Sunday Morning, Rain Is Falling

Sunday evening.  Close enough.

I don’t like the holidays.  I get grumpy, fidgety, and depressed.  Here are some highlights (lowlights?) from a late-December weekend.

At the coffee place, yesterday:

I had earbuds in, because of the Christmas music (holiday thesis statement:  I hate Christmas).  There was an unsupervised small person next to me, and he asked what I was listening to.

Me:  Velvet Underground.

Him:  Is that the name of the song?

Me:  No, the song is called “Venus in Furs.”

Him:  What’s it about?

Me:  Love.

And no, I don’t have children.  And I’m not ever around them.  So don’t call DSS.

I can tell it’s getting really close to the dreaded 25th because my anxiety is through the roof (more than usual).  I had a substantial freakout yesterday that resulted in frantic texting, mostly to assure me that I had not ruined my life forever and always.  Apologies again to the person on the receiving end of that one.

It’s not all my typical anxiety, which tends to come from overanalyzing everything.  And everything else.

Both bulbs in my bedroom burned out, which I put off dealing with as long as possible:  I decided to fix it, finally, when I was squinting in the semi-darkness this morning, trying to determine if I was holding the navy tights with stars or the black ones.  For future reference, the navy ones have the small stars, and the black ones have larger stars.  And I changed my mind and didn’t wear either pair, in the end.

That was just trying to get out of the house.

So I wisely waited until after nightfall to change the bulbs, because darkness is the ideal way to attempt that.  I dragged a kitchen chair into the bedroom and finally got the fixture down.  When I got the box of bulbs, there was only one of the correct wattage.  I have a box of four bulbs of a different wattage, but having non-identical lightbulbs hovering over my head would effectively blow my mind.  So I changed one bulb.


One is the loneliest number.

See also:  previous post about the so-called Minute Rice, which I ended up giving away.

When washing dishes, wash dishes.

Or, alternatively, brood!  This is where “Sunday Morning” comes in.  I was thinking through the lyrics and trying to decide if that or “Heroin” is the most depressing song on that album.  I unfairly created a tie by designating the latter the most overtly depressing and the former the most subtly depressing.

I tried to pep myself up with John Prine, but I gave up midway through “Sam Stone.”  In retrospect, probably not the best pick, either.

This picture, taken while visiting my parents, sums up how I feel:


Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.



I Want You to Want Me

The song titles are getting away from me; however, to my credit, “My Bloody Valentine” was the first thing that came to mind, and I skipped that.  Last year’s Valentine’s post was a cards compendium.  This year, it’s shorter:  I’m ditching the efforts of every dating site and app in favor of the Prost Questionnaire.

I normally resist linking to Wikipedia, but here’s a brief history.  Here’s a more interesting link with David Bowie’s answers (given to Vanity Fair); from there, you can also view the answers of a number of other people that might pique your interest.

But you also get me.  Sorry.  My version of the questions is from here.


  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?  If there is such a thing as perfect happiness, it exists only in moments, as a transient state.  Happiness, perfect or otherwise, is mutable and must be achieved over and over again.  It is a series of moments, not a resting place.
  2. What is your greatest fear?  I can think of a lot of abstract fears of things that have never happened to me:  terrible things.  The most concrete answer I can give is when I think back to my lowest moment and imagine being there again, replaying the emotions and physical sensations I felt then.  Realistically, that is the greatest fear I have.
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  I have difficulty knowing how to respond to things other people say in any appropriate manner.  I can attempt to filter a response and then agonize over it for days/hours afterward, but I can’t say something and then be comfortable with it.  I think it’s a fear of presenting an authentic self and feeling comfortable with that.  That sounds very egotistical.  I’m just typing this on the fly.  
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Lack of self-awareness, unquestionably.
  5. Which living person do you most admire?  I hope that I can look for something to admire in everyone, but I’m getting a bit cynical on that front lately.  I have not thought of a specific #1 person and suspect this position would be a rotating one.  Actually, I think I’d like to debate this one over coffee.
  6. What is your greatest extravagance?  Have you SEEN my book collection?  Though I question whether those are an extravagance or a necessity.  The qualifier might be that I own physical copies of many things that I could borrow or own in electronic format, but I am extremely partial to having my own marked-up hard copies.
  7. What is your current state of mind?  Picture an old-school card catalog; that’s where I have all the books, music, etc. I’ve read or am interested in filed away.  Next to that is a filing cabinet, where I have all the relevant/interesting information I’ve gleaned from the former.  Throw a tornado in there.  Now you’ve got it.
  8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?  Anything that the current moment declares a virtue.
  9. On what occasion do you lie?  Lately, about what I’m doing with my life.  I’m ashamed that I do it, but I’m ashamed to be in such a suspended state.  I do this to people I won’t see again.
  10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  NOT the right person for this question.  Pass.  There are only 24 hours in a day.
  11. Which living person do you most despise?  Oh, my.  There was a debate last night featuring America’s Most Wanted Sociopaths.  
  12. What is the quality you most like in a man?  How about one I don’t like but have had occasion to observe a lot lately?  Colonizing public spaces, physically and vocally.  So I like it when people don’t do that.
  13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?  Don’t put yourself down, jokingly or otherwise; it’s a protective mechanism against letting someone else do it first.
  14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  actually, probably, apparently, possibly
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?  [this space reserved] 
  16. When and where were you happiest?  I hope I haven’t hit this yet.
  17. Which talent would you most like to have?  The ability to pre-plan without anxiety.
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  I would turn down the volume on the anxiety that bleeds into so many other things:  how I react, how I speak/respond, things I do.
  19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  Currently, maintaining the health I’ve worked for.
  20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?  One of Bob Ross’s happy clouds.
  21. Where would you most like to live?  The British Library.
  22. What is your most treasured possession?  My books, because my cat is not a possession.  You do not possess cats.
  23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  See #2.  I can speak most concretely to misery as I’ve experienced it.  In short, though, when my world has been most reduced, I’ve been most miserable.  When it opens up, I’m happier.
  24. What is your favorite occupation?  Reading, but I’m prone to doing multiple things at once.
  25. What is your most marked characteristic?  I think that’s best observed by other people; I doubt I’d catch it.
  26. What do you most value in your friends?  I hope they know.  If they don’t, I need to tell them personally.  
  27. Who are your favorite writers?  There are only 24 hours . . . I already said that.  Currently, Sarah Waters, Jeannette Winterson, Ali Smith, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, Wallace Stevens, Carson McCullers, William Faulkner, I can keep going.
  28. Who is your hero of fiction?  Dr. DeSoto
  29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?  Someone in the background of a crowd scene of a painting, on the edges.
  30. Who are your heroes in real life?  Numerous.
  31. What are your favorite names?  You know a name I really like that I could name neither child nor pet?  Tess.  Thomas Hardy ruined that one for everyone.
  32. What is it that you most dislike?  Coconut.  As well as mistaking opinion for fact, which tends to be joined with the lack of self-awareness previously referenced.
  33. What is your greatest regret?  Nope.
  34. How would you like to die?  There’s a great Reno 911 bit about this.  How about defenestration?  Can you imagine the newspaper having to print that in your obituary?  “in local news, . . . .”
  35. What is your motto? See God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater– ever since I first read that as a teenager.


