Sunday, December 20, 2009

December Sunshine

Oh, I went to a luncheon party today and ate outside in the sunshine. I love going outside to eat and just chat. Maybe I should try drinking hot chocolate outside in the snow when I get back...but I don't think it would be the same.

I watched Star Wars: A New Hope again, but with new eyes. Every time I watch that movie Luke becomes more a more of a kid to me. See part 10, around 8 minutes - hilarious.
Han: "Do you think a guy like me-"
Luke: "No."
I like how Han just smiles.

We have an actual Christmas tree! With presents! And we're making Christmas cookies next week!

Monday, December 14, 2009

BYU looking for Jazz voices

Dear all 47 of my subscribers:

Jazz voices is having auditions for new members. My friend Andrew is in it, and he is a cool guy. You should also check out his car blog.

In other news: I have a boyfriend (Acius)? I probably already mentioned this to you. It is fun times.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

in which I do not develop my thoughts

If I had snow pants, I would be so much better at making snowmen.

Is cannibalism okay if it's post-mortem?

I like traditions. But some traditions are impractical, or sexist. Sexism is just a part of life, I think. Those boys in Sweden will just have to settle for not being St. Lucia tomorrow.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

nothing in particular I just feel like talking to the Internet again

Impromptu hang-out of three guys here this afternoon. One revealed he'd never had a girlfriend, worried about it somewhat, but decided to leave it in God's hands. A roommate suggested we get together. Protesting: "I hate being the starter girlfriend!" Maybe it's because I think "starter" girlfriends have an obligation to make dating fun and unserious.

There are only two more weeks of classes! Frig! I don't understand why I have procrastinated my papers this long. If I procrastinate it, does it mean I hate it?

ahh so I gave my blog URL to a high school friend and doing that self-reflexive "what do people think of me from reading my blog?" And I'm so serious and BORING and WHINEY all the time. I was reading back on some of my entries, and at least they were funny! Why am I not funny anymore, that's what I want to know. Probably because I've started to worry about whether I'm funny or not. Maybe I should stop worrying about it! At least I don't write bad poetry anymore!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving at the grandparents'

I was inside all afternoon and evening yesterday, so I didn't see the package that came, my Kershisnik art book. I noticed it when I opened all the blinds to let in the sun. I spent the morning reading it and gazing through it. I brought it to my grandparents'. I thought I could show my family what real Mormon art could be like.

My grandpa looked through half the book. "He can be artistic without being particularly beautiful." His hands are shaking and he has trouble turning the pages. I hope it is not Parkinson's. He accidentally gets some chocolate pie on one page and tries to wipe it off. When I get home I clean the glossy pages with a microfiber cloth that I got from a flute dealer. That's the risk of sharing, I guess.

I also brought along a Foxtrot comic book. My cousin Devin read it and said it reminded him of when my little brother would always bring his Garfield books with him when he visited. Devin's brother just left for a mission yesterday, and Devin looks a little sad, but he laughs when he reads the book. I think that a good book can be therapeutic. Especially good comic books. We watch Meet the Robinsons and I wonder what my future family will be like.

Monday, November 23, 2009

no country for shooting each other

I think the difference between a game and life is that in life the consequences matter, which makes it more exciting, but also more stressful.

One of the problems of sharing links online is that my conversations become redundant (oh, did you hear about how shellac is bug poo? Yes, Whistler, you shared it in Google reader).

I read No Country for Old Men and I didn't like it that much. I thought the philosophy was too overt and the violence a little self-gratifying. But I think my dislike is deeper. I consider a book well-written if it teaches me new words and describes things in ways I hadn't thought of before. I also like it if there are hidden connections and obscure tangents. Okay, I still don't know why I didn't think it was fantastic. I really hope it wasn't just because it was a bunch of guys shooting each other, because I think that has potential.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

you know, like Zeno's paradox

In one of my classes I compared the problem of linguistic indeterminism to Zeno's paradox, in that it seems like it shouldn't work and that we shouldn't be able to communicate to each other because so much of semiotics is like subjective and dependent on individual experience, but in the end, we communicate basic things to each other (we buy food, create friendships, etc.). I hope I wasn't just name-dropping old Zeno there. I should just stop creating connections from disparate fields!

Friday, November 13, 2009

rejection can hurt your ability to perform on IQ tests

Remember that time I took the GRE after getting dumped? Well it turns out that rejection can reduce IQ, so maybe I should re-take it sometime. Sometime when I have less AGGRESSION. It's quite remarkable that I didn't do worse, actually.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Different Strokes

Okay, so, The Strokes have been my secret favorite band for the last 3 months. I listen to this playlist (which is basically 3 of their albums) all the time and never get tired of it. I really like "What Ever Happened?" (lyrics; youtube), but I haven't really figured out why. Wanting to be forgotten feels new in this culture that I perceive as valuing fame/infamy in any form. Their lyrics are refreshing in their bitterness?

That reminds me. I played Kid A for my students while they were writing, and about halfway through "The National Anthem" I was like "oh, this might not be the best concentration music for everyone." Embarrassing! But I don't feel too bad, because one of my teachers this morning played Satie's Gnossienne No. 1, which was fraught with memories of when I saw The Painted Veil last and then when I saw it first, and then when I learned the piece on the piano. All memories that aren't inherent in the piece itself but dependent on its context in my life. I think that type of personalization it something people like about music. So, everyone can listen to the same piece of music, and if they've heard it before, they could all have personal memories about it. Okay, this bulletin from captain obvious is over!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Casual swearing?

Okay. I don't mind a little swearing, and I even think it can be funny in the right situation, but I don't understand casually using the f-word (especially among other LDSs). I've been puzzling over why this is. Why is it that "damn straight" and "smart-ass" are funny, but the f-word is profane to me? It might be because the f-word makes sex profane - profane as in vulgar, commonplace, or explicit. And, maybe this sounds weird coming from a virgin, but I think we should talk about sex in better, more respectful ways than the f-word.

But doesn't "damn" do the same thing? It makes the serious situation of eternal judgment into a commonplace. I would feel pretty uncomfortable saying "exalted straight!" Anyway, Ian Duncan was visiting and talking about the relationship between the sacred and the profane, and I've been trying to figure out what it means.

(that said...I think showing the absurdity of jr. high cussing is kind of funny. cf. "A Serious Man.")

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Guys, what makes you swoon?

So, I'm answering a Board question about how to be a good girlfriend (which I covered pretty well last year, I think), but more specifically, on what things make a guy "swoon" in a relationship. So if you're a guy, what makes you swoon, and if you're a girl, what have you done in relationships that made your significant other swoon (I'm assuming heterosexuality here, I hope you can deal with that)?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

So, um, no one entered the chestnut cartoon contest. Well... so much for reader interaction. Maybe facebook would have been a better venue, or in maybe it's too hard to draw stuff.

Well, here is a joke for you: What do you call a bunch of chess champions acting boastful in a fancy hotel?

