Welcome, Snarky’s Machine!

kateiconThe other day, longtime commenter Arwen noticed something:


Oh, sorry. I got a bit excited there.

We did, too, when we first found Snarky’s blog, and after a couple of weeks of reading that and her smart, hilarious, ass-kicking comments here, we started wondering if she’d ever consider blogging for Shapely Prose. Unfortunately, we also read the “about” section over at her blog, which says:

Having been burnt out on online activism, ally jockeying, ally cookie distribution and watching the snoozefest which is oppression olympics, Snarky pretty much seeks to avoid attracting that kind of thing to her current blog. So please spare her your critiques of her politics, language or viewpoints, as she probably wrote theory behind your critiques on the internet two billion years ago.

And we thought, yeeeah, it figures we’d never get that lucky.

But then she kept being fucking awesome, and we finally decided nothing ventured, nothing gained. So we actually asked if she would ever consider writing for Shapely Prose, and Shapelings, SHE SAID YES! We have a new blogger!


Snarky’s been waiting patiently for two days while Fillyjonk drew the icon and I finished writing the mammoth post that went up right before this, though she’s already moderated a few comments for us, BLESS HER FUCKING HEART.

Now all that’s left to do before she starts gracing this place with her fabulousness is add her bio to the “About” page here:

Snarky’s Machine is a writer, storyteller, blacademic and rabid Barney Miller fan who wrote her first short story at the tender age of nine. She can’t recall the specifics of the story, but it rocked. Currently, she writes grants and presents workshops on a host of pop culture-y, diversity and writing topics and doesn’t mind being paid in delicious cupcakes. (Sometimes.) Her work has been featured in Bitch and couple of other places she can’t actually remember. Snarky received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in 2007 and can be contacted at

Welcome, Snarky’s Machine! We could not be more thrilled to have you.

102 thoughts on “Welcome, Snarky’s Machine!”

  1. HORRAY!!!!! I love love love snarkysmachine’s comments, and I cannot wait to read her posts here! Big congrats!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Yaayyyyy! Welcome, SnarkyMachine (eek, Sweet machine you’re right, I can’t call you both SM). I’m so excited to have you here!

  3. HOORAAAAAYYYY!!!! This is very exciting. X3 Hmm, I guess we’ll have to call you guys SweetM and SnarkysM? Or Sweet and Snarky (my favorite kind of sauce ;D )?

  4. My Mr. Machine said, “I wonder how the Mr. Machines will be differentiated?” Clearly, a man with his priorities in order!

    Thank you for the warm welcome! I’m really excited to be here!

  5. I too would like to add my welcome to the pile :)

    Snarkysmachine, I only noticed your blog today (after reading your awesome comments in another thread), and I am so looking forward to hearing more from you!

    And I will close with: YAY!

  6. I started wishing Snarky Machine would be a co-blogger by about her third comment (or maybe second) so… YAY! It’s very nice to have you here Snarky Machine!

  7. Moooshy…mooshy…mooshy…

    Hah! I used to stay up “late” with my dad and watch Barney Miller every chance I could, but I haven’t seen it in years. Good times.

  8. Woot! Snarky’s Machine is teh awesome. I’m looking forward to her posts.

    And in general, this blog continues to rock my face off. Thanks to all the bloggers for your hard work!

  9. Maybe Sweet Machine should go back to adding the title “Grewcock’s Sportive” to her name. I always got a good chuckle when I saw that on screen.

    Topic: This is very awesome news. I always enjoy reading Snarky’s Machine’s comments.

  10. I’ve been calling Snarky’s Machine “Snarkys,” which I know breaks out of the initials trend for the pseudonymous SP bloggers but which has the advantage of looking like it could be a type of Dr. Seuss creature.

    Also, tell Mr. Snarkys he means “the Misters Machine.”

