Friday, October 26, 2007

the reason all my titles are the same as my bodies is bc i am writing all this in quicksilver, which then my friend saw me doing it and she was like if you had a civic i bet it would have a sweet spoiler and WHATEVER, I DON'T DRIVE.

the reason all my titles are the same as my bodies is bc i am writing
all this in quicksilver, which then my friend saw me doing it and she
was like if you had a civic i bet it would have a sweet spoiler and

rusty. do you still check this? if so we should start our scripts here. or in google docs. i will be our it person. see, i just did it.

rusty. do you still check this? if so we should start our scripts
here. or in google docs. i will be our it person. see, i just did it.

PERISH OR PERISH. is it right that i have anxiety about publishing in the first year of PSFP? yes. no.

PERISH OR PERISH. is it right that i have anxiety about publishing
in the first year of PSFP? yes. no.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Finally my wife got eaten by sharks:
a movie by sharks, for sharks.

Monday, September 17, 2007

oh grumbledy old lady grumbling more

Ok. Ok. Admit! <a href=" ">I spend. Less time. With my friends. Than I did when. I was not married.</a>  Even if you are the most friend-seeing person in the whole world, this will happen because um, there is a certain amount of time you have?  to spend? on anything? and so when you are spending time on married stuff...? I guess you could spend time with your marriageperson and your friends together a lot, but then you do not have refuge from anything, and plus what if he is a grump and you are the only person he likes in the universe?

Anyway, though, I am probably the classic got-in-serious-relationship-checked-out-of-social-liffesors case. I mean, the people I no longer see, I count in the thousands.  Like around the third or fourth thousand.  AND THIS IS BECAUSE WHAT A LOT MY FRIENDS LIKED TO DO WAS ONLY GO AND MAKE OUT WITH PEOPLE.  And as much fun as it is to sit around and watch people decide who to make out with, I mean, a) it is called "wingman" and not "main interesting role" for a reason, yes? and b) as pure as me and my intentions are, it is not like, an A+ for the dynamic of a marriage which prioritizes the sessual fidelity for one partner to be existing in large part in a big cashze -sex soup. 

So basically, if I had not had so many sexy friends, I would not have been out there in the same way and probs would not have met and married Haz(z)ard, but then once I did, I could not be useful to my sexy friends or have a lot of fun stuff to do with them.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Epistles at dawn

Dear Violet,

totally possible this is just a manic episode, but I think I'm ready to be a famous blogger.

How's that sound?

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Lunch

I lost that last post once and then rewrote a bunch of it, but it ended up being about how lazy I am.

And here I am, writing a whole new post.

But a short one.

Funny How.

Everything that rises must converge

This is where I try kind of a novel thing and link to a blog that I actually read all the time. This probably says a little too much about me and exposes the extent of my intellectual adventures of the past several years. Come to think of it, maybe I've linked to him before, but I'm not about to go back and look it up. What do you think I am, some kind of "blogger"?

So here's what I'm trying to say: the other day, Apartment 3-G featured a character named Gary Walker. "Gary Walker!" I exclaim inwardly, "He's the second Walker brother!" (I can't name the third and again, I am ergonomically opposed to looking up this information)

So What? you say. SO: Gary Walker sings a great song about masturbation, called "Magazine Woman"... and here he is, not singing Magazine Woman:

Basically, I'm the laziest blogger in the world.

Songs you won't hear on television

Snappy Something-day, Violent Beekeeper.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


So, on acounna whatever combination of genetics and singular touchiness and being a special delicate flower in this wintry world, I shlep around a diagnosis of depression, now very very much in remission or hey, you know what, CURED now with the help of the things that help that sort of thing.   Anyway, as anyone who is or considers themselves* to be or would like to be depressed knows, people like to talk about their depression in humanland and on the internet.  I know!  Me too!  They like to pick it up and examine it and compare it to yours and reflect with you and create their narrative.

I am making a conscious decision to cut that out right here and now, and to not engage in conversations or read writings on it.  You know why?  It's depressing!  Not just in the sense of  reading about downers is a downer, no, there is something about the rhythm of the language and the reaching and the searching that mimics the dark waves of the feeling itself.  And then you are kind of diluted and you are like, I recognize this dilution... could it be...?  Is it...?  Bc you have just been reading about depression, so you know, you are predisposed to blame things on it.  And then you get worried that you're getting depressed, and none of it would have happened if people kept that crap off their blogs!

Despite everything I know about teh neurochem, the old complaint about depressives being self-indulgent kind of resonates with me. But like, what are you going to do, not indulge your brain? 

*I am so so fine with using they as a singular pronoun.  Stuff it, perscriptivists!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Performing a public service

I forwarded this for a friend; I hope everyone enjoys and learns from it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Failing The Turing Test

Facebook, when I put in my fake place of employment - let's call it Siccing Baboons on Jerks Inc.:

"Would you like to find co-workers at Siccing Baboons on Jerks Inc.?"

Yes.  Yes, I very much would.
My bank is offering me a 15% discount on bank-logo merchandise as a birthday-month gift.

Maybe I'll treat myself.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

My father and brother are both little bike-monsters. They bike to far
away states, to work, and in my brother's case, for work. As a kid, I
really liked to bike. Really, really liked it. First, I had a blue
bike, and I didn't even need the training wheels on it for ten minutes
I was such a natural. Then, I got a flashy black 21-speed BMX bike
with gold spokes which was the envy of the kids in my apartment
complex, and finally, when I got to a semi-adult size, a red 18-speed
cruiser. I rode it about twice, and I've barely ridden since.

See, I was getting too old to just pedal around the park; I wanted to
use it to get places, and take it on trips and so on, but I was
absolutely (and rightly) forbidden from going helmetless on any street
on which cars ever even thought about going. I HATED wearing a
helmet. They looked ridiculous and I could not bear the thought of
being glimpsed in one. They were also sweaty and the chin strap
chafed, but this was really not a concern, the problem was that maybe
one of the many thirteen year old boys who might become totally
smitten upon seeing me biking, my braids flying in the wind, the
lovely top of my head exposed, would instead see me in a helmet and
barf all over themselves. I was so self-conscious about helmets that
wearing one took all the joy out of riding for me - I could not feel
the wind, though the wind was there, or sense the speed though I still
went fast or hear the hum of tires on asphalt though; I was consumed
by imagined mockery. Gender! Awesome! So my brother went on to be a
bike monster, and I got a cigarette habit (now defunct.)

Now that I'm a)old enough to not be quite so totally self-conscious
and b)old enough that my parents cannot tell me what to do, I've taken
up riding again. My dad's passed me a pretty old yellow single-speed,
and I've put a willow basket on it, for gamine-ing purposes, and I've
ordered a helmet. It's light blue, and close-fitting and round like a
skateboarding helmet or a Kaiser Wilhelm helmet. I showed a picture
to Hazzard.

"Huh," he said. "It's kind of a Mongo helmet, yeah?" Then he lowered
his head, made a sort of bleating noise, and rushed at the wall,
stopping just before he hit it to look up at me for approval.

And so the work of years of therapy is undone.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

she-wolves are just like us! they write letters...

Toldja it was coming. It's kind baring my menstrual-geek soul to you,
the internet, but then, again, I mean, my husband is here explaining
to me exactly why you cannot plug a microwave into a two prong outlet
even when the thingy only has two prongs, so I feel like I am allowed
some gender-stereotypical geekery. And so I, Daughter of Luna,
acknowledge my sacred blood-bond with the She-Wolf, Mother Of All.

To the Editor,

In respect to Karen Houppert's op-ed piece "Final Period" (July 17,
2007), I would note that, benefits and detriments of suppressing
menstruation aside, this is exactly what women taking oral
contraceptives have been doing since the 1960s. The period women
experience while on most forms of hormonal birth control is not
menstruation at all, but rather a lighter bleeding caused by the drop
in hormones during a week of placebo pills. This bleeding serves no
health or reproductive function, and is a feature of oral
contraceptive regimens only because makers of the Pill had, until now,
presumed that women were more likely to accept (and purchase) courses
of therapy which mimicked a standard cycle. Lybrel's makers are far
from the first to market menstrual conformity.

Violet G. Beekeeper

you know what works really surprisingly well? liquid callus remover.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I have a couple of 22 year-olds staying with me, and they are so with
it, it's amazing. They totally know it's a bad idea to do drugs and
everything, but they are still so fun! This is interesting to me
because I'm really still trying to puzzle out what exactly it was
about the melty weird downtown and brooklyn whatever scene that had
such a hold on me post-college. On the one hand, it seems totally
self-evident - of course it had a hold! Going out is fun, and also
everyone you knew did it and also boys and also drinking. But after a
while, you do not know what is the fuel, and what is the flame.

Anyway. It is not like I have reached some higher plane of existence,
really. I have the stable relationship and the yoga and the
not-depressedness (also, I am a lot skinnier, it is remarkable what
cutting gimlets out of your diet will do), but it's still pretty
self-involved; I have only just learned to be decent to the people
closest to me, and am so far from having an idea of how to be decent
to the world; stressing about what one phase of my life or another
offered me is like stressing about whether I am going to wear a red
shirt or a blue.

I am not a natural activist.



Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ils sauront bientôt que nos balles sont pour nos propres généraux

This is the most amazing article ever. I should have been on that cruise, I am like insanely good at dealing with nutty old people. (The trick is to not call them nutty old people.) I'd have had them singing L'Internationale as they tossed their jewelry overboard by the end of the second day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I live to critique the New York Times on matters of gynecology. If my letter is not published there, it will be here within a few days.

State attenti.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Comeback player of the year

A few quick notes from the just-now and the right-now:

1. I think about food a lot. Just now I had an outstanding crabcake sandwich. Crabcake sandwiches are tricky. If the bread is too hearty (french roll, ciabatta, whatever) the sandwich becomes almost impenetrable; given the nature of the crabcake, most sandwiches feel like bread-on-bread. The remedy, via 42 N Latitude, is to serve it on wheat toast. Also it comes with avocado and bacon, which are both delicious.

2. I finally got around to watching Confessions of a Dangerous Mind yesterday. Yeah, it was great. I'd watch Sam Rockwell in anything. Etc. On the other hand, "hideously miscast" is kind of that thing Julia Roberts does, isn't it?

3. Oh my god please stop making commercials for baseball with Dane Cook. You're ruining MY LIFE.

Friday, July 13, 2007

explode die burn crash explode stab

A thing which i have inherited from my father is the combination of curmudgeonliness and the thirst for justice which makes a zealous filer-of-complaints. Lots of I Am Shocked! Just Shocked! That Company X Which I Thought To Be Reputable! Would Permit An Oversight Like This! (I am very nice to the actual reps, and tell managers about good service. Thirst for justice, y'all.)

Anyway, it actually usually works out pretty well, after an insane amount of bitching. I got 30 dollar Amazon gift certificate this way, among other things. And even when no free stuff is coming, I usually eventually get a satisfying apology from a human once I have cleared their weird passive-agressive-apology hurdle. "We are sorry that your experience of Company X was negative." Oh ho ho, me and my experiences are not the problem here.

Anyway, FedEx may break me. I have been emailing back and forth with what I am pretty sure is an automatic-response generator which keeps on spitting platitudes about the importance of customer service and bringing up points about my shipment that have nothing to do with the problem, as if they are supposed to explain the problem to me. IE, "You understand that you ordered a computer? And also that it will come in a box? So maybe that's why we're unable to correct your address."


Come sail away with me-eee

There's a book out about why people like me are not activists. Here is the guy who wrote it.

Discussions of this book and previous discussions of the subject of the book address the young-people-need-to-pay-bills and the young-people-are-disillusioned as two streams of discontent which converge to this river of cynicism. I have another idea. I think these tendencies are two manifestations of the the same dynamic (or non-dynamic, really).

Look, I'll Google some studies up, but it is like, a fundamental principle of psychology that liek all stress ever is very, very, very much linked to perceived lack of control (or lack of perceived control, I'd say, but you know, I'm all OHMMMMM these days.) I think that both the desire to cling to anything that looks like it might be a Career Path AND the disinclination to organize/activise/see oneself as an agent of political change are expressions of a loss of control.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fuck fuck burn death fuck

My STUPID. COMPUTER. DIED. And not like, oh, lalala, your "logic board" has "run out of logic" and it can be fixed - my hard drive was corrupted and had to be ERASED and BURNED on a PYRE. And the fucking Mac store can EAT ME. Do you know why?

The first thing they ask you when you get there are "are you backed up?" No, no, because here is the timeline of my computer's recent shit it did.

January 2007 - WTF, omg, hard drive dead, bring to TekServe (cute boys!) and get it replaced, restore my data from my clever backup system! Hey, look at me be responsible!

April 2007 - Get logic board replaced. Logic board = motherboard. Have not done full backup since January because, I mean, what, why would my computer melt down twice in a couple months, didn't get around to it, etc. etc. Tell them to try and back up data if they need to fuck around with the hard drive but they don't!

Now - Hard drive! Corrupted! Have to replace new, bigger hard drive with Paleozoic 30 gig harddrive like the computer originally came with and blast everything in to space. Just replace it with a pile of twigs you guys! Don't worry about getting me my computer back, just make me a new one out of papier-mache! Same thing!

Anyway, of course they got all snitty and were like "you should really have a backup plan," which I do! I do! I just did not implement it vigourously.

I am just getting a new computer. I almost did not get another Mac because recent experiences have made me want to kick Macs, and also because I resent being marketed to. But then I did, because I don't resent being marketed to so much that I am impervious to it.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Help Me Help Myself

I just took a test that was supposed to identify my top character strengths. I have observations about this, but here is the foundation for my observations. The strengths identified differed slightly from my own perception of same. Witness - the strengths identified by the test:

1) Capacity to love and be loved
2) Humor and playfulness
3) Appreciation of beauty and excellence
4) Love of learning
5) Kindness and generosity

What I perceive to be my top strengths:

1)Empathy for dogs
2)Looking good in hats
3)Communion with Kelly Ripa
4)Incredible knack for arranging furniture
5)Vegetarian chili-making

The test identified things I was maybenotsogoodat as Self-control/regulation, hope/optimism/future-mindedness, industry/dilligence/perseverance. That sounds about right.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Dear Rusty,

2 things!

1 - I got a fortune cookie that said "Don't forget, you are always on our minds." Kind of weird from an cookie, but not weird from a friend. Rusty, you are always on our minds. Well, mine. And not always - that would not be ok - but a seemly amount. Hope everything's good.

2 - What if our blog were totally epistolic? Like a popular Victorian blog.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hey, ever wonder what's in my brain?

You know sometimes, when you google "pain on right side" and that leads you to google "ovarian cancer" and of course, everything points to you having it, I mean, that pain DOES feel like you imagine a tumor would, and you spend a lot of time imagining having to leave behind your sweet husband and family and friends and you know that if you were given just a few more years, you'd manage to make something of yourself, too, and you make it in to work but barely but you just spend the whole day reading cancer blogs and making increasingly frequent coffee runs and this is every day for years (and somehow no one calls you on it at work)?


Baffling anxiety was, for the longest time, like, my way of being in my world. I don't really know what ignited it, though I do know what fuled it - bird flu was a real boon for my crazy, boyoboy. And then, it stopped, if not all-of-a-sudden, almost. I wish I could take credit for it stopping, and I am sure there is some sort of cognitive trick I played on myself, but it wasn't a conscious effort, that's for sure. I feel like I was so terribly anxious my brain could not deal with it own crap anymore and just cut it out. Which is not really a reliable way of expelling the nutso, since letting the nutso run its course probably could just as easily wind up with you living in a lead-lined basement and muttering to yourself.

Haz(z)ard recently said to me "you know what I like about you?" (shiny hair? cutely bad singing voice?) "I like that you don't really speculate. You have hopes and all, but you don't really predict things. You would be a terrible pundit."* I took this as a real compliment, first because who wants to be a good pundit, second because it aligned with something I am learning to value in myself - the fact that I do not really value control. I am sort of an accidental Buddhist, eager to interact with the feedback loops I inhabit in what I believe are positive ways and yet unable to emotionally invest in the outcomes of my actions. Reconciling myself with this tendancy, learing to see it as a kind of wisdom, has been a big feature of my separation from my anxieties. This whole process, and this whole sort of acceptance has been more pronounced in my dealing with Big Problems than in my negotiating the fine grain of my days and years, and I am still able to get unduly worked up about when the pharmacy will close or whether I will like school or if Haz(z)ard is conducting his job search exactly as I wish he would, and I suspect that terms of how one inhabits the universe/how it inhabits one, those actually ARE the big problems.

That sounds terrible. That sounds like my experience in school > humanitarian crises. Let me rephrase. To the extent that I feel like a lot of this whole business is about interacting with unknowable loops, and not about purposefully creating results, I have a suspicion that interacting with oneself/family is creating one's own guide for interacting beyond.

I have been thinking about taking a class on non-accidental Buddhism. Am hesitant bc I am a giant yuppie douche already. Hesitance mitigated by fact that a) whatever, b) large part of the appeal is fat cute Buddhas who look a lot like a friend of mine who I venerate anyway.

*This was in response to a conversation I had with his father that was basically him all "It is folly to support anyone but Hillary bc. she is strongest candidate," and me being like "I dunno, whatever, sure, I still hope Gore will run,** and am attached to him even if he does not. That is the extent of my beliefs about the primaries."

**I relate to him. I think he knows what's what with feedback loops. Plus, he stepped on my foot once and now we are bound together in the eternal locus.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

And of course, I bought FIVE.

You know those rhinestone belt buckles that you can have customized with your name, or other appellation, like "bitch"? Ok. So, I just saw a multi-colored one that read "RAPE." That's thing's one heckuva signifier, lemme tell you!

Monday, June 25, 2007

You know,

seeing as how I mentioned both a) Edward I and b) artillery technology in the last post, it's a shame I did not find a reason to mention that Edward was responsible for the creation of the Warwolf, a giant, fearsome trebuchet (sort of like a catapult with a massive counterweight). That is all.

We Go Around The Forest Looking For Fights

I would like to engage something Rusty said and use it as an excuse for an outdated book review and a meditation on mountain-climbing.

