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.