Thursday, June 30, 2005


I think George looks more like this than this. But his personality seemed more like the Russian Blue.

Hmmm. E&M? Thoughts?

EDIT: Dear Warren Ellis,

Today you have shown me naked Batman (duh... NSFW), and for this I thank you. It goes right up there with "Erotic Sonic," a site I stumbled on during a bafflingly unrelated search my first time ever using teh internets on my list of penises that have caused me to giggle inappropriately for more than a quarter of an hour.

And really, the art is stunning. I've always been partial to watercolor.

Your bitch,

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Feeling Russian

Or more accurately, rushin'.

I wokr up early this morning to find that my mother had turned off the AC and opened the windows before she left for work. As a result, I was having an interesting time breathing. Since it was just an hour until my alarm went off, I decided to stay upright (ok, the breathing might have had something to do with that), take some Benadryl and start my day.

See what I did there?

When I woke up again, it was 11 o'clock, time for me to be in Anoka, meeting Kelly for cream tea. Instead, I was drooling on the sofa. I quickly washed up and got directions from Mapquest, and headed out the door about five minutes later.

See what I did there?

Mapquest directions tend to be overspecific to the poing of unintelligibility. So, after half an hour of driving, I called my mother and asked if I was at least in the neighborhood of Anoka. I then called the tea room to leave word that I had not died in a firey wreck.

Transportation gnomes: 1
CJ: 0

The tea was delicious, if slightly rushed, and at about 12:30 we parted ways so that I could go home before my next appointment and Kelly could retrieve her Punky (there is a height requirement for the tea room). At home, I got a call asking if we could push the 2 pm appointment back to three, and I rejoiced, thinking I might catch up from my lateness experience.

I almost made it, but forgot one key issue: the portion of Uptown that I was bound for is notorious for its sporadic one way signs. Single blocks of streets will be marked off in one direction or another, and in some places each consecutive block has a different direction. It's madness. I finally sorted out the one ways, only to discover that I would need to drive around the block (not as easy as it looks) in order to park.

Transport. Gnomes: 2
CJ: 0

All of this, in my little car that I'm attempting to drive sparingly because it needs to see the car-doctor.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

MIT Weblog Survey

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

And I gotta tell you, I've made better science in REA's craptacular methods class. This survey forced so many answers that I left half the weblog content section blank. So, here are the notes I took while I was doing it in order to vent my spleen:

1. Demographics: "some college" but no "some graduate work" option. This is not exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination. I don't have a masters, but in a couple of years, barring departmental homocide, I'll have a Ph.D.

2. Demographics again: Heteronormative marital status options. This will always bug the shit out of me.

3. Blog content (they take your URL and come back with questiona about specific links on your blog): The options for how you found a particular link were in no way exhaustive. There wasn't even an "other" option -- the closest is "can't remember."

It asked me about my sidebar link to the Feminist Majority Foundation. I looked up Feminist Majority because I had heard about them offline. I knew the URL from hearing about them, typed it in, and presto! Yet there are no options for having heard about a site from somewhere other than the internet.

4. Chat/IM questions: I have no buddy list members who are family members or strictly business associates, yet the lowest option is "less than 10%" of my buddy list. I would think that "zero" would have some sort of special research value that the folks who constructed this piece of crap are utterly missing out on. I do not use IM to communicate with either group, dammit, and I have Reasons for it! This has Meaning! Arrrrgh!

5. Social Networks: Do not start with me about that ridiculous social networks section. So much annoyance at what they're trying to do here. I don't ask what people do with their lives when I meet them online because my online circles tend to revolve around things that aren't work. So, anyone I can identify an occupation for is someone I met IRL. If you're trying to prove that people still live real lives away from their computers, congrats. If you're trying to study the way we interact online using the standards for in-person interaction, you're gonna leave out a whole mess of people whose primary online interactions are recreational. And really, if some people get away from being obsessed with what people DO as a primary measure of who they ARE, even virtually, isn't that Interesting? Like, in the interest of Science?

In other news from the "shit bothers me more when I'm sick" front, I found out today that the hold on my record could have been resolved the day I first met with my advisor about this fucking mess. See, all we have to do is make a plan and write a letter to the DGS detailing it. Of course, now that I know this, my advisor is out of the country. Some folks just need to be CUT.

