Sunday, October 31, 2010

Royksopp - Vision One

I want to have this album's babies right now.

Repeat repeat repeat

Friday, October 29, 2010

A bit more about Bechdel

I came across an absolutely brilliant write-up of Bechdel today that is a must-read if you're interested in the topic at all.

Some selected quotes:

'I'm not a feminist, but I've learned a hell of a lot from feminists on my flist about what they want in stories. This does not give me feminist bona fides of any sort; I'm not trying to make a bullshit claim to them, because I don't have one -- hell, I'm a registered Republican with a concealed carry permit; I *am* The Man, ok? -- but I do try to write stories that a fairly wide variety of people will enjoy, feminists included. And if there's one thing I've taken away from the discussions of feminism and queer politics and anti-racism that I've read, it's that I don't have to agree with people to learn how they would like to be treated.'

Right on. If more people felt this way, the world would probably be a much higher functioning and much more pleasant place.

'Why are stock roles important to the Bechdel Test? Because *men fill a billion of them.* There are many more stock roles for men than for women. As a result, the more thinly drawn a character is, the more likely that character is to be male. But the problem caused by stock roles goes farther than that. Many characters exist in order to perform a mechanical function: to provide information, to fight the hero, that kind of thing. They're not created to be a person, but to do a job within the story. This means they tend to start thin, and be fleshed out. But the fact that they start thin means that a whole lot of characters begin as some variant of a stock role.

Men are, from a dramatic perspective, incredibly useful creatures, because they fit into all manner of preconceived slots -- stock roles -- that come in handy to writers. Need a character to do something dangerous/flamboyantly stupid and risky? Men, especially young men, are great for that (when I worked in a medical examiner's office, the young men who came in fell overwhelmingly into one of two categories. Their last words were either, "You motherfucker --!" or "Hey, guys, watch THIS!"). Need a character to convey established authority, i.e., "this bank has been in business for five million years" authority? Older men, especially older white men, get that across without opening their mouths. And so on. There are all kinds of things that men are great for, and more to the point, *men are easy for.* Because we have seen men doing those things in a billion books and novels, and we have vague memories of a billion similar characters, and that makes filling the role easier -- and often, more effective -- for the author and the readers. This requires work to overcome.

By contrast, women have fewer stock roles, and most of these revolve around their relationships to other people.'

Definitely read the whole thing if any of this piqued your interest; there's a really great breakdown of EXACTLY what goes wrong when women are left out of stories.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Royksopp - Were You Ever Wanted

The whole Royksopp album, Junior, is pretty much too beautiful for life right now for me, but I particularly love this song.

I like my music longing and breathtaking.

Why I won't be paying to see The Social Network - Part 3: A synthesis.

This is the last bit, continued from part 2.

I've already written about how 1) Hollywood generally treats women like props and objects, and 2) Hollywood doesn't understand the geek experience, and it shows in movies that purport to be about geeks. Since beginning this series of posts, I've had a lot of opportunities to read various viewpoints, rebuttals, and interpretations of this film. This has allowed what I say in this post to more or less be my final say on the matter, such that I feel that I'd really be going around in circles repeating what I've already said if I had to argue any of this further.

The argument of many, including Sorkin himself, was that The Social Network isn't a misogynistic movie - it's a movie about misogyny. I'll give our fair writer and director the benefit of the doubt that their intentions were good, but it does seem that there was no insignificant failure in making this distinction, given that so, so many people have walked away from this feeling so uncomfortable. That discomfort has promoted dialogue, which is never a bad thing, but I think the dialogue would have been a very different one had the film's motives been more clear.

When your movie is in some way a biopic, there is an urge to make your movie through the eyes of that protagonist. That, it seems, is what Sorkin and Fincher have done here - the world of Harvard and geek life are being viewed as how proto-Zuckerberg saw it, which is and of itself part reality and part fantasy. It makes sense then, on this level, that if proto-Zuckerberg is a misogynist, the women on the screen seen through his eyes would not be portrayed in the most favorable light.

Now, the whole movie, basically, is more or less about how this version of Zuckerberg is a dick. So there certainly is the interpretation that, much in the way that the audience isn't really supposed to agree with anything that Eric Cartman says or does on South Park, the audience here is supposed to read proto-Zuckerberg's views on women and humanity as deplorable. I'd allow that, except that in the past few weeks I've read a frightening number of comments that claim (I'm paraphrasing) "Well, the movie is just telling the truth. College girls are like that - they show up to parties slutty and just want to get laid by powerful or good-looking men."

