the ornithogrinarium - Ψυχῆς ἰατρεῖον

Saturday, November 29, 2008

psychic relief

Daniel Handler, the man behind Lemony Snicket plays accordian on the Magnetic Field's 69 Love Songs.

You can hear his accordian here, if you click on the one that says, "don't watch please."

computer talk with a luddite

So, my laptop is eight years old, still running Windows ME. I just fixed its power cord with a pair of tweezers, some nail scissors, and a bit of tape. When in doubt, ignore the father's advice - it will cause unnecessary financial burden, nearly get you fired even at his own company, etc. - in this case, as regards first the repair, then the use of glue, which would render the thing un-re-fixable. I don't want to spend $100 on a cord for a computer that is practically a pre-teen. I doubt I could find a store that sold one.

I like the old interface. Looking at new computers ("Let's see how many icons we can create! Francis Bacon? (b.1561) A pox on all your Windows!" ) I realized that I am nearly willing to spend an extra $500 for a Mac just for the cleaner look. Despite the fact I think MacTM is scum for all the repair problems I've heard about, including the "well known problem, $700 to replace," quoth Mac, with video cards causing pixelated lines to take over the screen of my parent's two-year-old iMac. Though people say stuff about Dell too.

Friday, November 28, 2008

they poured me an extra drink to go to class after 45

On my last day of class I went out for drinks with some people (everyone was invited) in my philosophy class. Once they were no longer feeling they needed to shout to be heard, or having to sit still, they were very kind and non-brittle. I returned from class to report that it was slow, while, buried in the criss-cross of conversations, the off-duty bartender and the prof expressed reservations about gender analysis involving looking at pornography. My liver is so over-processed, I felt a little empty not to be doing any fun watch-removing, staring, and expounding myself.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

fucking fuckwit

What are you talking about!?! Of course I have no idea how to do this!!!! How the fuck - how is it that all the classes I've taken have been completely fucking useless in preparing me to do ANYTHING, least of all write a stupid fucking four page "personal response" paper?!! I don't understand anything! I can't remember any of this! What happened to my steel trap memory? Why the fuck can't I do this? Jesus Fucking Christ what the fuck is wrong with me? I've been staring at this, and only this for days! I hate it i hate it i hate it! I cant even discuss it out loud! Why why why!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[smash, bang, shatter]

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I walked in the sun, for serotonin enhancing properties. I discussed giving up and not giving up with myself and took notes on relevant examples. I arranged financing for a winter coat that I can wear boots with and not look awkward. Now... boots. I thought about a new blog, unsullied by sexy illustration, where I'd learn to write (my identity as a child, when I was tall and ever out of place. I am Miz. Angst. You know I keep recreating the situation for the powers of invisibility imparted thereby). I save the missive typed by the cat while sitting on my keyboard. I imagine my favourite sexy libertine blogger doing something decidedly tame with me, making it all better. I took half a pill, to make me less cranky and to get myself back in my chair. I underlined in a library book, in pencil, and thought of my essay's outline, oh fuck, it's been too long and I do not want to deal with you any longer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I made my ceramic travel mug (like a paper cup, but not) a sweater.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I moved across the philosophy classroom. I sat down next to a Jewish boy with a message to God on his head and it was quiet and peaceful and I concentrated and understood what was going on. Apparently slightly bewildered and wary energy works better for be than a noisy and combative stress fest.

me neither (a love letter)

cat power and karen elson


"Ok Computer" came out in what, 1997? That makes me 14, several years younger than I'd have called it, relying on memory. "Ok Computer" was magical for me, as what happened after grunge (although prior, or contemporaneously, in terms of my actual listening). It was what I'd imagined music could be, the layers of sound and parts layered over of one another, and what I wanted music to be after it. I had really sweet headphones. Ceremony is a song by Joy Division that was taken up by New Order.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

tonight i'm feeling feisty

I remember sitting at the airport with pretty much all the good stuff I owned on the floor beside me the winter I dropped out of school, and how it felt like growing wings. I cried then and am more sad now when I remember it and know all the ways it could've been different, and all the reasons a different outcome was impossible. Fuck it all; tonight I'm celebrating what is probably the most fun anyone has ever had at Pearson Int'l.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


My fish, the pretty one, who I want to grow old with and keeps floating sideways... has indigestion. Caused by the Ruykin anatomy, food, and possible internal thickening up of inner parts due to previous infection. You needed to know.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

next up - the holiday season

Around Christmas last year my local news covered stories about a doctor advocating that her collegues donate a day's pay to organizations that fight AIDS. I think the target may have been Africa, but there are good organizations that do this work locally in North American and European countries too.

