Tuesday, November 27, 2007

29 + 1

A certain somebody has said that my blog would gain coolness points if I allowed anonymous comments. So, I am handing over the keys of the asylum to the inmates: you no longer have to be a registered Blogger user to comment on my inanities. Have at it.

Also, for those of you who like snooping into my blog-reading habits, I now keep an automatic, continuously updated list on this site of article links which I recommend. This will hopefully cut into my rather tedious linkyloos, which, let's face it, I only do in order to clear out my brain so that I don't go insane from all the unshared coolness I constantly find in this world. If I'm going to go insane, let's hope it's for a far more entertaining reason. Like, say, demonic possession. I've seen The Exorcist, and you know, I think my life could use a little excitement along those lines. "What's wrong with vomiting a little pea soup here and there?" is what I frequently say to people.

Moving right along, I am now thirty years old. I had hoped I'd magically wake up feeling like an adult, but that has yet to happen. I've started flossing again, actually, but that's more because I'm back in touch with my zany ol' college pal Jimmy, who has now become Dr. James Boynton, adjunct professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of Michigan, and even if a dentist makes a point of NOT telling me to floss, the unspoken guilt trip is still there and I start flossing again anyway. Regarding Jimmy: we're talking about a dentist who, in our freshman year at Michigan, told me that he wanted a dental drill which would hum the theme to "Love Boat," which would make folks that much happier about visiting their dentist (ideally Jimmy). So, if anybody out there has any leads regarding drills which can play "Love Boat," let me know. There's already a Japanese guy who figured out how to make road bumps play music, which might be a potential avenue (hee!) of inquiry.

Other than the flossing and lack of demonic possession, there's not much else to report on The Astrid Frontier currently. I threw a slow-motion party, which I call 'slow motion' because it was more of an open house stretched across a whole day, which was very chill and very cool. And I've had turkey with my mom's homemade stuffing, along with that excellent cranberry sauce which retains the ridges from the can it came in. And I got to see the inside of the Yale Club in Manhattan for the second time in my life, and you know, I still say they don't have nearly enough mounted elk heads on their walls yet. There are a few, but they still have a ways to go, those Yalies.

OH, WAIT A SEC: I made a new website! I've been stricken with the flu for the past few days, which is why I haven't been up to much, but just before the flu hit, and just before I got to see how few elk heads those silly Yale people have in their silly, not-nearly-elk-headed-enough club, I made a website! This is the website I made:

What the doctor saw

I am very proud of this site, but not because of my own work -- really, it's because I'm proud of my dad's work, since my dad is the doctor in question. The site is a showcase of his photography, and even if he weren't my dad, I'd still have to say: he gives a very convincing impression of knowing what he's doing. Go check it out, then e-mail him and tell him how awesome he is. Don't tell him I sent you, or he'll think I bribed you.

Here are some phrases I've been using entirely too often:
loose cannon
madness & mayhem
29 + 1

Here is a word I haven't used often enough:

What I consider an elegant centerpiece idea:
A ring of blue Jell-O, with gummy fish suspended within it

Who else agrees with me about the Jell-O centerpiece idea:

My current favorite literary heroine, second only to Jane Eyre:
Dagny Taggart (from Atlas Shrugged, which I'm currently reading)

Here is what I don't get about Atlas Shrugged:
Why is everybody always kissing each other so violently? Once or twice, okay, but every time? Weirdos.

Something which just popped into my head:
What if you had a wall which was jammed full of mounted elk heads? I mean, to the point where you couldn't even see the wall any more, so it's just a solid mass of elk heads staring at you? And what if each of those heads suddenly burst into song, doing a full choir rendition of "I Feel Pretty" from the film West Side Story?

Welcome to my brain, everyone. The information desk is temporarily closed, the cafeteria downstairs is currently serving an excellent pea soup, and don't forget to visit the gift shop at the main entrance. Tipping the coat check guy is optional, but always appreciated.



    I haven't read the post yet. I just wanted to be the first anonymous commenter.

    Back to the post...

  2. I looked through your dad's photos, and even though we may have discussed some of this stuff in the electronic mail of internet, I can't help myself - I love guessing...

    1. Is your dad, by any chance, Australian? I'm positive we already covered this, but it doesn't hurt to go over it again.

    2. Is your mother from Israel?

    3. In that photo with the doggy in Australia, is it an Australian shepherd and corgi mix? 'Cause it's looked demmdishly like a corgi.

    Answer me my questions.

  3. "Answer me my questions."

    Wow, looks like the asylum inmates are already getting belligerent. Okey dokey.

    1. My dad is British, born in Hitchin, Hartfordshire, but he was raised in Perth, Western Australia from the time he was six.

    2. My mom was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, although she and my dad met in Israel. The lovely lady in the cape, standing in Nahariya, is my dad's cousin Janine. My dad will be scanning some pics of my mom shortly, which I will immediately put on his site.

    3. I have no idea what sort of doggy is in the Australia pic, so I just walked into my dad's office and asked him. He looked up from his computer and smiled.

    "It's an Australian woof-woof," he said.

    "Thanks, Dad," I sighed. "Could you get any more specific?"

    He clasped his hands and gazed into the distance. "Subgenus Barkus mongrelianus," he decided.

    And you wonder how I turned out so oddly.

  4. Also: the very first picture, of the four guys clustered around a flight of stairs, includes my dad. He's the one standing the tallest in the photo, and he still looks pretty much the same, only now he wears glasses when he reads or uses a computer. Janine once took my face in her hands and said "My god, you're a little Michael." I'm still not sure how to take this.

