Showing posts from September, 2009

Accomplishment of the Day

Today I avoided thinking about Boy for five hours straight. Hurrah! I don't know how you romantic types happen to get anything done at all. Thank heavens I'm a late bloomer, or I never would have made it into graduate school.


Sometimes you say something stupid in class. Sometimes you say something stupid that makes you bring a cake next time.

On Pranks

For some reason (probably because of my incessant discussion of my nasty toenail), my roommates have decided to pull a prank on me. This incident caused me to reflect on what the appeal is to me of a really good prank. It occurs to me that pranks are just like gifts, except for the fact that they are irritating. Spencer's signaling theory says that sometimes the worth of something isn't intrinsic (like getting a rhinestone-encrusted blender), it's more what that thing signifies (that the person knew you always wanted a rhinestone-encrusted blender). Just as this works for gifts, I think this theory can be applied to pranks. I'm flattered that my roommates knew me well enough to wallpaper my room with pictures of conservative pundits. I'm thrilled that they knew I hate touching cotton balls. I'm still finding puffs in my sheets or in the toes of my shoes or in my pencil jar, but I remain thrilled. It's the little irritations that really mean so much in a rela

On the big toe nail of my right foot

The toenail has got to go, I'm afraid. I dropped a full bucket of water on it in the summer, on the way to water some plants and while it hurt like the devil, I couldn't foresee that it would turn so black that I had to put several layers of nail polish over it or that, finally, it would start to die and come off from the left edge. This is, of course, disgusting. What could be a worse topic on conversation than the moribund nail of one's foot? And yet. I'm fascinated by this process, inspecting my toe nightly, thinking of it flapping slightly when I swim, choosing my footwear judiciously . I'm like my own science project. I haven't had a piece of me defect of its own will since I lost my twelve-year-old molars. And what's more, not only is the dead drying out and yellowing and flaking (in that last description, I'm certain I lost any readers I might have had, so can comfortably write for myself), but my old nail is also being pushed up by the regenerat

In Defense of Stephanie Meyer.

It occurs to me that at this late stage I haven't lent my voice to the already cacophonous choruses debating the literary merits of Ms. Meyer's work. I realize that by making any sort of statement, I risk alienating good friends with strong opinions, but weighing that hazard against that of letting my friend continue in strong opinions unchecked, I have decided to go forth as originally planned. I don't think Stephanie Meyer is a bad writer. Now this isn't to say that I think her prose merits inclusion in the next Norton's anthology or that a world of Twilight would usher in the literary revolution we've been waiting for, but I've had enough of people calling her a talentless hack. Sure, maybe some lines of teenage angst strike the reader as perhaps overly melodramatic, or crudely hewn, but that doesn't make her talentless. In fact, if she's talentless, then may God bless me with the talentlessness to make the New York Times Bestseller Lists for seem