Edited out of an email, because I thought it wasn't necessary or appropriate and Chloe doesn't have a hamster. (Or: my answer to how my "blog life" is going)


My blog life.

Someone introduced me to the concept of "braided essays" recently (have you heard of those?), and I was like, "OoooOoooOooo... maybe I could do a blog post that's a braided essay." But there's a more persuasive part of me that's like, "I'm tired. It's unfairly hot. And I have homework I'm not doing because I'm tired and it's unfairly hot." Except it doesn't articulate its thoughts quite that clearly. It's on auto-pilot most of the time, e.g. I haven't thought a damn thing between the front door and the void into which I idly putz away my afternoons/evenings/mornings.

No, this habitual line of action is not serving me in positive and life-giving ways, I don't think. Alas, it prevails. Because... tired and unfairly hot.

Besides, if I did break down and actually allow myself to write a blogpost, I'm afraid it would turn out to be one of those meta-y blogposts where I'd write about how I've been meaning to write for my blog but life gets busy and la la la... one meta-blogging-occurrence happens after another like a pile-up on route guano and the whole site becomes some meta-blogging tragedy where nothing of substance is written.

Anyhizzle, I'd love to continue on that bunny trail, but I'm tired and it's unfairly hot. So... when the going get tough, the tough make lemonade, oui?

Glad to hear your hamster's still alive!

P.S.  Get a load of these nuns:


Norton Unwieldy Doorstop of English Literature’s Greatest Hits

Guess who’s coming out with a greatest hits album?

Let me rephrase that.

Guess why some insanely elitist music snob is cutting off the part of skin on their arm where they had the Anti-Flag logo tattooed?

And guess why Kathryn made up a music snob that’s elitist to such comically exorbitant measures that they would respond to the release of a greatest hits album in such a way?

Because, rhetoric.

In some circles, greatest hits albums are Not Okay. Usually, they’re Not Okay merely to own, but… I’m exaggerating in order to make a point. Greatest hits albums are for, like, “posers” who only want to listen to the songs that the royal They play on the radio. You know, posers who don’t listen to the whole album that the song originally came out on. Posers who don’t even know about, let alone listen to, the b-sides. Posers who buy albums put out by major labels. Come to think of it, I don’t know why my hypothetical music snob didn’t cut out the tattoo when Anti-Flag signed to a major label for, like, two albums.

My real point has to do with the subject of a covetous post I wrote back in October, a post that was much more concise and focused than this one. But when you’ve had, like, four cups of coffee within the period of twenty minutes, well…some fucks you no longer give. OH MY GOSH, BUT HERE COMES THE REAL POINT:

The Norton Unwieldy Doorstop of English Literature may fall tragically short as a token of English major bravado, assuming English major bravado is anything like English major street cred – bravado and street cred which may have slight nuances of difference, but that’s not the point either. The Norton Unwieldy Doorstop of English Literature, all things considered, is more like the Norton Unwieldy Doorstop of English Literature’s Greatest Hits. It’s not even one band’s author’s greatest hits, either, it’s like the literary canon’s equivalent of Now That’s What I Call Music. And, well, it would be embarrassing to fetishize such a thing, oui? Especially if you were the kind of person who would get all condemning about greatest hits albums.

The works included in the Norton are there because the royal They decided that the works were important and radio-worthy. Not only that, the longer prose and poetry are excerpted. Holding an anthology like the Norton on such a high pedestal would not be something any self-respecting snob would do. The hypothetical snob, or how I imagine the hypothetical snob, wouldn’t just be reading the popular Seamus Heaney poems, but also the b-sides; b-sides that would come in the form of a musty paperback from an independent used bookstore that will be cool next week, but not this week, the week when Hypothetical Snob patronizes it. That’s one of the reasons why the Hypothetical Snob is The Real Thing.

I had another point about the Norton falling short, but it depended on some possibly-bad information I once received, that W.W. Norton is really owned by the Textbook Companies That Own EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD EVER Except For The Independent Used Bookstore That Won’t Be Mainstream-Cool Until The Week After Hypothetical Snob Shops There. (Maybe the buy-out is what made it mainstream-cool?) However, some quick and superficial research has revealed that W.W. Norton is an independent publisher. At least that’s what it says on the heading for their website. There might be some huge conspiracy not even the internet could tell me, but the Hypothetical Snob could.

The again, independent labels can put out greatest hits albums, too.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pour hydrogen-peroxide on an arm wound I don’t have, because the mere thought of cutting a tattoo out of my skin makes me hurt – and I don’t even have a tattoo, lot alone an Anti-Flag one. But if I did have an Anti-Flag tattoo, I’d get the girl from The Terror State album art on my lower back. Like a tramp stamp from hell.

The art you have to take the sleeve off to see.


Sink your Teeth into High Court and Revolution: Raud Gríma and Myadar Sölbói cupcakes

Raud Gríma (red) and Myadar Sölbói (blue)
Buenos Baked Goods, Cherished Blog Audience!

Do fictional characters ever inspire you to bake things?

Even when stories they belong in have nothing to do with baking things?

Me, too! Assuming your answer was “yes”.

The other day, while I was doing whatever (probably wistfully contemplating car crashes whilist going 150% the speed limit), inspiration struck. Hence, half a block of cream cheese and a jillion dirty dishes later, Raud Gríma and Myadar Sölbói cupcakes! Those who’ve read Sophia Martin’s The City Darkens (Raud Gríma) (hereunto CD), know that Raud Gríma is a character in a bit of folklore from Myadar Sölbói’s locale. Said locale includes a big city where Myadar and her son Bersi venture to upon the summons of her basically-always-absent courtier-husband Reister. Then they get there and SHIT GOES DOWN. Shit that’s much more action-packed than a nice Protestant woman making cupcakes in the suburbs. Nevertheless, this cupcake experience, like CD, was not without twists and turns!


The final product didn’t match up with what I had originally envisioned. I wanted the Raud Grímas to come off as a force to be reckoned with; the kind of cupcakes you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley. So I decided they would be red velvet cupcakes with black frosting (yes, one can accrue the resources to render frosting black). But somewhere in the process of halving the already-halved recipe, I put in twice as much cocoa as was called for. What went in and came out of the oven was maybe a little red, but not enough, IMO, for there to be both black frosting AND associations with our masked, folklore hero. So I had to alter the frosting color to make up for the lost hue.
Halving the already halved

For Myadar, I thought it would be Right and Proper to make something boozy, like blonde Irish Car Bomb cupcakes; Myadar Moltovs, if you will. Mind you, my idea for Cupcake Booziness wasn’t justified by the revolutionary strand of the novel. Which strand justified it? Well, wouldn’t YOU like to know! (Read the book.)