Mr. Schwartz identifies rollercoasters as "pedestrian thrill-seeking a [sic] really embarrassing way to get maimed or killed." I am in hearty agreement. Hear hear!* This observation got me thinking about the time I went to go see Touching the Void (hahahaha, hahahahaha, hahahaha, ok, out of system) a fantastic and wrenching film about an ill-fated trip up an Ande. Now, I gleaned my lessons about friendship and the nature of life from it, about the connection between nature's beauty and harshness but the main lesson I gleaned was mountain climbers are mentally deficient. I can say this a) because it is true and b) because my father and brother are big climbers and they are often all and on this mountain! a father and son team! just like us! died of exposure! because they did not bring an extra fleece! WTF, right? I feel like there are plenty of spectacular natural settings where the line between life and death is not marked by narsty synthetic pullovers, but that is not how mountaineers think.

The basics of Touching The Void are recounted in The Dangerous Book For Boys (warning: crap Flash). This is a book about things, ostensibly for boys, that was much talked-about about a month ago. Here is Flea talking about it. She's right about everything, so yeah.

Anyway, I got this book for my brother-in-law and my sister-in-double-law who are moving to Paris, France and may need to know how to skin a rabbit. I liked it! It was pretty! It talked about the history of artillery! Onager, what?! I got that the super-gendered slant was perhaps not enlightenment em-bookified, but I couldn't get worked up about it, really, and in general, since I am pretty touchy, I figure that if I'm not upset about something, it's not that big a deal. Solop-who? (Also, the one guy who wrote it, Conn Whassit, writes like, historical novels about Rome, and I can't take any posturing about Manliness to seriously from someone who is obviously approaching it in a pretty oblique way himself.)

Then, I read more, and I realized, oh my god, this book does piss me off, for reasons other than the reasons I had been ready for it to piss me off. Though if I'd thought about it and not been like, ooh, shiny cover, I probably could have anticipated.

This book is like, amazingly neglectful of non-white people - honestly, to an extent I feel goes beyond clumsiness. All the Amazing Stories about Amazing Dudes are about white dudes, and the history of America in the American edition is like, 15whatever, America appears! No Indians present! Resources bountiful! Also, Rudyard Kipling is made much of in the Poems section. Ahem.

Two, wtf with the weird squickiness about the gays? Ok, so the section about girls kinda presumes that the object of any boy-child's romantic interest will be a girl, but that, I can in fact, chart to clumsiness. But then, I read the story about Robert the Bruce. The story of Robert the Bruce is closely linked with the stories of Edward I and II of Inkland. Edward II was a big gay, and also a bad king. Presumably, these qualities were not particularly related (other big gay kings of Inkland of the top of my head - Richard I (Robin Hood!), James I (Bible!), William III). Ok. Notable fact about Edward II, he was killed by being reamed with a hot poker. Nice, right? TDBFB, after explaining that he was "impaled" on a hot poker, explains that at the time, this was considered "a suitable commentary on his lifestyle."** You guys, what? Ok. I think there are two ways to approach this. 1, probably more appropriate, just say the guy was impaled on a hot poker, the ravenous children get the grossness they crave, everyone is good. Two, say he was impaled on a hot poker to mimic his presumed LIKING TO GET FUCKED IN THE ASS, and note that striving for this sort of synchronicity in executions is like, not ok. Probably not for a kids' (or fake-kids') book, right? But this weird, "impaled, if you know what I mean, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" tone that occurs in the one place in the book gheyness turns up is pretty alienating.

Look, I think that at least the racism problem is a result of this book trying to hit a Golden-Age-Of-English-Something note and using that as an excuse to abandon discretion about this sort of thing. You guys, you know you can take the book-as-objet aesthetic, and the love of nature and so on and leave the ethnocentricity? Anyway, to that extent, I think shopping parents and/or nostalgiacs would be better off shopping around for, say the old Scout's Handbook or The Boy's Own Book of Frontiersmen or simply The Boy's Own Book. I had this and The Girl's Own Book. Excellent. And these are all reprints on Amazon, but you can get beautiful old editions too. ANYWAY. At least the racism in these (oh, and it will be rife) can be engaged in the context of history, and how thoughts evolve, and not in the context of nerdy nostalgic twuntism.

Updated 6/26/07 to note developments in C. Whassit's nostalgiac twuntism.

*Though it should be noted - note it! that my aversion to roller-coasters is founded in something much less rational than this proposition, and dates back to a traumatic experience on a kiddie rollercoaster when I was five. (I mean, not traumatic beyond the standard trauma of a kiddie rollercoaster ride, all feet were maintained.) A date tried to get me to go on the Cyclone once ("aw, come on! Everyone likes rollercoasters! Being scared is part of the fun!") and I got all the way to the front of the line, shaking, paid for my tickets, and then collapsed in uncontrollable shuddering sobs. AWESOME date, let me tell you.

**I am pretty sure that the word used was not "lifestyle," bc that is not a Man Word, but the
effect was the same. Maybe it was "proclivities." .

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dismemberment planning

Did you hear about the 13-year-old girl in Kentucky who got her feet cut off on a roller coaster? I think this gets to the heart of why I don't like roller coasters or the like. The way I see it, that kind of pedestrian thrill-seeking a really embarrassing way to get maimed or killed. If you're going to do something stupid and dangerous that might get you maimed or killed, there are plenty of more bad-ass dangerous things to do, like playing with stingrays or running for president. I guess this is why I kind of like Jackass. All I'm saying is: don't get crippled by a ride at a freakin theme park, get crippled trying to ride a yak or trying to unite the gangs or something.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More about birds.

A big red-tailed hawk was by! I'd never seen one close up like this - you could see its yellow eyes and it's long, smooth head and its curved beak which was sort of shockingly fierce. It was very beautiful. Now there's a turtle dove at the feeder. And I found wild mint in the dog run. Too bad it was probably covered with dog pee.

There's something sort of memento-mori about all this nature turning up in the cracks of everything. There's something sort of memento-mori about birds, period though.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Australia is a scam.

Australians say Australia is so great. But then, wherever you go in the world, who's there? Australians. If it's so great, why do they travel so much? BUSTED.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Finch Scout

A pretty little brown finch came by the birdfeeder today. In its honor, I am posting my potato frittata recipe. Frittatas are often described as "Italian omelets," but this is BUNK. An omelete's honor and delicacy depends on it being cooked quickly (if your omelete is on stovetop for more than 45 seconds, you're fucked). Frittatas are cooked slowly, over low heat. This makes them totaly different in every concievable way.

This, with some green beans, serves three people dinner and then two of those people lunch the next day.

Quarter and boil like 3 normal-to-large brown potatoes. Takes like 30 minutes, I'd say.

Sautee some onion if you have one around. One onion? I used a half, even.

Drain the potatoes and mash them up with the onion. Sautee the whole thing for a minute like you are making hash browns. Turn heat off.

Mix eggs (I used eight) with some salt, pepper, maybe some leafy fresh herbs if you have. I used thyme. Basil would be way good, too. I would advise against rosemary, since I think rosemary w. potatoes is kind of trite. Also, not leafy.

Pour egg mixture on potatoes, swirl the whole thing up. Let it sit for like 10 minutes.

Cook over low heat until it's all solid except for a runny layer on top. This can take surprisingly long bc. we're used to eggs being fast-cooking, but WRONG. Don't be surprised if it takes 20 minutes, even. The heat should really be really, really low. The consistency thus achieved is key.

WHEN this is done, layer a semi-hard cheese (I used some Argentinian Edam, which gets 3.5/5) on top and cook the whole thing under the broiler until bubbly.


Thursday, June 14, 2007


The self-identified libertarians, they are legion in my new home in the City of Faces. I have had some bad experiences with self-identified libertarians. Paradox - actual libertarian ideas as they pertain to specific policies, not so obnoxious a certain amount of the time. But libertarians? Uniformly problematic! Here is why:

1)First, a decent percent of the time, these are straight-up Ayn-loving teenagers* who have figured out that if they go around calling themselves objectivists, they will never ever get laid, but if they switch to libertarian, they might get laid like, twice.

2)No one is going to attach themselves to an ideology based on complete or almost-complete individual sovereignty and the possibility of success or failure in those terms unless they are pretty convinced of their own exceptionalism. People that attached to their own exceptionalism = douchebags. Similar situation. Have you ever read Genealogy of Morals with a bunch of 19-year-old boys? It is INSANE, because they are all over it and you can SEE the little wheels turning and them thinking "well, gosh, this UberGuy sounds a lot like me..."**

3)Ok, so 19-year old boys are all in a place where they are thinking they are the UberGuy. Statistically impossible! Isn't this evidence enough of a)the like, complete fallibility of individual self-perception and b)the webs/waves/whatever of whatever that connect all things? Take that, imaginary libertarians!

*I think the thing the American Universe is possibly WORST at is dealing with teenagers. More apprenticeships, STAT!

**This is not an indictment of Freddy himself, whom I like, if only bc. he writes like an awesome fiery writing machine. Also, re. 19-year-old-boys, see note above. I like 19-year-old-boys fine. I just think they are insanely vulnerable.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rumours of whatever, greatly whatever

Rusty Schwartz = totally still alive

Just... so you know.

