31 October 2008
GRADUATE SCHOOL BARBIE (TM)
Graduate School Barbie comes in two forms: Delusional Master's Barbie (tm) and Ph.D. Masochist Barbie (tm). Every Graduate School Barbie comes with these fun filled features guaranteed to delight and entertain for hours:
- Grad School Barbie comes out of the box with a big grin on her face that turns into a frown after 2 weeks or her first advisor meeting (whichever comes first).
- Adorable black circles under her delightfully bloodshot eyes.
- Comes with two outfits: a grubby pair of blue jeans and 5 year old gap T-shirt, and a floppy pair of gray sweatpants with a matching "Go Screw Yourself" T-shirt.
- Grad School Barbie talks! Just press the button on her left hand and hear her say such upbeat grad school phrases like, "Yes, Professor, It'll be done by tomorrow" "I'd love to write it all over again" and "Why didn't I just get a job, I could have been making $40,000 a year by now if I had just started working with a Bachelor's. But noooooo, Mom and Dad wanted a masters degree, I wish somebody would drop a bomb on the school so that I'd have an excuse
to stop working on my degree that's sucking every last drop of life force out of my withered and degraded excuse for a soul..." (9 V lithium batteries sold separately)
-Grad School Barbie is anatomically correct to teach kids about the exciting changes that come with pursuing a higher education. Removable panels on Barbie's head and torso allow you to watch as her cerebellum fries to a crispy brown, her heart race 150 beats per minute, and her stomach lining gradually dissolve into nothing.
Deluxe Barbie comes with specially designed eye ducts. Just add a little water, and watch Grad School Barbie burst into tears at random intervals. Fun for the whole family!
Other accessories include:
-Grad School Barbie's Fun Fridge (tm) Well stocked with microwave popcorn, Coca-Cola, Healthy Choice Bologna (99% fat free!),and small bottle of Mattel Brand Rum (tm).
-Grad School Barbie's Medicine Cabinet. Comes in Fabulous pink and contains Barbie sized bottles of Advil, St. Johns Wort, Zantac, and your choice of three fun anti-anxiety drugs! (Barbie Medicine Cabinet not available without a prescription)
-Grad School Barbie's Computer Workstation. Comes with miniature obsolete PC (pink of course), rickety desk, and over a dozen miniature Mountain Dew cans to decorate your workstation with (Mountain Dew deposit not included in price, tech support sold separately)
And Grad School Barbie is not alone! Order now and you'll get two of Barbie's great friends!
GRADUATE ADVISOR KEN: Barbie's mentor and advisor in her quest for increased education and decreased self esteem. Grad Advisor Ken (tm) comes with a supply of red pens and a permanent frown. Press the button to hear Grad Advisor Ken deliver such wisdom to Barbie as
"I need an update on your progress" "I don't think you'll be ready to graduate yet" and "This is no where near ready for publication."
Buy 3 or more dolls, and you can have Barbie's Thesis Committee! (Palm Pilot and tenure sold separately.)
REAL JOB SKIPPER: When Barbie needs to talk, she knows that she can always count on her good friend Real Job Skipper (tm), who got a job after getting her bachelor degree. Press the button to hear Real Job Skipper say, "Sometimes I wish I went for my masters degree" and "Work is so hard! I had to work a half an hour of overtime!" Real Job Skipper's Work Wardrobe and Savings account sold separately. WARNING: Do not place Grad Student Barbie and Real Job Skipper too close to each other, as there have been several mysterious cases of children leaving the room and coming back to find Barbie's hands mysteriously fused to Skipper's throat.
I'm going to be singing this song all day.
FINALLY something I haven't blogged much about but something near and dear to my rant-loving heart: The Cuban Embargo! Praise the Deity that it could be on its way out; if there's any thing I learned in my undergrad, it was that the Cuban Embargo is the most politicized chunk of garbage foreign policy ever. I also learned that vegetarian chili served in a bread bowl is one of God's gifts, but that adds something completely different to my life than my hatred for the Cuban embargo.
Graduate students are the worst! I can't stop saying it.
Here's the real tragedy of John McCain's campaign: He used to be kinda hot.
This is my favorite font. I call it Los Angeles. What fonts are really saying.
Listen to this song. Click through this slideshow. Then this one. Feel a mite homesick. Repeat.
30 October 2008
29 October 2008
What I should be doing: Writing a review of Uncle God's Country.
What I would like to be doing: Buying artisan bread and gin.
What I am kinda doing: Wondering how on earth I'm supposed to start another research project right now.
