Circle the Wagons

We aren't going out tonight. About four blocks away, all of downtown Santa Cruz will be fenced in and patrolled by over 100 cops. They're up against the 25,000 people who annually show up to get wasted and party like (aging, fat) rock stars. From my perspective, there are so very few reasons (for me) to go out most of the time anyway:
  1. I'm really, really broke.
  2. My going out has absolutely no relationship with my chances of getting laid. If anything, a late night = less chance.
  3. All of my friends in Santa Cruz, since they're students, can't afford to go out either! So when we hang out, it's usually at someone's house.
This will come as no surprise to anyone, but I'm really interested in factor number 2. There's an inverse relationship between party fervor and long-term relationships. Parties exist basically to get people laid. Once party attendance no longer increases one's chances for that evening, the appeal really drops off.

Speaking of, I'd like to salute my homie Kelly for her latest blog post. I will summarize its salient themes: "I gots wine and I'm gonna GET LAID TONIGHT!" Salute, Kelly! Salute!


I Don't Even Turn Around

Thanks to the inimitable KungFuKitten, I now know that:

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

More to the point, there are fully 1,556,837 people named Christopher out there (I say people because .29% of them are female.) The above explains why googling me doesn't really go anywhere. It also speaks to the fact that when someone shouts "hey! Chris!" in a crowd, I just ignore it. Eight other guys standing nearby will all turn around to see who's talking to them.

Wow; you know, the US just passed 300 million. That means that about .5% of everyone in the US is named Christopher. Dear mom: couldn't you have named me something cool, like "Hannibal Bloodcharger" or "Draco Guitarsolo"? Or at least "Spencer Moody"?


Dancing Gangs

The purpose of musical theater is to portray street gangs that do battle primarily in the form of frenetic dance. The best scenario in a good musical theater gang rumble is the "everyone jumps in the air and does the splits" move. The second-best scenario is when the gangs are dressed like they are in Michael Jackson's "Beat It" video: lots of leather and tight pants. One gets the impression that the Sharks and the Jets should just throw in the towel and hit the gay bar.

I bring this up because I watched, well, a musical historical comedy about the Declaration of Independence last night with Jeff and Tweak. There were definitely parts that were cringe-worthy, but overall it was pretty fun. I say this because Tweak is sort of a fanatic about early American history, so it's only fair that she's watched this thing a million times. If someone made a musical comedy about postwar French intellectuals, I'd be thrilled.

Especially if there was dancing in tight pants.


Berkeley, CA

Today I was my homie Jeff's research assistant at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. We dug through the archives and found him some nice juicy primary sources for his dissertation.

Nine of us were on our official field trip. Sadly, there was neither nap time nor juice boxes. But it was still fun.

More to the point, we had three of us (Jeff, Tweak, me) trapped in a car for something like 4.5 hours there and back. We decided to get gang jackets. Possible gang names:
  1. The Great Big Pussies.
  2. Dork Squad.
I'm leaning toward the former; we could have a unicorn insignia. We also found a great nickname for Tweak: Tweak. Because I've never seen a girl that small drink quantities of coffee that large.

On the way home I drove the wrong way. As we realized that we had to go over some gigantic bridge, Jeff suggested I ask what bridge it was. The tollbooth lady replied "San Francisco. The Bay Bridge." So we got to take a detour through San Francisco and down the coast rather than, you know, just driving home.

Now Becky and I are drinking pumpkin beer, watching Nightmare Before Christmas, and carving pumpkins. Mine looks angry. I'll put up a picture of him tomorrow.


To Rock or to Stop the Rock?

It's been about three years since I was in a band. I had vague notions of joining one/starting one when I got to Santa Cruz, had the abortive Craigslist metal band try-out ("What do you mean "tune down" my bass?"), and then the school year started. It's possible that I miss playing in bands, but it's also possible that I really, really don't. Let's explore these possibilities:

1. Being on stage with a decent crowd is fun.
2. I love rock n' roll. Put another dime in the jukebox, baby.
3. I have a great amp, sleeves, and a lot of denim clothing. It only seems logical.

