Thursday, October 30, 2008

But On the Bright Side, I No Longer Read Elizabeth Wurtzel

So my dad said that writing an entire blog entry about the word "obfuscate" was a tad pretentious. Which, okay, maybe he's got a point. (I really want that entry to become a huge controversy so I can refer to it as "Obfugate." Please, someone?)

The thing is, though, I know I've had my pretentious moments, and I do my best to own them. When I was fifteen, for example, I would lock myself in my room listening to Fiona Apple and pretending to read Kierkegaard. That was pretty pretentious, yeah? By the time I was eighteen and had my head too far up my ass to walk in a straight line, I had moved on to Leonard Cohen and Elizabeth Wurtzel, which...ugh. (God, I still can't believe Wurtzel wrote an entire book about herself, then had the audacity to name it Prozac Nation. Could her narcissism be any more apparent?) Also, I read a lot of Nietzsche. Until, that is, I broke up with a guy who happened to be borrowing my Nietzsche, and who never returned it because he is a great big asspanda. Ahem.

So I don't excuse myself from criticism. I criticize myself all the time. It burns calories. And I am definitely no stranger to pretension, as anyone who has spoken to me for longer than ten minutes can attest. I mean, let's face it: I'm an English major. Semi-colons are my dearest friends, and I love verbs. My personal library is pretentious, too - though not quite as pretentious as claiming to have a "personal library" - as is my pseudo-poetic love of black coffee. (It's black like my soul, y'see.)

I take great pride in accepting my pretentiousness. I like to think that it absolves it, somewhat. I mean, it probably doesn't, but it sure is pretty to think so. (Yes, the Hemingway reference was a deliberately pretentious move on my part.) was my point again?

Oh, right. Obfuscate. Look, I will grant that, as a word, it is irreplacable. There is no other word which could do the job that obfuscate does. However, it sounds ugly, and in that sense it is the sports bra of my vocabulary. That is to say, it is effective, but horrendously unattractive. And I still prefer "elegiac."

Saturday, October 25, 2008


There's a small child in the store named Grammer. I'm sure of the spelling, because his backpack is monogrammed. He's a cute kid, and quite well-behaved; however:

Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick. That may be the worst name I've ever heard.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Because I'm Feeling Random

A few nights ago I listened to someone sing the praises of the word "obfuscate," and found myself thinking that as far as word-loving goes, claiming an attachment to "obfuscate" seems kind of pretentious. I stand by that point - or would, if I'd made the point in the first place, instead of just nodding and then mentioning that "exacerbate" is a kick-ass word - because really, listening to people ramble on about obfuscation annoys me. And yes, I have heard enough obfuscation-centered rambles in my day to know whether or not it annoys me. Sad but true.

And honestly, I don't even like "obfuscate" that well. It sounds congested and muddy. It's like that sound people make when they're talking too fast and stumbling over words, when their voices get all fuzzy and saliva builds, and the syllables are spit out all wet and cloudy - when the mumbling fogs up the glass of the sentence so you can't see a damn thing and just drive blindly through the conversation. And then, sometimes? You crash. Into a semi-truck of confusion.

Wow. I don't think it's possible to stretch that metaphor any further. The poor thing is just begging for mercy.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is that the sound of "obfuscate" is perfectly matched to its meaning; and while I usually find this quality endearing, in this case it kind of annoys me.

It just sounds like an SAT word - which it probably is. But I took the ACT, so who knows. (I've often wondered what my SAT score would have been. Everyone says the SAT is harder, so although I kicked half of the ACT's ass - its linguistic buttcheek, if you will - I've always suspected that the SAT would have kicked mine. Both cheeks. And left bruises.)

So yeah. Obfuscate. It looks icky typed. If spellings were foods, o-b-f-u-s-c-a-t-e would be fried coke. (People say it's delicious, but come on. That's gross.) And although obfuscate has its uses, I generally feel that the people who like it are constantly trying to show me up. Maybe it's the way they enunciate it. They have this tendency to stomp on each syllable, kicking them into my brain until they become permanently embedded in its coils.



You know what word I like? Elegiac. It's such a clear, precise word. It's like glass. If I tapped on it, I think it would ping.

But obfuscate? I don't think you could tap on it. You could only poke it, and if it made any sound at all, it would be a squelch - the squelch of an obese person walking barefoot through a swamp.


