Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I wasn't sure for a minute there. Jesus Christ...

How I felt when I started grad school

How I feel after the first semester


So after a day of making glitter pinecones and coloring paper ornaments for her Christmas tree (pink, of course) the kidlette and I sat down to dinner. She ate a big plate of broccoli and some pasta and when she was all done I asked her what she was supposed to do.

"Clear my dishes!" she said with a smile, which then faded to a look of contemplation as a thought crossed her mind. "Or..." she said slowly, "I could have dessert..."

I paused and considered that this was a valid point. The possible applications, I realized, were endless:

"Your annotated bibliography is due on Tuesday."
"Or...I could have dessert."

"Please empty the dishwasher."
"Or...I could have dessert."

"Your credit card payment is now due."
"Or...I could have dessert."

After some deliberation, we decided on three slices of chocolate covered banana, because dessert is always a viable option in any scenario.

Thursday, December 12, 2013



And now, Netflix...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I find these cats to be an accurate representation of my life.

Especially papers.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dickens Fair 2013

I don't have any good pictures this year. My real camera is old and slow and my phone couldn't get the detail I wanted. I'm starting to think about saving up for a DSLR and maybe learning more about photography with Skeeve. They're only about $400 :P

In lieu of pictures, may I present Miss Molly Twitch, who was easily the best part of the fair. Mad Sal's Dockside Alehouse is always the place to be

You probably want to click the video and watch it on a bigger screen. This is a role I can easily see my mom in.

...way too easily.

Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Me on Thanksgiving

Fuck Turkey. My dad's making cioppino.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Time to transfer to fucking Hogwarts...

Moral quandaries with three year olds

Today the kidlette and I read a book about Cinderella. It just so happened to be the licensed Disney version.

The front page had a dramatis personae of sorts, with portraits of the various characters accompanied by their names inscribed below. There was Cinderella, the Prince, the Fairy Godmother, even the two mice, Jaques and Gus, were included. The kidlette immediately pointed to the picture of the two stepsisters and said to me, very emphatically, "Those are bad girls!"

"How do you know they're bad?"

"Cause they have bad faces."

The stepsisters are, of course, drawn to look more cartoonish and far less attractive than Cinderella. The kidlette then paused for a moment, and appeared to be truly puzzled. "Why are they bad?" she asked me.

"Well," I ventured, "sometimes when people feel jealous or frustrated they do bad things because they don't know how to talk about their feelings."

She seemed to think about this for a moment and then asked me, "Why are they making bad faces?"

"Maybe they're feeling angry or frustrated, so they're making angry faces."

This seemed to satisfy her for the moment and we finished the rest of the book without any other moral queries. 

The kidlette is well into her princess phase, having picked up on the fact that princesses are all young and beautiful. She has yet to discover the kinds of princesses that shove people out of windows (lines 1575-1582). I sincerely hope she does, if for no other reason than to learn cool words like defenestration.

While I'll admit that I often find our society's pressure for little girls to be obsessed with all things pink and glittery slightly worrisome, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with wanting to be a princess. I'm 27, and I still haven't grown out of that phase. Somewhere underneath all the cynicism is a small part of me that still wants to be a Disney princess. There's nothing wrong with little girls (or big girls, for that matter) wanting to be a princess, so long as we remember that there's much more to being a princess than simply being young and beautiful. Things like leadership, compassion, and intelligence are all important lessons for children to learn, and I give Disney and Pixar a lot of credit for their recent strides in these areas.

As the kidlette grows older, I hope she learns that there are many different kinds of princesses out there for her to emulate, and that the people we often label as "bad" are far more complex than we realize.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dragon problems


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oh, thank God.

