Thursday, October 30, 2008

also apropos of the season

MS takes a quantitative approach:
: I think you're the only one I'm asking
MS: right now I have a 100% yes vote
mikaydee: nice. don't screw it up. representative sampling is for jerks and communists
MS: exactly. and I mean really, representative of what?
mikaydee: not people who suck, that's for sure
MS: right on

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

persephone stuck in traffic

One of the very particular things about the place I live now versus the place I used to live is that, where I live now, the weather pretty much never changes (unless you count the daily oscillation between 75-85 in the day and 60-65 at night, which some people, let's call them "wussies from the subtropics," actually do), whereas where I used to live, it might hail on your car the day after you opened your pool. The biggest effect this has on me is the loss of the weather as an omnipresent temporal marker; I used to remember roughly when things happened based on the physical state of the water in the atmosphere: solid, liquid, or horrible vaporous humidity requiring a hasty retreat into a building whose air conditioning provided Hoth-like temperatures with air as dry as Tatooine sand, and only marginally less abrasive.

Here, there is almost never water in the atmosphere, so time passes in a manner I would characterize as "allegedly." Case in point, I woke up today and realized that, without anything having apparently changed, I have been at my current job for over a year. I feel as though I walk around in a clueless daze, punctuated by tri-annual trips home where I experience weather for four disconcerting days at a time. Aside from these brief jaunts into and out of the real world, the only thing that keeps me grounded into the seasonal continuum is Starbucks. Absent the brisk chill of an autumn morning, Starbucks will tell me when I should begin to feel holiday cheer. Crunchy scarlet leaves being nowhere to be found, I rely on the regular annual appearance of synthetic pumpkin flavoring, eventually falling by the wayside in favor of bracingly refreshing peppermint mocha, to alert me to the appropriateness of feeling goodwill to all humankind. Until Urban Outfitters had to mess with my head in an attempt to sell more iridescent miniature Christmas trees, that is. At the UO store across the street, it has been Christmas for a good solid three weeks at this point. And because of the aforementioned preternaturally static atmosphere, I have no immediate evidence of the falsity of this misrepresentation. Simply walking down the street past the store gives me momentary starts of anxiety that I failed to pay my November rent, or that I missed my mother's birthday. I feel an exaggerated resentment toward Urban Outfitters, a store I normally patronize quite frequently. And why not? I don't have to be charitable. It's not Christmas yet.

Friday, October 10, 2008

the road to hell is paved with delicious animal products

In the spirit of and past discourses on the sociocultural constitutive power of food, PM and I are undertaking to cook "A Chili to Offend All Nations." This chili will include all of the meats banned by major world religions: pork, beef, and possibly even shellfish (more on this below), in addition to a couple meats that shock even the non-sectarian conscience, such as veal and/or foie gras. If the title of this chili is "A Chili to Offend All Nations," its tagline would be "If we could have included people meat, we would have."

When your stated goal for a task is slightly askew from the norm (e.g. cooking food not for nourishment or satiety, but for the cheap thrill of putting your immortal soul/liberal conscience in jeopardy) it leads you down some dark, dark paths. For example, the path to clamato juice, which Wikipedia describes as "a drink made primarily of reconstituted tomato juice concentrate and reconstituted dried clam broth, with a dash of high fructose corn syrup, and USDA Red 40 to maintain a 'natural' tomato colour." First of all, how do you "dash" something as viscous as high fructose corn syrup? Second of all, how far off the farm have you strayed when clamato juice is maybe the least disgusting way for you to achieve your goal?

Also troublesome is when you consider not including things you know are delicious because they are just not culturally offensive enough. Like lamb:
PM: i love lamb.
mikaydee: me too, but it's like the least offensive meat
PM: yeah, EVERYONE eats lamb
mikaydee: Jesus WAS the lamb.
mikaydee: and I eat him all the time!
PM: weekly!

on liberty

RM and mikaydee watch Chris Matthews interview a sexy army cadet:mikaydee: I'd sleep with him.
RM: Me too.
mikaydee: But he wouldn't sleep with you. Because he would lose his job.
RM: And then go to jail. Sexy court martial!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

heyre be spoilers

Yesterday, RM and I were watching the new episode of HOUSE, which featured a disgusting thing called a “bezoar,” (and an extremely hot and sexy thing called “Chase”) and toward the end of the episode, out of the same curiosity that made freak shows such a popular Victorian pastime, I googled bezoars, and, to my momentary astonishment but eventual utter lack of surprise following a moment's reflection, I saw that the Wikipedia article on bezoars already included a reference to the brand new episode of HOUSE I was still currently watching. Many kudos to the diligent web stewards of bezoar-related cultural trivia.

an open letter to my local mega-bookstore-cafe, whose inventory is inexplicably not posted online

Dear Nearly Anachronistic Establishment,

You have exactly one advantage over, and that is the possibility of near instant gratification, of being able to lay your hands on a book or CD or DVD mere hours or even minutes after first desiring it. Of the factors working against you, two are paramount: (1) your inventory is necessarily limited by the physical size of your store; and (2) your retail model requires interaction with another human being. These obstacles being easily mitigated (by posting your inventory online), yet still inexplicably uncorrected, I must adjudge you lazy and incompetent, and what was at first a utilitarian judgment involving the time value of money is now a moral repugnancy toward ever patronizing so lax a market participant ever again. Also, your coffee is subpar.


P.S. Exactly what part of “Designing Social Inquiry” did your employee need me to spell for him?