I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish

Sorry about the title.  The song lyrics don’t apply; I just picked it because of the title (and because the devil made me do it).

It’s the end of the year (or the world as we know it . . . sorry).  I don’t have any profound musings, so you can move along if you’re looking for those.  All I have are my now-customary non-resolutions:  as in, I’m not going to have any New Years’ resolutions.  I’m not going to start anything I can’t finish.


An anecdote:  the first book I didn’t finish was Little Women.  I can’t remember how old I was, but I was pretty young– so young that I didn’t realize it wasn’t okay not to finish a book.  I remember getting to some part about a glove (I think?) and being utterly fed up with every single person in the book.  I somehow knew that Beth died (probably the back of the book mentioned it), and I flipped ahead to that, hoping for something really good and gory (being a bloodthirsty monster, like so many children).  I haven’t picked up that book since, but I remember it being terrifically dull and involving the valley of the shadow of death.

I finally asked my mother if I could stop reading the book; I think she was probably surprised that I didn’t realize it was an option.  It’s only been in the past year or so, though, that I’ve really started to stick to the rule of fifty and just drop a book if I don’t like it.


Quitting everything doesn’t improve your quality of life.  However, quitting things that make your life really miserable does.


I could make some resolutions about Life Improvement at the New Year, but I don’t have any concrete ideas.  I’ve done some small things all during the past year, none of which I’d planned on as of January 1st:  they were all unexpected.

January 1st is a moment, but there’s also a year full of moments.  You can decide what to do, to be, or to change in any one of them.

Have a happy new year, or a succession of happy new moments.


Alice is ready to ring in the New Year but more than a little ticked that this is ginger ale.

Can I Offer to Take out Anyone’s Garbage?

This one is about the care and handling of the feral holiday creature.  You know:  that person in your life who approaches the holiday season by hiding under the bed and screaming “resistance is futile!” as you try to drag them out by the leg (the one that’s kicking you).  Me, for instance.  And any of the rest of you who fit that description– or are bewildered by the person you know who does.


For some people, cold weather means a series of festive holidays:  decorations, celebrations, and community.

For people like me, it means looking up state statutes, trying to figure what precise crimes to commit that would result result in your unfortunate incarceration throughout the holiday period.

It would make RSVPs and no-shows a lot more interesting:  I’m sorry, but I didn’t qualify for good behavior (but I swear I didn’t start it!).  Or:  the warden and I have a prior engagement.

Yep.  Every year.  I have to.  

50th anniversary this year!  [recorded 1967–> 2 Thanksgivings ago –> 1965]


People like me will also tend to feel alone and isolated during this time.  Paradoxically, we will also hole up in our hobbit-holes and refuse to engage with the outside world.

The problem here– and what people tend not to understand– is that we don’t want to be alone, and we are not actually avoiding people.  What we’re avoiding is the mega-watt sensory overload that is October through December.  Spend time with a friend?  Sounds great.  Does this involve going to a mall (in traffic), having an anxiety attack while trying to park, fighting hordes of people, shouting over piped-in music, and hunkering down for limited real estate at a Starbucks?  Oh.  Never mind.  I suddenly have a cold, or perhaps bubonic plague.


