Monday, January 30, 2006

Been a long time

Jesus, a whole week without a post! How will my reader in the singular go on?

I have no excuse. School is busy, but that's nothing new. Although my one class keeps switching between Thursday and Tuesday. I am so confused. I'm doing the readings tonight, and I think the class is tomorrow. I think.

The class is in Contemporary Realism. Woo hoo, that just might be my "boutique area" for my prelims. See, in the exams, which are one part written and one part oral, yes, ORAL, for fuck's sake, there is your broad area, and then you pick a more specialized area and that's your boutique area. My broad area is from 1945 to the present, and my boutique area is going to be either contemporary realism or women artists. I dunno. And those few sentences are about all I know about these exams. Which are the SCARIEST. FUCKING. THING. EVAH!

Yes, I tend to freak out a little like that, when I think about 'em. So anyway, Contemporary Realism, in which I am able to make a presentation and write another paper about Lisa Yuskavage. Oh hell yes. And this is a class with Advisor part 2, and I have her attention next week, when her deadline has passed. Comforting to know that profs write up till the last minute, too.

What else is on my plate for this semester? Well, I have Images in the Age of Augustus, which will focus on the possibilities of visual propaganda in Augustan images. Totally perfect for me in my ever-expanding dorkitude for all things HBO-series related. And I am also taking a class called Depicting Race. It's taught by a new prof who is only here for a year. Too bad, because she has pretty much done more for me in terms of professional networking stuff and also dissertation advice in one email that Advisormus prime has done in, oh, four years. I'll be writing about Kara Walker, who is totally interesting and got to play the good witch in Annie Liebowitz's Wizard of Oz spread for Vogue. (Check out the rest of the images, too!) PS, my birthday is coming up, and the December 2005 edition of american Vogue is not too expensive!

So that's what I'll be doing this semester. Also, I'll be finishing up my thesis, and writing a paper about Ana Mendieta in the eighties. That? is from last semester. Ouch, thank goodness for spring break.

Monday, January 23, 2006

jerk-off cats, part deux

A visual tour of our cat-infested house.

This is Blanche. She hates us all. She will not be petted, but she will crap on a chair when we're about to have company. But, if you talk to her, she purrs and shows her belly. Her ample, substantial belly.

Hariette. The original gansta. Our number one cat. She thinks she's a dog. She goes outside for a few minutes at the time, and is likely the reason we have fleas all the damn time. She licks my feet when I get out of the shower. Don't know why, but she starts knocking on the bathroom door as soon as the water turns off.

Rufus. He's our gentle cutie boy. He treats Hariette like she's his mother, kneading on her belly like he's nursing. It's sweet and a little sick. He isn't fat at all, but is very heavy on his feet. The floor shakes when he walks past.

Sammy. He is originally Kev's cat, but has taken an on-again, off-again interest in me now. Mostly he only likes me when he's mad at Kev. He's a big guy, strong and muscular. Has a very weak meow/cry, and sounds a lot like Beaker from the Muppets. He's grown into his ears, thankfully.

And Sophia Stinkerbell. This image in black and white, but it's the best example of the half-face I referenced yesterday. She is a pain in the ass! But she's also sweet and lovey sometimes too. Has a strange habit of running into a room and announcing herself with a very demanding MEOW!! Especially not cute at 3 am.

The first three cats are my parents' cats. But since we live with them, hello, we have five cats. Jesus, that's a lot. I am destined to be an old lady with lots of cats. But given how cute they all are, I think I'm okay with that.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Stray cat blues

Not to copy off of Andrew's post about his squicked-out cats, but mine are driving me crazy too. Not the least of my complaints is the way they seem to be perpetually contracting fleas, even in the dead of winter. How this keeps happening is beyond me. We put Frontline on them, we wait the prescribed 24 hours, and then we vaccuum. But inevitably, about a month later, we see them scratching. Then I pick one, whichever is closest and least likely to swing at me, and roll over his/her back with a lint roller. Black flecks = fleas. Black commas = flea "dirt". ICK!

So I drive to the vet or to petsmart, depending if I caught the little jerks before 7pm (when the vet closes). And I buy about a jillion dollars worth of Frontline Plus. And I vow every time that I'm just going to order it ahead of time from and have it for them. It's less expensive from them too, gah! get with it, Lauren. But I'm sure that they won't get fleas in the wintertime. oh, silly, trusting girl.

