Monday, April 28, 2008

everything's coming up millhouse

i've been all giddy and giggly all day, even when i had to work through lunch again to tie up loose ends at work before skipping off on vacay. maybe it's a sign of my essential kids incorporated nature that using phrases like "tying up loose ends" make me feel impossibly grown-up. other phrases with that effect are: "variable rate mortgages" and "yes, i authorize a credit check." i finished the last two big projects at work and i'm officially in the clear! things are coming up so millhouse right now that i'm stupidly, superstitiously worried that my joie de vivre is a harbinger of some kind of bad stuff lurking right around the corner. perhaps the bad stuff is that i was such a laughing-out-loud-at-private-jokes-and-jokes-past goof all day that i submitted draft memos to my supervisor that were ridden with typos. you know, difficult stuff like periods at the ends of sentences and inconsequential things of that nature.

here's what's kind of bumming me out right now (for the benefit of the fates):
- yoga yesterday effed up my shoulders like you wouldn't believe AND i somehow effed up my achilles tendon
- my dodgeball skills seem to have left me completely. they've flown away! far, far away!
- i'm missing my niece's dance recital and birthday. this is breaking my heart because i'm her favorite aunt and i love going to stuff like that with my sister and talking smack about all the other moms. this also means i won't be able to see my sis and her family for an extra month, which bites the big one. she put my nephew on the phone the other night and he can actually call me m***y!!! he said it clear as day! and he also said "clock" and "woof" and his pronunciation is much better now. even if he wasn't progressing at an exponential rate it's been too long since i've seen the happy little fat chinaman.

in other news, i'm THRILLED that the tyranny of skinny jeans seems to have broken its hold on the world and it's all about trouser cut pants and raver-y flares and wide-legs. my giant calves and bow legs love love love it! i also love all the big, loud, splashy prints because as we all know, i aspire to dress like a beguiling mix of mrs. roper and peter pan. there are no better style icons for the summer.

yesterday we saw a documentary called "milosevic on trial." it was a fascinating look at the war crimes tribunal of the former serbian president on charges of genocide. milosevic refused counsel and represented himself, repeatedly claiming that the court was a farce and that he represented the serbian people. the movie touched on the larger issues surrounding these war crimes tribunals and the conflicting and frequently contradictory motivations and agendas at play. on the one hand, they are meant to serve as a record of the horrors of war, so that there is a legal testament of what happened and so that the stories of the witnesses can be heard and codified for the annals of history, and so that a measure of healing can be produced in the telling and documentation. on the other hand, you're trying to say that one man is responsible for x and y, which in a legal sense is much more difficult to prove. because the record of the war should be as complete as can be, because you want to give everyone their chance to tell their story and to speak, and hear the reverberations of their speech, the prosecutors cast the net as wide as possible, but in doing so, make it very difficult to make the charges stick. trying to encapsulate 3 1/2 wars in a 10 year span is a logisticial and symbolic nightmare. in a legal sense, is our legal structure established to hold an individual accountable for war crimes? you can't hold gun manufacturers responsible for what happens when their guns result in random acts of senseless violence. i don't believe for an instant that slobodan milosevic wasn't aware of what was happening, and indeed, probably played an active role in ordering the ethnic cleansing. but at the same time, barring any concrete evidence (and as the documentary points out, even low level criminals rarely talk about their activities without code), how do we link it to the head of state? to a certain degree, milosevic is right in that he DID represent the serbian we hold him solely accountable for the will of everyone else? where do we start to delineate between degrees of culpability?

i was thoroughly captivated by what i saw to be (once again) a problem with classification. the law is a series of metrics - x amount of y equals this amount of prison time, puts you in this category of felony, etc. how do you design a measurement that can capture the injustices of war? of what happened in srebrenica? how many bodies will equal a genocide? how do we determine the definition of that term? how do we move past the cognitive safeguards that turn 8,373 into a number? what is hidden in the space between the number and the bodies, lives, history, grief it represents? i've referred to this space as representational some aspects, like when you're talking about market research and the aggregate composite "karl lagerfeld" that sits in the books of some actuarial scientist based on my spending and buying habits, the insurmountable chasm of that semiotic space works in our favour. when you're tallying the people in bosnia, in palestine, on native reserves in canada, that symbolic gap becomes the catch-all for our own impotence.

the most captivating things about classification and definition issues, the things with the most imaginative and theoretical torque, are never discussed in library school. that's why i'll always love my "surveillance and identity" course that i took and the professor who taught it. that's where i first read "sorting things out: classification and its consequences" which i recommend with reservations even if you're not necessarily preoccupied with the ramifications of classification and sorting and stuff of that nature. maybe you'll find it boring...i found it endlessly engaging.

here are some shots of last night's dinner. it was a simple nacho affair, with home-fried tortilla chips and guac and bought salsa and sour cream. nachos is one of those things that you can't stop eating, even if your body says you're full. other things that fall into the same category are: fries and gravy, pringles, freshly baked warm chocolate chip cookies, caramel corn, and pork fat.

i made churros because as aforementioned, bwong likes things deep-fried, and we already had the fryer going for the chips. i served them with this ultra-bitter chocolate sauce, whiskey toffee sauce, and the remaining amount of last week's pastry cream. they were delicious! i love love love churros and i ate an ungodly amount of them and then passed out on the couch like a beached whale while the dotytron took unflattering shots of my bad side and my ten billion chins to practice on the camera. another thing that is mildly stressing me out is the fact that i'm getting uglier with age. my bad side is pretty hideous and i look haggard as a mofo. i basically look like wendell from the simpsons. but the chinese form. the chinese form with crazy horse hair. lol!

we're almost done season 4 of "the wire." it's breaking my heart into a million little pieces. i love those kids. i love dookie and randy and michael. i have very little love for naiman, but it's mostly because his mom is such a horrible woman.

finally, i'd like to leave you with this: this is bernini's apollo and daphne. i first came across it watching simon schama's "the power of art" (previously reviewed on this blog). i don't know if it's the lighting techniques used by the bbc, or simon schama's patrician voice or masterful narration, but i got goosebumps. THAT'S A PIECE OF STONE. look at the detail! look at the filigree of leaves sprouting from her fingertips! look at the tree trunk creeping inexorably up her legs! it's impossible to find a picture that captures the luminosity of the sculpture. if for no other reason you should watch "the power of art" to see the indentations of apollo's fingers on daphne's thigh. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i'm going in for a half day of work tomorrow (i have to be frugal with my vacation time) and then it's off to the airport and italia bound! i'm making us nicoise sammies for the plane. the three little bears definitely deserve better than airplane food.

nothing is more apt than me going to the land of my nemesis. i wonder if i can successfully avoid chinotto the entire time i'm there?

posting will probably be intermittent. but expect a blog-vomit update of gargantuan proportions pon my return.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have a safe and wonderful time in Italia!

love ya,