What I am not doing: Thinking about how I killed one of my plants; admiring how my room looks like a bomb went off (books, notecards and Puffs tissues being the shrapnel of my world); pondering how I would really, really like some crusty bread slathered in butter with a gimlet on the side; lamenting the fact that I just can't quit flared jeans; checking my email for the eighteenth time today; mournfully inspecting a syllabus; considering skipping class; plotting my escape from Utah; placating all those thoughts by finding my keys and going to Whole Foods.
Now if you'll excuse me, my ovaries are crying and my latent Auntie Mel is threatening to buy plane tickets so that's about all the Yes We Can (hold babies) I can take. Only 6 days to go! Good lord! (who says that?!)
28 October 2008
27 October 2008
While I'm linking pictures-- you know I love a good slideshow-- this one freaking rocks.
New York Times, thou almost persuadest me to get one of those masks that people in Asia wear during outbreaks or that I threatened to buy during a bout of Mount Rainier is going to erupt and corrupt my body with ash paranoia. Not that I've ever experienced that AT ALL.
Also, this is all kinds of awesome:
26 October 2008
The fact of the matter is this-- at least in regards to the job market-- none of the boomer historians are retiring now because the economy is shit, but in 5 or 6 years they should all be retiring in droves, right? And my dissertation idea is really so awesome and so hip in terms of how anything has ever been done in my field that I feel more confident about applying to places out of my league. So yes, having realized yet again that being a historian has much to offer in terms of interest, fun and a high quality of life, I am going to draw up a big, fat list of good programs with good people to work with, showing little regard for where they are located or whether or not I think I could get in. Because really, it's worth the risk. Yes, yes, this is definitely one of those moments when I would like to climb to the top of a mountain and yell, "I HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER!!!" because I really, suddenly and forcefully feel that that's true.
I went to a Lutheran church this morning.
I've been thinking about going since August. It's hard to explain but I just got this hankering to be apart of a faith community again. Going back to the LDS church isn't an option I would deign to entertain, but I couldn't deny that I missed the ritual and the singing and the people. My selection of the church I went to this morning was, like many decisions I make, pretty arbitrary--it's close to where I live, appeared to have some cool midcentury architecture goin' on*, and like my alma mater, it's E.L.C.A. The latter gave me a pretty positive feeling about what I would find there, but I still waited a while to make sure it was something that I really wanted to do.
It was nice. I can't say there were fireworks or that I was deeply, powerfully moved but then, that wasn't really why I went in the first place. Today was apparently the Feast of the Reformation and the pastor talked about how since the Lutherans and the Catholics have reconciled, the focus is more on personal reformation in a context of grace and the belief that the church can grow with its people through continued reform. I liked the simplicity of it, and I liked the people I met. Fortuitously I found myself sitting next to the Utah Commissioner of Higher Education and his wife and the Dean of Students at Winminister College (additionally, a professor from my department and a librarian from Special Collections sang in the choir). It was nice to feel like I was in a place that academians find conducive to their spiritual growth-- that says a lot to me about the congregation and what goes on there week to week. It was a very pleasant experience over all.
I guess I write about this with a sense of mild surprise because I have at times in the past year professed that I would never go back to any church. It's been exactly that, a year, a whole year. After giving so much of myself over to the LDS church, the sense of loss and hurt never really goes away and the anger becomes inflammed periodically. Leaving the church never really impacted my feelings towards God or Jesus (or is it God/Jesus?) (I don't even think the specifics of that question matter any more) or my desire to be a decent human being but I have felt a little scared about diving back in to the regularized patterns of worship or accepting any kind of systematic belief system. It's like dating after being burned by a bad breakup-- you know that all of humanity isn't out to rip your heart out but they are still suspect. Getting back out there has to occur on your own terms.
Having realized more fully the spectrum of opportunities available to me, the many directions that my agency can take and the ultimate simplicity and potentcy of God's love, I knew exactly what my terms were. So today I allowed myself to wade in. I let myself appear at a church to indulge the very personal desire to worship and to be with people. I gave myself permission to be myself--a young aspiring lady historian (yes, back on that track again)-- and to let others accept me for who I am. I gave myself the opportunity to quietly evaluate where my life is in a setting that emphasizes goodness, gentle encouragement and personal variances in belief. I was there because I wanted to be there and what I wanted to get was exactly what I got. It felt great.
*the light fixtures really made my day, too.
25 October 2008
24 October 2008
The Church destroys The Testimonies of its members by hating on The Gays.
The Daily Beast features The Home of Marie Antoinette in The Most Loveliest Photo Essay.
Bonus: a satirical electoral map. The Depiction of Utah is spot on.
