30 August 2012

1 august: a revue

"they should always have the olympics in central standard time."

"USA WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS WON GOLD!!!!!!!!! i almost cried twice. and then i went to bed. it was very very fun."

"does london make everyone introspective?"

"am i wrong for thinking his teeth look wooden?"
"i was thinking rhinoceros, so no."

"nazism is something that should be shared among friends. unlike herpes. you can keep herpes."

"what the hell is this world coming to when even in real life, dylan mckay ends up with the wrong woman?"

"sword fights are fun until someone gets hurt. and by someone, i mean my candle."

"well, i've had 'roids and coke and ice cream and no sleep..."

"he does not do totes adorbs."

"i don't know about their tribes, but i will vouch for their pancakes."

"if i was in a wheelchair, this would be a lot more fun."

"they're freedom feet and the puddles go in and out of them."

"i was only in it for the olive."

"apparently i’ve got this weird sadness about the end of your apartment."

"you can't break off your dick and live that long."

"they're the assholes of the sea."

"the animal kingdom is fucked up, not just their dicks."

"you'd be on the tube and you'd see women whose faces just look straight out of beowulf."

"it seems like fucking tribal all the way back, man."

"i totally love her now. i won’t fault her for STILL talking about her wedding. maybe it is a canadian thing."

"but you cannot underestimate the severity of stranger poop."

"i can’t even email stuff like this to my husband."

"i was just scared i admitted that i thought something kim kardashian said sounded remotely not stupid to anyone other than you."

"i was like, 'as a doctor, i don't think you should have fashion nails.'"

"i'm just so appalled that someone would vent their frustration about their nipples on the 'leaky boobs' facebook page."

"i had to go to grad school at the university of chicago to become prom king."

"blah. this is obvious, because we know oline by now, and we know that she does not fuck lightly."

1 is it just me?

or do the brits do the wave a lot?

1 so i kind of love taxidermy

and THIS is uh-mazing.

1 i write this without knowing whether any of it will come to be.

hey, remember when i had those two things to write? one was an injection of 5,000 words into the sex toboggans and the other was a 5,000-word fifty shades of grey sports parody. and they were due within five days of one another in early september. remember that?

well, sex toboggans = DONE.

huzzah! hurrah! cheers all around!

which brings us to the 5,000-word fifty shades of grey sports parody, of which i currently have 1,899 words.

given that i was burned very badly last fall by a website that commissioned a labor-intensive piece and then rejected it though it was singularly unpublishable anywhere else in all the internets, i'm more than a little reluctant to believe that this is going to go anywhere.

even though my editor's said he likes it.

even though he's penned me in with a serialization start date.

even though he has apparently volunteered me to do a reading.

it all feels very unconfirmed and entirely unsubstantial. but i'm trying to begin to wrap my mind around the fact that this is, indeed, a possibility, so let's evaluate.


of fanfic written about twilight fanfic.

oh dear god.

btw, it includes many paragraphs of this variety: "Without saying a word, he leaned over and put his hand on my knee. It sizzled against the denim of my jeans like an egg hitting a frying pan. Oh crap! What WAS that?! I’d never felt anything like it before. His touch seemed to reverberate like lightening through my jeans, up my leg, past my lady parts, and into my soul. Holy crap."

dear people, tell me: HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO READ THAT IN PUBLIC??!

i mean, if this actually does come to be.

29 August 2012

1 the only available response is fuck

donovan is still sick. he calls from the hospital. again. he leaves a message. again. listening to it, i know i will not call him back. not today, probably not tomorrow. maybe not even the day after that.

because i am a shitty person. because i cannot go there. not yet.

instead, for now, i make it all about me. i write about myself. i write about how his cancer is affecting me. how, just hearing his voice- weakened, tired, medicated- i feel like my mind is skittering perilously close to an electric fence. and about how, nearly a year after this began, it is nearly the same.

the only available response is fuck. still.