Obviously, a problematic viewpoint. But the thing is, that's not really a radical reading - it doesn't seem that the movie does much to actually prove otherwise. There are two women in it who are meant to be respectable: first, there is the girlfriend in the beginning, Erica, who dumps Zuckerberg because "[he's] an asshole"; secondly, there is Zuckerberg's lawyer, played by Rashida Jones. Sorkin has used Erica as evidence that there are classy women in the movie, but rather, I feel that she is a very cliched exception to the rule. Jones' character, despite being smart and a good lawyer, is still by requirement sympathetic to Zuckerberg, so truly, Erica is the only woman in the film who blatantly points out to Zuckerberg that he's a bad dude. She's the only woman who stands up to him, and she's in the movie for less than 20 minutes. The rest are all his rewards, his prizes, and his protection. That's just not realistic, but rather than take the opportunity to prove the heralded Erica right by including more women like her, The Social Network glorifies Zuckerberg's sexist fantasy.

This gets into the whole point of "affirmative action" in movies: when is it necessary, if ever, to make sure that every type of person - in "Sesame Street" rainbow fashion - is represented fairly and equally in every single movie? That's one argument that seems to come up every time a complaint is made about the treatment of a certain social group in a film. "This movie is about one man and his world. It doesn't make sense to add women. It would make for some really cumbersome movies to do this all the time," the argument goes. I think this argument is kind of a straw man. No one has suggested that every single movie needs to be this way; rather, if more movies were made that weren't primarily about white men, then the film industry as a whole would be more inclusive.

That said, there is something interesting at play with The Social Network, namely, that this is allegedly somewhat biographical. So yes, this is a movie that is unequivocally about one man. However, in real life, there isn't anything to suggest that Mark Zuckerberg was this much of a hateful misogynist. Moreover, the complaint about unnecessarily adding women to this film is ironic and off-base, because the fact is that there were real women erased from Zuckerberg's life to create this film. The real Mark Zuckerberg was in a serious, committed relationship with a woman throughout the whole time frame represented in this movie. They probably had a lot to talk about after watching movie Zuckerberg get blowjobs in the bathroom at parties! Also, people who claim to have known Zuckerberg during this time say that he was very close to his sister, and that she was very involved in the creation of Facebook at the consultant level. Finally, in real life, though she wasn't around during the representative time period, Zuckerberg became very close friends with Sheryl Sandberg, who is now the COO of Facebook.

This really doesn't seem to be the same guy who hates and can't relate to women.

Would the real-life events involved in the creation of Facebook have been as interesting to watch onscreen? Perhaps not. But the invention of this misogynistic character to apparently make a point about misogyny amongst nerds seems disingenuous when you realize that real, smart, savvy women were ablated from the screenplay and the story in favor of two-dimensional party-favor women who only exist to further proto-Zuckerberg's fantasy. The omission, to me, seems completely unnecessary. We already have enough movies where women are treated this way - why did this movie have to join their ranks, when there is compelling evidence to suggest that it didn't have to be this way?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sleigh Bells - Tell 'Em

I don't know what to make of this band.

I have to say, I saw them from afar at Coachella '10 and found whatever they were playing at the time to be extremely unpleasant. I kind of wrote it off as hipster noisy nonsense and I didn't understand the appeal. Meanwhile, ever since, I keep seeing this band pop up on people's "favorite bands" lists (along with Beach House, another band I just don't understand.)

I heard "Tell 'Em" on XM radio the other day, liked it, and when I found out who it was, I was definitely surprised. This led me to listen to clips of the rest of the album's tracks on Amazon, and well, the jury's still out.

One thing that was clear is that the production on Treats is meant to cover an indie-pop sound with a grunge metal veneer. You can hear this in tracks like "Straight A's" and "Crown on the Ground," where the distortion has been so exaggerated that it's supposed to sound like your speakers are blown out. Frankly, it's not a sound trick I really enjoy at all. It also explains why, at Coachella, when I wasn't right under the tent but rather hearing Sleigh Bells' performance from some 100 feet away from the tent, it sounded so harsh. I wasn't able to hear any of the melody of the vocal or instrumentals - all that really reached me was the cacophonous noise.

