The Llama Scribe

February 29, 2008

I’m an Empty Grocery Sack!

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 7:32 am

Today, laziness.
Garfield Minus Garfield : It’s a premise so simple and ingenious, it can only yield results that are funny, existential, and downright disturbing.

My favorites:

Stuff White People Like : I have to admit, it’s mostly true. And the blog is written somewhat in the style of a white culture survival guide, complete with tips on how to use the knowledge of white people’s likes to one’s own personal gain. For instance, from today’s entry (“Musical Comedy“)

“If you find yourself at a corporate retreat where you have to put on a skit for the other employees in your office, it’s always a good idea to suggest doing a funny song. The rest of your group will get very excited and start work immediately on some clever lyrics. Do not worry about the music part, if you have more than two white males on your team, it is certain that one of them can play the guitar. “

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February 28, 2008

Beware the Beer Riot

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 5:00 am
Tags: , , ,

If you live in Champaign-Urbana, attend the University of Illinois, or know anyone who falls into either of those categories, no doubt you are aware of Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day, and the nonsense which is sure to appear whenever the holiday approaches.

It would seem that some clever university president or administrator, at some point in the last century, devised the notion of planting spring vacation solidly over St. Patrick’s Day in order to avoid drunken reveling on campus.  Unfortunately, this stuffy old suit did not take into account the indomitable spirit of the college imbiber (well, bar owner), and hence was born Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day- simply “Unofficial” in abbreviated form.

Personally, it’s not a holiday I would have invented.  To me, St. Patrick’s Day is a reverent holiday thanks to green food dye and corned beef and cabbage (much, much more corned beef than cabbage).  Not only is 8:00 a.m. far too early to be awake, it is also an absurd hour to indulge.  I do love Unofficial nonetheless; it provides an excuse to bring non-UIUC students to campus, and stages an unbeatable (and free!) form of public theater- with costumes included (traditionally, imbibers identify themselves by wearing green- and being publicly drunk). 

I bring this up to link to an article by the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette (famous for its many hyphens): Our Chancellor, Richard Hermann, demands action from the city council on the horrendous problem of Unofficial. 

Hermann, naturally, establishes his argument by bringing up the girl who died by falling off of a motorcycle on Unofficial, mentioning that her accident was deemed by police to be “alcohol related”- and states with remarkable certainty that such a tragic death would not have occurred but for this devious holiday.  My objection to his logic is not to say, of course, that I don’t believe her death was a tragedy, or that it was caused by drunkenness, but that drunken accidents happen everywhere, all the time, and if Chancellor Hermann wanted to advocate awareness of the dangers of drunken driving, well, he’d have to stand behind a long line of people who have been hurt by other stupid people.Fortunately, our mayor was the voice of reason; he surmised that upping the age of admittance into bars to 21 and delaying their opening until 5pm would only result in “beer riots.”  Thank you, Mr. Schweighart.

Ultimately, it is a dumb holiday, and whenever large numbers of young people drink heavily, dumb shit is bound to happen.  It is the natural order of the university environment.  But it is a fun day, a day when kinship is born of inebriation and proximity, and that is something that no amount of fearmongering is going to alter. 

For the record, I have an exam at noon, and work from 1-5, so I won’t be participating in the festivities until sundown.  However, it is my last day at the School of Music, so I can’t make any promises as to my condition on Friday evening. 

February 26, 2008

Sticky Fingers in an Old Car

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 4:04 am

Obviously, I haven’t written anything in a few days- which would seem to undermine the premise of this thing, if only I weren’t the only one holding myself to any kind of standard. Plus, my last post was admittedly weak- the weather?- but all I can do is strive for improvement.

With the ten precious days of spring break looming ever nearer, I have found myself of late feeling the wanderlust. Practicalities have limited the range of possible travel locations- for one thing, I can’t seem to recall in which state my passport is presently being stored, which means no travel outside of the country. Air travel is expensive, and a hassle, and we’re still a month away from being able to rent a car. Unfortunately, Nick’s 1992 (?) Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme- the Cutty- is barely holding together. A $600 repair in December means that it runs with some reliability, but there still exists a frighteningly high likelihood of breakdown, explosion, or complete collapse similar to the demise of the Bluesmobile.