A: Chess nerds boasting in an open foyer.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I think I'd like a quiverful of children, myself

Psalms 127:4-5
As arrows are in the hand of a might man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Contest with prize!

Dear readers,

I purchased Sufjan Steven's new DVD The BQE recently, and it came with 3 downloads of the film (iphone-sized). My last download will go to the winner of this contest (I will e-mail him/her the access code).

Here is the contest: Make a one-panel comic including chestnuts. It can be in the dialog, in the background, as a character, a prop - whatever. E-mail submissions to me by midnight on the 30th, and I'll decide the winner on Halloween (and post the submissions, unless I get weird ones). Scanners are available in the HBLL (the copier ones are easier to use than ever - you can even have them e-mail it to you). Most of you know my address; if you don't know me, just use my Board address:

Okay, have fun! Even if you're not crazy about Sufjan I would encourage you to participate, because, it will be kind of hilarious.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

another epistle

Dear cute guy at RMMLA,

I was too shy to talk to you, and I thought you were a professor, but now that I've used my creepy data mining skills it looks like you are a fellow graduate student in North Carolina. I am loving the plaid sport coat, but Faulkner? Seriously? Don't we have enough Faulkloreists in the world?

your snobby once-proximal,


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Amazon stat

Have you seen the new feature where you can look at the readability stats of the book? This book by my aesthetics teacher is harder to read than 97% of other books, while Infinite Jest is only harder to read than 35% of other books (though it's longer than 99% of the books on Amazon). McCarthy's Border trilogy is amazingly easy to read in comparison, with a Flesch-Kincaid level of 4.4 (meaning a 4th grader could read it). And, of course, Proust has longer sentences than 99% of other books (36.8). Unfortunately this feature is only available to the books for which the publisher has consented to have the "look inside!" feature available, which isn't all of them... but fun times! I wonder if the stats include children's books.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

the postmodern self

In a weird Wikipedia chain (Baudrillard-Zizek-Lacan) I found myself looking into Self-Relations in the Psychotherapy Process, a book my former semi-retired boss wanted to get rid of. It has a chapter on "Understanding and Treating the Postmodern Self." At first I'm skeptical, but oddly enough, I found myself identifying with their case study:
One wants to join the cynic, who seems so smart and invulnerable. Then the earnest and innocent self is left behind, ridiculed and humiliated. The innocent self becomes a kind of "hot potato" to be passed back and forth, no one wishing to be the final receptacle of such vulnerability. [...] One might say that Henry [the case study] lacks just such a capacity for transitional experiencing, a place between the fixedness of self as "really this" or "really that." What Henry has not fully appreciated is that no one is "really" a banker in some transcendent sense, nor is anyone really not a banker; if one looks closely enough, one finds that there is really no such thing as a banker in a Platonic or essentialist sense.

I find myself also feeling that cynicism is a safe place for me - where I can blame other institutions for my failures, or at least something I can't change. I also often complain that I can't really be a graduate student, or that I'm "becoming one of them." But there isn't going to be some day where I wake up and I'm "really" an academic intellectual or I'm "really" someone who knows what she wants to do with her life. Anyway, I wish I could scan the whole chapter and send it to you. Well, I guess I can, if you're interested. Let me know.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Top five most useful presents I have ever received or given myself

Okay, I was thinking about gifts lately, and which ones I have found the most useful and have lasted the longest. Thus a small list:

1. REI Backpack
My freshman year of high school, my parents bought me this backpack for my birthday. I whined because it was pretty much my only present that year, but nine years later I am still using it five days a week. My sister still uses hers, too.

2. IBM Thinkpad Laptop
My dad gave me his old laptop when I graduated from high school. It lasted me three years, and he bought it used. I used it almost every day, and when the motherboard finally fried I was able to live without it for the summer, but I really missed it?

3. Sony Portable Cassette Player
I think my parents bought me this tape player when I was around 9 years old for Christmas. I used it to listen to my tapes all the time up through high school, and I think my mom still uses it to take to church and play music for her lessons sometimes.

4. Grado SR60 headphones
I bought these for myself about two years ago when all the cords of other cheap earbuds kept getting crushed when I put my mp3 player in my pocket. I use them all the time, with my laptop especially, and it's a better listening experience than just using my laptop's speakers. Every once in a while when I'm trying to watch a movie with someone I wish I had another pair and one of those dual-headphone output plugs.

5. Seagate 150 GB External Hard Drive
Another Christmas present from... about four years ago. I use it a few times every week to store huge files and listen to music. It's the old-school style, which looks like that droid tank from Star Wars V, but I think that it's a stable design, which is really what I go for in external drive design.

Honorable Mentions: My Land's End rain jacket (used every winter since around '04), my American Heritage Dictionary, my typewriter (more useful than you might initially suspect!), my 1 GB mp3 player, the portfolio thing I bought from the BYU bookstore to hold all my papers, and the green sport coat I bought at Thriftown for $7.

Looking back on this post, I'm like "wow maybe I am a materialist," but this is stuff that has really made a difference in the quality of my life, I think.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I reflect briefly on 2 things

Two things:

1. Sometimes I catch myself taking it personally if a student doesn't try or do well on an assignment. Like, I think they think they're being a punk or something, when actually some of them just don't care enough to try that hard. The hard part is when a student has really tried but still doesn't quite get it right. Then I think that I'm not a very good teacher.

2. It's kind of fun bonding to talk to friends about my romance life (or lack thereof?), but sometimes I'm afraid that it just intensifies my emotions, or creates artificial expectations. But, it's something to talk about that isn't grad school or the class I'm teaching.

Friday, September 25, 2009

it's just stress

This week I've had some of those moments where I just feel upset about everything. I had one of those days where I would just cry about anything, like if someone glared at me. And at first I attributed it to my breakup, but I realized that sometimes I just feel really inadequate in my grad program. And not just inadequate - like I don't even like it enough for it to be causing me this much stress. So I'm considering that maybe the PhD route isn't for me. I enjoy reading and thinking smart things about literature, but I don't know if I like the whole politics of academia. The stupid thing is that anywhere I work there will be politics I'll have to think about. And you know, maybe I'll like it better once I get more comfortable with the lingo and find a professor who thinks I have a chance to CHANGE THE WORLD through literary analysis. Wooo literary superheroes!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oh freshmen

In reading through freshmen papers, I am often amused.

On the honor code: "without it the gospel would not be the same."
"the conundrum to this solution..."
"I expected to meet and date hundreds of young men."

More as I find them.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Joke time

Q: What do you call a guy who hurts himself being manly?

A: A Machochist.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

In which I feel a little down.

I don't know if I like grad school or not. Everyone else is just as smart as I am so I have to put more effort in to stand out, and I don't even know if I care enough or if it's worth it. I don't feel like literary analysis is going to change the world. I feel like it's just another venue of entertainment for me, but one that takes a little more work to have fun with. I want to have more time to just read what I want to read and then bring my ideas about it to a table. It would be nice to have a class like that, I think. Free readings in conjunction with theory, that could be fantastic. While grad school is potentially more personally satisfying than my last job, it is still stressful.

