Sunday, March 30, 2008
most studies of the reforms to housing policy in the last half century are discouraging. the benefits that HOPE VI public housing demolition and Moving To Opportunity (MTO) supposedly have had for traditional public housing residents are often barely statistically significant. sometimes "positive" results represent a less severe DECLINE of positive indicators like wage, employment, educational attainment and health factors instead of actual growth.
except one time, in one city, moving to the suburbs using an MTO certificate that provides a tenant-based subsidy which can be used to rent in the private market was correlated with a decrease in obesity.
this is surprising in light of the statistics that show that suburban residents weigh more than their urban counterparts. however, walkability is the most common factor used to explain that result. in the city, i have two schools, a park with tennis courts, a coffee shop, a knitting store, a pizza place, convenience store and shoe repair place within barely over two blocks from my house. there is a huge shopping center less than a mile away with groceries, pharmacy, a big bookstore and a department store. i was dependent on public transit in this town for more than five years and generally did just fine.
so why would the public housing residents have the opposite outcome when they relocate? my theory is this: due to utility expenses, the amount of discretionary income available to these families actually decreases when they move from traditional public housing to use a rent voucher. the likelihood that public housing is home to car-owners in the first place is low, considering the historic tendency to have waiting list preferences for those at the lowest income levels - 30% of area median income or lower. and increasing housing costs does not improve that situation.
so basically, we're fat in the 'burbs because you can't walk anywhere easily so we drive everywhere. but if you don't have a car, well, you're pretty much just gonna have to walk. and walk further. and burn off those extra calories.
sounds like a great outcome to me. let's use it to inform future policy, please.
cynical cynical cynical
also: DESPERATELY hoping to work for the city council this summer. it sounds so good to be in an environment where you can have an idea, compare it to other people's ideas, and then give a recommendation to the person in charge of making the final decision. yikes.
posted by renee 11:16 AM
Saturday, March 29, 2008
to nearly the last drop
a perfect fit
one part per million
of the deadliest poison
makes you toxic
and me in grave danger
of giving in
or giving up
all this need for my bustling
my comforting, counseling, challenging
learning, dreaming, striving
to find a static object
an appreciative audience
posted by renee 2:38 AM
Thursday, March 27, 2008
1. for the past five and a half years or so, i have segmented my thought life into pieces the right size to blog. since the introduction of facebook into my life, the pieces have started shrinking into status sentences. i find this a bit alarming.
2. who in the world thought up the serving sizes for girl scout cookie nutrition labels? everyone who's ever actually eaten a thin mint knows that you must finish the entire tube once it's open. none of this stopping at 3 business actually happens in real life. come on.
3. on television, women are only depicted eating when they are emotionally volatile. this does not mean that women in real life must be crazy or depressed if they are eating chocolate ice cream from the carton. maybe it's just because it's delicious.
4. what basically amounts to grad school prom is shortly approaching. i seem to have strategically structured my various romantic trajectories to avoid having an other who may be considered significant during every single event i've attended that involves fancy dresses. but i think i'll get a new fancy dress anyway. single and hot. why not?
5. i love love love love love throwing dinner parties.
posted by renee 8:52 PM
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
....on the fantastic northwest escape....
- discovered colors which i don't believe exist where i live, particularly not in march
- explored the former digs of prohibition partiers in the vertical space absurd seattle politics built between the buildings and streets 25 feet up in the air
- captured a moment of perfect relaxation in a forest clearing near portland, complete with bleating sheep and french press coffee du lyndsey
- got deliciously lost on a solo excursion to canada
- fell desperately in love with vancouver in a way that defies my inner poet's capacity to describe
- made my first terrifying foray into the world of silicon cookware - but i figure i'll get cancer one way or another, so i may as well have perfectly molded poached eggs while i'm waiting.
- sipped a pint of porter named for a demigod of uncertain origin and found it divine indeed. ordered another.
- listened to amnesiac, we have the facts and we're voting yes, lift your skinny fists like antennae to heaven, one cello X 16, the world is not a cold dead place, and the execution of all things each all the way through. the art of the album as a complete work of art is not lost to me yet.
- felt alone while in company and deeply connected while alone
- celebrated all tiny moments of sunshine
and i wish i wish there was a better way to capture any of it, but i'm back, needing to work, not finding it within myself to wax eloquent.
posted by renee 3:39 PM
Thursday, March 13, 2008
computers are at least as good, if not better, at helping you not accomplish things as the opposite.
posted by renee 11:00 PM
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
in the news: assorted perversions
this state is banning sex-offenders from using myspace and facebook. your children are now safe.
jerk governor nobody likes tries to hire a hooker. npr says "eliot spitzer resigns in light of allegations connecting him with a local prostitution ring."
in brooklyn park: falling property values
interdepartmental government squabbles, interapartmental roach colonies, ten thousand empty light sockets, moldy bathroom walls, ovens with an inch and a half of built up grease in the bottom, and the strong scent of marijuana.
