Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Tom's journal has been updated.

So, this past Sunday I went to the Renaissance Festival. You knew that. What you may no have known is that I had the two cutest people in the world with me.

The small cute person was very entertained by the Morris Dancers:

and by the straw we were sitting on to watch the joust:

She was so entertained by it all that she fell asleep on me on the way out to the car:

Her mommy took her home, and I stayed for the closing gate show. It was the official end of summer event.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Banned Books Week

So it's Banned Books Week, and since the intire intarweb is doing it, I thought I'd join in. The 100 most banned books from 1990-2000, the ones I've read bolded:

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy?s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (well, most of it; it's the only book I've ever resorted to Cliff's Notes on, for at 50 pages form the end I could stand no more.)
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling (Duh. Just, duh.)
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (This book is number one on the 2004 list)
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It?s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth?s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L?Engle (This is still a favorite.)
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid?s Tale by Margaret Atwood {read several years ago}
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What?s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What?s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It?s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women?s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume (This was my favorite when I was about 13.)
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where?s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

What will it take?

Dear CJ,

You were hyper-productive on Saturday, so you got to take all of Sunday off for the Renaissance Festival. You then did pretty good yesterday, despite being thwarted by pharmacists and computers. I understand that the "thwarted by pharmacists" bit means that you have regressed to feeling crappy due to allergies, but this does not mean that the work has magically disappeared.

In short, do some damn work.


Monday, September 27, 2004

Jon rocks.

This Thursday, I will be abusing my liver while watching the presidential debates. In one of his most recent posts, Jon talks about these "Glorified Bipartisan News Conferences", and links to this site that describes many of the ways in which debates have changed in order to maximize the use of scripted soundbites. Of most interest to me is the fact that polling found that viewers liked when candidates had more time with each set of questions, yet the allotted time has decreased from four and a half minutes to one and a half minutes.

Well, it's more than a campaign ad, anyway...

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Motorcycle Diaries

Regardless of how the final product turns out, this movie has one of the best trailers I've ever seen. I think I'll go after class next friday.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Fear. It's what's for dinner.



Thursday, September 23, 2004

Email I Just Sent

Dear Chris,

You suck and I hate you.

[my name]

No, this bodes no strange eruption in our state; we were just joking around. I wrote it in the style of my "unsent letters" that I sometimes write here, though, and since I've never actually sent one before, I thought I'd mark it down for posterity.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

From My Alumni Newsletter

New Masters Degree in Advocacy and Political Leadership. Do you think they would let me do ethnographic work in their program? I could matriculate, do all of the work, take field notes and do interviews, get a masters in Making Things Happen, and write my dissertation on lines of inclusion and exclusion that develop within the ideology of the program and shape the way our political leaders are trained.

Stop laughing. I miss Duluth, and it would fulfill my suicidal need to critique academia.

Stupid Polls

Jon wrote about Stupid Polls on the same day I was irritated by an extremely dumb one, so I thought I'd bite off him and post about it (nb. someone just told me that people are still using "bite" in this way; dude, that's so 1997).

Last night, the local CBS affiliate did a bit about Al Franken potentially running against Norm Coleman in 2008. The anchor then said, "but a WCCO poll shows that if people votes today, Franken would lose." See, it turns out that in their poll, Coleman got 54% while Franken got only 30%.


OK, let's look at this sanely: in a race that's four years away, against an incumbent who's been an elected official in Minnesota for years, a candidate who hasn't even declared yet, let alone started campaigning, already has THIRTY PERCENT of the vote. That's a huge boon, even if it is just name recognition (remember Jesse Ventura?).

Ah, yes, nightly news: we tell you what to think, so as to save you the trouble. So much for that "liberal media bias."


Yay, another awesome comic!!! (Coming soon to a sidebar near you, once I feel human again.)

In semi-related news, have viral thing in lungs. Am short of breath and coughing. On the up side, saw a doctor who was not batshit insane. This is especially good, as being told to just not use my lungs would not have set well.

Monday, September 20, 2004




Tom Tiger's Cat Show

Look what my kitty got for his birthday!

Happy birthday, Tom. You're the most spoiled cat ever and I love you to pieces.

Presidential Hopefuls

Thought I'd revisit this election information clearinghouse. The third parties are by far the most interesting tickets. Leonard Peltier is running from Leavenworth; the Personal Choice Party features a porn star in its VP seat; there's a Prohibition Party that's clearly anti-anything you might consider a good time; it warms my evil, wealth-sharing heart to see how many godless communists have shown up; and somewhere in there is Ralph's latest vanity run.

Just more proof that disenchantment with the major parties is no excuse for not voting. And remember, should you fail to cast a vote for president this year, your attempts at political argument on this blog will be met with comment deletion. Hell, write someone in if you can't find anyone on this lengthy list who suits your needs -- just make sure to remember the qualifications candidates must fill.

