Living in the Dark; or Poor Halloween Form

I'm living in the dark this evening, at least until around 9:00 when all rational parents have their ghosts, goblins, fairies, and other such little beasties indoors. I feel bad about this. I do. Really, I love Halloween. But it is a contained love. My costume of the past 3-4 years has mainly been black nail polish (Incidentally, that is basically the only time/color I will wear said polish. Don't ask me to explain.*). I love it when people dress up in really clever outfits, I just chose not to. So, when the venerable All Hallows Eve arrives and the house is sans candy, you live in the dark. I know it is poor Halloween form, especially given the fact that for the first time in 7 years I'm not in a neighborhood that is either a) surrounded by drunken droves of college students roaming the streets in costume or b) surrounded by the extras of Deadwood and on the edge of Thunderdome. But I'm totally and completely unprepared. Such is life.

R!'s comment, conveyed in a sing-song voice: "Sittin' in the dark, hidin' from the children!"

*I just had a thought... perhaps the black nail polish is, in fact, a sign of mourning as Halloween marks the last day of October, the best month of the year.


Status Report:

Limbs: still intact
Sense of Humor: debatable
Brain: mush

That's right, people... Mush. It's a lovely feeling caught somewhere between hangover and, well, hangover. This sucks for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I don't, in fact, have a hangover. The last time I checked, I did not engage in any illicit behavior or binge drinking last night (I don't know about sleepwalking). In a similar vein, I don't have any of the associated entertaining/embarrasing stories to at least offset the feeling or push me to give up the sauce. Second, I had a big enough headache (read: migraine) on Saturday to reach my quota for awhile. It was brilliant. Middle of the day, shielding my eyes from the garish sun, saying random things to R! which I can't account for. Balls. Eventually you get as good as you're going to and start to move about your day in a relatively normal way, but that took a tad bit longer this time. Do I have a third point to make? I really dislike lists that only have two points, but I can't be bothered because my brain is MUSH.


vacuum fun

The bits and pieces.
I'll freely admit it it. I'm one of those people who enjoys things like vacuuming. I don't know why, its a little twisted. But what can I say? Instant gratification. Anyhoo, today I purchased my first vacuum. Heretofore my vacuums have been either hand-me-downs or a roommate's. Now I have my very own. I even had the pleasure of assembling said vacuum. What little assemblage there was... They still managed to issue a great CAUTION for those who undertake the burdensome task.

Taking it out for a test drive.

R! gets in on the action. There's just too much fun for one person.
Perhaps one of the best parts of the whole process occured while reading through the instructions and list of parts. Some genius decided to name one of the attachments a "Crevice Wand." A *Crevice Wand*?!!!!!! Seriously, crevice wand. How does that phrase even make it out of the development process? Or perhaps this is how vacuum cleaner engineers entertain themselves. "Hey Bob, did you see that 'crevice wand' made it through the approval process? We buried that one pretty good!" Maybe James Dyson wouldn't do anything so juvenile, but he does seem a bit stuffy in the commercials.


corn maze, part 2

For anyone who plans on venturing out into a corn maze, I have a phrase to guide you on your quest: "Left for Sinister!" Yes, that is a Nerd joke with many layers of meaning. I apologize.

For supplimental commentary, please visit C-Lo's highly entertaining Intemperate Speech.

BALLS! Vegan Pot Pie TRAGEDY! Well, almost.
There was a reserve pie...

Vegan pot pie ain't bad.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
Err, or Austin's head....

I don't know who needed the support more, Nina or Fernando.

Who needs a flashlight in a corn maze?

C. had absolutely no idea this fellow joined our party.

This next label is all Camille's devising.
I had nothing to do with it.

I'm trying to hide from the Corn-mille comment.


corn maze, part 1

Tonight was Corn Maze night. I'd go so far as to call it BigTimeFun. Yes, that's said as one word. I found, however, that I was particularly tuckered out from the first week of work and confronting 5-7 large men with chain saws while standing in a few acres of corn. I think you'll find the sign at the bottom particularly entertaining... I know I do. It is well worth the read.

In the spirit of the evening...

Just one of the many....

I feel no need to provide context for this picture.
It is more entertaining without.


Things I Know.

1. I have to go to San Francisco. I will see the cool cats of History days past. Not to be confused with the Cool Cats of Danish rock fame (see picture for reference). Hells yes.
2. There are still spiders waiting to gang up on me in the bathroom. I confronted their scouting party earlier this evening.
3. The anonymous voices from beyond the great padded walls of a cubicle that punctuate ambiant office noise invariably sound like TV and movie characters.
4. Academics are not the only ones who make up or appropriate words to suit their purposes.
5. I must subscribe to Flickr Pro. Balls.

That is it, for now. I don't want to overwhelm my readership.

