vignette: elitism

me: i am saturated by images from vogue and elle and tv shows and movies that all reinforce a fashion sense that is anything BUT the new jersey look
me: but clearly these women are getting reinforcement /somewhere/
Erica: New Jersey is a giant black hole.
Erica: They have secretly never really released a full grip on the 80's hair, coloring, or music, really.
me: also i think there is a space-time portal between them and long island
me: i don't understand how those two regions can flank arguably the center of american fashion and not have anything rub off
Erica: It's not a space-time portal, it's the Verrazano, baby.


vignette: one-man show

me: i just read the word "assists"
me: as in "instances of assistance"
me: as "assists" - people who are supporters of ass.


failures of the system

When it comes to the tools of procrastination, I ask very little. A clean interface. Accessibility. A lack of those stupid floaty embedded-popup ads that you have to X closed in a teensy little corner and if your click is off by so much as a pixel you are taken to a flash site that takes seventeen minutes to load and EVEN THEN the ad has not automatically closed itself on the original page which it sullied.

Google Reader is lovely for these things, because its ads are discreet and it compiles the procrastinatory ingredients of dozens and dozens of blogs and websites in one convenient location, and I can pick and choose by headline what I think is worth reading.

I read Gawker on my RSS feed instead of on the site itself. But every time they change a headline, the entry reposts. So this morning I got:

Harvard Duchess' Terrifying And Awesome Midget Parties

Harvard Duchess' Awesome -- Or Terrifying -- Midget Party

Harvard Duchess' Awesome, Terrifying Midget Party

and, of course

Harvard Duchess' Party Midgets Of Terrifying Awesomeness

THIS IS NOT HAPPYMAKING. I realize this is a first-world complaint of the highest order, but goddamnit I am not happy about the deterioration of efficiency in my work-avoidance. Let alone the blatantly ridiculous failure to correctly use the possessive of "duchess." That is all.


love has aurally ambiguous modifiers

You know that very famous song by the Box Tops that goes "My love is a river running [pause] soul deep"? Yeah well up until basically twenty seconds ago I thought it was "My love is a river running [pause] so deep."

I only discovered my own error when googling what I thought the lyric was produced exactly zero google hits. So not only am I the moron who mishears the concept "deep as my soul, which is presumably very deep" as "really deep, but indeterminately so," I am the only person on the internet who does this.

This post is worth it 31% because it is Valentine's Day-Appropriate (because it is about a love song), and 69% because it is about me being an idiot, and I am assuming you people like to read about that.

love is medically responsible and also drunk

I was just put on hold on the phone with my gynecologist's office, and the music playing was the country-drunk classic (and personal favorite of Mr. B.), "One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer."

In my new fun practice of explaining why something is worth posting, I will tell you that this is worth it 58% because it is a hilarious juxtaposition of context and content, and 42% because it is Valentine's Day-Appropriate. It is Valentine's Day-Appropriate because it is about vaginas and alcohol, and mentions my boyfriend.

Also, Firefox's spellcheck suggests "vaginae" instead of vaginas. WTF.

i hate your love

Feast your eyes on this marvelous notice that I just received from frequent-drawing-demander Kat. I am sharing it 57% because it is hilarious, 42% because today is Valentine's day and this is love-related, and the remaining 1% because it matches the color palette of this web page.

click to view the notice in its full and extraordinary glory



GODDAMNIT. When I was washing my hands in the bathroom at work this morning, my glasses FELL OFF MY FACE and landed on the INCREDIBLY HARD TILED FLOOR and now they are TOTALLY BROKEN.

This is the end of an era. Except I think they are fixable. So this is the brief-hiatus-while-I-go-to-an-optician of an era.


vignette: braaaaaaaaadshaw!

amy: this t-shirt is the most horrible piece of clothing i have ever seen.
me: omg
me: this hurts me as a feminist
me: even as a self-hating feminist
me: no one is allowed to wear this. i will cry. and punch them.
amy: maybe gay guys
amy: but not the mincing skinny kind
me: no, it has to be burly lumberjack gay men
amy: the hairier and burlier the better
me: beer and ketchup stains
amy: like if the dad from roseanne was suddenly into dudes
me: and louboutins


the flapper problem

In honor of A Lady's visit to New York today for a certain supremely awesome fashion show, I pose to you all a random clothing-related thought which is, by and large, indicative of the completely ridiculous stuff that occupies my brain most of the time:

I wonder if it is terrifically difficult to use the toilet sans incident if you are wearing an outfit with fringe.

I doubt I will ever find out firsthand.



how nerds make dessert, part two

for the original how nerds make dessert, click on it.

by way of introduction, a vignette
Cassie: OK, baking opinion sought. if a recipe fills a 9x9 pan, do you think doubling it would be enough to make a pan of cupcakes?
me: this is a MATH question!
Cassie: i was just figuring that a pan of cupcakes is maybe half again as wide as a 9x9 pan. and they each require more depth. so maybe it would come out evenish.

Since I am at work and have only Google at my disposal, this experiment is being conducted entirely in the realm of theory and internet searches.

A 9x9 pan filled to one even inch holds 81 cubic inches of batter.
A standard cupcake pan holds twelve cupcakes, with each cup 2.75" wide and 1.25" deep, which means each cupcake cup holds 7.42446701 cubic inches of batter.

BUT that's me assuming a cupcake cup is a perfect cylinder. It's not! It's cone with the bottom cut off.* But I am going to deal with that by arbitrarily rounding down our 7.42etc to 7.25, and just make it an even 7 because no one ever really fills a cupcake pan to the top if they know what's good for them.

