Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Blogger has betrayed me one too many times! I'm leaving in a huff. Let's hope the new home is better....



an observation

The one -- the only -- good thing about having short hair is how long I can go without brushing it. I have not, at this moment, brushed or combed my hair since Friday with few discernible side-effects.


Also, my toenail polish matches the pajamas I am wearing right now -- both green. Delightful.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the curse of pretty prose

My prose is very pretty. I know this because my teachers tell me all of the time: I have yet to get a paper back from either my 19th C British Novel or my Popular Fiction class that does not have exclamation marks and notes in the margins praising my sentences, my clever turns of phrase, my very literary summarizations. "Your prose is a delight to read," wrote my British Lit professor. "It is lovely, and flows beautifully." My favourite teacher just drew hearts in the margins of my last paper, like I do when I come across something especially beautiful. Even English Renaissance Man, AKA my current crush-object and the recipient of my unending praise and adoration, broke from his usual focus on argument to praise a particularly nice sentence, and left a note at the end of the paper that said, "You write very, very well."

Unfortunately, I am convinced that my pretty prose garners me higher grades than I deserve. I have the magical ability to take a very basic, shallow reading and dress it up in pages of lovely writing that obscures the fact that I haven't really done any critical analysis. My papers are heavy on description and very light on ideas -- they are fluffy, and if they were stiltedly written they would be C or B work. Every time I work with a new professor I secretly hope that he or she will see through all of this and tear my work to pieces as it deserves, but they never do. Is it just because all of the other work is less well-written, so that by the time they get to mine they are so thrilled to see something flowy and pretty that they forget to critique?

Perhaps I am giving myself and them too little credit. It's a possibility. But I don't think so, and this pretty much means that I will be completely unprepared for grad school if I get there.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

academic losers

After working feverishly for three days, not sleeping or eating; after talking for hours about phrenology and criminology and epistemological ruptures and the history of photography and the nature of realism while chainsmoking in a stairwell; after putting together a massive bibliography -- most of which we read -- including, among others, Sontag, Derrida, Lacan, and Ian Watt; after all this, my friends and I reach a mutual decision to give up. We'll skip class, forgo the grade, and not give our fifteen minute presentation on realism and photography in 19th Century Britain.

Instead, we're going to write an apologetic email to the teacher and spend the class hour in a cafe eating blueberry muffins and drinking cappuccinos.

Thank fucking god.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

reading list

A Question of Power, Bessie Head
Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault
From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology, ed. Lawrence Cahoone
Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre
Les Enfantes Terribles, Jean Cocteau
Story of the Eye, Georges Bataille
Ariel, Sylvia Plath
O Taste and See, Denise Levertov
"Seeing," Annie Dillard
Rilke's Book of Hours
Junglee Girl, Ginu Kamani
The Foreign Legion, Clarice Lispector
The Encyclopedia of the Dead, Danilo Kis
Let us Now Praise Famous Men, James Agee and Walker Evans
Macbeth, Shakespeare
The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
Light in August, William Faulkner
All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy
The Metamorphoses, Ovid
The Rise of the Novel, Ian Watt
The Physiology of Taste, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

None of these are for classes. I am going to be a very well-read dropout.

Monday, February 26, 2007

new lows

Very sad to discover that sometimes Spark Notes are enough to get you through class.

Hard Times, indeed.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

paper anxiety

I continue to be crippled by my inability to write papers for good teachers. I can happily turn out shitty rambling messes for a teacher I don't care for, but I want so much to turn in good work for the excellent professors!

This is my cry of frustration to the universe. I must let it loose: I have been agonizing over a two page paper about a pulpy 19th C gothic novel. I should be able to spin this paper out in no time -- it's not like writing about Vanity Fair, which I also have to do...

Oh well. At least I am starting to accept the inevitability of my once-perfect GPA dropping drastically after this semester.

