explicate this!

Today's song up for analysis is Pearl Jam's "Corduroy." This is one of my very favorite songs, and although I'd like to think I understand what it's about, there are still sections I'm confused about. Send your guesses here.

"The waiting drove me mad...you're finally here and I'm a mess
I take your riches back...can't let you roam inside my head
I don't want to take what you can give
I would rather starve than eat your bread
I would rather run but I can't walk
Guess I'll lie alone just like before

I'll take the firmest path...oh, and I must refuse your test
A-push me and I will resist...this behavior's not unique
I don't want to hear from those who know
They can buy, but can't put on my clothes
I don't want to limp for them to walk
Never would have known of me before
I don't want to be held in your debt
I'll pay it off in blood, let I be wed
I'm already cut up and half dead
I'll end up alone like I began

Everything has changed, absolutely nothing's changed
Take my hand, not my picture, spilled my tincture

I don't want to take what you can give
I would rather starve than eat your breast
All the things that others want for me
Can't buy what I want because it's free
Can't be what you want because I'm...

I ain't s'posed to be this far
Oh, to live and die, let it be done
I figure I'll be damned, all alone like I began

It's your move now
I thought you were a friend, but I guess I, I guess I hate you."

02-28-2002 9:09 AM - comments (0)

seen and heard

Upon realizing Taco Bell was closed
Rachel (driving wildly, as if to simulate going crazy and about to drive off road): Are you wearing your seatbelt?
Michael: Oh no! You're like Cameron Diaz in Vanilla Sky, except I didn't cheat on you. You just can't get a soda!

Upon discussing my upcoming trip to Punta Cana
Rachel: If you keep making fun of Punta Cana and calling it a shantytown, I'm not going to get you a souvenir.
Michael: What were you going to get me, a piece of a shack?
Rachel: No, a piece of shanty.

This was a pretty bad week for Seen and Heard. Actually, I've had a rotten day and I've got a splitting headache, so I'm going to go to bed.

02-27-2002 8:48 PM - comments (0)

island in the sun

This has special significance for Chase and me.

My mom thinks we're going to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic now, which is fine with me. It's actually where the Clintons went after the president's term ended. Michael is worried it's going to be a shantytown, and he thinks "Punta Cana" means "Shantytown" in Spanish. He also believes we'll be staying in shacks lined along the beach and will be subsequentally robbed by pirates. Well, well, well, Michael, does this change your mind? Oh, um, oops. Here's what it's really like.

I went mega-shopping last night for our trip: flip-flops, sundfress, beach bag, floppy terry-cloth hat, underwear (how is it necessary, you ask? well, don't you wear underwear on your vacations?), a bra, two halter tops and some cargo capri pants. I feel drained of energy and money.

02-27-2002 7:46 AM - comments (0)

waking up

A really good song is "Late in the Day" by Supergrass.

02-27-2002 7:46 AM - comments (0)

a frost worse than robert

We went from gorgeous 70-degree weather to blistering cold in less than a day. One minute I was listening to Essex Green's "Mrs. Bean"; the next it was back to the only appropriate stuck-inside-because-it's-freezing-outside-music, Mogwai. The best description I can give for the way it was snowing is to ask that you imagine what it would be like being inside one of those lottery machines with the white balls being pummelled in every direction. And as I poineted out to Sarah and Eve today, this kind of snow isn't the stuff poems are made of. No, this snow is cruel and demented, only showing up when you've let your guard down.

"If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" Shelley asks hopefully in "Ode to the West Wind." Apparently, he never lived in Missouri.

02-26-2002 9:25 PM - comments (0)

let's get together

I think I'm taking a week off in March to go to Jamaica with my family (over their spring break) so now my diet is more important than ever. It was unbelievably difficult today to go to history instead of walking to Brady Commons and getting Pizza Hut cheesesticks. My new motivation, which should come from wanting to look good in a bikini, is now the Sims. You see, I had the bright idea Saturday night to borrow it from Christie. Michael and I played it for hours and now I'm addicted. I figured I'd let myself play for two hours a day if I adhered to my diet. So far, it's working all right--I did the Slim-Fast thing for breakfast but had the rest of the Bloomin' Onion from Outback last night for lunch. I'll have a Healthy Choice frozen dinner tonight. And I'm sure the details of my diet are of no concern to you, so I'll move on.

