November 30, 2003

Domestic Bliss

wash wash wash I finally got sick of waiting for the maintenance people in this apartment complex to get around to my place and decided to hook up my washer and dryer myself. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be -- you just hook up three hoses. The only problem is it takes a certain amount of strength to get the drain hose all the way onto the valve on the back of the washer, strength my feeble little fingers just don't have. (There is also a stiff metal clamp involved.) So it's leaking just a bit -- but you know what? I don't care. The utility room has a concrete floor and opens to the outside, so it can leak away until I put my next call in to the manager's office. I plan to play dumb. "Gee, I hooked up the washing machine and it's leaking all over the place!" I wonder if will light a fire under someone's behind. In any case, I am washing all my laundry tonight.

In other home front news, I still have no car. Well, I plan to go looking in a couple of weeks... three or four... whenever I scrape up some money. Being carless in Orlando sucks. On the other hand, my cat is happy -- except for one trip on foot to the grocery store I haven't stirred from the house all day except to take out the trash.

As to the site look -- well, I can't really think of a holiday theme that satisfies me. I wanted a retro Christmas look, but not the same one I had up last year. I couldn't find any retro Christmas clip art that I really liked, though, so I just settled for this vaguely retro look. I may keep it, I may not.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)

November 29, 2003


Crooked Timber provides the valuable service of, among other things, being a sort of clearing house for all the sphere o' blogs' snobs to get together and dis whatever is the chatterati's bugbear du jour. This being that time of year, the big High Kulchah no-no is to admit that Lord of the Rings is one's favorite novel, or in one's list of favorites.

Now I am sure it is not news to my two or three readers that said book is definitely in my top ten. But you know, I can see why the litcrit brigade hates it so. It's too long. It's about imaginary places and made-up creatures, like a (shudder) fairy tale. All that monarchism -- how reactionary! There is no self-consciously beautiful language that calls attention to itself and screams "Look at me! I'm a Writer!" There is too much exposition -- for instance, the scenes between Gandalf and Saruman, which are real-time action sequences in the movie, take place in expository flashback in the book during the council of Elrond. In fact, all the rest of the scenes in the movie (both parts one and two) with Saruman are not in the book; Saruman's actions are only the subject of discussion and speculation, and there is no face-to-face meeting with him until after the Battle of Helm's deep, a scene which I assume will be in the third movie in some form or another.

But I digress. The commenters to the above-linked post mostly follow the Bloomist "Jane Austin rules, Tolkien drools" line of partisanship. There doesn't seem to be much room for the idea that one can read both authors and find them fine for different reasons. After all, they wrote in different times, about different things...

This is all part of the neverending fight over what constitutes Proper Litrachoor, as opposed to the "good reads" us hobbits grubbing around in our cottages like to curl up with. The idea on the part of the litcrit brigade seems to be "let them watch Survivor." If we won't read -- and praise! -- their idea of "the right books" then we are consigned to the caverns of the Morlocks.

The idea that "high" culture should be difficult and make one uncomfortable comes, I think, from the religious origins of academic culture. The university system, whose denizens are the de facto guardians of the culture, began as an offshoot of the church, and the religious attitude towards things High Educational remains though the term "secular" itself no longer refers to those daily things having nothing to do with scripture that are however necessary for the church to work in the temporal world, but instead now means the opposite of anything having to do with religion. This is why so many academics seem to approach their subjects like flagellants, and also why the opposite phenomenon -- Manic Fun!, i.e., Postmodernism -- has taken such a hold on academic life; this seems to be a particular disease of the Philosophy and Humanities departments of many universities. I have known many an English major who had a simple enjoyment of reading beaten out of him by course after mind-numbing course on theory and dialectics and what-have-you. I myself barely escaped with my sensibilities intact from a minor in Creative Writing. True, I got an "A" in my first course. I wrote a story, which focused almost entirely on character -- there was hardly any of that nasty plot stuff, and my hero -- well, my protagonist -- was almost entirely passive, as many modern short stories seem to call for these days. (Action implies plot, as well as sexism or some other -ism unless your protagonist is a carefully delineated Person of Color and Non-Male Gender -- then she can be a superhero with supernatural powers; you can call it "Magical Realism" and invoke the name of Borges or somebody. You think I exaggerate? Ha ha! Only slightly, I assure you.) I had it online once, maybe I'll put it back up; it wasn't bad, if I do say so myself.

But I'm one of those crass vulgarians who wants to read a story when I sit down; I am not particularly looking to be "shocked" or "made uncomfortable" or "introduced to new ideas," when doing so, though if this happens in the course of my reading I am not put out. But I don't consider that I have wasted my time if I haven't had my horizons blasted open by a breathtaking new insight (or whatever it is these people seem to be jonesing for) when I finish a book.

As it is, I recall the first time I read LOTR, I certainly felt as if I had changed somehow. For the better I hope, but that's something only time will tell. After reading Pride and Prejudice I didn't get this feeling, though I enjoyed the book. Quite frankly I consider most of Austen's work "light" reading -- but that is just my own personal classification system, not to be taken seriously by anyone else. I think that a lot of people invoke her name, though, because they identify her with everything that is "nice" high culture -- afternoon tea, lace and crumpets; people who say "Sir," "Ma'am" (and pronounce it "Mum"), and "Thank you"; men and women walking arm in arm across the Mall; in short, all those "English" things that people seem to associate civilized behavior with. (I blame Masterpiece Theater.) I like all those things too -- and I imagine that the reason I do is the same reason people seem to set up the Austen style as the opposite of Tolkien. Sure, they talk a great game about her "careful character delineation" and her "delicately nuanced language," all of which is bullshit, if I may use a term that Miss Austen would cover her ears rather than hear.

I say that Jane Austen's novels are, in this day and age, as fantastical as Tolkien's or any other fantasy writer's -- even more so, because Tolkien writes about all those gritty, downbeat things like war and violence and death, as well as about things like tea and parties and sitting by a cozy fire. The worst thing I think anyone does in an Austen novel is tell someone off. (Then again, this may seem devastating enough to people who would rather face a horde of ten thousand orcs single-handed than be cut dead at a party.) Okay, I exaggerate just a tad. But my point is....

Bilbo moment. What was my point?