At the end of the day, I do like a lot of the tracks - there is something interesting there with their heavy guitar, hip-hop beats, and dreamy youthful vocals. I'm not sure overall if this band has any staying power, because it seems like if all of the hard production was stripped away, the songs would be catchy, but ultimately fluffy. It's the noisy gimmick that makes them interesting, but at the same time, that gimmick makes the album not really an easy one to listen to from beginning to end, for me, because I don't like the intentionally lo-fi/distorted shtick in large amounts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Florence + the Machine - Hardest of Hearts

I talk about our girl Florence around here with no small frequency. This is, in part, because I love and admire her music; it's also in part because I absolutely adore her. Or at least, the ideal of her that is presented to me.

I also love that every time I listen to her album Lungs, I like it more and more. It's never static.

The song that I'm posting today is one that wasn't initially one of my favorites when I first listened to the album. But I've been listening again recently, and out of nowhere, it really jumped out at me. As with any of her songs, it's raw and tinged with poignant melancholy. Also, as with any of her songs, it's absolutely gorgeous.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today I don't have to think about...

I came across a pretty awesome blog post this morning about privilege, which I wrote about before at length.

Here's the post, with one commenter adding a nice, concise summary:

Patrick Nielsen Hayden: Spot on. The essence of privilege isn’t wearing a top hat and cackling yar har har while lighting expensive cigars with $100 bills. The essence of privilege is not having to worry about the crap that the unprivileged do.

Bat for Lashes - Siren Song

Want to experience something beautiful today?

You're welcome! Unless of course you listened to the (tragic) lyrics, in which case: I'm sorry. But isn't pain in music often so beautiful regardless?

Why I won't be paying to see The Social Network - Part 2: Hapless Geeks

continued from part I here

Despite the seemingly never-ending barrage of celebrities, Hollywood types, and generally pretty people who insist that they were heinous looking geeks in middle and high school, I'm personally fairly certain that they all doth protest too much.

Reason being, I kinda have to think that if these people were all geeks and nerds, then they'd actually manage a somewhat realistic portrayal of geeks and nerds in the media.

When responding to the criticism of The Social Network that it was a bit unseemly with its management of women, Aaron Sorkin said "I was writing about a very angry and deeply misogynistic group of people. These aren't the cuddly nerds we made movies about in the 80's. They're very angry that the cheerleader still wants to go out with the quarterback instead of the men (boys) who are running the universe right now." Two things:

1) Let's be real - the "cuddly nerds" of 80's movies thought about as highly of women as the misogynistic geeks of The Social Network do. It was just played for laughs. I'm using Revenge of the Nerds as my frame of reference here, but I'm sure there are more examples. For one thing, there are at least two scenes in the movie that are not only deeply disrespectful of women; they're also illegal. One is the bit where a video camera is installed in the sorority house so the nerds can watch the girls walk around topless. The second is the part where the nerd ends up having sex with the popular hot cheerleader even though she thinks it's her boyfriend. Let's be clear about this - in a court of law, that would be called rape. In the movie, she's all "Oh nerd I can't believe you were so good at t3h sex!" Yes, that's a very realistic response from a woman who just found out she had sex with some random person pretending to be her boyfriend in the dark.

2) Yes, there is misogyny in the geek world. There's misogyny in every world. This is nothing new. What's interesting is the depiction of this geek world as such a frightfully misogynistic one.

In the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields women are still a minority, except for probably the life sciences (heyo!) We know this. And yes, some geeks are mistrustful and resentful of women, dating back to whatever experience that has left them scarred. But geek men are now being raised in the post/feminist era, and increasingly with post/feminist ideals. Many geeks now are mildly awkward, but still have daily successful (even pleasant!) interactions with the opposite sex. And with so much of STEM work now being highly collaborative, chances are that there are male and female geeks working well together on a variety of projects.

This is why The Social Network rings false. Facebook is exactly the type of project that is born out of a team of collaborators that probably includes women (which real life corroborates,) but the movie instead opted for a radical portrayal of Facebook's creator as, frankly, misanthropic in general, but particularly seething toward women, to the extent that he apparently didn't want any on his team. (Well, I think one woman was spotted among the coders, but there was some kind of sexual remark made about her as well.)