Dear Livia, 

           Congratulations.  The Graduate Committee is pleased to inform you that your Graduate Exercise exam has been judged to be a High Pass.
You will be required to revise your Graduate Exercise in the final semester of coursework before you take your comprehensive exams or begin work on your thesis.  At this time, we will also complete your Advancement to Candidacy form.  This revision is expected to lengthen your Graduate Exercise by approximately one third and to evidence learning gained subsequent to your admission to the Master of Arts in English program.  Many students will find it productive to expand the initial Graduate Exercise by exploring its thesis in the light of a recognized critical perspective such as the feminist, the Marxist, the psychoanalytic,etc.  The revision is expected, moreover, to include a portion that reflects on how and why you revise as you have.  Please contact the Graduate Coordinator when you have successfully completed the requisite units to pick up a copy of your Graduate Exercise; you will have two weeks to revise it. A discussion between you and two faculty members about the revision will follow.  No units are generated and no grade is assigned.  All the steps in the fulfillment of this requirement aim at your enhanced learning and serve as an oral component of the degree.
            Now is the time to check your timeline, making certain it synchronizes with all the tasks required of you. Both the staff members in the English Department office and I are available to assist you. Again, congratulations!

Apparently I have to "revise" my initial interpretation in my final semester as a means of demonstrating everything I've learned in the master's program. But at least I'm in now and they can't kick me out!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Timmy "does something Wiccan"

Dad asked me to "do something Wiccan" to help him get a loan for his new house. Naturally, I outsourced the job to Timmy. Who knew Timmy was related to an old Sicilian gypsy woman on his mother's side twice removed?

Easy on the Hemlock there, Timmy. We don't want a repeat of what happened last time...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I heart Kate Beaton

Trying to write a paper about "Araby"; this is all I can think of:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Waiting for test results to come back...

When I manage to pull off a paper an hour before class

I somehow managed to get an A- on my shitty paper. Apparently, even my shit work is A quality.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Interlibrary loans are occasionally useless

Dear Livia,

A request you have placed:

293      2005
Title: Woman as Mediator in Medieval Depictions of Muslims: The Case of Floripas
Author: Akbari,  Suzanne Conklin

TN: 31745

has been cancelled by the interlibrary loan staff for the following reason:


Article not available through ILL due to copyright restrictions.

Well fuck you then! I'll just go over to USC and xerox the damn thing.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Going to the spa, may not come back...

Don't wait up for me is what I'm trying to say.


This is the sonnet I had to explicate yesterday:

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing my like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
   For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
   That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

This is Shakespeare's sonnet #29. Now, I'm going to break this down for you. One of the reasons I went with the sonnet rather than the modern poem (we had a choice between this and something by Anne Sexton. I didn't even look at the Sexton) is because the sonnet at least has a formula I can follow.

As some of you may remember from your high school/college English classes, Shakespearian/English sonnets typically follow this pattern: abab, cdcd, efef, gg. Notice I said "typically"

Now look at this:

1. When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes                   a
2. I all alone beweep my outcast state,                                     b
3. And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,               a
4. And look upon myself, and curse my fate,                           b
5. Wishing my like to one more rich in hope,                          c
6. Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,          d
7. Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,                     c
8. With what I most enjoy contented least;                              e
9. Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,                  f
10. Haply I think on thee, and then my state,                          b
11. Like to the lark at break of day arising                               f
12. From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;             b
13.    For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings     g
14.   That then I scorn to change my state with kings.            g

Take a good long look at line 8. That's right, line 8 ends in a word that doesn't rhyme with anything else in this poem. But wait, there's more! Instead of using a new sound, Shakespeare goes on to repeat the b rhyme in lines 10 and 12.

This is irrefutable proof, as my good friend Skeeve pointed out, that Shakespeare was intentionally trolling future English students.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Going to school on Saturday, waaaaaaat?

I took the Graduate Exercise today. I get to find out if I passed in a couple weeks. Pray for me.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Charles Dickens is deliberately trying to make me hungry.

I'm either hungry because Oliver is starving or because there's a food analogy. What gives, Chuck?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

When the prof makes a Monty Python joke in class and I'm the only one who gets it

Thankfully, most of this semester's class has seen Holy Grail. Otherwise, we'd really be in trouble.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bevis of Hampton is loooooong

Just when you think you have a grasp on Middle English, the professor goes and assigns a new poem in another dialect.

God dammit, England! What is up with you and your charming regional accents??

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Submitting papers to Blackboard

It's true

Skeeve: Sometimes I think you only go to school to find funny things written in old timey books.

Me: That's why ALL English majors go to school.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oh, Currer Bell, you little scamp!

I love you, Charlotte Brontë.