Update - 9:55 PM:

It is not the British spelling; it is the Fleetwood Mac spelling. You are welcome in advance.

Double update - 9:58 PM:

To reflect proper tyrannical Violetstyle.


A robin and a cardinal stopped by the Antonio Gramsci Memorial Birdfeeder this morning. The cardinal is a symbol of vitality (and the state bird of Illinois!) and the robin is a harbinger of spring/beginnings/&c,&c. Nice things, I think. So I'd better have a good day or I'm going to find those birds and kill them.

Update - 11:20 PM:

Day was only middling. (Return of weird eye infection! And only ok productivity - 300 words and a couple of phone calls. However, my improvised potato and Edam frittata turned out well, and had a friend over and watched Undeclared.* Birds are on probation.)

*Am going to have to contemplate this soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dear Men,

How is it going? I bet it is great having all that upper body strength! Wow! Gosh, I wonder how many heavy boxes of books and dishes you could lift. Oh that's just great! It looked to be as easy for you as casting a feather aloft. You're really good at lifting stuff! Obviously you need something more challenging, something worthy of your mighty biceps. How about... gee, how about this futon? That's a good start, right?

Oh my! The whole futon! I guess there just isn't a thing a Hercules like you can't lift. Oh I have an idea! Do you think you can carry it all the way up these stairs? Wowzas! Why don't... why don't you see if you can make it all the way to... um, let me see... apartment 4F? How's that? Under the window in the front room? No, over a couple of feet. Ok, thanks.

Real Name oops! Violet

The Beatdown Magazine relocation extravaganza begins 6/18/07


Autobots good, Decepticon bad.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Word Count

Ok. This here blog is going to be an accountability tool so's I can keep track of my writing. Stats currently:
-Have about 20,000 words of random jibber-jabber from abandoned draft, 30% of which I anticipate recycling.
-Have another 3000 words of reworked draft.

Wrote 850 words today, in the early childhood episodes.

I have to do a lot of research on DC suburbs in 1985.

self-loathing and its contents

So, on the one hand:

I have pulled my shoulder during a yoga class. It hurts.

On the other hand:

Isn't that what I get for being such a yuppie?

On another hand, maybe on another person:

Maybe if I became Hindu, I would not hurt myself anymore, via shield of authenticity.

On some fourth hand:

I think it's kind of cool that I am approaching yuppie. Proscribed roles save time and energy! Where is my i-banker boyfriend!?

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Went out to Breezy Point today. For all my complaints about Flu Spork, it is a fine thing to remeber how much of Flu Spork there is. And the southern beaches of Long Island are always particulalrly beautiful, in their sparse, expansive way. And very ancient-feeling. It is easy to imagine yourself a Canarsie Indian 500 years ago, if your peripheral vision is not particularly good.

Isn't it funny that the place where the Rockaway Indians lived became Richmond Hill, and the place where the Canarsie Indians lived became the Rockaways? And who even knows who lived in Canarsie.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An insomniac's observation

Amazon's endless subcategories constitute a pretty special kind of chaos. Consider: I search for "rhetoric" and confine my search to "Books."

I am given another series of options, from "Cooking, Food and Wine" (one book in that category, and this is it) to "Professional and Technical" - which I select.

Ok, now this is pretty straightforward - I am dealing with categories like "Law," and "Business Management" and... "Education."

Within "Education," it gets a bit funny again - we have "Counselling," "Curricula," we have "Lesson Planning," "Pedagogy" and the very un-specific "Specific Skills" among others. And then "Theory," which ok, I know I am kind of biasing the sensibility of my sample by choosing, but... oh what blossoms once I choose! "Educational Reform" next to "Non-Formal Education," "Decision Making and Problem Solving" next to "Leadership," all alongside "Aims and Objectives."*

At this point, things start to rein themselves in again, but - this is SO internet, this imposition of the jumbled structure of our own minds on to the tools we create to aid them. SO FRIGGING INTERNET.

It's 3:30. The past few nights have found me insomniac for the first time in years. Does it show?

PS. For an informative intellectual experience, imagine how a conversation - analagous to this search, but with a real human librarian, might unfold. "Well, what KIND of book on rhetoric?..."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In this new 2.0 economy...

My leetle bruzzer, Spinny, has gotten a job as a bike messenger. I suggested to my mother that perhaps she could arrange with the agency to call her if he was not wearing a helmet.

She then advanced the possiblity of some sort of micro-finance arrangement in which mothers fund the companies that employ their children, which companies are then bound to make children wear helmets and call home.

I think the power of mommies is undertapped.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

the perfect ending to a perfect day

So, I was putzing around on Google Reader, updating my RSS feeds, and got a little subscription-happy applying with their bundles. And so, I applied to the Technology Bundle because hey, I like technology! I know what an RSS feed is! And I would totally get a flat-screen TV if I were rich.

So, I go back to my homepage, which displays my feeds, and up there at the very top is...


Oh. It's thaaaaaat kind of feed.

You know you're a loser when...*

I had a legitimate question about some aspects of academic preparation for my upcoming year at Prof. School &c. So I asked the City of Faces what thought they. There was some confused blinking and some advice along the lines of "breathe." So I showed Hazard my question. (Or am I spelling his name with two zeds? I forget. I am not British or Canadian but did not know how to write z plural. zs? zees? z's? None satisfactory.)

He said nothing.

"I mean, is it terrible?"

"No, no it's not terrible at all."

"So, what?"

(look of shock/realization)"... you're HERMIONE."

*See, funny bc am I a loser for asking loser questions of the City of Faces or am I a loser bc I have a husband who makes Harry Potter references, which I appreciate? Answer - the former.

You take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have...

Hey, remember how I said I liked to talk about lady problems? Thought I was joking? WRONG.

There's some talking 'round the way about a new pill, Lybrel, which is intended to be taken continuously so ladies skip their lady time. (Also, of course, William Saletan, who for some reason got put on Slate's lady problem beat and also who my dad thinks he knew in high school (coincidence?) weighs in). This is like, the biggest non-issue in the world to me to the extent that:

a)pills make you skip your lady time anyway and replace it with a fake one, so can we please go back in the past and bicker about this when it mattered, if it did.

b)it is like, not important to me whether people skip their lady time or not. I happen to be kind of attached to mine for completely sentimental reasons, but I'm not interested in condemning anyone who is eager to rid herself of cramping and ruined undies and general inconvenience. I guess if I kept mine and everyone else got rid of theirs and my relative productivity was thereby reduced by like, my having to go to the bathroom more often than everyone else, it would be a problem for me in the modern market economy. But somehow I can't get worked up about that. (also, consider that perhaps the reason I am able to be attached to mine is that it is not all that crippling, and so keeping it, even as gals with more badderer periods ditched theirs, would not really have an effect on our GNP. I can craft widgets and bleed at the same time.)

b1)though I should register my opposition to any paradigm shifts that result in the choice to maintain lady time being received as peculiar and gross like not waxing, eew. Ok? Great.

Anyway, this is old news, but it got me thinking about some even older news, PMS. I suck at PMS. I get sad and mean and pimply and tired. It is real, I mean, those hormones get up in my brain. At the same time, woe betide the person who suggests that perhaps I am not stabbing them for A Perfectly Good Reason and that maybe I am PMSing. I think what I resent here is the insinuation that what I am experiencing is not within the scope of Normal Human Variation. I think this speaks to the nature of my feminism in general - the idea that yes, sure, the lady stuff is real and different from some of the man stuff, but the idea that it happens on some exclusive spectrum of experience, that it's not all part of the same stupid human soup, that it's not just a fact, but a THING chaps my ass. And that is why it chaps my ass super duper when people get fussy about parents working, and how much time they do or don't need off and how should they be accommodated. People, particularly ladies, have kids. They just DO. It is just a thing that happens. Maybe not to you, but to humans as a species. And yes, sure, it is a big deal and they need taking care of, but it's not really that big a deal in the sense of anything exceptional happening that should be outside the realm of what our institutions and models are constructed to deal with.

Anyway, I'm PMSing, so I don't think I am making sense today.

Updated to note that the fact of pregnancy confounds a lot of things.

Double updated to note that I am not pregnant, just saying.

a Resolution of sorts

Observed & Resolved:

It is now funny again to talk like Borat. It was funny at first, then there were a few months where it was kind of cringe-inducing, but now it's reached a state of ridiculous ubiquity and even the homeless guy lounging on the church steps who just asked me for a twenty says "niiiiice" and I heard a bus driver say "sexy time" and it's totally hilarious again.


In which he discusses Sports & Drinking (&c.)

Well, "dear Violet", yours rustily once listed himself as "conservative" in the City of Faces, and would receive messages from other conservatives and groups of suchlike to which he would respond that no, it was not a joke and that he very conservatively believes in the Constitution of the United States (and its siamese twin the Bill of Rights) and that his conservative beliefs underlie his contention that the Republican party and Bush administration constitute the gravest threat to his country and should be stopped in all pursuits. He did not receive many replies. Then he just changed his political listing to "other" so as to no longer be a Dick.

Returning to the first person:

It is a soggy Rememberal Day weekend here in Nonspecific Midwestern Metropolis, but I am going to play Hardball today. How exciting is that? Not the Tweety kind either. Like, real baseball. I've always been irritated that people always play softball instead once they become Adults (TM)* and wonder why. Today I am probably going to break my nose (again) and find out!

