Monday, November 9, 2009

Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jaye: A Pandrogenic Love Story

this is kind of beautiful and heart breaking...

Monday, August 3, 2009

filthy old secrets

So…I’ve been neglecting this social diuretic... I mean diary...but that’s probably a goddamn good thing. I’ve got about a week left doing dirty business at the Arcadia Mill site. We’ve made a fair amount of progress. We determined the location of the community we were searching for (or so it seems) and unearthed some interesting old garbage (underwear buttons, dining utensils, pretty ceramic bits, the wreckage of a chimney, etc.), but what I’ve found to be most intriguing was the discovery of a number of patent medicine bottles. On first glance this might seem innocent enough, after all there was more yellow fever going around than you could shake a stick at, and I’ll admit that my assessment is purely speculative, but here goes…

We think that the people who lived in the structure we’re excavating were the women who worked in the textile mill. These ladies worked hard all day long and needed a little something to help them unwind at the end of the day. In the south in the 1850s, a gentleman could relax on his porch in the evenings, drinking a mint julep and shooting at squirrels, but if a woman were to imbibe of the devils drink, well…now that would have been quite the scandal. It could safely be assumed that such a woman had sex with swine or goats …probably in positions other than the missionary one.

During this time period, women were frequently advised to take medicine because of their weaker constitutions, of course. Now, these patent cure-alls were not exactly equivalent to your modern multi-vitamin. The truth is that although these health tonics may not have exactly warded off bad vapors or kept a young woman from dying of consumption, at least they made you feel good …and I mean REALLY GOOD. Why? Because these drugs contained a few ingredients that were known to improve health: opiates and cocaine.

So, alcohol was out of the question …but why get drunk when you can get high?

And now: if you can’t say it to my face, please have the decency to say it with cake.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Arcadia Mill update

For the past three weeks I’ve been doing “field work” in the impossible underbrush of Northwest Florida.I use quotation marks around the words “field work” to convey a sort of playful embitterment. If I am not mistaken, this particular brand of pretentiousness was patented in 1993.From it you should be able in infer that my three years of college education have earned me right to make blanket statements about how disappointing everything is. You should also be able to sense that I feel obligated to offer up cynical comments with a half-smile tacked on my face, laughing under my breath occasionally to let you know that I’ve decided you don’t understand what I’m talking about.

A strange and gawky sort of camaraderie has arisen within our little archaeology troop. I reckon some sort of brotherly affection began to coagulate inside each of us along with the realization that we all were mired in the abject misery that accompanies summertime in Florida. The temperature trots on and beyond the 100 degree mark every afternoon and the so-called “air” in this wasteland mimics the general atmosphere of a country club sauna (the sort populated by men whose socks are always appropriately dignified and carefully selected to demonstrate individual flair and personality). On the bright side, I’ve discovered that human sweat is a powerful stain remover. The next time you find yourself coated in human blood, just pump those sweat glands and watch it disappear. Works like a charm every time.

Despite my newly discovered penchant hacking at things with a machete, a implement which must be waved around all willy-nilly if you want to look like a badass (which a definitely do), I haven’t managed to seriously injure myself just yet. I did have a bit of an ugly run-in with a young sapling the other day. That nasty sonofabitch came out of nowhere and before I could smooth maneuver out of way KAPOW! I took a twig straight to the eyeball. But thanks to my cleverly devised and hastily executed blinking tactics or possibly some sort of innate anti-eye-gouging reflex (though I advise you not to bank on Mother Nature with this one 'cause I've got the moves) my eyelid took the brunt of the impact. I’ve grown pretty accustomed to this whole perceptual symmetry thing I’ve got going on, so I’m glad I didn’t fuck it up by losing an eyeball. I still cried a little bit though.

Here's a pictures of the rope bridge I walk over every day. I love this thing...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Patrick and his bro

Pat and Derek being adorable


a few photographs

Kayaking the bayou

Hobo Beach


Monday, June 1, 2009


The road to my parent’s house is lined with mega-churches and fast food joints. However, the connection between the two has never been quite as clear to me as it was tonight. A strange newly erected building appeared in front of my little peepers on the drive home from Derek’s house late this evening. From a distance it resembled a cathedral but upon closer inspection I discovered that it was in fact an Arby’s. This sight, along with my car’s overly zealous cooling system, sent shivers down my spine.