I feel inadequate as my job as a teacher. I am teaching writing and I haven't even had a writing class for several years. Supposedly my admittance to the program speaks of my writing competence, but I have my doubts. I haven't read the research on what classroom activities are best to assist learning. I don't know what types of comments will help my students learn how to write. I'm afraid that I will discourage freshmen. I want them to learn how much they have yet to learn, even if they took AP classes.

I also broke up with Crow. Well, we had been talking about it a little over the past few weeks. I'm a little sad to let go, but we were to the point where there was nothing else we could do. I mean, not like my romantic life is worthy of note. I always feel awkward blogging about it; it's personal to me... but I also realize that people want updates on my life, and he was a significant player in my life recently. Maybe he still will be. Why do I try to force things to happen? Would my baseline behaviors (without goals/desires) be inadequate to live a righteous life? I don't understand. I mean, in the end, who cares about post-modernism. I just want to start my own family in the next decade or so.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August vacation summary

Oh man I am having so much fun on vacation! This is a boring vacation post, I hope you are ready for that. I left my camera in P-town, but that has allowed me to worry about actually enjoying myself and not about documenting all my fun. On Friday my mom picked me up from the airport and we went to Telegraph in Berkeley. I had some chicken curry from this fantastic1 Indian place and we bought a few books at Moe's. Saturday my whole family here went to a tidepool beach and hiking by the shore.

Monday we went with to the Monterey Bay Aquarium - great seahorses, river otters, and cuttlefish! I looked into getting my own cuttlefish when I returned, but my little brother informed me that they would require a large tropical saltwater tank, which is more complicated than your regular Beta fish. The Internet also informs me that cuttlefish are difficult to find in petshops (especially in land-locked states) and don't hold up well with shipping. If only I lived in Australia I could just catch my own! They're supposed to be really intelligent, and I wouldn't be surprised if they had personalities and could tell people apart. Speaking of intelligent animals, I was just reading that crows can tell individual humans apart. Maybe I should get a crow as a pet2!

Wednesday I went to this classic car museum with my dad. We rode his motorcycle there and back, which was a bit different and a little fun. There was a really cute Mercedes and some stunning BAT designs. Then today I met up with friends to go to the Museum of Modern Art. The O'Keefe/Ansel Adams exhibit was great and so was Richard Avedon; I wish we had had more time to look at everything. They had a Magritte on display I don't think I had seen before (this one!). So it was good times! I don't want to leave. I enjoy my Provo friends, but it seems like whenever I'm there I have things like work and school to do. :-/

1Okay, I haven't had that much Indian food to know if it was fantastic or not, but I really, really enjoyed it.
2Or do I already have one??

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

celebrities, and I whine

Woo finals time! I think there's such a catharsis with taking a final, but also stupid stress.

So, I watched Star Trek again. Chris Pine is quite attractive! Man, I'm starting to become one of those girls who just watches movies for the cute guys. :-/. Which reminds me, I had this dream I was giving Cary Grant a back rub, and William Shatner was trying to get my attention, but I wasn't having any of it. Like, celebrities in my dreams? This is going too far!

I think Crow is working really long hours or something; he's never online anymore. I'm so powerless to do anything. I miss him a bit, but I'm learning to be less emotionally reliant on him, I guess (I just use my other friends, which isn't bad, but...). I want to encourage him to move back to Provo, but I don't know how without sounding whiny. I was hoping he would move down for fall semester. I'm really annoyed about it. In case you couldn't tell.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Foodies, childhood, and books

It occurs to me that there are different kinds of foodies. There are the vegan or vegetarian or slow food people who are very concerned with the ethical and dietary problems associated with processed food, and then there are the chef people who know the difference between cake flour and bleached flour (or at least can taste it) and are ultimately concerned with how a food tastes. I think there is some overlap between the two, but sometimes less than I'd think. While a vegan would use vegetable or olive oil to make refried beans, the lard alternative gives a meat stockiness flavor that the oil will lack. Lard, I know, gross! I guess it depends on who you talk to. I might be getting my taste neuroscience mixed in with this (which says that ketchup only needs one variety because it's not there for flavor). I think there's a similar overlap between environmentalists who want to save the trees so that we can have more oxygen and wood for later, and preservationists who want to keep critters reproducing so they have something to hunt. They both have very different ethics attached to their beliefs.

Another (unrelated) thing I was thinking about is what it would be like to have grown up in a more academic family. One of my professors is a daughter of Hugh Nibley, and it strikes me that while it might have been fun to know things that other kids weren't taught, it was probably incredibly annoying to get attention through proxy (a famous relative). My parents are smart people, just not the "academic" type (don't get me wrong, my dad has an MBA from a prestigious university, but I think that's different). So, I put myself through some thought experiments (that's a fancy way of saying "seemingly objective fantasies"). I'm not sure if I would have had much interest if my parents had tried to teach me a foreign language, or if I would even have accepted their book recommendations. I was kind of an independent kid, but easily influenced. I liked watching cartoons and playing computer games. I liked reading books that didn't overtly teach me anything.

If my parents had been more interested in academic pursuits, would that have changed the things I liked? Would I have been just as excited to discover Shostakovich if he had been sitting on our music shelves forever? Sometimes I wonder if my "love" of classical music and classic literature is just because it's so different from what I was brought up with. We had some classical music (Tchaikovsky #1 and Rachmaninoff #2 on the same tape, and I still get them confused today, embarrassingly), but it wasn't a focus.

Maybe I'm not giving my parents enough credit. They really encouraged me to pursue my own interests, but I feel like in some areas, I had to rely on other sources to introduce me to Dostoevsky or Chopin. But, I think that my forced exploration was a good thing. It helped me achieve early familiarity with the Internet. Many afternoons after graduating from jr. high were spent chatting with other gamefaqs fans of the Gameboy game Magi Nation, which I never beat, actually. I enjoyed exploring the early archives of (back when they were all midis!) in my early high school years. I got book recommendations from online booklists for music lovers (which led me to read An Equal Music before I was, er, mature enough for it). Along with the internet though, I listened around. If there was a book I had never heard of that the other English classes were reading, I'd go read it. This is a device I still use today - it's how I read Infinite Jest and Brideshead Revisited. But, it makes me wonder: Do I just want to know what everyone else is talking about, or am I interested in the book itself because of its acclaim? Anyway. Stuff I've been thinking about.

Friday, July 31, 2009


I've been thinking a lot lately about the difference between self-criticism and plain self-deprecation. I have a habit of making self-deprecating jokes, and I think that's because I worry a lot that other people think I'm a snob (which, let's face it, I kind of am sometimes). It's useful to help other people feel comfortable around me, but if my self-deprecation seeps into my personal life, it can be hurtful - not just to myself, but other people who believe in me. If someone else thinks I'm well-read, but I say that I just have superficial knowledge, what am I saying about their ability to judge character?

