Sunday, January 18, 2009 

The Wood Rat (Bastard Bitch)

One of my favorite Taos stories involves these rather cute little rodents who build nests out of pine needles and what counts as brush where they hoard pinon pine nuts and sparkly things they may happen to come across.

I don't really undestand wood rat psychology, but it appears that these little guys either have a rather skewed bartering system or a severe case of OCD -- whenever they take something that shines they leave something in its place.

This is important to note, because when staying in the forest in Taos on the SMU campus we are urged to keep the doors to the casitas closed at all times so that local wildlife (such as raccoons as big as goat dogs) don't wander in and wreak havoc. During one summer term an affluent student left a pair of diamond stud earrings in on the bathroom counter, a space she was sharing with about ten other women.

After returning from brunch at the town square, she discovered that one of her earrings had been stolen. She indulged in several minutes of accusations and finger pointing, and took her complaint to the gentleman who runs the summer programs on campus. She was dismayed when he chuckled and asked her, "Was there by chance a pebble placed next to the other earring?"

I felt a similar sense of futility and humor when the glass guy was vacuuming up all the breakaway bits and handed me a huge rock that he found in the passenger seat. "This thing yours?"

It is now.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 

at work after a morning with jill, the brilliant punster who consumes large quantities of milk, bellydances for fun, and is one outstanding actress who hails from chicago these days.*

i showed her the changing skyline of dallas and we hit a couple of old favorite haunts (if purchasing hummus and banging on damon's door can be considered such) while catching up. she is a part of a vibrant community of creative folk who, among other things, have their own theater company.

it had not occurred to me to consider the effects of the economic downturn on the arts in any detail. so many artists of any bent rely on day jobs (and certainly night jobs in much of the service industry) to sustain them so that they may pursue their art.

just a thought.

Friday, January 09, 2009 

post-atheism: a definition of sorts

The adoption of the term post-atheist as a self-description springs from a determination to name myself. I had a conversation with my cousin Todd over the holidays last year (he's a brilliant geneticist who I do not get to see too often) and he asked why I didn't just use the term "agnostic."

First, that term is often misused and misunderstood. It carries with it some cultural understandings that do not apply to the strict definition of the word.

After a period of rather pointed, barbed atheism (what theyblinked referred to as my fundamentalist atheism), I discovered that it was arrogant and off-putting to simply exchange one fundamentalism for another.

One reason I've been uncomfortable with the term "atheist" is that it involves identifying oneself negatively in regard to the other. It establishes and validates the other as the norm. Attempts of atheists to rename themselves have thus far been lackluster (any one remember the Brights?). All of this said, I did identify as such, so as I pursue a more nuanced theory of the creeping metaphysic and allow space for the mystery, "post-atheist" seems like the most appropriate term.


In addition, I am enamored of the connotations that the prefix "post" contains. The term "post" indicates that something has come before, that this thing is a part of one's personal contingency that cannot be effaced. I am post-"many things" -- it just so happens that atheism is the most recent and pertinent. I still consider myself a self deconstructing text (like all texts). I'm definitely post-Christian. All of that is kind of personal history business that may or may not be of interest. (For me the theoretical is inextricably tied to one's experience -- I am by default contingently interested in theory.)

So why post-atheism? It does not shut down the possibility of the mystery (to borrow process theologians' languagwe), the oceanic (see Freud and otr psychoanalysts*), metaphysics of varying degrees, etc. Even for staunchly atheist thinkers such as Richard Rorty one can detect a "creeping metaphysic" (I'm working on tweaking a paper on the the creeping metaphysic in his work).

Labels are always already inadequate pieces of shorthand, but as we are linguistic creatures (see how even that word presupposes a creator?) it behooves us --well, me, anyway-- to select carefully the language we use. The term post-atheist is an honest attempt at self-description. That I still eschew invisible sky king religion riles some people up. The contingeny, identity, social location, whathaveyou, that is particular to the person Shanna Caughey can bewilder some (especially some of my peers at Perkins School of Theology, where I'm pursuing a Masters in Theological Studies). My motivation for pursuing this degree is another topic, and I have thai food to plan out, purchase, and cook....

**I found this while poking around the internet this morning


Turning 30!

Per usual, several friends will be gathering at the Meridian Room on my birthday. (I am so utterly thrilled that the place is open again.)

Saturday, January 24 from 7PM to ?

Sunday, January 04, 2009 

i don't know if i just realized that i am a girl of sorts, or that i spend too much on beauty products.

either way, i am livid. every last bit of my makeup is gone. gone. i will not embarrass myself by telling you how much that little bag of colors and brushes and such was worth.


the bastard bitch had better be enjoying my timberland luggage

after visiting gran in the hospital (which involved even more driving all the hell across texas -- i clocked in over 1000 miles this holiday) i tucked HAL into his spot by the condo and curled into bed, exhausted.

the morning did not start so well.

we should post a memo to those who spend their evenings engaging in theft:
if you are going to break into a car, please do so with courtesy. act like a gentleman -- knock in a side window and unlock the doors. do not smash in the hatch and crawl through the back like some kind of heathen! seriously.


missing items:

toiletries (those of you who know me well know what a blow this is)
ipod (i know -- this was a stupid move on my part)
thingy that allows the ipod to play over the radio
my favorite pants
my new years' outfit of glory
flip flops
my new suitcase. i loved that suitcase.
contact lenses
my favorite shirt that brandon left me when he moved ~8 years ago

oh. and glass that costs more to fix than the miles i clocked over the holidays.

i hope the ass was disappointed when he opened the stolen suitcase only to find some philosophy and dirty clothes.

i'm taking a breath and watching my favorite SNL clip. fast fwd past the map and goldfish bits to the financial analyst. i wonder if i love oscar rogers so much because he's just a tad more anxious than i tend to be?!

tomorrow morning when i have my bowl of whole grain cheerios the morning paper better read that it's been fixed!