Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Quizzing

Oh, yeah, Jayfish and I were in an art supplies store and they were playing old Micheal Jackson over the PA. I want the record to show that it wasn't only me who was singing. Well, maybe mostly me, but not only me.

All 10 well answered last time 'round, and I feel I should say that I'm either really impressed that Gary know that "All Right Now" was by Free, or I could be really spooked. Seriously. Free? I had no idea who they were. I think I'll be impressed. After all, the guy still has his 45s for crying out loud, right?

hmm, so it was an easy 10 out of 10 last time. Maybe I need to throw some curve balls, eh?

1.
The radio was blasting,
Someone's knocking at the door
I'm looking at my girlfriend,
She's passed out on the floor
I've seen so many things I ain't never seen before.
Don't know what it is I don't want to see no more.
2.
Wanted no applause,
It's just another cause,
Made a meal out of me, and come back for more,
Had to cool me down,
To take another round,
Now I'm back in the ring to take another swing
3.
I kissed her face and kissed her head
And dreamed of all the different ways I had
To make her glow
"Why are you so far away?" she said
"Why won't you ever know that I'm in love with you
That I'm in love with you"
4.
First time was a great time
Second time was a blast
Third time I fell in love
Now I hope it lasts
5.
But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me won't defeat me
It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me
6.
Touch if you will my stomach
Feel how it trembles inside
You've got the butterflies all tied up
Don't make me chase you
7.
Darling mine
I would wait forever for those lips of wine
Build my world around you, darling
This love will shine, girl
Watch it and see
If you give a little more then you're asking for
Your love will turn the key
8.
But I'll be lonely without you
And I'll need your love to see me through
Please believe me, my heart is in your hands
And I'll be missing you.
9.
Well I'm New York City born and raised
But nowadays, I'm lost between two shores
L.A.'s fine, but it ain't home
New York's home, but it ain't mine no more
10.
Your daddy said I took you just a little too far.
Tellin' other things, but your girlfriend lied
Can't catch me cause the rabbit done died.

There's a bonus point for anyone who can explain what in the world is going on in the lyrics for MacArthur Park. I mean... seriously.

Jingle Blogs

Hi there. My name is Overread, and I think I said in the past that I would try not to be apologetic when I come back after a blogging absence, but hey, I thrive on guilt and its expression, so here I am again, saying that I'm sorry that I haven't been updating more regularly, for what it's worth.

Much has happened - I did finish grading, I did finish one of the papers that I had due. Yadda yadda. On the wonderful front, I was able to get to the land of the wonderful nieces (now with a total of three! Wonderful! Nieces! Wa! ha! ha!).

The nieces are really incredible. One asked me if I could sit down and play with some flashcards - 'one of these things isn't like the other' stuff and a little bit of reading. She is really brilliant, and I'm not biased at all. Niece the second and I got to sit down and look at a book of hers (shapes and colors with the Little Einstein crew). Niece the third is all of a week and a few days old, so I was happy to just get to hold her for a while (lesson learned? Pat pat on the back = no crying). Ah, good times.

I was able to actually got to talk with a sister and a brother with their significant otters (one soon to become more significant in a legal sense in a few months - hooray!). Although I did an evil deed by bringing up my Wii and leaving it at brother and soon-to-be-sis-in-law's place. Both seem to dig it, but brother may like it a bit too much :)

All done and a very happy holiday. Now all I have to do is catch up on my blog reading (my apologies, but I haven't been reading you guys at all, but I will! I promise!), post some photos (tomorrow?), and start the pre-new year cleaning.

Oh, and I read a book. A real honest-to-goodness non-academic book. Amazing. Devil in the White City. Architecture, design, murder, who could ask for anything more?

Hope all is well with all'y'all out there in blogland.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why Don't You Come Up and Quiz Me Sometime?

Well, I guess that was too easy for you guys. Only miss was a curve ball I threw in at the end - It was Kate Bush with "Heads We're Dancing." It's a sweet little ditty about dancing with Hitler. Ah, Kate, you wacky little crazy women. Hey, Be happy. I could have used the song where she sings pi.
Honestly, I'm just happy that there are still a few of you that still have me in your feed reader :) I'm still a day or two away from putting together any real posting (or photos - but I have been taking some!), but as I'm listening to a bunch of tunes, I feel that I should share in quiz format. Aren't I cool like that?

hmm... Lots of repeats though. I'm not too sure what to do about that though. Ah, well.

1.
They sat on the stony ground
And he took a cigarette out
And everyone else came down
To listen.
2.
A bullet had found him
His blood ran as he cried
No money could save him
So he laid down and he died
3.
Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
4.
and all my instincts, they return
and the grand facade, so soon will burn
without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside
5.
He didn't know the night would end up in frustration.
He'd end up blowing all his wages for the week.
All for a cuddle and a peck on the cheek.
6.
Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
7.
And oh the wonder
We felt the lightning
And we waited on the thunder
Waited on the thunder
8.
She said, "Look, what's your game?
Are you tryin' to put me to shame?"
I said "Slow, don't go so fast, don't you think that love can last?"
She said, "Love, Lord above,
now you're tryin' to trick me in love."
9.
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
10.
I know where beauty lives
I've seen it once, I know the warmth she gives
The light that you could never see
It shines inside, you can't take that from me

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Funk of Forty Thousand Quizzes

Right, right, I'm still here, and I'll spare you the self-indulgent blather about why I'm not posting, except to so that it has been a spectacularly agonizing end of term. I'm sure I'll find time to whine about it later, but there is one thing that I can do without too much brain power, and it will make me feel happier too, and that's a lyrics quiz.

Oh, before we start here, two unrelated things - Hello to the newest member of my family, another niece to lovingly torment my sister's wonderful home. Hi there.

Second completely unrelated thing. I just remembered an awful joke, so you get to read it:

So a woman goes into a bar bar and the bartender asks her what she wants. She tells him she wants a Double Entendre, and so he gives it too her.

Nobody's laughing. I guess it's all in the telling...

So let's see if I remember how to do this. Is it bullet points or quotes? Ah yes, quotes...

Ah but first, looks like #7 was the only real stumper last time. It was 'Say Say Say' by Mickey J. Oh, and by the way, did you see this? Shudder....

Right then these are all going to be mostly off of my pandora list, so it may be a bit more... er... obscure than it generally is, but hey - you'll dig it :)

1. Oooo... I really remember this cassette, but this cut is a bit hard to place without the tune...
Alone between the sheets
Only brings exasperation
Its time to walk the streets
Smell the desperation
At least theres pretty lights
And though theres little variation
It nullifies the night

2. Karaoke anyone?
And the years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home

3. I don't care what you think, I still like this one
Last night I tried to leave
Cried so much I just
Could not believe
She was the same girl I
Fell in love with long ago

4. One of my favorite songs in the whole wide world
Tonight I'll sing my songs again,
I'll play the game and pretend.
But all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness in harmony I need someone to comfort me.

5. Ah, another good karaoke song...
I've overcome the blow
I've learned to take it well
I only wish my words could just convince myself
That it just wasn't real
But that's not the way it feels

6. This one may be hard. I haven't figured out if I like it or not yet.
You live in a church
Where you sleep with voodoo dolls
And you won't give up the search
For the ghosts in the halls

7. Sappy, but hey, so am I
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon's sparkling

8. Oh, I had, and probably still do have a huge crush on this woman
If I'm the only witness
To your madness
Offer me some words to balance
Out what I see and what I hear
All these cold and rude
Things that you do
I suppose you do
Because he belongs to you

9. Er... not so much of a crush here, but um... nice voice?
I know a lot of fancy dancers,
people who can glide you on a floor,
They move so smooth but have no answers.
When you ask "Why'd you come here for?"
"I don't know" "Why?"

