They grow culture in a petri dish.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

At It Again, InDEED! (Men and Ladies' Parts Edition)

Thank you, Darise, for a good catch on the IMDB. Turns out Don Cheadle is turning 42 today! And is shamelessly promoting it on IMDB for me to see—you know—so I will rue the day. Well, Don, I can't rue the day with you hiding behind these shades, that's for sure. I can't see into your eyes, Don; I can't feel your soul or remember our deep, timeless connection. Regardless, happy birthday.

Speaking of "at it again," you'll never guess who I saw today. This guy I totally should have dated my first year here. I talked to him a bit today, and he's just as cute, funny, and smart as I remembered except now he's married. How does that happen? I met him my first semester at UF and was a little put off by how interested in me he seemed. Even so, I should note that I didn't know many people, and he could well have been a serial killer. Plus, I don't flirt so well. Anyway, my ovaries were tapdancing as we were talking, which is unusual. I was asking them, "Really? Really, ladies? I was thinking we didn't want to reproduce." But, according to Cassie and Simone, we want to have this man's children. Indeed, they attempted to talk me into a love-child, and we know how ill-advised that can be. At any rate, I've only had this ovular reaction to one other person, and I find it quite humorous that one's instinctive genetic testing works in this way. "Pretty babies!," the ladies were telling me. "Smart, pretty, sweet babies..." When I told Marlin and Randle about this at lunch, they seemed to think I'm a little "out there." Then again, when the waitress tried to take away Randle's tray, she protested, "No, I'm still eating my olives." Olives. Yeah, I'm the weird one.

Okay, okay, on a final note, for those of you who don't frequent commedienne Margaret Cho's website (except for my parents and/or the faint of heart), drop everything you are doing and proceed immediately to her site . She's set her poem "My Puss" to music and has filmed a video. This video makes me weep with laughter. Right on, Margaret! If I can admit to speaking with my ovaries, she can certainly brag about her puss.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mission(s) Impossible

This weekend has been a bit of a rush. As I packed and planned my New York trip, I was also finishing up some Christmas presents and yearning to see the new James Bond movie Casino Royale. Being a little busy and a lot strapped for cash, I opted to stay home and check out the "poor-man's James Bond"—Ethan Hunt. Yes, I rented Mission Impossible III which I watched and re-watched throughout my bustling about. Narrative frame in place, let me present a little segment I like to call "Mission(s) Impossible."

Mission #1: Resisting Philip Seymour Hoffman
Now, passing on this flick a first time was hard going for me 'cause ya'll know how I loves me some Philip Seymour Hoffman. Thankfully, Phil waited for me, and, as the villianous Owen Davian, brought the pain—to Ethan/Cruise, that is—and brought the pleasure—to me. So, I like PSH, and I figure my attraction is safe from a distance. But, since I'm headed to NYC, I should warn Mr. Hoffman of my imminent sexual advances. Phil, if you see me coming, babe, you'd better run away fast before I de-layer. That's right: I'll be lurking at Tea and Sympathy...

Mission #2: Out-acting PSH
Just let me tell you that PSH is such a good actor that he creates more tension counting to ten (literally!) in Mission Impossible III than Cruise does in his entire oeuvre. I love how PSH gets to "be" Ethan via the laughable fake face device. Out-acting Cruise in a supporting role is one thing, but out-acting him as his own character is something else. Kudos, Phil!

Mission #3: Faking It
Speaking of actors, I'm a little worried about meeting Kinya's friends. Jake says that we're having Thanksgiving dinner with some peeps from NYU acting school, and I hope I don't come off like an asshole. When I'm nervous (i.e., awake), I have two modes: silent and offputting. God knows I need to avoid "offputting" at all costs as it's been getting a workout lately. Ok luv, your character is an intelligent, eccentric 30-something from the sticks. Say someting urbane...and ACTION!

Mission #4: Finishing Work and Errands
So, I've been working all weekend, and I'm still not done preparing for my trip. Hangups: Jake and Kinya's phones de-charging; my indecision about what to pack (I don't get to dress up too much here in G'ville); my indecision about how to get into the city—cab? train? bus? rickshaw?; outstanding unpaid bills from the conference. Finally, in a "note-to-self," I'd have to say that, in the future, I should cancel class on travel days. Teaching before traveling is a little ludicrous.

Mission #5: The Metaphorical Ability of the "Terrorists" to "Win"
As I'm packing for the trip, I've learned that new restrictions for flights include toiletry specifications. I'm told that I have to pack them in a "quart-sized see-through Ziploc bag with a toggle." (Perhaps) needless to say, this gives me pause: a) why Ziploc brand? and b) why a toggle? Ever obedient, I went out and bought a box of Ziploc bags only to find to my dismay that I'd bought the holiday-themed bags that have white Christmas trees on them. Curses! Will I enable terrorists by bringing a partially-obscured baggie? Alternately, if I, as a consumer, cannot purchase the baggie of my choice while packing my toiletries in fear, have the terrorists won?

Or...upon further reflection, is this exactly how the terrorists over at Johnson and Co. planned this? Eh!?! Eh, comrade!?! By printing holiday bags, they know full well that I'll buy the wrong kind of the right brand and be forced to...BUY MORE BAGS! I see clearly now how the War on Terrorism has nothing to do with religion or oil and is, indeed, an exercise in brand loyalty. When we look back on history, I feel we will hold the governmental administration blameless in all of this; instead, we'll be cursing Glad, Hefty, and, yes, Ziploc.