0 frolicks

0 a plug

check it: 

“bachelor’s life size ‘instant’ inflatable playgirl”: a random sampling of advertising in “women’s” magazines with jackie o covers, 1969-1974

1 so this is new

28 August 2012

0 i'm pretty sure this is what ted kennedy was referencing when he said "the dream shall never die"

1 fyi

if you missed the amazing wonderment that was jmillsOwtiz's wedding (which was... ahem... EVERYONE here but me), you should totally scope out her blog coverage of it HERE. because it was beautiful and lovely and fun and pretty much the highlight of the summer.

6 wored out

oh, ya''ll. do you have gossip fatigue? i have major gossip fatigue.

jmills and i lamented about this during our skype date last week then meggie and i were emailing about it yesterday.

but then maybe you don't even care about gossip so you've no idea the number of bombshells we've been dealt. let me summarize...

there was a point where johnny depp's separation (or whatever it is you do legally when you're not married to someone but have children with them and have to make public declarations when you drift apart) was the biggest story of the summer.

then john travolta was accused of molesting a dozen masseurs and that was HUGE, though it didn't get nearly as much coverage as it should have because shortly thereafter...

KATIE DIVORCED TOM, which was all like ohmygod until...

k.stew got caught necking with her director and the gossip world basically EXPLODED. with conspiracy theories, awkward public statements, slut-shaming, and lip-biting. which was THE BIGGEST THING EVER until...

prince harry was photographed playing strip billiards in vegas.

that right there, people, that is THE GREATEST SUMMER OF GOSSIP OF ALL TIME. for real. (to say nothing of katy perry dating john meyer, whatever is going down with chris brown and rihanna, li.lo's return to "film," and taylor swift dating a high schooler.)

we're not likely to see it's equal again for a long, long while- if ever- so i hope you've been enjoying yourselves.

if you have, then you're probably just as tired as me and meggie and jmills. did you see how capital letters weren't even needed by the time i got round to good old hot harry? because, by that point, i was spent.

there's rumors that "something worse" is going to emerge from hot harry's sin weekend and, i kid you not, i can't even make guesses as to what that might be. i'm so gossip fatigued that i'm experiencing a total imagination fail.

(this is also tied into the fact that there are some pretty enormous celebrity privacy issues wrapped in with the harry business, and i'm preoccupied enough with sex toboggans that to fully engage with them would ravage my brain.)

meggie thinks it's either sex or drugs. with a corgi. wearing a nazi uniform, which would indeed be worse than the third in line cupping his balls and bending over an american floozie.

but, really, i don't even care. and i'm not sure if that's because it's harry and i like him and there's something more desperate about his story that was missing in the others (with the possible exception of travolta's [and, dear me, i don't want to be lumping hot harry in with travolta!]) or if i really am just shell-shocked.

what are we to make of the fact that, all summer, all this other chicanery has had the effect of making kim kardashian seem mute?

27 August 2012

0 awesome.

[via (+ props to k.clen for the heads-up)]

0 and...i'm a dork

but this is hilair...

Lord of the Rings, by Ian Fleming

Aragorn placed his hand on the cool, ivory hilt of his 6.38 Anduril sword, half-holding it in as casual manner as possible. His eyes swept the room of the Prancing Pony, eyeing up the potential threats. He took out his pipe, made from the warmed heartwood of a mature oak. In the palm of his left hand, he unwrapped his leather tobacco pouch filled, as he preferred, with Gondorian Silk Cut. Aragorn preferred it to the harsher, stronger Numenorian blend...

