Gexx in Knoxville

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Archive for the ‘geeking out’ Category

theoretical cabbage!

Posted by Gexx on February 3, 2009

I’m waiting for Morgan to head over so I can get dinner going.  I have everything chopped and ready, but I don’t want it ready before he gets here (I’m hungry, but courtious)

First: Twitter during Superbowl.

Second, I’m trying out a cabbage recipe.  For some reason I saw a thing of braised sweet and sour cabbage on Top Chef and it started this craving in my tummy.  I just read the ‘fluff’ that came along with the recipe:

“a silent conviction took shape within me: cabbage must be defended! What we have here is cabbage under siege! Cabbage must no longer be linked to discipline and punishment; no, it’s part of the natural order of things! By the time we arrived at my stop, I had it: an outline of a theory of cabbage.

Dear reader, you know that it’s time to close the book on graduate school when even vegetables call to mind famous works of social theory, such as Michel Foucault’s “Society Must Be Defended,” Discipline and Punish, and The Order of Things; Zygmunt Bauman’s Society Under Siege; and Pierre Bourdieu’s Outline of a Theory of Practice. I wince just typing this, and I pity my poor companions on the bus, who I probably blinded with the blazing rays of geekiness emanating from my feverish brain.”

I heart Foucault.  I heart Bourdieu.  I own Discipline and Punish and I borrowed Outline of a Theory of Practice from my professor and devoured it.

Hopefully the recipe comes out appropriately yummy.

Third, I found on BoingBoing a video of a kid on drugs (he had oral surgery). 

His dad says:

“This is my 7 year old son who had an extra tooth removed last summer, 2008. I had the camera because he was so nervous before I wanted him to see before and after.
He was so out of it after, I had to carry him out of the office. The staff was laughing and I had tears it was so funny.
He is doing fine now and the teeth are great.”

Here’s the video

Posted in cooking, geeking out, media | Leave a Comment »

New Years in Atlanta

Posted by Gexx on January 26, 2009

There was a line. For the museum. It was 12:05, the Museum opened at
noon, and there was a line stretching around the plaza.

Morgan and I had been toying with the idea of taking a daytrip to
Atlanta in order to see the Terra Cotta Warriors Exhibit. On Saturday
we decided that we had done enough work to take a day off, so we
ordered the tickets to the High Museum and chose 2:30 for our entrance
time to the special exhibit.

We were on the interstate by 8 and stopped for breakfast at a Cracker
Barrel. We managed to pull into the parking lot of the Museum by Noon
and then took the elevator to the museum level.

Where we encountered the line. We jumped in as people slowly filed
into the building. Suddenly a black and red haired woman came out.
She announced that members should go inside immediately and go to
their special line. Then, will call (us) were directed to our lines.
The rest of the schlubs… er… people were left for general
admission. There were only 5 parties infront of Morgan and I, so we
flew through pretty fast.

When we got our ticket I looked at it and asked the woman what time we
had signed up for to see the exhibit because I was pretty sure it was
2:30, but it didn't say on the ticket and I didn't want to risk
missing our entrance time. Museum people can get rather frustrated if
you mess up their order. I would know.

"Well, we don't have that many people signed up for the afternoon, so
you can just hop in whenever you want." She responded.

So we did.

It was pretty awesome. No pictures allowed, but that's ok. There
were some complete warriors, including one like ours at the museum.
There was also a horse because the Emporer wanted chariots. They also
including musicians (how cool is that!) and birds that would inhabit
the Emporer's afterlife court.

There was also an exhibit on masterpieces from the Lourve, so we saw
some original Michaelangelos and such. And the permanent collection
was so daunting.

A good part of the permanant collection was spent investigating how
design/decorative arts evolved. When I was in the early 20th century
part, Morgan stepped outside for a cigarette. I found a desk and
chair set by Frank Lloyd Wright and sat down…. across from it.

A family comes up and is being given a guided tour. They have two
daughters, one about 5-7 the other 9-12. The youngest raises her hand
right after the guide mentions that FLW designed the piece. The guide
calls on the girl who points to a thing sitting on the desk.