    You guys, however awesome Snarkys has been in comments, she is even more awesome behind the scenes. Which means you guys have some really exciting things in store. I would happily read, like, her shopping list or her calculus notes.

  11. yay! Snarky is here! I’m very excited about this. I’ve been accidentally stalking Snarky from OKCupid forums to here…she always has something rad to say.

  12. Welcome to the blog!

    I don’t read very many blogs anymore so I was never able to find my way to yours, but I am still very excited to read what you want to say on this one. :)

  13. Yay! I like your words! I like this blog! I’m going to go check out your other words at your other blog! YAY GOOD WORDS BLOGS!

  14. Yay! It couldn’t have happened to a more made-of-awesome shapeling. A shapeling made of more awesome. A made of more awesome shapeling. You get the point.
    (I vote for “Sweet & Snarky”, btw.)

  15. Just wanted to chime in with my excitement at another awesome writer joining the cabal–excited to have another super articulate wordsmith at one of my favorite internet places!

  16. Oh shit!!! The first time I noticed Snarkysmachine on here I got into a fight with. Shortly following that I developed a crush on her along with apparently everyone else who reads the comments here so let me just say that I am excited!!! She has a lot of little saying that I have been stealing and using myself lately and I would love some more to steal and to get to read more brilliance!! Did I use too many excalmation points?!?!! I don’t think I used enough!

  17. Oh shit!!! The first time I noticed Snarkysmachine on here I got into a fight with.

    The way that thread went down was one of the things that made us sit up and go “Hello there awesome person” behind the scenes. So, uh, thanks for having a fight? :-)

  18. I would happily read, like, her shopping list or her calculus notes.

    That might be the only hope my lady-brain would have in understanding calculus!

  19. We didn’t even need to convince her! We just had to actually ask her, instead of fretting amongst ourselves about how she would never want to do it.

    Actually, there were shades of when Kate originally asked me and SM to write for her. We couldn’t believe such a cool person was asking, and she thought we were too cool to say yes!

  20. I’m always willing to help out through fighting, I guess? :) I have to say, how she handled herself in that thread was pretty impressive, I think it definitely shows that on top of everything else, she can handle modding.

    So, like when is her first post going to be?!?!

  21. I am so out of the commenting loop, I just had no idea so much wonderful was happening. I’m super excited to read your posts, Snarky’s Machine!

  22. Wow, that’s awesome! Congrats and welcome Snarky’s Machine! I love the whole Machine family thing you guys have going now. =) Can’t wait to read your stuff.

  23. Also, I’m feeling very humbled from the setdown Snarkys gave me on a recent thread. I’m still in a very submissive don’t-pick-fights-make-everyone-like-you place and so I get the anxieties when I find out I’ve said something someone disagrees with. I’m hoping to be able to hold my own on this blog someday, but it has not yet happened. So thanks, Snarkys, for challenging my legal spewing. That’s what I do these days, btw, I spew the law because that’s all I eat, breathe, and think. And if I’m going to be a lawyer I need to get out of previously stated place and learn to hold my ground. I guess. ;)

  24. Welcome snarky!!!!

    Btw, totally off topic so delete this if u feel it’s too random… But a few days ago Oprah interviewed Charla Nash, the woman mauled by a chimp. Ms. Nash can’t eat any solids, her face is completely destroyed. And Oprah actually said to her, “at least you’ll keep your weight down”.

    I’ve really been wishing someone would blog about that! Or at least be as shocked as I was.

    (This was after Ms. Nash said that even when she doesn’t feel good, she pushes herself to walk. She was talking about rehabilitation for her body but of course Oprah thought in terms of fitness/weightloss and said “well then I really have no excuse”… Yeah, Oprah, it’s not about you. But the weight comment really threw me over the edge and I haven’t seen anybody respond to it so I thought I’d put it out there in a random comment.)

  25. Uh, strangely enough, Snarky’s also uses the term “Grewcock’s Sportive” at the end of her ‘full’ blog name. So much for THAT being a distinctive characteristic.

