. Check them out.
Posted on May 28, 2009 at 6:49 AM |
"...the Vagina Monologues for the stroller set..."
I don't plan to discuss my vagina, or if so I'll do it rather obliquely. Come and check it out.
Monday night June 1st
Cobbs Comedy Club
915 Columbus Avenue
(just north of Lombard St., in North Beach)
$20 plus two drinks, doors open at 7, show starts at 8 sharp
I'll be part of this crew:
Cindy Chupack - exec producer "Sex and The City"
Lew Schneider - exec producer "Everybody Loves Raymond"
Joan Rater - co-exec produer "Grey's Anatomy"
Dan Bucatinsky - co-exec producer "Lipstick Jungle"
Peter Horton - actor "In Treatment," "Thirtysomething," exec producer "Grey's Anatomy
Christy Callahan - writer "Pasadena"
Rodes Fishburne - author "Going to See the Elephant"
Hosted by Dani Klein Modisett
Posted on May 21, 2009 at 9:20 AM |
I'm short. Really really short. 5 feet tall. YES 5 feet. Not 4' 11" like some people keep slandering me by saying. But now guess what? NPR says it's better to be short!
Posted on May 18, 2009 at 2:41 PM | 6 Comments
Hey, guys. Need some advice?
Posted on May 18, 2009 at 8:40 AM | 1 Comments
Posted on May 15, 2009 at 6:08 PM |
M: Okay, so we have to come up with something for this White House deal...
A: You mean, besides the slam poetry.
A: Because you and me and the slam poetry -- that's not happening.
M: Power of Words... Power of Words.
A: Let's not over-think this. It's not that hard. All we ever do all day is use words. We write, we talk.
M: Some of us talk more than others.
A: Cute. It's just, you know, this is for the President of the United States, and the whole First Family. No pressure.
M: Wait a minute. "We use words." "Use your words." You know how we're always saying that to our kids? Don't have a tantrum, use your words. Put down that rock and use your words.
A: Actually, what we say now is, "Don't you want to be like Malia and Sasha?" "Malia and Sasha use their words." "Malia and Sasha make their beds every day."
M: Why can't our children be more like Malia and Sasha?
A: Focus, dude.
M: Right. So, the idea is to teach our kids that language--persuasive language, language that appeals to the heart, the intellect, the senses, is the greatest instrument and power we possess to resolve our differences. That to resort to other means--tantrums, rocks, guns, armies--is as destructive and ultimately as powerless for us as for the people we ought to be talking to.
A: You're saying we go to the White House with "The pen is mightier than the sword." That's your A material?
M: I know. I know. But the thing is... I mean, why is this so hard to learn? For them, and for us. Why is this something that we have to keep teaching them, and ourselves, again and again and again?
A: Because to use language, to really use it to its fullest and greatest potential, takes so many things. It takes training in vocabulary, syntax, grammar. It takes exposure to great works of literature, to style and rhetoric. But above all, more than anything else, to harness the power of language to its fullest, you need to be able to put yourself in the place of the person you're talking to.
M: You have to be able to imagine.
A: Right. To imagine what they're thinking, how they must be feeling right now, how they might react to the various things you might say or the ways you might say them. And that's hard.
M: It's the hardest thing in the world. To stand outside yourself. To see things, to see the world, the way other people see them.
A: "The easier it is for you to imagine walking in someone else's shoes, the more difficult it then becomes to do that person harm."
M: Wow, that's so profound, who wrote that?
A: You did.
M: So basically, you're telling me, we got nothing.
A: Nope. We could always try that slam. Or maybe a little "cypha?"
M: Still not happening.
Posted on May 13, 2009 at 6:54 AM | 5 Comments
If you read the New York Times this morning, or just happened to be surfing on whitehouse.gov (and who doesn't?), you may have noticed that Michael and I managed, by dint of much confusion regarding the extent of our cool, to end up on stage in the East Room of the White House, performing for the President, the First Lady, the First Grandmother, and the First Girls. Honestly, I don't know how the hell we got there, and the people with whom we shared the stage were so much more talented that it was all we could do not to miss our call and slink off to the bar.
