Monday, October 25, 2010

I Am a TOTAL Girl

Well, not today, but more like yesterday; so I'm not a girl anymore, but I was. And even though I was a total girl, it was only in a very specific way, as described below1.

Because there are different ways of being a total girl. There's the Do these jeans make my @$$ look fat? way, which is not my way, because I can never ask that question because, with me, it always comes out as "Do these jeans make my @$$ look flat?" to which the answer is always, "Yes, but don't blame the jeans; blame your Irish genes because your @$$ is flat, so much so that you can write on it like a chalkboard."

And there's the other total girl thing where the guy goes:

Guy: What's wrong?

Girl: Hmmmmph!

Guy: Really, I can't read your mind. If I did something to piss you off, you have to tell me.

Girl: Well if you don't already know, I'm not telling you!

Guy [sotto voce]: Fat-@$$!

Girl [sotto voce]: Flat-@$$!

Um ... Teh 'Bride would probably tell you that I can be this type of girl, but since she doesn't read this blog anymore, I'm going with: I Am Never This Type of Girl. And nobody2 can prove otherwise.

But here's the type of girl I was yesterday:

I got back from my wonderful 11-mile run and immediately blogged about it which was probably a mistake because Ian had a game and so that didn't leave me much time to eat before the game. And so instead of making real food, I rummaged around in the pantry for ready-to-eat "food" instead of preparing actual food (no quotation marks).

And one of the things I found was one of Teh 'Bride's girl "fiber" bars which I usually don't eat because if you look at the ingredients it's like peanuts and caramel and ... essentially, it's a generic Snickers bar is what I'm saying. And there's too much fat in those for me what with my fat eyes and all.

But I was in a hurry and I was hungry and I'd had a great run and I deserved something nice (eyes getting all red and puffy and I'm starting to feel really unattractive now and why won't somebody hug me and tell me I'm pretty?) and so I'm going to have one and then another and if I want to eat all the Ben & Jerry's right out of the carton, too, dammit! (foot stomp, here) I WILL!1!

And I had always made fun of Teh 'Bride because she would tell me about how she'd eaten one of these bars for a snack on her night at the Library and had nearly had to come home because of the gastric distress all that "fiber" had her in. And I'm like, "O, that's too bad. You poor baby!" but secretly I'm thinking, Pffftt! What a GIRL!1! A granola candy bar nearly takes her out?

But here's the thing: I'm sorry, 'Bride, because I ate a couple of those things and drank a whole lot of water, too, which Teh 'Bride later told me was a BIG mistake (NOW she tells me), and after a couple of innings at Ian's game I'm walking around thinking:

Sweet baby Jebus! I know we adopted Ian, and all, but that adoption agency still should have insisted we take Lamaze classes because then at least I'd have a clue about how to breathe my way through this distress I'm feeling because I feel as though I'm about to give birth down there and whatever needs to come out of me feels like it's about 11 lbs six oz and it's a breech birth and I wonder if I can get an epidural here because I think my water just broke and, no, wait, actually I peed myself a little ...

And so yeah, I was that kinda total girl, yesterday.

You'll be happy to know the problem ... um ... "worked itself out".

And today?

I'm all man again.
1 And you're thinking, Whoa, hold on, now, wait just a minute, there, G! Because you're either a total girl or you're not, because we're pretty much in the realm of excluded middles, here.

But that, dear Reader, is where you're wrong. Because it is an Article of Faith of mine that there are degrees of totality and some totals are bigger than others; and the reason I believe this is because of an Introduction to Logic course I took as an undergraduate way back in the 1980s with Aristotle himself Dr. Wisdom at Temple University and yes, that was his real name, and Temple had another Philosophy prof at the time whose name was Dr. Vision (you can look this shit up; I am not lying), though I never took a Vision course which probably explains why I need to wear these glasses.

Anyroad, I was friendly with a Philosophy grad student who was trying to convince me I should switch majors to philosophy, but I was all, "Philosophy?Pffffttt! Fuck that! I'm staying where the money and job opportunities are: English Literature."

But she convinced me to take this logic course with Wisdom because she loved logic and she said it would be fun; and all the other philosophy courses she recommended were great and so I took the logic course.

And after the first week I went back to her and informed her that I wanted to kill her because this so-called "philosophy" course was in reality more like math and didn't she ever notice that every time Sam Cooke sang "Wonderful World"  and he came to the lines "Don't know much about algebra/ Don't know what a slide rule is for" he always looked directly at me1a?

So anyroad, I stuck with the course and one of the things that got me through it was that Wisdom was very funny because he knew logic was tough and off-puttingly technical so he did all he could to make it enjoyable. Which included bringing his banjo to class and spending the first few minutes serenading us with original songs of his, my favorite of which was the song he wrote about herpes — which he evidently suffered from — the chorus to which was:

I have been frequently sore, Lord,
I have been frequently sore.
Since herpes got into my system, Lord,
I have been frequently etc.


The reason I think there are degrees of totality is that Wisdom taught me there are degrees of infinity, which I thought impossible, but he proved it, thus:

Let's say you have a motel with infinitely many rooms. And infinitely many banjo-pickers come to town needing digs. Well, no problem. There are infinitely many of them and you have an infinite number of rooms, so one to each room. Simple.

But then one more banjo-picker arrives. Can you accommodate him?

Seemingly not, but in fact, you can. Just get on your infinitely powerful PA system and tell everyone to move down one room. This opens up room one, and in goes the new banjo-picker.

And that's an infinity that is one larger than the first one.

Which blew my mind.

But it gets better.

Because suppose after the first infinite group of banjo-pickers comes in, a second, also infinite, group of banjo-pickers arrives? Can you accommodate them?

Turns out, you can. Just get back on your infinitely powerful PA system and tell everyone to go outside his room, look at the number on his door, double it, then move to that room. When you double any whole number you end up with an even number (duh). This opens up the infinite number of odd-numbered rooms you have and the new infinite group of banjo-pickers can just go to those odd numbered rooms.

This blew my mind a second time because I was young in those days and I recovered quickly from mind-blowings and I was ready to have it blown again in like five minutes and I probably could have even had it blown one more time after that, but then I'd need to roll over and sleep a while because, hey, I'm good but I'm not a machine. Sometimes I just want to cuddle after some really mind-blowing philosophy because I'm not a whoo-wer1b.

And so that's why I think some totals can be bigger than others.

Did I just blow your mind? If so, does that make me gay?

1a And so did Peter Noone when Herman's Hermit's covered this song and completely bleached the black out of it. Point is, black or white, everyone knows that Math and I Are Not Friends, and No, RBR, "Math" is not short for "Matthew" aka Matty my downlow "friend with benefits".

1b Hahahahahahaha! Just kidding! Yes I am!1! Keep those mind-blowings coming (so to speak)!

2 ... who currently reads this blog ...


  1. I read a LOT of this one! *pats self on back*

  2. No, it doesn't blow my mind. I know who and what Georg Cantor is/was.

  3. I am not sure who Georg Cantor is/was, but I think it s little rude that he won't blow Keef's mind, not even on his birthday.

    I mean, come on, throw the guy a bone, so to speak.

    Did you wash that Fiber One bar down with a Slimfast?


    You can try to smoke screen us with all the philosophy you want...

    You are still a total girl.

  4. Yeah, Cantor was the hero of DFW's Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity, which was interesting for, among other things, Wallace's evident peevishness over the canard that Cantor's work on the concept of infinity is what drove him mad, as though Cantor had somehow failed to crack that nut - an obvious falsehood.

    And so it's like a lot of things, where people want to talk about the personality rather than what matters, which is the work. "Mathematician driven crazy by work on concept of infinity" just sounds so much more interesting than the truth which is that Cantor contributed greatly to our understanding of that concept and was probably a Depressive (or bipolar) all his life and his work didn't "drive him insane", but his colleagues' inexplicable resistance to his excellent work contributed to his depression. And quite understandably so.

  5. "Do these jeans make my @$$ look fat?"

    First, let me tell you from experience, DO NOT want to ask questions if you're not prepared to hear an honest answer.

    Secondly, how did banjo pickers make it into this story?

    Thirdly, how did a SECOND band of banjo pickers get into this story.

    Finally, sorry to hear about the fiber bar blow out. May I recommend of Colon Blow to soothe the pain?

    Colon Blow and you uuuuuuuuuuuu in the mornin

  6. Hey, you found Martin (no relation) Gardner's book and the chapter on the ladder of infinities, complete with the triangular theorem that proves that the number of rational numbers is greater than the number of integers, though both are infinite. Or you read about Cantor on one of my old posts.

    @Beth: 'cuz it's one thing to be regular; it's another to be UNSTOPPABLE!

  7. i DO still read this blog (about every 3 months when i get a free second to breathe at work)and u R such a freakin girl!
    fiber one bars r e-vile! and stay away from kashi, 2
    love, teh bride