I think another way this comes off badly is if someone wants to know more about me. At the beginning of one of my classes, our teacher asked us to write a little about ourselves, and I wrote a few things and then, "and you don't need to know anything else about me." I find talking about myself kind of difficult for some reason. I find bragging loathsome, and I think it's more interesting to gradually get to know someone, not to feel like you know someone just because you know a few random facts about him. I'm not sure if that's the impression I gave though - by wanting to allow others to truly get to know me, I also put up fences, because maybe I have a strange-looking yard and I only want people who really want to see it to take a look. Does that make sense?

I was looking back on my johari/nohari things today. Along with my cynicism, most people said I was smug and distant (but also insecure, embarrassed, and aloof). Maybe I became gradually aware of my smugness and tried self-deprecation as a tool to combat that. But when it comes right down to it, I'm arrogant. I think that most people have misconceptions about the world, and that I know more than them and have better sources. And, maybe I do, for some things, but I want to stop assuming that so that I can care about what they think, instead of just thinking that they're wrong.

In the classroom setting, there is plenty of time to hear other people talk. There's one girl who always talks about how smart she is - how she did well in high school, and how she often takes less time on tests than she's given. It annoyed me a little, along with the newlywed who starts every sentence with "my husband..." I think I felt annoyed because I feel like those are inappropriate conversation topics for acquaintances. I think that might explain my aloofness. I feel very uncomfortable discussing my private life with people I don't know very well. I feel uncomfortable discussing it even with people I do know pretty well. A married freshman year friend of mine visited, and we were talking about Crow, and she asked if we had talked about marriage, and I just gave a short answer and changed the subject. I do ask friends for advice every now and then, but I don't always follow it.

Well, I know this isn't the usual blurb-length blog post for me, but if I'm ever going to feel comfortable talking about myself, I have to start somewhere, even if it is a semi-anonymous website. Please feel free to share your ideas on how introverted intellectuals like me can seem less aloof or distant.

The Dead

In my trendy cynicism, it's rare that a piece of literature really touches me, but Joyce's The Dead does this.

"In one letter he had written to her then he had said: Why is it that words like these seem to me so dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?"

"One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and whither dismally with age. "

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

gunning fog index distribution

Sorry, just wanted to upload this somewhere where I can keep track of it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

another cute actor

So, I've had my little celebrity crushes (Edward Norton and Timothy Omundson). Today I was watching Jeeves and Wooster, and this guy who plays Rockemetteller, a poet who has to go to New York to keep getting money from his aunt, is rather cute. Oh, and let's throw in another picture of Edward Norton while I'm here. That's all for today.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sodium intake

I was getting a little dehydrated or something this week, and it occurred to me (after not feeling thirsty at all, but not sweating at night) that I might not be getting enough salt in my diet. I'm supposed to get 2400 mg or so. Breakfast is plain cheerios with some honey, that's some 300-400 mg. Lunch is usually PB&J, an apple, and yogurt, which is like 350 mg from the bread and peanut butter, or today was a fried egg on toast and another piece of toast with jam (so... 400 mg?). Then dinner is spaghetti with tomato sauce, another 400 mg. That's... 1200 mg. Luckily for me, the UK recommendation is 1600 mg, so if I have two piece of garlic toast with dinner I am just about right. Who knew that I was so close to having a salt problem! And hooray for not eating processed food. I just wanted to warn you in case you might also have a sodium intake problem.

Monday, July 20, 2009

&eneral Mills

I just realized that the General Mills symbol is supposed to be a cursive G and not some crazy ampersand.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Video Games!

I can even be snobbish about video games! Last year or so I learned that there are "art" games. They are interesting to play and think about. One of these is La La Land 4. It's surreal and weird, and simply made. But it's like how Kafka would make a game - seriously! Just play it it will take like 10 minutes, and then you will feel surreal and nightmarish. Another less-scary art game is Gravitation. I've only played it twice, but it has some interesting things to say about death and leaving people to go do stuff, and what makes us happy in life. I've played this programmer's other games and they're worth a gander (I just looked at the new Primrose, and it's quite entertaining!). Anyhow, VIDEO GAMES.

quiz follow-up

The results are in and the question should post Monday! In case you can't see the results, the average is like 3.5, without our little outlier. Someone got in a vote after I wrote it all up, but it's basically the same. Most people break up 0-9 times in their dating lives at BYU. Interesting.

Edit: Here is the question.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Poll: How many times have you broken up?

I'm doing some research to answer the question of how many times the average BYU student has broken up. So, if you're a current BYU student, go ahead and answer the poll (RSS readers, please come to my site to vote). If you're an alumnus/a, count how many times you broke up before you graduated or got married, whichever came first. And... please be honest. This is for science, after all.

coldplay is this a homage?

Kraftwerk's "Computerliebe" (1:09) and Coldplay's "Talk" have identical melody lines in their refrains. Like, the notes and rhythm are identical. Rampant copying! Looks like someone on youtube noticed this like a month ago.

edit: Perhaps it's an instance of CRYPTOMNESIA??

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

lego scholi res liberum

You know how when giving compliments, some people are described as being "true to themselves" or letting their "true personality" shine? What the heck does that mean? It sounds like a euphemism for someone who does socially shady things. But not caring what others think and being yourself aren't the same. Just so you know.

Guess what: I checked out this book called Implementing Evidence-Based Academic Interventions in School Settings. I'm excited, because I looked for a good book on Amazon about research on school psychology, and a lot of it was stupid pop-psych stuff... but this looks legit.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zuihitsu on The Strangeness of Beauty

Hey, I wrote this for a class and felt like it wouldn't be a total bore to read like most everything else I write. So now it's a part of this blog.

Zuihitsu on The Strangeness of Beauty

The Strangeness of Beauty is nothing like the Japanese literature I’ve read. It is terribly conscious that an American is reading it, so all of the Japanese terms are explained in-text, and some Japanese terms are abandoned for American ones. Fuji-sama (I assume) becomes “Most Honorable Mrs. Fuji,” and Minatoya explains simple things like split-toed socks and the Obon festival. Our narrator, Etsuko, goes off for pages on Japanese history lessons on samurai manners or the significance of bridal gifts. Instead of feeling like an insider, as I do when I read (translated) Japanese literature, I’m suddenly an ignorant white American, and I resent that. I wish Etsuko felt like she could be herself, and I don’t understand why she’s explaining all these Japanese things.

