Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Your book for THIS week

Didn't see that coming did you?  Didn't think I'd finish another book that fast?  How quickly you have forgotten our old friend Søren.  "Part Two: Containing the Papers of B: Letters to A" calls to me.  

Much like Part One, I started out strong.  "The Aesthetic Validity of Marriage" was only about ninety pages, and was a little snipey, which I like, so I was keeping up at that point.  Then there was "Equilibrium between the Aesthetic and the Ethical in the Development of Personality," which seemed (to me) to wander about as much as the title, which I just read three times to try to remind myself of what it was all about.  I think I might have done that "zoning out and thinking I'm reading while actually just turning pages and thinking of tiramisu" thing for awhile there. 

On the other however, "Last Word" was only two pages and starts out with this gem: 

"Perhaps you have the same experience with my previous letters as I have: you have forgotten most of what was in them." (p. 593)

There's a guy who knows me!  Anyway, he introduces the final bit, by yet another "author": "The Edifying in the Thought that Against God We Are Always in the Wrong."  Having just finished some nice C.S. Lewis, I was well prepared to read and understand a little sermon about how freeing it is to give up control to God, so I got ahold of this pretty well, and finished strong!  

All in all, I think "Either/Or: A Fragment of Life" was a little like the Tour de France for all those poor dudes who AREN'T Lance Armstrong.  Lots and lots of miles of uphills and foreign countryside, chasing after some dude whose process you can barely comprehend, interspersed with the occasional coasting downhill or nice French bakery.  It's worth doing, but you know you're not going to win, so you just have to enjoy your croissant while you have it.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Thoughts Set to Music

Above, you can see our trip into the rain in Wisconsin, set to Tegan and Sara.  Below, you can see the random things that popped into my head while listening to The Black Keys "Rubber Factory" on my way home yesterday.  

1. When the Lights Go Out:
"Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot."  Sometimes I trip on the way to the bus stop.

2. 10 A.M. Automatic:
 Suddenly aware I'm not wearing a seatbelt.  Seeing as how I'm riding the bus, this should not be a surprise.

3. Just Couldn't Tie Me Down:
Funny how anything out of a bus window looks like a music video if you listen to your iPod loud enough.

4. All Hands Against His Own:
My heart is beating really fast.  Or faster than usual.  Or harder.  It's probably amyloidosis.  Anyway, call Dr. House if I pass out, because I deserve the best.

5. The Desperate Man:
That statue just off 35th street kind of looks like the prostitute spire in Dublin.

6. Girl is On My Mind:
Nothing is on my mind

7. The Lengths:
Remember having underwater teaparties at the pool?  That was fun.

8. Grown So Ugly:
Did that dude just throw a seed pod at me?  What the f*ck was that about?

9. Stack Shot Billy:
Mmmm.  Barbeque.

10. Act Nice and Gentle:
One time, after a particularly late work night and an early morning, a number two bus just breezed right past my stop and didn't stop for me, and I started jumping up and down and screaming "F*ck you!  F*ck you!!"  That was a good day.

11. Aeroplane Blues:
Outside Windy's Deli a pug sits at the very end of his rope and watches a blue bottle roll around in the wind.  "Pug and the Blue Bottle" would be a great name for a folksy blues band. 

12. Keep Me
How exactly do people's underwear end up frozen on the ground?  

13. Till I Get My Way:
Yay!  First birthday card of the year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Your book of last week

If you can believe it, even while I'm NOT supposed to be working or keeping alert for suspicious activity on public transportation, I still sometimes read works of fiction.  Last week being the build-up to and eventual re-enactment of the birth of Our Lord and Savior, I decided to read something by C.S. Lewis, because I like lion metaphors.

However, I'm not great at reading titles or backs of books before I start into them, and was a little surprised to find that the book I held was called "Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life."  In other words, this was an autobiography, and there were no lions, witches OR wardrobes to be found*.  A warning on the back tells us that it is "The intensely intimate and sincere autobiography of a man who thought his way to God."  I am generally uninterested in the intensely intimate and sincere and particularly in spiritual autobiographies.  Pitewy on that, I say.

However again, C.S. Lewis turned out to be quite approachable and progressive and understanding when discussing his descent into Paganism, atheism and the occult, and also very charming and funny and not at all saccharine when explaining how he made his way back to the whole "God as Man and Spirit Three in One" thingamajig.  Having spent a youth and young adulthood in the pursuit of Joy through prostitutes and magicks, it's nearly the end of the book before he is "brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape" (p. 229).  Not despite of, but because of his earlier doubting, experimentation and dark nights of the soul, he is able to come to a faith that allows great humility before both God and Man.  

