Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Crickets Say Hello

I've been kind of quiet this past week. I almost feel settled. Settled into my apartment, the weirdness of moving and starting over.

I went to a party last night. At this party, I met some cool people. Hopefully they will be my friends. They are all writers, which is cool. One of them danced up on me. Like, hard. I blushed, then giggled. My boyfriend did not dance. He generally doesn't, but that's ok. I dance enough for us both.

I spent a long time talking about submissions with a new friend. I worry that perhaps I went a bit overboard, got a little soap-boxy. "You need to just submit everywhere!" "Rejections are normal, get used to them!" "Submit submit submit!" "Wanna see my awesome spreadsheet?? I'll pull it up here on my smartphone..." Yeah. I drank some drinks and then danced to Mariah Carey's Fantasy after that. It was more fun than me speechifying.

I got a super nice rejection from PANK yesterday, after only two days. They were impressed with my writing and want to read more. That's nice to hear. Especially after the super bland form rejection I got from this other journal after waiting five months.

On my desk is an index card with a list of words. I might use these in a poem. I have been thinking about writing another sestina and I wanted to gather some words together that deal with the domestic. Would you like to add some of these to my list?  Here it is below. Yes, I know I spelled camouflage wrong. Unfortunately, index cards don't have spellcheck.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Literary Roundup! Goulash-Style

Well, everyone is back to school this week for the most part. I am sitting at home taking turns sending out job applications and weeping over my Master's degree.

We're cooking up some delicious goulash over at Weave. It's smellin' good. So many astounding submissions. I think this issue might just be a plump and juicy one. Also, collaborations abound! Expect to see some new things happening soon. Yay for being cryptic!

New word I learned this week: swale. n. a hollow or low place, especially a marshy depression between ridges. (I learned this word from reading poetry. It has made an appearance in a poem of mine now too.) That's a sexy word, right? Mm.

At the bottom you find a slideshow of pictures from last months InsideStoryTime reading. I have this months, but they are not uploaded yet.

Now, onto the Roundup for this week! (or however often I write these...)

Good things happening on the Interwebz. The new issue of Pedestal is up and it's a doozy. These twelve poems are all super different, but also dark, creepy, specific, grand, and just plain good. Some of them have an audio, which is awesome. Two of my favs: Wendy Miles' poem "Still Life" (you MUST listen to her lovely voice read this poem) and Adam Hughes' "Love Poem" which is weird and includes cats in blenders, but it works because of all the detail and tiny moments. I never realized how the crackling of shrimp shells does sound a lot like ice crackling. These two poems are really different, but I love that I found them in the same journal. I must also shout out to Christopher Shipman's "Ruins" simply because it deals so well with the death of elderly family. Such a tough topic to get into while avoiding the overly sentimental. Kudos.

I bought some new books this week. Looking forward to reading Sarah Sloat's new chapbook Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair from Dancing Girl Press. I also got Gregory Sherl's Heavy Petting from YesYes Books. Both of these poets have had work in Weave, so I'm a bit biased, but I'm really looking forward to reading these.

Roxane Gay writes about happy endings over at HTML Giant. D. Gilson writes about submitting and queerness on the Sibling Rivalry Press blog. And finally, for the book lovers out there (all of you, I hope), here is some bookshelf porn. I can't only imagine how many weirdos are going to find my blog because of that link.

Happy reading!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reading and Waiting

Lots to say this morning. My brain is full. So is my belly, full of coffee and eggs.

The floods back in Pittsburgh put me in a weird mood last night. Sad. Sad about the woman and her two daughters, drowning in their car filled with water. I have that nightmare. I take solace in the hope that death must have a pleasant moment when it finally arrives.

I can't dwell there too much or I won't get anything done today.

I'm reading The Color Purple right now. I have never read it before. I got it a day ago and I'm about halfway through already. I'm normally a slow reader, and oddly, I'm taking even more time with this book. I'm stopping a lot to write down lines that speak a plain truth. Like Hemingway says, "Write the truest sentence you know." Alice Walker writes them, one after another. If you haven't read this book, I urge you to head to your library or local bookstore, find a copy, and read it. Today.

There are so many books that I haven't read yet. I always feel this way, especially when I compare myself to other writers with English degrees. Or to introverts. Or speed-readers. Once I was talking to my friend Heather about reading to her son. She mentioned how nice it was when she had time to sit and read something silently on her own, how she could finally read faster than speaking. I didn't understand what she meant. I asked her, you mean, you don't read the words silently in your head? And she explained that she reads quickly, groups the words, skips parts, but still grabs the words. Sal reads like this, too. When he and I read an article together on the computer, he's always scrolling too fast and I have to catch up. I try to skim when I read sometimes, but nothing sticks. I'm a terrible skimmer. It just means that I end up dropping the few words I do manage to catch. I have to go back and start over. I feel like I'm always catching up.

