Monday, July 31, 2006


I'm not a fan of the heat. Never have been. I grew up in New England and even the seasonably warm weather of years gone by was too much for me. As a child, I remember moping around most of the Summer looking forward to the Fall. Yes, although school was in the Fall, I adored Autumn. I even made up a song about it when I was very young. I'd sing it while swinging near the grape arbor in my grandparents' yard. It was one of those atonal 6 year old "compositions" and included lyrics about how great the Fall was because that was when my birthday and halloween were and when apples and grapes got ripe (my grandparents had an apple tree too). My love of Autumn made it Summer just that much less tolerable. Summer was like the nasty vegetable you have to eat if you want dessert.

As an adolescent, I loathed the beach in the daytime. I tried different things to make it tolerable - reading magazines (boring, hot, glare from page), reading books (hot, glare from page, crick in neck and hands), and walking the beach wall. The last one was less troublesome, but still it didn't spare you from hot. And hot, aside from just being fucking uncomfortable and draining, means fewer clothes so you don't get heat stroke. Which brings me to a whole other set of "I hate Summer" issues - the clothes. As a teen, I was quite down on my body. Although I was underweight most of my life, I recall quite distinctly at 16 thinking that while I wasn't "fat" overall, I had "fat" my thighs. I used to call them "porpoise thighs" because to me they looked humped and stout. Yes, this was incredibly foolish, I know. But it was a manifestation of being young and female in my particular cultural context. 80s teen summer clothes tended to unavoidably expose my "porpoise thighs" and I went to great lengths, including wearing overly warm overly long jean shorts and combat boots, to disguise them somewhat. No cooter cutter daisy dukes for me.

To make matters worse, for all of my life I have been just totally untannable. I get what we call the "Irish Tan" which is to say I burn, blister, and then if I'm lucky I walk away with a fresh crop of freckles (if not I stay reddish for a while, then go back to white). I've actually gotten a rash from sun exposure and have had two just god awful burns in my life. But never the fashionable golden tanned skin that would make wearing short and skirts with sandals even remotely high on my list of things I look OK in.

Now that there's so much about the aging affects of sun on skin, I am happy I generally tended to have limited sun exposure in my life. Unfortuantely, the sight of my blue-white legs with dark stubble (or worse, dark not stubble) poking out from under the kinds of super short clothes one would find desirable in 90 degree weather has always bothered the shit out of me. We all have our things, don't we? Now that I'm older, I'm less freaked out about my body but I still hate the quite large amount of untanned (and untannable) skin extreme summer heat requires me to show. I worry I look like my mother, over 30 skinny white legs showcasing veins and missed hairs.

Which brings me to the point. It is going to be hotter than blazes here in CT this week. I realized as I was thinking about what I had to do this week and what my wardrobe options were so I didn't look horrible doing it that the issue of looking good (or not) in a sun dress is so tiny in comparison of another much more valid concern. Keeping healthy if we lose power. We do tend to do that here in rural buttfuck CT. Last year, we lost power in my area for nearly a week with no explanation from the electric company. This year, I've read numerous reports about power outages even in urban areas...power outages that have gone on and on and on. A quick check of my temp this evening puts me well into the still febrile category (100F) so I guess it's time to bust out the bikini top, the halters, the crotch grazing sundresses, and the sandals, and worry less about my dignity and more about staying cool and healthy.

Friday, July 28, 2006

vulvadral dodecahedrons

Now that's what I'm talking about. Go Daniela, who had the absolute best neologism and example sentence for the concept "being like or having some aspect of a vulva".

Daniela's example...

"The entry facade of the new museum for contemporary [art] features an outstanding and complex frieze of abstract, yet subtle, vulvadral dodecahedrons in recycled papier-mache..." the first thing today that made me laugh out loud.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Not even worth the "a". I'm just in a blh mood. My big events for the day included getting my mail and cooking dinner.