Blonde car bomb concoctions, however, would require me to buy booze, and I hadn’t a clue what a nice, straight-laced Protestant woman like me would do with the leftovers. Now that Stephanie lives a seven-hour train ride away, there’s no easy way to pass off the leftover hooch to my klepto/nympho/probably-alcoholic sister. This is when I came up with the idea of halving the already halved recipe at the opportune time and omitting the red dye and cocoa from the Myadar part, despite small suspicions that it would taste like sour cream sprinkled with sugar.

The final product of the Raud Grímas weren’t bad. They were intense, but not as intense as other chocolate dessert items I’ve tried. I liked the Myadars better: if that’s what sour cream sprinkled with sugar tastes like, I’m surprised people don’t sprinkle sugar on their sour cream more often. Given the minor confusion with proportions of ingredients, I don’t exactly feel qualified to stamp the recipe I “used” with an official endorsement. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I used twice the prescribed amount of milk.

That being said, having read it hella times, I am qualified to put my stamp of approval on CD. And not just because it has no calories and costs less than the sum total monetary value of the milk and eggs alone! CD employs the perfect proportions of the following ingredients to effectively make it disel(perhaps deco)-punk delicious:

This magnificent e-tome is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.



She's Honest But She's Crazy: using MC Lars to examine Ophelia and Drusilla

About a month ago, I went through a phase where I constantly returned to MC Lars’s “Hey There Ophelia” on my iPod. I listened to other songs out of principle, but I was weirdly drawn back to that same track, over and over, on the way to school, on the way home, while coasting down various streets in my neighborhood on my fucking magnificent inline skates. Even when my earbuds weren’t in, a ghost of it would waft in and out of the back of my mind. Then one day in class I was going about my normal business: doodle doodle doodle brood brood brood angst angst angst…and, “HEY! I TOTALLY KNOW SOMEBODY ELSE WHO’S HONEST BUT SHE’S CRAZY!!!”*

Of course, I’m by far not the first to make the connection between Hamlet’s Ophelia and Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Drusillathis person even called her “our punk Ophelia”. But how many people used “Hey There Ophelia” as a template to break down the similarities? I dunno. If no one has already, I’m sure someone’s doing it right now as I press “publish” on this post. But here I am writing about it anyway, because I have the Blogging Stick.

Before I start, a few words regarding method: every time I quote a lyric from “Hey There Ophelia”, it’ll be bold and in all-caps. Also, excerpts from the lyrics don’t show up in this post in the same order they do in the song. I thought it made less sense to do it that way. So I didn’t (it’s good to have the Blogging Stick). And maybe I should add a spoiler alert.


This is one of the more obvious, or at least simple, ones. When TV Tropes lists Drusilla as an “Ophelia” archetype, they cite the line, “Do you like daisies? Hmm? I plant them, but they always die. Everything I put in the ground withers and dies.” Although we do see her flip out over an arrangement of roses before her birthday party, Drusilla isn’t really one for throwing around flowers. But when Ophelia throws flowers, she’s also saying all kinds of seemingly disjointed things with a sort of deranged whimsy. This is something Drusilla does all the time.


Before we talk about Drusilla’s “virginity gone”, let’s touch on some Ophelia scenes that occurred before the parts in the play where she was throwing around flowers, or getting dragged out of the Guggenheim kicking and screaming.** The men in Ophelia’s life – her father Polonius and her brother Laertes – have taken a keen interest in Ophelia’s love life. At this point in her life, it might be the most significant part, seeing as the play was written at a time where women had to get creative if they wanted the gamut of their options to extend farther than marriage-and-babies and nunneries.

The interest Laertes and Polonius have taken in Ophelia’s love life, specifically the part that involved Prince Hamlet (with whom Ophelia had a history with outside of the scope of the play), comes with a bit of micro-managing. The micro-managing ranges from unsolicited advice to staging convoluted plans involving hiding behind tapestries; zealously trying to exert influence like they were Lizzy Bennet’s mom or something… whose name is slipping my mind, possibly because Pride And Prejudice having a place on a survey class’s syllabus doesn’t mean I won’t doodle doodle angst angst right past it.

At one point, Drusilla, too, had a man zealously interested in significant (meaning, all) parts of her life (it’s worth mentioning that there was no history between him and Drusilla like there was Hamlet and Ophelia when the interest was taken). Only this interest was less like Lizzy Bennet’s mom and more like a deranged serial killer. Then again, maybe I missed something while I was doodle-angsting and Lizzy Bennet’s mom really WAS a serial killer. Anyway, the prolifically murderous vampire Angelus made a point to exert influence over Drusilla’s life when he decided to make her his “masterpiece” by means of tormenting her into insanity before siring her into the ranks of the undead.

btw – I KILLED MY GIRLFRIEND’S DAD, HE WAS SPYING NOW HE’S DEAD – one of Angelus’s methods of making mincemeat out of Drusilla’s mental health was killing off her entire family. The chief difference here being intention: Angelus killed Drusilla’s father and everyone else on purpose. For Hamlet, who thought he was about to stab Cladius and not Polonius, it was a total accident. I mean, sometimes you get mistaken for someone you’re not when you cultivate a propensity for hiding behind tapestries.

While we’re at it, Hamlet tells Ophelia to GET THEE TO A NUNNERY because, basically, he was being a dick. No one told Drusilla, “Get thee to a nunnery.” Before Angelus even came on the scene, Drusilla wanted to live a religious life. After driving her insane, Angelus waited until Drusilla went to a nunnery on her own volition. On the day she took her holy orders, Angelus busted in and finished off his “masterpiece” by making her into a vampire.

An important defining moment of Drusilla’s life was a man’s doing. It was an action less subtle and way the fuck more malicious than Polonius trying to be Lizzy Bennett’s mom, and Angelus did have a female accomplice for parts of it… but it was Angelus’s obsession, Angelus’s dirty work, Angelus’s “masterpiece” that made an indelible mark on Drusilla. Mind you, I don’t think we can officially make Ophelia’s death anyone’s fault either. There’s nothing in the way of interpreting that demise as not self-inflicted. She could have just misjudged the weight of a branch while climbing the tree. There are lots of reasons for climbing trees that have no suicidal intent attached to them. Tree climbing is fun.


The gender dynamic in BtVS is fundamentally different than men, strong; women, helpless. And the gender dynamic is probably complicated in Hamlet if you squint at the text long enough and/or do an extensive search for literary analysis that makes such claims. Or just spend more time thinking about Shakespeare than I do. Nevertheless a popular interpretation of mental health in Hamlet is that Hamlet’s more contemplative, question-probing mode of mental-disturbance next to Ophelia’s nonsensical daisy-throwing is a statement of men being more rational creatures to begin with, and women being overly sentimental slaves to their emotion. More than that: the root of mental health problems in women, more often than not, is because their sexuality has wormed into their brain and corroded whatever sanity was there in the first place.

