February 26, 2007

Sorority Purging Scandal (it’s not what you think)

A friend of mine e-mailed me a link to an article in the New York Times that reported a recent purging scandal at a college sorority. I figured it was about an eating disorder epidemic.

But that’s not the case.

The article is about a sorority house at DePauw University in Indiana that, in an attempt to increase membership, weeded out the girls they did not deem appropriate as a face of the sorority. Members who were Asian, Black, or overweight received letters from the sorority’s national chapter, offering them early alumna status. The classically beautiful girls, the slim ones, and those that were popular with the fraternity boys, did not receive such letters. A mere twelve girls remained in the house after the downsizing. Six of those dozen, quit. Amen, sisters. What the hell is wrong with the other six?

I am appalled and disgusted to hear about this discrimination and assholery (I think I just made up that word). But I am also angry and terribly sad. The sorority in question is the same one I was a member of when I attended a state college in California.

Had this happened at my chapter, two of my best friends would have been asked to leave. In fact, if the article is not exaggerating the facts, I would have been invited to take early alumnaship as well. I was one of the “fatter” girls in the house and I doubt there is one fraternity guy from my university (1986 to 1991) who would know who I was, either by name or face. Last I checked, sororities were a place to make friends, lifelong friends who would be there at your wedding, at your kids’ graduations, and sadly, at your funeral. It wasn’t about making friends with beautiful, rich, popular white people, it was about finding kidred spirits. I did not join a sorority to be popular with boys, or get shit-faced in musty rooms and pass out in my own puke. I’m not saying all sorority girls do, or even that any of them do, I’m just saying that those types of activities did not appeal to me. I did drink, and I did get drunk, but it was with my GDI (god damn independent) boyfriend and our friends. I didn’t join the sorority to do all that. I joined because my closest high school friends all spread out, and I missed that closeness when I attended a commuter school for college.

I was not considered pretty by anyone. Cute, maybe, but in the way a pot-bellied pig is cute. My daddy was not rich and he didn’t work in a fancy office where he dressed in a suit and tie. I didn’t drive a fancy car, but an orange 1976 Chevy Monza with doors that had been dinged repeatedly. During rush week, I was asked to park my car somewhere other than in the front of the sorority house. Well, duh. The Jag obviously gave the house a better image, even though most of the girls drove beat-up hand-me-down cars. (The Jag owner was gorgeous, by the way. And genuinely nice too.)

I am so furious with this organization that I am considering yanking my alumna status with them. Why do I want to be associated with a group like this? Racial discrimination is vile and hateful and wait…isn’t this 2007? What the hell? But the most idiotic thing about this is that they ousted the exact types of girls that drew me (and probably many of the DePauw girls) to join the sorority in the first place. Back in 1987, I visited all the campus sororities during rush week and at more than one, I encountered cookie-cutter Barbies with several carats of sparkly diamonds in their ears, but dull personalities. (Oh, but their boyfriend was captain of the football team! and This one over here was Miss Pageant Winner of 1986!) I chose my house because I was comfortable the minute I walked in. The girls were normal looking, approachable and fun. They were short, tall, skinny, chubby, and, I fit in there.

The girls at the Depauw University sorority house who are looking to increase their membership numbers are going to have a bit of trouble finding enough appropriate recruits to make their quota, as it is. But this negative publicity they’re getting will make it even more difficult. Maybe they’ll even have to close that chapter due to missed quotas. Good.

To the girls who were asked to leave, I am terribly sorry. I am sorry that something that used to be so near and dear to me, has hurt you. You do not deserve to be treated that way.

February 22, 2007

With one breath, with one flow, you will know

In October of 1983, I went to my very first concert.* It was Day on the Green #3, presented by Bill Graham at the Oakland Coliseum. The bands on the bill were The Fixx, The Thompson Twins, Madness, Oingo Boingo, and the headliner, The Police. I believe our tickets were something like $17 and I think it was general admission. The show started at 2 pm or so and went late into the night. It was totally rad and tubular, and like, so awesome.

Shortly after the Synchronicity tour ended, the band dissolved.

Twenty-four years later, the Police are coming back.

To the Oakland Coliseum.

This time, Oingo Boingo, The Fixx, The Thompson Twins, and Madness will not be there.

But I will.

Last time, tickets were $17.

This time, they’re $225.

Back then, Sting was 32 years old.

Now he’s 55 (and oh so much hotter).

In 1983, my friend’s mom (who was the coolest mom), drove and chaperoned us.

This June 13, I’ll be there with my new husband.

This time, just like the last time, I’m so excited I could pee.

