Monday, December 31, 2007

Putting the lid on 2007

Yes, that's right. We're closing it up. Screwing the cap on tight. To mix just a few metaphors, we're exiting stage left, and we're not looking back (or right). We're moving on. Onward and upward. And all that crap.

Let's run across the finish line, leave 2007 behind, and dive into 2008! 2007 was a kick in the shins. Is it just me or do you feel a little bruised? The shins have been kicked but I'm scrappier for it. I've got what my grandmother used to call "vim and vigor." For all of us here at Seal, I think I can safely say that 2007 was a big year of transition, both personally and professionally. Change is part of life. Change is inevitable. Change is exciting. Change is unbelievably difficult. And change allows you to grow, but I'm not sad to leave 2007 behind. I need a break from all that changing.

Seal has seen more than its share of change this year. We're in a new location, and we're feeling good about the Seal zone on Fourth Street in Berkeley. If you're in the neighborhood, come by and see us. We'd love to see you! We'll take you for coffee.

We have an awesome Spring 2008 list on the horizon. Look for it. We're getting ready to launch Fall 2008 if you can believe it, and we're so proud of what we're doing here. Our authors are our partners, and our books amaze me every day. I am happy to come to work each day and be part of Seal. Watch out! We're scrappy, and we know it!

Happy New Year to all of the amazing women who are part of this crazy, fabulous, difficult, and rewarding thing we're doing here. I am thankful to you all! That's right, you: Brooke, Donna, Jane, Laura, Andie, Tina, Domini, Tabitha, Sarah, Jen, Jodee, Eva, Jennie, Anne, Annie, Elizabeth, Karen, Sarah, Veronica, Wallace, and to Anne, Marisa, Denise, Jill, Brittany, Hannah, Sarah, Krista R., Darcy, and so many others who helped us build what we have. Thank you!

Now go out and party. And kick some shins!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto, rest in peace

Benazir Bhutto, age 54, was the first female to lead a Muslim country, automatically making her a heroine to many. They said on the news this morning that she was "larger than life." Her assassination is not so different from that of JFK in terms of the lasting political ramifications, and the "what ifs" that her absence from the world scene will inevitably bring up---for many years to come. This is a woman who was seen as the next great hope for Pakistan, a woman who very likely would have become Prime Minister in January. And you have to admire her, as someone who just returned from exile this very year, whose defiance and strength was probably her greatest asset and weakness, whose life has been threatened many times over, and yet who continued to push forward despite it all.

The New York Times called her death "the latest blow to Pakistan's treacherous political situation." Bhutto's death is a blow Pakistan, and a blow to the world. Dennis Kucinich said this morning: "This is a very dangerous moment for the world. The United States must change its policy direction in the region. It must stop adding fuel to the fire."

If you're not already unsettled by the instability in the region, and if you don't already think the U.S. needs to seriously assess our foreign policy in this region, get ready for the media blitz that's to come here. And just when our own candidates are lacing up their boots for heavy combat. This is tragic news, and it's world-changing news. I'm already thinking of what could have been, and about how fragile and precarious our world is, and trying to ward off that sick combination of sadness and fear that feels a lot like hopelessness.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I love male feminists

I'm going to start bringing props---books, pins, t-shirts, you name it---to dinner parties. I can't go anywhere without accidentally getting into conversations in which I end up getting teased and harassed for being a feminist. Last night I was a late addition to a close friend's Christmas dinner plans. We were seated at different tables, but when she heard me explaining to the table of eight guests with whom I was sitting (her dad and brother among them) that a lot of intersex babies automatically are assigned a female gender at birth because it's easier to correct a too-long clitoris than a too-short penis I heard her screaming, "Brooke! Stop!" But this conversation DID come out of a conversation about feminism and what I do for a living.

I was the only one at the party willing to say outright that I'm a feminist, even though my friend and her mother and the hostess of the party, and equally or more important, her dad and her boyfriend, are sooooooo feminists. Like far too many people, they just don't know it, or don't own it, because being a feminist means so many bad things to so many people. And it's precisely because female feminists are so often and ridiculously accused of being unwomanly lesbian man-haters that male feminists have to step up to the plate.

