Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Day G-Funk


MEN AND BAKING

Before I left for home, a female friend of mine got pretty angry about men and baking. In her most serious face, she sternly expressed her disgust for men who bake cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. Bread? Nope. Like a mother admonishing a child for kicking a kitten, she laid it down that men who bake are unattractive, unmasculine, and generally unsexy.

I can sorta see what she's suggesting. I mean, unless you're removing 350 degree baking sheets with your bare hands, eating footlong eclairs (filled with STEAK) in one swallow, and baking huge loafs of french bread that don't even compare to the size of your own dick, then I can't see how men can be sexy while baking. Not even kneading dough shirtless seems to evoke manliness.

Whenever I go stir crazy at home, I start baking things. In the two-month layover between the end of school and the time I left to study abroad, I got so bored and anxious that I baked a couple batches of cookies, hand mixing the dough just to make it last longer. This summer, I watched way too much Food Network and made a whole shitload of Paula Deen's Pine Bark (link forthcoming) for nearly everyone I knew. In fact, I was so proud of myself for making that Pine Bark that I started making it for special occasions and parties.

Now, was I being unmasculine and unsexy? In some ways, perhaps. But, you have to understand that simple, "found" recipes like Pine Bark (which is just melted shit on top of saltine crackers) fall within the range of "manly" concoctions -- characteristically classless, easy to do, and messy as fuck to make. So in that sense, I was being very masculine in my baking pursuits.

But apparently cooking fish is masculine, according to the same friend. I think my skills at roasting salmon counteract what little unmasculinity there might be in making Pine Bark. Again, Oslec ends up sexier than you. Just wait 'till I cook salmon shirtless.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Day XYZ


WHOOPS
I've been really, really busy for the past couple weeks and I apologize to the three or four people who read this blog regularly -- I hope I can make it up to you.

As usual, I will give out too much information. Today's gripe comes from my nipples, my right nipple to be exact. I decided to go on a run Christmas morning to start moving again after a relatively long layoff, and so I braved the fog drip and ran down the hill from my house towards Sharp Park Beach, and after stuttering and walking, headed back up the hill. As Figure 1 may not show, that's all downhill, then uphill.

I'm not a hardcore runner, like others. So, I usually don't take the sort of "minor" precautions before one runs, but this time, something bit me in the ass, or rather, in the right nipple. Apparently I had chafed it against my shirt through running, and it proceeded to bleed. I didn't notice at all when I got home, even through showering and getting dressed.

I DID, however, notice the next day at the gym that my right nipple felt like someone had sliced off the tip. I took a look at it and there was a generous scab where I had chafed it, and it apparently started hurting as my nipples grew erect from vigorous exercise. Now usually I don't mind getting hard nipples, but in this case, I was not a fan.

How much longer will this go on? I figure until the scab falls off, which could be another week or more. I just have to not pick at it when my nipple gets itchy. How will I prevent future nipple chafing? People have been known to apply vaseline before runs, or put band-aids over their nipples, though again, I've never ever had to do that before.

But as it is, because my nipples are so important to me (they add color to my life), I have to start taking care of them.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Day F

THE LION KING, THE LITTLE KIDS, AND MY BUTT
I saw the Broadway production of the Lion King tonight with my housemates. The costumes and the set were spectacular, but the singing was borderline. But, the most hilarious part of the night (at least for me) was when we were waiting in line to get in, and I had to fart. But, since I've such a good control over my sphincter, I was able to release ordorless mini-puffs. BUT, I accidentally farted on a set of passing kids. At first, I was taken aback, and then I thought "this is the funniest thing I'm going to do tonight." It was a great night.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Day... Um... One

MY HANDS THEY ARE SWOLLEN
I haven't slept well this week. Monday night was a hellacious affair with me summarizing then writing a summary for eight (!) inpenetrable articles on the Liberal state and multiculturalism, ultimately with me sleeping at 6am, and Tuesday saw a 9am presentation, a job talk, a discussion with the candidate, and another presentation at 6:30pm until 9pm. I got home, slept for 30 minutes, then got invited out to have drinks, which I accepted, but didn't drink. I took a mulligan day on Wednesday (and got a haircut), but Wednesday night I was up grading until 5am for a 10:30am class, where upon arrival I announced to my supervisor I had finished my share of the essays and she said we should just give them back on Tuesday.

So, aside from shaking all day, my hands I think are reacting negatively to writing comments, underlining, typing, and not sleeping. My fingertips are sore, really red, and feel really bloated. I tried to shoot some baskets today and of course I picked up the hardest, least forgiving basketball with no grip and proceeded to miss nearly everything I shot.

So, hopefully with more sleep, my fingers will reduce in size and they'll be hand model pretty again.

THE KNEE UPDATE
Tomorrow is my six month anniversary of my knee surgery. Six months is the average time for ACL patients to get cleared for sports. Dr. Akizuki back home was very optimistic about his work, really sort of assuring me that I'd be free to pursue the pleasures of sport once again in six month's time. The doctor here, however, is much less optimistic, perhaps by practice. He told me a couple months ago to expect to wait a year. Even my C- in calculus math tells me that's double the expected time. Let's hope when he sees my graft, he'll suggest a knee brace and then I can squat and ball again (those, by the way, are NOT sexual references).

Monday, November 21, 2005

Day Ten

I DO LIKE COUNTRY
My housemate Mike and I do some channel surfing once in awhile. When he's in charge of the remote, we spend more time on the Country Music Channel than I'd like, but I roll with it. Recently we came across what I think is the best country song I've ever heard (which probably means it'll be the worst country song you'll ever hear): Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.

Let Trace Adkins' lyrics speak for themselves:

With that honky tonk badonkadonk
Keepin' perfect rhythm
Make ya wanna swing along
Got it goin' on
Like Donkey Kong
And whoo-wee
Shut my mouth, slap your grandma
There outta be a law
Get the Sheriff on the phone
Lord have mercy, how's she even get them britches on
With that honky tonk badonkadonk


How DOES she get those britches on. If you ever get the chance to hear it, the song sounds like an Usher song with a cowboy hat. Just the combination of country music and the word "badonkadonk" will win over even the most crumudgeony crumudgeon. I've downloaded it onto my iPod so I can memorize it, and with that knowledge, terrorize.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Day Nine

SOCIAL LIFE STREAK
It's been two weekends in a row that I've had a "social life." This, my friends, is a streak. Last night, the senior grad students bought the first years drinks at the on-campus bar here at Brown. I arrived fashionably late (about an hour) and had a friend convince me to try a "Root Beer Float" -- root beer with vanilla vodka. I give that drink two thumbs down.

Later on, I did order a root beer straight up and the bartender said to me "enjoy your drink in moderation."

I also tried to distract the political scientists at darts with some soprano renditions of our favorite 80s songs. We lost, um, by a lot.

SOCIOLOGY
People in the department have been telling me that my question for the job candidates about how to convince someone to like sociology is a good one and that it's actually stumping them too. How would I actually answer that question?

I tell the kids in Theory that Sociology is the study of what the fuck happened to us after feudalism, simply put. Sociology is the study of the change in forms of human interaction brought about by the onset of modernity. All the major sociological thinkers were trying to come to grips with such massive reorderings of social life with the coming of the industrial and urban world, and with that, the rise of the nation-state, of slavery, of severe inequality, of impersonality, of the subjugation of man to the machine.

And really, sociological inquiry today is still concerned with understanding the changes that modenity has left in its wake. Can we come to grips with how the modern world has altered fundamentally the order of social life? To the extent that we still use the theoretical and conceptual tools from the encounter with the modern age, we're still implicitly asking and trying to answer the question "what the fuck just happened?"

Sociology is the study of what the fuck happened to us after feudalism. Remember that.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Day Seven

HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS
It's been a long week for us grad students. The department is hiring three new positions -- a demographer, a spatial specialist, and a development specialist -- which means a 20% change in our department and a big infusion of youth. It also means lots and lots of extra work: there are four candidates for each search, each giving a one-hour talk and then meeting with us for an hour. So, in the span of about three and a half weeks, we've been handed an extra 24 hours of work on top of what Daniel calls an extant "palpable tension" and stress level among the grad students.

We just finished up with the demographers the other day, met with all of them, chatted, etc. Now, I'm probably not going to ever see these candidates ever again, even if we hire one of them since they'll be holed up at the Castle of Demography, a.k.a. the Cabinet Building. But, I feel obligated to put some effort into the search process since my colleagues will directly benefit and because the demography segment of our department is what drags us to a reasonable position in the heirarchy of sociology departments in the country. Of course, I spent the first few talks and chats not saying very much at all, but full of frustration since I (and I think a lot of the other qualitative researchers) were trying to ask something of these candidates that would get at how they might have anything in common with us.

So the last demography talk, I finally think of two questions to ask, both preceeded by a little story. The first is borrowed from Javier Auyero's preface in his book Poor People's Politics. In the preface, his dissertation advisor asks him what aisle in a bookstore would his dissertation fit. I thought that was a great question that aims to uncover what you think your work means to everyone else. So, I adapted it an asked: "If you turned your dissertation into a book, you know in the corner on the back cover? There'd be a few key words to classify it. So what would those words be?"

The other question is inspired by everyone's favorite Argentine and political realist Alex Hybel. The first day of class one year, he turns to me and goes "Celso, what is democracy?" And really, that's a tough question, but it's at the heart of what I study and I think it's a pretty important question for anyone who supposes themselves a sociologist or proctologist or astrologer. So in a way to approach that question for the candidates, I asked: "Pretend you're teaching an intro to soc course for undergrads and there's an impetuous and facetious young man in the front row who raises his hand and asks you just as you enter the room 'What is sociology'? Now, you really want him to take the course and be interested in sociology, so what would you tell him?"