Etsuko often tells too much. After explaining how she always paused to smell herbs in her childhood home, she says, “I loved the aromas of the drying herbs” (102). As if it weren’t already evident! Another time after Hanae shouts, Etsuko tells us, “Mari’s sudden shallowness makes Hanae angry” (158). Does she have to spell it out? Another thing about Etsuko: she’s terribly self-conscious and doesn’t do anything to fix the flaws she notices. She writes, “I’m growing bored with my I-story. All reminiscence, no action” (110). She doesn’t make it more exciting though; she just reminisces some more. When speaking of Hanae’s seriousness, Etsuko says that adolescence is the place for “self-conscious moping” (70). She should have added “I-stories” as a place for moping.

Despite my problems with Minatoya’s style, there are some things I’ve really enjoyed about her novel. Chie feels like a real old person to me. So many times I think elderly people are simplified as either bumbling idiots or wise sages. Chie can be cruel, but she has feelings for her descendents. Sometimes I feel the same way about my own grandma. I lived with my grandparents for my first two years of college, and I found out that my grandma isn’t always comforting and smiling. She has strong opinions about what I should do with my life and the kind of man I should marry. But despite (or maybe because of) her constant reminders that I should look for a good job or get a better boyfriend, she loves me and wants me to have a happy life. And I think Chie feels the same way about her daughter when she says “you walk like a turtle! […] An intelligent turtle, whose curiosity outreaches its stride” (269).

I think I finally understand what Etsuko was “doing” with her I-story. Etsuko explains how one day she and her husband saw many amateur painters, all trying to paint irises, but with all of their paintings looking the same. Etsuko saw beauty in their mediocrity, because it represented their sincere effort. She says this is the strangeness of beauty: “that transcendence can be found in what’s common and small” (350). I think people like mothers and teachers can understand this, but coolly cynical almost-graduate students like me have a hard time with it. It’s unhip to like things that are popular and amateurish… but if I’m going to enjoy art instead of constantly criticizing it (as I do on the first page of this essay), I need to learn to see the good in things instead of constantly finding faults. At the same time, finding flaws and problems in literature is part of what teachers encourage from literature students. Sometimes I find it difficult to just enjoy a book, no matter how common or flawed it might appear.

Another thing about enjoying the strangeness of beauty is that our culture does not encourage it. Mediocre is no longer acceptable, as shown by grade inflation, my high school declining to reveal class rankings (for fear of parent bereavement?), and motivational speakers urging students not to be satisfied with mediocrity, to keep pushing to do their best. No wonder so many students have problems with perfectionism! But seriously, what’s wrong with mediocrity? Plenty of kids are average. Why does that seem so sad to me? I irrationally value excellence and intelligence, probably because I was rewarded for it so often growing up. In the end though, excellence and intelligence are not enough to make me value life.

Going back to The Strangeness of Beauty, Minatoya captures to “madness of love” (67) when she describes the underwear Naomi sewed for Hanae, and the waistbands sewed with a thousand stitches in hope that they will protect soldiers from bullets. It’s just this kind of thing that makes me think how stupid love makes people. But why does it seem stupid to me? I evaluate others’ efforts by the usefulness or beauty of the things they produce. Hanae’s underwear isn’t useful, and only Hanae and her family can appreciate its beauty. The waistbands with a thousand stitches are neither bulletproof nor aesthetically pleasing. In these cases, it’s not the utility or the beauty of a thing that matters but the love shown by the effort of doing something crazy. I think the “madness of love” is something I can understand a little easier - I’ve done plenty of stupid things in the name of love – but I haven’t valued those things as an evidence of an effortful love. Maybe I should start enjoying my love madness.

The Strangeness of Beauty helped me to understand how my evaluations of literature are steeped in my assumption that the style of literature should be exemplary or remarkable. Even if I didn’t think that Minatoya’s style was perfect, she helped me to see the beauty in her own novel by explaining the strangeness of beauty in the everyday and mediocre.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dining Rooms

We were discussing a play called "The Dining Room" today in class, and how dining rooms are kind of a lost upper middle class tradition (for example, most new homes in Utah don't have dining rooms). We have a dining room in my house of growing up. We used it for some Sunday dinners and whenever we had company over. We also used it to play cards, build puzzles on, banish children to from the kitchen, and to hide under during hide-and-seek. My mom used it for her sewing and paying the bills. I don't think our house is particularly large, and it isn't a separate room (the only separate rooms downstairs are the den and the laundry/bathroom). I guess I'm wondering why my house had a dining room and many of the students in my class didn't have one, or didn't even use it. I have a dining room in my apartment right now, come to think of it, but I think that's because the house I live in is really old, and dining rooms were more prevalent then. My parent's house is just a bit older than I am. Maybe people buying homes there wanted dining rooms.

Anyway, I don't think having a dining room is very practical, unless you eat all your meals there and then would have more room in the kitchen for preparing food. But I guess the point of a dining room is that you don't eat all your meals there, just when you want to be a little fancier. I tend to think that fanciness is a state of mind more than a state of dress... but how we dress can influence our behavior too.

Another thing that came up in class was parts of the play that bothered us. I remembered one scene where a woman is hostessing a birthday party for her son and the whole time is talking to one kid's dad about the affair they're having. While I was reading it, I was amused. But when I was talking about it in class, I was not compassionate at all. I was like "WHY would people have KIDS if they're not going to take care of them? That's so SELFISH. It really bothers me." And I realized that it wasn't the book I was upset about, it was the cases from work that I thought back on. Where kids are coached to say mean things about one parent, or have to visit an abusive parent. It upsets me most when parents are mean or negligent to their own children. It upsets me even more when an abusive parent thinks she's actually helping.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Madsen Cargo Bikes

Um, this company in Salt Lake is making these cool cargo bikes. I'm going to shamelessly put a banner here to enter their July drawing. Click here if there isn't some image. Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Friday, May 22, 2009

bone to pick

Dear producers of Bones,

In the episode where they're searching for the call girl in LA - she most likely had body dysmorphic disorder, not "an addiction to plastic surgery." You're perpetuating "addiction" as a buzzword and not a specific problem. Thought you should know. I will list other problems as I notice them.


6/29 Dr. Sweets is a psychologist. Stop calling him a psychiatrist. Also, in the episode with the time capsule, if the woman got pregnant at the end of her senior year, her son would be 19 at the youngest at their 20-year reunion (too old to be a high school senior... or perhaps he repeated a grade?).

7/7 the season 3 finale is completely out of character for Zack. I can't believe you betrayed his personality to add suspense and intrigue. Also, what does Brennan have against Catholics? She seems perfectly accepting of other religions (voodooism, Buddhism, etc.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Mu. I feel like I'm asking all the wrong questions. Instead of asking "why are people so annoying" I should be asking "How can I learn to love people." But, even if I loved them, they would still be annoying. I don't care about them, but I should, if I'm going to call myself a Christian. I'm not above them, why do I keep thinking that my not caring about celebrity drama, new movie releases, and traditional romance will put me in a position where I can see reality more clearly? It won't. My reality is just as removed from the "real" as theirs is. While I disdain poshlust, I haven't escaped it - how could I? I live in it.

Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to do with all these potatoes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A slur, a blur

I quit my job. What a relief. Now it's either find another job or live on the cheap the next four months.

