Wednesday, July 29

New Blog

This blog has moved to . See you there!

Tuesday, July 14

Road to Elko

It was a pretty uneventful drive to Elko—at least, compared to what Leigh Ann said could happen.

“The first time I drove through here with Sean, we saw the bumper of a semi wrapped around a cow on the side of the road. The semi was gone, just the bumper and the cow were left. There were two other cows standing right next to the dead one. Just standing there, like ‘Duh…hit us, too.’”

Highway 51 between Bruneau and Elko is nothing but open range land and prairie. "I'm going to need you to help me look for animals in the road," she said, which did not make me happy. It only took one graphic story for my Drivers' Ed. teacher to convince me that hitting a large animal with a car is not good, because said large animal will fly right over your bumper and come through your windshield.

I became especially vigilant, whipping my head counter-clockwise and clockwise, scanning the roadside for cows, horses, deer, elk, bears, water buffalo, hippopatomi, anything. We didn't see any big animals that day. Not even a single cow.

Not that we didn't see any wildlife. At almost the exact limit of Mountain City, Nevada, we came upon a phenomenon I'd heard about but never seen: a Mormon cricket migration. It was as disgusting as I'd heard. The katydids' fat red bodies clotted the road; some living, some dead, most at least partly crushed and baking on the hot asphalt. The wave of insects jumping out from under passing cars reminded me of the wake thrown up behind a racing speedboat. Leigh Ann said she couldn't stand the sound of them being hurled about in the wheel wells.

Cricket corpses paved the road blood red for a few miles, then disappeared, then reappeared for another few miles, then disappeared again.

To be continued...

Friday, April 3

Good hair day

I really like my hair today:

-- Mobile Post

Wednesday, March 11

I was wrong once

One time, Kelly and I got into an argument about what you call that foam-rubber thing rednecks use to keep their beer cold. She called it a "coozy," while I insisted it was called a "cozy." I mean what kind of stupid word is "coozy?" It sounds very much like a derogatory term for vagina, which Heather calls Veronica in the film Heathers.

This was back in the day before We went to a party or a bar or someplace and asked everyone "What do you call that foam-rubber thing you use to keep beer cold?" Turns out, the fucker is called a coozy. You learn something every day.

The lovely pink coozy (seen above cradling a Raison D'Etre) was purchased by me from a band called Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele. They are very cool and sing a hilarious song called "I'm An Alcoholic." I think this is the best thing I've ever picked up at a band's merch booth, and Dent May even gave me a deal on it.

Friday, February 13

Where Boobs Go

I am contemplating deleting my Myspace profile, since most of the people I used it to keep up with are now on Facebook. I do want to save some of my old blog posts, however. Here is one of my favorites, originally published April 28, 2007.

An open letter to clothing designers:

Hi. You may not know me, but I am a sometime fan of your work. I am writing to you today to make you aware of a serious problem in, I don't know, maybe your judgement or your bizarre misanthropic/cubist view of the human form. Or rather, the female form. I've noticed in my many years as a clothing consumer that scores of you seem confused as to a certain aspect of the female body--specifically, the placement of womens' breasts.

For many years after the '80's, clothes that I may have wanted to wear had a certain two-dimensional quality that I like to call the No Boob look, which I have illustrated here:

For quite a time clothes seemed to have a not just flat-chested interpretation of females, but an almost inverted-chest interpretation, if that's possible. I haven't seen this nature-defying look for some time, and I'm glad for it.

Apparently someone told you motherfuckers that chicks have tits. Yay for us chicks! Problem is, they stopped just short of telling you where said tits are placed on a torso. I've tried on shitloads of clothes with troubling boob placement and have made a handy little guide here to show you just exactly where boobs don't belong on a body.

