Monday, November 28, 2005

There's Too Many Kids in this Tub

Three people in a small house with one bathroom is just too many. I love my mom's whatever to bits, but I'm sure glad he doesn't live here full time.

*starts saving for a down payment*

I'm extremely boring these days. I've been working on a blanket for the July premiere of Kelly's second child, working on work (duh), and working on digesting the 400 pounds of food I ate this weekend. I'm doing the unusual and spending a full day on campus during business hours tomorrow (usually I'm in from 2pm to 9pm), so it's off to bed wih me.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


This post brought to you by a middle of the night trip to the bathroom that was rudely interrupted by a dark grey cat with a penchant for rubbing at ankles in the dark. Ow. I was already sore from Too Much Yoga.

Al, just got your last email. I fell asleep shortly after my last reply, so GZ was Right Out this evening.

And before I return to bed, one last OW!

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Monday, November 21, 2005

Now THAT"s a Cat Scan

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Found via the BBC.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Oh, good grief. Why did I not know that Chris Columbus directed Rent (the movie)? How badly is this shit gonna suck? And why the fuck does Rosario Dawson have top billing? Don't answer that. I've been trying to remain as upbeat and excited about this as possible because, yay, RENT! But that gets harder every time I spend any time contemplating the meaning that gets lost any time you take a production with a minimal, representational set and transfer it to a realistic setting. Add a "director" who frequently shows signs of severe micromanagement (*hates*) and the drafting of famous T&A to aurment name recognition in the otherwise-original cast, and I'm quickly reverting to my usual raving scepticism. And don't get me started on how WRONG it seems to think of rent as being anything other than an opera.

But. I can always go see a matinee during the week, so that I miss the god-awful teenage fan-children and pay a lower price.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Snot Faire

Yes, there is a snot festival going on in my head. Still. I have been sleeping about twelve hours a day, which makes me suspect that the old iron supplements may have to be choked down again. Sometimes being vegetarian sucks.

As you can tell from the first paragraph, I have had very little to say lately. Or rather, haven't felt like saying anything. I'm trying to keep up with all of the paperwork that I need to do to change my status in the department so that I can be done by the end of this year, and start thinking about the coursework I need to finish (yay, incompletes!) and the polishing I need to do on my masters papers. Plus the inevitable hunting down of my committee members to explain that plans have changed since they agreed to sign on must soon commence. And really, all I want is to be able to get a real fucking job so that I can live my life.

It's really strange. A big part of Who I Am has always been "smart." And so I graduated With Honors, etc. from high school, then college, then went back to grad school so that I could be a Professor and be Professionally Smart for the rest of my life because everyone really expected me to Be Something. But this job? Sucks. There is very little about academia that I still like after nearly eight years of higher education. And as much as I'd like to say it's been a necessary learning experience, it's hard not to think that I should have known sooner that this is Not For Me. I remember many discussions with various friends about being A Sociologist, and thinking it odd that this is a master status for many of them. Being a sociologist was always about a means to an end, not the end in and of itself for me. It was a job, researching and teaching, that would be interesting and challenging, but ultimately a job. And I think that's where being Professionally Smart became impossible for me.

I don't want my life to revolve around my job, or more importantly, the one facet of my identity that my job serves. And I am sick of having to prove to myself, my family, every fucking teacher I've ever had who tole me I had "so much potential" and could "go so far" that, yes, I really am smart. Because what none of them ever knew, or at least, never told me, is that after you've graduated from high school NO ONE CARES! No one cares, and frankly, there are other things I'd like to work on being.

I'd like to work on being well-travelled -- that doesn't happen when your only reason for leaving town is to go to another fucking conference in another generic hotel in another city that you'll never see any of because you have to spend all of your extra time working on your presentation. I'd like to work on being artistically expressive. As much as I've tried to incorporate expression into my classes, involve kinesthetic learners and students who best process information via multiple mediums, and generally sought to show how sociology and art can be linked in that they provide a lens through which to analyze the social world, neither students nor sociologists really go for this. And to a point, I can understand: in order to garner respect (and funding), sociology has systematised itself nearly to death, trying to prove itself a valid science; and in our contemporary world arts and sciences are polar opposites.

I'd like to work on being healthy again -- on being a kayaker, on being a tap-dancer, on having time and energy to do anything except work on tomorrow's lecture while worrying about finishing my grading while thinking about the paperwork I need to trn in and the several papers I need to write. I'd like to work on being an advocate again, giving time to people who need it, voice to people who aren't easily heard.

