Thursday, October 25, 2007

himALya, they say

And also, I just want to get this out there because it's true, and I will forget later. But in the last few months, things keep coming up that make me think that the Himalayas are going to be important to me personally. It's just a feeling, brought on by a combination of the stupid Conde Naste subscription, a marathon of geography quizzes, and a scene from The Amber Spyglass. Anyway, every time I placed a country near the Himalayas during the quizzes, I would imagine them, all beautiful and spiritual. And scenes from movies, including The Golden Child, Into Thin Air, Seven Years in Tibet.

Hmmm...that gives me an idea. What other movies are set or at least have scenes in the Himalayas?*

*(my idea is that I'm going to watch movies that are set or at least have scenes in the Himalayas.)

part of the process

Remember when I discovered that listening to the Hives's "Supply and Demand" on repeat didn't get my economics exam studied for? And remember when I discovered that watching the entire third season of Arrested Development didn't get my social psychology paper written? Well, getting Morcheeba songs stuck in my head is not helping me remember terminology and who theorized what in international policy. But it is making everything seem a little more chill.

Angry faces, cursing loud,
Changing places, falling proud
Behind the bomb, no one cares,
Time is money
Were taught to tear
How can we show, how to feel
Situation aint so real
Chopping wood wont stop the rage
We need targets on war we wage
Its all part of the process
We all love looking down
All we want is some success
But the chance is never around

In fact, this makes just as much sense as a theory for international relations as, well, anything else I am reading. Holy. Crap. I. Am. Effed!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

the case of the bum rap!

OK, I got a camera that works! Now I will be able to upload tons of pictures of my cats. Speaking of which, this is what I woke up to (both as an emailed link, and as a representation of how my cat woke me up):

Once in high school, I said something was a "bum rap" and K said "A 'bum rap'? What are you, Encyclopedia Brown?" And even though I read lots of Encyclopedia Brown books (and very, very rarely guessed the ending), now all I can do is picture him going around with an accusatory finger extended, saying "It's a bum rap!" I do remember he had a butch girlfriend, which was cool. And I think his enemy wore a crown, like Jughead from Archie. Was that a style ever? Or are heads just easier to draw with crowns on them? Bugs Meany; that was his name. So that's what those spare brain cells have been remembering all these years!

Apparently, the fashion of the time also involved postage stamps on the crown.

ADDENDUM: I have found this, regarding the crown/hat. And also, there is Encyclopedia Brown fan-fiction. This doesn't exactly surprise me, but it does amuse me! (in idea--I haven't actually read it)


Thank you, everyone, for sympathy regarding Sphinx. I have appreciated it, and passed it onto my brother. I mentioned that Sphinx was his daemon in the last update, but only today listened to lecture and discovered the concept of daemon's is from Plato's Phaedo, not from Philip Pullman's trilogy. Doy...

This is one of those things I should wait a few days to update because I'll probably realize it's not as funny as I think it is, or at least that it's not going to translate well into a story, but here I go anyway because I haven't updated on this blog for a long time.

This is from my international policy class. We were talking about whether a country should stop trade or sanction a country if its industry is harming the environment. We talked about the scenarios of the country harming its own environment (say, an island's water supply) vs. a country harming the global environment (arguments that there is no truly isolated part of "the environment" aside). We got to the example of what if a country kills a lot of dolphins as it catches tuna. It was a heated debate! Then, E--, who has limited-but-pointed contributions to the class, and has a deep voice with a lovely accent (he's from Uganda) said after a reprieve in the debate during which several people were actively trying to not hate several other people:

What is so great about dolphins?

And the professor (kind of nerd-gone-cute, somewhat frenetic, high-voiced) quickly said:
That's a good question! Does anybody know?

And after giving only a moment's silence, before anyone could collect their thoughts on the topic, he answered his own question (in a Boston accent that was a reference to something no one knew):
Because they're wicked smaht! E-- here might be okay with eating a dolphin sandwhich, but most people are just as likely to eat tuna that was caught along with live humans!

