Saturday, October 29, 2005

B-I-N-G-O and Bingo Was His Name-O

Oh, tired. Is money really worth all the tired that photo gigs bring on? It does buy me toys though, and I like toys.

Yesterday, when our troubles seemed so far away, you guys kicked much tushie and got even the toughies. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore that you all know to think about musicals for my bonus questions. Harumph.

Special super double plus good points to luckybuzz for getting the Southern Man – Sweet Home Alabama connection, but again, a wonderful turn of phrase always deserves notice and zerodoll’s quote wins the day – “crazy jihadist yusaf islam (or the fabulous incomparable sexy cat stevens)”

Poor Yusaf, he’s got such bad press…

Of course, Jayfish can win over everyone at any time if he can come up with a recording of American Pie by Don McMuffin. Or, frankly, if he gets me a pie. No McMuffins, thanks – they’re scary.

Ok! Into the fuuuuuture with more oldish tunes! There are some twists and turns here - I was listening to a lot of odd stuff today...

#1 – umm… I thought I knew this artist, but now I’m not so sure.

We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels cross the floor
I was feeling kind of seasick
The crowd called out for more

He got the action, he got the motion
Oh yeah, the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

#3 – super short! (but you still should be able to get it :) )

Looking out on the morning rain

#4 –

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?

#5 -

Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues

#6 – the twists begin!

if I could have anything in the world for free
I wouldn't share it with anyone else but me


All your life you've never seen
A woman-taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven
Will you ever win...

#8 -

We hiked along without care.
Then we ran into a bear!
He was a hairy bear!
He was a scary bear!

#9 -

There are times when all the world's asleep,
the questions run too deep
for such a simple man.

#10 -

He says his name's William but I'm sure
he's Bill or Billy or Mac or Buddy
And he's plain ugly to me

And the Bonus! (deliciously hard – bwahahaa)

I can't pay the bills yet,
'Cause I have no skills yet,
The world is a big scary place.
But somehow I can't shake,
The feeling I might make,
A difference,
To the human race.

Osmosical Algernon

Guh.  Fer for ours eye graided S.A.’s.  Eye hav two stopp nowe beecuz eye kant u’s mi brane Annie moor.  Hoo wood hav thot Hi-er edukaton wuz sew lo?

Dear Chucklehead,

I don't want to slap a big 'F' on your paper. Please meet me halfway by having an epiphany. and a point. and a V8. and a spellchecker.
And this remote control.
The ashtray, the paddle game and the remote control.
That's all Chucklehead needs.
(points for the movie reference)

Lunchtime Book Club

I don’t allow myself to read academic books while I eat, because otherwise I’d never read anything but academic books. So, anyway I finished off Jane Eyre (yes, I hadn’t read it before, get off my back, and those stalkers out there can cross off ‘English Lit’ from their lists of my possible fields – as if my prose weren’t proof enough there.) and I was looking for another book. I danced on the line of my rule by getting a fairly well-reviewed mass market book written by a quite popular mass market author that examines something in my field. I figured it would be interesting to see what people outside of the field might pick up and learn if they were moderately interested in the subject.

Oh, my.

Granted I’m only two chapters in, but this is a very problematic book – very biased. The author is also doing the world no favors by making the book look very well-researched and very academic – ‘You can trust me! I’ve been to libraries from around the world!

A basic example would be, in talking about an important person, the author says: “X was schooled here, and had such and such a background. He was connected to Y in this way. It’s easy to see that he was a cruel heartless bastard who ate the flesh off of his newborn children and hated puppies. His teachers all said he was quite gifted.”

I guess this proves I can’t go back and be a regular person anymore. Higher education has corrupted my soul.

Life's Little Questions: Redux

Remember how I was wondering why women would want 'Juicy' printed on their butts?

Well, I admit that I thought I was being a typical mind-in-the-gutter guy, but today I saw another 'Juicy Butt.' I should add parenthetically that I am not trying to increase my Google hits by typing 'Juicy Butt.'

