Apr. 3rd, 2017

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[Poll #2065665]

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Somewhat more chipper today than I have been the past few days, though I still wouldn’t call myself Ms. Happy Song & Dance.

• Yesterday was absolutely paradisiacal here in the quaint and scenic Hudson Valley, and I spent a pleasant afternoon tromping around the Vanderbilt estate, playing Pokemon Go. Slugmas are spawning!

• I did some desultory paying work, a kind of essay on the Pareto Principle. Somebody should really write an essay on the significance of pea plants to modern science: First Mendel, then Pareto. And who knows? There may be others.

• In the evening, I had a long conversation with B. Asperger-y cousin Doug is pregnant – or rather his wife is. With twins. Doug is 55; the wife is 48. Twins makes me think that they used the family trust fund for IVF.

I can’t imagine anyone in his or her right mind wanting to have children after the age of, say, 45. I mean, I had a kid at 43, but it was a happy accident. And, though in retrospect it seems difficult to believe, I actually didn’t know I was pregnant with RTT until halfway through the pregnancy.

Existence is better than nonexistence, I suppose (though I’m open to arguments on that one) but I worry that RTT got the bad end of that deal. In my 40s, I didn’t have the type of energy you need to be a really proactive parent.

• RTT himself checked in briefly to tell me that with his new learners permit, he is now the Designated Driver of Choice for all his frat buddies.

• I listened to a Freakonomics podcast on the economics of spite. I love it when economics is applied to human emotions!

In the course of the podcast, someone explained the origins of the phrase to cut off your nose to spite your face.

Evidently, in the 9th century, a Saxon abbess named Ebba – later canonized – heard that Vikings were closing in to plunder her convent and rape its inhabitants. Rape was bad because Christ evidently is very picky about His brides and prefers virgins. And even if it’s not your fault that you’re not a virgin, you’re still – not a virgin.

Ebba hit upon a novel solution to impending sexual assault: She decided to mutilate herself in a way that was so horrible that even Vikings would be put off the pussy trail.

Ouch!

The other nuns thought this was a great idea. They did it, too!

The Vikings didn’t think this was such a great idea. They set fire to the convent – with Ebba and the ladies in it.

The 9th Century sounds like it was a long time ago, and, of course, it was a long time ago. But it was approximately the same chronological distance from the birth of Christ as we are from the 9th Century today.

• In the evening, I started rewatching Orphan Black. If you’re gonna write dystopian fantasy, Orphan Black is a fine thing to immerse yourself in.

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