in my head: determination
just gotta make it to friday. pleaseplease don't calculate total percentage of semester GPA which hangs in the balance between now and then.
in the meantime: distraction
stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com reminds me that i like "this american life" and uproariously teases me about it. i click on a link to an episode which the blogger claims illuminates the white psyche by being absurd. i do not find it absurd at all, which i suppose means he was right.
posted by renee 4:13 PM
Sunday, March 09, 2008
yikes. my secrets are out.
posted by renee 6:17 PM
it is unfair that women speak the language of subtle nuance and men do not.
a hint: you are attempting to dance with a girl. she continually turns away from you toward a friend. after this continues for a painfully long time, her friend lifts the girl's left hand up to show the sparkly diamond that indicates she is not available.
the correct answer is not "well, i'm not trying to marry her." it would be better to apologize and go away.
another hint: if you come up to attempt to secure a phone number at the end of the night, the girl will be a.) watching for you and b.) attentive when you show up if, in fact, she is interested. if she won't make eye contact and gives very short answers to questions followed by whispering in a friend's ear or looking at her cell phone, politely say you were glad to meet her and leave it at that. don't make her reject you out loud. this is pleasant for no one.
the eye contact thing is really everything. she may look cautiously, fleetingly, through her bangs, or out of the corner of her eye, but if she's interested, she'll look. if she doesn't, don't bother.
so dr. mambo's combo is really good, but they're better at bunker's on mondays without additional egotistical ex-somebodies who used to sing back up for such-and-such a famous person. and my game was officially OFF, not that i made that clear enough, apparently. the clock just went from 1:59 to 3:00. yikes. bedtime.
posted by renee 1:55 AM
Friday, March 07, 2008
the precious moment to me
is not the heart flutter
when i notice stolen glances
the palm sweat anticipation of
over planned conversations
though the telling of these
i would choose the later moments
where girlfriend conversations
can finally be related to their subject
who smiles at the energy
with which i carefully revealed and didn't
all the things he barely noticed
and feels loved and love
posted by renee 11:34 AM
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
i leave my belongings lying around at school more than is necessary. i think subconsciously i'm making a point to myself about the trustworthiness of other people. for someone who has been robbed more than once, this is perhaps foolhardy, but perhaps distinctly necessary. i have evidence to the contrary yet persist in my beliefs. one of these days my coat or my wallet or my keys or (gasp) my laptop is going to get up and walk away, though, and maybe then i'll learn to be appropriately paranoid.
also: "some nobody TA" fell prey to my impregnable verbal rhetoric and i am upgraded from appalled to disappointed. phd students are less likely than the average populus to possess the courage to look you in the eye. perhaps that is because of their own state of being subject to constant evaluation.
... except isn't there some piece of conventional wisdom that says that you make eye contact during arguments but look down when you're paid a compliment?
sigh. back to SPSS.
posted by renee 4:47 PM
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
got an appalling grade today.
the sort that provokes me to the unthinkable groveling at the feet of some nobody TA who has the power to correct some letter that says how much i'm worth.
i thought i was over all that. even my diversified identity strategy is proving to be prone to the strain of simultaneously experiencing multiple levels of disapproval. there is still some room for Jesus somewhere that i haven't figured out.
wine and ochuk make it better, especially when there's a little shimotsu thrown in at the end. it's nice that i have access to so many people whom i respect and who also enjoy the consumption of beverages made of fermented grapes. i came with a chip on my shoulder and left with kierkegaard.
made gado gado and tried it today with marinaded/baked tofu. indonesian cuisine -> nirvana.
also: this last weekend, which i didn't mention, i missed lyndsey because i went to a show alone that she no doubt would have attended, were hundreds of miles not in the way. but it was nice to find an occasion to be alone in public doing something that i specifically enjoyed without feeling any distress due to lack of companionship. i know a lot of talented people. it is great to watch them show it off and see strangers approve of it without the distraction of small talk.
posted by renee 11:15 PM
Monday, March 03, 2008
it's strange to struggle with completing an assignment not because of indifference but because i care too much. my grade on this is irrelevant to me. my internal lack of conviction about my arguments, however, is excruciating.
i should know the answer to this question, but apparently in graduate school, they don't tell you the answer anymore. you have to figure it out on your own.
churn churn churn
and this question of further education vs. getting into the muck of real life public service weighs heavy in my mind always. it is frequently intertwined with some vague notion of domesticity and motherhood which is compelling but impossible to control. thus i have to make decisions with grave consequences based on not-all-the-information.
so i started reading a new vonnegut, which makes me chuckle aloud on the bus and feel less worried.
my piano is at my bandmate's house. turmoil is exacerbated by the lack of a vehicle to properly express it. still haven't mastered the bass to the point where it can be soul-baring.
your mind can deceive you as easily as your heart. listen to both with caution, but not with fear.
i can write long, coherent emails, but not blog posts?
gotta finish this and get some sleep.
sustainability of federal affordable housing programs = torture
posted by renee 11:07 PM