Of course, those questions really feed my ego, 'cause everyone loves them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Day Five

'SPLAININ' TO DO
Today's the 15th. For some reason, my mojo kicks into overdrive around the middle of the month. I mean, it's not perfect, but rarely do I score in the first week of any given month, and rarely, if ever, do I get off on the last week. To be sure, I'll get some spillover outlier hookups in the lead-up to and the tailing off of the middle of the month mojo increase, but largely, the 15th is the date.

What exactly is it that makes my pheremones become so magically smell-tastic? There are a couple hypotheses. One, the full moon must make me a "lunatic." I guess this could account for the irregularity of the mojo surge, but there's no proven scientific connection between what the moon might be doing and how people end up in my pants.

An alternative hypothesis is that the ladies who I'm engaged with must share some similar characteristics. No, not desperation. Maybe they have some sort of libido thing going on. That's my scientific assessment.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Day Four

QUICKIE
It's the 14th today. Usually, the middle of the month comes with a rise in my mojo: most hookups occur (for me) around the 15ths of months. Time's a-wastin'.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Day One, Supplemental

WAIT, WAIT, WAIT
Ok, now I remember more clearly. I had a glass of wine, two Dark and Stormies (rum, lime juice, coke) and two rum and cokes. That's why I was still feeling like a billion bucks in the morning and why right now I feel like someone kicked me in the head and why I'm still not peeing clear.

Day One, Supplemental

Day One

GOOD SHIT
Yesterday I had my birthday party. Of course, no Oslec-run activity is without its pre-event neuroses: I made two hamburgers on the George Foreman and I thought the condo smelled too much like hamburger. So I broke out the chemicals and sprayed every corner of the place until I decided to do the smarter thing and open a window.

People came and a good time was had by all. The first half (8-10) was the less raucous part, I think. We chatted, had Duck Hunt going on in the backgrond and just basically hung out. My friend Matt brought a box of beer from the Physics department's "Beer Day". This was in addition to the two boxes of beer I bought beforehand. By the end of the night, I got a bottle of rum, a bottle of brandy, and a box of beer for my liquor collection.

At about 10ish, maybe 12ish, the party started shifting gears a bit and we started singing along to the bad music on my computer. Now that was good shit. A dedicated core stuck around and lived through When Doves Cry and Right Here Waiting. 'Twas a party indeed.

I ended up, of course, playing a couple hours of Civ4 before going to bed at about 4:45. However, I got up at 12, which was a major coup for me in my new room since the sun likes to peek through the blinds and get me up at 8 consistently.

I think I needed that party. I think it really knocked me out of my funk. Thanks to everyone who came.

CIV4 AND MY EGO
The best thing about the later Civilization games is that you can superficially indulge your narcisissm: you have the option of renaming your empire and your cities anything you want. In my case, I rename the empire and all the cities after me. So, instead of the "Indian Empire" it becomes the "Oslequian Empire" with its capital, "Oslequia" and port city, "Oslec City". Ahhhh so satisfying.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Day Six

A HERO FOR US ALL?
Enrique Iglesias must have inherited some mojo from his father that made up for his unfortunate genetic shortcoming from his Filipina mother: he wants to market extra-small condoms. What the? Anna Kournikova? Size must not matter, in relation to other things.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Day Two

OPTIMISTIC CAUTION
I managed to survive yesterday. I just ate breakfast and feel a little weird, but nothing like yesterday morning. While I feel like I can eat most foods, I'd prefer to be done with this gastritis sooner rather than later. Ultimately that means I have to exercise some restraint for at least two weeks while the Zantac works its magic. It's funny that the preventative exercise for gastritis is a balanced, low-fat diet, which I was already doing. That just drives home for me the unfortunate conjuncture of stress and chili that brought on this bout.

PARTY UPDATE
Fred wrote in his response to the evite "I can't believe you invited this many people". I invited around sixty or so people, but with the knowledge that probably a majority wouldn't be able to make it. I'm still sort of aiming for a big draw, so we still have a week to badger people.

After sort of breaking down my list, it looks like I have three groups of friends:

- People from Sociology
- People from Conn (further broken down into "Vox" and "Not Vox")
- People from Basketball

Right now, people from the Soc department are overrepresented. I'd really love a few more Conn people to come, so if you're from Conn and you're reading this, fucking come. To my party, that is.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Day One

LET'S START COUNTING AGAIN 'CAUSE LIFE SUCKS COCK
Sometimes I wonder if I have anything to worry about. Most of the time I suck it up and lay it out as self-deprication or mock seriousness. Of course, people who don't know me assume I'm depressed or actually serious (which, of course, probably means you have a very underdeveloped sense of humor). But know this: I do suck a lot of it up.

So I suck it up. The problem is, while I can convince myself I'm fine, my body usually manifests the signs of stress regardless of how much I can squirrel the thoughts away. Usually I start breaking out on places on my body that are, well, socially-awkward spots to have pimples. Sometimes I get random stomach problems -- diarrhea, indigestion, and the like.

Last night I had a bowl of chili and this morning, I woke up twice. The first time was around 8am and I decided that 8am was too early. I went back to sleep, then woke up about an hour later with an intense pain in my abdominal area. At first I thought it was food poisoning, as it sort of reminded me of my fun time in the Philippines a few years back with those darned mangoes. I wasn't terribly nauseous, but I wasn't going to push my luck. I tried taking a crap (I did), and then I tried eating some bread to sop up the acid, but I still couldn't straighten up. I walked around my place, hunched over, trying to breathe like a pregnant woman doing Le Mans.

I tried to find a good position to contort my body to lessen the pain. I ended up finding a weird sort of downward dog/butt-in-the-air position that partially eased the pain while I tried to make myself sleep again. It really wasn't helping. I managed to turn the computer on and try to distract myself with AIM and the news, but I wasn't distracted. I talked to Patrick a bit and at the end I decided to head to health services here.

So I made an appointment for 11:30. It was about 10:50. I decided I should try to crap again and maybe shower in warm water to relax myself. I managed to do all of that with the lingering pain in my stomach, leaving just in time to arrive at Health Services just at about 11:30. After correcting my misdiagnosis from "Nausea and Vomiting" to "Abdominal Pain," the doctor sent me off to get blood work, abdominal x-rays, and a urine sample. As she was pressing into my stomach and as I writhed in pain (not an exaggeration), she was concerned that I might have pancreatitis, a kidney stone, or a gall bladder infection.

The tests were an exercise in endurance, all of them. Well not the urine sample or the blood test. So really, the x-rays were a test in endurance. The technician had me lay down on my back for one set of x-rays, and, if you had been paying attention, I wasn't terribly comfortable sprawled out on my back. She had me stay lying down until the film was developed. 'Twas funtastic.

The doctor did a quick diagnosis of gastritis, given the absence of blood in my stool and urine, and my normal x-rays. She sent me off with a prescription for Zantac for at least two weeks, recurring; and a bottle of generic milk of magnesia. By the time I was done with the whole ordeal, it was about 1pm. At 1pm, the entirety of the Brown campus is out on the green, eating, transitioning, and who do I see in a sort of unescapable way? FUCKING JULIA. She said "hi" to me, and in my upset stomach-I-spent-the-morning-doubled-over-I-don't-need-to-be-reminded-of-how-much-my-life-sucks way, I managed a quick "hey" instead of turning around and walking in the other direction. Thank God that lasted for two seconds.

So my frustrations high, my depression racheted up, and my day not even begun, I sidled into the Department and wrangled Brian for lunch. I had a bland meal of a cinnamon bagel and a banana and we talked about the frustrations of life and the excitement of and potentials for male bonding over video games, namely the recently-released Civ4. Brian suggested we go to Best Buy and pick a copy up, but we sorta backed off from the idea, at least for today. He said he'd take me on my birthday instead. Coo.

I'll end my story there, because I spent the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself. This was far from a good day. Completely far.

A few more days 'till my birthday party...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Day Thirty

HOW I MANAGE
I got up a few times this morning, once when the sun pissed me off, and the other when I felt like actually waking up. I managed to plow through a couple articles before heading off to start my wonderful 1pm-9:30pm Wednesday days. I got home at about 11ish, ran outside for about 15-20 minutes, showered, ate something, and now here I am, waiting for my hair to dry.

It's really 1:20 or so on the 3rd of November, and consequently, it's the five-month anniversary of my new ACL. Obviously five months ago was awhile back, but things seemed a lot more different back then -- I had just gotten my MA, I was at home, I still had a girlfriend, my car wasn't yet in the hands of my ex-landlady, and, well, things weren't routine like they are now.

And it's funnier when you look at how I felt just a couple months after surgery, things seemed to be going fine. And granted, I have my health and I'm back to working on my life's calling, but my woman left me, my car's broken down, I don't have an advisor, I watch too much TV, I've had to have my family bail me out financially twice so far (because of the fucking car), and I can't seem to remember that I'm turning 25 on Tuesday and that should be cause for happiness.

I should say something funny. Well, like I've had up on my away message today, "I might be weird, but that hasn't stopped people from sucking my dick."

GOTTA REMEMBER I CAN DOMINATE
I think I need to treat myself to something, though I feel like I really should save my money in case my car explodes with me in it. Actually, I should find a reason to save up for my birthday to give myself a nice present. Though I wish I could buy some domination right about now. I need to have some big, decisive moment where I totally own someone or something.

You know, I haven't shot any baskets this week. Maybe I need to head to the AC and take 100 shots or something, just to center myself.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Day Twenty-Nine

THE CAR, OR RATHER, THE SMOKE BOMB
The repair work I had done on the Taurus last week hasn't eliminated all the car's problems. While I can accelerate, the car still jitters like crazy when it's idle and spews a disgusting amount of smog out of the tailpipe. In addition, the repair on the engine heat sensor did nothing to better gauge the temperature of the engine -- it's still reading as overheating and I'm very inclined to believe it -- and now it won't start unless I sort of "rev" the ignition up a little. I think Tauro might be on the edge of extinction here.