So while geek women have stories to tell about sexism in the workplace - and they do - observing the geeks in this movie purports to be a surreal experience because it is so jarring against what a lot of geeks actually experience in real life. Even though Revenge of the Nerds and The Social Network are, at the end of the day, both stories about how geeks end up running shit, both treat geeks like they are a specimen to be studied. Like women, Hollywood just doesn't seem quite comfortable portraying the geek experience - male or female - because it hasn't quite lived it (as much as its members claim to have done so.)

Geeks - we walk among you. We look like you and talk like you, and we're not overall a collective group of social degenerates that do horrible things in movies out of despair against humanity. We do get laid and usually, it's by a real, live person. I know it seems like it's asking a lot for the contents of a fiction movie to be realistic, but hell, for a movie that's getting so widely praised (again, probably by people who are more than happy to make geek culture a scapegoat for sexism, human nastiness, and antisocial tendencies in general) I'd like to see characters that have some basis in real people - and not in name alone!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Third Eye Blind - Camoflauge

I like this song a lot. It's got an "it" quality for me.

I might be completely off-base with this one, but I have this impression of 3EB as a band that, despite having a string of pretty successful hits in the 90's and early aughts, is kind of under-appreciated. I'm not sure what it is, but I talk to a lot of people who I generally feel have similar taste in music to me, and they're not really familiar with 3EB's work beyond the radio singles. That could be because those songs may have had the tendency to be overplayed, which repelled people from the albums. Whatever reason, it's really a shame, because I have found each of their albums that I own - Blue and Out of the Vein in addition to the self-titled debut - to be very solid from start to finish.

One thing that I really think Third Eye Blind had nailed is the writing of witty, free-flowing stream of consciousness type lyrics, and crafting that rambling into a legitimately catchy song. There seems to be a trend now in indie rock (and all of its many, many iterations) to create rock in either of two diametrically opposed sonic camps: one is the extremely minimalistic, often dreamy and frequently twee, generally hippie style of shoegazing indie (The xx is a good example of this); the other is the densely layered, sometimes cacophonous, rich style that involves several instruments and sounds that are distinctly built on each other, created in this way to reward the listener by hearing something new every time.

Disclaimer - I love a lot of stuff that comes out of both camps, and a lot of indie in general, so I'm not really ragging on it here. I do think, however, that - perhaps in an effort to distance themselves from mainstream pop - the art of composing a catchy song has been rather discarded among those who consider themselves "serious musicians." That's not to say that catchy indie/rock albums don't exist any longer: Florence + the Machine, for instance, crafted an album in 2009 that managed to be thoughtful and musically rich while still employing a catchy hook. I think that's part of what made Lungs so successful, and why songs off of this (now) year-old album continue to be well-received as they're progressively released into the public.

So, back to "Camoflauge" - I think this song is a great example of melding a lush sonic background with an ambient vocal (like so many indie songs like to do these days,) but then hitting you with a catchy hook in the chorus. The lyrics aren't quite discernible enough to be sing-able, but I definitely get the melody stuck in my head for awhile (and I don't mind - it's lovely.)

Of course, I think 3EB is also successful even when they're sticking to a pretty "traditional" radio-rock sound.

Is there anything musically in that song that's earth-shatteringly unique? Probably not. And yet, I never get that feeling like I've heard it somewhere else before. Maybe it's because, despite a standard alternative sound, the emotion is believable, and the lyrics don't warrant putting a hole through the brain to make it stop. And honestly, I've managed to choose two songs to put up here, but the truth is that another thing that 3EB excels at is releasing albums that are consistently good, start to finish. I could have easily put up any song from any album (that you haven't already heard a million times on the radio) and felt just as confident that it was a good representation of a solid band.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yeasayer - Love Me Girl

I mentioned before that I first heard of Yeasayer at Coachella '10 and was inspired to download their album. Today, iPod shuffle gifted me with one of their songs, and it reminded me that I hadn't really given them a listen in awhile. So I scrolled to hear the full album again, and I'm glad I did. This is really one of my favorite albums of this last year, and this song is one of the main reasons why. So for the song of the day, it's "Love Me Girl."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why I won't be paying to see The Social Network - Part 1: Women in Movies in general

So apparently there is this new movie out! And apparently, it's the movie that is DEFINING MY GENERATION.