10. I have to have done this one before, but hey, I've got a crush on her, too, so you folks get to suffer
if this world makes you crazy
and you've taken all you can bear
you call me up
because you know I'll be there

11. Ok, as long as I'm admitting my crushes on pop-songstresses, I'll put this one it too. I should add that she is mucho spooky though. Especially in this song. Anyone know this one?
They say that the Devil is a charming man.
And just like you I bet he can dance.
And he's coming up behind in his long
Tailed black coat dance,
All tails in the air.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Down Side of Extra Pre-Exam Office Hours

I really love my students. I love teaching so very much.

But perhaps... Perhaps I need to set boundaries better.

Telling them that I would be in my office all evening and that they were welcome to come in and discuss any part of the upcoming exams led to five student visits.

The last one left at 8:45pm.

And I hadn't even started any of the many projects and assignments that I needed to finish.

Bad time-manager. Bad.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The 13.1 Mile Strip Run

Boooos
  • making your starting point a place that is not served by public transportation is not cool
  • providing a shuttle service from another place that is not served by public transportation is also not cool
  • As it was chilly before the run, the space heaters were welcome (although completely inadequate for the masses of people there)
  • Also, would it have killed you guys to get a coffee place or a bagel place to sponsor a warm stand at the start? (like every other run I've gone to in this area)
Hoorays
  • Great route and route management
  • Drummers and bands along the route? Most excellent!
  • With the exception of that one band that wasn't playing when I ran by.
  • Bonus points for the very shady drum circle type folks who didn't seem to be part of the official run, but happily banged out a strange rhythm as we went by
  • Extra super bonus points for the local high school marching band drum line that showed up. Those folks rocked.
The title comes from the fact that, 'cause we don't actually get chilly weather over here, many runners were really spooked. Much like the campus-folk who turn out in pink-fur-lined parkas and ugg boots (but with miniskirts) when it gets, well, seasonable, these runners were wearing waaaay too much clothing. I even wore a long-sleeve shirt, which is still hard for me to believe.

Anyway, about 2 or 3 miles into the run, people started stripping. I imagined that it was a game where everyone had to take off a piece of clothing at every mile-marker. Gloves were flung into bushes. Sweat-shirts soared awkwardly into the air above the throng as if in celebration. I saw several folks attempt to wriggle out of a spandex-tight outer layer while keeping up their pace. Imagine in your mind a big buff guy running at a pretty good clip with both arms straight in the air, bound together in an underarmor version of the hot dog suits that run around the bases at the 7th inning stretch at baseball games. Oh, and he's naturally blinded by the shirt too. That should be in the dictionary under the heading: Joy.

I was actually pretty bummed that everyone was basically just littering, but the cast-off gear was funny to see. I'm going to imagine that they either went back to pick up what they threw, or that maybe someone else went collecting and dropped it all off at the second hand store or something. Hey, let me have my illusions!

Oh, my time: 1:46:35

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cross-Town Traffic

There is simply too much to do this weekend.
  • The paper presentation - luckily postponed slightly, but still looming.
  • The Japanese presentation - to create
  • The Japanese skit (why do they always make you do a skit? I hate skits) - to memorize
  • The huge Japanese final exam and the oral interview - to cry about
  • The massive seminar test (test? in a seminar?)- to prepare for and all the info is new to me :(
  • The gigantic stack of grading that will. not. die. - to be marked
And I've got a half-marathon tomorrow morning - natch.

Oh yeah, a note to people who put together big events like, say, half-marathons?

Go ahead and don't piss off the people taking part in your event. So, for example, don't force them to travel all over all over creation the day before the event for hours and hours just to pick up the packet they need to take part in the run. Every other run either mails this stuff to the runners or they make it available the day of the run. And don't try and pretend that it's going to be at so health and fitness expo or something when it's not. A handful (like, maybe 6) of wholesalers hawking shoes that no one else would buy at their stores does not an expo make.

I do, as mentioned, have other things I need to do this weekend (like writing blog posts).

PS - Some of you may have the gall to mention that I should have gotten some of this out of the way earlier, and to you I have only one thing to say - pppppphhhhhttttttttt

Sunday, November 25, 2007

May I Recommend a Whine?

To Whom It May Concern:

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to recommend Mr. Ran Domguy for acceptance into your program.

I can say with certainty that Mr Domguy is one of the most spectacularly inconspicuous of all the students I have taught at Urban Sprawl University. Although my records show he made impressively average progress in the class material, scored within the range I've entitled, 'meh,' and admirably met the laughably simplistic participation requirements during session, he made almost no impression on me whatsoever, for good or ill, leading me to wander why he chose me, a TA who knew him only briefly, to write this glowing recommendation.

He might well have the impressive leadership ability that I understand your program seeks. He also may very well perform admirably under pressure. Who knows? There's a possibility that he is an outstanding man that would be an excellent asset to your program. Frankly, he may be all this, but either he never showed it in class, or I didn't see it.

I sincerely hope you have no further questions about Mr. Domguy, because frankly, I don't think I could add anything else.

Sincerely,

Overread

Aside to readers: I suggested the student find someone who knew his character and performance a bit better.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nothing is Certain but Death and Quizzes

Ah, would that I could give extra points that could be traded in for freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies. Because, if I could, Ikhoyt would earn at least a baker's dozen for nailing I'm Tired, but the indeed incomparable Madeline Kahn.

Not that the rest of you didn't earn cookies, you did of course, but let's face it, anything is better with Blazing Saddles.

The only misses were
3 - Elton John - Sad Songs (C'mon guys! You should've gotten that one!)
6 - Asia (ASIA?) - Heat of the Moment (I'm confident that you've punished yourself by listening to this one a few times, Mr. Fish)
8 - Whitney Houston - So Emotional (You're probably better off not getting this one)

Right, now for some post-turkeyday hand-made quizzings!

1.
Spied a little thing and I followed her all night
In a funky fine Levis and her sweaters kind of tight
2.
Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I'm waiting for you
3.
Tommy's got his six string in hock
Now hes holding in what he used
To make it talk - so tough, its tough
Gina dreams of running away
When she cries in the night
Tommy whispers baby its okay, someday
4.
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming round.
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears.
5.
You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
6.
I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste, a flannel for my face
Pajamas, a hairbrush, new shoes and a case.
I said to my reflection, Let's get out of this place.
7.
Standing here
Baptized in all my tears
Baby through the years
You know I'm crying
Oo oo oo oo oo
8.
And maybe he sings off key
But thats alright by me
Because what he does he does so well
Makes me wanna yell
9.
When you called me up this morning,
Told me bout the new love you found,
I'm said I'm happy for you,
I'm really happy for you.
Found someone else,
I guess I wont be coming round.
I guess its over, baby;
Its really over, baby, whoa...
10.
In your world I have no meaning
Though I'm trying hard to understand
And it's my heart that's breaking
Down this long distance line tonight

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble Gobble

A very happy Turkey Day to all who find this blog, and to all those who don't. May your turkey be moist, your cranberries ever so slightly tart (even if they come from a can), and your favorite teams win, or at the very least not embarrass themselves too badly.

I usually think that the 'I'm thankful for...' posts are a bit silly, but that shouldn't stop anyone from doing one. Because honestly, even though I moan and gripe, I really am quite thankful.

I'm so very thankful to have such a wonderful family. Even when I don't show up to thanksgiving, they don't seem to hate me too badly. My siblings are simply two of the best people I know. I've got incredible nieces and in-laws (and a particularly great soon-to-be in-law). My mother is the most kind and thoughtful person in the world. Even my Grandpa is cooler than anything.

I'm studying a subject I love at a very good school. I'm teaching classes I enjoy. As long as I keep on it, I might even be able to get a degree and eventually earn enough money to begin paying back the fine international conglomeration-banks that were kind enough to allow me to hawk my future in order to do what I'm doing.

