Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I guess I should have gotten a Ford Fiesta

So I took this extravagant road trip, and my only hope for my car was that it would return me to Troy, NY. It did that, certainly, but along the way....let's say somewhere up the Hollywood Hills I realized that my car was dying. Then, somewhere in Pennsylvania, I realized that my car was going to die soon. Since my car is technically my father's, I let him know this. He didn't sound particularly interested. I tried to convey the severity of it, but his interest still wasn't piqued. Since I can't afford it now, I asked if I could borrow their spare car between the time when my car finally kicks the bucket and when I've saved enough to buy a new one. This seemed fine to them, but somewhere my dad went on a rant about not buying me a car. This was confusing to me, because of course, I never asked him to buy me one.

So I'm not anywhere near ready to think about buying a car, I have only worked one half a day so far, and I need to pay my rent (and soon my Healthy NY) before I can think about such extravagances as...a means of know, to work. (Though I could just work only in Troy and walk / ride my bike / the bus.) For some reason, my dad started looking for a car for me. I think he kind of enjoys doing this sort of thing. On Friday, the first day I actually worked this school year, I received a call from my mom. There was apparently some sort of parking-lot-car-sale which I've affectionately dubbed car-garage-sale. When I pulled up, my parents were standing near a 200(6?) Suzuki 4cl Station Wagon. Silver. I took it for a spin around the parking lot, everything seemed fine. As this was a car and a deal that apparently isn't oft found, it was decided to purchase it on the spot. I suppose I'll be making payments to my father. It was assumed that I would be trading my car in, and when our dealer guy, Russ Frost, wrote down $100 for my trade-in, I knew I no longer liked him. When my first Saturn broke in half, a guy name Guisseppe paid me $300 for it, and I think he had to tow it away. Three hundred, and I would have said OK. My car needs transmission work, but everything else seems find.

We discussed when to pick the car up, and I made it a big deal that it had to be after Monday. This shouldn't be a problem, considering that it was just Friday. The reason I needed my weekend undisturbed was that I had to finish my packet for grad school. It was due on Monday, and now that my advisor is in Canada, e-mailing is the only option. So, they never tell you a time Monday, so I figure, before it is Tuesday, earlier is best. After working all weekend on this, I wake up Monday to my alarm clock and my cell phone ringing. I should have been able to get my packet in by dinner time. On the phone was my mother, who had called to say that there was suddenly no option for picking up the car later in the week, it absolutely had to happen that evening. "Are you kidding? I was serious about not being able to do it today?" She promised it wouldn't take too long, and that they'd be down about 5:30 to pick me up.

At like, 4:45, there was a knock on my door. Seriously? Out of all the times I invite me dad to come hang out with me, and he isn't interested, the one time I need to be alone and working, he shows up 45 minutes early. My mom is apologetic. Apparently, she was aware of this, but he wanted to get going. We arrived at the dealership 10-15 minutes earlier than our appointment, and immediately located Russ. He was walking around with some papers to copy, and he said he would be with us in 5 minutes. 15 minutes later, my father went to glare at him. When we sat down, I signed a million papers with gritted teeth. At one point, Russ turned to me: "Are you excited??"

"Quite honestly," I told him "I have a 15 page paper due for grad school, like, right now. I really don't have the time to be doing this today. This is why I said NOT TODAY., I'm not excited. My mind is elsewhere."

When he went to put plates on my car, he said he had to wait because it was being detailed. I used to work for Hoffman's Carwash, my job title was Detail Technician. I did this for a year. For making us wait so long to bring the car out (like, another 10 minutes)...the car wasn't detailed. It wasn't thoroughly vacuumed, some of the cup holders weren't cleaned out. The part that got us most, however, was the brand new dent. My dad has x-ray dent eyes, and he and my mother had scanned every exterior inch of this car before even asking to test drive it. This dent was new.

So I apparently have to make an appointment with them to suction out this dent and re-detail it. They could just give me $100 and I'd live with the dent and detail it myself. But this isn't the most annoying part. By the time I'm finally able to go home and resume work on my packet, it is several hours later. And I didn't finish until 12:30....which is Tuesday...which means that had I been listened to, I would have been able to finish my packet, you know, around dinner time. ARGH#$*&#($&*#$!!!

And afterward, I watched RHPS because I was too wound-up to go to sleep. Such a good movie.

This is the first time in my life that my car has not existed on the blue-green continuum.

Monday, September 21, 2009

False Hope Fortune Cookie

Screw you, someone who thinks they're cupid and thinks up fortunes. You do more damage than When Harry Met Sally.

Anecdotal Health Care Concerns

In which John Green discusses Health Care Reform by looking at the case of Hank Green, who is cuter and smarter and writes better songs than someone else I once knew.