I won’t make much of an effort to sum up the adventures of the past few weeks. Presently I am a languid creature nestled in a burrow I’ve formed out of pillows and blankets and I am quite content.

The series of final papers that I managed to retch out of me at the end of the semester left me sputtering for days in a mist of erudite up-chuck. I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself literally sobbing from lack of sleep but it is a seriously bizarre experience.

I’m kinda bummed that I didn’t stick around for the end-of-the-year festivities or have an opportunity to say goodbye to all of the amazing people who won’t be coming back next year. I’ve got so much fucking love for all of those smarty-pants.

My good pal, a certain Mr. Timothy Nest, came home with me for a few days after school let out. The Bible Belt must seem pretty exotic to a Yankee like him. Unfettered (misdirected) hatred is our specialty here.

For some reason, homosexual people flock to Pensacola for Memorial Day weekend. It’s great! Great for business and great for the overall mojo of the city. Unfortunately, the city’s thriving population of evangelical Christians don’t take to kindly to them queer folk or their gay money for that matter. So these fundamentalists take it to the streets and explain that what God Almighty hates more than pretty much anything else, is butt sex. (It pisses him off even more than murder, that’s just how much it gets his goat, apparently.) Tim and I joined Derek and Patrick to participate in a counter-protest-protest and to support those brave souls ballsy enough to walk past the hundred or so people screaming at them to “repent now or burn in hell.”

Anyway, I hope Tim had a good (or at least educational) time here in the Panhandle. I was sad to see him go.

I start working my first serious archaeology dig tomorrow. I was accepted into the University of West Florida’s field school for the summer. It’s going to require me to get up early every day and put in about 40 hours of hard labor every week but I'm pretty fucking excited about the prospect of doing real archaeology. When I was working at the Florida Public Archaeology Network my duties were limited to:
1) sorting things –a task which could more or less be summed up as determining the subtle differences between dirt and not dirt (which had several subcategories- such as: cement, brick, and- if you got really lucky- pottery shards )
2) labeling things- sharpies and Ziploc bags are the less Indiana-Jonesian tools of the trade
3) giving "education tours" to third and fourth graders who would un-sort everything I had spend hours meticulously separating into neat little piles. Occasionally they would cut themselves on a rusty piece of metal (roughly dating to the Spanish occupation) and cry a little bit. Sweet vengeance.

I'm going to be working in Milton at the Arcadia mill site, the first and largest early American water-powered industrial complex in Florida. In its hay day the mill was equipped with a mule-drawn railroad (pre-steam-powered engine industrial archaeology= hells yeah!) and a sixteen-mile log flume, whatever that is. This year we’ll be focusing on the archaeology of ethnicity, social structure and community organization in the antebellum South. This is right up my alley. What a lucky little lady I am.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coming soon: words!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jean Painlevé

Acera or the Witches' Dance (1972) amazing nature film

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mummy manifesto: archaeology for lovers

My love is a fleshly but not a carnal one.

I spend a lot of time thinking about mummies, more time than your average cusp-of-pubescence boy, whose depraved fixation on all things gruesome is soon enough replaced by far more gratifying perversions. I don’t think of myself as particularly morbid. Although, because I didn’t have access to cable during those most formative years of childhood, my favorite channel growing up was the one that aired live autopsies.My devotion to preserved human corpses in not an indiscriminate one: I’m not really into your run-of-the-mill Hotep types. Egyptian royalty doesn’t interest me much. Those mummies are a dime a dozen.

Anyway, I’ve formed something of a philosophy (and one Tom Waits-styled love ballad) from this otherwise unaired contemplation. But more on all of that later: first, a few words on archaeology in general. I’ve got some serious pet peeves (big barking ones) when it comes to the subject. Whenever I am cornered into telling someone that I fancy myself something of an archaeology student, I often get the response that they too “looooved dinosaurs” when they were a youngster. More than anything else, I am tired of this fundamental confusion of people with fossils. But all my internal eye-rolling aside, I also share this confusion. The distinction between man and mineral seems to be set in something softer than stone.