As I was typing that last paragraph out, I felt a push on my laptop. Sophia was headbutting the screen, with her crazy half-face. Will come back with pictures, swear.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Know how lazy I am?

Sometimes, when I am commenting on someone's blog that has word verification...

I keep hitting enter until I get a letter combination that isn't too hard.

That's bad, I know.

Oh, and there is word verification on my blog, I know that too.

Monday, January 16, 2006

In honor of HBO...

The movie channel seems to be running Alexander and Troy on a constant loop. Now, there's nothing like a really cheesy studio movie about mythology/history. But do they have to make them so preposterously easy to make fun of?

I think it's hilarious that in Troy everyone has a vaguely Irish accent to match Colin Farrell. I mean, I guess it's as arbitrary as the generally-accepted British accent used in most movies about the ancient world. But there are few things more laughable than Angelina Jolie's, um, accent? in Troy. Almost as bad as Aaliyah's Transylvanian mockery in Queen of the Damned.

Oh, wait, there is Brad Pitt's awful attempt at a British accent. Victory is yoooooooowah's. Takyyyke it! Sigh.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The boy

Went shopping with my mom and Liam today. Yes, we had him again. I am not really sure why, but we'll go with it.

Anyway, we were sitting on a bench while my mom checked out. It was a long wait, because two gentlemen in front of us found the self-check extremely challenging. What I don't get is why people with no discernable computer skills attempt this. There are professionals who can help you, old people!

Anyway, it's funny how free people feel to come up to you and talk to you when you have a baby with you. I don't usually correct people when they assume he's mine, because really, what's the difference? But what really amazes me is how people say how big he is. Yes, he's fat, but he's a baby, and he's 3 inches off the charts in height. So he looks older than 7 months. Also, it's usually older people, who, I'm sorry, don't have the frame of reference anymore. Whatever grandma. Yes, he's well fed. He sleeps through the night, since the first day he came home from the hospital, too. And he's really bright. I don't care if he does wear size 18 months clothes!

Which he does, cause damn that kid is fahhhht! See, I'm allowed to say that. You, old lady in the supermarket, are not.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bed's too big without you...

In honor of Miss Doxie's incoherent though hysterical entry about sleep and the lack thereof, I thought I might recount for my legions of readers the very strange things I do in my sleep. And I shall pepper this entry with embarrassing things about my loved ones. Because it'll make me feel better that you all know I am not alone in the craziness.

I talk in my sleep. A lot. Mostly, I either agree or disagree with myself right before I fall completely asleep. My sister brought this to my attention, and Kev confirms it. I seem to just mumble when I talk in my sleep. This is not so with Kev. He has full-fledged conversations when he's asleep. I heard him once, from the living room, telling Rob to turn his amp down, and all of them to get their shit together. Yeah, he was dreaming about practice.

It gets interesting, having another talker in bed with you. We never know who started the conversation, but a lot of times we wake up already talking to each other.

I also cry in my sleep. This happens a lot, too. Especially when I am all stressed out. It's usually in response to the people in my dreams being mean to me. Either that, or a loved one dies in my dream. Waking up sobbing is a strange thing, to be honest. Because I usually have no idea why I'm crying. It's just happening and there I am. Weird.

My sister, on the other hand, walks in her sleep. I've never done this. She also eats in her sleep. Once, when she came home from college, she sleep-walked to the kitchen and took damn near everything out of the fridge. She put broccoli in the microwave and left milk and many other things out on the counter. My mom insisted she was either drunk or high. Our mom only ever accused us of being high when we weren't.

Sooooo, anyone want to share a hotel room with me?? Anyone?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Baby Zoo

I have a nephew. His name is Liam, and he is 7 months old. He's super cute, even when he's teething. He has three teeth already. How do I know this, you may ask? Well, yesterday, when I was watching him, he bit me. Well, okay, it was my fault. I was feeding him bananas on my finger. What, I'm not that much of an idiot that I'd feed him a whole banana! So I got some mush on my finger and gave that to him. Monkey-man, he ate it up! But he also bit me, and pinched me. I screamed a little. Okay, I screamed a lot. And he cried. That I don't get, he knows he bit me. And here I am comforting him!!