For some reason, since the hip thing started, I have found myself humming a lot, usually something repetitive from classical music or (glug) christmas carols. Why is it when that happens, it's never a good song? Or is that just me? So here I am, on the edge of a total shit mood, humming. I should have little animated animals and stuff following me around, like the birds and shit that follow Disney's Snow White...except mine would have to be buzzards, storm clouds, and maybe a pack of angry squirrels flitting about as I move through my day (thanks to A___ for the angry squirrels suggestion).

Next week brings more doctor's appointments and probably at least one big fight because that is the mood I'm in. I think I should take it out on one of the doctors since they have luxuries most other people in my life don't. Therefore they can afford a little venom and I've got plenty to spare right now.

You know what I hate most about this mood? That there is usually some asshole who wants to tell you that "you need help" because of your anger "issues". Given the fucked up state of my health and the limits it's putting on my life at the moment, I think anger is a fully predictable and reasonable response. Yeah, it's not super great in the overall scheme of things, but hey...if you can't get cranky over having a big day of checking the mail and making some food then what can you get cranky about?

Well that's it. I just wanted to share this with, um, my blog. And what does that mean, I mean communicatively speaking? Dunno, something like that urge to sharpie up a wall or something. At best, it's me yodeling my bullshit to a scant collection of mostly unknown or less known people who can judge if they are so inclined from a safer distance. I guess that's what suits me about it. It's like a social inoculation or something.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Primary here I come

I have never voted in a primary. I usually register independent and I haven't ever lived in a state where the presidential primary seemed like a big deal. In short, I've been like a whole lot of people who assume (tacitly usually) that elections like that are for "other people".

However, I've been following the challenge to Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman's comfortable incumbency for a while now and today, I decided I am going to register democrat just so I can go vote AGAINST Lieberman in the August 8th primary.

After Hillary Clinton's speech promoting the Democratic party's new "American Dream Initiative" (which is only new in packaging), I feel a little skeezy registering as a democrat. But I am so fed up with Lieberman and his current campaign that I am going to do it anyhow. What finally pushed me over the fence I was sitting on was this:

U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont released a document Tuesday showing he does not control investments in a stock fund that once included shares of Halliburton Co. The letter, signed by a Goldman, Sachs & Co. vice president, says the managed account is run by Goldman Sachs' Quantitative Equity Group, which makes all investment decisions. Halliburton stock is no longer part of that fund, Lamont Campaign Manager Tom Swan said last week when Lamont released his 2005 tax returns.

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has repeatedly accused Lamont of having direct shares of Halliburton. The Connecticut Post reported last week that there is Halliburton stock in two mutual funds that Lieberman owns.

Lieberman spokeswoman Marion Steinfels would not comment on Lieberman's mutual funds.

"While Joe Lieberman was calling for a congressional investigation into Halliburton's abuses, Ned Lamont was profiting off them," she said in a written statement. "We are glad that Ned has dumped the $50,000 in stock that he owned in Halliburton."

This is part of why when I did have money, I was somewhat distrusting of mutual funds. You know, the whole "who the hell are they going to invest my money in?" issue. I've heard of "socially responsible mutual funds" but by the time I heard of that, I was well on my way to being divorced and destitute (my current status) and so I never really researched it. So really, I am not surprised to hear that Lamont's investment portfolio included shares of an evil corporation like Halliburton. I am disgusted that the Lieberman campaign is using THAT of all things as an issue. Not that it isn't relevant, but this really is one of those throwing stones from the lawn of your glass house moments. If the Lieberman campaign had anything to say about how exactly Lieberman is going to change, I might listen. Ok, I probably wouldn't but I sure wouldn't feel this irate.

That quote by Lieberman's spokesperson is a perfect example of what pisses me off about how a campaign like this is run. Issues? Intelligent debate of policy? Hell no! For the incumbent, public talking points tend to be comprised of bullshit, bamboozling, and backhanded insults.

