Wednesday, October 31, 2007

in the spirit of mischief

Seemingly innocuous, child-appropriate Halloween costumes, made into heavy-handed political statements through the simple use of props:

- Bum + Tattered Copy of The Communist Manifesto = Disenfranchised Prole

- Princess + Death Warrant signed by Revolutionary Committee = Victime du Terreur

- Poodle Skirt and Sweater Set + Tear-Stained Copy of The Feminine Mystique = Original Desperate Housewife

Sunday, October 28, 2007

as joyfully i lark about, and go crazy with the hyphenates and parentheticals

I was at church this morning (go me!) and I have to admit that a large part of the reason I go to church is because I like singing, and most (good) church songs have simple, repetitious, and soothing melodies that can make even amateurs like me feel like they have some musical chops.* (I also love Jesus and stuff, but I can love Jesus at home.)

As much as I heart the individual songs at church, I do wish sometimes that the musical director would pick a musical theme and stick with it. Otherwise, the aesthetic experience of church (on which my particular religion places what some would consider an idolatrous amount of importance, a disagreement which has led to, oh, I dunno, centuries of war and the creation of the modern, Westphalian nation-state system) can be pretty schizophrenic. One minute, we are all high-church organ chords marching along with a slightly caesero-papist militant undertone ("We all do extol thee, our leader in battle, ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine!"), and the next we are multicultural ("SeƱor! Me has mirado a los ojos; sonriendo, has dicho mi nombre."), and the next, we are recently freed slaves ("Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light. Take my hand, Precious Lord, and lead me home!"). And that is on a good day. Occasionally, you'll get an overly ambitious musical director who ventures into the choir-only lands of youth-Mass-guitar-rockin'-4-Jesus** (makes peace sign with fingers and solemnly head-bangs) or experimentally-atonal-but-it's-Latin-so-it-must-be-extra-holy (Faure, I'm looking at you), or, on a particularly weird day, both.***

Or maybe I should just quit my nit-picking and be thankful to Jesus for aforesaid job, aforesaid laptop, and below-referenced friends and family.

* A friend of mine has been using the word "chops" in the context of music a lot lately and it has crept into my vocabulary, as such things tend to do. I actually feel silly using this word in this context, calling to mind as it does some sort of church-inappropriate musical throwdown between me and another congregant. ("You wanna piece of me? He who sings prays twice, beeotch!") But I am too tired to look for an alternative, since looking-for-the-right-word is like 80% of my job-that-pays-for-laptop-for-blogging/facebook/AIM at the moment, and the fancy verbiage part of my brain needs a rest.

**Have you ever noticed that commercials for these albums tend to crop up during late night TV, in between ads for Girls Gone Wild 7 with additional bonus features, like Sorority Hazing 5, for just $1.99 extra if you call in the next hour?

***University churches are particularly apt to try this strange pairing, as the congregation is generally dominated by the youthful and the music ministry is generally dominated by the music majors, or those who wish they were.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

in which i make a most unusual display

My friend, MH, and I have been on this kick about Pride and Prejudice sequels, which PM was good enough to point out are basically a step above fan fiction. And how right he was! For example, MH recently made the amusing/disturbing discovery that Austen sequels partake in that common fan fiction indulgence: GOING WHERE THE ORIGINAL MEDIUM COULDN’T. Aragorn’s latent homosexuality! Mal and River's May-December romance! Hermione's struggle against cutting!

Apparently, while perusing the Austen-esque (Austenique? Austenapalooza?) selections at her neighborhood B&N, MH found a lovely passage wherein a Bennet sister describes those activities, then traditionally reserved for the wedding night, using words like “member” and “nonny-nonny” which, geez, manage to make me more uncomfortable than the time I watched that episode of Coupling with my mom.*

Which got me to thinking, there MUST be, somewhere out there, in the vast and quickly clogging tubes of the Interweb, some full-fledged Austen Erotica. The Darcys discover oral sex. Jane turns to her chambermaid while Bingley is away on business. Mary gets naughty with the vicar and returns slightly less annoying. It must be out there!

And yet…and yet I cannot bring myself to look for it. Here it is; I’ve finally reached it: the limit of my search engine shame. There are things that should never be typed into that Google box, things you should not even Ask Jeeves. This is one of those things.

* The one where Susan forces Steve to describe, in a reasonable amount of detail, the plot of Lesbian Spank Inferno.

Friday, October 26, 2007

in praise of neologisms (rescued from various other annals)

Faux-ductivity, noun: the deliberate avoidance one's most pressing obligations in favor of perennially necessary but comparatively unimportant tasks (usually involving cleaning and/or organization), resulting in a superficial obviation of the guilt that generally accompanies procrastination.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a series of vignettes, for your contemplation or enjoyment, but not both

Over a period of years, my mother discovers the internet:
Mother: I asked your cousin to look for information about this on the internet, but could you do it too?
Me: Um, I could....but why?
Mother: His internet could be different!
Mother: [Your aunt] just emailed me a story about a man who died of a ruptured colon.
Me: Ew!
Mother: (sotto voce) It was because he was having sex with a horse!
Me: MOM!....Oh, I think I got that email, too.
Mother: At first, I thought maybe he died because the horse kicked him in the head when he tried, know....But it was because the horse was the one that--
Mother: Could you set up our universal remote?
Sibling{2/4}(professional IT guy): Sure, do you have the manual? Otherwise I can't find the right codes.
Mother: Can't you just look it up on the internet?
Sibling{2/4}: (stunned silence....looks around to see if he just stepped through a wormhole)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

rescued from the annals of my gmail account (yeah, i just wanted to say "annals")

So a while back, I sent this email to a friend, who suggested I make it into a real piece and publish it. He should probably know that I am not nearly ambitious enough for that sort of thing, but I do have just enough initiative to post it as a blog entry.