P.S. Yeah, I write in my books. But only in pencil.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tonight, on "Things You Will Never Hear Outside of a Medieval Lit Classroom"

"The giant is legally correct."
--Medievalist Professor

I really want to put that quote on a bookmark.

Edit: Because a few people have asked,

Once upon a time, there was a giant named Arrok. Arrok was a happy little giant who lived deep in the forest where he liked nothing more than to care for his herd of happy little deer. One day, an uppity knight named Sir Eglamour came to call. Sir Eglamour strode into the giant's forest without so much as a by-your-leave. The knight blew his hunting horn, which greatly upset the giant's timid herd of deer. Sir Eglamour's hounds began to bark, and their horrible baying soon woke Arrok from his peaceful slumber. By the time Arrok awoke, he found that Sir Eglamour had slain his favorite deer. This made Arrok very cross. For Arrok, you see, belonged to the forest, and the deer in turn belonged to Arrok. Because Sir Eglamour did not ask Arrok's permission to ride onto the giant's land and hunt his deer, he was, in fact, poaching, which is a terribly naughty crime punishable by death. And so, Arrok flew into a rage, which was quite within his legal rights, determined to mete out justice. And everyone with any sense agreed that the giant was legally correct.

Except for the knight, who chopped off his head.

The end.

Original text here:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Golly what a day

I was singing this song to the kidlette today and she was cracking the fuck up. Apparently "oo-de-lally" is the funniest goddamn word in the English language.

And then she dragged her dad into the room and made me sing for him because this shit was so fucking hilarious that she just had to share it with someone.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

He has a wife, you know.

The kidlette's parents went out for dinner tonight, so I came over to play with her and put her to bed. This is what happened as I was giving her a bath.

K: [holds up a purple Little Mermaid bucket from her collection of tub toys] I need to bring this to Buttocks.

Me: [doing a double take]...who?

K: I need to bring this bucket to my friend Buttocks cause he doesn't have one.

Me: Buttocks?

K: Yeah.

Me: [beginning to question whether or not this conversation is actually happening]...does he have a wife?

K: Yeah.

Me: Do you know what she's called?

K: She's called nobody.

I don't know what I expected.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Further proof that I'm still not an adult

So I was listening to the local classical station this morning when they announced the next piece: J.S. Bach's "Air on the G String"

I giggled like a 12 year old.

And then I texted my best friend and she laughed too.

I can't believe they let me vote and drink alcohol.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sage advice from two year olds

Just as I was getting ready to go home after my babysitting gig, the kidlette ran up to me and said, "Don't fall out of your car!"

Which, when you think about it, is all you really need to know about driving.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hey, I gotta finish the last season of Robin Hood. Here in grown-up-land we call that priorities.

Mom of the kidlette I babysit: Ok, it's time for us to let Livia go home. She might have a hot date.

Kidlette (to me): Do you have a hot date?

Me: Yeah. With Netflix.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I regret nothing

Dad and I celebrated my birthday dinner at Delius, our favorite restaurant. As per usual, we made reservations for the five course pre fixe with wine pairings. Course number three out of five was a smoked octopus with lemon crushed potatoes, chili aioli, and fried capers. Oh. My. Fucking. God.

First of all, they didn't just serve up a piece of octopus. Oh no. I got a whole freaking tentacle. It was so tender and amazing and just omg. Dad said it tasted like the best camping trip he'd ever had. He was not wrong.

I always feel kind of bad when I eat octopus because they're sentient. I make up for it by only eating them once or twice a year. Dad actually brought this up over dinner.

Dad: You know octopuses are actually highly intelligent?

Me: Yeah, I know. That's why I always feel bad when I eat them.

Dad: Nonsense! They make you smarter!

I regret nothing.

Am I really 27?

I don't feel anywhere near that age.

I just realized that if I'm 27, my best friend is 28. When did we get so old?

Though technically, as per the Tradition of Hunni, we both stopped having birthdays at age 24. We're 24 for the rest of our lives now.





C'mon, Timmy, let's go get a cupcake.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Hedgehogs for youuuuuu! I hope you have a splendiferous birthday! With frosting!