This also means I have to go to my parents' house and hope that my protective cup is still around somewhere.

*sorry violet, I think i caught one of your tics.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

list of things freaking me out about starting school

1) On FaceCity, everyone is talking about sports and/or drinking. I only like to talk about TV and lady problems.

2) Also on FaceCity, people are being big fat babies about what neighborhood they move to. Not really, that's not fair. But I get really defensive of neighborhoods I have no connection to when people suggest they might be unsafe. Dude, I was in Flu Spork in the '80s, and I was FIVE so I would have been really easy to mug and no one ever mugged me. I am just over young people trying to live near other young people, and this city, and everything but TV and lady problems and possibly grilled cheese.

3)Speaking of which, I was up in SchoolHeights the other day to meet a friend for coffee, and I wanted to punch every third person. Mostly because they were tousle-headed young men in sweatshirts and blazers. Also, some young people being Quirky (TM) at the grocery store and snuggling each other and talking about paella.

3b)The only thing I hate more than people who are too cool (see tousle-headed young men in sweatshirts and blazers also like 50% of my friends) are people who are NOT COOL ENOUGH. Be of the world, you know? Engage your universe. Jerks. There were a lot of those around, too.

4)Again, via FaceCity, too many people identifying as anything other than Liberal/Very Liberal. In theory, I am all about the discourse of ideas and viewpoints. In reality, I just want to get abortions and be left alone and not have to bother refuting anything with arguments more complex than TURN BLUE.

5)Also, lots of the college party pics on FaceCity which I am totally going to take screencaps of and send to these people's mothers. They oughta be ashamed.

Just to keep things going

It should be noted that my favorite bartender in the world, a man given to wearing leopard-print belts, having tattoos of skulls, &c, &c was very distraught last night BECAUSE his marlin-fishing trip to Florida got cancelled.

I mean, talk about being ahead of the getting-eaten-by-sharks curve.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


On the same channel as "Hey Models," a show called "Finally Sharks Ate My Wife."

It is to be noted that Hazzard came up with this after watching Episode 1, Season 4 of Six Feet Under, in which


Lisa's mangled body is discovered, having been partially devoured by sharks, etc. after she drowned.


I watched this episode on the best website ever which I don't even want to type out and link to because it is so amazing that I am worried it will disappear if I speak its name. But oh my god, all TV ever is on it oh my god.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Coming Soon To Your Eyes and Mind

A television show called "Hey Models!" in which my friend SuperBat and I put up flyers saying things like "Hey, models! casting around the coner, love, your agent," and then we tape it as they walk around the corner all eager like and one after another all fall in to a pit which had heretofore been cleverly hidden by like, some twigs or a carpet. Also, maybe Jay-Z is in this pit, and then it turns in to a music video.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Vintage Violet

Look what I found on the wayback machine...


ha ha i am posting again i am sorry i was gone it was time for the Rock And Roll Marriage Tour. In other news I need to find pay stubs in order to meet with a REAL ESTATE BROKER in (Neighborhood) and I need to get COLONOSCOPY. i am too famous to live in Mahnattan, my parents are always like, when are you moving out, you are so famous.

First in a series of reviews of allergy medication cocktails.

2 Claritin, 1 Benadryl, 1 Pseudovent 400.

Mucus remains plentiful but is easily expelled. Itching reduced. Sleepy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Something, Rusty.

Food always looks so appetizing in black and white.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fun With Cancer.

So, I was playing with the National Cancer Institute's Melanoma Risk Calculator because, you know, it's Tuesday. And I noticed that if you identify yourself as a man, just because, it asks you some additional questions:

Have you ever had a severe, blistering sunburn?

Do you have servere solar damage on your back?


How many moles less than or equal to 5mm in diameter are on the patient's back?

I can't imagine that these are NOT risk factors for women, can you? (BTW, once I had a sunburn so bad that my forehead swelled and I looked totally Cro-Magnon). Anyway! I thought that was interesting!

Also, don't get it - Five-Year Absolute risk as a woman is .08, whereas as a man, it is .02, though I have more risk factors as a dude, and dudes have higher risk of melanoma anyway. Perhaps one of my risk factors - say, moderate freckling - is (besides being v.v. cute) a much stronger indicator for laydeez then men?

Monday, May 14, 2007

In which I discuss our whatever, volume II

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I have also made a huge pseudonymetry blunder! Guess what it is! First Beatdown Magazine contest ever!

a thought on rusty's thought's on whatever rusty's thoughts were on.

I get - I really, really, really, really get - the folks who don't so much like the people with, like, IAmBigLiarHahaha! names commenting on their forreal work with their real, fancy names on them. I was, I promise, on the real-name side of this divide. I would get tons and tons of "you are dumb slut!" comments, or the more insidious "you would be great if you weren't a dumb slut" comments when I wrote for Magazine. And I couldn't even sic my boyfriend on these people bc they were fake!

No, but it was really unpleasant, actually - the criticism felt so much like having some anonymous gross guy whip it out and start wanking away on the subway, which, another post. But anyway. My editors advised that I grow a thicker skin, and I did, to a degree - I'd certainly recommend that strategy to anyone who is going to spend time around the 'tubes, just for sanity purposes.

But when we move away from a discussion of the pure expedience factor of various skin-thicknesses, can I say that I think a lot of the interestingishness of my writing at the time required that vulnerability? That unfounded assumption that people would take my words in good faith? Not that they wouldn't question or disagree, but that they weren't masked and hiding behind the computer screen ready to shame the first person who gave them an in. My writing's different now, and maybe I needed to learn how to deal with random shamers, but I'm just saying - something is there that wasn't before the shamers, and something that was there before the shamers (and that contributed to whatever discussion it was that i was having) is lost.

That said, oh my god, anonymous forevs. I don't think Staid Profession has reconciled itself to the new, public dimension of young workers' lives,* and while I think that will eventually happen, I am just not ready to be on that vanguard. I've given already.

*This is why the "you still build a reputation with pseudonymous comments" is a bit nerfy to me. The possibility of correlating a real life with food and dogs and monies to an internet presence is like, a non-negligible difference between pseudonymity and normal-nymity. I don't know, I don't belong to any non-three-dimensional communites, and so my analysis of them is likely to be not superinsightful. But there is begins to be, for what it's worth.

In which I discuss our rustiness and violetude

OR In which I always get chocolate stains on my pants

Over in some of the nerdlier corners of the internest, there's some silliness going on about pseudonymity. Naturally, this is an issue close to my (our?) heart(s?) so maybe it's worth at least a couple of disjointed paragraphs in our "pages", right?

So! I guess some old-style (not the good kind) curmudgeonly types in their fancy ivory towers are less than pleased about anonymous and pseudonymous criticism they keep receiving from our mysterious series of tubes.

ASIDE: you know what? I keep trying to write the long posts and I just get exhausted and I feel like the lady who wrote Seabiscuit* and I save it to a draft and say fuckitall! and post 10cc videos or whatever. BUT I WILL SOLDIER ON (so be warned)

etc etc... where was I?

As is often the case, Matt "Don't you know there's a war on" Yglesias says most of what needs to be said:
On the internet, everyone gets a chance to speak, but there's no guarantee you'll be listened to. If people are "amplifying" anticrat424's thoughts by linking to them, quoting him, etc., that's going to be either because he's saying things that people think make sense. People might quote anticrat424 for the purpose of refuting him but that, again, presupposes that some people are taking him seriously. And, of course, over time your handle gets a reputation -- good, bad, or mixed -- just like a name in real life.

So what does that mean vis-a-vis your "friends" Rusty & Violet?

a) I (we?) say (or don't say) plenty of things. And almost nobody cares what we have to say (until we get famous). Of course, What Matt Says means:

b) We're gonna have to work and say things people give a shit about one way or another in order to get famous. Which basically goes against everything I (we?) want to believe, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt because he is more famous than us, for instance: he has been on television.

c) At present, nearly everyone reading this probably knows exactly who VB and/or I are. So this is all just some kind of stupid costume party. WHICH IS A LOT OF FUN I GOTTA SAY.

d) The last item probably means we need a blogroll of some sort. But this creates much anxiety!

e) on the last of many hands, I don't think anyone out there is gonna hate my work as much as I hate my work. I hope I end up with a good reputation, but I would settle for a Bad Reputation as long as it's the good kind.

and... Scene. I'm pretty tired.

*not to dminish the seriousness of chronic fatigue syndrome butyouknowwhatimean

UPDATED! because, among other things, I made the whole blog really small.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Flubber Day.

We never did Mother's Day in my house. My mother is deeply attention-averse, and my parents are suspicious of holidays in general. They would have been great Jehovah's Witnesses, had they decided to go in that direction. Of course, everyone gets to calling their mom, and asking me if I've called my mom yet, and when I say that I haven't because "she is deeply &c, &c..." they tell me that she's just saying that, I mean, she'd secretly love it if I gave her a call. Which, hahahaha, oh my god, you do not know my mom, but the social pressure is SO INTENSE that I begin to trust it over my knowledge of my own mother's personality and desires and so I shoot her an email saying "I love you more than anyone else loves their mother."