The most popular boob-configuration I've noticed when trying on clothes is something I like to call the Victoria's Secret Effect. In essence, it's the result of men who are either gay or extremely young who have only seen breasts in Victoria's Secret ads for extreme push-up bras and think that boobs occur right in the middle of the breastbone, just below the neck--aka Neck Boobs--like this:

Another bafflingly trendy shape that I have seen a lot, especially on dresses at Target, is a pleated, ruched bust that flattens the boobs and makes them look square, thus the Square Boob look:

Still other items I tried on wanted to shove the girls high into my armpits, like so,

or, even more puzzling, above my armpits and far apart, heading for my shoulders, like this (notice how confused and unhappy they look):

It may be hard to believe given that there are so many above-the-ribcage looks such as Neck Boobs, Armpit Boobs, and Shoulder Boobs out there, but I have also found that the opposite exists--yes! Waist Boobs!

I can't draw a picture that shows you exactly where the ladies are placed on every lady, because we all vary, (hint: it's somewhere between Neck Boobs and Waist Boobs, and they ain't square, motherfucker). I can say, though, that you have no clue what you're doing and you maybe need to look at real, live women instead of Victoria's Secret or Anime or wherever it is that you're getting your ideas for breast shape and placement. Because we women, as consumers, are getting tired of tossing aside potential outfits whilst exclaiming, "Why don't these assholes know where boobs go?!?"

Good Day.

Saturday, February 7

Nerd Pick-up Lines

Sometimes you happen to stumble into a cultural phenomenon. Thursday was just such an occasion. For the entire day of February 5, 2009, Twitter was abuzz with the throat-clearing and post-nasal-drip hacking of nerd pick-up lines. I don't know how it got started, exactly, but some genius inspired everyone to post their favorite nerdy pick-up lines. Here are some of my favorites. Test your nerdiness and see how many of these you get--and feel free to add your own! For fun, I like to imagine Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons saying all of them. (Different font types are for readability).

There is no emoticon for how I'm feeling right now. (This actually was stolen from Comic Book Guy.)

I'd like to put my mechanical pencil in your pocket protector.

What's your sine? It must be pi/2 because you're the 1.

Let me implement your base members, you are my supertype.

You are my density. (My number one most favorite, I think. I would die if someone said this to me.)

Roses are #FF0000, violets are #0000FF, all my base are belong to you.

I was hoping you wouldn't block my pop-up.

I wish i was your derivative so I could lie tangent to your curves.

I must have accidentally hit the keystroke for god-mode, how else could I be staring at an angel?

According to the second law of thermodynamics, you're supposed to share your hotness with me.

If you keep shifting bits like that, you're gonna cause a buffer overflow in my pants.

I'd like to tunnel through your firewall, open your ports and start seeding.

You're so hot you oughtta be in webcomics!

You're the variable that makes this equation work.

Baby, you're so hot you denature my proteins.

If I were a enzyme, I'd be DNA-helicase so I could unzip your genes.

I can haz u?

How can I know so many hundreds of digits of pi but not the digits of your phone number?

I have a condom and it's still in it's original packaging!

You make me want to calibrate my joystick without the latest drivers.

Baby, I'll treat you like my homework--I'll slam you on the table and do you all night long!

I've been sent from the future to get you pregnant so our son can save the world.

Wanna be my constant?

Before you came along my heart was a variant. Now it's a constant.

Wanna super-poke?

My phone number? Easy, it's the first 10 digits of pi. I moved to St. Louis just to be in the 314 area code.

I wish I were an integral so I could be the space under your curves.

I'd like to be the photon to your electron and take you to an excited state.

If I ever got stuck time-traveling you would always be my constant.

There's no way to disable this pop-up!

How about I be sine squared and you be cosine squared and together we can be one?

Thursday, February 5

One Book Meme

One book you’re currently reading: I'm not reading anything right now. :(

One book that changed your life: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

One book you’d want on a deserted island: A one-volume collection of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials

One book you’ve read more than once: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

One book you’ve never been able to finish: anything by Dostoyevsky

One book that made you laugh: Triggerfish Twist by Tim Dorsey

One book that made you cry: the David Sedaris book where he remembers his mother's death

One book you keep rereading: The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery

One book you’ve been meaning to read: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

One book you believe everyone should read: Learned Optimism, by Martin Seligman, PhD.

