Thursday, March 27, 2008


is the day is the day is the day that my dear Dr. E! is coming to see me. I have several things to do before her arrival. One of them is dance for joy...

Ross is Awesome

I know this guy from Way Back When, and he is still wonderful...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

10 Things that make my whole day better

1) Slings and Arrows
2) My mom
3) Tall Swedish Platonists
4) Fuzzy Texans who participate in stache contests
5) Photo-Shopped Science Fair Projects.
6) Articles about weird cultural and historical phenomena.
7) Boys who grew up in Georgia and are now academics.
8) Not grading.
9) Early morning phone calls from Arizona.
10) This clip:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter, ya'll

Since it is too cold in NY to actually wear new Easter shoes, I am playing online and listening to Pilate's Dream.

70's rock operas about zombified religious icons = Always Awesome (although, now that I think about it, there isn't really a zombie bit in JCS, which is why so many people got so pissed about it, I think. Well, that and all the dirty dirty with good old Mary Magdalene. Man, I love her.)

And here is a little Easter thought for you
(This image and its attached quotation is from The Nietzsche Family Circus):

After the old god has been assassinated, I am ready to rule the world.

Preparing for the arrival of my favorite Swede and my favorite Goth girlfriend

I love when people come to visit.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

next to of course god america

This is a picture that M took somewhere in Arizona. And here is a link to the cummings poem, if you're craving some syllabic foreplay...

America Goddamn

Here is a sentence I probably won't get to write very often: I can't decide if I agree more with Christopher Hayes or DMX (in the following interview).

So you’re not following the race. You can’t vote right?

Is that why you’re not following it?
No, because it’s just—it doesn’t matter. They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. It doesn’t really make a difference. These are the last years.

But it would be pretty big if we had a first Black president. That would be huge.
I mean, I guess…. What, they gon’ give a dog a bone? There you go. Ooh, we have a Black president now. They should’ve done that shit a long time ago, we wouldn’t be in the fuckin’ position we in now. With world war coming up right now. They done fucked this shit up then give it to the Black people, “Here you take it. Take my mess.”

Right, exactly.
It’s all a fuckin’ setup. It’s all a setup. All fuckin’ bullshit. All bullshit. I don’t give a fuck about none of that.

We could have a female president also, Hillary Clinton.
I mean, either way it doesn’t matter. I don’t care. No one person is directly affected by which president, you know, so what does it matter.

Yeah, but the country is.
I guess. The president is a puppet anyway. The president don’t make no damn decisions.

The president…they don’t have that much authority basically?
Nah, never.

But Bush pretty much…
You think Bush is making fuckin’ decisions?

He did, yeah, he fucked up the country.
He act like he making decisions. He could barely speak! He could barely fuckin’ speak!
Can’t be serious. He ain’t making no damn decisions.

Well Barack has a good chance of winning so that might be something.
Good for him, good for him.

(Thanks to my favorite Geeks for the DMX interview and to my favorite Goth girlfriend for Hayes.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My God, it's Full of Stars

Goodbye, Arthur C. Clarke. You are star stuff once again, and we will miss you.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cloudy Sunday afternoon

Two Things:

1) Macbeth was awesome, but I had forgotten how much I dislike that play. So much blood, so many words, and so very very little redemption.

2) I should be writing that grant proposal, or at least filing my taxes. I could be grocery shopping, or reading the newspaper. I ought to be cleaning my house, or figuring out what to do with all these envelopes.

Instead, I am eating Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked ice cream (I think that I am still a little bit sick--this is the only food that has tasted really good in days), watching "Slings and Arrows," and thinking about you.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Geraldine Ferrarro needs to shut the fuck up.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Periphrasis Game for You

A while ago, DHawhee posted a bit on her blog (and in Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students) about her favorite trope: zeugma. Which is an Awesome Trope, btw--and is the rhetorical process of joining two very different phrases with the same verb (ex. "He ordered tea and the troops to invade" or, from "So I Married An Axe Murderer": She stole my heart and my cat.)

