Saturday, March 18, 2006

Preferred sleeping positions: cats vs. girl

In order of preference:

1. Me in center of bed, cats out of earshot
2. Me in center of bed, cats at end of bed
3. Me on right side of bed, cats on left
4. Me in center of bed, one cat in front of stomach and one cat behind knees (rolling over no longer an option)
5. Me in center of bed, cats making noise in hallway
6. Me in center of bed, cats fighting at end of bed
7. Me in center of bed, cats fighting by face
8. Me in center of bed, one cat perched on hip, other cat self-trapped in bathroom
9. Me on couch, cats in bed
10. Me on couch, cats on stomach

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Weird things from my seminar on medieval gesture and emotion:

1. Did you know people used to use Psalm 108 (109, for the non-Vulgate readers among you [i.e., Protestants]) to pray people to death? Apparently, recite it every day for a year and a day, and the person you hate will drop dead. Vicious.

2. The book I ordered for this class last week: Images of Lust: Sexual Carvings on Medieval Churches.

3. If you were a Benedictine monk in the Middle Ages, you weren't supposed to get angry. If you did, you couldn't receive any sacraments until you had begged forgiveness from whomever you were angry with. However, the monks spent a lot of time cursing people who crossed them—they just weren't angry while they did it.

4. Until, oh...1996? Or so? Scholars had this crazy idea that people in the Middle Ages were just totally lacking in emotional control. It's called the "Grand Narrative," and basically is this idea that "emotional control" and the increasingly private nature of emotional display started in the 17th or 18th century and developed until it reached its zenith in, what, 1956? Something like that. If you think about it, though, that's just completely patronzing and ridiculous.

5. If you see someone in a medieval illumniation or painting cupping their cheek, don't assume they have a toothache. It's the gesture for sorrow, and would have been automatically recognized as such by any contemporary person viewing the piece.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Stupid injuries I have sustained lately:

1. Bruise on left foot from putting chair leg down on it
2. Scald on inside of right index finger from grabbing spout of teakettle instead of handle
3. Bruise on knuckles of left hand from slamming in shower door
4. Goose egg on forehead from hitting it with car door (admittedly, this happened almost a year ago, but it was extra stupid so I'm including it)
5. Irritated right rotator cuff from flipping comforter for cats to chase