Grab the nearest book. Open it to page 56. Find the fifth sentence: "The woman stayed with us for a week, and while I hated for her to leave, I sort of loved watching her go." When You Are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris.

Wednesday, February 4

Obsessions y Compulsions

As I've said before, I am a ruminator. I think about the same things over and over and over again. In some instances this is really unhealthy and causes me to freak out and defeat myself with repetitive negative thought patterns. In less serious instances, my single-mindedness just leads me to become obsessed with things that entertain me. If I don't have at least one thing--the same thing--to think about constantly...I'm just not myself, and it's better for me if it's the entertaining kind of obsessive thinking rather than the self-defeating kind. I've written about past obsessions here, here, and here, and I thought it would be fun to write about some of my current obsessions and compulsions.

1. Nachos: For the past several weeks, I've been on what I refer to as Nacho Rampage 2009: I've eaten nachos at restaurants 7 times in 14 days. I've already posted some restaurant reviews at #15 here. I've always been pretty indifferent to nachos before, and I have no idea what's caused me to lust after them so (probably has something to do with cheese; also I think nacho is a funny word). I don't know if Nacho Rampage '09 is over or not, all I know is that some days when lunch rolls around I develop a fever, and the only cure is nachos. I suspect the nacho fever will rear it's greasy, gooey head again in the near future. That said, I realize the nacho thing is more of a compulsion than an obsession, because I don't really think about nachos much, I just feel compelled to cram them into my face on a regular basis. Though to be honest I spend a lot of time thinking about my next meal.

2. Twitter: You know how sometimes you get into a conversation via text messaging that is totally inane and hilarious? There's a website that pretty much gives you the chance to have inane conversations with people all day long and witness other inane conversations. I complained about Twitter before, but now I can't live without it. It's like a whole website of just Facebook status updates. Alot of people use it as a business networking tool, and I think it's really good for those who want to get their blogs read by more people. Here is an article that explains better than I can what Twitter is and why people like it.

I've had a Twitter account since last summer, but I'd never really payed much attention to the site until Inauguration Day (two whole weeks ago). I couldn't watch any of the live inauguration footage in my office because our internet filter blocks streaming media, so I watched Twitter instead for photos and updates of the proceedings. I've been hooked ever since. So hooked that I check it compulsively all day at work, after work, on weekends, etc. It keeps me from going to bed on time. I'm going to have to get a Blackberry just so I can be on the internet all the time.

I can't really explain what's so addictive about Twitter; you talk to people all day long and you may not even know them, but it's fun and everyone is very positive.

3. Firefly: Sometimes my obsessions begin with a dream. Like last Sunday morning, I woke from a dream where I was a character in Firefly. I watched that series about a month ago and fell completely under its spell. The show was so well-made and brilliant that it still has a huge following, even six years after it was on the air. To find proof of this, all one has to do is look up Firefly's Wikipedia pages (there are many more websites devoted to Firefly, but Wikipedia is about as geeky as I like to get). They're some of the most articulate and thoughtful Wikipedia entries I've ever seen. In a strange coincidence, after reading all about Firefly on Wikipedia the other day, I went to the breakroom and found my coworker reading a book full of scholarly-type articles about the show. Glad to know I'm not the nerdiest nerd in nerdville. And he told me that Joss Whedon has a new show called Dollhouse (I think this link contains spoilers) debuting Feb 13 on Fox. I hardly ever watch TV and I don't ever watch Fox, so I'm glad I found out about this, yay synchronicity!

And, typical to my obsessive nature, part of my fascination with Firefly comes in the form of a crush. Surprisingly, I haven't fixated on any of the more intellectual or sensitive characters. Nope, I like the big meathead guy with all the guns, Jayne Cobb.
He's tall. He's funny. He's a total badass. He also wears a hilarious hat with earflaps in one episode. I love earflap hats, partly because one of my other pet obsessions, the writer Mikhail Bulgakov, has written about "ridiculous hat[s] with earflaps" in several of his stories. (Boy is that hat popular. A Google image search for "Jayne Cobb" yields 10 times as many photos of the hat than of Adam Baldwin, the actor who played Jayne Cobb. You can buy hats like it or patterns to knit your own. There are songs about it. I love how crazy people are!).