Friday, February 02, 2007

losing the blogging bug

I am alive, at school, functioning on at least a basic level. I have been memorizing poetry: too much Sylvia Plath, not enough Shakespeare, but still gratifying, still soul-feeding.

I don't know if I will ever really blog again; I don't find myself being called to this sort of self-writing. I'm taking a creative nonfiction course and every one of my autobiographical words is devoted to the weekly essays. I could, theoretically, just post what I write for that course, but there just isn't much draw in blogging for me right now. Anyway, all of the essays are written especially to please the professor. Because that's how to get good grades!

I'll keep this around. Maybe I'll start using it again at some point.

Friday, January 12, 2007

she picked him up by his fin??

Reading about Dooce's surprise betta makes me want to weep. There are so many things wrong with the way she is treating him, from the food she's giving him (flakes don't have enough nutrition -- dried blood worms are good, and there are special betta pellets that don't build up because the anorectic little dudes only eat one or two a day) to the container he's living in (too small! too small! Sebastian and Thelma [the snail] share a large tank, one that is somewhere between two and five gallons; also, she's provided no gravel or plants or anything for him to hide in) to the awful picking him up by his dorsal fin to move him from one container to the next. Probably she is using water that they haven't even bother to de-chlorinate. I won't be surprised if he dies within a month if this keeps up. I am horrified, and I'm no fish saint -- it's been a year and two months since I tragically killed Laertes in an accident too horrible to talk about, something I can only live with because my first fish, Finnegan, lived to a fine old age.

My lord. The woman practically lives online, and yet she can't even do the most basic research? I spent several days reading about bettas before I decided to get one, and I was a flaky fifteen-year-old at the time. Sure, he's an accidental fish, but that is no excuse -- the first site that google spits out covers every single thing she is doing wrong and then some.

I used to be regularly amused by Heather Armstrong and anthropologically and psychologically interested in examining the fun Freudian subtexts of her posts, but more and more I come away disgusted, questioning her popularity, her fanbase, and the character of the woman herself. I wonder if she realizes how awful she seems in a lot of these recent posts. I can't imagine she does because why post them? But at the same time I can't fathom such a serious lack of self-awareness.

Sometimes I would like to email her and try to kindly (as kindly as I could manage, which would probably sound more curt than courteous) inform her of how shallow and entitled she comes across (see: New York Post) or how appallingly ignorant she is being -- but I don't feel like courting the possibility of ending up on one of her email posts.

*edit* Okay, so I joined the ranks of the other fish owners who are probably recoiling in shock from that post and sent her a quick email with just a few links to betta care websites and a sentence of goodwill towards Lou. I now wash my hands of the issue. You can lead a horse to water, etc.


Additionally, I am wild with the stress of packing and the horror of snow. We leave on Sunday. I hope.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Why I did not make a list of my favourite albums and songs of the year, with or without intelligent descriptions: I only bought four CDs, and only two of them were actually released in 2006.

Why I did not make a list of the best books I read in 2006: I read 94 books, not counting poetry and textbooks and theory and the ones I forgot to write down. 36 of these books scored highly in my complicated reviewing system. How can I possibly winnow it down?

Why I did not make a list of the worst books I read in 2006: I already complained about The Concrete Garden and I am vaguely embarrassed to admit that I read some of the other really rank books.

Why I did not make any new year resolutions: I prefer to make resolutions on my birthday. It's more meaningful for me. Also, I am feeling awfully hazy about my future and my goals -- not that this is a bad thing! It isn't bad at all! Better to feel nebulous than to cling rigidly to ideas about The Way Things Must Be. Being hazy suits me just fine right now.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

the last books of 2006

I ended up finishing four out of the five books I hoped to read before 2007. I could have read them all, but really, I was setting myself up for failure by including Saul Bellow, and I knew it at the time. The Adventures of Augie March? Really, what was I thinking? I will read it someday, but it is exactly the sort of thing I am not hungry for right now. I would have finished it out of sheer disgruntled stubbornness if I hadn't been sidetracked by a reading and rereading of every Faulkner book in our house.