He also tells us late-20th century** American females about the intricacies of early-20th century British boarding schools for boys, with their explicit enforcement of class hierarchies based on ability at absurd English sports, such as Zucchini and Buggers or somesuch.  
It seemed to them self-evident that, if you left things to themselves, boys of nineteen who played rugger for the country and boxed for the school would everywhere be knocked down and sat on by boys of thirteen.  And that, you know, would be a very shocking spectacle.  (P. 106)
His straightforward style and sense of humor certainly does come across as both sincere and intimate, if by intimate you mean that I identified with him and would have liked to have a cup of tea with the man, not that he talked in detail about his venereal diseases.  Which he didn't.  Also, for the slightly literate in random English Christian authors, there are a lot of off-handed references to people with initials for first names, such as G.K. Chesterton and J.R.R. Tolkein.  

So, all in all, this book gets 14 out of 15 Partridges in a Pear Tree for good Christmas reading without a Santa Mouse reference.  


* Random side-note: when I was in 1st grade I saw a poster for the book "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and surmised that "wardrobe" referred to a large cast of anthropomorphic animals and trees standing around in the background.  I was a little disappointed when I actually read the book the next year.  

**Yes, I'm aware that we're into the 21st century or so by now, but I was in school in the late 20th century.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Picture that sample at the beginning of that Lyrics Born song and you'll pretty much know how I feel about the fact that I can't find any of my Christmas socks.  I can't actually watch that video, because YouTube is blocked at work... something about how watching videos of jiggling titties doesn't help us educate the children.  They never listen when I tell them that I'm trying to watch videos on Hierarchical Linear Modeling.  

Anyway, more to the point: all my damn Christmas socks just walked off the planet.  This is a collection I've been building since I was 16, dude.  No, you're not getting it.  CHRISTMAS SOCKS!  I have one sock that somehow avoided being put away last year, and I'm wearing it right now.  That's correct.  Not one pair of socks.  One.  Sock.

Eff Christmas this year, blogees.  

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In Which I Pretend to be "Cool" and Learn about the Hips and the Hops

In this second installment of "Movie of the Week," you will join me on an adventure into the lifestyles of those more cool than us with the documentary "Scratch," recommended by Houseboy's brother, who IS cool and is in a hip hop band and everything.  He was the dj at our wedding and didn't even laugh at our music choices [much], so that also makes him "cool" in the mom sense, because he's nice to those less fortunate than him.

So, if you're like me, while watching this movie you'll be like "That's the guy from the Beastie Boys!" every time you see Mix Master Mike and be very proud of yourself and otherwise really enjoy the obvious talent it takes to "scratch" and be a "turntablist" and etc.  I was aware of the fact that this is a difficult thing to master and all, and I've heard a hip hop-ist or two in my time, so I had what I would consider a healthy appreciation of the art, but watching all the footage in "Scratch" really took it to the next level.  It's like the first time I heard Rahzel on Make the Music and I realized that beatboxing is a little more than just doing the "ksh ksht" noise like Theo on The Cosby Show.  If you haven't heard it, he does this thing where he does both the background music and the vocals at the same time.  See?  I'm cool.  I know stuff.

Anyway, watch it and be amazed and also enjoy making fun of the tuba salesmen at the music expo.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In Which I try to be smart and try to make you smart too.

Hello blog bidges!  It's that time again: time for you to learn to read!  This week I'll be berating you about Søren Kierkegaard's "Either/Or: A Fragment of Life."  Or rather, just "Part One: Containing the Papers of A".  You'll get to hear all about "Part Two: Containing the Papers of B: Letters to A" when I finish it.   

So, this is a reading selection brought to you by the wonderful intervention of my friend Soda Pop, previously known as Sweetbreads, but I didn't like that nickname, so she got a new one.  Now we can think about both Veronica Mars and The Outsiders every time we read about her!* 

Anyway, Soda Pop was a philosophy major and is very smart and is under the impression that I'M smart too, so she sends me books sometimes and I read them on the bus and get very confused and agitated.  I have to say that this book so far falls into that category.  It starts with an introduction by a dude who is pretending not to be Kierkegaard pretending that he found these papers in a desk that he was called upon by mystical forces to buy.  So, the papers by A and the papers by B aren't written by Søren, so give him a break.  He's just the author.  

The first section is called "Diapsalmata," which the appendix tells us is "the plural Greek form for the Hebrew selah, a word that recurs in the Psalms of David at the end of a verse."  Duh.  Anyway, it's basically a bunch of short observations and sayings, and when I read this part I thought I was smart because I was totally keeping up.  Then we get to "The Immediate Erotic Stages or the Musical Erotic" and "Ancient Tragedy's Reflection in the Modern," and I was just expecting a lot more penis, that's all.  "Shadowgraphs" and "The Unhappiest One" lulled me into a state of partial understanding, and then I got to "Crop Rotation," upon which I was revived by the aesthetic discussion of boredom!  This included such gems as "Idleness as such is by no means a root of evil; quite the contrary, it is a truly divine way of life so long as one is not bored."  Now, this is my kind of guy.  

