Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Your days are numbered, Norris

Early Thoughts

So it's a gray New York morning, and I just watched this nice Bronx man tow my little car away. I donated her to a place called Outreach.

I don't need the car. I walk everywhere--or I take public transportation. That's actually one of my favorite aspects of this place.

Still, I am sad. Driving a car is such a Southern thing. My teenage years in Alabama are mostly filled with memories of open windows, loud music (almost always loud U2), and stick shifts.

Top Ten Favorite Car Memories:

1) The long hot Summer Saturday we spent driving around Huntsville with the T-Tops off--looking forward to an outside presentation of "Rattle and Hum" on Monte Sano.
2) Leaning out of Lisa's passenger side window as we cruised through Jones Valley Farm.
3) Racing Erik down Carl T. Jones and trying to explain the resulting smoking brakes to my mother as some sort of radiator output.
4) Making out with Jeff on the way to Metro practice. We were ALWAYS an hour late.
5) The "last first kiss" with Taylor in the parking lot of the University of Alabama library.
6) En route to some random party, laughing with Britt after she spilled a huge cup of Manishewitz on herself and said "You get me drunk, you get me wet, and you never do anything I wanna do!"
7) The drive to Fairhope.
8) We were chatting about something inane, admiring the moon and the quiet North Carolina night and then... A sort-of-rough and long-desired kiss up against the car in Winston-Salem.
9) Listening to poetry in the passenger seat on some random road in Hyde Park.
10) E! Pushing the car (BY HERSELF) out of sand in Port Aransas.

Bye bye, little polluter of the earth. I gotta go. I gotta catch the bus.

Late Thoughts

This lamp throws shadows like webs on the ceiling of my room.
I am lying here,
Stretching my hand into the light,
To see if I can make my fingers
Look like gauze.
But I can’t get the angle right.
Their shadows are too decided,
Too edged
To fit into the web.

This lamp is old,
Made of brass.
It’s one of those touch-lamps,
That has three settings,
So (with just a touch!)
I can make the ceiling web look Dark—mysterious and incomplete.
The second setting is the best,
That web is Golden, hints of shadows on the very outskirts
Of the web—
Or, with the third setting,
The web gets Bright and Stark.
The third setting is my least favorite.
It is only fit for house cleaning…
Or when I am desperately searching for my favorite earrings
In the jumbled pile on my dresser.
The third setting is harsh,
Despite the “softer light” bulbs that I put in there,
So I rarely use the third setting.

Mostly, I use the middle one.
The web looks better when there’s darkness nearby.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Things Smart People Tell Me About

First example: Stuff White People Like--which may be my new favorite thing in the world. (Thank you to Jessica for the Awesome Reference.) Well, that and the page where you can see randomized Garfield cartoons (thanks to Steve the Weave for that one).

Second example: Apparently, the original Garfield site made every cartoon window into a separate, um, web thing--so, somebody who knows more about, um, web things than me wrote a program allowing the different windows to mesh. They're like cartoon mash-ups, and even though the actual site isn't up anymore (Boo), you can still see some old ones. These are some of the archived gems.

Read, laugh, talk amongst yourselves.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


YEA!!! I love Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova and "Falling Slowly."


Oh My God. I just tuned into the Oscars to see what's going on. And some thousand year old guy is talking. He did something cool with "North by Northwest" once.

I love old people, don't get me wrong. But I have bad timing. That's all I'm sayin.

Addendum: Speaking of old people, Steve Guttenberg (sp?) is totally going to be on the new season of "Dancing with the Stars." I miss Don Amici.

The Departed

is awesome. I just love it. Especially Marky Mark and his biceps. And Alec Baldwin. And Leo. Mmmmmm, Leo.

The End.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Several Things

1) I'm not super excited about the new blog layout. I was trying to change it up a bit, and now I remember that different is bad. We fear change. Unless it's something to do with senators from Illinois. In those cases, um, "yes we can."

2) I just read an article about the spread of Burmese pythons, and I may never sleep again.

3) My friend knows this band. They are called Fallen Innocence (which is not the coolest name in the world, I admit), but we are going to see them play tonight in the Village. I like the sound of them, so far. He sounds like Maynard.

4) When my friend asked me if I had any plans for the Oscars tomorrow night, I was surprised to think that I hadn't even thought about them this year. I'm pretty sure it's because I am STILL angry about Crash winning the Oscar. That movie blows.

