Saturday, June 28, 2008


(Edouard Leon Theodore Mesens- Masque servant à injurier les esthètes. Ironically, I got yelled at for taking this.)

The verdict: I'm still batspit, but my blog title has changed and the address multiplied, apparently.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

because you needed one more thing on your to-do list

1. down the rabbit hole

2. meanadic

3. batspit

4. a meanad's revival

5. overwhelmed and underimpressed

6. batspits

7. capricorn sun

8. apparently

10. 342735

11. my other glasses

12. awake, absurd

13. absurdly bat

14. if you were me

15. bat in retrograde

I need a new new new blog. I just can't figure out what I want to call it. I want it to be short, unique, easy to spell, and I want it to fit me.

This compels me to ask myself what it is I think my blog will accomplish, what it will be about- what I'm about.

In thirty seconds:

I write. I live, I take photos, I study people, I read, I write. I am cute as a fucking button, I smoke, I do dishes, I help little old ladies and small defenseless spiders, I was an oxymoron until that became too trendy. I'm what you wish your sister was like. [my thirty seconds ended here] I don't know why I write, or what I hope to accomplish from this blog. I just write. And shoot. And sometimes I hit "publish".


So pick me a name.

Seriously. I'm open to suggestions. I just thought I'd give you 15 or so as a start.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The land of sun and tanning spas

I would tell you about the Vegas airport; my first adventures with legal gambling and the overwhelming number of size 16 booty-shorts on orange women who bounced and oozed like prostitutes at a crack convention- I would probably tell you about the eventful trip to the apple store, where I met geniuses, an NFL player and briefly the face of god. Or maybe I’d tell you how fun it is to shoe-watch in L. A. (like people watching but lower). I’d tell you about my day at the Getty, how good it is to be near someone who thinks I’m funny; but it’s too. fucking. hot.

Like -3 humidity, I swear.

see, they even got me talking like them. It’s the sun. And all the smog. It does something horrible to your voice- makes you sound both ignorant and pretentious at the same time—oooooh I love L.A.

My eyes hurt. All I want to do is hide in the shade of smoke from these awesome pink cigarettes and drown myself in iced coffee.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If typewriters could dream

A minimalist animation (Typolution) set to the music of Ratatat- I had to share. If typewriters could dream, it would be like this.

Down the Rabbit Hole

BEST movie about procrastination- for when you need to kill a few minutes.

No one told me I was in the news!

I want one I want one I WANT ONE! (go ahead and turn the sound off for these next two)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Drowning is Exhausting

I should make banana bread. Otherwise I’ll have banana wine when I get home from this two-week trip. I'm nervous about leaving all my plants. There’s no way my sister will remember to water all of them (Sister? Are you reading? GO WATER MY PLANTS).

I spent most of yesterday in a beautiful old pond with my friend Rob. At one point I dove in, forgetting I was wearing my beloved (I can’t help it if they’re trendy) white-framed sunglasses. I knew it was almost time for my annual sunglasses sacrifice, but did they have to take my favorite pair? I tried to drive to the cold, muddy depths but panicked when something touched my face. I screamed (yes still underwater) and took in a teaspoon or so of pond water (water you can both taste and chew). Laughing at me as I spewed, sputtered and coughed, Rob neatly dived in (a 9.5 on the Lea scale of dives, I’d have to say) and gleefully exploded from the water minutes later, sunglasses in hand.

We may now confidently add monkey feet and ability to see in murky water to Rob’s (admittedly peculiar) list of talents.

(Full disclosure: I promised him I'd blog about his heroics in return for my shades.)

And, for those of you that asked, I did survive the wedding- went so late and left so early I didn’t have to deal with him at all. And my cousin was, of course, beautiful and I’m glad I got to see and hug her.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Objects in mirror are EXACTLY as they appear

and the (only) side view mirror fell out and landed on the cement, shattered but still held together by the felt pad it was glued to. As with anything automotive, it was a fucking adventure fixing it. But I did it. Myself.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Naming the monster

My aunt treated my to a haircut today. She had two appointments booked with Mike (who apparently has quite the waiting list), but her kids were both busy today and Nannie is still too sore for a haircut, so she offered it to me.
I wanted to know if he still charged a fortune and I thought she answered "Oh, it's beyond me", so I said "Um, no, I'm more in the Great Clips range". Apparently she actually said "Oh, it'd be on me", so we both squinted at each other in confusion for a few minutes before one of us broke. But I'm making a short story too long- needless to say I look freaking ADORABLE (but not too adorable)… I even got a little personality profile with it. Before Mike would tell me how he was going to cut my hair he asked me “But how are you going to WEAR this cut? What kind of ATTITUDE will you wear it with?”. He’s an artist. Apparently. Cause even I like my hair.

Tomorrow I’m going to battle the credit card company that has been fucking me like a cat with a spiked dick. Tomorrow I will get my interest reduced and my monthly payments lowered as well. That’s how it has to go if they want to get money from me. Do they still have debtors prison? For some reason I just bet it's filled with people who have ADORABLE (but not too adorable) hair.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Curse of the freckled

I love the sun but the sun does not love me.

I couldn't wear a bra all day. Walked around in a tube top and long sleeved button-up I got from someone.

I only tell you about the tube top to illustrate exactly how much my shoulders hurt today. If you tell anyone I own a tube top (let alone wear one) I'll have to kill you.

Yep. What, you thought this was going to be a real blog post? Maybe next time.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

look –over there- what is that?

