Shani Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Hi. In case you still had me in your RSS or something, I don’t blog here anymore.

I’m on tumblr being terribly contemporary

shanio.tumblr.com

and on twitter being terribly witty

twitter.com/shani_o

and i work at nbcwashington.com now.

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An Announcement That Calls For Some ‘Patching

First I did a google image search for “cabbage patch.” That turned up a bunch of creepy dolls. So I tried “cabbage patch gif.” Slightly better, but nothing mindblowing.

Then it occurred to me that there must be, somewhere on the internet, a gif of Tyra Banks doing the cabbage patch.

Duh, I was right.

Anyway, that’s how I’m feeling right about now, as I’m pretty frickin’ excited to be starting as a staff writer for Washington City Paper at the end of the month.

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Filed under D.C., Journalism

A Brief Thought On Birth Control Word Choice

Flicker / brains the head

On the prescription information for birth control pills:

A third way [this hormone medication prevents pregnancy] is by changing the womb lining, making it difficult for a fertilized egg to attach to the lining of the womb (implantation). A fertilized egg (embryo/unborn baby) needs to attach to the womb to receive blood and nutrients and continue to grow. If an embryo/unborn baby does not attach, it cannot survive.

So, obviously, this last indication — in addition to 1) preventing ovulation and 2) preventing the egg and sperm from getting friendly — is why anti-choice activists are coming out against birth control. To them, it’s the same as abortion (even though it actually isn’t).

That aside, the term “embryo/unborn baby” seems weird. Embryos aren’t viable, so calling them “unborn babies” doesn’t really make sense, since the word “baby” means a newly born human being–and by necessity, one that’s viable outside of the womb. There’s a squishiness about the phrasing that makes me wonder how it got onto the prescription info.

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What a Way To Make A Livin’

Last weekend was pretty great. I got to witness the marriage of two dear, dear friends, and the next day saw Clybourne Park at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. And then the cherry, of course, was seeing Dolly Parton with friends that night.

#winning, right?

I really, really liked the first act of Clybourne Park. It was moving and beautifully acted, funny, and heartbreaking. (There were a few moments where the audience’s laughter struck me as bizarre, though, because I was tearing up. Anyway!) The second act, however, was unpleasantly farcical at times and as one friend put it, “Gentrification 101.” We speculated the reason why we didn’t much care for it was because it didn’t really delve any deeper than black-couple-is-wary/white-couple-is-offended. I don’t know about you — and perhaps it’s because I’m part of the liberal media — but most young white folks I know are far more self-aware than the couple in the play.

Still, I’m glad I went. The acting was pretty brilliant and the post-show discussion was cross-generational and enlightening. Many thanks to Rachel Grossman at Woolly Mammoth for inviting me to participate.

Now… Can we take a moment to talk about Dolly Parton?

She sounds AMAZING for someone who’s been in the business for so long. Amanda and I were trying to figure out why she still sounds so good — compared to, for example, Mariah Carey, whose voice is a wreck (still love her) these days. She must have a strict vocal regimen. And as someone who doesn’t have a particularly deep knowledge of her songbook, I found laying out on a blanket and drinking Andre while Dolly jammed on stage extremely enjoyable.

And speaking of alcohol — I’ll be at Bar 7 tonight talking about gentrification with some awesome folks brought together by the Humanities Council of D.C. I think things get started at 6:30. Swing by if you can.

Update: Abdul Ali has a piece at City Paper that much more eloquently gets at my issues with Clybourne Park.

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Filed under D.C., Music, Race

TV Isn’t Really Free, You Know

This doesn’t actually seem like a bad idea:

Starting August 15, Fox will offer its next-day Hulu options only to subscribers to the Dish Network (or Hulu Plus). Non-subscribers will have to wait eight days to watch the shows, even though in regular, not-Internet life, those with and without the Dish Network can watch Fox programs on DVRs whenever they please, with equal impunity.

New York is operating under the assumption that this move is irregular — but chances are, it’s something all of the networks have been discussing together, or in their own silos.

And why not? TV viewers are beginning to expect that they can watch shows the next day on the internet — and networks are getting very little out of that. Charging a bit for that capability is probably where all networks are headed.

Granted, I may be biased as I’m a happy Hulu Plus subscriber (it’s a critical supplement to Netflix in my cable-less household), but the service is fairly cheap and well worth it.

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Filed under Technology, TV

“They’d rather die than have these pregnancies.”

Flickr / Jon Chiang

The Washington Post ran a lengthy profile of Leroy Carhart, a Nebraska doctor who travels to Maryland twice a month to perform late-term abortions:

Carhart, who once dreamed of becoming a hand surgeon, said he witnessed how abortions often went bad when he was a medical resident in Philadelphia in the 1970s. In emergency rooms, he saw women who had tried to self-abort with knitting needles and coat hangers. Many required serious surgery; some died.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1985, he worked for a few years as a general surgeon but began performing abortions part time at an Omaha clinic at the request of a former patient, also the clinic’s nursing director.

On Sept. 6, 1991, the day Nebraska passed its parental-notification law, his farm burned down. No family members were hurt, but the fire destroyed his house and other buildings, and killed his dog, cat and 17 horses. The next day, Carhart received a letter informing him that the fire was in retaliation for the abortions. Local officials were unable to determine the fire’s cause.
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Clybourne Park

I’m pretty excited to be participating in a talk after a production of the Pulitzer Prize winning Clybourne Park at Woolly Mammoth Theatre this Sunday. The play is a response to Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun and is about the 1950s white neighborhood that freaks out when the black family moves in — and how 50 years later, a white couple moving in sparks a similar freakout.

Post-play, I’ll be talking with Washington City Paper’s Lydia DePillis and DCentric’s Elahe Izadi about the role of the media in telling the story of gentrification.

You can get tickets here (use code 1285 for a 20% discount), or, if for some crazy reason you just want to see us talk, no need to buy tickets. The post-show discussion is open to the community; which is just one more reason to love Woolly.

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