Because I wrote about the other two books, here are a few late-night comments on the last two of the project:

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami
--I have read several of Murakami's books (well, two) and I think this one is by far the most successful as a coherent novel. Murakami is good but never excellent because he so often seems incapable of tying his -- admittedly charming and unexpected -- concepts into a large piece. His endings are especially terrible, I think. He is the sort of author who should probably stick to short stories; that medium would at least allow his absurd and lovely ideas to shine like the gems they are, undisrupted by the clutter of attempted overarching plot. Wonderland seems to be an exception. At the same time, I was never once as charmed by anything in this book as I was by several parts of Kafka on the Shore. Still, it was a decent read.

And it prompted the realization that I will probably fall in love with the first decent man who gifts me with a pair of excellent nail clippers during a multi-course meal in an upscale restaurant.

The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon

I was expecting more. Of course, what I was expecting was based on no actual knowledge of the book itself, but was instead formed from a combination of good reviews and an incorrect assumption of the plot. You see, I thought the book was going to be some sort of macabre postmodern surrealist story about a serial killer. I had no idea it was about mail! I thought that it was probably about 49 murdered prostitutes buried in an abandoned lot or something. All I can say is that I clearly spend too much time watching Law & Order and not enough time reading newspapers.

The book wasn't great but wasn't bad. I would read more Pynchon, but wouldn't buy him. This was the last book of 2006: I read it in one sitting on New Year's Eve.

The first book of 2007 looks to be Absalom, Absalom. I love it, and not just because I have a latent obsession with the American Civil War. I have mixed and turbulent emotions about Faulkner as a person and as an artist, but there is simply no denying his brilliance. I actually started to weep at one point last night just because the wording of one sentence was so perfectly sonorous, so much like music, and I cried at its beauty and at the certain knowledge that I will never be able to construct anything so perfect.

I would post the sentence if I could find it in the book. Oh well. The content wasn't remarkable anyway; I probably wouldn't have realized its glory if I hadn't been mouthing the words as I read them -- something I often do with Faulkner just to keep the structure of his sentences clear in my mind. Full display of the music of language is one convincing argument for books on tape. I suspect that certain parts of The Sound and the Fury would be just magical if read aloud in entirety.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

no new year cheer, either

Our Denver trip was prematurely shortened by blizzards. The good is that my grandmother still knows me.The bad is that she does not know my cousins, who were also there, and that she is losing the ability to differentiate between her sons. More than once she pulled me down to wheelchair-level to ask me in whispers -- those agonizingly loud whispers of someone who has become quite hard of hearing but refuses to wear aids -- who those children belong to, which boy is visiting now? But she knows me. I think -- I like to think, I must think -- that she will know me until the end, that I may be the one person she does not forget. She knows me, but there is so much bad that it's hard to remember what a gift this is.


Wondering: at what point does a dabbling piece of writing become a book?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

happy? holidays

My family has a hard time with Christmas. Many of our tragedies have fallen in the weeks around Christmas, including the deaths or death sentences of three of my four grandparents. My beloved last-living grandmother used to live with us, and for the last few years her presence gave us a renewed sense of holiday zeal, but she is in a nursing home now -- she has Alzheimer's; we could no longer care for her -- and we can hardly manage to scrape up a teaspoon of holiday cheer between the four of us. My parents are depressed, and their depression is depressing. My brother isn't talking much, and I spend too much time abed to be happy for everyone.

Tomorrow we leave to visit my grandmother for a few days. I expect a painfully forced lot of happiness from us for her. It is always heartbreaking and wonderful to see her, both at once. The word "bittersweet" was invented for Alzheimer's patients.

My teacher sent me this Christmas wish, the best I have ever gotten, and I hope the same for everyone else:

I hope you have a good day in which you can appreciate breath.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

free clothing rights for all

The best thing about Christmas is the built-in excuse for baking (and eating!) scads of cookies. I have made three different kinds of cookies this week, and my mother and I are going to do another batch tomorrow with the cookie cutters that I risked my life to procure.*

I thought I had escaped my yearly bout of strep throat, but my brother brought it home from school and it's sweeping through the family. It is seriously interfering with my cookie consumption.