After reading that campaign update, I called my town clerk, found out I can register to vote in the primary up until August 3rd (by mail in presumably) and up until August 7th if I do it in person. So off I go to register (today if I get showered and out in time...still moving slow from the hip).

Monday, July 24, 2006

please note that side effects are extremely rare

Oh the silly things they write in medical procedure information. Below is a collection of excerpts from information available online about gallium scans. I found these after looking up side effects and gallium when I got home today, feeling like I was going to hurl (one of the extremely rare or impossible side effects of the injection). I'm going back at 2:30 for a scan, I'll mention the "rare" side effect then. Any bets on the type of response I will receive?

Are there any side effects?
Most people do not experience any side effects from gallium. Possible side effects, though rare, include allergic reaction, skin rash, and nausea.

Side effects and complications
Diagnostic nuclear medicine exams produce no known side effects or complications.

What You Need To Know

As with all Nuclear Medicine procedures, you will have no side effects from the medication.

And last, but not least...

Can I bring somebody with me?
We would prefer that you do not bring more than one person with you. It is advisable not to have a pregnant woman or a small child with you.

Now that one really sucked because I do usually travel with a pregnant woman (you know, for protection) and finding out like this that I can't have one with me for the scan was a bit of a shock, I must say.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

My laptop

It's here and just in time. My desktop is acting bad, something's going on when I start up that seems to be overwhelming my processor (but what do I know...I'm only 1/4 tech nerd). It's being sluggish in general lately but it's particularly bad when I start up.

So while I figure out what's wrong with persephone (that's the desktop) I at least have the pretty little perky laptop now to use (I haven't named the laptop yet). I'm not keeping both computers. The desktop is going to a good cause once I get it straightened out.

My only complaint so far about the laptop is that the keyboard feels a little flimsy.

"So far"...I just realized my distrust of such happy feelings apply whether the object of my affection is animate or inanimate.

Friday, July 21, 2006

R-filled box

Where I grew up (south of Boston), we used to joke that people from a town called Medford had donated their D to Sesame Street. They pronounced it "Meffud". Since all of us spoke with the same south of Boston accent, no one was in a position to remark upon or even notice the irony of a bunch of nonrhotic English speakers mocking another set of nonrhotic English speakers for having dropped a sound (we said "Medfud").

Which brings me to this...
GREENCASTLE, Ind. --Dozens of letter Rs swiped last weekend from several businesses' signs were returned in an R-filled box left outside the Greencastle Police Department.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Rush Limbaugh sings

Total serendipity. I was looking for a distraction while I count down to when I have to leave, doing a search on states that have cohabitation bans, because you know, that's relaxing. So anyhow, I came across this and while there is the not entirely unexpected decline into the potty humor realm later in the song, some of it at least early on made me laugh out loud. Not hard hitting social/political commentary, just something that was unexpected, stupid, and funny.

Sometimes a yoni is just a vulva

A while back I decided I wanted a word that described the external part of female genitals, a word that would capture the anatomical sense of PHALLIC but in relation to female. I discarded vaginal quickly as it places too much focus on the interior (see 3 below). YONIC is a good counterpart to PHALLIC in an extended and usually abstract metaphorical sense, e.g., if I were a baby boomer English major, I might talk about the phallic versus yonic versification in a comparison of selected writings of Ayn Rand and Tolkien. What is a counterpart in the physical sense? Does YONIC work as well as PHALLIC in that case? My concern was about how to express the adjectival form of VULVA, how to express the concept "being (physically) like a VULVA" in the same neat, concise, and non-ambiguous way that PHALLIC can be used to describe everything from skyscrapers to cigars.

Sticking with the most concrete definitions (that is, not the abstract extensions of being "like X" in form, function, or philosophical metaphor), here is an overview of some mostly coherent thoughts on the matter. Mostly coherent because in addition to the fever I still have, I am starting to feel the brain clogging tendrils of anxiety about the MRI I have this evening. I'm sure this is affecting my, well, everything. I've had to edit this post numerous times now for purely superficial problems. Oh well, apologies in advance for any difficulty the ones I might have missed cause.

