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12 March 2015 @ 22:37
such as it is...Collapse )
16 September 2012 @ 13:19
Sometimes I think about this livejournal and sigh (alas! alack! heu! eála! do, la do, gedo! and other c. 2nd- 16th century exclamations of sorrow) but then I remember that I use up all of my hilariousness of the students. At the end of the day I sit down, ask myself what my accomplishments are, and am genuinely excited that I found placemats the exact shade of aquamarine as my ottoman and Otterbox.

Anyway, it is difficult to complain about life, even when it is the kind of things I normally complain about (like opening the trashcan last week to find that it had been suddenly, mysteriously populated by thousands of orange alien spores and throwing it outside and then using up three Clorox wipe containers bleaching everything up to and including the walls; or the tomato plant lauching itself off the window ledge during a storm at Next Door's car, luckily missing the car but leaving a Reichenbachesque gore of smashed tomato all over the garage). This morning we had a long lie-in and I made D chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes, because it is lovely and crisp outside, and now D is making me kimbap, for no discernable reason other than my love of kimbap. Who knew kimbap was a thing you could make at home? This and many other domestic mysteries have occupied all my time. I built a shelf just for shoes because D kept leaving them piled under the hat rack. Just for shoes! These are the things that nobody tells you about in love stories, because they always conveniently end with the getting-together. There's all the dramatic angst of longing in the beginning, but much later there is the satisfaction of picking out a duvet in a nice colour you both like and looking forward to how nice it shall be to cuddle under. 
03 May 2012 @ 22:19
7.) graded research papers during a power outage the night before term's end by tying a flashlight to my head with a quilting square. 
03 May 2012 @ 17:57
In case you all think I've gone and died- or worse, become dull in my old age, having now been settled with D for nearly a year (e.g. roughly 20 lesbian years), since I last wrote I've:

1) smashed my droid and thumb in a car door. This resulted in a 12-hour odyssey in which I attempted to negotiate between two hospitals and HIPAA in order to arrange for a tetanus shot within the recommended window before lockjaw set in, requiring debate between 5 sets of doctors across 3 floors who all disagreed about whether lockjaw or an autoimmune reaction from the booster was more likely to kill me, all without a phone, because as it turns out email is not "secure," even if the majority of your phone is currently festering in your right thumb. 

2) acquired a used phone off Amazon, which transpired to be the castoff, jail-broken phone of a man currently running for Congress in Tennessee, complete with messages about secretly wiping other people's computers at night and the requisite texts to the would-be ultra-Christian Congressman's mistress (one of which lovingly describes a sunset as "like fresh salmon" and "akin to the noise of a hundred laughing children"). 

3) fallen out the front step (singular) of the library and sprained my ankle, about 45 seconds after walking in the same door.

4) held several conversations with my skeevey landlord about the best places he knows of to spy on local nudists (his very long reply to my request to grow a tomato plant in a window box).

5) written and delivered a conference paper about 9th century monks' bowel movements.

6) finished my first year teaching the high-strung borderline depressives at El-Corn without myself leaping onto the safety nets recently strung across the scenic gorges. 

I did other things and maybe I can write about them when I don't have half a million giant finals to grade. 
20 November 2011 @ 16:56
OK SO I HAD THIS SAVED DRAFT. For like, months. Like 5 months. It was all, waaahh, the children stole my funny, because I waste all my beautiful comedy doing my impression of Sir Gawain's brainpan to-brasting for my unimpressed ganglette of engineers. And I am all using up my afternoons reading about 9th century liturgical practices with D, and "reading about 9th century liturgical practices with D". 




