Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What an eventful morning.

Dropped off Udo to have his oil changed and his fluids looked at, 8 am. Was told there'd be a couple hours wait due to previous jobs in queue, thought "fine, I can go kill a couple hours."

Went to the hospital and got coffee and read some of Michael Palin's diaries until pharmacy opened; moseyed on up to pharmacy to collect refill on happy pills #2. Much droll amusement regarding fact that they were charging me $380-some for 90 days worth of bupropion HCl. Pharmacist: *:0 face* "You don't ordinarily pay that much, right?" Me, sputtering: "....No. In fact I think my last copay on this scrip was $0."

One call to prescription insurance lady later we have a laugh to find that the pharmacy's new computer system has magically charged me for the name brand rather than the generic, a total of $500-some before insurance. Several pharmacists gather around the computer terminal and push buttons in a hopeful sort of way, and eventually they get it right and send me away with a $0 copay. And possibly a mild heart attack.

Back to hospital to kill another hour before wandering back to mechanics' and inquiring after Udo; found they'd actually not done him yet. They were extremely apologetic (despite fact they'd originally quoted me a couple of hours wait) and took him right away. I double-checked with them that they knew he took stupid picky special oil and they said oh yes, we see a lot of VWs here, and proceeded to put him up on the lift and get on with it.

(Cars look so forlorn with their wheels dangling like that.)

Maybe 20 minutes later they hand me my keys, having checked all the fluids as well as doing the oil, for a grand total of $27.00. And then as I'm leaving they say "oh and here's our gift to you, have a wonderful holiday" and hand me a little tin of danish butter cookies.

There are not enough :3s in the world.

Then I get back into Udo and the guy's moved the seat, of course, and I find I have considerable difficulty getting it to lock back into place so I can reach the pedals. Eventually I get it feeling sort of solid and head home. As I'm coming down Lombard in front of the nursing school the seat comes loose from its moorings and slides glibly backward, causing me to have a much bigger heart attack and clutch desperately at the wheel to stop from losing control altogether. Managed not to stall or grind gears, and drove the rest of the way home holding myself and the driver's seat steady by clinging to the wheel.

Of course once parked he seemed to be happy to lock his seat back properly but Jesus motherhumping Christ there is nothing quite like that boneless feeling of total loss of control. Now I know how the poor dude felt who wrecked that cherry 69 Mustang Mach 1 on my parents' street: he was in a wheelchair and drove the van via hand controls, and his wheelchair came unmoored and he was totally unable to stop the van sliding backward and crushing a bunch of other cars. Thank fortune nobody was behind me and it was a relatively flat bit of road.

Anyway, oil change sorted, now on to worrying about something else, such as how the fuck to clean this pigsty without engaging local crackheads to carry away all the bits of paper and bandaid wrappers and ciggie packets and orphan socks and so on.

Monday, December 6, 2010

brief thought:

1) Nobody likes to pay taxes.

2) However, taxes fund public services like road-building, emergency services, schools, etc.

3) If you cut taxes, these things will no longer be funded.

4) The amount of tax $$ each individual will save will not be sufficient to offset the damage caused by shutting down public services.

5) Water is wet, bears shit in the woods, the pope wears a dress.

Republicans are behaving exactly like three-year-olds in mid-public-tantrum.

I wish I weren't cross-eyed in photographs

Just got the video from Park's institutional advancement office featuring the spot I recorded for them some weeks ago. Not as awful as I'd feared but still the dreaded leftward slide of the right eye. It never happens when I'm looking at myself, but when I'm looking at a camera.


Another thing

about electronic publishing is that it's moved the bar for the concept of "being published" quite a long way from where it was at the beginning of the internet age. I can remember when having your OWN WEB PAGE was really impressive, and I think I considered stuff like The Misanthropic Bitch's essays "published" as they were online and readable by anybody who wanted to look for them.