Ok, now back to my quest to determine whether Joss Whedon has a Twitter account.

Ugh. I just went to lunch and saw a guy I totally hate wearing an earflap hat. He is definitely not worthy. >:[

Friday, January 30

Little Jenny Goddammit

In case anyone was wondering, the infamous toothpick incident occurred sometime between the taking of these two photos. It makes it funnier (to me at least) to see how little I was when I first started spewing profanities.

Tuesday, January 27

25 Things

I carried this over from Facebook. I couldn't help it--it amuses me so!

1. I didn't learn how to ride a bike until first or second grade.
2. I detest perfume and cologne so much I'd try to outlaw them if I were a legislator.
3. I don't have any tattoos and I think my desire for them has passed. I am unique because I'm usually the only person in the room without a single tattoo.
4. If I were to get any tattoos, I'd want something referencing the novel The Master and Margarita, but nobody can draw the character of Koroviev the way I imagine him, so that will never happen.
5. I really wish that I could draw and paint the stuff I see in my head.
6. Sometimes I wish for that mind-erasing thing from Men In Black so I could read books or watch films/television shows for the first time over and over again.
7. I hate the way people use the phrase "How are you?" as part of a standardized, empty greeting sequence. Nobody wants to hear any answer other than that you are good, so it is a pointless, robotic exchange.
8. I read as many of other people's 25 Things as I could to figure out what to write here.
9. I'm an only child so I pretty much consider all of my friends and my immediate coworkers as siblings.
10. The song "New Year's Day" by U2 might be my favorite song of all time.
11. The more I do yoga the less I understand why everyone on Earth doesn't do it.
12. I grew up living next to a lake, and I swam in it every day of every summer for 5 years. This has pretty much sated my desire to swim for the rest of my life.
13. I love dogs and sometimes think they are a higher form of being. That is, until I see one do something like eat poop.
14. I can dish it out but I can't usually take it.
15. I've gone to restaurants and ordered nachos 5 times in the past 11 days. I might do it again today. (Pollo Rey nachos: thumbs way down. Casa Mexico nachos: thumbs up! Donnie Mac's: Thumbs way up! Cafe Ole: Holy grease, Batman!)
16. I love looking at embarassing old photos of people on Facebook. Keep 'em coming!
17. I believe veganism to be a form of masochism unless it's done for health reasons.
18. I correct grammar on Wikipedia if I have the time. (FYI: When referring to a person, the correct pronoun to use is WHO not THAT. Don't worry about whether to use "who" or "whom." For instance: "It was Benjamin Franklin WHO invented bifocal glasses;" not "It was Benjamin Franklin THAT invented bifocal glasses." Although this problem could be eliminated if the sentence were simplified to: "Benjamin Franklin invented bifocal glasses." See how much cleaner that is?).
19. I have a really good memory for conversations, even when I am drunk--unless Tyler is involved. (I don't know why Tyler messes up my memory).
20. I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. Not even for some things. Those low prices come at a high cost.
21. Guacamole never tastes right to me.
22. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, probably because of the long weekend. I just wish its glory weren't sullied by Black Friday hype.
23. I don't like super depressing movies. Why do that to yourself?
24. I swear less than I used to, but I still want to slap this kid:
25. I don't think I've ever said it out loud or in print, but I do want get married and have kids some day.

Monday, January 26

This is for Kelly

I went to a benefit with a silent auction this weekend, and this handsome fella was up for auction with a minimum bid $500. I did not bid on him, but I did bid on and win a purse and framed drawing. Woo-hoo!

Saturday, January 24

A Profane Memory

My mom just told me the story that is my grandma's favorite story about me.

