Friday, February 16, 2007

Politics! Sex! Together in harmony at last

Tonight I was at the library way too late reading an article about what an ass Bush was to Germany before the Iraq War and I got all Cindy Sheehan angry. Bush even went so far as to call Gerhard Schroder a "liar" because he had alluded to the President that he had observed the U.S. making a case for war but then refused to support it. Two things stuck out at me about this incident: one, Bush is so delusional, crazy, arrogant, reckless and rude that it never quite goes without saying, and two, Schroder is a ladies man. Okay, maybe that isn't something I gleaned from this incident, but it is something I've learned about him. He is currently on his fourth wife (German nickname: Audi, because its symbol is four rings), and when he was at LSE last week speaking there was an attractive young woman sitting on the stage with him when he was introduced and when he took the podium he said, "Don't worry, that's not my fifth wife." Laughter ensued.

So I was talking to EJ tonight (only we provoke these kind of discussions with each other), and I asked aloud, "Why do womanizers make such good leaders?" FDR, JFK, Clinton, Schroder, and Mitterrand in France, all of these men were good leaders as well as well-known womanizers or cheaters. Nixon? Loyal as a puppy dog. Bush I? Yeah, he likes Babs, but he also likes to grab Teri Hatcher's ass. It's kind of the parallel of his so-so administration. Bush II? Loves librarian Laura and then goes out and screws the U.S. and the entire international order.

I'm calling it the Womanizer theory of International Relations. Think about it: men who like and court the attention of women (especially while married) not only have to balance disparate and/or conflicting interests, but they have to glad-hand and be flexible in their plans. Loyal, committed married men (code: stubborn) are rarely in conflict with their significant others and therefore don't have to work around any schedule but their own.

So what about Tony Blair? Where does he fall? Well, he loves Cherie but is a flirt, so he's still got a lot of public love. Maybe Cherie put the clamp on that flirty behavior and poof! He feels the need to cow-tow to Bush on Iraq.

It's only a theory...

PS--Women are naturally better and juggling and accommodating disparate interests, maybe this will finally prove that they are better leaders after all.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Celebrity abstinence

First things first: let's give a BIG shout out to EJ and her evisceration of Newsweek for its pathetic "slow news week" story. "Girls Gone Bad," features such notable role models as Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton. The media (paparazzi on up) give these nitwits WAY too much credit, and now too much blame, for the state of American society, body image, and how American girls act. Most women I know are interested in them the way you would be interested in a soap opera: you follow the story, but you laugh when the main character gets impregnated by her friend's boyfriend who also happens to be the long-lost brother she didn't know she had.

I was actually going to write about the U.S. and nationalism, a topic which I am doing a paper on at the moment, but I decided that my writing on the topic should probably be limited to said paper, and that what EJ was writing about was MUCH more interesting.

In protest of the fact that so-called venerable publications like Newsweek have sunk to such depths, I have decided to not actively read any celebrity gossip for one week. This will have two functions. First, I will not know exactly who went to lunch with whom and wonder if they may or may not be dating and therefore valuable brain space will not be wasted. And second, I have been threatening to do this for awhile and now is as good a time as any. So no popsugar, perezhilton, pinkisthenewblog, e! online and I'm even abstaining from gofugyourself for the next week because sometimes as much as it isn't gossip and just catty side comments, the grammys are next week and that makes this whole task that much harder.

I'm going to put parental locks on those sites so I'm not even tempted. This should be interesting.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

What about your friends

I always thought that petty drama was kind of like braces: you deal with it when you're younger, but it gets straighten out and you laugh about the pictures later. This may have been a little naive because drama doesn't go away with age, so why would that be true for the the petty version?

Allow me to illustrate: I have become annoyed with someone I go to school with. We were friends last term, but now I find her almost impossible to be around. I was mentioning this to another friend of mine the other night and she informed me that she and everyone else has not really be able to stand her since October. I knew that my friend was frustrated with her, but I had no idea that a) it ran so deep and b) there were many others that felt the same way. She also informed me that everyone thought I was lovely and was slightly confused as to why I was hanging out with this other person. This came as more than a little shocking and my level of frustration with this person has grown exponentially since then.

I am typically not one to fake nice with anyone, but this is uncharted waters. LSE is small. My residence is small. If I tell her that I don't want to be friends anymore, does that just make my life uncomfortable for the next six months? Or do I suck it up and realize that six months is actually a pretty short amount of time?

The fact that I even have to have this debate is beyond frustrating. First of all, this person has changed the entire layout of socializing within her program. Second of all, it always makes me wonder when I will no longer find someone so annoying as to make it my life's goal to avoid him/her. The answer is, sadly, never. But in the meantime, I find some way to make this work.

Does this strike anyone else as ridiculous?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Men and the Boys

When I'm bored at school (natch, procrastinating) I do a little self navel-gazing. I know that's kind of ridiculous, but sometimes I forget the things that I've written about, participated in, etc. and it's interesting to read about it. Isn't part of the fun of blogging to record what is going on in your life?