Anyway, another pretty neat-O trope is periphrasis, a form of circumlocution, in which one uses extra words to convey, talk around, and point to (but never actually say out loud) particular meanings. So, if you're a wordy bastard like me, you're gonna love periphrasis.

Hmmm, you may be wondering, what the hell prompted this blog entry? Well, I'll tell you. The other day my friend was telling me about this game he used to play with his buddies in college. The point of the game, he said, is to name different kinds of crazy based on characteristic. Delicious reference for tropes, I thought? Or super-fun way to pass the time on the bus to school? Well, dear reader, it is, in fact, both...

Here are a couple of the types we've come up with so far:

From his college buddies-

Marilyn-Manson-Crazy--used to mean someone who may look very very scary but is, in fact, from Ohio. Or Florida. And is mostly harmless.

Eating-salad-with-a-spoon-crazy--used to mean someone who is not super-clear on how to get things done in the most, um, expeditious (not to mention maybe culturally appropriate) manner.

Recent additions:

Probably-has-a-necklace-made-of-thumbs-crazy--this is the antonym for Marilyn-Manson-crazy, used to mean the type of person who everybody describes as quiet and polite until they find the bodies in his freezer.

No-passing-in-the-right-lane-crazy--used to denote a person suffering from slow-driving cars on the highway road rage. May lead to binge drinking and invention of new strings of curse words in a row. This happens between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa quite a bit.

Wire-hanger-crazy--violently OCD, used to denote the kind of person who must always be in control of even the weirdest details. Do not mess with this person. May not be quite as bad as the Thumb Necklace guy, but still not the most fun to have at slumber parties.

I'm sure there were more, but I cannot think of them right now, and I have to go to school and GRADE GRADE GRADE. There is probably another kind of crazy for that...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I see dead people

And so do these guys (one of whom is a blog writer and one of whom is a forced-to-retire-admiral-who-spoke-out-about-the-deathly-costs-of-the-war-in-Iraq). Bush and Cheney and McCain are intent, it seems, on starting World War III. And Senator Clinton thinks that the world today compares with the world of Harry Truman (in which atomic bombs got dropped, in case you've forgotten). I wish Senator Obama would talk about nonproliferation again. That is a conversation that needs to be re-started.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

And now I feel better again

Favorite lines:

Crazed Alabama Fan: "I dislike Auburn, but I hate Tennessee."

Interviewer: "This is the best interview I've done all year."

Wait. Now I feel sick again

Fuck. Nut. Bitch.

Dude, was I sick yesterday

But today I am feeling better. After sleeping for, like 20 hours, I am eating some chicken soup and watching "Goonies." Just like when I was ten.

The only thing I need now is my mom.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Places I Would Rather Be

March in Arizona = Baseball, frozen lemonade and 80 degree weather

Friday, March 7, 2008

Things about Politics

Behold... a metaphor for the upcoming election: "I am interested in watching the primaries in the same way a prisoner sentenced to life without parole would be interested in watching how the prison guards change shifts." That's from my friend's blog, Progymnasmata. Now, I don't Completely Agree with this. Most of the time.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Another website that makes me laugh

Is (Thanks to M for the rec!)

Reasons to read this website:
1) They love lists.
2) They love words.
3) They love making fun of people who are famous or pompous or annoying (or all three).
And here's the real kicker:
4) Dude, they love zombies.

Here are some delicious examples (for your reading pleasure):

5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Actually Happen (I'm telling you, investing in a crossbow might not be the worst idea you ever had. Although, as Max Brooks says, blades don't need reloading.)

The Top 25 Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians (Ha! Bruce Jenner!)

10 Words and Phrases You Won't Believe Shakespeare Invented (Please notice the translation of "Hot-Blooded" and try not to cry laughing).

The Gruesome Origins of 5 Popular Fairy Tales (Fairy tales are creepy. Like politics.)

There's also a really hilarious article about what Valentine's Day cards would say if they were honest. But I don't have a link to that one, so you can just search. You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ok, One Snarky Thing

Form of: An Abyss

I could write something about how disappointed I am that the Clintons continue their devastation of the Democratic party (and any chances it might have of putting a sort-of-left-thinking-person in the Oval Office). But instead, I will just post a link to this eerily prescient analogy between Hillary Clinton and "Scream"'s Billy Loomis. Politics is a horror movie, people.