Oh yeah. My point is that Tolkien dissers come off as snobs because their critiques all seem based on social approbation and being known as reading either what is "cool" or what is "civilized." Thus: Austen in, Tolkien out. Or -- (insert famous name in littrachoor) in, Harry Potter out, to link this to the wider world of "realistic" fiction versus straight "childish" fantasy. And by the way, speaking of how devoting oneself to higher culture is supposed to be "good" for one's character, I provide this anti-example: one commenter to the above-linked post snarked about wishing he could tell some hapless reader of Lord of the Rings that "Gollum dies." This pretty much seems to sum of the collective litcrit protest against the book. I left one response, but now I have thought of a couple others -- be really brave, tell someone reading Pride and Prejudice not to worry, Eliza gets to marry the lord of the manor; or, "Good. I hate that little stinker."

Updated/insert: I just wanted to mention that I am in full agreement with Gary Farber's statement that calling readers of Tolkien "witless" and "childish" and saying that all "literature" (as it is known today) is pretentious crap are not useful arguments. Even if I do believe that most modern "littrachoor" is pretentious crap. So is most of everything, some science-fiction writer said once. (Yes, I know who said it, and yes, I have tried to read Theodore Sturgeon's work. I found it to be pretentious crap.)

PS: if you want to hear some of the actual literary criticisms (as opposed to Literary criticisms) of Tolkien, as well as their demolishment by the same critics, get the extended dvd of The Two Towers. The verdict in short? Storytelling wins over perfect adherence to Rewls of Littrachoor.

PPS: if you want a laugh -- a painful one, that is -- listen to the actors' audio commentary over the movie on the same release. Of the two movies' audio commentaries, the actors' versions anyway, I prefer the ones for Fellowship. The actors, at least the principals -- yes, I mean you, Mr. Wood, Mr. Astin, Mr. Monaghan, and Mr. Boyd -- have had time to let their pretentions flower. Especially groan-worthy is to hear Astin and Wood babble on about how the book is really about "all religions" or can communicate to "all religions" and how "all religions are really all about the same thing" or something like that. (I don't feel like writing a transcript.) How can I put this delicately: I don't think that a) Tolkien would have seen it that way, and b) I don't think the actual members of most other religions think so either. It's all very sweet, this We Are All Children of the Universe mentality, but it's also the equivalent of covering your ears and singing "la la la" very loudly. Oh well, thank god for Hollywood, it's like having our own little Shire full of happy, ignorant hobbits.

PPPS: Look! Comments are open! I am curious to see what people think. For now.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:53 AM | Comments (29)

November 28, 2003

Life Without Wheels, cont.

Well, while everyone spent their Thanksgiving eating delicious turkey and spending time with family and/or friends, I got to stay home. But, I really can't blame my lack of a vehicle for this -- I had horrible cramps. I wasn't about to go anywhere -- I have a vague memory of some friends asking me over, sorry friends! -- with or without a car. I spent most of the day in front of the teevee with a heating pad on my belly. I did manage to get up and force myself to make French toast, with some apples sauteed in butter, brown sugar, and nutmeg. As Steve H. likes to say: "Oh, oh, oh..."

Weather is supposed to turn nasty later on today. Right now it is sunny and not too not. I really should get up and walk over to the store (it's about four longish blocks away, and I could use the exercise), but I still feel crampy and disinclined to move from my comfy cave. Tomorrow it will be nice and cold, or so they promise. We shall see. Maybe I'll make a few phone calls to some used car places.

Later: okay, I didn't go anywhere. A walk to the dumpster with my trash proved to me that I was still not feeling well enough to walk four blocks up and back. This is too bad; I am craving pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top right now. Mmmm. Pie.

PS: weather was nice and sunny up until, oh, now. Temps are supposed to drop into the forties tonight. Yay!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2003

A Thanksgiving Surprise

Wow. Just -- wow.

(Via A Small Victory and The Command Post.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2003

Dude, Where's My Car? Part 2, Or: Cool Things to Do Now That I Can't Just Drive Off

Vote for Vote for Acid Keg as top web comic (Just Say No to the Return of Bloom County! Via Jim Treacher.)

Watch The Two Towers, the Extended Edition, all night instead of getting a good night's sleep. (Like I said -- it's a good thing I have the important stuff paid for, isn't it?)

Mmm... venison.

Hook up my own goddamn washing machine since the maintenance crew this apartment complex hires has a lousy attitude.

Curse as I realize my laundry detergent was left in my ex-car, to be retrieved from the Evil Repo'ed Car Holding Place along with my ancient U2 tapes, discarded kleenexes, and other personal possessions left in said car.

Walk to the grocery store to buy more detergent.

Contemplate extra time in the next few weeks to read some of my favorite blogger/webwriter dudes since I -- Hey, wait just a doggone minute -- %#^@%#*!!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:07 AM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2003


Well. Ain't life a kick in the ass sometimes. Take today: I got up and went outside, planning to do my usual routine of getting in the car and driving to work. Unfortunately that proved impossible to do, since there was no car waiting for me where I had parked it last night. I had the feeling the neighborhood's joyriders were not the ones responsible. I kept meaning to call the bank...

Anyway, after much rigmarole, I found out that 1) I will have to come up with $2027.89 in fifteen days to get the car back. That's with "repossession fees" -- I don't owe that much in just late payments. Since I don't have that much money, I guess I'll be carless for a while until I can save up enough money to buy a piece of junk. Then I called the number to find out where I could go to get my stuff out of the car, and they tell me they charge "inventory fees" for that, to call back later and find out how much I will have to fork over for my cassette tapes and other crap. And I can pick the stuff up only at a certain time "by appointment only" between the hours of 1:45 and 3:45pm or something like that at this place wherever it is. (I'll bet you it's in one of those neighborhoods where there are a lot of "bail bondsmen" places.) Fun.

Oh well, those car payments were crushing my head anyway. We'll just try not to think of my ha-ha joke credit rating right now. At least I have all the important stuff paid for, like this here internet site. Now I have to figure out how to drive it to work. If only I could just upload myself... Now I am off to figure out the bus system in this town.

Update: bus system has been duly figured. My one fear was that Orlando would have some stupid "we're still a small town" schedule where the buses don't start running until 8 o'clock, and stop at sundown (kind of like Miami did -- see, even though Miami is a huge city with a population above two million, the bus system there was a joke and a half; don't expect to be able to go anywhere after 9pm without a car unless you live near downtown -- aka, in one of the worst neighborhoods in the US) but fortunately that won't be a problem. Lots of buses, and they start early and stay up late. Also, I'm on a normal work schedule.

Some other look-on-the-bright-side moments:

I might finally lose some weight.