And she writes back "note surreptitiously accepted."

And THAT is why I love my mother more than anyone else loves their mother.

Happy FireDay, mom!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Write your novel in 30 days!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Wait, hang on...



If you look at the advice there is for writers, you will know it is mostly of two kinds.

Kind 1) Write, write, write! Keep writing! And from your labors, your story will emerge. This is the sort of chiseling-sculpture out of marble way of doing things, except you are also creating the block of marble you chisel.
Kind 2) Plan, plan, plan! And then write! Character bios, research, etc., etc. This is more like building a suspension bridge.

I am more the first kind of writer, not because I think it works better, but because I literally will not do preliminary work. I will say I am going to, and I will sit down to do it, but somehow, it does not happen; anything that is supposed to be preliminary work just gets glommed on to the block of marble I am working with. At the same time, I benefit from organization, and structure. Because I have none internally, I rely on external cues for it. This is also why I kind of wish I had been brought up with some religion - I think it's good to alienate yourself from certain cognitive processes. Anyways.

My point is, I use a lot of different programs to write.

The first one is WriteRoom. It has the advantage of being totally beautiful. I paid for it, and so should you, but you can try it for free first. Anyway, remember NotaBene? Just you and a black screen with green characters? Or orange, sometimes, but I preferred green? That is basically this. It's good for eliminating distractions - I also write in a dark room, which helps with that.* So. This is the amazing first draft program. V. v. womb-like. I am not sure if you are the fetus, and the novel is the placenta or vice versa, but.

THEN, I import what I have written in to Google Docs, and fuck around and highlight it in different colors and make notes and theoretically, my agent or whoever else can make notes. It is collaborative, and colorful. This is like when the fetus goes in to surgery. Or, you know, starts differentiating cell types, or something.

However, I use TextEdit if I want to work with more than one piece simultaneously, and have tried various content-mapping programs for organizing - still looking for the right one. This is totally not at all like a fetus.

This has been the first point in a series on How To Create External Structures to Supplement your Cognitive Deficiencies. The problem being, you are devising and implementing these structures with the same fucked up brain you have in the first place. And maybe it's all just procrastination! I suspect it is!

*Not blog posts. That's silly, this isn't real.

Monday, May 7, 2007

In which I indulge in some old-fogeyism

I recently joined Facebook, in part to belong to the networks that students at Professional School For Staid Profession are creating, because I am Self-Actualizing, and Making an Effort to Talk to People. It's ok, but there's nothing new under the internet. I do not totally understand how I am supposed to maintain an active Facebook presence AND write a novel AND put food on my family, but I guess I'll figure it out.

I did realize that I am sort of freaking out because:

1) a lot of these people are 22 who I am going to be in school with. WTF am I going to do with that? I experienced a cosmic break with my youthful self at about 23 and a half and have been rendered totally unable to relate to anyone younger than me,* or to myself in the past.

2) I am really, really bad at thinking clearly, and even baderer at speaking clearly about my thoughts. I am not bad at a certain kind of ponderous intellectual exploration, or at immersing myself in a concept, but clarity, eh. This means I am going to be totally effucked at PSFSP.

3) It would not be a bad idea to embrace being a little bit effucked, since I am not 22, and have ideas for my time at PSFSP beyond being the amazing flying valedictorian/going to mixers. Who's that in the catsuit? That's just that old effucked chick! She totally has different priorities from us, and doesn't care all that much about grades! Something like that.

4) The novel is totally going to be divided in to books. This was a real revelation for me.

*Except for several of my best friends.

In case you are wondering if you are famous

Did any news outlets report your suicide? If they did, you were famous.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

At 5 AM...

The copy on the interstitial for Don Julio tequila that I just saw on Salon reads: The true flavor of Mexico can not be found in a tourist book.

Do they mean a guidebook? Or possibly the clunkier "book for tourists"? Is this an attempt to sound authentically Mexican?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Meeting Men on Public Transport

I am the one person in the world who is not annoyed by loud children in confined spaces. I understand why they're annoying - I'm just not personally wired to react that way. My thoughts are less "I want that kid to shut up so I can read," or even "I guess I was a baby once too..." and more "Well! THERE is a young person with whom I could have a great conversation about the sounds different animals make!"

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Okay. So. I write in Starbucks sometimes. I tried to support my local independent coffee shop, but every time I did I got yelled at by a local independent crazy lady and it was deeply unpleasant. Here are a list of 11 more reasons why I feel totally secure in my decision.

1)Today in Starbucks, this guy comes in with a jeweler's loupe in his eye.

2)His girlfriend, following, starts putting mugs and stuffed monkeys (which are there why?) in to her bag.

3)Off-duty cop yells at them explaining that he is off duty cop.

4)Theif Lady puts things back, rolling her eyes the whole time. I mean, jeez.

5)Russian mob guy who looks like that guy from Fargo who was also on Prison Break immediately ceases mob activities/leering at me in my sexy sweatclothes and hightails it out of Starbucks.

6)Guy comes in and just starts rolling joint. Just hey, I'm in Starbucks, rolling a joint. It was NOT a hand-rolled cigarette, believe me. He took out a film cannister full of pot and everything.

7)Cop kind of looks and is like "?" and looks like he is weighing the options, then leaves. Girlfriend of loupe guy re-steals stuffed monkey.

8)Someone alerts staff, who kind of mull it over, walk by her table and loom for a bit, then decide to let it slide.

9)Thief/loupe couple starts making out,

10)Joint guy leaves, having purchased nothing.

11)Theif/Loupe proceed to sit down over foamy drinks and peruse a flyer offering discount magazine subscriptions - like something a kid working a school fundraising drive would hand out, or something. As they peruse, he removes a jewel from the loupe (still in his eye), looks at it with his loupe-less eye, and puts it back in the loupe.*

*I know this is not how your normally use a loupe, as a jewel-carrying eye-cup, but this is what he did. Maybe it was a fake loupe.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Real Estate

I live in the big city. It doesn't matter what big city - let's call it Flu Spork for the sake of convenience*. I've lived in Flu Spork my whole life. When people meet me, they say "you don't seem like you're from Flu Spork!" I guess they think this because I don't shiv them?

The other thing people say when they hear I grew up in Flu Spork is "wow, there's nowhere to really go after there!" They mean that all across this grand nation, the young and ambitious dream of moving to Flu Spork, but where do the young and ambitious of Flu Spork move to? I'm young(ish, now) and more ambitious than I'd admit on a first date with a traditionally-minded man whom I nevertheless wanted to roger, but I swore up and down for the longest that I was OUT OF HERE. It's silly and expensive and there's just no way to really build a life for yourself, unless a life for yourself = a moron carnival paid for with credit. My parents carved their niche out when things were less rough, when it could be argued that Flu Spork was a good, cheap, interesting place for a young couple to be (not that there were not the lean times when I was a bitty Vi). Comparing my experience with theirs, my possibilities in Flu Spork seemed even more limited. It keeps pulling me back, though - the skills and priorites and proclivities you gain here bind you ever closer to the city. It's not that you're unfit to live anywhere else, exactly, leaving just seems harder and harder until it doesn't make any sense at all.

The couple we saw in Providence this weekend, beaming and newlywed, don't have jobs that different from mine, or Hazzard's. They live, paying the same amount we pay for a little place in a walk-up in a peripheral neighborhood, in a enormous loft with bamboo floors and a wall of ten-foot high windows. Their building is a converted department store full of chatty young people who knock on each other's doors and met on the rooftop patio for drinks. (I know, barf. But let's just examine the SIGNIFIED here. Besides, it would be nice if I had someone other than my parents to dogsit.) It was a little plastic, and lord knows Providence, a neat town, is not Flu Spork, but it felt like a life. Not transient. Not a holding cell. They seemed content, or at least I imagined them to be, as I fiddled with their track lighting and admired their view. They were reaping already, whereas I feel like Hazzard and I just sow and sow and sow and wait, where we put off everything we truly want. Which isn't track lighting, really.

*NB - someone should make and market cheap sake in six-packs or something and call it sake of convenience.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Did you know?

Providence is AMAZING! I bought a book there called "The Frenchman in Mohammed's Harem." And this other book! Called "Galaxy!" That's from the 1960's and is supposed to be space-erotica! But it's the least erotic thing EVER. Oh wow. Pictures and captions TK when I can stop freaking out.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Jaco Homo

The current issue of Downbeat Magazine - the derivative ratbastards - has a cover story on Joe Zawinul. I didn't feel like reading it, so I just went and found a performance of "Birdland" instead:

And on closer inspection it's not clear to me that you can even read the article online (unless the cover story is five paragraphs long). So, you know - don't worry; it's jazz.

Load Up, Load Up, Load Up...

Meanwhile, on a recently-discovered Earthlike planet...

Someone finds herself drawn to self-help and DIY books over any other kind of written word. Hello Alien Violet! I am totally going to space-fax you The Worry Cure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Petticoat compunction

I'm going to a wedding in Providence this weekend. I love it when people get married, because that means I'll have something to talk about with them. It's not that I don't like single folks, I just can't relate. Always on about their dates or their drugs or their jobs. It's charming in its own silly way I guess, but so immature! I just don't have time for that sort of thing anymore, you know?

