Sunday, June 28, 2009

Suck It Trebek

Jeopardy Categories I Suck At vs. Categories I Could Kill On
(answer I would write for the Final Jeopardy round)

1. Opera Singers************Ape or Singer?
(Kathleen Battle)***************(Singer)

2. Geography**************Google Earth
(Red Sea)*******************(16°43'58.02"S 179°45'5.35"W)

3. German Folk Songs*****German Folk Bongs
(no fucking idea)*************(the Bob Marley Commemorative)

4. Crossword Clues “B”****Sudoku Clues “8”
(bolo tie)***********************(8!)

5. Poets*******************Potent Potables

6. Odds and Ends*********Ends with Odd
(James Polk)*****************(Mary Todd)

7. Naval Battles***********Naval Types

8. Anagrams**************A Grams An____?
(if tuck)******************* *(ounce, 0.035th of)

9. Rhyme Time********(**Mime Rhyme
(deck Trebek)***************(Marcel fell)

10. The Bible*************The Bibliography
(Jacob? Esau?)***************(PNAS)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Got Nothing

Typity, type, type. Pause. Typity, backspace, delete. Check email. Oh I know, typity, typity, ta-type type. No. Wait, yes. Backspace, fuck it. Save. Coffee. Typity, type. Maybe I should do some laundry. Maybe I just feel compelled to do laundry because I can’t stand staring at this not done paper. Fuck this not done paper. Maybe I could just eke out a few more sentences. Typity, typity, typity, ta-type, type type. Hmm. Backspace. Delete. Fuck. If I could just finish this paragraph, I could…what? What is going to happen if I finish the paragraph? Nothing. Wait. What if something fantastic were to happen? Perhaps the phone will ring…Why yes! I would love to join the National Academy! Not gonna happen. Typity, type. They’ll never call if I don’t finish this damn not done paper. Concentrate Damnit. Type, type, type, type, type. Didn’t so and so just publish a paper on this? I should read it. Right now. Whatever journal, I’m not paying 20 bucks for that just cause it’s new. I’ll check their personal website. Wow. That’s a really hideous picture. Oh, I didn’t know you went to that school. Is my picture that bad? I better check. Fuck, my webpage would look better with this fucking not done paper on it. Whatever, no more internet until this paragraph is done.

Does it still count as done if you write it and then delete it. No, no it doesn’t. Type. Type. Typity. Backspace. Delete. Capslock. TYPE. WHAT? Why do I always hit that? Stupid. Typity, type. That’s a paragraph, a kinda crappy one, more like a paracraph. Whatever. I should stop now. But maybe I could force out a little more. No. Yes. Fuck. Why did I ever agree to write this? Vanity, that’s why. That’s lame of me. I hate this not done paper. Fucking writer’s block. Save. Close. Whatever.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Coniferous Rage

Oh hi there Enormous Tree In My Yard, don’t mind me. I’m just standing here. This giant beaker I’m holding with tongs? Don’t worry about it. It’s just an imaginary container of hydrochloric acid. The giant arm length gloves I’m wearing are imaginary too (safety first!). I wouldn’t really dump this toxic shit on your roots. But if you don’t mind, I’ll just continue imagining that I would…that I am…that I did. Sorry Enormous Tree in My Yard, you are lovely really. But you are spewing little sticky things all over the place. It was OK when they were all over the yard. By the time they spread to the driveway thoughts of a severe pruning with a dull and rusty blade crept to mind. Then they started sticking to the bottom of my shoes. Perhaps you would enjoy a quick dip in the wood chipper? Then my dog showed up looking like some Muppet version of a conifer. Perhaps you would like to get intimate with my chainsaw? Your little sticky growth spawn is now all over my house. Stuck to the couch, in my bed, in my shower, clogging up my dryer lint screen, just generally taunting my every effort at cleanliness…I suspect you are trying to suffocate me. Don’t think you can hide behind your christmasy good looks, your snow draped appearance of months past means nothing to me. I know you’re up to some no good growth spurt but I’m going to continue my imaginary logging competition training (that’s right, look how fast my giant buck saw is slicing you!) until you quit dropping those fucking sticky ass tree shits.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Jingle of a Dog’s Collar Would Be Fine

C’mon Park Service. Do you really want my dog stuck in the car? She would like to see some geothermal points of interest too. And she wants to go for a walk, a real walk, not one where the car remains in sight. C’mon, she’s a good girl! What could my dog do that is worst than anything a human could do? (And don’t answer “dog doo” like you are being all clever or something, she doesn’t use toilet paper, the shit will be gone in no time) You really want my dog to just not see any of the cool stuff and hang out in my car? That shit is wrong.

(P.S. Smokey the Bear, you’re an embarrassment to the world of Ursids. Take the fucking pants off. I know some Park Service design team couldn’t decide how to portray your genitals…but you’re a fucking bear, step up to the plate and act like one by showing some junk.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Criminal Intent

After being compared to a petty criminal, it got me thinking about all the crimes I would like to commit. If ever land myself in jail, it is likely due to one of the following:

Larceny: I found an odd item stashed away in a summer rental house…I really wanted to steal it. It was puuurty and worth some cash. I wish I had. Did I mention how very purty it was? And how it appeared to be wholly unappreciated? That it would have fit in my luggage? I didn’t take it, stupid ethics.

Looting: Hell yes. I have never experienced a riot. However, if I found myself in a large-scale urban riot I will be heading directly to the nearest lighting store and I am smashing the light fixtures into bits. I love the idea of breaking all that glass.

Drugs: A nice little garden would be good. You know, for making rope and such.

