Sunday, October 29, 2006

What halloween is for...

Though three out of five of us could scant spare the time, we gathered this weekend to have cake, see Nosferatu (with live orchestra), and wander giggling through the world's largest haunted house...

Belated birthdays that include marzipan-covered cakes shaped like pumpkins:

And halloween-themed mouthwear: my new grill.

The haunted, um, warehouse was awesome as usual. In line, I confided to Mark my fear of Reliquaries, while he happily huffed the roiling fog-gas. We laughed and screamed almost the whole way (which takes almost an hour), managed to avoid most of the girls-gone-wild, and at the very end, we were all herded into a tiny ply-wood closet and covered in balls. Literally, balls were dumped from the ceiling onto our heads and we couldn't move at all. We stood very still and told ourselves it was going to be okay, that we could still breath and it would end soon...then the haunted house ate my shoe.

When I got to the end, Sarah sent someone back in for it as I stood with one stockinged foot raised against the cold. This huge guy comes out, leans over me and yells (they all like to yell) that he warned me not to let anything go, that it's my own fault, and then pulls my shoe reluctantly out of his back pocket - my little red leather shoe with the little bow at the toe - that one.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mews from beyond

Bee-bee, the once very small, now very naughty kitten who is living with us is starting to terrorize the house. His little triangle tail is growing longer, and with it his propensity for extreme badness.

This morning, I went downstairs to get my coffee, and shuffled to the fridge to put cream in it. It was dark, I often do this only by the refrigerator light. I took my mug upstairs and stood desperately over the pile of articles and chapters I have to read for a paper due on Monday, and after a few minutes, I heard kitty screaming.

I figured that one of our cats was getting extremely tired of being outside in the cold drizzle we're having this morning, but they don't usually scream so insistently. I ran downstairs, I realized it was the kitten (who knows, in Crisfield's mouth, maybe?) and wrenched open the fridge door to see little black paws crinkling the tin foil covering last night's Burek.

Bad thing.

I grabbed him and voiced my displeasure. He struggled and, when I put him down, danced his little kitten dance of glee - skittering around the kitchen on his cold little feets.

(Tonight - Nosferatu with original orchestral score at the Michigan, Sarah & Mark. Tomorrow - crown molding, pumpkin carving, and Erebus)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What I'd rather be doing tonight...

coffee with whipped cream.

and the streets aren't wet - they are polished from 1000 years of scuffling foots.

at night, a soft quiet settles on the town, there are no cars, only the occasional mew of a stray cat and the muffled laughter of tourists as they make their way drunkenly through the streets and up the stairs.

Monday, October 23, 2006

In post-Communist Yugoslavia, grocery store Konzum you!

The long, crumbling Baroque facades of Austro-Hungarian empire, the packed trams, the teal adriatic, the food (the food!), the terra cotta roofs, the kava sa shlago, the kestin puree, the drunken nights in Dubrovnik, the drunken days in Zagreb, the nightmarish fairy tale of Slovenia, the delicate English English (Alexis's aunt says the Serbs were very naughty), Franz Josef's gilded theater, the crater holes left and framed, the hidden traces of the Jews, the Gypsies, the queers, the Serbs, the Ustashi cemetary plowed flat and planted with quiet, innocent trees, for when the Fascists fell, everyone had been a Partisan.




Sunday, October 15, 2006

To lift to air... land and see.



Friday, October 13, 2006

Kitten visit.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


This, my friends, is why I don't go out. And if I do go out, I go out to large, anonymous places where I won't meet anyone I know or knew at any time. This does not, I repeat NOT, include going to see one of your most favorite artist/cartoonists in a small venue in the basement of the East Quad.

When you go see Alison Bechdel, who turns out to be, like the funniest person you've ever seen on stage (and really nicely dressed, I must say), and your partner who you lured out with begging and "this is really important to me"s points you towards the back corner of the packed auditorium, and you stride confidently forward in the floral skirt your mom made you and the pair of biker boots you scored thrifting, and on the way you make eye contact with the one person in Ann Arbor you really didn't want to see - that woman who stalked you through high school 300 miles away, who you competed with for top marks in Physics and is now a Physics PhD student, who you saw one evening buying a six-pack of Kalamazoo's best beer and biking off and you thought "Oh my god, that is really not possible," and who wins the races you run in but you hope to god she doesn't recognize you puffing in at, like, 80th place, and who lives about 3 blocks away what are the odds of that...

And you drag both of you up to the front row where you can look away, and you twirl your hair nervously and shift in your seat, and you spend half the evening thinking about whether you can make a break for it and bolt up the center aisle at the end, except there's a woman in a wheelchair and you'd have to hop partially on stage to get around her, but you'd do it...

And somewhere towards the end she hobbles down on her crutches, taps your partner on the thigh (the thigh!), leans in and looks you in the face, and the expression you give her makes her say "I'm sorry, I thought. You look like someone" and start to shake her head and back away and you sigh and grimace and say: "No. You're Catherine. I'm Shana. I know you from ACS," and you reach out and...and...shake her hand. Shake her hand! And give a curt strained nod to say you've caught me, I am not surprised, and no, I don't want to get together for coffee. She stands up, hobbles away, and you actually relax enough to truly enjoy the rest of the reading, and you feel terrible but also sort of glad that it's over, that you won't actually meet her for the first time when you're running around the neighborhood in your pajamas and no bra, calling for your escaped dog.

My first Yiddish essay

I wrote it on Monday, Alexis illustrated it tonight at dinner:

Transliterally, it says:

Ikh hob sekhs gletlingel.
Es zaynen do tsvey hint.
Es zaynen do drey ketslekh.
Es iz do ayn hezeleh.
Dos hezeleh iz der shef iber ale.

Translaterally, it says:

I have six pets.
There are two dogs.
There are three cats.
There is one rabbit.
The rabbit is the boss over all.

I got a "gut"!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

True words RE Bean Gables

Alexis stood in the middle room, covered in drywall dust and holding her tea.

"It's nice," she said "it's good. We have electric, we have walls intact, we have lovely French doors."

"In fact, it's so good I could cry...but I used up all my tears long ago."

The psuedo-professionalization of individuals and structures...

Why I feel unprepared to practice... behold my notes from a three-hour class:
In my defense, it was a discussion of images of oppressive structures...but mine includes not one, but TWO sea-monsters. Plus snails. On bicycles.

I have been meeting with all these grad students lately, and I re-realized (because I've known for a while, but it floats out of my consciousness) that if I had the opportunity to study one thing that seemed totally self-serving and isolationist, I'd study math. I wouldn't be good, but I would have a good time.

(Look, I don't even bother to know the freakin' date. This was last Friday.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Teh cute.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Showing her age...

I pass by the racks of iPod toys, of cell phone toys, even the yellow racks of markers (I've been a'wanting that huge pack of many-colored Sharpies), and declare my embarrassing need: "page magnifiers, please?" I couldn't find the Bubs for support (turns out she was assiduously trying every single office chair in the store), and left without anything. I know what I need, and I can't find it - the sheet magnifiers sit directly on the surface, and don't magnify much at all. Plus, I need to be able to write underneath it without continually removing the plastic...maybe something on little legs? I considered that magnifier attached to a light, but I think the only people who should use them are creating tiny things like shoe bombs.

It's just that I've been reading a lot of scanned articles recently, and it's not going so well. Well, it's either that I'm having trouble seeing properly and am frustrated, or I'm really damn sick of this social science crapola. Whatever the case, I keep finding Post-Its stuck in my articles that say things like: "This logic doesn't follow" and "You are an ass-monkey" and "Do some real research, Poindexter." It's not productive.