Friday, December 31, 2004

What'd I miss?

I'm back from a stress-intensive weekend of relaxation in Duluth. My father has an entirely external internal monologue, which made it damn hard to get much done on the transcription (and yet, I got a lot done!), and I'm allergic to the dog so I spent the week sneezing and wheesing. But relax we did, and also ate candied ginger dipped in dark chocolate, which came directly FROM GOD, by way of Hepzibah's Sweet Shoppe. Also got to see Robert, though half of our fun got rained iced out. No power lost during this ice storm, though, so it wasn't nearly as fun as the last one, Ryan.

Anything exciting happen here?

Monday, December 27, 2004


I'm off to Duluth in the morning, spending the week there. I'm back in time for new year's, if anyone's hanging around bored.

Have a lovely week!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Motherly Insanity

So, I was channel surfing with the mom this evening when we came across Eminem performing "Mosh" on a rerun of SNL. We watched it (there is sweet fuck all on the TV at 11:30 on Christmas Eve) for a couple minutes before mom started being more strange than usual.

Mom: Can you hear the words? What did he just say?
Me: "Make the president answer a higher anarchy." (Or some shit like that, haven't exactly committed the lyrics to memory, thanks much, and I'm too lazy to look them up.)
Mom: You can hear that? Really?
Me: ...
Mom [mimicking]: Da-da-duh, da-da-dah, crab my crotch, da-da-duh.
Me: *laughs*
Mom: *continues*
Me: *nearly busts something laughing*
Mom: How are people supposed to pay attention to what he's saying when he keeps grabbing his crotch?
Me: *dies some more*

Seriously, she went on for about five minutes with her mixture of scat-rap and anti-crotch-grabbing monologue. I was nearly crying.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Happy Giftmas! (I brought you a misanthropic rant)

Best present: my cousin's unit is being deployed to... Russia! Land of pelmeni, piroshki, borscht, banyas, crappy soviet architecture, and most importantly, relatively few explosions! I think I shall watch my Cheburashka DVD in celebration.

Moving on, I feel I must kvetch: I am so sick of punk. Not the music, obviously, because I don't know from music, but the "genre lifestyle(s)." Get the fuck over yourselves. I don't care if you're straightedge, if you're a "true" gutter punk, if you "really" espouse DIY. You get all fucking upset about labels in your clothes, so instead you place them on your life. Real edgy, that. Like, no one's EVER tried it.

And I really wouldn't say a fucking thing, except liek, OMG, you've got an el jay community where you can talk about the straight boys you're teaching to knit because they're fo' realz, yo, and don't care about teh stereotypes, OMG! Learn a fucking history lesson, you bratty kid. Number one: when you brag about taking care of all of your boyz by not drinking and looking out for them when they're fucked up, you are not breaking any stereotypes. I don't care how dirty your hair is. Number two: men were the original knitters. That's right, it was a trade, at least in some parts of the world (most likely the parts you're descended from), which means women's participation was largely covert, if present, and probably restricted to the home. So STFU, you're not a revolutionary, you're another smelly kid with an overdeveloped attachment to the idea of being unique by being like everyone else in your "alternative" scene. Do you want a fucking cookie?

Proposed Ban on Subway Photography

You know, they had laws like this in my Russian host city. Sarov had been the seat of Soviet nuclear development, the USSR's answer to Los Alamos, and there were all kinds of relic formalities that were observed because the end of the cold war hadn't extended that far yet. You couldn't take photos of the city's power stations, couldn't enter or leave the city without a passport (this included Russian nationals), were even restricted in taking pictures in meetings with city dignitaries. (NB Yes, we met city dignitaries. This was possibly the most importance I will ever hold: one of twelve teenaged ambassadors to a "secret" city in a miserably depressed former communist state. My life is comfortably small.)