I'm even fortunate enough to have a surprisingly loyal readership that continues to read my silly little blog despite my inconsistent posting of dubious quality.

So thanks to you, my friends. I'm very happy to have you here and visit you at your bloghomes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chain Factor Game

I know I've posted game links before, but oh my, you need to be careful with this one. It's kinda tetris-like in that you're dropping pieces from above, but all the pieces are single units with numbers inside them. To get the pieces to go away (blow up), the number must match either its horizontal or vertical positioning. Then of course there are the blocks without numbers. Those you have to break by having numbered blocks blow up next to them.

Give it a try... er... when you don't have anything to do for a while :)

Chain Factor.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Just Keep Running, Just Keep Running, Just Keep Running

A fellow gradfolk decided that he wanted to try a 10k and asked if I would run with him. Sure! Anyway, today was his first 10k, and I ran it with him. It was at a pretty cool and very runner-friendly place. The weather was a bit chilly with a very nice misty fog hovering around for the start. By the end, the sun popped out and brought in a lovely day.

Runbuddy did really well, too. He made it all the way through with a good pace, even though the longest he had previously run was about 7-8k. Our final time was around 55min. Hooray for him! Fun for me! Tshirts for us both! Little American Flags for everyone! (please forgive the Simpsons reference)

Extra bonus reason to get out and run in the morning - some moron pulled the fire alarm about 30 minutes after I left. My roommate said it stayed on for about 30 minutes. yeesh.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Minor Link Dump

1. How many people can you recognize in this picture?

2. Wasn't someone talking about hot Dr Pepper?

3. Fun distorted world maps.

4. Weird Yin/Yang Game.

5. A really interesting post (with really interesting comments) on the idea that if the human body is intelligently designed, the job was poorly done.

6. Ans finally, a couple of videos of the same song. I'm not a big fan of the song, but the choreography is quite cool. It starts really slowly, so bear with them.



or, with box-headed folk:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Quiz, A Quiz, My Kingdom For a Quiz

So, you guys did well, but I was able to get you guys on a few songs last time. Here's the remainder:

1. Pictures Of Matchstick Men - Camper Van Beethoven (told you that one was hard)
3. Somebody to Love - Queen
4. What's Your Name - Lynyrd Skynyrd
10. Stop Dragging My Heart Around - Tom Petty

So let's dive in again! I put this one together pretty quickly, so it's not as devious as the last couple - enjoy!

1.
Well our fathers fought the Second World War
Spent their weekends on the Jersey Shore
Met our mothers in the USO
Asked them to dance
Danced with them slow

2.
Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world
You could say I lost my faith in the people on TV
You could say I'd lost my belief in our politicians
They all seemed like game show hosts to me

3.
If someone else is suffering enough to write it down
When every single word makes sense
Then it's easier to have those songs around

4.
There's a black man with a black cat
Living in a black neighborhood
Hes got an interstate running through his front yard
You know, he think, that hes got it so good

5.
Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon
Going to the candidates debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Every way you look at it, you lose

6.
Do you remember when we used to dance
And incidence arose from circumstance
One thing lead to another we were young
And we would scream together songs unsung

7.
And even as I wander
I'm keeping you in sight
You're a candle in the window
On a cold, dark winters night
And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might

8.
I've been waiting for the phone to ring all night
Why you wanna make me feel so good
I got a love of my own
Shouldn't get so hung up on you

9.
Before this river becomes an ocean
Before you throw my heart back on the floor
Oh baby I reconsider my foolish notion
Well I need someone to hold me
But I'll wait for something more

10.
Loving you isn't the right thing to do
How can I ever change things that I feel
If I could, maybe I'd give you my world
How can I, when you won't take it from me


and a bonus that I unexpectedly heard tonight:
Here I stand, the goddess of desire
Set men on fire
I have this power
Morning noon and night it's drink and dancing
Some quick romancing
And then a shower
Stage door johnnies always surround me
They always hound me
With one request
Who can satisfy their lustful habits
I'm not a rabbit
I need some rest

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What, Me Advise?

I got a note from a student a few days ago entitled "Thinking about dropping - advice?"

He's a good student, and he's doing fine in the class, but I can see that he's a stressball. He transfered into USU from a community college, and I think he may be still a bit overwhelmed about what he's being required to do in classes here. Added to that, my class is a monster timesink. There's a big classtime commitment and the expectation is that people really need to put in at least an hour at home for every hour in class (aren't all classes supposed to be like that? 20 credit hours = full time student, right?).

So anyway, I asked if he wanted to meet up and talk about what was going on. He said he was really trying to keep a 4.0 is his core classes and my class was eating too much into his other study time. The class is also just hard. It's really not intuitive to most folks, and although it does get easier with time, we increase the speed as we move along.

It's all understandable. Major classes are obviously more important to graduation that mine. He's taking this class because it may help his grad application look better (which it may), but mainly because he really likes the subject. We talked for a long while, and I aimed him toward a few folks that might advise him from a less biased point of view.

I was able to get him to stay in the class. I hope I did right by him, because he's doing fine in the class (and not taking it for a grade), but it's always going to be a timesink.

Long and rambling post, but I'm trying to post a bit more about what's going on in my world, so there ya go.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

With Great Quiz Comes Great Responsibility

Well, I guess I got a little overly-excited about the possible return of the lyrics quiz, and I went bit bonkers with the more obscure parts of the songs. If you didn't google to find out what the songs were, perhaps you'll get a kick out of the unguessed answers:

3 - Right Now - Van Halen
4 - Olivia Newton-John - Magic (Reverse skate!)
6 - Dan Fogelberg - Leader of the Band
7 - Phil Collins - Jesus He Loves Me
8 - Pat Bennatar - Invincible

Special points awarded to Zerodoll and Brightstar. Even though you didn't know that I Want to Be a Cowboy was written by Boys Don't Cry, well, I bet they don't even remember they wrote it. Is it still running through your brain?

Your homework is to listen to the songs that you weren't able to guess. Don't like, buy them or anything, but listen to 'em. Ya know... legally and stuff.

So, now that I've got a little bit of time, what say we try this again? Maybe with a bit better balance? :)

1 - Another really hard one to start things off:
Windows echo your reflection
When I look in their direction now
There your face is haunting me
Your face just won't leave me alone
2 - The 'how old are you' entry
Come Friday we'll be jacked up on the football game
And I'll be ready to fight
We're gonna smash 'em now
My girl will be working on her pom-poms now
And she'll be yelling tonight
3 - High on my list for singing loudly and badly
Got no feeling, I got no rhythm
I just keep losing my beat (you just keep losing, and losing)
I'm ok, I'm alright (he's alright, he's alright)
I ain't gonna face no defeat (yeah, yeah)
4 - Ah, bands behaving badly...
It seems that one of the crew
Had a go with one of the guests, oh yes
Well, the police said we can't drink in the bar
What a shame
Won't you come upstairs girl
And have a drink of champagne
5 - Um... Less romantic and more gross
I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of you all 'round myself
I want a doctor to take your picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
6 - How geeky are you?
Standing there alone, the ship is waiting
all systems are go, are you sure?
control is not convinced
but the computer has the evidence
"no need to abort"
the countdown starts
7 - Sing this with a bit of reverb at the end
You're in his eye
And you'll know why
The more you live
The faster you will die
8 - Bonus for spelling
Now you’re the prettiest by far
No party she’d not attend
No invitation she wouldn’t send
Transfixed by the inner sound
Of your promise to be found
9 - Air piano is required here
What does it matter to ya,
When you've got a job to do you gotta do it well,
You gotta give the other fellow hell
10 -
Baby, you'll come knocking on my front door
Same old line you used to use before
I said yeah well, what am I supposed to do
I didn't know what I was getting into

Friday, November 09, 2007

Question of the Week (Perhaps the Month)

(undergrad furiously typing on her cellberry thing): Is it "'abstinence makes the heart grow fonder' or 'absence'?"