So I saw this one today, and it was even more clear. This butt proudly proclaimed:

"Juicy Love"

um... ick.

Is there something I'm missing here? Some clever or deep truth? I admit it took me forever to figure out the 'Vote for Pedro' thing. Granted, I still think it's inane, but at least there's an attempt at a 'funny' reference, but Juicy Love?

Obey the Sign

From: here

Friday, October 28, 2005

I Almost Forgot:

You can watch Yoda dance, if you need to.

Thanks to Jayfish's Link-O-Rama

99 Luft-Lyrics

Ah, Mendi-la thought we got them all, but there was one lonely song we missed… Lonely #5 Player – Baby Come Back.

Ok, I admit it, that was kind of cruel, but, well, I’m cruel. :)

Phantom Scribbler again earns bonus points – this time for the phrase ‘patron saint of the recently dumped.’

More bonus points to luckybuzz and Mendi-la for excellent clapping skills! It's almost imposible for me to hear that song without clapping. It makes bike-riding with the MP3 player a bit risky.

Hmm, start out with some odd tunes. Don’t sorry, oh 80s fans, I haven’t forsaken you completely, I’m just on a different station for awhile.


better keep your head
Don't forget
what your good book said


Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth

#3 - Bonus points for as many cover-artists as you can name

One day up near Salinas, lord, I let him slip away,
He’s looking for that home and I hope he finds it,


Now I understand what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps, they'll listen now

#5 - Bonus points for the singer's current name (Is that too big of a hint?)

Now I've been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating, why can't we live in bliss

#6 - Tough lyric, wacky movie

Once in your life you find her
Someone that turns your heart around
And next thing you know you're closing down the town
Wake up and it's still with you
Even though you left her way across town
Wondering to yourself, "Hey, what've I found?"

#7 - This is one of the few songs I can sing almost completly without the music (excepting songs from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Hey, I told you guys I was pathetic. Didn't you believe me?)

I'm so sad and lonely, sad and lonely
Won't some sweet mama come and take a chance with me
’Cause I ain't so bad


One foot on the brake and one on the gas, hey!
Well, there's too much traffic, I can't pass, no!

#9 - I always thought this line was hilarious

Ah, you reach down, between my legs,
Ease the seat back.

#10 - Um. Creepy?

Seemed like he knew me - he looked right through me, yeah
"Come on home, girl" he said with a smile
"you don't have to love me yet, let's get high awhile”

Bonus Song! In googling this one, I found that there's a new version - interesting.. :)

I could flirt with all the guys, smile at them and bat my eyes
Press against them when we dance, make them think they stand a chance
Then refuse to see it through, that's a thing I'd never do

Gimme a 'G!'

Wow.  I didn’t think it would be possible to have two portions of my life, one for 4 hours and another for 3 hours be dedicated to grading and yet not have any grading get done.  I should clarify.  I had a meeting last night to build a rubric for the essays that another TA and I are grading.  The other TA is new to the TA world, and a bit apprehensive of the task.  The TA is very competent, but very tentative about judging the students’ work.  So, rubric built, we move on to the meeting today with the prof about grading standards.  

It’s strange.  I’ve discovered that I’ve begun to grade with my gut.  I’ll read a paper and mark it up and feel that it’s a ‘C’ paper.  When we break it down, I’m still confident that I’ve given a good grade, and I can defend it if need be, but I don’t have to have a checklist of modular grading standards.  

For example, it’s vital that the thesis is clear and good, but I can’t say that “unclear thesis = C”, “clear thesis = B”, “clear and good thesis = A”

I don’t want to say that my grading is completely subjective, but I can’t, or at least feel uncomfortable trying to make it a mechanical process of numbers and checkboxes.  

I’m really happy that the other TA feels more comfortable grading now, and I don’t think the time was ill-spent.  I certainly learned a lot about grading from both the TA and the prof, but at the same time, I could have graded a lot of papers in that time.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sing, Damn You, Sing!