I can't wait till he's a little older, so we can go to the zoo. I don't particularly like the zoo, I mean, I get a little sad for the animals. Though maybe there are some animals who are better off in West Philadelphia than in the wild. Still though.

The zoo is a weird place. No straws? Uh, that's just strange. Kev and I bring our own straws. Don't worry, we don't then give them to the monkeys or the naked mole rats. I have a naked mole rat, a stuffed animal one, on the sofa. I could have been Kim Possible this year for Halloween, if I had planned ahead. I digress.

Back to the zoo. Once, while Kev and I and some friends visited the zoo, we toured the small mammals house. I was paused at the doorway, reading a sign, when SMACK! a little bird flew right into the glass. Boom, dead. Well, we told a maintenance man. Kev later reflected that he half-thought they'd come out with a little tiny stretcher and take the poor birdy to the hospital. Nothing of the sort happened. The maintenance guy unceremoniously swept the bird up with his dustpan and broom! No birdy ER, I guess that's only for the exotic birds. Gah!

That same day, we saw two varieties of primates mating, which, ew! And some boy ducks gang-banging a girl duck. Nasty! No means no!

Come to think of it, maybe I shouldn't take Liam to the zoo. I think I'm still too traumatized from the last time!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Thirty seven minutes, five seconds

That's how long the phone call from Advisor lasted. Jesus! And I had a print out of my paper, and he had his with his (I'm sure) extensive notes. And we read together, page by page. And my paper? is fifty pages long, of text. More like ninety to a hundred with illustrations, bibliography, etc. Anyway.

Yeah, most of the criticism is word switching. I understand the need, but really, are all the changes necessary? It makes you feel like you can't write when someone is poring over every stinking word.

Only two big philosophical changes to make, and I can hand it into Deuce. Yessss! And I graduate in May and I will have a large party, and you all will be invited. Because my God, it has taken long enough to warrant some vicarious debauchery and maybe even some presents.

You can't see me right now, but I'm wiggling my eyebrows mischievously.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Breaking News

This just in to laurentheartnerd: Advisor has finally read my thesis. Will call me today to discuss some minor changes to be made before handing it over to Second Advisor.

I presume that this means he's done with it. YAY! And then I'll punch it up a little more, send it to Second Advisor, and hound her for it. I'm taking a class with her this semester, it's not like she'll forget me or anything. Though I fear she doesn't like me too much. Gah, that sucks. She's pretty well connected. I should send her something. Something alcoholic. Maybe a whole basket of cheer. She's a wild woman. She looks like a Sisters of St. Francis nun. But she drinks like a priest.

Seriously, no one thought ACOUSTIKITTY was funny but me? It's a cat. With a microphone in it. And they thought it would work! Cats as spies, honestly!

Thursday, January 05, 2006


For the love of God, please click on this link.

If you want to, listen to the show first. Skip ahead to minute 28. TRUST ME, it's friggin hilarious.

Evidently our government, in its supreme wisdom and foresight, saw fit to try and train cats to be spies. Am I alone in thinking this is fucking hilarious?! I mean, really, did no one on the committee have a cat? You can't train felines to do much more than crap in a box. How could they be CIA operatives?

I sat there as I listened to the report, and tried to imagine Sam or Sophia with a microphone embedded in their backs. Cat spies, come on! My cats have the attention span of a crouton, and they are about as sharp. They lick their asses, people! With their TONGUES.

I don't think that bitch on Alias does that. Or maybe she does. All I know about her is that she seemingly has the gestational period of an elephant.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

In order to approach not-sucking-ness...

I give you another entry. I know, I know, I just wrote yesterday. That's right, people, new leaf, is turned over!

Today Kev and I went out for a day on the town. This consisted of returning things, again, to Sam Ash. I hate that store, even more so now because they took advantage of me not knowing much about guitar gear and selling me some "necessary accessories" for the tuner that I bought for Kev. THAT HE BIG. FAT. DID. NOT. NEED!! Usually I just hate it for the suckitude that is standing there trying not to look scared while Kev deliberates over strings, listening to five 13 year old boys with no intention of buying anything fumble over the progression of "Come As You Are". So... iritating. One reason I quit my bass lessons, other than the searing-hot pain in my wrist, is the annoyance I got with the sounds of my own practicing. But one of the first songs I learned? was "Come As You Are".

