new face

I’ve had this blog for a little over five years, and it’s had the same facade the entire time. Until today. High time, I say. So enjoy the new look and excuse any technical difficulties I have along the way. All comments are encouraged.

product endorsements

—I’m cleaning up the site a bit and some old posts have to be republished. Enjoy this post from April 6, 2009—

Here are some recently consumed items that I find awesome.


Robertson Winery Gewurtzstraminer 2008 I love Gewurtz. I only buy Gewurtz, sparkling wines, Rieslings, and dessert wines. This is the shit. Very sweet and refreshing. I got it at Cost Plus.

Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins I tried these a while ago at the TImes Square Duane Reade and could never find them again. Sometimes I would crave them but I never saw them anywhere else. Whole Foods has them! Oh joy of joys! They are overpriced but extremely delicious with chevre.


Fancy Ice Creams + Matt’s Cookie Sandwiches It’s a global world but some awesome things don’t cross state lines. One of these things is Matt’s Cookies. They are basically the only store bought cookie that tastes like a real person made them. And that person may be Jesus. They are chewy and awesome. If you put ice cream between them it is amazing.*

The Chagall Mural(s) I am not going to lie. I mourn the loss of the Chrysler Building. But I work right by the Chagall Mural and it’s pretty great. It’s very, very different in every way from the Chrysler Building, and that’s metaphorically helpful. Things don’t have to be the same to both be awesome, a lesson everyone needs all the time.


Buster Buster is a very accurate and excellently designed application for the iPhone which tells you when your Chicago bus is coming. It enables laziness and I love it. It’s not yet available for full release but it will be here.

RuPaul’s Drag Race This is an amazing show. You can watch it online. And you will love it. It is fierce.
What else should I be checking out?

*Here’s a bizarre fact I learned when Googling “Matt’s Cookies.” I am on the first page of hits for Matt’s Cookies. I wonder if now I will be twice? Will that officially make me the world’s biggest fan of Matt’s Cookies?

independence day

—I’m cleaning up the site a bit and some old posts have to be republished. Enjoy this post from July 4, 2009—

Happy Nationalist holiday! Don’t get me wrong I like America a lot, but I feel our nationalist propaganda is weak. The communists regularly rout us in awesome/entertaining displays of patriotism.

I’ll be spending this 4th watching baseball like a good American. Last year I went on a ferry ride by the Statue of Liberty. The year before I was in Nashville and saw Dolly Parton! Yay America! The year before that, I think I went to Pennsylvania for the first time? To a pig roast? It’s all so hazy. One year I went to the 2nd biggest rodeo in Oregon (which is fairly impressive, I must say). But I do like doing capital-A American things on Independence Day. It’s kind of hard when you live in blue states though. Again, red states are way better at nationalist propaganda.

But in honor of this Independence Day, I give you one of the funniest things ever on the subject–Red State Update’s Independence Day video,

Holiday Guide

I love figuring out what to get people for holidays but I almost never know how to answer the question, “what do you want for Christmas?” So year round, I keep track of my favorite things. If you need to get someone an interesting gift, let me suggest my lists:

Pinterest:
Stuff My Friends Would Like

Buy Me This
Jewelry I Want

Delicious: Buy Me

In terms of things I have used this year that I have loved and would suggest you purchase:

  • GoToobs-good for travel or going to the gym.

    CapCap-also by HumanGear. If you use Nalgenes frequently, these are great and totally make me drink more water.

    GSI DukJug-It’s a water bottle that resists odor, has an awesome sippy cup lid, and has a built in area for holding duct tape. Okay I’ve never used that function, but I love this container and I recently called the company for a replacement sippycup lid, and the people who work they were really great to me.


    Lands’ End Tugless Tank
    -I swim several times a week and this is the best suit I have found for actual swimming if you have boobs. It’s usually on sale too! Full disclosure: Lands’ End is affiliated with my employer, but that really doesn’t make a difference for me.

    Isotoner SmarTouch Gloves-had them last year and loved them. Bought an extra pair this year.

    Trader Joe’s Frozen Ahi Tuna Chunks-A major component of my diet. Because they are frozen I can sear them on the outside while keeping them raw inside. Amazing.

    Traverse Bay Dried Cherries-Good price, delicious.

    Timbuk2 Slacker Backpack-In general I am a big fan of all Timbuk2 Backpacks. For messenger bags I have always been more of a Chrome person. If you want a well thought out backpack that doesn’t make you look like you’re in high school, I highly suggest Timbuk2. Now I think all of their backpacks come with a bottle opener built in. No matter how much I abuse this bag, it looks brand new. I get compliments on it all the time, especially at business events, where I feel like a kid wearing a backpack, usually. I think this bag has been superseded by the Swig.