Then there was Livejournal and the beginning of the massive burgeoning concept of online RP and interactive storytelling: and after that everyone had a blog, not just people with something important to say, and now with Facebook everyone in the universe is constantly publishing themselves, sometimes several times a day.

Which means that "being published" has retreated entirely to the realm of the printed word and the online lit journal. What I'm doing here is not publishing so much as rambling, and I'm getting nothing back from it but the satisfaction of doing the rambling itself.

final project paper

Done that.

I think it'd be rather lovely to continue this project outside of class, and potentially have other people interested in contributing. I started off thinking that it'd be nothing more than comedy, but it's made me think.

also it's allowed me to get all re-interested in trains. I went back to the B&O museum yesterday, and some of the pictures I took are really rather good. For example finger-painted graffiti in the iridescent patina on an old C&O Kanawha's tender; bizarre constructions on the outside of a Mallet 2-6-6-2's firebox; and patterns of iridescence on the curved surface of a cylinder.

I love steam.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Got another article up. Almost done, just some LTEs and maybe a widget transfer or two. I want to do Marxist crit but it's so utterly, utterly out of date these days.

Today at Goodwill while I tried on a tweed suit that I think is rather wonderfully tasteless there was an extremely Jerry Springer altercation between two other patrons--or a patron and an employee, I couldn't make out which, being in the changing-room. I wasn't going to go out there while the one lady was shrieking at the top of her voice "KEEP YO HANDS OFFA ME. IMA BEAT YOUR ASS. IMA BEAT YOUR ASS. I AINT PLAYIN IMA BEAT YOUR ASS," etc.

I wasn't able to determine what exactly she'd done or had done to her that threw her into such a frothing rage, but there was something almost refreshing about the violent outburst.

In other news I think I want to do a series of science poems.

Friday, December 3, 2010

If a couple of Tudor dukes and a heap of French revolutionaries were on IRC

7:57:08 PM lanterne_attorney: with English intelligence like this I feel so much better about the chances of the war.
7:57:16 PM jeaninthebath: ya rly
7:57:29 PM Suffolk: What war?
7:58:17 PM jeaninthebath: awwww
7:58:36 PM jeaninthebath: Saint-Just can explian everything cant you Saint-Just
7:59:09 PM lanterne_attorney: He's probably busy reading about Sparta. with one hand
8:01:41 PM Suffolk: COCKES
8:01:44 PM Suffolk: COCKES
8:01:45 PM jeaninthebath: yes, yes cockes
8:01:48 PM Suffolk: COCKES
8:01:52 PM jeaninthebath: we get it
8:01:56 PM Suffolk: lolle you like cockes
8:02:04 PM Suffolk: you get them a lot i wager
8:02:24 PM jeaninthebath: yes I gobble them by the basketful each day
8:02:30 PM jeaninthebath: om nom nom
8:02:42 PM fabre: lol. with cinnamon sugar on top and rainbow sprinkles?
8:02:51 PM jeaninthebath: oh wait, no, that's not me. that's someone else entirely.
8:03:10 PM lanterne_attorney: You were thinking of my cousin saint-just.
8:03:23 PM jeaninthebath: I always make that mistake
8:03:46 PM jeaninthebath: he probably doesn't put cinnamon sugar on them, that would not be spartan
8:04:14 PM fabre: does he cape people to death? and wear leather panties?
8:04:28 PM jeaninthebath: i do not wish to know about his panties
8:05:25 PM Suffolk: How do you cape a man to death?
8:05:41 PM Suffolk: Ys it some French weapon?
8:06:29 PM jeaninthebath: yes. it is a very deadly weapon
8:06:39 PM jeaninthebath: we destroyed the english with it last war
8:07:24 PM fabre: it's hilarious, i'll link you just a sec
8:07:35 PM jeaninthebath: This will be goatse
8:07:40 PM jeaninthebath: callin it
8:11:35 PM lanterne_attorney: Well, -is- it goatse?
8:11:48 PM Suffolk: what ys goatse?
8:12:00 PM jeaninthebath: camille, show him
8:12:11 PM Suffolk: also, lolle, there is no e in goats.
8:12:30 PM lanterne_attorney: no no, Marat, i defer to you.
8:12:41 PM jeaninthebath: christ i cannot believe this a setup like this comes along once in a goddamn lifetime *links to goatse*
8:13:26 PM Suffolk: asdfhjlkhle
8:13:43 PM Suffolk: gette me a rinse of water and vinegar for mine braine
8:13:47 PM jeaninthebath: i'd forgotten this feeling, camille. it's like the first breath of spring