We finish up with "The Seducer's Diary," which transforms from essay form to story form, and I'm finally in my milieu.  Here, we get to hear from the consummate 19th century Seducer, who accosts ladies on the street and compliments them on their hats, follows them back to their drawing rooms to make friends with their maiden aunts, and all around confuses them until they put out and then he runs off laughing.  Good Stuff.

So, in conclusion, I am not as smart as Soda Pop thinks I am, but put something in the form of a story instead of an essay, and I might just be able to tell you what it's all about.  


*  P.S. The Outsiders was a book too.  Check that out sometime.  
    P.P.S., Did you know that S.E. Hinton was a girl?  Rockin'!

Monday, December 15, 2008

List O' The Week

A new feature, ladies and gentlemen: List O' The Week.  In this feature I will be lazy and not write in full sentences.  This week's list:Things I Will Do Today Instead of Working.  Enjoy!

  1. Make myself some tea and oatmeal
  2. Talk to Houseboy on the googletalks
  3. Catch up on Dugout Chats
  4. Refill my tea
  5. Chat with Hedgehog 
  6. Read Hedgehog's Blog  (rhyming is fun!)
  7. Meet a strange man in the ladies room holding a wrench and standing over the heater
  8. Refill my tea, but worry a little bit about it this time
  9. Catch up on Natalie Dee
  10. Pretend I lost everything in a fire and somehow had a million dollars in insurance and restock my home at
  11. Investigate the bathroom.  Decide to use the one downstairs
  12. Refill my tea
  13. Reheat some delicious risotto made by Houseboy and eat it at my desk, so it looks like I'm working hard
  14. Feed the new office fish
  15. Turn on my Japanese star lantern so that it looks more cheery in here
  16. Decide the bathroom is safe, discover I still have hat hair
  17. Refill my tea
  18. Enter what I've eaten into my food log.  Skip all the cups of tea.
  19. Check out Twins Geek for Twins news
  20. Join a coworker in taunting the fish with a mirror
  21. Eat a bunch of candy from the office candy dish
  22. Refill my tea
  23. Leave it on my desk and head home early because of "weather"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Movie of the Week

I've decided to let up on you a little bit about the whole reading thing and let you watch movies too. You can have one movie a week if you promise to read one book a week. And eat all your vegetables. And clean your room. If you’re really good, maybe I’ll take you to the mall on Saturday and let you get your ears pierced by that disenchanted fake blonde who works at Claire’s and you think is so cool that you actually almost had an aneurism when she complimented the plastic necklace you picked out last week. We’ll see.

A nice movie for us to see while there might have been “Twilight,” but I went to see it without you last night. Because my life doesn’t revolve around you, missy, that’s why. Houseboy and I went to see it with Sonic and Hedgehog and ex-Roommate’s ex-Girlfriend (she needs a pithier nickname…) and my coworker, Hello Kitty. Yes, I work with Hello Kitty, my job rocks.

You’d think that six 25 to 35 year olds buying tickets to the pre-teen Movie of The Century would have looked odd, but no. It was a school night, people. We were in the theater with mostly middle aged and middle youth aged adult types and one baby who cried for about 1.5 seconds before its mother probably smothered it or something because Dramatic Things were happening on the screen.

But then Dramatic Things were always happening on the screen. This was a very Dramatic movie with lots of Dramatic Close-Ups that allowed me to really investigate these teenagers’ nonexistent skin issues. Hedgehog was the first one to laugh, I swear, but then after that the theater was a bit of a gigglefest every time Edward did his “Damnit I’m hot, but I’m either sad about it or angry or possibly hungry, which is like angry when you’re a vampire, and it’s hard to convey that all with my awkward teenage body” look. There was outright uproar when Jasper and Carlisle first appeared on screen, both overly powdered and (in Jasper’s case) apparently choking on a sour candy.

Having read all four of the books in pre-teen quivering anticipation, I have to say that I did expect the blatant sexual metaphor, as well as the (possibly unintentional) abusive relationship references and even a little bit of the crushing boring-osity of both of the main characters, when it comes right down to it. Somehow it was all more ridiculous on the big screen, though.

All that said, however, it was just too much fun to really dislike, and plus as Houseboy put it “We’re in it now,” so I’ll probably end up seeing every other one in theaters too.


P.S. There was a real spider on my pillow in the middle of the night last night, putting all the horrifying nightmares into perspective. He tried to crawl in my ear, and I said “Watch out little spider, or I’ll roll over on you,” and then brushed him off the bed. He’ll probably be back for revenge with his enormous compadres in tow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I love love love Chicago politics!

