Monday, March 31, 2008

Cinematic gold

Tonight the Mysterious X and I watched the utterly brilliant Queen of Outer Space, starring Zsa Zsa Gabor. During this movie, I learned several interesting facts:

1. 1957 + 22 years = 1985

2. If a planet's gravity is similar to Earth's gravity, that planet has a breathable atmosphere.

3. If you suffer from radiation burns, you will instantly become a homicidal tyrant.

4. Women are nothing without children.

5. If your friend is being attacked by a giant rubber spider, you should light the spider on fire.

6. One must always wear gloves when canoodling with a girl one intends to abandon for the first Venusian to cross one's path.

Life lessons, to be sure.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Back to school

Sadly, my vacation is nearing its end. Happily, I will be departing on Wednesday for New York (and eventually Providence) for Spring Break 2: The Revenge.

Spring Break (retroactively named Spring Break 1: The Venge) has been awesome and unpleasant, both by turns and sometimes simultaneously. In the category of simultaneous awesome and unpleasance (I know, but it's a better word than unpleasantness), I have been eating out a whole lot with my visiting parents, and it has been delicious but disastrous for my health. I haven't had a chance to really exercise since they arrived, which makes me feel sluggish and gross, and my meals have all been larger than they needed to be.

The pinnacle of awful meals occurred at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley. I had something dubiously labeled "Panini Caprese" that more closely resembled a completely tasteless grilled cheese. I use the term 'cheese' loosely; I have never before met mozzarella that so nearly approximated rubber.

Luckily, this meal occurred in Death Valley. Totally awesome!! I saw amazing animals, plants, and rocks, not to mention shooting locations from Star Wars, episodes IV and VI. Plus, a Spanish castle built by a rich banker for his secret boyfriend. Totally sweet. And I tasted the ground, which was pure salt. Totally savory.

At Delights Hot Springs Resort in Tecopa, CA (population: 99), we discovered that there are burned out ex-hippies everywhere. Hot springs are amazing, by the way, but go with Waterfire and Valentine's Day on the list of Romantic Things That Really Make Me Wish I Had A Boyfriend.

When the parents' pictures are available, I will divulge more details of the trip in the captions on Facebook.

Now we are back in LA, which is both sad (no more Death Valley!) and happy (exercise! time away from my parents!). The final day of parent visitation is set to include the Museum of Jurassic Technology and Frittelli's gourmet doughnuts. Deliciously terrible for body and mind, irrespectively.

And now, because it is fun, I will create secret code names for many friends. In less than a week, I get to see the following people (and maybe more):

In New York, Z1, Trousers, Ginger, Novgorod, The BOD (Botany of Desire), and possibly DKNY and Grover.

In Providence, AMisH, Hush Money, une pipe, the Scotsman, Fatso, DQ (Dancing Queen), S2, Vocalise, Moloko and possibly Czechmate, ANC! (A New Car!) and Jane. Plus untold brethren and sistren of the Alpha Delta Phi Society Society and various BUGS.

If you read this and don't like your code name (or can't figure out which one is you), let me know. Very few of these must be permanent.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


This is an important speech. I don't agree with everything in it, but it's an incredible piece of oratory.

Yes, he gives Israel a Get Out of Jail Free card. Yes, he shouldn't have had to make the speech in the first place. No, he doesn't make all of the points he could have made. No, he never once mentions non-straight people. Yes, most of all, he does trade heavily in the discourse of American exceptionalism.

Nevertheless, I am impressed. I haven't ever heard a speech by a major national politician that didn't fill me with cynicism, until this one. It doesn't talk down to its audience or break down easily into sound bites (bytes? The toothy metaphor seems more accurate). He (or his speech writers; I can't entirely give up on cynicism) brought up tough issues of race and didn't just deny them or paint a rosy future. He actually honestly presented his ideas of where race problems come from and where they might go. He argued for a politics that surpasses race instead of bypassing it. While this is usually a hollow rhetorical replacement for the same idea, Obama's version isn't. It seems, for whatever reason, to be real.