So to set the scene, first of all, there's Percy the cat. Percy is not, despite common belief amongst my colleages, named for Sir Perceval of the Grail Quest. Nor is he Percy Weasley, despite the fact that he is ginger, I am ginger, and my family's other cats are Muggle, Wizard, and Luna Lovegood. No, I called him Percy for Sir Percy Blakeney, because he has an overbite and looks like a complete useless prat. Except unlike the case of Percy Blakeney, my Percy's personality is not an elegant disguise. He is the kind of cat that scatters litter all over the house because he gets it stuck in his paws. He is the kind of cat that once got a fat lip from running full-tilt into a wall. He is the kind of cat that falls over backwards onto his head when he tries to jump. The kind of cat that, when he does manage to complete a leap, lands on the radiator. The fur between his back knees is all rubbed off because he is so knock-kneed. Sometimes he tries to meow, but he's forgotten how to do it, so he just stands there and moves his mouth. Other times, he stares at the ceiling. For hours. At nothing. The only glimmer of wit he's ever shown is his systematic destruction of every ramen bowl I've ever bought. Not the other bowls. Not even the mugs. Just the ramen bowls. In other words, the only thing he has ever successfully hunted was MSG. 

So Percy starts staring into a corner under a cabinet next to the oven. For hours on end, just crouched on the ground, staring into the dusty nothingness. Because I am a well-educated person, I turned to Ariana, and I said, Look at what Percy is doing. I think he can see something we can't. What does he see? we wondered. Obviously, I concluded, Percy can see ghosts. Ghosts that live under the oven. Because ghosts are like earthquakes? 

I came up with all sorts of scenarios for how this might be true. The main idea was that someone died rightabouts there when our house was a lovely new Victorian family home, and not a crumbly piece of crap graduate student hovel. Then my monkey's-arse landlord purchased it and plopped an oven right where the poor lady died. And she was pissed off. Every time I made pumpkin bread, she became more pissed off. And only Percy knew. And he was the only thing between us and angry Victorian under-the-oven-lady. 

Or maybe not. Because we were watching Fringe at the time, Ariana and I knew there could be all sorts of explanations for whatever Percy was perceiving under the oven that we couldn't. Tiny people, for example, or an alternate universe. The only person I could think to ask was Neil Gaiman, since he was the one who taught me to be terrified of The Gap and Underground maps. I wrote honest-to-creebus letters to Neil Gaiman in my head. Dear Neil Gaiman, they went. If a previously very dim cat began obsessively staring under the cabinets day and night in one of your stories, what would be under them? I thank you in advance for giving me the edge over my under-the-cabinet enemy, whenever it chooses to come out. 

Because here is the thing. As a child, whenever my father brought home flowers or cookies, I knew to ask how the funeral had gone. In fact, my own parlour had been used for funerals in The Good Old Days. Then he got my sister a job at the funeral home he was go-to Funeral Conductin' Man for, and she'd come home with stories about how poor old Mr So-and-so's ashes had been sitting on the filing cabinet for weeks now. And I am the kind of person who catches rare Oregon Trail diseases; was stalked across 3 European countries by an elderly French lesbian; and last month ordered a droid from Amazon that turned out to be a Congressman's rooted, still-active phone, full of messages asking when X should come wipe Y's computer while they slept. 

So yes. If anyone was going to adopt an oven-ghost-detecting cat, it would be me, and I would also be the one rent to bits by angry Victorian dead ladies because I burned a lot of cookies that one time. 

Yeah, so, that's the story of how Ariana and I found Percy torturing a family of mice. Exorcising ghosts? Yeah, OK. What do I care? The doorknob to my childhood bedroom rattled all night, every night, until I hung bells on it. But what do you do when you rescue a mouse from a slow, horrible death at the hands of your very dim cat and it runs for cover INTO YOUR BEDSHEETS? If you are me, you jump on a chair, point at the bed, and use your psychic powers [screaming] to summon it from the bedsheets, whereupon it makes its next bid for freedom INSIDE YOUR SHOES? 

One, Ariana and I accidentally chased into Next Door's apartment, where their more competent cat dispatched it, and the other of which Ariana captured in a cloth shoe organiser and flung outside. I am making about 6 hours over a period of 3 days of standing on furniture and screaming sound really efficient.  Danielle and I bought  supposedly humane traps but Percy has been scaring off the survivors (if there are any) by continuing his howling vigilance of the oven. On the bright side, they've stayed out of my shoes, which I know because I spend five OCD-fueled minutes shaking my shoes up and down before putting them on now. On the downside, I tried to wash The Mouse Sheets in the bath because we were out of change, and the tap jammed and the bath overflowed and Ariana slippe and bunged her head on the wall and then fell in the bath before we finally figured out the hot/cold taps were switched. Then, lacking the money for a run in the drier, we hung The Mouse Sheets in the bathroom where they grew mould. (The bath saga continued this morning, when Danielle tried to sneak into the shower with me and the shower head flew off at precisely the moment she passed it, conking her in the face with first the shower head and then the unmitigated spray of water.) 