And if you are concerned that John is being too open about his brother's health problems, you should probably hear this song, which Hank wrote and posted on YouTube, like, 5 months ago.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Literature Math

(Orwell's 1984 X E. M. Forster's "The Machine Stops") X (Capitalism) = M. T. Anderson's Feed. (I would rename it 2084)

If for some reason that wasn't completely transparent,

I really liked this book. I actually cheated and listened to it. I think I'd recommend that. Listen to it. With headphones if possible. I think that will make for the best experience.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

If you live in Troy, you know: Uncle Sam was a real man

In which Emily makes a video to defend Uncle Sam's good name against John Green's slander.

Trashy Street Art

I'm really into this.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kanye Memes and judging intelligence.

I'm loving these Kanye memes. Please read the comments section of this webpage:

from 'Kanye'saFaggot' to 'POINTLESS IS RETARDED'

Just in general, when you are making judgements about the intelligence of others, then is a good time to consider what you are saying, to re-read your words. ( I worry about this when updating Improper Apostrophe)

Good stuff.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


In which Hank Green talks about being without the internet, and I talk back.

And say the word "internet" about 18 billion times.

This makes me glad I don't text message:
Girlfriend Keeper App

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye West is a little kid, or little kids are Kanye West

If that doesn't work, try this.
This is one of those instances where a bad thing happens to you, but you get the benefit of more attention because of it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm fascinated: Genderless parenting

I once heard a story on This American Life ( I think the episode was Somewhere Out There) about two transgendered children, two little boys who would like to be recognized as little girls. The thing which struck me most was that they said they didn't think of themselves as boys or as girls, but just as people.

If this is so, then why not accept your gender, but not the socially constructed implications? Sure, I'm male, but I like to wear dresses and play with dolls and have long hair.

A Swedish couple have recieved a lot of attention from their decision to keep their child's gender a secret. I'm interested to see how the child ends up, but unfortunately, the couple is my age. This will not assist me in time to make parenting decisions.

....because if I'm not married by 30, I'm probably going to look into adopting, and 6 years isn't enough time for a kid to grow up.

The article:

EDIT: I might as well take over Ally's blog theme.

John Green's video tonight concerned gender identity:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Good White Person

This morning I rode my bike to the farmers market. As I rode down my street, I said hello to and sort of ended up riding with another kid on a bike. He told me I didn't need a helmet, and asked why I was wearing one.

I figured I would never talk to this kid again, so I told him a friend of mine was hit by a car on her bike and killed. This did happen, but she wasn't someone I knew personally.

I also told him about the deal with my mom (she pierces her nose, I wear my helmet). He asked me how old my mom was, and said that he thought that was pretty cool.

He told me his name is Rashad and asked me if I go to school, and guessed Russell Sage. I had to explain about Goddard and how I don't live in Vermont. "Oh, but you're from there?" No, I'm from this area. I grew up in Saratoga.

"That explains the accent."


"Yea, sort of country..."

Rashad goes to Hudson Valley. He grew up in Rochester. He is a year older than me, and is impressed that I'm where I'm at in my studies.

At one point he asked me if I had a boyfriend / why I didn't have a boyfriend. I started to explain that I'm looking for someone who loves Jesus and this isn't easy to find. At this point, his demeanor changed a little bit. A little more serious, a little less flirty. He asked me if I had ever looked into Jehovah's Witnesses.

I explained that I'm really opposed to this, because it is a "works" religion - being that you have to be on your toes at all times making sure you're doing everything right so that God will like you. I really believe that it should stem from faith, a love of God, a love of Jesus causes you to want to do things in a certain way. Like, I love my mom so I wear my helmet, because I wouldn't want to be dishonest to her. I don't wear the helmet because I think that not doing so will hurt my relationship with my mom, even if I believe that to be true, it isn't my motivation.

OK, Jehovah's Witness bashing and explanation over.

Rashad told me that he really wanted to be all religious (for the record, I never in my life set out to be 'all religious'), and that he questioned a lot of different religions. He asked me some questions, of which I explained my beliefs or explained why I thought the answers were irrelevant. Then he asked me two questions I found really interesting.

He asked me what I thought about a white, pointy nosed, blond haired, blue-eyed Jesus.

Jesus is from the Middle East, he wasn't from Western Europe. It is a pretty ridiculous notion that he was a white guy.

He asked me if I believed in Adam and Eve, and what I thought about them being white.

If we all came from Africa, and I believe that Adam and Eve started it all, then it follows that they were African.

"African? You believe that?"

Yea, I mean, it makes sense.

"You're a good white person."

I questioned him and he elaborated "There are bad white people and good white people, and there are bad black people and good black people."

