30 December 2008

Books I've Read This Year

For class:
  • The Art of Fiction - John Gardner
  • The Night in Question - Tobias Wolf
  • Notes of a Red Guard - Eduard Dune (in translation)
  • The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (in translation)
  • The Complete Works of Isaac Babel (in translation)
  • Quiet Flows the Don - Mikhail Sholokhov (in translation)
  • The Exchange and Other Stories - Ivan Tirfonov (in translation)
  • Stories from a Siberian Village - Vasily Shukshin (in translation)
  • Hurramabad - Andrei Volos (in translation)
  • Night of Denial - Ivan Bunin (in translation)
  • Constructions of Devience - Patricia Adler, ed.
  • Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold

For fun:
  • Firefly Rain - Richard Dansky
  • Jane Austen Book Club - Karen Joy Fowler
  • Grow Up, America! - Michael J. Hurd
  • I am Legend - Richard Matheson
  • Wit's End - Karen Joy Fowler
  • A Winter's Tale - Mark Helprin
  • Sin in the Second City - Karen Abbott (nonfiction)
  • The Baum Plan for Financial Independence - John Kessel
  • The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Fairy Rebel - Lynn Reid Banks
  • The Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum
  • The Book of Three - Lloyd Alexander
  • The Spirit Line - David and Aimee Thurlo
  • Wicked Lovely - Melissa Marr
  • Lincoln's Dreams - Connie Willis
  • Neuromancer - William Gibson
  • Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z - Debra Weinstein
  • The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch and Jeff Zaslow (nonfiction)
  • Redwall - Brian Jacques
  • Chess for Dummies - James Eade
  • Deadeye Dick - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
  • The Mind Has No Sex?: the Origins of Women in Modern Science - Londa Schiebinger (nonfiction)
  • The Ethical Slut - Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt
  • Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Descent of Woman - Ealine Morgan
  • Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn - Stephanie Meyer
  • Uglies, Pretties, and Specials - Scott Westerfield
  • The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  • Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling
  • Pagan Christmas: an Ethnobotany - Christian Ratsch and Claudia Muller-Ebeling (nonfiction in translation)

12 December 2008

Betrayed by the Golden Age at last

To the Fair Clarinda

Who made love to me,
Imagin'd more than woman.


Fair lovely Maid, or if that Title be
Too weak, too Feminine for Nobler thee,
Permit a Name that more Approaches Truth:
And let me call thee, Lovely Charming Youth.
This last will justifie my soft complaint,
While that may serve to lessen my constraint;
And without Blushes I the Youth persue,
When so much beauteous Woman is in view.
Against thy Charms we struggle but in vain
With thy deluding Form thou giv'st us pain,
While the bright Nymph betrays us to the Swain.
In pity to our Sex sure thou wer't sent,
That we might Love, and yet be Innocent:
For sure no Crime with thee we can commit;
Or if we shou'd - thy Form excuses it.
For who, that gathers fairest Flowers believes
A Snake lies hid beneath the Fragrant Leaves.

Though beauteous Wonder of a different kind,
Soft Cloris with the dear Alexis join'd;
When e'er the Manly part of thee, wou'd plead
Though tempts us with the Image of the Maid,
While we the noblest Passions do extend
The Love to Hermes, Aphrodite the Friend.

--Aphra Behn, 1684

10 December 2008

We generate sparks in our wheels and our hearts




You be my princess
I'll be your toad
I'll follow behind you
on rainbow road
Protect you from red shells
wherever we go
I promise.

Noone will touch us
if we pick up a star
If you spin out
you can ride in my car
When we slide together
we generate sparks
in our wheels and our hearts

The finish line
is just around the bend
I'll pause this game
so our love will never end
Let's go again

The blue shell is coming
so I'll go ahead
If you hang behind
it'll hit me instead
but never look back
cause I'm down but not dead
I'll catch up to you

Don't worry about
Bowser or DK
Eat this glowing mushroom
and they'll all fade away

to the mushroom cup
and the flower cup
and the star cup
and the reverse cup

walalalalala
walalalalalawaluigiiiiii

It's official

You know your hair has gotten long when there's enough of it that the women at the mall kiosks want to demonstrate products to you again.

