31 January 2013

0 the prince is SO EXCITED to be riding 1 stop on the tube

0 january: a revue

"that shit would never happen in the US. there would be suing and yelling and screaming and mopping."

"i swear to god. this is the best relationship advice I can give you. fall in love with a guy whose mom is dead."

"did noter dame with the gamey thing? "

"you could learn a whole lot about a person by setting up their bank account."

"i miss you too much. you must come home and live with your parents until we all pass away."

"i had a conversation with an 82-year-old man in the cemetery. he was alive."

"what on earth is “mature dating”?? i feel like that is for a generation or two above our own.."

"i wonder what kissing someone with horribly disfigured teeth would be like."

"PAPA JOHNS!!!! he so global."

"what is that outside thing that looks like a cage?"

"the press are acting very tennessee."

"her shoes remind me of something that hugh jackman’s wife would wear."

"how did i not know that word? it happens all the fucking time. though, to be fair, it happens all the fucking time in the south, too. i think it's part of living in 'polite' societies."

"you are seriously like one of two people that i know that went to/came from mississippi and is normal and capable of rational thought."

"recovered from nye...yes...sticking to nye resolution to only drink once a week...no."

"something is happening."

29 January 2013

0 :)

0 FJ: super brief thoughts on still photographs, paparazzi, video and victoria beckham

this morning, i had this sweet plan to write an open letter to my all-time favorite celebrity girlcrush victoria beckham.

7 k.lo

because (1) i've an aversion to calling people by their actual names, (2) i like to give the friends i write about at least a thin veil of privacy, and (3) i like to manufacture the sense that we're players in a screwball comedy, i bestow nicknames upon everyone i know. 

this has been going on for years. ever since partner and i became math partners and said, hey, let's just call each other "partner" so we never have to have the awkwardness of calling each other by our actual names ever again

is it really even that awkward to call someone by their actual first name? now, i think it's more intimate than awkward, but i'm so inclined towards nicknamery that i cannot stop. it's a practice that seems to have magnified with age. or maybe it's just that i know more people and have more close friends, so it's become more glaringly obvious that the characters in all of my stories have wackadoo names. 

some of them are super obvious. like, lindear or k.clen or jmills (ok, so most of them are obvious). but there are some that are what i like to call 'deep fried'. meaning: steeped in layers of unfathomable context. 

ie. croftie's name is lara. her nickname is croftie. this derives from the name lara croft because croftie, like lara croft, is a total badass. collectively, croftie and her husband [the dread pirate dOugO] are called 'the crofts', leading to the all to frequent assumption that their last name is, in fact, 'croft'. it is not.

as a result of all the required backstory, there's not infrequent confusion among my friend-group about who is who. i say all of that to bring up this conversation with Friend today and an explanation of which i am almost shamefully proud:

28 January 2013

4 prohibition

so i'm actually on probation at school. i assure you, this isn't nearly so badass as it sounds.

because i had the audacity to dream that the "bring your original transcripts" ultimatum didn't apply to me and, accordingly, didn't bring my original transcripts to enrollment, i am on probation. meaning, i have this orange paper and i need to produce my transcripts. 

the school isn't nearly so worried about this as me. there's a lot of upheaval in my life at present so i'm making a Massive Drama out of every little thing. i've emailed them diligently, informing them of my having placed an order for my transcripts, checking to see whether the transcripts have arrived, responding in horror at the news that they hadn't, sending prompt reassurances that i would order them again. 

the university of chicago was surprisingly amenable to this plan, apologizing that the transcripts hadn't arrived and offering to resend them at no extra cost. 

mississippi state, on the other hand, has responded in a manner that is the bureaucratic equivalent of "bless your heart." there are to be no refunds, no extra copies, no nothing. i will get nothing and like it. they have made that quite clear. 

this is where our story takes a turn. because my mother is going to see joe and burvil and, in her eagerness to put at least one of my mini-dramas to bed, she has volunteered to go to starkville and retrieve my transcript. 