  1. The people who like the kind of music I like are complete fucking jerks 50% of the time.
  2. Being on stage without a decent crowd is NO fun.
  3. Amps are heavy and I live in a third-floor apartment.
Craigslist has nothing going on right now. But I'll keep looking.

Transportation, part deux

The advantage of a bus so full it literally can't fit another passenger is that said bus will speed along to its destination, leaving bus stops full of beleaguered and confused would-be bus-riders. This is a disadvantage for them, but a wonderful advantage for everyone who got on at the downtown metro station.

My homie Elizabeth's husband Nick hooked me up with a free bike. It's a little banged-up, it's got some wobbly bits (hey, who among us doesn't?), but it's perfect for my purposes. I just need to get a helmet that makes me look a little less like Dark Helmet from Spaceballs and I'll be all set.

Things I don't want to do today: write another gender reaction paper. Things I'm going to do today: write another gender reaction paper.


I Am So Hot

This will be the most interesting post ever.

I have three things that make me uncomfortably hot all the time:
  1. A shaved head / kickass male pattern baldness.
  2. Tattoos more or less covering my arms and lower legs.
  3. A furnace-like metabolism.
Factors 1 and 2 make me hot because I have to wear a hat all the time to keep my scalp from getting sunburned (this is ok; it gives me the excuse to wear cool hats) and I have to wear long sleeves to keep my ink from being exposed to the sun. So far I'm also sticking to not showing off the ink while on campus; this puts me somewhere between tactful/respectful and just chickenshit. So you have a be-hatted and be-sleeved me at times when I really want to be there sans hat and avec a t-shirt and shorts. Oh, and the metabolism speaks for itself.

Becky and I were discussing new fashion directions that might help me out now that we're California residents. I love thrift-store button shirts with a 65% polyester, 35% cotton, 100% stylish blend. I can sport one of those and be comfortable on hot days; they breathe and they cover up the tats. We resolved to hit the local thrift barns. Then Becky dropped a bombshell:

"Have you ever thought that it could be your PANTS making you so hot?"

Those are words to ponder, and not just for me. I'm asking all of my hot friends (and there are a lot of you reading this): have you ever thought that it could be your pants making you so hot?


Intellectual history 101

Back in the 60s, the German emigre Fritz Ringer published The Decline of the German Mandarins. It was a massive survey of the intellectual currents running through German academia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, leading up to the Nazi takeover in 1933. It was an important book; it redefined intellectual history, in part, by introducing the notion of doing field-surveys rather than just a series of intellectual biographies of important thinkers (which is how intellectual history had always been done previously.)

With the rise of cultural history in the 1970s, intellectual was again redefined as people started blurring the line between the "intellectual" and the "cultural" and arrived at the "conceptual." People started writing books tracing notions or curents or discourses through time (a recent one by a very big name is about changing ideas of what "experience" is.) The history of cultural practices, say, how death is remembered and commemorated in Germany from 1945 to the present, land somewhere between intellectual and cultural methods, since it's always easiest to just read what some smart person has said about something and call it history.

I bring all of this up because I've been feeling pissy and resentful about history lately. The insane fetishization of archival research by historians leaves little room for traditional intellectual history (since most of the sources for intellectual historians are, by definition, published) but I'm completely underwhelmed by conceptual history. Simply put, who cares how the notion of "experience" has changed over time? What possible social or political impact can that have, or have had?

This is probably coming to the surface because of a field trip I'm participating in on Friday to the Bancroft Library at Berkeley. Surprisingly enough, there is nothing there that I need to look at, because Simone de Beauvoir didn't accidentally leave a valise full of unpublished papers in the foyer.

Anyway, back to work on the latest pile of boring articles saying the same things.


Also: Holy crap. Solidarity!