"What's that?"
"Thats…" the guide starts
"Oh! I know!" says older daughter. "It's what old people use instead
of a computer. You hit the keyboard and the letter shows right up on
the paper. You don't need to hit the print button!"

The guide is trying so very hard not to laugh. So am I. The older
daughter's description of the typewriter, however, was most awesome.

By the time we wandered our way through four floors of chronological
art, we were most arted out and starting to get a little hungry.
Claire had recommended a few places, including Canton House with all
day Dim Sum. I had never done DimSum before, and the directions to
the restaurant were rather easy from the museum, so we popped on I85
jumped off to Buford Highway, and found it rather easily.

The Canton House had such huge chandeliers! And there was a black and
red laquered stage on one end with gigantic gold dragons flying along
the wall. Where we sat we saw into the kitchen. They had a tank
filled with crabs! And another with swimming fish. Talk about fresh!

One waitress explained just what DimSum was to us, and we dove in. We
started with pork in steamed dough balls, shrimp dumplings, and
stuffed mushrooms. With the next cart we got BBQ pork buns, shrimp on
sugar cane (which I missed so much from Saigon's in Albany), then we
tried beef spare ribs. We were cautious because we weren't sure how
much things were. There were two definite teirs as they marked our
order sheet, and five dishes were in the top (lowest priced) tier and
two were in the middle, the spare ribs and the sugarcane shrimps. We
felt somewhat good after that, and through this I noticed that so many
people were wearing red. And one waitress had a red envelope that
looked like what would be used for the…. Chinese New Year!

I felt so very stupid for not remembering, I was sure I had heard
something about it on NPR that day, but still….

The meal came to $22 total, our worry was totally unfounded. And it
was DELICIOUS!

Then we hit the road, at about 6, and unexcitedly made it back home by 9.

It was such fun!

In the spirit of the Chinese new year, I'm posting my horiscope. I'm a Piggy.
It sounds like it might be a good year!

Pig Overview
The Pig has many opportunities to shine this year. Your generous
nature is apparent in all aspects of your life. It is an admired
quality that people respect. This year, your inherent generosity plays
a large role in areas that you may not even be aware and may pave the
way to a possible career change. You have an abundance of friends and
you are well loved by your family. this year will only enhance these
relations. One area that may create some issues is that you seem to
overextend yourself to a point where there isn't any time left for
you. This could lead to a change in priorities and could promote some
better organizational skills.

Pig Rating
53% (2 favorable 9 neutral and 1 unfavorable month)

Pig Career
The Pig may feel complacency in your current job position. This could
be a year that you may need a change towards something that is more
suitable for your needs. You may gravitate towards something that is
more of a position that provides service to others, perhaps a
non-profit organization or a customer service based position. Your
busy schedule will also play a part in your work. You may be forced to
choose between certain activities, as there are only seven, not eight
days in a week. Whatever the course may be for your career, you will
fit in well with your endearing personality.

Pig Relationships
Personally, 2009 will be a year that the Pig will enjoy much
happiness. Both your social and domestic life will be endearing to
you, providing you with encouragement and advice. Your family and
friends will be the source of many memorable occasions this year. For
the unattached Pig, there will be some romantic opportunities. Be
careful who you let into your circle, as you tend to give others too
much credit. July is a particularly favorable month for all Pigs.

Pig Health
The Pig would do well to watch your health this year. There may be an
unforeseen incident that arises sometime during the year, most likely
in late April or early May. This may cause you to look at your habits
relating to your health. One area in particular is your diet. This
year could provide a change in your eating habits, which could help
other areas of your health.

Pig Wealth
There may be times this year when you are uncertain about your
financial future, but there are things in your life that take
precedence over money. You will be taken care of, but there may be
times of financial uncertainty. A change will come in the second half
of the year that will provide greater financial comfort and allow you
to live at a means that is more accustomed to your liking. Be patient,
as the change will come.

Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man, but a
pig will look man right in the eye and see his equal. – Winston
Churchill

Posted in geeking out, i do have a life, regular | 3 Comments »

so did i mention…

Posted by Gexx on January 24, 2009

that I was asked, by a small East TN group who has funds in hand, to
put together their museum.

CONCEPTION TO CONCRETE!

wow.

still getting information on what all they want. let's see if it's
reasonable. it's not for pay, but for glory.

::cross toes::

Posted in geeking out, i do have a life, work | Leave a Comment »

calmness

Posted by Gexx on January 18, 2009

It was rather sedentary around here today.  I read some of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1966 and compared it to the Antiquities Act of 1906.  Morgan for his CIS readings is starting in on Clifford Geertz, including his Reports of a Balanese Cockfight.  Geertz was one of the first big Anthropologists who tried the "Participant Observation" technique, prior to him the Anthropologists were stodgy individuals, often sent by a colonial government to learn about the newly conquored primative society, who hung out with other stodgy whites.  A few exceptions (pardon me if I have my timeline wrong) are Zora Neale Hurston and I believe Margaret Mead.  Geertz is relatively easy to read.  I should know, he was required reading for me FOUR YEARS AGO.

  ::eyeroll at realization of extant time in Knoxville::

“The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.” – Ruth Benedict

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me.” – Zora Neale Hurston

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the book! the book! it’s getting done!

Posted by Gexx on January 14, 2009

So, for those who weren't around for the previous amount of pain, I have been part of a project. A BIG project.

I've been working on writing the Synthesis of Tennessee Archeology.  As an experiment in editing, we've placed all our chapters online for the professionals to look over and backfeed (that is, give feedback).

At the same time, I need more credit hours and I'm sick of thesis hours.  I want to get active and busy again.  This last semester I worked and hung out with Morgan.  I want to go back to being inspired and challenged and provoked.

So I've offered to assist in getting the book ready for publication.  I was just asked if i could do the graphics.  I'm hesitant, but I'm confident that I can figure out what I need to do.  Just don't expect much in the way of free hand drawings.  They're not great: I have the self-published coloring/activity books to prove it!

Posted in archaeology, college, geeking out | Leave a Comment »

gendered rpg frustration

Posted by Gexx on January 12, 2009

Rarely is the RPG world viewed as aimed toward females.  Think of a group of Dungeon and Dragon players, and most likely it's all males, maybe a female tagging along.  How about online RPGs like World of Warcraft?  There seems to be a larger female presence, but how many of the females are really males who want to play a female for any number of reasons.  Also, the female characters seem to be extremely sexualized, suggesting that their purpose is eyecandy/fanservice to heteronormative males.
 
Do your thoughts accurately reflect the demographics of RPG players, though?  Most likely not entirely. 
 
(Disclaimer: I've only played four Dungeons and Dragons games.  All have been with Morgan, all have been with Living Forgotten Realms through RPGA.)
 
For example, Morgan ran a game on Saturday.  Present were: Morgan (the DM), three other males, myself, Beth, and Mandy.  Half of the playing population were female.  We all played characters that corresponded with our IDed gender, so I won't touch upon that.
 
The story: we wander into town and see a crowd harassing a female and claiming she's a witch.  Our main goal is to rescue her.  Once we do, we need to see her safely to her uncle in another village.
 
So basically, we remove a victimized female and release her to another form of patriarchy.
 
The previous game's story:  We wander into a town and find a funeral.  The funeree was murdered, clues lead us to a group of citizens.  The only one still in town is a milkmaid (and girlfriend of another in questioned group) who implores to us to only bring her bf back before breaking down in tears.  When we get to the end, we find that the other woman of the group that ran away was actually abducted and is presently in the middle of a difficult birth.
 
Once again, the vicimization of females.  None are able to actually control their own life or act autonomously and only care about their "female role" as partner and mother.
 
Another story involved adrogynous pixies leading us to a dieing psuedo-magical woman, too sick to care for her cave which now has MONSTERS RAWR! But we take care of the monsters and give her a peaceful death.
 