Heheh- the 70’s are tougher, aren’t they? Bwahaha…

Old business:

#1 – it is the Carpenters – Yesterday Once More

#2 – Mendi-la got half credit, Afternoon Delight – The Starland Vocal Band! Ok, I would have been a little scared if someone did know the name of that band.

#4 – C’mon, can’t you sing with me? My little Runaway, my run-run-run-run-run-runaway – Del Shannon.

Update! As I was typing this, Jayfish comes in with the correct answer for #4! Woohoo!

Phantom Scribbler, actually, I think I should have had a bonus question for how many people have covered Proud Mary. Hehe

Now, down to the business of digging out useless pieces of knowledge!


The morning sun when it’s in your face really shows your age
But that don’t worry me none in my eyes you’re everything
I laughed at all of your jokes my love you didn’t need to coax


I don't know where I'm going
Only God knows where I've been
I'm a devil on the run
A six gun lover
A candle in the wind


It's getting near dawn,
When lights close their tired eyes.
I'll soon be with you my love,
To give you my dawn surprise.


I got up to wash my face
When I come back to bed
Someone’s taken my place


Now that I put it all together
Give me the chance to make you see
Have you used up all the love in your heart
Nothing left for me, ain't there nothing left for me

#6 – bonus points if you clap at the right time

They headed down to old El Paso
That's where they ran into a great big hassle


She's turning on the heat
She's got the magic touch
She's turning on the heat
And it's a little too much


Got a surprise especially for you,
Something that both of us have always wanted to do.
We've waited so long, waited so long.


It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying' hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart,
And I spent oh so many nights
Just feeling sorry for myself. I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high


But if this ever changing world
In which we live in
Makes you give in and cry

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Musical Trevor!

The previous misses! #2 – Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me (c’mon now!) #7 – The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry (granted, tough lyric)

Oh, hehe – the bonus song was “Dance Ten, Looks Three” from A Chorus Line

Ok, we’re going to be going a little further back today…


Every Sha-la-la-la
Every Wo-o-wo-o
Still shines
Every shing-a-ling-a-ling
That they're starting to sing's so fine.


Rubbing sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite
and the thought of rubbing you is getting so exciting.


The weekend at the college
Didn't turn out like you planned
The things that pass for knowledge
I can't understand


I'm a-walkin' in the rain
Tears are fallin' and I feel the pain
Wishin' you were here by me
To end this misery


In a couple of days they come and take me away
But the press let the story leak
And when the radical priest come to get me released
We was all on the cover of Newsweek


Johnny-come-lately, the new kid in town,
Will she still love you when you’re not around?


’cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be


I have waited a lifetime
Spent my time so foolishly
But now that I’ve found you
Together we’ll make history


If you come down to the river,
Bet you gonna find some people who live.
You don’t have to worry ’cause you have no money,
People on the river are happy to give.


Just keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings
Fly high and proud
And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all

If We've Got a Prof, Why Do We Have to Read the Text Too?

Whew.  Just finished the classes.  Today was the ‘professor visits the discussion’ day.  Three sections in a row.  

The basics of the classes go thusly:  First section: some people did the readings.  Second section: A few people did the readings.  Third section: I think maybe there was one student who did some of the readings.  

Ok, I exaggerate, but that’s how it felt.  We did have a major test this week, so I expected low readership, and planned accordingly, but I wanted to keep a little reading pressure going, so I pushed them on it a bit.  Happily, the professor mentioned that he was impressed that I got so much good discussion out of the last group, “considering that nobody did the readings.”  

Now, here’s the thing, I feel guilty that they didn’t do the readings.  I think it reflects poorly on me as an instructor.  I know there’s only so much I can do, and those who never read probably aren’t going to see the light thanks to me, but I think they should.  So I still feel kinda crappy.  I’m already giving reading quizzes pretty regularly.  I’ve asked, and though they say the readings are a sometimes dull, they aren’t hard.  There should be something more I could do to get them reading, right?  