Last year I donated to Unicef's program for children orphaned by AIDS, because I was feeling shitty, the program sounded strong, the kids are blameless and have to take on adult responsibilities. Thing is, I'm not wealthy and I don't know a lot of people, so it's not as though I'm good advertising for Unicef, despite all the extremely well designed paper they've sent me. So, I'm on a mission to find out whether Unicef is the right organization for me to donate to.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

better than the recurring nightmares I had as a child

I have vivid dreams of a city street with trees arching over it. I'm not sure what's happening there, and I haven't found it yet, but in the meantime it keeps coming back.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Got new fish, in anticipation of the one I saved with antibiotics, who is always playing dead, finally getting it over with. It seems though that she is happy to have a little family of fishes, and they all swim around together in a little school. One tiny one (I have a fantasy of having a bowl of tiny, minnowy goldfish, including a off-orange varieties, redcap, bubble-eyed, and telescopic ones that are all horrific eyes, the problem being that they would quickly grow up) is the same burgandy as one of Molly's spots, so I have named her Milly. There is also a black and gold Stephen, and Blazes Boylan is sulking in the medicine tank, being preemptively medicated against septicemia. After being reminded about all the whores that appear in Ulysses I am considering naming my fish after characters from Deadwood instead. We shall see. I liked Deadwood a fuck of a lot better, but the goldfish seem to be doing fine as they are.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

holy americans superman

" provides resources to better understand the transition process and the decisions being made as part of it. It also offers an opportunity to be heard about the challenges our country faces and your ideas for tackling them. The Obama Administration will reflect an essential lesson from the success of the Obama campaign: that people united around a common purpose can achieve great things.” (via)

It’s like I’m being carried around on a cloud of gummy bears and rainbows.

I suspect there won’t be any man-sized safes in this administration.


See here for a diagram of what an American vote is worth, proportional to its representation in the electoral college.

Plus, the Obama campaign of flickr

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

philosophy for non philosophers (more glowing prose)

So, while Barack Obama has been proving that all politics is grassroots politics, and building what is potentially the largest community of voters in United States history, I've been sleeping 14 hours a day and had thwarted my chosen lifestyle of knitting sculptural sweater, rearranging the garden, and wearing cat puke on my clothes. Also getting in the way is my selection of secondary literature on Spinoza -

[Spinoza does things like offer to explain, “those things which must necessarily follow from the essence of God … but only those that can lead us, by the hand, as it were, to knowledge of the human mind and its highest blessedness,” and follow them up by offering scholia such as, “[h]ere, no doubt, my readers will come to a halt, and think of many things which will give them pause. For this reason I ask them to continue on with me slowly, step by step, and to make no judgment on these matters until they have read through them all,” to allay his readers's shock.]

Which, I mean, I've got Popkin, and also Wikipedia (with love from Somerset Maughan and Of Human Bondage, Albert Einstein, and my discovery of Arne Næss) Tsawalk, Nietzsche's gnat imagining itself to be the flying center of the universe, and Gilles Deleuze -

"Style in philosophy strains toward three different poles: concepts, or new ways of thinking; percepts, or new ways of seeing and construing; and affects, or new ways of feeling. They're the philosophical trinity, philosophy as opera: you need all three to get things moving.

What does this have to do with Spinoza? He seems, on the face of it, to have no style at all, as we confront the very scholastic Latin of the Ethics. But you have to be careful with people who supposedly "have no style"; as Proust noted, they're often the greatest stylists of all. The Ethics appears at first to be a continuous stream of definitions, propositions, proofs and corollaries, presenting us with a remarkable development of concepts. An irresistible, uninterrupted river, majestically serene. Yet all the while there are "parentheses" springing up in the guise of scholia, discontinuously, independently, referring to one another, violently erupting to form a broken volcanic chain, as all the passions rumble below in a war of joys pitted against sadness. These scholia might seem to fit into the overall conceptual development, but they don't: they're more like a second Ethics, running parallel to the first but with a completely different rhythm, a completely different tone, echoing the movement of concepts in the full force of affects.

And then there's a third Ethics, too, when we come to Book Five. Because Spinoza tells us that up to that point he's ben speaking from the viewpoint of concepts, but now he's going to change his style and speak directly and intuitively in pure percepts. Here too, one might imagine he's still proving things, but he's certainly not continuing the same way. The line of proof begins to leap like lightning across gaps, proceeding elliptically, implicitly, in abbreviated form, advancing in piercing, rending flashes. No longer a river, or something running below the surface, but fire. A third Ethics that, although it appears only at the close, is there from the start, along with the other two.

This is the style at work in Spinoza's seemingly calm Latin. He sets three languages resonating in his outwardly dormant language, a triple straining. ... And it takes all three wings, nothing less, to form a style, a bird of fire."

"Letter to Reda Bensmaia, on Spinoza," negotiations, 1972-1990. Translation Martin Joughin (Columbia University Press: N.Y.) 1990. The photo was taken on the concourse in front of Columbia's law school.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I've been redecorating and moving furniture. The rest is here.

she keeps making these weird mournful sounds

Today I tried to teach the cat to fight without necessarily trying to amputate my arm ("try going for the belly!" the little cat body says) ... and she came to cuddle with me for about 25 seconds during SNL. I've been trying to get her to leave my room.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


If October 30 is my one-year anniversary of psychosis, November 1 is the one year anniversary of the associated hospitalization. At the time I said the news on tv looked fake, particularly a story about a little girl who survived a plane crash. Cue primal horror, fear and disgust.

In honour of the occasion, I'm taking suggestions for a U.S. Election drinking game. I'm all about making, "Florida," "exit polling," and of course (in honour of me acing my Hobbes quiz) "voting machines," key terms, but let me know if you have any other suggestions, or a place I won't be judged for shooting bourbon.