Do you ever try and write a blog post just so you won’t have to look at the last one you wrote? Yeah, me too. So, here’s a photo I rather like of Goat’s Beard, Tragopogon dubius

Friday, June 06, 2008

I can hope

(Dickcissel, Spiza americana)

My cousin is getting married tomorrow- ordinarily I look forward to weddings with the zest only a cultural anthropologist can bring to ritual drinking and procreation events, but not this one. This one will invariably come with my father, who will either be crazy and embarrassing, drunk and embarrassing, or, (most likely) crazy, drunk and embarrassing. And he will want to talk to me, I’m sure. Will want to tell me about my neglected pets, childhood heroes, now dead or “still hanging on”. Will want to know where I live now, and what I do for a living.
However, there is a small chance that he will feel so… crazy drunk and annoying that he won’t want to go. I can hope, but I know I’m not that lucky.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Wish you were here.

I've eaten 4 quarts of strawberries in 3 days. Eat your heart out, Daniel.

Friday, May 30, 2008

But really, what are grandkids good for if they can't mix a proper drink?

I insisted they keep her. It will make Nannie happy, I said. And look, she’s so small- you couldn’t ask for a better boat sized dog. Pawpaw smiled at me then, and I was pretty sure he would keep her.
She’s some kind of mix between a rat terrier and a dachshund, I think. Small. Likes to burrow under blankets. Loves to hunt bed mice. (You know about bed mice, right? Otherwise known as MY GODDAMN FEET). Apparently she won’t eat the dog food if the grandparnts don’t cover it first in left-overs, usually chicken or steak… She’s a horrible, yappy, happy little dog and she woke me up at 5 in the fucking morning. And then again at 6, and then 7, then I gave in and got up at 8.
And where was my dog, in all of this? Amelia was trying to hide under the covers with me, occasionally looking at the little happy dog with what could only be described as polite disdain. I could almost hear Amelia thinking “I would eat you if it wasn’t so fucking early. Go away and let us sleep. I was dreaming about chickens”.

Pawpaw had a double hernia surgery yesterday. I sat with him at the hospital and spent the night at their house. They really are remarkable people. (I’ll leave the remarks to your imagination). In the recovery room I listened as Pawpaw chattered at me, trying not to feel like I was eavesdropping on his sub-conscious. He kept prefacing with “I’m probably still feeling the anesthesia, but…” What his sub-conscious had to say was funny though. And inspiring. And heartbreaking, all at the same time.

The grandparents have someone who cleans their house and cooks during the weekdays, but she’s kind of flakey. And she doesn’t, apparently, know how to fix a proper drink. I waited politely till she left the house and looked pointedly at the diet coke in a glass on the table. “Do you need your drink, Nannie?” I ask my grandma, already heading for the liquor cabinet.
“No,” she says quickly and with enthusiasm, “I need you to put something in it!”
“When did you last take a pain pill?”
“I didn’t. I’m not in pain” she lies. I shrug and fill her glass with bourbon, hand it over and watch as she politely stirs it before taking a long satisfied drink.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A maenad's eructation.

I’ve decided to come back to the real world. Or rather, I finished the non-enriching, completely pointless and overwhelmingly entertaining book I was reading. I devoured the Hogfather in a day or so. I only folded the corner of two pages- only had to look up two words, but ooooh, the words:

: 15th century; an act or instance of belching.

This word will be most helpful at work, where 1 of every 5 people feasts on poached venison nightly. “Your eructation is as impressive as your intestinal fortitude,” I can diplomatically state while mentally adding vitamin C and airborne to the grocery list internally screaming “AT LEAST COVER YOUR FUCKING MOUTH YOU DAMN HILLBILLY”.

Maenads 1 : Bacchante (a priestess or female follower of Bacchus) 2 : an unnaturally excited or distraught woman.

And I think we have the new blog title I was looking for…

Instead of mentally deriding the bridal party as fashionably retarded annoying-as-fuck drunken scenesters I can simply call them transparently vapid maenads whose wardrobe choices encompass their life goals and abilities.

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!

I quote Alice in Wonderland on a regular basis. Maybe that's why I found myself dancing along to Nick Bertke's music created from clips of Alice in Wonderland.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I like to party with octogenarians

I was going to New Orleans this weekend to celebrate the grandparent’s 60th anniversary.

I had so much fun at their 50th, carousing on expensive booze with all their friends, singing drinking songs all night while we all walked through the French Quarter… We were all looking forward to going back. The g-parents even offered to get me my own hotel room… (The last time I traveled with them they insisted a separate bed was good enough. They have a freaking YACHT and I couldn’t get my own damn room?! Or could I even pay for my own room?! Nooooo, that would be an unthinkable waste of money.)

But, in case you didn't figure it out from the past tense, we will not be drinking to 60 years of marriage in New Orleans this Friday.

Nannie broke something in her back (Nannie is what I call my grandmother. Honestly, how many times do we have to go over this?) Again. And it was totally preventable- I was standing less than 15 feet away when she tried to move a 100 pound potted plumeria and heard something pop. I’m trying not to feel guilty.
“Why on earth would you feel guilty” yelled my aunt (did I mention we’re all disappointed and worried and crabby?). I know why Nannie would idiotically try to move something as big and twice as heavy as she is, and if I had been thinking I could have prevented it.
We had just been talking about the plumeria and how it doesn’t like to have wet feet- I’ll translate that if you really need me to- and I know she walked over to it- well, shuffled over to it -saw its saucer was full of water and just had to get rid of that water so the stupid-fucking-plant could have dry feet. And I’m sure she was thinking it would be so much easier if she just did it herself rather than ask me. Urrgg.

And now there is a new, beautiful Japanese Red Maple planted in my yard. Which also came briefly with my crabby, disappointed family who would much rather be drinking in New Orleans.