Mission #6: Being Completely Happy About Leaving Behind Friends and Family
In going to New York for Thanksgiving, I'm leaving behind the opportunity to play Groo (the game) with Toke and Co., and I'm missing out on what would be my third installment of "Refugee Thanksgiving." This year, I hear that they are planning to screen Slither and possibly Trailer Park Boys. Aieee! Plus, I'll be missing out on family get-togethers as well. To make up for this, I will have to have extra fun while in New York. That and buy crappy trinkets for all my friends and family.

So, missions (not) accomplished, I bid you adieu and "Happy Thanksgiving" (or, if you are so inclined, "Curse Imperialism and Our Celebration of Genocidal Collaboration and Please Pass the Cranberries Anyway"). Violet loves 'ya!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Wow—it's been awhile since I've written—a fact not lost on Andretta who told me that I need to write, dammit! Write! Of course, she's right. I haven't stopped writing because I'm out of ideas or personal events to talk about. Just the other day, I had the most captivating experience with a ladybug... Ok, ok—I've taken a hiatus from writing because I've been too busy and have too much to talk about. So (unfortunately or not), that means you get a rundown.

Here we go:

1. I started dying my hair red again. I stopped when I started the Ph.D. program at UF which means that I pretty much dirty blonde/mousy brown-ed it up for my first three years. Now I'm back to the red which I'd done for four years previously except that they don't make the same color I used to use now. Therefore, I'm kind of adrift in a red-dye sea of indecision on which red to stick with.

2. Badness with my committee. If you know, you know. If you don't know, don't ask.

3. I get pissy about department Halloween party arrangements.

4. I get over pissy-ness and decide to attend department Halloween party in the guise of "Syphillis, the Syphillitic Pirate." I look both sexy and gross. Kind of like last year's Courtney Love outfit. I wonder why I can't stay with just sexy.

5. Busy semester, little exercise, and worries about party outfit confirm it: I'm stressed out about my body image and don't have time to address that right now.

6. I watch The Prestige and like it. Go watch it Chris Nolan fans!

7. The night before the conference proper started, Leandra and I went to see Ground Truth, a documentary about the war in Iraq, at the Civic Media Center. In it, soldiers talk about their training, their experiences in Iraq, and their reintegration into civilian life. It's very powerful, moving, and vexing, especially in the way that it causes the soldiers and the viewers to consider the worth of human life (American soldiers, their families, Iraqi civilians, and insurgents). I highly recommend it

8. "My" conference went well, thank you! It was stressful but pretty darn gratifying. I shelled out around $500 that I hope to get back from the department. I still have a crick in my neck from the stress. Even so, I've got to thank all my peeps who attended the keynote and gave me your continual support. Thanks, peeps.

9. (Honestly, I blame this one on the full moon. Ok, and the PMS...) Yet another personal melt-down in which I come to terms with my disappointing track record in the dating department, get pissed off at a (previously) good guy friend, and make people feel awkward and uncomfortable. Note to self: film best version of this and replay in future to spare self the ridiculous shame and drama. Note to self, part II: bring therapist to next incarnation of this scene. Note to self, part III: give up downer friends and downer dating prospects.

10. Resolution: I RESOLVE TO GIVE UP DOWNER FRIENDS AND DATING PROSPECTS. Yea! Woo-hoo! I can't fix everyone's problems, and I shouldn't have to. I'm not here to make your life happier. It's call therapy, whiner, go get some—God knows I am. (You bitches have been warned!)

11. Sickness. Or yearly allergy. Sickness or yearly allergy? Well, I've had the sore throat, tiredness, and coughing. But I've also had some scratchy eye and itchy, itchy mouth. Currently, I'm losing what is left of my raggedy, Kim-Carnes-esque voice. Y'know, I'm calling "allergy" on this one. From the pollen index, it looks to be ragweed.

12. I get a new vaccuum cleaner as an early Christmas present. For once, I'm thankful to get a Christmas present that sucks. [Place moan of derision here.]

13. Um, dude? I hope you're happy about that vaccuum cleaner, 'cause I've got some bad news. Did you remember that you need to have your teaching observed for your yearly written review? MOTHERPUSSBUCKET! WHAT THE FARTHING HELL! Why not? WHY the MOTHERFARTHING HELL not!?! Have I not suffered enough for you bitches this semester!?! Who is testing Gypsey? Who? WHO!?!

14. Please, sir, may I have some more? Individual student meetings. Tired, stressed, sick? Why not meet with 30 or so students individually all week to discuss their ideas for their last papers. Super! I'll get right on that! Croak.

15. Thoroughly exhaused spiritually and intellectually, our heroine decides that... I'M SPENDING THANKSGIVING IN NEW YORK! Woo-hoo! New York, here I come! I can't wait to see Jake and Kinya as well as all those yummy museums... (That's right, I'm coming to New York. You Northern bitches have been warned.)

So, there you have it—a month or so in a nutshell. I'm sure I'd talk more coherently if I had the time or energy, but, I assure you, at this point, I have neither. I promise to make the effort to be funnier, more inspiring, and entertaining in future entries. For now, I'm just (wilting) Violet.