    Online Glasses-this was the first year I convinced a lot of people to buy glasses online, and once you have, you never think about buying them in a store again. I’ve ordered from a lot of places, but for my money Coastal Contacts and Zenni Optical remain my favorites. Both have great coupons & deals if you sign up for their mailing list. Both have very large selections and a lot of new styles all the time, which is what I am always looking for. Both have a really great left hand navigation filtration system. I know a lot of people who started with Warby Parker, but to my mind they have an extremely narrow selection. They seem kind of overpriced, and mainly aimed at people who need to try on the glasses before pulling the trigger. I can see why you might need this the first time you purchase glasses online, but for people who’ve done it before it seems unnecessary. Most of their glasses are all in the same style and in very traditional colors, which is just not at all what I am looking for.


  • What I’d love but haven’t found:

  • A non-wool but odor repellant version of Smartwool socks, underwear & baselayers
    A sports bra that limited bouncing without me having to wear 2 sports bras
    A travel backpack for my upcoming trip to Turkey,
    An arch supportive casual black oxford shoe for women
    More pink sneakers, particularly neon pink & orange or neon pink & black.
    Shoe organization shelves
    A Jewelry box that isn’t wood but is more modernist looking.
    Makeup organization (actually a Pink Box)
  • i hate today

    Dad's Watch

    Two years ago I came home from a trip to San Francisco.  I remember breaking down repeatedly on that trip because I was so crazy stressed out with totally not knowing what to do about my dad’s health situation, which was mostly a mystery to me.  I came home on my dad’s birthday.  I bought him a card at the airport.  And I never got to give it to him, because when I walked in the door from the airport, he demanded we go to the emergency room at a far hospital instead of him going to his usual doctors appointments.  I was not on board with this plan, but like most things, if a Benevento has a plan, you’re best served by getting out of the way.  Because we are big, and loud, and stubborn, and will argue with you until you relent.  I’ll assume it’s genetic.

    So I said fine, and started basically 2 months of being in and out hospitals w/my dad.

    I generally hate card giving, especially to my parents.  My parents are not traditional types and all those parent card sort of don’t fit them.  So I always dread looking for a card for my family members at the store.  I think cards are dumb because you should just tell people what you think instead of writing it down and handing it to someone.  And the card I purchased was blank.  And it still is.  And in retrospect, I really regret not arguing with my dad to stop and let me give him his birthday card.

    And so, against my nature, I am hoping not to force my way all the time.  Because maybe someone’s waiting to give me the last birthday card and instead of receiving it, I am making them follow my shitty plan.

    Happy 80th birthday, dad.

    Highly Recommended

    Historically I have an iffy time with dairy.  I have always hated milk.  As a kid I wouldn’t eat whipped cream or puddings or most ice cream because they grossed me out.  The colloidal fat nature of dairy gives me the heebie jeebies. I lived with a vegan after college for several years based on this mutual hatred of milk despite being the biggest meat eater I know.  I do love cheese but I grew up in a household where cheese was not allowed in the door.*  So other than eating meat three times a day, I pretty much grew up vegan.

    Nowadays, I am better.  I love whipped cream, and rice pudding is one of my favorite desserts.  I also love cheese.  I enjoy (nay, require!) milk in a tea or coffee.  But the idea of drinking a glass of milk still makes me wretch.

    Except for this! It’s like chocolate milk with espresso in it!  And you can put the can in the freezer and then it gets all coffee snow icy.  It’s like a dollar at the CVS and I cannot get enough of it.  I rationalize that it is pretty much the only way I get dairy and my bones will shatter if I don’t drink it.

    *child abuse?

    Henry Stewart DAM Presentation

    Hello new people! If we met at the DAM conference, and you want to look over my slides, here they are!

    Henry Stewart DAM Conference

    There is a Digital Asset Management Conference in Chicago this year and it turns out I am speaking at it.  If you are going, please use the coupon code JENNYB to get $100 off conference fees.  I am overjoyed that my name is now a coupon code.  Also, what sort of dorky blog is this that you get coupons on conferences?

    If you do any DAM, I’d love to know what you’re interested in hearing about regarding taxonomies or controlled metadata.

    vote for my sxsw panel PLZ

    Hello good people who subscribe to my much neglected blog.

    do you want to hear me talk about juggalos & branding? or are you just a nice person?

    if so, then kindly vote for my sxsw panel!  You have to sign in or sign up but they won’t spam you and I will greatly appreciate it.

    ALA 2011

    Perhaps you are here because you saw or heard of my presentation at the ALA RUSA MARS 2011 Panel User Experience: It’s All About Them.  If so, welcome!  Here are my slides:

    This site is mostly personal stuff.  If you want to contact me professionally, consider my twitter or linkedin accounts.  Or email me at my twitter username at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for visiting!

    SLA Presentation

    If you saw me at SLA 2011 and want to see my slides again, here they are!

    Swimming & Bigotry

    I recently learned to swim, so I practice a lot at my local park district pool.  My neighborhood has quite a few gyms, most fancy, so if you are swimming at the pool you are probably poor, dorky, or taking a swim class.  There’s pretty limited times to lap swim, so I’ve started to know the types of people who use it and now I judge them for your enjoyment.