0 PS90210: “if it’s that bad, NIP IT IN THE BUD.”

I’m pretty sure jmilliwitz would have my head if there were no new 90210 this week. so huzzah! new 90210 pour vous. but… yes, as pee-wee said, everybody has a big but (OH.MY.GOD. if you do not get that joke, click on that link rightnow. do not pass go. do not collect $100. click rightnow. most important allusion of 1985.)
…because it’s labor dabor next week and i’ma be in vegas (presumably sleazing it up with hot harry) we’re gonna take this one in two parts.
so where are we in 90210 time? geez, it’s been eons. senior year is dragging on forev, non? and it’s, like, what? episode 2, people. episode 2. we have been seniors for one full episode and already i’m spent. the betrayals alone are exhausting.
do you realize how many betrayals we have in play? there’s david-donna-nikki, which has been resolved for the moment. dylan-kelly-brenda’s obviously the biggie. and, omg, did you forget about rick and frenchbrenda? do not forget, friends!
this is 90210. no one is really ever gone, unless they move to melrose place or plug for noxema. luke perry left the show, what, nine times? and he always came back.
as far as problems to be solved this week… loads. how to find out information about the dude you’re crushing on by asking all his friends about him. how to piss off school administration with your winnibego. things not to say about your friends to tabloid tv reporters. oh, and how to take your SATs.
so, sharpen your #2s (did i just age myself? do #2 pencils still exist? does the american educational system still rely heavily upon scantrons? are the SATs electronic? SO.MANY.QUESTIONS.) and let’s get to solvicating.

24 August 2012

1 dear unemployed 2004oline,


because you had the foresight to put every single source you used onto notecards with all their publication information and to organize them alphabetically in a box that you (unironically) emblazoned with the words JACKIE IN A BOX, and around which you (unironically) drew pictures of jackie during her kennedy and onassis years.

what you cannot have known then, for which i greatly thank you now, is that eight years later this would save futureOline oodles of time.

it's hard to put words to the special panic that arises when, seven days out from a deadline, one stumbles across a reference to "Podle, 12" or "Albert, 42," both of which could be from two of any of 350+ magazines.

terror. horror. dread. any one will do.

but it's like you knew, 2004oline. it's like you knew it would one day come to this and so, in your infinite wisdom, you prepared for this future, my present, in the only way you knew how: by approaching the writing of a biography as though it were your sophomore year research paper and mrs. reynolds would be grading you at the end.

i will say this- a zillion of my electronic files are obsolete. every time i want to access the 42-page bibliography 2006oline typed up, it has to be sent into the internet netherworld for conversion and then sent back. but those notecards need nothing.

just open the box, and there they are. there's something deeply reassuring in that.

there's also something deeply reassuring in seeing how all of this comes together. how the work done in 2004 and 2006 and 2008 feeds into 2012. maybe that's the key to sustaining momentum in a seemingly never-ending project over time.

dear 2004oline, i cannot tell you how many times i've meant to throw those notecards away. because i thought they didn't matter. i thought i wouldn't need them. i thought they were a total waste.

and yet none of this has been a waste. an excellent thing to remember. easy to forget.

0 coffee

there's this camaraderie that exists among coffee drinkers. much as, i assume, there's a camaraderie among heroin users.

when my work moved, we got a new coffee maker. the pot is bigger than it was before but the grinder is the same, and absolutely no one seems to be able to wrap their mind around the fact that bigger pot = the need for more beans.

someone in our office makes reprehensibly bad coffee. i assume they're only using one cycle of ground beans. in contrast, i use three.

and so, dreading that person's bad coffee, i find myself rushing to get to work early. to beat whoever that person is to the coffee maker and make good coffee, real coffee.

our IT guy appreciates this. he says, "caroline, i knew it was going to be a good day when i could smell your coffee from the front door."

23 August 2012

4 guys, we need to make this happen

convince lochte to do it and k.clen and i'll totally make you a homemade t-shirt.