I just found out that my homies Elizabeth and Heather share my love of rain and mist and my loathing of sun and heat. INDEPENDENTLY, Heather mentioned that she has reverse-seasonsal affective disorder. I FINALLY HAVE SOMEONE WHO AGREES WITH ME. TWO someones!

This message brought to you by the fact that today is hot and I wore a sweater.


It's tricky to see in the picture, but the trees are full of monarch butterflies. This is early in the season; we're going back in a month or so when, apparently, there are so many of them that the trunks of the trees are completely covered. The whole experience was very Discovery Channel. For dinner we went out to Tony and Alba's Pizza, which was excellent.

Side note: how the crap did people find places to eat before the internet? It just doesn't make sense.

Then Bobby Flay lost on Iron Chef...again.


Socializing keeps you from going batshit crazy

I salute comrade Kelly for having the good sense to organize a social gathering at her place yesterday evening. After a long day of being assaulted by marching bands (figuratively; although it would be been pretty funny if I had gotten beat down by a bunch of kids in stupid hats with trombones), a pleasant evening with fellow grads, cheap vino, and a big bowl full of chicken pasta hit the spot.

Today we're off to Natural Bridges for a picnic with Becky's folks. We're going to be taking in the monarch butterflies, who have been arriving over the last few weeks.

Hmm...point of grammar: is it insects "who" have been arriving, or insects "that" have been arriving? I think I'm going to roll with "who," because bugs are people too.


You Only Work as Hard as You Have to

Everyone in graduate school makes big plans for summer. They say that they'll read a stack of books, do a bunch of research, learn Swedish, whatever. It rarely happens. The problem is that, for almost everyone, you only do as much as you're forced to do. Simone, to the left, would be scolding me. "Zut alors! You have read so little today! Stupid American! I kill you! I kill you!" Maybe she'd say that.

The marching bands are just bizzare. Since 8:30am, there's been a constant rattle of snare drums and a kind of haphazard brass tooting along Laurel St. and down Center. The staging area for all 55 bands is in front of our parking lot.

I've been feeling fairly gloomy lately. Before we moved, Becky's dad showed me a study he had read before he retired, while he was an executive VP for this enormous multinational. It was about the experiential emotional curve involved in transitions. There's a spike of elation at the start of a new experience, followed by a long trough of depression. I think he wanted me to read it so that I'd be aware of the odds and be even more diligent in taking care of his daughter. I don't think I'm really properly depressed right now, but I sure am cranky.


The Following Movies Blow:

They are:
  1. Spider Man!
  2. Spider Man 2! It's fucking awful! And I'm just finding that out now while I watch it!
Becky is being a good sport, considering how much shit she has to listen to me say. While we watch terrible movies.

Becky adds: "This movie is really about marijuana."

Anyway, another brilliant leftist radical has joined the blog ranks. Behold the awesome intellectual powerhouse that is (read this in a kind of deep, booming old-movie villain voice) CAMILLE!

Tomorrow: Besieged by Marching Bands

Tomorrow 50-something high school marching bands are going to surround my apartment building and starve me out. We're officially trapped here; all of the streets are shut down and any attempt to get anywhere would be fruitless. I expect Becky and I will go out and watch some of it just for the sheer weird-as-fuck factor. I'll also do some school work and, somewhere in there, drink.

The inevitable indian summer of central California has lent a surreal edge to my outlook. Every day, the skies are utterly blue and empty. I feel vaguely dehydrated no matter how much water I drink. My mind plays tricks on me. My paradigm shifts. Excorcists decline to take my case. It's like I'm unraveling a BIIIIG cableknit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting......

Name the movie that the latter image came from in the comments and get a free hi-five the next time I see you.


Dissed...by The System

Please join me in saying "hey. Fuck you, Santa Cruz Metro!"

This post boiled down from an earlier version.

Duct tape. Also, pepper spray.