in the interest of maximizing adventure, she's taking joe and burvil. they are calling it a "field trip." 

ya'll, there are so many ways this could end in disaster, i can't even begin. 

will they be able to find the building? i wonder, will they all three go in or will joe and burvil remain in the car? it's a teeny tiny space, the alcove in front of the registrar's window. 

i absolutely cannot reconcile my memories of standing in that alcove in front of that window in the winter of 2003 (wearing a white 4H shirt, to which my friend donovan said mischievously, "you know everyone can see your black bra"), waiting on transcripts for my grad school applications, with the visual of my elderly grandparents and my mother standing in front of that same window in the winter of 2013. 

will my handwritten/scanned "the woman bearing this is my mother, please give her my transcripts" note actually result in their getting my transcripts? will my mother pitch a fit if it doesn't? will this necessitate her facetiming me from the registrar's office? will i, in london in the middle of the night, have to attest to the fact that that woman, in starkville, is my mother? 

never mind the aftermath! will they be able to find their way home? will they get lunch at applebee's? will they be able to make it out of oktibbeha county traffic ticket-free? 


and, as is the case pretty much across the board here right now, i've no answers. in truth, i've nothing but wonder. that this has happened. that it is happening. that i am here. that that's of enough importance to my mother that she'll drive to starkville, mississippi rather than trust the U.S. mail. 

4 PS90210: “long-term, who knows? short-term, we party.”

So team, at last, here we are: the episode where the last of the great betrayals from the Summer of Betrayals is exposed. remember, this has been the slowest burn evah, as it is now january in 90210land.
problems we’re solving today: what to do when your dad ‘s a felon? what to do when nobody wants to hang out with your dad who just got out of jail? what to do when you’re being seduce by the guy your BFF likes? what to do when you want to be totally radical? how to get your bookie’s number? and [OMINOUS DRUMS] what to say when your two best friends turn out to be total shit? let’s solve some problems, ya’ll.  Continue reading 

26 January 2013

0 bar girls, bar lights

joe is scanning the family slides.

i cannot exaggerate the monumentality of this task.

in the 1980s, both joe and gary were shooting with an average of three cameras at one time. my mother had her nikon and i had my pink kodak. as my mother pointed out over christmas, burvil is the only member of our family who didn't take photographs.

and so most everything that happened to us then is memorialized across three mediums (color, b&w, and slide) and from a minimum of two perspectives.

this weekend, my father handed over his vietnam slides to joe. this is exciting. i cannot wait to see.

he'd warned me that he was going to be editing out the slides of various women and drugs. he didn't want joe seeing that. or, presumably, me either.

but, even though his collection was edited, he later told me that he warned joe as he handed them over. that he was in the army, there were playboys, and girls, and he couldn't be entirely sure what joe might run into when scanning this batch.

that is when joe leaned over to his my father, his son-in-law, and confessed that he knew all about that. in scanning his slides from the navy, he'd done some editing of his own. he'd taken all the "bar girls" out.

25 January 2013

0 wtf?

0 t-minus... huh.

as the dane pointed out when i was applying for this program, getting into it would basically be a realization of the 20.09.13 plan. it was a statement that boggled my mind. because of all the things i'd imagined the 20.09.13 plan might mean, i never foresaw a PhD.

so i'm not sure if this effectively restarted the clock on my 3 year plan or what. i don't think it did. but, at the same time, the plan seems a bit passe. but then i love the passe, so i guess i'll keep counting down. (thank you for still being my friend after the naval gazing of those two paragraphs.)

it's hard to remember that i'm here for 3 years. that this is, like, REAL. and not just a vacation with an insane quantity of jackie writing for homework.

so when the usual panic of I MUST SEE EVERYTHING! I MUST GO TO THERE! flares up, and i start looking up tickets to istanbul, athens, bucharest, sarajevo, and rome, i have to remind myself that this is where i am now. god-willing, it's not some fleeting thing.

now is the time of trying to memorize all the pins for my banking (2 accounts, 20 zillion pins!) and for looking at apartments and for trying to live on a budget and for writing 6,000-8,000 words on jackie critical theory. there will be time for seeing everything and going there but now is not that time.

