Monday, July 31, 2006

Geek-Out Time!

Finally, I can realize my childhood dream to be Princess Leia! Metal Bikini Leia, of course, not Bun Hair Leia.

(Via Towleroad)

How Cruisey Must THOSE Hanging Gardens Have Been!

For once, I actually wish I was in LA, just so I could go see Beefcake Babylon. My latent homosexuality, love of mythology, and devotion to Mystery Science Theater 3000 (which featured a lot of these kind of movies) made me a big fan of the "sword and sandals" genre.

(Via Defamer)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Dangers (?) Of Academic Blogs

When I got into blogs a year and a half ago, I was entering my last semester of college and staring out into the void of What Am I Going To Do Now? Since I'm such a nerd and such a bookworm, I was really thinking I'd go to grad school and become an English professor. Therefore, I made a conscious decision to read a lot of academic blogs (a number of which are linked in the sidebar). Not only was I genuinely interested in the subjects they write about, but I thought it would give me a better idea of the lay of the land of my possible career.

Reading the academic blogs, though, had an unforeseen side-effect: I realized I was totally not cut out to walk amidst the groves of academe. Every workplace or institution is full of politics and petty jealousies, that is human nature, but the sheer viciousness and bloodthirstyness of academia is astounding. And I realized that isn't all reading and Thinking Thoughts, but a lot of bureaucratic bullcrap, often not very well-paid. The job market being what it is, there's no guarantee you'll even have a job in the end; even if you get a job, you'll probably have to move around a lot, which, for a person of a change-averse character such as mine, isn't a very attractive prospect. The grad school experience sounds absolutely dire, incestuous and emotionally abusive. All of this is Not For Me, so I decided that academia just wasn't in the cards.

Though I've now gone off the idea, I do wonder if my reasons were good. I mean, the point of blogs is, partly, to bitch and moan. And I might not have read a representative sample. Maybe most professors are happy and contented, had a great time at grad school, had no problems writing their thesis, find a job easily, love teaching, while still doing meaningful research, like their colleagues, and enjoy a happy and balanced home life. I kinda doubt it, but it could be possible. Did I let the academic blogs turn me off something I should have gone for? Just thinking.


I don't know if this a South Jersey thing, a Philadelphia metro area thing, a Mid-Atlantic thing, an American thing or what, but I've noticed that I and a lot of other people around me, when saying the phrase "go ahead," turn it into "gaw head." Has anyone else noticed this where they are?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I Like 'Em Better Before They're Butterflies Anyway

Check out this cute (but dangerous) caterpillar. It really looks like some sort of animatronic plush toy. Except, you know, venomous.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Debate Continues

The debate about "genre" vs. "literary" fiction, that is. I agree with some of the Bookninja commenters: some sort of genre categorization (or "ghettoization" if you want to be militant) is necessary. Otherwise, we'd never be able to find anything we liked. That doesn't mean, however, that you can or should dismiss a whole genre. It may not be your thing, but it doesn't automatically mean it's trash. And there is a middle ground, you know, between schlock and "littrachure", of books that are just fun and entertaining. Not worth stressing out over where in the bookstore they're placed.

Sure, He Didn't Lead England To A World Cup Victory...

...but who cares when he looks this good?!?! Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaayum! I don't even find him that hot, usually, but I can't deny that this vacation is really agreeing with him.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Coming Out

So, as you've probably heard if you visit any sort of gossip/Hollywood/celebrity website, Lance Bass has come out of the closet. "Well, DUUUUUH!" a lot of people cry. And, well, yeah, most people have "known" for, like, ever. But there is a difference between "knowing" and knowing. Plus, incredible as it may seem, a lot of people probably are suprised by the news (if they even know who he is). Also, I'd rather have a Lance Bass come out about five years after we all "knew" than a bevy of Kevin Spaceys and Sean Hayeses who stay in the closet forever, not doing a damn thing for their fellow homosexuals. So, bravo, Lance, I say! Bravo!