In some strange flurry, I saw Crow again last Saturday. Like snapping a rubber band, it hurts but feels so good. Love it and not sure if I should. Self-distraction to increase self-control futile.
I've got the technique but not the style. Fever and chills, high speeds and cheap thrills. Deduction and reduction, suction and corruption. I've got to stop. Whistler, crop.

I'm not sure where all the free time is going. Reading probably. More cooking. Self-doubt about my graduate program, doubt that I can actually write a paper. More online chatting. As I'm more connected online, I feel more isolated in person. So I've been trying to get out more too.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Royal silent portable

Um... I was at DI yesterday and found a typewriter in the collectibles section. I couldn't pass this chance up, even though it'll need some repairs (and was a little pricey). No, seriously, gorgeous! The glass keys and white letters on black paper are kind of hard to come by. It needs a rubber band thing to make the space bar work properly, and some other repairs (you can see in the first photo that the caps lock is having issues). Other than that, yeah. I think I'm in love.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New isn't always improved

Something I don't understand is why people like new things: new CD releases, new bestsellers, or new TV shows. There are plenty of old ones to choose from, one that are probably of higher quality because they are still around now. The only exception I see is with scientific research, although there are trends and stupid hypes there too. So, I guess this is part of my ongoing obsession with the past.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

spoons. oh and me getting all introspective again.

There's something I want you to notice about this photo: the spoon. It seems like every spoon in our apartment is different, and some of them are really cute. This one in particular has a design with roses, I think. You might laugh but it's these daily discoveries of art in my life that keep me happy sometimes.

For some reason I was thinking about my ex-boyfriends today. It always makes me feel kind of sad, like sometimes I can't believe they're still alive and have ideas and hopes that I'm no longer privy to (to any of them reading now: hello!). It's hard for me to imagine them apart from me. Maybe that says something about my relationships - maybe I'm too selfish or unimaginative of desires outside myself. I constantly worry that the people I love aren't who I think they are, that my perception is clouded by my unrealistic expectations. I guess worrying about it won't suddenly open my eyes to the difference between how people appear, how I perceive them, and how they are.

I don't know if I've changed at all over the past few years. I'm not sure if it would be a good thing if I did. Maybe I'm destined to make the same mistakes again and again. Maybe making mistakes will be fun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

then I giggle an hour later when I say hi to my past self.

sometimes when I e-mail documents to myself, I write "hello future Whistler!"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

next I'll be dreaming I have an article published in a peer-reviewed journal

Okay, this is sad. I had a dream that a professor of mine was starting a research group and I was excited to be in it. It was actually a fairly nice dream, aside from the 13-year-old math genius who wanted to be a part of things (actual quote from my dream: "I could get along with an 18-year-old fine, but 13?" oh man I'm getting old).

I'm babysitting my sister's kids tonight and somehow they were all asleep an hour ago. I only had to cheat a little. Oh, and I've been playing "Portal." It's super awesome, but I remembered why I don't play a lot of computer games. I don't care about beating them. If I run up against a hard part, I'm like, "oh well I'll come back to this later" and then I never come back to it. That's... pretty much why I still haven't beaten Chrono Trigger or FF7 (I'm embarrassed).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

vacation time

Visiting Crow was wonderful, but I hear one of his siblings is on to me... so I'll just embarrass him a little, and express my regret that Smith's doesn't carry country-made French Vanilla ice cream. ;-)

Well, now I'm at my sister's, and I get to play with my nephews all the time. Heh, I always win Nerf fights. My oldest nephew is four and he knows how to play LittleBigPlanet with the rest of us (the game and my nephew are way cute). Fun times!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"today this little baby stared at me..."

Okay, for all the complaining I do about my job, there are some nice moments (even if they are shrouded in vicarious embarrassment). Today this little baby stared at me for a half-hour car ride and I got to eat cake and ice cream and watch a kid hunt for Easter eggs and open presents. Later I had to entertain a girl who wanted to play with the copier (rock-paper-scissors only works for so long). And my boss left some salad burritos which she bequethed to me. Yeah, so the pick-up parent was late and I had to stay an extra half-hour, but I can't have my cake and then expect everything else to be perfect.

I am looking forward to taking off 10 days from work though. Um, Crow (the nickname makes sense to me, just get used to it) and I hit it off pretty well when he came down to visit last week, so I'm returning the favor this weekend (the stars aligned with a ride and Rummikub-like schedule switching at work). Normally I like to plan every detail out in advance, but this was like, "okay, let's see if I can make this work, right now." -crazy!

I've been interviewing for a new job, and I find job interviews terrifying. I think condensing myself into three words is absurd, and I also think asking someone if they're good at a job is stupid. Make them do some representative work and see if you like it or not! At least we have office skills tests so I can be like, "look how fast I can type, you definitely want to hire me!" I also really, really dislike misleading (using selective information with) people in order to convince them to hire me. But hey at least I got a few interviews!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Easy English for Russians

Read this excerpt from "Easy English For Russians." I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. It's so surreal! Here's a selection in case you don't want to go to the link:

SOME FOOLS                           НЕКОТОРЫЕ ДУРАКИ

1.That fool bored me like hell. 1.Этот дурак мне страшно надоел.
2.He told endless stories. 2.Он рассказывал бесконечные истории.
3.He told flat jokes, 3.Он расказывал плоские шутки,
4.after which he laughted alone. 4.после которых он смеялся один.
5.As for me, I wanted to weep. 5.Что касается меня, я хотел плакать.
6.At such moments 6.В такие моменты
I wanted to murder him. я хотел убить его.
7.I wanted to strangle him 7.Я хотел задушить его
with my own hands. собственными руками.
8.In his stories 8.В этих историях
he always posed as a hero. он всегда выступал как герой.
9.Sometimes 9.Иногда
his artistic ego его артистическое я
was not successful не имело успеха
in realistic terms. в реалистических терминах.
10.But then 10.Но зато
there were moral implications был моральный подтекст
to his advantage. в его пользу.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Hey guys, I'm on I have yet to explore everything, but it looks cool. My username is Whistler, maybe we could help each other learn a language... I just wish the Russian courses went past the 200-level. But maybe I could start learning another language? I hate it when I only know a little of a language though...

Cheesy playlist

1. Belle & Sebastian - Step into my office, baby
2. Fleet Foxes - He doesn't know why
3. The Aquabats - Red sweater!
4. We Are Scientists - Lousy reputation
5. Cake - Love you madly
6. Radiohead - My iron lung
7. The Raconteurs - Steady as she goes
8. The Decemberists - O Valencia!
9. Arcade Fire - My body is a cage
10. Franz Ferdinand - Darts of pleasure
11. Cat Power - Could we
12. Death Cab for Cutie - I will follow you into the dark
13. My Brightest Diamond - Inside a boy
14. Cat Stevens - Here comes my baby
15. Radio Dept. - The worst taste in music
16. Muse - Time is running out
17. M83 - In Church (Cyann & Ben Version)

This was a mix I made for a "friend." Little did I know that there is a racy narrative behind it all (read the song titles in order)! Bah ha ha...