23 January 2013

1 "news"

my family has a highly evolved sense of the absurd, but i feel as though europe has been testing us these last few days.

first there was the 'snowbomb'!

then the cheese fire!

and then... THE FRENCH STENCH!

and THEN... there was this:

YOU GUYS. i thought the shopping trolley was the pièce de résistance but NO.

2 the thing that is different

in maph, there was this one particular precept group that i remember crystal clear. everybody rambled on and on about an essay by some guy named bettYAmeen, while i sat frozen, stricken with terror because i had, apparently, mistakenly read an essay by some dude named benjamin. after, i collared jen, all who the heck is bettYAmeen? we were supposed to read benjamin, and- sans judgement- she informed me that they were one in the same.

tonight, someone mentioned bettYAmeen. in the midst of long rambles about books i've not read by authors i do not know. and the thing that is different is that, in maph, i would have thought i would need to read those books. in fact, i would have felt stupid for not having already read them. tonight, i still felt stupid for not having already read them, even more so for having never even heard the authors' names. but it do not think i need to read them. in fact, i'm very nearly certain i won't.

0 :)

22 January 2013

1 django

somehow, being born after something- the assassination of jfk, for instance- doesn't seem nearly so jarring as having died before it. there was an essay in the new yorker about this a few months ago. the author's wife had died before 9/11 and he couldn't reconcile his knowledge of 9/11 having happened with the fact that she never knew about it.

as he was dying, in that last conversation we had the week prior, it seemed to wrong to speak of all the things i would be doing after he did. and so donovan never knew i was moving to london. this hasn't particularly bothered me, but i've been aware of it. more so since reading that essay in the new yorker, but still not really that much. it's simply an oddity that he was the only person alive then who did not know i was going to be where i am now.

the fall before last, after he was diagnosed, donovan got a dog. in an email, he wrote of the names he and his girlfriend were toying with. there was zelda and there was django. i voted for zelda. who'd ever heard of a name like django?

he, of course, went with django. it was months before i realized that was the working title of the next quentin tarantino film. this joke was a slow burn, but damn was the pay-off good.

for weeks, i have been hearing, reading, talking, dreaming about django unchained. i worried that i would miss it. that it would be like downton abbey, season 3 (aired in the UK sept-nov, aired in the US jan-feb), and we would pass like ships in the night.

today, upon seeing django unchained, i realized two things:

(1) the american theater concessions industry has done us a terrible wrong by not offering ben & jerry's ice cream.

(2) it is absolutely devastating that he did not live to see this film.

0 PS90210: “excuse me, young raging hormones, may i remind you, i’m a married man?”/”do you think i have problem areas?”/”why do men cheat?"

My friends, this is where we are in 90210land: there’s a whole lot of setting up. dishes we will soon be served: BRANDON WALSH, GAMBLING MAN! KELLY TAYLOR, DIET PILL ADDICT! BRENDA WALSH, SAD AND LONELY! but we’re not there yet. so this week is basically the television equivalent of setting the table in advance of the gluttonous feast to come.
problems to be solved: what if you can’t decide between two women because you think it will all turn out badly for you in 20 years? what if your husband’s cheating? what if you think your husband’s cheating? what if you found out your mom’s husband was cheating? what if your secretary is hot but you’re a Married Man? so, basically, it’s a whole lotta midlife, NOW WHAT?  Continue reading 

21 January 2013

7 happy monday

kanye at paris fashion week.
WHY does he always look so sad?