So, I never ever write about politics because I hates them like I hates the fat hobbit and marzipan and hair in my mouth. There are so so many things going on in the world that make me unhappy or itchy and I just prefer to look at shiny things and think of Christmas. However, given the buzzy buzzy bugs always saying things like "economic free fall" and "war crimes" and "little Stella's been kidnapped," I have to say that I've found This Week in Chicago Politics to be all kinds of entertaining.

People Who Care, such as Hedgehog should probably be upset about Kindly Mayor Blagojevich soliciting bribes in exchange for the Evil Minority Senator's seat. I mean, that's bad. Like bad bad. As much as I hate it, having a political system NOT based on paternalism and quid pro quo is kind of important. Plus, scoffing at Evil Minority Senator for offering only "appreciation" in exchange for taking his preferred successor...

See this is where it gets hilarious. How can I even be expected to hear about any more of this without picturing Kennedy-Knockoff Mayor laughing uproariously and slamming down the receiver of his giant phone before pulling out his plans to drill to the center of the earth and release giant ants on the mole people. Look at that picture by the way. THIS is how he got elected, in case you wondered. He looked us deep in the eyes and said, softly, sweetly: "Baby, you can trust me! I have such lovely hair and teeth!" And we thought about how important eating celery and dusting things with your head are to our great state, and we fell in love.

Ok, so to leave you with a parting shot, this is the first thing Houseboy sent me after hearing about this:


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rain is Like Jesus' Tears

Why is Jesus crying, you might ask? Well, Jesus is crying because the weather is ugly out there. And also because you're still not reading. Do we need to ease you into it a bit? Try a book of short stories, like so:

Yes, I know it says "Novels," but if you'll just pick up the book you'll see that it can't possibly be more than one novel. It's barely big enough for ONE novel! What's that? You can't feel the heft of a virtual book? Well, get a damn imagination. You really do need to read more.

I'll help you out. This is a collection of ten short stories doing the old "send up" of literary conventions and genres, such as the detective story ("Maddened by Mystery, or The Defective Detective") and the ghost story ("Q. A Psychic Pstory of the Psupernatural"). And those are only the first two stories! Now, you might have some trouble with this one, since it presupposes a certain familiarity with common works of fiction, and you've obviously been raised on a diet of pure Perez Hilton, who was raised on a diet of lead-based paint. If it helps you at all, you could try reading one short Sherlock Holmes mystery first, or maybe google "Science Fiction" to get some idea what that is all about.

To give you a little inroad into what you'll be up against, here is a representative section from the story "Gertrude the Governess, or Simple Seventeen":

"Yet Gertrude cherished the memory of her parents. On her breast the girl wore a locket in which was enshrined a miniature of her mother, while down her neck inside at the back hung a daguerreotype of her father. She carried a portrait of her grandmother up her sleeve and had pictures of her cousins tucked inside her boot, while beneath her--but enough, quite enough."

If you get where that is going, then you'll like this book. But you don't have to take my word for it.... assuming you have bookstores or the internet in your area.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Yup, it's snowing outside, so it's about time to make my winter hibernation plans. Since I can't make it down to the Florida beach house this year (or any year), I've put on my fleece skirt, made myself some tea and oatmeal and outlined a rough work schedule of one hour on, half hour off to get myself through the day. That's your tax dollars at work folks... at least if you pay property taxes in Chicago it is.

As a good beginning to this hibernation I've already lined my insides with the following:

I might need a colonoscopy after that last one.

This week, while eating and cooking and otherwise making merry, I also finished this book:

Which, of course, enhanced the festivities by adding a dash of guilt and a smattering of disgust at humanity. The book is a series of narratives, delivered to and transcribed by McSweeney's staff, by people who have been affected by the last 30 years or so of fighting in Sudan. It ranges from a graduate student living in the US to young people in refugee camps and on the streets of Cairo to single parents returning to their destroyed homes. Plus, it has about 50 pages of appendices for those of us who are very out of the loop on the whole "current events" issue on account of avoiding the news because it makes us sad, and we're going to eat the spinach and buy the asbestos t-shirts anyway, so why be afraid for our lives while doing it? Anyway, I usually hear the updates on which common household item I'm supposed to avoid sticking in my ear eventually and the rest of it seems like repetitive downers, but I have to admit that this book actually got my attention, and not just because it came free in the mail as a part of the McSweeney's book club. I'd recommend it highly, but that would make me sound like I enjoy the suffering of others, and I'd say everyone should read it, but that would make me sound preachy, so I'll just say "Good book. Yes."

And now the heaters in my office are making a sort of dissonant anti-music kind of sound, so I think I'll go climb into a file cabinet until the robots have swept through and eliminated all their enemies.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm crazier than the average bear

I had a nightmare last night in which my dad shaved off his beard. Now, that might not sound that scary, but this is a hallmark of childhood terror dreams for me, since the man has had a beard since he was 18 years old. As a matter of fact, in the dream he looked just like his high school graduation photo--mutton chops and all.