This made me think of something John Green said today, about how we like crime shows because they make good and evil very simple and clear cut, when in reality it isn't so simple.

This conversation also is significant because I had spent the last packet discussing race relations.

Synchronicities abound.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thoughts on not getting sued and diaperboys

My sophomore year of college I had to do an observation in an art classroom. I got to spend a lot of time with a teacher who loaded my head with lots of advice. What stuck with me most was this:

Do everything in your power to avoid getting sued.

So what do I do when kids I'm babysitting for are being ridiculously amusing, but maybe putting video of them on the internet will get me sued?


The other game they were playing involved shouting 'getPSYCHED!getPSYCHED!getPSYCHED!' and was most likely related to the time when they were all jumping on the bed chanting 'We party, party! We party, party!'

Oh, babies.

...and then I stop eating.

Sometimes, when my kitchen gets really messy, I just look for already-prepared or just-heat-me-up sort of foods. When I eat all of those, I sometimes more or less stop eating.
I cleaned my kitchen the other day. A clean kitchen just begs to be used. I used it to make bread. Mmmmmm....

and a video.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Vlog: OK Cupid Fail

Most of the messages I receive on OKCupid qualify for Epic Fail status. For some reason, no one understands that you need to have some respect for the English language and at least a 12th grade writing level for me to respond.

Ally: are those Juggalo tattoos, or just painful ones?

50 Book Challenge

Let's say at the turn of 2009, somebody challenged you to read 50 books before 2010. How would you be doing on that front?

I've compiled my list, including (but excluding from the numbers) the books I listened to during my roadtrip.

1. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things - Michael Braungart
2. Wake Up and Smell the Planet - Grist Magazine
3. Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir - Graham Roumieu
4. Bigfoot: I Not Dead - Graham Roumieu
5. General Ignorance - John Lloyd
6. Che: A Graphic Biography - Spain Rodriguez
7. How We Are Hungry - Dave Eggers
8. You Shall Know Our Velocity! - Dave Eggers
9. Lyrical Life -Casey Jones
10. What is the What - Dave Eggers
11. Mother, Come Home - Paul Hornschemeier (this was really sad and beautiful. I'd recommend it to Graphic Novel Nerdfighters)
12. Urban Homestead - Kelly Coyne
13. City of Glass: The Graphic Novel - Paul Auster, Paul Karasik, David Mazzucchelli
14. My Most Secret Desire - Julie Doucet
15. A Primer of Happenings & Time / Space Art - Al Hansen
16. La Perdida - Jessica Abel
17. Savage Inequalities - Jonathan Kozol
18. Steal This Book - Abbie Hoffman
19. The Complete Handbook of Sewing Machine Repair - Howard Hutchison
20. Things I have learned in my life so far - Stefan Sagmeister
21. Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art - Suzanne Lacy
22. Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works - Erik Spiekermann
23. But Is It Art? - Nina Felshin
24. The Pleasures of Slow Food - Corby Kummer
25. Slow Food Nation - Carlo Petrini
26. Letters to a Young Artist - Shelly Bancroft
27. Made from Scratch - Jenna Woginrich
28. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic - Alison Bechdel
29. Unlikely - Jeffrey Brown
30. Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology - Eric Brende (this is a really good, interesting and easy read)
30 a. (Audio Book) The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
30 b. (AB) Downtown Owl - Chuck Klosterman
30 c. (AB) The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
30 d. (AB) The World Without Us - Alan Weisman
30 e. (AB) Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
30 f. (AB) Oil! - Upton Sinclair
31. Reenchantment of Art - Suzi Gablik
32. White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness - Maurice Berger
33. Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? - Beverly Daniel Tatum
34. Looking for Alaska - John Green

I'm pretty sure I can and will read 16 or more books over the next 3.5 months.

What have you read this year?

Health Care Reform Thought Bubble

Visual by, Audio by John Green

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Safari Gives Away Secrets

I updated my mac. They've redone Safari to feel more...I don't know, media friendly? (Not the media, media like it might as well be a big screen TV)

and the opening screen is a compilation of the sites you visit most frequently... I guess.

Here are my embarrassing secrets.

Facebook Gmail OKCupid ThisBlog
Blogger LibraryRequests AlbanyPublicLibrary YouTube
Amazon Vimeo Etsy Ally's Blog

EDIT: visually appealing as this screen may be, it is infinitely bad for my (usually nonexistent) ADD. I think of Googling something, I open a new page, I forget what it was, because that new page is no longer about:blank.

Sometimes, however, the page I want is one displayed and I can just click and that's nice.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The best friends I never had.

In the spirit of Ally's synchronicity, I just spent.....maybe.....12? hours watching the video blog communication project of John and Hank Green.