Archaeology is the study of material culture. So where do human remains fit into all of this? I love the poetry of archaeology. Every artifact is a metaphor. But how can these allegories make sense of a body/anybody? The body (human, animal, virtual, or otherwise… all of these categories overlap, after all) is partially biological, but it is also something that is actively (and culturally) produced and imagined. It is a site of/for spectacular involvement.

Mummies seem to reflect the sort of frozen-in-time-ness that is so appealing to many people: grisly lipless nostalgia. These time-travelers are non-threatening: they are partial and peripheral. In some sense, history has already been decided. Real people, whether alive or dead, do not seem to have much of an impact on it. However, I find myself nevertheless inclined toward romantic musing. The living and the lived must have a place in all of this. I cannot help but entertain some sort of fearful optimism.

After all, isn’t that what love is?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

All that irritating noise just sounds like a lullaby to me

I seem to have developed complete immunity to the sound of my alarm clock. Only recently have I come to acknowledge my body’s tendency to hyper-evolve in ways that make me late for class. I guess it should come as no surprise considering that I once slept soundly through a hurricane that caused my roof to cave in (the ceiling above the kitchen and living room was reduced completely to rubble). And if mother nature’s fury cannot disturb my slumber, certainly a puny electronic device is no match for me.

The year of hurricane Ivan was probably the best year of my life. A gaggle of men wearing surgical masks came by to assess the gaping hole in the house and decided that the best thing to do was to throw a big blue plastic sheet over the entire roof. The tarp cast an eerie aquatic glow over everything inside and for the next ten months I felt like I was living underwater. During this time I was also exposed to a miraculous amount of pornography. There wasn’t much to do but explore architectural carnage and in these gutted buildings I (always the archaeologist) unearthed a staggering number (literally tons- by weight) of smutty magazines. The best varieties were discovered inside the sailboats that washed up in the park near the Port of Pensacola. Most notably, I was alarmed to find a publication devoted entirely to photographs of naked women doing suggestive - more than suggest, really - things with pork products. Although I didn’t actually flip through the pages (which would have involved touching them), for me in all of my sixteen-year-old girlhood, the covers alone were enough to strike fear into my wee heart.

Goddamn, nostalgia makes for some wickedly tangential concoctions...the crisis at hand remains unresolved. I can’t afford to miss another class because my annoying-noise threshold has exceeded my alarm’s beeping capabilities. Currently, the most effective plan I’ve devised to make sure that I wake up on time is to bypass all of that nasty waking up business entirely by simply not going to sleep in the first place. As clever as this tactic may be, it is difficult to pull off successfully several days in a row…

So I guess I’m going to bed now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The Songs of Leonard Cohen (1968)

Download Here

This album is beyond compare.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

and you know a man who dumpster dives takes his girl out all the time

a man who dumpster dives is resourceful

Photographic substantiation of my holiday in Pensacola. Not to insult your imaginative integrity or anything...

the view from my back porch...beautiful bayou.

Patrick will have none of this nonsense... with the camera and the flashing and the annoyingly incessant plea for him to smile

Derek: This guy! THIS GUY!

Zoe and Jeremy

quite the looker, this one

The End of the Line

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"[…] this metaphoric realism — or cyborg surrealism — is the excessive space of technoscience — a world whose grammar we may be inside of but where we may, and can, both embody and exceed its representations and blast its syntax."
-Donna Haraway

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pippi Longstocking theme song (english dub)

She's my hero. The song says it all. She's got a monkey AND a horse (not to mention her own house- sans parents- and tons of pirate gold...)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Mighty Boosh

"Journey to the Center of Punk"

I've been watching way too much of this show lately...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

By the Holy Dick of Jesus!

I’ve dedicated all too much time lately to thinking (long and hard…ahem) about that defining male organ. I recently finished reading a book entitled A Mind of Its Own: a Cultural History of the Penis This book, which I purchased as a lark when it was discovered by my mother at a Goodwill, actually turned out to be a surprisingly compelling discussion of gender, sexuality, race, and religion. I highly recommend it for those of you who are, ya know, into that sort of thing.