Broader strokes of the nightmare: In addition to beardless daddy, I also encountered gunfights, a drunken mother and long deceased family pets. Are you well teased? Ok, you can count my self-gratifying dream recounting as your literature for today.

I was about 15 and living in New York City because I was trying to make money for the family or sell newspapers or something, that part wasn’t clear. However, there were severe gang wars dividing the neighborhood and as I skipped about the neighborhood, my ragamuffin friends and I kept getting shot at, and eventually we had to duck down into a skate park to hide, where I saw my beardless dad in a shootout with the police because he had been selling coke to high school kids. In an emotional moment I cried a lot about it and felt really bad while he got hauled away through the rivers of blood that now filled the streets.

Since I was all sad and all my friends were dead anyway, I decided to head back home; I’m guessing I hitchhiked or rode the rails, because that part was edited out to fit in the time allotted. When I got home, I got distracted for awhile in the back yard, where it took me about a week to walk the last 50 feet or so, and I slept outside in the cold every night. When I finally got in through the back door, mommy dearest was all drunk and wailing about how no one was there to support her anymore, and then daddy dearest swooped in just out of cocaine jail and started yelling at me for making her cry. Luckily, just then my childhood dog, Inky, went running out the front door and turned into my beloved dog of similar size and shape, Flower. When I caught her and brought her across the street to the convenience store that was obviously on a street in New York, she turned into some other kind of dog I’d never seen before and then the fat cat saved me from all the insanity by waking me up with his scratching on the side of the closet and staring at me.

I’m thinking this all means that I’m iron-deficient?

Monday, November 24, 2008

People Just Don't Read No More

They really should. It's been proven to raise your IQ as rated by People on the Bus with You, to support our eyeglass and flashlight economy and to enlarge your penis after just 14 words. Now, you could go on as you have, reading nonsense like this on the Internet, but you should know that Internet words are like anti-matter to literature words. This is also true of the Business and Lifestyle sections of the newspaper and any magazine that contains pictures of shoes and/or chest hair. So, basically every day you're participating in the eradication of literature. You're like the Nothing in The Neverending Story. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

In order to save Fantastica and the Childlike Empress, I've decided to share what I've read in this space in a new semi-regular column I'm going to call "I Wish I Were Nick Hornby and Read for a Living."

So, here's your first installment. I recently finished a book I got from the McSweeney's book club called "Vacation," by Deb Olin Unferth:

It's about a guy with a misshapen head following his wife who is following another guy with a brain tumor and running into another guy who un-trains dolphins, who is being followed by a woman who just found out he's her father after the man she thought was her father, who had a misshapen head, died. But it's really all very simple and beautiful. It has that kind of writing that makes me think that maybe I could write like that someday, because she (the writer) has the same sense of humor as me, but then I realize that she's doing all kinds of fun things with words that I wouldn't ever think of, and so I think maybe she'd just like to be my friend and come over for scones and cream tea cooked by Houseboy, because maybe she doesn't have a Houseboy who makes scones. Or clotted cream.

So, there's your introduction to the world of literature. Go read now, quickly, before all the words in this post disappear from the World of Imagination forever!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hypothesis: Interest in my life has plummeted

By you all, that is. Not by me. I'm not suicidal or anything. Though I am also rather disinterested in the tawdry daily toils of an office drone, so I suppose I can't blame you. As incentive to find me entertaining, here are five things I did today that may change the history of the world.

1) I wore a "Halloween Costume" that consists of my Eddie Guardado jersey, Twins hat, and Houseboy's baseball spikes. This makes bathroom trips an adventure in metal sliding around on tile.

2) I forgot to take my migraine prevention medication this morning, and my neck keeps cracking. Possibly unrelated.

3) I led a hostile takeover of Denmark under the rallying cry of "Hamlet for Benevolent Dictator," because I fell asleep to the Kenneth Branaugh version of the play last night and it invaded my dreams.

4) I bought the majority interest in the American Dollar, and I'm now using my control over this stock to make Argo Tea drinks cost less.

5) I changed my coworker's auto-correct option in Word so that when she types "the" it will come out "robrules." This accomplishes the dual task of a) annoying/confusing her and b) blaming an intern, which may result in his disembowelment.

Your guess is as good as mine as to which of these items will have the largest effect on our world today.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Everything about me rocks

I think it's important to blog about current events and share your unique viewpoint on situations with the inter-world. On the other hand, my biggest excitement this week was realizing that white people chips actually work on my migraine elimination diet.

So I ate about 43 bags of these while lying on my back on the couch and watching Veronica Mars episodes. The cats hovered around the ground near my futon, knowing that eventually I'd drop an entire chip and just not have the energy to reach down for it. And Houseboy wonders why they annoy him when he's home alone all day and don't bother me on the weekends.