When I was two, my mom and grandma took me to lunch at a restaurant, an activity I've always enjoyed. As we were leaving, I spotted a toothpick dispenser like the one pictured below:

I always thought toothpick dispensers were toys designed to amuse children, and I've always been fascinated by low-tech mechanical devices.

In my zeal to get toothpicks for my mom, my grandma, and myself, I knocked over the toothpick dispenser and toothpicks went all over the floor.

I jumped up and down, screaming "Goddammit! Goddammit!" at the top of my lungs. This continued for a minute or so, which absolutely mortified my mother. My grandma thought it was hilarious. She said it's still the funniest thing she's ever witnessed.

Of course my mother's response was, "she learned this from her dad!"

Correction: My mom said that rather than jumping up and down I was hopping from one foot to the other and pumping my little fists--much like this sculpture, only not a naked boy:

Thursday, January 22

I hate headaches

I woke up with a monster headache this morning. I hate headaches! Eventually it went away, but not before I ate some cereal, a bunch of bacon, and some Cheetos. I also drank three Coke Zeros. I don't know what it is, but whenever I feel cruddy, I just want to eat. For lunch, I heated up some of the cheddar beer soup I made the other day. It was yummy; much mellower than when I originally made it on Monday. Next time I'll use less Worcestershire sauce!

Part of the reason I was eating so much (and the headache) might have been because I had to go to the doctor today to get the results of a biopsy. Everything turned out to be fine, but I didn't realize I was nervous about it until after I left the doctor's office. I was super irritable in the waiting room because it was loud and crowded and there was a woman talking loudly on her cellphone even though there were several signs requesting people TURN OFF their phones. She was talking about how much she loves frozen fried chicken breast strips. Yuck. After I left, I felt so relieved that I got really excited to drop off my Netflix at the post office, I noticed all the different layers of the inversion and how pretty they are, and how interesting the old houses across the street from the post office are. Also, it was snowing this strange mixture of rain and snow that sounded like Alka-Seltzer fizzing as it fell. It was cool.

I decided to make myself something nice and (hopefully) healthy, so I made pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts (photo courtesy of Faith Durand at It was yummy, and made plenty of leftovers, yay!
While I ate dinner, I watched four episodes of Friends, courtesy of TNT. I used to really kind of hate this show when it was originally on, but now I really kinda like it. I especially like to watch the Thanksgiving episodes during the week of Thanksgiving. I was busy and forgot to watch it this year, so next T-day I'll make sure to program my DVR.
Well, I hope everyone else is having a great week! Tomorrow I'm supposed to have a girls' night with my newly-single friend, and, just like one of the episodes of Friends I saw tonight, I bet we'll be exhausted by midnight. Yay for being 30!

Tuesday, January 20

Inauguration Day shoes

Originally uploaded by Korovieva
Here are my shoes and tights on Inauguration Day!

Monday, January 19

I don't usually post quizzes, but this one is pretty good...

Some of the characteristics listed here are spookily accurate at describing me.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid
  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people
  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others
  • * having aesthetic sensibilities
  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid
  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people
  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
  • * expecting too much from myself and life
  • * fearing being abandoned
  • * obsessing over resentments
  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often
  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
  • * are very sensitive
  • * feel that they don't fit in
  • * believe they are missing something that other people have
  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents
  • * help their children become who they really are
  • * support their children's creativity and originality
  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz

Sunday, January 18

Hey girl, wanna make some pizza?

Ever since I read the Orangette post where Molly spoke of her husband's obsession with pizza, I've been itching to make pizza myself. I found a recipe on Epicurious for pizza margherita, with a dough recipe from Pizzeria Bianco, which was mentioned in the Orangette post. I always pay attention to COINCIDENCES, so I knew this would be a good recipe to try for my first pizza-making venture.

I made a pizza date with Tyler so we could incorporate some time playing with his dog-sitting charge, Otto Skinner.

Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl and let stand until surface appears creamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/4 cups flour, remaining 1/2 cup water, salt, and oil and stir until smooth.