6. This girl can cook biscuits and gravy.
7. Matt left the Coyote State behind and is now in the wild of the Pacific Northwest.


red swingline sessions

The fun continues! Entertaining events of the day... though they may have enough money to send me the San Fran, we had to pilfer an internet cable from some random desk so I could work. The chair was also interesting. Found in a hallway/breezeway (I guess my fast-track hire really upset the normal timeline of events for newbies), I sat in my chair and went about my day. Adjusted just so, things were moving along rather swimmingly. After awhile I noticed that I was sitting much lower.... wait, was I really sitting lower or did I really set the chair up high? Hmmm... sitting higher would be much more comfortable, I'll adjust. tappy-tap-tap-tap went the laptop keyboard* What the hell? Is there some cubicle troll that emerges from the Corporate Netherworld, the place where Junior Executives perform sacrifices before performance reviews, and lets my chair down? I saw nothing but a small, odd trail of some unidentifiable substance.... Needless to say, I'll have to find a new chair tomorrow. A new chair will either a) prove my troll theory correct or b) demonstrate that the chair was just broken. I think I'm pulling for the former rather than the latter.

I think I saw an sign like this in the parking lot...

*an oddly satisfying sound


Red Swingline

Report From the Front: I survivied my first official day of work. The day was cut short as IT couldn't get their collective ass in gear to get my computer up and running. Don't they know I have work to do?....
Oh, holy crap, I better watch out. The insidious Corporate language/attitude could be like kryptonite... Here's how they get you. So, today was my first day of work. One question posed during the course of the morning, "So, are you free in November?" My response, "Why yes, I'm free in November." "Good, I've got some money in the budget and I'd like you to get down to the Bay area to meet your cohort at some meetings. They're also having this big company event at some restaurant that would be really fun to go to. You could work in San Francisco on Friday and come back Saturday."
What strange world is this? Are you kidding me? This is madness! More than that, this is Capitalist Madness! I could always pretend I made so little money that I really wasn't that evil. No, my favorite J.Crew pants weren't made in a sweatshop. They come from a happy land where everyone works sewing pants because it fulfills and expresses some aspect of their soul. No more. I am a capitalist pig. I'm so easy its frightening.


Still gainfully employed elsewhere, booya!

An earlier vintage job application. The standard denial finally arrived.

sights, etc.

This weekend I mosied up to Seattle to hang out with the sis before the onslaught of work in the real world. Goodbye for now, my comfortable little bubble of academia. Now for the weekend's events and sights in list form:
1. fancy celebratory dinner in Post Alley
2. Jimi Hendrix's brother. I'm not kidding.
3. car and sidewalk dancing.... the sidewalk dancer was even singing
4. fall foliage at the aboretum by Madison Park, very nice
5. more celebratory dinner.... mmmm, steak
6. digital camera purchase, yo.


words and phrases...

... as used by Mary J. Blige
As it is Friday, all of these are appropriate. Feel free to encorporate them as necessary.

"go 'head and rock your ice"

words and phrases...

... as used by Mary J. Blige
As it is Friday, all of these are appropriate. Feel free to encorporate them as necessary.

"go 'head and rock your ice"


My one Lost request....

.... is that John Locke no longer goes shirtless through the first 15 minutes of the show.


EODM - oh hells yes

Soon I will be the proud owner of the sweet, sweet sound of the Eagles of Death Metal. I'm excited for the disc to arrive from my musical supplier for a number of reasons. First of all, any band that bestows the titles "Peace Love Death Metal" and "Death By Sexy" on their albums must be good. Second, I'm in need of some good musical rejuvenation. I'm feeling the need to integrate new tunes into the old musical fold. Example: I just purchased 3 Mary J. Blige songs from iTunes. I have to say, they've added an extra spark to my kitchen dancing ("I told you to leave your situations at the door/so grab somebody and get your ass on the dancefloor"... you know when Mary says it she means it). I recently read that many authors will stick with one particular album or aria or what-have-you throughout the writing process. Hearing the same music helps them focus on their story, it acts as an emotional prompt, a way to consistently return to their imagined world. In a similar vein, R! lamented the fact that he hadn't found any musical selection for the fall season, as yet. I'm also in need of musical prompts.
My latest musical wanderings, in full album form:
Nickel Creek, the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack (holy crap, its good), Charlie Daniels, David Gray (ever the staple in my musical diet), Dixie Chicks, Franz Ferdinand, Fiona Apple, and Otis Redding

So, dear reader, what are you listening to? Full albums? A few songs?


a blog is born

Gather round children, we have another web log publisher. Welcome Fernando, aspiring Capitalist in training. Really, he's still working out answers to Camille's questions. But be kind, he's new and has a bright future in front of him.


david caruso's glasses

R! had the brilliant idea to turn David Caruso's glasses of CSI Miami into a drinking game. At any point during the show when the glasses come on or off, whiskey must be consumed. This is a very dangerous game as half the time he toys with the glasses in his hand...

