March 6, 2014 § 4 Comments
You could be standing in line at the grocery store, twiddling your thumbs in front of an episode of Bridezillas (I don’t know what you do), or sitting through an all-day grant kickoff meeting, as I was this afternoon, when suddenly BOOM the heavens part and you are presented with a gift so pure, so beautiful, that you can hardly believe that it’s yours to keep and hold forever.
Case in point, the AMA Martha “My Everything” Stewart did today on Reddit, to which my little beauty childhood bestie Martha 4eva Kato (backstory here) alerted me via excited text message. I know, I know, to read it you’ll have to go ON Reddit. But that is a small price to pay, because how else will you learn the latest sexy sex tips? (“Always take a bath before and after.”) Or the merits of truffle oil? (“I think truffle oil is one of the few ingredients that doesn’t belong in anyone’s kitchen. It is ruinous of most recipes.”) Or how many tacos Martha Stewart can eat in one sitting? (“I was at a really good Mexican restaurant yesterday, and I ate one whole taco. I was still hungry.”) Or the secrets to proper towel maintenance? (“You should check your water, your soap, the temperature of the water, and your machine. Something’s wrong. Towels should last at least 20 years.”) Or some stone cold existential truths? (“We are all faced with serious challenges during a lifetime.”) Or how you should clean, as Reddit user joliekerr put it, a “steel riveted leather harness used for a strap-on dildo?” (“What’s a dildo?”).
So, I’m just going to sit here and let the joy just wash over me, because today is pretty much the greatest day of my life. Thanks to Kato for sharing the good news, and may god bless you, each and every one.
March 1, 2014 § 2 Comments
Looking through all our old Nathan photos for that last post pulled me into a nostalgia rabbit-hole, which brought me to the below video taken this past summer up in Spokane. So, please enjoy Chris’ mashup of two very excellent songs (music starts at 1:24) that for a hot minute I was thinking we’d use for our wedding processional. Ultimately we decided against it, because in order to appreciate the mashup you have to be familiar with the two songs and we didn’t like those odds, so decided to go with “Dirty Paws” because of Reasons.
Here are the two songs, and now I’m going on vacation whee!
March 1, 2014 § 2 Comments
Chris has been teaching himself different Photoshop tricks and treatments, and yesterday decided to tackle the “vintage poster” look. Here, for no reason other than I like it, is his first attempt, featuring an image of Nathan tucked into bed, because yes we tuck him into bed, and yes he sleeps on a pillow (see below).
Here’s another pic, because you can never have too much Nathan.
All I can say is YAS, and happy weekend!
February 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
Over the last few
months years, some of you (or none of you, whatever) might have noticed that I’ll post a flurry of material here, only to go dormant for a week or two. I wouldn’t say anything at the time, but what that silence always meant was BRB WORKING ON BOOKSHIT. This past week was no exception, although the difference was that these revisions were light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel revisions — only one round left to go after this (let me tell you, the road to publication is……circuitous). I’ve since sent the revised manuscript off to MIT, and am eagerly awaiting my final reader comments. Once I’ve got those, I’ll have until June 1 to get everything buttoned up, including the little nitpicky formatting details that will likely make the last two weeks of May absolute hell. There are still miles to go before I sleep, in other words, but at least I now have a concrete endpoint.
This is an odd proposition, since all I have wanted for the last six years was to be done with this project. On the other hand, I’m also noticing a strange kind of denial that the end is indeed nigh (“What will you do once the book is finished,” Chris asked the other night. “THE BOOK WILL NEVER BE FINISHED,” I hissed, transforming into a vampire bat). I’ve been told by many people, my mother most vocally, to expect this sort of reaction. Weird things happen to people when they finish things, she’s reminded me again and again, usually in the context of marathon runners who end up feeling depressed after completing whatever race they’ve just spent months or even years preparing for — however well they end up doing. I remember this feeling quite well from my competitive running days, and as a college and graduate student experienced something similar at the end of every semester. There’s just this SILENCE where once there was a cyclone of activity, which to me anyway has always been deeply unsettling. Have to fill the void with something else, have to find a new project, have to keep moving because to stop moving is to…I don’t even know what the fear is, all I know is that it’s there.
