Me: You can tell me! You all have a plan, don’t you? It’s my belief that there’s a memo that goes out on a certain day, to every girl attending a university, and on that one spring day, the first warm day of the year, you all wear sundresses. Erin: Yep Me: I KNEW IT Erin: Now you can tell me… does it work?
On the first day of fall a memo goes out to all of the young men and all of a sudden they start wearing sweaters again and it is marvelous. Young men of the Twin Cities: The Time To Wear Sweaters is Now!
One of the things that happens when you are in a slightly unwillingly transitional phase and you realize that you no longer have any reason to be anywhere at any particular time and you are in your late twenties and trying really hard is you start fantasizing about renting a cabin in the middle of somewhere Upper Midwest for the winter and getting some real work done, away from this blasted Internet and people and distractions. I mentioned this to my long-distance best friend tonight when we were chatting. Here is how it went, approximately:
A: Yeah, I want to have an artists’ retreat sometime one day with all my friends.
D: Oh you should have it in Northern Minnesota some winter. Except everyone would probably hate each other.
A: Well, we’d hate each other by the end of week two. And in week three we’d start to get used to each other. By week four we’d find ways to be really really productive.
D: Right, leaving five full weeks of productivity. Good thinking. But week seven or so would be unproductive…
A: No, there would be some sort of mandatory exercise routine or something established every day to keep everyone focused.
D: Like a morning constitutional* in the snow?
A: Well, we’d pretty much be living in a cult by then, so yeah.
*N.B. I think I said “continental” and this is all an amazing approximation.
I’m looking for places on Craigslist now. Who wants to join an artistically productive cult?
How these things work: That Volcano Choir album is a wonderful work soundtrack, especially when the wind is howling outside (what’s going on, fall?!? high fives!). I haven’t made a playlist for it, so I just listen to it in the open on iTunes, and that one Von Bondies song I have plays right after Volcano Choir, and I always leave it on because after Volcano Choir’s abstract depression songs, it’s nice to have a poppy kick in the ass. And then, after the Von Bondies (remember when that dude had that fight with Jack White!?! high fives!) comes Voxtrot, who remain one of the worst bands I’ve ever seen live. I had a brief obsession with them the during the Spring of Transition, i.e., when I was about to move to Minnesota from Charleston, when “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives” became the second most-played song on my iTunes, right after “I’ll Believe in Anything” but became disillusioned by that kinda crappy record they put out and that awful show that one time I went to Making Time, so I stopped listening to them shortly afterward but goddamn this song is good.
William Safire died today of pancreatic cancer at the age of 79. He was one of Nixon’s speechwriters, a pundit, a novelist, and a marvelous grammarian. No, his political views didn’t always align with mine, but I loved reading his On Language columns (which were also handy teaching tools when I didn’t have a lesson plan!) and the breadth and complexity of his resume is inspiring. The NYT’s obit is fitting, touching, and perfectly executed.
While I can’t imagine being 29 years old and in charge of the major city that is hosting the G20, the assumption that any protests are going to be extremely violent and disruptive is always insanely disturbing.
I would like a new pair of boots for the fall season. Last year I bought some cheap black boots at DSW but the zippers broke on both of them within six weeks. This year I can’t afford expensive boots, but would prefer that if I’m getting them cheap, at least they should be used so I don’t feel like I’m contributing to the Mounds of Useless Cheap Shit Sitting In The World Problem.
So, here are my criteria:
they have to fit over jeans
size 10, although 9 1/2 SOMETIMES works
weather-appropriate, so no big heels. I want to wear these babies in the snow.
That said, I already have a pair of Eskimo-worthy Minnesota Snow Boots. I want these boots to look semi-fashionable on a semi-snowy day. D’you know what I mean?
black, or maybe dark grey, but preferably black.
under $50, but cheaper if possible.
This preferably knee-length. I never wear the booties I have.is the hardest one to fill.
I have some ideas, but I’d like to expand: Twin Cities residents, where would you go first? Where are your favorite second-hand stores that have pretty good deals on things like boots?