Just in case you didn’t already feel sorry for me or figure out this is a post where I do nothing but bitch, today I also treated myself to the yearly pleasure of a pap exam. Too much? Soooo sorry. And if you are wondering why you would ever feel bad for a gal whose grandparents have a yacht I will be forced to tell you about how I was once made to wax the damn thing for 20. measly. dollars. Not impressed? Think about waxing your car. Now think about the size of your house. Now think about waxing a car as big as your house for 20. freaking. bucks.
yeeeessss, I can see you now understand my grandparents better.

And now, the word I had to look up this week:

Ersatz: German; substitute or imitation- usually artificial and inferior.

So instead of saying
"What is this shit you're trying to get me to eat?! I know it isn't food."

I can exclaim
"This is diet cream cheese?! No wonder it tastes like ersatz paste".

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

He does make a killer raspberry tort.

I'm tired. Not like actually, physically tired- more emotionally burned out. I don't like living alone. I miss the background noise of other people.

My longtime friend, Jason, lives with his mom out in the boonies. He's been working for her on the house for the past year or so. Their property is gorgeous- acres and acres of lush wildness-every time I visit I tour around to see and photo whatever is blooming (something is always blooming).

I met up with Jason this weekend at his house to go birding (btw, I saw a blue grosbeak, a scarlet tanager and a dickcissel, to name a few!) and I waited a half hour while he and his mom bickered at each other over who would take what car. You can tell people have spent a lot of time together when they argue like that. It’s annoying and safe at the same time- a comfortable, familiar argument. Home.
I miss hearing the annoying whines, the safe arguments, the busy chatter of loved ones.

So I get why he lives out there, I do. It's beautiful, and it's home.

But he is never going to get a real girlfriend. Not from the USA anyway. Truth. At least for me. Would you ever date a man who lived with his mom?

Uh huh, that’s what I thought. If you would, let me know and I’ll pass along your number. For the record, he does make a killer raspberry tort.

And so it was with horror

(Asimina triloba or Paw Paw Tree.)

I’ve been having trouble writing lately. And so it was with horror that I read I’ve been tagged by fellow southern Illinois blogger Laura from Quirkology. Maybe this will snap me out of it. or back into it.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago today I was 15, fighting with my parents and about to meet Iggy Pop in New Orleans. I had turquoise hair.

What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
1) work [You stopped reading here].
2) re-write motherfucking paper
3) walk the dog
4) check garden
5) mail stuff

Snacks I enjoy:
your heart. thatswhatshesaid. There’s no way to make this interesting or funny. But I’ll tell you this-I’m sick of snacking. I want a real, multi-dish meal, damn it. (But I’m sure not going to cook it for just me and the dog. We'll just keep having cheese sandwiches and dogfood, thank you.)

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
My fantasies usually alternate between living in a tree mansion and living on a tricked-out floating house.
I would also have an accountant, an investor, a masseuse, and dog-washer.

Places I have lived before:
denial. anger. bargaining. depression.
Oh, wait- you’re looking for the actual names. Illinois, Tennessee, and your head.

5 people I want to know more about:

1) Farmers.
2) Long Lost Rich Relatives.
3) Eeva-Leena, ‘cause she’s my pen pal and has some new found time on her hands.
4) ‘The Vivacious Viv’. She marries TS Elliot but screws Bertrand Russell? That's my kind of crazy…
5) Uhhh… you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

brought to you by the letter f

Write something, and now.
It doesn’t matter if it’s good; just write.

I can’t think of anything to write.

Jesus. There are people watching. Throw it at the wall and see what sticks.


Where, exactly, does my money go? I have my suspicions, but I try reeeeeeally hard not to investigate them too closely. Always seem to spend more than I can make, and I never have anything to show for it. I have high-speed wireless, and the bill as well, but goddamnit, there are just some standards of living that have to be met. (Mental image of someone clutching desperately at wi-fi signals... was that in some cartoon recently?)

I’m trying to think of a compromise for the devils on either of my shoulder (and I mean devils in the most loving way possible, you two) about cursing on the blog. One shrugs as she flips the other off and says, “fuck it Lea, what the fuck do I care? I figured your internal monolog has more curses than real words and thought since it was all about self-expression, well, I guess I thought you’d have a damn spine and type like you think”. The other, calmer devil covers the ears of a small child in the room and cries a single, guilt-wrenching tear. She says nothing, but gives me a look that makes me want to alternately hug her and curl under a table crying in shame. “I understand your anger, it’s certainly justified”, she says softly after a minute “It hurts me to see you hurt. Do you understand me? I love you but you can show a little respect when I’m in the room.”

Oh little devils. I love you both so much. There is a part of me that can curse like a teamster. And there is part that hides it well. Since I can’t apparently listen to you both, and I know realistically I'm going to curse, I’ll try to think of a way to make up for it.

How about if I put a quarter in a cup for every curse on this blog and then give the sum to a charity?

No, you’re right, I wouldn’t trust me to do that either. I already told you I cashed in my change.

What if I did something involving other words?
What if I wrote a post on the linguistic history of curses?
What if I limit myself to 10 curses a post? No, that would never work. Some days are 178 curse word days.
I’m going to write a word of the week, I think. Some word I have to look up during the week. This week I had to look up… hang on, I circled it somewhere…


flanuer: an idle man-about-town.

So I suppose, instead of saying

“Oh you know Jim, he’s that lazy bastard always drinking coffee at the local café talking about Heidegger and how it impacted his blossoming music career and new found vegetarianism”,

I can say

“Oh, Jim is that flaneur with the vintage shirt in the sixth year of his MFA 'degree'. You know, the one with the pink bicycle? Likes to drink? No?"