I had a great time yesterday. It was a gorgeous day and Michael got me a huge Winnie the Pooh bear (he talks. He is also incredibly big) and his gloompuppy comic this week is dedicated to me. It should be up on the web soon. I drive myself crazy thinking about how great it would be if he lived here, but I really shouldn't let myself consider it. It's too depressing. I suppose St. Louis isn't so far away...

Elliott's decided the hip new thing to do is to somehow squeeze in between my blinds to watch birds out the window. He decided the best time to do this is, of course, at 7:30 a.m. He's also reverted to his "biting and licking Rachel's hair and clawing her scalp" behavior from his earlier days. I wonder when he's going to grow up.

02-25-2002 1:06 PM - comments (0)

happy anniversary

There are few lyrics that are as utterly beautiful as these. I used to listen to this song obsessively, wishing I could understand what it was to love someone and be loved fully. I think I know now.

"pick a song and sing a yellow nectarine
take a bath, I'll drink the water that you leave
if you should die before me
ask if you can bring a friend
pick a flower, hold your breath
and drift away..."

Stone Temple Pilots "Still Remains"

02-24-2002 10:39 PM - comments (0)

reclaiming innocence

We took our "littles" out for the first time today. I'm not sure if I mentioned that Christie and I are now Big Sisters to two really cute boys, Michael and Thomas. I'm not allowed to say too much about their families, but I can say that Michael is a smart 10-year-old who likes reading, math and Dragonball Z (he reminds me of my brother at that age) and Thomas is an 8-year-old street-smart African-American kid who is absolutely adorable. He likes to make up silly stories about the jungle and he looks like a miniature version of Usher. I'm in love. It's a weird pair, and I'm not sure who was responsible for putting the two of them together in our group. It seems like a bad sitcom idea, but they do get along (which is all I cared about anyway).

We took them to the Quad to play frisbee, softball and football. I got Michael to come with us because he's good with kids; I also think those boys need a male role model in their lives. They had a blast. Thomas seemed overly happy to have beaten me in War (of the thumb and card game varieties). I wonder what we're going to do next week. We can't spend too much money on them--the Big Brothers/Big Sisters people told us not to--so that doesn't leave a whole lot of options, unfortunately. I'm worried the kids are going to sucker me into spending tons of money on them. They really are that cute.

02-23-2002 5:04 PM - comments (0)

Explicate This!

Michael alerted me to a mistake I made--Tuesday was designated as the Explicate This! day and Thursday was supposed to be From the Observatory. (I also posted the Seen and Heard stuff early today, even though it was supposed to run yesterday). I apologize for being so unprofessional, but chalk it up to my forgetfulness.

I would like it much more if Thursday was my explication day. So get ready to analyze some lyrics, because, well, here are some lyrics.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers "Soul to Squeeze"
A lot of my readers are (and apparently were) big RHCP fans. Try to figure out what Anthony Kiedis and Co. are referring to on this track from the Coneheads soundtrack. Remember, you can be as irreverent or on-the-mark as you'd like.

"I got a bad disease,
Up from my brain is where I bleed.
Insanity it seems,
Is got me by my soul to squeeze.
Well all the love from me,
With all these dying trees I scream.
The Angels in my dreams,
have turned to demons of greed,
That's me.

Where I go I just don't know,
I got to, got to, gotta take it slow.
When I find my piece of mind,
I'm gonna give you some of my good time.

Today loves smile on me,
It took away my pain, said please
All that you ride is free,
You gotta let it be,
Oh ya.

Where I go I just don't know,
I got to, gotta, gotta take it slow.
When I find my piece of mind,
I'm gonna give you some of my good time.

You're so polite indeed,
Well I got everything I need.
Oh make my days a breeze,
And take away my self destruction.

It's bitter baby,
And it's very sweet.
I'm on a rollercoaster,
but I'm on my feet.
Take me to the river,
Let me on your shore.
I be coming back baby,
I be coming back for more.