1) Phallus/phallic
- We got it from Latin. They got it from Greek. In both ancient languages, it was used to describe the actual protruding part. No ambiguity here. No "meat and/or two veg". It's the meat. It can mean more than that...
Wordnet: relating to a phallus especially as an embodiment of generative power
...but it still can be used unambiguously to describe something which shares physical properties of the anatomical term PHALLUS
(btw, wordnet doesn't even have an entry for YONI or YONIC)

2) Yoni/yonic
- Sanskrit. In the physical sense in modern English use, apparently it's not so clear what part a YONI is. I haven't personally studied Sanskrit so I'm left to rely on second and third hand interpretations but it looks like the jury's out as to what part exactly YONI refers to and therefore whether or not YONIC properly refers to being like vag, vulv, or womb. Here are some representative definitions and etymologies.
AHD: Definition: Hinduism. A stylized representation of a vulva worshiped as a symbol of a goddess or Shakti.
Etymology: Sanskrit yoni[h], womb, abode, source.
Wiktionary: 1. The womb, 2. The vulva, especially when worshiped as a symbol of a goddess or Shakti
Wikipedia: The word yoni (Sanskrit योनि yoni) is the Sanskrit word for the female reproductive organ. Translated directly into English, it could mean vulva or vagina.

Wiki does suggest YONI as the basis for the Western-used adjective YONIC, which is the counterpart to the term PHALLIC. However when you click the link to YONIC in that wiki entry, it gives the definition of YONIC as in the shape of a vulva or vagina, in the shape of a yoni which continues and possibly even adds to the confusing and non-specific senses of the term. I don't know if this ambiguity arises out of sexism or ethnocentric laziness. Someone who has studied Sanskrit and Indic languages would have much better insights about this I suspect. The point is though that in the modern English usage, the term YONI and YONIC seem best described as higher class phrasings of "meat and/or two veg" (see 1, above).

Therefore, I concluded that if I want a word to characterize and object based mostly on a physical resemblance to the external part of female genitalia, the word YONIC was a little imprecise.

Before I go on to VULVA, let me describe the specific situation where the word was required. I think it helps to understand the full context in order to make the correct word choice.

At one point in my life, I had decided that a noticable number of men seemed to be afraid of women's purses. If you're female and you want to test this, carry a big leathery purse and put it down on a man's desk/work space. It should be up as close to eye and face level as possible and definitely in line of sight. You don't even need to root around in it although you might be tempted to in order to draw attention to it, if you do this, you can't observe your subject without exposing him to an unnaturally divided attention which could influence his behavior. Best bet is just put it up where he has to see it in order to look at you or even in your direction while you two are talking.

For the unconvinced, I present as (further) evidence the humor (and pejorative connotation) of the term and concept "man purse". It seems reasonable to say the humor is largely if not entirely related to the very strong association between a purse and a thing exclusively and embarassingly female. If a man is wearing a dress, we've got common use words for that (e.g., drag, transvestite(ism), cross-dressing) which aren't all considered automatically humorous and which don't require male specific modifiers. However, MAN-PURSE is funny, right? It belongs to the same class as "he-pussy", "man whore" (yes, I will pretty much watch anything), and "man-boobs". Whether or not you personally find those terms funny, several people thought they were funny enough to constitute a core part of entertainment which they expected people to pay for.

We can postulate a productive algorithm which involves adding a masculine identifier before something strongly female: [man, he] + [boob, purse, pussy, whore]. I realize that I am saying women's clothes are not considered as inherently or strongly female as something like a purse, a highly female and highly negative role (whore), or a part of a woman's body. Maybe we as a society will find a need for words like "man earring" or "man necklace" although I've never heard those (have heard just plain ol' "earring" and "chain"). So I would say this does suggest a pattern in which purse is more feminine/female even than things like jewelry, and my proposed explanation for that is the combination of its use as a woman's accessory and the purse's actual physical resemblance to a vulva.