I’ve lost count of how many times SAD has come up recently, as if I might not have noticed that this affects me.  Vitamins, sunshine, and special lights are popular solutions.  My favored solution is hibernating until I see daffodils.  The medical community does not endorse this.


Signs of better days.

I’m fine with the idea that some people like to go all-out.  What I don’t like is feeling like Debbie Downer because this is not something I enjoy, and I start to consider a smoking habit just to have an excuse to step outside.  Somehow, I always end up being defensive or mocked.

All of that is somewhat painful, because it’s difficult to say, “I’d like to participate, BUT.”  The “but” tends to be where the misunderstanding (“failure to communicate”) begins.  It helps if you keep listening to what follows the “but,” because that part is going to be different for everybody. It’s the crucial information, though:  the part where someone is going to be honest and skip over any canned explanations about why they’re not going out (consumerism, whatever) and tell you what’s really up.


So here’s a fairly modest proposal:  this holiday season, find the person who has refused every invitation on grounds such as toenail fungus and brain fever.  Ask them if they’d like to get coffee somewhere small and quiet.  Talk and joke aimlessly.  Don’t tell them how they “should” spend the holidays or try to solve things.  No advice is necessary.  Just sit and talk.


Greta Garbo was frustrated by the ongoing misattribution of “I want to be alone!” as her own words.  She said (of herself):  “I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be let alone!’ There is all the difference.”

Most of us can’t quite deliver a Garbo performance, and we end up seeming aloof and indifferent.  But we don’t want to be alone; we just don’t want to be in the thick of things.

Probably we could explain better over a (quiet) cup of coffee.  Wouldn’t that be nice?


Garbo on a picnic– that’s the spirit!




I’d like to kiss you, darling, but I just washed my hair.

This was written ahead of time, but it’s scheduled to appear at 8 AM on Valentine’s Day.  For sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows everywhere . . . might want to look elsewhere.  I don’t have a filter, remember?

I do, however, have an Alice.

Not sure when this was taken-- many years ago, anyway.  Alice looks thrilled, doesn't she?

Not sure when this was taken– many years ago, anyway. Alice looks thrilled, doesn’t she?

(post title credit:  Talluah Bankhead.  Feature image credit:  bathroom graffiti from random gas station)

Quite obviously, this is the obligatory Valentine’s Day post.  I’m making a valiant attempt to find something for everyone– unless you’re looking for something traditionally appropriate or gushingly romantic.  I kinda neglected that bit; I suggest Hallmark.  For no real reason, I’ve been accumulating Valentine’s Day images on my computer for awhile now (my image library is a scary place):  then this blog erupted, and there was suddenly a purpose for them.  I found some more, and that brings us to this image-based post.

I’ve tried to sort images by category, but of course that’s a little arbitrary.  The themes, too, are arbitrary; it’s mostly stuff I thought was funny.  At any rate, whether you have a Valentine, are anti-Valentine, love the bizarre, or into Galantine’s, you should find something to save and print out at the last minute (my M.O. of preference), pin to Pinterest for when the right one comes along, or use to line your hamster cage.  You do you.  [1]

To conclude the intro, my favorite quotation for February 14th; it’s not really about romantic love, hearts, flowers; it’s just . . . well, here:  “. . .the sun would leave my sky if I couldn’t assume you’d simply come and tell me you were sad.”
― David Foster WallaceInfinite Jest [2]

A note on image sources:  in an ideal world, I’d be citing where I found these images.  For the most part, I was never keeping track of that, particularly since many of these images were downloaded at wildly different times, and I never intended to put them on a public post.  A few state the source with a logo (or something).  Some are Etsy cards; those are obvious because of the pictures.  Many came from various Tumblrs, some from blogs.  Some are from articles (in those cases, the article may have been a compilation, so the article itself may not be the original source).  Some are memes that came from who-knows-where.  Etc.


So why not start with Billy Ray Cyrus?


And now “Achy Breaky Heart” will be in your head for the rest of the day. You are very, very welcome! [3]


If anyone has ever seen we have a WiFi-goes-down related psychotic break . . . Pro tip: In any new location where you will be spending significant time, A) attempt to beg, steal, or borrow Wifi code, and B) as a backup, try to find an accessible unsecured WiFi connection as a backup.


Super answer. From Ask Mr. Murakami. No longer taking questions, and the website that shows how to use the question submission form (English-to-Japanese) has been taken down. Because it existed, though, some of the questions/answers are in English and are all worth reading.


Dykes to Watch Out For, one of the later ones (not sure which specific collection, but it’s in the collected edition). A lovely proposal.


A truly romantic sentiment. Plus, it rhymes, so it’s like Elizabeth Barrett Browning or something, right? (also, it’s sort of non-gendered, which is cool)


If you want any, any version you can envision, of a “Kanye likes/loves Kanye” Valentine, head over to Google. It must be the year’s most popular Valentine.