Doo doo doo doo dingle zing a dong bone,
ba-di ba-da ba-zumba crunga cong gone bad,
like an apple gift but I went out and never said my pleasures
I'm much better but I won't regret it never

Where I go I just don't know,
I got to, got to, gotta take it slow.
When I find my piece of mind,
I'm gonna give you some of my good time.

Where I go I just don't know,
I might end up somewhere in Mexico.
When I find my piece of mind,
I'm gonna keep for the end of time!"

What does it all mean? Tell me.

-Taken from RealLyrics.com

02-21-2002 6:01 PM - comments (0)

seen and heard

They're a little late, so check back later tonight for Explicate This!

Rachel to Elliott: You're a ca-raaaazy cat, Elliott. And you know where crazy cats go, don't you? Ca-raaazytown.
Christie (in other room, five minutes later): Did you just say Crazytown?

Michael: I wonder where language comes from.
Rachel (ponders this for a minute): Hieroglyphics, probably.

On the Hearnes bus:
Pi Phi girl: Ohmigaw, did you hear about Allison?
Pi Phi girl's friend: No, what happened?
PPG: She, like, went down to Cancun with some of the pledge class and kept telling people, "I'm the cutest Pi Phi." And then we found out about it and kicked her out.
PPGF (shrieks in disbelief): No she didn't!
PPG: Yeah, she was trying to impress some guys. And she was like, "I'm a perfect 10." Yeah, the plastic surgery helped.
PPGF: She had plastic surgery?
PPG: Yeah, on her chin. Before, remember when she had braces, well, she had like major Jay Leno chin. And she's still not cute!

Later that day:
Rachel: I had to listen to these obnoxious sorostitutes today on the bus.
Meredith: It's sad, because being on the bus makes you really hate humanity.

Posted on said bus:
In the event of a tornado, remain calm. Leave the bus and go into the ditch.

02-21-2002 9:19 AM - comments (0)

plasticy pink goodness

Since I refuse to go to 20th Century American History even when I'm on campus, I end up with an hour of free time. Lunch doesn't take long, so I'm posting on an iMac in the bookstore. It's neon pink and fabulous if you ignore its inability to minimize and maximize windows (if you want to look at something else) and the sort of annoying mouse (no right-click ability). I saw an ad for the 2002 iMacs and they're really, really cool; you can make movies, create photo galleries, burn DVDs and CDs, navigate the web at what they call an incredible speed and they look really neat. There's just something about an adjustable flat screen monitor that appeals to me. Critics (ardent PC fans) say its design is not any more creative than an adjustable lamp, but it seems like Apple is the first computer manufacturer to implement it. The simple fact of the matter is that if you're a designer of any kind (especially in journalism; I'll end up having to be designing as a copyeditor), Macs are the way to go. And just because most people prefer PCs doesn't mean that Macs aren't the best option for some of us. And I'm sorry for sounding stupid, but I really like the way they look.

I'm excited about seeing Pandaemonium; it's the new film out on video about Wordsworth and Coleridge. Coleridge was a lifelong addict (drug of choice: opium) and Wordsworth apparently has some skeletons in the closet. I just think it's funny that more than a hundred years after their deaths, a movie is coming out that glamourizes and gothifies two nature-loving poets.

My really horrible piece on James Harlan runs March 7 in Vox. He's being featured in National Geographic in April and has gained national notoriety for his controversial work on remapping the Lewis and Clark journey. There are apparently many towns in Illinois and Missouri whose entire culture is based on the idea that Lewis and Clark visted there. Harlan is proving them wrong with a very weird system of mapping. Anyway, I did a really poor job on my profile because he was like a brick wall during interviews. Of course, Vox would choose to make it their front-page story.

There is an incredibly creepy creepy man next to me on the turquoise iMac. He keeps rubbing his upper lip with his finger and watching me type. I think he wants to kill me and dump my body in the big puddle in the Hearnes parking lot. I think he knows I know he's homicidal. I need to get out of here before it's too la

02-20-2002 10:43 AM - comments (0)


I went to the mall today, excited by the prospect of getting to shop in nearly empty stores. Much to my surprise, old people and high school girls flooded the mall. I kept bumping into geriatric, wheelchair-bound men drooling over corsets in Victoria's Secret. I did manage to find a denim skirt--not one that went past my knees, as the style seems to be now, but one that actually reaches mid-thigh. It looks far shorter off than it does on. I also had my "fast cash" at Express, so I bought a sexy black and white flowered blouse and a tiny black handbag.