Hey I just realized we can add in [minivan] as well. I think the minivan characteristics might be a little bit of a stretch as based in a directly physical analogy to female anatomy, but not a whole lot. In this case it's a little more function than morphology, but it is physical.

A slight detour on minivans:
The minivan came first, not the SUV. The SUV is a masculinized minivan, and it was masculinized by removing things that made it seem passive, by remarketing it as being primarily for outdoors shit and not for carting kids around. The first SUVs were extremely uncomfortable to ride in - seats like boulders and a suspension that would rattle the man-earrings off your pretty little head. Minvans remain as large and road-wise significant as all but the super gianormous SUVs but possess different physical features that mark them as [-male, + female]. Those features are largely stylistic details like how high up the driver sits (low and presumably dominable in the female minivan) and design (boxy exterior, angular lines in the SUV versus Rounded edges, tapered front end in a minivan). Minivans have unexpected openings which confuse and sometimes bother people unfamiliar with them (sliding doors which intrude less into other people's space versus "regular" doors which open out and into the car parked next to the SUV).
Minivans don't need Chili Palmer to make them look cool anymore. These days, the fanciest options packages on minivans...have elevated them beyond the merely utilitarian into the downright luxurious. But beneath their glossy new veneers, minivans are still about transporting large groups of children and groceries--and with typically better fuel economy than comparably sized SUVs and pickups.

Minivans do follow the algorithm, although in a slightly more phonologically efficient way, resulting in manivan.

So I was sitting there one day (substances may have been invovled) wondering what the hell the right word for something like this would be. It needed to be something describing the thing ( a purse in that instance) in terms of its similarity in form and somewhat in function to the external visible part of female genitals. And so the term VULVA was raised at this point. VULVA seemed the right basis for whatever word I was looking for to describe this property.

3a) Vulva
Online Etymology: 1548, from L. vulva, earlier volva "womb, female sexual organ," lit. "wrapper," from volvere
Wiktionary: From Latin vulva, earlier volva ‘womb, female sexual organ’, probably from volvare ‘to turn, wrap arround’.
AHD: The external genital organs of the female, including the labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, and vestibule of the vagina.

A usage note from Wikipedia: In common speech, the term "vagina" is often used improperly to refer to the vulva or female genitals generally, even though strictly speaking the vagina is a specific internal structure and the vulva is the exterior genitalia only. Calling the vulva the vagina is akin to calling the mouth the throat.

3b) Vulval/vulvic/vulvar/vulvalic/vulalescent?
Wiktionary didn't have separate entries for any adjectival forms, instead listing them under "derived forms" in the VULVA entry (PHALLIC and PHALLUS each get their own entry in Wiktionary).
Wordnet: vulvar, vulval (of or relating to the vulva)
AHD gives the following adjectival forms: vulval, vulvar, vulviform, vulvate (the latter two of which were not listed in wordnet).

Which means that if you want to describe something as being like a vulva, it seems you can simply take the word VULVA and add whatever adjectival marker suits you at the moment. I believe this lack of standard form (compared to the very agreed upon "phallic") is due to an underusage of this specific term (and perhaps the concept). I see the underusage of the term, the ambiguity of YONI and YONIC, and the usage of VAGINAL to refer incorrectly but commonly to something that is more properly vulval, as linguistic evidence that we as a society still have an extremely limiting view of women's sexuality, one which is seen through the fingers of the hand mom or dad places over our eyes when something naughty is happening. Who can be expected to get a good look if they are always looking away? Of course, we are not always looking away, but when we are allowed to take a good look, what we are shown is usually a yoni, given the best sense of the word as it is used in our modern language, a stylized representation of female sexuality.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More from the "American Values Agenda"

I'm interested to see how (and if) the supreme court will react to this posturing.