81 divided by 7 is about 11.6, which is almost the 12 cupcakes it takes to fill a pan. And if your cake recipe is the type to fill a 9x9 pan to 1.5 inches rather than 1, you're looking at 121.5 cubic inches of batter, which is seventeen cupcakes, plus a little leftover batter for spoon-licking.

But then there is also the critical matter of frosting.

The surface area of a 9x9 cake is an easy 81 square inches, but the surface area of a cupcake of width 2.75" (even though we didn't fill the cupcake cups to the top, they puff up when they're cooking) is about 5.9 square inches, which let's round up to an even six due to its domed shape, which times 12 is only about 66 square inches - 80% of the amount needed for a 9x9 cake. Though if you're going the seventeen-cupcake route, you need 102 square inches of frosting, which is about one-and-a-half times the amount needed for an even dozen (which, duh, makes sense, since 17 is about one-and-a-half times twelve), or 125% of the 9x9 quantity.

All of which is to say, in summary: No, Cassie, you do not need to double your recipe. But you can if you want to, and make extra cupcakes, and give them to me.

*another vignette:
me: hey, what is the name for a shape that is a cone with the point cut off?
me: like a dixie cup or a cupcake
my brother: circumcision?


where my money goes

The problem with being both poor and lazy is that there are not too many other avenues besides money and action by which one may contribute to the political landscape, especially during a primary.

The problem with being superficial and judgmental is that, once I have assessed the basic issues-positions of the candidates and determined who is Evil and who is Not Evil, I develop irrational attachments to or loathings for them based on things like the graphic design of their webpage, or what their wives wear, or whether they understand how hideously ugly pleated pants look when you stand up after having been sitting for an hour (or stand up after having been sitting for a minute, or sit down after standing, or have just put the pants on, or when the pants are hanging in the closet).

Given those constraints, with my limited dollars (and, most likely, limited sense), I have developed a working hypothesis on how best I can spend my money in service of a primary election, while simultaneously protecting myself (and the world) from my completely stupid judgments of who is the best candidate for whatever job. It is based on the following facts:

  1. There are things I love, and things I disdain.
  2. Because the world is not designed in a proper and correct way, it is rare that there is a candidate who shares my love for all things I love, and disdain for all things I disdain.
  3. I would prefer that my money not be used in support of things I disdain, or against things I love.
  4. There are plenty of single-issue organizations that, categorized in the right combinations, love the things I love, and disdain the things I disdain.
  5. These organizations give money, support, and endorsement to particular candidates.
  6. In the general election, I will most likely vote for the Democrat.

The synthesis of these facts is that I find it makes infinitely more sense to give money to, say, Planned Parenthood and NOW and Freedom to Marry than to give money to Clinton or Obama or Edwards. Because then my dollars are directly connected to the issues I support, and the incremental increase in power and influence that those organizations might get from my donation speaks directly to What Americans Care About, rather than Who Americans Want To Vote For. I trust Planned Parenthood to throw their weight behind the candidate they think will do the most good for reproductive rights, and NOW to assess who is the most favorable to women, and Freedom to Marry to figure out which of the (frustratingly noncommittal) candidates is least likely to hide behind DOMA and cite precedent as an excuse for avoiding the issue of gay marriage. Ahem. And I will trust that these expressions of support will lead to the right (or at the very least, the best) candidate being put up for the general election, and then I will vote for that candidate.

This way I articulate my values clearly, and I am not -- in theory -- swayed into loathing by one candidate's really horrible haircut (coughedwards) or into love by a particularly affable grin (coughobama).

At least, this is how it works in theory. Because I did give twenty-five bucks to Obama. Because his website and wife are both very attractive.


a brief foray into politics

At the super bowl party I attended last night, I chatted a bit with one of those couples who I don't see very often but who, every time I see them, I remember I want to hang out with more. They are nice and interesting and attractive and funny. The male half made a comment about being unemployed, and I asked what the story was, and it turns out he quit his job as a lawyer to work full-time for the Giuliani campaign, which did not really wind up being one of those career decisions that is going places.

I might or might not have just expressed this sentiment in a gchat to Leila, but dude. I had not really processed that there were actually people in this country who legitimately believed in Giuliani as a presidential candidate.

Maybe it was the shallow half (okay, 85%) of my brain, horrified by the spectacle of his--is it third?--wife, who by all accountsused her acrylic tips to claw her way to an expensed police escort, breaking up marriages (her own and others), having the audacity to wear a tiara on a non-first-wedding day that was not to an actual member of royalty (princess much?), and myriad other offenses. Could I -- or anyone? -- trust the judgment of a man who would marry that?

Or it's possible I was brainwashed into disbelief by the New York Times endorsement of John McCain, which eviscerated Giuliani with uncensored turns of phrase: "The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power ... Mr. Giuliani’s arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking."

It's not a new problem that I assume everyone I meet has the same beliefs that I do. I am used to adjusting for the inevitable disappointment that their opinions and tastes are not as perfect and unassailable as mine. But it is weird to me that people who I like have quit their jobs to stump for someone who, to me, is so anathema to what is good and desirable in the world that I actually do not even think of his supporters as people.

Because the truth is that when I step outside my solipsistic bubble and consider the human reality of the individuals who financed his candidacy and hit the pavement in favor of him and manned phone banks, it is hard for me to imagine them as real people with parents and apartment leases and a regular need to use the bathroom. I think my mind always imagined his campaign workers were, like, reptilian aliens loosely outfitted in the skins of humans. Or were lifelike robots patented by Giuliani, Inc. Or were milk-carton kidnappees, all grown up and under the Imperius curse.

But it turns out they are my friends, and I watched the super bowl with them. And that is truly weird.