My big plan for the whole weekend was to swap out my summer clothes for my winter clothes-- an occasion I look forward to every year as a recurring rite of passage initiating me into the followers of King Boreas for yet another winter. The breaking out of the tank tops that usually occurs mid to late April (my capitulation to Vulcanus' domination) is also a big event. However, in my potato chip stupor I forgot, and I had to dig a sweater out of the box under my bed for the forecasted snow showers (which haven't shown up yet) today.

So, now I'll have to save the clothing frenzy for this weekend, by which time it will be November, which really seems like pushing the envelope if you ask me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yellow angry folger rhythm

Update on the Christine Jennings situation. Houseboy did a little research using the Internets and found that she's running for office in Florida's 13th district. So, now I'm moving to Florida just to fuck her. Not in a sexy way, in a "I'm not voting for you and I'm spreading evil lies truthful facts about your suckitude" way. Plus, then I'll be there for Spring Training and also maybe down there they don't continue to air condition their offices into October, because my toesies are freezing off.

In other news, I'm reading this awesome book:

Which was given to me in an exchange of goods/services with my friend in DC, who will now be known as Sweetbread, because that's the pancreas, which is an awesome organ known for its fantastic book recommendations and knowledge of philosophy.

I'm also about to embark on the Migraine Elimination diet, which ought to make the Things My Houseboy Cooked for Me segment pretty interesting as for 2 to 6 weeks he tries to satisfy me using only potatoes and vegetables. Damnit if everything I say doesn't end up sounding dirty today.


Friday, October 10, 2008

I hate Christine Jennings

I have no idea what she stands for, what her politics are, or any of that crap. All I know is her evil minions have figured out how to break every damn spam blocker in the universe and no matter how many times I try to train my e-mail to block out the "Christine Jennings for Congress" e-mails, I still get at least one of these a day. I hope her opponent isn't for puppy raping and baby factories, because there's no effing way she's getting my vote. Even if it means that Voldemort gets it instead and he unleashes the hounds of hell, because spam is way worse than murder.

Unless we're talking about:

In which case that's just a delicious meat food that saved my life on many Boundary Waters camping trips. In conclusion, Christine Jennings may or may not endorse blood sacrifices to her demon god. Spread the word.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Don't you want to be my friend?

I added the new blogspot feature called "Followers" so that you people could sign up to be my minions, but of course no one did, just highlighting what I think I've made clear before: I don't have friends.

I'm not blaming anyone of course, because as it turns out if you invite me to your wedding I'll forget to charge my camera battery and end up with only photos of your ass and my feet, because I thought that was cute and I'd had a few beers already. Sorry Hedgehog and new husband, Sonic (he suggested this name, so you can see that they're adorable together, even though they won't let me post the ass pictures here).

Here's the picture of our feet:

I'm hoping it's the perspective, but DAMN do I have some thunder calves. Also, finger toes, and that's not a perspective issue. You can't tell from the photos I took, but I was wearing this totally awesome dress that I bought on Etsy from this lady who makes them to your measurements. So I looked like a hot 50s housewife, which is one of my life goals.

The only other shot I got was this fun little video which mostly shows darkness, darkitude and some darkosity. But if you look closely you'll see the telltale signs of White People Dancing and then White People Waiting for the Next Song and Wondering How They Should Dance Until They Figure Out What Song It Is.

Hedgehog got Houseboy and I drunk and made us dance to Monster Mash. It was a graveyard smash.

Other than that I've spent this week inventing new smileys, like the Ice Grill :[] and new internet slang, like LUAS (laughing up a storm). Those are copyrighted, by the way. Ten cents for every use. Given my vast minions, I should be a millionaire any day now.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Darn it all to Heck

So, the Saturday before last I spent the whole morning at a "Safe Church Training," otherwise referred to in our household as "How to Not Rape Kids." It's a great training, and I would never say a foul word against the laudable pursuit of protecting kids. Because rape and molestation are bad. In case you ever wondered. But, I had to do this same training two years ago and found out at the end of this 2 hour meeting that they recommend congregations do it every 5 years, and if I'd known that I would have insisted that I still remembered all the finer points. Among these points is making sure that kids' parents or guardians pick them up after Sunday School, a rule I find annoying because kids' parents or guardians are all busy in the parish hall eating cookies and church coffee and chitchatting about Jesus and I'm left wandering around the church with their spawn looking for them. But I do it, because I am against child molestation, even in church. Anyway, I got to watch the awesome video where they interview former victims and perpetrators of abuse and play the "Is this an ok touch in church?" game and there was some tasty fancy tea and doughnuts, so among Saturdays it's not the WORST I ever had.