I just returned from the student health center. I had an appointment to have the wart on my left ring finger zapped, again. After about 30 minutes of being sent up and down stairs to various waiting areas, I had my vitals checked (still 6'1", still 165) and was plopped down to wait for the doctor. I was originally going to be sent to a nurse, but the doc intervened and put a piece of duct tape on the wart. "This is the only thing that works," he said. "If you freeze them, viral particles remain in the area and the wart grows back. There was no way to really get rid of warts until the U.S. Army started using duct tape in 1945. Leave it on for two weeks and it'll fall off; replace the piece of tape as necessary."

I am not making this up. Now I have a piece of duct tape on my finger.

In other news, there was a fairly sizeable protest on campus yesterday during the UC Regents visit. Apparently, a couple of hundred kids hooted and hollered and some got pepper-sprayed in the name of "a host of issues." I'm a stodgy cynic. I'm deeply skeptical about the efficacy of street protests in actually changing anything. They alienate moderates and they anger authorities. That can be great if there's some kind of sustained injustice and civil disobedience is the most visible way to fight it, but protests like the one here yesterday are vacuous - you can't protest "a host of issues" all at once. At a place like UC Santa Cruz, it just becomes a caricature of protest, anyway; a lot of noise, some arrests, nothing accomplished.

IMHO, obviously.


Enter the radical

I now join the chorus welcoming Comrade Calderon to the ranks. I think we've got several important flavors of far-left represented on blogger now:
  1. The latin american Maoist.
  2. The stratospherically intelligent academic activist Western Marxist.
  3. And, me. The dopey good-natured social democrat.
  4. Our friend Camille needs to get a blog so that we can have a Trotskyite on the list.
On an unrelated note, here's a familiar pattern: Insomnia, caffeine, dehydration, alcohol. Repeat. Somewhere in there try to read a lot of books and write a lot of responses.

Tomorrow evening I'm joining a group of humanities types to discuss part of the new book by Benedict Anderson, author of the seminal Imagined Communities. I understand that it's the capitalism/anti-capitalism reading group (meeting at the Irish republican pub, appropriately.) It'll be interesting. I can do gender, because gender seems to me to be obvious. Capitalism is hard, because it's so fucking complicated.

I will carry the legacy of this guy with me so that I can feel like I know what I'm talking about.


Ninjas in our midst

I'm very excited to report that I will soon begin my ninja training. I saw through my friend Elizabeth's lies ("I train aikido," she said) and figured out what was really going on:
  1. There is a ninja temple in Santa Cruz.
  2. Elizabeth is a ninja at this temple.
She informed me that I had passed the first test: figuring out who the ninja was. I'd imagine that the second test will involve me jumping from pole to pole while people throw sharp things at me and hit me with sticks.

Side note: I just can't stop writing about Sartre and Beauvoir! It's like they're made out of candy! Or gin!


Important data

We just got home from the Saturn restaurant. The inimitable Ana bought Becky and I dinner and it was awesome. We turned on the tv and lo...American Chopper is on. And Becky's all "looking at them, you can really tell they're descended from apes."

On an unrelated note, my homie E got the big-money job. It goes to show precisely two things:
  1. E is awesome and deserves the good things in life.
  2. You can, in fact, get big money with a master's in history.
Cori and Becky still need jobs. C'mon, dark powers. Let's make this happen.


Jody Foster is Dated

Last night Becky and I had a mess of good food (brie, ravioli, pears, tomatoes) and vino (chianti) and watched Silence of the Lambs for the first time in a long time. It's still a fantastic movie, obviously, but what was interesting to me was how dated the sets, clothing and technology looked. I grew up in the 90s so they don't seem outdated in my memory (with some obvious exceptions: neon, MC Hammer, house techno, hypercolor). But, like my rocking male pattern baldness, it just goes to show that I'm officially closing in on my 30s and, eventually, sweet, sweet death.