How was that?

That was OK. Now edit the crap out of it and take out that money part. And don’t forget the spell check again, you twit.

No, you do it, I’m going to go smoke a cigarette and eat some reese’s pieces. I don’t respond well to name calling.

Monday, May 12, 2008

andre jordan rocks my socks

I spotted this stunning encapsulation of why I do what I do and why I read what I read- instantly I headed to the site. And wow. Andre Jordon is awesome, awesome, awesome (only one less awesome than The Almost Royal).

The art is fantastic, the blog flippin' brilliant, the shop threatening to deplete my already depleted bank account, and something called BBC ouch demanding my whole day off to peruse the site and all its links.

Makes me wish my own doodles were more like art and less like doo.

you may end up in my thesis

I'm in a much better mood now. Funny how cheesecake, cartoons, and a bottle of wine (yeah, we'll call it wine...) will do that.

I'm glad I didn't post the post I posted about not posting last post.


It was more rant and less brilliant than I probably think anyway. And it was definitely angsty and self pitying and those are two personality traits I'd rather keep hidden, yes even from you and especially from me.

On to other things:

Jackie over at Smoothpebble and I are reading Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals". Order it and discuss it with us, I'm sure it will show up in my thesis somehow and if you mention something brilliant about you may end up in my thesis too. And wouldn't that be a thrill for you.

And furthermore, what the hell is a Guy Kawasaki and what has it been told about me?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm getting an anonymous blog.

I have all this shit to vent about, and its so raw it just has to be brilliant. I've just typed it out, but I can't post it. It's driving me insane. This is going to eat at me until I take out the two or three lines that can't be posted, which are also the same goddamn lines that make the whole thing interesting and juicy and raw and fucking good.

But I don't WANT an anonymous blog.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

We can un-cook it!


1. I like lists
2. I don’t have a TV
3. That hasn’t stopped me from watching TV online via my macbook
4. Orange is my favorite
5. To-do lists are my main form of organization
6. If I was, for some unexplainable reason, forced to pick one of my senses to loose, it would be my hearing; were I allowed but one to keep it would be my sight.
7. I smoke, and usually hate myself for it. That is, between drags.
8. I find nothing wrong with a little self-depreciating humor once in a while. While I like cute and joyful I also like dark, snarky, and cruel. (Because honesty is just more interesting).
9. I didn’t like being a teenager and would never go back, even if I could time travel.
10. I’m engaged and my fiancé lives far across the country. It sucks to be so far away. We have no dates planned only softly whispered plans to live in the same state again.
11. I have an orange canary and an orange dog, a younger sister and a great guy. I consider these creatures my immediate kin.
12. I’m an anthropologist, so when I use the word kin you don’t get to giggle and call me rural.
13. I probably am rural. And I like it when you giggle.
14. I don’t fit well in boxes.
15. My saddest story is so sad you’ll regret asking.
16. Dry Red, if you have it. Something Italian and so bitter my cheeks pucker, thanks.
17. My dad doesn’t know I moved back to my hometown 5 months ago.
18. I have an overly expressive face.
19. I’m only as self-obsessed as you are.
20. I have far, far more male friends than female. I feel like some women don’t like me because I’m smart, cute, and thin. Or maybe they don’t like me cause I’m arrogant.
20. I would really prefer for everyone to like me.
21. I love to grow things. I’m usually pretty good at it. I try and try until I succeed. Broccoli is hard to grow- but I did it. Lithops are almost impossible- I’m on my fifth year of killing them.
22. I’m already kind of tired of this list.
23. I remember wishing as a kid that adults wouldn’t talk to me as if I were simple-minded. Consequently, I speak to all children as if they were short adults. This is probably why my cousins love me and also why I have heard and become paralyzed by the sentence “Lea, what does humping mean?”
24. I hate going to bed and I hate waking up.
25. I can’t ever figure out what it is I want to eat.
26. Sometimes I’m an amazing cook.
27. Sometimes I can burn water.
28. I’m financially retarded.
29. I can never decide if I hate humans or love them.
30. I love your comments.
31. If you make me laugh I’ll love you forever.
32. I’m a damn good friend, and I don’t understand why so many of mine have moved away.
33. If you leave me a comment I promise I’ll help you move.
34. Life is not worth living without coffee.
35. If you want a postcard, email me your address.
36. If you want a birthday card, make sure I know your birthday.
37. I used to study philosophy but I think all it ever really did for me is make me sound smarter than I really am.
38. My birthday is the last day of the year. And yes, I feel slighted by the holiday season.
39. Yes, I would like a glass of champagne.
40. I made my first new years resolution this year, and it was to stop chewing my nails.
41. Thanks in large part to a new addiction to nail polish; I have largely succeeded in achieving that resolution. (Eds note: this is no longer true).
42. I work at a propane company but I swear to god if you make one more reference to Hank Hill I will quote dead French philosophers and German iconoclasts at you until your eyes bleed.
43. I developed a fun little anxiety disorder in the past year. I’m learning to deal.
44. There is no one music genre I can claim to listen to. I listen to them all. I used to think I didn’t like boy bands or hair metal, but really there is a special place in the annals of music for them too. Why? Well, it’s the same reason Chinese crested hairless dogs are allowed to breed.
45. My super power is procrastination.
46. I love to throw a good tantrum every once in a while.
47. My six word autobiography is “Won most battles with her self”.
48. For some reason my guy thinks that is a pessimistic autobiography. I don’t really see it that way, but we’ve agreed to disagree (and silently agreed never to bring it up again).
49. I hate the word fiancé, and will probably always refer to mine as my guy. I don’t see that changing as ‘husband’ sounds odd to me too. It occurs to me though, the safest word in the world might be ‘us’. Or maybe ‘we’.