For people who are in love to a degree that transcends human understanding. Or at least my understanding.


But is a relationship complete without Netflix?  [4]


Aw, gee. ::blushes::


Eh, no one says this to me. Ever. So I’ll assume everyone ELSE’S music sucks. That seems reasonable . . .


For those who really just want something traditional.


Naps. Mmm.


This isn’t terrifically clear. It’s Hannah Montana Valentines– which they are apparently still making. (?) I would classify these as appropriate for fans of retro or those made nervous by Miley’s current incarnation (i.e., my father).  [5]


Compromise: reality and romanticism.  [6]


I’m a complicated person. Not really. If you can fit it on the front of a greeting card: no, not really.


Yeah, this is a major bonus.


Billions and billions and . . . whoa, man, BILLIONS!


I just hover inches above your face with the pillow and . . . consider things. Like jail time. Autopsy results. How this usually plays out on Law & Order.


And the bad pun award . . .


No, I was at no point searching for Ellen Valentines. But seriously. 12 Days of Giveaways. Bucket list.


But it may still have to sleep between us, Waltons-style. Everybody say, “Goodnight, Marvin.” (Your phone doesn’t have a name? Weird.)  [7] [8]


Read: You are one sick, sick freak. And I like that. On the plus side, you evidently like small animals.  Want my number?


“My father warned me about men and booze, but he never mentioned a word about women and cocaine.” ― Tallulah Bankhead, Tallulah: My Autobiography [user poll:  should there be a Questionable Role Models series?  Because there seem to be a lot appearing here.]


Friends, friends with benefits, [choose your terminology], don’t let [terminology] binge-watch TV alone. In the rain.  [9]


Also see: the kind of love that only exists in rom-coms featuring Julia Roberts.


Actually, I can just give you one of the tapes that are still cluttering shoeboxes at my parents’. Unless you prefer Tayler Swift’s 1989 to actual 1989. [10]



Consider this an open invitation. >And if you’re really into it, please see subscribe to blog (subscribe to blog via WP or email) at right.


Friends, casual sex, awkward coffee “dates,” whatever. I didn’t actually know where to put this one, so it’s here. Swipe left or right depending on whether or not you agree with this placement.




Keep telling yourself that. (that’s what I do)


On my grumpiness scale. Patent pending.


DUH, the “friends” section contains the Golden Girls.


I find this one kind of touching . . .  [11]



. . . but now that I mention it, some others do come to mind. (when you and your loved one need to process/start couples’ therapy/go on Jerry– I personally advocate the last, and please throw chairs)


The longer, more mumble-y, more confused a speech you deliver– the more heartfelt it probably actually is.




When you just want to come out and say it. Being blunt is good, right? (ha)


Next from Hallmark: Valentines for Rebounds!


When the “naughty cards” section at the drugstore won’t cut it because of your “special” requirements. And if this one does apply to you, please write some erotica relating to your life, publish it online, and send me a link. Thanks!


Eye contact is for wimps. We can always FaceTime.


If you have a top-secret relationship.


If you need to define the terms of your relationship.  [#12]


Actual Craigslist ad from this area (slightly edited to remove anything potentially identifying): “Looking for a Polygamist partner – mw4w (—) mw4w If you don’t know what polygamy is, please research it before you respond. We are a — couple in their —- that live in the —- and would like to find a — woman to share our life and become part of our family. WE ARE NOT BI !!!!!!! and not into 3somes!!!!! Just not our thing. We are 2 happy people that’s been together for — years and that lived this lifestyle before and really loved it. Some of the happiest times in our lives. We don’t judge others and is honest, loyal and respectful folk that enjoy helping others. We believe in give and you will receive. This is for the long term and we would like to find someone between — and — who don’t have kids at home anymore but this is not a deal breaker. We like going on trips and explore and see new places. ——- You must be prepared to relocate and join our household.” So you can always try Craigslist! (note that I skipped the first three ads in the misc romance section because I was so offended by their content there was no way I was reposting them)


“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” ― Mark Twain– but NO PRESSURE


Top definition from Urban Dictionary: “Hooking up with someone for one night of sex with no strings attached and hoping to never see them again. It is important not to exchange any personal info with them so they can’t track you down and stalk you later.” (I like how the author of this definition– “hidollarho,” and no, I didn’t make that up– is a bit of a Dear Abby, what with the advice and all)


Or, let me reiterate, fight on Springer. With chairs.  [13]


This seems to be a legitimate use of the Facebook relationship status “it’s complicated.”  [14]


I was torn between putting this one here or with the “really” romantic ones. You can guess where I think it belongs, but I went with majority opinion.


Yeah, this is a really long one.  Looks like I have raided multiple sites on multiple occasions.  Just can’t help myself.  And yes, you’re permitted to scroll down.   [#]


I put Alice through the Mirror Stage when she was a kitten. More than one person– independently– has noted that this was child abuse.  [15]


Is it just me, or is Žižek everywhere these days? He’s clogging my Twitter feed, no kidding. Tweets about him, that is.


Refuted because Heidegger.


I really don’t recommend following Kierkegaard’s ways of romance.


