Categories
academia anthropology cyberculture

CyberCulture

I’ve been talking with faculty in Anthropology and CompSci about developing a course in Digital Culture that I could possibly teach after I finish my Master’s Degree next year. I have to finish Comprehensive exams and complete two major projects between now and then, so I don’t want to get too excited yet….

If you were teaching (or taking) a class in cyberculture, what would you want to cover? Cyberpunk? the Digital Divide? Urban legends? Online fandoms? Gender? Privacy? What else?

Categories
music reader favorites true life 1999

Our Wedding

Eric and Rebecca are pleased to announce that they were married on Friday, August 6, 1999 in Orange County, North Carolina. After the ceremony, they celebrated with 150 of their closest friends who they only see once a year. This involved two days of loud music, rampant public drunkenness, a man sitting in a large vat of banana pudding, and a six foot tall female bass player who breaths fire while she plays. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here…

We know this is the equivalent of a Christmas newsletter in August, but it seemed the best way to share some of the highlights of our wedding weekend with those of you who either weren’t able to attend or have no memory of attending.

Friday, August 6th we packed the car and headed for North Carolina. Debbie and Bryan, Eric’s sister and brother-in-law, met us at the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough, NC. After procuring our marriage license and a mysterious sealed bag labeled “Newlywed Sampler” from Joyce, the Registrar of Deeds, the wedding party changed clothes in the courthouse bathroom and headed for the Magistrate’s Office, conveniently located in the County Jail.

Because in all of the many phonecalls I made to work out the details of this little adventure, it never occurred to me to ask if the magistrates were located in the Courthouse. This turned out to be a foolish assumption. For future reference, the actual magistrates are over at the jail.

The magistrate, Amy, was extremely cool. The ceremony was held beneath a lovely old oak tree.

The wedding party then dined at the Hillsborough Waffle House. The Newlywed Sampler was opened. It contained: paper towels, dishwashing liquid, Nyquil, Bounce dryer sheets and coupons for pregnancy test kits and cleaning supplies. It was truly a thing of wonder.

Debbie and Bryan headed home and Eric and I located our hotel. In an interesting mix-up, we were assigned a Handicapped suite instead of the Honeymoon suite. We’re probably lucky we got a room at all after my call earlier in the week to inquire about whether the bed in the honeymoon suite could sleep 4 (in the event Debbie and Bryan decided to stay the night).

It was now time for: Sleazefest, day one. For those of you who don’t know, Sleazefest is 3 days of beer, bands, bbq, and sweat held at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The music starts each day at 4 p.m. and ends somewhere around sunrise. Happy Hour is at noon. (www.sleazfest.com) Local 506 owner Dave Robertson was thrilled that Sleazefest was our wedding reception. We’ll be having a party in DC for those of you who could not attend Sleazefest, but I’m sorry to report that Eric continues to veto my suggestion that we build a go-go cage in the basement.

Our fellow sleazefesters (old and new friends) were thrilled with our wedding plans. Several of them had also been married at the jail, while others among them had served time there. It’s a non-judgemental and accepting group of people.

As the sun rose on the end of the first day of Sleazefest, we realized something important: you are supposed to have strippers at the bachelor party, NOT the reception. Live and learn.

One of our friends, a sometimes-member of Southern Culture on the Skids whose name I have forgotten, pointed out that it’s stilly to have one mediocre wedding band when you can have 20 or 30 really good bands. We agreed, especially when two-thirds of Jack Black joined Billy Joe Wingehead for a showstopping rendition of “Freebird.” It was magical. Or we were drunk, because we both really hate that song.

One of our friends, Linda, is a librarian and drummer from Baltimore. Linda and Rebecca danced a few sets away in the go-go cage, joined by 506 Dave and an occasional Drive-By Trucker. Eric may or may not have joined them. He refuses to confirm or deny these rumors and in the interests of marital bliss Rebecca will do the same.