And better yet, the question was aimed at me. I feel good that I can help out the leaders of tomorrow like this.

(alternate title: 'Bush's New Sex-ed Czar Speaks')

Thursday, November 08, 2007

TMI Theatre

well, now. Looks like roommate got lucky last night. Either that or he's developed a refreshingly unconventional taste for be-sparkled sandals.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Quiz First, Ask Questions Later

No telling how long this will last, but hey, I'm in the mood, so the quiz comes back.

So #4, which Jayfish mentioned was the joyous Talk Talk with It's My Life (or the No Doubt cover which is what I googled up)

So lets try another few, eh? Funny thing is that I'm sure I've done some of these before, but hey, it's not like I remember which ones. I'll try to keep it slightly fresh. Obviously I need to make it a bit harder though, right? :)

1.
Four young chiquitas in Omaha,
Was waiting for the band to return from the show.
2.
Takes him out to look at the queen
Only place that he's ever been
Always shouts out something obscene
3.
One step ahead, one step behind it
Now ya gotta run to get even
Make future plans I'll dream about yesterday, hey!
Come on turn, turn this thing around
4.
From where I stand
You are home free
The planets align so rare
There's promise in the air
And I'm guiding you
5.
People see me
I'm a challenge
To your balance
I'm over your heads
How I confound you
And astound you
6.
He earned his love through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand.
7.
I'll get you everything you wanted
I'll get you everything you need
Don't need to believe in hereafter
Just believe in me
8.
We can't afford to be innocent
Stand up and face the enemy
It's a do or die situation
9.
She's raised on leather
With flesh on her mind
10.
Riding on the chuck wagon,
Following my man.
His name is Ted,
Can you believe that?
(Ted, oh Ted, fighting off danger!)
I sincerely hope that that last one makes you laugh as much as it made me laugh.

Mr Roboto?

Short Term Lodger Dude just left. He's headed off to his new home, happily, hopefully.

After putting him up for 5 days, treating him to lunch at a halfway decent sit down chain restaurant, offering hours of (solicited) advice about how to present at our colloquium, and other various aiding and abetting over the week, he finally thanked me, halfheartedly...

for opening the door as he left.

Now, I know I'm not the best host. I didn't cook dinner for him. I didn't wake him with the gentle smell of fresh roasted coffee or sprinkle the fold out couch with rose petals.

It's not like I think I need to be praised to the sky, I just put him up for a few days, but "thanks?" Is it too much to ask for a "thanks?"

Am I being a prick for being annoyed about this?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

If It Were A Quiz, It Would Have Bit You

Ya know what I think we all need to celebrate an extra hour of life today?

A lyrics quiz.

You folks remember these? :)

If not, or if you are a new reader (doubtful, but, hey, I can hope, right?), I'll give you a lyric, and you supply the song title and the artist who sang it. If there are multiple versions of the song, I highly encourage petty fighting and arguments about which is the superior one.

These are mostly pretty easy, I think, but might be fun.

1.
Tonight's the night well make history, honey, you and I
And I'll take any risk to tie back the hands of time
And stay with you here tonight
2.
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in
3.
Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
4.
I've asked myself
How much do you
commit yourself?
5.
All alone I have cried
silent tears full of pride
in a world made of steel,
made of stone.
6.
She said I'm sorry baby
I'm leaving you tonight
I found someone new
he's waiting in the car outside
7.
Stop playing with my heart
Finish what you start
When you make my love come down
8.
I still recall
A sad cafe
How it hurt so bad to see her cry
I didn't want to say good-bye
9.
we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a staring out the window at the darkness
'til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.
10.
At school they taught me how to be
So pure in thought and word and deed
They didn't quite succeed

I had forgotten how much fun these were to create :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Zeros For Everyone!

It is so hard to feel any sense of accomplishment after finishing a marathon session of grading. Why? Because there are another two big stacks over there to get through, oh, yeah, that there's more on the way.

grrr.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Well, Now I Know

The plural of 'corpus' is 'corpora.'

Good Chump/Good Samaritan

We, like most schools, I imagine, rely on the skills of overseas students for some of out TA slots. I think we're been pretty lucky in getting some real winners from our department and some stolen from other departments. However, we've got one now who... well, let's say he's not terribly popular amongst the students. That's a charitable thing to say. His accent is heavy, but that's not a big problem. He's just a really awkward person. He really has had a very hard time trying to figure out what US students and the atmosphere in a US class are like.

He's also had about the worst first couple of months in country as possible. One of the least catastrophic things involved basically the destruction of the apartment where he lived. As with most campus areas, there just aren't many options after school starts. Eventually, with the help of who knows what kind of dark mojo, the collective found him a place where he can move in. on the 5th. 5 days after he has to leave the hotel where his ex-landlord put him up.

three guesses on whose couch he'll be sleeping until then?

It's been suggested that I can take this as an opportunity to talk to him about TAing.

Have I mentioned that I don't like people?

This will be an interesting week.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Shame, shame

Oops, I forgot to add a horribly offensive and kinda funny quiz - Fox News Anchor or Porn Star. Submit your complaints below. By the way, I only got 6/10. Maybe I should watch more Fox News? Or more porn?

10K II: The Blisters Strike Back!

Ok, no 10 page post about this morning's 10k, but it was a lot of fun. It was much less hard-core than last weeks. A lot of people had costumes - if fact one of the folks lining up in the fastest ranks for the 5k was Spiderman. Isn't that kinda cheating? I imagine that if they had a urine test, he'd turn up a wee bit hot. There was also a fund-raising walk, and that's where most of the costumes were. I saw a very impressing Opimus Prime, and several assorted cats and such. No bunnies, oddly enough. I guess I should have worn the ears...

The goodie bag was much better though:

quality running shirt - cool
ketchup-sized packet of 'udderly smooth' udder cream - a bit scary. I don't have, erm, udders.
8 cups worth of ground coffee - odd
hideously ugly yellow sweatband - maybe I can give it to someone?
2 strange 'Cashew cookies' - I vote yuck.
Mango Coconut Soy Joy Bar - why did it have to be coconut?
Powdered energy drink stuff - meh.
Powdered 'flavored fizzy drink' - hmmm...
Various ads and coupons - nice, but nothing really useful
A toothbrush - Wha?
2 elastic hair bands - I only wish I had long hair, they're pretty nice...

Minutia of the run:

Best tracks that I added to the playlist (didn't get to them all, but I'm working through them):
  • Billy Joel
    • Movin' out
    • Big Shot
    • Pressure
    • Tell Her About It
    • You're Only Human
  • Starship - Don't Stop Believin'
  • Sting/Police
    • Message in a Bottle
    • Can't Stand Losing You
    • Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
  • Heart
    • Magic Man
    • What About Love
  • Smashmouth - All Star
  • Steely Dan - Reelin' in the Years
  • Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride
  • Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Oh, yeah time: 46:22 (ish - my gps says I only ran 9.9k. Did I cheat?)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Self-Portait in Pixels on Monitor





You can play here if you like.

Running in Circles

Another reason why I might have been confused about last week's 10k - There's another one tomorrow. Pardon me while I adjust my running playlist. :)

Colloquium Colloquium Colloquium - C'mon, It Is Fun to Say

One of the coolest things going on this year is a student-run colloquium for the grad-folk. Everyone even remotely related to the study of Gruub in all her glory can feel welcome to come on down and talk shop. Nothing to spectacular there, right? We bring in articles from various parts of the Gruub matrix and talk about them, which is cool, because we get to see what's state of the art in related fields that we've never really mucked about in. Every other week, we invite professors in to talk about what they are working on and such, which is nice, because on no-prof weeks, we can have the more informal talks without the stress of a possible advisor or committee member hovering about, but we've still got them around when we need them.