So in my amazing Oslec logic, I've tried ways to get the car to not fire smoke out of the tailpipe, mainly consisting of me gunning my car to a whopping 35 mph, hoping that it'll clear shit out of the system. If anything, it just makes the stuff fly out directly behind the car where I can't see it through my mirrors. I was thinking about firing a hose up there and spraying it with water, but something tells me you don't do that to cars.

Now I'm a little wary about driving to Conn this weekend for Diwali if I'm not going to make it back, or make it there for that matter. Just for the sake of me being able to have a car that partially runs might be much more worth it that to drive to Conn and risk driving the engine crazy like my highway trip to Attleboro did last Friday.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Day Twenty-Eight

ALL SOULS
Thanks to Brad Kreit for this tidbit: Hugo Chavez says "no" to Halloween in Venezuela.

WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS. AND WHEN IT DRIES UP...
Two of my aunts came up today and we had lunch at Gourmet House. They had left pretty early in the morning and when we got back from that late lunch, they both slept for an hour or so at my place. Before they left, they handed off to me some sweaters and PowerBars from my mom and a "donation" to the "Taurus Rehabilitation Fund."

I realize that none but a select few know the recent story of the Taurus. Somewhat immediately after the whole summer car fiasco was over, I noticed my car had some problems with its transmission; it'd lurch changing some gears, and even shake a little when I'd go into reverse cold. In addition, Tauro'd heat up very rapidly on occasion, which really gave me pause about going on longer trips with the car.

On Friday I decided to do the bulk of my Halloween shopping, so I hit up quite a few places with my car, going as far as North Attleboro (about 20 miles by freeway). Everything seemed fine, until the drive back. I started noticing some acceleration problems on the highway -- I wasn't getting up to 50 without some really noticible and out-of-place revving -- and so I pulled over and started my engine up again.

Luckily, that little moment gave my car enough umph to make it back to Providence, where I managed to get over some steep hills before my car's transmission went kaput. Every time I'd come to a complete stop, I couldn't get the car to accelerate. Instead, I sat there at stopsigns and stoplights revving up as if I were in neutral. I hit the luck jackpot that night as I was able to use the gravity from driving downhill with the momentum from pulling over to the side of the road and starting the car up again a few times to get me to my place.

I called my mom up to let her know about the car. She let me know that she was leaving for China (!), and to put whatever the cost of the repair was on a credit card. I called AAA to come and tow the car and I chatted with the tow truck driver about transmissions. He warned me that the service station at which my car was now lying dormant would charge me $1500 to have my transmission reconditioned or even to order a new one to install. He gave me the name of a place down in Coventry that worked on transmissions, and I left the car for inspection the next morning.

That night, I came home and despite my best efforts at not worrying, I started looking up used cars. I found a great Dodge Ram Van that a friend suggested I turn into either the Mystery Machine or a mobile shag station.

Anyway, the next morning the service center called up and explained what they thought was wrong with the transmission. Apparently, the fluid was pitch black and a replacement of fluid would probably put my car back on the road. I told them to go ahead with the work and I went to pick up the car right before I went to Mass.

Since the end of the Summer, I've sunk $700 in repairs into Tauro, and thankfully my family has been kind and loving enough to assist me with what my aunt calls "no stress" money -- no stress about my car so I can concentrate on school. I wonder if I will be so generous when I have nephews in college. I figure I should be.

PARTY THOUGHTS
I'm debating whether or not my grad student friends would attend a party on the 11th if most of us would be going to dinner that night anyway. I still am harboring fantasies (delusions) of a pretty decent-sized shindig that's largely self-sustaining. Would they be partied out already by the activities earlier in the night? One vote for a big, spectacular party came from my aunt today; she said that 25 is a big enough deal to have a blowout.

Also, I wonder how many people could fit in the condo -- we don't exactly have Aaron Spelling's mansion here. Should I simply just invite a select few or empty out my tiny mental rolodex of friends? And would I be able to entertain all those people with my charisma and my roommate's Nintendo?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Day Twenty-Seven

BADASS
There's Brian and me being badass at Holly and Joe's party last night. He's Elwood Blues (you can see the "OD" on his fingers if you enlarge the picture), and I'm an 80s hoodlum. If you're wondering, and I know you are, my gloves are cheapo women's gloves with some random scissoring, and my bandana is really a Martha Stewart-designed bandana print kitchen towel. The vest, as you might already have known, was a $7 find at the Salvation Army (of the stylish brand Countdown).

I ended up going to two parties last night. Holly and Joe's party was laid-back, lots of people from the department and quite a few anthropologists. It was a good, relaxed time. In contrast, the second party I went to was raucous, with lots and lots of people and obligatory table dancing. That was a good time too.

However, one dude was nice and drunk and somehow managed to spill beer on my shoe. So as I'm cleaning it up (with him not caring), I managed to knock over the VASE he was drinking out of, making me clean up more shit. He was too drunk to be totally angry and I was too nice to fucking tear him apart. I walked away before I could tackle him. The fucker.

I promised my students I'd wear my Halloween costume to section tomorrow night. I doubt they'll get it, but we'll see.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Day Twenty-Five

MY HERO IS GONE
Barrington Moore, Jr., author of Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World, died on October 22nd of this month. Sadly, I missed the day itself; someone from the first-year cohort informed me a few days ago. That's what I get for not reading the Times.

I read Moore's book twice at Conn: the first time in my Intro to Comparative Politics class and again in Prof. Gay's class on industrialization and democracy. Both of those classes came during my freshman year, a time when I was a little up in the air about my intellectual trajectory. I was planning on either majoring in IR or double-majoring in Soc and Government, focusing on race with Soc and IR or Comparative with Government.

Obviously, there's a lot of crossover and similarities between the fields, but at that time, I was turning into sort of a nascent Marxist anti-racist because of my Intro to Soc and Race and Ethnicity courses that year. However, two events really set me off on another path. The first was a conference held at Conn that year called (if I recall correctly) "Conference for the Eradication of Racism." I was totally gung-ho about the concept of the conference, but then I met people who actually "did" anti-racism work. No knock on the cause, but the method and the people were far from analytical, driven more by the passion of the struggle, which I think ultimately made them both right, but ineffective. I was seriously pissed at what I called back then "one-issue liberalism" which now I'd call "liberal reductionism" -- the essentialization of social ills to a single particular injustice and suggests tautological responses to address said injustice, which really amount to sloganism.

The second was reading Moore's Social Origins. I really didn't "get" it the first time through, but when we went over it again in Prof. Gay's class, I felt like someone had revealed the secrets to the universe to me. Moore's breadth and depth were amazing, but what got me was the configurational aspect to his analysis -- the combination of peasants, landowners, and nascent bourgeoisie, along with the timing of industrialization, all mattered to democratic, fascist, and communist outcomes. I think too Moore's light cynicism appealed to me: in order to achieve any of those "modern" outcomes, societies necessarily had to eliminate or repress one of those classes -- there was no peaceful route to modernization. But I think the most appealing aspect of Moore was how he was able to see such specific patterns of class conflict, reaching back so far in history, making historical determinism appealing, and arguably answering the most profoundly important question for the 20th century: why do some countries become democratic, others fascist, and others communist?

And look at me now, doing comparative-historical analysis, trying to get at the qualities of democracy around the world. Deep down, I aspire to write a book as great at Moore's, with such breadth, such creative perspective on classes and conflict, and such importance. Are there still questions to ask like Moore's? Are their still causes deeply embedded in history? I guess we'll keep looking.

For now, rest in peace Dr. Moore.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Day Twenty-Four

MR. SULU AND THE EYESHADOWED EYE
George Takai, the actor who played Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, is going to publish he's coming out of the closet later this week. This, of course, coming on the heels that Sheryl Swoops has come out as well. I bet this is a great relief to George and to him and his partner and family I wish much happiness. Though, all of the actors on the original Star Trek did wear eyeshadow on the show (especially Mr. Spock), so maybe this wasn't too surprising.

HALLOWEEN COSTUME UPDATE
I went to the Salvation Army down near the supermarket to look for costume shtuffs. I looked around a bit and found a very 80s vest, complete with zippers. But, it's all black, so I'm thinking about painting some red stripes on it. Also, there weren't any really tight jeans, though I guess I could go back tomorrow and look at the boys' section.

I talked with a few people at the department today and I guess we came to the conclusion that there's not really one 80s gang member look -- there's white gangs, black gangs, post-apocalyptic gangs. Really, lots of gangs.

As for practicing the "Beat It" dance, I came across this interesting site on the net: some lady with a funny accent, teaching people how to do Michael Jackson dances. While she doesn't have the group choreo for "Beat It", it's a good resource for those of you (me) who want to impress with some MJ.

I promise pictures, kids. And hopefully an interesting enough story to blog about. Those have been lacking lately.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Day Twenty-Three

BIRTHDAY PLANS
My friend Jen and I are working on doing a joint birthday celebration (her birthday is on Nov 18th). Right now, it's nothing more than a dinner and ice cream with friends on the 11th of November. I really want to have sort of a significantly large party that night as well; I think I deserve a massive shindig, even though I'm not a massive shindig type of guy. I guess we'll see how many people we can fit in the condo -- we might have to spill outside onto the deck (but it's gonna be cold...).

Now, would people come? I'm only partially doubting myself on this one. Would a party I throw get people to show up? If I threw a party, inviting everyone I knew, would I see that the biggest gift would be for me and the card attatched would say "thank you for being a friend"?

Day Twenty-Two

RUN OR, WELL, DON'T
I had a late lunch today and was riding pretty high-strung thinking about those terrible Wednesdays that come once in awhile. I got to PT today under stress of my own generation and asked to spend most of my cardio time on the bike, instead of on the treadmill. So I took it really easy biking and I did run about five minutes on the treadmill at 6:30 pace, and when I finished, there was still a spring in my step and I wasn't totally tired. Not being pooped at the onset of PT made the rest of the session go by really quickly. I was really light on my feet for all the agility work and I didn't feel like I was dragging energy-wise.