In case you’re wondering why you’ve been treated to this fun little list, I wrote it a couple weeks ago and didn’t feel brave or bored enough to post it then. Now the busy is slowing, but my brain is cooked and my creativity zapped. So the filter that stops me from posting highly personal, embarrassing, probably illegal drivel (that no one reads or needs to know about anyway) is not working at its normal capacity. Thus, the list. and the publish button.

Now I'm afraid you will stop reading this, and stop coming back to my little page of crazy and I don’t want you to stop reading. Come back, I promise the brain won’t stay cooked! We can un-cook it! We have the technology!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

with any luck I'll be bored soon

This is my last week of classes for the semester and the guy leaves Friday. Couple presentations, some freaking out over my papers, and done. Then, I'll have so much free time I won't know what to do with myself. I want to figure out the wordpress software, and read some pointless, non-enriching fiction.

What do you look forward to when you're in the flaming pits of drudgery?

Should I be looking at wordpress, is it really so much better than blogger?

Will I ever get all my work done?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Leave Me Alone Box

Hey, look! A machine modeled after my sister!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thanks. Sincerely.

There’s always some flaw I’m afraid will be pointed out about my writing. Oh, you feel that way too? Cool, good to know I'm not the only one. Don’t you just hate it when someone finds that flaw? Doesn’t it really, really suck when it’s someone you respect that finds the flaw? Doesn’t it fucking blow when you have no damn idea how to fix it?
Say something nice. I want to hear something nice. and no calling out the major flaws I pray no one notices, OK?
How am I supposed to 'fake it until I make it' if you keep finding my secret shortcomings? Oh, right: you want me to grow and learn and become a better version of myself, I get it. Thanks. Sincerely.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Metaphore, Simile

Fascinating (long) NYT article and youtube time-lapsed footage of a man trapped in an elevator for 41 hours.

yep, you heard right. forty. one. hours. alone. in an elevator.

The guy was just heading down to smoke a cigarette, so he left his jacket behind. No one to talk to, no way to tell how much time has passed-- it would probably make me crazier than I already am. The video is so lonely, so... upsettingly familiar... reminiscent of... I won't say it. I'd just hate to be that obvious.

I wonder, would it be better to get stuck in an elevator with another person, or would it be better to get stuck alone? I'm sure it depends on the person you're stuck with. But for me at least, anyone would be better than no one. I could do a life history in that time and come out calling it fieldwork. But, I'm forced to ask myself, then what happens when if you have to poo? If you're alone in a trapped elevator its not such an issue, but with two... well, poo looms large. [ed. note: that's as fun to type as it is to say. Poo Looms Large. hehehehe].

I wonder what I would have done. If I was wearing a jacket that day I would have taken it, but I might have left my purse upstairs. If it was nice out and I didn't wear a jacket I would have had my purse, and that, ladies and gentlemen, has enough in it to sustain a small community of artists for a week. Books, pens, paper galore, I think I even have a small packet of anti-biotic cream and a band-aid in there. Moral of the story? Take your purse, you may need it. I'm talking to you too guys. I know you've got one. Sure, you may call it a back-pack, you may refer to it as your grocery sack, but a bag is a purse is a sac is something to do when you're trapped in an elevator.

Elevators are excellent social science laboratories-- don't believe me? Just try facing the wall next time when you get in-- the laws of elevator proxemics are rigid and strict. Break them and it causes all kinds of discomfort.

And yes, I realize the photo has nothing to do with the post, thanks.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

very dead, mr. spock.

All the "He's dead, Jim" lines from startrek.

Because it made giggle that's why. Chortle even. Guffaw. Other synonyms for laugh.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I fell asleep

I can't sleep. Can't remember if I already took sleeping pills or not, so I took another one just in case. I can't stop thinking and muttering curses under my breath. So I write.

I hate iphoto. I have an overwhelming number of digital photos. I suppose its better than having an overwhelming number of paper photos. Except thanks to iphoto my hard-drive is as cluttered as my real closet.

I recently read an organization blog where the author referred to non-digitized space as meat space. I think she did it to contrast the clean, clutterless everlasting purity of the digitzed with the germy, bloody, drama of the physical.

I didn't do that in my sentence, because I wanted the reader to actually pay attention to what I was saying, and not go off on a mental tangent about why the word 'meat space' is upsetting (like I just did). Why is it I never bookmark these sites?

-This is where I fell asleep, apparently-

This week was hell incarnate, with school-work-meetings back to back and very little time for me or for working on papers. It was unbelievably beautiful all week, perfect blue skies, soft breezes- but its Saturday morning now so the weather changed to gray and chilly.

And my canary is molting. I don't really know what that means other than he isn't singing. He has one feather that is cock-eyed and it's all I can do not to reach over and pluck it off him. I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do or not- I've never had a bird before Archimedes. Sounds like I need to do a bit of internet research, doesn't it?

Thanks for all your guesses on the last post. If you emailed me your address you'll be getting a postcard soon. If I haven't sent you an email asking for your address yet be patient- I will.

Monday, April 14, 2008

cashing in change

How much do you think it is? The comment closest to the actual number wins a… well, you’ll just win. I could send the winner a postcard... But then I'd feel like I was excluding people... How about if I just send everyone a postcard? That's ok? Good.