My point is that this is not part of a thinly veiled attempt to bring back Cold War Fear in hopes of inspiring the same nationalism and patriotic consumerism that we saw after WWII. On the contrary, it's not veiled at all. Once a few bigwigs declared irony dead after 9/11, all bets were off. There are no excuses necessary because any suggestion that we are willfully repeating history requires a sense of irony, and that is Just Not Welcome Here.

I have a picture of Kelly and I on the Union Square station platform waiting for a train during the trip we made during my first spring break at UMD. I hadn't been in the city for almost a year. I had sent the Jackass of Doom a no contact request prior to my arrival that he went to great lengths to ignore. That particular night he was hanging on like the flu. I was sleeping on a linoleum floor with only a sleeping bag for comfort. I was deleriously happy to be home, and to be sharing it with my best friend. You bet your ass I was gonna take pictures.

There's a quote that's frequently (and perhaps erroneously) attributed to Ben Franklin about how anyone who would give up freedom for security deserves neither, and will likely get neither. Those who take pictures for commemorative purposes will not accidentally capture The Secret Inner Workings of the MTA. Those who take pictures for nefarious purposes will not be stopped by rules against photography.

Happy Weirdness!

This is so very random and also not completely work safe.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Dear America,

For a nation that's obsessed with marriage to the point of bumbling lunacy, you are awfully scared of sex. Just chill. Please.


Dear Katherine and Al,

You should be thankful you left last night when you did. You missed me fainting and throwing up in Jon and Teresa's kitchen. Quite a show, lemme tell ya.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Health Stuff

1) Mental: crappy. Have spent last week on zombifying drugs. Sleep schedule has reversed itself such that I have been awake for about eight hours each day. Have started long-term, low-side-effects meds and asked for incomplete in history class in hops of dealing with this more healthfully.

2) Physical: marginal. Knee hurts, but will be fixed. There is much red tape between me and my knee surgery, though. First, had to call surgeon's secretary to make appointment. She had to call around in order to find a time to sneak me in before I go back to school, then call me back. Then I had to call BC/BS to make sure that I'm covered at Fairview Southdale (I am). Then I had to call my primary to schedule a pre-op physical. Primary's schedule is only out through the end of December. I'll have to call back after the holidays.

In other news, will be out of town next week. Will hopefully relax by pool and do mindless transcription work in hopes of easing burnout. Must remember to remind father that walking will be limited. Bother, as I love hiking in the winter, and would have loved to abscond with Robert into the woods. Next year, I suppose.

Sorry I'm not so cheery today. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, December 20, 2004


Yay surgery! Yay for crutches in the middle of winter. Yay for winter break SUCKING LIKE WOAH!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Link Dump

Why Wiccans Suck is one of the most educational sites I've come across in a long time. The author debunks "fluffbunny" practioners of Wicca who seek mainly to bash Christians and claim religious oppression, and in doing creates a rich picture of a religion AND/OR secular practice that I have had very limited exposure to. I especially recommend the links page.

Beating no relation, this article rated the ten geekiest hobbies in terms of public humiliation and damage to sex life. I am happy to say that the only one I really engage in is number nine. And yes, we all know about my sex life.

I haven't read Ursula K. Leguin's Earthsea books, but surfed in to an article where she discusses her frustrations with a recent TV adaptation. It seems that she went to great lengths in writing the books to create characters who were not based on Western Eurpean races, and in doing so created a place for people of color in the mostly pasty realm of fantasy fiction. As the essay is titled "Earthsea in Clorox," you can guess where I'm going in this. She has some great insights into voicing as well in her discussion of telling stories of people of color without trying to speak for them.

And for fun, a couple of articles about a matchmaking cabbie in NYC. I tried to be critical about it, given my disdain for all things mushy, but it was just too funny.

And as we all know, I'm musically ignorant, but some bloke from a band called Erasure (yeah, I've heard of them, just haven't heard them) announced that he's HIV+. He plans to use his status toward education, which I'm all for, as prevention education seems to be declining as life expectancy for people with HIV goes up, and really, that's not optimal. At the same time, I'm doubtful. He seems to be saying that HIV is no big, and frankly, that's a bit misleading coming from someone who can afford the good drugs.