Which brings me to this dilemma: should I forgo the intense cardio work before PT so that I can better handle the more technical portions of the sessions? Or, should I push myself as if Wuyke himself was riding my ass? On the one hand, I sure felt better during PT not having used up all my energy, but that I think might be counterintiuitve to developing all-around endurance.

It could very well be that I was having a good day or that I've actually reached a decent enough level of endurance that I'm not pooping myself out with the same amount of activity. I guess we'll find out Friday.

GEPPETTO'S IDOL
A few weekends ago, my housemate Andrew, his brother, and I were chilling in the living room, just watching late-night TV when we saw an ad for Geppetto's Pizzeria over on Federal Hill in Providence. Geppetto's apparently has what it calls "Geppetto's Idol" -- a karaoke contest -- every Wednesday night. I sort of want to head over tomorrow night and throw my hat in, and probably drag some other people with me too, since karaoke by yourself is like going to Disneyland by yourself -- you're obviously really lonely or you're a pedophile. And I'm only really lonely. No I'm not. I've got to be a pedophile, 'cause I'm a catholic.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Day Twenty-One

I GOT THIS SHIT
I looked at my legs recently to see how they're sort of balancing out. I flexed both and the left quad is still smaller than my right quad. I eyeball about an inch difference in circumference. I guess it sort of concerns me since I want to be able to be at sports effectiveness in a couple months, but perhaps I shouldn't worry so much since I've only really been going all out on my recovery since I've been back here. I wonder if I need to add another day or go back to doing a lot of daily exercises for my left leg. In any case, I've now added an extra zit to my face for this worry.

Though, in a much more vain and certainly less troubling note, the rest of me looks really good. I should go shirtless more often. Um, for the ladies.

Day Twenty, Supplemental

LET'S FACE IT
A circuitous link adventure (submitted by Patrick) leads us to WholesomeWear Swimwear. Yes ladies, you can wear form-denying swimwear that "highlights the face". This is obviously a boon for the pretty-faced, but a total "bust" for the butterfaced. I think from now on I will suggest to the ugly that they should look for clothing that "highlights the face", replacing my somewhat more limited (and as I've learned, unoriginal) suggestion that people "go into handmodeling".

This one, you can snap between your legs to give the semblance of thighs. I can't figure out where the "single zipper" is. How will I first unsnap the skirt, then sexily follow the formless shape of the body to the single zipper that will release the pius woman inside?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Day Twenty

BUSY WORK, BUT I'M MONEY
It's not a bad weekend, work-wise. I've got the theory midterm to correct and some easy reading for class on Monday. Eventually, I have to do some research for a 3-pager due Wednesday evening, but I'm going to try to get the easy stuff out of the way first.

I spent yesterday evening watching the White Sox-Astros game and fudging around, half-reading things. When my housemates got back from wherever it was they went, I made them watch Swingers with me, which, for those of you who don't know, is the greatest inspirational film of the past few decades.

TODAY'S VINTAGE PATRICK
Today's vintage Patrick deals with the white supremacist teeny bopper twins, Prussian Blue.

Just to do a fugue on Patrick's observations, I find white supremacy's obsession with 19th century Germany quite hilarious, primarly because, well, I think it's a poor cultural touchstone for "whiteness" that American nationalism-patriotism does so much better. While American White nationalism has Dixie and flag-and-eagle bandanas, and certainly the flag bikini, "Aryanism" has the dirndl, which, no matter the race, is terribly unsexy (yes, even the mini-dirndl is unsexy). Maybe if you cut slits for the nipples? Nah.

Of course, no cultural pseudo-movement is complete without its own blog. Pay special attention to this post, which again shows that white supremacy is unsexy in that "little girls shouldn't even try to be sexual" way.

If I know my pop culture, I believe that Mary-Kate and Ashley were fodder for pedophiliac fantasies, and last time I checked, that was bad. Good work, Prussian Blue. An excellent template for your cultural revolution.

SPEAKING OF DRESS-UP
Remember ladies, don't be sluts for Halloween. Might I suggest a dirndl?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Day Eighteen, Supplemental

BEAT IT PRACTICE #1
I told the therapists at PT about my plan to dress as an 80s gang member and to dance the choreography to Beat It. First of all, they thought it was hilarious. Second of all, one was a dance teacher, so I sorta worked out the big problems I'd been having with the first few moves -- I hadn't correctly moved my inside foot first on the second set of arm raises.

Anyway, I went and got a DVD of Michael Jackson videos and spent the afternoon breaking down Beat It. Being as the DVD won't allow me to jump to certain parts of the video, nor can I play it back in slow motion, there was much pausing and rewinding. Also, we don't have a mirror big enough for me to see what I'm doing. So instead, I watched my shadow reflection against a framed poster in our dining room.

I got hamstrung with the "gull wing-deal the cards" combination of moves. I think I sorta got it down after a bit, but I'll certainly have to revisit it later on this week. These moves, of course, will replace my public display of my sentai transformation. I think it's entirely worth it, since it's weirder.

Day Eighteen

HALLOWEEN COSTUME REVEALED
Ok, here's the plan: I'm going to be an 80s gang member for Halloween. What stereotypes can I feed upon for this one? I'm aiming for the 80s gang member look from Michael Jackson's "Beat It" or "Bad" videos. So actually, I'm not sure if there's an archetype here to follow. I'm thinking some sort of headband, some sort of sleevless jacket thingy, jeans? I dunno.

And part of me doesn't think people'll get it and think I'm part of Journey or something. So, what I'd like to do is learn the choreography to "Beat It" to be able to dance it at will. Now, I've thought about doing this before, but now, more than ever, is the impetus greater. The universe feels uneasy and imbalanced without my knowledge of the "Beat It" choreography. I hear the galactic clamor, it is deafening.

No one wants to be defeated.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Day Sixteen

STILL WAITING FOR A CHALLENGE
Loyal readers (all four of you), I still await from you a suggestion for a new day count challenge. What would you have The Bosslec do that'd require a mulitple day commitment? Lemme know!

THE LATER SHIFT
Starting this week, my Tuesday morning Race and Ethnicity course gets moved to Wednesday afternoon to accomodate a couple people's commutes. What happens to me, though, is a long, continuous block of learning that essentially shifts my entire day a few hours:

Race and Ethnicity, 1-4pm
Colloquium on Comparative Research, 4-6pm
Social Capital and Social Networks 6:30-9pm

Yeah, I'll cry you a river. I'll have three breaks in there, two mid-class and one 30-minute breather for dinner. Other than that, I'm pooped on. This is, I think, an atypical academic day, which makes me yearn for ending coursework already. Sadly, I still have a semester and a quarter to go.

HALLOWEEN COSTUME INTERNAL DEBATE
Last night at Brian's party, a few friends and I discussed Halloween costumes. No one really had an idea of what they wanted to be, but I set my criterion as "Something that would still get me laid." The one idea out there is to wear a disco leisure suit a la John Travolta, but that seems a little difficult to put together. I suggested a dancer's practice outfit a la John Travolta and the sequel to "Saturday Night Fever", "Staying Alive".

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Day Fifteen

AT LEAST NO AUTOMOBILLS... FOR NOW
A couple days ago, I made an accounting of all the money I owe "the Man". This was prompted by a rather decent sized hospital bill from my surgery in June, claiming that since the surgeon needed an assistant doctor. Insurance won't pay for said doctor, so I have to fork over a month and a half's worth of groceries. In sum, it looks like I'm going to have to watch close to 3/4 of my monthly income go bye-bye. Had I not received that cushion from my aunt a few weeks ago, I'd have been wiping my ass with my bare hands right about now.

If anything, that last paragraph shows how frustrated I am: I'm using crude idiomatic expressions.

BRIAN'S B-DAY, MY PARTIAL TRIP TO HARTFORD, CT
My friend Brian had a little birthday get-together at the Trinity Brewhouse down in downtown Providence tonight, and I of course, said I didn't need directions on how to get there. I used Google Earth and wrote down what I thought would be useful and clear directions. And, I guess they were, but with Mr. Unconfident driving, everything gets muddled.

I got as far as downtown, but then I made a bad left turn and ended up on the freeway. I figured if I took the first exit, I could get off and then just head back in the opposite direction. Of course, the first exit just put me on another highway, this time, towards Hartford. I went a good distance before I could get to the next exit, and it spit me out somewhere in the less well-lit parts of Providence. Thankfully the sky was clear and bright enough for me to make out the Bank of America Building and head in its general direction.

Then I had to park, which, for those of you who know me, is my weakest driving skill, nay, life skill. Luckily, my inability to find street parking wasn't due to my pussiness, but due to the fact that there was literally no street parking (on a Tuesday night? In Providence?). Eventually, I decided to bite the bullet and pay for lot parking. Of course, all the lots required me to pay up front and all I could have paid with were stamps and condoms. At the end though, I was able to park in a lot and the attendant was nice enough to let me run across the street and hit up an ATM.

Brian's get-together was great -- nice and low-key, good company, good stuff in general. Brian's going to be gone next year and I'm really gonna miss the guy. He's been a big brother to me in the department, and a great friend especially when it comes to trying to fix turn signals and moving my stuff in the rain.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Day Thirteen

WHAT AM I COUNTING AGAIN?
Jordan asked me earlier this week if I was still counting how many days I've been celibate. No. Certainly not. In fact, I have to think of something worth counting again. Suggestions welcome, though I guess doing so asks you kids to give me a challenge. Let's just limit them to things that won't be too embarassing. Or rather, things that I wouldn't mind being embarassed by.

WEAK END?
Oh what a play on words. I spent the day at the soc picnic. We had probably the lowest turnout of faculty this time around, which is a little disheartening, partly because we usually play a faculty vs. grad students volleyball game (they didn't have enough to field a side), and because it's really a great opportunity for faculty and grad students to mingle outside of class. Still, we did have a good day, despite me deciding to write a thought paper for class Monday, delaying Daniel and I by about 20-30 minutes. Lots of fun had by all.