I think I told you about Express' ingenius plan; during certain times of the year, they give you this thing called fast cash if you spend more than $50 on a purchase. You can redeem the coupon (worth $25, as long as you spend at least $50) a few weeks later. Last month, I bought two shirts totalling about $40. The salesperson convinced me to get a belt to push the total over $50 so I'd get the fast cash. I did so begrudgingly (it's hard to say no to a perky woman who says a belt makes your hips look sexy) but was eager to use my coupon this month. Very rarely can you find two items equalling about $50 at Express, so I ended up spending much more than that. Just to get the $25. If I had not gotten the belt, I wouldn't have had to spend so much money today on clothes.

See? This is how capitalism is evil! It makes assumptions about the rationality of individuals that simply aren't true! I am living proof of this! I do not think rationally when I am shopping! I simply work myself into a frenzy, overwhelmed by the myriad of choices! Which color zip-up polo do I want? Red, pink, green, black...the salesperson told me I needed them all! They are "must-haves"! I do not consider opportunity costs or optimizing benefits or cost-benefit ratios! I consider just how much work I will have to do to cover the expenditure! Capitalism knows my weakness and preys on it! It lurks in the shadows of Express, knowing I've left my willpower in the mall parking lot! I am killing myself slowly, thanks to my misguided Marxist beliefs and Discover card!

But that tiny purse is, like, so cute.

02-18-2002 9:05 PM - comments (0)

Keep sending me quotes, stories,

Keep sending me quotes, stories, poems, links to websites you own/like...I promise to keep up with my features this week and finish the links on top of the page. Thanks for taking such an active role in my self-indulgence.

02-18-2002 9:00 PM - comments (0)

mcdonald's in the sky

You try to eat your Oops! Smashed Berries silently, so as not to wake up the boy sleeping in bed. And invariably you fail. And he becomes grumpy.

I'm (finally) adding my about page, links, writing, etc. to ouranophobe. Look for it sometime tonight or tomorrow morning.

I have more homework to do than seems fair or just. I'm stressed out because I get little done when I'm in St. Louis. This is entirely the fault of the now-awake boy. But I won't rest until everything is done. I'm tired of slacking off.

Lord Jesus, please send me a double cheeseburger, large fries and a Cherry Coke. I'm really hungry and I need fast food. Please deliver it next to my International Economic Relations book. Also, please include one packet of salt and four packets of Heinz Ketchup. If it's not going to be very warm, don't bother.

Oh! Sorry about being lax on this week's Explicate This! and Mailbag features. People sent me funny quotes to post next week and I found a great song to analyze.

02-16-2002 1:36 PM - comments (0)

oh no!

I have no idea what's come over me, but I am a blubbering mess today. Every Valentine's Day commercial is making me cry. I promised myself I'd act like today was just an ordinary day--shouldn't we show people we love them all year?--but I have been overwhelmed by weird, sentimental happiness. It's absolutely wonderful.

I'm excited about seeing Michael today. I haven't had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day since my junior year in high school, and getting to celebrate it with Michael of all people makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. But I don't think it's just about having a significant other. It seems like the perfect time to let your friends and family know that you're lucky to have them. So to all the wonderful people in my life--my mom and dad; my brothers, Andy and Kevin; my cat; my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins; my friends in Missouri, back home and all over the country--have a wonderful Valentine's Day. I love you.

I am simply becoming too gushy for my own good. So I'll end with a list of perfect Valentine's Day songs to save face.