  26. Ugh, I went to check out S. Machine’s blog and the first thing I noticed was a mention of Kate’s Broadsheet writing with a note about how horrible the comments are. Because I am a giant masochist with no self control, I then spent an hour reading the comments on all the most recent columns.

    In conclusion, I hate everybody.


  27. I would happily read, like, her shopping list or her calculus notes.

    Wait, did you say calculus notes!? Because OMG that’s AWESOME! A writer with snarkysmachine’s talent for witty prose applied to the austere beauty that is derivatives (well, not the financial kind) and integrals is full of WIN!

    And, should I return regularly to find no calculus notes, I will not weep. The FA, the feminism, and the community commentary (so lovingly moderated, for which my gratitude is deep) will keep me coming back. Thanks.

  28. Hi, this is my first comment to this blog. I’m not a long-time reader, I actually just found this blog yesterday and I’ve been perusing through the posts. I’m really interested though, and I thought I would say hello.

    To make this a little more meaningful, my current experience with the Fat Acceptance movement is minimal. I was lucky enough to be raised by parents who believed that we could be heathy, even if doctors decided to label us overweight. I’m currently at a weight where, in the United States, I wouldn’t be thought of as ‘fat’ at all.

    Unfortunately for my self esteem, I’m not in the United States. Last August I moved to South Korea for a teaching job. Before I moved here, I was feeling really great about myself. I’m at basically the ideal weight for my body (which is certainly not the ideal weight for everyone else’s body). Since I’ve been here, I’ve been forced headfirst into dealing with problems that fat people in America must deal with all the time. Clothes don’t fit me, even one-size-fits-all. People point at me, and store managers come up to tell me that I need to lose weight before I can shop there.

    I’ve lost even more weight since I’ve been in Korea, mostly because I don’t care much for Korean food and I’m only eating one or two meals a day. It’s not an intentional plan, and I really don’t think it’s a healthy way to live. I’ve gotten so many positive responses and pats on the head for my weight loss that I really want to scream. I was fine before!

    In a year I’m going back to the US, as a FA supporter. It’s complete crap that fat people are treated this way. It’s also opened my eyes to how culturally influenced our ideas of ‘fat’ are. Most of the women at my office are on strict diets, even though they’re anorexically thin. I hope that I can learn enough from this blog to help people become aware that sizeism is not okay. Even when it’s positive, like a comment about how much weight I’m losing, it makes me angry.

  29. To Nina – People point at you? Oh heavens to betsy, I’d have to leave Korea the very same day. I literally couldnt cope with it, how bloody rude. I don’t understand this at all when dealing with cultural differences – surely everyone all over the world knows pointing and drawing attention to another person is just rude.
    Wow – Nina, you must have balls of steel. Sending you some serious respect, and making a mental note to strike Korea off the relaxing city break list.

  30. I have to say that when I first noticed that Snarkysmachine’s name linked to a blog, I went over, read her bio, and thought, “I wonder if Kate wants another coblogger? Because SHE IS MADE OF AWESOME.”

    But, having no standing with anyone about the matter, I just thought it to myself. I think it was the description of the ‘zombie playa’ that made me fall in blogger-love.

  31. Nina, I had the same experience in Japan. I also had people openly comment on the size of my breasts and feet. Sigh. My advice, if you want it, is to try to ignore as much as you can (because it isn’t going to change), get through your contract, and try to enjoy the cool parts of being a foreigner – see the sights and whatnot. Also, if people point, try walking towards them. Scary!