It's not summer.

And last: at least I'm not this stupid female.

Last very last update to this I swear: (6:10pm) I checked this entry again to see if I was really pathetic; I decided that I could have been more pathetic, so I'll leave it as is. A few more things: car-pooling has been arranged for (turns out one of my coworkers lives in my nice across-town neighborhood); the fees for getting my used kleenex, old-worn-out U2 tapes, and junkmail aren't that bad, though I certainly wouldn't charge that much for them; and the bus system sucks in Orlando too, just in a different way from Miami's.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:33 AM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2003

Ah, Salam, no like 'em*

I do so love insomnia.

Anyway, it looks like James Lileks has been on the receiving end of that phenomenon of the sphere o' blogs known as the Delinking Letter. One wonders if Muslims do it thusly: "I delink you, I delink you, I delink you."

Anyway, I had thought of adding my two pennies to this swirlyfest over Salam Pax, the letter, and everything. Then I got to reading the reactions of others (start here and work your way back), and then I got to Brian Linse's hilariously self-righteous girly-slap of Lileks, and I decided that this subject had just jumped the shark.

Besides, I had grown bored with the little Baghdad pantywaist ages ago. Sorry, peeps, but living under a totalitarian dictatorship does not automatically confer sainthood on one. (That's for all those leftoids hopefully proclaiming "Bush = Hitler OMGWTFBBQ!" Sorry to have to break it to you this way, Sunshine, but you'll be just as much of a failure of a human being under fascist rule as you are in a democratic republic.)

Anyway, I had lost interest in Pax once it became clear he had 1) survived just fine, and 2) become a pet of the chatterati of Western Europe. I knew then that barring an intervention -- from, say, his pal Raed, who doesn't seem to have been offered celebrity hosannas even though the blog they both started was named after him -- we weren't going to hear another useful word out of Salam Pax.

I wish James hadn't apologized for one little thing. I guess it's some Midwestern thing, to get embarrassed over a cuss word. I wouldn't have been so vehement myself, but that's because I'm jaded. But I don't think James owes the dinkwad delinkers and Pax-worshippers (in more than one sense of the word) one ounce of contrition for anything.

As for the whole notion of delinking, well, that's one of the many reasons my blogroll is private. No one sees who I have on my blogroll. In other words, I have basically delinked everyone. Beat that, prissies.

(* Well, if Treacher can do it, why not me?)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:55 AM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2003

Middle Earth Review Online

Well, this is interesting: NRO's Jonah Goldberg is going to be on a minidocumentary on the Return of the King dvd. No, really.

[Later] By the way, sorry I haven't posted much of late. I have been "too" much of this and that -- too tired, too busy, too bored -- though for some reason I get my energy back when it comes to other peoples' comments. This can't be a healthy thing. For one thing, I had the idea of getting back into a hobbity mood and writing all about the movies and the books and so on -- for one thing, because they make me feel good. But then I made the mistake of getting into some sort of blogfight with a pedantic little scholar from Stanford (or so his email address claims), who made claims such as: Peter Jackson is an "artistic failure" for not following the book to the letter, or for not making the movie "Catholic" like the books were so people would rush out in droves to join up -- you know, I first read the book in my early teens and have read it umpteen times since, and I was never interested in the slightest in joining the Catholic church. And here I am, still not Catholic! It must be all Peter Jackson's fault, the heathen.

I don't know what was more annoying, the hyperbolic criticism, or the "from authority" voice in which the criticisms were given, which I have noticed is a habit common to many participants in the varsity drag. Perhaps it's merely a reflex, an unfortunate habit of spending too much time in an academic setting. Be that as it may, I told the person in my last comment that although I have many criticisms of Jackson's approach to the storyline I'll be damned if I write about them now. I'd feel like I were giving aid and comfort to an enemy of something -- maybe of just the simple ability to enjoy a play or a book or a movie without some yokel butting in and taking it apart bit by bit.

So I am going to nurse my inner hobbit (I have already dined well) and just ignore the doodleheads. To them the dubious comforts of faculty sniping and graduate work one-upmanship, and all the rest of the mishegas. I don't know what I'll be writing about here in the upcoming days, but I think it will be something different. Or maybe not. We'll see.

(PS: that's right, no link to the blogfight in question. I don't want it to develop any more than it has, and I'd feel bad if my sniping caused the blog owner's web server space to become overwhelmed. I'd also feel about as bad if nothing happened: "Hey! Where did my one or two readers go?")

(PPS: I feel more like working on (ominous bassoon music) my site design. Muahahaha.)

(Update: extraneous commas removed for increased ease of reading.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2003

My new best friend

According to Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London (and apparently at least one ant shy of a picnic), current fascist dictator president of the US, George W. Bush, is

...the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction.

Really? Cool. That ties up my vote. (Sorry, Cthulhu!)

Via A Small Victory and Jeff Jarvis comments as well.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:08 AM | Comments (0)

Made ya look

Well, I meant to post something, but playing with trolls' heads over on Blair's blog is just so much more fun. It's just so much fun I might put comments back on my own blog.

Tell me, is it me, or are all sorts of wiggly, maggot-like lifeforms emerging from the oozy depths these days? No, don't answer that; rhetorical question.

PS: that thing about putting comments back is, so far, merely sarcasm.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:50 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2003



You see before you the skeleton of the new blog. I'm too tired to go into lengthy explanations; suffice it to say I have been needing a change for some time and this is the beginning. I'll give out a hint: simplify.

I won't be keeping this exact style sheet, of course; it's just based on Movable Type's dull-but-safe "Clean" template. I have decided to take a one-post-per-page approach to the blog; I have never really been happy with the multi-entry, weblog-type look. I started doing a hand-coded diary-like thing back in 2000 (no link; it's on a Geocities site and that has long since gotten frooked up; besides, I can't remember the password) where I had a more Bleat-like format, and I'm going to try to go back to that to see if I like it better. Links to previous posts are either in "entries" to the left or you can click on "previous" at the bottom to navigate to the last post.

