Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Fun Times

Most. Random. Thing. Ever. Or at least today. Or at least this half-hour.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy and Should Come Here So I Can Hug Them

After Monday, it only seems fair.

1. Friends who make me gorgeous computer wallpapers. :)

2. Jensen Ackles' smile. Seriously. Between him, corvids, and Matt Smith, my cubicle at work is a lovely, lovely place.

3. Folks who take the time to put up full MST3K episodes on Youtube. (Not linking because, duh: I don't want anyone backtracked and shut down because of me. But, if you're curious, try Googling "MST3k the sword and the dragon" or "the day the earth froze" and pay attention to the usernames.)

4. John Sheppard/Rodney McKay slash. This is the fandom pairing made of endless bunnies and sunshine and rainbows and I'm not kidding. Want proof? Try this, or this, or, lord love you, this.

A visual representation of McShep slash.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Things That Irritate Me and Can Go Away Now

Because it's my blog and I can.

1). The Christopher Hitchens love. I won't say I hated him and I'm glad he's dead. But I didn't like him very much and I sure as hell ain't cryin'.

2). The Ryan Gosling 'hey, girl' meme. What the fuck, people. All memes have a certain amount of annoyance  built into them, but this is one of the only ones that makes me want to chew glass when I see it. It's not funny. It's not original. Try doing it with cats and maybe I'll want to kick you in the balls less.

3). Companions leave the Doctor, folks, it's how Doctor Who works. Why the news that Amy and Rory are leaving should cause such widespread angst and heartburn -- before they've even left! -- is a mystery to me. Particularly when no-one in the fandom seemed to give much of a shit when the Doctor mind-fucked Donna and left her to her fate. Yeah. Good one, 10.

4). In addition to the above: Amy hate. No. Just...fucking no.


Thank you.

I feel better now.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In Which We Write Letters: Stop SOPA

Anna here. This post is cross-posted at the feminist librarian.

Depending on your level of involvement in things internet-political and techy, you may or may not be aware of the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) now making its way through congress. Introduced by representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), this bill mandates widespread monitoring of internet activity and has the potential to cause the internets as we know them to be fundamentally altered as blogs and other social networking sites are shut down for supposed acts "piracy." You can read more about the act at the Organization for Transformative Works, TechCrunch, and the American Library Association. The letter Hanna and I sent to our representatives is heavily cribbed from the ALA talking points.

Find your U.S. Representative here

Find your U.S. Senators here.

18 December 2011

Dear Representative Capuano,

As librarians, bloggers, and registered voters in Allston, Massachusetts, we are writing to ask you to vote against the proposed Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), H.R. 3261.

This bill, if it becomes law, will cause a widespread “chilling effect” on use of the Internet for commerce, communication, and participation in democratic society. The bill strikes at copyright protections currently granted to libraries and educational institutions by creating the possibility of criminal persecution of institutions and institutional representatives. for online streaming and other use of online resources in library and classroom space. SOPA's requirements to monitor internet traffic violate free speech and privacy protections and may create new forms of government surveillance of private activities within and outside the United States. The predicted consequences of SOPA are far-reaching. If passed, the potential for new jobs, innovative new ventures, and economic growth will be stifled.

Citizen engagement in online spaces depends on the ability to share and discuss a wide variety of media content across multiple social networking and other Internet platforms. SOPA will effectively shut down the vibrant creativity and vital political discourse that has been made possible by the World Wide Web. On behalf of ourselves, our online community of bloggers, and our library patrons, we ask you to vote against H.R. 3261, and support alternative ways for protecting legitimate copyright interests online.


Anna J. Cook & Hanna E. Clutterbuck

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Photo Wednesday: Christmas Tonttus

Hi folks, Anna here ...

This past weekend, Hanna and I were up in Maine celebrating an early Christmas with the folks. This involved a lot of good food, a Christmas carols service at nearby Colby College, and the creation of our very own tonttu for the apartment. Tonttu are Finnish house spirits that Hanna's mother learned about from her Finnish parents and grandparents. Here are some photographs that we took of the process of making two tonttus. It took the better part of Sunday morning.

these fellows were our model tonttus
here are some of the supplies Linda provided
We started with a base of cardboard, Styrofoam, and felt
all self-respecting tonttus need hats
Mine is on the left, Hanna's is on the right.
Hanna named hers Ibrahim; mine is named Helga
We brought them back to Boston on Monday to grace our Christmas shelf
While tonttu is the Finnish term for house spirits, some of you may be familiar with the Astrid Lindgren picturebooks which tell the story about a gentle tomten who cares for a family farm in Sweden. This is essentially the same folk character, though seen through the lens of a slightly different Scandinavian tradition.

I hope all of you are finding small and pleasurable ways of preparing for the holiday season ...

Monday, December 12, 2011


Okay, so I'm the one travelling not you.

Well, maybe you.

If you are, best of luck to you!

In any case, here's a video for Monday: one of my absolute favorite yoga routines from Kathryn Budig and Yoga Journal.

I'd say it's fine for anyone who's an adventurous beginner or beyond; you may want to have a strap or a block (or two) handy just in case.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For What It's Worth

It has recently been brought to my attention that some people actually take the recommendations and, presumably, the disrecommendations I make on this blog seriously.

I feel a sudden rush of power and blood to the head.

No -- wait, maybe that's just the third cup of coffee kicking in.

So with this in mind, here's my meaningless, completely insignificant recommendation for this week.

You enjoy raunchy, foulmouthed, violent cartoons, right?

Of course you do.

So I have three words for you, my friend:

Tripping the Rift.

All 3 seasons and the movie (not so great, but fun if you get into it and great if you've got a six-pack on hand) are available on Netflix insty and I'm betting that 5-10 minutes of hardcore Youtubing will probably net you the same thing.

Not for the faint of heart or the ready to blush since two of the main characters are Chode McBlob, the deeply profane and irreverent purple captain of Bob, an agoraphobic spaceship, and Six, Chode's feminist sex android.

Seriously, we are talking stripper jokes, sex jokes, drug jokes, alcohol jokes -- if you thought Little Britain was as bad as it gets -- well, okay, you were close but not close enough. There are also enough pop culture references -- visual and verbal -- to keep pretty much anyone happy.

The first episode is called "God is Our Pilot": Chode and his "faithful" android, Gus (think a limp-wristed-er version of Threepio) take a trip back in time and kill God. I mean -- what do you do for the rest of the day, right?

If you're in the mood to kick back and take nothing at all very seriously -- and enjoy a fictional universe where clowns are the evil villains we all know them to be -- then Rift is your new best friend, believe me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Photo Monday: Athan's Bakery

Anna here ...

Yesterday, Hanna and I branched out from out usual weekend haunts to try out a new spot for weekend brunch: Athan's Bakery in Washington Square, Brookline. It turned out to be a great place for people watching, reading (Hanna: Freud's letters to Wilhelm Fliess, Anna: The Reactionary Mind by Corey Robin), and nursing our morning espresso. Here are some photos I snapped while we were there.

The front room, full of sunshine and sugary things.
Cookies sold by the pound
Not exactly breakfast food, but ...
There were lots of students with laptops working away
Hanna's left arm, lovely earrings, and
Abandoned coffee cups at the espresso bar.