Saturday, May 28, 2005

Math Sux

This is where I tell you about the learning disability. There is now a term for this: “doubly exceptional,” in which a person is “gifted” in one area of intelligence but “learns differently” in another; or as we referred to it in my day, being “ass-bored” during “reading group” but “horrifyingly lost” during “math class,” making for a truly “miseducated” and “frustrated” child, who, having a “normal” body temperature of “99 degrees” was often able to “escape” the classroom by faking a “stomachache” and running to the “nurse,” who would then call my mother, who knew perfectly well what I was “up to” and was incredibly “pissed,” especially the time I wasn’t “faking it” and threw up all over the “car.” Also, this is why God gave us things like calculators and my sister, who is an accountant. He did not create me to perform this type of work, and I shall not ignite His wrath.

Or, you could just look at my SAT scores-- VERBAL: 790 MATH: 320. (May I remind you that you get like 200 points on the SAT just for writing your name across the top.) I scored in the 99th percentile for one, the bottom 5th percentile for the other. My high school English teacher said, "I've been prepping young women for this test for over twenty years, and I have never seen a disparity like this." I was told they were passing the test results all over the place in The Womb's admission office.

Competent Official College Professor UPDATE: I locked myself out of my office yesterday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


There’s so much to unpack in Revenge of the Sith, I’m going to have to take things out of it and put them into little analytical drawers onethingatatime--bra by bra, if you will--or suffer a full geek-on panic attack.

Star Wars and I are of a natal vergence. In August, in 1977, I was busy about many things, most of them variations on staring at shiny things and struggling to pee without incident. So, we're full cycle, pretty much.

I discovered the galaxy after it had faded from the theatres, in those dark days between Return of the Jedi and the re-release of the original trilogy. These were the days of dusty Ewok catapults (just the catapult itself, mind you; Ewoks sold separately and, by this point, only on the green vinyl tops of card tables in Cheviot yard sales) on barren Toys R Us shelves. I had a plastic Rancor and a dinged-up Palpatine action figure and a great deal of pouting because the other girls wanted to do stupid things like talk to each other and not attempt a full-on space battle using only a tiny yellow bucket balanced on a pile of plastic sticks, a bumpy brown lizard with a highly realistic lever on its back to make its jaw move, and a four-inch figurine of quite possibly the only person who had gotten less sun than I had.

There were aspects I hated about the movie; there were aspects I loved. Sometimes I cried; sometimes I wanted to break the arm rest off the chair to ram through my cerebral cortex so that I wouldn’t have to HEAR NATALIE PORTMAN TALK ANYMORE.

In two and a half hours, the film cocoons twenty-eight years of cinematic history with layer upon layer of new meanings, an array of patinas so intense I may even permit myself to skip next week’s New Kids on the Block Fan Club meeting. It was a thrilling deluge of new details of How Things Work in the Star Wars Matrix. For instance, the dork faithful are introduced to George Lucas’ idea of haute entertainment; having resigned himself to the concept that perhaps not every single non- space battle scene must take place in otherworldly pubs with clinetele of varying degrees of sliminess, George reveals that there is indeed theeeeeatre in Star Wars galaxy…and it is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. We get to watch an entire scene in a large theatre in which a massive egg, to equally massive applause, is apparently undergoing fertilization. It was so awesome! I have to buy the soundtrack! I hope my high school does it for the fall musical next semester! It will run forever and ever on Bespin! Even Regis can’t get tickets!

This is why these films work, frankly—they slide aspects of our graspable world into a spacey milieux, and we feel we could step right in and make our own Kessel runs in less than twelve parsecs. And thus, we smile into our bags of Episode III Limited Edition M&Ms: George, you sly old dawg. He understands that bad performance art is an intergalactic constant.

seriously! it's a new email address:

Sunday, May 22, 2005

What Happens When Nobody Checks With Me to Determine Whether or Not Something Is Amusing

This week’s AOTW honor goes to Mr. Bob Costas, who underscored the dignity and breathtaking power of the Preakness by 1) referring to the Woodlawn Vase as a “vaaahhhhhhhse” and 2) handing the Woodland Vaaahhhhhhhse over to the winning owner while yelling “Be careful! IT’S THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPORTS TROPHY IN THE WORLD!!” but not before 3) explaining that the Woodland Vaaahhhhhhhse is the most expensive sports trophy in the world, then holding out his microphone to the military guard behind him for comment, but the guy didn’t say anything, because since he was a military guard, he couldn’t say anything!!!!! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shut up, Bob Costas.

Competent Official College Professor UPDATE:
On Friday, I was talking to one of my superiors, by which I mean a person who has been teaching for longer than one episode of Blind Date, and we were in my office, and I stood up to shake his hand when he came to introduce himself, and when I went to sat down, I leaned forward and cracked my forehead against the ledge of my computer desk, and attempted to pretend that this had not, in fact, just happened, which the profuse bleeding made somewhat difficult.

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