2 fyi: these were the bizarre-o searches that brought up my 90210 blog today

0 debo

so i've been slaving away on the sex toboggans. which are (is?), in fact, now titled: "DESPERATE WOMEN GAMBLE ALL!"

catchy, non?

prior to our recent trip to memphis, i called my mother re: the question iposed here last week. ie. if you can make the case for visual interdependence, can't you also make the case for narrative interdependence?

somewhere in the course of this 2012 conversation about jackie and liz, i said something to debo that i am without a doubt certain i said to debo in october 2004.

this was when i was living in memphis at my parents' place and would wake up and write for three hours.

there was a certain saturday that i remember for absolutely no reason beyond the fact that when i went down to the dining room and interrupted whatever it was my parents were doing there to ask them about jackie and liz, i was struck by how quickly debo stopped what she was doing to listen to me.

and, at the time, i thought, wow. how is she not sick of hearing me talk about this?

that was 2004. TWO THOUSAND AND FOUR.

people, it is 2012.

i point that out not so much to acknowledge that i am still saying essentially the same thing (which i am), but the fact that my mother has been patiently listening to it for the last EIGHT years.

that might be the best working definition i have of true love.

3 EW.

22 August 2012

1 full draft done. brain fried.

this draft is jam-packed with Ideas. not necessarily Ideas that i want to ever have to support in a public forum or, for that matter, ever think about again. but they're there. and they have required more than 5,000 words in order to be properly conveyed there.

fyi- i would like to never ever think of or write about the sociosexual implications of sex toboggans ever again.



i'm coming to recognize the moment in writing when things fall into place and i'm entering the home stretch. that moment! dear me, thank god for that moment. it is the intellectual equivalent of The Strawberry Cake Of Our Lives.

i don't know if this holds true for everyone, but for me (and this has happened only twice at this point so maybe i'm hasty in calling it "a thing") that moment seems to involve forging a connection at the paper's conclusion with something that was mentioned 10 pages back. a connection that isn't necessarily integral and one the casual reader will likely miss.

i've been thinking entirely too much about readers these past two weeks. because the sex toboggans is, ultimately, about what readers get out of reading. that is an entirely different paper from what i expected to write.

a vast wasteland of abandoned dreams lies between what readers think they're reading and what writers intended to write.

0 i mean, obviously i love this.

20 August 2012

0 tee hee indeed

(thanks MAK!)

0 i wonder why i'm morbid.

kneeling on the floor beside my dad's chair in front of his computer, twenty minutes in to national geographic presents THE CONCORDE: SECONDS FROM DISASTER - the third installment of my dad's triple feature Documentaries On Aviation Crashes We Have Known That Are Available On YouTube - it all makes sense.

15 August 2012

1 indulgences

i'm pretty sure it's the most boring thing ever in the world when bloggers blog about the state of their upcoming blogging, but alas and alack, i'ma indulge. in off-blog things that may or may not have an effect upon your future reading pleasure, i've two massive deadlines looming.

one is an injection of 5,000 words into the sex toboggans and the other is a 5,000-word fifty shades of grey sports parody. they are due within five days of one another in early september.

10,000 words in what has now shrunk down to a piddly 20 days.

(for everyone who wasn't an english major and, therefore, didn't immediately divide that by the 500 words that constitute a page, it comes out to 20. 10 pages of jackie versus liz, 10 more pages of light porn.)

this will play out in one of two ways.

it will have either a constipative or diuretic effect. so OitC will go bizarrely mum and be an awkward and endless parade of pictures that will make you roll your eyes to such an extent that they'll be permanently stuck to the back of your brain.

OR, the production of so many words in less than one month will lead to a WORD EXPLOSION and you will be begging for mercy, for a simpler time of 100 word posts.

in the meantime... mwwahhhhhh THE FRENCH.

0 in things i completely forgot about until the widget on the earlier u of c post brought it up



are you surprised? i'm surprised. though i say that with the caveat that it seems to be about as active as friendster.

another thing that surprises me? the total lack of imagination in the headlines. where are the marx references? whycome no one is mentioning dasein?

i'm apparently vair vair into participation this weeks so your mission of the day: compose the best university of chicago hookup ad ever. do it. even if you didn't go there and you've never been to hyde park. you've read enough here to know it is the place where fun goes to die and that they make t-shirts attesting to that. really, that's all you need to know. 

14 August 2012

3 :)

1 surrounded by smiles in the land where fun comes to die

fyi- this picture?
totally going in our norton anthology "did you know..."

we went to hyde park this weekend. the NLB, i mean.

i tried to explain this to jmills when we partied radical on friday night. she was all, "what are your weekend plans?" and i was all "um...[cringe] writing group is going to [cringe] hyde park [CRINGE, miming of a turtle trying to stick its head back into its shell]."

if you weren't a mapher, you would think that, in going to hyde park, we were venturing to a semi-suburban intellectual wonderland. but, if you were a mapher (or, according to sensei, if you ever attended the university of chicago at all), then your response to the fact that we were going to be in hyde park would be markedly different.

dOugO, for instance, would let out a sharp exhale. croftie would hiss.

i really really loved maph. maph was fundamental to who i am today. my jackie book was born there. a solid 50% of my friendships date from that year.

and yet... there's a big but.

because maph was really fucking weird. right? you people who were there, chime in. second this, so we'll have recorded in a public forum that it's not just me.

as the years go by, more and more, i find maph is becoming like memphis. (for reals, compare this relatively rosy 2006 evaluation to what you're reading now.) a place i am proud to be from, a place i will defend to my dying day. a place to which you could not pay me hundreds of bazillion dollars to return.

yes, it's fundamental. yes, my brain likes to vacation in maphland every now and again. and, yes, i glee in reading candace's marxist emails about cats and solicitations for donations with an inner commentary of total WTF? but... CRINGE!!!

the maph parts of my mind are cordoned off by an electric fence.

the maph parts of my mind surface unbidden, and the resulting internal revulsion is like a bird hitting glass.

as we were strolling through hyde park on a sunny saturday, sensei and the dane were struck by how happy everyone looked. we were surrounded by smiles in the land where fun comes to die.

sensei put it in perspective: at william & mary, he had felt as though he never lived up to the amount of fun william & mary had promised. the university of chicago never makes such promises. quite the reverse.

it is a classically beautiful campus. once there, you breathe in theory like a drowning man does water and prepare to die alone.

13 August 2012


first of all, it is TRAGEDY how few people participated in the cake poll of earlier today. TRAGEDY. free spice cakes for k.nord! all the rest of you will just get nothing and like it.

secondly, i'm working on a theoretical something and i don't know if i even buy it, so i'ma throw it out to you. with the assumption that everyone will now scurry back to answer the cake poll and leave all my questions hanging here.

(it's rainy and unacceptably february looking in chicago today, so forgive me. i'm being a brat. i know. LOVE!)

so here's my deal:

is "narrative interdependence" a real thing?

say you always see two stories presented together. to pick at random... hey, howsabout jackie and liz?

so jackie (and we're talking 1962- so onassis has not yet happened) is quite obviously the positive example, the woman all women are supposed to want to be like. and liz is the baddie. and they're presented together in magazines like A LOT.

which means i'm Random Married Woman Circa 1962 and i'm reading about how jackie is there for her husband and she loooooooooooooves him and everybody loooooooooooooooves her because she loooooooooooooooves him and then i (Random Married Woman Circa 1962) turn the page and read about how liz is all scandalous and alone and unloved and she's going to die alone because she was scandalous and she had the gall to Love Too Much.

got that? jackie and liz forevs.

so. say i (Random Married Woman Circa 1962) read basically that same version of those two stories side-by-side for, like, ten years. it's been historically proven (well, by one misogynistic dude to whom entirely too much of my research is in debt) that this creates a pavlovian response in readers. that if i read about jackie and liz or saw them together on enough covers and in headlines, that eventually seeing an image of jackie would make me wonder about liz and vice versa. that's a real thing (see also jen and angelina). so i'm not asking about that.

i'm not asking about visuals, but rather the meanings of what's been read. how people read and internalize meanings.

