Monday, September 28, 2009

Hell To The No

So Ink (via Naptime Writing) had a post recently about books you’re supposed to like but don’t. Thank you! I have wanted to rant about a book I read recently but it seemed like such a random post that I shelved the idea. But hey, now I have an “in” so let’s release some book hatred:

It assaulted me with language. I fucking hated it. It made me want to communicate in short sentences for days. Hi. Beer. Great. Yes. Food. OK. Bye. Sorry. No officer. It was one of those books where you have to read 3 pages just to get to the part where someone finishes the damn sentence they started thousands of words ago. I know, I know! You want to know the book. I’ll tell you, BUT keep the following in mind. If the book I am about to name is, like, your favorite book or something you need to do the following: prepare a brief argument to justify your position regarding the novels redeeming qualities (but first quell your anger) and then rethink your position and just agree with me that it sucks. Here we go, A Fable by William Faulkner. Goddamned it sucked. Ooooh, I said GODdamned, could that be a biblical reference? Could you shove the bible in my face any harder Faulkner? Oh sorry Faulkner, you probably don’t understand what I’m saying. Would it help if I wrote “I” followed by 3 pages of uselessly wordy elaboration “get” followed by 3 pages of even more uselessly wordy elaboration “it” already? Sorry A Fable but you are now relegated to the no-mans-land region of my bookcases where you can sit unnoticed and unloved right next to The Shipping News. Have fun with that.

Friday, September 25, 2009

John D. & Catherine T.

What gives? Yet again you have failed to award me a Genius Grant. You seem to favor the type of genius that creates tangible evidence of their scientific and artistic prowess. I have to cry foul! How prejudice of you! What about us geniuses that perform our amazing acts of disease curing and culture changing in a purely imaginary realm? (and no, an imaginary $500,000 won’t do). Just because my geniosity (see! I can make up words, we geniuses do that) has resulted in no tangible manifestations does not mean you should overlook me.

How kick-ass must it be to win one of those things? Can you imagine? …oh nothing much new with me, you know, just been hanging out and winning a MacArthur Genius Grant. …oh that? It’s just a little something I picked up with my MacArthur Genius Grant check. …oh hi there Tenure & Promotion committee, well, let’s see, I did win a MacArthur Genius Grant, does that count? Damn.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Burn! Baby Burn!

I just took my entire Faculty Retreat packet and burned it in my fireplace.

What Is This Meeting About Exactly?

There is an old saying that goes “Only Users Lose Drugs.” It might have been “Only Losers Use Drugs” but Officer McGruff or whoever the hell tried to teach us that in high school was a lousy teacher. (Remember the fake joints they passed around? They were sooooo fake. Obviously if they were real we would have stolen them …which speaks volumes for the quality of anti-drug education I was forced to sit through as a kid…but I digress.) You see, with a little wordplay a stupid little saying becomes funny. Not hilarious funny, but mildly amusing. But when you say “let’s have a committee meeting” I hear “let’s have a commit me meeting.” Not what I want to hear. Not funny.

Commit? As in force me from my lair to attend a gathering of people at a predetermined time and place? To rise from bed early? Or, commit as in check me into the nearest “facility”? Which could happen because I don’t go anywhere near campus until very late at night (and in a ninja suit) and you want your little meeting during prime time don’t you? The sheer volume of work related crap I would have to encounter in order to attend your meeting could certainly cause mental instability. I am willing to attend (for the sake of assuaging the guilt I would feel for abandoning you) but I am not traipsing past the main office, walking by the graduate student offices, or going anywhere near my office. I can attend your meeting but I will be entering the building via the loading dock and by accessing the back staircase I can make my way to the basement storage room or the roof. These are your meeting location options. Please plan accordingly.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Would You Like To Lick Coffee Off A Slotted Spoon?

Would you? My coffee maker seems to think you would. Or, if you prefer, I can offer you some coffee soaked chopsticks. Perhaps a spatula is more your style, or some tongs. I call the ice-cream scoop!

Fucking coffee maker. After many months of dutiful service my coffee maker has decided to expand its horizons, to try new things, to explore its creative side so to speak. Apparently making coffee IN THE POT is no longer enough. Today my coffee maker decided to gurgle its water and grounds all over the countertop, dribbling them down into the utensil drawer below and all over the floor. Interesting approach coffee maker, I had no idea you had such creative intentions. If I had my wits about me (by which I mean if I had enough caffeine in my system to function like a human) I would say something about how it’s good to try new things…about how sometimes it makes a big mess but it’s worth a try. About how why the hell can’t I try that, what’s the worst that could happen? It would be all cheesily supportive of pursuing new things. But, fuck it. I’m too busy licking coffee off of this garlic press for that.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

You Rang?

Oooh look at me! I’ve been lured out of my sabBATical cave by a font crisis. Yes, crisis.

A brief aside: First, yes, I can have an aside after only 3 sentences (more like 2 sentences but whatever). Second, my beloved laptop is ill, very ill. So dire is its health that I had to leave it with an IT dude. He is probably watching porn, playing video games, or chatting with his weirdo role-playing community RIGHT NOW on MY laptop. I on the other hand am stuck on an unfamiliar computer. It feels like wearing rented bowling shoes without socks. Necessary, but icky. For all the moments when proper equipment is necessary, a font rant is undoubtedly one of them. One must have their fonts handy, and one MUST have their previous rants handy because fontrific posts require a little digital maneuvering for uploading to Blogger. Blogger doesn’t provide enough fonts to meet my fonting needs, and if you don’t make your text the right size? Well, that really pisses Blogger off. And yet the special fontphone rang in my sabBATical cave. It was AnnieEm on the line. So duty calls and I must forge on.

If you haven’t heard, Ikea changed their font. That’s interesting. Seriously. Let’s take a look at the switch.

The switch is from Futura to Verdana. Ikea, like most corporations, tweaked standard Futura and Verdana but it’s essentially the same fonts as on your computer (YOUR computer not MY computer- my computer is either stuck in computer ICU or is being forced to display klingon porn). Why has Ikea done this? Again, let’s examine.

Cash is the answer. Verdana is cheap and Microsoft invented, it was designed to be read on a computer screen. Futura is elegant and makes your cheap chair feel a little spiffier. Damnit Ikea! Why? I am, or was, comfortably ensconced in my sabBATical cave. It’s not like you changed fonts to something cooler… I am not anti-font change but you went for something sterile and common. It would be like, crap, like what would that be like? Like if on a box of Frosted Flakes Tony said “They’re Great!” in motherfucking Times New Roman. Everyone knows tigers don’t talk that way (except highly educated snooty tigers and Tony don’t run like that). It would just be wrong. It doesn’t evoke the right sentiment. Chairs, frosted flakes, prescription drugs, strange hair doodads that make tumors appear in your “rocked” pony, it’s all the same. We WILL be bombarded with logos and packaging. At the very least I expect a little creative effort. Switching to Verdana is just sad. There is a petition to protest this change.