Finally, my mail program has decided to give me some of your comments and sort others to junk mail. There is no rhyme or reason to which comments are let through. Meanwhile, my spam filter seems to think that Viagra offers are somehow of vital importance (ha! Typo: impotence), and sends them all to my inbox accordingly. Genius technology. Gotta love it.

Not Dead

But my body seems to be making an honest attempt at it.

I appear to have my sinus/ear infection thingy back again. Have been running a fever for two days -- hopefully it will go away by itself, because getting a doctor to treat a sinus infection with sommething other than a proclaimation that I do HAVE a sinus infection is a waste of time. Understand, I'm a huge believer in not overprescribing antibiotics. This means that by the time I'm willing to pay money to see a doctor the symptoms have been around for a DAMN LONG TIME. No doctor is willing to believe this, which inevitably means two doctor visits, twice the co-pay, and still more time spent in Yuckysickville before that magic train ticket home is mine.

Onward, to better things. There is highly important work being done at the University of Chicago. It's inspiring. You should read it. All of you. I'll wait.

Back? Good. In other news, George has gone. Tom is happy about this (though not about the not!Tom fur that was left all over one of his bazillion kitty beds). I miss the little critter, but not the heat that resulted from shutting half of the house off from the AC to keep them apart. Ninety degree weather in a stuffy house while you're running a fever is PAINFUL, I tell you.

I spent most of the night on this site, learning about Elizabethan England. I do believe this behavior is clinically called "dorking around." In this case, the modifier "in a big way" would be added.

I drove past Loring park on the way home from knitting this Sunday, and realized that Pride was going on. I then realized that I wasn't too fussed that I wasn't there. I suppose it's a good thing, that it no longer seems mandatory, that I'm pickier about my celebrations now (the OHP mailing list helped this year with posts about various local actions against the corporatization of Pride events), but really, it kinda made me feel old. This could be part of the reason why, but I'm feeling too damn sick to analyze it, and really just wanted an excuse to throw out that link.

At any rate, it's four in the morning, and I'm gonna go to bed and pretend to sleep until I pass out. Hello, summer. I see you brought the shitty sleep patterns with you again.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Three Ring Circus

That's what we have around here.

The memorial service thingy was today. It went fairly well, if you consider that no one killed anyone despite the unprecedented amount of time my family has spent together over the past month. My aunt and her two daughters were predictably petty and backstabbimg, my uncles were useless as usual, and the only real surprise is that my mom's whatever actually made it down frim I. Falls in time for the service.

The Whatever brought his cat George. My cat, Tom, is not so happy about this. They both make very interesting noises when faced with each other, but we think they're all talk. They spent ten minutes curled up about two feet away from each other, carrying on, before I just laughed at them and walked away. They're apparently too lazy to fight. (Yeah, they're still seperated when we can't watch them; Tom's living in the basement with me tonight. Better safe than sorry, and all.)

Finally, The Whatever has decided that I should go into politics, owing to the speachy thing I gave at grandma's service today. I have politely declined his offer to be a campaign manager, on account of complete lack of desire. Who would keep the cats from killing each other if we were both busy? Clearly, there is a higher calling to be thought of here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Whee, Public Speaking!

As is usually the case, I'm up until o-dark-thirty finishing my work for tomorrow. Here's what I'll be saying at my Grandma's funeral, more or less.

It has been hard for me to decide what I wanted to say about Grandma today. The person who moved back to Minnesota two years ago bore little resemblance to the woman I used to visit during summer vacation. The person who left us a week ago, even less so.

Grandma and Grandpa left Minnesota about ten months after I was born -- I'm told I shouldn't take it personally. I like to think this distance was more of a blessing than a curse. I may not have seen my grandma often, but I have many happy, special-occasion-type memories of her, laughing and happy, to hold on to.

It seems fitting, knowing my extended family as I do, that many of these memories have to do with food. One of my earliest memories of Grandma and Grandpa's house in the desert is of feeding the roadrunners in the yard. They knew exactly where they could count on getting their next meal, and we knew where humans stood in Grandma's feeding hierarchy: there were always frozen hamburger balls made up for the birds. The rest of us just had to hope.

Unless we wanted ice cream. As I grew older, I noticed some trends in the epic grocery shopping trips Grandma would take us on. At first I thought she just liked standing in the freezer aisle in the grocery store for the coolness. I soon found that my grandparents were a force to be reckoned with when it came to their ice cream treats. Drumsticks, popsicles, ice cream sandwiches -- which, and how many? These were vital questions that demanded serious answers, no matter how long you had to stand there freezing your taste buds off for them. Grandma was more than up to the task. She was not very pleased, though, when most of her stash was eaten by hollow-legged eleven-year-olds who weren't used to 120 degree summers.