20 January 2013

0 today

T and i trundled through the columbia flower market in falling snow. it's apparently an indication of the market's lack of patrons that roses were going twenty for a fiver.

a flowerseller tried to move product with the plea that he wanted to hurry home to get his wife's knickers off. based on subsequent adjustments to his groinal area, the joke was that it was he who was wearing her knickers.

in a perfumery, an aspiring milliner made me model my leopard print hat while she photographed it so she could later copy the shape. then she regaled us with her recent experiences at a marilyn manson show.

as we perused the goods on offer at a cake shop, T admitted she doesn't love london like she loves berlin. when we sat in a pub nursing diet cokes later, we smoothed this out.

it is, perhaps, just a different type of love. forced, and slightly harassing. more like a set-up, as opposed to the mad love of the cities that, quite simply, lay claim to our hearts.

18 January 2013

4 and then there was snow!


6 the mad cow

in the mid-90s, i was something of a news junkie. this was back in the glory days of cnn, when judy fortin and chuck roberts and kathleen kennedy and my beloved don harrison were anchoring. every morning from 1992-1999, i'd get up, get my yogurt from the fridge, climb into my parents bed and watch the last 10 minutes of the 6:30 a.m. headline news and the first 10 minutes of the 7 a.m. headline news. so i ultimately wound up getting sports and entertainment and then also news, while handily avoiding the boring business junk that came in the middle.

so you'll understanding where i'm coming from, it would behoove you to watch this.

i mean, RIGHT?! look at his "computer." and his glasses. and their work space (which, i swear, must have been created by the makers of the set for buns of steel). you guys, that was the good old days. back when news was real.

it was also the days of mad cow. do you remember mad cow? it was a huge big deal right at the time that my parents were going on an anniversary antiquing tour of england, so i remember it very well.


except that's kind of over now. british beef has, allegedly, been safe to eat since 2006. we're in the clear. we can eat british beef until the cows come home.

so why am i so afraid of british beef?

mind you, there was lots o' coverage of mad cow and enough footage of dying, demented cattle to scar anyone for life. i think this also combined, in my mind, with the ensuing foot-and-mouth disease epidemic to form this beef-related super disease that affected hands, feet, mouths, and minds, and rendered british cattle one of the great villains of the 90s.

but i think it's also something to do with the reputation of british cows. american cows have a pretty awesome rep. they're happy and incredibly eager to share their milk and cheese. british cows seem dickensian in contrast. and that's a pretty tough stigma to correct.

and so i find myself irrationally afraid of contracting mad cow. but, more than that, i fear not just contracting it, but how i will contract it (because, in my mind, there's no chance that i won't). i'm slowly making peace with the fact that, given my recent diet and the general unaffordability of restaurants here, my mad cow will not be transmitted through The Burger of My Life, but is, instead, more likely to come via reduced calorie supermarket prepared food- a.k.a. the british equivalent of lean cuisine.

17 January 2013

4 !!!!!!!!!!!! (part deux)

as it turns out, today will go down in oline history for two equally revelatory, incredibly disparate things.

(1) it was the day i met with the department supervisor for my induction into the department (a terminology that would imply admission into the military, but is- to all appearances- a fancy british way of saying "orientation") and had my first moment of "holy shit, i'm a doctoral student."

(2)  it was also the day that, at very long last, i found the eggs. they were not by the bread, but by the sugar. and they are, evidently, a "freedom food."

8 !!!!!!!!!!!!

in news that will likely make croftie hiss, how did i miss that before midnight is nigh?!?!

16 January 2013

5 :)

0 and so it begins...

my mother warned me when i moved to london that if anything of world/news import ever happened in london while i was in london, i would immediately be bombarded with inquiries of "ARE YOU OK??"

at the time, i laughed and said yeah yeah, thinking this would apply to things like terrorist threats and bombings or similar circumstance where alarm would be justified. i failed to realize that it would also apply to things like rumored snowstorms and freak traffic accidents. 

this was the lead story on this morning's memphis commerical appeal:

which is dreadful. but which also meant i was treated to this email from my father:

and to which i responded: yes, yes, i are ok. 

