"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

happy bro day!

today is my younger brother's birthday! he turns the 1-9. nothing particularly special (about turning 19), but he's a good guy, so i hope he has a really great day.

he's living down in Durham, NC and going to Duke to study engineering/ accounting/ education/?who knows what's intriguing him these days. he's pretty easily intrigued. he's also a pretty easy conversationalist. unless he's uncomfortable. or hot. he's hot a lot lately. that's because he lives in the room above the furnace. he eats more than 12 meals* a week. he works out a lot and tans really easy. i freestyled a song about his tanlines last summer. he was running and i was riding my bike. he almost let me film it, but i couldn't ride and sing and film and laugh at the same time. so i didn't.

he's a lot of other great things too, but my words aren't good today. i've used them all to finish writing my thesis. so i was going to post a picture of him instead (b/c a picture's worth a thousand of those, or something), but then i remembered i lost all my most recent pictures in the fire. so all i have are really old pictures of us when we went to the beach once. he must be a freshman in high school in these.

they're still nice though. because we're at the beach. and it's really cold here where i am now...

little bro, i hope they turn that heat down so you can get down off the ceiling and have a dance party for your birthday!

and since he's always raiding my cds for tunes, i thought i'd give him (and you!) a freebie today. happy birthday, bro:

"Little Brother" [mp3] by Grizzly Bear (who i saw in concert recently, and should talk about soon...)


*his meal plan at Duke only gets him 12 meals a week, which is pretty ridiculous and unreasonable, in my opinion. esp. for someone like my brother, who basically works out every day and plays tons of sports and is always hungry. had i better faith in our US Postal Service, i would have sent you a care package, bro, with all sorts of foods and steaks in it. but since i don't, i didn't. and i'm sorry. i'll be sending you books and a movie soon though!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

the happiest kind of doom

I FUCKING LOVE THIS SONG [mp3]. i listen to it on repeat and love it, even though/despite/in spite/to spite/because i know someone i love very much hates this song.

this is fevered, obsessive, destructive love.*

"the cruelty's so predictable."


"The past is a grotesque animal
And in its eyes you see
How completely wrong you can be
How completely wrong you can be

The sun is out, it melts the snow that fell yesterday
Makes you wonder why it bothered

I fell in love with the first cute girl that I met
Who could appreciate Georges Bataille
Standing at Swedish festival discussing "Story of the Eye"
Discussing "Story of the Eye"

It's so embarrassing to need someone like I do you
How can I explain, I need you here and not here too
How can I explain, I need you here and not here too

I'm flunking out, I'm flunking out, I'm gone, I'm just gone
But at least I author my own disaster
At least I author my own disaster

Performance breakdown and I don't want to hear it
I'm just not available
Things could be different but they're not
Things could be different but they're not

The mousy girl screams, "Violence! Violence!"
The mousy girl screams, "Violence! Violence!"
She gets hysterical because they're both so mean
And it's my favorite scene
But the cruelty's so predictable
It makes you sad on the stage
Though our love project has so much potential
But it's like we weren't made for this world
(Though I wouldn't really want to meet someone who was)

Do I have to scream in your face?
I've been dodging lamps and vegetables
Throw it all in my face, I don't care

Let's just have some fun
Let's tear this shit apart
Let's tear the fucking house apart
Let's tear our fucking bodies apart
But let's just have some fun

Somehow you've red-rovered the gestapo circling my heart
And nothing can defeat you
No death, no ugly world

You've lived so brightly
You've altered everything
I find myself searching for old selves
While speeding forward through the plate glass of maturing cells

I've played the unraveler, the parhelion
But even apocalypse is fleeting
There's no death, no ugly world

Sometimes I wonder if you're mythologizing me like I do you
Mythologizing me like I do you

We want our film to be beautiful, not realistic
Perceive me in the radiance of terror dreams
And you can betray me
You can, you can betray me

But teach me something wonderful
Crown my head, crowd my head
With your lilting effects
Project your fears on to me, I need to view them
See, there's nothing to them
I promise you, there's nothing to them

I'm so touched by your goodness
You make me feel so criminal
How do you keep it together?
I'm all, all unraveled

But you know, no matter where we are
We're always touching by underground wires

I've explored you with the detachment of an analyst
But most nights we've raided the same kingdoms
And none of our secrets are physical
None of our secrets are physical
None of our secrets are physical now"

-from Of Montreal's "The Past is a Grotesque Animal", from the Hissing Fauna (2007) album

*i think all he hears is the destruction, the agitation. i sometimes wish that's all i heard, too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

in case my computer dies again...

i don't want to lose these scans of blue book insides and outsides

and this scan of a page from my Cultural Studies notebook (a lecture ostensibly entitled "Power")

Monday, April 21, 2008

vivacious life

to prove that i am, despite convictions to the otherwise, in the living, i am posting some delicious pictures from last week's Western Senior Dinner.

i don't think i've ever looked so good after having been so haggard and dirty and sleep/food-deprived in my life, if i do say so myself. wow, what a difference a shower makes!

enjoy your weekends, i will be continuing to write and edit and build and not sleep.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

hostage situation

help! stephanie has been taken hostage by her project!

(this is my best attempt at a "hostage situation" photograph. that's tuesday's copy of the student paper! and that's my little cave-dwelling-as-of-late, the Tappan computer lab!)

even though i finished writing it on monday, i keep forcing myself to make more edits, to write more sections, to continue stressing. i'm still trapped in the dark cave-like confines of the Tappan computer lab (my near-permanent residence since my computer crashed last week).

i hope to be freed soon. tomorrow, i work more on the concluding chapters, (there are some chapter titles i'm playing with), and then i am meeting up with an elusive english dept. faculty member to make a book press! (i am way excited!)

send ransom money and kittens to my comment box!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

she lives!

(that's me with the "proof" of my finished senior project! alt. title reads: "Idiots and Jackasses: How American Public Education Fails to Meet Its Democratic Ideals." you like?)

hello everyone!

yes, this is stephanie, returning to you from the edge of death and emotional/psychological/existential despair, to say that

i finished the project after much duress, at noon on Monday, April 14th, 2008. i had to haul a lot of ass to get there, and it was certainly not the easiest thing i've ever done (i slept 10 minutes on Sunday night, 2 hours on Saturday, 3 hours on Friday, ate maybe 4 meals in that expanse of time), nor the easiest to understand (i wrote 25 pages in one night!), nor the most believable (i wrote 25 pages! in one night! with only 10 minutes of sleep!). but i did it! I AM SET TO GRADUATE! (*fist pump and hip thrust!* *yeah!* let's have a party now, pls?)

2) there's still so much to do...
i am presenting my thesis at the undergraduate research forum in 4 hours, and i have nothing in the way of visual aids or even mental preparation. i hope to just show up and be able to garble something remotely intelligible.
the "dress rehearsal" for my big thesis defense in May is coming up on Thursday, which is also a little too early for my taste. i don't think i can whip up a powerpoint and a formal presentation in one night, especially since i still haven't slept more than 5 hours since i finished.
(my body is def taking a toll from all this. on Monday, when i wrapped up writing, my face looked like i'd been chainsmoking 2 packs a day since i was 14. i was so haggard, i couldn't believe i was still alive. and sadly, i still haven't gotten a chance to completely rest up, i've been editing and formatting the project, and working on SFS stuff again, and bouncing around meetings. i can't wait until next week, when i will hopefully be able to sleep and eat to my heart's content and maybe even read a good book again!)
AND, there's still another chapter i want to write, because it just doesn't feel done yet, but i don't know if i have the patience/time/energy/will-power to do it. i'm telling you, i have a disease! i need to just put it aside, let it wait for the dissertation!

thru all of the trials and tribulations, this blog has really been a huge source of relief for me. it's been a place to informally write what i'm thinking, and a nice opportunity to step away from the project, remember that i can write, i just need to be less editorial about it and let it flow.

and, to know that there are ppl who read it, who enjoy it (don't you?) and who care, well, it really puts the sunshine in my (as of late) dark and dismal existence. (i can't tell you how glad it made me, as sick as this sounds, to know that ppl were worried and wondering if i had died. i'm so glad you care that i live! shucks, yo... thanks!)

and, i wanted to thank the blog itself, as odd as that sounds, because it literally saved me. when i lost all the data on my computer (all my writing from college, all my photos), i didn't know how the fuck i was going to finish my thesis. there were diagrams, little nuggets that i'd written in little .rtf files, little things that i couldn't possibly think to recover. some were screen shots of websites long lost and forgotten. some were passing thoughts that i couldn't reconstruct or re-place.

but then i remembered that i had posted most, if not all, of these things on the blog! and sure enough, there they all were, neatly labeled and organized, even showing me which dates i'd created them, so i could make accurate notations in my citations list! hahaha, what a beautiful thing!

anyway, i should really get back to work. i'm running around to meetings and presentations and interviews all day, and then i'm teaching class until 10 pm (which i really need to prepare for), and then i gotta find time to put a powerpoint together for tomorrow... oh geez, it's looking like another all-nighter week...

when everything is said and done, i hope there will be copious imbibing and heavy snuggling.

until then, yours in life and virtual death,

Saturday, April 12, 2008


48 hours before senior project is due: i'm sitting at my desk, listening to music and working on my paper. i have 10 documents open at once, maybe 3 applications. i'm pressing F9, which on a mac, lets you zoom out and look at everything at once, so you can find your bearings.

i zoomed out and it wouldn't zoom back.

i heard gears spinning, the clicking of some hardwear trying to find its place, a fan doing its best to keep the system from overheating.

3 hours later and my harddrive would be pronounced dead on arrival. when the guy at the apple store plugged it in to try some diagnostic tests, he said he couldn't even detect a harddrive on there.

now i have a useless piece of empty computer, which will cost close to $2K to recover the data from. and i don't know if my external harddrive got fried in the process too. i'm just hoping i made it away from this with just a small piece of my music collection still intact on that external...

i feel like the Universe's bitch right now. what did i do???!! i keep wondering why my karma is so for shit these days. maybe i hit a squirrel with my car and didn't know, in which case i'd like to formally issue my apology: i'm very sorry, it was nuthin personal, i actually love squirrels very much, if i could, i'd adopt the dead squirrel's family and let them live in my home.

just pleeeeaaaase, stop it with the bad karma!

less than 24 hours to go, and i am in some deep shit.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

where is my mind?

i can't do it... i can't do anything. i can't write because i can't think, i can't think because i haven't slept, i can't sleep because i can't stop thinking, can't sleep because i can't stop writing...

i know the end but i don't know how to get there.

this is what it must have felt like when Zeus's head split open and out came Athena. 

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

my senior project presentation


5:15 - 6:50 PM in Leonard Theatre on the Western College Campus

Stephanie Lee will be defending her undergraduate thesis entitled "Actualizing the Democratic Promise of American Public Education."

Come if you care. Don't come if you don't.

Monday, April 07, 2008

a beginner's guide to domination and suppression

how to kill activism, reassert the market's dominance of everyday life, and ruin democracy:

1) authority + passivity
(teach 'em not to think for themselves)

2) empty promises
(keep em running. employ 'carrot and stick')

3) divide & conquer
(kill their communities, take away their friends - better yet, have them do it to themselves)

4) the illusion of choice
(make them think they want/need these things and that they're being taken care of)

you'll have a totalitarian state in no time!

(disclaimer: i, of course, don't agree with any of these things. it was just that while i was writing my thesis today i made a list like this to clarify the points i was going to be making in this particular section of my paper and i thought it was interesting enough to share.)

p.s. it should be noted that all these were, and are, being practiced everyday, in the media industry, and especially the school.

this year


[mp3] "This Year" by The Mountain Goats.


it's do or die!
(pls not die...)