Today we're going to the UCSC arboretum, which is having a sale, then tonight (hopefully) I'll get to stop by my homie Laura's birthday gathering for a bit before our beloved Sarah-Jane and Dave join us for the evening. We're going to watch American Astronaut.

Then, tomorrow, we're going to the MOTHERFUCKIN' Half Moon Bay PUMPKIN FESTIVAL!


Sideburns: Some Thoughts

Sometimes, "sideburns" isn't the right answer to the question. Here are some questions to which sideburns isn't the right answer:

1. What should I grow now that I've shaved my head?
2. What would look really good extra-bushy?
3. What would improve my love-life...on the bus?

Sometimes, "sideburns" is the right answer to the question. Here is a question to which sideburns is the right answer:

1. What made Isaac Asimov look like a complete stud?

Why working hard is stupid

When I was in IT, many of my co-workers were ex-military. I really liked them. Despite our (sub-)cultural differences, we respected each other and shared enough commonalities (our shared love of drinking and very crude humor) to get along. The one thing I could never accept was the idea of hard work as an imperative, independent of results. For instance, let's say you have 50 computers to build and put on the call center floor. Do you:

A. Work for 36 hours straight.
B. Work for 18 hours straight, twice.
C. Figure out a fast way to image the machines then distribute them to the floor over the course of a few days.

What never failed to amaze me was that, frequently, my otherwise smart and efficient co-workers would completely overlook the fact that no one really gives a shit how hard you work; the only thing that matters is what you accomplish, how quickly, and how thoroughly. I did a lot of finding the shortest distance between two points back then, and it generally kept me in the good graces of the management. I never did learn how to script in Perl, however.

I bring the subject up because it's so utterly apropos for graduate work. No one cares how many hours a day you work, no one cares how many books you read, and more to the point, no one cares if you really read the article. The point is: can you summarize everything accurately? Can you churn out and turn in well-written essays, fast, that prove that you know what you're talking about?

The great thing about doing history is that professors know damn well that no graduate student has time to thoroughly read everything they're assigned; nuclear-powered skimming is an crucial skill for historians to have.

Speaking of, time to finish up Braudel...


Powers of darkness and unconditional love

Well, my unspeakable rituals have yielded results: E has a job interview. Now I just have to step things up for Cori and my wife. Hang on, ladies. (There aren't going to be any live goats left in this town by the time I'm through...)

Has anyone noticed that Weezer whined a lot on some of their albums? I still like them, though.

Before our seminar started today, a few of us were chatting and I realized that I have unconditional love for coffee.

So how about that new season of Lost? I've decided I'm rooting for The Others. I hope they keep on outsmarting the plane-crash folks.

Search for a Topic

I can read about history and write about history all night long, but what I can't do is come up with topics for my own research. I research "about modern European intellectual history," but that doesn't really mean anything. Every time I think of a topic, it's really more of a social or cultural history than intellectual; something like how Beauvoir's Second Sex was received in France when it was published, or the history of a specific New Left student movement in the late 60s in Paris. I have to produce a research proposal in the next week or so, so it's time for me to sit down somewhere and think really hard for at least six minutes and come up with something.

I like how italics emphasize. They emphasize all night long.

The problem? The fact that I post these things before I'm done with coffee.


I should mention

Following a point made by this youngster right here, I thought I should mention that I really enjoy graduate school. Yes, there's a lot of poverty, yes, it's very hard work, yes, I'm bereft of the languages and the reading background and the two years my advisor spent at the Ecole Normale Superieur in Paris, but as I was sitting in the gender seminar yesterday (sounds like a really kinky nightclub) I had a little flash of contentment. I'd rather be talking about theory and reading good, hard books and (eventually) teaching than most of the alternatives. Like, say, fixing servers at 3:00am.

On an unrelated note, I'm going to be offering up a sacrifice to the dark powers, the old gods from the blank spaces between the stars, and/or performing a black mass, all in hopes of getting three of my favorite girls jobs. This nonsense has gone on long enough.
  1. My wife, who is called Becky.
  2. My homie Cori.
  3. My homie E.
Oh, and thanks to timely interventions, Ana is back in the house.