My generation - according to this movie - the geek shall inherit the Earth, by shitting all over womankind to get there.

There's always a lot of discussion in pop feminism about women's roles and portrayals in various media. The consensus is, basically, that it's not really a pretty picture. There is a gross dearth of media that allows women to be human beings rather than caricatures, and that actually bothers to tell women's stories and doesn't act like those stories are For Women Only (it's why stories with a female protagonist are 9 times out of 10 "chick flicks", but stories with a male protagonist are "for everybody".)

There's a pretty genius litmus test for whether or not your movie even pretended to give a crap about the existence of women. The Bechdel Test has three simple requirements.

1) There are two women with names in this movie...
This first criteria requires that the film acknowledge that some 50% of the world's population are women, and thus, even if your main character is a man, chances are he probably has significant interactions with women every day. So, point #1 says that if your movie exists in our reality, there are probably women involved in the protagonist's life. Because the women must have names, background extras don't count. You'd be surprised how many movies - good movies - can't even nail this one.

2) ...who talk to each other...
This speaks to the point of giving the women an actual character. They're not just props who respond only when spoken to by the (probably male) protagonist.

3) ...about something other than a man.
This is the killer. So many movies get this far, and then fail, because whoops! If you're a woman in a movie, you're probably a love interest, or you're interested in love. So even if you have a sassy female friend, you're probably talking about the guy you're interested in. Because what else do women talk about anyway?

This video sums the test up rather nicely:

What's interesting about the Bechdel test, as alluded to in the video, is that it's actually a pretty low standard and isn't really meant to be used on an individual basis to grade movies. Because the bar is set so low for including women, it's fascinating to examine Bechdel in terms of the number of movies that don't pass. When they don't pass, it's because most movies are starring men. In these movies, you may have one token female coworker, and/or a female love interest. So they stuck some women in there, but they're only there because of how they relate to the male protagonist. And since most movies default to a guy as the main character, women are more often than not very superficially written supporting characters. When the movies are about women? They're usually rom-coms, so even if a movie passes the test by having two female characters briefly talk about something other than the dude she's lusting after, women in these movies are motivated by falling in love with men (unless of course she's the uptight career-driven archetype who needs a fun-loving rogue dude to teach her to love.)

Another interesting way to look at the test is to evaluate the reverse Bechdel test. This would be:

1) There are two men in the movie, with names
2) Who talk to each other
3) About something besides a woman.

When you look at it this way, it seems almost silly, because this is true of almost every single movie (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants comes to mind as a rare exception!) We take it for granted that, in film, men have had their stories told so many different ways, and that their characters are fleshed out - it makes perfect sense that men would have a lot to talk about other than women. The Bechdel test isn't about trying to police women's conversations so that they never talk about men. Instead, the test is about trying to get the audience to accept that women aren't always just talking about men all the time, especially since we internalize that men talk about all kinds of different things in movies. Why should women be any different?

So I know that in Part I of this post that claimed to be kind of about The Social Network, I didn't talk about The Social Network hardly at all. That's because I wanted to set the stage for my critique of that film by establishing that there is, in the movie industry, a systematic disregard for giving women characters the opportunity to carry a story and exist as more than re-usable archetypes (who only talk about men.) This issue is widespread, as it rears its head in good movies as well as in blatantly misogynistic ones. The bottom line is, the dudes that write and direct these movies either feel that they don't understand women well enough to create realistic ones, or they simply can't be bothered to do it (they don't care, or they don't even realize they're perpetuating the exclusion.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 26 - My week, in great detail

(Last) Wednesday - Went to school, did some experiments, had class. Went home, Lacey came over, she and Emily and I made dinner. Well, Lacey and Emily made dinner and I made parfait. I used a papaya that was no bueno. It needed to be picked out of my otherwise lovely parfait. Boo. We also watched Castle in the Sky - cute, but not my favorite. There were lots of forlorn faces.

Thursday - Went to school (this is a noticeable pattern, no?) and otherwise I really don't remember anything that happened last Thursday. Oh! I started working out at the mini-gym in the building. They don't have a lot of different machines, but they have a bike and an elliptical - which is all I need for cardio - and some other weight machines that mostly seem to focus on the thighs (good) and arms/shoulders/upper back (also good) but for abs, they only have a big ball, and I'm not really sure how to make the most of that so I'll definitely have to supplement with my abs workout with some 8 minute abs at home.