Friday, March 20, 2009

eye glasses: important fashion decision while under pressure

I just got new glasses (my last [most recent former] pair was my first pair of glasses ever, it was a big step for me). When I picked them out last week I thought they were black, but it turns out they're this bronze color that catches the light funny... actually I'm not sure if they even used the frames I picked out (I got the feeling they didn't trust my judgement, I hate it when two people try to help me pick out clothes or anything, because I know what I want and don't really care what they think). I wanted black plastic ones like the ones I had before, but all the ones they had screamed "jerk" or "I am trying to be hip." These metal ones feel lighter, but the plastic nose-hold things have additional screws in them, which I think makes the glasses less durable. I didn't really like the selection at my optometrist's, I wonder if I could buy frames online next time (but good luck getting insurance to pay for it, I guess)... like these (via Nerd Boyfriend, thanks for sharing that link bismark). Speaking of eyeframe trends, have you noticed that some people still wear those huge 80s frames? They're not in style anymore (though I applaud the increased visibility, even if they are ugly) - where do people get them? Do I need to find an optomitrist who specializes in vintage frames if I want some 50s horn-rims? There are so many things I don't understand about eyewear.

Monday, March 16, 2009

something happened!

Oh, by the way, I got into freaking GRAD school, that MA program I applied for. I'm so excited! I get to start on the prereqs Spring/Summer terms. Also on my list of prereqs is "ask all the dumb questions you can think of so that the admissions committee wonders what they were thinking when they admitted me." There are some concerning ratings of English professors on, but part of me isn't worried because I got along a lot of professors who have crappy ratings, let's face it there are just some bitter students out there.

I started reading Heller's Something Happened today. My favorite is the blurb on the back: "When you read Something Happened something will happen to you!" bah ha ha why don't books want to sell themselves anymore? "Once in a decade something important happens in books. In the 1970's, it is Something Happened." One project I'd like to work on sometime is scanning in my old paperbacks and make fun of them (a la pop sensation).

Now please enjoy this photo of my eye!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I wanted to upload a graph...

This is a photo of the contact paper in one of our cupboards. Also, here is a sneak preview of a graph I wrote up for a Board question (the file library was down, so I decided to upload it here).

Sunday, March 08, 2009

and I suppose he wears shorts in the winter

I was talking to an former co-worker the other day. As usual we were talking about boys... I was telling her about this one guy, let's call him Crow, that I've taken a liking too. I explained how he's really smart but takes a devil-may-care attitude towards grades and has the makings of a real renaissance man. She said, "Oh, I get it, he's a real bad boy to you." I hadn't really thought about that before, but I think I secretly cheer on students who refuse to do pointless assignments and just do the work they need to do to learn the material. That's what I've liked about sitting in on classes these past two semesters - I only did the homework if I wanted to. And that's what makes the most sense to me.

Back to Crow, he's not at BYU at the moment so I have all this time to imagine him as someone he's not. And that kind of worries me, because I know that I've had unrealistic expectations about friends in the past, and it can be damaging. But at least I'm aware that I'm being silly. And I think he might even like me back, a little. He gets along well with children (or so I hear) and I find that really attractive, especially after working with so many people who don't. (P.S. Crow do you read this blog? I have no idea. Sorry if I embarrassed you.)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Not a joke

This is a transcript of notes I found on an actual sacrament meeting program (incidentally, I found it on the Provo temple grounds, which almost made up for the temple being closed):
Guy 1: There is definetly [sic] something there with her. I don't think I am just stupid. What do you think?
Guy 2: Man, I trust you Judgment and I support you, but 2 weeks is really quick.
Guy 1: This is how I explained it to her : (Makes sense?) You know during fast and testimony meeting, when you get the feeling to get up and share? And you do you best and set it aside, till you can't take it any longer, so you break and go to the front and share. I wanted to tell her I was going to marry her, but the thought "two weeks, two weeks," kept coming up. I don't know.
Guy 2: if it truly is the right thing to do, I don't thing giving it more time will hurt it. like we talked about earlier, it is an eternal decision. Granted, I was only 16 and didn't know anything, but the first 7 months w/ Celeste felt great. then the issues started to come out and we started fighting.
Guy 1: I agree with you, that is why I think Alaska is a really good idea. I think it will be 4 months to gain a better relationship with her.
Guy 2: yeah, I agree.
My commentary: Bah ha ha... the funny thing is that it's a fast Sunday program from 2006... that means that someone kept this in his pocket for like two years (although I guess I've done similar things). --Going to Alaska to strengthen a relationship? So is going to go there without her so they can do the long-distance thing or are they going together? And comparing getting married to bearing your testimony... I'm not so sure about that one... All I can think of is, "you know that feeling, when you're kissing, and you're sure you want to get married RIGHT NOW? yeah..." but perhaps he's holier than I am.

P.S. If this is you or a friend of yours, thanks for the amusement!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tomato bean sausage soup

Okay, I was making soup today, and it called for 3 cans of beans and a can of tomatoes. I wasn't sure of I should rinse the tomatoes or not (the can said they were in "tomato juice" which could be good for the broth), so I asked my grandma about it, and she was like, "no, don't rinse those" and in reply I said, "but rinse the beans, right??" and she said, "No, and you can use some water to get all the juice out." I already had rinsed and put in two cans, so I was thinking, okay, I'll try this with ONE can of beans. This was a poor cooking decision. My broth was muddy, too salty, and had the grainy feel of preserved beans. Still edible but not the best. Otherwise it was an amazing soup (but it made a ton and it's kind of difficult to get all those cans back on a bike).

Bottom line: Always rinse your beans, no matter what your grandma says!

Monday, February 16, 2009

and would you stop talking in baby talk to your 8-year-old?

Dear parents lacking vital parenting skills,

Your children desperately want your approval and praise. However when you only pay attention to them when they do something bad they will keep doing these bad things so you'll notice them! Take an interest in their lives and stop yelling at them and their behavior will improve. Give them structure and opportunities to be obedient. Praise their success. Oh and don't take yourself so seriously and stop trying to control your kids all the time. Rudely bossing children around is a recipe for creating a belligerent, rude child. Even I can tell this and I'm not even a parent! I'm surprised that your children have not already strangled you.

-had a long Saturday at work

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

and do they go to literary prison?

If English professors are literary detectives, does that make authors literary CRIMINALS?

Sunday, February 08, 2009


So I was thinking about this: how do I feel about dating guys that haven't completed their Bachelor's degree? I am starting to wonder if it's really that important. Maybe I've placed undue importance on education - as long as he's smart and can make money, who cares?