The Beatles "Something"
The Cardigans "Lovefool"
Coldplay "Yellow"
Foo Fighters "Everlong"
Get Up Kids "Valentine"
Guns 'n Roses "November Rain"
Linda Ronstadt "Somewhere Out There"
Pearl Jam "Light Years"
REM "Strange Currencies"
Remy Zero "Fair"
Richard Marx "Right Here Waiting For You"
Righteous Brothers "Unchained Melody"
The Smashing Pumpkins "Beautiful"
The Smashing Pumpkins "For Martha"
STP "Still Remains"
Sunny Day Real Estate "Faces in Disguise"
Supergrass "Late in the Day"
Third Eye Blind "I Want You"
U2 "All I Want (Is You)"
Weezer "Falling for You"
VAST "You"
When in Rome "The Promise"
Tool "Stinkfist"

That last one is a joke, but it's probably romantic to some people.

02-14-2002 11:44 AM - comments (0)


In a thinly-veiled attempt to recruit new readers (or at least get the regular ones coming by more often), I'm introducing some new ouranophobe features. Please, curb your enthusiasm.

Tuesdays--Explicate This!
A lively segment that introduces ambiguous song lyrics in the hopes that you'll write in and try to figure out their meaning. Your analysis can be purely serious or just plain off-the-wall. There have been many lyrics written over the years that have left me in a twisted mass of angry confusion. Now I can finally get some answers.

Memorable quotes I've heard, read or seen.

Thursdays--From the Observatory
A collection (albeit tiny) of observations I've made recently. Don't expect me to be too pithy. Or witty, for that matter.

I'll select weird, funny and thought-provoking e-mails I've gotten and post them for the world to see. Or you can submit poetry, short stories and short screenplays; make your own observations on the world; send strange quotes or ask me any questions you wish. If you don't want me posting your name, that can be arranged.

The new features will go into effect tomorrow. I'll still be posting normally in addition and odds are, I won't have enough material to run the features regularly for the first couple of weeks. And somehow this will be entirely your fault. But I'm going to get back at you.

E-mail me if you're interested in submitting for any of those things.

02-12-2002 5:37 PM - comments (0)

i want to be toad

As I was driving home from class today, I started thinking about how neat it would be if driving were like it is in Mario Kart. Specifically, being at the end of a long line of cars would no longer be a problem. When you're in last place in Mario Kart, there's a good chance you'll get a blue spikey shell that automatically hits the driver in front, thereby eliminating the wait. Or you could get a lightning bolactually writing thoughtfully and carefully, something unheard of when it comes to essay tests. My four semesters in the Honors Humanities Sequence are clear proof of this, even if I did manage to do well in the classes. I credit it to my superior ability to scribble down sentences that seem to make sense (but upon closer inspection are rambling, meaningless strings of words), being especially careful to use the professor's own words to describe ideas. It's a talent they don't encourage in schools, but one that enables otherwise intelligent people to earn good grades by doing as little as possible. Some people call it bullshitting. I call it the Honors Student Syndrome.

02-11-2002 1:13 PM - comments (0)

sell the kids for food

I've been so lazy this week. I skipped my first two classes yesterday and my only class today. There's just something alluring about lounging in bed for an hour after waking up, just daydreaming and being generally blissful.

I can't use the earliness of the classes as an excuse for my delinquency; my class today started at 12:30. But I did get to make an actual breakfast, something I never do when I go to class. Take that, Magazine Design. You're worth less than egg whites. How does that make you feel?

There's something very, very odd about how I take pleasure in insulting my classes.

I also can't blame Jeff's party last night for skipping my class. Though there was heavy drinking involved, I didn't have that much (come on people, it was a Wednesday). We only stayed until 1. But, as promised, Jeff had too much liquor. It got so bad that when someone replaced his water with vodka, he didn't even notice. Instead of being entertaining, it was mildly depressing. I suppose watching someone's convictions get smashed to pieces generally is demoralizing. No pun intended, of course.

I desperately need to go grocery shopping today. I'm dreading it because I always spend too much money on stuff I'll never eat. Oooh! I have to have King Vitamin cereal! And Oops! Smashed Berries! I need glazed donuts and exotic fruit! I want Boboli! Turkey bacon! And skim milk!

02-07-2002 10:49 AM - comments (2)

nothing seems to satisfy

Everyone who thinks emo or pop or twee (or whatever the rotten music trendy little indie kids are listening to now) is going to save the world should really start listening to Tool and get over their sweet but crooked taste.