The sad thing about this entry is that it is a frighteningly accurate look into my mind. I once went on a date with a guy who told me that I always looked deep in thought, and that he found it intimidating. "I feel like you're analyzing everything. It freaks me out."

"Well," I said, "it shouldn't. I'm not thinking anything very interesting. My brain doesn't sleep, but that doesn't mean it's all that active, either. It's just lying awake, wishing it hadn't had all that coffee."

He really didn't get my wit. That, coupled with his bigotry ("I don't care about any country that ends in -stan"), kind of made it impossible for me to enjoy myself. Although dinner was good. (On a side note, if you want to get a guy to leave you alone, just tell him you identify with Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. It's instant man repellent.)

So, in closing: loving "obfuscate" makes you a pretentious asshat, my brain is a congealed lump of pointless musings, and countries that end in -stan are good.

(I just corrected the best typo ever: "obfuscare." As in, scared, but in a vague, blurry way. I'm so going to use that in conversation.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Well. That Was Weird.

So there I was, walkin' along, in search of a delicious yet nutritious lunch, when I got catcalled by this really pretty girl. A really pretty girl who, in addition to making that ridiculous "ow!" call which is apparently meant to suggest that the object of said call is painfully hot, yelled out "hey sexy!" as she leaned out the passenger's window of a black SUV.

I was far too perplexed to be offended.

I mean, do I look gay? Not that there's anything wrong with that. (God, that joke has officially become a cliche. Sadness.)

Anyway. Chicks dig me, and that's all. The End.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Like Lists

Five Things That Are Making Me Want to Punch the World In the Face:

1. The doors to the library squeal when opened. They do - they squeal. The squeal is long and protracted, the sound of a colicky baby preparing for an epic scream. If it was only a little more high-pitched it would be audible only to dogs, but as luck would have it, it's just low enough that every time the door opens my brain feels like it's being stabbed. Which kinda hurts.

2. I don't understand how to factor quadrinomials and I don't give a shit. I really don't. Those goddamned quadrinomials can factor themselves, for all I care. They can find their own parentheses and distribute their own exponents and scrounge up their own negative signs, because I'm done. I am. Screw you, quadrinomials.

3. I have to write about integrity, and all I can think of is that Seinfeld episode where George won't let NBC make Jerry a show about something because he doesn't want to compromise his artistic integrity, prompting Jerry to point out that "you're not an artist, and you have no integrity!" But something tells me that won't work for this particular writing.

4. I forgot to eat before coming to the library, and now I am hungry. The library should serve strawberry whipped cream waffles and cranberry juice, but does it? Oh no. And why? Because it sucks. God, I love waffles. You know what else sounds good? Vanilla ice cream with maple syrup and nuts. That would be freaking delicious right about now.

5. I started reorganizing my apartment this morning and haven't finished yet, meaning that when I do get home - poor, downtrodden, with equations I don't quite understand swimming in my beleaguered brain - the first thing I see will be my dresser. In the middle of the floor. And then I will probably step on my jewelry box. At which point I will likely cry, or do something equally immature - like stomp my foot, pull on my hair, and scream, "it's not fair!"

The sad thing about the ridiculously cranky mood I'm in is that I can't blame it on a hangover. It's just me being a pain in the ass and reinforcing negative female stereotypes. Bad at math, hyper-sensitive to noise, addicted to sugar, obsessed with interior decorating to a disturbing degree: I am everything that is wrong with women. Also, I will grow up to be a cat lady.

And there's no turning back now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Yes, I Am Unabashedly Honest, Often to My Detriment. Your Point?

5 Stupid Things I've Done Since Wednesday, Which Kind of Sum Me Up:

1. Worn my v-neck shirt backwards until two in the afternoon, when I looked in the mirror, observed the unusually high neckline, then twisted around to see a triangle of spine cleavage.

2. Walked into a drinking fountain, then stared in shock as a jet of water sprayed my stomach. Considered how to "get the stain out," pondered simply using soap and water, and then thought...oh. Right. Duh.

3. Washed my hair with bubble bath. Was surprised at the foaminess.

4. Watched the presidential debates sober; listened to smug rich republican kid blabber on about economic policy, protesting only when he attempted to single out my energy drink as a symbol of the merits of consumerism.

5. Admitted these things.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I just ordered a Star Wars book for someone who was holding a coffee cup full of booze with a curly straw sticking out.

Just thought I'd share that.