It was An Evening of Poetry, Music & the Spoken Word, and we were the Spoken Word. We were silly, maybe a little cute. We had a point to make and we tried our (decidedly lame) best to do a little Mike Nichols & Elaine May softshoe. But the other performers. They blew our minds completely. First up was Mayda del Valle, Def Poetry Jam superstar. She blew people away with a poem that brought tears to my eyes (and I'm betting to the First Lady's too, although maybe not. Mrs. Obama has about a million times more self-control that I.). Pianist ELEW gave us some gorgeous smooth fusion, and when he played with Esperanza Spalding (more about her later) it was magic. Two heartbreakingly young spoken word poets jammed the hell out of the room (Joshua Brandon Bennett and Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio), Josh making me cry again with a poem about his relationship with his deaf sister and Jamaica jamming fabulously in both English and Hawaiian. If you heard them your mind will be boggled to learn that they're both college students. Jamaica's only 18 years old.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who won a raft of Tonys and Grammys for his musical In the Heights, completely killed with a hip hop song about Alexander Hamilton, as sung by Aaron Burr. I kid you not. If you ever have a chance to see him on stage, run don't walk. He's one of those performers who comes along every once in a rare while who's just got magic about him. He exudes "superstar." He's also maybe the sweetest person I've ever met in my entire life.
OK, so now to Esperanza Spalding. I just downloaded both her albums, and if you don't do the same, you're either a fool or you don't have ears or both. She's got the voice of some ethereal being, and she accompanies herself on the bass. Yes. On the acoustic bass. Oh, and when she saw my YSL pumps and the Lanvin dress I borrowed from the inestimable Lisa Brown, she told me I had the flyest junk she'd seen in a long time. Yes, the woman who basically authored cool thinks my junk is fly.
Guess whom you don't want to follow on stage with your cute little 3 minute routine? James Earl Jones. Reciting Othello. 'Nuf said.
Best part of the experience by far was early in the day, in the Green Room (and yeah, it's green. And the Blue Room is blue, and the Red Room is red), when we were messing around after rehearsal. James Kass, the Executive Director of Youth Speaks, gave us a little beat box (not bad for a 40-year-old white guy) and the poets started cyphering. (Yeah, I didn't know that word either, but now I do. Because I'm cool. And my junk is fly.) Josh narrated our day in one rhyme after the other, and then Lin stepped in to take on any president we could throw at him. Michael gave him McKinley and he even managed to pull that off. (Next album? Taft -- the bathrub rap.)
Apparently you'll be able to catch a lot of this on HBO's the Buzz. Watch it once they load it up. Not to see Michael and me (really really not), but to see these other performers. They were astonishing.
Oh, and if you're really nice to me, I'll show you the photo of me in the Blue Room, with my skirt up under my arms, flashing my behind at the portrait of John Tyler, as the sound guy tries to hook my microphone to the elaborate scaffolding of my foundation garments.
Posted on May 13, 2009 at 5:22 AM | 4 Comments
Chapter 3 of Bad Mother TV!
Posted on May 11, 2009 at 8:49 PM | 1 Comments
Dan Baum is twittering how he got fired from the New Yorker. It's awesome reading. I love it!!
Posted on May 11, 2009 at 4:11 PM | 1 Comments
What the hell is up with all the third-rate stars at the White House Correspondents Dinner? I mean, for heaven's sake. Padma?? Are we serious? How do these people get invited to that, I wonder?
Posted on May 11, 2009 at 3:57 PM | 1 Comments
So, what do you think? A good theme song for the book? ;)
Posted on May 11, 2009 at 3:25 PM |
Posted on May 11, 2009 at 9:00 AM |
Now I've even recruited other writers for the rather counter-productive project of giving our books away. The delightful Emily Franklin has a book out! Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 New Recipes.
Here's what folks are saying:
One part David Sedaris, one part Julia Child, Emily Franklin's Too Many Cooks is a happy mix of recipes, memories, and good storytelling. A foodie and former chef, Franklin wants to pass on her love of food and cooking to her kids. Over the course of a year, she introduces her children to new dishes--some exotic, some thrown together with whatever she has in her cabinets--with varying degrees of success, sharing with readers over 100 original recipes. Along the way, she discovers how a delicious (or even disastrous) meal can bring families together and feed the soul.
"I love my mom and I'm a good cook, and still I can't help wishing that Emily Franklin would adopt me--or maybe send me a care package. But at least I've got her recipes now. And this book, which is the perfect mix of heartwarming and mouthwatering. Yum." - Catherine Newman, author of Waiting for Birdy
"Emily Franklin's Too Many Cooks is a boon for anyone trying to cook healthy simple meals for children. It is also great fun for those of us who love to peek at the domestic lives of others. Franklin has a warm, unpretentious voice and appealing recipes that are asking to be tried." - Jenni Ferrari-Adler, author of Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant
OK so here's how it works. Send me (or Emily) proof that you've bought a copy of each of our books, and we'll enter you in a drawing to win copies for your friends (or enemies.)
Posted on May 7, 2009 at 12:42 PM | 1 Comments
I feel you folks need a primer, a set of instructions, if you will, to help you to become as fine an example of Bad Motherhood as I am, myself. So here you go -- a handbook of sorts.