Also, I have closed all comments on my blog (you can read the ones that have already been posted, there just isn't an entry form to add any new ones); I am not at this stage sure whether or not I will bring them back. I have been in a bad mood for a variety of reasons, and I find that the usual snarky give-and-take has been more irritating lately than enlightening. Either the entire Blogospherical thing has jumped the shark, or the solar flares did something to everyone's brain. Or maybe I have had it up to here with everyone and everything. The latest blogfight, for instance, struck me as most ridiculous, but I was apparently in the minority. (However, I may just send that email to Du Toit yet. But that is for another entry.) In any case, when one is weary of being drawn into can-you-top-this-right-back-atcha-I'm-rubber-you're-glue comment wars, it behooves one to not provide an arena for this sort of thing to go on. So until (and if) I reopen commenting, if you really have some burning need to express to me your opinion on something I said, use the email address provided. (You know what to do with the "-at-" so don't even complain. I refuse to provide a clickable link so a zillion spammers can fill my email folders with spam.)

Coming soon: an "about" page, as soon as I decide what I want to say on it; improved formatting, etc. In the meantime, Good night.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:37 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2003

The Prodigal does something-or-other

Jim Treacher is ba-aa-ack.... Finally. Now I can quit blogging.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:52 PM | Comments (1)

Unfunny papers

Tom Tomorrow's Veteran's Day cartoon has got to be the least funny cartoon I have seen in a long time. It's not cretinously evil, like Ted Rall's digestive-tract leavings; or rancid and moldy like the stuff Gary Trudeau yanks from the back of his refrigerator and sends to his publisher; it's merely unfunny, in a really stupid, juvenile way. The horde of sycophants that were compelled to come to the defense of their beloved here see deep, meaningful political commentary in these panels. But all I see is that same old dull taunt from the grammar school playground: "Bookworm (Fatty, Skinny, Four-eyes, whatever) is a big chicken!" Nice going, Mr. Liberal.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:22 PM | Comments (7)

More on everyone's favorite subject

Hey boys and girls. I decided to read the Kim Du Toit essay one more time. You know what? As under par for his writing skills (and possibly just slightly fraudulent) as I consider it, I don't disagree with much that's in it. Maybe the guys-as-slobs thing. Most of the guys (non-gay, non-wimpy) I have known are neat freaks, whereas most of the women I know are slobs.

Oh, and that Gay Guy Dresses Up the Breeder show. I think he was a little too soft on it. I lasted exactly one nanosecond of hearing the lead queen's nasally whine before my hand hit the remote. I guess I don't see what's so "funny" about a show that parades bigoted stereotypes in our faces. I can't understand how self-respecting gays can possible approve of this show -- what, are you so desperate for society's approval that you'll whore yourselves out for this clown act?

Oh -- and as for charges of misogyny because some middle-aged white guy wrote something that was less than worshipful of the female sex (or at least the distorted paragon of womanhood that infests the culture like a yeast infection), yeah, right. Just a few hours flight -- or heck, depending upon where you live in the US, just a few minutes drive -- away from you there are men who make Kim Du Toit look like Patricia Ireland. But this is what you choose to get upset about. Please, talk to the hand.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:47 PM | Comments (2)

Kim strikes back!

And his rebuttal is better written than the original essay. (Do I have to say that that is my opinion only? I guess that I do.)

So I guess I wasn't entirely done. Anyway, this post meets with 75% Spleenville Approval™. (Points off for quoting an over-quoted Seventies movie. I am cruel only to be kind.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:23 AM | Comments (15)

November 10, 2003

When a fool speaks

I have one question for Michael Moore:

What foreign languages do you speak, you fucking hypocrite?

(Via Jeff Jarvis. This post of Michael J. Totten's is also worthwhile, and not just because I asked for money so I could go to Europe and be "cured" of my "ignorance." See, I just don't want to be an embarrassment.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

By the way

I am rather pissed off now. Sometimes I really wonder if a few jackboots up a few asses wouldn't do the Intercrapnet a world of good. In other words, don't cross my fucking boundaries.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

UN shenanigans

Don't hate the UN yet? Get a load of this:

Small countries in the United Nations have been arguing to put the Internet under the control of the UN so that countries can more easily monitor (read: control) Internet content. It's on hold for now, but this could become a very real censorship problem, very soon. Some nations have gone so far as to suggest "monitoring boards" for internet content.

Oh, I'll just bet they have. Can't let that freewheeling interchange of ideas get, you know, out of hand.

PS: what do you want to bet the most strident of the überloons who think John Ashcroft has bugged their modems because they have Ché posters on their dorm-room walls will be screaming in joy at the idea of the blue helmets "monitoring" the internet?

(Via that puppy-blending, secret-misogynist Glenn Reynolds.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:25 PM | Comments (3)

Iraqi blogger alert

There's another Iraqi blog: Iraq at a glance.

(Via Jeff Jarvis.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:15 AM | Comments (2)

November 09, 2003

Back away slowly

(Via here.) "Remain Calm" is the name of this blog, and it is probably something the fruitloop who writes it gets told often. Especially in those moments between doses. And can someone tell me what the hell his intro header means?

I use the term Republican as President James Madison defines it in Federalist #39.
I am an Aristocratic-Republican, a la Charles de Secondat.
President Jefferson consciously named his party Democratic-Republican after Montesquieu.
I reject that.
And the Republicans are Fascists.

Actually -- never mind, I don't want to know.

More weirdnesses: he calls people "Sieur." The hell?

Conclusion: a slightly more coherent Puce. In fact, I wonder if this is Puce's smarter brother.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:33 PM | Comments (1)

Jesus, star quarterback

Football Jesus is back. This discussion just made me think of another Florence King quote. Here's "dorky Reverend Thatcher,' the "Baptodysterian" minister:

He saves his best theological chalk talks for the young men's Bible group. "Jesus," he tells them, "was no pantywaist." To prove it, he recalls the Michelangelos he saw on his trip to Europe with the synod. "Most old paintings show Jesus as a pale, skinny, sickly guy, but Michelangelo told it like it is... er, was. He painted Jesus and the disciples as as big muscular guys with good builds. He knew they had to be tough to walk all those miles and rough it the way they did. And Peter and Andrew went fishing every day! You'd better believe they were in shape!"

See, I'm finally getting around to putting away my books (or I was) and The Florence King Reader happened to be at the top of one of the boxes.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:18 PM | Comments (0)

Be a playa hata

"They won't call me Deltaville Sissy Balls because I'm a man now!" -- Florence King, on the literary efforts of "Gonad Manqué," in "The Gay Confederation."

You know, the more I think about it, I think that Kim's man essay was a hoax of some kind. It's not just the fact that it read like someone imitating Du Toit rather than the man himself; it was the stuff about John Belushi being one of what Kim considers to be "a real man." Exqueeze me? Belushi was a man of many talents, but he also shoved coke up his nose and a needle in his vein until his heart exploded. What kind of a "real man" does that to himself because owww fame hurrrts... Please. Because of his cowardice and inability to deal with the adulation and other perks of his celebrity-hood we lost a very funny actor, never mind what it did to his friends on SNL.