here is my question:

if you're a "good" woman, does reading about jackie, knowing that you align with jackie in your heart and you totally want to make your husband, whom you love, happy make you feel less guilty reading about liz? does loving jackie free you up to enjoy liz? as entertainment? as someone you would never ever want to be but with whom you- secretly, privately- want to be BFFs? (i'm sorely tempted to draw a modern comparison between lochte and phelps. i won't. but know that the temptation was there.)

this wasn't a situation where you would be "team jackie" or "team liz." as a Random Married Woman Circa 1962 you would root for both. jackie in public, liz in private. and then everything goes bonkers in the 1970s when jackie becomes liz 2.0, and you would disown them as one. 

i've always thought that the prudishness of jackie's kennedy narrative made liz look depraved. which is true. but what did it do for readers? is narrative interdependence really a thing? does the fact that these two women's stories were told in tandem establish a paradigm wherein jackie’s safety and happiness grants readers greater freedom of imagination, so they can engage with the uncertainty and fear that so defines liz?

and then i write all of that and i sit back and i think, "holy shit. i'm reading entirely too much into reading and have clearly lost my mind."

ps. if you have any book recommendations on the psychology of reading, hit me up!

0 a (brief political) moment

if you're feeling political or racially reconcilable today, THIS article on obama's blackness is worth reading.

ps. WOO

1 it's monday and jmills is finally watching gossip girl

so let's all take a (gif)walk down memory lane...

22 cake vs NOTHING

within a day of one another, on their various blogs, two of my people (NL and jmills) weighed in on cake versus pie and cake was the resounding victor. presumably that is why we are friends.

when trying to come up with a cake for burvil's 60th anniversary, i realized something really really important: i do not know the favorite cake flavors of my friends. 

weigh in, people. even if you never comment, comment now. this is the most important post of our lives. this is information i need to know. (and if you opt for the less awesome alternative, i suppose you may tell us your favorite flavor pie.)

and for future reference, mine is strawberry. for obvious reasons.

0 “how could i have put her in the tough spot of having to choose between her own ambitions and her affections for you?

I guess the lesson we learn this week is that you shouldn’t blow your load too soon. because the remaining 12 minutes of “song of myself” are far less awesome than the first 32. so if you missed last week’s installment- “why is it that we call a male assertive and a female pushy? why is a guy tough and a girl a bitch?”- go back. read it. love it. laugh your little heart out, then meet me back here…
you’re caught up? ok, let’s do this. let’s continue solving the problem of how to handle the aftermath of the betrayals committed during summer and how to end sexism in our schools. solemn times ahead.
where were we? oh yes… Continue reading 

12 August 2012

0 very important writing wisdomry from the naked lady bar

"go for it there with better verbs."

"harken forward a little bit."

"take out the edifice and make it more like the confused thoughts of a dying man."

10 August 2012

0 happy

1 required reading

THIS. because, well, YES.

0 this picture, i love...

1) how it looks like she's wearing the police officer's cap.
2) how the ears of the dude behind him give him hobit head.

1 autumn

every year i forget this happens and yet it happens every year. there's a chill in the air in the morning. it's subtle. you might even miss it if you don't make it your business to write about such things. i make it my business to write about such things. yesterday was the first. today was the second. fall is coming. and we haven't even had our summer vacation yet.

09 August 2012

0 i get the sense NO ONE else is fascinated by this

but i am, so ha.

KO: Does she scratch? Does she have claws?
KL: Yes, the doctor does her manicure. 
She hates when we do it ourselves. 
The only time she makes a scandal is then.

5 august: to do

scan all the jackie magazines.
add 3,000 words to the sex toboggans.
write a sports-centric satire of 50 shades of grey.

08 August 2012

0 hair today

so, in case you missed it, the biebs talked smack about prince william's receding hairline. ever helpful, the DM has weighed in to give us some perspective and re-imagine everyone in england with beiber hair...

my personal fave: 
and, for k.clen: 

1 funny of the day