I'm also reading The Portable MFA. It's a free download from Amazon right now. The authors really complain about MFA programs. I agree with a lot of their points, but mostly it validated my MFA program. At least for someone like me, who made the most of the community-building and friendship-strengthening and free-time-and-space. All of our workshops were built on craft too. And developing a vocabulary of craft.

I like the point they make about teaching writing. They disagree with the statement, "writing cannot be taught." Writing, like any creative expression, has craft. You don't become a classically trained pianist by having a teacher sit you in front of a piano and bang away with no direction, no history, no technique, no theory (their example). This made me laugh. Of course, there is craft! Writing has craft. There is also, of course, another element involved: passion. You can't teach passion. Or creativity. You can't teach creativity. However, you wouldn't expect someone to become a writer, but refuse to give them paper and pencil or teach them the alphabet. Why do we not see the tools of writing for what they are? Do we want them to be a secret? What are the benefits in making these things mysterious?

It's almost September. I have to send out 9 submissions before the months end to get caught up. I have poems to revise and send, but I'm just not feeling it. I've got too many others that I'm waiting on. Waiting on for over six months. I wish I were more patient.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Some Thoughts on Blogging in the Writing Classroom

I came across this blog post (via Google+) about what blogger and professor Amanda Ann Klein has learned after two years of blogging (wow, I said blog a lot there). There are some excellent realizations from Klein in this post like, "blogging teaches you that your words are not gold" and "it's you, not them," meaning, your readers don't put pressure on you to blog, you do, and mostly they just want something to read, so stop obsessing about it and write!

I also like "blogging makes you a better writer" and "blogging makes you a better thinker." They are the same thing, really, related and refined versions of one another. Writing = Thinking. Thinking = Writing. I love the idea that often, you don't know what you are going to write about until you start writing. But what does writing begin with? A thought. So we write that thought down, and connect it to other thoughts that we have along the way.

"And after writing for a while I would start to see what it was that I wanted to write about — what my argument was — and this would then guide my research."

Yes! This has happened to me so many times when I blog (or when I write in general). It happened yesterday when I wrote this sad little cry for help or encouragement or a kind word. I wrote an essay about my mother breaking her arm, but by the third or fourth draft, I realized it was also about my divorce.

This puts that whole "just sit down and write" thing in another perspective, the advice that you need to sit and keep writing until you get to a point. Maybe that point is on page five or fifteen. I used to think that all the stuff you wrote before that point was then thrown out. But Klein helped me realize that it's much more complex. Those words won't go to waste. You might use them somewhere else, just not on page two. Or you may learn a lesson in editing or radical revision, even, and that is part of writing (back to the lesson about your words not being gold). Writing is messy at first, because our thoughts are messy. But that's one reason why we write. To make out thoughts less messy. To look at them. Mess them up again. To make them visible, tangible even. Move them around and see what emerges.

I had this philosophy class my second year of college. It was at a community college. Some my most memorable professors are from that year. This philosophy professor was great and I wish I could remember his name. He was a former preist, I think? Which is strange, because I went on to have a nun-turned-agnostic-trans-man World Religions professor.

But I digress. In this philosophy class, we discussed how language began as a tool that humans made, but now this tool makes humans. It affects our physiology; our noses and mouths and tongue and lips have evolved over time to have millions of little muscles that shape our ability to speak. Our thoughts, well, those are words now, and often our memories are words. I wonder if this is why we can't remember things from before a certain age, because we were pre-language. Our thoughts become words. They are, in this way, controlled and limited by our language.

But by writing, we can, in a small way, becomes masters of our thoughts. I say "master" and not "control" because those are different ideals. Control implies blind-authority, whereas mastering, well, there is a authority, but it's more skilled. As Masters of Our Thoughts, we can coax them out, perhaps even accessing other functions of our brain, make connections between images, symbols, feelings, and our word-thoughts.

Well, I just went down a writing-thought-philosophy-rabbit-hole, much further than I intended.

My other favorite point she makes is this: "Blogging teaches you that you need to do things in your own way — in a way that fits the way you live and the way you think — or you will never feel satisfied."