Now Where Did I Leave That Book...

I really must visit Ireland one of these days. It is the ancestral land of much of my family. (Though Scotland is probably the actual "motherland." In addition to a couple of distaff Scottish lines, the patrinomial line it's likely, if family tradition and the geographical area my great grandfather came from mean anything, more Ulster/Scots-Irish than Irish-Irish. Of course, the original Scots were an Irish tribe that merged with the Picts and invading Vikings to create what we think of as Scotland. And humans and their genetic material get about so much anyway that a thousand years ago my male-line ancestors may have been Russian Slavs!) But more importantly, there's old books just lying about!

(Via Bookninja)

The Joycean Semiotics Of The Joker: A Poststructuralist Analysis of Supervillany

Those academics are just no fun. They'll also kill and dissect your dog, apparently.

(Via Bookninja)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I went with my father on Friday to pick up a new toilet. (My mother is having the upstairs bathroom redone.) To my surprise, the plumbing supply place was saffed by a whole sleuth of blue-collar bear-Daddy types. Yeah, they had beer guts (of varying sizes) covered by those patterned, not-quite-Hawaiian-but-the-same-idea shirts, but they were just all manly and sexy and crap. I'd let them take me to their teddy bear picnic any day!

And Here I Thought It Was Just About Naked Pictures Of Adolescents

I don't know much about MySpace really, so this article goes over my head a bit. It does lead me to ask, however, just why so many people are into MySpace. What's the appeal? What I've seen of it really hasn't impressed me, to be honest. I must be missing something, though.

(Via Defamer)

Oh NO He Didn't!

Nicholas Cage as Liberace?!?!? WTF! I thought I couldn't be more disgusted with him after seeing National Treasure. Then I saw the trailer for World Trade Center and his vomit-inducing New York "accent" and bad toupee. Now this? I shudder to think what's next.

(Via Gawker; Joe. My. God.)

Dog Beer

Yeah, you heard me, dog beer. For the enjoyment Fido Sixpacks of America, I suppose

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New Shoes

I got a desperately-need new pair of shoes on Sunday. There's nothing like a new pair of sneakers, is there? They're just so white and bright and cushy and new. You don't even want to wear them, lest you sully their pristine condition. It's always a little sad to see those new sneakers get worn and stained and, ultimately, discarded. Makes one think of one's own mortality....

Wow, I can make anything depressing! Yay me!

Question For New York Gays...

What's up with Barney's? I mean, why is it so popular with The Gays? Why that particular department store? Just curious.

Monday, July 24, 2006


When I get my own place and have my first party, I'm as lucky as Maggie and get a drunk, half-naked lug with a big boner to help me clean up.

I've Seen It In Movies, So It Must Be True To Life

A gay boy should have one or both of two things in his life: a wise older lesbian and/or an outwardly bitter and jaded, but secretly kind-hearted, drag queen. If I had just one of these essentials, I truly feel I would be a better, fiercer, more fabulous Gay who got laid a hell of a lot more.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I'm A Coward

So, as you all know, I started this job earlier in the month. Overall, I quite like it; it isn't too difficult and I like most of the people I work with (and can tolerate the rest). But there is one issue that is kinda getting to me. I work with a lot of like 16-18 year olds. It is not, therefore, entirely shocking that some of the guys say some quasi-homophobic things like, "That's gay!" or "You're gay!" (as an insult). It doesn't bother me too much, because the guys are young and don't know much better and I don't believe they "really mean it."

Still, I know in my heart of hearts, I should come out and confront this issue. But I haven't. Mostly, it's because I don't want to be a walking afterschool special. Explaining homosexuality just isn't my thing and I feel no need to justify myself to anyone. I really hate the inevitable "So why are you gay?" questions because I don't have good answers. What seems so self-evident to me -- "Well, why are you straight? Guys just do it for me." -- doesn't seem to always satisfy people. Guess I'm just not a good spokesperson for the Homosexual Agenda or something.