I’m excited -the guy is coming for a three week visit. I’m so pleased I’m not even freaking out about the term papers whose deadlines are rapidly approaching (OK, I am freaking out a little). I’ll leave here in a few hours to make the drive to St. Louis to get him. I like life better with him in it.

I need to cash in my change to be able to buy gasoline to get to the airport. I'm tired of being broke. Although being a poor grad student seems to be a great diet plan: lots of coffee, food mainly in the form of granola bars, and so much anxiety I seem to loose weight weekly (and always from the same, wrong places).

I found out I got a fellowship (!) starting next semester and while I know it doesn’t pay much its more than I make now. And I get to write “fellow” on my CV. You'd think I'd be happier about getting to follow my dreams, and I am, but now I'm able to follow my dreams- and its terrifying. Most of the time I feel like an utter fraud. (I'm really hesitant to post this for fear someone from from school will reads this. As if they haven't felt the same at some point).

After cashing in the change I'm going to the post-office to mail postcards (no not yours silly, you haven't guessed yet) but first, I need to take a shower and put on something besides pajamas and slippers. I fear if I don’t have an office at school next semester I will never again wear real clothes…

Sunday, April 13, 2008

5 phrases I like

“Uncompromising standards”

“Hazard a guess”

“Pause for thought”

“Batshit Crazy”

“Happy Accident”

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Color I Can Afford

I’m obsessed with color. Maybe obsessed isn’t the right word, but I can’t think of a better one. Regardless, I love color, and have been known to disappear into the website colourlovers for hours—though only check it out if you have a lot of time to kill (this means YOU Smoothpebble). I was tipped off today by A Geek in Anything but Pink about a firefox add-on to color-code my tabs. Frivolous? Maybe. But it’s colorful frivolity and therefore, I must have it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

This is a brainspill.

I haven't done a brainspill in years.

What's a brainspill, you ask?

It's a game I made up when young (14?) to get out stress or start myself writing assignments, or letters- i just had to write-- limited editing, tangential fragments of ideas welcome, no, celebrated... I remember having a whole folder named 'brainspills' to hold them all. So basically it was a free-write. but I either hadn't heard of free-writes or free-write wasn't a graphic enough description of what I thought I was doing... this is coming from a person whose blog is called 'batspit' (that reminds me- I want to discuss my blog title soon). I had almost forgotten about my brainspills until I recently saw someone describe their blog as such- a brainspill (can't remember the blog, rabbit-hole of link clicking and all that).
So there was my word, my old way of describing and identifying what I do... honestly? I was annoyed. Felt slighted, in a way... I suppose I'm fairly possessive about words and ideas I thought were mine alone. Even when I haven't used them in years.

What's that?

Oh, thanks for reminding me. My blog title.

I think I've outgrown it. Wish I'd thought about it more than just using the screenname I was using for other sights at the time. Or maybe if I'd titled it 'bat spits'... I don't really remember what mental equation I used so long ago to get that name... I've gotten a few compliments of it here and there but I've also got some raised eyebrows and subtle mocking... But I haven't thought of anything better that what I've had, so... I've also been thinking of switching over to wordpress. Maybe when I think of a new title I'll make the move. Maybe.

What makes for a good blogtitle, anyway? Some of them just make you want to click them, and some turn you away... I think Batspit has originality going for it, and its fairly easy to remember, short. I like short. But I also like funny...

And what makes for a good screen name, do you suppose?

I cuss like a Canadian

What a shitty mood I've been in today. A shit mood. A fucking ungood nonpleasant dejoy of a mood. I wish I could cuss like the Trailer Park Boys. I'd call the mood I've been in a goddamn cocklick dingleboxing churchsuck of mood. But, regretfully, I am not the Trailer Park Boys and am forced by lack of creativity to intentionally misuse prefixes.

Best kind of weather today- balmy, warm, lots of diffused light and short, fragrant rain storms... perfect. Perfect weather can piss off.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Welcome back.

Spring feels official- I found ticks crawling on me today. I'd hope for a frost to kill them off, but it would also kill the peaches that just started blooming. It happened here last year. Cobden had to import peaches for its yearly peach festival. and that's just wrong. I cannot be expected to eat Georgia peach cobbler for the second year in a row.

What do you think is worse: ticks, or no local peaches?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The sounds of waking

I love certain sounds. Some of these define me, some I merely define. One of my favorites is the sound of people's voices, husky and deep when they are first waking up. So vulnerable, so sleepy.

Here are, in list format, some of my other favorite sounds:

-Keys hitting the crystal bowl

-Moped engines

-Second hand music coming from windows and porches

-A cigarette hitting a puddle

-Eli coming home on his Vespa

-Dolphins breaking the surface

-A powerboat engine being turned on

-Songbirds singing

-Opening a jar of peanuts

-Waves on cobblestone

-Coffee percolating

-Stage whispers

-Archimedes singing along with the rain

-Rocks bouncing off a frozen pond

Friday, April 04, 2008

worm art!

Another mesmerizing time waster here, worm painting and a few other cool generators.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

prissy guys need not apply

Hope ya'll will forgive me for the last post. My prof suggested I put the latest assignment on my blog, so I am. We were supposed to interview a man and a woman to ask them about what it means to be a good man- a man's man. As usual, I tweaked the assignment. I showed this to "the guys" and "the girls" at work, and they loved it. Which meant a lot. A lot more than a grade, I'll tell you what. Not that this prof gives grades, he's more of a check check plus kind of guy, but that's another post.