And then we have the story of an eighteen year old man whose christian high school not only kicked him out for running a website for gay teens, but outed him to his parents after he explicitly asked them not to. Last I checked, eighteen was adult in this country. They also have refused to allow him normal recourse to appeal to the school's "honor council" because the case was deemed "too sensitive." As is usual in these cases, I am forced to ask WWJD?

(For the record, Jesus always seemed like a good guy to me. I spent my formative years learning about him, and through it all he was the dude who loved, accepted, and forgave, and I kinda thought that was how I wanted to try to live life [yep, I'm only dubiously successful]. Addidionally, he is occasionally invoked as a pogo-stick and/or tap dance fanatic [and we know how I feel about tap dance], so I figured he must be pretty fun-loving and easy going, what with the not-too-picky about his image thing. His followers/religious leaders? Not so good at living in his image, as we can see in the link to follow.)

44 percent of Americans favor some restrictions to muslim civil liberties. The two most disturbing paragraphs of this article:

�The survey conducted by Cornell University also found that Republicans and people who described themselves as highly religious were more apt to support curtailing Muslims' civil liberties than Democrats or people who are less religious.

Researchers also found that respondents who paid more attention to television news were more likely to fear terrorist attacks and support limiting the rights of Muslim Americans.

Turn off your fucking televisions, stop listening to fucking fundies, and, if you really are a Christian, think seriously about WWJD? Because all of the biblical "evidence" against homosexuality (which, by the way, didn't really exist as we know it until around the turn of the last century) and the preaching against those who don't think/believe/worship like you? Didn't come from Yeshua ben Yosef, at least not in my bible. (Fun fact: I own a bible. Shocking, I know.) I won't quibble about whether or not he existed, but I will quibble about what people do in his name, because whether fact or metaphor, dude was a peace lovin' hippy with socialist tendencies -- I READ my bible, and I know he kicked the merchants out of the temple, cared for the impoverished, and befriended prostitutes. If christians wanna be christ-like, they might think about acting in a similar manner.

And relatedly, I have two links wherein Phillip Pullman discusses reading, fundamentalist religion, and the controversy surrounding the making of his "His Dark Materials" triology (another series I have yet to read, though the first one is waiting on my bookshelf). The first one is interesting for what seems a very "Durkheimian" take on religion (it talks about religion as anything that essentially sets up sacred and profane, and people who decide which is which) and how its "fundamentalist" practice (including under anti-religious political regimes) creates a "war on words." The second concerns his books and their adaptation specifically.

Lots of interesting stuff this week. I wish it were this easy to write my final papers.

Friday, December 17, 2004

No real reason, except...

Sweet Jesus Christ on a pogo stick!

Portrait has a number of short films playing this holiday season. I just watched Portrait, which was bloody histerical. Bud's Glamour Shots, indeed.

EDIT: OK, I'm not quite so thrilled anymore. The "credits" for each short list more products than actors. Also, If you think it's impossible for a short film to be in need of editing, see "Do Geese See God?" Also annnoying is the star factor. Each movie has one medium to big hollywood star in it. Jeezus, people, there are awesome shorts made every day by unknown artists that could benefit from this kind of exposure, and yet I'm stuck watching hit-or-miss cinema that more closely approximates a lesson extolling the virtues of buying happiness.

Bullocks. Watch, or don't. I refuse to endorse this shit.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

So No Vaginas?

Cannot. Stop. Laughing.

I think the question of whether they've ever read the play is extraneous at this point.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I kinda rock

Number of papers finished: 0/2
Number of papers due today, though the due date read Friday, December 15th: 1
Number of emails in response to my WTF should I do? query: 0
Number of meetings with potential dissertation comittee members attended: 1
Number of potential dissertation committee members who sais "sure": 1
Number of really cool oral history projects that I have been asked to be involved with: 1
Number of ways in which this makes me happier to be in grad school: 1 billion

I'd call it a mixed bag, except the good news is so very good and the bad news is so easily overcome.