Given that weirdness, what’s been happening to me physically these past few days isn’t terribly surprising — which is why I’m writing this post, actually. Starting about Sunday, I started feeling a bit under the weather. But I had revisions to make, so I kept trucking, kept trucking. I managed to finish the revisions a day early, and sent them off to my editor late Wednesday evening. At which point I got hit SO HARD with whatever thing I’d been fighting off, and spent all of Thursday in a sneezy, feverish, cough-monster haze. I am currently drugged up to the gills (hey America’s teens, do you know what you’re wrong about? Robotripping as a fun recreational activity), and am half-convinced I got run over by a truck last night, somehow, while sleeping.
This is very interesting. It’s awful, because being sick is awful, but there’s absolutely no way that this isn’t psychosomatic. Hence, interesting. Even science approves of that theory, sort of; there seems to be a correlation between completion of a large project and illness, though no one fully understands why. White blood cell misfiring and autoimmune shutdown brought about by disrupted sleep patterns and humoral freakout, or something.
So I don’t know, I’m tired and feel like crap. But at least it’s normal? Sure. I’ll go with that.
February 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’m so bummed I wasn’t able to submit to this special issue on trolling (I was in the middle of book stuff, didn’t want to convert an existing chapter because I’d already done that with two other chapters, and knew I wouldn’t have time to start a new project from scratch), but have really enjoyed reading the issue as bystander. Nice work and congrats, Tero and company!
Originally posted on disCONNECTIONS*:
I am happy that this special issue also includes my article ‘Change name to No One. Like people’s status’ Facebook trolling and managing online personas, which tries to map the epistemology of Facebook trolling through the ideas and conceptual frameworks of affect, affectivity and algorithmic control.
February 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
It is difficult for me to express just how awesome this woman (and her whole family) is. I could not have asked for a more badass PhD advisor.
Originally posted on Carol Stabile's Blog:
Tony insisted that we go back and bring our own posters. His first idea was an “I’m with stupid” poster, but then he just wrote “ignorant” and decided to leave it at that:
February 17, 2014 § 2 Comments
One of the things I like most about the human experience is how complicated everything is. There are a few issues, behaviors, and attitudes that are clearly this or that [insert your favorite binary here], but the vast majority of our time on earth is spent hovering between the this and the that. Our relationships, even the solid ones, are often complicated and strange; we are rarely presented with completely obvious, clear-cut choices; and everything we do is covered in layer upon layer of emotions that half the time we can’t identify, even when they’re our own, and which further muddle the above two points. It is just a shitshow, and I say that in the best possible sense.
But as comfortable as I am with grey areas IRL, I do appreciate the occasional black and white binary on TV — which is why I’ve so enjoyed watching the first two seasons of House of Cards (Chris and I finished streaming Season 2 last night). Unlike other shows featuring complicated lead (usually male) characters (that’s bullshit by the way, the world needs more representations of complicated female villains — and being a shitty mother or husband-stealing sex monster doesn’t count, those are just one-dimensional caricatures), House of Cards doesn’t soften the edges of their otherwise unlikable characters by inserting an ultimately human, if tragically wounded, center. The people on this show are terrible to their core, and those few who aren’t terrible to their core suffer terrible consequences.
There is something so refreshingly straightforward about this arrangement. Everyone is bad; everyone is selfish. Everyone –at least, everyone who emerges victorious– is ruthlessly pragmatic, and capable of committing moral atrocity after moral atrocity without breaking a sweat. Yes there are people like this in real life, but it’s a rare human who doesn’t have something you could empathize with, even if ultimately you want nothing to do with them interpersonally, and/or would feel more comfortable if they were in prison. And I suppose there are brief moments in House of Cards where these cracks do show for a half second or so, just long enough to confirm that the main characters do indeed understand the difference between right and wrong, and may even care, at least to the extent that they don’t want to be caught in a tangle of lies (how inconvenient, first of all) — but ultimately they reject these better angels. What they want is, at least from their perspective, more important than what anyone else might want, so…deal with it, bigger fish to fry, eye on the prize, and so on.
In this way, House of Cards is almost the perfect inversion of Ricky Gervais’ Derek, which is every bit as honest and straightforward and simple, just on the opposite end of the ethical spectrum. In the universe of Derek, people always say exactly what they mean, harbor nary an ulterior motive, and are fundamentally good — perhaps just as rare a combination of traits as the purely “bad” characters on House of Cards. In reality, very few people are EITHER saints OR devils, but that’s how the world works in these two shows. And it’s fun to watch, because neither thing is true.