    Gay Swim Models–This is the most obvious group.  They all look like what you would expect in a Speedo catalog and they all swim exceedingly well.  They wear fancy brand name gear.  They’re there because there’s a water polo team at the pool they all belong to.  They are always in the fast lanes.  Sometimes they stare intently in my direction and then I realize they are looking at the GIANT timer clock behind me because they are Serious Swimmers who time their laps.  They do not talk or mingle. The gym borders Boystown, so this is the obvious group I would expect.

    Older Latina Ladies–They swim about as well as I do, but they’re there very dilligently.  Often they say nice things about me to each other (in Spanish) but they look very gruff.  They never ever do laps, but do sort of aerobic-y things sort of in my way.  I assume they come from neighboring Buena Park?

    20-30something Indian People–My class is overwhelmingly Indian, and basically the stereotype the Indian people in my class have told me is that Indian people can’t swim.  I love learning a totally new stereotype. Indian men are almost never in my lane and Indian girls (usually like, 19) have no idea how lane traffic works.  I assume they all live not far away in the Indian neighborhood.

    White Ladies around 40–Always polite & non-descript. Chatty.  Pretty competent and good at lane traffic.  Often they use fins or other fitness swimming accoutrement I have no idea how to use.  I never see these ladies anywhere in my neighborhood.

    Old White Dudes–I hate them!  They totally do not use lanes.  They don’t follow traffic.  They mosey all over the place and if you are swimming through they act extremely put upon to move their lazy asses out of your way.  I don’t care if you’re chilling in the designated area but seriously pull over.  It’s a large mystery where these men are from because I never see them outside the pool.

    The subset of this is CREEPY Old White Dudes.  There’s one who I call (in my head) Pool Gacy.  Pool Gacy looks like a hippie gray longhair version of John Wayne Gacy.  He does weird circuits of water aerobics, swimming, walking in the water, lunges, standing in the middle of the pool absentmindedly and CREEPY STARING.  And he recently added backwards walking to his repertoire.  His (and my) favorite move is sudden random jumping up and down in the water as if he was on a pogo stick.  You’ll be swimming along behind Pool Gacy only to have him stop DEAD CENTER in the lane (in both directions) to jump up and down like he’s at a ska concert.  At some point he figures out that he’s a total hazard and he’ll move into lunges.  Then I swim through, and on the way back he just goes to the side to lean back and observe my swimming.  Ew, Pool Gacy.  Ew.  Today PG was being such a creeper a dude left the lane.  He seems utterly unaware of the idea of lanes or traffic.

    I try to imagine Pool Gacy’s life outside of the gym.  Both JW Gacy and Jeff Dahmer were frequenters of my neighborhood, so I seriously don’t think I am far off.  I’ve never caught PG in full clothes after swimming.  I considered taking photos, but I am so bad at swimming I didn’t think my karma could take it. Clearly one of the good swimmers is totally blogging about what a spaz I am right now.

    Charlie Sheen, Chicago

    I paid American money to see Charlie Sheen Live at the Chicago Theatre.

    And I enjoyed it.

    First, I came without a ticket.  Almost NO ONE was selling tickets outside, especially singles.  i finally got one and ran inside right as he was starting.  Photos of the scene here.

    I read about the format of the Detroit show and this one seemed different/better. It was essentially 30ish mins of Q&A with an interviewer.  A break.  And the 45 more mins of Q&A.  There was a place on the website for fans to ask Charlie questions, but I highly doubt the questions came from there.  They were extremely basic and adulatory.  Things like “What’s up with the goddesses?” “Would you go back to 2.5 Men?” “Doesn’t everybody love 2.5 Men?!”  Most of the questions covered similar ground as the interviews, and there were historical questions about his acting work, focusing mostly on Major League.  I find this weird, but I guess it is baseball season and perhaps Eight Men Out is off limits?  At one point Charlie took off his pants, to reveal a second set of pants underneath.  The second pair was camo and he announced he has to wear camo if they’re going to talk about Platoon.  Which they never got around to.

    Why did they never get around to it?  The audience.  Early in the night I compared it to “Showtime at the Apollo” for whiteys.  The entire evening people were yelling things at the stage.  It kept sidetracking Charlie, sometimes in a funny way and other times not.  I can honestly say I think nothing that was specifically asked got answered, but much was said.  Most audience stuff was either random Charlie Sheen quotes (“WINNING!”), slutty cougars trying to hook up with Sheen (Including a girl with a sign that said “Take me to your closet” which even Sheen said was fucked up), or random shouting (“Take off your shirt!”).

    Towards the beginning of the evening Charlie DID take off his shirt.  It revealed a weird bandage on his right bicep that was not explained.  A man in the audience also took off his shirt and they traded and it was an ongoing joke during the evening.  I am sure that shirt will show up on ebay.

    In an odd twist, Charlie Sheen seemed really pissed about these shouting people.  He repeatedly said they had no class, told them to shut up, told them they were classless, etc..  He said as an aside, “Can’t the people around the yellers shame them into silence?”  The evening ended with him reading a lengthy letter by Natty, one of the goddesses, and he required everyone to be silent to read it.