I have all of this stuff that I don't use -- physical and metaphorical -- because this one part of my life has eaten up all of my time and energy. I have two foreign languages that I'm losing the use of because I had to give them up in order to specialize my Smartness. I have umpteen zillion hours of crisis training. I have two boats that haven't hit water in two and a half years. I have a story that I've been outlining for three years but have felt too guilty to write because I should be working on Things That Matter.

So maybe I'm wasting my potential, but I think I'm fine with that. If I've gotta work for money to support these things I want to do, then I'll pay the devil his forty hours a week. The all-consuming Career costs more than I'm willing to give.

(Erm. If you're still reading, thanks. I've had this gnawing at my brain for days, so it's not too coherent, and mostly not rational.)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

OMG WTF?!?!?

Dear Innards,
I took painkillers! Why the fuck does it still feel like you're trying to become outards???
No love,

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The White House's War on Transcripts - Wonkette

Dear Present Administration,
You don't get to alter press briefinng transcripts to reflect the spin you WISH you'd spun. See, they videotape these things. You got a problem with Scottie's answers? He needs to do damage control at the next briefing, just like every other fucking press secretary who's ever fucked up. Then, we get to decide if we buy the retraction. You DON'T get to pretend like it never happened. I don't care which diety you're claiming to have on your side this week.
Fuck off you puny megolomaniacal failures,

Texas Outlaws All Marriage

In their zeal to prevent legal monogamy (and, you know, equal legal rights) for same-sex couples, it appears that Texas has outlawed ALL marriages.

Confused? Take a look at section 32. (b): "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

The state may not create any legal status identical to marriage? They just nullified their own fucking law. Bigotry makes you do stupid fucking things, folks. Best to just let people live their own lives.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Some Things

1. Does Madonna think she's starring in Goblet of Fire, or just attending the premiere? What a jacket!

2. Speaking of outfits, Dan Radcliffe totally wins.

3. There has been much strife around the house this week, as the mother and I have both been fighting off various infections. I can barely hear, and both of us have been coughing up rainbow-colored phlegm. (Hehe. Enjoy the mental image, there.)

4. Charles and Camilla took the Disaster Tour on their visit to the US

5. It's not just Royals who do trite, exploitive 9/11 memorials. WARNING: worst. Fan art. Ever. Your eyes may bleed; proceed with caution.

6. Well. I feel I've been properly snarky this evening. I'm off to collapse. Hacking up lungs is draining work.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Elf Sex, and Other Links to Warp Your Mind By

The most ravishing elf ever, LĂșthien, used enchantment to grow her hair extremely long. This may have been the elves' erotic equivalent of being able to tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue. Find out how freaky Tolkien's elves really got.

Speaking of linguists, the cunning Randy from Som. Pos. (see sidebar for link, as I'm lazy) once wrote a Frat-to-English Dictionary as a joke. Jon, I am in no way implying that you might get a kick out of this. Either that or kick my ass (see definition).

Of all the things that scare me about those who like to tell the country who should have sex and when, the worst is the idea of them writing porny novels. (I'm not kidding. You've been warned. Republican-penned porn. Just TRY to sleep tonight.)

I wanna live in a micro-house. Too bad my book collection would make it impossible to fit a human being in.

Boscastle is the most beautiful town on this planet (and Tintagel is pretty awe-inspiring as well). I fell in love with North Cornwall when I spent the weekend there with my friend Cathy, back in 2002. Boscastle was badly flooded in August of 2004, and many of the residents and businesses are still cleaning up. The Museum of Witchcraft, which I was unable to visit because it wasn't open when I was in town, has an amazing virtual tour of its collection, as well as a diary of both its own and the town's recovery. They also have... a blog. We love blogs!

John Romano is the father of my freshman roommate, and a screenwriter and producer. It was wicked cool to run across this summary of an MIT roundtable on writing and producing prime time TV. Henry Jenkins is also present, which makes my inner fandom geek incredibly happy (he's in media studies, and has done loads on participatory fan culture; I'm a marginally participatory member of a few fandoms; together, we... well, there's no crime fighting involved, and we've never corresponded, let alone met, so I'll just end this parenthetical now, yes?).

An SMS-triggered bluetooth vibrator. It makes its own snarky remarks, really.