What's the point?

A calendar of hot priests. Talk about a let down.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Hate these motherfucking drugs. Got a decent outline bangde out for the fucking paper, then got all anxious and headspinny so i took oine of the drugs (new scrip, cause the old ones were only lasting three hours a stretch) and now I HAVE NO BRAIN.

I;m going to bed and writing this motherfucker without drugs tomorrow morning if it fucking kills me i hate anxiety it needs to bugger off and leave me alone.

Portia moves into Ellen's pad

Excuse me while I perve out completely. I had no idea Portia de Rossi dug chicks. Awesome. I'm young and nubile (er... comparatively) and should have no problem stealing her away from Ellen who, while cute, has quite a few years on her.

*plots* *takes medication*

Er... sorry. Brief moment of pervitude there. Possibly cureable by posession of Ally McBeal DVDs, if anyone's curious.


So, AOL Instant Messenger has a SantaClause bot who advertises various AOL thingys. I've hit a bunch of blogs where people have greeted him with various "don we now our gay apparel" messenges. The word "gay" tends to get them an automatic lump of coal, and once they ask what's wrong with it, he goes "back to his workshop." So naturally, I had to play with it myself.

First, I yelled at him for his blatant advertising":

SantaClaus: I'm making my list and checking it twice, so you should too! Type a number:
1 - Tell Santa
2 - Tell Buddies What U Want
3 - Track a Shopping List
4 - Play Xmas Hangman
5 - Vote on Xmas Songs
6 - Win $10k Shopping Spree
7 - Send E-Cards
8 - Listen to Xmas Music
9 - A Free Gift 4U!
xturtle78: i am against your capitalist propaganda, old man
SantaClaus: Yes!!
xturtle78: does this mean you will support the revolution?
SantaClaus: Why did you say that?
xturtle78: Because you responded favorably to my question
SantaClaus: I see. Well that is a problem.
xturtle78: capitalist pig! you tried to infiltrate the movement!
SantaClaus: I'm sorry? I'm new to this whole IM thing.
xturtle78: You oppress the poor, the third world, women, minorities, and homosexuals (not necessarily in that order) and all you can say is "I'm new to this"?
SantaClaus: Whoa! Ho! Ho! slow down there! That's quite a lot for a man of my age to wrap his head around. Would you mind trying some shorter questions?

So clearly, Santa is a bit addled. But he doesn't seem to have a problem wit the word "homosexual", so I thought I'd play a bit more to see just how far I could go before he stopped talking to me (n.b. I did get a lump of coal for telling him to fuck off, but that's to be expected).

xturtle78: are you a homosexual
SantaClaus: You're full of mischief. ;-)
xturtle78: are you gay
SantaClaus: Stop playing around. ;-)
xturtle78: are your elves sexy
SantaClaus: I've got all I can handle.

Clearly from this, you'd expect the North Pole to be a bit hotter than expected. So then I decide to really try some word association, and to frankly fuck with the old sack of shit:

xturtle78: gay
SantaClaus: Hmm. I'm afraid that kind of language won't get you into the nice column with me.
That's a lump of coal for you.
xturtle78: lesbian
SantaClaus: My goodness. You've earned another lump of coal. I'm sorry but this is the last warning and lump of coal I can promise you. Any more cursing and I'll have to stop talking to you. Please, type menu; let's try to get in the Christmas spirit.
xturtle78: Um, lesbian is not a curse, you obnoxious homophobe
SantaClaus: O.K. I don't want to do this any more. We're all very busy and the elves just won't stand for me wasting any more time with this language. I cannot talk to you any longer.
xturtle78: I am a lesbian. are you denying my right to christmas cheer?
SantaClaus: We're sorry -- Santa has returned to his workshop.

So, the verdict: "homosexual" is OK; claiming Santa is getting it on with his elves is OK; the words "gay" and "lesbian" themselves amount to cursing, and claiming a queer identity scares Santa away.