Stir in enough flour (1/4 to 1/3 cup) for dough to begin to pull away from side of bowl. (Dough will be slightly wet.)

Pulse tomatoes with juice in a blender briefly to make a chunky purée.

Cook garlic in oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until fragrant and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Add tomato purée, basil, sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and cool.

Knead on a floured surface, lightly reflouring when dough becomes too sticky, until smooth, soft, and elastic, about 8 minutes. Note: This is really fun! I couldn't take any photos of me kneading because the dough was so sticky I didn't dare touch the camera.

Form into a ball, put in a bowl, and dust with flour. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours. Dough pre-rise.

Meanwhile, snack on Cheetos and a kalimotxo, then move the whole circus over to Otto Skinner's house.

Marvel at cuteness of Otto. Aww.

It has risen!

Do not punch down. Dust dough with flour, then transfer to a parchment-lined pizza peel or large baking sheet. Pat out dough evenly with your fingers and stretch into a 14-inch round, reflouring fingers if necessary. Thanks Tyler!

Spread sauce over dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange cheese on top, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Again, thanks Tyler!

Play with Otto while pizza is baking. Notice that he smells kinda like tortillas. (This guy freaking loves me. He kept climbing into my lap, then wouldn't let me put him down for anything--he fought and fought and broke my necklace when I tried to put him down! I love him, though. He's adorable and sweeter than any other schnauzer I've ever met).

Slide pizza on parchment onto pizza stone. Bake until dough is crisp and browned and cheese is golden and bubbling in spots, 13 to 16 minutes. Using peel or baking sheet, transfer pizza to a cutting board. Cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle with some basil leaves before slicing.

Enjoy pizza with yummy Asian salad provided by Tyler. Continue snacking on pizza as you fart around on the internet looking at things like this, until pizza is completely gone!

Friday, January 16

New shoes

I just got the cutest pair of shoes from Anthropologie:

I want to wear them with everything. I've already worn them with this awesome teal dress (it has pockets! I love dresses and skirts with pockets):

Speaking of how much I love dresses with pockets, look at the classy blue dress January Jones wore to the Golden Globes. I can't post it here because IMDB won't let me, so instead I'll post a photo of the scene that solidified Betty Draper as my favorite character on Mad Men (also one of the coolest scenes in television history):

This woulda been my favorite class...

natalie dee

Friday, January 9


This is part of a community blogging exercise. See details here.

I've been working on this off and on all week, and I wanted it to be more concise and better edited, but I just want it to be done. So here it is, not so perfectly honed as I'd wanted it, but oh well. I have the world's worst headache right now, as well, so just typing this is pain.

I didn't grow up in a religious household. My dad was raised southern Baptist and my mom was raised Catholic, but nobody in my house went to church--maybe because they couldn't agree on a church to go to, maybe because they just couldn't be bothered with going to church. This was mostly fine with me when I was a kid, because I've never been too keen on getting up and dressing for tedious church services on Sunday mornings.

I was a bratty kid, and I got kicked out of numerous preschools for beating up other kids and not minding the adults. My parents put me in a private Christian school for Kindergarten, and I'm not sure if it was because of the behavioral problems or not. Needless to say, the day we went in for our interview with the principal and he told us that they practiced corporal punishment at that school, I knew I was going to experience that corporal punishment sooner or later. Thankfully, first grade found me at a regular public school.

When I was 12, I became friends with Rachel, a super-religious girl in my class who attended an Evangelical church. Her family was so religious that they made their children hum the letter "g" when singing the alphabet because people sometimes substitute the expressions "gee" "gee whiz" or "geez" rather than taking the Lord's name in vain. I started attending church with her family on Sunday mornings and youth group meetings on Wednesday evenings, and went on a campout (one of two times of camping in my life) and to church camp with the youth group. Eventually Rachel persuaded me to accept Jesus into my heart and get baptized with her so that my immortal soul would not burn in Hell for all eternity. And so that we could be smug together about being saved.