Quick Question

What is the point of the little triangle of fabric on the back of butt-floss panties? Seems like a waste to me...

(I ask because the woman who just sat in front of me in the cafe was thoughtful enough to show her lingerie choice to the world.)

Can you tell I should be grading?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stop. Quiz Time.

You guys tore through that one – led by the freakishly early rising Jayfish. I do have to admit to Phantom Scribbler that I haven’t seen Zoom in… maybe 20-some years? I do remember the song happily though :)

Alright, hopefully a little harder here, and maybe not all from the 80s (but let’s face it, most of them will be, ‘cause that’s still where my station is tuned)


Laying out another lie
Thinkin' 'bout a life of crime
'Cos that's what I'll have to do
To keep me away from you

#2 umm, what's a 'radar phone?'

Love is like a bomb, baby, c'mon get it on
Livin' like a lover with a radar phone


If you are the desert
I'll be the sea
If you ever hunger -
Hunger for me

#4 – I think this one is really tough

The wolf is hungry
He runs to show
He's licking his lips
He's ready to win
On the hunt tonight
For love at first sting

#5 – followed by a really easy one

I'm heavenly blessed
And worldly wise
I'm a peeping tom techie
With X-ray eyes


You know, the boys in the newsroom got a
Running bet
Get the widow on the set!


I would break down at your feet
And beg forgiveness
Plead with you
But I know that
It's too late
And now there's nothing I can do


I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain


Lying in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say


Wish I knew what you were looking for.
Might have known what you would find.


Tits and ass
Bought myself a fancy pair,
tighten up that derriere
Keep the nose with it, all that goes with it

Words You Never Wanted To Hear

From the BBC's photo contest:(last picture on the page)

"At that moment, there must have been about 200 toads in the water and they were mating with my fingers - they were so horny. The males are searching for any movement and every time I moved my hands the males would go for them," Ruben recalled.

What Overread Wants, He Gets

Scrivener sets everyone straight about the needs meme.  We didn’t even do it right, folks!  We’re supposed to do wants and gets too!  So get hopping!

Overread wants:
  • it stated that ALL bikes welcome on every road [True enough.  Next we’ll get rid of those nasty cars…

  • light-colored cabinets that are simple in design [well, ok..., I guess that’d be nice…]

  • to feel power and control with the gun. [No.  He doesn’t.  I did the army thing.  I’m out.  You can’t get me back in.  Unless it’s a video game.  Somebody’s got to get rid of the zombies.]

  • to get back with Jessie [Was I ever with Jesse?  Could someone remind me?  It sounds like something I might have enjoyed.]

  • Spicy Noodles. [Yes!  Finally one I can really get behind!]

  • TO TOUCH IT.  [Spicy Noodles?  Um. No thank you.]

  • a jelly bean [I don’t think that would go with the spicy noodles, but I’ll save it for later.]

  • Everyone to Know Star Trek Rules. [No, I want everyone to learn capitalization rules.  Capitalization rules, man!]

Ok, now let’s see what Overread gets:

  • Corrected [Well, that’s no surprise.]

  • lectured [This isn’t turning out well…]

  • Burned! [C’mon now!]

  • in the way [True enough, I guess.]

  • Tantric [Now we’re talking!]

  • a call from the Secret Service [They want to know about the tantric stuff, I’m sure.]

  • hot sauce in the eye. [damn noodles.]

  • his hair analyzed and styled [I don’t even know how that would work.]

  • shaved [That would make the previous one easier]

  • close to the stars [ooo… How close?  Did they hear from the Secret Service?]

  • hair again [What is with the hair thing?]


(Pardon the delay- the internets are fickle)

Very well done O, quizzical testers (Beware dangerous spoonerisms!) Bonus points indeed to knightjorge for picking up Mr. Lehrer’s Tango, and a special Whoopee! to steph who was able to bridge the 90’s Pop/Classic Rock Divide - but no less praise is due to everyone.