I feel a little drained though. I should go to bed right now so I can hit the gym tomorrow morning, but I felt it necessary to hold a review session with the kids tomorrow evening, which by some extension of logic means that I decided to write up a study guide. It's one of those exciting things again where I've volunteered to take on extra work, then realizing at the last moment that it's actually more than I can handle. Really, I'm overwhelming myself with all this extra stuff, and I guess eventually karmic power will even things out, right?

I WANT A BIRTHDAY PARTY
I'm going to have a birthday party because it's been about three years since anyone (including myself) has celebrated my birthday. When I turned 22, I spent the day with Brett shopping for pirate clothes at the mall, saw Ashleigh at a play, then went to a Vox party in Maggie's room. I think I laughed about a billion times before Kate and Maggie came in with a surprise cake for me: the second surprise birthday cake I'd ever received.

Later though, the Housefellow came by. "Hey," Mailin said. "Is Oslec here?" Now, we though we were getting busted, or rather, I thought I was getting busted. But apparently she just wanted to "check". Later that night, Elli and Reynaldo came by with other people from CCASA and some prefrosh and another suprise birthday cake.

I still have the picture someone took of us: me, holding the cake and a plastic pirate knife; and the rest of the CCASA crew behind me. It'd be hard to top that day... really hard. But you know me, always setting my expectations high.

THE GIRL AT CHURCH
So a couple weeks ago, I went to the 5pm mass over at St. Sebastian's. Other than there not being present an organist (meaning we had to sing a-cappella), I ended up sitting a few pews behind a rather attractive woman around my age, sitting by herself. Today, I sat more in front, partially to avoid ungodly thoughts, but I saw her on the way out.

Now, how the heck do I broach asking a girl out from church?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Day Twelve

ADVENTURES OF MOM
Let's go backwards today. I got up at about 8:30, sort of planning to head to the AC before Mom came into day from New York, but really got up because Mom called. I fully expected Mom to call about sixty times before she left, each usually with increasingly weirder and weirder requests. She asked if it was cold up here, which sadly, it is.

Just about twenty or so minutes later, she called again:

"Os, we're taking the train to New Haven, so come and pick us up here," she said. Typical Mom, not much in the way of explanation, but a lot in the way of request.

And, I love my Mom. But New Haven is two hours away in good weather. "Uh, can't you take a train to New London? It's closer," I asked. So she went to check.

A little bit later, she called back. "All the trains between New York and Boston have been cancelled," she said. Holy crap.

"Well, what about the bus?" I asked.

"Why don't you take the bus?" she retorted. "No, why don't you just drive? We have clothes here for you [!]."

"Well I have my picnic tomorrow, so I need to be back here early. I don't think it'd work," I said. I figured if the trains and busses were delayed, it'd take me about four to five hours in Tauro to head down there.

My aunt called her "driver," but he was charging about $400 for the trip. Given that, I suggested they just fly, which they I think went to go check up on. They might end up coming tomorrow for the Soc picnic, but that's not set. We'll see.

So ultimately, Mom wasn't coming up today. Errgh.

DANCE MIX USA, VOL.4
I think in the past couple weeks, I've sort of reverted to my awkward middle school self -- unconfidently moving around, stiff, insecure. But I guess part and parcel with that is the semi-revival of my obsession with Eurodance, defined in an earlier post as when Europe decided to rap, and rap poorly. There were some really bad songs (DJ Bobo's questionable attempt to find another word to rhyme with "day"), but I think I did come across some of the better tunes out there.

I was trawling the net for some of my old favorites when I rediscovered what I think is the best dance compilation from the mid-90s: Dance Mix USA, Vol. 4. First, the album is a snapshot of middle school dance music; "This is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan, "Another Night" by Real McCoy, and "Don't Turn Around" by Ace of Base were big time 7th and 8th grade songs. But also, this shit doesn't let up towards the end with "Cotton Eye Joe" and "Get Ready For This" so it's got the novelty+energy thing that all classic dance songs have behind them.

I have to admit, it has some classic Eurodance on it too. "Tonight is the Night" feels like it was produced bit more weakly than the other songs, but it's got a typical eurodance song profile with a catchy hook chorus and horrible ragga rapping. What makes it special is that it was, I think, a little precocious in that the lead singer actually spoke English: Melanie Thornton went on to sing with La Bouche and did the lead vocals the more accessible Eurodance song "Be My Lover". Sadly, Thornton died in a plane crash a few years ago.

Anyway, yeah. Dance Mix USA, Vol. 4. Best dance compliation ever. Even better than Pure Disco, Vol. 1.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Day Ten

LET'S SEE IF I CAN AVOID LEAVING THE HOUSE
Today's plan is simple: I have a three-page paper to turn in by this afternoon that doesn't require me to physically be in the department. So, I'm going to sit in the kitchen and type really fast.

I may leave the house to buy chicken or protein (for vanity, I mean come on). I was also thinking of replacing my old cord blazer with one that, well, fits. Ulitimately, I should be more or less caught up after today, despite having been yanked back a bit earlier this week.

And it's wet outside. Wet does not a good day make, unless you're perhaps a farmer in the midst of a drought. Or a robot that runs on water in the midst of a drought. Therefore, unless you're a farmer or a robot, wet does not a good day make. QED, motherfuckahs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Day Nine

WELL, THAT WAS HARD
I woke up at about 8:10 this morning. I think I got about 5 hours of sleep, which isn't bad considering I tried to stay up and write a lecture on Durkheim. I had also not read a page of the Philadelphia Negro, W.E.B. DuBois' really groundbreaking and only recently praised work of sociology at the turn of the century. So I felt a little guilty about that one.

I managed to make it out of my house only a few minutes after optimal leaving time (that is, I left five minutes late) and I got to class just in time to ask Jose to let me out early so I could prep for running class.

Class itself had its ups and downs. I tried lecturing, but that bored even me. So I did an activity on the board with them and then discussed the papers and handed them back. I sort of expected people to be asking to have their grades changed, but I didn't get a deluge, so I sort of see that as a good sign that my comments and grading were fair.

I'm not sure where in all of that I got incredibly tired, but I think it was me running on adrenaline for most of that morning that's hitting me now. Though I did get my wish: I was a hero instead of being in love.

THE VISIT
So, two days ago Brett, Yuko, and Fred showed up to P-Town to kick it with the Boss. Brett and Yuo arrived first, and we watched Made (I can't find the episode in there... it's the one with the girl who wants to become a girly-girl, then proceeds to dump all her friends) for a bit.

It got to be about 2pm and we were wondering where Fred was. First I thought, "I know, I'll constantly call Fred's cellphone without leaving a message, so that the entirety of his call log will be me!" And then I thought, "what if he's just outside?" So on that whim, I went outside and Fred was there! He got lost. Silly Fred.

We did fun shit most of the afternoon, like hang out and shit. That was fun. Everyone learned how to do the arm choreography to transform into a spandex-clad, helmeted Power Rangers hero.

Coolness. Early December: Alex Patunas returns for a "sleepover" of epic proportions. Alex, my roommates are single, and I think you could eat them alive.

SHOOTING STAR
I'm planning on going to the AC here tomorrow morning and reset my life a little. Wednesdays are ab days, but I usually take about 30 minutes to shoot around beforehand. I've been pretty disappointed with my shot lately -- I've been a little disjointed with my stroke, throwing up some really inconsistent shit. My range is pretty limited, considering I could jump shoot from the 3-point arc before surgery and now I can't get the legs and arms to fire at the right time to get the ball to the hoop. If anything, the balance and jumping drills have made me a whole crapload steadier, which has actually helped my dribbling a little. Not that I play or could play with anyone.

It's the ball. Yeah, that's what it is.

Day Eight

TOO AMBITIOUS, BUT STILL
Hilary won't be back for a bit, so I volunteered to lecture tomorrow (err today). It's not gonna happen -- I think I'm just gonna go over terms with them from Marx and Durkheim. Plus I have to skim the 400-page Philadelphia Negro in 30 minutes right now. I'll fill ya'll in about the past two days on Day Nine's update.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Day Seven

FUN WITH TWO-BY-TWO TABLES
I think my mind works in two-by-two tables. For instance, we can classify all women (yes, every single one) into four categories, based on a two-by-two table:

- Ugly girls who won't do me.
- Ugly girls who'd do me.
- Hot girls who won't do me.
- Hot girls who'd do me.

See how easy that is? What is this you say? No, hotness and willingness to do me are not negatively correlated, nor do they covary. So suck it.

My roommates suggested that only one fourth of the women of the world are appropriate for me. I had to explain to them that the distribution of women into these categories is not even. Ah fun with statistical concepts.

WHY I'M STILL FIFTEEN: E-ROTIC IS STILL FUNNY
Way back in 1995, I was obsessed with eurodance, a form of dance music characterized by it's poor grasp of the English language, formulaic hooks, and bad rapping. Think The Real McCoy. Or think what'd happen if Britney Spears collided with an unassisted Dr. Dre.

Recently, by virtue of having a friend named Fred, I recalled what might be the most amazing eurodance group of all time: E-Rotic (wiki article), whose sole purpose in life was apparently to rhyme the words "Fred", "bed", "ex", and "sex" in every song they sung, as featured in their two hit songs "Fred Come To Bed" and "Max Don't Have Sex With Your Ex".

Of course, E-Rotic had a message. Sometimes:



RAP:
So you want sex sex sex
With your ex
And it won't cost you any tax
But Willy you better care for sure

And use a Billy
With your long ding dong
Ding a dong
She'll find our you're the number one
So go man go and use your toy
But not without a Billy Boy



But more often than not, E-Rotic laid it bare.

I think E-Rotic won the battle of lyrics. Um, against high school sophomore boys. I mean, I wonder how many guy's names rhyme with something sexual, I mean, other than the ones that are innuendo in and of themselves. E-Rotic seems to have found them all. "Fritz Loves My Tits" all right.