5) I like labels. These geeks do it well. So, in keeping with the whole "Yes We Can" thing, I am going to start labeling posts.

6) When I was in London, I visited a house that Charles Dickens once lived in, and when I was in Philadelphia, I went to one of Edgar Allen Poe's old houses. (It was the house in which he wrote "The Black Cat." Shiver...) And so I was moved by this article in the New York Times about the homes of favorite authors. Standing in the same place, looking out the same windows, seeing the same stretch of road as these dear-friends-we've-never-met is seductive indeed.

7) I miss football. Sigh.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Geeking out over Snow Day Pictures

So I just went for a walk on my my New York Snow Day. It is not super cold out... in fact, right now, the snow is sort of turning into rain. But I wanted to see some of the outside, well, outside. And, just as I suspected, it was neat. So I took some pictures. Also, something that I did not expect--walking in the snow is more work than I thought it would be, so now I am sort of sweaty and cold, bothatonce. Weird.

This is a picture of sledders--off in the distance, if you look really hard, you can see some snowmen standing guard.

This is my foot in the snow. Please notice the stylin-yet-functional snow boots I am wearing.

This is Crocheron Park--a few blocks from my house. Underneath that snow is a baseball diamond, just so you know.

New York Snow Days

You may be thinking, "Oh Ho! There's no such thing as a New York Snow Day!", but, my friend, you are wrong. Because I am experiencing one right now. If I had a real camera (other than a phone one) I would totally take a picture of my front yard for you. It is gorgeous and cold. And I am enjoying myself thoroughly. This New York Snow Day, you see, makes my Spring Break a day longer. Although, of course, Spring and Snow are not supposed to go together. But New Yorkers get confused about things like that.

So, today, instead of going to school to bend young minds, I am staying at home to bend my own. I am eating egg and potato frittata (heavy on the potato, light on the egg), drinking hot tea, and reading about Being.* Later, I will curl up on the couch with Schnappy and take a nap.

I Love New York Snow Days.

*Ahhh, dear Martin... it is good to be back in your unhinged, philosophical arms. You may have thought that I deserted you for that crazy Austrian, and I admit, I was tempted. (He does know how to turn a phrase--and you must remember how quickly I am seduced by the Clever and the Smooth-Talking.) But you, dear Martin, you were always on my mind.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Know it's a Day Early

But Happy Birthday, dear M!

On Surveys and things-to-do-with-Books

1. Name one book that changed your life.
Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz

2. Name one book you have read more than once.
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

3. One book you would want on a desert island.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

4. Two books that made you laugh.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

5. One book that made you cry.
Bleak House by Charles, again

6. One book you wish you'd written.
The Great Gatsby.

7. One book you wish had never been written.
Any of the Left Behind series.

8. Two books you are currently reading.
Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis by Sigmund
Being and Time, sort of... well, it's sitting on my coffee table, and we are seriously going to start the book club up again. For real.

Monday, February 18, 2008

And now for something completely different

Thing that I learned today: Chimney Sweeps = dirty, dancing debauchery.

I am reading Freud's "Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis," and I am just now realizing how DIRTY Mary Poppins and Bert are. Like, they can out-Nelly Nelly, I think, with that whole "A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be" bit...

Sure, random chimney sweep dude, I'll totally shake your hand .


I Walk By These Shoes Everyday

And I haven't bought them.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Don my Fake Fur Leather Boa, just like Noah

1) I am putting off laundry, to my own detriment (if I do not do laundry tomorrow, I will be teaching naked... which will be very cold), and, now that I think about it, to the detriment of others (poor, poor students with a nekkid prof). I miss my washer and dryer.

2) After reading Dr. Black Nail's latest blog entry (about characters and personalities and loyalty), I am thinking about dear friends who are far away, and dear friends who are close by. And I am realizing, once again, just how lucky I am to be so good at making friends. It is a Ninja skill that I possess: I like people who tell good stories, and so I practice collecting them. I have a pretty good collection, so far. But, of course, there are some who've gotten away, for a variety of reasons. That being said, I am lucky that these people (past and present) tell me their stories and let me be a part of their gorgeous worlds.

3) I am watching the fourth season of "Home Movies," in which Mr. Lynch yells, "Those bitches tried to cheat me!"