We also mailed Kev's brother his birthday present. It will get to him, someday, and hopefully he'll like his Johnny Cash in-action figure and his Daily Bugle Press tshirt.

Then we dined at a fantastic little bistro, aka Subway. Now, I know my friend Andrew would probably disapprove of the whole chain-fast-food shitshack aspect of it, but I was hurting for a Veggie hoagie on Italian bread with lettuce, tomato, pickles, cucumbers, xtra carrots and sweet peppers with oil and vinegar. And American cheese, though next time I may try provolone. Gah, the sammy, it was so so good. And Kev got some 12 inch monstrosity with toasted cheesy italian herb rolly and italian meats, which I had to sample. Good stuff as well.

I also guzzled a big Coke, which lead to some problems when Kev and I split up to do boy and girl shopping, respectively. I went to Ross, Kev hit the comic store. A funny aside, we called Kev's friend Jerry to see where this store was, but as Jer was explaining where, we looked out Subway's window to see the sign, prominently displayed RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!

Anyway, so I'm shopping in Ross, have a cool new big-girl school bag (to replace the one-shoulder backpack that I've been using for a little while now) and a book on Spanish architect Gaudi. tried to make the accent mark, but it didn't work, sorry senor! The the whole big ass cup hits my kidneys full force. Had to ask to use the rest room, what am I, 6? But the timing was good, and as I exited the single most tidy and clean public restroom, like, ever, I saw Kev milling around.

It wouldn't have been a shopping trip without an impulse buy by one of us, so Kev has a new nap blankey, a really soft material almost like terry cloth, but not so much that it makes my blood run cold to touch it. And it's got Spiderman on it. I know, you're jealous. My new nap blankey is just a cute red plaid print, but it's like a mini down-esque comforter, yay!

I resisted the urge to buy a very cute (and very coordinating with my new rapper-coat and green hat, gloves and scarf) green purse, because while it was deeply discounted, it was still 50 dollars. I'd like to move out of my parents' basement someday, so something's gotta give, right?

All in all, we had a lovely day. And all with Kev at the helm of his giant boat of a car, the 1979 *the same year I was born!!* Impala. It's so cool and way badass. I should write an entry about it. Or at least post a picture. But enough for now, I think my typing is keeping Kev awake...

Monday, January 02, 2006

This blog.... sucks

Extra points to anyone who can guess my reference. A hint: my parents' orange cat is named after the female lead in this movie.

But it does suck, this blog, and I vow to update more frequently and, most importantly, more interestingly in the content area.

2006 is going to be a big year. Kev and I have been getting serious about budgeting (says she who is typing on a brand new computer whilst copying photos from the computer that she JUST PAID OFF) and our debt will be substantially paid down by September, me thinks.

That is good, because by the end of the year, we want to be on the road to house hunting. My God. Because while it's nice to live with my parents in a completely private apartment, with little rent, it doesn't help with the street cred.

Also, we'll be buying a new car. Someday I might recount the Santa Fe fiasco for you, but not today, for this entry is about reversing the suckage.

Kev's brother is getting married this year. As is his friend Jim. Jim and his lady are, I believe, moving to a house around the corner from the house I grew up in. Which is two blocks away from the house we are in now. That is exciting, because all our friends have moved far away from the Northeast. Not incredibly far away, but enough that we often feel excluded from the so. phil club, and they NEVER WANT TO HANG OUT UP HERE. So it's nice that some are staying, because we probably are too.

This is the year that I'll graduate with my MA, finally. Also, my coursework will be finished in May. So it's time for me to get my CV together and get me some courses to teach. And study for the prelims.

My GOD the prelims. They're not until next Spring, but I will be fretting them starting in June. It's like the bar for art nerds. And there's an oral component, Jesus Christ! Nothing scarier or more stutter-inducing to me than this prospect!

This blog did suck, but it will be better, I promise. I will write more about things other than school and art. I will regale my 2 readers with tales of yore, my stoner days, when I took the SATS high and got a nearly perfect verbal score, when I met my husband, when we were in Italy and my sister threw up in the Boboli gardens.

All these things come to those who read this here blog. But right now, I have more pictures to move. My Dell is limping along on the task. Poor old girl.