E-Rotic did get somewhat more serious, temporarily, at least, when they recorded ABBA covers. Though I guess in immediate retrospect, that's not really that serious after all. And, now apparently they're one of the artists who provide the music for DDR. Talk about world imfamy.

Ah E-Rotic. How you make me feel absolutely libido-deficient in comparison.

Day Six, Supplemental

SO LIFE OF THE PARTY I AM, APPARENTLY
Despite how much I really honestly tried to shy away from it, Esther and Myung-Ji insisted I do my poorly-practiced disco line dance for everyone. After people egged me on (the kicker was the "Os-Lec!" chant), I finally relented and did my thang to what I thought were mixed results, but everyone found it decent. I guess had I really been into it, I'd have gone nuts, but I was hella restrained.

I did dance with the rest of the sociologists for the rest of the night, which is why right now I feel super duper tired. I guess I made a good night of it. Sadly, nothing super exciting going on tomorrow, which I guess is fine considering Brett and Fred will be down here on Sunday.

IT EXISTS?!
I caught Owen online before he was heading off to see his girlfriend. He mentioned he might be moving to Pasadena soon for business. Now, his thing was that if he made it down there, he'd be able to see Asianmodelpalooza. I was absolutely incredulous that such a thing existed, and lo and behold, there's such an event called Asianmodelpalooza.

100 POSTS!
Wow, this is my one-hundreth post here on Your Daily Fix. Wow, to think I've been nearly faithfully posting everyday since June. I guess I've missed around 20 or so posts along the way but I guess people'll forgive me for that transgression. I am the World's Most Forgiveable Inconvenience after all.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Day Six



THE TWO GREATEST THINGS EVER MADE

So you can see my new haircut and my old friend, Allergen Reducer Febreeze. We're quite a tandem. Together we've freshened countless bedsheets, floors, clothes, towels, you name it. We're the real freshmakers.

DISAPPOINTMENTS OF THE DAY

Well, it seems as if life continues to disappoint. I finally got a copy of Supreme from Harmonic Motion, and let me just say, I'm really really suprised at how poorly produced it was. First of all, it's really really quiet. Second of all, you can't hear the basses so it's scores about a -66.7 on the dance factor scale. The sopranos are nearly non-existent. The voices aren't even chorused or echoed, so it sounds barren.

Now all those things are bad in general, but this is coming from Harmonic Motion -- a group that was much, much more musically solid than Vox in my years. Fred's production of Vox songs sounds like the peal of angel's bells compared to this Supreme. And in fact, it's literally the peal of angel's bells.

Secondly, I reposted my Craigslist ad from awhile back onto the Boston Craigslist. My only response so far:

"u need some head tonight?"

From a dude. I know my attractiveness knows no bounds, but this is ridiculous.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Day Five

NEW, DIFFERENT ADVICE
A couple nights ago, I talked to Yuko about how I wanted to get over all this brokenheartedness. I wrote what sort of amounted to a goodbye e-mail to Julia that I don't intend to send, but wrote to get things off my chest and then destroy it. I sent it to Yuko, just to see it get out there, and her ultimate conclusion is that I should try to make up with Julia. So, I went out on a limb and sent her a couple IMs. We can't expect anything, but admittedly if she never responds, it'll drive me just as crazy as if I didn't do it. Ah well.

I certainly don't blame Yuko, definitely not. I most certainly blame myself I'm drawing this out so long.

I also had a pretty interesting conversation with Ann from the department. It sort of touched on relationship and companionship issues I've had since I've been here -- the fact that everyone's already married or well on their way, how I'm generally a failure at finding a companion, and I guess a whole bunch o' other shit.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I never expected to be back in this kind of funk again. I want my confidence back, permanently. Ann and I talked about where agency lies in the course of relationships over time. If we're all to find someone, what does it matter what we do until then? And I think about the prescriptions people give: keep active, get back out there, exercise, work... I don't want to be distracted, I want to be at peace.

THE WEEKEND AHEAD
As we take time to celebrate the beginning of modernity and all its ills on Monday by getting a day off, I see that my social calendar is yet again full of silliness. Friday night is Esther and Myung-Ji's party, wherein I'm expected to dance. Saturday... well, we'll work on Saturday. And Sunday, Brett and Fred will be coming down to P-Town to rock shit and fuck shit up. Hopefully Sunday we'll get to fool around singing and drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves.

Day Four, Supplemental

LEADING THE BLIND
Looks like I'll have to break it to the kids that there's no class tomorrow. I wanted to have the papers done, but I'm at the harder stage of actually assigning a grade and those aren't done either. I spent part of the evening typing up a guide sheet for their future paper writing, cannibalizing a couple things from Prof. Tian and something Paul sent me. So far, it's gotten the seal of approval from a few people. We'll see how it goes over with the kids next week, I guess.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Day Four

I GOTTA SLEEP EARLIER
I stayed up till about 5ish last night, ruminating as I usually do. Thankfully Yuko was up to listen to me rant. Of course, the way my room faces the sun and the way my intestines snake feces through my body, I was up at 9:30.

"THE MARKET IS BEAUTIFUL, LIKE JULIA ROBERTS"
I e-mailed John Tian, a former professor of mine at Conn, about a handout he gave us on how to write an argumentative essay. It turns out that he's building a tenure review file and he asked me to write him up a recommendation.

There are three things I'll always remember about him. One is that he always had something absolutely random to say at the beginning of class that sort of bordered on absurdity, but was nearly always funny. "The market is beautiful," he said once. "Like Julia Roberts. If you don't like Julia Roberts, that's your problem."

He also had a penchant for not bullshitting. "People don't want democracy," he said. "People want good governance." He also opined on People Power II in the Philippines, which really sort of inspired my possible dissertation topic: "They say it's People Power, but it's more like Rich People Power!"

But I think he'll always be one of those great profs that assured me that being an intellectual was a worthy goal in its own right. "You're here for four years to become more intellectual," he said. "My job is to make you more intellectual." And part of that was how he always made fun of investment bankers who really sort of gave up the life of the mind for "12 hour days. You never get to sleep, markets open somewhere all the time!" And really, what is an intellectual? I think he inspired me to believe that an intelligent person knew about the world and about ideas, while an intellectual was never afraid to take ideas and not only critique them, but make up their own.

Day Three

GOTTA FIGHT THE FEELING
Wimpiness. I think that's why I suck so hard. I have to embrace the anger stage and remove myself from the denial stage. I call for a violent (perhaps revolutionary) break with the past.

All talk... And the so-called Bosslec nearly vomits.

THE HEDONISM
Something that gives me pause is the degree to which I've become some sort of hedonist in the eyes of my department. First of all, yes, I do tend to sleep at inopportune times and in uncomfortable positions on various department furniture, but narcolepsy does not a hedonist make. Second of all, my penchant for disco dancing my way into the lab doesn't mean that I'm out there every night cutting the rug. Thirdly, I've never been fun at parties. Heck, I hardly even go to parties. Yet, everyone has so far cited my ability to make any party, well, a party. These people need to realize that I'm a tortured soul who's less happy with himself that he obviously lets on. I mean, come on. How much self-deprication do I need to do before you get the picture?

JUMP SOLES AND ME
It's debatable whether or not PT is a recuperative process or if it's pushing me beyond recovery and into conditioning. For the past couple weeks, they've had me using Jump Soles. Yeah, you heard me: the very same contraptions you see advertised in the back of sports magazines that will supposedly make you add inches, nay feet, to your vertical jump.

Now, these things were really really heavy when I wore them for the first time and they still to this day drive my arches nuts with lactic acid. But, I've actually noticed a whole messload more control and stability in my landings when I take the things off. Maybe I will actually dunk...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Day Two

MONDAY AND THE FEELIN'S POOP
Ever so often I get these Mondays that are long ass. Everyone has bad Mondays, but mine are so much more fun (or less). I had office hours this morning, class from 12-3, then section from 7-9. I went home all of no times at all. I did manage to tell my kids a nearly hilarious story about how I pretended to be a priest during class once. I believe Brad characterized that little moment as "over-the-top". Ahhhhhh I'm going crazy.

AH THE EXCITEMENT OF ANGER!
I saw Julia on the street while I was eating dinner with Esther. I nearly vomited. Now I'll never want to eat fucking gelato again. This is interesting: usually I don't feel like someone punched me in the gut by this stuff, so it might be I'm moving on to another stage of coping, my favorite stage: anger! Oslequian anger allows me to create some amazing insults that I'd never have enough time to say to someone in person before they'd vomit in disgust. If anything, I'm the king of undeserving insults.

I really sort of enjoy the anger phase, partly I think because it can be easily tied into the purgative moment -- it's destructive and in the way I express it, it serves the purpose of allowing me to perceive the target as ruined. I'd like to deliver such a string of terrible insults that the legs get weak and you can only fall the ground or run away really fast. And I think my anger is only partially constructive in that it's relatively raw, and usually nothing to do with the specifics of a situation, but moreso with the satisfaction of seeing someone else suffer. I guess the best metaphor for my anger is the Kids in the Hall dude who crushes people's heads with his fingers.

My anger phase usually lasts for a long time, and in many cases, eats into any possible "healing" phase. Mostly I tend to reject olive branches, partially because I'd just relive shit over again in my head, and partially 'cause I want to be mean, just for the satisfaction of driving someone crazy. Though I'm mostly a pussy, so if someone just insulted me back, I'd probably just run for the hills. But, I'd probably come back and do lots of fun ad hominem attacks.

Again, it's that thing: would I rather be angry at Julia or be friends with her? I think I'd rather be angry, since "friendship" would just be some stupid ruse to pretend nothing happened and would probably get me in that "let me prove that I'm worthy" mode, which in this specific case would be the "let me prove that I'm fuckable" mode. Ahhh to be absolutely physically and emotionally unattractive to one person... It's amazing.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Day One

CELIBACY? NOT GONNA WORK
Ok, so I've noticed a trend here: I like to get off. I'll leave it at that.