I must admit, though, that's there is an element of sheer cowardice (if that's the right word, which I'm not sure it quite is) to my passivity. I just don't want to "rock the boat" or cause any unpleasantness. I'm not really worried about a gay bashing or a hostile working environment because I know the other people, including the supervisors, would never let it get to that level, and because the young guys really aren't that way, but, always, there's a voice of doom and gloom in the back of my mind that makes me over-contemplate the worst case scenario. I'm the kind of person who just can't stand even the potential for any kind of awkwardness and confrontation. So I remain silent.

I feel tremendous guilt, though. By avoiding the issue, I feel like I'm letting my gay brethren and sistren down. In this era of hate and ignorance, it is our duty to educate and enlighten. But I'm not doing my part for The Cause. What does that say about me? I can decry the homophobic society that has produced this situation and makes it an issue in the first place, but in the end I have to take responsibility for my own actions and agency. By not having the courage to do a relatively simple thing like say, "Hey, I'm gay and don't really appreciate your comments," I allow fear and homophobia to triumph and betray my queer fellows.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


One of my favorite parts of summer has arrived: the cicadas are now active. I have no idea why, but the choirs of hissing/rattling/buzzing that roll through the air in waves, building and cresting like surf on the beach, are one of the few parts of the relentless heat that I truly enjoy.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Blogger Scorned

Indian bloggers are pissed off.

(Via Books, Inq.)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Arnold Zwicky, Will You Be My Boyfriend?

A fascinating look at the linguistic and pictorial conventions of gay porn magazines. At last, I've found another gay, porn-loving word nerd blogger! That's three of us: me, Zwicky, and Cephalogenic. I smell a threesome!

(Via Gay.Fleshbot)

Author Writes Novel About Person Totally Unlike Her!

A mother wins an online writing contest with a gay-themed novel! Shock! Horror! (Sarcasm!)

I mean, I know copyeditors want to attract attention to an article by giving it a catchy title, but in this case it just makes it sound like it's totally beyond the realm of imagination that a mother would write a novel about a gay teenaged boy. It is fiction, you know. And just because she wrote a "gay" novel doesn't mean she's like unfit or something, which I know they probably weren't trying to imply, but which I think is insinuated by the wording. Maybe it's just me, though...

Anyway, and on a totally superficial note, I love the main character's name: Thorn MacDonnell. Very butch, in a Braveheart kind of way.

(Via Bookninja)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'd Rather Be A Spinkick, Myself

50 Greatest Sidekicks of All Time

(Via Bookninja)

Some Obscure Words To Add To Your Vocabulary

luce: matter scraped off the face during a shave

Ugh, this luce on the razor is disgusting!

scurf: Scaly or shredded dry skin, such as dandruff

The luce scraped off your face is an example of scurf.

sportulary: subsisting on the gifts of patrons or charitable contributions

I was a sportulary college student.

Blast From The Past

Gee willickers, folks, how 'bout these new "spiral notebooks"? Aren't they just the bee's knees?!?

By the way, isn't this Great Depression thing just a big yawn? I can't eat, but I'm sure to buy a new spiral notebook! Brother [or sister!], can you spare a dime?

(Via Maud Newton)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

CEO Hottie

Mr. Matthew McCauley, you can gym in my boree any time!

Funny Lists For Sci-Fi Nerds

Top 10 Words in the SF Dictionary

Classic SF Lines as Written By Shakespeare

Surprise Items at Christie's Star Trek Auction

(Via Bookninja)

Oh, Geez...

Looks like I'm not the only one who needed a nap today, apparently! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go melt into a puddle of goo at the cuteness...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Blogimus Postimus Maximus

Why study Latin? One answer: "It trains the brain."

(Via Books, Inq.)


...what's with all the existential crap? It was just an ill-timed and ill-advised headbutt against a man who insulted Zidane's momma; no need to bring Camus into it.