Thursday, December 2, 2010

apollo 13

Here is the thing, and the whole of the thing:

Months before a crane dropped gravity, and then
within this little metal sphere
heat baked beyond proportion, took away

a little plastic, that enthralled a world:

days out from earth, in mariners’ unmeasured night, earth-shadow, hundred-thousand miles from home,

one spark meant mostly death, on any mindful bettor’s slate.

“We’ve had a problem,” and four words
brought an entire generation to its books,
slide-rules and vacuum tubes and duct tape and crossed fingers
and brains pushed together till escapes were found.

Splashdown from prayers’ arc, and TV tropes:

here’s where the grizzled heroes in their sweat-stained garb come from,
three men who by all rights should be frozen, breathless, dead,
hearts beating, smiling for the crowd, teeth glinting: ting.

Hellfire in a confined space
had eaten their precursors, and perhaps
had Russian Secrecy lifted its skirts and told a tale
it might have spared them, but: here is the deal,
they’re heroes. And perhaps these slide rules made it up:

three lives for deaths, a worldwide smile, hands clasped.

For once and only once a whole globe listened,


mouthed invocations, held hands, wanted, cared,
and technicolor splashdown meant the world
had done it, done the right sums, brought them home.

For once that home

meant earthrise, from the soft grey-dusted moon,
Blue Marble, earthshine, pale blue dot, our world.

The men whose slide-rules saved those lives are dead.
No one remembers
whose hands made the models, did the calculations, reappraised
when every cold equation equaled death. No one recalls
just how it was when one whole globe cried in affirmative,
dozens of languages, no words at all required,
they brought them home.

Today we do not bother to recall their names.

What will it take to hold this world
enraptured? Can it still be done?
Perhaps Mars landings, or Karellen’s voice,
a monolith, a tripod?

There will come soft rains, said the dying house.

Prepare for loss of signal.

Friday, November 26, 2010

All dressed up and somewhere to go

So my friend James is in town for the holiday and we're going out tonight for drinks and dinner.

I met James through my last college boyfriend, Mark: we got to be fast friends throughout my junior and senior years, and when I graduated we still hung out sometimes until he moved out West. James is one of those people who has James Luck. He can be in an accident that completely totals all vehicles involved and walk away with no injuries. He can find incredibly lucrative jobs that let him do whatever he wants. He is James and the world parts before him.

We have an interesting history. It's one that takes a lot more introspection than I can muster at the moment, but one I think might be worthy of writing down, one day. Some of the moments I remember from my times with James are still among the best of my life.

(Summer between junior and senior years of undergrad: I came back from six weeks' study abroad in my old home of Oxford and guess who was waiting for me in the airport, along with my boyfriend and a bunch of other dear ones. Later, he (they) took me out to dinner at the Papermoon Diner.)

He let me drive his Porsche once, and he came up with the timeless phrase of "slipping [individual] the wang" which I still can't help giggling stupidly at. "Did you slip her the wang?" he'd ask with a leer. Oh, James.

It'll be interesting to see how he's changed, or not changed, and it'll be lovely to see him again. On the whole yesterday and today have been truly and honestly days to give thanks for--thanks for my family, whom I love very dearly, and thanks for my friends.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So I found the Campbell's Book of How to Commit Atrocities in the Kitchen with Soup and scanned the most egregious of offenders.

Here is a teaser for what lies ahead: