05 September 2011

NOOO!: Star Wars Edition

It has come to my attention that George Lucas decided that Return of the Jedi needed to become a film in which someone yells, "NOOOOOO!" for the BluRay release:
More regular posting coming soon ...

21 January 2011

Uncompelling Mysteries: Spousal Snooping Edition

I am supposed to be writing my dissertation, which is big and scary and thus encourages procrastination. Today I engaged in level 4 procrastination, the levels of procrastination being as follows:
  • Level 1: Not even trying to do the thing that needs to be done, e.g. watching The X-Files on Netflix and knitting;
  • Level 2: Doing something that is useful, but has nothing to do with the thing that needs to be done, e.g. cleaning or paying bills;
  • Level 3: Doing something useless, but in physical proximity to the thing that needs to be done, e.g. using the computer to read DListed with the document dissertation.scriv open behind the browser;
  • Level 4: Doing something that ostensibly will help you to get more work done in the future, but ensures you get nothing at all done now,  e.g. rearranging furniture in the office.
Accordingly, today I spent part of the afternoon moving four bookcases and a filing cabinet about the office. I found a bunch of things I had no idea were up there, including CDs I was supposed to list on Alibris, several presumably awesome books I ordered and had shipped to the house while I was overseas, and this little storage unit that I have dusted many times but never looked inside.

Today I did look inside, mostly because I'm nosy and the office was formerly my husband's dumping ground for weird items from his past, but also a little bit because I enjoy storing small items in receptacles, much like a raven or squirrel, and thought this might be something I could commandeer for my own use. Would it be empty or would it be full of things? An uncompelling mystery, indeed!

Q: What does my husband keep in that little two-drawer storage unit in the office, anyway?

A: Top drawer, shoe maintenance supplies; bottom drawer, ostrich egg, bangle carved with elephants, and South African antacid.

To be honest, the shoe polish was more of a surprise than the ostrich egg.

19 October 2010

I Respond Well to Positive Reinforcement

I went to the dentist last week.  It's the first time I've been in a year, first because I was out of the country and then because I guess my dentist got super popular while I was gone so I couldn't get an appointment.  I wasn't too concerned about it, because I hadn't gone to the dentist for like four years before that due to a lack of dental insurance and a related aversion to spending upwards of $75 to be lectured to about teeth when I know plenty of dental anthropologists who will do that for free, sometimes unasked.  And my teeth hadn't dissolved or anything, so once a year seems pretty luxurious and responsible.  And now I'm married to a dude with a real job that provides benefits like dental insurance, so I can be lectured about teeth twice a year for free.  Also, he is currently advising on a project about dental microwear, so sometimes he lectures me about teeth too.  My cup overfloweth.

Anyway.  My hard-won appointment was only for the cleaning and x-rays, because the dentist was out on some unspecified business, presumably dental as I am unable to picture my dentist doing anything that doesn't involve pointing at x-rays while wearing blue nitrile gloves.  The hygienist was unbelievably enthusiastic about my flossing choices ("Do you floss?" "Yes, I use one of those Reach flossers once a day?" "Oh, we love those!") and corrected the trout-like mouth gape I use while brushing, making it impossible to reach my molars.  Then she complimented my admittedly excellent gums.  I came home on a wave of congratulations and positive reinforcement, brushing (with mouth mostly closed) and flossing my heart out.  Some days I even brushed morning AND night, because my good dental health is mostly luck but I felt I should try to live up to the hype.  I clung irrationally to my free toothbrush, which I found in my purse when my husband realized he hadn't packed a toothbrush for our trip to Reno: "But I got it from the dentist!" I said, as though it were mystically bestowed upon me by the Dentist in the Lake and thus untransferable.  I was a machine of both dental health and toothbrush hoarding.

And then I realized that dental hygienists are masters of the shit sandwich.

17 July 2010


According to I Write Like,  two of my favorite recent posts (this one and this one about my research) are similar to the writing of David Foster Wallace.  I assume this means painful to read yet worthy of a MacArthur Fellowship?  I guess they've got the first half right, anyway.

I write like
David Foster Wallace
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

03 July 2010

I Have Had It With Evolutionary Psychology

So, this research is getting some press.  Apparently, some evolutionary psychologists (the study of generating evolutionary justification for the status quo) found out that men found the faces of women with smaller feet, narrower hips, etc relative to their height more attractive than their larger-boned counterparts.  And this obviously has something to do with our savannah ancestors and males spreading their seed rather than cultural constructs of femininity, even though clearly the first steps in making the argument that such a preference is evolved would be demonstrating that it is not dependent on culture, that we know what we think we do about, say, symmetry, evolutionary fitness and beauty, and also that their results are not some weird effect of averaging faces.  Which I'm pretty sure that testing fewer than 100 undergraduate males does not do adequately.  But who am I kidding?  This is probably way more thought than the researchers put into designing the study, which I'm pretty sure consisted of this:

"You know what I can't stand?  A big-footed woman."
"Me too, man.  Me too."
"Well, it must be evolutionary.  Otherwise we're just assholes."

24 June 2010

Fear Me, Ordinary Mortals

And also?  I am psychic.

Exhibit A: What's Next?  Footloose?!?

Exhibit B: Yes, Footloose, starring some dude called Kenny


Blast from the Past!  This is an entry I guess I started but never posted about a million years ago.  I found it when I was paging through my Edit Posts menu, thinking about adding tags to my earlier posts.  I thought it was kind of funny, and I continue to hate the wind.  It makes me immediately grumpy to walk out into it.  Enjoy!

This morning, underinformed about the high winds outside, I made the tragic decision to wear a wrap dress, which resulted in my stepping outside and avoiding flashing the neighborhood only through lightening-fast skirt-clutching reflexes, honed by years of living in Boulder CO, where winds can reach hurricane force. Because I didn't have time to change, I am now damned to a whole day of blown-skirt peril, including biking to school one-handed while other hand holds skirt in place, miraculously holding onto bike and skirt and manipulating bike lock simultaneously, and traversing the 5th-story bridge that connects the building with my office to the one with the lab where I work. Freaking wind.

30 May 2010

Maybe We'll Have an Imaginary Second Location Soon

My husband and I are ridiculous book- and music-hoarders, to the point that when we moved in together we found we had a total of about 100 shelf-feet of books.  If you stacked them and stood on top of them, it would look like this:
(Photo from Last Resort Fire Department, which restores antique fire trucks)

I freaked out a little bit and we started making more of an effort to actively manage them.  So, we sell stuff (books, CDs, DVDs) on Alibris, which is a pretty sweet deal.  You pay an annual seller fee, list your stuff and price it, then ship it out when it gets ordered.  Alibris deposits the payments to your bank account, plus shipping and handling costs and minus a per-transaction sales fee.  It's a good place to buy things, too.  I'm not getting paid by Alibris for this.  In fact, it's all just background information for the following marginally amusing (at best) anecdote:

When I have to interact with customers, I try to make us sound like a professional book-dealing outfit rather than a couple of yahoos operating out of the closet in the spare bedroom.  I do this because I find people are suspicious of doing online business with the latter, and also because it entertains me.   Thus, when someone inquires whether her order has shipped, as she would prefer to cancel it, I let her know that I will "check with shipping" (i.e., call my husband to ask whether he stopped by the post office yet and remind him to buy fish food), then follow up to say that I've been able to "pull the item from outgoing shipments" and cancel the order.  I feel that it gives a pleasing, bustling air to our imaginary bookstore.  I guess the ruse is working, because one customer e-mailed back addressing the message to my full name and commending me on my excellent customer service.  Which I will be sure to pass along to management.