(Via Bookslut)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Textbook SCANDAL!

Yeah, you heard me: a plagiarism scandal has hit the history textbook world.

I Have Influence! Really!

Apparently, I now have some power. This is illustrated by an email I received yesterday. A very nice woman by the name of Lucy pointed me to a new site she's involved with called BooksPrice and asking that, if I liked it, I link to it. Well, I've checked it out and do like what I see. Therefore, I'm recommending it and providing the link. Go test it for yourself.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nothing Better Than Dead Trees

For data storage and archiving, anyway. I mean, I don't have anything against trees that would make me think "the only good one is a dead one." I love trees! Their sacrifice is a noble one.

(Via Bookninja)

Old (Thousand) Blue Eyes

Mosquitos are crooners, apparently.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

GAY Penguins!

Fairy penguins! Oh, you mean that's just their name? Okay. They're still fabulous; they're all blue and adorable and stuff!

It's Soda!

Just like it's "hoagie," not "sub" or "grinder" or whatever! The green, yellow, and pink people in this map are just wrong, damnit!

(Via The Little Professor)

Oooooooooooh, Albert!

Einstein was both a playa and a better family man than previously thought.

(Via Gawker)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Words

All I can say is, "It's taken this long for 'drama queen' to get in?" Oh, and google is now a verb. (The OED did this some time ago, but it retained the upper-case "G".)

(Via Joe.My.God)

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto; You Say Octopi, I Say Octopuses

It's nice to see even the science geeks nerding out about words. Makes me feel like the East Coast/West Coast science vs. the humanities thing doesn't have to devolve into drive-bys. Maybe, just maybe, we really all can just get along.

Forza Azzurri!

Congratulations to the Italian national team on their victory over France in the World Cup!

Though most of the talk is about Zinedine Zidane's inexplicable head-butt, we really should remember the winning side. I mean, they're soooooooo hot! Look at the gams on this one!

Viva Italia!

Monday, July 10, 2006

What In The Who Now?

7-Up Cake? That may just be an odd kind of genius, I think. If I knew how to bake, I'd definitely try it out.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


As I listen to a discussion on Vladimir Putin on C-SPAN while surfing the Net, I come across a report of this rather disturbing incident. Creepy, both in regards to the incident ("like a kitten"?!?!?) and to the coincidence.

World Cup Final

Well, later today, Italy takes on France in the World Cup Final. I know I said that I was ambivalent as to who won between Italy and Germany because I liked both, but it turned out that I was more pro-German than I had thought. I just felt so bad for the German fans, who had gotten so inspired by their team's unexpected run.

But Italy's still the hottest team, and I love their blue uniforms, so I'm not too upset. Plus, they're going up against the damn Frenchies (who also have a very pretty shade of blue for their uniforms, though just slightly less attractive than the Italian's, IMHO), so all I have to say is "Forza Azzurri!"

(P.S. I'm actually not going to see the game until the replay on ESPN Monday at 7:00 PM. I just don't see myself getting up early enough tomorrow to watch it live. I hope to not be spoiled, but I'm not terribly confident on that score.)

They Say Blondes Have More Fun

But what about blonde mammoths?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Many Worlds In One

The Internet is a wonderful thing for many reasons. One of them is that it allows you to find and contact the most obscure people for information and advice.

For instance, I have a long-standing interest in cosmology. Through the wonders of Google and Yahoo, I have been able to find the email addresses of some of cosmology's leading lights to bug them for information and insight. Much to my delight, they almost always respond! One of the cosmologists with whom I've enjoyed a sporadic correspondence is one Dr. Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University.

A Ukrainian emigre with an interesting lifestory (back in the Soviet days, due to anti-Semitic attitudes, he found himself forced into menial jobs, the most interesting of which was zoo night watchman), Dr. Vilenkin has been a kind, patient, and fascinating correspondent. He now has a book out, Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes, in which he explores inflationary theory, of which he has been a major contributor, and the possibility of multiple universes. It is a very good book: breezy, interesting, and anecdotal, entertaing and informative. It's also just a well-designed book (the font, in particular, is very pleasing, and the paper very tactile).