What's very cool about this, and what makes it better than I thought it would be, is that we've ended up talking about things that we need to know on a practical level that I've never heard discussed openly and freely in groups of academics that didn't involve booze. Not only are we talking about the field, but we're asking, and actually getting fairly important professors to talk seriously and thoughtfully about the politics of (for example) writing reviews ('You cannot write any kind of review, positive or negative, without making enemies' - obvious in hindsight, perhaps, but very good to know). We're talking about the hows and whys of inter-departmental and inter-field-al (?) territorial fights and biases, and because we've got people from so many fields, we're getting a really broad overview. It's a lot of stuff that seems to be generally learned by painful experience.

Last meeting, we had a wonderful knock-down drag-out fight over the implications of emerging broadening and lengthening of copyright laws as it relates to Gruub Studies. How Frickin Cool. And not something that would come up in a seminar except to perhaps feel a twinge of guilt as you run off copies of entire books.

I guess this kind of colloquium might not be a groundbreaking thing, but I've never seen it before, and I'm really impressed how it's working out. It seems to be a very useful way of easing us into the role of academics in a broader way than just writing another paper.

The copyright issue was especially interesting. I may need to do a post or three on that one. What do you folks think? Is copyright helping you more than it hurts you nowadays?

Friday, October 26, 2007

New York State of Mind

Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you guys, I had the perfect New York City morning yesterday. I went out to get bagels for breakfast. There was an insanely long line with only one guy at the counter. When I got there, there was one woman at the front of the line holding everything up while she decided what kind of shmear (schmear?) to put on her single untoasted plain bagel. 5 minutes later I got to the front of the line and got a real quality NYC scornful sneer from the counter guy. Then, as if it couldn't get better, I moved to the cashier line where the guy in front of my was texting War and Peace on his blackberry. He would type, and the counter intelligence folk would tell him how much he owed and then he would finish his sentence and the ask how much he owed before digging around in his pocket for change. After handing over the change he started typing again, only to be interupted by the CI guy trying to give him his change. The them proceeded to finish typing that sentence before putting out his hand to get the change. Then he didn't move. I had to basically elbow him out of the way to get to the counter to pay for my bagel.

I guess if I were a New Yorker, I would have cussed him out and told him that I was walking there.

Bonus New Yorker-tude: (Although actually, this is very par for where I live.)

I was running this morning and headed toward a crosswalk. A giant Fuck-The-World SUV was coming my direction, but making a left turn (toward me). I had the light, so I went into the crosswalk, with my eyes locked on the driver of the Screw-The-Planet SUV (I've been in this situation many times). Naturally, she looked me in the eye and proceeded to make the left hand turn into my crosswalk. As I have been trained when approached by wild animals, I puffed up my feathers to appear larger than I am while spreading out my arms and waving them at the idiot in the I've-Got-Money-And-No-Soul SUV. She got within 5 feet or so before slamming on her brakes and gesturing rudely toward your correspondent for daring to follow the rules of the road and have the gall to impair her ability to ignore the world around her. I have to say, that horrible piece of Offense-Toward-the-World SUV has good brakes though.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Welcome to the Anti-Social

I am very much not a social person. I don't really like people that much, see? However, I'm trying to be more sociable, especially for academic stchuff.

So I did go to the big Gruub Studies-related umbrella group gathering tonight. Yes, I did mainly mingle with folks I already knew, but I did get introduced to a couple of new people. I even stayed slightly beyond the standard mandatory 'enough time to eat, listen to the introduction and remarks + 5 minutes."

Important people saw me there, which is probably good. I got free-to-me snacks, which is definitely good. All in all, not a bad deal.

Also, a decent idea from another gradfolk: Keep a sportcoat in the office so when there is a speaker or other gathering, you can just throw it on and look a little more respectable. Maybe I need to look into this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Can I Try Today Again?

Wednesdays suck.

I'm teaching a 10am and 11am class. Then I've got a 12pm Japanese class followed by a 3 hour seminar at 1pm. So, you read that right, 6 hours straight of class. Today was even better because I had a presentation in the seminar on a topic that I don't really grok. In the seminar of course, we spent more time on other material that I not only don't grok, but also didn't prepare. When we got around to my presentation, there wasn't enough time, so I had to rush through it.

To recap: I'm tired. I didn't teach well, I wasn't able to turn in some homework for Japanese, I looked like a complete idiot on the seminar material we covered and I didn't have enough time to even try to make up my ignorance with a mediocre presentation.

I might also add that there is a Japanese test tomorrow, too.

Guh. Feh. and Bah.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Find the Star

For all that you hold holy, as you value your time and hope to get work done do not under any circumstances click on this link and play the game.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ageeksayswhat?

I am such a geek. I've got a pencil-bag thing, because I have so many different pens and highlighters and Sharpies and post-it tags and and and and.

It's always in my bag. Always.

Except today, it stayed home.

I was a basketcase. I only had one regular old Pentel fattie pen in a spare pocket of my bookbag. I mean, seriously, how can I mark participation in class (yes, yes, we are required to give detailed daily participation scores) with a thick black pen ? How can I make corrections to my Japanese homework in the same color as the pen that I did the original work with? How can I make new flashcards with a fat pen(it had to be nearly 0.5mm or fatter, for Hermione's sake)? How can I grade papers without a green pen? Am I supposed to underline the texts I'm reading? Should I dogear my books when I find a passage that I want to bring up in the seminar?

Shudder...

GEEEEEEEK.

It's all good though. Things are beyond cool, really. Why? Because of this.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Long Post on a Long Run

Whew. It's been awhile since I last did a big-ish 10k. I had completely forgotten how much fun it is.

Part of the uniqueness of this run was getting there. I had to rely on the public transit system, and it actually worked out fine. Except I felt kinda funny sitting there in the bus in my running garb, and until we got closer to where the race was happening, well, it was just me and what looked like a lot of folks heading off to early morning jobs on Sunday. They didn't look pleased.

There's a wonderful gathering of excitement when you get close to the starting line. First you start seeing people dressed for running. There are the showy folks - the people who have all matching-branded and color coordinated clothing, sometimes their scrunchies or iPod holders even match the color scheme (I should also mention that this is very much an iPod environment. I felt slightly out of place with my just-as-good-and-even-better-at-some-things-no-I'm-not-being-defensive Zen Micro V.) Then there are the people that you can't tell if they are there for the run or not. Some people are just dressed casually in a tshirt and shorts, with shoes that might or might not be running shoes. These folks interest me. Are they too cool to wear clothes that actually work well for running? Did someone run off with their luggage? We all got a nice ultra-light tshirt for registering. Why then?

As you get closer, you start seeing folks wearing their number bibs. Now you can really categorize people if you care to. Blue bibs for the 10kers, yellow for the 5kers, and pink for the elite runners. I'm still not sure what all that really means except that they all run faster than I do. It might be that they get priority to go to the front of the pack before the gun. Lower numbers for the early registrees - they usually know what they are doing, well, at least more than I do, cause I forgot about the whole thing.

At the starting line is where it really gets exciting. The 5k start was 30 minutes before the 10k, and I got there right in time to watch them start off. They even had an MC-ish sort of fellow up there doing the countdown. I had forgotten that they did that. It's really cool to watch a mob of people go from standing to surging forward.

After the 5k started, they started passing out the bunny hats.

Seriously.

They were basically a foam headband with big bunny ears sticking up in front. Genius. They were sponsored and tagged with advertising. Normally, I hate wearing advertising for people, but hey, free bunny ears! I think their strategy was to pass the ears out to the hot ladies and take pictures of them for some promotion, but they were handing them out to everyone. They, um... didn't ask for my picture, but I happily wore mine for the whole run. I should mention that it is a bit spooky seeing your shadow with demonic horn-looking things sticking out from your head when you aren't prepared for it. It's ok. Only ears.