Friday - More school! More class! Worked out again. I'm doing about an hour and 15 minutes when all is said and done.

Saturday - Made an egg scramble in the morning with bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, Italian sausage, and cheese. Went to visit Casper, we hung out and had some chicken corn chowder for lunch. Steak and potatoes for dinner. I watched Die Hard for the first time - I'd never seen it before.

Sunday - Went to visit Tiffany. We were going to go to Venice, but the weather was icky. Instead we hung out and talked, and went to dinner at C & O's Trattoria. I had fettucine in a lemon cream sauce with Italian sausage (okay, I guess I really like that stuff.) She and Steve and I split a pitcher of sangria (tasty) and I also ordered chocolate milk because I'm wholesome like that. Also, that place has a lot of owls.

Monday - Back to school. I wrote about it "great detail" that day, so I'm skipping it here except to mention that after I wrote, I went and got El Tepeyac for dinner.

Tuesday - SURPRISE! More school. Really long lab meeting involving critiquing presentations that are going to be given at the Obesity Society conference this weekend. I'm not going. The meeting ruined my workflow and I didn't get much done for the rest of the day other than set up a PCR. Worked out at the gym again, then went home. Casper came to visit and we watched Quantum of Solace, which I had but had never seen, and then he had to go home so I went to sleep. Exciting!

(Today) Wednesday - So far, I took care of some DNA extractions in lab, and I'm now sitting in class, so you know it's really exciting. I probably should be paying attention because these slides have absolutely no words on them, so I'm not going to have any idea what to take away from them when it comes time to study. Oh well. C'est la vie. I plan to head over to Lacey's later with Emily, where they have some dinner planned (this has been kind of a tradition of theirs that I started piggybacking on last week, so ideally I'll be less of a leech in the future and actually help more in the coming weeks.) I'll probably watch last night's Glee at some point, even though I hated the last episode and am ready to quit this show. Win me back please!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 25 - My day, in great detail.

Here begins the end of the 30-day challenge, where the challenge authors ran out of ideas and came up with some pretty boring shit that we're now tasked with writing about.

8:30 - wake up. Get out of bed. Wash face. Apply sunscreen.
8:45 - eat cereal (Quakers Oatmeal Squares, nonfat milk), take vitamins (Daily Multi, Calcium supplement, fish oil)
9:00 - check email. Browse internet (Facebook, AuthenticForum, whatever is on GReader)
9:15 - back to bathroom. Apply makeup. Deodorant (Degree clinical protection: sucks, do not buy.) Clean up dead ants that inhaled too much poison overnight and died on sinktop after (I imagine) writhing around sadly for awhile.
9:45 - leave for class.
10:05 - arrive at school, late. Look for failed meter to park at near classroom. After doing some circles, one is found. Walk to class.
10:15-12:00 - in class. bored.
12:05-12:35 - seminar on stem cell regenerative therapy after MI. Summary: hematopoetic stem cells don't work; embryonic stem cells do. BOOM!
12:40-1:40 - class discussion. Bored.
1:45 - walk to car, move it to different spot to avoid 4hr parking only ticket.
1:55 - Lunch. Food truck on campus: Crepes Bonaparte. It is always this truck and I am tired of it. Nonetheless, I don't feel like walking to the further cafeteria in the rain. Got a bacon, tomato, avocado, and mozzarella crepe with wheat batter. Savory!
2:05 - Inside student center, newly remodeled. Damnit - they opened the Poquito Mas and I already bought this mediocre crepe.
2:15 - I would usually sit outside and wait for my next class, but it's raining. Walk to lecture hall, choose prime seat location in back row next to electrical outlet, plug in laptop, browse internet.
3:00-5:00 - Class. Bored.
5:05 - leave, go home.
5:30 - Traffic is bad (thanks rain!) Just arrived back. Start downloading last night's Mad Men and last week's Community. Browse internet. Find interesting article defending women against ev-psych apes who think women evolved to be shitty at technology.
6:00 - on the phone with Casper, then Mom
6:20 - sit down to write horrifically boring blog entry about the meaningless shit I did today