    Speaking of the goddesses, they came on stage for half a minute.  One very dressed up, one in jeans.  Said nothing, left.

    The only complaint I heard walking out was someone who said, “I could have learned all that stuff in interviews he’s done.” which is mostly true.  Sure, I’d actually love to hear Charlie Sheen talk about Wall Street or Platoon, or his 9/11 theories.  But the crowd definitely cared more about whores and crack.  Which I can’t say I totally disagree with but the answers about that were definitely facetious and self-aggrandizing.  But that’s what people want from rockstars.

    So first, there was a lot of dissing the entire evening on Detroit.  The audience LOVED this.  Frequent shouting of “Fuck Detroit!” was heard all night through.

    I was live twittering this whole thing, and about 10-15 mins in, I was seeing a lot of tweets about how he was bombing and people were walking out.  That was WHOLLY untrue.  It was a packed house the whole evening.

    Charlie Sheen talked about his love of baseball because it’s the only sport not beholden to time.  There was a poll, and more of the audience seemed to be White Sox fans.  As a Cub fan, I’ll leave that without comment.

    Charlie was VERY pro-Chicago the whole evening.  At one point he started talking about the intricacies of Malibu traffic to a point that no one who hasn’t been through Malibu traffic would care.  He stopped himself and said, “Wait, I am in Chicago, fuck Malibu.”

    Here’s a general run down of topics:

    WHORES:

    Charlie likes them. These days there isn’t much difference between whores and prostitutes.  He paid for sex in a world where he does not have to because he has jillions of dollars and he ran out of shit to buy.  He asked if anyone in the room had paid for sex and a surprisingly large number of people responded.  The whore in the plaza hotel: stole his watch and he never had sex with her.  She never gave the watch back, so he just bought another one because that’s how CS ROLLS.

    DRUGS:

    Charlie Sheen did drugs for 20 years because they are fun.  He doesn’t do things repeatedly if they are not fun.  He discovered the internet and crack in the same night and blames Al Gore for both.

    ROCKSTARS:

    In one night both Eddie VanHalen & Mick Jagger “fetched” him beers (direct quote).

    AUDIENCE:

    The audience, according to CS, were bitchin rockstars (see above) who won when they came in the door–when they bought the ticket!  My assessment might be different.  Do you ever wonder who watches Two & A Half Men?  I do.  I do all the time.  Well everyone there tonight is the answer.  That included:

    • cougar women who looked like they slutted it up at a Whitesnake show back in the day.
    • guidos
    • frat boys with backwards baseball caps
    • people who buy Big Dog apparel
    • men over 30 who still wear a backwards baseball cap and/or a jersey with a gold chain to a theatre performance
    • lotsa heels & makeup & manicures & uggs & skinny jeans & hair straighteners
    • ironic hipsters in plaid shirts

    There were lots of big groups of guys, lots of couples.  I left with everyone else and there was almost NO ONE taking the red line home which leads me to believe there was a LOT of suburbanites.

    GOOD ADVICE:

    CS has a lot of advice to give, most of it pretty reasonable.  Be prepared.  Have a plan.  Order things on the internet, it’s more convenient.  Have a backup of everything.  Don’t run out.  This culminated in him showing us what he puts in his warrior bag.  Contents include: lighters, butane for lighters, knife (not for threatening, he specified), some pain relieving bactine looking spray (possibly for arm injury?), flashlight, cigarettes, ketchup and Tabasco, because people don’t flavor things enough.  I agree with all of these things.  In the spirit of two of everything, he feels two is the right number of goddesses.  And he wears two pairs of sweatpants, one over another.  That cannot be comfortable.

    AA/ADDICTION:

    Addiction sucks, says CS.  It is losing.  He got tired of losing and started winning by stopping drugs.  AA is a bunch of losers who want his money/stuff? That last bit was a little unclear to me.

    KIDS/EXES:

    His ex is a crazy whore.  Ginger Lynn was cool.  He won’t get married again because being married four times is the “Golden Sombrero” which he can say because everyone thinks he is Mexican.  He is in fact Spanish & Irish.  He loves his kids, talks about them a lot.

    2.5 MEN:

    Is a great show.  He loves it and everyone in the cast.  He previously called Jon Cryer a troll but that was wrong and he apologized.  Jon Cryer is a total fucking rockstar.  He complained that they had no problem raking in the dough when he was hitting rock bottom on drugs.  Many dudes in the audience were wearing the type of shirt that CS wears in 2.5 Men and he refused to wear one during the shirt trading part of the show.  Because that shirt was like jail and he wasn’t appreciated for wearing it.  “That shirt is like the straight jacket that killed Houdini. That shirt murdered Houdini!”  (ed. note FYI, Houdini did not die in a straight jacket escape.)


    POLITICS:

    I wish there had been more of this since CS’ comments on Alex Jones are what started this whole thing.  He wants Obama to answer his phone calls.  He started in a direction that was going to hardline attack Obama and then said, “oh he’s from here. I’m sure he’s a good guy!” but that he wasn’t very reachable.  There was also a weird metaphorical “I’m thinking out of the box now! And I can’t go back in the box! The truth is out there” line of thought.  Sadly it was at the end.