As the time to start got closer, we all moved toward the line. They had signs marked with minute/mile times staggered out from the front: 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 etc... There was a bit of polite but nervous jockeying to get near the correct time based on what you thought you might run.

After people had basically settled in, everyone started stretching a bit, well, as much as we could stretch with people crowded all around. Everyone chatted nervously while waiting and wished everyone else a good run. An unhappy-looking collagen-injected woman in front of me didn't care for my bunny ears at all. I think she said something along the lines of, "Oh, I guess you have a sense of humor." Feh.

Then the countdown (given by a "celebrity" who actually said, "Go win. Run fast.")

5...4...3...22222.......11111111.....(no kidding. She stumbled over actually pronouncing the numbers 2 and 1. Was she being funny? Was she just trying to slow down to sync with an official clock? No clue. Maybe I don't have a sense of humor after all, bunny ears or no)

Oh, and the gun wasn't a gun. It was an air-horn.

If you haven't been in a big run, you might not know that you can't actually run when the horn goes off. Only the people at the front can actually run. Everyone behind them kind of does a wobbly shuffle-hop, shambling toward the line. It takes a while. It's all okay though, because they gave us little tracker buttons to put on our shoes to give us official times. Our times only start when we actually cross the start line, and by that time, the shamble had turned into a rumble.

It was a bit frustrating, but I really loved the start of the run. Runners took over the entire street - both lanes from sidewalk to sidewalk. Later on, we only had one lane, but for that moment, we were the traffic. The game of watching people (more entertaining than the actual run some of the time) began. Unhappy humorless women took off with a bit of a sprint. I liked that. She would burn out quick and I would pass her about a mile into the run. A lot of people do that. You get so excited that you run way too fast in the beginning and don't have anything left at the end. I forced myself to pay close attention to my pedometer to keep from going faster than the 8 minute/miles I had budgeted.

Slowly the group unclumped. The truly speedy were gone almost immediately. I would only see them after they made the u-turn and were coming back the opposite way. After they were gone, I started beating people. Well, that's all in my mind. Plenty of people were still passing me, but it's all a mind game, right? I picked out someone who was running nearly my pace and took up place behind them. Then, eventually, I would pull out in front of them, congratulating myself on my victory in a race that the other person knew nothing about. I was able to keep this game going for the whole run.

There were a couple people who I dueled with for a mile or two, but eventually I got past them all. The one who gave me the most trouble was a very attractive (at least from the back) woman with two long, crazy, hypnotically twisting braids. She passed me early, and I think it took me 3 miles to get passed her for good.

The other fun game was to chase down the other bunny heads. Unfortunately, there weren't too many in front of me that were really catchable, but each one I saw on the horizon was a moving target. Especially the one worn at a jaunty angle by a ginormous mountain of a man. His ears stuck out to the side about a foot above my head. But I passed him.

The end of the run was beautiful. There was a really strong tailwind and a very slight downgrade. I had been picking up my pace slightly. I could see people falling out and dropping back into a jog, but I actually had energy and legs left, so I lengthened my stride and picked up the pace into a quick run for the last half mile and a sprint at the end, weaving through the people in front of me. Over the music from my earphones, I heard the MC with the PA system call out, "And here comes a guy with bunny ears, sprinting for the finish, let's let him hear it!" I did.

48:42, but I can do better.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Something Else To Distract Me From Work

Poop.

The 10k I planned to run at the end of October does not occur next weekend, but tomorrow at oh my god in the morning. This would have been better to discover before I went on a 4 mile run this morning.

At least I was able to get down to the registration place and pick up my bib number and tshirt (long sleeve? WTF? I can't wear a long-sleeve shirt. I'll burst into flames. grrrranimals.)

Also, they said there would be a gift bag. I can confirm there was a bag. Gifts? umm.. a sample-size granola bar and a sticker for a local radio station? not so much.

Something Tells Me It's All Happening At The Zoo


Get yours here. I do look a wee bit drunk though....

You Can't Tell Me There Isn't Another Book Out There.

This comes from a generally reputable website, but, is it really real?

Harry Potter info/spoilers
from an interview with Ms. Rowling. Heck, even the link title is a spoiler.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Link Dump

Ah, yes. And there are links:

And, finally, how in the world did our generation survive?

Now, With More Added Cost!

I've watched a little bit of football on the weekends lately, and I'm curious about the commercials, especially the car commercials. I'm particularly remembering a truck commercial series. In one, they built a huge structure whom which they hung Poe-esque pendulum thingies that alternately swing behind and in front of the truck. In another they've got a truck trying to come to a stop before a weight drags it over a cliff. And then of course there's the truck that is able to act as the breaks for some giant transport plane.

Granted that a lot of these may possibly be computer generated, but still... I wonder how much the trucks and cars might cost if they didn't spend such a god-awful fortune on advertising. Even if it is CG, that stuff ain't cheap, right? and if is is real, then what the hell? how can you legitimize building a 10 story erector set to advertise a car? What is the upside for anyone (excepting the ad agency, of course)? I mean, does anyone seriously get their information about cars from ads? It's all just setting up a brand-sexiness, right? Why in the world would you buy a car knowing that a significant chunk of your money is not going to make a good car, but to attempt a ever-more-jaded population get all hot and bothered about a new car (that looks like every other car out there).

Yeesh.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Homework Gnomes

The homework gnomes struck repeatedly tonight. I am positive that when I got close to half way through the stack, they came in and added more on the bottom of the stack.

Also, click on this dancing lady. Does she spin clockwise or counter-clockwise? Apparently this somehow tells you if you are right-brained or left-brained. Go figure.

Well, I Could Have Told You That...

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Non-Reader
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz


Seen at The Little Professor

Gifts Ahoy!

Seen over at Chez Profgrrrrl (she stole it from Maggie May who got it from Luckybuzz (hi LB! Haven't seen you in forever. I need to do some quizzes again:)), who I'm quite sure got it from Agnes.):
By the end of the calendar year, I will send a tangible, physical gift to each of the first five people to comment here. The catch? Each person must make the same offer on her/his blog.
This seems like such a cool idea I'm going to do it too. Who knows if I can actually get five people to comment, though. Regardless, if you want a gift, which could be anything from random university swag to knickknacks of local flavor to a brand new car*, just be one of the first 5 comments here.

*Barring lotto win, 'brand new car' would most likely be of the matchbox variety. Offer available in the continental US and all other physical locations of the globe. Imaginary locations, states of mind and dimensions not reachable by commonly accepted US carriers not valid. Gifts may or may not be tailored to you and/or your blog. Overread and Overread subsidiaries will not be held in any way responsible for any defects, low quality, cancer-causing or any other negative or positive properties of gift. Other rules and regulations not mentioned here and posible made up on the spot apply.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Imagine the Germans Falling Out Of Trees

Whoops. I forgot to tell Ianqui the answer to the joke.

1: So, how to you get an elephant through the front doors of a Safeway?

2: I dunno.

1: You take the 'f' out of 'safe' and the 'f' out of 'way.'

2: Uhmmm, but there's no 'f' in way.

1: Exactly.

Greenery

Pilgrim/Heretic is planting a fig.

Such a wonderful thing reminds me of one of the coolest things that I ever heard about a particular part of my family. My aunt and hubby live in the boonies down in the South. Before they moved to where they are now, they had a trailer and a plot of land. They lived there for years and years. It was a nice comfy casual place.

They were forced out of their comfy causal place by the local government in a very sketchy eminent domain case - there entire neighborhood was leveled to build something neither necesary nor, in my opinion worthwhile. The wonderfulness of the whole little plot of land, and the sadness of its loss came out when my aunt talked about what made it hardest to leave. The trees. For the entire time they had lived there, they never gave each other gifts for birthdays and such. They gave each other trees. I don't even remember how many trees or years there had been, but you could see them in a row, each on taller than the next, showing the slow accumulation of love and years.