Progress Report:
*27 minutes into the show with 3 pulls off the bottle each. Really, the whiskey helps when one considers the dialogue. David Caruso as Horatio Caine: "Who's going to protect you from me."
.... Sideways walk, sideways look, glasses in hand ("Go Horatio!" -R!)
* "Had to boil her bones to get to her story." Wow. The mind boggles...
*43 minutes into the show... no more whiskey which is good or bad, depending...
* "Come on David Caruso's Glasses! I'm not even going to catch a buzz if this crap keeps up." -R!
* Oh, holy crap. This show is so bad. Sneaking David Caruso/Horatio Caine: sideways look, sideways look, oh look out... he's droppin' the hammer. "Caine you oughta know better than that, you can't touch me. I got the best legal mind there is." Caine's response: "You're gonna need it."
* 57 minutes in... just in time for the 4th and final pull. Do scenes from the next count? R! says, "No. It's like a bonus round."
* Had the scenes from the Next Episode counted, we would have had one more visit with your friend and mine, Jim Beam.

gainful employment

If anyone spotted Chris in Santa Cruz whilst he stalked baby animals for his dark arts, you must now congratulate him on a job well done. His sacrifice to the dark powers, "the old gods from the blank spaces between the stars," and my wit and charm proved a heady combination... This afternoon I received a job offer. This afternoon I accepted said job offer.


Well, almost Finis....

Pray tell, what IS this job, you ask?
I will have the lovely title of Search Analyst. It involves smoke and mirrors, reading tea leaves, throwing bones, pouring through THOUSANDS of searches.... I'm basically a researcher. But I get to call myself an Analyst. That's right, with a capital A.


here comes the rain again

At some point last night I woke up to the sound of rain. My mind, however, did not immediately classify this sound as rain. Bicycle on gravel? Giant nutria outside my window?... "Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist."

Now we are confronted with a mini-storm in the making. Its not that I dislike rain, per se. I dislike rain for 22 days straight. My bread and butter, in terms of weather, is not an endless sea of sunshine either. Give me change. Anything that comes on the wind. I've developed a fondness for winds of all strengths over the years. What is particularly striking about Fall storms (or mini-storms) is the combination of leaves and wind. Not only do you feel the wind sneaking up and tousling your hair, you see it writ large as leaves flee their branches and strike out on the open road. Sometimes they get together for parties, these leaves. Sometimes you can even see it. You look up and your brain registers a dust-devil inhabited by leaves. But anyone who has ever been invited (remember that surreptitious sneak attack of a mini-tornado?) knows.

Rejoice my fellow lovers of Fall. Pull out the winter woolies and go stand in the wind and leaves.


hurry up and wait

The interview is done. I'd go so far as to say it went well. I'd like to send bad ju-ju to the one other individual up for the job.... innocent bad ju-ju mind you. You know, of the bad impression or wrong fit variety, not the car accident variety. I'm not really equiped to do that. But if anyone else wants to, I won't feel too bad about it. Anyway, I'll find out one way or another on Monday.


first comes love, then comes marriage...

Lost Disclaimer- I don't like to analyze Lost. I like to ask questions and make insignificant comments that make no contribution to the larger Lost conspiracy world nor further any sort of hypothetical plot line. One such theory, however, was offered up last night: "The island is actually Antarctica. It's because of global warming." The government just doesn't want us to know...

Hmmm.... Lost, Season 2, Episode 2:

1. Kate and Sawyer sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G... (C-Dub, thanks for your well-timed return to adolescence.)
2. But seriously, must Kate wear that dress the whole season? Should we start counting the number of ass shots now? At least there has been a relatively equal exploitation of beautiful people thus far.
3. Could they really make Henry/Ben any more creepy? Example- "You never made soup for me." (Stage Direction: blankly blink creepy eyes and stare... continue throughout show)
4. Where is Desmond? Where is Mr. Eko? Why are the coolest people on the show only appearing in episode 3 (maybe)?
5. I'm with you, Chris, the Others are way cooler. Here's my one plot-line contribution (not to be contradictory... whatev)- The blonde lady will woo Jack, they will have their trist, she will then tear his head off with her bare hands because she is, in fact, a Praying Mantis.
6. Enough Jin-Sun reunions. Move on people.
7. How can you shoot Trixie? Trixie!?