So anyway, I have been thinking about it all day, and I have come to the conclusion that yep, we are being played. I was going to email Kim Du Toit and argue with him about some of the things he said but forget that. I don't like being played.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:57 PM | Comments (2)

The grave's a fine and quiet place

Say, why did we invade Iraq? After all, those people were no threat to us! For instance, the people in these mass graves talked about here: they certainly weren't threatening us. Troops out of Iraq now!

(Via VodkaPundit.)

Oh -- and by the way, this post was an example of sarcasm. I have inserted this disclaimer on the advice (gleaned from Stephen Green's comment thread) of James Lileks. as a further enhancement to the cause of spreading understanding to all the idiots Concerned Readers™ out there, I will also say that Stephen Green's post meets with 100% Speenville Approval.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:43 AM | Comments (9)


Yeah, what she said:

Arguing with liberals is so exhausting; they only know four or five words and just keep repeating them, hoping you'll go away if they play brain-dead. Assuming they're playing...

You know, I've been really creeped out by something in this blogthing world stuff whatever. I can't put my finger on it, except for a general rise in the level of nastiness. Just... nastiness. No, I'm not talking about the sort of blunt, often dumb, but at least openly in advocacy of something rants that so-called rightwingers engage in, but this ongoing oozing flood of negative tearing down that seems to be offered mostly by those on the so-called "leftist" or "liberal" side of things. But both those designations are really meaningless -- they have to be, when the "liberals" are taking reactionary, "don't touch anything!" positions on just about everything, and so-called "rightwing conservatives" are the ones going about promoting dumb classical liberal ideas like bringing democracy to crazy foreigners who like as not will just vote themselves sooner or later into another thugocracy. (Excuse me, my cynicism is rising; I do in fact support the dumb classical liberal idea of bringing democracy, or at least responsible, civilized government, to the rest of the Thug World, but I also recognize that it's an uphill battle against human nature -- oh, but that makes me conservative doesn't it? Names, names, names.) But the others, the "antis" I will call them, don't seem to be for anything, except for tearing down anyone who doesn't think like them. I keep seeing people asking trolls just what they would do instead of whatever it is that is being slammed, and getting in return nothing but more trash talk.

I can't think of anything else to say right now. I didn't mean to stay up so late but I kept going from blog to blog, staring, as one would at a car crash.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 02:52 AM | Comments (5)

Manly men re-redux

Could someone tell me where the apparent 100% slavering admiration for Kim Du Toit's man-rant is in Glenn Reynold's post on it? This blogger* and this blogger and this blogger** all claim to see this. I, on the other hand, see Mr. Reynolds poking subtle fun at Du Toit's credo. I mean, come on, the riff on the cookware-as-tools thing is so a satire on the trad-male role. I think that while Mr. Reynolds may think that some of the issues Kim raised are valid (such as the over-reliance of the advertizing agencies and media on cheap misandry to sell product) he seems to find Mr. Du Toit's approach to be rather silly. Perhaps Mr. Reynolds is too subtle for this Great Global Communicator Interwebbe thingie.

*Scroll down to "Are we not -- er, men?" -- this blog has no permalinks. Yes he does.

**Scroll down to "the human race" -- Blogspot's permalinks are incredibly screwed up, as usual.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:19 AM | Comments (14)

November 08, 2003

Murderer's paradise

Look at all the poisonous plants that grow in my state. When I was a kid we had a big Yellow Jessamine (my father called it an "allamanda") vine growing in the front yard, so I knew about that one. The Rosary Pea (I can't remember what we called it) was also the source of those wonderful scary stories kids tell each other, about the kid they had "heard about" who died from doing something stupid like eating a poisonous plant.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:36 PM | Comments (1)

Vegetables in cars

It seems that PETA is after the car industry to make special provisions for vegetarians. Yo, meat-haters, get a car with cloth seats; leather seats only come in luxury editions of cars. Say -- what are the compassion fascists in PETA doing promoting the use of environment-killing luxury cars anyway? In fact -- shouldn't they be protesting the existence of cars? I can't tell you how much roadkill I've seen in my life, but those squished armadillos weren't killed by vegans on bikes.

Oh -- and PS: god, look at all that beautiful leather. Why was I born rich instead of beautiful? I was at the mall today, and when I went into the store that beautful scent of tanned animal hide surrounded me.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:58 PM | Comments (2)

Bush = Sauron!

I. Wherein I insult the Art World

I really need to get out of the house and do things, but I decided to get to this first:

I was rather mean to Rossi in the comments to this post of Michele's. I feel rather bad about it -- not about the necessity of being mean, sometimes you just have to put the smack down, but about the object of the smack down. From what I have read of her blog, Rossi seems to be a nice person; unlike me, she seems to be compassionate, kind, creative, and have normal human feelings. But -- when people start saying things like "bush is the scariest thing to hit this country
since mccarthur" ("mccarthur?" He was never president; surely she means McCarthy; but he was never president either) and "oh bring back clinton" it just drives me crazy.

For one thing, no one is going to bring back Clinton. He had his eight years already. That's what you get -- two terms. I swear, these people who are always going about screaming about the "fascist Bush junta" and "the Coup" would cheerfully have elected Clinton president-for-life and not seen any contradiction between the two attitudes. But her comment made me remember something I had wanted to blog about but had put to one side: the reason why so many artistic people loved Clinton and hated Bush. Here is a portion of that thought from my first comment to Rossi:

Clinton was a flatterer. I think that is why so many people miss him. People love to be flattered and talked up.

And no one loves it more than an artist. While many artists -- writers, actors, painters, etc. -- have often claimed to be iconoclasts who look at all politics with a skeptical eye, I have observed otherwise: artists will fall for any clever politico who praises them and throws them a party and gives them money, though the latter two things are not necessary. The praise is usually more than enough. (Most artists really aren't in it for the money; if only such an innocent object was their goal.) And for the President! of the United States! to come to their shindigs -- and talk to them and ask their advice (kinda) -- ! Well, it sure is a great way to get people with a lot of tv cameras on them on your side. Clinton was many things, but he was not a fool.

(Side note -- for some celebrity vs. Clinton backlashing, check out this Richard Gere slam on the Clintons. Though I am not sure Clinton did "nothing" for AIDs victims; and I am not sure what Gere thought he could do anyway -- lay his hands upon the sufferers and heal them?)

