Recently in Utter Miscellany Category

Something New


People come to my house and laugh at my "quaint twentieth century technology." It's true: I am content with others' electronic castoffs, and I use them until they're 1) utterly obsolete, 2) well beyond repair, or 3) both.

I do this as part of my approach to "reduce reuse recycle." I don't care that I inherited my stereo from my little brother over 20 years ago. It still works. Why put it in a landfill when it still does what I need?

I also do this because I'm cheap. It's been almost four years since I bought my first laptop and I've been told it's time I replace it, but I don't really have the money for that right now, and even if I did, I would rather spend it on something else.

I'm also a bit of a Luddite. I admit it. I am. I miss my typewriter. I resisted getting a cell phone until being stranded in an airport during a disastrous trip made me see how useful they could be. When I did get a cell phone six and a half years ago, I bought the cheapest phone and cheapest plan I possibly could.

She Has a Bad Case of

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I've written more than once about intestinal distress, but even if Ihadn't, I'd feel obligated to post this clip, which, like the link I posted earlier today, is from Japan, but which, unlike that link, defies comprehension. Warning: NSFW, and if you have anything in your mouth, swallow it before you watch this, because you might just spray it all over your computer otherwise when you start laughing.

Just the Sort of Thing I Totally Love

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Every so often someone will ask me about the name of my blog, the whole self-portrait thing. The shortest answer is that it's an art form I'm really interested in. I think it's cool to see how other people see themselves, how they deliberately shape the way they are viewed in their environments.

Here's one of the coolest self-portrait series I've come across in a long time: a Japanese girl who takes photos of herself "levitating" around Tokyo. Here's a story in English about her self-portraits; here's Natsumi's blog. Enjoy.

First Snow


Few things are as delicious as a good night's sleep.

Especially if you're an insomniac.

Especially if the view you awaken to (rested, comfortable, and able to see, since it's not the middle of the night) outside your bedroom window is this:


Especially if you got to enjoy a really sweet dream involving Stephen Colbert. OK, at one point both of you fell off the bed, but after that you climbed back on and he showed you this incredibly gorgeous and intricate afghan crocheted for him by a fan.

Really, a fabulous way to start a day.



I was recently subjected to a feeble and mildly irritating insult from someone wearing too much makeup, a silly hat and an EFY t-shirt. It took little time to shrug off the attempted insult, but I did have to struggle to figure out what on earth EFY stands for.

Then it hit me: Everybody Fuck Yourself.

But no: that's only what it SHOULD stand for, or, God willing, what it WILL stand for in the future, most of the time. Currently, its main association is with BYU's Especially For Youth program. Which I think is what the t-shirt wearer was involved with.

But as a bit of internet slang, EFY has a lot of potential. Just lost a flame war? Bow out with the parting shot EFY. Thinking everyone you're talking to is a stupid douchebag who should, well, fuck themselves? Just write EFY and they'll get the message.

I encourage you to find uses of your own for this vibrant, useful and exciting acronym.

TTFN! (Yeah, I'm old school. I prefer that to TTYL.)

Happy 101 Sweet Friends


For the first time in ages, I have been tagged in a meme, courtesy of Therese of Strange Violin Music.

The meme is called "Happy 101 Sweet Friends" and requires you to list ten things that make your day.

So, in no particular order:

1. Having written. This is a reference to Dorothy Parker's statement that "I hate writing. I love having written." These days, that's really, really true.

OK, I am COMPLETELY recovered from my previous skepticism of Facebook and now embrace it wholeheartedly, and here's why: a discussion of tractors, gila monsters and criminals.

In a discussion of hair in high school yearbook photos, one of my friends gloated over the truly huge hair sported at his high school, adding, "Go Tractors!"

Tractors? Did I read that right, I wondered? Tractors? I had to make sure. "Your mascot was the tractor?" I asked.

Turns out my friend went to Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan. FHS was started with a generous gift from Fordson Tractor Company--hence the name. But apparently the unique, interesting mascot has been a source of embarrassment rather than pride. I couldn't find an image of the mascot on my own, though someone was good enough to provide a link to this picture.

I'm a fan of funky mascots. Everyone knows about the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slug, and yeah, that's cool, but there are even BETTER mascots out there.

I think I have suffered irreparable psychological harm after looking at these photos of very strange tattoos: someone actually had Bald Britney permanently etched on their body. And the one of Patrick Swazye as the SNL Chippendales dancer/centaur will haunt me forever. In other words, you MUST check these out.

The Saddest Headstone I've Ever Seen


One of the reasons I like Salt Lake is that it's great for talking walks, which is one of my favorite forms of exercise--I do it often enough, quickly enough and for long enough that it actually constitutes real exercise. The U of Utah, City Creek Park, Liberty Park, even downtown: these are all interesting places to walk. Plus the whole grid for the layout of the city and the use of coordinates as addresses make it really easy to know where you are and how far you've gone.

But one of my favorite places to walk is the city cemetery, on the northeast side of the city. I was walking there not long ago, when I saw the saddest headstone I've ever seen in my life. I realize that gravestones aren't exactly cheery--as Morrissey sings in "Cemetery Gates,"

so we go inside and we gravely read the stones
All these people, all those lives, where are they now?
With loves, and hates, and passions just like mine.
They were born and then they lived and then they died.
Seems so unfair, I want to cry.

But this one, there's so much tragedy and loss and suffering conveyed by just a few lines one stone--provided you read both sides of it. Here's the front:


And here's the back:

The Other Saint Joe


I grew up in the St. Joseph Stake, the 25th stake of Zion. When it was organized in 1883, its eastern limit was El Paso; its western limits were St. David, on the road to Tucson (which didn’t have enough Mormons to need any sort of church leadership), and Miami, AZ, on the road to Phoenix (which was taken care of by Mesa). Its headquarters were in Thatcher, the little farming town whose first white inhabitants were my great-great-great grandfather and his family. Still located on Church Street is the Stake Presidency Building, thank god--so many other important buildings in Thatcher’s history burned down in the 1980s due to faulty wiring installed by some douche nozzle, including the wonderful old church where I was baptized, and the administration building of the old Gila Academy, one of the first junior colleges built west of the Mississippi.

Because I grew up in the St. Joseph Stake, I knew exactly who St. Joseph was: Joseph Smith, the first latter-day saint, the guy who made it possible for me to grow up a saint. When I would encounter things like St. Joseph’s baby aspirin, I would think how nice and how strange it was that a bunch of heathen recognized Joseph Smith’s importance by naming their pills after him.


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