Turtles and pumpkins

Has anyone figured out how to make uploading pictures to blogger suck less? This is pretty comic. (Albeit, tragicomic.)


Half-assed analogy

I'm not sure if the comparison is apt, but I was thinking yesterday that being an aspiring academic is comparable to being an aspiring artist. Here's what I've got:
  1. Little hope of financial rewards.
  2. Years and years of work perfecting techniques.
  3. Networking as important as talent.
  4. Luck more important than talent.
  5. Ability not necessarily equal to inspiration.
  6. Inspiration completely necessary, however.
  7. Too many people already doing it.
Ah, for the spark of genius. Instead of the dull fizzle of mediocrity.

Side note: I turned off anonymous posting in the comments. The first just-barely-almost-snipey comment showed up yesterday and I'm not going down that road.


Don't recall my books

First of all, if you're a college student, don't recall books from other patrons until you've exhausted other avenues, especially inter-library loan. If you go to a reasonably large state school, chances are good that you can get the books you need for as long as you need them without inconveniencing one of your fellow citizens in the community of learning (and/or just pissing off trigger-happy graduate students. I mean "trigger-happy" in the sense that I'll grumble and bitch at any moment.)

Second of all, go right now and read my homie Jeff's latest post. The phrase "your penis is the new black" comes up, in context, and it's delightful.

Said post also inspired me to put up a picture of my man Ted from Queer Eye. Ted was always my favorite of the Fab Five; down to earth, quick-witted, sympathetic, and most importantly, he was possessed of the most useful superpower: food. Since Becky and I got basic cable and have been watching a lot of Food Network, we've been surprised at how often the food people make on cooking shows looks just god-awful (I'm talking about you Emeril and Rachel Ray.) Everything Ted made, while often too difficult for stupid straight guys to make, looked absolutely delicious. He also frequently judges on Iron Chef America. Ted is in the house.


Just like that

For a few brilliant weeks, my homie Ana had a blog. She has now chosen not to have a blog. I plan to harass her over the next few years until she reinstates it.

Our homie Sarah-Jane was in the house last night, joining us for some wine and CSI. She also got to be the first lucky person to sleep on our floor.

I may have a topic to write on this year: Simone de Beauvoir's universalism. Maybe I'll tie it to the French Revolution. Maybe, if it's any good, I'll submit to to a journal or three. Maybe I'll just play video games and cry myself to sleep. Tune in to find out!


More links

Two more kids from the program have blogs:
  1. B.A. to PhD at 22.
  2. The 2nd Europeanist.
Apparently I missed the naked undergrad stampede yesterday. I heard about it while standing outside of Trader Joe's with my homie Collin before we went to the potluck last night; the conversation went something like this:

Collin: "So the undergrads must be running across campus naked right now. Every year with the first rain they do that."
Chris: "They're all going to get laid! That's great!"

It's official

The year has really started. I had my first emotional outburst about what a bunch of bullshit it all is to a few of my cohorts earlier today after a particularly frustrating meeting. I find the whole thing sort of comforting; now I know everything's where it's supposed to be: I'm confused, shaken, and pissed. But I'm still two weeks ahead on my coursework.

One peculiarity of my grad school experience is that, once again, I'm one of a very small number of europeanists. Anyone who's had the misfortune of talking to me about it for more than 15 seconds knows about my lingual issues. I've often wished that I gave two shits about American history so that I could just read everything in English. The problem is, and I'm 100% right on this, European history is so much more interesting. Of course, I could have done English (or Scottish, or Irish) history, but that, too, bores the crap out of me.

I made my very inconvenient bed, and that is where I'll inconveniently lie.