Again, the only female depicted is powerless.
 
Yet another involved only monsters.
 
So three out of four stories I've played were about damsels in distress.  None contained even a single strong female figure.  All stories are led by males, all evil people are males.
 
I say to Morgan: "I'm tired of females being portrayed as powerless.  Not one story has a strong female figure.  What is the deal?  Are the DMs  specifically not picking certain stories which may have a dominant female?  I understand that male is the 'pattern' but this is bothering me."
 
Morgan responds that it most likely is because Dungeons and Dragons his primarily, if not exclusively male writers for their modules.  Other RPG games he participates in have storylines driven by stronger female characters.
 
"So, write your own module!" is his excited suggestion.
 
I look at him oddly, as I have so little experiance that I don't even know what all my single character can do.  "Maybe you can write one?" I respond.
 
He agrees, so now we're tossing back and forth story ideas.
 
Any suggestions?

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birthday weekend part 2

Posted by Gexx on January 11, 2009

Sunday (the aftermath day) my brother picks us up at my house, as my car was left at Morgan's and he was driving (of course), and we go to Sunspot for brunch because I caught wind (via their myspace page) that they were serving CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES!!!

When we drive back to Morgan's to figure out how to spend the afternoon, it's mentioned that Morgan needed to go to the mall.  The brother jumped on that, so we went.  Apparently there was a 30% sale on everything at SciFi city… so Morgan loaded up on miniatures and stuff.  Vincent actually didn't buy anything for himself, and I managed to find a couple sweaters on uber-post-xmas sale.

Vincent was so entranced with Morgan's minis that he wanted to play a Dungeons and Dragons game.  I think Vincent just wanted Morgan to take a few out and set up a scenario.  But Morgan instead called up some people and made it a game sanctioned with the National Organization.  So we spent Sunday night playing DnD.

Monday morning I picked the brother up at 7 and we headed to ETSU in Johnson City.  Then we went to AppState in Boone.  The weather was pretty nice.  It was wet, but the temperature was in the 40s.  We were then going to head over to UNC Charlotte, but he couldn't get ahold of an actual person on the campus, so then we headed home.  The following day we went to UT Chattanooga, and thought about going to Clemson, but instead decided to check out MTSU.

On the way back from MTSU, I was approaching Cookeville and noticed my gas light turning on.  I pulled off at the next exit because I didn't want to get into Cookeville and possibly meet with someone at an exit I used to take.  Irony of Ironies, that exit I took was the one I wanted to avoid.  I noticed that because there's this motel-turned-something else at the gas station.  So I pulled in, looked around, and satisfied myself that probability was on my side instead of bad luck.  I wasn't too worried of the prospect of seeing him, but I was worried that if he saw me then my presence would be initially interpreted as something more intrusive and possibly more malevolent than "i need gas."  am I over thinking??

Monday evening (when we got back from North Carolina), by the way, I made an AWESOME meatloaf.

NOM NOM.

Wednesday, he headed out, and I went to work.  Morgan and I attacked some of the brats my brother brought down from my mother.

Thursday was class.  I made most awesome pizza.  I used a recipe from "Jamie at Home" by Jamie Oliver for the dough.  It was a simple flour/salt/yeast/water/oil/sugar recipe.  I topped it with curried canned tomato sauce, thinly sliced bratwursts (courtosy of my new awesome kitchen knives), carmalized onions, sauteed mushrooms, and chopped kale.

Friday was work, help a friend at a car accident (we waited 2+ hours for the tow truck).

Saturday Morgan and I chilled.  Then he ran a DnD game in the afternoon.  I ended up playing and making a massive pot of soup at the same time. 

The soup contained: 2 baby videlia onions, 10 cloves of garlic, 1 chicken breast, 3 diced sun dried tomatoes, 2 baby potatoes (they were sitting around) and 1 turnip all chopped up to 1/2 inch chunks, 2 carrots chopped,  1/4 lb of kale (it was sitting there not being used) diced up, and some fresh basil.  Combine like you do for soups (I listed it in the rought order of adding things), when it came to adding broth (before the kale), I used 3 parts water, 1 part chicken stock (it normally gets too rich/salty if I use more).  Salt/pepper to taste.