Clinton was (and is) a flatterer; Bush most certainly does not have this skill. I have not heard one instance of Bush attempting to reach out to the art world and win their hearts and minds. And they can't forgive him for it. Though -- would they even let him? Their hatred of Bush seems to come prepackaged; and I know why. See, they would have been okay with Gore in office, because, although he seems to have no more shmoozing skills than Bush does, Gore at least is seen as something of a Clinton protege -- so if they couldn't have their beloved Bill, at least they'd have someone who basked in the Great He's aura for a number of years. And I'm sure Gore would have kept the suck-up-to-Hollywood tradition going; a wise choice, considering how many celebrities are registered Democrats.

But Bush got to the Oval Office instead. And he made it clear that in many ways he was the Un-Clinton, not the least of which is the fact that the White House spare bedrooms seem to have been celebrity-free lately. Hell hath no fury like a celebrity scorned.

There is another reason most artists and artistic people hate Bush: he's just so damn dull. Dullness, being boring, is a capital crime in the art world. Think of it -- once Bush got the keys to the Oval Office, remember the news of the new dress code? Out with the jogging suits and sneakers, in with the traditional business attire in D.C. Drabwear colors (black, gray, brown, navy blue). No wonder Howard Dean, with his exciting neckties, is getting so popular among the Democrats.

The problem with Bush is that he is not exciting (say what you want about the Clinton administration, there was certainly no knowing what he or his staff would get up to next, and some people like that kind of uncertainty). He's not skilled at flattering dictators, his speech patterns go clunk (though he is getting better; if only he didn't have that high-pitched voice), his idea of a good time by all reports is watching football on teevee -- I don't even think he's into Zane Grey novels like Reagan was. What Bush is is a businessman, and if you have spent any time at all employed by a company large enough to have a setup of CEO, managerial staff, and so on you will recognize Bush's methods. I don't know if they are the best methods for running a country and a war, but they are SOP for someone like Bush. Artists don't get this: few of them have had traditional 9-to-5 jobs and those who have were often absolutely fish out of water and hated their jobs so much they find it impossible to look with any sympathy on the denizens of that world who wanted to be there. Bush-haters of the irrational kind seem to almost want him to be a slavering demon who has scores of Arab children chained in a basement; that would be so much more exciting than the dull, crass, drab reality. Therefore: Bush = Sauron, and worse, he has the ring. We are all doomed, but doom is so poetic.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:26 AM | Comments (7)

More on the manly man thing

Andrew Dodge on the term metrosexual, as well as a brief comment on The Man Essay:

Kim makes some valid points, but he hides them in a thick vaneer of machismo, swearing and downright idiocy. I mean, he praises The Man Show, one of the lamest things on TV. He lays into Queer Eye for a Straight Guy as well, obviously totally missing that its suppose to be funny!

I watched a few episodes of The Man Show back when I had cable teevee, and it struck me as a one-joke show with a short shelf-life. A few of its episodes were amusing (there was one where the guys set up a booth at some college feminist festival of some sort with a platform of "stopping women's suffrage"; half the people that came up to them had no idea what "suffrage" meant -- obviously they thought it meant something like "suffering") but I didn't think much of it. As for the Queer Eye show, I tried to watch it, and lasted for about thirty seconds until the whiny voice of one of the principals drove me to grab the remote. Perhaps if I still had cable teevee I'd give the show another chance. Also, I guess this show's conception and popularity means that terms like "queer" and thinking of gay men as being obsessed with fashion is okay for straight people to indulge in again.

Be that as it may, people in the comments to this post have already pointed out that terms for something like "metrosexual" already exist: "fop" on the negative side, and "gentleman" on the positive side. I have another one that is somewhat negative: "dandy." All those terms seem quite adequate as well as preferabble to the silly "metrosexual." Whoever came up with that should be forced to eat an entire Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:07 AM | Comments (6)

November 07, 2003

A site for sore brains

When I find myself getting down about how many fools there are in the world, I go read E. Nough's blog and am reminded that somewhere out there in the ocean of idiocy is at least one person with a thinking, reasoning mind.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:33 PM | Comments (1)


Re: the Du Toit essay discussed below, I just wanted to add comment on the "strong male" theory before I read any more commentary that gets the wrong idea. Some people in the various comment threads on Kim's essay have denigrated the idea of the strong man by comparing Kim's ideal to the "macho cultures" of other countries like those in the Middle East. "Look!" they say, "there's a 'strong man' culture and look at all the violence perpetrated on helpless women" etc. etc. I beg to differ.

Countries like those in the Middle East and elsewhere like that are not populated by "strong men" in the sense that Kim was getting at, where the strong man is a responsible man who takes care of himself and his family, is a rugged individual, and so on. What these cultures are are "alpha male" cultures, where there is one strong man -- (or in the case of places like Saudi Arabia, a group of select "strong men") who lord it over all the others. The rest of the males are forced to curry favor with the man/men on top in a way that no strong Western male of the sort Kim was describing would countenance. These men, forced into a position of weakness by oppression, then turn on those weaker than themselves, women, boys, other men of even lesser social stature. So you really can't dismiss Kim's argument by using the "macho" cultures of other countries in this situation.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:14 AM | Comments (4)

Forest Trees Man Woman

Listening to the radio in the car the other day I heard a song I hadn't heard in, oh, a couple of weeks or so: "Sex" by Eighties band Berlin. You remember the lyrics -- they go something like this:

She: "I'm a bitch."
He: "I'm a man!"
She: "I'm your slave."
He: "I'm a man!"
She: "I'm an IRA account at 5.7% fixed interest..."

And so on. Anyway, this song has been in my head for the past few days now. Here's why:

Kim du Toit has a new essay up. It's called "The Pussification of the Western Male."**

What?!? You had no idea??

I have read through the essay a couple of times, and I confess I can't understand why, out of all the inflammatory, goading things he has said about many a subject, this is the one that has set Blogville on its ear. I think the funniest thing about all the screeching and hyperventilating is the outrage over his use of the word "pussy" in its various forms. I mean, I thought "cunt" was the female-genitalia-insult word that was beyond the pale. Getting steamed about "pussy" is so Seventies. By the way, I guess it is no longer cool to use "dick" disparagingly either.

You shouldn't laugh so hard. You could sprain something.