Going after ACORN may be like shooting fish in a barrel lately — but jumpy lawmakers used a bazooka to do it last week and may have blown up some of their longtime allies in the process.
The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to “any organization” that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.
In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.
There’s a scene in Hannah and Her Sisters where Lee and Elliott are in a bookstore that is just crammed with books, and there’s no space at all. Even though similar bookstores still exist, with homemade-looking shelves and every edition of every book you’d ever want— there are two in Dinkytown here in Minneapolis, Magers and Quinn has a similar feel, and I’m sure there are more scattered throughout the Cities—it’s been ages since I’ve been in a bookshop with no space, where you’re not sure if you can turn around and where you feel slightly lost and very overwhelmed.
In a strip mall in North Wilmington, right near the Super Fresh and down from the West Coast Video, there was a store called Bookland that had a similar feel of overwhelming intellectualism. It was there that I bought my first copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the version illustrated by Anthony Browne. When I got to page 58, we realized it was put together incorrectly, had repeats of pages and upside-down pages and it was really just a defective mess. We took it back, and they begrudgingly gave us some store credit rather than a replacement copy. At that time, it seemed like what they had was the only book stock ever and really I could special order it from Walden if I really wanted to special order it. I certainly couldn’t special order it from Bookland. The whole store was in such a small space and there were so many books, on shelves stacked so high, that I always felt much smaller than a small child.
With the spacious, well-organized, service-devoted wonders of Borders (B&N didn’t hit the DE scene until much later), Bookland went out of business and was converted to a designer bread store, which happened to be my very first employer. Years later, I found another copy of Browne’s Alice to add to my modest collection.
But I remember Bookland, fondly, if oversentimentally. It was the kindof bookstore where employees look at you funny when you tell the book has been put together wrong; where you feel like you’re standing in a fire hazard; where every bit of knowledge on the walls and on the shelves seems to be crushing you; where you remember that there are a gazillion things in the world that are bigger and stronger, and those bigger and more powerful things are not in any way at your convenience and service.
I am super excited about movies this weekend, friends. Matt Damon, my favorite actor, is starring in a new Soderbergh movie about jerks and corn! Woop! Oh, and there’s that new Diablo Cody movie, which I wouldn’t want to see except that it looks wonderful. I hate horror movies, don’t understand the appeal of Megan Fox besides a small ribcage and large boobs, and think Juno got pretty cloying after a while, at least after everyone kept talking about it. But I want to see Jennifer’s Body for one huge reason: It is named for a fucking Hole song.
I know, I complained earlier in the week about movies named after songs. But it’s a Hole song! And a great one! With lyrics that I always thought were about domestic violence but they’re just cryptic! Also, the trailer was sick.
As someone who was way into The Girl Issue, I still feel super special when I am the target audience. I am the target audience for about two movies a year. So if you, my Sassy- and Bust-loving friends, want to see this (or Whip It, for that matter), hit me up and we’ll sneak some hooch into the theater.
“Mixing Alice in Wonderland, Star Wars, Ben-Hur and German expressionism, Tron amazes.”—
Netflix copy for Tron. Friends, I beat the “very long wait” at Netflix, waiting only about a week or so for my copy of Tron to arrive. Now I have it: the great Disney movie that inspired a generation of programmers, memesters and trolls!
I’ve never seen Tron, save for the race scene that the Disney Channel used to use as its example of computer animation, back in the days when Disney Channel afterschool tv was entirely clip shows. My brother dressed up as Tron for Halloween one year, although I’m not sure if that’s something you can actually be, but it was how my sister and I referred to the costume that sat in the costume box: “Oh, that’s Tron. Let’s not use that one today.”
The above quote also satisfies my fascination with Netflix copy: it is so weird! When you’re checking out dvd boxes from Blockbuster, you don’t realize how strange the studio-provided copy is. When it comes through on Netflix, you’re more likely to give it a good read— and notice that it is inconsistent and awkward.
Oh, and Jeff Bridges is in Tron. You know, Jeff Bridges of KPAX, Stick It, and that other movie that some people might have a fanatical obsession with… that one about finding a stranger in the alps?