23 October 2008
22 October 2008
*David Sedaris on swing voters:
"To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked."
21 October 2008
Best Week Ever on bikes. Score: 2 points. 1 for using the word ridonkulous (I have been saying that all day, must be the cold medicine) and 1 for making fun of fixed gears, the douchey-ist douche transportation ever.
The RNC paid $150,000 for Sarah Palin's clothes and makeup. I understand that nice clothes are expensive but that's beyond the pail considering this HuffPo story on her seeking state travel reimbursement for her kids. That strikes me as irresponsible, particularly when she is running with a presidential candidate who has based much of his career on fighting earmarks. That is ridonkulous. Clearly she abides by the Bush doctrine of patriotism = shopiing. Score: Negative infinity points
If you're not following Blogging via Typewriter, you ought too. It's a great bit o'Twitter. Today he posted this:
And of course Tina Fey admirers should watch for his "Fey a Day" feature. Score: 3 points for consistent internet awesomeness every day.
You should probably be following The Daily Beast as well. It is probably my new over all favorite website-- it's generally an aggregator but they are starting to have great original material as well (it's only been up for like 2 weeks and I'm like, 'How did I live without The Daily Beast?' Gawker and Jezebel are becoming much less salient, apparently). This piece by Tucker Carlson on the pessimism of Democrats about the election is a fabulous example. Score: 1 point for relevence-- this exact topic came up in conversation recently.
Mmmm... Obama art! Score: 2 points because I love design.
And finally-- and only because I am incredibly cranky and tired-- here is something that somebody will probably go to hell for: John McCain "the picture" photoshop contest (also, here's the story on "the picture.") If you were watching the debate, you will recall he did that funny little dance around the table. This is all kinds of terrible. Score: A zillion points for a good laugh and extra-ridonkulousness.
19 October 2008
the problem with getting up early is that you have to find something to do during all those extra hours.
The Bible, as acted out by Lego people.
Didn't think a guy who restores vintage Volvos could get any cooler?* Colin Powell endorsed The Barack and gave an articulate, scathing critique of that messed up Republican party while he was at it. So much for that whole "pallin' (Palin?) around with terrorists" argument.
This is what happens when everybody pitches in: Barack brought in $150 Million Bones last month! I'm glad my ten bucks helped. Naturally, John McCain is jealous and thinks that small donors like myself are sketchy. I know that we all know that I'm sketchy, but now that John McCain is on to me I have to be careful. As my great-grandmother used to say-- they've probably got me on some kind of list.
And lastly, I would just like to announce to the world that after seemingly forever, I seem to be both off of Ambien AND able to fall asleep by midnight, or maybe 1, which is pretty good for me. I owe it all to Blue, the geriatric, diabetic dog I was dogsitting this week. His need to rise before 7:30 for insulin showed me that I can indeed get up early and go to bed earlier too-- and maybe even function on less than 8 hours of sleep! Wow!!! I'd also like to thank John Updike's Couples for helping me get to sleep the past week-- it is really the perfect book for a Mad Men fan, full of salacious suburban sixties scandals.
*What can I say, I've always admired Colin Powell and the Volvo story gave the man a free pass for life. I think this is an interesting article about Powell too.
18 October 2008
What I really have to attest to though, other than the Utes offensive strength and brilliant passing and unreal tackling, is a particular beer. You know I am a fan of Shiner Bock-- the best beer that can be purchased for under $6 a six pack in Utah, be it at Whole Foods or Walmart. Well today, due to my housesitting's close proximity to the Avenues Liquor Store (one block!) I was able to sample a truly winning beer suited to post game relaxation. That beer is made by Wasatch Beers and has perhaps the most amazing label ever:
And I can say that not just because I watched the silent film "Trapped By the Mormons" last night and am feeling perhaps just a teensie bit anti. This beer it truly amazing-- all of the dark, cola like flavor that you might expect of a Bock like Shiner but (and mind you, at altitude) with all the punch of a beer that logs in at 8% by volume (at alititude!). As someone who gets a bit bloated in reaching her prefered feeling from a certain number of beers-- 6 Skinny Dips?-- this beer is truly a godsend. It's like all of the fun of a Texas beer with all of the needed power of a Utah beer that can't be purchased at the grocery store. Potent but tasty, this is a beer that does you in after two without all of the misery of drinking all those 3.2's. Devastator, I comend thee.
That said, go Utes! Did I mention BYU sucks? Because after all, we are undefeated and they are not. Boooo BYU!
16 October 2008
You may remember a while back I linked to some NPR reports on transgender kids. The Atlantic did an article too. It's interesting to me when theory meets science and people's real lives.