The internet: not just for porn anymore

The purpose of the internet has been expanded to include the following websites:

  1. Bee Dogs
  2. Cats in Sinks
  3. Cute Overload
(Salute to Ana for the tips on Bee Dogs and Cats in Sinks.)

In other news, I'm still in grad school. Yesterday saw a presentation on Edward Gibbon and an interesting talk by a visiting scholar about the Haitian Revolution as a "moment in the history of philosophy."

I'm exhausted. I'd like to take a few weeks off for some quality cave-hiding.



Tired of the ridiculously overcrowded busses, I just walked home from campus. It took almost exactly one hour of fast walkin'. It reminded me of something that Elizabeth would do: put on the figurative pith helmet and charge off into the outback. As I've mentioned several times now, UCSC's campus is, uh, pastoral. Rural, even. There are cows. Thus, walking home involved a hike through a forest, then down along a bike path (scary, because the cyclists were flying down the hill), then across town. Now I'm waiting to see if I can get a load of laundry in the one washer we have for the 24 apartments in the building.

Fueled by Bach

Alone in the grad lounge, listening to Bach on internet radio, I am an article-reading, notating, interlibraryloaning machine. I have three articles to go, at which point I will have gotten through today's 200 pages.

Somewhere, Sartre wrote about the problem with promises. The problem is, according to him, that a promise has to be re-made every time one can unmake it. Over the long-run, lacking powerful external stimuli, it becomes desperately difficult to keep the promise intact. I'm thinking of this right now in terms of resolutions (as in promises to yourself). I'm resolved to use the extra time I have this year, because I don't have to teach, working systematically on French. It's almost assured that I'll do so tonight. Tomorrow there's a potluck. Who's to say what's going to happen on Thursday or Friday?

Fortunately for me, I have the reliable powerful external stimulus of abject terror working for me. And now, baroque music.

My gender seminar is going well. The basic idea behind gender theory in writing history is that the meanings of gender are always historically constructed. It makes absolutely no difference that most of us think of men and women as basically physically constituted as different; those differences are nothing more than signposts on which meaning is ascribed (21st century example: women's brains register stronger emotional reactions when presented with a variety of stimuli, dictating that they are better suited in some areas for managing interpersonal tasks, while men are better at focusing on the task at hand without getting distracted. 18th century example: women have a womb, so they are destined for the domestic sphere and are physically precluded from political enfranchisement. Medieval example: women's humors tend toward the damp and cold, which prevents them from thinking clearly or accurately.)

It's a wonderful excercise studying gender history systematically. For me, it shores up my faith in universality. "Science" has never told anyone anything useful about (mental/emotional/social) differences between the sexes; the most objective facts are quickly overtaken and invested with social meaning. Simply put, studying this stuff makes me more hostile to any ascribed differences between the sexes. I just don't buy it; we're all capable of precisely the same things (except for child-birth, which also has no inherent meaning.)


A meeting of the minds

Kill, T-rex, Kill

It appears that some scientists have finally gotten their hands on some T-Rex soft tissue. Here's how I see it going down:
  1. They clone some T-rexes.
  2. I get my hands on one and put one of those brain-control skullcaps on it.
  3. I sick it on people who party in apartments next to mine (we had the first one of the year last night; it could have been worse, but it was still really annoying. 6+ hours of loud music.)
Again: I will kill people with cloned t-rexes.


Holy cow! It's totally raining!

My week-long bad mood is somewhat alleviated; the sky is bone-white, the trees are beautiful, and the grad lounge is dark and quiet. I'm sure it'll pass, but it's nice for the moment.


Is the Bacchus to the left not the creepiest Bacchus ever?! I upload him in tribute to how my head feels. Yesterday Ana and I went hiking up in the Big Basin state park in the mountains over Santa Cruz, then we met up with a bunch of kids from my program + the computer science kids who live in graduate housing w/ my homie Collin. Then I drank a mess of cheap red wine.

It turns out that my homie Jeff from the program has a blog. Consider yourself link-ed, monsieur.

Rent is due today. Oh man, does that ever suck.