    MARTIN SHEEN:

    is awesome, though was cooler before he was religious. Best quote ever: “He’s still my dad. He still killed captain fucking kurtz.”  CS talked about Apocalypse now A LOT.  Clearly has some mental thing about that.

    CS’ HEALTH

    My read on CS’ health.  He was sweating a LOT but it was INSANELY hot in there.  He looks like someone who did drugs for 20 years.  An attractive person with good health care who did drugs for 20 years, but still, someone who did drugs for 20 years.  He definitely seems unable to stay on topic.  And excitable.  He stressed he is not on drugs, and I don’t get why he has any impetus to lie about this.  I am not a professional.  Clearly CS is an egotistical guy who has a weird Jesus complex.  But if you are raised in a movie family and have a career where Mick Jagger gives you beer, I don’t see how you could avoid that.

    HOW IT ENDED

    Everyone I walked out with was pretty upbeat about it.  No one really left until the end.  The end was EXTREMELY strange.  The interviewer asked if everyone had a good time.  Cheers followed.  He asked if Charlie had a good time and he said yes, definitely but it wasn’t over yet.  Clearly the interviewer was attempting to wrap up against Charlie’s will.  Charlie would not leave the stage.  They threw some tshirts into the front row and CS said he needed to clean up his stuff because he didn’t like to leave a mess.  The house lights came up and CS was still on stage.  Everyone had been standing up and clapping so no one knew what to do.  CS said, “No one’s leaving!” hopefully, like maybe we could do more time.  We did not.

    SUMMARY:

    Did I learn a lot of new things? No.  Did I expect to? No.  Was I entertained? Yes.  If you found Charlie Sheen interviews entertaining, you would find this entertaining.  If you were looking for a comedy show, this was not it, but it wasn’t billed as one in anything I saw.  Were the ticket prices outrageously expensive? Definitely, but it’s the Chicago Theatre so I expect that.  Did I learn more about people than Charlie Sheen? ABSOLUTELY.  I’d also say I really agreed with most of the stuff he said.  Except I like Detroit!

    Another surprising thing, to me was how eager people were for this to fail.  Both civilians and local media were out in force saying this was failing before it even started.  On twitter, the Sun Times, Richard Roeper, Roe Caan, etc all tweeted about how much it sucked.  I am 100% cool with them having that opinion–this was totally not for everyone.  But the Sun Times reporting everyone hated it while it was not apparent in the theater seems a little shady to me.

    BEST QUOTES OF THE EVENING:

    “I discovered the Internet and crack on the same night. I want to credit al gore for both.”

    “George Clooney is a robot. He has like four moves and all of them work. Damn him!”

    “I’ve had the best time of my life [tonight, in Chicago] unlike the death sentence that was Detroit”

    “The three parts of your heart: blood, valves, tiger blood”

    “Every day is Christmas when you live online”

    “He’s still my dad. He still killed Captain Fucking Kurtz.”

    pseudopseudoephedrine

    I have a bitchin’ head cold.  It has made me logy and unable to focus (sorry email backlog). I recently resorted to the tiny red pills.

    As a high school allergic kid, I LIVED on pseudoephedrine.  It was the only way I could go to any of my friends’ houses as many of them had kitties.  Pseudoephedrine doesn’t make you less allergic, it just makes your nose decongested.  Now we have better allergy meds and pseudoephedrine is used to make meth.  Why you’d bother going through all that work, I don’t know, as pseudoephedrine is, essentially, already speed.

    So now in the last 2 states I have lived in, you can only buy speed pseudoephedrine from behind the counter, and few products have it, ad you have to sign your name and give them your id.  And that’s a shame.  Because there’s some new pseudopseudoephedrine.  And it doesn’t do squat.

    Thanks for protecting me from breathing through my nose, government.

    In Defense of Sluts

    This has been a crazy week to be a single lady.  There’s this “Why You’re Not Married” article in HuffPo.  To summarize, the answer is because you’re a shallow, lying, selfish bitch.  DUH!  There have been many rebuttals.  This funny one on Jezebel.  This other awful one on CNN called “Why I’m not married (and it’s not because I’m an angry slut)”.

    Now, I’m not a radical feminist.  I honestly don’t even self-identify as a feminist.  In college, women’s groups organized a protest against me.  Me PERSONALLY.  I wore a shirt that proclaimed proudly what they had called me.

    Tool of the Patriarchy.

    So if I am the person who is upset about women in the media, it’s probably an egregious offense.

    I’ve been an angry slut.  And it’s pretty awesome.  And part of the definition of being a straight lady slut is that DUDES TEND TO LIKE YOU.  How can you slut it up without them?  Anyone who thinks men generally don’t like angry sluts should be introduced to the video pornography industry.  If loving angry sluts is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

    So, if being an angry slut means you’re popular, why am I’m not married? Several men I’ve known have told me, sure I’d date/sleep with a slut but I wouldn’t MARRY one. Funny, I feel the exact same way about hypocrites.

