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.