Angelus’s damage on Drusilla was already done when she met and sired a man who would come to be known as “Spike”. They proceeded with a VERY FUCKING LONG long-term romantic/sexual relationship*** (longer than Hamlet and Ophelia’s entire lifespans), and a relationship, in which, Drusilla is hardly a lovesick tool (not necessarily trying to say Ophelia’s a lovesick tool either).

Drusilla and Spike definitely loved each other, and, frankly, despite all the fuck-uppedness that comes with being undead super villains, their relationship was probably healthier than Hamlet and Ophelia’s. But when Drusilla saw that it wasn’t working anymore, she did break it off. Spike was becoming preoccupied with the Slayer and Drusilla could see that this would only grow overtime (oh, right, did I mention that Drusilla can see the future?). Despite her trademark insanity, Drusilla was calm and rational about it, judging by the flashback of the breakup. While we aren’t shown how Drusilla spent her post-breakup days, I’m pretty sure she didn’t drunk-drive back to Sunnydale and blubber hopelessly on the shoulders of her archenemies.

click for source


Suppose we put aside all open contemplation of reasons why (overcome with grief for her dead father/pre-existing unfortunate brain chemistry/fell in love with a dick/tree-climbing hobby gone wrong) Ophelia died and make the assumption that she really did kill herself. Ophelia would be different in that way because Drusilla never says “die”. When still a human and Angelus was systematically pulling the fingers off her grip on reality, he had to work to track her down at that nunnery. Drusilla never laid down and was like, “Fuck it, this is hard, just make me a vampire or kill me, I’m done.” Likewise, after she became a vampire, she didn’t attempt suicide – something we know vampires are capable of. Angel (formerly known as Angelus) almost tried it, as did Spike. And Edward, come to think of it.

Yes. I said Edward. Deal with it.

Therefore, gentle readers, Drusilla and Ophelia are similar, but not interchangeable. The reasons for this are numerous, including but not exclusive to Ophelia not being a vampire and Drusilla refraining from staking herself on the flimsiest branch of a willow tree, let alone stake herself on a branch in Denmark circa the sucky “rights” of women.

* Spike tells Anya sometime in season 5: “Drusilla was always straightforward. Never knowing a single buggerin’ clue about what was going on in front of her, but she was straight about it!”

** In a 2000 film of Hamlet, Julia Stiles plays an Ophelia with cool nail polish who burns Polaroids, and, as previously mentioned, has a fit in the Guggenheim Museum. Speaking of modern depictions of Ophelia, if, when you listened to the MC Lars song, you were like, “wtf is ‘Soft Cell’?”, here’s some context (I wtfed too):

*** Made possible by being around for a VERY FUCKING LONG time. Neither were born or sired in Shakespeare’s day, but it was a century and some change before they arrived in Sunnydale to grace the town with their various evil exploits. Attempted apocalypses and whatnot, ya know, vampire stuff.


Regarding The Divine Justice System & Dying With Your Roller Blades On

Thanks to my friend the Clerk and various bill-paying proselytizers across the Bay Area, tracts continue to float my way. The majority of the tracts continue to feature gavels and fire and rhetorical questions about whether or not you, gentle reader, knew that one day you will stand before God in judgment. The tract-authors implore the tract-recipients to THINK about what this entails; reflect, o sinner, on the laundry list of misdeeds you’ll have to answer for, because without adhering to what we believe is right, well, you’re pretty much toast.

These tracts have, in fact, got me to thinking about Judgment Day recently. I’m not sure if it’s the kind of thinking the tract-authors were hoping for. The thoughts are colored with the same kind of wistful detachment that accompanies the light contemplations I have in the car, while going 150% the speed limit, of how horrid it would be to be paralyzed and/or have the asphalt scrape my face off in an accident that is both catastrophic and completely justified by the laws of physics.

From these wistful ponderings, I have come to the solid conclusion that I like the idea of Judgment Day about as much as I like the idea of being paralyzed. Or, at least, I don’t like the image of Judgment Day that the rhetorical questions, gavels, and fire seem to be selling. My dislike doesn’t begin with the eventual consequences of ending up in heaven or hell, but with the notion of having my entire earthly existence recited back to me. This sounds extremely tedious and boring. Even if the mornings in church pews, sweaty nights in mosh pits, and other pleasant bits of my life were included in the playback, it would get very old very fast. I mean, really. If the posthumous plane of consciousness is so elevated, enlightened, and heavenly, how is there nothing better to do than listen to someone prattle off a million and one regrettable and/or nostalgic “been there / done that” moments? What good is that going to do?

I also don’t like the idea of Judgment Day because the judge, as much as I can glean from all this tract literature, reminds me of one of the professors on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Unlike other special antagonists on BtVS, the professors don’t turn out to be demons. They’re humans, and generally assholes. The one that comes to mind is the one who told Buffy, with no humor or discretion whatsoever (a term which here means “in front of the entire lecture hall”), that because Buffy was there to crash the class, she was draining all the energy out of the room and must leave immediately.

So, on top of the tiresome task of trying not to fall asleep during a recitation of my entire earthly existence, it also turns out to be a Power Point lecture given by a cranky professor. Like a professor who has been a professor longer than their peace of mind can withstand, but has tenure so can’t be fired and doesn’t quit because, convenience, health benefits, and the daunting prospect of having to unglue oneself from the pod of bitterness they’ve been inhabiting for so many years. But in this tract-based, Judgment Day scenario, we’re taking about the Ultimate Cranky Professor, who was tenured before tenure was invented, see: Creator of the Universe. The Ultimate Cranky Professor (heretofore UCP) doesn’t hold your course load for this semester in your hands, but is there to weigh your whole damn life by his cranky, cranky standards.

And by the time UCP is done detailing all the reasons how and why you (hereunto “I”, because the impersonal you can be kind of rude) are and are not draining all the energy out of the room, it’s time for Lawyer Jesus to offer his defense. Lawyer Jesus is tired, and desires nothing more than to go home to fall asleep in his recliner in front of the TV. I would too if I were him, because he’s been in this windowless auditorium for, like, ever, and there’s not enough coffee in all of eternity to make sitting through Power Points for every single person who ever lived any less tedious. If I couldn’t infer this already, I’d be able to tell by the tone of Lawyer Jesus’ voice when he sighs and tells UCP, “Dad, she said the Sinner’s Prayer and signed it October 30th, 2008.”* Then UCP will not even bother to stifle an eye-roll, and begrudgingly admit me into heaven.

On top of all that, I’d have to stand in line to wait for my turn at this long, boring, occasionally embarrassing experience.


Fuck that.

Fuck all of that.

In my humble opinion, that shit makes standing on top a pillar look like Splash Mountain.