* * *

Men don’t like to talk about what makes a good man, or a masculine man. I work at a propane company. The secretary Lilly** just bought a new cell phone and when ‘the guys’ (the drivers and Jack) call the phone rings with the Dukes of Hazard theme song: “just two good old boys, never meanin' no harm”. I hear this song maybe 7 times every weekday. I figured it would be the ideal place to learn about masculinity.

When I told Jack, the youngest of ‘the guys’ at 30 years old, about the assignment and asked him for his help, he gave me a look of panic before laughing and saying “Well, Lea, that’s tough. I’m going to have to think about it”, and then he turned and fairly ran for the back office. A few minutes later, he walked out with a sledgehammer and some rope, saying something about going to save one of the propane tanks and then he left in a work truck.

Am I to infer from his actions that a man is someone who hates to talk, someone who is much more comfortable with tools and an objective of protecting/saving something?

I asked my buddy Mike later the same question and he tried to change the subject repeatedly without answering. I forced the issue. Imagine after every question there is a long, awkward pause. Remember that this is my friend.

Lea: Seriously Mike, what makes a man?

Mike: Hotdogs.

Lea: Hotdogs?

Mike: Hotdogs. And beer.

Lea: OK, men drink beer. Do men drink anything else?

Mike: Men drink beer or whiskey- but not wine. Or wine coolers.

Lea: So if a man doesn’t drink beer or whiskey, is he still a man?

Mike: only if he has a medical reason for not drinking.

I found it necessary to distinguish the question ‘what is a good man’ with ‘what makes a man a masculine man’. A masculine man, I was told by my guy, Eli, last night on the phone, is “someone who watches sports, who knows about vehicles, someone who isn’t too much of an intellectual but isn’t an idiot. Someone who likes typical guy stuff- someone who is uncomfortable during girlie movies and doesn’t like to cry, and doesn’t wear shorts. A masculine man would never wear shorts.”

Chuck Norris***, Eli agreed, is a masculine man. The adoration for Chuck Norris ‘facts’ in pop culture helps points out that men are somewhat incapable of articulating, to me at least, what it is that makes them masculine men without making a joke, or laughing awkwardly. Or running away before leaving to save a propane tank.

Women, however, are more than ready to talk about what it is that makes a man a good man. They seem to have been developing an answer for years. The girls at work (they want to be called girls and argue that it is better than the alternative) are both are in their early thirties and have young children. They re-framed the question, I believe in some version of ‘what do you look for in a man’. I asked Isabella, the bookkeeper, what made a good man and she answered, rather quickly, “Someone that is caring, that loves my kid. He has and can hold down a job. It’s not anything physical, just how they act that makes them a good man”.

Lilly cut in, “basically a good man is a good provider”. A good provider, she explains, “is someone who is not so stuck on himself that he can’t help his significant other”. I ask her to explain what she means ‘stuck on himself’, and she tells me “when a man feels certain things are men’s work and certain things are women’s work. It drives me up a wall when someone tells me they won’t do something because it’s women’s work.” I ask if she’s describing an ideal man, or a masculine man, and she tells me “No, I mean a masculine man. A masculine man, to me at least, does his part to maintain the house”. Lilly, cub scout leader and connoisseur of bawdy jokes, believes a masculine man is someone who takes care of their family by dismissing the harmful and oppressive gender roles that over-burden women.

Men, at least those who would answer me, were slower to answer, in part I think because to be a masculine man means not thinking about being masculine, and certainly not talking about it. Their slowness in answering stands in parallel to the quick responses of Lilly and Isabella, who are, as women, encouraged to talk about men. I wonder also if women, as the subordinate group, need to know more men than men need to know about men.

**names changed to protect, well, me.

***Chuck Norris doesn’t go hunting, because hunting implies the chance of failure; Chuck Norris goes killing. Chuck Norris doesn't actually write books, the words assemble themselves out of fear. Chuck Norris does not sleep; Chuck Norris waits, etc.

the meaning of meaningless holidays

I have a new favorite website. Better than a website of websites, this is THE site.

At this point you may be wondering, 'what kind of site is it? Why has she not linked to it yet? Why has she said nothing gushing, nothing snarky, nothing at all of any substance or amusement about it?

Well, I answer you, somethings are just too fun to mar with commentary.

Decide for yourself, narrate and forward as you will.

And whatever you do, don't follow this link.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Barred Owl

barred owl I spotted yesterday. I'm not sure what I want to do today. The list of things I ought to do is fairly intimidating...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bat Spits

The NYT had an article this morning describing the mass-deaths of bats that are occurring in the US. "In what is one of the worst calamities to hit bat populations in the United States, on average 90 percent of the hibernating bats in four caves and mines in New York have died since last winter."
Apparently over three species of bats are dying in record numbers in their hibernaculums (winter resting places): little brown bats, Indiana bats, and small footed bats. Unsure the exact reason and causes for the deaths, scientists are referring to the phenomena as 'white nose syndrome'.

What do you think? What's killing off all our pollinators?

Also, I'd been looking for a reason to use Montage-a-google. Just enter your search word and the program compiles linked images.
This is the result from searching for "Bats".

Monday, March 24, 2008

a little knowledge is a dangerous thing

(typed with a white-trash southern accent) So I got me one of them sitemeters (stop accent, it's too annoying). I’ve always thought my own little blog was read by only my sister, my pen-pals, and my guy. But apparently, dear lurkers, there are quite a few of you.

I was kind of hoping that they would all be referred from 20 something bloggers. But no. It made me so happy to see the familiar and expected from Redlands, Carbondale, Oulu, and Chicago. But why were there so many from Memphis? The people I’d always assumed were reading were significantly absent, as well. Where’s the hit I expected from the middle of the ocean? (Where my aunt and gparents are now, on a cruise). Where’s the traffic from the fam in Missouri? Why, oh why are there so many from Memphis?