FALL WEEKEND FOLLIES
I didn't intend to head down to Conn this weekend because my grandma and my aunts were planinng to meet me here in Providence. But, I drove down to Conn this weekend because my grandma was coming in from the Philippines and wanted to meet me in Mystic. So, I made a weekend of it.

I drove down with Chris on Friday night to get there in time for the Homecoming Jam. It was good to catch up with Chris this weekend, since he's getting shipped off to Afganistan to work for the State Department. Though, as we saw people we knew or met parents, and the conversation inevitably turned to what we were doing with our lives, his life story was about seventeen thousand times more interesting than mine. Sort of reminds me of how I enjoy my comfortable, boring life as a grad student, despite how comfortable and boring it is. A little moderation now is fine especially since in a few years I'll essentially be able to do anything I want with little accountability. Mmmm the academe...

I sort of expected to have a raging hilarious party on Saturday night, but was really unable to get Vox together. I did hang out at Iwi's Green Day party (where the premise was to wear green and listen to Green Day), but took off a little early and hung out with Yuko in her room. We found Alex Patunas online and chatted with her about masturbation and making out with Argentinian men. That entire conversation was mad entertaining: it was like watching great TV and you were a character in a sitcom.

It was a little surreal this time through, since I was nearly on my own for the weekend. I took some time to correct some papers and go to mass, but people were out with their parents until late and so my friendless self had to look for people who weren't around. Sort of reminded me of lonely times at Conn, but even in the good ole days, I could call up Brad or head down the hall to see Andy and Steve. Ahhh college was blegh.

PURGATIVE
Father Larry mentioned that it is a Catholic thing to seek the "purgative path" when confronted with sin.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Day One

ARG
So doing this celibacy thing is hard. I'll admit to you, I just keep thinking about the sex I had with Julia and that's sort of driving me crazy. I think it's a little sick.

DESTRUCTION VERSUS MODIFICATION
I reflect on the story of the flood a lot. That God thought nearly all of its creation was unworthy of existence and so wiped the slate clean is puzzling to me. For all intents and purposes, society only consisted of Noah and to some extent God itself. Now, God chose Noah to survive because he was upstanding (at least up until then), so God as social engineer eliminated all those others who did not conform to the norms laid forth directly from God itself.

I mentioned that last point because of the question of self-selection. But, the whole story raises two questions in my mind that truly befuddle me. The first is about elimination of the past. I often look back at my own life and juxtapose God's elimination with the idea that we learn from all our failures. It's one of those bromidic lines that people use to, I think, justify their unhappiness by assuming the ultimate outcome of life is positive: "At least you've learned something about yourself" (and all its iterations). Certainly, we do gain information, and admittedly experience, but I can't help but think that if I had the choice, I would have never done X at all. That is, at the contingent moment where paths are chosen, I'd have chosen another path completely.

Now, one could argue that such is "learning from my mistakes" and true, there is some information gathered. But, I think in its application, there are two approaches: one is to leave the past as it is and move on with the knowledge of the past, and the other is to wonder what if you had never lived that experience at all. I think learning from experience is by itself agnostic, but I think I'd rather eliminate the past and start over again. I'd rather wipe my own slate clean and, if we assume that action at certain critical juntures is contingent or even stochastic, hope perhaps that I'd choose another path entirely.

The second question returns to the deeper existential question that plagues me: if we bracket for a moment that the flood story is a morality play, and assume that when the world was wiped clean and only Noah existed what he would do. If everything were to end, leaving only one person behind and all mechanisms for sanction, both formal and informal, were removed, what would existence be like?

Lame I know. I think I just want the world to end and leave me behind.

MY REPUTATION PRECEDES ME?
Esther and Myung-Ji are having a joint birthday potluck on the 7th and sent out an e-mail to let people know. At the end, this fun little, um, notification, was included:

P.S.2 Our wonderful Oslec is preparing quite a surprise for all of us during the party, right Oslec?

Whuuuuuuuh? I guess I'm being asked to be totally awesome again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Day One

UGH
Don't ask. I had a relapse. I guess this is gonna be harder than I thought.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Day Two, Supplemental

FUNNY
Thinking back a couple years ago, I cited this blog --
I think of the hours of the day that go by when I don't think of my penis and realize it means really little to me how big it is. I don't think having a big penis is going to help me write my dissertation. And I don't buy the penis size=>self-confidence thing either; I think it only works in one direction if you buy into that shit.
I think I'm really ambivalent about it at the moment. I'd care if someone cut it off, but I'm not in the fetal position on the floor because I can't jelq my way to a 10-incher.
And really, what's there to gain from having sex that much anyway? The bigger the dick, the more space to show off your herpes, says I.

Day Two

SHAKEN: MY FAITH IN HUMANITY
I'd been spending way too much time in the department lately. I've taken it upon myself to answer all the e-mails I've received from my students in great detail, 'cause I think they deserve it if they're e-mailing a lowly TA for advice. I get a neat sort of gratification in helping them out. I also get a neat sort of gratification that I get some attention.

Anyway, I had class this morning, then a colloquium speaker whose presentation I slept through, and then ran some ideas by Dan and Paul about a possible dissertation topic,* then headed home. As I was crossing Thayer Street to walk down George to head home, a car passed behind me and TOSSED A WATER BALLOON AT ME! But... MOTHERFUCKERS MISSED! I took me about five seconds to realize what had (almost) happened to me, and really I don't know what prompted me to look back at what happened. I saw the empty and ruptured carcass of a red balloon, and around it the "splash zone" of its watery payload. A dude walking perpendicular to me saw it and said, "Man, assholes!" I could only agree.

* With IQRM coming up soon, we've got to submit research projects for critique. My tenative title is "Rich People's Power: Elite Revolt in the Philippines, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador".

Monday, September 26, 2005

Day One


GOOD FIRST STEP TOWARDS MY CAREER
So I'm serious about the celibacy thing: no induced orgasm for thirty days to help me figure out what's most important in my life and what about sex itself is so important. I didn't really meditate on those ideas today, but I did get an inkling of my future profession as a liberal arts college professor. I had office hours this morning and with a paper due on Thursday, I had a lot of my students come in and pick my brain. Perhaps at my base I'm such an egotist that I enjoy talking about my own ideas, and certainly the lecture last week satisfied me a little towards that end. But there's the feeling that when someone leaves office hours that you may have, in some way, put them on a better path towards understanding the material. I guess I simply enjoy the satisfaction that I've helped make someone more intellectual at least for just a moment. Hopefully in the long run, I'll have helped make them intellectuals for life.

THE INTERNET LOVES ME AGAIN
Yesterday, I went the entire day without receiving a substantive e-mail. I could not have been more depressed in my life -- even the internet didn't love me. But today, in addition to all the e-mail my students have been sending me about their papers, I got e-mails from three cool peoples who've been out in the wild wild world.

Elli sent me an e-mail today. She's still in India doing the most improbably goodness ever, but getting ready to come home after having spent two years there. Always good to hear from her.

Kate Machemer e-mailed me too. She's still out in England, living an English life teaching English girls P.E. Certainly she's been having the time of her life too.

And everyone's favorite Bret Jaspers is starting an MFA out in New York. He was out here in Providence for a bit a few years ago.

I'm happy I have friends out there, doing some cool stuff. Awww sniff.

I WON A MAGICAL PRIZE
In the range of excitement in my life, usually me getting anything for free ranks up there with me single-handedly beating up an army of ninjas. So imagine my surprise when I removed the wrapper from my bottle of conditioner to reveal not one but TWO official Ashlee Simpson hair ties (see above)! Now I can really do up my overly dyed black hair just like her! And we both think we can sing!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Day Eleven

CE-LI-BACY YEAH YOU KNOW ME
Ok we're gonna try something new. Starting tomorrow I start a new count: days celibate. You might be skeptical. For one, I don't actually have anyone to fuck, ergo an easy task. I'm gonna go beyond that: I'm not even going to masturbate. You heard me. No sexual anything. I am going to do this for 30 days.

Why? Because it's making me sick to think of sex. A few posts back, I talked about how thinking about sex is making me think of food poisoning, and I haven't been able to shake that feeling. It's not that I think sex is bad, but for some reason, my body and my mind have been rejecting it sort of virulently. I say "sort of" because it's not really virulent, but I've been getting pretty queasy thinking about the act of sex. I've also been pretty queasy seeing people cuddle after sex on TV. It starts my stomach churning.

So in contrast to how I usually viewed my life -- everything great, just needs love -- I'm gonna switch it around and just say "everything's great, don't need nothing else." I mean, seriously, what has all this obsession with love and sex gotten me? Some pretty funny comebacks, but still, I get too attatched to the people I have sex with or assume that sexual release is going to relieve me of the pressures of wanting to have sex. In fact, it just makes me want to have more sex, to masturbate more, and none of that shit is satisfying.

I guess I'm just trying to find what might be "real" about the sexual experience. Certainly the physical aspect is there, but I don't think I've been able to shake the emotional part of it. Sort of reminds me of when Patrick suggested I cry when I have sex. And to a certain extent, maybe I should.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Day Ten, Supplemental

WONDERFUL
How delightful. I keep thinking back to when I gave myself the mantra "No More Mercy Whore, Say Yes To Self Respect" I wondered how if I got back into the dumps again, I'd be able to draw on it again. And I wondered if I could really sort of deny my ego long enough to pull myself out with it.

I think I'd be lying to all you three readers that if I said I were totally fine, but today I feel like everything's out of whack. The run today was great, no doubt. And I've gotten through a lot of shit this week. But it's that feeling I can't shake, like my legs are about to explode, and I feel like I could jump through the ceiling. But I feel even more strongly the feeling that even if I tried to jump through the ceiling, I could never do it, I could never break through. Basically, I want to do something uttery destructive, but know in my mind that I could never bring myself to do it.

