November 20, 2007

The yak.

Zach has just ensured that I will not rest easy until I have gone through my entire excessive, unedited book collection and calculated its proportion of fiction to nonfiction. It's too easy to manipulate me this way; all you have to do is say, "Hey, Dianna, I read somewhere that men do X and women do Y," and there are no lengths to which I will not go to figure out my own level of adherence and then argue with you about it. If you told me that women on transatlantic hot-air balloon journeys accompanied by at least five merino sheep are likely to acquire previously undiscovered German-language proficiencies roughly 3/5 of the way between New York and London whereas men are not, I would probably have to go and find a balloon, five sheep and a German tutor and go and test it out. Uncited and suspiciously essentializing studies are to me like a dangling string in front of a kitten.

But it will be impossible for me to tally up my books until I take remedial driver's ed! We could play a game of Guess The Convoluted Chain Of Connected Actions, if you like.

Posted by dianna at November 20, 2007 07:23 PM

Are we supposed to guess how the phrase "Without, hesitation, I recommend" could possibly appear in a grammatically correct sentence, or am i just reading too much into this charming photo?

Posted by: Ping at November 20, 2007 10:07 PM

The picture I will explain free of charge: it was a typographical error that appeared in a glowing letter of recommendation written by an otherwise impeccably literate faculty member at my school. It floated across my desk, I discreetly corrected the typo and re-printed it, and my student assistant and I both spent several minutes having silent conniptions about it. Then I made this nice colorful censoring border for it and posted it for my enjoyment over my desk.

Posted by: Dianna at November 20, 2007 10:26 PM

Is it because your books are in storage in boxes in a far-off place that it would be impractical to haul boxes from on a bike?

Posted by: Zach S. at November 20, 2007 11:04 PM

Nope! My books are right here in my bedroom! Think of a slightly longer chain of actions.

Posted by: Dianna at November 21, 2007 07:11 AM

Hum, now this IS intriguing. Last night I thought it must be fairly mundane, per my explanation, but now all sorts or Rube Goldbergian ideas are entering my mind.

In order to tally your books, you will obviously need paper. And not just any paper! Only reconstituted wood pulp made from driver's license examinations will do! But, alas! your license has expired catastrophically, and a court order prevents you or anyone you know coming within 100 feet of a DMV office until you have completed remedial driver's education. Only by taking remedial driver's education can you hope to purloin the paper you need.

Posted by: Zach S. at November 21, 2007 08:39 AM

That is an authentic and laudable effort at logical convolution right there. Sir, I commend you.

Perhaps it is because in order to tally I need to have a pencil, but I happen to have no pencils at home and as my workplace has gone entirely paperless I cannot smuggle one from there. A well-meaning ordinance intended to reduce carbon pollution has made it economically unfeasible for any merchant within Multnomah County to sell graphite pencils and so I need to travel in order to purchase one, and that travel (ironically enough) must be done in a personal carbon-emitting vehicle, which I am not presently qualified to drive.

I would say that the actual answer is perfectly mundane in all its parts (containing no bizarre city ordinances, for instance), but still far more convoluted as a whole than your first guess.

Posted by: Dianna at November 21, 2007 09:09 AM

I am walking out the door now to catch a cross-country flight, but: I have at least one interesting anecdote related to "paperless" offices from my work this summer, which I will relate when I have more time.

Posted by: Zach S. at November 21, 2007 09:22 AM

Hey! We never found out why you couldn't tally your books until you took remedial driver's ed! I demand closure!

Posted by: MoltenBoron at February 12, 2008 03:45 PM