My personal ad would specify “no analytics.” FYI.  [16]


“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”


Annoying male keep asking for your phone number, won’t take no? Give this number: 669-221-6251. Toll free, will auto-generate an appropriate response via recorded message or text. BOTP.  [17]


I’m not crying. I just have something in my eye.

Note:  these next ones are actually cited as coming from  I think there’s also a blog.


Opportunities for Kant puns are endless. The Hedwig movie (not in actual play) has a particular favorite: “I had just been dismissed from University after delivering a brilliant lecture on the aggressive influence of German philosophy on rock ‘n’ roll entitled ‘You, Kant, Always Get What You Want.'” [18]


This one might send a confused message. Use with caution, depending on what you relationship goals are.


What is this, the third Kierkegaard one? I like him and all, but that’s not really reflective of my actual all-time favorites or anything. Regardless: very funny.


I have a theory about who I would get this one from: any time I tweet anything even remotely related to philosophy (e.g., actual philosopher-based content ranging to meditating on chipped nail polish), the same Socrates quote bot follows me (and unfollows a day later, probably because I never follow back– do I really want Platonic tweets on a daily basis?). My personal Twitter stalker.  [20]


Sometimes, yes, just a cigar. In this case: nope.


Simone, you little minx! “I was made for another planet altogether. I mistook the way.” ― Simone de Beauvoir (unrelated, just one of my favorites– not just of hers; in general)


Slow clap for Nietzsche.


I don’t really believe the people who argue that cogito is nonsyllogistic. Therefore, I offer this particular card for you to mock freely.


Not really an appropriate mash-up, but I got lazy.


Now that I look at it, is this a birthday card? No idea. Do what thou wilt.  [21]


You can’t go wrong with a poem.  [22]


I didn’t have enough for an art category, either, so here’s Frida. I just couldn’t leave her out.


I’ve been meaning to paint my nails. Will carefully paint them in *exactly* this manner.  [23]


Are those screwdrivers?


Read both their books. FYI.

To the point.

To the point.


[thumbs-up emoji]


Intersectional feminism, in brief. For people who leave the house sometimes.  [24]


But if you wrote a treatise, that would be pretty cool.


According to Lorde’s definition of revolution: “Revolution is not a one time event.” According to mine: that’s correct, because not only will it be tweeted, it will be retweeted.


Somewhat outdated dialectic, but I can still dig that.


If you can find it on your favorite tech device, it’s here.


I will find pie and throw it. For you.  [25]


Clearly, we are cycling through Netflix binge-watching inspired cards. For many of us, that’s deeply meaningful.  (also, this image looks blurry to me– it says “the devil won’t be the only thing inside u”– AHS, season 2)

L WORD copy

I read a Shane joke: Alice shows Shane how to use Tinder. Shane asks: “Why would I ever swipe left?” Here all week.  [26]

BIEBER copy_0

What insane font is that? Ban it. It’s illegible on my screen. It says: “I love you more than I love Kate McKinnon’s Justin Bieber impersonation.” Which kind of gave me nightmares.  [27]


That font again. “What’s new, Poussey Cat?” More pun points.


Someone needs to have a Come to Jesus with whoever created this series. Wingdings might actually be better: “Without you I’d be Lost, Girl.” Lost Girl: discuss.  [28]


“Your love is like a drug I’ve smuggled.”


“Test results show: you’re my Valentine.” Okay, so this one isn’t Netflix because Netflix needs to GET ITS ACT TOGETHER. But the first season is free on Amazon Prime.  (oh, maybe I should say:  this is Orphan Black)


Movie section? Book section? Feminism section? How about “let’s define rape” section?


It was not intentional to follow the rape one with Woody Allen. At any rate, I watch his movies while carefully pretending I know nothing biographical about him. Did I mention how much I love Annie Hall? In the previous post? Oh. Well, I do.

A truly great movie line.


A truly correct movie line.


When in doubt . . . the Oracle.


Eeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwww — and I’m not talking about handcuffs per se.


Another classic romantic science fiction double feature.  [29]


Back to Netflix binging.


There’s a whole group on this website . . . you know what? Never mind.  [30]


Twin Peaks love.


I have already been told that nobody wants to see this. I listened, as you see.  [31]


I’ve never actually seen this show (paging Netflix again), but I’ve heard enough about Sheldon at this point to get the joke.


There was an article in NYT about SNL (since it’s the 40th anniversary). The reporter asked Lorne Michaels what the best season was. He said: “whatever was on when you were in high school.” Both clever and correct.


Okay, if not Jerry, this is an acceptable alternative. If I were to ever have a child, this is 100% the way I’d like to announce it.


Heeeeere’s . . . flowers and candy!


Yes, more Annie Hall. Direct complaints to the management. [32]


Another beautiful love story: Sid and Nancy. See previous re: complaints.


Spreading the Golden Girls around.




Sometimes, something is so wrong that it MUST be right.  [33]




April Ludgate (role model), Parks and Rec


Andy, Parks and Rec— yes, this and the above represent yet more Netflix.


But they’re all words.  And I’m going with one category instead of three.  


Syvia Plath: yet another great source of romantic advice. Also, did you know that– for real– Joyce Carol Oates got into a fight with this Plath account once?