In the interests of full disclosure, I mention the book not only because I "know" Dr. Vilenkin "personally" and I think it's a good book; I am also personally named in the acknowledgements. Our email exchanges were of some small help to him in the writing of some of the book, apparently. I'm inordinately pleased by this. Seeing one's name in print, even if it's in someone else's book, strokes the old ego quite nicely.

So, if you have any interest in cosmology -- or are just a huuuuuuge fan of mine -- check out Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes.

(P.S. Peter Woit has also posted about the book. He violently disagrees with Vilenkin's anthropic/landscape views, but, for all that, his view of the book itself seems positive, if only for the anecdotes.)


No need to get hoity-toity. Half the joy of a hot dog is where part where you resist thinking about just what the hell you're eating and just enjoy it. (It's rather Zen, really.)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Well All MY Toys Came From Tiffany's!

A jewelry store ad causes Copyranter to wax nostalgic.

Another Post For GayProf

The changing face of gay characters in comic books.

(Via Bookslut)

Job Update

Well, I've survived my first week of real work. (The store is closed on Fridays, so the week is over. And, yes, I realize it was a short week what with the holiday and all, but I still worked over twenty hours, which is a lot for a lazy-ass like me, so suck it!) Just. My back is killing me and I'm a bit tired, but nothing too bad thus far. Next week, my schedule stabilizes to something a bit more conducive to my sleep schedule and, now that I'm acclimated a bit, the nerves should be totally gone. Can't wait for payday!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sunday, July 02, 2006

World Cup

Being neither a sports fan nor a "furner", it always surprises me a bit that I get into the World Cup. But isn't really a surprise, since I watch more for the hot guys than anything else. Love the teams with white shorts, because you can see their underwear when they bend over. Love when they take their shirts off at the end, though its frustrating because the camera always seems to cut to another view just when things are getting interesting.

I must say, though, that I've been somewhat disappointed with the low level of hotness. Italy and Portugal are really the only "sides" that I've found attractive, the latter mostly because of
this Adonis. England and Germany have a bit of a beefy rough trade thing going on, and some generic "boys next door," but nothing spectactular. (I applaud and admire Beckham for his sense of style, but don't actually find him all that attractive.) Very disappointed in Brazil's total lack of hotness; I mean, Brazil is the Land of Hot Mens, but not on the soccer team, apparently. Also, lots of tragic hair going on. Soccer players just don't have good hair sense, apparently.

Still, ogling aside, some games do get my adrenaline pumping. I can't really explain, though, why some games grip me and some bore me to tears, just that they do. I'm just not familiar with soccer, probably.

Going into the semi-finals, I'm torn between Italy and Germany, who play each other on Tuesday. Do I go for the hotties or the home team? Decisions, decisions... I'm definitely rooting for whoever wins between those two, though. I rooted for France against Brazil because Brazil always win and it's nice to see the behemoths go down sometimes, but no way am I supporting those damn Frenchies beyond that. And I have no real connection to Portugal, so it's Italy or Germany all the way! Olaaaaaaaay, olay, olay, olaaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!!!

What Should Be My Blog Slogan???

From The Advertising Slogan Generator:

There's First Love, and There's Bourgeois Nerd Love.

The World's Favourite Bourgeois Nerd.

Go Crack a Bourgeois Nerd.

A Day Without Bourgeois Nerd is Like a Day Without Sunshine.

Smart. Beautiful. Bourgeois Nerd.

(Via Pharyngula)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Good God, Just FALL Already!

Still at work on The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I've only just gotten through Justinian. I'm just going to have to concede, admit that it's kicked my ass, and let it sit on the shelf for a while. I just can't bear to look at it anymore; I need a break.