Immediately the next day of course I'm in the Sunday School room and being extra special careful to not let kids go to the bathroom alone or have the second graders sit on anyone's lap, and I get up to walk across the room, trip over a kid coloring a liturgical calendar and land hand-first on her ass. Darn it all to heck, I'm going to be in that training again next year, I can just see it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Celebrity News Donkey Donkey Donkey Donkey

One of Houseboy's manifold and myriad and splendiforous offerings to our household is keeping up on the world of celebrity gossip so that I don't ever have to come in contact with the E!! network or Bestest Weak Ever or any of those other shows that make me want to Google "pipe bomb" and "teeming darkness chatroom" at the same time. He just jets in with little tidbits of nonsense that he finds and lets me consume them like those bite-sized almond Snickers bars: not quite what I'd pick out for myself, but they're in the candy dish one cubicle over from mine, and I'll forget I've eaten them or even that they existed as soon as I've swallowed. Today's Almond Snickers bar was This Article about Some Actress in "Gossip Girl", which we only watched one time because the voiceover was done by Kristen Bell of "Veronica Mars" fame, and everything she does is the Most Awesome Thing Ever. Except Gossip Girl, which sucks.

So the article was entertaining enough on its own, I suppose, with the prison and the drugs and the white ladies getting off with only 16 months on smuggling like an elephant of pot into the country. But what was WAY MORE FUN was that I then Googled her mother and "screen writer" because I wanted to see these so-called screen-writing credits. And I found This Way More Awesome Article, which I hypothesize is actually THE SAME article translated into Japanese and then back into English.

My favorite parts include:

  • Referring to pregnancy as being "already profound with Leighton" and having the baby as "gave being innate." These parts might actually be translated from Latin.
  • That Leighton "has clever relations" with her parents and "plays a single of a womanlike leads." Dirrrrty!
  • That the only completely grammatically correct sentence is "It turns out she was born in jail!" At least they know what to focus on.
But my very most favorite quote, that I'm definitely having tattooed in large letters on my back, because it's now my life motto, is this:

"And we consider it usually creates me conclude a things which we have right away."

Think about it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I am badly in need of Viagra

Another possible title for this post: don't click on things in your junk mail folder, even if they are from admin@ or say re: or you're really really tweaked on meth and having a hard time focusing on your work or complete words. It appears that and I are becoming bosom buddies, if the number of times he's responded to e-mails I supposedly sent him in the last week is any indication. As a matter of fact it's really something I should put on my list of growths and accomplishments for the year that I have someone with whom I communicate so regularly. Before the administrator of I only had Houseboy, who is legally required to interact with me on a daily basis and can't even break his legally binding agreement on account of the Great and Powerful OZ, or the Da Vinci Code or something along those lines.

Oh, I have other friends, but generally I'm pretty shitty to them and try to avoid their phone calls, and when they invite me places I stand them up or I tell them I have quilting to do that weekend and then actually spend the time on the floor of the shower, speaking to the silverfish. So mostly they don't e-mail me every day with updates on what's going on in their lives and business like this new associate of mine, and certainly they don't hear from me every day, like it appears has been going on in this case.

Now, since I don't actually remember writing any of the e-mails that Mr. Administrator is replying to I have to say that our friendship is probably largely based on a mutual admiration of pharmaceuticals and/or sleepwalking, but as long as Houseboy doesn't notice me slipping off in the middle of the night, I'd say this friendship has potential. It involves no conscious work on my end, as far as I know I've never had to leave the house, and there's no larger circle of friends that I have to pretend to like or pay tribute to in the form of dinner parties or infant souls.

I think I'll go ahead and add him to my address book.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Life is about discoveries

So, there's this great art store just a few blocks away from where I work in the crushing salt mines for the soulless government boogie man, and I have this whole thing where once upon a time I considered myself creative. Well, anyway, I thought I'd resurrect that impulse and see if maybe it could tame the gnawing rage, or at least keep me up past 8 o'clock at night.

So I went in and I bought these pretty colored pens for to draw with, because I already have oil paints and last time I used those the cats got involved and their painting on the carpet has lasted longer and gotten more compliments than anything I ever did with them. And the plan with these colored pens was to make some fancy cartoony illustrations for this story I wrote way back when I was young and industrious and creative-like and originally had collages that went with it that I made out of fashion magazines and photos I got off the internet, but turns out that's not so much legal if you ever want to actually call it your own work.

So anyway, I hit a hitch. Turns out I suck at drawing. My illustrations turned out something like this:
And somehow I don't think that's really ADDING to the awesomeness of my story, much as I love the gumby arms that guy seems to be sporting. At this point I'm taking refuge in the old collage idea and assuming that cutting up lots of crappy illustrations will have a cool effect something like this:
Thus terrifying small children and not just making them wonder why Stretch Armstrong is sitting on a pile of doo doo.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dressing your reality doesn't make it true

This weekend was one of those ones where I spent good portions of time out of the house, interacting with other people and pretending to be a contributing member of society and an adult and whatnot. I'm sleepy now.