After I die, if and when they tell me to take a number and stand in line, before I’m so insanely zonked from standing in line for longer than any soul can stand…

At the thought of that edge of endless irritation in UCP’s voice…

And Lawyer Jesus glazing over, quietly yearning, in the back of his head, for whatever’s waiting for him back home on his DVR…

I think the instinct to bail would hit me like that one time I had a near miss with a skunk on my cul-de-sac. I was finally starting to get the hang of t-stopping on my inline skates, feeling so triumphant as I brought myself to a halt. Then I looked up to see a skunk standing about ten feet away from me. I was already starting to turn around when the skunk started turning around, too. His tail rose and my whole body was electrified with the vivid instinct to SKATE AWAY! SKATE AWAY!

Fleeing from a skunk about to spray you is near-always advisable. I’m not saying it’s The Right Thing to do on Judgment Day. I’m not saying it’s what Lawyer Jesus or Real Jesus or Action Figure Jesus or Rollerblading Jesus would have me do. Nor am I saying this is what I’d officially recommend other people do. I’m just saying, when left to my natural, homework-avoiding sensibilities, I would much rather melt into the meditative bliss of eternally skating farther and father away. Given my perhaps oversimplified and unfair interpretation of the tracts the Clerk keeps giving me, what else could I conclude about Judgment Day except that it is the bureaucratic equivalent of a disillusioned deity skunking in a human face forever?

*  I also heard something about Christians being co-judges of the world? I don’t relish the idea of being on jury duty for Judgment Day either.


emo waffles

This isn’t really an emo waffle, it’s a Tahoe Waffle. Although the pictured waffle is bleeding blackberry syrup, I’d recommend them with maple instead. The maple just tastes better. I probably came to this conclusion because this waffle recipe is more savory than the one I’m used to (a plus IMO!) and the maple makes a better complement than the blackberry. Real live fresh blackberries* (versus blackberries in syrup-from) would probably be a delicious accompaniment.

To make up for all the emo these waffles are not, here’s Amanda Palmer covering a Death Cab for Cutie that’s so emo, it might render you so sad that you’ll be moved to self-medicate by binge-eating a double batch of Tahoe Waffles:

* Berries as black as your black, broken heart. </3


If a Tree Falls in the Forest and Doesn't Read Chaucer, is it Still a Writer?

It’s a week ago and I’m sitting on lukewarm linoleum floor in a basement because on Tuesdays and Thursdays all of my classes are in windowless rooms. (One might think this would diminish the distraction level, but, no cigar.) It might also be worth mentioning that in this floor-sitting scenario, I’m in the hall outside the classroom where my survey class takes place, not sitting on the floor during my survey class playing with toy trucks. I’m waiting for the big rotation; the chronoctical* framework of time allotments; the clockwork on which the university I attend is wound. Sentence fragment sentence fragment. Jazzhands.

Do I still have your attention?

Thank you for your patience.

I’m sitting there on the floor under a bell jar of caffeine withdrawal and poor air circulation, “taking notes” (re: disassociating in the margins with a pencil) on something John Stuart Mil wrote when someone asks me if I’m an English major. Because, surprise: someone else sat down in the general vicinity of my occupied floor space since I got there. Whodathunk.

I answer this surprise dude, “Yeah.” Then the needle sets down on the slowly rotating LP of my Better Grasp Of Consciousness and I add, “…do people who aren’t English majors take survey classes?”

“I’m not an English major,” Surprise Dude says. “When he [the professor] asked if there were any interdisciplinary people in the class, I was the only one who raised their hand. You didn’t, but it didn’t look like you were engaged, so I figured I’d ask.”

Well, yeah. I mean, I’m a turntable in a woman’s body. I have no central nervous system. It helps if I’m sitting next to an electrical socket.

Not the point.

Surprise Dude is a Classics major. He’s not only taking our lit survey of the 18th and 19th centuries, but also for the prior era. “I also plan to take the one after this one,” he says. “Because I want to be a writer, so I’m going to have to know it someday.”

Which prompts a flashback to Mr. Yale, my lower division survey professor. Not as often as he’d regale his class with proud anecdotes from his undergrad years at Yale, but often enough he would repeat to the class what he tells all students who come to his office hours saying they want to be a writer. It went like this:

If you want to be a writer, you MUST read Chaucer, you MUST read Spenser, you MUST read Milton, you MUST…

At which point the needle would lift from the LP of my Better Grasp of Consciousness and be swapped out for a recorded live reading of, like, Rilke? I don’t know. Honestly, it totally probably wouldn’t be a live reading of anything. It would probably be Arrivals and Departures or Static Age. For mentioning those two albums in the same sentence, an elitist punk snob somewhere is choking on their own vomit, but that’s their problem.

Because, Surprise Dude and Mr. Yale, if you want to be a writer, IMHO, there is no required reading list. You don’t have to slog through every last one of The Canterbury Tales or recite Wordsworth or be able to tell someone at the drop of a fedora the difference between a Petrarchan sonnet and a whatever-that-other-kind-of-sonnet is called. Not if you don’t want to.

And if when you say “I want to be a writer” you actually mean “I want to be a published writer”, I get that there’s some required reading there for business purposes. I have self-published friends who have to market their own books and I’ve written a handful of queries myself: I know you have to be able to compare your writing to what’s out there to give people a feeling of where in the galaxy of genres your stuff floats.

I get all that.

I’m just saying: by virtue of writing, like, a sentence (maybe even less), you’re a writer.

Mind you, I said nothing of the kind to Surprise Dude. There was no intelligent discourse on the matter. I kind of glazed over and murmured something about how too much disengagement is like cigarettes because it will give you emphysema of the soul. Then we stopped talking.

The following day, I had a vaguely similar conversation with one of my few neighbors who isn’t a fundamentalist about whether or not you can compensate for the perceived mopedishness of inline skates with a Misfits shirt (spoiler alert: by that logic, you can’t; not just because they sell them at Forever 21) (additional spoiler alert: it’s far easier to not give even the smallest modicum of a flying fuck). But I’m not going to regurgitate that here, because at some point I’m really just entertaining myself and I’d like to maintain some semblance of artistic integrity. That’s what it’s called right? The thing I’m trying to say?

Agree? Disagree? Do you have a required reading list? Did someone named Artistic Integrity punch you in the face when you were a kid?

*This is a word. I’m not even joking. I’m not telling the truth either. But I’m not telling it with a straight face. That’s what counts.


Stephanie the Blogging Stick Stealer

I have a problem. Due to a bureaucratic error with our birth certificates, my problem has the same first name as me. But for the purposes of (1) avoiding confusion, as well as (2) reclaiming my tiny corner of cyberspace, we’re going to call her middle name, Stephanie.