*Not really. But I did have a rather awful time trying to buy them. I was led around the entire palatial super wal-mart by a hapless employee who didn't know where the cookie cutters were kept. This took a really long time. She eventually gave up and abandoned me in houseware to "look around for myself." I did find them, but only after I gave up and wandered over to crafts to look at yarn and think wistfully about gingerbread men.

I refuse to let strep throat stop all of my fun. Tonight was Eddie Izzard Night, which can't be postponed just for sore throats.

Eddie Izzard Night is when my friend Tess and I get together (but never before midnight) and spend hours putting on transvestite makeup -- and by this, I mean mostly wild colours and crazy eyebrows, like Eddie in Dress to Kill -- and watching DVDs of his shows. Then we put on high heels or platform shoes and swan around her house, drinking tea and raising our eyebrows while we make jokes in bad british accents.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

cautionary mathematics

Late-night medical documentaries + lots of Faulkner in very short periods of time + Joanna Newsom's "Emily" on repeat for eight straight hours = really surreal and fucked up dreams

Take note! If you ever feel driven to consume a similar media cocktail, at least listen to something bouncy and straightforward to counteract mental images of Southern Gothic amputees.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

not talking about Anna's nose; or, half of an email that I sent to a teacher

I think I might cry if the mysterious alarm in my brother's room goes off one more time. I am as respectful to his privacy as I hope he is of mine, and an excavation through his sports jerseys and technical devices to find the culprit alarm is a frightening and taboo thing.

Yesterday I read all of a biography on Anna Akhmatova. I have been mind-writing a small essay on the relevance (or irrelevance, I haven't decided) that in-depth examination of an author's life has to the study of his or her oeuvre. But today I am reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics (which the New York Times listed as one of the ten best books of the year -- so far I do not agree, but it's fun enough, though not at all Nabokovian, as they suggest) and it is destroying my ability to write in anything but blazingly purple teenage-literature-freak prose. I might give it a try when I can write about Akhmatova without wanting to devote at least a paragraph of description to her nose.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

cranky reader

Not fun: cutting clumps of hardened litter from my cat's back toes because I am an awful awful pet owner and have let the boxes go too long without cleaning them.

I could just say that I have been dissatisfied and disappointed by almost every book I've finished recently, but it's more fun to complain in depth, and because I can't sleep, I'll give some cranky and blurry comments.

Still Life by A.S. Byatt -- Very well written and intelligent, but also completely unfulfilling. The large event at the end is alluded to in the prologue, and so is no surprise and had little emotional impact on me. I hated the main character, Frederica, and do not know if I will continue with the quartet based on this alone. She isn't even unlikeable in an interesting, villainousness, deeply psychological way. No, she is just self-absorbed and emotionally shallow beneath all of her intellectual posturing. I realize that this is probably intended -- a friend of mine commented that Byatt is hardest on Frederica because her life is meant to parallel Byatt's own -- but I dislike her in the kind of way that makes it difficult for me to read the book and care about its plot. Not that there was much plot to this one. I really liked two of the minor characters, and interest in them kept me going with momentum despite my disgust with Frederica, but there was almost no resolution for any of them. I realize that it is very much a piece of a larger saga, but that's no excuse. Just imagine how frustrating it would be to read this book when it was first published! I would probably absolutely hate it if I'd read it then; right now I am just left with disappointment and the desire to reread Possession.

Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by someone whose name I can't remember and am too lazy to look up -- Started out promisingly. I was riveted from the first chapter, maybe even the first page. It had all the makings of a great murder mystery that would also teach me some novel, easily packaged facts about snow and ice and Greenland. I got seriously bogged down in the middle, though, when the plot seemed to stray vastly from the investigation into a small boy's mysterious death to some huge international conspiracy spanning generations. Again, disappointing.