This deserves another paragraph, but I got nothing. I need a big foam bat. I need a compound movement. I need a big foam bat and I need to hit something with it.

Day Ten

COOLNESS
I slept late last night, partly because my body's been working late for the past couple days and partly because our upstairs neighbors were having a party. The sad thing is, I get the morning sun every day and so there's no way I can even pretend to sleep past 9am. So this morning, I got up to pee at about 9:15 and just decided to stay up and putter around. I had some breakfast and cruised the intrawebs, then got ready to run a bit.

Now, it's been quite a long ass time since I hit the streets of Providence. When I injured myself back in February, it was still really freakin' cold out and the running path down Blackstone Avenue here was relatively unshovelled. I had just been playing basketball, working the bike, and lifting, but no long running.

I'd been running on the treadmill during the past few PT sessions, and the most recent session ended without that weird tension pain that I'd been feeling on the lateral side of my left knee. So, I put on tighty-whiteys, shorter shorts, and strung my housekey onto my left shoelace. I stepped out and told myself out loud, "ok, not fast, just slow, just slow, don't kill yourself." Of course, our neighbor was out on his steps smoking a cigarette.

I kept chanting to myself to take it easy and to keep it slow. I stopped every ten minutes or so just to shake out the lactic acid in the arches of my feet. To make a long run short, I went from my house on Ives Street to Brown's athletic center, really maybe about four or so minutes slower than my regular time on that course. At the end, I felt great for both really running for the first time in months and for the feeling you get from running itself.

I guess looking back at this week, I had some pretty significant achievements and I guess I should be a whole mess happier about them: running four miles, giving my first lecture, moving to a new place... I mean it's quite a few important things, and all of them sort of prove that there's a whole mess of people helping me out and supporting me and so like, what's up with me?

It's that same feeling I've had for a bit -- no catharsis. I sort of need to explode or to break through or something. I need to kick ass or kick something. Am I angry? Should I be angry? Should I have cried more when I left the house on Governor Street? Why do I not care?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Camuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuus!

MY BODY, MY SELF
I did some duck walks and lunges with a thera-band at PT yesterday. Those things are rubber and they had the interesting effect of twisting the leg hairs on my ankle. So I've got like braided ankle hair.

Also, the lateral pain on my knee has receded enough for me to do a butterfly stretch. I think today will be the day that I rediscovered my groin.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Day Nine

I'M NOT WHO I THINK I AM?
I wonder if these existential questions I've been having come during the course of all people's lives, or if I'm just a crazy, over-thinking motherfucker. For instance, although I think I'm pretty sure of what I am, people seem to think I'm something other than what I believe.

At PT today, my therapist asked me if downloading songs from LimeWire was illegal. Now, of all the people in the world to ask, why me? Two people near us said they used LimeWire too. I guess no matter what I do, I'll always be nerdy.

And then just now, one of the kids in my class said "I like it that you swear; it's like you connect with us." Now this one is new -- it was never weird that I interacted with undergrads here at Brown before. I mean, fuck, I've had sex with them. But now I'm all of a sudden a little "fuck" and "bullshit" makes me "connect" with them. I have never felt so old in my life. I know the guy meant well and he's a good kid, but now, well, who am I?

TAKING A DAY
I left the house all of twice today: once to go to PT, and just now to mail Brad's birthday card and to buy some stuff at CVS. I was thinking about carousing, but it seems like my body decided differently: I took a two hour nap. I feel sort of lame, but I need to do my thing I guess.

THE ESSSENCE OF HUMOR or WHO IS FUNNY?
Someone mentioned a few days ago that improv is funny because you have to accept what comes -- that is, you cannot deny the material put forth before you and must build off of it. So that means if someone says you're a tree, you become a tree. Maybe a tree with diarrhea, but still, you take the tree and you go with it.

I thought about the essence of humor recently when I hung out with Julia's friends. To each other, they were quite funny, but to me, I never quite "got it" nor could I get in on it. And granted, they'd say funny things, but never to the degree that'd elicit rolling laughter. Really even Julia herself wasn't funny -- she did funny/cute-ish things, but never a joker, never a comedienne. I think in general, their humor was significantly weighted towards sarcasm, but sort of the "outrage sarcasm" that reading the New York Times makes you susceptible to. I guess you could say I didn't think they were funny -- too much sarcasm, not enough irony. Or if a statement is reavealed to be ironic by them, the response was "outrage" that I found not funny.*

Why is sarcasm funny? Perhaps part of the answer lies in the fact that it turns an established utterance or statement of fact or opinion on its head. I guess that's what people call the "set-up" or "setting yourself up" -- by establishing some fact or opinion, you provide material for a humorous retort.

Humor, then, must be by its nature, reactive. But not all reactive statements are humorous. I think that part of the reaction must border on elaborating on the logical imperfections in the statement, revealing its absurdity. Statements by themselves may not be logically imperfect, but perhaps in extention, their lack of universality generates the reaction. So, humor can be derived from statements who's truth is not universal. In that sense, humor requires an acceptance of absurdity -- an understanding of when a logical statement is made then illogical.

Perhaps part of that is being able to draw from a common pool of knowledge. This would define "inside jokes". When a common knowledge is already present, there is little need for a elaborate "set-up".

Revealing the absurdity of a statement is not inherently humorous. However, the logical stretching involved carries with it the seeds of humor, so statements are potentially, but not inherently humorous. I would argue there is a seed of probabilism here.

Part of the probabilistic nature of humor is the question of "timing". Humor requires a perhaps intuitive understanding of the temporal sequencing of a logical statement. That is, you have to know "where someone's going with it". One must first allow all the necessary facts to be established. Necessary, of course, is relative -- in more complicated statements, earlier portions of the statement may provide significant material for absurd extention/revelation. Timing in the interruption of developing logical statements is difficult to explain, but through the process of elimination, one specific instance of poor timing is having the "set-up" statement be interrupted by another person or event. Or, when an individual builds a logical argument, but you misinterpret the ultimate end of the statement and interrupt with a revelation of absurdity in the logic, it ultimately makes you not funny.

What about already-completed statements? Here the issue of timing also reveals itself. The statement must establish itself fully and all parties must already come to terms with its logic. Without this, the reactive statement would fall to the same problem when a complex statement is misinterpreted. Waiting too long however allows the established fact to have revealed a satisfying logic that would be difficult to penetrate or lay absurd.

This reveals an aspect of tension necessary in the statement and in the post-statement. Humor in many cases is cathartic, and if a suitable amount of tension is not built up, then the reactive statement falls flat, despite the fact that all necessary information has been established.

Arguably, all humor is cathartic -- it releases a tension perhaps inherent in the logical construction of a statement. The apparently tightly-linked logical chains we believe we weave when we speak can be broken down, releasing absurdity.

I'm sure this exposition has raised more questions that it has answered, but suffice it to say, I'm funnier than you.

* Really the only exception I know of was Nora, the girl who took care of my car this summer. She was really funny.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Day Eight

QUALITY
Off the cuff Patrick Davila again. Context: Me telling him about the perceptions among the grad students about Brown kids.

The Bosslec: apparently the harvard kids aren't as bad
The Bosslec: they're smart, but not assholes
The Bosslec: these kids apparently have a problem with authority
K R U N K L E: why
K R U N K L E: DID JFK JR ACT UP?
K R U N K L E: NO
K R U N K L E: HE DIED EXACTLY LIKE HIS FATHER DID
K R U N K L E: IN A MOVING VEHICLE
The Bosslec: oh shit
The Bosslec: hahah
The Bosslec: did you just think of that?
K R U N K L E: yeah

OS-LEC-TURE!
So there's really not much to say about my first lecture ever. A couple of my friends from the department came to watch, give support, ask questions. The kids seemed to absorb it, I think. Apparently I spoke slowly enough for them to understand and my handouts kept them awake. I got everything I wanted to say in and, yeah, I guess it was cool.

I dunno, I guess I haven't really reflected on it yet. Or "enough", I guess is the word. Suffice it to say for now, I'd do it again. I think today's worth re-living.

BED, BATH, AND BEYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOND!
Ok, so why the fuck is Bed, Bath, and Beyond set up like a stupid ass Ikea? I walked through the entire fucking store before I found the "bed" and the "bath" part, after walking through "beyond". Jeepus. Also, my mall excursion and a quick jump to the grocery store took an entire freaking afternoon from 2:30 to 5:45. I could not fucking believe it.

FUCKING
Well, despite the fact that I'm unintentionally celibate at the moment and would rather be getting laid, I've been finding quite difficult to watch sex scenes on TV or even some porn. I guess the reaction could be described as "food poisoning" -- that is, it reminds me of the time in the Philippines visiting my cousins in Cebu when I had cake at a wedding party. This was no ordinary cake -- it was mocha cake with significant pieces of mangoes in between the slabs of pastry. I had like twenty, maybe twenty-five slices of these cakes.

That night, I had a pretty upset stomach. I didn't do too much sleeping -- I read Asian issues of Cosmo in the nightstand and tried to put a pillow under my tummy. It wasn't so bad, or so I thought. The next morning, everything seemed to move very, very slowly. I got up with a little bit of a headache, my stomach felt a little sloshy, and my aunt brought me some warm tea to drink to settle my stomach.

I had two cups of tea. Then I felt a surge make its way up my throat and I made it to the toilet just in time. I vomited up mango chunks and tea for quite a few minutes, and then I jumped I jumped in the shower, sobbing.

I had food poisoning. I was sweating. I refused to eat anything. I called my dad up in Manila and asked to come home early. I stuck it out for a bit, though.

Well, for about a year after that, I could not as much as look at another mango without feeling the pit of my stomach get heavier and heavier. And fucking mangoes were my favorite food. I could not fucking eat them, smell them, or look at them.

So, I can't think of, see, or perhaps experience sex. It seems so disgusting to me right now. And yet I still love it.