Anyway, what I do have time for is wanting a petticoat or crinoline to wear with the (effing excellent) dress I have selected for the event. I'm not sure why one is so hard to find - you'd assume that some would have entered circulation the summer before last when full skirts were the thing. Fuck. How am I going to steal the bride's thunder NOW?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ask Violet

Dear Violet,

I would like to build a simple bird feeder with my children as a fun springtime activity. Do you have any ideas how I could go about that?

Sue Etts

Dear Sue,

The joy of encouraging fledgling ornithologists!* Instructions for a simple coffee-can bird feeder are as follows.

Poke three holes in the bottom of a coffee can with a can puncher.** Be sure to remove stray shards of metal with bare fingers.


Poke three holes in the top of the same coffee can.

Get a big plastic plant saucer.

Nail a hole through the center of the plant saucer and the center of the bottom of the coffee can. Don't accidentaly shatter most of the plant saucer, which is probably pretty hard plastic.

Take plastic shard from dog.

After consideration, decide to let the dog eat the plastic shards after all.

Repair saucer with duct tape.

Insert a screw through to attach the can to the plate. Fail to find washer. Remove screw.

Run some duct tape through the bottom of the can and the hole in the saucer. Put balls of duct tape on either end of the duct tape connecting rope, so everything is joined by a duct tape barbell.

Correct imbalances with duct tape weights.

Run a bungee cord through the three holes on top of the can.

Date a few men seriously, with supercrazy dangerslut periods in between until you are able to marry someone tall.

Make him hang the thing from the cross-beam on your balcony.

Fill with birdseed.

Replace lid.

Find washer next day, prepare to make it in to a proper birdfeeder that birds can potentially balance upon.

Realize you've constructed the thing is such a way that it is literally impossible to modify without disassembling your entire balcony.

Eat tortilla chips.


I hope this helps!


*Ornithologist joke.

**Different from a can opener. Who knew?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Rusty's Old-Timey Cheesecake of the Week

Lest it be said that I prefer my older ladies to be mousy bespectacled gossips, um, here's Diana Rigg:
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Ogle Blogging

Apropos of last month's Hardball circle jerk, I just want to talk for a minute about Fred Thompson. I guess the people on TV really want him to be president, maybe because he also is a person-on-TV.

But whatever. First Margaret Carlson* has this moment with Chris Matthews over Fred, which is maybe the dirtiest non-loofah moment in the history of Cable News. I mean, I know it couldn't have sounded that bad, but the transcript is... well, the transcript, er... it doesn't read very worksafe, if you know what I mean:
CARLSON: The theme song of Republicans should be "Some Day My Prince Will Come," and they're waiting and they‘re hoping. And so Fred Thompson is not late at all. His moment is here.

MATTHEWS: Some day he will come along. Do you think he's coming now?

CARLSON: I think he's coming soon.
Now maybe it's just me, but I absolutely cannot read that in the non-pornographic context it was uttered. Actually it probably is just me, but hey, I imagine she knows a few things I don't about Fred Thompson.

Moving on to what I meant to say in the first place: the TV-people think he looks like a Truck Driver or something so That's Why he should be President. Which basically tells you most of what you need to know about the TV-people, but not about truck drivers and not about presidents, neither of which at age 65 (when imagined as a silly archetype) would strike me as the type to marry This Gal:
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and with A Guy You Really Wanna be Photographed With:
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I mean, I'm sure they're in love and all. And that's great and when I'm a 65-year-old retired senator and character actor You Bet i want a 30-something Buxom Blonde. You Bet. BUT how does that blah blah blah in Peoria blah blah blah John Edwards Hair OH RIGHT; I forgot.

*I met Margaret Carlson once. While the visual confirmation of cuteness is fresh in our minds, I will confirm that - visually, at least - she is cute.

Injuries Sustained During The Crafting of The Antonio Gramsci Memorial Birdfeeder

Friday, April 20, 2007

And I have visual confirmation of her cuteness, which is what really matters.

Despite my richly conflicted relationship with oh, say, writing? On the internet? And Young People? And despite my promise of a sharp stick in the eye to the next person who said anything about anything women did ever at all? Emily Gould is a little bit my mind hero, for sneaking the snappy feminism all up in Gawker's piece. And everyone's all like wha? And she's like, yeah, motherfuckers, that's right. Uh.

P.S. I had like 8 abortions today. They were AMAZING.

P.P.S. Not that I like Gawker, although I am obvs. reading it. I just like Emily. She should have her own magazine. I wonder what she'd call it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Let's Teleport To My Closet!

Fashion is something that can be acquired. You too, be it male or female, can be very fashionable.

Lucky Thirteen

  1. "Friends of Mine" - The Zombies. Appropriate for the Easter. It should be kept in mind that despite what the song says sometimes (sometimes) it's annoying or depressing "to know two people so in love." On the other hand, it's only polite to act like this song is correct.
  2. "You're Leaving" - Emmylou Harris. Certain things bother me sometimes, make me worry about myself, like: is it reasonable for me to bristle at this lady popping up on records by Bright Eyes and Ryan Adams or am I just a curmudgeon dick and would I have said the same thing about Gram Parsons or Neil Young records like a million years ago or whenever it was?
  3. "Sin City" - Mekons. And here's a Gram Parsons cover. Fuck you, psychic ipod!
  4. "Surrounded By The Stars" - Amon Düül II This is kind of more like what I've been listening to a lot lately. Which brings me to another thing i worry about: I keep hearing new bands or whatever and I think this sounds like Amon Düül II. Is that because I've been listening to too much Amon Düül? Well, obviously yes on some level. It's just like the review (I don't remember where! oh the pain of blogging!) of that Vietnam record that kept comparing it to the Velvet Underground. But maybe I'm ok after all; I don't think the Vietnam record sounds at all like Amon Düül II. It sounds exactly like the Black Crowes. Duh.
  5. "Young Ned Of The Hill" - The Pogues. Shane McGowan: still alive.
  6. "Earth A Raging Blaze" - Craft.
  7. "Never Work" - Mekons. These guys again? Whatever, this is basically like that Rundgren jam, but less relentless.
  8. "Transdermal Celebration" - Ween. Is this a Foo Fighters rip? If so, that's hilarious. This rules. Hail Boognish. etc., etc.
  9. random Deep Purple studio chatter. This doesn't sound like "studio chat", just random circus noodling. What gives? PLAY FLIGHT OF THE RAT!
  10. "Big Money" - Big Black.
  11. "Bottled Violence" - Minor Threat. Straight edge is just fear of growing up. Fucking Peter Pan syndrome fuckers. Please don't kick my ass, straight edge kids.
  12. "Tudy Fruity Judy" - T La Rock. Still on the fence about old-school rap. gonna stay here a while.
  13. "Legless Love" - Devendra Banhart. Now I'm embarrassed. fuck FUCK!

that could have gone better. we'll get them next time, tiger.

Styx is for Kids?

A one-time colleague of mine - Horatio Thornblower, we'll call him - was always fond of prefacing queries with "hey Rusty, you're a hipster, maybe you would know about blah blah blah..." Which was all very pejorative and deflating because Hey words can hurt you know! words have meanings, man.

Except when they Don't.

The Hipster comment would always leave me momentarily sucker-punched and slack-jawed but I could collect myself to riposte: "but Horatio... don't you play in a post-rock outfit (or three)?"*

Which is just a long dumb way of saying Cat and Girl was spot-on today.

*in 2003 or whatever "post-rock" was maybe fashionable.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Am reading the SCOTUS opinion on Gonzalez (booo!) vs. Carhart. I got it from feministe, where they tend to know what's what on reproductive rights. It is gnarly*, of course, but kind of captivating in the insight it provides into a weird sort of essentialist logic. Try this on for size: intact D&E is "perverting the proccess of birth." That almost sounds like dirty hippie talk, no?

*Bad gnarly, not Bill and Ted gnarly.

Monday, April 16, 2007


It was my idea to go, and a focus of our trip to Philadelphia, the four of us, two young couples obsessed with greasy food and silly movies, arcana and the kitsch and trash. "They have," I said "SKULLS there. And GROVER CLEVELAND'S TUMOR. Can you handle it?"

It was everything I could have wanted in a museum full of skulls. It was small and a little dusty, specimens were kept in old-fashioned cabinets that lined the wall. It was gothic and delicious and symptoms of ravaging disease and deformity were everywhere, thrilling me. That's what syphillis does? Wow. Would you divorce me if I grew a horn like that? It was touching, too - the exhibit on Siamese Twins, on their recognizable reality and love for each other, their conjuncture hardly seeming a hardship, at least in these histories sketched out on poster board, behind those same old-fashioned glass cabinet doors. Maybe it was true, or just issued as a corrective, but in any case.

The giant colon downstairs terrified me - a swollen black eel the size of a man - to have that inside of you would be to know demonic possession. The ribcage of a boy woven through with overzealous bones, the babies in jars.