Mischief: There is this big red knob…it’s in the stairwell of my building. Every time I walk by it, it screams “turn me, turn me all the way and run!” Oooh I want to turn it.

White Collar: What exactly is keeping me from selling cheap vegetables purchased at Safeway at the local Farmer’s Market for twice the price? All I have to do is remove some stickers, sprinkle a little dirt on top and stick them in some kind of pastoral looking holder (e.g. bushel basket, old milk crate, apple box, etc…). Oh yeah, the ethics thing again.

Kidnapping: Look Isaac Brock, it’s not my fault I have no idea how to reach you. If I could call, email, or text you, I would. But you know, you haven’t given me that option. So if you are ever anywhere near my car, you are getting in and coming home with me. We’re just going to hang out (geez, I’m not a rapist). I’ll make you dinner and blast your music and you just have to hang out for a few hours. That’s all. It won’t even seem like kidnapping…no need to call the cops or anything. Just relax. Can I interest you in a drink?

Defamation: I fucking hate that asshole on ESPN who always holds a highlighter in his hand that matches his fucking tie. Terrible.

Disrupting the Peace: No. Pepsi is not alright. I want a COKE. Why would I order a COKE if I wanted a Pepsi? I am just going to sit here and loudly complain until the international stalemate between Coke and Pepsi is resolved and both become universal restaurant options. Go to Camp David if need be, I want a fucking Coke.

Anyone else? I’m not sure about blog meme etiquette (i.e. does it exist? Can I just make one up?), but it’s rather fun to think about, so if any of you harbor secret criminal intentions consider yourself tagged with the “Crime Spree” meme. (It probably already exists in some form or another, but this one requires herkies and/or fist bumps for proper completion.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

UPDATE: Impartial Nudity

Hhhm. That last post seemed to strike some insecurity nerves. It is causing me to reflect (in that corny kinda barfy way) upon the issue of academic insecurities. Let me just say straight up that I am currently operating on very low insecurity levels. Am I full of myself? Yeah, a little bit. Am I normally this full of myself? No, not really. But recent events have been great for me. Tenure an awesome vacation, shit, you’d be high on yourself too. Plus, full-of-my-selfness is fundamental to my anonymous persona.

But academia forces us to be neurotic and insecure. We have to constantly get ourselves to do things that go far beyond our basic job descriptions. We do this daily. We can’t just do some writing, or lab work, or research, or teaching…we are compelled to read about our topics obsessively, try far too hard to teach students, spend insane amounts of time drafting the perfect figure or slide, and just generally feel the need to strive. This basic compulsion drives us to be insecure, ferociously competitive, arrogant, and pathetically needy- all at the same time. Every time I get a manuscript accepted for publication I think to myself “I won.” What did I win? I have no idea. Why does that particular phrase come to mind? I have no idea. (And no, I’ve never thought about my career as a “race” or in any sport related terms, nor do I have any clear competitors in mind that I “beat”) I just think to myself I won. Like I somehow won over the insecurity, competitiveness, arrogance, and neediness.

And here’s the kicker, I don’t think I’m weird to be thinking that. I suspect some comparable thought occurs to all of us. Early on I considered it extremely important to avoid seeing myself as only my vita. But then as your vita grows and the win column tally starts to look respectable, it becomes a thousand times easier to do that. Of course it does. The thought I am more than my vita just flows across neurons much more efficiently when you know your vita is solid than when you suspect it isn’t. That’s just how it is. Serious chemical intervention is needed for us to operate otherwise. I am not giving license to anyone (myself included) to outwardly act as raging self-absorbed assholes. You have to avoid the egomaniacs who flaunt their vitas, but we have to indulge our own personal competitiveness or else nothing in our fields and universities would get done. So yeah, you at least have to get naked with yourself about these things (masturbation optional).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Getting Naked

Look, it’s like a pool party OK? You have to suck it up (and in) and show a little skin. You are going to have to let your ass hang out. I’ve tried to explain this before, but I am not getting through. Your manuscript is three times too long because you are constantly trying to cover every inch of your ass. I know you are new to the research publication party, but don’t you want to show up dressed appropriately? It’s like a pool party and bathing suits are required. You simply cannot arrive in Arctic expedition attire. It’s uncomfortable I know. And no, an 1800s style “bathing suit” doesn’t work either. You just have to put yourself out there. You are obligated to cover the most sensitive parts, the delicate parts of your argument that would hurt most to get burned, but the rest is just going to have to be left exposed and open to scrutiny. It’s OK, it just takes some getting used to.

If you don’t delete your endless paragraphs of ass-coverings you will never get this insanely lengthy manuscript published. That means you’ll never get to join the pool party. No ordering drinks at the swim-up bar, no rides on the boat, no going down the pool slide, and you can forget about EVER being invited to the exclusive all-nude beach party. Edit until you are down to your swimsuit, slather yourself in some sunscreen (SPF Confidence Level 30 should do just fine) and join the damn party.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

WTF Arkansas?

So, there I was. Just drinking some coffee and reading the newspaper. I read a short blurb about two convicted murderers in an Arkansas jail that escaped from prison. You can read the story here (they were later caught). Here’s the thing though, “…the uniforms the inmates wore in their escape are made at the prison.” Uhm, what? Did I read that correctly? Apparently both prison guard and police uniforms are made at the prison. Would the guard uniform sewing room be located adjacent to the hacksaw factory? Are uniforms made between locksmithing and FBI-badge metalsmithing classes? I am confused. Why are there ANY inmates left? Has anyone counted the number of guards lately?

You know, if Nicolas Cage had been sent to Arkansas I could put that whole “Con Air” incident behind me. By incident, I refer simply to having watched the entire film.