Then we just chilled for the evening.  We thought of going to see a show, but our friend got ill so it would just be us and we needed to read for class.

Yay.

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A new face on my radar

Posted by Gexx on December 22, 2008

I love Susie Bright.

I have just discovered her.  She showed up in two posts at two websites I follow in the same day.  The first: her essay Egg Sex was linked to in the comments of a story Feministing discussed.  The second: She was a guest blogger on BoingBoing.  That there clinched the deal.  Not only was she able to write such awesome, open essays of gender liberation and exploration that were tempered with experience, but in my mind which constantly weighs independent critical thinking with validation through peer review, here she hit on the big one… right into the left field I tend to hang out in.

Since then, I have added her to my RSS feeder and have been pouring through her blog.  She comments on movies, technology, sex, eroticism, and rights.  It is…. ::shiver:: orgasmic.  It's revolutionary, strengthening, funny, and provacative.  Read it!

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I’ve Joined the Herd

Posted by Gexx on December 13, 2008

So, I have another nerd confession to make.

another? what’s left for you to do?

I… I…

come on, tell us…

I now play World of Warcraft.

You what?

Come on now, it’s not that bad.  I have a level 24 human palidan, a level 20 dwarf hunter, and a level 12 orc shamen.  And the Pali and Hunter are in a guild with some people I know in real life.  And the characters are really awesome…

::hangs head::

This is my hunter Gexxe with her Snow Leopard pet Sidartha and her pet tree frog.  Because… we just do.  She has on her claws.  They’re a weopon she can use because of her dual wield ability and…. I’ll stop right there.

The score never interested me, only the game. – Mae West

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play it better than anybody else. – Albert Einstein

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Hypothetically Speaking or PaleoObama

Posted by Gexx on November 18, 2008

(note: I actually wrote this and published it yesterday, but it… disappeared. Somewhere, in the bowels of blogger.)

So, in anthro when discussing preshistoric hunter/gatherer populations there’s a social set up where the population lives at a year round “base camp” while individuals wander off to gather resources from pre-determined areas that surround the base camp.  Previous thought was that the women would stay behind to do the child rearing and whatever processing was required at the base camp, creating an extremely gendered view of work distribution.

Then along comes Dr. Kristen Hawkes from Utah (who, coincidentally, I met a few years ago and who was the Master’s advisor for my old boss) who while studying paleodemography realizes that more and more women in these early prehistoric time periods are living later and later into their post-menopausal age.  She determines (using much statistics and evidence and such) that there is a reason for this.  Older women can care for weened children, freeing adult females to also procure resources.  This eventually becomes a behavior which selects for genetic longevity.  If your grandmother lives longer, then not only is there a chance you’ll live longer bc of genetics, but you’ll also have the resources to facilitate living to a reproductive age because your gmother lived longer and then you’ll pass on those genes. 

Taking it a step further, it has been tied into why females typically have longer lifespans.  See, males were just along for the ride.  Their behavior didn’t promote their lengthened age but that their grandmothers kept them alive past childhood, because the highest rates of death are 1)<5years and 2)old allowed them to utilize and pass on their grandmother’s longevity genes.

Where am I going with this?

Grandmothering Hypothesis now has a modern correlate! (sample size, n=1)

Michelle Obama’s mother is moving into the White House, the home base, to help take care of her grandchildren!  This will allow Michelle and Barack to do anything that needs to be done.  I think that’s awesome, while their mother and father are off saving the economy and representing the past “Country No. 1” of the free world the girls will have someone to help them with school work, who will help them get settled in, who will take them to go visit things in DC.  That, First Family, is putting family first in a truely timeless way.  Kudos to you!

And that’s my geek out for the day.

Ok, I’m a nerd.

Posted in archaeology, geeking out, overthinking | Leave a Comment »