Thursday, April 24, 2008

Off to Quizbowl 2008

Where i will meet Jack finally and hope to not embarrass myself too much.

So, I won't even be lurking anywhere for the next few days.

No one start any blogwars while I'm away.

**update** We came in second, woo hoo! Although in retrospect I kind of feel like I was too old to be competing against a bunch of kids still in their first round of college.

Also, John Goff is some kind of freaky genius, seriously. And a mensch to boot.

I plan on doing another post with some pictures and other observations, just really busy at the moment.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What the hell is wrong with me?

For some reason I seem to be sabotaging myself with procrastination this semester.

For instance, tonight, I have to begin and complete a paper that was assigned a long time ago.

This paper is on silent film director Sergei Eisenstein.

And has to be written in Russian.

By tomorrow.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Things You Learn About Your Cat

The things you learn about your cat while puttering around your house late at night...(Hey! Look ma! Another content-free post!)

hubcap toilet 001

Apparently, my cat drinks out of the toilet. I had no idea, I've never seen him do this before.

hubcap toilet 002

And if you catch him at it, he grows ANGRY and shoots LASERS from his EYES! Omg!

More Moo-tastic Behavior on my part.

So, when everyone is a toddler, they have a song they're obsessed with and need to hear again and again and again. It's a phase.

When I was little, the song I made my parents play over and over was Funkytown by Lipps, Inc. Which explains a lot, I think.

When my sister was little, her song of choice was the Howard the Duck movie theme song. I shit you not.

Proof of Abbie's superior wonderfulness? The song that she demands to hear over and over again (by shouting gleefully "Purple gong! Purple gong!" until we relent and play it) is Gogol Bordello's Start Wearing Purple.

Which, you have to admit, is pretty damn cool.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I'm still angry. And now I'm angry about this, too.

But I was all stuffy and couldn't sleep last night, so I stayed up blowing my nose prolifically and finally organizing some of my photos that have been languishing on various hard drives and memory cards for ages. Have a look.

Here are the pictures from the last Aelthing.
I added more pictures to this set, ones from St. Patrick's Day and Easter this year.
And I added more pictures to this set, too, from a very nice day a few weeks ago. Capybaras! Polar Bears! Starfish! Oh my!

There's still some on the old camera from Christmas, if you're Brian's mom reading this (who's asked about them), but the cable for that camera seems to have been lost in the move. So, those will continue to languish, for now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Guess what.

In 15 minutes it will be my 30th birthday.


No, reconciliation is not really the primary goal.

As I have previously mentioned, I am taking a Caribbean Studies class this semester (which, note to Anthropology department, is really an Africana Studies class and not an Anthropology one, and should be listed as such, just fyi.). And as I have mentioned before, it's full of people who are a huge annoying pain in the ass.

Something happened during a discussion in that class the other day that was quite reminiscent of certain events in the blogosphere as of late, namely this and this. Specifically, yet another incident of No, White Person, it is Not All About You.

We were discussing the book A Small Place by Antiguan writer Jamaica Kincaid. Pretty awesome book, actually. If you haven't read it, it's a really scathing takedown of the tourist industry in Antigua, of white tourists in Antigua, and of the Antiguan government's corruption and impotence in the face of the tourism industry. (And incidentally, if you have a Netflix account, you can hear most the book in the narration of the film Life and Debt, just click "Watch Now." Go on, I'll wait.)

In any case, the overall tone of the book is one of sardonic, fuck-off anger. And our professor asked us if we thought that was a valid literary technique, if the author was really angry at us, or if she was just, "venting," or what have you. A white male student who sits down the row from me popped his hand up and replied that he didn't think the anger was a valid technique, and that it really put him off the whole message of the book. He said that if the goal of activists for racial equality is to achieve "reconciliation," then this wasn't the way to do that because he didn't see a place for himself with someone who was so mad about something he couldn't do anything about.

Which is an argument that probably sounds familiar to some people.

And besides, when he travels to the Caribbean, he doesn't stay in all-inclusive resorts, but slums it the way the real, native people of the Caribbean do! He's not the assholes the author talks about, he hates those people! Doesn't he get credit for that?

Here's what I wanted to say to this young, white, male, dreadlocked college student. I wanted to say that no, the goal isn't reconciliation. The goal is the end to the oppression and suffering of people of color. I hope reconciliation can happen as part of that, and I think that would be a natural byproduct, but no. That's not the ultimate goal.

While the book A Small Place was written with people like you as its intended demographic, it was not written for you or for your benefit. It was written for the benefit of the people of Antigua. It is not meant to make you feel better about exoticizing the "slumminess" of other cultures so you can feel authentic about your dreadlocks. It's not all about you, dude! Black people don't need you or anything from you, really.

You do not have something to give us that we lack.

I wanted to say these things, but instead bit my tongue until blood came out my nose, because I didn't want a repeat of the incident that started off the semester. And I feel like a right stupid fool for not saying anything. I'm as angry as Jamaica Kincaid.

After class, the only other black female student in the class came up to me and said, "Can you fucking believe that guy? I almost went off on him! It's not all about you, dude!"

Heh. My thoughts exactly.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dear White Mainstream Feminism,

This one's for you.

I am pissed.

Sometimes issues in blogtopia and in my actual life dovetail to make, like, a perfect cone of angry that funnels directly into my brain.

I am pissed. More later.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Life and Debt

Just saw this movie, and I would highly recommend it. If you have a Netflix account, you can "watch it now."

How do those IMF people sleep at night?