Stephanie, my pyro-klepto evil twin sister has boundary issues. This has never been a mystery to me. When we were kids, she was always stealing my Buffy action figures. On top of that, she hasn’t really been the same since her girlfriend left her right after she became a novice at the convent at Lilith Cathedral. What little I overheard from their closing fight went something like this:

“Beb, we can work something out…”


Poor girl.

And when I say “poor girl” I do not mean Stephanie.

Because this time Stephanie went too far…

Stephanie stole the my Blogging Stick.

But before I go into that, allow me tell you something else about Stephanie. We may share the same face and first name, but we are not the same person. Perhaps one of the strongest points I can use to illustrate this is in how Stephanie became a distance professor. As a supporter and defender of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, I wouldn’t try to burn down a library. I just wouldn’t. It feels a little too Fahrenheit 451-ish for someone who’s supposed to be a champion for the First Amendment.

That’s right: Stephanie tried to burn down the library at Saint Thecla’s University. Could we say that it’s ironic that a Buffy Studies professor would try to set ablaze to an academic institution, what with the (SPOILER ALERT) razing of the school gym at the end of the Buffy movie and (ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT) the destruction of the high school at the close of season three? No. If we were to use the term “ironic” accurately, we really couldn’t. It would be more accurate to declare the irony that lies in the faculty’s passive-aggressive decision to tell her she could stay on staff so long as she stayed Very Far Away from the campus. They may have put this forth to get rid of her, but they also put it forth without taking into account the phenomenon of online learning. Thus, my sister still teaches for them via the ultra-modern loopholes the Internet provides. All because no one had the balls to outright tell her, “You’re fired, Stephanie.”

Now she’s in Mount Shasta.

Hijacking my blog.

That bitch.

Hence, some of the things I’ve been writing recently have not been written by me. Getting crossfaded and promiscuous as a means of lassoing people into the faith? That’s all her. I am the paradigm of nice, mainstream-Protestant values, thank you very much. Alienating any possible Unwashed Hippies from the general blog audience? Well, that’s not the me either. Because I have tact. The logic that numerous consecutive Hot Toddys are the only thing that’s better than one Hot Toddy? Do I LOOK like an alcoholic to you? (Please don’t answer that.)

Like I said, the things she writes are not things I write. If one day you type this URL into your web-browser and the name of the blog has been changed to “LOUD SEX AT THE NUNNERY”, you know that my evil twin is at it again. If you read something here along the lines of,

“Seeing how many times I can make a military recruiter repeat themselves is definitely on the list of my favorite pastimes.”


“I don’t always back up into park vehicles, but when I do, I drive away quickly.”

that’s not me. That’s Stephanie. Unless it’s nothing you find offensive and/or prompts you to sit me down at your kitchen table for an intervention because you’re worried about the state of my soul*, then it is I to whom all credit is due. Especially if you find it wildly clever to boot – those parts are all me.

Now that I have unwittingly retrieved the Blogging Stick, more substantial and less unabashedly self-referential writing will balance out the errors of my sister. Pinkie Swear.

Also, Stephanie, if you’re reading this: I found the blueprints you and Chloe drew up – the ones for the metal super-soaker with which to spray innocent passersby with scalding hot liquids, yes? You’re not getting them back until you give me back my Buffy the Vampire Slayer inflatable chair. Just sayin.

* Because I’m sure you have the time to do this and no life of your own to worry about instead…?


Saying ABSOLUTELY NOTHING In Particular About Responsible Triviality and Gif Abuse

I have not run the gamut everything I could be doing except my linguistics paper in the past 24 hours...

…and when I say “linguistics paper”, I mean grading papers. Because I’m a professor.

Anyway, the reason why I can’t say I’ve done everything EXCEPT grade papers in the past 24 hours is because that would defy the Laws of Procrastination. While suspended in academic inertia, I tend to maintain the personal delusion that I will start grading papers sometime in, like, the next five minutes. Therefore, it’s unrealistic and irresponsible to consciously commit to something as time-consuming as a full-length feature film or picking up where I left off in The Chelsea Whistle. Which is too bad. I mean, if I were honest with myself about my unspoken commitment to dwindle the rest of my waking hours on pointless non-activities, I could at least drink. Because, let’s face it, folks: the only thing better than a Hot Toddy is numerous, consecutive Hot Toddys.

According to the warped logic of the Laws of Procrastination, intensely trivial activities are The Responsible Thing To Do. Because if the Paper-Grading’s gonna go down in, like, five minutes, anything that I’m going to do that’s not grading papers better be quick. For example, Tweets are written. Not only is Tweeting a relatively small exercise, there’s an additional delusion that everything I accomplish in the perpetual five minutes before I start in on my less palatable responsibilities drips with importance. Anyone who follows me on Twitter must want to know about it. Why wouldn’t they? (See also: the existence of this blogpost.)

After a smattering of Tweets, I might get up and make rice pudding – because, all things considered, making rice pudding doesn’t take all that long, does it? While ladling out the finished product, it will occur to me that vegetarian chili fries would be THE BEST THING EVER; second only to the post-chili-fry GENIUS that is cookie-baking. These, of course, take more time than a full-length feature film, but…in the grander scheme of things...


I will admit that the endless five minutes are further perpetuated by all the dishes dirtied by these GENIUS culinary shenanigans, and it would be sorely irresponsible of me if I left them all festering at the side of the sink.

Then, with dishpan hands and keystrokes, it will suddenly seem to be very important that I try my hand at being one of Those People who overload their blogposts with gifs. I already dabbled in ending posts with music videos, how different is that from the novel gimmick of gifs? I mean, really. What’s the worst that could happen?

You know who didn’t ask herself that latter question very often? High School Me. A very short-sighted, small-picture woman, High School Me was. Once, in causal conversation with someone she hardly ever spoke to at school, it was brought to light that the near-stranger had read her Live Journal on a more-than-once basis. Which was like…what?

High School Me wasn’t expecting that.

A bit of a wake-up call.

Let that be a lesson to you: if you wish to blunder forth according to your most cherished misconceptions, best to not talk to anyone lest said misconceptions are challenged. Likewise, if heavily drinking on a daily basis continually fails to be compatible with your rudimentary Protestant morality: give up church for Lent. But only for Lent – assuming that you’re in any way attached to the prospect of pastors being your bridesmaids.

And High School Me was operating ten years ago. I’m sure it’s gotten “worse” since then…because the world’s on a trajectory towards ultimate shittiness…right? That’s how that story went? I don’t know. There’s a draft of a text message saved in my phone that reads, “The world through my urethra (rev 2)”. I’m torn about that, too – whether or not I want to remember its context.

Anyway: these days, I’m not terribly worried about being surprised about who reads my Live Journal. For one, I no longer have a Live Journal. For two, I’ve seen the numbers (as far as page-views on this blog goes), and nine times out of ten, I’m near-exclusively writing or Chloe, Sophia, and the Time Machine Mechanic. Sometimes Anita, too.

Mind you, I’m not complaining about the limited readership. It makes me feel like I have more license to spontaneously revert the purposes of posts to platonic love letters without it being too weird or alienating.

I love you guys.

BTW, I stole all the gifs from here. They stole them from somewhere else.


Hippies and Tater Tots

Last August, I was in the backseat of my landlord’s sanely proportioned sports utility vehicle when an unwashed hippie crossed the street in front of us. A framed backpack mounted his shoulders. His bare feet were darkened with dirt, nearly black at the soles, gradually dissipating up his legs, but dirty nonetheless. Dirt that never ends. Mount Shasta is a pilgrimage site or something for Unwashed Hippies. In the warmer months they flock in with their dreadlocks and sweat-stained hemp clothing to patronize crystal shops and (ironically) shave their legs in the lakes. They wade in the headwaters of the Sacramento River despite such wading being explicitly forbidden. They powwow near the natural food store. They jut out their dirt-encrusted thumbs on the side of the road.

They deliberately refrain from bathing for one reason or another. I’m sure there are a smattering for whom it isn’t a choice, but nevertheless, I’m told that part of the Unwashed Hippie Lifestyle is that one chooses not to bathe. Soap is unnatural, you see. Mind you, most of my Unwashed Hippie Information is technically hearsay. I did a stunning job of NOT doing any background research or fact-checking on my own. However, I did manage to find the time to fact-check after I heard a preacher quote Desmond Tutu saying something about how we are God carriers.

I tried turning this over in my head for a while, like rosaries for neuro-pathways: God carrier, God carrier, God carrier… A pulse of divinity through my normally-clogged consciousness while walking the dog: God carrier, God carrier, God c-OH NO ANOTHER GOD CARRIER RUN AWAY!…

Please understand that I’m not publicly condoning any outright, blind hatred towards any individual or demographic of individuals. (I’m also not saying I hate these people. I just don’t like the way they smell.) I’m being honest about what’s encoded in the chain-mail that enshrouds my heart and dilutes all the Jesus that tries to get out. It sings something to the tune of, “Carry God any way you want, just… don’t do it around me.” This sentiment is frequently followed by a retreat into my tent with a can of Lysol, clutched close like a shut-in in a gated community sleeping with a rocket launcher under their pillow. Because who needs the cleansing work of acceptance and other God Stuff when you have a good, sturdy, Girl-Scout-grade sleeping bag to pull over your head?

This is my tent. Clearly, my tent exists for real.
Also, if you can name the Buffy episode that's
playing on my unreasonably large television set,
you get a prize.
...that's a lie. It's more like I get a prize, because if you
did so even half-accurately, I would collapse into a fit of
spasmodic squealing and glee.

In other news, “heresy” comes from the Greek word for choice. That may merit an entire post all on its own, but when I started brainstorming (laziest two seconds OF MY LIFE), it went like this: choice... cafeteria Christianity... cafeterias? Ooooh my gosh, tater tots are AMAZING... let’s run inside and see what Sophia and Jeff think about tater tots for dinner.

Furthermore, chickens.


Now that I’ve posted this, I need to go ask my pastors if they’ll still be my bridesmaids.

Dear Few-People-Who-Read-This-Blog (I probably even know who you are. I’d give shout-outs. But that would be tacky-HI NOËL!*)

It has come to my attention that regular upkeep of one’s blog is Good and Proper. However, I’ve never been much for Goodness or Propriety, at least not in the ways that Goodness and Propriety have been explained to me. This personal preference is accompanied by a small burden of guilt that usually crops up during large family gatherings and church functions… The point HERE being that I am obviously not so great with generating posts on a consistent, weekly basis. I’m not saying I don’t admire those who do. I’m just saying that I’m about as good with blog-upkeep as I am with proselytizing.

The two activities in and of themselves are far from a perfect comparison, but I will say that unlike the infrequency of my blogposts, I am scrupulously consistent in my proselytizing methods. You see, I corral one or more people together who I know for certain to be People Who Hold The Wrong Beliefs (including but not exclusive to people who identify as Christian and are allegedly are kidding themselves). I then engage in activities that cause me to lose control of my body (this is key – so key, in fact, that its name could be Dawn). Once I’ve got my head in a toilet/am stuck squirming on the ground and have everyone’s attention because they’re all wondering how someone could have that kind of reaction to such a small amount of weed/am naked, I ask if they’ve heard the Good News About Jesus Christ. Regardless of their answer – I probably didn’t hear it over the vomiting/haze of overriding intoxication/nakedness (sometimes nudity is a deafening experience) – I tell them we should say the Sinner’s Prayer, as soon as they would please be so kind as to Google it, because by that time I’m too fucked up to remember what exactly the Sinner’s Prayer is, let alone what it says.

Success rate? I can’t be sure, see: the state of such otherworldly fuckupedness that I’ve lost 95%+ of contact with reality. But it’s the thought that counts.

Thus, I’m going to provide a link here to Rob Bell’s tumblr. That way, when all my indiscretions get replayed to me at Judgment Day, I can point to this one time I suggested Christian cyber-literature to the few people who read my blog, and tell (not ask) Saint Peter that it counts for something.

* Another reason why the shout-out idea isn’t a good one: because now I feel bad for not making everyone my bridesmaid. That’s how it works, right? Bridesmaids are a birthday party thing? Bastille Day? Before I careen any further in an irredeemable direction, here are some Tim Burton-esque deep-fried donut-scraps. #vivelagluten

Also, if you got the Buffy reference, I want to be your friend forever.


How to b.s. a church history paper, part 3

They Had Risen Indeed: Christian Pluralism, Cigarettes, and Donuts in the Roman Empire

THROUGHOUT THE MISTS OF TIME, people have bickered over which soteriology is the most salvific. The doctrinal anarchy of the π th century was no exception. From Jerusalem to Byzantium and back, the metallic crashes of clashing gastronomical theologies and their aromatic diversity filled the air. In the east, a smattering of fermented laypeople had theurgical epiphanies that inspired Docetic donuts. Meticulous ecumenical calculations in the west gave us the Kabbalah kabob, partially inspired by widespread Platonic pizza of centuries of yore. Meanwhile, renowned heresiologist Zarathustra-Tertullian IV’s self-proclaimed orthopraxy in cake-baking brought him to conclude that he was qualified to wield the Orthodox Stick with his attacks on rival Christologies. This paper will not concentrate on Docetic donuts or Kabbalah kabobs, but the objects of Zathustra-Tertullian’s (hereunto, ZT) most well-known theological foes, the Baguette Brothers of Pelagnism and Semi-Pelganism, and Quasimodo of the Quasi-Biblical Non Sequiturs.

