Sunday, April 30, 2006


Among the many reasons I hate NYU used to be its love for profligate architecture, as evidenced by the recurrence of unused atrium spaces (c.f. Coles and Bobst). Bobst in particular, what with those NHL-reminiscent, suicide-deterring plastic walls around the catwalks, the suicide-encouraging tesselated tiles, the suicide-encouraging panopticon, and - most of all - the goddamn waste-of-space atrium. Think of the premium on downtown real estate, probably something like $500,000,000,000 per square foot. And here is an empty space within a building that could probably fit an entire building. I'd guess that 60% of the available space inside Bobst goes unused except to echo the erratic date-stamping from the circulation desk.

And this used to bother me quite a bit, especially when I think about NYU's predatory relationship with real estate in the Village and NYU's population of alienated undergrads whose desires to commit suicide are not met with preventive care but, literally, cheap plastic barricades - this institutional monster!

But now, having spent the greater part of the last three weekends sitting on the seventh floor of Bobby Lee, west side, watching the Roca twins from Cooper Union pacing the 6th floor catwalk with nearly identical pomade-meringued hair, seeing my studious misery mirrored in the poor posture and sunken eyes of all of the students hunched over carrels on the 2nd-9th floor, getting my blocked view of Silver, with cigarette breaks every six hours or must be Stockholm syndrome! How I learned to love the atomic Bobst.

I'm half crazy, Daisy!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

inky pinkies that describe late april

Prolix frolics. Terrible wearable. L train smell train. Hairy cherry. Surgery perjury. Cybersex Khyber-Mex. Albatross gal lacrosse. Knickerbocker liquor locker. Awesome flotsam.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

administrative what what?

I'm feeling a little arbitrary and capricious...or is it unreasonable...or am I just in a critical mood? Or maybe it's all a big San Francisco predawn fog? Gulp.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

extra ordinary

Two consecutive nights of extraordinarily vivid dreams. Unnerving verisimilitude so I'm waking shaking. I can't remember any of them except the one I had between Snooze #2 and Snooze #3 this morning...but how do hours pass in dream time when only 10 real-time minutes have passed? This dream involved L. throwing a hooked dagger at my head. It thudded into the drywall above the doorjamb. Then I sobbed and told her not to move to my neighborhood, the Myrtle-Wyckoff stop on the L and M.

(Oh my God, is my dream brain so brilliant as to make the connection between Myrtle-Wyckoff and the L and M trains? I just recognized the symbolism. Whoa. My dream brain is smarter than my real brain.)

In unrelated news, my Admin prof has just filled two chalkboards with two nonsensical lists. The chalkboards keep rolling up as she tries to write on them. They include such insight as "zing the driver," "M.A.A.D.", "full-press law enf. of MSU laws," "free cabs @ night from bars," "rethink suburbanization?", "congestion mitigation." I guess all that is not nonsensical, but it's written on the board like this: "public transportation-->free cabs @ night from BARS-->MAAD training driver standardization size press passive air bags zing public choice--> curfews consumer technologies enforcement truck laws command and control driver economc consequences externalities rethink?"

Friday, April 14, 2006

goddamn friday why'm i in the library

...printing reams of paper in the library? There's a catalogue for novelty sci-fi bobbleheads. I leaf through it while waiting for "The Instruments of Presidential Command: Executive Orders." I had read "instruments" as "sinstruments," which would have made for much more exciting reading. Among the sci-fi characters in the bobblehead catalogue: Marshall (Mathers III), Smeagol, Cheech, Chong, Kip Dynamite, Michael Myers. I want bobblehead Legolas. Is this wrong?

Another character in the catalog also reminded me of other things that might be potentially wrong. For example, is it bad that as recently as twenty years ago I was "excited" by things like (1) the metallic undergarments that Carrie Fisher sports in that scene in Star Wars when she's chained to Jabba the Hutt and (2) Robocop's mouth?

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Dream. "My" white shepherd Georgia Brown and my boyfriend/border collie Boo are lying in the living room at 93 Grattan Street but my apartment looks nothing like it should. The day is overcast. Georgia and Boo are poking noses into each other's fur. They're roughhousing a bit, passing a ball back and forth. Georgia lunges for the ball and accidentally bites down onto Boo's hind leg. It snaps off like a dry twig and Boo lets out a yelp. I hurry to pick up his leg, which is about as big as Lincoln log and is bloodless except for a circle of red buried underneath black fur. Boo is crying but not bleeding. I know I can save his leg if I can find a surgeon, so I place the leg on the kitchen table so Georgia won't eat it and I run out the door looking for a veteranarian. There's a parade or riot passing by outside, or maybe it's just Penn Station at rush hour, but I'm being jostled and disoriented by a people. I need a surgeon! I keep shouting, but I'm lost in the crowd. Perhaps half an hour, an hour, several hours pass. I worry about leaving Boo's wound unsutured but I can't think of what else to do. Finally, I give up and return to the apartment. A team of surgeons in green scrubs are gathered around the kitchen table, upon which Boo lies panting. I look to his leg and see that it has been stitched back with big caricaturized white loops. It's comical but also effective, and Boo looks up at me with his optimistic border collie stare. I'm so happy he's restored. I ask the surgeons what happened. One of them removes his surgical mask and says, "Well, we just couldn't wait any longer." I know Boo will be good as new in a couple weeks, ready to play fetch again.

I don't know if watching this video had anything to do with my dream:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

faith in the DoD

The Department of Defense: (1) incredibly stupid or (2) scrambling to justify spying against a law student organization best known for gay trivia night and panel discussions?