I'm dead serious, folks. With rights come responsibilities. The right to vote means being responsible for your own representation in our government. I take issue with many of the ways in which representation is skewed in this country by interests outside of the citizenry. There is no reason that citizens have to be complicit in this.

My demographic is especially likely to let their grandparents be their political voice, and the major parties are perfectly happy to let them. Remember the huge stink surrounding hanging chads and desperate Democrats after the 2000 election? You'll notice there's been no huge push on the part of the party to counter voter apathy in hopes of avoiding a recurrence. Both parties are best served by a complacent constituency; it is easier to pander to the interests of one or two similar demographics than to try to create policy that benefits everyone. So stick it to 'em: vote. It's the best way to tell your government that you expect them to do their jobs and represent you.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Aye, mateys. Tomorrow be that time of year again. Least ye be scurvy rats, ye best savvy what that site says, and use it in tomorrow's comments, me hearties! Least you think I be lyin', me beauties, I'l remind ye once more: I'm known in some parts as the Dread Pirate CJ. If that be not enough to convince ye, here's a bit of treasure from my own chest desktop:

Now, make with the comments, before I keelhaul the lot of ye!

Stress Relief

I've made a few references to crochet on here, so I though I'd take a few minutes out to brag a bit. So, a couple of recent items finished:

This is Katherine's birthday monkey. He was not started as a birthday monkey; he was started last winter as an "ooo, Katherins likes monkies!" monkey, and is the second monkey I've made. Clearly, I'm kinda slow... sometimes.

Other times, I'm kinda quick.

This is a baby blanket for the yet-to-be-born child of yet another co-worker (yes, we do wonder about water cooler additives around the department), made entirely last night and this morning in about three hours. If you'd be good enough to keep the existance of this gift quiet, I'd be grateful, as it has yet to be given (if you've no clue what I'm talking about, you're already doing great).

I'm working on a terribly luxurious jacket for myself right now (it is purple, as is nearly everything I make for myself), and have any number of hats, socks, mittens, shawls, etc. on the hooks for when the wrists feel good and the brain needs a rest.

So yes, this is my secret life. Most days I'm convinced that if I could make a living at it, I'd bag this grad school thing and crochet for a living.

I'm thinking we're in for four more years of this shit.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Dear Blog Minions,

Over the past twenty minutes I have found on hundred and one hilarious, thought-provoking, and cool things online. Unfortunately, there's only time to blog one. I'm gonna cheat, though, and blog this blog entry about it, because the background is really the coolest part. Especially the part about protest getting too serious.

My extended absences from this blog are a sure sign that school has started again. Do you remember the part in Alice in Wonderland (or was it Through the Looking Glass? I forget) where she has to run double-time just to stay in the same place? I feel like I have to read twice as fast this term just to stay manageably behind. These outside-of-my-discipline courses are kicking my ass.

Much hurried love,

EDIT: If you can show me that sexuality is in fact a transhistorical metanarrative, I'll give you a cookie. Because I want to argue with the pretentious twit who thought that by summing up an author's argument in more complex terms than they were already written s/he'd get points for a reaction paper without actually reacting to anything. Which s/he will, of course. Grad school: all it really teaches you is enough fifty cent words to brownnose your way to distinction.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Guys' Night in Altoona

Sunday, September 12, 2004

How much food am I eating?!?!

Click here to find out the dietary information for your favorite restaraunt food. (It's a good thing that a Chipotle Burrito is usually the only meal on days when I eat there.)

I love Garrison Keillor.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Not sure I want to do this, but...

My bedroom window, circa 1998:

Three years ago today, I hadn't lived in New York for three and a half years, hadn't been there for two and a half. I was working as a legal advocate for battered women in Northern Minnesota, and had court that day. The story of what had happened was passed on to me via word of mouth from those who had seen bits before work that morning (I did not watch TV, so I had not heard). In my mind, I pictured the tail of a plane dangling precariously from the building. Throughout the morning we heard updates: the other tower was hit; the pentagon; there was one more headed for Camp David, or the capital, or... but it was down.

My co-workers and I returned to the office and turned on the TV, where we first saw the one piece of news that hadn't been reported to us all day: a replay of the fall of the towers. This was my moment of collapse. I couldn't stand, or understand, or do much more than incoherently deny what I had just seen.

After that, the next three days are a blur. I sent out emails to old school friends, to make sure everyone was OK. I spent time at friends' apartments because being alone meant I had to try to comprehend what had happened. When I was alone, the TV was always on; I couldn't sleep without it, for fear something else would happen. A friend finally told me he didn't understand why I cared so much; I can't remember if I actually snapped at him, or if I just remember thinking "what if you saw the Minneapolis skyline disappear, and knew that even if everyone you know was OK, one of them knew someone who was dead?" I stopped trying not to be alone, and I turned off the TV. There was no way to understand, and no one understood that.