Going through the craigslist riff-raff for job openings I decided to look at the posted resumes. Wow. One poor fellow titled his resume link "Help Me Help Myself." To top it all off, he prefaced the portion about himeself with another winner, "Tired of Hating Myself to Make Ends Meet." Yikes. I gotta say, I wasn't feeling particularly bad or rejected, but I certainly feel a lot better about myself now.


dinner is served

What? A big chicken pot pie style, Le Creuset pan roasting/baking, managerie of french herbs and gooey goodness for dinner? Would you like some wine with that?

Perfect book accompaniment? A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman

structuralized violence, you say?

When I was gainfully employed as a Graduate Teaching Fellow I would formulate the most effective ways to grade large stacks of papers/exams in the smallest amount of time possible. There are various ways to fool yourself, in terms of grading efficiency, but you keep at it and finish the job as fairly and consistently as you can. Given the amount of complaints about grading ("You grade too hard. I wrote a way better paper than my friend who has a different GTF and he, like, totally got a higher grade than I did and I just don't think that's very fair because we worked together and so you should change my grade.") I had the biggest urge to really make it arbitrary. The vision, the dream, was to stand at the top of the steps to our building and then throw the papers/exams down the steps. Those that had the chops to make it all the way down, or furthest away, would recieve the coveted A grade. Those unfortunate souls whose papers were close, well... better luck next time. I tell this little tale because I'm sending out resumes into the great job wild. I have a hunch that prospective employers might just gather up all the resumes they receive, find a good stairwell, and then give a good toss.



While walking home today I saw an interesting sign. For whatever reason, I was not in the right frame of mind to read this sign correctly. No matter, all the more entertaining. Given the abundance of "Free (insert cause here)" signs in the general area, my thoughts did not immediately move towards the idea of taking a kitten home with me. Ironic statement on signs or peple who don't want anymore cats?


So, yesterday was a day for adventures...

Part I: Slight Detour - On my way out of town I saw the Bat Signal and thus had to stop into work to render needed assistance. There was only so much I could do.
Part II: The Not So Open Road - My path up into the woods was hampered by vast quantities of road construction. No matter, I persevered and once off the main road things went swimmingly. I found the spot in the woods where some of us went fishing earlier in the summer and hiked about.
Part III: Bad High School Photography - Part of my adventure was taking my roommates fancy camera loaded with snappy Black & White Neopan 400. I'm afraid to develop the film. Yes, I will develop the film. Being a bad high school photographer when actually in high school is acceptable. I have not had that excuse for a number of years. What I was unable to capture on film is still in my head, though. It was fantastic. Beautiful mountain stream filled with boulders below, leaves of yellow and orange mixed in with the evergreens. Every time the wind blew a passel of leaves would float slowly to the ground. Really, it was as if the trees were having a paper plane throwing contest, for both distance and style.
Part IV: The Drive Back - The drive back was infinately more satisfying than up. There were points well up in the mountains where cars hadn't been for awhile, crisp leaves strewn about the road. As all my windows were down, I had the pleasure of listening to them crack as I drove over them. They sounded like a sting of Black Cat fire crackers going off the next block over. Really, I love running through and/or kicking piles of leaves, part of the whole Fall experience. I guess I had my car equivalent yesterday.
Part V: Slight Detour, Take 2 - On my way back down to town I received a call from the roommate. He was going fishing at one of his favorite spots and would I like to go with? "Of course. Its a day for adventure." I pulled off the road at the appropriate meeting point, ventured down to the shore of the river and took a little rest while waiting. He arrived, we went, he caught fish, I watched the river go by and took more bad pictures. On our way back to town we stopped at a road side pizza place and feasted.

All in all, a great day.


Today is a day for adventure. Where can adventure be found, you ask? Why, adventure can be found on the open road....

But first, more from Rules of Etiquette and Home Culture; or, What to Do and How to Do It. This should be of particular interest to Chris, ensconsed as he is in the world of gender theory.


To every well-bred man and woman physical education is indespensable. It is the duty of a gentleman to know how to ride, to shoot, to fence, to box, to swim, to row, and to dance. He should be graceful. If attacked by ruffians, a man should be able to defend himself, and also to defend women from their insults. Dancing, skating, swimming, archery, games of lawn tennis, riding and driving, croquet, all aid in developing and strengthening the muscles, and should be practiced by ladies. The better the physical training, the more self-possessed and graceful she will be. Open-air exercise is essential to good health and a perfect physical development.


For Your Edification

Rules of Etiquette and Home Culture; or, What to Do and How to Do It. 28th edition, 1907.

Chapter IX.

Such exclamations as "The Dickens," or "Mercy," or "Good Gracious," should never be used. If you are surprised or astonished, suppress the fact. Such expressions border closely on profanity.

A gentleman should never lower the intellectual standard in conversing with ladies. He should consider them as equal in undertanding with himself. A lady of intelligence will not feel complimented by any means, if, when you talk to her, you "come down" to common-place topics.


the exhibitionist

don't give this girl a digital camera....