4) I am thinking that there are some people who are always, to a degree, in a state of mourning. Their reasons for mourning seem to change, on the surface, but I think (and this is a long-distance assignation because I am not in their heads or their hearts, so I cannot know for sure and also I am not one of them--my periods of mourning come and go)... but I think that their reasons for mourning are probably very similar. Across the board.

5) I am thinking about arguing in Japan. I just heard from the Japan Debate Association that my abstract was accepted for the Third Tokyo Conference on Argumentation. Woo Hoo! Now, if I can get that summer research grant, then I will be going to Tokyo this August!!!! I am very excited.

6) And now I am singing along with Bob Schneider's Tokyo. Mmmmmm, yummy, Bob Schneider and Shinto temples.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Yippee Ki Yay, Mr. Farkwar.

This is a late Valentine for my parents (Mom, the movie connoisseur, and Daddy, the language lover)... Thanks to my favorite former debater for the reference.

Monday, February 11, 2008

And One More Thing

Check out this bit on dhawhee's blog. It's funny and weird and the comments after are thoughtful, too.

On a similar note, in my Persuasion class earlier today, we talked about the ways in which different definitions of rhetoric shape the world. This video and the Obama one are basically youtube demonstrations of that--how we talk, the way we engage, and the stories we tell may be (are) more than just bombast.

Plus, singing is cool.

The Outside Temperature

is 26 degrees--but the wind chill brings the "feeling" down to a balmy 6 degrees.

That's, like, Russia-cold.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

From Tuscaloosa to Winston-Salem to Austin

When I was in college, my friends and I loved to go dancing. We would dance wherever--it didn't necessarily have to be a dance club. We would dance at the Downtown Pub and at the International Deli and at the Booth and the Chukker. Most of those places aren't there anymore. They were sacrificed to the inexorable march of progress.

Later, in grad school (both in NC and at Austin), the same held true. A small contingent of folks--smart, ballsy, beautiful folks--would go out and dance. And, again, the places we danced were various. We would dance in the debate room, at Freddie B's and at the West End Opera House, at First Street and Gatsby's-- in E! and Z's living room and at the Red Fez and at Trudy's and at Saba and at Malaga and at the Hole in the Wall.

Today, I am far from most of those people. But I was just talking to a dear friend about some of those days. And then another one of my favorite dancers sent this video to me. This is one of my perennial favorites.

Now, grown ups that we are, we still dance to this song--just like we did when we were 19 and vigorous, 23 and nonchalant, 27 and disillusioned... I don't know what adjective I would use for us now.

Still. It's a marvelous song.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Si, Se Puede

If you don't want to take off all of your clothes, dance around your office, high five your next-door neighbor, and vote for Senator Barack Obama after watching this, then you are cordially invited to my house. I will make you tea. We should chat.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's Super Fat Tuesday

And I would rather be standing in the warm waters of the Gulf, holding a Rum Runner in one hand and a Moon Pie in the other.

Boo work.

stupid traitor dream

Last night,
I dreamt that you were on a quest
To save your true love.
She was a mermaid,
And I was your trusty sidekick.
We could breathe underwater,
You and I…
You, because she loved you,
I, because I once loved you, too.

We saw a thousand miraculous things:
There were talking birds
And trees that walked,
Vast, dark caverns
And sunlight pyramids
And mysterious old women in small roadside shacks.
We swam through sharks,
Fighting our way to the end of the cave…
We listened to riddles,
Deciphering secrets and impossibilities.

The last thing I remember,
In this traitor dream of mine,
Was a message you received…
Written on a cupcake.
Your mermaid had sent you a note,
Telling you where she was.
This was real—
This time, we were sure.
We ran in the direction of the forest.
As we were running, I said to you,
“So, you’ve finally fallen in love—
Like you always wanted.”
And you smiled, saying,
And I said,
“Isn’t it awful?”

And then I woke—
Exhausted and unsettled,
My face wet with tears.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Today is gray and rainy in New York. Inches of snow are accumulating north and west of here. I am in a foreign land, and it is very exciting. I love the fast and the people and the pizza and the skyline.

But, today, for some reason, I am feeling really homesick. So I've been listening to "Midnight Train to Georgia" (Woo Woo!... you go, Pips), "That's Right" (by Lyle), Lynyrd Skynyrd v. Nelly (If you feel like dancing, listen to this), and "Crazy in Alabama" by Kate Campbell.

Some of these songs are kinda beautiful. Some of them are kinda sad. And some of them just make my hair stand on end... which is the way different representations of the South seem to work.

Poor Alabama.