Thankfully, Grandma was willing to forgive ice cream thievery. She was also willing to indulge the whims of her visiting grandchildren -- yet another hidden perk to that great spatial separation! One steamy day toward the end of a long visit, when swimming in the pool had gotten old and I was driving everyone nuts complaining about the heat, someone suggested we conduct an experiment to find out exactly how hot it was. Somewhere there are photos that were taken about twenty minutes later of mom, Grandma, and me laughing and standing next to our "test subject" -- an egg that had been cracked onto the pavement. While it wasn't exactly fried, it certainly was cooked, and we were all in much better humor.

It's hard to believe that so many of the sweaters and baby clothes that have been passed down from one grandchild to another were created in this same heat. My very favorite memories of Grandma come from when she sat me down to teach me part of her craft. I remember watching her knit and crochet with envy, until she put a hook in my hand and taught me the mystery of the granny square. I remember feeling so special when she asked over the phone what colors I wanted in my afghan, and so loved when it arrived in the mail a few months later. I remember feeling proud when she offered to send me the pattern for a hat she had made, a tacit acknowledgment that I was skilled enough to follow the fairly complicated pattern.

It is these memories that made the past two years both joyful and painful, and these memories that mean she'll never really leave us. At the end she could not see enough to knit or crochet, but she certainly held on to her love of ice cream -- and I dare say if you told her you'd fried an egg on the sidewalk, she still would have laughed at you. And when my cousin B's daughter D is born next week, she'll be wrapped in a whole pile of knitted love, courtesy of Grandma.

I've not been posting because the past week has been devoted to funeral stuff, and we've been busier than one-armed paperhangers over here. Cleaning out grandma's room, moving her furniture, making funeral arrangements, making programs for the funeral, and attending already-scheduled family events have all taken precedence over blogging. And really? The family togetherness is KILLING ME!

I also seem to be taking grandma's death far worse than expected, as does my mom. We saw her so often that I think both of us were convinced that we'd be relieved when she was gone -- she was in so much pain, so unresponsive, and it was so hard to watch. Instead, it's like there's a gaping hole in our lives where taking care of here used to fit, especially for my mom. Yeah, there are other things that can fill in the hole, but it just doesn't seem right yet.

I am clearly waxing philosophical, which is a sure sign that I need to stop typing and say good night. Good night!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Why me?

In the course of endless funeral planning meetings today I was somehow volunteered to speak at the memorial service.

This family togetherness has GOT to stop.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Longest day ever.

It started with an escaped cat at 7:15 this morning. Then went on to bathing the filthy beast after a two-hour adventure in the back yard. Then a nap. Then a call from Robert just as I was waking up and thinking about doing actual work. Then a call from my grandma's home to say that the family should get there pronto, as she was declining fast. Then an adventure in trying to find my mother, who was in transit between work and doctor's office. Then calling every other freaking family member I have (my grandma had seven kids, and they have gone forth and multipled... as have their children). THEN getting myself to the home, only to have my mom call when I was five muinutes away to say that she'd passed on. (I'm not too disappointed, because she's not really "been there" for almost a year. We weren't expecting some great moment of lucidity, or anything.) Mom says she went quietly in her sleep -- was breathing one minute and had stopped the next.

So. That was just the start of things. We waited on all of the family members who were, by this time, already en route through rush-hour traffic (Minnesota has two seasons: Snow Plow, and Road Construction. Guess which one we're in now). Two hours later the hospice chaplain (coolest lady ever) held a short bedside prayer service. Then we made plans for dinner -- mom, cousin J and I stayed to wait for the dude to come and take her away (he was also really cool; do all the nice people go into death-related fields, or something?). Joined everyone else for a quick dinner and got home at 9:45 -- six hours after I first got the call.

My family was at its finest in inappropriateness today. See, we use humor as an automatic response to any emotion (except anger -- that we just yell about). We're not sure if the funeral will turn out to be more of a commemoration or a roast. Probably a healthy mix of the two.

And don't get me started about grandma's love for ice cream. It's one of the few elements of her personality that was there to the very end.