Missing tunes were: #2 CSN&Y, Love The One You’re With, #5 Lemon Pipers, Green Tambourine (told you it was tough :) ), #6 The Cardigans, Lovefool and #10 MC Hammer, Can’t Touch This.

Now, be honest. Someone out there knew the MC Hammer one, but just didn’t want to admit it, right?

But, now, there is new work to be done back in the 80s:


Risin' up, straight to the top
Had the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive


Darkness on the edge
Shadows where I stand
I search for the time
On a watch with no hands


I know you
Were expecting a one night stand
When I refused
I knew you wouldn't understand


Well can’t you see me standing here,
I’ve got my back against the record machine
I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen.
Oh can’t you see what I mean ?


One that won't make me talk too much
Or make my face freak out


He wants me
but only part of the time
He wants me
if he can keep me in line


Listen to the music on the lake
to my heart break
every time she runs away


I remember searching for the perfect words
I was hoping you might change your mind
I remember a soldier sleeping next to me


Every girl wants you to be her man
But I'll wait my dear 'til it's my turn
I'm not the kind of girl who gives up just like that


Don't you try and pretend
It's my beginning
We'll win in the end
I won't harm you
Or touch your defenses

Monday, October 24, 2005


There’s something I’ve been working on for the past many years.  It’s very hard.  Today, someone came through the offices looking for help.  She asked if I could do that something.  I said yes. And you know what?  I did it.  

I may not be able to do it tomorrow, but I was able to today.

Reading Rainbow

I just put back a big chunk of one of the texts that we’re using for the class, and I have to say, it’s plain awful. There are uncountable problems from consistently (and, worse still, inconsistently) misspelled names to repetitions, to vague and/or unhelpful images to flat out inaccuracies.

One of the most glaring problems is that this edition of the text is supposed to be updated to include more on ‘Issue X,’ of which the author seems generally dismissive. Maybe he was forced to include because it’s a la mode now. In any case, he doesn’t give the issue its due. His treatment of Issue X is limited to a single paragraph tacked on at the end of each section, sometimes repeating what was already stated with marginally better clarity in the body of the section. Were I grading this, I might pass it with revisions, but with some very nasty comments.

Here’s the kicker. It’s still the best text out there. Gah!

The prof said that the big problem is that no one earns tenure brownie points by publishing a survey-course text, and of course, no one makes any money on it either. So we get stuck with this dross? We get to spend time in class fighting against the seeming rough draft written a night after a tequila and licorice stick bender? Yes, yes, we do.

At least we get to turn it into a lesson in critical reading.

Grading makes Overread cranky.

Another essay gem:

I realize it is football season, but things can ‘happen over time.’ If you are playing sports, they can “happen in overtime.” They don’t ‘happen overtime.’ I’ve been running into this one quite a bit. Is this a new problem?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I'm The Quaker Oats Man

I don’t know how you guys do it.  I just finished about 5 hours of straight grading and my brain is complete oatmeal.  
The sad thing is that there a good number of decent essays.  Those are no trouble at all, except for the time it takes to go through them and make encouraging noises in the right places and reinforce the dangers of possible trouble spots in others.  
Even the god-awful ones are at least amusing – and for those, it’s generally the same comments:  Get a thesis, dictionary, clue, not necessarily in that order.
It’s the mediocre ones that are so difficult and time-consuming.  I’ve been told that I mark papers up way too much and that no one ever reads the comments, but I really feel awful if I can’t at least give them the opportunity to understand how I think they could write a better paper.  Of course, that means you’ve got to get knee-deep in the paper and try to tease out what the student was trying to say.  Then you’ve got to personalize some suggestions tied to their unique problems.  It takes forever.  I know that they’ll probably never read the comments, but at least I feel better about it.  

So, I’ve done a bit of work, and I’ve got some readings to take care of for tomorrow, but I think they can wait for awhile while I go wandering.  There’s a lot to be said for aimless wandering…

“It grieves me deeply that we Americans should take as our classic a book that is no more than a lengthy description of the doings of fops.”