Blogging (or writing) sucks when you feel like you have to. But it's awesome when you feel as though you must write or something terrible will happen.

All of these points I've made now bring me back to the title of this blog post: blogging in the classroom. Can we, as writer-teachers, use blogging in the classroom to teach our students these lessons? Would it be the same if we forced our students to blog X times a week? The reality is that we must make them write, because that's the subject of the class. And it doesn't have to be blogging. Journaling could work in a similar way (of course, it's less public and one could argue that audience plays a big part in the blogging). But I wonder, how can we recreate these lessons? Would it take two years? Can it be condensed into a semester?

Maybe the answer is that we can't recreate it. Students might just have to learn that part on their own. Maybe we just need to give them some tools for writing and send them on their way after three and a half months. Hope for the best. But I can't help but wonder if there is a way to transfer Klein's lessons to the writing classroom.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jobs, Dreams and Charlie Sheen's Tooth Enamel

I'm on the floor. You gotta scrape me off of it these days. I showered today. I sent out three last ditch job applications. Mostly hoping against all-logic that someone will believe in me and my little-cv-that-could.

The truth is, this academic-job-nut must be made of titanium or tungsten or Charlie Sheen's tooth enamel. It's not just hard to crack; it's impossible, really. But if I do find some kind of magical saw or jackhammer fueled by fairy dust and the dreams of poet-teachers everywhere, I will sneak into that little crack so fast. I will teach the crap out of Critical Thinking & Composition or Developmental Reading. If I get a freshman comp class, well, I will click my heals as I walk onto campus each day. My students won't know it, but they'll be free-writing and peer reviewing and revising revising revising all over the place, but they will just think, "Wow, who knew writing and learning and listening and reading and speaking could be this much fun?"

Yeah, that's my little dream. It's a good one to hold onto. It fuels me when I read course descriptions like, "In this workshop, we will explore the dynamic properties of ice cubes and it's effect on culture and politics in our own writing." Yeah. I don't even know what that means, but it might be cool. Who knows? Would I fit in that department? Sometimes I feel so un-California-like. I just want to help people find the tools to be become good writers.

When things get really tough, I imagine my ideal classroom...

There is a big round table in the middle. Or maybe it's shaped like a caterpillar, with different types of chairs and exercise balls and stools and things to sit on. The walls are lined with books and journals and magazines and books. The latest technology flows seamlessly among small, independent workstations and group collaboration tables that always have paper and notebooks and pens and pencils and a center for bookmaking and skill-share corner for students to learn how to do things or teach others to do something they know. We'll have Mandatory Writing Hour thrice daily, where everyone writes and edits and writes and writes some more. Oh, and snacks. There will be delicious snacks. Class will last all day, but no one will mind because it won't feel like class, it will feel like we are engaging with ourselves, the page, each other, books, history and....

Well that was a fun little fantasy. In reality I'll get a room in a basement with desks that are bolted to the floor. And it will be hard, because teaching is hard. But I can still dream. When I'm not writing cover letters with words like "encompass" and "theory," I'm thinking about this perfect classroom.

Things have gotten really tough this past week. There were lots of meltdowns, questioning my life-path, and why, oh why, was I subjecting myself to this kind of torture? Because teaching is what I do. Just like writing. They are connected. Even if I could sit in a room and write all day and have people bring me food and never leave, I wouldn't. Because, 1) I'd get bored pretty quickly and 2) I'm sure whatever I write under those conditions will be god-awful. Awful Waffle kind of awful. For serious. I'd get out there and teach and engage and write and learn and write and teach...

But, on another, more personal note, I'm pretty lonely. It probably has something to do with the fact that I don't leave the apartment  much. I always have something to do and it's easiest to do it at home. At least my apartment is familiar. Outside is just so unfamiliar.

I really need a job.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Literary Roundup: How do you call your loverboy?

I've got so many chills today. From sexy, sexy poems. Also scary, still, hauntingly violent poems. And from an amazing article in praise of Patrick Swayze's sweet sweet hip thrusts.

Online journal qarrtsiluni has a poem by Ruth Foley called "If You Want Me" and it is a must-hear. Hear? Why, yes! They do a short podcast with each published poem featuring the poet reading their own words. Ms. Foley's poem and voice bring out the sad layers in this narrative.

Next up, we have Quartier Rouge, a quarterly literary video journal, from the lovely ladies of NYC's Poetry Brothel. These lady-poets have lots of lace clothing and male suitors. And for good reason. The Brothel features one-on-one poetry readings (think of it like a class-up, poemified, lap dance) at their performances. Now you can hear and see their alter-egos reading their words. Reading isn't quite right. It's more like a conversation where you can't possibly think of anything to say, because they are speaking. And when these poet's speak, you listen.