Dave Barry answers FAQs about South Florida's hurricane recovery.

Dan Savage has initiate a break-up in my longest-term relationship to date: I'm now seriously looking to replace my Target Visa. Dan reports that "we know that Target fills its ads with dancing, multi-culti hipsters giving off a tolerant, urbanist vibe and runs hipster-heavy ad campaigns positioning Target as a slightly more expensive, more progressive alternative to Wal-Mart. Well, as John Aravosis revealed on last week, Target's politics are as red as their bulls-eye logo. The chain allows its pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control and emergency contraception to female customers if the pharmacist objects on religious grounds. What's worse, the company claims that any of its employees have a right to discriminate against any of its customers provided the discrimination is motivated by an employee's religious beliefs." The last three paragraphs of that column are positively chilling.

In positive religious news, Pastafarians now have official vestments. Praise be to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Too little?

The Dems have forced a closed senate session about the Iraq war. You know, that war that they largely, blindly supported when it started.

I just watched Shakespeare in Love the other night, and there's one scene that comes to mind here. At the end of the movie, there's a bit where Queen Elizabeth watches with disgust as a bunch of dandys bow excessively to her rather than clear her way across a mud puddle. After a pregnant pause, they finally realize that they ought to be taking off their capes. She trudges on, muttering "too late, too late."

If it is true that elected officials are in service to the electorate, then anti-war folk in the US really ought to be muttering "too late" at the democratic party, whom many of us initially looked to for some sort of barrier to the war-mongering insanity that would cause us to invade an unrelated nation in retribution for the 9/11 attacks. Now, nearly three years and more than 2000 US lives since the war began, they're taking off their cloaks in a cloying mockery of indignation.

And then there's the Republicans, who have called the closed sessions "an affront to the American people," though the sessions they closed to discuss Clinton's sex life (six of them, according to Making Light) were, I'm sure, interested only in serving the Queen Populace.

You all need to get stuffed. Would that the people of the US did have some of the powers of that Queen, that all of you might be exciled, at very least. Failing that, I hope that each of your constituencies chooses to "overthrow" government in your next election, so that we might start again with a new batch of crooks. Because it's too damn late for all of you.

The Forked-Tongue Book Review

I've been plodding through John Updike's Gertrude and Claudius for the past two days. The story itself is vaguely interesting (Updike fleshes out the mythos behind the life and times of Hamlet's parents), but between the tone. characterization and tortured prose. I keep having to tamp down my baser instincts toward defenestration. So naturally, I took a break to look up reviews, and just had to add one of my own.

Updike is much lauded for his "repeated themes" (read: writing the same story over and over) on the connection between sex and death. These themes have won him innumerable awards, including two pulitzers. This completely reinforces my belief that, were the majority of bodice-rippers written by men who were willing to pontificate on their "themes," romance novels would be high literature. The large vocabulary is a given, of course. (NB as a precocious reader, I developed a love of romance novels at an early age because I always learned new words from them.) Granted, the tone of the actual sex scenes would undergo some changes; instead of slipping his turgid member between her slick folds, he would be more apt to insert his "rethickened horn" into her "hairy hell-hole." And of course, the word concupiscence would have to emerge on every fifth page, just to make sure that the "theme" remained intact (unlike our heroine, har har).

Naturally, such a feat of Deep and Meaningful Prose demands the requisite Artistic License. Thus, the page-and-a-half long run-on sentence (only the most severe case of comma-abuse, amongst a plethora) is to be read as contributing to the Theme of the Piece. Should the urge to stone the author to death with multiple hardbound copies of The Elements of Style overtake the reader, this is surely a failure on the part of said reader to appreciate the Art of the Piece. Similarly, one should know that an abrupt personality change is expected in characters who have just realized The Connection Between Sex and Death. Any and all readers who percieve this as a gap in characterization certainly suffer the constraints of their own mundanity, and are thus unable to fully understand the author's Theme.

Mistake me not: I like a bit of sex in my fiction. Hell, I like a bit of sex in my non-fiction. But it angers my inner proletarian to see an author lauded for what, if this book is as representative as reviewers claim, ultimately amount to unduly glorified romance novels that are rife with the twin demons of misogyny and bad prose. There's no damn theme, man. It's shitty writing about poorly developed characters who provide the author with an excuse to ruin what could have been a really cool novel with his thinly-veiled hatred for women. Don't pee on my leg and tell me I'm too dumb to see that it's raining.