I hear a very specific subset of gay men throw this term around more than any women, but What Do You Really Mean When You Say 'Basic Bitch'?
And so the woman who calls another woman basic ends up implicitly endorsing two things she probably wouldn’t sign up for if they were spelled out for her: a male hierarchy of culture, and the belief that the self is an essentially surface-level formation.


Bye Felicia

That time I learned about a meme by reading a blog post about Shonda Rhimes' tweet about a TV show.



I stayed away from Middlesex for many years, daunted by the length and a fuzzy idea that it was about a hermaphrodite. In other words, I was an idiot. I loved it!

It is about much more than Callie's and Cal's story. It is the story of three generations: grandparents leaving Greece for America, parents struggling to make a name for themselves in the U.S., and the childhood and adolescence of the children that inherit these tales. (Sidenote: every time I think of "coming-of-age" tales now, I giggle thinking of my brother-in-law grimacing at some movie my sister has picked out. My affinity for such stories runs in the family.) Through the multi-generational story of the Stephanides clan, the story of 20th century Detroit is also told. The novel is ambitious in scope.

Elements of the book that resonated with me:

  • Sourmelina, in the closet: "I went to church. It didn't help. In those days that was the best place to meet a girlfriend. In church! All of us praying to be different." 
  • Callie: "Is there anything as incredible as the love story of your own parents?"
  • Acculturation to American society: I believe my mom wrestled with sentiments like the one below growing up; it may have been a driving force in her own story line (and she was already the 3rd generation!) 
But now the Bracelets' upturned noses suggested that there was another America to which we could never gain admittance. All of a sudden America wasn't about hamburgers and hot rods anymore. It was about the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. It was about something that had happened for two minutes four hundred years ago, instead of everything that had happened since.
    • See also: "Generally speaking, Americans like their presidents to have no more than two vowels...If they have more than two vowels (Reagan), they can have no more than two syllables."
  • Grandmother and link to the old world: "I'm not sure, with a grandmother like mine, if you can ever become a true American in the sense of believing that life is about the pursuit of happiness," and "Everything about Middlesex spoke of forgetting and everything about Desdemona made plain the inescapability of remembering." 
  • A gorgeous passage of Callie and childhood friend Clementine playing in a pool when they are about 7 or 8, too long to quote fully here: "Steam envelops us, cloaks us; light sparkles on the agitated water; and we keep spinning, so that at some point I'm not sure which hands are mine, which legs."
  • The references to Greek mythology, with prophecies, family feuds, and changing forms aplenty


Blogging the Bourbon Chase

Saturday 10/11 7:23 PM

After 33 hours, 7 minutes, and 49 seconds we are finished with our 200 mile relay! After the past 60 minutes, I tasted bourbon from 4 distilleries. Would I do this again? Probably.

Saturday 10/11 5:40 PM

Our last runner is on the course.

Saturday 10/11 3:29 PM

Horse farms abound. Waiting for Jeff to finish leg 33.

Saturday 10/11 2:44 PM

Baby wipe van showers! JP is done!

Saturday 10/11 2:14 PM

Done! And ravenous!

Saturday 10/11 11:31 AM

Getting ready for my final leg. Woodford Reserve photos.

Saturday 10/11 10:38 AM

Van 2 is breakfasting at Panera in Frankfort, the state capital. And importantly, it is finally not raining!

Saturday 10/11 7:22 AM

The sky is lightening over Wild Turkey Distillery. 2/3 of the way done!

Saturday 10/11 5:08 AM

Biscuits and gravy at the church, y'all.

Saturday 10/11 3:04 AM

At America in the middle of the night: car dealerships, crosses, and election signs.

Blurry selfie.

Saturday 10/11 1:33 AM

Wake me up before you go go! That's my at bat song for Leg 19, coming up at just before 2:00 AM.

Friday 10/10 10:22 PM

All of our runners have run one leg. We all met up at the Danville exchange point. After warming ourselves at the Hub Van 2 is catching a nap at Danville High School gym. Zzz.

Friday 10/10 7:44 PM

Darkness has descended upon the land. I had a delightful taco from a roadside pop-up stand in Perryville.

Friday 10/10 6:19 PM

Tim at the start of leg 10.

And the rest welcome Jeff back.

Photo opp at Maker's (11/12 present)

Jaime handing off to me.

Harlan and Jaime somewhere pretty from van 1.

Friday 10/10 5:11 PM

Some serious rain during Leg 9. 

This van is trying to win the prize for best costume.

Friday 10/10 4:15 PM

Yours truly is back in the van after completing Leg 7! We switched off at Maker's Mark. My run was hilly but I ran at my projected pace. JP is out on the trail now in glorious weather.

Friday 10/10 11:26 AM

Van 2 is having a less than spectacular logistical start. Meanwhile please enjoy this photo of Captain Belinda in our chariot.

Friday 10/10 9:23 AM

Van 1 is at the start at Jim Beam! Here is a picture from Lisa: 

I am in Van 2. We have to zigzag to pick up the rest of our team. We start this afternoon after meeting up at Maker's Mark.



You guys. T-1 to the Bourbon Chase! Testing le mobile blog for possible updates from Van 2 when I'm not running, driving, or sleeping!


Eyes vs. Stomach

"Why do you all have a story that involves eating so much that you got sick?"


Sentiment Analysis Problem Set

Brian is shit
Brian is a shit
Brian is the shit
Brian is the shittiest