Head on over to Skeeve's blog and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We're painting the roses red!

Mom really wants to plant roses in the backyard to hide the smell of our two giant dogs. I told her that if she did we would have to dress the dogs up as playing cards.

Pearl would be the red queen.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pictures from The Pirate Invasion of Belmont Pier

"Authentic" pirate encampment

My belly dance teacher's a mermaid! I'm kind of jealous of her tail.

We shall fight them on the beaches...

 These two ladies were from Twisted Gypsy Belly Dance. Simply amazing.

I forgot to bring Timmy again. That's what he gets for sleeping in :P

Friday, June 28, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Things toddlers say

Sitting in the backyard with a two year old yesterday, eating little bird-shaped cheese crackers.

Me: Where did the ducky go?

Her: I ate him cause he was my friend.

File under "Correct Usage of 'Literally'"

Say what you will about Vikings, at least they have their shit together when it comes to grammar.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Just got home. No doors on my closet.


For God's sake, make sure the juices run clear

I should not be allowed to cook meat.

I did not check to make sure the juices ran clear. I just thought it was ketchup water.

So when I took a bite out of a mostly raw burger I went, "Well, fuck" and put it back on the grill. I took another bite, still kinda raw, "God dammit". I put it back on, made sure it was cooked through this time, and ate the whole thing. This, on the whole, was probably a bad idea.

I spent two hours waiting to throw up Wednesday morning. My trying to delay it with digestive enzymes and pepto bismol did not help matters. My whole body ached the rest of the day, my stomach still hurt, and I probably had a fever. I drank as much water and Vitamin Water as I could and nibbled on saltines. Mom made pastina in brodo with her home made chicken stock, which helped a lot. It wasn't until I took two ibuprofen that my fever broke and I stopped hurting.

The next day I felt almost normal again. I'm still eating pretty simple foods in relatively small amounts so I don't overload my stomach. I told Mom I'd go with her to help cover up her classroom. Thankfully, it's not that labor intensive, just taping paper over all the bookshelves so the things inside don't get dusty over the summer.

Mom just came in and told me they want to put new doors on my closet. Right now. You couldn't have told me this shit yesterday, guys?

I wish to God we'd just hire professionals for all the renovations.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Riker Sits Down

In all my years, I have never noticed this...

According to imdb, the guy is 6'4". I guess when you're that tall you're entitled to throw your leg over as many chairs as you want.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Keeping the streak alive


This is the 5th semester in a row that I've gotten straight As. Holy crap. Also, I graduated. Also, I applied for grad school. Holy magna cum laude, Batman!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Is it over?

Did not feel that great about last English final but pretty sure professor will curve it. Anyway, I survived!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Oh. My. God.

This is the greatest commercial I have ever seen in my entire life. Ever.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Oh God it's May 1st.

When did that happen?

I'm presenting at the state wide competition in ten days. My final papers are due in eight.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

University, y u no like double majors?

So the commencement people emailed me this video today regarding parking, lining up, etc. Apparently we're supposed to line up by major...

Sooooooo does this mean I get to go twice?

Also, now I'm nervous about wearing heels.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Out of Context Sunday

"Suppose now, he should tumble in upon me at midnight--how could I tell from what vile hole he had been coming?"

--Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Ch. 3

God, Melville, you are such a perv.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pearl likes to sleep on books


No, no studying. Only pets.

What, seriously? Uhhg, fine.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Paper is 4 pages minimum? 4 pages it is, then...

This is me today. No, I will not apologize.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

This time I AM the field trip!

I just got an email regarding transportation and lodging for the research competition at Cal Poly Pomona in May. Among the attachments sent to me was a liability waiver promising not to sue the school if I suffer some hideous bodily injury to, from, or during the event.

My first thought upon seeing this form? I'm 26 years old and I still need a friggen field trip slip.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I'm going to Hell and it's all my dad's fault

Me: They're going to elect a new pope in time for Easter, aren't they?

Dad: Well yeah, somebody's got to hide the eggs.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I am Cornholio!

So I was sitting in the hallway today waiting to talk to my professor about the 5 page summary I have to submit on Wednesday for the CSU Student Research Competition. I was keeping busy trying to catch up on my reading for another class when all of a sudden I overheard my British Lit professor explaining a Beavis and Butthead reference to my American Lit professor just a few doors down.