  32. WELCOME SNARKY!!! I’m really excited now, I love reading your comments and your lovely turns of phrase :)

    BTW – Asia’s like that. There are some things about China I love, but I can’t stand living there nowadays and it’s one of the reasons I’ve decided not to work there. In China as a US size 6 I’ve been getting diet tips from store clerks with disturbing frequency (Beijing people are not exactly known for tact), not to mention a hilarious amount of “you must eat hamburgers and steak all the time” from all my Chinese relatives etc etc. It’s a nightmare for me to shop for clothes in China, some of the stores won’t even let me past the door (they have a way of saying “mei xi” which means “no hope”, since I wear an XL in China and a lot of the smaller stores only carry up to a Chinese M, which is about a US zero). It must be even more nightmarish for foreigners who don’t look Asian, since they’d stand out for a lot more than just physical size. Then again, foreigners are expected to be fat for some reason, whereas my fatness is embarrassing the Chinese race or something LOL :)

  33. WOO HOO!

    I’ve been calling Snarky’s Machine “Snarkys”

    When I lived in Mexico ages ago there were a number of ways to make a person’s name into a pet name, and ending the name with “is” (or “ys”) was the absolutely sweetest, most affectionate way.

  34. Hrm.

    Sweet Machine
    Snarky’s Machine

    I’m sensing an imminent takeover of SP by a steampunk cult.

    Possibly one that also worships lemurs.

    Bearing cupcakes.

    (welcome snarkys! :)

  35. Nice! Now I get to hear more from my favourite commenter! I haven’t been here long, but I can see this blog is just getting better and better!

  36. I for one welcome our new Deathless Prose Overlord.

    Welcome Snarkys!

    Also, welcome Nina, we love new allies!

    But I’m still furious about that douche Stupak and his troglodyte amendment.

    Wait, we have no idea what troglodytes were really like, and odds are they were devoted feminists compared to Nancy Pelosi.

    If we don’t have the right to bodily autonomy, we don’t have any rights.

  37. Oh yay! Welcome Snarky! I’m so glad I no longer have to visit the terrible OKC forums to read what you write… :D

    Man, how did we do it all that time? I suspect those dudes are still bitching about being deceived by seekrit interwebz fatties!

  38. Yes, living in South Korea as a fat person can be pretty brutal, but it’s not really a lot different from living in SK as just a regular old non-Asian as far as human interaction goes. People point. People follow me around. At one point, I was checking out prices at a massive big-box superstore, turned around, and found some middle-aged guy leaning into me like a Disney World mascot, holding his fingers up in a cheery peace sign, while his friend snapped a pic on his cell phone. What. The. Hell. It absolutely sucks that I can’t buy clothes anywhere, ever, except maaaaaaybe in Itaewon if I’m super lucky (as an in-betweenie I’m a conceivable version of gargantuan — the truly fat NSETs I know have found, between them, a couple of T-shirts and a fleece over two years in Seoul), but it’s just Asia. The casual racism abounds.

    I’m somewhat more concerned about the sometimes less-casual racism against non-white Westerners. Some areas are not bad. I know one Black NSET who’s doing fine here, and the hero-worship of the ever-so-exotic Obama is usually not creepy. There’s a whole lot of middle-ground appalling stuff — in the grade 3 “I like apples” unit, the black kid in the materials doesn’t like *fish* (that’s for Minsu); he likes *fried chicken,* and middle-schoolers who see a Black face in a video or PowerPoint are about equally likely to yell “dirty!” or “Obama!” And then there are the occasional stories from POC NSETs who won’t go out drinking anymore in unfamiliar places, even surrounded by friends, because they feel, after an experience or two with xenophobic assholes, that the danger to them specifically is too great. I hate being the fat freak show, but I’ve yet to be threatened by a bunch of overly soju-ed recently-ex-military kids.

  39. This is most excellent. I only discovered this blog a couple of weeks ago, and have been too busy going through the archives to add any additional blogs to my list, although Fugitivus and Shakesville and Snarky’s Machine have all been bookmarked “to come back to.” But now I can get a regular dose of Snark without having to go to all that trouble of clicking a link!

    DRST: I’m sensing an imminent takeover of SP by a steampunk cult.