506 Dave then put Rebecca in charge of Cage Recruitment for the rest of the night. She did a poor job, because she and Linda had by then decided to keep the cage to themselves because they are such great dancers (or because it was under an actual A/C vent. Probably that second one).

Around midnight, Linda and Rebecca vowed to form a band.

I’m sure there were details about the second day, but you’ll have to use your imagination because things get a little hazy.

As the sun rose on the end of the 2nd day we knew that it was time for a little sleep and the long drive home.

We learned valuable life lessons this weekend. We were reminded of the importance of proper facial protection when slicing bologna with a chainsaw. We learned that throwing fried chicken during a Southern Culture on the Skids set is serious business. We learned that the men of Truckadelic should keep their clothes on. (No offense, guys). We learned that it can actually get hot and humid enough to rain indoors in a North Carolina nightclub in the summer time. Mostly, we learned that you should never let others foist their image of the ideal wedding on you, because we think ours was just fine.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: Rebecca’s parents presented them with wedding bands and encouraged them to elope in the first place after taking a look at the budget for a wedding with the 300 guests on the lists compiled from our two families.

Categories
academia true life 1999

this site may be doomed

I have to use AOL to access Open Diary from home and my connection is very painfully slow and I can’t seem to stay logged in long enough to update anymore so I try to update between classes while I’m at school.

I’m sharing an office with a nuclear physics PhD candidate and she’s really nice but she comes in and while she’s thinking, she stares intensely in my direction when I’m writing and mumbles under her breath, which I find slightly stifling, creatively speaking.

If things go dark here for a while, don’t write me off. I’ll be back.

Categories
academia anthropology true life 1998

epiphany

I know you’re all sick and tired of hearing about grad school, but I had an epiphany I just had to share.

To briefly recap: My advisor convinced me that taking the fiction screenwriting class would be useful to me in my non-fiction writing.

My epiphany isn’t that he’s right, although he probably is.

My epiphany is that it draws much less attention when you make phonecalls for research purposes if you identify yourself as a fiction writer than if you call and say you’re just doing research.

I hope so, anyway, because I imagine that otherwise calls about whether, hypothetically speaking, a pet mummifyer could also mummify a person and then disguise the remains to look like a large dog would attract much less attention from, oh say, law enforcement, if the person was just doing research for a movie.

That’s what I’m hoping, anyway.

Categories
crafty true life 1997

My diet needs more fiber

And now, my friends, it’s time to talk about my bowels.

Only kidding.

The kind of fiber I need isn’t found in plants. I guess it could be, but the kind of fiber I’m lacking comes from sheepies. Last year, World Renowned Rheumatologist forbade me to ever knit or crochet again because he believed it would hasten the demise of my joints.

The orthopedists I consulted all concurred.

They didn’t so much concur as shrug their shoulders, say they probably agreed, and then tried to show me more pictures of themselves various R*dskins.  Are all towns with NFL franchises like this? My poor Tampa Bay Bucs probably don’t have doctors clamoring to claim them as their own. Someday, boys and girls, someday….

But where was I?

Fiber.

Right.

So sometimes I crochet little gifts for people, but I put away my (read: my grandmother’s) needles a few years ago after finishing a lap-blanket for my mom. I have this delusion that someday I’ll learn how to spin yarn. That doesn’t look like it’s very hard on the joints. In fact, it looks really fucking cool. And watching a spinning wheel spin is probably way more fun than watching the bureaucracy of Grad school spin around.

But again, I digress.

Go into a yarn store some time and ask if they know where you can learn how to spin. I dare you. I doubledog dare you.

I’d say that it gets so quiet you can hear crickets chirping, but that would be wrong. It gets really quiet for a minute and then you can’t hear the crickets chirping because everyone is laughing at you, including the crickets, who are rolling around on the floor gasping for breath and pounding all of their little hairy limbs on the floor as they cackle at you.

The boss and I attend a fair called the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival almost every year. I was sick so we missed it this year. Maybe next year I’ll get up the nerve to buy a hand spindle…