Finally, a happened upon this analysis of Dirty Dancing and why it is the greatest movie of all time. Writer Irin Carmon argues that Dirty Dancing is pro-woman, pro-sexuality, and pro-choice. Baby is ultimately a strong young woman who works hard and comes into her own in this story, which doesn't shy away from tough issues like class, race, abortion and sex. Plus, I learned that Patrick Swayze was the son of a ballerina and a cowboy. Now that's just begging to a poem, right?

All of these words are calling to you: Come here, loverboy... 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Will You Be My Friend?

It's hard to make friends as a grownup. I wish I had more friends in San Francisco, but I know it takes time. I do have some awesome friends here, but people are busy and my fear of the BART system keeps me from traveling to the East Bay. I gotta get over that.

How do you make friends in a new place?

I read somewhere that loneliness is often higher in more populated places. Mostly because people feel anonymous in a sea of faces. Quantity does not equal quality. Never having lived in a city before, I feel hopelessly uncool when I traipse about town. There are a lot of cool people here. Or maybe I just feel super uncool in comparison. Can they tell I'm from the suburbs? Do they know I eat casseroles?!?

While I'm pretty outgoing, I get nervous going to public events alone. Like a poetry reading, for example. Most people will go there with a friend. What am I supposed to do, walk up to people and say, "Will you be my friend?" Awk.ward.

Remember when you were kids and a new student came to your class and all the kids would rush to be best friends with them first? Ok, maybe that only happened to me. In the third grade I moved to a new school district in the spring, so the kids in my new class were pretty bored with each other. A new student coming in was a novelty. Everyone want to be my friend! When a new kid moved to the neighborhood, you'd just knock on the door and ask if they could come out to play. Even in grad school, everyone was in the same position: in need of friends.

It would be nice if it were that easy. Still though, I am a good candidate for a friend. I'm fun and I ask good questions. I like things like beer and poetry. Often simultaneously, but that's not a requirement. I like lots of things. Settlers of Catan? Awesome! Chinese dumplings? Delish!

In other news, I found a blog that is specifically about my neighborhood in San Francisco. It's called Haighteration. Isn't that cool? I will venture out to some of the neighborhood events soon, try to knock on some doors, see who can come out to play.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Changing Education Paradigms

This week, Sal and I have had some powerful conversations about education. He comes from a family of educators and artists, something that I love about him. I have a degree in Education, specifically Elementary Education, and was trained in the constructivist model, which is a learning theory that posits that humans learn through experience. We learn by doing. With a definition as simple as that, you might be tempted to respond with a snarky "no duh!" However, teaching using a constructivist approach is more difficult than one might imagine; it is antithetical to our experiences as students and to the entire structure of our educational system, which is based on a model of training workers for jobs (which is a simplistic summary, I know, but it's true).

I've been thinking a lot about teaching, learning and writing, how they intersect, how they overlap and how they bolster each other. I'm going to share my thoughts and ideas here. I encourage you to participate in the discussion.

To kick things off, I will share with you this animated video of a lecture by Sir Ken Robinson, an expert in creativity and education. Most of what he says in this video I already knew, but it was so powerful, I actually cried afterward. Because my first response was hopelessness. I thought of my students, my classroom in Pittsburgh, and I worried for them. Our world is so broken.

But I woke up this morning determined to start a dialogue with myself and hopefully with you, blog reader, about what we can do to make our world less broken. Maybe even word toward healing.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Seriously? Seriously.

I'm grumpy tonight.

I was up until 2:30 last night, unable to sleep, worrying about jobs and life and OMG I'M THIRTY and when was the last time I showered? Yeah. So then I was way too tired to go hiking around Muir Woods with my BFF and her family, who are in town for a wedding. So I stayed home, tried to work on my job stuff, revise some poems. I focused on Weave, did some reading. Finished up work for my last class.

I'm up again. I know I won't be tired for a while. If I try to lay there next to Sal, I'll just feel my heart start to beat out of my chest. I'll hear all the things I say to myself during the day, except all at once, in shouting voices.

I get pissed off when people don't take writing seriously.