It's refreshing to learn that professors can be just as immature as their students. You guys have no idea how hard it was to stifle my giggles.

It's moments like this that I weep for American culture...

Investing in our children's future? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Just got my graduation regalia

The hell am I supposed to do with this stupid hat?

I paid how much for this 100% polyester night gown?

Mom suggests pinning the stupid hat to my head to make it look less stupid. The directions on the package say this is incorrect. Also, I am not sure if the stupid hat will stay on with this method. The alternative, however, may cut off the circulation to my brain.

I'm seriously resisting the urge to add "Magna cum laude, bitches!" to my invites.

Should I get celebratory henna for my graduation? That might be a fun way to freak out my grandparents.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oh God, what have I done?

I'm representing Dominguez at Cal Poly Pomona.

Which means now I have to write up a five page summary of my research.



I've just found out there will be a symposium in April honoring all the winners where we will each be expected to give the talk we will be presenting at the statewide competition at Cal Poly Pomona. Jesus, Christ, you guys; how many times do you want me to give this talk?

Friday, February 22, 2013

I need more frozen yogurt

I'm still going to dance class tomorrow because I'm crazy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

You really, really like me!

Guess who just won $100?

Fangs for the mammaries.

I finished giving my presentation on "Carmilla" a little while ago and had a professor I've never met come up and tell me that she really liked my talk and to continue with my research.

I feel like Sally Fields.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Student Research Day

One month ago I took my professor's suggestion and signed up for Student Research Day on campus. In two weeks I will be presenting my research on Sheridan J. Le Fanu's "Carmilla", a short story about a vampire. I'm still wondering how many people are actually going to take me seriously.

I keep staring at my name on the schedule and the list of abstracts. On the one hand, I'm really excited and even a little proud of myself. At the same time, part of me is thinking, "Oh God, what have I done?"

It doesn't help that I've been assigned to present at 8:50 in the morning. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Real Cool Killers

The opening scene in Chester Himes' The Real Cool Killers is a lot like the cantina scene in Star Wars: Episode IV. How many bar fights do you know of where someone winds up losing an arm? Just saying.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Hobbit Summary

One of these dwarves is a vampire.

Radagast is best wizard.

(about halfway through the movie) One of these dwarves is Dr. Jekyll.

Gandalf the Grey is here to kill goblins and light fireworks, and he's all out of fireworks!

Ooo! Ooo! Goblin falling off a bridge Wilhelm Scream!

Conversation with Skeeve afterwards:

Me: Am I the only one who heard the hedgehog say "I'm fine" after Radagast fixed it?

Skeeve: Yes. Or at least I don't remember.

Me: He made little hedgehog noises that I swear sounded like, "I'm fine."

Skeeve: You now speak hedgehog.

Me: Well, Timmy's a good teacher.

(after getting home from the movie) Omfg, Radagast is the fucking Doctor?!?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pulp fictions

The Stepford Wives is a creepy ass book.

A really creepy ass book.

And the nod to Disney was just over the top. What continues to amaze me is that, even though I already knew the story and how it ends, the book was still creepy as hell. I'm impressed, Ira Levin. Good job.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Out of Context Thursdays

It's only the second day of class. Welcome to the Spring Semester, folks.

"This time it was very loud and his rectum began to smart"

          From "The Winnebago Trickster Cycle." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym and Robert S. Levine. 8th ed. Vol. A. New York: Norton, 2012. 105-110. Print.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Every semester break...

I have 13 days of vacation left. I'm going to read something, dammit.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years Resolutions

It always seems that the harder I push myself academically, the more I neglect myself physically. So, to prevent my muscles from going into atrophy when I get to grad school, this year (or at least this semester) I am going to do yoga at least twice a week and go for a long walk on the weekends.

I am also going to drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables.

Timmy will be laying off the puddings and sticking to his high protein diet of mealworms.

Oberon will continue to nap and strive harder to insert himself in my lap, preventing me from seeing my computer screen, much less reaching the keyboard. He says he doesn't want me to get carpal tunnel. Right.