The prop idea came to me last night, for several reasons. One of the guests had brought a book in his jacket pocket, which he handed me toward the end of dinner. It was called Everything Men Know About Women. It was a tiny book, retailing at $2.95 (now $4.95), and all its pages were blank. It was silly, and the men at the table thought it was hilarious. At another point in the conversation my friend's mom suggested her husband needed an "I LOVE LESBIANS" t-shirt (the context was actually unoffensive). And if I could tack on a "THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE" t-shirt to boot, that man would be good to go. Because, yes, I want women to profess their feminism, but I want men to own it too. Only when men start owning their feminism are things really going to change. Instead, too many men take the offensive. Consider this recent book, Feminists Say the Darndest Things (link intentionally not included), by Mike Adams. A recent review said: "Claiming that 'feminist scholar' is an oxymoron, Adams asserts that feminists have no sense of humor, are the biggest censors on college campuses, lack the courage to act as individuals, engage in 'widespread academic and personal dishonesty' and attempt to solve problems by changing society rather than their own behavior."

Can't wait to read that one.

Meanwhile, fellows, feminists do love men. We just love those of you who have balls enough (penis size inconsequential in this particular area) to engage in meaningful conversation where women are concerned without getting totally offended and freaked out. Poor guys. That blank book really doesn't have to be so funny.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Seal's 2007 Book Picks

We decided to wrap up the holidays with our favorite books of 2007. These are not our favorite Seal books. And they're not books published only in 2007. These are our staff picks for the books we best loved which we read during or in 2007.

With 80% of our staff participating, here's the books we loved this year:

Krista Lyons-Gould, beloved Publisher and co-blogger extraordinaire, to whom Seal owes its very existence

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
This period novel is so rich with detail, suspense, twists and turns that I literally hated to put it down each time I was pulled away by life. It's long, which I loved, and it was surprising until the very end.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
There was such a fuss about this book, I was against reading it, but holy crap. It was one of those books I felt so grateful to have pored over. I cried. I thought more carefully about my own life and how I live it. It changed me.

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
The title speaks for itself. It helped me reframe a scary time, embrace the impermanence of all things, and see the unknown in the future as an opening I could safely step into. Pema Chodron is a remarkable woman who has much to teach us, if we're willing to listen . . . to ourselves.

Brooke Warner, Senior Editor and proud owner of the gayest calendars in the office---at least through the end of this month

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
I've been wanting to read this for the longest time and my trip to Turkey finally gave me the opportunity. Amazing. Epic. You know you love a book when there's no more room in your suitcase to bring it home and you repack to find space.

Undefended Love by Marlena S. Lyons and Jett Psaris
I've pretty much been recommending this to everyone I know who's ever struggled at all with their relationships. Yes, that would be everyone I know. I read this book in one night. It's profound and scary and grounding and magnificent.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Lame teenage disclaimer: I read this before Oprah picked it! I swear. I loved One Hundred Years of Solitude when I read that five or six years ago, and this one is better. Good job, Oprah. Solid.

Donna Galassi, VP of Sales & Marketing with a passion and loyalty so strong that she's the only one who chose a Seal book (and we love her for that)

Strange As This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake
This debut novel is a story of a West Virginia mining family and their struggle between making a living and the physical destruction of their community as a result of the mining companies' practice of mountain-top removal. I loved this book because it's about working-class people. It tells the truth about families on the edge and challenges the cliches of "working your way up" or "anybody can do it." We tell ourselves so many lies in this country and Pancake's honest, spare, and unsentimental storytelling woke me up. I am the granddaughter of a coal miner, the daughter of a Teamster, my son is a member of the IBEW, the heros in my house were Eugene V. Debs, Harry Bridges, and Jimmy Hoffa. I read many enjoyable and evocative novels this year, but this book shook me up and reminded me of something I have forgotten---that I stand with labor. The plight of working men and women and the environment do not need to be at odds with one another. It is corporate greed that plays us one against another. If you love a well-told story with characters that are pitch---perfect-true, read this book. If you are ready for a complex but personally rendered story about economic and environmental conflict, read this book. If you have forgotten that America is not all upper middle-class people with lots of credit cards, read this book.

Abortion Under Attack edited by Krista Jacob
Every voter in America should read this anthology. Everyone has taken sides on this issue, it's all become so black and white. This book informed me, surprised me, challenged me, made me uncomfortable, and made me reconsider my views. I walked away from this book realizing it's the polarization of this issue that stops us from creating services and legislation that would truly serve women today. I am pro-choice but after reading this book I wanted new language to talk to the pro-lifers. I'm tired of the labels. There's so much nuance in a woman's life and as we stand in our respective corners, women suffer and their real issues are reduced to rhetoric.