Schwarzenegger outlaws sex with corpses

Constructing Social Problems, by Arnie.

What the fuck are they doing out there, anyway?

Friday, September 10, 2004


I'm kind of scattered when it comes to beliefs about the Ways the World Works. I tend to grab a bit from various religions and philosophies one day, then decide a week later that they're absolute crap. I do tend to glom on to a bastardized sense of karma fairly frequently, and have done so recently.

I seem determined to believe that this giant disaster that I call my grad school career so far suffers from the same affliction as my family life and (non-existant) personal life: I should never have moved back to Minneapolis. This place had bad karma for me when I left it seven years ago; even after moving back from NYC, I had the sense to stay a healthy distance from home. Then, for some reason, it seemed like a good idea to move home for grad school.

I'd be the first to admit that I earned most of the crappy karma that I experience here. As I've frequently advertised, I'm not a particularly nice person, and I'm a lot nicer now than I was in high school. all fault for my recent disasters lies pretty clearly with me, at least on a personal level. The problematic, then, is that I have lost the desire to complain about real, shitty things that people (ok, A Person mostly, no one who reads this, most of you know the story, email me if you don't) have done to me because of this sense that the behavior is less a policy infraction and more a product of my own crappy karma.

Yes, I realize that if someone handed me this line of hooey I'd probably bust out the There is Such a Thing as Taking Too Much Responsibility for Your Life lecture. I can't quite get myself to believe it these days. But I did get my mom to say I didn't have to go to Family Christmas, so that's something. Maybe I'll leave the state for the holidays; might do my karma some good.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The New Yorker: Shouts and Murmurs

Log Cabin Republicans Withhold Endorsement from Bush

Preparing that October Surprise

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


I hate the first week of school. All of the introductions turn me into a nervous wreck. On the up side, I got here early, bought the last book for Culture, got the lock on my desk fixed, moved into my desk completely, and got the basketball hoop hung up.

On a related note, I also discovered that it is best that I only shoot hoops with the door closed, as my lack of skills does not require departmental audience.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Foucault is much easier to understand at the beginning of third year than he was at the end of first.

Oh. My. God. I'm starting my third year of grad school today. Have discussed this with cat:

Me: I don't wanna go to school, kitty.
Tom: *Feline Look of Disinterest(tm)*
Me: ...
Tom: *jumps up leg, bites hand*
Me: Doom!

Monday, September 06, 2004

I Suck at Life

At first it looks like an ordinary woodpile:

Getting closer, it appears to be a woodpile on a leash:

Still closer, it is has glowing green eyes:

Finally, you see not a demonic wood monster, but a small, fluffy, scared monster who doesn't much like his leash and harness:

It took us more than an hour to get him out. I suck at life: my cat hates me.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Almost Time...

I got my hairs cut for school today. It's bobbed nicely so that it can grow out all one length now, and I can ignore it completely for longer durations. The haircut lady was insane, but that's pretty much my lock when it comes to stylists.

Did some thrifting for clothes yesterday, and will do some more tomorrow. Did not got to the Renaissance Festival today, as Kelly couldn't go and it was gross out.

Are you bored yet? I am. I have nothing funny, interesting, or upsetting to report, except that I seem to have developed an aversion to my bed, such that the only place in the house that I can fall asleep is on the Very Uncomfortable Couch. It is playing havoc on my poor neck and back, and making me an absolute joy to be around. Clearly. Hence, I'll quit my kvetching and go do non-internet things. Like convince mom to replace the couch.

Friday, September 03, 2004


My mother is an avocational transplant surgeon.

(mom: I have some transplanting to do this weekend.

me: o_O

mom: You know... I've got a heart and a liver...

me: You've been studying in your free time.)

Yeah, she was talking about plants. It was still funny.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Monster in My Closet

So. I recently made my cat a very nice cat bed, which sits on the very wide sill of my basement window and allows Tom to commune with the various fauna that frequent my window well. In the true way of cats, he has found many less convenient places that he prefers to sleep, including this one:

Look closely at that navy sweater:

That's right: it is now a kitty bed. One that sits less than a foot from my ceiling. See, there were no critters in the window, so he trotted down my bed, across my dresser, and onto my sweater shelf.

Then, as I was loading the pictures to show you all how my life has become ruled by cat-ness, this happened:

Yes, I finally gave up and set the card reader ON the cat, as my lap was taken and the desk was a mess.

Attention Departmental Fucktards:

I have a fucking DEGREE in criminology. I may not study Law, Crime, and Deviance within THIS department, but I still have a background in it. Before you discredit me to yet another instructor, I suggest you CHECK MY FUCKING FILE!!!