*I bought a Police t-shirt and wore it proudly until the blue, yellow, and red bands of color faded away. I wore the shirt when I saw the 1984 Olympic torch come through my city. I wouldn’t remember wearing the shirt then except I have a picture, taken with my mom’s Kodak DISC camera. Me, holding the Olympic torch like I am so cool, wearing a Police Synchronicity muscle tee.


Today I forgot to:

Put on antiperspirant
Put on perfume
Put on my watch

Now I reek*, and I don’t know what time it is.

*I don’t really smell bad, I just smell like nothing. I’m not my usually floral self.

February 17, 2007

It’s 73 degrees today

You hate me, don’t you? Is it cold where you are? Are you buried in snow?

Maybe this will warm you up a bit:


I’m so mean.

Photo Hunt #4: Ancient

Theme: Ancient | Become a Photo Hunter

Statue of Liberty

This is a photo of the most ancient woman I’ve ever seen. Looks pretty good for 120 years old, doesn’t she?

February 15, 2007

Crisis averted

Remember that one time, when I wrote this and was all “my dress won’t be here until the end of April! GAH! And the bridesmaid dresses won’t be here until April? WAH! What to do? That’s so late!”


Apparently the bridal salon’s calendar runs a couple months fast. They called me this afternoon to tell me the dresses for my sister and future sister-in-law (my bridesmaids) came in. The saleswoman told me I could pick up the dresses whenever was convenient and then asked if anyone had called me awhile back to say my wedding gown was in. OMG! It was so hard to contain my excitement. Actually, it wasn’t hard because I thought for sure she was mistaken, and had me confused with someone else. I am so “glass is half-empty” I know, Matte, I know.

I high-tailed it over to the shop after work so fast, that as Matte imagined, there was a loud “poing” sound as I left a cartoon cloud of smoke behind me.

The glass continued it’s 50% void when I saw the dress hanging on the rack. Jeez, it’s so short. It looks like it’ll go just past my knees. They must have measured it wrong. But I did notice how freakingly gloriously beautiful and fabulous it is.

The nice saleslady took me into the dressing room and I tried it on.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for making me only five-foot-one.

My dress fits me abso-effing-lutely perfectly. Nothing needs to be done to it, except the bustle. No taking in, no taking out. Fits like a glove, people. Actually, better than a glove because those are always too long for my puny fingers, and I look like I have freakishly flat fingertips that can’t grab anything.

The salespeople, who are paid to ooh and aaah, did just that over the fit, the color, the style, and the shoes I brought to try on with it. (I’ve replaced these of course, because, as Matte says, I’m John Kerry with all the flip-flopping I do. But the new ones are way cooler. Like super cool. And hot. And sexy. OK, maybe not so sexy. But they are from shoe heaven DSW.)

It is a happy day, and I am drinking much celebratory wine because none of the girls in the wedding will have to show up naked.


February 13, 2007

Why, Comcast? WHY???

I don’t get to see a lot of Kentucky Wildcat basketball here in California, and as this is California, we don’t get a lot of sports news about Kentucky either. So when I saw Big Blue would play the Tennessee Volunteers, and would air today, I set the DVR to record it. In high-definition, no less. I watched part of the game while it recorded, then went out to see my boyfriend Joe (Trader Joe, that is), confident that my magic box would record the rest of the game for me to watch when I returned.

I arrived home from TJ’s, put away my groceries, popped a frozen Thai green curry entree into the microwave, and turned on the TV and Comcast DVR to watch the recorded game.

I fast-forwarded to the end of the part I had already watched and listened to the game while feeding the cats as my dinner spun around in the microwave. Suddenly, Kentucky was down by 3 and the game was almost over. Whoa.

Just as I started to head to the TV to rewind what had just happened, I heard…nothing. Silence. What? Where did it go? Momentary satellite loss? No picture either. Just dark. Then, just as quickly, the audio and video both came back on, but the channel had switched to the local news coverage. Wha? Who changed the channel? I was the only one home. The remote was on the coffeetable, and the cats were in the kitchen, their heads shoved into their food receptacles.

Why? What? Huh?

I ferociously pushed buttons on the remote to take me to the DVR screen that showed my recordings and fast-forwarded through the game to nearly the end. I hit play and watched as the clock ticked down. There it was, 84 to 81, Tennessee. And then? This:

Comcast strikes again.

It just STOPPED recording after 112 minutes. WHILE THE GAME WAS STILL PLAYING IN REGULATION. Mind you, the game was on the Comcast schedule from 4 pm to 6 pm. That means 120 minutes (I’m not good at math, but I think that’s right). Yet, the recorder let me down. Instead of living up to its promise of 2 hours, it decided to stop 8 minutes early. Just when there was a mere 29.5 seconds left, and the ‘Cats were down by three points.

I am very disappointed in you, Comcast.

Kentucky lost, by the way (sigh).

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