I must admit, I voted for Obama as the least of several evils, not as a candidate I felt I could honestly support. There are still issues on which he and I disagree. But, he has slowly won me over. I can now feel comfortable saying that I endorse him, though certainly not all of his positions.

At a moment when the Democratic party has consistently disappointed me for as long as I've been paying attention, this guy has gotten me interested again. And not just me, but millions of others who found the whole thing a little too fixed for our taste. Thank you, Barack Obama. Let's see if we can make this happen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


All seems to be for the best, in this best of all possible worlds.

Let me elaborate and enumerate.

1. Los Angeles is behaving according to the rules. Today we passed 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.67 C for my Canadian readers) and I ate dinner outside.

2. I have friends and relative visiting from now until I visit the east coast. There's just enough time between visitors for me to keep my life under control and not enough for me to feel lonely. I would identify the visitors, but I have decided to switch to Anonymous Mode so as to be able to avoid consequences as much as possible.

3. In that spirit, I will grant nicknames and initializations to all characters who appear in these pages. The first one will be assigned to an entirely unimportant character whom I do not expect ever to reappear. His name shall be ATB (for Anorexic Tool Boy), and I look down on him. It is uncharitable, but it makes me feel good to sneer at his classism, racism, and general idiocy and then to realize that I will probably never have to spend time with him again. Goodbye, ATB! May your implausibly narrow silhouette never more come between me and the bright Southern California sunshine.

4. The next to be represented is the mysterious X. She is a far more sympathetic character in my life, and is sure to reappear in these pages. Why am I so certain? Because she will (most likely) be living with me next year!! Huzzah! Space Invaders wall decals have been discussed.

5. I have written my last weekly response paper for Historiography. On Thursday, I will present my final paper in Music and Dance. The end of the quarter is in sight! Also, Firefox knows that historiography is a word. Take that, skeptics.

6. It appears I have been set up on a potential blind date. With an accountant. This will, of course, result in awkwardness the likes of which have never before been visited upon humankind. However, after the awkwardness settles, I will have an hilarious story. Or maybe I'll be dating an accountant. Either way, it ends up with laughter all around.

7. Joss Whedon's father wrote for The Golden Girls. Joss is famous enough that naming him does not count as breaking my newfound anonymity rule. Neither does the fact that my older posts have names in them. That's just how the rules work.

8. Z2 and I discovered what I believe to be the site of the largest helpings of pancakes in the world. I have already eaten portions of my stack for two meals, and I have approximately 1/4 of the stack left. Raspberry lemon pancakes. Anyone with any sense, except for Jane (another alias; this does not refer to anyone actually named Jane), knows that raspberry lemon pancakes are a gift from the nonspecific realm of supernatural benevolence.

9. Without struggling, I came up with 8 reasons that things are just dandy. This pleases me.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Loving County

In this oddly named west Texas county, 22 Democratic primary votes were cast.

7 of these were for Barack Obama. 5 were for Hillary Clinton. Leaving 12 votes for all other options. How are these 22 Democrats so incredibly divided? Don't they cling to each other in abject terror most of the time?

Three counties in the panhandle beat out Loving with a grand total of zero Democratic primary votes.

Thanks,, for depressing me a little tonight.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pissed off

I am quite pissed off. Because this blag is now public, I will not go into details. Instead, I will quote from Angels in America:

Harper: "Water won't ever accomplish the end. No matter how much you cry. Flood's not the answer, people just float."

People are far too buoyant for my taste.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Godwin's Musicological Law

In any article, book, conference talk, or seminar discussion, whenever Richard Wagner is mentioned, the author or speaker shall immediately be deemed to have lost. Particularly when the subject matter is not 19th century German music.

In the special case that the mention of Wagner includes a reference to Tristan und Isolde, the speaker shall not only be designated "loser," but shall also be barred from further contributions to the journal, conference, seminar, etc.