Jezebel linked to this article by a woman who went through what might be politically identified as a "partial birth abortion." It's really sad but after John McCain was so dismissive of women's health issues last night, I think it's important to emphasize that choice has a lot of faces. I'm sorry, but fuck you McCain, women's health does not belong in quotation marks. Excuse me while I get on my soapbox folks, but don't forget to vote. I'll leave it at that.
Yah, see, heavy stuff. Here's a unicorn.
15 October 2008
So last weekend she went up to Canada to go to some National Park. I thought it was weird that she was going to go into the wilderness alone like that-- I mean she is not exactly the guy from Into the Wild-- but again wrote it off because I really don't care and have quite enjoyed my monopoly over the kitchen (our other roommate is on the East coast for break). She got back at 2 this morning.
Today I come home from a lunch date with a buddy in Provo and who comes out of her room but the guy from last spring! And as I am sitting on the couch with my laptop on my lap, I watched them-- completely wide eyed-- sharing a loving embrace and deep longing glances. I might has well have not been in the room. The way they were both glowing-- I mean really freakishly glowing--glowing like people that have been having a whole lot of sex in Canada (did she even go to Canada?!) all weekend-- completely betrayed them. After he left, she gave me a smug smile and beaming, returned to her room.
I was left on the couch, completely mortified. This is a scandal of international proportions. I am completely heartbroken for her husband back in China, raising their child. Not that she doesn't have needs-- and I obviously don't know the status of her marriage-- but troubling nonetheless.
14 October 2008
11 October 2008
William F. Buckley's son endorsing Obama
(I came away thinking: If social conservatives were really conservatives, they would be libertarian on social issues, not encouraging legislated morality)
Bob Herbert cataloging the sins of the G.O.P. and basically making no distinction between conservative intellectuals and the Party
("Voting has consequences")
We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming of Muppets, bikes and whatever. To prove it to you, here is video of Muppets on bikes (Gonzo being the whatever, of course):
Looks like Ms. Piggy is at the helm of an ODT, doesn't it?
10 October 2008
Check out this freaky Banksy art installation slide show. Then google image search Banksy. I really think his sardonic art it appropo for our times.
Gawker proclaimed conservative intellectualism dead. I refute this purely on the basis that Phyllis Schlafly has yet to endorse Obama. I say this knowing that I might be one of ten people on the planet who believes she is an intellectual.
UPDATE: Brooks reiterates the point.
09 October 2008
"But after listening to the American people I have been reminded again that all the legislation in the world can't fix what's wrong with America. So, I want to speak to you first tonight about a subject even more serious than energy or inflation. I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy.
I do not mean our political and civil liberties. They will endure. And I do not refer to the outward strength of America, a nation that is at peace tonight everywhere in the world, with unmatched economic power and military might.
The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our Nation.
The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.
The confidence that we have always had as a people is not simply some romantic dream or a proverb in a dusty book that we read just on the Fourth of July. It is the idea which founded our Nation and has guided our development as a people. Confidence in the future has supported everything else—public institutions and private enterprise, our own families, and the very Constitution of the United States. Confidence has defined our course and has served as a link between generations. We've always believed in something called progress. We've always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own.
Our people are losing that faith, not only in government itself but in the ability as citizens to serve as the ultimate rulers and shapers of our democracy. As a people we know our past and we are proud of it. Our progress has been part of the living history of America, even the world. We always believed that we were part of a great movement of humanity itself called democracy, involved in the search for freedom, and that belief has always strengthened us in our purpose. But just as we are losing our confidence in the future, we are also beginning to close the door on our past.
In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose."
07 October 2008
While I'm being political, I really like this campaign trail winking slideshow.
And to expose you to the true nature of my presidential campaign addiction, to which my junkie-ness knows no end, I present you this article which almost made my day as much as the roasted butternut squash I made myself for lunch today. I got all excited because of course, while you know about my undying and oft professed love for Gail Collins, I bet I haven't told you that ever since watching his DNC commentary, I've had kind of a thing for David Brooks. WHY?! you ask. He's the token conservative in the Opinion section! But that's exactly why: he is the most wonderful kind of conservative of all, the kind of conservative you actually want to talk to-- a conservative intellectual. He's like a living, breathing manifestation of the George Nash's book (which kind of made me want to be a conservative intellectual, if I wasn't such a socialist feminist etc. etc.). Conservative intellectuals are hard to find these days-- I know one who fled the country-- but I digress.
Here's David Brooks talking about how well Obama knows Niebuhr and showing how gosh darn pleasant conservative intellectuals can be in a time when the rest of conservatism seems to have gone batshit crazy.