    Because I’ve turned several men down. Howzabout that for a reason I’m not married?

    Ben Tombaugh

    Ben Tombaugh was an awesome guy.  He changed my life.  He was one of the few people I’ve met in life that I can say no one ever had a negative thing to say about. He was pure good.

    He taught English all over the world. He loved origami.  He taught me about Clyde Tombaugh, his relative, who discovered Pluto.  I always get that right on Jeopardy! He taught me to juggle, and to fence.  He taught me about people who call their parents by their first names, something I never knew existed.  And about Gresham, OR.  And about the cheese at Subway.  And about the extra fat cheese in Hungary.  And about how Fred Meyer won’t hire you if you have long hair.  And about how awesome scooter traffic was in Asia.  I have a hilarious photo of him staring agape as I make out with someone on my 24th birthday party.  His expression in it always makes me laugh.

    He introduced me to someone I dated for 5 years.  And many people I am friends with till this day.  He made me not hate tyedye or physics.

    And it is total fucking bullshit that he is dead.

    chicago voting

    My dad got a postcard about voting for the Chicago mayoral election today.

    At my PO Box.

    My dad hasn’t lived in Chicago for a good 40 years.

    And he has been dead for over a year.

    Yay Chicago elections!

    Precious Moments Talk

    I am speaking tonight on the subject of Love & Death in Precious Moments at The Hideout in Chicago.  The slides are mostly pictures from my trip with Samuel D. Hunter to the Precious Moments Park & Chapel.  If it’s recorded I’ll link that here.  My slide share is below, though it has almost no words.  Let me know if you have any questions!

    Goals Checkin

    One down, some progress made, eleven to go!

    1. Meet with a financial planner. –got a recommendatiom
    2. Switch to a non-evil/Trevor approved bank–picked one, haven’t transfered yet
    3. Develop bedtime routine.–not every night but doing it half-heartedly
    4. Eat breakfast at home most days.–totally not achieved
    5. Take a class to learn a new thing. BJCP!
    6. Hire a housecleaner.–Done nothing
    7. Process all dad stuff–Doing things, not done.
    8. See a psychiatrist–picked one, waiting for a referral
    9. Regular cardio–meh.
    10. Limit online time at home.–reinstituted no laptop in bed which has helped a bit.
    11. Redesign/fix/update blog infrastructure.–upgraded to cloud computing, need to do a bit more
    12. Floss regularly.–not regularly but better….

    annual book roundup 2010

    I read 33 books this year–9 more than last!

    24 non-fiction/73% (19 last year/-6% last year)

    9 fiction/27% (5 last year/+6% from last year)

    4 audio/12%  (10 last year/-30% from last year)

    10 digital/30% (0 last year)

    19 paper/58% (14 last year/0% change)

    Far less audio this year–and a new category–the e-book.  As you can see, this year, the e-book didn’t put any dents in the paper book reading, just made me read more books.  I have to say I think this will dramatically change next year.  A few months ago I started 12 Books, 12 Months and that (for me at least) required reading paper books.  I know that upped the number of paper books I read!

    Biggest surprise: That I’ve become an e-book CRAZY EVANGELIST.  I never thought I’d like it, but I wanted to try it out, and woot had an e-reader that allowed library book checkout for under $100.  It’s definitely the best thing I bought all year.  I never worry about not having something to read. I use the library WAY more, especially because I don’t have to go in.  I never have to carry heavy books.  I never have overdues, both because the ebook system doesn’t allow them, and, if I had them on physical materials I wouldn’t be able to checkout electronic versions.  I love it and I’d recommend them to anyone.

    Biggest letdown: Out of the Ordinary by Jon Ronson.  One of my favorite authors, I had to push myself to finish it, but the majority of the stories were SO boring.  There were about two really excellent ones though!

    Favorites:

    Most Overrated

    • American Gods: I didn’t hate American Gods I just have no idea why anyone LOVES it.
    • A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: I hated it so much I went on a cruise.  When people say they love DFW, I judge them like they said they love Ayn Rand.  Though I’ve never read his fiction, so maybe that’s awesome.

    Books I could not finish this year:

    • Fordlandia: Mega repetitive and made me realized I was far more interested in Henry Ford than in Fordlandia.
    • The Shack: Oh Lordy. This was the most boring convoluted drivel ever.  I’ve read THIRTEEN Left Behind books and I couldn’t read more than a couple dozen pages of this.
    • Kraken: Because it expired!  Waiting for it to be check outable again.

    I most recommend: reading John Green and buying a non-Kindle e-reader.

    Book tech: Big win for book tech this year though my library’s website and especially its downloadables have user-antagonistic websites.  My first wish from last year was this!