On Saturday Houseboy was Workboy and I was Housegirl--I did laundry and dusted and cleaned things and even brushed the fat cat until he screamed and hissed at me and chased me around the house with his fangs out.

Sunday was the first day of youth formation and the start of a new curriculum called "Godly Play," so I got to sit in a circle on the floor with a bunch of highly-educated Hyde Park parents and pretend I know what I'm talking about while actually deferring to the kindergartner across from me who had had a similar program in her pre-K Sunday School class. "So, um... then we sort of do, like 'Wonderings'.... which is, like, where we think about the story. Right Tegan?" Tegan nods and then rolls her eyes at me.

After that, I braved the apocalyptic rainstorms to head to downtown with Houseboy, our friend the Hedgehog and her as-yet-to-be nicknamed soon-to-be-husband, where we got our first ever massages in our almost 30 years and then bought pants and v-necked sweaters at Old Navy and drank tea at Elephant and Castle.

I wore the pants (green) and sweater (yellow) and a collared shirt (also from Old Navy) this morning, thinking I'd extend my streak of being all growned-up-like, but as soon as I got into work I noticed that the white shirt was covered in Fat Cat's hair. Once I'd removed the hair, I started to make some tea, but as I was walking to the water cooler with my newly-filled tea ball in my cup, I looked down and noticed that the cup had a nice film of brown, moldy goo all over the bottom, which was now splishing prettily all over the fresh tea leaves. So, I washed out the tea cup and tea ball and got new leaves and new tea and got back to my desk and finally opened my e-mail and saw that I have two meetings this morning, both of which I'd forgotten all about.

Welcome back to the reality of who you are. I'll be taking a nap in the conference room.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I cleaned out my camera

My digital camera is now totally empty of photos. If you go to the part where you're supposed to look at the photos you took, it says "No Image." I thought about taking a picture of that with Houseboy's camera and then posting it here, but I thought that might be too postmodern, even for me. Because we all know I'm the postest of all post-moderns.

Anyway, now that I have all those photos on my computer, I thought I'd put some of them up here on the interwebs to share with the people who don't read my blog. Here is one of risotto with basil and roasted corn and cherry tomatoes that Houseboy made for me. He let me pick out the corn, because I'm from Minnesota, and that means that I'm born knowing good corn, even when it's being sold on 53rd street in Chicago.

Here's one of black beans with mangoes and red bell peppers that Houseboy also cooked for me. I didn't get to pick out any of this meal, but I got to help sprinkle the mangoes on top. It looked prettier before I started eating it, but I forgot to take a picture until I'd halfway destroyed it. I was hungry!

Here's one of the fat cat saying "I'd rather lick my fist!" That's his new favorite saying. I'm going to get one of those cute t-shirts with a picture of him on it that people have, and then I'm going to put that underneath.

And here's a picture of when I went to a conference on educational policy in New York City! Boobies!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Remember that one time I had a blog?

Ironic that my last blog was about the end of the world. Were you worried about me? Did you think that my world ended on October 24, 2007? That would be confusing for you, since your world didn't end, and all previous evidence has pointed to us living in the same world. Tell me more about your cosmology some other time, though. Suffice to say that neither of our worlds has ended as of my writing.

Update on happenings in my world in the last 10 months:

Houseboy has cooked eggplant parmigiana, ratatouille, vegetarian paella, tofu curry (I'm back off fish), and sundry other delicacies to soothe the savage beast, or breast as the case may be.

I have seen movies, 94.73% of which were good to excellent; and I have gone on camping trips, 73.6% of which were rated "worthwhile" by the participants.

I have finished work projects, which have stalled in the editing stages above me, and engaged in a war of attrition with all members of my department. I am The Highlander. There can be only one.

I had a dream about a verdant valley filled with tiny giraffes.

I have reclaimed the dream of a Central Division Title for the Twins, and only cried a little when I saw Torii Hunter in an Angels uniform.

I have read all the way to the K's in my library, with a time-out for books bought in airports (Catcher in the Rye, Rant) and books from the McSweeney's Book Club (Maps and Legends, All Known Metal Bands, Where to Invade Next, Underground America, Arkansas).

Houseboy and I have walked to Lincoln Park for brunch, jetted to York for a wedding and popped out to DC for the fireworks. The cats are not happy with us, and I have the urine-stained traveling bag to prove it. The Fat One has altogether forgotten how to speak English and only looks at me with blank eyes and licks his lips.

Things that have not changed in the last 10 months:

I have not grown any taller, any smarter or any better at the piano.

No one has offered to sponsor me for a year in Spain to work on my Spanish and my paella-eating.

With my back to the moon I can still spit 40 feet.