I think most of this debate on global public goods got lost in the debate on morals. The one person that was staunchly in the camp of under no circumsances do you meddle in another country's workings lost credibility when she reveals she didn't believe greenhouse gases caused climate change. I think you have to believe there really is an issue that a country can contribute to globally before you can decide what policy choices would be "right" in dealing with it! We probably should have changed the topics from dolphins and global warming, and in fact we did: to fishing rights, and it became much, much more boring.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


First, the sad news: Sphinx, my little brother's cat, died unexpectedly on Monday. We are all very sad. He was my brother's daemon, and we thought they'd be together for years to come. We still think of him as "little cat," the kitten that could fit in the palm of your hand and had a desperate love for cookies 'n' cream ice cream. Maybe he had a stroke, maybe he got poisoned somehow--it's not worth an autopsy. He just faded away Monday night after a few days of dizziness and no clear diagnosis.

Second, I am updating because my first midterm is tomorrow, and I have grown weary of this week's Bizarre Procrastination Technique I developed: reading the plots to every slasher movie I can find. Besides, I only get nervous about the exam when I start studying (because I realize, 'Oh, I don't exactly remember how to do all the so-and-so problems'), but feel confident and nonchalant while not studying. So, by not studying, I'm saving myself a lot of worry. It's open book anyway. What could go wrong?

Friday, October 05, 2007

bumper stickers

Let's vote on which blatant presidential lie is more horrifying:

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman"
"This government does not torture"

Sadly, though I like powerful bumper stickers (Who would Jesus bomb being my favorite), I don't like the one that sums up the above question (No one died when Clinton lied), I think just because it rhymes (la-ame! Like if Mother Goose were leading a protest rally).

Thursday, October 04, 2007

When you get an MRI, before they put you in the tube, they give you headphones and a panic button.

The panic button is for if you suddenly freak out or get claustrophobic. There's not much to think about in that tube. I tried meditating, but of course when I do that, I think of the one thing I am trying not to think about. In this case, for a good portion of the hour in the tube, I was thinking "Don't get claustrophobic." I'm never claustrophobic, but I did have a few moments of thinking I might suddenly be. Then for a while, when the machine was making really loud noises, my brain happened to think to (and about) itself "Skull, give up your secrets!" So for a while, all I could think was this phrase. It was an appropriate thing to be willing to happen, I guess, I just wish my brain had hit upon a less silly phrasing.

The headphones are for listening to music since the machine is so loud. I should have been more specific about what station to put it on, but I figured I'd be fine with the mix station she said it was already tuned to, so I said OK. The closest I actually came to hitting the panic button was when "My Heart Will Go On" came on the radio. I don't think I was actually panicked, I just wanted to get her attention to change the channel, but I didn't want to be stuck in that tube any longer than necessary (since I was developing claustrophobia), so I didn't squeeze the button.

I will try to remember to update results, since I know I sometimes leave readers of my blog hanging (BC has never turned up; the thing in my cupboard was mice--I still have it taped up and empty. Every once in a while, I untape it, spray it down with about a gallon of bleach, and tape it up again; the bamboo flooring looks lovely; the cats have ringworm; but the cats really love each other and area always cleaning each others heads, so they bring me sorrow and joy in equal measure, but giving pills to cats is my least favorite thing to do ever). But I'm not worried about the MRI results. My headaches have all but vanished since I started school. I'm taking it reeeal easy! I'm thinking of 1) taking 5 classes next semester and 2) adding on a second masters degree in order to get 2 in 3 years!

JOB ALERT: Those of you in Austin, if you know someone who is a good typer and moderately smart, the place I do medical transcriptions needs some help because the full-time person quit, and, as I said, I'm taking it easy and don't want to add on a full-time job to my schedule right now. Contact me for details!