Other than that, I don't have much to say about the essay. It's basically a distillation of his entire weblog; kind of the Cliff Notes' Kim du Toit. Frankly, I've never liked abridged works. I would only read my parents' collection of Readers Digest novels (abridged works that came in hardcovers of three or four to a book) when there was nothing left in the house to read except that or whatever I had for homework. I think he let his rant flag fly a little too free here, and people, as people will do, are picking up on the Outrageous™ statements and skipping or missing the good points he did make. But he had to go and make that silly statement about frat boys and some supposed epidemic of college campus rape. (And I thought that über-male Patton said "A man who won't fight won't fuck." So will they fuck or won't they, the cowardly girly-men?) I'm not sure what causes men to rape women -- or boy-men to rape girl-women who were raised to say "No means no" but were also told that college was a place where they would be surrounded by an elevated atmosphere of pure Wisdom and that boorish, stupid males would be left behind in their hometowns asking people if they wanted to supersize their fries, so that when they actually found themselves in the smoke-hazed dorm room filled with drunken bumping and grinding coeds they had absolutely no idea how to say "no" to the cute boy with his hands in their pants. But my solution to the college-rape problem, if one exists, is to go back to sex-segregated dorms, dorm monitors, and curfews. This won't happen, of course; we'll never admit to ourselves that turning eighteen does not automatically confer upon us all the wisdom of adulthood, and that not allowing eighteen-to-twenty-two-year-olds to live cheek to jowl en masse will cause them to go insane (or worse, become Republicans). (I will note that in much-maligned ancient Rome a man wasn't truly considered a man until he was over thirty.) Of course such measures didn't prevent all sex-related problems, but they certainly put obstacles in the way of the majority of people who are put off by a little difficulty.

But I've gotten off the subject just a little bit, I think. My thoughts simply won't come together on this thread. Of course the media pushes a viewpoint of men that sees urban men as ineffectual, passive-aggressive wimps and rural men as barbarian terbacky-spittin' bullies; rich city men buy stuff, unless they fall under the influence of poor country boys and turn off the teevee so they can go hunting and fishing. And we need more bureaucrats -- government is a growth industry -- thus the Ritalin. And while women are stereotyped as controlling and sniping by the advertizing and entertainment media you have to admit it's a rather insulting portrayal in its own way.

I will say this to Kim, though: why, why, WHY did you have to bring up the Man With Titties? I had almost wiped all memory of that thing out of my mind. (Note to people who are luckier than me and don't know or don't remember the source of the Man With Knockers: some dingbat of a fashion designer thought it would be the kewlest most rad thing to have male models parade around with fake tits underneath tight sweaters. I never saw a fashion "trend" vanish so fast -- it disappeared faster than Vivienne Westwood's miniskirts with bustles*) But Kim brought it all back. Damn you! Damn you to hell! Now I have to go wash out my brain with Lysol.

*No, I hadn't hallucinated that show in 1985. Click on "history," then choose "80's," then choose "85." Observe the "mini-crini."

PS: Spoons said it better anyway.

Update: I edited some incorrect grammar and added an extra remark or two.

**The link is down. Kim's site has moved to a new server, and I assume the essay is somewhere, thought I can't find it on the page.***

***Oh, there it is. If it was a snake -- it would have been a trouser snake! Heh heh.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:38 AM | Comments (10)

November 06, 2003

Murder, he blogged

I don't care about the Reagan "bio" that CBS, to use Jeff Jarvis's rather hyperbolic phrase, "killed"; but I know two little robots who are absolutely heartbroken about it.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:07 PM | Comments (2)

You say you want a demonstration?

Zeyad has a few things to tell you.

Update: and here's a new Iraqi blogger, Alaa, who was inspired by Zeyad's blog to start one of his own.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:01 AM | Comments (1)

November 05, 2003

The Semanticist and the Pedant

... sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G... Indeed, what to call the Evil Ones™ who attack both civilians and military personnel indiscriminately? There seems to be some fuss over the proper use of the word "terrorist" -- it seems that improper usage of the term violates union rule 4205-C section VI of the Code of Journalistic Rules. I have a solution. Why not just call the ones committing the aforementioned indiscriminate slaughter "dogfuckers"? That's what I do. (Note: sensitive souls may want to call them "dogf**kers" -- which of course means "dogfilkers" -- which means people who sing folk songs based on cheesy scifi stories to dogs.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:35 PM | Comments (4)

November 04, 2003

Blair update

The Tim Blair World Tour, US Leg, continues. This latest post was apparently sent by carrier penguin, after he typed it in an igloo or something. To think it's been unusually warm in Florida (highs in the mid-to-upper 80s in the Central part) for this time of year.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:30 PM | Comments (1)

November 03, 2003


In order to drive heretics back into the Democratic Party fold, Matthew Yglesias, Professional Writer™, has dropped this load of crap into Blogostan like a ten-ton fertilizer bomb. Everyone has fisked it; why not me? Okay, I'll begin:

Take a deep breath. Look in the mirror. Take another deep breath. Look at some photos of your liberal friends and family.

Oh go fuck yourself, Oprah.

I guess I don't have the patience to deal with this sort of thing after all.

(Via Michael J. Totten. Best smaquedown, though, comes from Armed Liberal -- though mary of Exit Zero rocks the house in Yglesias's comment section.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:53 PM | Comments (7)

Moan whine complain

Stupid sinus headache. I feel like someone punched me on both cheekbones. (And before you ask, I am waiting for my transition from temp to regular employee starts and then I need to find out how much longer I can wait before I can get health insurance and then avoid going make plans to go to the doctor.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

Books for Soldiers

Charles Austin has a post on a couple of efforts to send books to soldiers stationed in Iraq. Pass it on.

Incidentally, I keep reading (hah!) articles and columns and commentary and such decrying the supposed lack of reading done by Americans, and/or the fact that when we do read, we read crap; anyway, no one reads the classics anymore. But when I had my cable modem installed in my new place, the cable guy, a young kids in his twenties who looked more to be the type to watch tv and drive around in a Ford Explorer playing hip hop real loud, saw all my books piled around and revealed the interesting information that he loved to read, especially the "classics" (he liked that "old-fashioned" style of writing) and his favorite book was Jane Eyre. He also wanted to be a hacker and go to work for the government showing them security holes in computer systems. The moral of the story? Well, perhaps that people are more complex than polls, studies, and learned academicians on teevee can handle.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:05 AM | Comments (10)

Troll for dinner

See troll post obnoxious comment on website he or she doesn't agree with. See troll get cyberkicked in the virtual nads. See troll tattle to site's webhost. See troll make fool of self when it is revealed that the author of the website he/she complained about is also one of the webhosts.