Jane Musser, Senior Director of Production and unsung mastermind of Seal's beautiful covers, designs, and general good looks

Field of Blood and The Dead Hour by Denise Mina. Mina is a Scottish writer who has created my kind of hero: a young reporter for a Glasgow paper, Paddy Meehan struggles with bad love choices, bad food choices, a bad family situation, and a bad temper, as well as blatant sexism at work. Through it all, she maintains her dark humor and bad attitude.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.
Didion is one of those rare writers who seems capable of absolute honesty, and reading about the year after her husband's death is searing and breathtaking. I couldn't put it down. And a big bonus for me, reading this book prompted me to reread one of her earlier collections of essays, The White Album. Her essays from the 1960s and '70s offer a glimpse backward, but the brilliance of her writing makes them worth reading today.

Sarah Juckniess, Creative Services Manager and our online raison d'etre who orchestrates far more things than we can ever hope to wrap our minds around

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
I've read a lot of books dealing with grief, and Didion's is the only one I feel captures the immediacy, the fluidity, and the insanity of it. Her honesty combined with her elegantly spare writing blows me away.

Strange as This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake
Gorgeous landscapes, gorgeous prose. Mountaintop removal, environmental tragedy in a gut-wrenching narrative form. Made me feel nostalgic for somewhere I've never been.

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Okay, so I'm still in the middle of reading this one, but it already gets my Best in 2007 vote. On top of Lessing's captivating storytelling, the novel thoughtfully surfaces all kinds of issues relating to women that are amazingly (and frighteningly) resonant today.

Andie East, Associate Publicist and holder of powers that make her authors and colleagues alike fall madly in love with her quirky charms

The Keep by Jennifer Egan
Egan captures a fabulous sense of mystical realism that kept me guessing what was real and what was a fabrication till the end of the book. I loved the emotional intensity of the secrets that the characters keep and though the ending was a bit of a letdown, overall it kept me interested.

Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres
I unexpectedly gave this author a ride when she had a meeting in our office and soon thereafter acquired the book. I think this was the only book that made me cry. Scheeres is an amazing writer with a frankly amazing childhood and since I'm glad I hadn't read her book when I met her, otherwise I would have been struck into silence by her amazing writer and incredible bravery.

Domini Dragoone, Production Coordinator and executor of some of Seal's most creative and cutting edge cover and interior designs

Nabakov's Butterflies by Vladamir Nabakov
I really enjoyed it because it centers around old books, my favorite things, and then adds to that the book dealer/author's stories about handling the dozen or so books he singles out. Stories about how he got them, who from (sometimes the authors themselves), etc., are topped off with pertinent historical information and anecdotes about the writing of the book and the production of the physical volumes. Conversational, academic and insider information about beautiful objects and creative process---good deal.

Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
I really love Herman Hesse's prose; he manages to wade around in philosophical ramblings and still be completely engaging and lucid. Every time I think I have the character psychoanalyzed, more is brought to the table. . . . I enjoyed the use of an intimate autobiography-of-sorts to work through universal ideas in an organic and personal way.

Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut
What can I say? I just adore him always. He's quirky and serious and historical and sarcastic and self-effacing and witty and so many other things, but all at the same time. I never know what I'll get when I read him, but I'm never disappointed.

Jen Rios, Online Marketing Manager and major pinch-hitter and ass-kicker without whom we would be falling into a very scary end-of-the-year abyss

The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
I always enjoy his writing. He's brutally honest, down to earth, and someone I'd love to sit down and share a good meal and a bottle of wine with.

Women & Money by Suze Orman
I chose this one because I grew up in a house where I learned absolutely nothing about money. Suzie has been my teacher. In a very honest and non-condescending style, she teaches women to be in control of their own financial destiny. And I'm all for that.

Dylan Wooters, Marketing Assistant and Seal's leading man whose optimism and good energy occasionally seeps over to the editorial department when we're lucky

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
This was an incredible book. It was frightening, uplifting, and (I'll admit it) the ending made me cry. And (I believe) it is the only post-apocalyptic novel picked for Oprah's Book Club.

City of Glass by Paul Auster
I found this one late. A postmodern detective novel that challenges the idea of identity and the role of a narrator. It's a quick read, but covers a lot of ground, from the streets of Manhattan to the Tower of Babel.

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
Wallace's nonfiction is amazing---it makes me think and laugh at the same time. He covers the John McCain campaign trail, Dostoevsky, and the AVN awards all in one anthology.