Quasimodo of the Quasi-Biblical Non Sequiturs was originally known as Jerome Bacon. Jerome Bacon grew up in a boarding school that focused on producing informed hermenuticists. The story of how Jerome Bacon became the figure ZT would later flagellate with the Orthodoxy Stick is one of mildly-gritty, but not obnoxiously gritty, coming-of-age-ness. Like many who feel stifled by desk-ridden academia, Jerome Bacon became very bored and annoyed with his lot in life. Eventually, instead of spending his nights knee-deep in his prescribed studies, Jerome ended up chilling at a gay bar, where he would end up having the revelation that transformed him into Quasimodo of the Quasi-Biblical Non Sequiturs.

The gay bar happened to be the very close neighbor of ZT’s monastery. Scholars throughout the centuries have suggested that it is this and not the far-fetched claims of Quasimodo’s Gnostic gluten-occultism, is the real reason that fired up ZT to write lengthy exegesis against Quasimodo’s work and proposed edicts that were strategic in outlawing certain Quasimodo’s doctrines. ZT had nothing against gay bars, per se, but this gay bar had an unusually large demographic of chain-smoking clientele. ZT’s window was the closest in the monastery to the gay bar itself, thus he was most privy to the pervading miasma of second-hand smoke. Can ya blame the guy for having a chip on his shoulder? ZT had a bad case of asthma. Just sayin.

Aaaanyhizzle, the work that ZT would later condemn as anti-canonical apocrypha (and Quasi-Biblical Non Sequiturs) was a sort-of beatnik take on various wisdom literature: terse proverb-like non-proverb stuff and Ecclesiastes-esque musings against petite-bourgeois consumerism. One of Quasimodo’s works held up Courtney Love’s “Doll Parts” as a perfect example of the disillusioning effect of objectification via capitalism. This made Quasimodo a prophet since both capitalism as we know it and Courtney Love were things of the very-far-off future. Which might also be why it was such a strong point of contention with ZT: although such anachronistic pop culture references were a part of Quasimodo’s spiritual reality, they were not included in ZT’s.

ZT also raised gender issues in his criticisms of the plausibility of the vision that would turn then-Jerome-Bacon into the Quasimodo of Quasi-Biblical Non Sequiturs. The vision then-Jerome-Bacon had was of a female figure named Christine who bought American Spirits by the carton – something else that ZT would dissect as a non-God characteristic, because, surely, if who ZT presumed was Jesus in Quasimodo’s text was really Jesus and Jesus was really smoking American Spirits, he would not buy them, but conjure them, collecting sticks, syringes, and other debris and supernaturally transforming them from the previous matter into smoke-able products. (Was that a run-on sentence? Guess who doesn’t care.) The conjuring would make strong associations with the water-to-wine miracles of the Gospels, and therefore making the Jesus-ness of the character more plausible. ZT also had a bone to pick with the kind of American Spirits “Jesus” was smoking: “If Jesus was a smoker at all,” ZT wrote, “he would not smoke menthols. That’s the rule I made up just now.” You may be wondering why ZT keeps referring to Christine as “Jesus”. This is where the gender issues that I mentioned in the topic sentence of this paragraph come in. Took me long enough, right? ZT was so in denial about the possibility of a woman-deity-figure existing in the Judeo-Christian consciousness, even in the case of someone he deemed a heretic, that he assumed “Christine” was a typo where “Christ” was originally intended. Therefore, ZT concluded, this apparent “Christine” was definitely “Jesus”. Even in the utterly impossible event that this supernatural femaleness could occur, ZT figured, it would not happen in a gay bar, as clearly male homosexuals were woman-haters by nature. This is insanely ignorant. But it’s not my opinion, it’s ZT’s. I’m just quoting him.

Quasimodo detailed to the hagiographers at E-News the first appearance of the chain-smoking, gay-bar-dwelling Christine: “Thus, she approached and said unto me, ‘Jerome Bacon, you will now be Quasimodo.’ And I was like, ‘Why Quasimodo, LORD?’ And she was like, ‘b/c I think the name is cute, and someone will someday call the things you write ‘Quasi-Biblical Non Sequiturs’. I like alliteration. Furthermore, I need you to up and bail from this place in the time of 30-50 days and make a one-way pilgrimage to Notre Dame, where you will neither eat nor sex, but pen the musings of your heart during the time in which you are not ringing the bells.’ To which I said, ‘What’s this Nortre Dame place, and how do I know they will accept me as a bell-ringer?’ ‘Chillax, bro,’ the LORD said unto me, ‘I got this covered.’ Christine then also said that I would know what to write because she would direct my heart what to say.”

Thus, after a period of 31 days, in which he organized his affairs and his friends threw him bon voyage parties, Quasimodo got on a Greyhound bus for Paris. Our faithful and possibly-hallucinating pilgrim applied for the position of bell-toller at Notre Dame cathedral. Despite fierce competition – it was a very nonsexually sexy job, you see – the monks and nuns awarded him the title. I know. I was one of them. Quasimodo moved into the bell-tower, an established votary, who took on an ascetic lifestyle. The monks supplied him with cartons of menthol American Spirits, and he smoked them as he adorned the bells with iconography of his gay bar Christine, with abstract embellishments of Pollock-like paint splatters. Christine would eventually appear to him again, saying, “Alright, Quasi, don’t get me wrong or anything, I mean, the icons are nice. But I asked you to write the musings of your heart.” Quasimodo replied, “I know, LORD, but…I’ve got writer’s block. And I don’t know how to write. I know I didn’t mention it at the gay bar, but I don’t think I’m up to putting my thoughts into words.” Christine told Quasimodo that he should trust her and that she would direct his heart to write such things. After the vision, Quasimodo put off the writing for 15 more days, fraught with anxiety and smoking more cigarettes than he was used to. He didn’t drink any water, either, so eventually the smoking, mixed with the heat-wave that hit Paris that winter, made him get a migraine and puke his guts out. Quasimodo started crying and cried, “Okay, I get it. I realize this migraine was punishment for my procrastination.” Christine showed up posthaste and was like, “Hey, dude. That was no punishment. Punishment is not how I roll. You’re dehydrated and smoking more stoges than even I smoke. But, here, before this vomit dries – I’m telling you now – take this stick and dip it in and I will tell you what to write.”Quasimodo took the glittery fairy-stick from Christine and said, “What wondrous stick is this, LORD?” And Christine was like, “I see what you’re trying to do – don’t change the subject just so you can put this off more. I’m right here. I’m going to help you write this.” Christine then dictated to Quasimodo what to write and Quasi wrote it. His migraine eventually lifted, and once Quasimodo got going, Christine didn’t have to DIRECTLY dictate to him anymore, and his faith increased manifold.