(Excerpts from)
House OKs bill guarding Pledge from courts
By Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer
July 19, 2006
The House, citing the nation's religious origins, voted Wednesday to protect the Pledge of Allegiance from federal judges who might try to stop schoolchildren and others from reciting it because of the phrase "under God." ....

The pledge bill would deny jurisdiction to federal courts, and appellate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, to decide questions pertaining to the interpretation or constitutionality of the pledge. State courts could still decide whether the pledge is valid within the state. ....

"We should not and cannot rewrite history to ignore our spiritual heritage," said Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn. "It surrounds us. It cries out for our country to honor God."

I guess this sort of rhetoric is why they are called "bible thumpers".

Who's this Wamp guy? I did a little research. Representative Wamp was first elected in 1994. He is now planning to stay past his promised no more than 12 years in office and is running for re-election this Fall. Looks like this litle fella's got some big plans.

Oh my god it's a....


No seriously, it is. It's a slow motion movie of vocal fold vibration brought to you by the speech nerd people at UCLA.

I'm working.
This counts as work.
For real. It's class prep. I probably won't show the UCLA vocal fold animation in class though. I have a feeling the undergrads might find it disturbing. You know, because they might be less mature than me.

For those of you who have not yet left the blog, your reward is a set of online sound toys (I liked this one best. It's very soothing if you do it right.). Don't worry. They are not fleshy and wet looking. They're just good clean (possibly ear splitting) fun.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Activist government

For some time now I have wondered about the rhetoric regarding "activist judges". I know this isn't a new concept, although you try googling it to look for a discussion of the evolution of the term and concept. The web is chock full of mention of the phrase, largely due to the never ceasing efforts of crackers with internet access and the unquestioning love of the term in the mainstream media.

And now I'm adding to it, again, by putting it in my blog.

I've been wondering when it will catch on to extend the term or apply the concept (with a new term) to anyone in government who goes against an agenda which promotes a theologically mandated oligarchy (i.e. "jesus told me to vote republican"). I know this is internally inconsistent. I know that the current anti- "acvitist judge" movement tends to focus on how members of the judicial branch are supposedly illicitly taking away power from the legislative branch, and so it would be extremely unreasonable to hear talk about activist legislators, in name or concept. Then again, I don't find the reason underlying the arguments which support the "American Values Agenda" (see below) to be terribly sound as a general rule. So what will it be? Activist legislators? Runaway legislature?

I'm a fan of irony, so I'll stick with Activist.

Activist US legislators in the House blocked passage of a constitutional ban on gay marriage today. This vote came over a month after activist US senators blocked the amendment, according to this article. Here's some more from the actual text of the story.

The marriage amendment is part of the "American values agenda" the House is taking up this week that includes a pledge protection bill and a vote on President Bush's expected veto of a bill promoting embryonic stem cell research. Bush has asked, and social conservatives demanded, that the gay marriage ban be considered in the run-up to the election.

The White House, in a statement Tuesday, urged passage of the measure. "When activist judges insist on redefining the fundamental institution of marriage for their states or potentially for the entire country, the only alternative left to make the people's voice heard is an amendment of the Constitution."

So you still think my "theologically mandated oligarchy" remark is silly? I don't. But I'd be happy to entertain other terms for the concept. Submit them in the comment section. I'll make a banner out of it if I like it enough.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Viva la france.
Did anyone ever really say that, or was it from les mis or something? If you know, don't know, or just want to make something up, please comment. We can guess whether it's true or not.

The US French embassy's site is pretty lame on the issue of Bastille Day. This is just as well since I think a more detailed description would elucidate too many parallels in terms of trends in world political systems deserving of large scale public outrage. Even a slightly a more thorough description makes that clear. How direct are the parallels? It depends I guess. I think here in the US at least an argument could be made that we have a church class (party/estate), at least in the cracker barrel areas.

On a slightly different note, I just browsed a story about "best places to live 2006". I'm wondering if someone will ever do a piece on best places to live if you aren't a breeder who can afford overpriced housing or a bible thumped cracker. I sure would like that.