1 the loo

the whole period from last april to now (beginning roughly with the k.lo/kti trip to new york in the spring) has, largely, been a haze. particularly the stretch in may, when i was first toying with the idea of moving to london and where i went to california three times in two weeks and then wound up in paris.

in times of stress, i either forget large chunks of things or i write everything down. the two are directly related. if i write them down, i don't forget them. if i don't, i do. 

which is unfortunate, because spring was so busy that a lot of stories slipped through the cracks. and i feel as though, now that i'm here, i'm finally having the opportunity to process them. well, at least those i can remember. 

i'd completely forgotten about that one time i spoke to andrew morton until a friend inquired whether i'd asked anyone where the loo was. and then i was like, ohmygosh, one time i spoke to andrew morton.


this was at the biographer's conference, after my somewhat numbingly horrific experience on a social media panel. as a palate cleanser, i attended a panel on which THE ANDREW MORTON sat.

the panel was good. and when it was over, i summoned all of my nerve and approached THE ANDREW MORTON, boasting to him that i had once demanded the mississippi state university student bookstore special order a copy of his monica lewinsky biography for me.

i did this and then THE ANDREW MORTON asked me where a colleague of ours was and, in the worst accidental english accent ever, i said, "i believe he's in the loo."

THE ANDREW MORTON looked askance at me, probably trying to determine whether i was mocking him or just a moron, thanked me and walked away, in the direction- btw- opposite of the loo. 

15 January 2013

2 a brief message from the vieve

hey ya'll. vieve here. 

oline's in the blah blah blabbity boo whatev. i'm here to give you all the news you really want to know. like, what the heck is up with ME? 

so i'm doing lots of stuffs here. for one thing, i'm working some really awesome camouflaging effects with this chair. 

(you may notice i look a little round. please don't comment. it's not my fault! i'ma blame grandebo and grandgary. they keep stuffing me with turkey and cheese! and i would decline but, y'know, that is just not polite and- despite my unknown presumably shady past- i am a southerner and we southerners, we can do just about anything but be impolite.) 

i'm basically living in a mansion now, don't you know. the other day, i overheard oline and grandgary talking about it and they said it was like i'd gone from owning rhode island to the whole united states. I AM AN AMERICAN HEIRESS.

i'm so grand now that i've a whole room devoted to musical instruments that nobody plays. well, that's not entirely true. i, of course, have taken to playing the piano at night. and i'm gonna play that cello one of these days. i overheard joe talking about it and he said the bow couldn't be touched by human hands, but he said nothing about furry paws. oh, ya'll, if i could get my furry paws on that thing, i'd have so much fun. 

i have a sneaking suspicion that grandebo and grandgary are trying to fatten me with turkey and cheese so as to limit my fun-having abilities. mayhaps it is a conspiracy...

whatev, we all know i'll be the victor because i am a wily minx. 

love you bitches,
la vieve

2 so this is my favorite picture from the golden globes

14 January 2013


[via k.clen]

0 PS90210: "don't invite somebody and then hit them up for a hundred bucks."

And WE’RE BACK. it’s 1993. finally. and all our friends in 90210land are still just as full of problems as they were in 1992.
first up… “the game is chicken.” wikipedia summarizes the episode thusly:
Steve and Brandon get involved in the world of high stakes drag racing, and their dangerous endeavor leads them to the very person who might be responsible for Andrea’s accident. David’s determination to graduate early means he has little time to work in the D.J. booth. Meanwhile, Brenda and Kelly agree to a double date with two Princeton men, only to find that their dates are not exactly the stuff dreams are made of.
problems to be solved: what if the detention bully won’t leave you alone? what if your blind double date totally sucks? what if you can’t decide between two women? what if you’ve given the guy you like all the power? what if you’re a better dj than your boyfriend? what if you’ve been recently hit by a car and hypnotherapy isn’t really working?
all of these problems and more… SOLVED, on this episode of PS90210. Continue reading 