Subpoena This: OUTLaw

Friday, April 07, 2006

well that was disgusting

Let's apply some statutory interpretation techniques to the "vegetarian Peking spare ribs" that came upchuckily up last night around 3:45 a.m.:

1) Plain Text: I think this is the kind of oxymoronic language that even the Stevenses and the Scalias can agree to call absurd. Ribs? Wheat gluten pressed into patties are not even the simulacrum of ribs. Unlike veggie burgers that come painted with black charbroil lines, here there's not even the outline of a bone to suggest what this wheat gluten patty might've been. There's less than a ball a yarn's chance in a roomful a cats that this wheat gluten pressed into patties came from anywhere east of the Gateway Arch. "Peking" my ass.

2) Intent: What were the framers of the Vegetarian Paradise 2 menu intending to do when calling these pressed wheat gluten patties "vegetarian Peking spare ribs"? Legislative history suggests scrivener's error. Scrivener's omission: lack of ironic quotations around key terms, like "spare ribs" and "Peking." Scrivener, please correct this? He would prefer not to.

3) Purpose: What was the purpose of the menu item? Historical context suggests that this menu was written in 1992 at a time when federal agricultural subsidies had been reduced and the nation's wheat farmers were overburdened with the season's unusually successful crop yield, which in turn flooded the wheat gluten market and sent prices through the floor. In framing the menu, the owners were trying to achieve the twin goals of 1) relieving the wheat gluten market by encouraging the consumption of gluten products and 2) making some big vegetarian bucks in the land of plenty. Actually, who'm I fooling? I haven't paid sufficient attention in my Admin class to actually understand statutory interpretation. I still can't distinguish purpose and intent. F*k this!

Takeaway(s): Vegetarian Peking spare ribs. They'll break your heart and steal your wife. You'll wake up feeling vivisected. You'll spend $9.95 on them and wish you had gotten the Crispy Soul Chicken instead. You'll pack your cheeks with them and eat them over the course of your four-month spring hibernation (vernalation?). You'll cry, you'll die, you'll handover your checkbook. Vegetarian Peking spare ribs: Just Say No. Or Not Often.
we had a steak knife that we lost in the impossibly narrow chasm between the counter and the refrigerator. it was nothing special: not particularly sharp, serrations worn to smoothness, the plastic grip probably melted from times when we left it too close to the pan of frying tofu. i've thought so much about this steak knife the last four days. i imagine seppuku aimed at the heart, slowly, easing in, stainless steel against the valves to my left ventricle - as if there were nerves down there, as if i could feel it! and the feeling of it just like a breeze. i don't know why this image gives me comfort.

don't you call the wellness center: it's the ideation not of suicide but of surgery, a precise cut that'll remove the offending bits. i find that topical analgesics don't do the work of the surgeon's scalpel. spiritual healers just voodoo economists, acupunture just a underenthusiastic version of just what the doctor ordered.

now this knife is, in my mind, solace. so i have dreams that like bells' tolls attack sharp and decay over the course of days, and all the relief i can think of is just holding the steak knife against a wall and leaning my chest into it. and again the feeling of it just like a breeze. i just wait for medical technology to advance to such levels that the effects of this selective self-surgery match my expectations for it. i think i need to throw up two pounds of vegetarian "peking spare ribs." right. now.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

your absence is a presence

Dream. Noreast spring, green hills, untrammeled grass. A scene like one we're familiar with. A station wagon driven up from New York, the passenger in the backseat wringing her hands, her neighbor angry and silent but in what was once love, the driver raptly inattentive with hands at ten and two. A big top, a little tent, a couple of round tables. Kids trailing ribbons in the grass. Family, friends, family again--the younger ones, they don't know how to receive the passenger but after the narrowed eyes widen with sympathy, understanding, forgiveness they embrace and laugh. A desire to wave contrition like a flag, or to disappear, or to float into the cumuli and watch the sun-flooded scene. Obscure relatives with strong shoulders elated and inappropriate. Verging on normalcy but not quite right. Falling backward, passing out, dutch tilting, whirring. This is what I wake up to?

For the first time all semester,

I get to Admin on time. I am patting myself - literally! a pat-fest! - on the back for getting to Vanderbilt 218 with enough spare time to grab a generic NYU "house blend" coffee. I saunter - no, swagger - no, *swing* - to the classroom, lick my palm and slick my bedhead back, prepare the grand entrance, prepare to say the witty things I plan to say about, uh, Allentown Mack, and enter the room to what I expect will be applause, laurel wreaths, adoring fans, bosomy women pressing my face into their nature's gifts, etc.

Alas, alack: class has been cancelled. The professor is kind enough to send a cancellation notice at 8:31 a.m., fifteen minutes after I've crowbarred my way into a standing spot on the overcrowded 6 train, displacing pregnant women, doddering elderlies, disabled subway patrons. ( eat dog, do or die, you know?) I spend several minutes at the front of the classroom deciding what to do, flirting abstractly with friends in terms that include "aerodynamic" and "flight," admiring and coveting for the umpteenth time Frenchie's convertible primary color vest/jacket, and deciding whether it would be appropriate to masturbate in Furman C-12 to photographs of well-crafted European pastries.

In short, how do you fill the absence of meaning that accompanies the cancellation of a class you barely attend?

I know! By reading for a class you attend but never attend to:mm...torts are delicious! There's some perverse logic at work here, but since I attend class so rarely my analytic skills have not advanced to sufficient levels such that I can actually identify the perversities at work. Is it too late to be a fiction writer? (Oh wait...lawyers are fiction writers! Who has the last laugh now? A-ha ha ha ha ha ha!!)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sometimes when I feel like life is no longer worth living

...Torts comes along and reaffirms that feeling.