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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2002-09-23 ... 9:48 a.m.


1. Do not insert in ear canal.

2. Close cover before striking.

3. Do not exceed recommended dose.

4. Pianissississississimo.

5. Keep head and arms inside window.

6. Restrooms are for customers only.

7. Tell me the truth.


Hardcore porn.

18th-century hardcore porn.

Yesterday I was wondering about the origins of the word "maverick," since it seemed like a really strange spelling given what little I know about how English developed. It was someone's name.

Food Product Design is totally first-rate reading. August's cover story (September doesn't seem to be online yet) is "Glazing Over The Icing Horizon." Fuck yes. I love this kind of "secret" specialized industry writing, totally below the radar.

Schizophrenic weekend, evenly split between conventional drinking and carrying on (Friday) and a quiet evening at home, spent eating pizza with LT, reading philosophy, and letting my liver slowly stop spasming (Saturday). Friday was sushi and then Delilah's with S, and although I did find a typo on a coaster that made me want to grab a machete and start chopping up the place (oh you have no idea how rageful the it's/its thing can make me), I had a pretty good time. I think I'm going to start subtitling Delilah's "Remembrance of Punks Past," since the crowd and the music and the décor all combine to make the place feel like a Chicago bar of about ten years ago, back when I was fake-IDing it all over town. In between beers X and Y I did a touch of soul-searching (about 1 minute and 45 seconds' worth) to see how I felt about that, but I decided that the place does not feel at all constructed or self-conscious about its nostalgia, and thus I can just have a straight-up fun drinking session without worrying about it.

(Note: I am a ridiculous person.)

S. and I also had a fabulous idea on how to make some quick, dishonest money in the art world. She's going to xerox some twigs and sticks and leaves, using her masterful aesthetic sense with regard to positioning on the page, level of darkness, the specific twigs used, etc. Then I will write up something about nature and authenticity in the age of mechanical reproduction etc. Just to make sure we are really hot, and get mentioned in the best magazines and invited to show in the best galleries, we will leak to the press about how S. has been institutionalized for much of her life and position her as an "outsider" artist, and then at the openings she will just have to work on her demented expression and acting really strange, and if anyone has any questions about the art they will have to go through me.

Do you know what today is? Today marks three years that I have been typing here in this space. You are here and I am here, although we are never here at the same time. You type in the URL, or maybe you have me in your bookmarks (bookmarking a personal website is a sort of promise to return, isn't it? An acknowledgment of us having something special, like taking my phone number down on a bar napkin at the end of the night? And then checking your pocket for it repeatedly on the way home, as you mentally replay our preliminary but strangely satisfying conversation?)

Three years. This thought could go either way right now. It's early morning and I probably won't finish this before I have to start getting ready for work, and I will have to e-mail this file to myself and post it from there. (That's my half-assed, no-laptop, file-transport solution.) I have badly tangled hair and I'm drinking tea and wearing purple pajamas, and everything's just a little closer to the surface when you get up at four in the morning and start typing, so I could go sentimentally on about how useful it has been for me to have this unedited, free-of-expectations place to write in, and about how creating a "public" me has helped bring a lot of things about the "private" me into focus, and how I have met some wonderful people directly or indirectly as a result of this web page. I could go on, I could. Or I could, if I wait until I get to work, mutter out of the side of my mouth about how three years is a terribly long time for me to prance about on the web, and what exactly do I contribute that can't be found anywhere else, and blah blah, insert the tab of ennui into the slot of self-loathing. No, let's go with the first option. Thank you, Diaryland.

There's a quotation that is attributed to Lacan, "Desire exceeds the object." Although I wonder if Lacan really said precisely that, since there's plenty of Lacan on the web and yet that particular quote can only be found in the context of an interview with Rick Moody. So I haven't managed to verify the quotation, which somewhat distresses my Inner Librarian, but I still feel very drawn to the thing expressed: that desire not only exceeds the object but often can find no object. A constant theme in my life is that I want something and I don't know what it is---something that I suspect everyone else already has---and everything I've ever written can in some sense be seen as an expression of that longing.

The September Harper's has a fun discussion of something relating to this very problem---consciousness, embodiment, and artificial intelligence. Consciousness is increasingly described, even by philosophers, in terms of computers and machines, and many AI researchers think that they can totally redefine "life" by creating lifelike robots. Call out the lawyers, because I feel like typing this part of the article out:

In this sense, artificial-life researchers are as body-loathing as any medieval theologian. They seek to separate the "principles" of life and sentience---the spirit---from the dirty muck it sprang from. As [Cynthia] Breazeal puts it, they envision a "set of animate qualities that have nothing to do with reproduction and going to the bathroom," as if these messy experiences of alimentation and birth, these deepest biological imperatives---stay alive, eat, create others who will stay alive---were not the foundation, indeed the source, of intelligence; as if intelligence were not simply one of the many strategies that evolved to serve the striving for life. If sentience doesn't come from the body's desire to live (and not just from any physical body, from this body's striving, this particular one), where else would it come from? To believe that sentience can arise from anywhere else---machines, software, things with no fear of death---is to believe, ipso facto, in the separability of mind and matter, flesh and spirit, body and soul.

Uh. I'm sorry. Join me next time when the topics will be yummy candy, and little baby fluffy ducks, and an interesting rock I found that feels smooth and cool in the hand.

---mimi smartypants actually does consult a weatherman about which way the wind blows.


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