Via Bitch, PhD.

Some one star reviews.  Brilliant.

Step Ball-Change, Kick, Step Ball-Change, Kick

Music time!

You guys absolutely rock. Special rockingness from Suzanne who got the Monkee/Diamond connection (how odd can you get, right?), Steph, who got the ‘Birdhouse in My Soul’ from They Might Be Giants, and Super-Duper cool points to Jane Dark for getting the Squirrel Nut Zippers song, ‘Hell.’ And, yes, that’s one of the coolest lyrics ever – you should hear the rest of the tune. :)

The only missing one was #7 which was ‘Good Vibrations’ by the Beach Boys! Tsk tsk, oh quizzical quizzers!

New tunes! I should warn you that I’ve been listening to the Classic Rock station and the 1990s pop station, so this could get really ugly, really quickly. The ‘90s ones will probably be way too easy, ‘cause I’m only putting up the ones that I know, and I don’t know a lot of them :(


She took me to her doctor
And he told me of a cure.
He said that any love is good love
So I took what I could get

#2 – lots of folks sang this one, but again, to my mind there’s only one real one :)

Turn your heartache into joy
She's a girl and your a boy
get together, make it tonight,
you ain't gonna need no more advice


I was a high school loser, never made it with a lady
till the boys told me something I missed
then my next door neighbor with a daughter had a favor
so I gave her just a little kiss


Why don't you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free
Close your eyes girl
Look inside girl
Let the sound take you away

#5 – ooo really hard one here

Watch the jingle jangle start to shine,
Reflections of the music that is mine.
When you toss a coin, you'll hear it sing.

#6 –

So I cried, and I begged for you to
Love me love me
say that you love me
leave me leave me
just say that you need me

#7 – geeze, only four years?

and I went to see the doctor of philosophy
with a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
he never did marry or see a b-grade movie
he graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
got my paper and I was free

#8 –

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky

#9 –

Swing, swing, swing the spinning step
You wear those shoes and I will wear that dress.

#10 –

Fresh new kicks and pants
You got it like that now you know you wanna dance
So move out of your seat
And get a fly girl and catch this beat

Bonus wackiness!

Let our love be a flame, not an ember
Say it's me that you want to dismember
Blacken my eye
Set fire to my tie

One More Thing

Oh, just a final note:

You cannot usurp a thrown.  You’d have better luck with a throne.

Graders in the Mist

Modern science doesn’t completely understand why, but apparently, ‘graders’ amass very large stacks of ‘essays.’  Generally, once a certain critical mass of essays has been reached, the grader will angrily attack the essays with colorful pens.  The process, although seeming to be simple enough, leaves the graders in great distress, often moaning and sobbing before making various indecipherable marks on the essays.  The process also seems to require a great deal of an extract of the coffee bean, but alas, as with much of these mysterious creatures and their world, the reason why still yet eludes us.  

Today, I placed myself in an area where these graders are known to loiter.  Much to my surprise and delight, I was given a rather large stack of these essays.  Am I then to become a ‘grader,’ myself?  

The Alpha Female of the group told me that today we are hunting what I had studied as the elusive thesis undergradicus, but here seems to be referred to as ‘the damn point,’ as in “What is the damn point of your paper, John?”  I was told that such a thing exists, but to be frank, I never saw it.  Like the Yeti, chupacabra, or the well-paid graduate position, it may be simply a legend.  I was likewise stymied in my search for the ‘well-argued point’ the ‘correctly spelled plural third person pronoun,’ and the ‘proper citation.’

There is still so much unknown, but I can say that I learned much among those gentle, but easily riled creatures of the café.  May they and their lands be protected, and may they find gainful employment.  

If perchance, you find yourself in a café, and an anguished cry of, “How did you graduate high school?” echoes through the room, don’t be alarmed.  Don’t approach the grader.  They are often beyond the reach of logic by this point.