Saturday, July 15, 2006












Friday, July 14, 2006

Bright sidishness

Today I found out two nice things.
One is that my laptop will be here soon. This will not fix everything and I'm going into debt for it however, it will make my life a lot easier. I can now have my own (yay) set up for collecting and analyzing my dissertation data. This really will help a ton.

Two is that I found out the schedule for the class I'm teaching in the Fall. I believe my exact words when I was asked what time I'd like to teach were "Afternoon...the later the better." And whoopee, it is! Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:00 to 3:50. How fucking great is that? It's very fucking great. I do want to ask opinions though. If you're an old fart (like me) think back to when you were college aged. If you're a young un', just answer. If you had a class with that schedule, would you ever go if Friday was for discussion? I think making it Monday would risk too much info loss due to weekend activities. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.


So has anyone heard of a gallium scan? I've got one in ten days. If you've ever had one or know someone who has, drop me a line.

It sounds creepy but the doc says it's a good way to get a look at what's up with my hip, especially because now I am running a fever too. She also ordered an MRI and I think it's not an open one which means I'm going to be in a coffin like tube. Jeezus...Sorry, I gotta bitch about this because it's kind of freaking me out right now.

I keep feeling tempted to cancel it, say "hey it's not that bad" and just suck it up. But then I remember how much it sucks when my hip goes out. It's hard to be responsible about this, especially when it seems like the docs would let it go if I did.

I'm feeling very acutely how much this sucks at the moment. Yesterday was a big fat migraine day too. I need to take a second to whine that this really fucking blows since all my life I looked forward to being in my 30s because then I'd be a "grown up", away from my evil parents, young enough to still be healthy and old enough to maybe have some financial security, and instead I've spent most of the last four years feeling like I'm fucking 78!!!!! Shit shit shit motherfuckingshit.

I'm in such a bad mood. It's probably good I'm not going into school today. I feel like starting a fight with someone.

Ok. I think instead I'll rent stupid movies, maybe paint later.

On the plus side, I bought a laptop. It's pretty, well it looks pretty online (here's a picture of it). It's not here yet, but it will be soon. A pretty little Sony Vaio, supposedly < 4 lb with a 13" screen and far more power than my 2002 desktop Dell. I broke down on the laptop after the second hip outage, and I ended up with the pricey one because I need something that's lightweight but with close to normal sized interface (no wee tiny elf sized screen and keyboard for me). I figure the laptop is good because I can run my experiment on it without needing to use other people's shit and I can work reclining instead of sitting upright at my desk.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Blog birthday!

Happy belated birthday to my blog.

It was one year old yesterday.

Cake later.

Friday, July 07, 2006

coming home to roost

This made my day a little bit brighter.

Ortho Cheer

It goes a little something like this:

Turf, turf, turf!
Yaaaay Ortho!

"what's a turf?" go here, or here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bright and early

It's gray-green and wet.

I'm awake. It's not even nine AM. This is not common since school has ended. I think I'd like to be a morning person. There is the social stigma that goes with being a non-morning person. I've had arguments with people who use the term "beauty sleep" to describe people whose sleep hours are no more than 5 or 6 but which happen to be the wrong 5 or 6 hours*.

I love sunrises. The way coffee and toast smell in air that hasn't decided whether to be hot or cool reminds me of mornings at my grandmother's house. I like the sounds of morning birds, not the same set as the evening birds or maybe just things are quieter in the morning so it takes less to hear them all. I like hearing the increasing frequency of cars coming down the road. Before it reaches the point where it becomes routine background noise, the stream is a bracing antidote to any feelings of 3 AM solitude.

Still, I am just not a morning person.

For a time, I made the mistake of believing the cultural rumor that people like me are just lazy and can be whipped into shape if given the right incentives. My attempt to overcome my "laziness" ended with very bad grades, several degrading and demoralizing academic experiences at college, and more than one professor who asked me if I had sought medical help. I guess I looked as rotten as I felt in the morning. I am not a morning person.