I was particularly interested in the posts I wrote about relationships and couple-dom in general. Last year I wrote about the engagement of two of my friends and how that was freaking me out. Well, one of them got married, the other one broke off the engagement and is now happier than she's ever been. AND everyday I hear about another person I know from high school, college, or that summer program I did getting married, and you know what? I am no longer that freaked out. Or maybe I am no longer shocked and appalled the way I once was. It was kind of how I felt when people I knew started having sex. At first it seemed crazy and intense and then slowly, as more people did it, it became easier to understand and process.

The other reason I think that I am more understanding and tolerant of marriage is that I am in a happy and well-adjusted relationship, something that was definitely not the case a year ago. This has changed my prospective on relationships--whether serious or not--because I now have a clearer version of who I was and what I wanted from my romantic relationships.

The unfortunate thing for me, and I think many others in my age group, is that I never really wanted all that much from my past relationships. I dated boys and I treated them that way, and in return I never got the emotional or physical intimacy I really desired. I consider myself a somewhat abrasive personality at times and basically there are two ways to take me: 1) laugh and call me on my bullshit or 2) allow me to steamroll over you and dictate the terms of our interactions. In the vast majority of my romantic encounters choice #2 has been the modus operandi, and quite simply that is no longer the case.

When you find someone that finds you intelligent, funny, caring, hot and laughs when you say something that you believe wholeheartedly, but is a little blunt and maybe a bit outrageous, well then, you've really got something.

In other words, I've found a man. And it makes all the difference in the world.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Konichiwa and the like

You'll be happy to know that my sarcasm has been recovered after an exhaustive search. I think I also might have found some of my wittiness out there with it. It has been a rough couple of weeks.

Onward and upward. On Thursday I will be going to Tokyo, Japan for a week for a Summit that my office (with the full blessing of the State Department) is hosting to discuss issues of public diplomacy. I have known that I'm going to this thing for about two months now, but only when I was at CVS today buying earplugs and Tylenol PM did the full weight of a 13 hour flight from Detroit (DTW what?!?!)-Narita really hit me. I. Am. Going. To. Japan. What the hell do I even know about Japan?

And the answer is not much: Saki, Harajuku girls, sushi, Hello Kitty, Hiroshima, Mr. Baseball, shrines, cherry blossoms, and Tokyo, the second most expensive city in the world (with Moscow at #1) pretty much rounds out my knowledge of this country. I have never even thought about traveling to Asia-- it was never one of those places that I aspired to go. But now that I have the opportunity to go, I'm starting to feel a little uneducated.

It's not like I have a lot of time to be out and about exploring, but isn't it my duty to immerse myself in another culture because I've been given the opportunity? Don't I owe it to the travel gods to go to a fish market and eat something that I didn't know was food? Or to bow when I meet someone? My coworker and I have have been practicing calling each other by "san."

"Libberash-san, will you email me your itinerary?"
"Sure, HDogg-san."

Sayonara fools. I'll catch you in August (!)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh The Shame!

Oh, god. This is unprecendented. I've lost my sarcasm. That's right, the quippy, jokey, biting wordplay that makes my world go round. I can't pinpoint exactly when it started but now I officially don't get it. You know it: that thing where people don't have to explain to you that they're kidding because you just inherently know. I NO LONGER GET IT!! THIS IS A PROBLEM!

Sarcasm is the currency of youth, so how am I going to function it without it? Who will I talk to? What shows can I watch? and most importantly, how in the H-E-L-L do I get it back? Basically, I should sit at home, alone, with my phone off watching Golden Girls reruns. What else is there to do?

This reminds me of that Sex and The City episode where Samantha loses her orgasm and doesn't get it back until she cries at Miranda's mother's funeral. I really hope that doesn't mean that someone has to die in order for me to find my sarcasm... See? I take everything literally!! Oh, this is bad. This is really bad.

Wanted: my sarcasm back. It's like my mojo, only more important.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stop the clock

As I look around my neighbors' apartment and realize that they are moving out, I start mentally cataloging my own possessions--computer, desk, books, clothes, oh god, clothes alone could fill up my entire car--it once again hits me: the very short amount of time I have left in DC. At this moment, I have mixed feelings about leaving. These last few months have been challenging, nay difficult, but also really rewarding. Part of me realizes that the spectre of my leaving has upped the ante socially as well as professional which is what allows for a higher yield of rewarding experiences, but the other part of me takes a moment of pause.

Ok, moment over. I'm going to London. I own this whole experience and I have done (or I'm in the process of trying to do) everything that I need to make it a success: I secured funding, housing and votes of confidence. It's just that the summers in DC tend to go by so fast. This was true when I was an intern, and it's true now. Every weekend is booked and weekdays seem to be catching up. Why we make so many plans during the months when this city's climate is at it's most vile I will never know, but that's what happens. There are too many fun activities, trips and plans to make, but the farther you plan ahead, the faster time catches up with you. I'm really looking forward those those 25 glorious days of unemployment, but if I know one thing about unemployment it's that those days slip away from you even faster than the working days.

Not that I'm complaining.