Via Right We Are!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:55 AM | Comments (1)

November 02, 2003

Home sweet home

Note to self: sell all possessions before moving ever again. I finally got the washer and dryer moved into the place. I was terrified that I had made a huge mistake and the tiny space this apartment has for washer/dryer sets was too small (they are ideally set up for the stackable kind; I have the separate floor set). Damn things are a headache and a half; my friend tried to hook up the lint hose (or whatever that stretchy aluminum thing is called), but it kept coming loose. And I need to have maintenance plug the hoses in anyway, as well as making sure the electricity works. Did I mention all the non-working outlets I have? Grr. Oh well, it's a cheap place, so I get what I pay for.

I also got my few remaining large pieces of furniture in the place. My oh-so-Gothic matte black iron-look canopy bed frame is in pieces against the wall. I've decided to get rid of it; for one thing, it's too tall for the room, and for another, it will interfere with the ceiling fan if I set it up. So, anyone want to buy a black metal canopy bed frame? I might even let the rails go with it.

Anyway, that was my exciting day. I have a sinus headache now. I have taken handfuls of Advil and sinus pills, with very little effect. Also, I am addicted to Sonic's Cheddar Peppers and Cherry Limeade. I bought this meal twice today (well, the first time I bought a Strawberry Limeade instead but I find I prefer the Cherry). Nitey nite.

I still have to put away books and do laundry. Oy.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

Message on an imaginary tee-shirt

"I went to the Tim Blair World Tour show in Minneapolis and all I got was this lousy hangover."

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2003

The Angel in the House and Senate

Yehudit, in the comments to this post on Michael Totten's blog, offered this hen and capon party as an example of "the arrogance and elitism of the Left in all its glory." I think it shows something even worse: buried in a pomo kaffeeklatch littered with litcrit terms like "framing" is the fact that these people have chosen, as the most apt "metaphor" with which to "frame" the discussion of how to deal with the current president and his administration, a spearchucking cavemale vs. civilizing mother-woman motif straight out of the turn of the century. Last century, that is.

Postscript: for some reason, I don't think the above-linked blogger or her admirers would see themselves in this little web essay I found, even though it displays the very same attitude permeating the formers' discussion. Also, I don't necessarily find everything to do with the idea of "woman the civilizer" wrong; but that is a discussion for another day.

Update: Angie Schultz comments. Actually, I had noticed what Jeanne and her sycophants commenters were revealing about the Left; I just figured everyone knew this already, and I was too disgusted to comment on that aspect of the discussion. I just thought it was hilarious that these people came up with stereotypes about men and women right out of the White Male Conservative Oppressor's handbook. Not to mention all the other fin-de-siècle chestnuts they earnestly presented as Brand New Ideas.

More: oh lord, everything old is new again -- get a load of what commenter "aimai" has to say:

But America is famously a "country without ghosts" as the Chinese described this land without ancestors and ancestral memories. WE have, on the whole, nothing deeper than a brief two generation nuclear family: no long term union loyalties, no clans, no territorial loyalties.

Oh yeah? Who's this "we," white girl? My family has been in this country since the sixteen hundreds. (My grandfather even traced the family through the maternal line, which should please these gynecocrats.) And that was just my father's side of the family; my mother's family is old Tennessee stock; she was part Cherokee. These high-arsed academic wannabes can go pound sand.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:20 PM | Comments (5)

Rightwing film geek

That's the name of his blog. Anyway, I have to love a guy who calls that show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy "Gay Guys Who Dress Up The Breeder." Come on, you laughed; I know you did.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:49 AM | Comments (1)

The art of putting everything off

Time for another episode of My Life: So When Do I Get a Parade? Yes, it's what you really look for here at Spleenville Central: evidence that I am really a total phuqup instead of the web goddess you love and fear. Well, to begin:

I finally got my hands on the key to my patio utility room. This means that I can finally get my washer-dryer out of storage, along with all the other heavy things I left there, such as my bed, futon frame, and kitchen table. (Hey, no way was I going to pay for two Uhaul trips. I already moved everything that could be transported by car, including the millions of books I own, and the mostly eighties vinyl album collection no one wants to take off my hands. Yeah, used record stores only want rare records and master recordings these days. But that is for another rant.)

Let me explain about the key: it turned out that the lock on the storage door was broken, so they had to fix it before I could put anything in there. Not that I was really afraid that I would get robbed of my washer-dryer set, but I am from Miami and I don't take chances. Yes I lock my car doors -- Orlando hasn't been a small town for quite some time. Anyway, they replaced the lock on the door -- and then didn't leave the new key in the office for days and days.

On the other hand, I am not too pleased right now with management; they promised me that someone would be here yesterday to fix the annoying dripping tub faucet that drives me insane, as well as remove the showerhead so I could install the handheld shower I bought. Their showerhead is some ancient plastic thing with several years of Orlando water grot caked on it, and I want it gone. I knew something was up when I came home and my cat was not cowering in some far corner because a Strange! Human! had been in the house. And of course, the tub was untouched. Hey, they pay for water, so I guess they don't care if a 400+ apartment block of leaky faucets runs up their bill. Fortunately for me they are open today so I plan to call and harangue them.

In plant news, the Australian fern confirmed that it was a creature of the shadows, so I brought it indoors and trimmed off the scorched leaves. Once it was no longer subject to the blasting rays of the Florida sun it immediately perked up. It already looks crowded in its little pot, so I am going to buy a larger pot some time this weekend.

Books, books, everywhere books. All over my bedroom, mostly, which is still sans bed (I have been rolling the futon out onto the living room floor and sleeping there). I finally went and bought a three-shelf cube bookcase thing from Vilemart, and hauled it indoors. Now I must put it together, yay. And I know that it is only large enough for a portion of my books, but it's a beginning. I also have my eye on the Mission Style desk -- the one I am using now is too small, really.

Incidentally, in searching for the perfect (cheap) bookcase I found myself in the Belz Fashion Outlet. I had no time to really go through the place -- it spans a few blocks and has outlet stores for every manufacturer you can think of; and I really don't need Donna Karan knockdowns from last season, or a Burberry trenchcoat right now. But I did get sucked into a lingerie store, where I found what might be the world's most comfortable bra, so the day was not wasted.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:39 AM | Comments (8)