Anyway, back to Jesus.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the penis acquired a particularly charming nickname in the Western world: the demon rod. This euphemism reflected the prevailing religious attitudes of the times. Apparently after Eve shared that fateful afternoon snack with Adam, he immediately sprouted something of a chubby where before his body had been unembellished. When he looked down at his newly formed nub, he felt embarrassed, having not attended any personal development classes to inform him that this was all perfectly natural. All men since the first semi-hard-on have been similarly burdened... with one notable exception: Jesus.

Because his mama was no slut, the little guy grew up free of that most painful brand of “your mom” jokes, and his prick reflected this point of pride. In the religious art of this period, the cock of Jesus shines with a godly force. He is often depicted surrounded by an adoring entourage who can be seen pointing to his thingy as if to say “now that’s a dick done right!” Even in scenes where Jesus obviously ain’t feeling too hot, what with the crucifixion thing and all, he is often depicted sporting an enviable bulge.

In this (circa 1511)drawing by Hans Baldung Grien,Christ's Granny plays with his wiener, fondling him under the loving gaze of his mother.

I mean, the guy's got nothing to hide.

As for those of you out there who are not so divinely endowed? I say (and I’m quite the theologian) don’t sweat it pal, so long as,in the words of Sue Johanson, “if you're gonna get funky, cover your monkey!”

Thursday, March 26, 2009

funnybone heartbreak

My father just made the following assertion:
“People are bastard coated bastards with bastard filling… It’s a pastry analogy.”
He’s the cutest little misanthropist in the whole wide world.

I drove (but mostly dozed) the 8 hours home with Zoe and Jeremy, who both had legitimate excuses to be here. Zoe had a doctor’s appointment and Jeremy apparently needed a haircut. I’m still not entirely sure of what I’m doing here, but my mother told me that I can take as much toilet paper as I want back with me (it seems she knows a guy who can always get her more…)

I’ve just been paling around with my fellow Panhandlers. It’s been a pretty sober spring break spent in Pensacola. I don’t count the drunken kayak expedition I undertook yesterday because this activity has become something of a divine ritual for me. And besides, the bayou beasts are best faced with a little booze in the belly. The alligators are pretty scrawny, but the pelicans are ferocious. I get the impression that someone has trained them to go for the eyes.

I didn’t run into our neighbor Mr. Stump-hand Man, the crazy old squatter who raises pigs next to the land my parents own. It’s just as well though because I always feel awkward waving at him. I fear that I will offend him somehow with my two perfectly intact hands. I usually attempt to greet him with the same-sided hand as his five-fingered one, my greatest dread being that he will vigorously flail his stump-hand at me in response.

And speaking of missing digits, this guy took the next logical step and went digital. After losing his finger in a motorcycle accident, Mr. Jalava, a Finnish computer programmer, fashioned himself a replacement with a USB drive attached. Fancy that!

One more day buckled up in the Bible Belt and we’ll find out if I’ve really learned to charm myself out of a paper bag.
I’ve got more love for you (and you and you) than I care to shake a stick at. Besides I’ve got no time for phalluses/fallacies.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Psycho beach party

I’m not pregnant!

Like not having any severed limbs, It’s one of those things that you don’t really appreciate until you find yourself sitting in the shower with the lights off, with nothing but one soggy novelty sock on, seeking counsel in your dead Grandpa Eddy, who would know exactly what to do in such a situation…

Don't feel tempted to give me the safe sex talk. There's only so much faith you can put in a thin film of latex, after all. And I'm an atheist, doubt is in my nature (self-doubt most of all). I did have a healthy glow about me for a while there...

Well, I spent last weekend binge drinking and chain smoking (just in case) and also because Emma, my gal pal (a term I’m trying to insert into youth culture), came to visit me in sunny Sarasota.

On Friday we split a family size bottle of wine and while she did the sensible thing and slept it off, I decided to take a shower to sober myself up. Somewhere between the suds and the alcohol, I guess I was feeling pretty limber because I attempted to do a little yoga. Somehow I managed to slip and scuff up the spiney part of my neck pretty bad. I thought for a second I might have broken my neck because everything was spinning, but then I remembered that I was drunk. Thank god for boozey clarity.