But as much as I'd like to be non-snobby about the education of people I date, I still think education is important (despite how stupid some classes are!). I think getting a Bachelor's demonstrates a willingness to endure ennui and arbitrary assignments for a delayed, abstract reward. Kind of like marriage! Now the only problem is that some guys might be perfectly capable of working for delayed gratification yet not complete their education for other reasons (insufficient funds, job that doesn't require a degree, disillusionment with educational system, etc.). That's all I had to say about it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

maybe you didn't know these things about me?

- Parties with lots of people kind of scare me. Especially people I don't know. However I can conquer this fear if need be!
- I can be creepy in a stalkerish way and I've been that way since high school. I'm trying to be less creepy. Hopefully this will improve my public image!
- I've spent a summer with each Mozart flute concerto. This might explain my love-hate relationship with them.
- Sometimes I still think my ex-boyfriends are cute.
- I fantasize about composing some great music or a novel. However I realize that both of these industries are highly competitive, and even if I were some kind of genius it would be hard to make any money off of it.
- I frequently used the term "lamerz" until my roommate mercilessly made fun of me. Now I use the term "lame-o."
- I will go to the movies by myself, but I'll feel stupid while doing it.
- I'm always disappointed when a male acquaintance gets engaged. I'm like, "well forget you!"
- I think cooking is boring, but I like the results too much to do away with it.
- I've been trying not to use my inhaler so I can sell plasma soon.
- I know that no one likes it when I sing along with my music. I mouth the words, listening through my headphones, and wonder if other people can tell what I'm saying.
- I'm painfully self-conscious. But you knew that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Again and Again" analysis

The Bird and the Bee came out with a new album yesterday, but I was too cheap to buy it. Instead I watched their music video "Again and again" on Youtube approximately 13 times. Despite the extremely repetitive and simple lyrics, I found myself really enjoying and "understanding" this song. Here are the lyrics, but you should really go watch the music video.
Again and again and again
Do it again
Do it again
Again and again

It's a shame, it's a shame
It's a perfect shame
Creep under my door and we do it again, oh

It's easy and easy and easy and easy
And creepy and creepy and creepy, oh
Again, again, again, again

Again and again and again
Do it again
Do it again

Again and again and again
Do it again
Do it again

Again and again

Say my name, say my name, say my stupid name
It's stupid how we always seem to do it again, oh

You're so stupid and perfect
And stupid and perfect
I hate you, I want you
I hate you, I hate you, oh
Again, again, again, again

La, la, la
Again and again and again
Do it again
Do it again

Again and again and again
Do it again
Do it again

Again and again
The repetitive "again and again" refrain is itself repetitive while lamenting how repetitive life is, and how the repetition becomes meaningless - easy, creepy, stupid, perfect - these all become synonyms when physical actions and habit take precedence over thought and wonder. The "I hate you, I want you" further limns the frustration with dependence on lust for meaningful relationships. The song offers no solution but successfully elicits from the listener the pleasurable boredom of repetition made meaningful by the meaninglessness it conveys. Go post-modernism!

P.S. PLEASE tell me if you know what kind of car is in that music video.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hostility = endearing?

That Carlton Lassiter character on "Psych" is really cute. Unfortunately I couldn't find any great fansites with like screen captures and whatnot. There are just all the same stock photos...

The question here is, what of Lassie's characteristics are attractive?
-blue eyes
-somehow being an American with straight teeth yet looking Irish
-regret hidden behind hostility
-secure/cool job position
-good at shooting guns
-only smiles when he's actually happy
-often sarcastic
-lack of tact is endearing
-let's face it that gun holster is sexy

In other news I have given in to playing Scrabble on Facebook! Please challenge me to a game if you would like to play. Now please enjoy this photo of a lamp in our apartment:

Friday, January 23, 2009

words describing inner race

I was thinking about a specific type of racial term - a term for someone who "acts" like a different race than they are. Here is the list I am familiar with:

Oreo: Black person who acts white
Twinkie/banana: Asian person who acts white
Egg: White person who acts asian

I think these terms are interesting because it's usually like, racism between members of the same race (although I think "egg" could be used endearingly to a white person with lots of Asian friends?). Also: they are all foods? Are there more terms like this, and if not could we make them up (because I'm racially insensitive)?

Also: I got to watch some crazy Russian cartoons. I recommend hedgehog in the fog.

Now, please enjoy this photo of our ceiling!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Russian blog! Also guess what I applied to a graduate program.

So I spent a little time this evening setting up my Russian blog: (the title comes from the Russian superstition that it's bad luck to whistle indoors). For the two or three of my readers who read Russian, it might be fun times!

Other news: I finished applying to BYU's MA in English program. They have a 40% acceptance rate, so I might actually make it! I think they don't do interviews, which only improves my chances. However, my writing sample was only seven pages when they wanted ten... but better to be brief than to be a bore, I always say. I just didn't have time (or resources) to research and make the argument for Black Humor as a transitionary genre into post-modernism. But perhaps in the future... ! (PS Don't steal my idea. Please?) MTTS comic about grad school.

Sad story: When I graduated I checked out like 30 books to read (with my then-graduate/honors check-out privileges). I kept renewing them until I lost my privliges, and the last books are due February 6th (and I still have about six and a half of them to read). After this I will either have to hang out at the HBLL, just use the Provo library, or actually start on the 40 books or so I have saved up for this specific purpose.

And now for your opinion: Anonymous comments - are they flattering or worrisome? I know Tangerine found them annoying enough to disable them on her blog. Heh, she can't defend herself since she's on a mission (sorry Tangy!).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Really, not much I can do

I recently found out that an acquaintance of mine is taking some time off to deal with depression (not a reader of this blog). I always feel at such a loss when this happens. Part of me wants to be like, "Hey, I'm completely insensitive and I want to talk to you about all the cool research on depression! Look at all these things you could try to cure your problem!" But I think the best thing I can do is not be nosy, not ask "HOW ARE YOU??", and just generally not be a nuisance (wow, new levels of redundancy!). Maybe I should look back to some board answers - "There is very good scientific evidence that doing fun stuff relieves depression — I am not making this up." bah ha ha... well, while I'd like to be friendly, I have a hard time seeing me being helpful... but perhaps there's something I can do.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 retro specteo

What was 2008? It was more than ending a long-term relationship, graduating, going to my first funeral, turning 21 and finding a job in the "real world." It marked new heights in free time, meaning more time for self-exploration, or at least leisure time. And I've decided that I love reading enough to make a life's work of it. 2008 also marked new lows in my self-cynicism, such that I'm hoping against the conviction that I won't make it into the English MA program to which I'm applying. I'm not sure why I want to go back to school so badly when I think the current system is so medieval, and when I think that most professors do research for the wrong reasons. 2008 also calls to mind some roommates who were really messy and with whom I felt frustrated the majority of the time. And while I sometimes fantasize about living in my own apartment, I know that I would feel terribly lonely living alone. So, I'm still looking for the ultimate roommate! Here's to hoping I can do this non-creepily.