This was on Instagram. I stole it because it was hilarious and also makes me want to listen to “Rehab.”


Woolf only whistles in her own room.


Tweet (@crankyethicist) from earlier today. THIS IS MY NEW THEME SONG. The Office Space/Dawkins and Leiter reply is also a winner.  [34]




I’m counting this as Valentine’s Day because the 50 Shades release is timed to coincide with it. And because I am terrifically immature and thus find jokes about rats gnawing on gonads highly amusing.


Inclusion: Same as above. Christian Grey as new Jason is a theory worth considering.


I’m pretending that this poem was written just for me.


Would be better with a picture of Dolly Wilde, but I guess she doesn’t qualify as an author. For further Dolly Wilde-related stuff, read Caitlin Moran’s new novel, How to Build a Girl. No. READ IT.


Ouch. But I hope you don’t have rabies.


You’ve got a smile so bright, you know you could have been a candle / I’m holding you so tight, you know you could have been a handle / The way you swept me off my feet, you know you could have been a broom / The way you smell so sweet, you know you could have been some perfume


Murakami does not approve this message. Also, this is kind of what my personal ad would say I’m seeking: “A certain type of perfection can only be realized through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore


“Romantic” with Kafka will just have to be a qualified term: “I can’t think of any greater happiness than to be with you all the time, without interruption, endlessly, even though I feel that here in this world there’s no undisturbed place for our love, neither in the village nor anywhere else; and I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.” ― Franz Kafka, The Castle


Uh, Shakespeake’s not my thing. Maybe you’ve noticed the strong 20th century leaning here? I think this is from Othello: “She lov’d me for the dangers I had pass’d, / And I lov’d her that she did pity them.” Also this: “Kill the Moor! Avast! Alack!” (might not want to use this as a citation source)


They called him “Horny Hemingway” (and if they didn’t, they should have). But, um, come to think of it . . . this wouldn’t apply to this novel. [35]  But anyway: “Oh Jake,” Brett said, “We could have had such a damned good time together.” Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly, pressing Brett against me. Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”


Awhile back on Twitter (YES, I spend a lot of time there. Stop judging), teenage girls were posting “sweet” screenshots from their “big brothers”– texts about how they were looking out for their sisters. It was pretty nauseating. As tends to happen, the tag got hijacked. There was a lot of Orwell circulating that day.


For the librarians.


The famous pun. I realized I didn’t actually know its origin, if it had one at all. There’s disagreement, but the person with the first answer (the N-gram one) is pretty convincing.


No one can resist crying Poe.


So I’m going to toss you in the flames of Mordor! True love!


Really just included this one to slam Orson Scott Card.


I am quite fond of zombies and am also immune to them (no brains, so not a target). In looking up the plot to this book for a link [36], I realized it’s almost 10 years old. And I’m old.

kafka valentine

This is a patent Annie Hall ripoff. [37] Yes, I know I repeat myself with the Annie Hall stuff. Yes, I know I repeat myself with the Annie Hall stuff.


“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own.” ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick ::toasts Melville::

Captions deleted from next series; they were causing some weird resizing, specifically shrinking the images into unreadable sizes.  The thing that you need to know is that the DFW one is my new pick-up line.



Technically should have been in philosophy section, but, rather than fix that, I’m putting him here– hey, he wrote novels! Want to be detached and cool and unattainable in that way that makes you super-desirable? Camus will lead the way.


“Is it hot in here . . . ?” also works.


The people in the Panopticon are watching, too! (Foucault, of course, and etc.– but also Jeni Fagan’s novel, The Panopticon)


He does not seem like a dirty old man.


Well, here’s a good one: You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart.” ― Franz Kafka


“What if sometimes there is no choice about what to love? What if the temple comes to Mohammed? What if you just love? without deciding? You just do: you see her and in that instant are lost to sober account-keeping and cannot choose but to love?” ― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest [38]


The grammar or syntax or something here is messed up.


Extra cleverness points to this one.


Well, technically there’s a lot of sex in “Howl,” but WordPress might ban me or something. And isn’t there a mature content thing you have to check?


Please text me this. I will love you for ever.


This is Orwell . . . ::falls asleep::


Lovecraft. Yeah. That’s all I’ve got.


The only proper response: “;” (here— and even if you get the reference already, that links to a good article)


I don’t know much about his biography– much of what I do know I picked up tangentially via an inexplicable Sybille Bedford kick (I regret nothing).


As she says in her novel: He’ll do press-ups and chin-ups / Do the snatch, clean, and jerk / He thinks dynamic tension / Must be hard work / Such strenuous living / I just don’t understand / When in just seven days / Oh, baby / I can make you a man


“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”


As I inadvertently found out, an excellent way to start a Twitter pile-on (YES, you mentioned that) is to say something even borderline negative about Ayn Rand with #AynRand. Objectivists start coming out of the woodwork. [39]

godot-300x177 fitzgerald-300x177



Uh . . . how BIG a box of kittens? Like, how many?

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I don’t really feel these need captions.  Myself and the other friends of felines already feel the love here.