The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan -- I liked, but didn't love, McEwan's Atonement, and so when I read a synopsis about this book I was looking forward to read it. I almost wish that I hadn't asked my mother to procure it for me because I hated it so very much. The story is basically a clumsy marriage of Lord of the Flies and Les Enfants Terribles, all about four orphans who descend into rotten decadence after they encase their mother's corpse in a block of cement to conceal her death from authorities. I will admit that I knew from the start that it would be twisted and rather terrible in this way; that's actually why I read it in the first place. At some point last fall I was half-decided that I would write my undergraduate thesis on incest in literature. Now, I know this sounds weird, but really it was a veiled excuse to write about Dorothy and William Wordsworth without overtly writing about them. In general, theoretically, I don't have a problem with incest in literature, but it has to be written gorgeously or handled thoughtfully or portrayed truthfully for it to work, and even though Atonement wasn't particularly linguistically stunning, I had hoped that McEwan might at least present an interesting and worthwhile examination of the issue. I was so wrong. The book was obvious and heavy-handed, but not even in a moral sense, which might be a good thing for the believability of the narrator, but which left me feeling disgusted and bitter about the day I spent reading the book.

The Art Spirit by Robert Henri -- I suspect that I would have been massively impacted by this book if I'd read it five years ago, but now I have read other, better, discussions of the meaning of writing and the philosophy of aesthetics. I yawned and skimmed more than I should have, but I did read the whole thing through. Must decide on what to say to the uncle who gifted it to me.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters -- This book was probably the most satisfying of all that I read, which is a little sad because it is fluffy lesbian historical fiction. Once I got used to the frequent and needless use of semi-colons I was engrossed. I found it as delightful a romp as the first time I read it, though I do still like Affinity better.

Right now I'm reading The Book Thief and Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I am -- surprise, surprise -- not thrilled with either of them. Contemporary fiction is failing me, but I'm not sure what I do want. Something meaty and old and difficult? Or something lighter but still with an arresting plot? Both, probably: contemporary and fluffy for night and classic for daytimes. I am thinking of rereading a few of my favourite books from my science fiction and fantasy phase, but I'm afraid that I might hate them and feel disillusioned and sad.

I am officially taking book recommendations.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This is Luxembourg City, which I visited on a whim, hoping that it would be a nice respite from Paris. (Paris was beautiful but also incredibly overwhelming, and made my brain want to implode from sensory overload.) I'm very glad that I decided to go! Probably very few people go to Europe saying, "I can't wait to go to LUXEMBOURG!" but I think that it's worth a day for anyone who is bumming around for a month or two. There's not much to do, but it is fairy-tale lovely, split by these deep greeny canyons that are scattered with ruined pieces of castles. Gorgeous.

My flickr account, with a small fraction of my Europe photos, is here.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Surfing the NaBloPoMo randmizer, I am absurdly amused by how many people posted on December first with nostalgia and regret at the end of the month, or with stories about how they woke up first thing in the morning with the immediate urge to write a blog entry. I felt exactly the same way: ten minutes before midnight I jerked awake from my sleeping-pill induced dreams, panicked because I hadn't blogged.

I still refuse to write about what I learned. But I do think that the challenge was good for me: it gave some small structure to my days. I feel a little lost without it, but I'm hoping to do something similar with writing fiction. This will be more difficult; I won't have the presence of a potential readership to keep me from cheating and skipping days. I'm trying to figure out what would be a good page count to set as my daily minimum. I can't do word count because I never type first drafts; I'm too much of a perfectionist, I always erase whatever I type and never end up getting anywhere.