Oh, and if you want to add your own bullet points, feel free to do so at True Mom Confessions. We're offering a joint book drawing. Add your own instructions and be entered to win not just a copy of my book, Bad Mother, but a copy of True Mom Confessions: Real Moms Get Real, too.
Posted on May 7, 2009 at 5:30 AM | 3 Comments
This is the tenth book I've published, and it never gets any less exciting. Or any less stressful. I've spent the past week alternately freaking out and ... well ... freaking out. Even when I'm happy I'm freaking out.
Today Bad Mother hits the stores. I'm really proud of this book. It's got some of my best writing in it. I don't know if people will like it or not, but I know I do. And that, for this tiny moment (and surely not tomorrow when I start worrying about reviews), is enough.
Posted on May 5, 2009 at 9:43 PM | 9 Comments
Well, I can safely say that I have reached some kind of personal professional pinnacle. Do you people know how long I've been giving myself fantasy Terry Gross interviews?? A dozen years. A DOZEN YEARS.
And today, it happened.
It was an intense experience. She's a magnificent interviewer. I talked about things I never thought I would, in ways I didn't expect. And the feedback/fallout has been equally intense. I've received hundreds of emails today, mostly from women thanking me for speaking out so openly about the abortion we had. I won't betray their confidences by writing about what they said, but I've spent a lot of today crying over other people's stories. So thank you for writing. It means a tremendous amount to me.
Posted on May 5, 2009 at 9:11 PM | 18 Comments
Posted on May 4, 2009 at 9:20 AM | 2 Comments
So every time Notre Dame invites someone to speak who supports the death penalty I assume the bishops will be celebrating Masses of Reparations to make amends for sins against God? Hey Bishop Wenski, how many Masses of Reparations did you celebrate to make amends for hundreds of years of pedophilia? Inquiring minds want to know.
Posted on May 2, 2009 at 6:56 PM | 2 Comments
So today I'm sitting in the parent meeting of Sophie's new high school (my god that girl is lucky. It's like the Garden of Eden of high schools. The craft shops! The theater program! The tiny classes! The adorable boys with dreadlocks!) and this mom tells me that her child's eighth grade class was called home from a field trip to Mexico. They've been working toward this all year, they are in a completely safe place, but the parents freaked out. Not only that, but there was a movement to ban all the eighth graders from attending school, to ban their siblings from attending school, and/or to force the school to close down completely.
Forgive the profanity, but what the fuck is wrong with people??? This is essentially a cold, for god's sake. Why is everyone behaving like Joe Biden? Do you know how many people die of flu every single year in this country? 36,000. Yes, you read that right. And how many people have died of this in the U.S.? One baby, from Mexico, brought here for treatment, who suffered from a previous medical condition. And how many people die in Mexico and other countries every day from a variety of other contagious diseases? Who the hell knows, but a lot, I'm sure. Hell, hundreds of people die every year from Tylenol overdoses, and you're still giving your kids Tylenol when they complain of a headache.
Are people planning on demanding that their school districts close down from now on during every single flu season?
I'm declaring a moratorium on flu panic. Hmm. What's that scratch in the back of my throat? Oh my GOD!!! I just sneezed!!! I'm rushing off the E.R. NOW...
Posted on May 2, 2009 at 5:53 PM | 5 Comments
Yesterday, Delara Darabi, a young Iranian woman, was stoned to death for the murder of her cousin, a crime most likely committed by her boyfriend, who persuaded her to confess in his stead. Her stoning was a vile state-sanctioned murder, but before we all congratulate ourselves because we don't live in a violent backwater that would execute a young woman for a crime allegedly committed when she was a teenager, let's not forget that Roper v. Simmons, the Supreme Court case that made it unconstitutional to execute a person for a crime committed before the age of 18, was decided in 2005. Yes, 2005. Welcome to America.
Posted on May 2, 2009 at 6:35 AM |
I've had one of those days. Long flight, jet lag. And then when I landed I found out that 1. My interview in the New York Times Magazine was canceled and 2. My reading in D.C. had to be canceled to accommodate something else. I was feeling all tragic and sad. It turned out God had taken me up on my offer. In October I promised him that if Barack won the election God could take my career and flush it down the toilet. Like a true sadist the Almighty let me get away with feeling like he hadn't been listening. And then boom. Screwed ya when ya weren't looking!
So I'm all blue and mopey, and I arrive home in time for Rosie's reading party. Today she finished Lindamood Bell, and we got her a cake to celebrate. We sang, "Happy Reading To You." She blew out a candle. And for a moment I actually lifted my eyes from my own navel and realized how wonderful my life is. Kenahora.
ps. Don't worry, I'm back to feeling like shit. Wouldn't want to disappoint you.
Posted on May 1, 2009 at 5:04 PM | 1 Comments