    Book Wish(es) for 2k11: Mostly the same things as last year:

  • Less crazy DRMs on ebooks I check out from Overdrive; (same as last year)
  • A more universal book wishlist export standard (so every time a new book website comes out, I don’t have to put all 658 books on the new list manually.  Seriously people, Amazon is the standard.  Find a way to import it. (same as last year)
  • Downloadable library materials more integrated with other materials & more browsable.
  • Goals 2011

    Lots of my blog friends do goals.  I don’t because my goals are usually either extremely personal or things I think I will never do.  So I am going to actually put them out there.  We’ll see if that makes me stick to em!  Most of these are my goals every year.

    1. Meet with a financial planner. I can only take the bankers at Chase mocking me so much.  I need to get this shit together.
    2. Switch to a non-evil/Trevor approved bank.  Trevor actually thinks I should bury gold in undisclosed locations, but I agree with him that having my money in bailout banks is stupid and personally morally revolting.
    3. Develop bedtime routine. I’m aware that other adults all do this, but I’ve never.
    4. Eat breakfast at home most days.
    5. Take a class to learn a new thing. I want to do like, 5 of these but I never sign up.  Photography? Singing?  Who knows.
    6. Hire a housecleaner. I am the world’s least interested and poorest housecleaner.  However I have issues with the idea of hiring someone less fortunate to do something I can theoretically do myself.  This results in my house being gross.
    7. Process all dad stuff. Physically, not emotionally.  This should really be number 1.  Gotta get that shit out of the place.
    8. See a psychiatrist. See 7.  I am reticent to use professionals and I have no idea why.
    9. Regular cardio. My asthma has kept me from this for a while, but I think we’ve got the right combo of drugs going on now.
    10. Limit online time at home. iz so hard.
    11. Redesign/fix/update blog infrastructure.
    12. Floss regularly. Like all things I don’t like doing, I do this regularly for a while and then fall off the discipline wagon.

    Dear John

    Dear David Babaii for WildAid Volcanic Ash Sculpting Clay,

    Look. We both know I hook up with a lot of product. Pomades, waxes, glues, creams.  Through the years I’ve been with a lot of them.  I’ve had hundreds of styles and colors to pull off and I have changing needs in a product.  But I’ve spent all year with the same color & cut.  And the same “clay.”  You.

    I’ll admit. I’m not willing to invest much in my product.  I didn’t say I was perfect.  So when I saw your fancy styling for under 8 bucks at the Ulta, I would have snapped you up just based on that.  But also, you smelled like grape soda.  Seriously.  Safeway Grape.  I wanted to smell like Safeway Grape!  I ran you to the register and the checkout woman complimented me on my awesome taste in choosing you.

    So I used you.  Don’t pretend you weren’t into it.  You surrounded me with your scent.  You gave me perfect bedhead emo hair.  You made me feel pretty, David Babaii for WildAid Volcanic Ash Sculpting Clay!  Even if your name is a mouthful.  Every time we had an encounter, I felt like an awesome style conscious person for knowing about you.  And you’re made of VOLCANOES!  That’s awesome.  I love them.  I think you help animals too, but I don’t really care about your hobbies.  That was before you knew me.

    I’d see more jars of you every time I was in Ulta, but you were longlasting, and I didn’t need others–then.  Had I realized you were only for a limited time, I would have cut a bitch to get to you.  But no. There was no warning.  And now you’re gone.  And all I have is an empty jar that smells like Safeway Grape.

    Please. Come back. Now all I have is this cookie aroma’d Got2B Play.  It just makes me look like a homeless woman who hasn’t combed her hair.  Play & I know it won’t last because my heart is set on another. But a gal’s gotta do something in the meantime.

    Your admirer,

    ~J

    cheaters

    In case you didn’t believe my family’s Cheaters obsession, this is a message from my mom:

    celebrities: just like us

    I have a habit of falling, in general, but in specific, on celebrities.  I have awful balance, am nearsighted and often tipsy.

    However, you know how those US Weekly-type magazines have “Celebrities! Just Like Us!”  Well apparently they are in this regard.  Buster Keaton got his nickname “Buster” from falling on Houdini.  The story may be apocryphal, but Buster swore it true.

    You know, when you went to college you realized every family was not like your family?  Perhaps this conversation will give you a peek into what that’s like in my family.  This is how my mom opened a conversation today:
    Mom: You know that guy you liked? From the Czech Republic?
    Me: Uh, Kafka?
    Mom: Yes. Do you still like him?
    Me: Uh, yeah.

    What is the weird part of this conversation? That my mom thinks Kafka is some weird thing only I am obsessed with, or that when my mom asks about a Czech I like, I IMMEDIATELY know she means Kafka?

    ebook score

    This last weekend I went to The Gathering of American Gods–a weekend at the House on the Rock in Spring Green, WI with Neil Gaiman to celebrate Halloween/the American Gods’ 9th Anniversary/everything House on the Rock.

    While I could go on and on with how AWESOME this gathering was and how cool everyone involved was and how professionally everything was managed,* I’d like to talk about physical vs. electronic editions.