Apparently there’s an anti-anti-Valentine’s Day movement that has nothing to do with relationship status?  Could research further but might opt for nap.


Point of clarification: as-yet unknown sociopaths are ready-steady-go?  Only diagnosed ones are off-limits?


Does anyone else think those taste really weird and chalky? Just me? Okay. Never mind. But really– I’ll take a peanut butter heart.


Re vodka, here’s your guide to toasting in Russian (in today’s edition of “The Internet Has Everything”: Твоё здоровье! (your health, informal, a group); Будем здоровы! (to our health, when you’re drinking alone and raise the glass); нашу дружбу! (to friendship); любовь! (to love); посошок! (one for the road). Preface all but the first two and the last with “za.” Now go to Russia.


Wonder if Publix has its specials up yet?


Seems like these are maybe for texting? Not sure.


How do you evenly slice a heart-shaped pizza? This bothers me.


You’re correct; this is a Jeffery Dahmer Valentine. I personally would have put it under the tru luv ones, but, again, majority opinion blah blah. Incidentally, I carried a stick named Jeffery around for a period of time there. I feel that was perfectly normal.


Over the course of these past two posts, I have come to believe that the Internet is 90% Pulp Fiction pictures involving guns.


If you want to be just a tiny, tiny bit self-righteous . . .

As I said:  you do you.  Also, this is a multi-holiday-purpose card.  Use as needed.

As I said: you do you. Also, this is a multi-holiday-purpose card. Use as needed.


Well, more random than this was already.  Which might be 180 to not-random?


Taken by me at a craft store. Not explaining. Not linking.


Actual vintage ad. Pro tits! Tips. I mean tiPs.


On a Saturday this year– but keep this one on file.


This will probably turn out to be a hoax. In the meantime, though, it’s still clever, hoax or not.


I don’t know any DNA songs, but there’s an excellent parody of The Major General’s song about the elements. [40]


Geek, of course, is a compliment.


Say it with love.


. . . you, too?


❤ Ada Lovelace


Should have been an anti-Valentine? But I don’t think it actually is . . .




I didn’t have enough for a STEM category (shocker).  So they’re all ending up here.  Love to all the STEM peeps anyway.


And, ultimately, NERDS RULE. Everybody date a nerd! Love a nerd! Nerds for everyone! ::throws confetti:: [41]

[1]  Or whoever you’re doing.  Or a goat, if you’ve seen that Albee play.

[2]  I’m fully aware of the abundance of Infinite Jest quotations.  Deal.  And I seriously do love that line.

[3]  And what kind of person would I be if I didn’t provide audio?

[4]  Share your Netflix password before you merge checking accounts.  Like a dry run.

[5]  Speaking of, did you see the Miley-tongue-porn thing?  (no actual nudity in link, but you probably get the gist here).  Some of you have already received this video from me, many of you in the form of video accompanied by a misleading message about its actual content.  Have I told you lately I love you?

[6]  Negligee?


Pretty sure that’s what they mean by sexy sleepwear, but I’ll look into Victoria’s Secret later. (yes, those are cats on it)


Super-affable in mornings.


Another take on sexy siren from film noir.

[7]  I couldn’t find the real Waltons goodnight thing.  I did find a parody.  Profanity at end.

[8]  My phone:  Marvin the Paranoid Non-Android.  (RIP, Douglas Adams)

[9]  See A Farewell to Arms section, Literary Characters post.

[10]  Technically, my homemade tape days extend well beyond 1989.  You know those tapes you made from the radio?  You heard a song you like start and hit record, so you’d have a tape with about 15-20 seconds of the beginning missing from every song?  Nostalgia.  I’m old.

[11]  And while we’re in this era, can Levar Burton read me a Valentine’s story?  Thank you.  Butterfly in the sky . . .

[12]  Danger, Will Robinson!  I Googled “dtr” in hopes of finding something funny.  DON’T DO THAT.

[13]  Contrary to appearances, I am aware that Springer is no longer on.  This is wishful thinking.  Bring back Jerry!  I did not watch this video to the end.  Needless to say, content advisory.  Duh.

[14]  How does Facebook deal with polygamous relationships?  Can you set an individual relationship status for each spouse?  I suddenly really want to know this.

[15]  Given how Alice has turned out (“The Happiest Girl in the USA”), I don’t think this is really a sound argument.

[16]  And if I do write a personal, it will be EPIC.  EPIC.  Also, not to bring up that commitment hearing again, but . . . yeah.

[17]  BOTP is a new entry in my vocabulary and apparently a neologism in general; Google will have you believe it’s “Battle of the Planets.”  Because of the Patriarchy.  

[18]  Some additional Hedwig and the Angry Inch thoughts on love:

[someone is singing “I Will Always Love You” in the background]

Tommy: What do you think? Do you think love lasts forever?

Hedwig: No, but this song does.