I like emo, I suppose, but as every trendster will tell you, it's not much of a definition. Just like "alternative" apparently isn't. I don't understand why country, R&B, rap, soft rock and rock and roll fans don't constantly argue with the name of the music they listen to. They're content with the music and there's no need to engage in petty quarrels over semantics.

While I'm on the topic of music, I might as well express the revelation of the millenium. Pink Floyd is really, really good. And not just for potheads.

Asia Minor is supposed to be wonderful as well. However, it's been so long since I've talked with their bassist that I think I forget his name. Maybe he'll e-mail me? I do miss the guy.

I also miss Derek. He transferred back to Kansas City and besides a few cryptic calls last year, we haven't really spoken. He introduced me to Clinic and reintroduced me to Death in Vegas. And for that I'm grateful.

02-06-2002 9:25 AM - comments (0)

bringing a horse to water

Not much to report today. The Student News looks a lot better this week--I wrote an article on singers starring in commercials, written very YM-style (for that I apologize, but the focus called for it)--and I'm happy with how it turned out. We left the office around 1:30 a.m., three hours earlier than last week, so I consider that progress as well. Let's just hope printer errors, missing stories and Quark problems won't hinder us next week. Ohhh! Gloompuppy looks great as usual. Ohh! And please please vote in our Valentine's Day poll. It's on the main page.

Elliott has taken to knocking his water bowl over. He does it about four times a day. I angrily yell at him that I will not refill it until the next day--he needs negative reinforcement, right?--but I feel like Cinderella's evil stepmother when I do so. And so I pay the price of having to walk on soaking wet carpet. Damn my cat.

I can be a complete moron sometimes. The phone just rang and I thought it was going to be Sarah, so I answered "House of Chow." As it turns out, it was my friend Jeff Lentz, whom I haven't spoken to in six months. He thought I was speaking in Italian. Anyway, he was just calling to invite me to his 21st birthday party this Wednesday. The funny thing is, he's planning on drinking. Jeff used to come to parties with a six-pack of root beer--he's just that innocent and weird. I'm going to go just to watch his downward spiral. Yikes. That line makes me sound like I should be playing the bad guy in Arnold Schwarzenegger's new movie. Oh wait; I already am.

Ally McBeal is a fine show with fine writing and fine actors. However, I must cut this post short because Elliott now thinks it's his right to sit on my computer and slide his paws into my desk, thereby batting the mouse while all I see are two grey paws poking through. I keep telling him it's not a real-life mouse, but he won't listen.

02-04-2002 7:43 PM - comments (0)

a rabbit cutting its own hair? that's crazy!

Check out my lovely comic strip about Jared from Subway--I did it Friday night while we were at a show with bands I had never heard of. You'll have to scroll down the site to find the link in Michael's post.

Michael and I didn't do much of anything, but those are the really terrific days: in bed until 2, lazily watching movies (a Star Trek one--not too bad) and making dinner around 10. We watched Britney on SNL--thank God my boyfriend thinks she's trashy and talentless, but then again, he's not a moron--and after sitting through the show for its duration, I have come to the conclusion that the writers must have taken up some psychedelic drug. It's gotten a lot funnier, but there are some moments that it's insane. Did anyone happen to see the "Birthday Song" sketch when Jack Black hosted? Seeing Will Ferrell with a bowl cut and a purple cloak was great, but I felt like I should have been on something to truly appreciate it. I guess they've made the switch to inane writing so no one can say the show sucks; now it's just weird, which doesn't always mean it's also embarassing like it has been for the last several years.

Sadly, I'm missing the Super Bowl because of MUSN layout. I didn't understand football until the male portion of my immediate family explained it to me over Christmas break (Me: I don't get it--what are downs? My brother: Come on, I just explained that to you five minutes ago. Be quiet and let me watch the dern game!). Usually I like the game because it gives me yet another opportunity to eat appetizer-like food until I'm sick. This year, I was looking forward to showing off my newfound knowledge on the sport while also gazing lovingly at Kurt Warner. Go Rams.

02-03-2002 8:45 AM - comments (1)