Saturday we went to the aquarium, where I am now a “member” (meaning I get the newsletter twice a year). The big selling point for me is the giant squid specimen they have pickled on display. Emma told me that if a giant squid is ever captured alive the aquarium in Sarasota has dibs. Since I’m a member and everything, I think that means I would be a partial owner of real live giant squid, so here’s hoping.

On Sunday we toured the Ringling Museum, where we spent the most time exploring the racial dynamics of the miniature circus replica. We were looking at the “backstage” section of the model where black and white circus employees were preparing for the show. Some of the black figurines apparently came directly from whatever factory specializes in creepily realistic and varyingly attractive dolls, but other black circus hands were merely painted a slimy greenish-brown color. You could tell that they had been painted because the plastic shirts and hair had also been painted over, blending the ugly uni-color from the torso up. Also some of the paint was chipped off in places, revealing a subtle peachy skin tone underneath. I guess nobody was willing to shell out the bucks to actually buy more than a few black dolls (I assume they up the price for ethnic diversity). They probably thought nobody would notice.
“What’s wrong with those negros, mommy? Their skin looks funny!”
“It’s rude to stare, Billy. Look away.”

Monday, March 9, 2009

Taxidermy art of Sarina Brewer

She salvages road kill, dead pets and deceased farm animals and uses them to create her recycled animal art…


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I want to get high and listen to music with you

My mother gave me a large plastic unicorn head decoration for Christmas. Apparently it was part of a gas station advertisement for some car-related lubricant or other (which explains the adorably phallic horn). I don’t really know how she acquired it, but if anyone knows how to engage in good ol’ fashioned bartering (I’ll trade you a bushel or corn for that there trinket), it’s my mom.

Anyway, lately I’ve been experiencing mild but pleasant hallucinations when I wake up in the morning. I’m pretty sure that these are a consequence of the (totally legal, baby) drugs I’ve been taking. The hallucinations only last for three or four minutes, but the unicorn head has quickly become the leading character in this realm of visual titillation. Mainly it just sort of coyly pulsates, grinning and looking particularly decapitated, but friendly nonetheless. Thanks mom!

Finally, a medication with intriguingly positive side effects! Normally, I get saddled with a “nausea and vomiting,” or “frequent urination,” kinda deal. These are typically things I feel much less compelled to expound upon in a public medium.

On another note, some time ago I had the flu and cigarettes made me nauseous. This gave me the smug and ultimately faulty impression that I had simply lost the taste for them, but after the nausea subsided I was jonesing like a proper junkie. So after a failed stint at quitting cold-turkey, I am now learning how to roll my own cigarettes and feeling unduly righteous about it.

And for those of you looking for new activities to liven up your day…

Group rope jumping!

This new trend is taking Russian cities by storm. The idea is to first assemble a group of merry risk-takers, find a bridge over a sufficiently iced body of water, and when a train begins to chug along over the bridge and the conductor, upon seeing a massive group of people caught on the tracks, frantically attempts to slow those many tons of moving steel, wait until the last possible moment before jumping off the bridge in unison.

Uh-oh, it's the fuzz!

I am king dinosaur

I can’t explain why I seem to oscillate back and forth between complete empathy and total insensitivity…

But I realized I’d reached a new low when I found myself trying to deliver a humorous punch line to a story I was telling about a huge Greek man who had had a heart attack in my karate class… in front of his two children. The zinger? “Oh, I guess he died.”

And just because I have a thing for poorly conceived/ executed tattoos, here ya go

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tofutti time

I’ve been without a cell phone for over a week now. Admittedly, this one didn’t go out quite as epically as the last. My previous phone was equipped with some sort of voice recognition software and would attempt to pronounce the names of everyone on my contacts list. In its final death throws, the poor thing attempted to elicit help from several of my dearest friends by calling out to them alphabetically, an effort which was doomed to failure, considering that these names came out in what amounted to a series of high-tech burps. It was a very HAL moment.

But I’ve now grown acclimated to life without the burden of technology. Initially I was filled with paranoia. What if someone wanted to call to say “hey” ? But now I am at peace with nature and myself. After only three days, I began to commune with the moldy granola particles scattered on my floor. Currently I am experimenting with telepathy as a more environmentally sustainable way to keep in touch with friends and loved ones.