* = "I know you people need your beauty sleep" (very annoying woman at work)
"Are you still asleep?" (labmate Sharon speaking in a derisive tone on my voicemail ~ 8 AM)
"Hey! Tom! You awake? Tom! Hey! Gotta wake up! Everyone's been up for hours already, what are you doing?" (my ex's dad on answering machine ~ 9:30 AM)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


This has been a not so great week. I really want to blame the mid week holiday for screwing with my attempts to have a regular schedule but I know there's other shit in there.

I'm a little down because I couldn't spend my sister's birthday with her. I've tried to do this most years since I've been back east and it truly depresses me that I couldn't do it this year. The reason for my having missed it was not lack of time. It was lack of health on my part, which is in and of itself quite discouraging and possibly a significant part of the reason a bad mood is nipping at my heels today. This morning I woke up to hip pain again which sucks but which also reminds me why a two hour car ride would have been a bad idea this week.

My sister's in her new place, nervous about her new job, doesn't have her cat, and didn't have anyone to celebrate on her birthday with. While not celebrating a birthday on some random day like say September 25 sucks, not celebrating your birthday while everyone in the fucking country is having a big party seems like it would suck more. I feel like I should have been able to get up there yesterday or even Monday but one too many ill fated attempts at pushing what I am starting to realize are sometimes very narrow limits have ended not only with me seriously fucked but with my friends and family fucked because they wind up helping me get un-fucked. Pushing too much is irresponsible and ultimately counter-productive to the goal. Knowing this doesn't make the limits less disappointing though.

I believe also egging this mood on is that tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment with a brand new doctor. I wasn't consciously aware of this until I started trying to get a copy of my x-rays from April and noticed how completely furious I was getting at what really is just standard normal phone run around shit.

I'll try to attempt some attitude adjustment before then. I need a mantra - something uplifting and fortifying. Any suggestions?

Bad blogger

Blogger is misbehaving. No fruit cup.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I grew up very near Boston. Every year, we could hear the big fourth of July fireworks show in the distance. Not in great detail, just the soft bumping contours of the explosions crashing off the blue hills and granite quarries behind us. Oh yes, we could hear them, but we couldn't see them. We were just a little too far away and going in to town for the show was not allowed. It was the topic of one of my father's frequent rants. This was one he felt quite secure in though. Because this one was not just about being better than other people - although the inevitable traffic and the "all the g.d. tourists" also featured so prominently in the rant that you almost felt the extreme discomfort of being there parked in the southeast expressway traffic with Dad.

No, the reasons we couldn't go into Boston to see one of the best fireworks displays around was because of safety. First off, there was undoubtably "freddy three fingers" who was in charge of handling the fireworks who just might fumble a charge, blowing everybody to bits. There were, according to our dad, also the "maggots" who trolled the edges of crowds picking pockets and who might commit other unspeakable criminal acts. Our father once worked in the post office and briefly was a letter carrier. He would tell us every year that the day after a big event in Boston, they would find all the wallets that had been stripped of cash then thrown in the street mailboxes. We couldn't even go to the suburban fireworks displays. Same reasons, just maybe fewer pickpockets, fewer mailboxes, but far more morons.

To combat this, or to at least express our displeasure with our father's decision and reasoning (which even at the time seemed like overprotective elitist bullshit - although in my age appropriate vocabulary, it was just plain old bullshit), when we heard the fourth of July Boston fireworks, we would go and stand on the second floor porch off the living room and after each thud, we would react as if we were watching them:

(thud) Oooooh!
(boom) Ahhhhh!
Hey dad, you gotta come out and listen to these fireworks! They sound great!

I'm reminded of this tonight as I listen to the firecrackers exploding not too far off. Mostly whistlers, but a few cracks and pops come from the humid darkness outside my open window. The town postponed this year's big display due to the rotten weather but I am happy to say that I know from last year I will have a great view right from my porch.

This is something I consider to be happy irony.