And, drum roll please, our magnificent interns:

Tina Sogliuzzo, Editorial intern and most upbeat, enthusiastic Seal-lovin' woman ever

Wide Open Town by Nan Boyd
One of the most engaging history texts I've ever read. Boyd is a great historian and a fantastic writer. This book makes me long for a time when there was more then just two dyke bars in the entire bay area, and jealous of everyone who got to experience this era firsthand.

Veronica Chung, Publicity intern who's stepped into the role of official publicist and to whom we are eternally grateful

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I enjoyed how she carried me through the three different countries on her journey to self-discovery. It was motivational, entertaining, and inspiring. Since I love to travel, it was the perfect book to relate to.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
It was creatively written and had great encouraging life lessons. I loved it because it helped change my whole outlook on life and made me appreciate the time I have been given to the fullest.

Wallace Stewart, Publicity intern and newest addition to the team of interns that's keeping this place on its feet

Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
An autobiography about a boy who grows up in South Africa during Apartheid, It was definitely a page-turner and very inspirational. After reading it I felt compelled to write to the author to tell him how remarkable I thought his childhood was.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

If you can't love yourself, how can you truly love anybody else?

This is our first guest post (beware, it's not G-Rated) by Jamye Waxman, author of Getting Off: A Woman's Guide to Masturbation (a great holiday gift for any woman).

If you can't love yourself, how can you truly love anybody else?
Okay. Fine. You might not be thinking so much about this question right now. Especially as Christmas turns to New Years turns to the oft-dreaded Valentine's Day (which, by the way, is hallmark's excuse for us to purchase cards and other useless trinkets to "show" our love to others), but it is a question you should seriously ponder---at least for two minutes. Why? Because you should know how to love yourself in order to really like, or love, anybody else. And the truth is that the real way to show love is to actually do love. Doing love isn't always about expensive gifts; it's also about touching, cuddling, kissing, and communicating. It's about showing love to one other. A love that comes from deep within our guts and not from other outside sources. And the first person you should do love to is---drum roll please---you! Seriously, if you don't know yourself best, pamper yourself most and love yourself longest, then how can you ever do it for someone else? Someone who's not you!

This is why the motto for the New Year should be YOU FIRST (or, say it with me: ME FIRST). That means we put ourselves before anybody else. Before our boyfriends or girlfriends or friends with privileges. We need to remember that we are the most important people in our own lives. Without us, we wouldn't be who we are today or who we hope to be tomorrow! So, if all of us told one another "you first" (at least when it comes to sex) then maybe, just maybe, we'd learn how to best take care of our needs, which in turn means we'd be able to love other people even more than we love them now . . . even if we think we give them the best! love! ever! at this very moment.

Of course, when it comes to love, there's nothing better to start with than self-love. (You knew I was going here, didn't you?) Yes, rubbing one out, double clicking the mouse, petting the pussy---whatever you call it, 2008 is the year to remember that you are the person who loves you most.

So how can you love you longtime? Let's count the ways---or at least some of the ways!

1. With your fingers. Rub them all over your body, touching places that you might not always touch. Think breasts, belly, inner thighs, feet---wherever you need it, give yourself a great rub down. Then use those fingers on your clit and inside yourself too!

2. With some toys! Not just any toys, cause Barbie and Lego won't do the trick. Use sex toys. Take a vibrator and buzz around your clit, or place it inside your vagina. Use a dildo to fill yourself up. Take a butt plug to your behind and feel overstuffed (but not in that heavy, holiday-eating-too-much sort of way).

3. Rub against a piece of furniture. Like the corner of your couch. Or rub against the seat of your car as you're driving---just remember to watch the road.

4. Take full advantage of your next shower. Let the shower nozzle spray all over your body and then direct it to the places that get you off. Afterwards relax in a warm bubble bath.

5. Mark the spots. First hit the clit, then the G-spot, and then the AFE Zone. These are all places that can feel good for women. Mentally check each one off after you're sure you've hit the spot.

For more about masturbation pick up a copy of Getting Off: A Woman's Guide to Masturbation! You'll get more than just pointers about how to get off. There's history, current events, and lots of highlights from women I interviewed.

Yes, I'm a true promosexual at heart.

Happy holidays!


Learn more about Jamye Waxman here!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Unbelievable or not so much?

That is the question.

Today, I have nothing heavy to write about. I have no wisdom. I don't want to bring your attention to the state of women. I don't want to talk about politics. And granted, there ARE many important things to talk about. (Did you read Maureen Dowd's op-ed in the NYT today?)