Rachel and I eventually had a falling-out and I quit going to that church. I'm sure it was a relief to her, since I was always embarrassing her by asking questions like, "but how do you know God isn't a woman?" The answer to this was always "because the Bible refers to God as 'He.'" I was smart enough not to voice other questions like, "but who wrote the Bible and why should I listen to them?" I would've probably gotten a slap for that.

Sometime in junior high I came to the realization that while I found the stories in the Bible interesting, I doubted whether it was the word of God because I doubted whether there was a God at all. I also realized that Rachel and her family were a bunch of smug a-holes who spent most of their time together discussing how their religion made them superior and making fun of other religions like Christian Science or Mormonism.

I haven't attended church since that time, and I don't plan to at any time in the future. I've never met a convincing argument as to how any book written by humans could possibly be the words of a divine being. And why would a divine being be concerned with the minute details of how humans live our lives? If I were a divine being, I wouldn't care what a bunch of piddly mortals were doing (other than maybe wanting to have sex with some of them). I'm also not convinced that they'd be benign like the God of the New Testament--why wouldn't they be lusty, prideful hedonists like the gods of Greek mythology? Or the cruel and demanding God of the Old Testament? I don't deny that there could exist such things as divine beings, but I just don't know how one could define such a thing.

I think it's more likely that everything that exists is here on this plane where we humans can see it. I don't think there is a Heaven or a Hell, even though I love to explore ideas of the afterlife. I think that when we die, our souls or whatever energy we are made of gets broken down and the pieces are recyled into new souls or new energy or new life like molecules of H2O in the water cycle. How else to explain why we dream about places we've never been? How else to explain the fact that I imagine myself smoking at almost every idle moment and just the thought of it satisfies me, though I have never been a smoker? Perhaps this is what is meant by the collective unconscious.

Monday, January 5


Check out this link to my current favorite song, Electric Feel by MGMT. For copyright reasons or whatever, embedding has been disabled on it. Silly bastards.

Friday, January 2

Come and get your soma

They're remodeling the Albertsons near my house, turning it from the poshest Albies in town to an even posher version of itself. All the signs have been rendered in a subdued light green and the ugly tile floors have been replaced by poured concrete. So basically, they're trying to make it look like a Whole Foods on the inside.

It's fine with me if they want to compete with Whole Foods, because it means their produce section will totally rock come summer and I will hopefully never have the problem I've had a few times in the past where they have no fresh Italian parsley on their shelves and instead have stocked a literal ton of curly parsley. Curly parsley is a garnish, not an ingredient in delicious soups, pasta, French potato salad, etc. (Do you hear that, Broadway and Beacon glorified-convienience-store pseudo-Albertsons?)

However, look at the photo above. Yes, the sign does say $7.59 per pound for those pretty yellow tomatoes. They were practically glowing; my cell phone photo doesn't do them justice. I was tempted to buy some until I saw that price. I'm not the biggest tomato fan, but I love yellow tomatoes--especially the small teardrop-shaped ones. Best caprese salad ever! I did not buy any of those expensive little buggers, and it's probably a good thing, because as my friend Tony said, "They never taste good when they're that pretty." True dat!

The thing I find kind of disturbing about this grocery store is the prolific number of televisions they have. They used to have flat-screen monitors in the produce section with short infomercials about various kinds of produce. It was kind of cool, because I thought maybe it would encourage people to be more adventurous about the fruits and veggies they eat, but the food segments were interspersed with crappy alarmist news stories about the flagging economy. The TVs were removed during the remodel, and I wonder if they'll bring them back at all; I doubt stories about economic decline will help to sell $7.59 / lb tomatoes.

This Albertsons and several others in town have installed TV screens at the checkout stands. They show clips of comedy shows to placate customers who are waiting in line. Wow. I did't realize how poor peoples' attention spans had become, that they can't handle waiting in line for a few minutes without television to entertain them. How very dystopian. Maybe if I'm lucky I can get soma while I wait in line, as well.

On a tangential note, I read on Wikipedia that Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio are working on a big-screen version of Brave New World. I don't think I like this idea.