My daily whine: I had to come to work at seven am. Seven! In the morning! That's usually when I go to bed. It was very very cold and I thought for sure that I'd gotten frostbite since I couldn't bend my fingers by the time I'd arrived at the school. They're better now, but my desk is near enough to the front doors that I get waves of frigid air whenever someone comes in or out, which is pretty much every few minutes. I can't even just doze off and space out over my laptop because we're hosting the regional high school drama conference. Have I written here about how much I hate drama kids? I am horribly prejudiced against them, but it's justified. All of the ones I've encountered through work have been nasty to me. Dealing with several hundred of them makes me peevish and put-upon.

Oh, and I haven't had any coffee.

I am not equipped to deal with today.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

30: at least part of me is superhuman

I should probably talk about what I learned from blogging thirty consecutive days in a row, but I didn't make a list of things that I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving day, and the same rebellious streak that kept me from it then demands that I resist the obvious topic now.

Today is also my last day to write something awesome about my dog and try to win handmade treats for her. I love my dog, and she loves treats, but it simply isn't going to happen today. I'm tired! My mind is barren and empty! I can hardly conjugate verbs, much less write the Ode to a Flighty Retriever that I had in mind.

I went to the dentist today for the first time in two years. In the past, my dentist has behaved like a pirate, leading me to distrust everyone who works with teeth. I had expected to garner a lot of vitreous material to put into my last post of the month. I saw a new dentist, though, and he was great. The technicians didn't try to talk to me when they had their hands in my mouth, he didn't ask me what my favourite subject is in school, I wasn't scolded for my spotty flossing habits, and they didn't even make me brush with fluoride. It was surprising and pleasing. Also, I don't have any cavities or gum cancer or other nasty tooth diseases. I didn't expect any problems, but I've never had a cavity and so am paranoid that I might get one and not recognize the feeling.

Two especially awesome moments:

1. Watching Blues Clues play silently on the ceiling TV while a technician scraped plaque from my molars and the Scissor Sisters' I Don't Feel Like Dancing played on the radio. Surreal.

2. Having the dentist tell me that my teeth are superhuman. What he said, exactly, was, "I'll have a heart attack if we find any cavities." Then the technician said, "I think we'll all have heart attacks if you find any cavities." "Yes. Her teeth are superhuman," the doctor said. Then he invited me to join them in admiring my x-rays.

Superhuman teeth! I was delighted.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

29: some thoughts on falling

Is it deceitful to delete posts? I think it is, a little; it's very totalitarian, very 1984, erasing small bits of personal history that I had let slip through the radar. It is also completely justifiable and necessary. My self control falters when I have not slept; I can be prone to a despairing sort of drama that borders on martyrdom. It's a habit I am trying to break. And it isn't as if blogging is objective, anyway. Rewriting history is perfectly permissible on the internet, to a degree, because we are all doing it to begin with: editing and pruning and rearranging and interpreting our lives in a very subjective, very audience-oriented manner.

This NaBloPoMo experiment has filled me with despair over how dull I am. I can't think of a single thing to follow that up with. Except, perhaps, for this terrifying story:

On Monday night I dropped my laptop down a flight of stairs.

Do you understand the horror of this? I will repeat it, with emphasis, and you can imagine me shuddering and cringing and weeping my way through the sentence: On Monday night I dropped my laptop down a flight of stairs. I was carrying it from the upstairs TV room back down to my lair when I tripped over a pile of my brother's shoes. Instinct took hold: I let go of the computer and grabbed at railings to keep myself from falling. It's curious how poetic falls are, how definitely time seems to slow and sharpen, every movement yawning and dramatic. It's something I notice whenever I fall down -- which is, I'm afraid, rather ridiculously often -- and it was curious to find the phenomenon as present in the falling of things as with bodies. I remember thinking that as I listened to the awful cracks it made as it hit the stairs: how odd that time would elongate for a machine.

It survived with no damage, as far as I can tell, which is miraculous, but I am no less traumatized for this piece of luck. I dropped my computer down the stairs. Just thinking it makes me feel dizzy and ill.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

28? another poem that isn't mine

To the Reader
Denise Levertov
As you read, a white bear leisurely
pees, dyeing the snow

and as you read, many gods
lie among lianas: eyes of obsidian
are watching the generations of leaves,

and as you read
the sea is turning its dark pages,
its dark pages.