    Possibly one that also worships lemurs.

    Bearing cupcakes.

    Okay, I’m having a modifier-assignment problem here. Are we worshiping lemurs while bearing cupcakes, or worshiping lemurs that bear cupcakes? I’m okay either way, just need to know if I should start baking. (Also, I think lemurs might have a hard time getting the frosting out of their fur. Maybe we should eat the cupcakes instead.)

  40. I dunno Snarky… I realized after a while that it was making me depressed, though, so I swore I’d never go back. And yes, I’m sure they’re probably still talking about it. Fat chicks are the most interesting thing to talk about when a bitter dude finally realizes that nobody “hot” wants to touch his wiener.

  41. Wait, did you say calculus notes!? Because OMG that’s AWESOME!

    Oh, they were hypothetical calculus notes. (Though I don’t know, Snarkys may be aces at calculus! We are still getting to know each other, and I like her more and more all the time.) Shinobi is a statistician, if you’re aching for a blog with potential math content.

  42. Oh, they were hypothetical calculus notes.

    I figured, but there was a moment of sheer joy at the thought that I couldn’t resist acknowledging publicly. I’m content to leave the maths out.

    Also, thanks for the link. :)

  43. Now I’m having fantasies about a little trained lemur that can bring me a cupcakes whenever I want one. He’d have one of those little vests that mark him as a service animal so that I can bring him and his satchel of cupcakes everywhere I go.

    Oh, and I’ll add my yippee! to the chorus welcoming Snarky’s Machine.

  44. to all re: calc notes

    I index card just about everything. Physics notes, gratitude lists, shopping lists, nominees for the head clown at the assclown rodeo. (Michael Steele is ’09’s leading nom)

  45. Nina, welcome! From another recent delurker. It’s awesome that you’re here, and I have much sympathy for your story. I did want to make a small comment on word choice, though–

    “Most of the women at my office are on strict diets, even though they’re anorexically thin. I hope that I can learn enough from this blog to help people become aware that sizeism is not okay.”

    “Anorexically thin” is a totally understandable thing to be thinking in that situation, but I’m not sure it’s the description you’re looking for. We can’t know they have an ED from their size, and you probably wouldn’t be casual about it if they did. I think you already get that, which is why I quoted the next sentence, too, but it seemed worth mentioning.

    Side note on the thread: I’m not super comfortable with saying “it’s just Asia,” even when we are discussing systemic, widely attested phenomena. It’s not a monolith, you know?

    On topic: WOO snarkysmachine! What a brilliant further embiggening of shapely prose!

  46. Side note on the thread: I’m not super comfortable with saying “it’s just Asia,” even when we are discussing systemic, widely attested phenomena. It’s not a monolith, you know?

    Thanks for that, Siwangmu. I’m just catching up on comments, and I’m glad someone made that point.

  47. You are welcome! (That’s the civilized version of moderator thanked me squeeee) I’m very relieved that I was neither alone in my thinking nor out of line in expressing it. I sincerely love that this is a place where we can express respectful disagreement and have it actually mean something and/or get resolved because everyone has good intentions (see for example the edifying short-lived dustup between snarkysmachine and alibelle–Topic!)

  48. I love that Snarky’s Machine came onboard officially on my mom’s birthday. Welcome, you awesome purveyor of awesomeness!

  49. Yippee to the addition of Snarky’s Machine!!! I also have to say that I LOVE the drawing that I believe Fillyjonks did for your “profile” picture. It turned out beautifully! :)Congrats again!!!

  50. Whoa, a ‘rabid Barney Miller fan!’ That makes me feel so much saner as a ‘rabid Monkees fan’ myself. I mean for serious and for true.

    See, even the incidental stuff here is healing. (And make no mistake, that is, bottom line, what this site is.)

    Not to mention, OMG SNARKY’SMACHINE is here! Yay!!! It’s like Santa actually brought us that pony!

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