08 December 2008

I'm not the only one

I took guitar lessons when I was twelve.

My teacher, Terry, was like a Beatles disciple--he remembers being there. He told me that when John Lennon got shot he wasn't able to get out of bed for the better part of a week.

I think about that a lot.

25 November 2008

On hips

"The strongly favoured androcentric theory is that the difference [between men and women] is an aesthetic improvement, and that it evolved as some sort of sexual stimulus.

This is essentially a circular argument. 'I find this attribute sexy: therefore it must have evolved in order that I might find it sexy.' It's like saying that a wman walks with a wiggle because this is attractive to a male. In fact, she only walks with a wiggle because her children are so intelligent. The necessity of passing a large-skulled infant's head through her pelvic ring has prevented her skeleton to adapting to bipedalism quite as gracefully as her brothers; and males only find this defect attractive because they associate it with femininity."


-Elaine Morgan, [The Descent of Woman]

24 November 2008

What's in sexy?

"Professor Hardy explains the hair on our heads by saying that since only our heads remained above water, exposed to the sun, the hair remained to protect us from its rays. Other evolutionists, if they explain it at all, usually dump it on to the miscellaneous heap of unique human features labeled 'for sexual attraction'--a safe and lazy solution, since there are very few physical features which somebody at some time hasn't found sexually stimulating."


-Elaine Morgan, [The Descent of Woman]

The latter half of that is certainly true. She talks about a "vagueness of aim" in what humans find attractive in each other later in the book. "For sexual attraction" is also a good pigeonhole for some human attributes--especially in women--that on the surface makes sense but may have other evolutionary factors. An example from the text (hips) is in the queue for tomorrow.

This is a wonderful book but I wish I had read Descent of Man and The Naked Ape first for context. It was also originally published in 1972 so it has a lot of Vietnam and women's lib coloration--so it's interesting from a biological, cultural, and political standpoint.

19 November 2008

On Female Orgasm

"First: If female orgasm was evolved in our species for the first time to provide the woman with a 'behavioural reward' for increased sexual activity, why in the name of Darwin has the job been so badly bungled that there have been whole tribes and whole generations of women hardly aware of its existence?"


-Elaine Morgan, The Descent of Woman

18 November 2008

The Descent of Woman

"According to the Book of Genesis, God first created man. Woman was not only an afterthought, but an amenity. For close on two thousand years this holy scripture was believed to justify her subordination and explain her inferiority; for even as a copy she was not a very good copy. There were differences. She was not one of His best efforts.

There is a line in an old folk song that runs: 'I called my donkey a horse gone wonky.' Throughout most of the literature dealing with the differences between the sexes there runs a subtle underlying assumption that woman is a man gone wonky; that woman is a distorted version of the original blueprint; that they are the norm and we are the diviation.

It might have been expected that when Darwin came along and wrote an entirely different account of the Descent of Man, this assumption would have been eradicated, for Darwin didn't believe she was an afterthought: he believed her origin was at least contemporaneous with man's. It should have led to some kind of breakthrough in the relationship between the sexes. But it didn't.

Almost at once men set about the congenial and fascinating task of working out an entirely new set of reasons why woman was manifestly inferior and irreversibly subordinate, and they have been happily engaged on this ever since. Instead of theology they use biology, and ethology, and primatology, but they use it to reach the same conclusions.

They are now prepared to debate the most complex problems of economic reform not in terms of the will of God, but in terms of the sexual behaviour patterns of the cichlid fish; so that if a woman claims equal pay or the right to promotion there is usually an authoratative male thinker around to deliver a brief homily on hormones, and point out that what she secretly intends by this, and what will inevitably result, is the 'psychological castration' of the men in her life."


-Elaine Morgan, [The Descent of Woman]: The Classic Study of Evolution. From Chapter One.