You were so much more / Than any god could ever plan / More than a woman or a man / Now I understand / How much I took from you / That when everything starts breaking down / You take the pieces off the ground / Show this wicked town / Something beautiful and new / You think that luck has left you there / But maybe there’s nothing / Up in the sky but air / And there’s no mystical design / No cosmic lover preassigned  [19]

[19]  A full video of the original Hedwig off-Broadway production is up (again).  It will probably be taken down as soon as a relevant person realizes it’s there.  Watch while you can.  The movie clips are currently being preceded in the search results by promo stuff for the current production.  At any rate:

Sometimes I just listen to that on repeat, when I really, really need to . . .

[20]  I have a current Twitter stalker, and I don’t know why he (I guess?) picked me. (. . . ) And I just went over to cut and paste some of the stuff he said, and his account is suspended (I didn’t report him– suppose I wasn’t the only person in his life), so the tweets are gone.  The ONE TIME I didn’t capture something super-weird.  Figures.  He’s said I was giving him the “razzle-dazzle” at one point (it was completely unclear how that related to whatever pointless thing I’d said), asked if he could “pin me” (really wish I had that one– because all I can think of is Silence of the Lambs— Pinterest was the only other thing I could think of re: pinning, but there was no picture involved), and said I made him look up words (apparently referred to The Mikado, but I’m not positive).  That’s a sampling.

[21]  “Do What Thou Wilt” is carved above a monastery door in Rabelais.  I had a high school teacher who quoted it frequently.

[22]  I’ve been sending this around since at least January, if not before.

[23]  For once, filter activated.  It wasn’t anything obscene; I’m just opting out.  It would be better for the other blog.

[24]  Leave the house?  Sometimes I just don’t understand people . . . (typing this from under the bed)

[26]  Tweeted by parody account @ModernLWord. If you follow, go back and read tweets from beginning– it’s a storyline (they’re not that many).


[28]  I mean, I watch an episode or two of Lost Girl and think I’m really getting into it, and by three or so, I’m bored and burned out and it seems silly.  FEELINGS.

[29]  What else?

[30]  Second successful use of filter!  Because, yeah, that one was completely inappropriate.

[31]  Not letting this one get by either.  (I already have these things in playlists, so it’s pretty much spreading the wealth.  Or whatever.)  Super-romantic!!!!!!!

[32]  Re:  the management

“Archbishop James Usher (1580-1656) published Annales Veteris et Novi Testaments in 1654, which suggested that the Heaven and the Earth were created in 4004 B.C. One of his aides took the calculation further, and was able to announce triumphantly that the Earth was created on Sunday the 21st of October, 4004 B.C., at exactly 9:00 A.M., because God liked to get work done early in the morning while he was feeling fresh.

This too was incorrect. By almost a quarter of an hour.

The whole business with the fossilized dinosaur skeletons was a joke the paleontologists haven’t seen yet.

This proves two things:

Firstly, that God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, [ie., everybody.] to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.

Secondly, the Earth’s a Libra.”

[33]  What do you mean, have I taken my meds?
[34]  I’m not a Dawkins fan (I am a fan of the term “Dawk-bro”).  However, this recent video is extremely funny.  Profanity and more.  
[35]  How can I put this delicately and sensitively?  Jake has a war wound, and he is impotent.  Another way to say this is that Jake is missing his junk.
[36]  I apologize for the ton of links to Wikipedia.  Lazy, but saves time.
[37]  See previous post, “Film Theory with Siri,” Annie Hall section:  specifically, the image.  See what I mean?
[38]  And, just getting this on public record:  “…loneliness is not a function of solitude.”

― David Foster WallaceInfinite Jest

And a super-long one that is just about people being people in the freaking world, because EVERY DAY IS NOT VALENTINE’S DAY and life is real and so on:

“If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts…

That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do.

That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape.

That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness.

That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack.

That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work.

That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable.

That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish.

That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene.

That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it.

That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz.

That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused.

That it is permissible to want.

That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse.

That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.”

The last line:  SO true.  To an extent I didn’t realize until this past year.

[39]  Twitter bait isn’t usually what you’d expect, as in #AynRand.  Another hijacked tag that caused mass riots was #defendtheduggars.  You can’t predict these things.

[40]  Gilbert and Sullivan– my longest love.

[41]  I don’t mean the people who “pretend” to be nerds; I mean the real thing.  You know the difference.

“Chester nods all the way through this, but does not rudely interrupt Randy as a younger nerd would. Your younger nerd takes offense quickly when someone near him begins to utter declarative sentences, because he reads into it an ssertion that he, the nerd, does not already know the information being imparted. But your older nerd has more
self-confidence, and besides, understands that frequently people need to think out loud. And highly advanced nerds will furthermore understand that uttering declarative sentences whose contents are already known to all present is part of the social process of making conversation and therefore should not be construed as aggression under any circumstances.”
― Neal StephensonCryptonomicon

I have three copies of that book.  Long story.  (down to two– gave one away)

Furthermore:  I don’t like the gendering in this, and there’s a little nerd/geek confusion, but it’s still funny anyway.  Nerds need PSAs.

I have a picture of myself in headgear (I’d really, really like to thank whichever family member thought it was a super idea to document that) if you need to see my creds.

So, peace out.

I’m ending with my (years and years and years) traditional Valentine’s salute.  It’s a scene from David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.  It contains major profanity and close-up violence.

(my favorite scene from my favorite movie)