All this went under the bulldozer.

The place where they live now is better in every possible way. Uncle has designed and built a gorgeous huge house and the most incredible workshop/barn for themselves, all from the ground up and basically by himself. They have a little creek and some greenery. They've got trees, too.

Going even further back, we had a series of huge evergreens at the earlier home I remember. My sibs told me they were Christmas trees that we planted once Santa didn't need them anymore. What a wonderful idea.

Right now, I don't even have a fern.

So, good luck to you and your friendly fig Pilgrim/Heretic. You both made me smile this morning.

A Saturday Morning Clearing of the Tabs

I keep tabs open with very bizarre pages on them thinking that maybe I'll send the links to friends, or keep look at the pages again, but I rarely do, so I post them here for me to have them for later, and of course, for your edification.

  1. The New Trailer for The Golden Compass. Interested? I am. Jayfish told me I needed to read those books and he was right. Fun funfun! Please don't be a bad movie!
  2. One of my favorite comics has some of the best tshirts evar. I mean, seriously, look at the library science one. How could you not just giggle uncontrollably all day long if you wore that? The "everything is ruined forever" one is also mucho awesome.
  3. I saw some scary things when I was in Japan. Things that damaged my very being at a metaphysical level. Now you can too!
There are a couple more tabs, but those are the entertaining ones. Have a loverly Saturday. (Does 'loverly' show up as correct in your spellcheck too? That's awesome.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

There's Also This



High quality editing. It won't be long until there is no practical way to tell the difference between what people really say and what a video editor wants them to say.

If They Cared, They Wouldn't Turn The Stuff In

In the 'talk to the new TAs' session thingie, one of the other TAs mentioned that it was her policy to work 8-5 and not bring any work home. Does anyone do that? Is that possible? It sound like a wonderful idea.

Today I was going to bring home a pile of grading to take care of and considered if I should or not. It would be very good of me to finish it all and hand it back to the students by tomorrow. It would certainly beat all of my previous records for returning homework. Some students might even look over the homework and end up doing better on the quiz coming up on Monday.

Then again, I would love to just come home and read a book, or play a video game or just zone out and try to make a dent in my netflix queue. That's to say nothing of the work I need to do on my research stuff.

I brought the grading home. Will I grade it?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Not Like Mick Jagger Big, But Still...

I've got a big mouth. It's a bit of a problem, seeing as how I don't like people that much. I guess it's just one of those 'likes to hear his own voice' kinda things.

What brought this to the front of my mind was when I was asked to join a panel of 'experienced TA's' to answer questions to the newer TA folk. The lesson learned is that when you give Overread an audience and tell people to ask him questions, he'll go on for. ever. I mean the others on the panel talked too, but I was quite the chatterer. Hopefully I didn't embarrass myself too badly.

PS - joke from a student:

Q: How do you get an elephant through the front door of a Safeway?
A: You take the 'f' out of 'safe' and the 'f' out of 'way' (think about this one out loud)

PPS - Oh, there is draaaaaama in gradland.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No Cheese with this Whine

I've been told that I need to get off my tush and write more here. Well, not in so many words, but there it is. Frankly I wan't too sure I had any readers left but if you are there still... umm... Hi there! Thanks for keeping me in your reader. I shall endeavor to write more.

Unfortunately today's happenings aren't the stuff of much joy or entertainment.

I did get to go to meet up with the nieces (how is it that I still have trouble spelling that word?) and their hangers-on (that's sis and bro-in-law along with a couple of other tykes and parentals). And I know I've said this before, but it is simply undeniable that these are the two most wonderful children that ever there were. I'd go into detail, but I'm sure you would gag with the fawning and such.

Also, it turns out that my sister and her hubby did a real good job deciding to be parents. They happen to be very good at it.

Of course it could be all different when I'm not around :)

Anyway, the frustration of the post is that I'm sick. It's a cold/flu thing, and I blame Bro-in-law. Actually, he got it from his friend who got it from his wife, so maybe I should blame them. Anyway, the upshot is that I've got a departmental reception (snacks and food and schmoozing) and a dinner (food and booze and schmoozing) invite from a prof that I'm not going to be able to go to because I'm just snotting the place up and nobody needs to see that. (seriously, you guys don't know how close you are to seeing my wadded up kleenex on my 365 photo page)

That wouldn't be so bad, but I'm just awful at being social anyway that I bet nobody even knows I'm in the department. Ick. And my advisor is there. If he remembers me, he'll probably think I'm ducking him. Gah.

Sniff.

I want soup.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hi There! You Still There?

Well, I don't have any excuse for not posting, except for the fact that I've been exhausted lately. I've been getting up at around 5:30 and going to bed about 11 or 12. And I'm a guy who needs a full night's sleep. So, I'm tired and cranky, but I still feel the need to at least put up a placeholder here.

So, I'll do the traditional thing and present bullets of crankiness.

  • The higher ups said that due to horrible budget cuts we must do the very unpopular and horribly unfortunate x, y, and z, and I'm the point of contact between the screwer and the screwee. Ok, I suck it up and try to put the best face on the situation. I explain firmly that x, y, and z are going to happen no matter what, and while we are all very sympathetic, there is nothing we can do. X, Y, and Z happen. The screwees were very unhappy. Then the higher ups suddenly find a way to un-do X and Y. But really it's kind of too late because everyone we wanted to participate has already gone elsewhere. And I'm the guy who now has no credibility and a horde of unhappy screwees.
  • running is really hard to fit into this term's schedule.
  • My PDA, which runs a program vital for my academic life (really!) made an appointment with Dr. Kervorkian, and I can't seem to convince it that there is so much to live for.
  • Unwritten papers...
  • Money. Money. Money.
Ugh. The funny thing is that I'm such a freakish optimist that I feel I need to balance things out:

  • Big Sis (and I mean BIG sis :) ) and fam, including the two bestest nieces in the whole wide world are coming near enough to me that I can hang out with them this weekend. Woot!
  • The class I'm teaching is difficult, but very fun and rewarding.
  • PDA shopping could be fun :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More o' the Same

OK, I realize that all I seem to do anymore is post links, but well, yeah. That's what I'm going to do again. Things are starting to get crazy over in academic land, but for now it's all link-o-riffic.

First, have you guys seen the Amazon MP3 download store? I really dig it. No digital rights management (although it does have a non-personal watermark), pretty high quality (256 kbps) and, since it's an MP3, you can do whatever you want with it. iPod? no problem! any other MP3 player? no problem! burn onto a CD? sure! copy it to your laptop? why not! Very cool. They still need to get more artists signed up. They do make you use a downloader, but it'll file the new music into your iTunes or your WMP. Coolness.

Ok, other strange and beguiling links:

  1. Funny little lego-looking illustrations. Can you recognize them? hover your cursor over the image to get the answers. I did very very badly :)
  2. Simpsons scenes and the movie scenes they reference.
  3. Wacky conspiracy theories - aren't they all?
  4. A really strange game from the 'Got Milk' people. Who funds this?
  5. Allow the magic of the internets to choose your presidential candidate for you! (some of the questions are a wee bit leading - do you favor torture?)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Need Humility? Try this quiz! :)

So, first ya gotta go take this geography quiz.

Then you gotta watch this cartoon. (seriously, I don't think there is a way that I could possibly love this clip better than I do.)


Then take the quiz again.

I still really stunk.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who Knew?

I live at a university-run apartment complex for graduate students, and last year they occasionally tried to get us all together and forcibly socialize the poor little gradfolk.

It seems that that was last year, this is this year. Today, there was a 'fair' set up for us. Really nice deal. There were about 30 booths out there each with their own branded swag. I got a water bottle, two bags (one from Whole Foods with a box of macaroni and cheese, 2 funky health drinks and some nice coupons, oh, and a tube of coconut 'foot cream.' - eh?). I got cookies and muffins and apples and starbursts.