It sounds funny, it is funny! Babies in jars! The punchline of an intentionally tasteless joke that you'd tell on a first date in order to suss out whether this was someone you could spend your life with or not, whether they, too, love tasteless jokes. Babies in jars! And that's what they were. They floated in honey-colored fluid just like they had in the womb - their skin was waxy and dull, but they had petal-like feet like as live babies do, and smooth little noses. Some were twins, but instead of manifesting the loving symbiosis I read about upstairs each had been joined to the other in such a way that she had prevented her from ever taking even a first mewling gulp of air, some had been killed by forceps, or just born wrong. Babies used to die all the time, I remembered, an effort to steel myself in solidarity with history. I sought out the foeti in various stages of development and looked carefully at the very earliest, in which I could discern no human feature.

Best Student Misspelling of "Don Quixote" That Sounds Like It Would Be A Better Book Than Don Quixote and I Like Don Quixote:


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Things I Am Not Buying

Somehow, this issue of immigration came up at dinner, which was about as fun as you might imagine.

Latino immigrants just don't make enough of an effort to assimilate/learn English. Discuss. Attempts to refute don't work It didn't work, obvs, because at this point the vocabulary of the resources/language/jobs debate is just a flimsy cloak for fear of brown people that doesn't engage reason. Though my opinion isn't really reasonable as in here's-a-workable-solution, either - I want everyone to lean Spanish, I want every public school to be bilingual, I want to see the US move toward being a country with two official languages and no official culture.

I do the same thing with every big problem I'm presented with. Flip it upside down, find the least feasible solution, and become deeply attached to it. So it's been pretty difficult for me to stand idly by and watch the women-working-or-staying-home parade trod the same now-grassless ground for the past few years. While I think all the standard criticisms about how this is a problem one is lucky to have apply, I don't think that means there is not any interesting thinking to be done anymore. Unfortunately, I just don't care. The next person to cash in on the desire of everyone in the entire universe to jizz all over the tits of young mothers while telling them what poor choices they are making gets a sharp stick in the eye.

In last week's New Yorker (missing the stick in the eye threshold by only a few days!) is a review by Rebecca Mead of a book by Leslie Bennetts about how stay-at-home moms are deluding themselves and fucking everyone else over and laughing about it at their monthly symposia. And Rebecca Mead is all, but staying home is a valid choice and emotionally fulfilling and baybeeezz why are you all up in their grillses? "Interview after interview reveals a woman who seems, actually, pretty happy with her lot," Mead writes "at least until Bennetts sweeps in and points out how terrible things will become if her husband leaves her."

Where is he now? Sure as fuck not in this article. Where are the dads in any of these articles, these descriptions of the ecosystems in which all of our professional and feminist choices bind us inextricably? Just working away on autopilot, oblivious to any of this? Patented Violet Beekeper problem-flipping coming atcha - why don't we start approaching this problem by looking at the choices men make ... and at men who make unconventional choices? Is there no thinking to be done there? Is this opt-out revolution discussion not really a discussion but instead an excuse to shame women a la everything else ever? Noooo. Couldn't be.

"But," you say "it wouldn't work! The mens, they are obviously too attached to their provider role and its perks to give it up! It is totally like when they killed antelopes on the veldt, and women stayed at home giving interviews to itinerant authors working on projects about the state of contemporary feminism. I mean, we are talking about i-bankers here."

And I say "why?" Seriously. Do we need a book and loads of commentary on a book about this? Holy shit, THIS JUST IN: SOMETIMES I- BANKER WIVES MAYBE A LITTLE BIT SHALLOW AND LAZY. I- BANKERS POTENTIALLY ATAVISTIC AND EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN THEIR EARNING POWER. NOT CHAMPIONS OF PROGRESSIVE GENDER ROLES MORE AT SIX. I only know the dudes I know, and the dudes I know are mostly dippy urban liberals (hi!), but I guarantee you a hundred percent that if you proposed to them that maybe you should start discussing how they could work less and hang out with babies more, they would be on it. HERE IS A BIG EFFING SECRET: dudes totally like babies. And they're not even all assholes! Some of them don't even like to go to Hooters, even ironically! I know, right? It's enough to make you want to totally want to punch modern male mythology in the cock.

And I think that journalists who have any investment in feminism would be well advised to punch it in the cock with me. To divest from an anti- feminist-even-when-it's-feminist media paradigm that gets paid for picking like a zealous facialist at women's contradictions and ugly compromises. To examine men's choices and ask them to examine their own - many of them aren't well served by their current options and know it - maybe, if we try solving this equation for Y, interesting things will begin to emerge. Just a thought.

Things not addressed here -

How the constant and consistent preoccupation with stay-at-home-or-work bs has probably done more to alienate black feminists from media feminism than anything else.

The tricky fact of pregnancy. Not that I don't have theories about this.

The awesome New Yorker article about the Pirahã - I also feel like Tavis Smiley is kind of what would happen if they had developed a broadcasting tradition parallel to ours.

Friday, April 13, 2007

To Do List: January, 2009

  1. Re-stock the government's professional bureaucracy.

I'm gonna be in the bathroom. This might take a while.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

From a student paper:

"It is not always a good idea to pay someone for sex and then humiliate them."

A Window on a Twisted Soul

I have been busy setting goals for myself - I am a big procrastinator, and one way to avoid getting things done is to create complicated schemata detailing exactly what things I will get done. However, it might work this time, because I have broken it down into big motivating goals and their subsidiary task-goals, and because I am out here on the internet holding myself accountable.

First Category: Family!

The Big Picture: Act like an adult re. my parents. Be nice to my brother and cultivate that relationship. Help fairly around house and do not pick on Hazzard (which is what I think I am calling M. Beekeper 'round these parts) about work.

The Really Big Picture: Get things in shape to get a baby up in me within 7 years. Look into being more Jewisher than I am

Down in the Mud With the Peasants:
  1. Do not call/email about help on dumb things I can do myself (daily)
  2. Do not borrow money except for discreet, pre-identified expenses, eg, tooth fillings (daily, I guess. This isn't really a problem I have, more of a reminder. )
  3. Call das brutterstein once a week and stay on phone 15 min even if he is not saying anything which is likely. (1x/week - Fridays?)
  4. Do not bug H. about work stuff (daily)
  5. BUT have once weekly family meeting to allay my concerns (1x/week)
  6. Do dishes OR cook 5x/week (5x/week)
  7. Walk dog 5x/week (5x/week)

Second Category: Jobbsers!

The Big Picture: Actually put some effort into my pay-the bills job even though it is stupid crazy easy. Finish manuscript. Get to know folks at Professional School For Professionals. Be productive. Don't be unproductive.

The Really Big Picture: Be Nancy Pelosi.

The Wheel to Which I Am Putting My Shoulder:
  1. 90 minutes/day 5 days/week on my pay-the-bills job (my job is honestly so easy that this will be a stretch) (5x/week)
  2. Write 1000 words/day 5 days/week (5x/week)
  3. Plan next day's writing 5 days/week (5x/week)
  4. Don't be on internet for more than 1 hr/day (daily)
  5. Only watch pre-deteermined tv for a max of 2hrs/day (daily)
  6. Write 3 Prof. school emails/week

Third Category: Save The Whales!

The Big Picture: Live in a way that is increasingly consistent with my beliefs. Have some idea of how to articulate my beliefs, "I love Mexicans!" does not count.

The Super Big Picture: Total Transcendence.

The Protestant Work Ethic:
  1. Phase out incandescant light bulbs, 1/week (1x week. This is really hard for me. I am going to need to put yellow gels on all my energy-save lamps or something.)
  2. Don't drink milk out of carton (daily. This lets me buy the more expensive organic milk, since it does not disappear as fast.)
  3. Volunteer (schedule deferred until Thurs, when I have a meeting re. this.)
  4. Get Green Energy Info (deferred until I know whether I am moving or not)
  5. Write 1 letter to a publication 1x a week. (weekly. I am really really good at getting letters to the NY Times published, let's see if this carries over.)
  6. Read newspaper. (daily)

Fourth Category: Strong Teeth And Bones

The Pig Bicture: Control Athsma. Be Hottt.

The Really Pig Bicture: Be Really Hottt. Some day, far off, eat less cheese.

Hottt Was Not Built in a Day:
  1. Yoga class (3x/week)
  2. Practice at home 20 min a night (daily)
  3. Dessert only twice a week (I guess I will define that as no desert 5x/week)
  4. Meat only twice a week (ditto - 5x/week)
  5. No cigarettes EVER (daily)
  6. When drinking, 1 drink per 75 min, maximum 4. (daily, I guess? It's not really an issue daily. Also, I realize that may sound a bit stringent for a hip young person - or not? - but I am literally the pukiest drinker EVAH. So less = better).
  7. Find some cardio ish thing to do (deferred)

Fourth Category number 2: Monies

Blah Blah: Pay off Credit Cards. Save 10,000

Blah Blah Blah: Don't be poor.

How We Do:

  1. Save $75/week (weekly)
  2. Pay $75 to credit cards/week (weekly)
  3. Don't buy any clothes/shoes/makeup for one month (uh? check in weekly?)
  4. Only one iTunes album every 2 weeks. (bi-weekly or biweekly?)

Now, I figure if I am hitting at least 75% of each category and at least 85% overall at the end of a month, I can get a reward. But what? I was thinking I would go get a massage, but then that costs money and then, then I would be like, well, actually it would be bad to meet my goals because then it would cost me! So I should just go watch My Super Sweet 16! The perils of being a nutbar.