Writing is work. Good writing. Sometimes we get lucky. We have that inspiration that strikes us like a big, fat, bolt of creative lightning and we run to the bank with that fucker. We take that shit down to the river and baptize ourselves in the ease of it. Or we should. Maybe when we first start writing, we know it's our medium. It feels easier to us than to our peers. But eventually, we all get herded toward one another as we get older. Some of us drop out of the pack because it's not easy anymore. It's grueling. It's late nights, avoiding sleep, three days without showers, where are my benzos? and thank god for whiskey.

I get pissed off when people take themselves too seriously.

There is this culture of irony and strangeness and distance in writing. I wrote a sentence. It's weird. Look at my weird sentence. Isn't it ironic? No. It's not. It's lazy. It's uninteresting. Where is the depth? Where is the connection? Where is the concerto? Where are my benzos? Yeah, we get people who like to put up a front, be cool. I've just never been cool. Like, I'm so uncool, it's pathetic. But I work hard. I write hard.

But then I get pissed at myself for taking everything too seriously. Every. Effing. Thing.

It's becoming clear to me that I will most likely work at the mall if I don't get my shit together this week. I will explode if I don't write a good poem soon. Mediocre even. Soon, I will eat breakfast for dinner and lunch. I'll sleep through breakfast. This is my life. Waking up and avoiding anything that might make me anxious until bedtime. I work in between. I take breaks. Boy I'm tired. But not tired enough to sleep yet.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Literary Roundup: Online Lit Edition

I've been submitting a lot lately, which means I've been reading a lot too. Particularly online journals that I never seem to have the time to read. Well, I have the time, but not right kind of time one needs to read. When I'm on my computer, I have multitasking time, but that's not the right kind of time to have for reading delicious literary works.

The latest issue of Corium was posted last week. I'm absolutely in love with this very short fiction piece by Elizabeth Wade. My prognosis? Lovely + Superb. And "clavicle" is my new favorite word.

I found this cool lit mag through my friend Kayla Washko, who's essay "Unlosing Your Virginity" was published on Paper Darts. Not only is this essay hysterical, the editors also create original graphics to go with the pieces, which give the site a playful look and feel. I'm really digging on their aesthetic.

Nicelle Davis' poems over there are excellent, specifically her second poem "My Two-Year Old Son at the Five-Year Old Girl’s Birthday Party," which makes good use of an extended metaphor. So often extended metaphors beat the reader to death, but the bird images are just enough here. Nice work.

Since I've got the attention span of a two year-old, I rarely make time to read fiction. Especially when I'm in the midst of submission-reading for Weave. However, while checking out decomP's latest issue, I took the three minutes needed to read "Wasps" by Kristi DeMeester and I was glad I did. Great texture to this story. It surprised me at the end. I like when that happens.

Sweet has a beautiful and funny essay by Brenda Miller called "Our Daily Toast." Read it and find out why Miller won a Pushcart. I also loved these poems from Nin Andrews in their latest issue from January.

Finally, I dug up this poem from > kill author's issue one archives. Thank you, Nicole Elizabeth. I took piano lessons for six years and never really improved, so imagining pianos falling from the sky was nostalgic, sad and a little gratifying.

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I love me some Bitch. I've been a subscriber for years. It is an important, vital voice among the cacophony of media noise. They are also committed to print publishing. Bitch is proof that feminism is alive and relevant. Feminisms are alive. We all need to hear from them.

"Feminism is for everybody." - bell hooks, activist and author

They are having a subscription drive and need to meet 1500. They only need 200 more to go.

I want to buy a subscription for someone who has never read Bitch. I'll just trust you on this one. If you've never read Bitch, the first person to comment gets a gift subscription. Once I get the comment, I'll contact you via email. Be sure you leave me some way to contact you in the comment.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Acceptance Rates and a Fleeting Case of Woe-is-Me

UPDATE: Quite literally 20 minutes after post this blog update, I received an acceptance. Apparently all I had to do was complain publicly. 

I hesitate to complain on my blog, mostly because I think a lot of writers end up in "woe-is-me" patterns that only invite more woe. Today though, I really need to whine a little and hopefully gain some perspective in the process.

The year 2010 was a pretty great one for me, publishing wise. I received my first publication in April, and after that they poured in. I even had a week where six poems were accepted by four publications. The year kept bringing more joyful acceptances until the very end, which concluded with three acceptances on New Years Eve. The total for the year was 17 published poems in 13 journals; my acceptance rate was around 27% for the year. Go Laura.