On another (and more hopeful) note, I was just re-watching the scene from "Once" in which the main characters are sitting in the piano shop, singing "Falling Slowly." And it makes me feel better about several things--politics (for no real reason), the possibility of love (abyss included), the impossibility of love (and how accidentally/possibly finding yourself In It may not always Be So Bad), the ephemeral quality of real connection (beautiful and momentary like lightning bugs or Christmas lights or a really cold, super-delicious martini), the fact that ephemerality makes those moments good (because watching lightning bugs in summer trees is even better than Christmas lights and martinis put together).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

We all talk the same

I just got back from a trip to northern Virginia—where my cousin lives with his wife and their daughter. It was a super-fun vacation for several reasons, which I have listed (oh-so-thoughtfully) below.

1) This is my favorite cousin. He is smart and fast and sarcastic and wonderful. We are a year apart, age-wise, and we grew up being mistaken for twins (because we look similar, because we act similarly, because we talk the same, because we laugh at the same things). It was good to see him again, and it was good to be with an old friend who’s not afraid to remind me, periodically, that I am still the same ridiculous five year old I was back-in-the-day—official sounding degrees and titles notwithstanding.

2) GOT TO GO TO MANNASSAS. I am a historian in disguise, so seeing the field of Manasses (or, as we call it correctly in the South, Bull Run) was a marvelous treat. My cousin and his family live about 15 miles away from the battlefield park, and he was kind enough to drive me to the site so that I could geek out over the monuments and the stories. There was a pretty cool movie at the beginning, narrated by Richard Dreyfuss (mmmm, Stand By Me references). Also, the field is huge. Virginians, as you may or may not know, are very excited about being from Virginia, and you cannot swing a sneaker in Virginia without hitting a Civil War monument of some kind. That said, they are better at preserving old hysterical markers than a lot of other Southern places (for the being excited part, as well as the cashflow into those areas—but that’s another story entirely).

3) Got to read and hear a lot about Stonewall Jackson. Please see pictures below. Bull Run (or First Manasses, you Yankee freaks) was where he got his nickname—his actual name was Thomas Jonathan Jackson. This is kind of a big deal for me. I am from the South, and it is a very Southern thing to claim some sort of relation to one or another Southern general. In my family, it’s Stonewall (oh my god, thank you that it’s not Nathan Bedford Forrest, that fucknut bitch). We are, according to my dear and earnest mother, related to Stonewall’s niece or nephew or something. (He had a daughter, but she died as an infant. And he himself was killed by friendly fire outside of Chancellorsville in 1863—just fyi). Anyway—yea for close AND distant family!
This is the monument to Stonewall. It is very tall.

This is my dear cousin standing in front of the monument. He is not as excited about Stonewall as I am. Different sides of the family, you see...

And this is Me and Stonewall!!! It was very windy, but I did not mind.

4) Got to meet my new cousin. She will be two and a half this week, and she is fucking brilliant. Runs in the family.

5) Got to see my dear uncle and aunt that I never get to see. I was a surprise for them—and it was marvelous to laugh with them again.

6) Got to ride a train again… which is always awesome.

7) Got to see Undercover Brother—possibly my new favorite movie. Favorite excerpt:
Conspiracy Brother (played by Dave Chappelle): “Somebody get me a pillowcase—I’m joining the Klan.”

8) Got mistaken for a local: we went to walk around this cute little historical town called Middleburg (which I kept calling Middle Earth, much to my dear cousin’s chagrin). At one of the stores, the lady behind the counter mistook me.
Lady: Your face is familiar. You’ve been in here before, right?
Me: Well, actually, no. But I am related to some people that live here, and they have probably brought other members of my family in.
Lady: Oh, really? How nice.
Me: Yeah. We all kind of look alike. You know--big head, big teeth, kinda intense.
Lady: (noncommittal grunt)