John Green is an author of young adult romance novels, and Hank Green is an enviro-blogger. They live on the other side of the country from one another, and their communication had dwindled to IMing, e-mailing, texting, and the like. To counter this, they challenged themselves to take turns posting videos on YouTube every non-holiday weekday, and not communcating textually for an entire year.

I stumbled on this project, or rather, their YouTube channel whilst watching videos of cute animals (this originated in Sloths and the Slow Loris)

The video I stumbled upon was the following:

If you google the word "adorable," this is one of the first things that shows up.

This video is after the whole "Brotherhood 2.0" project, but I was so amused that I watched a few random videos and then decided to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start) so that I would understand all the lingo.

I feel like I could be (or maybe like I am) good friends with these guys. I also love Hank, but strictly in a celebrity-crush sort of way. This is because 1. He is married (as is John) and 2. from what I gather, our theology differs too greatly for me to have been able to consider him if he even was on the market.

One of my favorite books is The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test which, I realized after I finished reading it, is non-fiction. Sometimes, I want another book. To be able to follow up on the characters...because they're real people is really satisfying.

I have had a similar experience with John and Hank Green. It is almost like if The Office were real, and you could send presents to, and potentially hang out with Jim and Pam. You could send them well wishes, and these might actually be received by them.

After the Brotherhood project was over, John and Hank were not finished vlogging. I sort of want to send them a present, but I want to make sure that no one else has given them this specific present, so I am going to wait to do this until I have caught up with all of their videos. They've vlogged through the entire 2008 year (I think once a week at least, each), and it seems that they've continued through 2009.

Hear an interview with them on NPR.

Also what is cool about John and Hank is their accessibility. Though they have thousands of subscribers, they keep up with the conversations in the comments, and comment on them. Vlogging is dynamic.

So I think that I could just drop in and hang out with these guys...but then I remember that I am one of sooo many. If everyone were to do that, it would probably be terrible.

Soon after the project began, John challenged Hank to write a new song every other week. I've tried to write songs. Have you heard them? That's right, because I have never finished a single song. Anyhow, Hank's love for TMBG is apparent, and his music is entertaining and enjoyable. He has actually released a CD (almost 2?) of his music, when I believe that it was just a hobby prior.

My love for John and Hank is almost directly related to my love for Liam Lynch.

The idea of vlogging used to really make me cringe. This is in large part due to Tila Tequila and her boring lame vlogs. (I was going to give you a link to the vlog that first made me want to shoot myself, but it appears to have been removed from the webs). However, I have had a change of heart about vlogging due to Ally's entertaining self, and the vlogbrothers.

I think I might start vlogging. It is something I'm doing in service of my Road Trip video (which I will probably upload in sections on the internet). The only trouble is my Flip video camera may or may not have died. (After like 3 months WQHTKXF!?)

One last thing! Hank lives in Missoula, MT. It is not a big town, and I totally stopped there on my road trip. If only I had known about his existence!

I suppose I'm creepy.
On an unrelated note, I suppose I'm a total nerdfighter.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

You down with OPC? Thoughts on babysitting as a twenty something

is for Children.

I've agreed to babysit for several days. This isn't much different from my usual position, babysitting a teacher's class, except that it occurs within a home, is less structured, and affords me no breaks.

Unlike when I was 12 and babysitting, now watching someone else's kids makes me a little bit sad. I look at their beautiful life and their beautiful children, and read their children an Henri Matisse story book which I begin to think might be boring separated from an art lesson, and I just die a little inside when a very cute insightful little boy makes precocious observations.

For example: comparing a more classical Matisse painting with a more Matisse-like Matisse painting, he identifies that the more classical one seems more realistic because of the texture. Texture! I would be excited if I heard an 8th grade make that comment! This is what my kid will be like....if I ever do have kids.

Also things that make me sad are other people's home ownerships.

.....I would really like to own a home.

So I am babysitting for a group of kids, only one of which lives in the house where this is taking place. One mom dropped off her little boy, who I noticed had a wet spot on the crotch of his pants. The spot was about the size of a quarter, and seemed pretty high. I give him the benefit of the doubt and think...oh that is too high to be pee. Pee happens a little lower in boys.

But then I remember that he is 4 and maybe pee doesn't happen so low for him.

This notion was confirmed later in the day when he asked me to turn the sink water on for him so he could wash his hands post peeing. He is quite short.

He was already in the process of peeing when I answered his call, door wide open. When he was done peeing, and he had certainly peed all over his...self, I asked him if he was going to wipe (because it appeared that this wasn't in his plans).

"No, I...I, My mom, my mommy says, I, when I pee, my mommy says when I pee I don't have to wipe."

Wet spot mystery: solved.

Discussions on a Fort from Me on Vimeo.