13 January 2013

0 FJ: now that macaulay culkin is “happy and healthy” because he was seen carrying a hudson news bag at laguardia, let’s talk about that one time he was “solitary” and “alone” because he ate lunch at taco bell

maci heart macaulay culkin. not out of any great love of home alone. more just because we’re near exact contemporaries and i root for him. and not in the overwrought way that i root for tommy cruise. my hopes for mac are pure, simple. i want him to do well.
plus, he’s an easy person to root for. he throws ipod parties.  he’s committed to his critically-panned outsiderish art. and he usually stays under the radar. RESPECT.
so in honor of what i’ve just arbitrarily deemed Macaulay Culkin Gossip Appreciation Day, i would like to do a deep reading of two mac-related articles in my beloved daily mailContinue reading 

0 royal mail

yesterday i got my first piece of non-banking-related mail. EXCITEMENT.

in unrelated things that i nonetheless need to share, i'm trying to clearly delineate chicago-era posts from this-era posts by switching the label from "_____ in the city" to "_____ in the UK." the side effect of this is that "dancing in the streets" is in my head ALL.OF.THE.TIME. but then, i mean, really, when is it ever not?

11 January 2013

5 egged

k.smartt's sister moved here several months ago, which has turned out to be quite an unexpected boon in the area of "embarrassing questions i do not want to ask actual britons." like, where are the eggs?

you guys, i have SCOURED multiple grocery stores in search of eggs and i got nothing. it's like an entire nation of no eggs. except it obviously couldn't be.

i knew i was doing something wrong. i emailed c.smartt the embarrassing question i didn't want to ask actual britons and she promptly wrote back: yeah, they dont refrigerate them! so usually they're actually by the bread. things i never would have guess in a bazillion years.

0 !!!

09 January 2013

2 terminal velocity

the only time in my adult life that i've ever had a washing machine was six months in the summer/fall of 2005, when donovan and i were living together.

it was this bizarro situation where the washer was on wheels and you'd have to drag it across the kitchen and hook it up to the kitchen faucet, let it run, then drag it all the way back.

we were living at the gilmore then. it was old and had creaky wooden floors. the entire apartment shook when that washer was running. it was like sitting in a shoddily built tree house during a wind storm.

in retrospect, i'm surprised i have no photos of this washing machine. it was that big of a deal.

well, now i see it as a big deal. maybe it wasn't such a big deal at the time because i didn't know that it would be several eternities before i lived in an apartment with a washing machine again. in apartments in cities (in america, at least), they're that rare.

in chicago, it honestly never occurred to me to identify a washing machine as an amenity i would like to have in an apartment, because no apartment that had one would've been remotely near my price range.

and so i've not had a washing machine again until now. until this temporary situation in the bottom floor apartment in the home of the russian family.

small as my flat is, there's a washing machine tucked into the corner, under the fridge and adjacent to the awkward under the sink space.

at the risk of seeming a total simpleton, i am still completely perplexed by this machine. there are so many buttons! it looks so complex!

hell, even the laundry detergent aisle at tesco was a veritable minefield of uncertainties. the word "detergent" appeared on nothing. all the fabric softner looks like detergent. all things i mistook for detergents were stain removers. finally i settled on "colour powder," a cleaning agent that i'm still not 100% convinced is detergent.

to say nothing of the machine itself.

there are THREE bins for powders/fluids. detergent and fabric softner i get, but what- pray tell- could the third slot be for? is there some other laundry agent about which i know nothing?

there are twenty cycle options and ten temperatures, all of them in celsius.

you guys, i have to select a velocity.

there's so much room for bad choices. apparently i made many.

about two hours into my first effort at washing a load of laundry, i realized that the "time saver" cycle (an option i'd entirely overlooked in the midst of all the other buttons) is probably going to be my new best friend.

0 so this is amazing

[via, via k.clen]

0 can you hear me now?

last night, joe and burvil and i attempted to skype. the results were... mixed. on the one hand, they could never hear me and i could only ever see the tops of their heads. on the other hand, i could hear them perfectly and they could see me. thus, burvil could see when i started giggling and i could hear her peals of laughter. so win/win, really.  except for the whole having a conversation part.