In better news, Percy has started howling and launching himself at Ariana's painting of the fan-handed faceless people, so probably next round will be against creatures I can actually fight. 
02 June 2011 @ 13:22
 11:42: Will be amusing when my brain comes back from its gay Tahitian cruise or wherever it's run off to with my immune system. 

Finished last paper of 1st year of PhD. It is such unbelievable shite I cannot believe I am even letting it see the light of day, because there's a good chance it will dust like a Buffyverse vampire in the fair NY sun. But whatever. Since this is well after the grading date I'm relatively sure she just passed the lot of us anyway, and I was definitely more clever in class discussion than Chest Hair and Mr Collins and their Deconstruction bulimia.

Literally within hours of declaring my paper done, I got socked in the face by the sick monkey. No voice, which has historically made me more likeable, but also a sore throat, which impedes my ability to eat and keep up sugar levels, which makes me into a raging poltergeist of grouchdom. Now on Z-Pack, lest the sore throat might not be an annoying summer cold or that flu my sister delightfully slimed the house over with last week, but STREP, which could be MORE RHEUMATIC FEVER, which could be DEATH. Which is extremely DOUBTFUL but it is hard to resist people determined to drag you off to the doctor's when you have no voice to do so. Have you ever wondered what it is like to be Adrien English? I HAVEN'T, WE ARE IDENTICAL except I do not have interesting murder cases to solve and my gaylove is about half a foot shorter than me and no good in firefights. 

Speaking of whom, is currently over a 1000 miles away, for the next month, because our families inconveniently love us and wanted us each to come home for this brief interlude before Shit Gets Real. But it's 70 degrees here and sunny and breezy and basically ia Wonkaland of joy, so really I have no reason to whinge and grub for cuddles now. Wait yes I do I am sick, that is like a meal ticket for petulance. Waaaah.

In other news, Ickle Bother Friedrich and his grungy garage band are playing at the graduation awards ceremony tonight, and they are doing A LADY GAGA MEDLEY. I am not missing this for anything, so the assembled parentage of Hopeless Valley had better cozy up to the idea of catching laryngitis. 
22 May 2011 @ 11:50
11:34: Was thinking about my s.s. idea for wrestlers in the IKEA, worrying that it might verge dangerously close to the Badlands of RPS. As I contemplated why RPS makes me so desperately uncomfortable (besides the completely horrifying potential that they might find it) I hit upon it:

Aha! (Thought I.) It is because it does not fulfill Kant's Categorical Imperative vis-á-vis the Grundgelung, because people are ends in themselves and cannot be used only as a means to an end without denying their personhood. 

Then I realised that not only it is unlikely to convince anyone, ever, it sounds dirty.

18 May 2011 @ 11:03




My lovely, wonderful biffle kyuukumber illustrated my snuggle for this Sunday. <3 It is gorgeous like unf. GET SO EXCITED. 


Kyuukumber also lives on Tumblr making lovely things at bodies impossible.  

Also! D and I are dating! That is an awkward story as all things with me are, and I am probably not going to receive any more baked goods from my Republican Overlords, but things are so awesome. In fact what am I doing here, I am going to go play happy airplane with my cat and frolic under the cherry blossoms. I will write about this later, I will just let you get back to STARING AT THAT MAGNIFICENT ART. 
Current Music: ...zelda dubsteps
17 May 2011 @ 12:12

I'm Morag Cormac, junior librarian in one of the many universities which infests Philly like crunk, undersexed wasp colonies, and I have a Gift. A Gift for finding things.

Of all the Gifts there are to have, mine is quite possibly the least sexy.Collapse )
Current Location: under my cat (obviously)