Sunday, April 06, 2008

at wit's end

an email sent to my Senior Project advisors this evening:

Hi Bill and Bill,

I am facing a huge dilemma. I am nearing 40 pages on my senior project now, and the pages I have are pretty well-researched and -written, in my opinion.

However, the project I had planned to write at the beginning of this year is far from done. I could easily write another 80 or 100 more pages, there is just so much I have in mind to discuss and examine in the project.

However, I also know that in the time I have available, this is impossible. But, I don't feel good about turning the project in. It doesn't feel complete, even though I've technically written all the pages I need to write.

What should I do? I can't afford to stay this summer and finish the project, and really, I don't think 2 or 3 more months will really allow me to finish the project I had in mind. The scope of the project demands a book, and I don't have time to write one, in a week or in a summer.

If I reduce the project to just the first two chapters, I feel that my individual voice and perspective on the topic will be left out. But, if I try to write the chapters I have left, they will likely be under-researched and poorly written.

Please advise me, I am at wit's end.

Friday, April 04, 2008

happy birthday!

photo from summer 2003 (junior year of high school! whoa what a long time ago...)

to my most beautiful Mother, a woman whose energy and unconditional love remain unparalleled:

i hope your day is filled with sunshine and Spring flowers and that i never forget to show you anything but the love you've given me. 

i love you, Mom.

only at Miami and only in Oxford, Ohio...

the students at Miami have been hit by a "crime wave" in the past year. we get electronic announcements regarding the latest in the spree of thefts, break-in's, (armed) robberies, drunken malfeasances. they are "designed to notify members of the University community about a reported crime that may represent an ongoing threat to public safety."

these are, of course, very serious. Miami takes its image and its terrorism very seriously. nevertheless, i couldn't help laughing out loud when i read the following Campus Crime Alert (they've stopped numbering them as they used to, but i think this makes #20+):


this has the potential for satire written all over it. too bad it's a couple days late, i'd say the administration finally grew a sense of humor and got us with a good Fools' Day prank.

hm... based on that description, they've pretty much implicated at least half of the female student population (happy to say i get excluded from the line-up on two counts: not being white and not wearing leggings since the '80s or since '80s night disappeared from the weekly Balcony lineup).

i suppose if this should be any suggestion of an "ongoing threat to public safety," we best lock and bolt our windows and doors immediately, b/c our sad campus is sadly overflowing with a preponderance of these dangerous criminals. lock 'em up! not b/c they steal laptops or break into ppl's dorm rooms, but just b/c they perpetrate great harm on the human species for their very existence.

it's gonna be a dangerous Spring!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

to build a fire

i've spent the last 15 minutes looking for a book of matches. i coulda sworn i tucked one away in a purse somewhere, but now i'm thinking i might've taken it back out b/c i was boarding an airplane a while ago and worried they'd find it suspicious.

i used to keep a book of matches on me all the time. i was always worried about getting lost in the woods at night and thought i would need to build a fire at some point and might as well be careful and prepared. (which is funny, b/c now, i imagine the woods at night as being a much safer place to be than where i am now...)

i'm in a destructive mood. i want to find matches b/c i want to light a candle. i want to light a candle so i can hold it in my hands and feel the heat, to feel warm and safe. but i also want to light a match so i can watch it burn, because it's against the rules, b/c if i let it burn long enough it might just catch fire to the whole place, b/c it might set off the smoke alarm, b/c it might draw everyone out of their rooms and force them to stand, huddled together, outside. b/c if i stare at the flames long enough, maybe i'll burn my retinas and i could get a seeing eye dog.

i did my winter laundry today, washed a coat and stuck it in the dryer with a bunch of woolens, even though the tag on the coat said "KEEP AWAY FROM FLAMES" (yes, the type was actually in red!) and had a big X through the dryer symbol, all with the hope that maybe it would combust.

of course, none of this happened. i didn't find any matches, and all my scarves and mittens are clean and tucked away in drawers for the spring.


for some reason, the first part of sampled song with twinkly harp that goes "all i need now is to find myself a good woman" (can anyone tell me what song that is?) is stuck in my head and repeating itself in a loop. it'll replace the fire for now...