Therefore, a decision has been reached, which compromises my aching need to travel and Nick’s desire to sit around and do nothing: a Barbeque Tour of the Midwest. We’ll start in Chicago, following the Magnetic Fields concert on Friday night, and from there we’ll hit Memphis and Kansas City before returning to St. Louis. A great deal of driving will still be involved, but if the car dies/explodes/collapses, we’ll only be a 10-hour bus ride back to Illinois. We’ll stuff our faces with tender, delicious pork, and stay in cheap motels. We won’t be going anywhere near anything resembling the ocean, which is disappointing for me, but which also means that we won’t be going anywhere near anything resembling a “Spring Break Destination!”

In March 2006, I found myself stranded overnight in the Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, with an elderly Nobel-nominated physicist to keep me company and impart philosophical/theological ponderings and “my friend Jimmy Carter” anecdotes. If this vacation results in any stories even approaching the fantasticness of that one, I will consider it to be a success.

February 21, 2008

It’s Bruised Bottom Season

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 6:28 am
Tags: , ,

Here it’s day two of the experiment, and I’ve already thought about skipping. I suppose I am nothing if not disciplined, so here goes.

Let’s talk about the fucking weather.

I live in Illinois, in the part of the state that has more to do with corn, soy, and the second amendment than jazz and neon green relish on hot dogs. And while I can drive south for an hour and ogle an enormous aluminum cross erected aside the highway, I still like it here a great deal. My isolated little college town is a bastion of sanity in a wasteland of absurdity, and the longer I live here, the more small, lovable things I find hidden away. Unfortunately, I can’t possibly imagine myself staying here, and there’s one reason why- November through March.

I’m not the kind of person who generates happiness internally. My boyfriend is- he walks around as though there were hamsters on a wheel inside his chest cavity, cranking out a constant stream of joy. I take my cues from my environment, and when that environment is bleak and unforgiving for half of the year- well, I get cranky.

And it’s not just the psycho-emotional effects of the weather, either. The presence of a perpetual layer of water, in a deadly conflation of states, in a murky mess on the ground, has a more deeply physical consequence.

Suffice it to say that, while I may not be the most graceful person, I do take pride in my ability to pull off one hell of a wipeout.

I wear long pants, pants that are too long for my legs, not out of fashion or a pathological hatred of the sight of my feet. I wear long pants because I am a stumpy person- thanks to a simply delightful genetic cocktail- and, surprisingly enough, there is no “Short ‘n’ Stumpy” store in the mall. Pants have no traction. I have no grace. I fall down. A lot.

Which is why, as I write this, I am plucking the gravel from my spinal column, and pining for Nicaragua.

Oh, Nicaragua.

February 20, 2008

The Next New Beginning

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 10:16 pm

Hello again, internet.  It’s been a while since we’ve talked.

Despite having published online intermittently since those red-faced days of Xanga- that long-ago time when I truly believed that the practice of avoiding capitalization made my teenaged ramblings somehow comparable to e. e. cummings- I have somewhat mixed feelings towards the medium.  However, my soon-to-be-former employer recently suggested that it is important for a matriculating English student to maintain publication credits, which inspired the thought pattern that brought me back to this place.  After all, I believe that, as far as my future employment is concerned, maintaining an online journal is fairly comparable to writing for an annual college alumni newsletter, except that the audience is likely to be larger and more interested.

So, what is it that I have to say?  Nothing.  That’s why I can never manage to maintain one of these things.  My quotidien life is approximately as fascinating as a ten-hour Spider Solitaire marathon.  But, for better or worse, I’m toying with the notion of attempting to make money by stringing words together, perhaps even starting sometime in the near future.  And thus begins my new experiment.

I’m going to try to write once a day.  I’m not shooting for a too-lofty goal, such as attempting to write something thoughtful once a day- I’m trying to keep it realistic here.  So, whether or not anyone reads it, or whether this experiment is to be like a tree exploding in a witness-less forest- well, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.

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