People. The topic is Jamie Lynn Spears. What the hell is going on? Have you heard this news? The 16-year-old little sister of Britney is pregnant. That's right. Pregnant.

"It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected," Jamie said about discovering she was pregnant. "I was in complete and total shock and so was he." She's talking about her high school boyfriend.

Does this mean she didn't realize that having sex could lead to pregnancy? Were they using birth control? Did she want to follow in her sister's footsteps? She's 16. Britney seems old compared to that. Was there discussion of abortion?

Christian publisher, Thomas Nelson was just about to publish mom Lynne Spears' parenting memoir, but they've put it on hold. Yeah. I bet. Lynne Spears Book Delayed Indefinitely

Nickelodeon, Jamie's employer (she's an actress on the kid's show "Zoey 101"), released a statement that sounds as if there's been a tragic death in the Spears family. Listen carefully. It's the sound of Jamie, Lynne, and Britney's careers dying all at the same time.

The Today Show used the news of Jamie's pregnancy as a catalyst for recommending discussions with your preteen or teen kids about the very REAL consequences of sex, and making sure that if you haven't had a discussion about sex with your kid, that you do. Now. Don't wait.

I wonder how that chapter in Lynne's parenting book reads? As if there would be a chapter about sex. HA! What did Lynne say to her girls about sex? I kind of want to know.

And at the same time, as a parent, it freaks me out. Is it Lynne's fault her daughter is pregnant? Well, no. But Britney . . . and Jamie . . . . something's not right there.

Let's just have a moment of silence for the Spears Family. The Seal intern, Tina, said, "Let's give them a group hug. And why don't we throw in Amy Winehouse, while we're at it?" Good idea.

And then, let's talk about sex. Everywhere we go.

My parting words for you are the wise words my mother repeated to my little brother, often at inappropriate and very embarassing times. "If you get it out, put a condom on it."

Words to live by.

Until next time.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

new review spot

New York-based Waking Vixen Productions has just launched a new site, Live Girl Review, which features our very own Audacia Ray, author of Naked on the Internet. Dacia's launched a full-fledged video blog review site that's going to highlight porn, websites, sex toys, books, movies, and art three days a week, with Dacia's column, "Inside Dacia's Dirty Mind," on the alternate days.

I'm already stoked because today's review is on the LAYAspot, and if you don't have one of these yet, I really recommend buying it immediately. It's that goooooooood. When you see the large cranberry LAYAspot, hit CLICK TO PLAY underneath it for the tutorial.

Bookmark it, baby.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

misogyny and politics: a new taste sensation

I love new experiences. I can't help it, really. It's an asset or a defect, depending on who you ask. I like to try new things, go new places. So I consider myself lucky this election season. Hillary is running for President. Obama is running for president. Romney is running for president. Woman. African American. Mormon. It's exciting, right? Because I'm a woman and a feminist, though, I most gravitate toward what's going on with Hillary and how her being female is impacting the political landscape.

So what is going on out there? Yes, folks. It is a new taste sensation. It's acrid, like a cotton ball wrapped in barbwire. It's misogyny, stripped bare and totally out of the closet. Forget political correctness. Forget that piddly little word "equality." Forget your girlfriends, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers. Hillary is running for president. And it's balls to the wall. And it's Hillary's balls we're after.

Consider this statement, from Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, who recently appeared on PBS with Bill Moyers to talk about what Moyers called "this avalanche of misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton."

"[U]nderlying many of these assertions is the assumption that any woman in power will, by necessity, entail emasculating men . . .

So, why shouldn't you vote for Hillary Clinton? Well, first, she can't be appropriately a woman and be in power. She must be a man. Hence, the site that says Hillary Clinton can't be the first woman president; Hillary Clinton's actually a man. But also explicit statements that suggest castrating, testicles in lockbox. She's going to emasculate men. It's a zero-sum game in which a woman in power necessarily means that men can't be men."

It's Hillary at the center of the bull's-eye: She's attacked for her laugh; she's attacked for wearing a top that's too low-cut; she's attacked for not being able to "handle" her man; she's attacked for being too much like a man. Jamieson later asks whether these types of attacks make women increase their identification with Hillary or not? Do we specifically distance ourselves from a woman who's being attacked, or do we rally and say we will not stand for this, whether we support Hillary's candidacy or not.