Monday, June 13, 2005


So, I think I might be applying for a real job. This is scary as hell, because it's the type of job that would have kept me from going to grad school three years ago if it had been available. Of course, I'm not the most employable person ever, and it's the type of job that has most likely already been filled and is simply being posted for the sake of EOE requirements. But I've done this work before, and got my undergrad degree intending to make it my career, so we'll see.

Maybe I just need to be reminded that the job market sucks in order to learn to love grad school again.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


I am sleepy, dopey, grumpy, and sneezy. That's four of seven dwarves and that, my friends, is too many.

Mommy and I went to see Bill in Fiddler on the Roof today. He was top-notch, as always. The entire production was top-notch as far as community theater productions go (I have seen at least ten productions of this play, at all levels of theater. Yes, it's an illness), which in the Twin Cities is pretty far (yay for thriving arts communities!). And can I just say, you'd think with all those productions I've seen I'd stop crying during the second act. You would be wrong, friends. I spring a leak starting at "Far From the Home I Love." Bill and I plan to catch the other two productions going on this summer. I haven't had a Summer of Fiddler since I first fell in love with the show after my freshman year of HS, so I'm long overdue.

OK, babbling about theater again.

I'm off to bed, as I've had a busy day and have to go get drugs tomorrow morning. Also, I'm dopey from the medicine I took for being sneezy. G'night!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Blogging the Wedding

1. The answer to "how will CJ get folks to stop hounding her about getting married" was not A or B as suggested in the previous post, but a simpler C that I never imagined would work. When asked when it was "my turn," I tried a vague version of the truth and said, "I don't want to... for political reasons." Never underestimate the powerful dissuasion effect of potential boredom, especially as the only "academic" in a large family.

2. My cousins are hysterical. First illustration: as we were waiting for the reception to start, 9-year-old cousin T was attempting something that might have been breakdancing. Cousins B and K and I looked at each other in amusement.

B: He's either doing the Worm or humping the floor.
Me: I was going to suggest having a seizure.
K: I'm afraid to ask which.

3. Second illustration: M, the groom, did an impromptu striptease during the garter removal portion of the evening. Absolutely unplanned. During my dollar dance, he intimated this, and added, "good thing I wore a v-neck undershirt -- easier to rip." That's right. He tore it off. Funniest family moment EVER.

4. The pastor was a bit... interesting. His message during the ceremony likened 1 Corinthians 13 to camping. It was possibly the most Minnesotan ceremony ever.

5. There is no number five, because I'm exhausted. G'night!

Wedding Psychosis

My normal crap sense of humor has gotten even worse. I was making myself lunch (cheese and toast) when I suddenly found myself under the watchful and intrusive eye of the resident furball. I said to him, "you seem to think mi queso es su queso."

Yep. Bad puns have long been a part of my repetoire, but bad puns in foreign languages? That's new.

I'm off to watch my cousin get married and listen to my relatives speculate as to when it will be "my turn." Dollars to doughnuts I snap and either 1) make up a boyfriend, or 2) tell them I'm a lesbian. Two seems more likely to be effective.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Few Things

1. Month of family togetherness has not yet resulted in death.

2. B-Girl Be Summit was awesome.

3. Cat accidentally got himself locked in my room and pulled the hallway rug under the door in his attempt to dig out.

4. I poke small bunnies with sticks.

That is all.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Dear Internet Searchers,

Your search for how to get your loved one help will be much more fruitful if you learn that the word "heroine" has quite a different meaning from "heroin." The former is defined here as "A woman noted for courage and daring action." The latter is a highly addictive drug. I'm sorry to disappoint, but my personal addiction is to fictional female characters. I will probably not be of much help.

Yrs. very truly,

Thursday, June 02, 2005

You should really check this out

I'll be at intermedia arts today and tomorrow helping out with the B-Girl Be Women in Hip-Hop summit. You should especially check out Rachel's movie on Friday night, and the performance response that the Central High kids will be doing. Rachel is a friend of mine from grad school, and the Central kids came to show us how it's done in theater class this term. They're all incredible artists.

A close second in the running is the Hip-Hop scholarship panel on Friday at noon. Gwendolen Pough is speaking (she wrote Check It While I Wreck It, and I have no idea if you care), as is a fellow grad student from my department.

Fun times to be had, and tonight's kick-off event is free.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Star Wars Fans

You'll probably understand this better than I do. Which is to say, if you get it at all, you're doing better than me.

*is confused*