Ask the grumpies: Favorite spring flower?

Rented life asks:

[What’s your] favorite spring flower?

#1 loves daffodils pushing up through the muddy snow.  Crocuses come second.  (Her favorite flower though is the hydrangea.)

#2 says, for spring, I think I’ll pick iris.

 Grumpy nation, bring us some spring cheer as we head into fall/winter.  What’s your favorite spring flower?

Would you rather


a dog that will not stop barking all night (whether inside or out, though if outside the neighbors will call the police ~10pm)


a cat that occasionally pees on things that are not hir litterbox (for example, your bedspread or the couch)?

Why?  (Answers do not need to be in Haiku.)

Poll: What is your area of expertise

This could be by training, by profession, by hobby, whatever.  You get to decide.  Pick as many as you want.  Add details in the comments!  Especially if you choose other!



RBOC that has been lurking in the draft archive like a swamp zombie

  • Sometimes, in professional settings, it is best to keep the real authentic you to yourself.  Because the real you is crazy.  Authentic can be over-rated.
  • I’ve taken to shutting the door of our home office to keep the baby from destroying my stuff when we’re not in there.  Recently ze stopped by while I was trying to work and dragged me into DC1’s room, made sure I was distracted with DC1, and high-tailed it away without me noticing until I heard the sound of my papers crumpling.  [Wow, said baby is now 3 years old…this must be an old RBOC]
  • We were driving in a city and there was a Crisis Pregnancy Clinic with the tagline “Real Options”.  Next door was a Hanger store.  That seems about right.  I feel like I should have gotten a picture.
  • I learned a moderately expensive lesson– at a conference I went to Sephora with a friend.  My regular sunblock must have expired because I was getting sunburn walking between the conference area and my hotel, so I picked up a very small “travel-friendly” sunblock for $20 instead of dragging said friend to CVS to get the sunblock I use that doesn’t cause me to break out (and then possibly having to toss it at airport security), figuring at that price and “for the face” it would probably be fine.  The sunblock did work at blocking the sun, but also caused enormous break-outs on my face, possibly because in addition to its million other ingredients, there’s a heavy scent to it.   Note to self:  more expensive “face-only” beauty products aren’t necessarily better than mainstream what you get at the drugstore.
  • Speaking of old things lurking, who here has kept a journal?  And who has then gone back and read it later in life?  That’s a baaaaaaad trip.
  • I like cheese.
  • Sorry.
  • There is no #8.

Not *every* blog post can be pure gold… What’s your favorite kind of cheese?

a kitten made this post


^the kitten likes this key.

alt + windows key noooooooooooooooo

right click.  snifff sniff.  turn on webcam.  change hotkeys.

stop it!


look the kitten made an accidental emoticon!



update:  the kittens have all been adopted!  yayyyy!  Tell us happy things in the comments.

What’s on your iPod?

This video because I am a huge nerd.  Also this video (NSFW!) because it is the funniest thing in the whole world.  Kanye’s song Power.  Albums and songs by Monty Python, MC Frontalot (quite a lot of songs), U2, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (singing Handel), Kathleen Battle, Michelle Branch, OAR, old Madonna, TMBG, Jessie J, Jonathan Coulton, the Muppets, P!nk, the Police, the Lion King, and the complete soundtrack of Labyrinth.

Podcasts about books and video games and other nerdy stuff and general stuff (some from  A photo of my cat.  A photo of my coolest pair of shoes.  A cartoon.

#2 does not have an ipod.  It is very sad.  Hir DH mostly keeps audio books on his mp3, and the occasional wait wait don’t tell me podcast or splendid table podcast.  We outnerd #1.  NPR nerdz!

What about you?


Thoughts on Brave New World

In college we had to give a writing sample on a book that changed the way we view the world.  I wrote about Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.  I failed that writing test in college and had to re-take the test with a different question (so as not to have to take remedial writing!) because I’m fairly sure the person who graded me didn’t like what I got out of it.  I knew what I was supposed to get out of it, but the tired civilized man dystopia/ wild man utopia always seemed false to me and I felt it must have been tacked on because Aldous Huxley had created a world that, though frightening and different than our own, was too perfect.  Huxley had to come up with a way to destroy its merits, and that destruction fell flat in my mind.  1984 is a far more obvious dystopia; Huxley had to work at destroying his utopia.  Instead, I wrote about how I learned to think like an anthropologist from the book , though I didn’t phrase it as being thinking like an anthropologist.  I just talked about how it showed me that culture shapes the way we view our world (using um, culture’s views of sex being a primary cause of rape as my primary example, which I still know to be correct– if there is no shame to sex, it can no longer be used as a weapon).*

I’ve been thinking about Brave New World and how what I got out of it is different than most literary theory about it.  Anyhow, I think I got something different out of Brave New World for two main reasons:  1.  Although none of the true main characters are women (the one main character woman is kind of a cog who exists to reflect the male main characters), women in that utopia world sure have a hell of a lot better life than women in the real world, even if men don’t necessarily and 2.  I’m an alpha and when I read Brave New World life sucked so much as an alpha and if I rebelled against the social order in Brave New World my punishment would have been to go to a true island utopia populated only by other alphas and oh man oh man that was a dream world for middle-school me (one that came true in high school!).

So I looked up feminist criticisms of brave new world on google, and after adding the name “huxley” so as not to get so much stuff about modern sex that just uses the phrase, I came up with a few interesting articles.  Margaret Atwood (who literally wrote the book on feminist dystopia) has an interesting article on how it has stood up after 75 years.   This google book has some neat discussion questions from a feminist perspective.

And I wonder about how our perceptions in our current society shape what we view as utopia and dystopia, and how clear it is that we need more authors willing and able to write from different perspectives.  How much literary theory only makes sense from a middle-class white male viewpoint?  How many messages seem shallow when you’re not the intended audience?  Feminist theory shouldn’t be relegated in its own niche and ignored by everybody who isn’t a feminist theorist.  We could all benefit from a little anthropology in our world-views.

How often do you feel like you’re not the target audience?  Do you feel like that has shaped your world-view for when you are the target?  And what did you get out of reading Brave New World?**

*Despite not finishing the make-up test and freaking out about that, the writing instructor who graded the make-up told me that based on that writing, it didn’t make sense that I had to take the make-up in the first place, which made me feel better.  I got asked to be a writing tutor a year later.  So I’m pretty sure whoever graded me just didn’t like my arguments.  Another reason for me to never go into the humanities.  And yes, my formal writing is much less stream-of-consciousness than my blogging.  I’m a big believer in outlines and topic sentences.

**It’s short!  And not as traumatic as say, The Handmaid’s Tale (to me, anyway).


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