I know how you love stories about my insane mother, so here's one I
just got from my sister, who is in the hospital with pregnancy-
induced hypertension.

Pregnancy-induced hypertension is just that; it's caused by pregnancy
and there's nothing you can do about it but lie in bed until you're
not pregnant anymore. My mother, being a nurse, should understand
this. However, she suffers from that misconception, common to all
busybodies, that you can NEVER DO TOO MUCH in the pursuit of solving
a problem. There are no aggregate utilities for my mother, no
multivariable problems, no parabolic functions of any kind. More is
better, less is worse; there's no such thing as diminishing returns.

Her solution to pregnancy-induced hypertension? Driving 2 hours
every weekend to sit around for 48 hours, telling my bedridden sister
to relax. Urging her to relax. Berating her to relax. Reminding
her that it's really better for the baby to just relax. RELAX.

My sister prepares for these visits by making lists. She provides
tasks upon tasks for my mother to do, hopefully enough to keep her
busy until she has to go home. She sends our mother out with a
credit card and a series of baby-related missions. Luckily my sister
is one of those oldest-child, A-types for whom making lists
constitutes relaxation. If she didn't do this, our mother would park
herself on the pullout bed in my sister's hospital room, alternately
nagging her and napping. My mother snores. Loudly.

[My sister] calls me every so often to complain about Mom. She's not really
a complainer; I think she likes calling me about it because we always
end up laughing, in sympathy, and empathy (Mom called me 4 times in
one hour tonight, and left 3 messages. All of them were the same,
but with escalating hysteria: "It's mom; call me back."). How
ridiculous is it when talking for 20 minutes about something that
completely stresses you out is more relaxing, more FUN, than dealing
with someone who really, sincerely wants you to relax and have fun?

-- [mikaydee]


Docs decided to spring the baby 2 months early. Baby, Sis/Mom, and Mom/Grandma are all doing well.

wherein i display various kinds of nerdiness, and not for the last time

I'm sure I have mentioned this elsewhere, but various (though not sundry--dear heavens, NOT SUNDRY) Discovery/History/Learning Channel programs carry a viewer discretion warning about "indigenous nudity," by which I assume the producers mean public nudity sanctioned by autochthonous norms, e.g. it is hotter in this damn jungle than in the frakking* womb, so why on God's steaming hot, green and humid earth would you waste resources fashioning a means by which to trap your own body heat, you crazy paleface!** However, if one can be indigenously nude, then the opposite would naturally be exogenous nudity, nudity that reveals you to be some sort of inappropriate miscreant who missed all of the social cues about modesty growing up, leading you to do things like having sex on camera or not wearing underwear in a limosine. Warning: Exogenous Nudity! This nudity, unlike that other kind of nudity we show on TV, is not okay! Mmmm, cultural relativism.

On a similar note, while relating a story about my office to PM the other day, I was suddenly struck by the awesomeness of the concept of a "tranquilizer."*** It forces you into tranquility! It mandates that you calm down! By extension, would it be okay to characterize a tranquilizer gun as a weapon for peace?....Crap, I am now approaching Human Condition territory, a topic I had better leave to minds superior to my own, such as Michel Foucault or Joss Whedon (SERENITY!)*. I will stop now.

*Yes, I am aware that I have just revealed myself to be THAT kind of nerd in addition to the Discovery/History/Learning Channel kind of nerd. But anyone who can read this has also seen my profile, and should already be well aware.

**Irony/Hyperbole alert. I don't want to get into a whole Caliban/Miranda-type, Edward Said, Reverse-Racism, Can-The-Subaltern-Speak thing. I'm just trying to talk about naked people!

***The underlying story is much less interesting than this decontextualized detail would make it seem.

Somebody, somewhere has to have written something connecting Foucault's geneaology of punitive violence in Disciplinir et Punir to Whedon's critique of conformity as peace in his seminal work, SERENITY. Please, please tell me someone has written that. If not, I will.

Post-Post -Script:
Pursuant to the above, I Googled "Michel Foucault Joss Whedon" and came up with this:

which is now officially on my Christmas wish list, thank you dear Baby Jesus.
Doesn't look like there is any actual Foucault in this, so I can still write that seminal work. (Did you giggle when you read "seminal?" Because I giggled when I wrote it. Both times.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

in which our over-caffinated heroine has too much time on her hands

Welcome to mikaydee's nerdgasm, where the sentence structure is Byzantine and the tags mean nothing. Enjoy the Brownian motion of my thoughts and occasional impressions of myself in college ("Gawd! Way to reify social constructs, jerkface!"). Heyre be monsters.

Other blogs I heart: (David Plotz blogs the Bible) (Geoffrey Chaucer hath a Blog)