  5. Also also: I misspelled "Hertfordshire" above. Sorry.

  6. From the strange brew caused my own illiteracy, and the approximate juxtaposition of the words "Jimmy" and "heroin(e)", check out this movie: http://www.freejimmy.com. It's about a junkie elephant escaping from the circus.

    Also, what would it be like to have a brain jammed full of mounted elk heads?

  7. "check out this movie: http://www.freejimmy.com."

    Wow, that trailer is really...something. I'm more of a Wallace and Gromit lady, myself, but thanks for the recommendation.

    "Also, what would it be like to have a brain jammed full of mounted elk heads?"

    You forgot: mounted elk heads singing. It's pretty crazy in here, and kind of loud, and I'm amazed I don't get headaches more often. Mainly, I find it entertaining.

  8. Well, yeah, who isn't, but there's only one Nick Park, right? That sort of sets impossible standards. It's like saying "I don't like this music cause it's not Miles Davis" or "I don't pity you because a broken leg isn't as bad as cancer".

    I actually have a pretty nasty headache myself, even without singing elk heads (is the plural of moose meese?). I got Jakob Dylan in there instead.



  10. Also, I should mention, nice images.

    I especially like the zombies and the silhouette.

    If you were a child, I would pitch my voice and say "good job! good job good job good jooob! oh, you're so clever! good jooob!". But you're not.

  11. I am not so clever, though.

    I was trying to comment upon your latest blog entry.

    I failed.

  12. Ghost Dog:

    "It's like saying 'I don't like this music cause it's not Miles Davis' or 'I don't pity you because a broken leg isn't as bad as cancer'."

    Well, yeah; gotta be ruthless in this day and age, you know. You suck because you're not me. I suck because I'm not Ada Lovelace. So it goes.

    "I actually have a pretty nasty headache myself . . . . I got Jakob Dylan in there".

    Is that a good thing or bad thing? I only know his hit "One Headlight," which isn't bad. Not staggering, but not bad. He's no Miles Davis, though.

    "If you were a child, I would pitch my voice and say "good job! good job good job good jooob! oh, you're so clever! good jooob!". But you're not."

    Does it count if I'm a kid at heart? Or if I actually just ate a kid's heart?

    "I was trying to comment upon your latest blog entry. I failed."

    Yes. You suck. But I still like you.


    Nice use of 'JEEZE LOUISE.' Also, you're officially the first flamer on this here site -- rock on with your bad self. However: you have some stiff competition from flamers on my old site I maintained at UMichigan (they flamed me in my inbox, since I didn't have a comments section, but still). There were people who came thisclose to issuing death threats at me, even though all I did was maintain the Pan-Galactic Astrid Federation, or PGAF. This is what I was busy doing while you were in rum-soaked stupors, apparently. I suspect your life was rather more interesting than mine.

    Anyway, back to the PGAF: You were automatically a member if your name was Astrid, although we also took honorary members who were Astrids in spirit. The site was awesome and had pretty star icons and was very lavender (which isn't easily observable in the archived version linked above) and outrageously adorable. The only thing I did wrong was use the term "tribulations" incorrectly, but I otherwise can't think of any reason that my site merited such flamiosity -- which is a mix of 'flaming' and 'animosity.' Man, I fucking rock. Ada Lovelace, eat your heart out.

  13. "You suck because you're not me. I suck because I'm not Ada Lovelace. So it goes."

    Yeah, I guess it's all a big poset of suckage.

    "Is that a good thing or bad thing?"

    It was a good thing in the sense that it was willed; I could make it stop merely by removing my earplugs. Which I did eventually, you know, before going to bed.

    As for the more general question, I dunno - the jury's still out and they're taking their time, it seems. I just picked up a couple of Wallflowers records a few days ago; my gut feeling says they're OK if you're into that style of music. Yesterday I was just listening to this gloomy, slightly pretentious ballad called "God says nothing back" on repeat. Certainly he's no Miles, and he's not his dad either. But he's a pretty handsome devil methinks.

    "Does it count if I'm a kid at heart? Or if I actually just ate a kid's heart?"

    Not really.

    "You suck. But I still like you."

    Good. We all like being liked. By logical implication, then, so do I.

  14. "it's all a big poset of suckage."

    Oh, boy. Thanks for the poset link; now my brain is thoroughly fried.

    My friend Craig is a mathematician who does something or other involving topology -- I don't pretend to understand his work, but as soon as I stumbled upon the word 'topology' in the poset entry I had a sudden, warm surge of recognition.

    "Craig!" my brain said. "I wonder what he's up to right now?" I do know that he is currently in Copenhagen, doing mathematical things. And a lot of bike riding. I sent him a mix CD last month (yes, some of us still do that sort of thing, complete with doodles and scratch 'n' sniff stickers in the liner notes etc., and I'm still kicking myself for forgetting the stickers this time around), and he enjoyed it muchly, but I think we're now due for another catch-up conversation.

    So, yeah. Thank you for reminding me of my friend Craig! That was very nice of you, and I'm sure you did it entirely on purpose.

  15. I'm glad it gave you joy.

    You never know what the neurological map of a stranger looks like - what emotional path of the past will be ignited and illuminated by the mention of words like "poset" and "topology".

    In your case it was a good one, but honestly, I was just shooting in the dark. You could have been traumatized.