Wednesday Morning Dance Party: Ted Leo / Pharmacists - “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?”
Hey, are westilltalking about ska? Because those posts just made me think of this song which, Ted Leo’s brilliantly executed political and historical meaning aside, makes me dance like a crazy person, even though whenever I go to (went to) Ted Leo shows, no one seems to be dancing enough. Evidently this feeling arises cos I went to ska shows in South Jersey when I was seventeen.
A side note: I always thought he was saying “Rimbaud gave a message to me” because why not? Every other pop culture artifact mentions Arthur Rimbaud. The French poetry Adonis has something to do with ska, in some sense, right? Alas, it’s “Lynvall gave a message to me” because Ted Leo is smarter than that.
Today I am ripping out all of the pages of grad school notebooks that don’t make any sense anymore; the “ethics of creating emotion” and “mechanical solidarity” mean nothing to me now! Also included in these notebooks are to-do lists and long-term goals. Finally, a prevalent page throughout these notebooks is this:
It’s the Shit I Need to Pack in the Morning Before I Get on the Plane list! Evidently I write this out on a different notebook page every single time I travel, which is not infrequently. Why don’t I just keep a permanent list— the one that actually includes everything I need—on my desk? Because I’m inefficient, I guess. Maybe this post will serve as my permanent Don’t Forget the Most Mundane Parts of Your Life.
Ok, America, are you ready? Today is one of the greatest days of the year. That’s right, season three of Gossip Girl premieres tonight!
I loved the beginning of season two of Gossip Girl, but by episode 8 I was extremely bored and decided to give it up. However, it turns out that instead of Yale, much of this season’s action will take place at dear old NYU, my alma mater, so I have to keep watching, right? Based on my own experience (with the help of some friends’ stories) in Washington Square, I’ve imagined a few scenarios for Dan, Blair, and Georgina, all of whom will be taking naps on the eighth floor of Bobst and chilling on the stoop at Weinstein.
Blair begins smoking cloves because she thinks they taste wonderful and they totally match the workload of her seminar on the history of love in medieval times.
Dan and Georgina get caught drinking tequila from the bottle and they have to make posters about alcohol awareness as their punishment. Later, Georgina’s roommate gets caught smoking weed three times in four days.
Blair spends a lot of time wondering why the kids in Tisch never have to do any work.
Dan starts reading poetry in Washington Square Park every Thursday with his friends and has no idea that this will later sound obnoxious.
Blair and Georgina quickly learn the the Fat Black Pussycat will not accept their shitty fake IDs, so instead they spend every Thursday and Saturday night at another bar, which will be torn to rubble for serving minors by the time they graduate. Memories will be lost.
Georgina will date a dude who is very artistic and poetic, but sounds like Cartman when he talks. Her friends will start talking like Cartman as soon as he leaves the room, and over time she realizes that he was kindof a jerk even though he kissed her on Carmine Street.
Blair and Georgina find a cockroach in their room that is the size of a small rat, no joke, and it is so big that it frightens their other roommate, who is from the fucking rainforest.
All of the kids eat at Dojo and Around the Clock all the time, and there are lots of shots of salads with carrot-ginger dressing; oh god I miss carrot ginger dressing.
Dan and Serena’s brotherperson saunters into the dining hall on Vegan Day and can’t get anything to moisten his cereal, not even soy milk. He compensates by eating lots of Tofutti instead of proper dinner.
Blair and Georgina leave a huge bong on the table over Christmas break and are slightly surprised that it has been confiscated by their RA when they come back.
Also, the previews indicate that there is an outdoor party with red Solo cups and that Dan is getting really drunk. In your freshman year at NYU, there are no such parties. You go to bars, or you stay in the dorm. I don’t think I saw a Solo cup in college until at least my junior year, when everyone had apartments.
There are so many ways that being male or female can vary genetically (XXY, XYY, Androgen Insensitivity), and the term “intersex,” rather than “hermaphrodite,” refers to them all. There are a lot of intersex people in the world, and Thomas Roger’s analysis of this issue is excellent.