There, on the floor of the bell tower, Quasimodo transcribed what ZT would later call Quasi-Biblical Non Sequiturs – a title which he meant to be derogatory, but Quasimodo’s followers adopted it lovingly, much like how “beatnik” and “Christian” were supposed to be derogatory terms and the actual beatniks and Christians made it their own. After he was finished, Quasimodo fell asleep in the corner. The monks arrived with Quasimodo’s menthol American Spirits, saw the dried up vomit, and were amazed. They ran down to their quarters to fetch their scrolls and inkwells, and ran back up the stairs to capture the vomit-writing in ink-writing, eventually waking up Quasimodo for some verification, since vomit-writing can be hard to read sometimes.

Quasimodo’s asceticism was yet another point of contention for ZT. Few movements of the day swore off food, seeing as the movements were mostly baked-good-based. ZT said that he would have found Quasimodo’s spiritual revelation more plausible if Jesus (Christine, really) prompted him to make and eat food instead of abstain from food altogether. ZT deemed Quasimodo’s anomalous asceticism unholy. Although ZT was essentially against Pelagnism and Semipelganism, he had some nice things to say about it, while he had no nice things to say about Quasimodo’s movement.

Pelagnism (seeded) and Semipelganism (unseeded) were conceived by JM and MM, also known as the Baguette Brothers. JM is short of Joesphus Meredith, this abbreviation causes him to be frequently confused with Justin Martyr in ecclesiastical scholarship, but, you can’t win ‘em all. MM is short for Meredith Meredith ,because, again, you can’t win ‘em all.

JM and MM came from a theological background of bizarre eschatology from an obscure cult of patristic nomads. Even the most radical on the outer-most fringe of Jewish Apocalyptists wouldn’t touch this theology. It was that weird. So very much so, that can’t begin to accurately describe it in this essay. So I won’t try. I mean, it’s a pretty long paper already. Despite being long-steeped in these creeds, JM and MM felt like they were out of their element, and broke off to establish a more conventional order in a suburban setting. This element of conventionality, however subtle, was why ZT managed to formulate a few, rare, nice things to say about their heresy. “At least,” ZT wrote, “JM and MM have managed to include a structured liturgy in their weird religious ways.”

The liturgy was like this:

Wake up 1.5 hours before sunrise. Make baguettes. Carry baguettes through streets much like how Episcopalians carry in The Holy Book and people kiss it (that’s what Episcopalians do…right?). Lead procession full circle back to the bakery. Have Eucharist with bread. Seeded for those who want seeded. Unseeded for those who want unseeded. Because that’s fair.

Quasimodo didn’t have a structured liturgy, and despite that, I think his story is more interesting, otherwise I wouldn’t have written so damn much about him about him in comparison to the Baguette Brothers. Despite having no evidence of how Quasimodo felt about the Baguette Brothers, and vice versa, we can infer that the Baguette Brothers ALSO thought Quasimodo was cooler than them, because…who wouldn’t?

In conclusion: while Docetic donuts and Kabbalah kabobs were very nice and had their place in the π th century churchy debates, ZT focused mostly on the Baguette Brothers and Quasimodo of the Quasi-Biblical Non Sequiturs. Now you know a lot about them. Even though you’re a professor, so, being the smart person you are, you already knew. #forthecupcakes



Give me an ice pick lobotomy. Get it over with.

I am terrible with infatuation. It’s the kind of thing where, once it gets into my bloodstream, my driver’s license should probably be revoked. I realize that it’s normal for people to “get the hots” – or whatever euphemism you like best – for other people. However, I don’t see any of my other friends getting bug-eyed and manic every time someone whose appearance they find to be exceptionally alluring walks into the room. Furthermore, I’ve never heard of any of my friends, with their pupils dilating at unequal sizes, damage private property under the misconception that such an act is commonly accepted as an equivalent to giving someone a bouquet of flowers.

That’s what it’s like for me. Interacting with someone I’m really into is more or less hopeless, because when I see them, it’s like my brain is a bathtub and a toaster has been dropped in it. Everything’s on the fritz, all systems are down. Lots of laughter. Laughter at inappropriate times. Laughter that won’t stop. And other stupid stuff like, if I were to learn that the Exceptionally Gorgeous Individual liked jigsaw puzzles, I might stuff both my mouth and fists with puzzle pieces and make laps around their front yard, or apartment building for that matter, spitting and violently sprinkling them (…if sprinkling is an act one can accomplish in a violent fashion…) all willy nilly, twitching, electric, uncontrolled, repeatedly screaming, “I FIXED IT! I FIXED IT!” Lord knows why those words in particular. I have no clue, despite the fact that they’d be coming out of my mouth.

Just ask my Satanist High School Boyfriend: if I don’t find myself all flustered and surprised that breakable things like microwave plates indeed break when I toss them onto the ground, then I’m probably just not that into you.

Because everyone knows that all the most romantic conversations must begin with, “Hi. I’m covered in algae. I was going to play an accordion under your window, but, puzzle pieces. Some of which I put in my mouth to impress you. And I may have smashed my face against your driveway a few times, not to impress you, but because I can’t control my feelings. Would you like a tooth as a token of my heart palpitations? BTW, you’re so dangerously gorgeous, your face should be illegal. Just sayin.” The phrases barely strung together, of course, through the aforementioned fits of uncontrollable giggling.

My landlord has graciously pointed out to me that if these Exceptionally Gorgeous Individuals really do like me, they’ll be able to handle my weirdness (or something). However, as disappointing as it is when some of them don’t, I really don’t need them to like me. I’m not looking for petty-misdemeanor courtships and padded-room romances – I am a nun, ya know. Even if I weren’t a nun, the fact would still remain that when I’m under this influence, coherent thoughts regarding such things are not impossible to formulate. Oh, no. With unbearable urgency, all I would want is enough exposure to their mind-numbing beauty to distill it into a serum and inject with a syringe, after which I would sit on the edge of the bathtub that is my fried, smoking mind, with the ordinarily-screaming woman in my head (who, in this scenario, is pacified with…well…a pacifier stolen from the resident toddler) and eat cupcakes made out of my uterus. Because, Gentle Reader, ripping out my uterus, sacrificing it to the first deities readily accessible in my orbit of consciousness, and making cupcakes out of said sacrificed uterus, is exactly the kind of thing I do when under the influence of infatuation.

Bonus points to you if any of that made sense.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have furball collages to compile and restraining orders to inspire.

On a housekeeping note: that b.s.’d church history paper I promised is on its way. It’s just taking a while because it’s being approached with as much foot dragging and superfluous whining as my real church history paper (which I have no intention of b.s.ing). All the more authentic, then, oui?