I’ve been struggling with the idea of internet anonymity lately…. maybe I should learn some. What do you think? (and, my lovely lurkers, you’re welcome to answer as well. Though to do so might cause you to disappear in a poof of logic).

so bad, it's good

Last night I fell asleep reading all the posts from Photoshop Disasters. It looks like their site has only been up a month, and they've already been 'cloned', according to the comments. Funny stuff, funny stuff.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

in which she procrastinates

I found this group of bloggers the other night called 20 something bloggers. So far, I've already found another blogger in my hometown (hi Laura!) and with a population of only 25,500 that's quite the feat. I've found so many interesting blogs I hardly know where to start reading. And they're all so honest. I don't know if I can write with that kind of honesty here, but seeing how well it works for others, I just may give it a try.

And weirdly, I feel pressure to step-up my own blogs, make them as interesting as the ones I've been finding.
Maybe I'll take one of their prompts, or memes, or whatever the hell the word might be, and use that as a jump-start for creative blogging.

But, if I'm going to do any writing, it really ought to be for the two term papers hanging over my head that are making breathing and writing and eating and waking up the most stressful events. I'm a little stress ball.

I need to find a man and a woman this weekend to interview about 'what it means to be a man' or 'what makes a good man'. Unfortunately, it seems I only have guy friends, and when asked that question they do NOT respond well. My co-worker laughed and ran away. My buddy responded "Hotdogs. Hotdogs and beer". and then refused to say anything further. And while I like his answer I can't turn "Hotdogs. Hotdogs and beer" into a workable paper.

So, when I finish this and take a shower, I'm going to start writing about Women in Agriculture. Or maybe about the urban community garden I worked with in Memphis. Or maybe I'll send out those emails I've been meaning to... or I'll dick around with photoshop and read endlessly entertaining blogs.

I've had this turning around in my head for a while: if you like snarky, self-obsessed, highly privileged, wine drinking, book reading, needy, verbose, acerbic, witty, debt building, and culture humping blogs, then 20 something bloggers is for you.

(I fit most of those.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

They Sure Are Purdy

I needed something from Rural King. Dog-food, I think. Amelia has a corn allergy which means if I do not buy her ridiculously expensive food she chews on herself.

Do you know about Rural King? Its a small chain in the Midwest USA, and (unfortunately for how this reflects upon me) usually has that strange or obscure item I cannot find anywhere else.

This last trip I even found something goofy for my treasured pen-pal (also the author of Pretty things I see). I won't say what yet because she reads the blog (hi!) and, by the way, she's one of the few people who read this blog that also leave me comments. (HINT, HINT).

I have always loved feed stores, something you might not expect from a lifetime vegetarian, but they hold such possibility with the seeds and the food and the tools, and they smell so good!

I've loved going to the ancient feed store, Dillingers, since I was a kid- it's a tiny, darkly lit little store in the old part of town that still has brick streets an hardly no one goes to. Dillingers has an old wood burning stove and the dusty, earthy smell of hay and grain and old wood. Each year near Easter they would have a box of hatched chicks for sale. My mom never let us get one, she always said the coyotes would eat it and I would feel bad when they died. Which was an accurate assessment (and she almost never said no to new pets, so I didn't pitch too much of a fit).

But anyway, I was at Rural King, which is vaguely like the Wall-mart version of Dillingers, when I spotted a horse trough with live chicks in it.

I don't really like chickens- they're usually pretty mean- but the babies are so adorable, even as they fight and poop and lay in their food.

As I was shooting pictures a rural man and his father pushed their shopping cart up, and the man said "Oh, lets stop and look at the baby chicks".

Both men smiled down at the chicks, and the older man said
"They sure are purdy".

Seeing me, the younger man cracked a joke, "I'll pay a dollar for 'em when they're big enough to eat".

I really think this was for my benefit, so that I would know he's a man, and would never see chicks as 'just' cute.
But he did think the chicks were cute, and so did his dad. And none of us were under any illusions as to how the chicks would ultimately end up. I can relate with those chicks. Born, raised and devoured in Southern Illinois. OK, OK, I'm not devoured. But nibbled, at least.

Of course, I won't always be here, its just that I feel as tied to the land as these adorable fuzzy flightless birds. And, well, we are cute as hell.

Friday, March 14, 2008


He decided to go on an adventure.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Monty Python's Philosophy Cup

I'd like to see the French vs. the Chinese next, please

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


the genius boys of ratatat hatched the brilliant Remixes Mixtape Vol. II, and they're giving it to us free.
I've had their Classics playing since it came out; I'm beyond pleased to hear them remix some classic hip-hop.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I'll gamble away my time

i love the accordion. Beirut's song "Nantes".

I know better than to call you

great stuff coming out of nashville from Levi Weaver... Archimedes likes to sing along with this sad, cute paper man.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

stuff white people like

I laughed and laughed and giggled and laughed at the blog Stuff White People Like. Each post has hundreds of comments; the author really knows how to get a rise out of people.

I found it frighteningly accurate and supremely funny.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ode to the cold

Ode to the cold/flu:

Body aching, nasty medicine taking,
My tissue is soaked and obscene,
Head throbbing, I’m so close to sobbing,
This cold is really quite mean.

I’m cold, I’m hot, I’m tired, I’m snot,
I know I have work that is due
If only tomorrow were not so filled with sorrow
For I know I will still feel like poo


art bar. I would go out more if the bars were a tad more like this.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

almost spring

I thought I saw a robin today. It was just a pidgin.

Thursday, February 28, 2008