12 November 2008

You can read my Livejournal with OpenID

I blog about my personal life on my livejournal but it's currently screened for friends only.

You don't have to be a formal livejournal user to read my livejournal--you can use [OpenID]!

If you use blogger/google, wordpress, Yahoo, AIM (here's a [list of providers]) or a host of other online applications you're already an OpenID user and already halfway authenticated to read and comment on my livejournal.

To use livejournal with OpenID:

1. Login to livejournal using the "login with OpenID" link in the top right hand corner and use whatever format you prefer to log in.

2. Once logged in, go to Friends>>Manage Friends on the dark blue menu bar at the top of the page.

3. Add "metricula" (or any other lj users you might know) as a friend by typing it into the given field.

4. Save your settings!

5. Bookmark [http://metricula.livejournal.com] or if you have multiple friends on livejournal you can use your "friends page" link above the blue menu bar to track them all. And as long as you're authenticated to livejournal those friends-only entries will show up on the rss feed of the journal.

It should notify me of your request, but you can also leave a comment on the "Friends Only" banner post on my livejournal. Once I add you back as a friend you'll be authenticated!

Unfortunately there isn't an easy way of getting protected livejournal entries to show up in some RSS aggregators like Google Reader so you'll have to pop by livejournal to see what's up.

It really doesn't

03 November 2008

I've never used it



This used to sit in the hallway of Kilgore Hall at NCSU.

31 October 2008

I can put everything in there

If it doesn't fit in my cleavage then I don't need to carry it.

Last night I got my camera, id, credit card, and lip gloss in there. I still had room for my keys and my phone but I left them in the car.

When I jog I put my iPod in there instead of my camera.

08 October 2008

NC State Fair

The NC State Fair has an official Twitter at [NCStateFair]. Today there was a contest for a free t-shirt!

Just to recap, the State Fair will be 16-26 October.

Read more news at [Deep Fried], the official blog of the NC State Fair.

29 September 2008

I wish I could fly too



"I believe that for his escape he took advantage of the migration of a flock of wild birds."

15 September 2008

So Spore came out

I wish my boyfriend came with DRM like that.

27 August 2008

Natural habitats

"The currency of Haiti, by the way, is based on the American dollar. Whatever an American dollar is worth, that is what a Haitian dollar is worth, and actual American dollars are in good circulation. There seems to be no scheme in Haiti, however, for retiring worn-out dollar bills, and replacing them with new ones. So it is ordinary there to treat with utmost seriousness a dollar which is as insubstantial as a cigarette paper, and which has shrunk to the size of an airmail stamp.

"I found one such bill in my wallet when I got hrom from Haiti a couple of years ago, and I mailed it back to Al and Sue Seitz, the owners and host and hostess of the Oloffson [Hotel], asking them to release it into its natural habitat. It could not have survived a day in New York City."

-Kurt Vonnegut, in the introduction to Deadeye Dick

26 August 2008

PENIS

Once, when I still lives at my parents' house, I was pulling a blank CD-R off a mew spindle of Imations. The one beneath it was labeled "PENIS" in all-caps with what I assume was a black Sharpie.

I took it and checked it in the drive--blank. I must have been maybe fifteen and my brother was a couple years younger. As amusing as the penis cd was, I threw it away. I didn't want either of us to be blamed for writing "penis" on something, let alone being caught using a cd labeled "penis" to store anything.

Now, I would have flaunted finding a penis cd and put some very special music mix on it.

What would you use a penis disc for?

25 August 2008

Does he count?



"Therefore, my beloved, avoid idolatry" (NAB).

15 August 2008

Neat!



I love the colors.
It's also kind of scary.

06 August 2008

Celebrating Human Variation

[http://humanvariation.blogspot.com/]

"The Human Variation project is an art blog designed to discover and celebrate the beauty inherent in diverse human bodies. The project is based on the simple premise that every body is beautiful by virtue of being human, and that every body has a basic aesthetic value that should be celebrated and appreciated."

26 July 2008

25 July 2008

24 July 2008

So I've got a question

Q: What do you do with a drunken sailor?