Now, time for some trivia…
Let’s go back in time to Depression era America. Times are rough, but through all hardship, love prevails as a new hero emerges: Henry Ford, Soybean Pioneer!

Yes indeed, Mr. Ford was in the thralls of a passion, a passion he wanted to share with the world- his joy for soy. He became so enamored with the humble legume that between 1932 and 1933 the Ford Motor Company spent approximately $1,250,000 on soybean research. By 1935, every Ford car had soy involved in its manufacture. Soybean oil was used to paint automobiles as well as fluid for shock absorbers. Ford scientists even developed a fiber from soy protein which was wool-like and very soft and Ford found himself mighty cozy in his suit made entirely from soybeans. So smitten was he that he threw dinner parties with nothing but soybean based foods on the menu.
One such menu included all of the following items:

* Tomato juice seasoned with soy sauce
* Celery stuffed with soybean cheese
* Puree of soybean
* Salted soybean
* Soybean crackers
* Soybean croquettes with tomato sauce
* Buttered green soybeans
* Pineapple ring with soybean cheese and soybean dressing
* Soybean bread with soybean butter
* Apple pie with soy crust
* Cocoa with soymilk
* Assorted soybean cookies, cakes, and candies
* Roasted soybean coffee
* Soymilk ice cream

Ford also funded the development of a soybean biscuit, which both Ford and white rats apparently liked, but was, as one of Ford's secretaries described it with unabashed candor, "the vilest thing ever put into human mouths."

But most of all, Ford loved soymilk. He was constantly inviting his friends and research assistants over to sample it, stopping just shy of using brute for to get them to acquiesce. The man certainly had an indomitable spirit. You can’t help but admire his take-no-prisoners attitude.

Which reminds me… Tofutti Break!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Lately I’ve come to see all of the mundane little mishaps of my day to day existence in terms of grand totalizing metaphors for my life. The results are not particularly poetic and the comparisons are pretty awkward to begin with. For example, the electric toothbrush I received from my mom for Christmas crapped out on me after about a month of faithful service. I had long since thrown away my man-powered toothbrush and even found myself reflecting on it as old-fashioned and quaint, my brushing routine irrevocably modified. Too cheap or too lazy to replace the batteries, I now find myself (and it’s been well over a month) holding the clunky handled gadget, wistfully pushing the button down a couple of times and thinking well of course this was bound to happen to ME, as if I were the only person to ever encounter a finite energy source.

On Friday I set the fire alarm off for the entire student apartment complex that I live in. At 5 AM. Yup Jerky McAsshole strikes again. I was writing a paper and had decided to make myself a little snack. All I had was spinach, so I put that on the stove with a little bit of water and promptly forgot about it, seeing as I was totally absorbed in writing a paper and all. Fifteen minutes later I heard that familiar sound which in years past may have indicated “wake up, you’re on fire” but now only means that someone is steaming broccoli somewhere within a five mile radius.

Everyone had the evacuate the building and the fire brigade arrived within five minutes, ready to hose down the son of a bitch who woke them up before dawn for no goddamn reason. Shivering in the cold (60 degrees is downright frigid for a retirement town). I watched the spectacle unfold, lit up a cigarette and kept my mouth shut.

It took 30 minutes to shut off the alarm. My guilt only increased in the morning when I heard 5 or 6 different people gripping on their cell phones about it. I hoped that none of my roommates would rat me out (there has to be some sort of implicit loyalty pact…) and told myself that I was going to bake cookies for everyone in the building (or at least enough for my roommates , as a bribe to keep everything hush-hush). I planned on attatching little notes saying “sorry to cause alarm <3 Anna.” They would have to forgive men then: a pun, so pathetic and so heartfelt was sure to endear me to all the potential haters and I could clear my conscience once and for all. But by the time I got out of class, I was so tired from pulling an all-nighter that I just collapsed on my bed and fell asleep. That’s me: my good intentions might actually mean something if I wasn’t so tired all the time.

As for the rest of the weekend… I scaled a barbed wire fence and ended up in a retirement enclave.