It's ironic this week when news is flowing out of Argentina about the election of their first female president. And there's plenty of precedent for female heads of state in countries that don't tout their own enlightenment the way we do. We have an iron grip on that moral ground we're holding onto. And yet we're witnessing a cliche so passe it would make our grandmothers uncomfortable---that a woman is somehow fundamentally flawed or incapable because she's a woman, because she can't use her uterus and her brain.

Let's call it for what it is folks: Woman hating. And it mixes real nice with politics, where everything's a free for all and no low is too low. And so as I sit on the sidelines reveling in the newness of it all, I'm also taking deep breaths and willing myself to get through it, to speak to it, to denounce it as the rot that it is, and to wish that we didn't have to sink to such dastardly places just because a woman is running for president.


Monday, December 10, 2007

and seal just keeps on . . .

As 2007 comes to a close it's pretty crazy to look back at everything that Seal has been through this year. I'll leave it to Krista to do a year-end State of Seal post later this month, but suffice it to say that this has been a year of change.

We are moving this week. This isn't the first time I've packed up an office space. It's a pain in the ass, but it's also pretty amazing, the things you come across. Packing up files and recycling old book folders is a little window into Seal's history. Official letterhead declares Seal: "THE SEAL PRESS: A NORTHWEST FEMINIST PUBLISHER." I love that. This is such an amazing place, a publisher that's managed to hold onto its small press roots and sensibility even though it keeps getting absorbed into larger and larger parent companies. Seal continues to shift and morph and move and transform. Reading through old emails, looking at the production files, seeing proofs for books that put Seal on the map---like Getting Free and Cunt; old novels that played a role in solidifying Seal's role as a publisher of cutting-edge lesbian fiction, like Out of Time, The Dyke and the Dybbuk (both Lambda Award winners), and Sarah Schulman's Girls, Visions, and Everything---is just very cool.

So Seal is moving to Berkeley. From its humble small beginnings in Seattle to a short detour to New York to landing in Emeryville and now onto Berkeley, Seal has just kept on keeping on. I know Berkeley will be a good home for Seal. Seal has a distinctly West Coast aesthetic, and Berkeley is as quintessentially Left Coast as you can get. So off to bright new pastures. Thank you to our wonderful interns Brittany and Tina for being such awesome packers, who complain way less than I do, and to Tina for delighting so much in old crap that no one wants anymore.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

bOObs are sOO tabOO

Here's something that's been bugging me since last week. The Wall Street Journal ran this great story about bra-fitting, in which they extensively quote our very own boob lady, Elisabeth Squires.

Her accreditation, though? "A Seattle-based author of a breast-health and bra guide."


"A breast-health and bra guide" which just so happens to be called bOObs. But they won't print that word in their paper. People, we are not talking about Cunt here. Boobs! So benign. So unoffensive that it's practically a kid word. I don't understand when boobs became not okay to say or print. Breasts are okay, boobs are not. Which is too bad. Look how sweet this cover is? And it's so informative and pro-woman. Go buy it for every girl and woman you know. It's a good Christmas present, I promise.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

presidential politics: a rumination (part 1 in an ongoing series)

Like a lot of people I know, I love and hate politics. It's the best and worst thing ever. It's fascinating and fun and gives you gritty stuff, like issues and values, to argue over. It drives me absolutely insane. It gets me all riled up. It gets me into arguments with people I love. There's nothing like politics to make you question how it's possible that your mother gave birth to you, or how you've been able to maintain certain friendships despite profound differences in opinion on things like abortion, war, and the death penalty. It keeps it real and gives me something to freak out over every so often. You know, for when I don't have enough drama in my life.

Ultimately, I decided to take a quiz this week to find out which candidate I most align with. I took four of them just to see what the results would be. Turns out, according to all four, I should vote for Dennis Kucinich, the man who reputedly "stole the show" at the Brown and Black Democratic Forum last week when he asked himself a question about health care. Which I found extremely annoying and not at all charming.

This being the first post of an ongoing political series (initiated by me today), I can predict with 100% certainty that I'm not voting for Kucinich. Today is the first day that I'm starting to feel that swirling sense of hope that I had way back in 2003 slowly starting to revitalize me again. Remember that expectation of not having Bush in power anymore? That sense that there was a light at the end of this long dark tunnel? This time at least we know he's really leaving. And that's something to celebrate no matter what. But as part of the admittedly underinformed voting public, I'm tasking myself with the responsibility of trying to figure out who likeminded women are voting for, who's endorsing who, and getting a sense of where we're going to land come November 08. Which cannot come soon enough.