Because of that success, I decided to submit to harder markets in 2011. I also made a goal of 100 journal submissions by the end of the year (to date, I'm 11 behind). I have received four fantastic acceptances, for which I am truly grateful. I love that those poems are out in the world. I love the journals they are published in. But as it stands, I haven't gotten an acceptance since April and I think the standards that were set up in 2010 have ruined me for 2011. Last week I got four rejections. Form rejections at that. Blerg. Current acceptance rate for 2011: 7%.

At least I have a pile of solid poems to edit.
I sent my chapbook manuscript to four contests earlier this year. Three rejections later, I'm holding out on this last one and, when that is rejected, I will do some reorganizing and re-strategizing. I'd like to just get on with it. Do you hear me, Chapbook Contest I submitted to in February? (yes, I know it's not that long ago, but I'm impatient). 

I'm also going through the demoralizing process of job hunting. I spent all of July in a tail-spin from a cross-country move and constant bouts of panic and doubt about my professional qualifications. I barely sent out two job applications. Now I'm scrambling because the fall semester starts in the next two weeks and of course I'm hearing crickets. CRICKETS. Well, I did get into one adjunct pool. That's reassuring. A paycheck would more comforting though.

Today I got notice that my AWP panel was not accepted. I know I'm in a bad place when I can't even go on Facebook because everyone is posting excited updates about their panel acceptances. I hate to admit it, but I sometimes compare myself to others in my field and then think "why not me?" Especially when I see writers younger than me having huge successes. Because the thing is, I don't begrudge them their success; I love it. I celebrate it. But when I go a long while without some kind of vote of confidence, it's easy to turn green green green with envy. And I can't help but wonder if I'm doing something wrong.

Then I read this Dear Sugar column about jealousy and I humbly remember more than a few good things.

I earned an MFA in 2011 (or I will in a couple of weeks, officially). I won the Best Thesis Award for poetry. That was really awesome. I have a pile of good poems that will hopefully turn into solid poems once I get to editing them. I got to participate in a pedagogy forum at AWP this year with some incredible educators and the latest issue of Weave has received an amazing response. Sales are up. We had our largest reading period to date. I am reading my poetry with some stellar writers in the East Bay at the end of August.

But even more importantly, I have incredible friends and family. I'm healthy. my friends and family are happy and healthy. I am finally in the same city as Sal. My best friend is having another baby (this one still gets me). My other best friend returns from South Africa this week (Casandra, I have missed you more than I missed breakfast sausage when I was vegetarian). I am loved and I am lucky - so lucky - to have all the people in my life who give me love.

My rate of love-and-acceptance for 2011: off the charts.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Moving Stuff from A to B

My partner, Sal, is a software engineer. He's actually a robot scientist. He worked for NASA. He now works for Google. He's so smart. I love him.

Sometimes I will ask him what he is doing. His response is almost always, "Moving stuff from A to B." It's striking how often that answers is appropriate. Whether he is organizing files (moving data), programming (moving electronic data), or cleaning (moving dirt), he's moving something. From place A to place B.

Today he showed me this weird/awesome website about Cuil Theory. What is Cuil Theory, you ask? Well, it originally was just a joke about how ineffective the Cuil search engine was:

The idea was to lampoon the terrible search engine capabilities of the Cuil search engine, while providing a functionally stimulating idea about the interrelationship between tangential things.

There was some online nerdy math talk about it and they agreed that, "One Cuil = One level of abstraction away from the reality of a situation."

It then drank the blood of the interwebs and became amazing. It is strange and surreal and awesome and this kind of science-like formula for coming up with the most bizarre world possible. Times fifty hamburgers falling down the stairs twice and then swallowed whole. Are you lost? Good. Because I'm a hamburger. Seriously, go read the page. And also this online discussion. I'm soon going to turn this weirdness into fun poems. And by fun, I mean Cuil.

Where was I? Oh, moving stuff. So today I spent pretty much all day moving my stuff. I woke up and finally organized my bookshelf. It now looks awesome AND I can find the book I want. Plus, one shelf begins with a Science Education text book from my undergrad days and ends with a complete anthology of Shakespeare. I feel like John Cusak's character in High Fidelity.

I also organized my files, paid bills, put things into envelopes. Soon the United States Postal Service will move many things from A to B, A being San Francisco and B being Pittsburgh, among other places. Thanks, USPS. You are helpful.

Other stuff I moved today: office supplies, clean dishes, poems. From old boxes to new boxes, from the dishwasher to the cupboard, from my computer to an editor's computer, respectively.

In other weird math news, does monogamy = vegetarianism? Mayhaps.

Here are some pictures I took of all the stuff I moved from A to B. I hope you like them.