This man needs more therapy than I do.

EDIT: Santa still won't talk to me, and I wanted to see what he made of "bisexual" and "queer." Possibly I will have to make a new screen name. Place suggestions in comments for other words to try (nothing blatantly offensive, as that would defeat the purpose).

Monday, December 13, 2004




Saturday, December 11, 2004

Liar, Liar

And the answers are:

1) True. Only, what I had written was a poem. A nice, boring, sit-in-a-corner-and-read-to-yourself poem. The rapping and dancing part was most assuredly Not My Idea, as you probably guessed if you've met me and know my performance phobias. Truly traumatic, the things teachers do to make the quiet ones feel included. (Yes, Ryan, there's video. No, you can't see it.)

2) True, and apparently unsurprising, as no one guessed this.

3) True. I saw her three times. I even got my best friend to help me research who she could possibly be, and if I might have heard of her before. But I didn't really believe in ghosts, and really don't now. I wasn't on drugs (I was eleven/twelve, and not even cold medicine), and I hadn't just waken from a dream. She was in my room, moved into the hall, then into my parents room, then disappeared. One time I was home alone, the other two the folks were in the living room. Given what I saw, I believe I saw a ghost. I also believe there has to be more to what I saw, because there's not such thing as ghosts:-)

4) False. Jon was correst in believing that the most mundane was also the least true.

5) True. He thought he was evil. I thought I would marry him. I don't know which is more disturbing. I also once left him for girls. He is currently engaged to his post-me HS sweetheart. Dodged that bullet nicely, I did.

And now you know... the rest of the story.

A Truth.

My cousin's being deployed to the Middle East in January. Not sure where yet. Have feared this for past couple of years.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Four Truths and A Lie

You've probably played this game before. I tell you five things about myself, four of them true, you figure out which one I'm lying about. Please play. Even if you usually just read, take a guess. It's fun!

1) When in elementary school I was part of a rap and dance performance in honor of Dr. King's birthday. I wrote my own rhymes for the event.

2) At one point there were so many posters in my bedroom that I ran out of space and covered the ceiling.

3) The house that I grew up in was haunted, and I saw the ghost three different times. Throughout all of this, I did not (and still do not) believe in ghosts.

4) When I was eight years old I found out that Santa was not real by sneaking downstairs while my parents were wrapping presents.

5) For about four months during high school I was engaged to a man who literally thought he was evil.

Well? Which one isn't true? Y'all should know me well enough by now to guess.

Edited because my parents are not MCs, but they do cover their gifts in fancy paper.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Damn Auto-Pen

Dear Rummy,

This was not a good idea. Seriously, it would have killed you to have signed them yourself?


Dear Blog Readers,

Sure, they might be wrong. But Auto-Pens are pretty damn obvious, so I'm not banking there.


Sunday, December 05, 2004

I Quit.

You love Queer Theory! You see gender as a social
construct that can be undermined through
differently gendered, fluid readings. HoYay
isn't a laugh to you, it's a religion.
Gender-bending mastermind that you are, you
adore Eve Sedgwick and Judith Butler. If you
had your way, you'd prove to the world that
every fairy tale heroine wasn't really pining
for a man in that tower, she was pleasuring

What kind of literary critic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla




OK, I'll stop with the compulsive caps lock now. I just spent ten hours writing about identity politics because it was the only thing I could write an even remotely interesting paper about without crying.

Blergh. I hate Sunday deadlines. Who does that, anyway?

Anyway, off to work some more.

Friday, December 03, 2004

New York's HIV experiment, and Pawlenty's back door draft

With money as the standard for worth, this is how we treat the worthless.

Also, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has provided minimal financial support for the U of M (tuition hikes are still likely if the legislature doesn't fund us better), while proposing state reimbursement of 100% of tuition costs for National Guard Members. Because hey, if you raise tuition high enough that only the middle class can afford it, maybe all the lower income people will get killed before you have to worry about how to keep brown people and faggots from benefitting.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

you scratch my back...