    I’ve become a little bit of an e-reader zealot in the last few months after acquiring my ereader.  For some reason people think if you have an ereader you now hate all physical books/want to end the publishing industry/hate books.  I do not hate books and do not think physical editions should be destroyed. I just like to not carry heavy things around.

    I read an electronic version of American Gods I checked out from the library.  I think it may have been my first ereader book.  It comes in 500-600 page ginormous editions.  i do most of my reading on public transit, so I’d never read a book of this generally, or at least it would take me way longer because I’d be doing it only at my house.  When we signed up for the Gathering, we were told there’d be a Treasure Hunt that would use the book.  We ended up using the kindle edition & google books.

    It was the ideal way to do the hunt.

    Say what you will about when physical books are more convenient/useful/romantic than ebooks, but when you’re trying to answer cryptic clues about a book you read months or years before, e-book was the way to go!

    Obviously there are lots of other reasons why I like ebooks but this was one I had never thought of.

    *Seriously, it was about the best organized event I’ve ever been to.

    Cram for the Test!

    In adulthood, there’s not many traditional school-like tests to cram for.  Except for voting–you go to a public school gym, get in a booth (NO CHEATING), stand in lines, and take a closed book test!  So if you, like me, haven’t studied or just moved to a new place and are freaked out by voting tomorrow, here’s the resources people have been sending ME to.  Comment if you know more of them and I’ll add em!

    NATIONAL


    ILLINOIS &/OR COOK COUNTY:

    Welcome Boston Phoenix Readers

    Hi there!

    Maybe you’re here because you read the Boston Phoenix!  Welcome.  Here’s an introduction to my mostly personal blog.

    • My original juggalo blog post is HERE.
    • My Chicago lecture on ICP is HERE.
    • Boston Phoenix article is HERE.
    • You can contact me via email at (juggaloresearch at the gmail dot commz) or @jennybento on twitter
    • I will soon (next month?) be speaking in Boston about this! If you are interested in me speaking at your function, email me!

    If you’re an angry/happy juggalo, I’d love to speak with you!

    12 Books, 12 Months

    I have tried several times to read what is ON MY SHELVES.  Generally, as a librarian, I have very little attachment to keeping books.  i like to read em and get rid of them.  But sometimes, they accumulate.  Usually this is because they are uncomfortably large or too heavy to bring places.  Sometimes I start em over & over again and get sidetracked. I also have a couple of good friends who have access to free books which they send to me.  And I have been very lucky to get a lot of awesome books on bookmooch.  So they’re accumulating.

    But then E had a great idea–12 Books, 12 Months!  Because of my previous failures, I’ve only committed halfway.  if that goes well, maybe we’ll work on the next 6!  The rules, in case you want to join:

    12 Books, 12 Months Challenge

    • Pick 12 titles from your To Read Pile.  These should be titles you currently own in whatever format you prefer.
    • Acquisition of other formats or translations is permitted.  So, if you have a paperback but want to read on your Kindle, you can get a Kindle copy.  If you have a library copy but want to buy your own, that’s kosher.  Heck, if you own a copy and want to check another out from the library, I’m not gonna stop you.
    • Post your list in your public space of choice by September 1, 2010.  If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your list.
    • Read all 12 titles between now and September 5, 2011.  Might as well tack on an extra long weekend at the end for cramming.
    • When you finish a title on your list, post about it in your public space of choice.  If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your review.
    • Once a month, I’ll post a round-up of the reviews posted from that month so that we all know what everyone else has read.

    I’ll post my list here but my reviews will, as always, be on my goodreads page which feeds to facebook.

    My list:

    1. The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow: The Mystical Nature Diary of Opal Whitley.–This is preceeded by a biography which is one of the most interesting things I have EVER read.  So I’ve been dragging out actually getting to the diary which doesn’t sound as awesome. (bookmooch acquire)
    2. Out of the Ordinary by Jon Ronson–Jon Ronson is one of my favorite authors but I started this book and HATED it.  So hopefully I can finish it. (bookmooch acquire)
    3. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand–I LOOOOVE Russell Brand. This book is the opposite of what I expected and so I put it down. (free copy from friend)
    4. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace–I 30% love/70% hate DFW but I haven’t read that much so I am hoping to up that percentage.  I find him jerkily demeaning of Midwesterners, something that fills me with rage. (bought at airport)
    5. Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World by Trevor Paglen–I bought this book new, which I almost never ever do.  I love conspiracy weirdness and everything Paglen’s done.  I started this and it was way too….old man military for me.  But then we went on vacation near some of the bases mentioned and it revived my interest.
    6. The Biggest Secret by David Icke–This is a crazy conspiracy theory book about how the world is controlled by lizards.  I am seeing Icke speak in October, so I should read it, finally.  (free copy from friend, free ebook copy dnlded)

    So keep us honest! And join us–I know you have some books you could get rid of! And when you’re done, bookmooch em!

    Juggalo Lecture

    Hey anyone coming from the Juggalo lecture!

    My original post is here.  Also a bit here.

    ICP Listening Month will be covered at this blog or on this twitter.

    If you want to contact me, email me or twitter @jennybento.