Almost done with Byatt's Still Life. I'll finish it tonight. I also bought a copy of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters for a friend and decided to reread that before I give it to her. One of the cover blurbs calls it "deliciously brazen," which is a perfect way of describing it. I am quite enthralled by Still Life right now, but ten pages of Fingersmith had me forgetting all about the romances of Frederica Potter. I have set it down regretfully, and will let myself tear through it as soon as I am done with Byatt.

Monday, November 27, 2006

27: in which youtube threatens to eat my life

I am posting now instead of later because my head hurts. I'm already incoherent and it will only get worse as the day drags on.

I hate reading about TV on others' blogs, and I don't plan to write about it again, but here are the shows I watch, with reasons, because my life is so bleak and empty that I am reduced to discussing my media consumption.

I like Law and Order SVU for the two main detectives. I've watched too many. I can usually predict how the episode will play out after the first ten or fifteen minutes, but the plots hardly matter. The show appeals to me because things are almost always okay in the end: the bad guys are nabbed and the victims -- at least the ones who are alive -- are offered a chance for peace. Also, Christopher Melloni is hot.

I watch House because he is such a perfect anti-hero. Such a bastard, but also endearingly flawed, and so brilliant! As a confirmed hypochondriac, I like medical shows in general, and House is just intelligent enough that I can pretend that all the TV is not rotting my brain. Also, Hugh Laurie is hot.

I'm a little ashamed by my devotion to Project Runway. It is unabashedly shallow, but one of my closest friends and I always watched it together when I was still at school, so I am very emotionally attached to it. Also, Tim Gunn is hot. Well, no, he's not really, but he is smart and positive and gives the show a much-needed shot of calmness and practicality to counteract the drama.

I loved Six Feet Under and miss it very much now that I've seen (almost) all of it. My parents and I watched it together, and for a long time it was the center of many dinnertime conversations. We talked about the characters as if we knew them, which may actually be part of why my younger brother hates to dine with us. I never actually found any of the characters especially physically attractive, but they are all very interesting.

The true inspiration for this post was the discovery of entire episodes of Law and Order on youtube. This is a huge threat to my chances of ever sleeping like a normal person. I can watch TV from bed! All night long! Until now, I had only used youtube for watching the occasional music video or Eddie Izzard clip, but I am getting a glimpse of its endless possibilities for distraction and time-eating. I have only my well-honed multi-tasking abilities to save me: at least I can mess with photoshop or draw birds or knit while watching TV on my computer. Theoretically.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

26: things that I do not like: an incomplete list

I am having an exceptionally grouchy week, so I'm going to indulge myself in a companion list to things that I like. I will limit it to fourteen because if these were ordered in order of favourites then symmetry would be very near the top of my good things list.

  1. movies about inspirational teachers and/or sports coaches who transform a group of delinquents through idealism and good example
  2. when it rains so much in the bay area that all of the small animals, the snails and the worms, think it's alright to cavort on the sidewalks and are crushed by careless people who don't look down when they walk
  3. doctors who do not read your chart before coming in to examine you
  4. tourists, especially the obnoxious ones who take pictures in churches and museums and only eat at restaurants with bilingual menus and never allow themselves to get lost
  5. the colour orange
  6. when students refuse to examine a work of literature within its historical context
  7. group therapy
  8. theater students, specifically the ones who come by my desk at work with impossible demands and then throw tantrums when I can't help them
  9. when some people borrow my car and don't clean up their papers and wrappers and empty coffee cups
  10. the wind in wyoming, and how it can get so viciously cold that it freezes your bones and makes you feel like you'll never be warm again
  11. Thomas Kincaid
  12. people who do not use turn signals with the same religious zeal that I do
  13. signs and brand names that use intentional misspellings ("kopy korner," "buy rite," "sav-on")
  14. insomnia