Oh yeah, the transportation folks gave me a bus map and a combination compass/led light/emergency whistle. Odd.

But still, as Jack Handy or perhaps Brightstar might say, free dummy.

Need Strange Videos? Of Course You Do.

You remember these guys? They would make the perfect librarians.


Beware of flume rides.


If you survive the flume ride, maybe you could go on this game show. Japan makes me laugh.


Funky music video with old revival video


And a link to a table I want. You know, eventually, when I actually have a place to put it.


Added bonus:
Ah, for days gone by in the Oklahoman schoolhouse: fingernail inspection. Optional caption: "You're soaking in it."

I wish this map of all humanity were bigger so I could try to find out where I live.

And finally, the true argument against Star Wars and for Star Trek: despots vs. populists.

Ok, my tabs are clear.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happiness is...

When I left for Japan, what, like three months ago, I put a bag of dark chocolate M&Ms behind the bottle of pasta sauce.

Tonight I found it.

Joy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

TV Branding

Ah, yes. I forgot. I'm sure you've seen this before, but it gives me great joy:

It's Got Bionics, That's Got To Be Good, Right?

You can watch to first episode of the Bionic Woman and a couple other NBC shows on Amazon Unbox for free. I guess that's NBC trying to dig themselves out of the whole they fell in when they pulled out of their iTunes deal. Anyway, it's pretty hard to imagine a show that I should like more. Geeky, gorgeous woman, tech stuff and nostalgia. Ah, should be great.

It's not.

Just like all the other nostalgia porn out there (Fantastic Four, Transformers, etc...), there's some good in it. I actually do like the main actress a bit. She is pretty, and she also seems to be able to act a little bit, even if she does have a bit of the Keanu Reeves disease (blank, stupified, but easy on the eyes). Hopefully that's just because most of the role in this episode called for it.

The other actress worthy of note is the 'other' women (you'll see what I mean if you bother to watch). She's just awful. I though maybe she was trying to go the cold heartless route, but no, I really think she's just an awful actress.

There is some good geek stuff in there, although I think the 'through the bionic eye cam' looked a little too reminiscent of the Terminator, but hey, maybe that's just me. There was also a nice bit when she's waking up from the surgery that was properly panicky and fairly well-done. This probably had a bit to do with the fact that there wasn't much dialogue there.

The biggest problem is the writing, of course. The things that those poor people were forced to say, the clichés, oh it was just embarrassing. Of course, there's a father-thing plot element. Of course there's a giant government related black-ops organization that's gone wrong with a past experiment on the loose. I'm going to go out on the limb and say that the leader of the group is of -gasp- ambiguous morals and loyalty! Of course, there's a insanely young looks-like-he-belongs-on-the-cover-of-Teen-Beat-Magazine doctor. Why wouldn't our heroine be a down on her luck bartender who just happens to have a genius IQ and knockout looks. Ugh, I could go on and on.

Still, I watched the whole episode. I probably won't watch any more, but it'll probably do ok. After all, this is what passes for female empowerment these days.*

* There was a really strained push for this in the show, too. Bionic Woman is running through the woods next to a road and a little girl in the back seat of an SUV sees her and tells mommy - a stern businesswoman cutout with a bluetooth headset. Mommy says something like, "what did I tell you about making things up." and the little (little little) girl says, "I just thought it was cool that a girl could do that." ugh.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back at Black Rock

I've been having an odd summer academically. See, I ran off and did something only mildly related to my real studies (but required to get my PhD) all summer long. I wasn't really in a good position to keep going on my own stuff (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). So now I'm back and trying desperately to get back into the groove. I've got a couple of projects on my plate, and I would love to get a little bit of progress, but the inertia of the summer is soooo hard to overcome.

So, long story short, I'm in the library today getting really excited about one of my topics, but realizing that I'm wanting to look in a different direction than I had in the past. I guess it's just because I've been away from it for a little while, but I guess I've gotten a new perspective on the topic. I did want to look into topic A, but now I'm thinking it might be better to look into topics B-F and how they orbit topic A. That seems so much better and even perhaps a little (buzzword alert) interdisciplinary of me. 'Course it also means more work, too. harumph.

In any case, it's time to go home, heat up some frozen pizza and watch some football.

Enter The Roommate

I just got a phone call from my new roommate.* Since I'm still in the university-owned apartment, it's all been handled by the housing department. He's moving in on the 15th, coming from the Great White North. Well, close to the great white north anyway, but still in the US. Anyway, should be interesting. He's a musician, maybe trumpet? Very cool really, but I'm wondering if he'll be practicing in the apartment.

See? It is all about me.

Also, I asked if he was going to need any help moving in. He said that he was going to just be flying in with a couple of bags. I didn't ask specifically, but it seems he's not bringing anything else. Cool to travel light and all, but um... you're going to be here for a while, yaknow? Then he asked if the apartment was furnished. Hehe. Furnished. Funny guy.

* Very fun information. I killed my contract with AT&T and switched over to their Gophone pay-as-you-go plan. So far it's quite cool. I went from ~$40/month to nada. 'Cause, well I don't have any friends who might call me. I just bought a $30 card and all is good (although the card expires in 3 months, which is patently evil, but evil on a scale I'm prepared to accept from a cell phone company). Anyway, I discovered when he called that incoming calls are free. I mean, they should be and all, but still. Bonus cool.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Lonk-o-rama

  • Blogging for dollars!
  • How is it possible that I never read Twain's version of Eve's Diary? This is wonderful! (also bonus cool points to the Gutenberg Project for including the illustrations)
  • Non-link. DVDs are way too expensive. No wonder people pirate.
  • Completely random, but I love old photos. I could spend hours here, and perhaps only a little less time here.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Lessons Learning

Wisdom from the land of the online dating sites:
  • Photos:
    • Ok, I'm superficial. Fine, I can handle that. I need pictures, plural. (and eHarmony, I really don't want to pay you for the pleasure. grrr...)
    • I know, I'm a camera geek, but surely you can see that the quality of the picture you uploaded is bad, right?
      • Half face covered in shadow
      • 16 pixels total
      • blurry because the camera didn't focus or blurry because you blurred it?
      • Red eyes? ix-nay on the demonic irlfriend-gay
      • Dark hair? Dark clothes? Dark background? bad photo? Ah! Floating HEAD!
    • Where are you? Disneyword? Cute. Paris? Cool. The bathroom? Awkward. Also, is that a rifle in the background?
    • Why are you clutching lovingly at the guy there? If that's a brother or friend or something, a note would be nice.
    • related - Disturbing crops. Who or what did you crop out of that photo. Are you leaning on a photogenically ugly wall or Bin Laden?
    • I know that you are trying to show that you are active and all, but if you are in mortal danger in each of your photos, perhaps you ain't for me.
    • Cute picture of you at the bar with friends? cool, shows you are sociable and what you do for fun.
    • Several photos of you completely sloshed and slightly drooling? Not so cool. Shows you are sociable and what you do for fun.
    • Glamor shots. Ok, this may be just me, but a woman who can dress up or down for anything is very attractive. A woman who wears an inch and a half of pancake, chisel-proof hair, tilts her head at a 45 degree angle and looks back over her head with a runaway bride look in her eyes - not so much.
    • Cleavage. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of cleavage, and there's nothing wrong with showing it in your pictures, but c'mon cameraman, the eyes are up here. If the photo is focused on your boobs, and I can see more than your plastic surgeon could, I'm going to assume that's all you have to offer.
    • Animals. Again, I get it. You love animals. I do too. But if there are significantly more pictures of your beloved Bingo then of you, I'm curious if there's room in your world for anyone else.
I'm learning more and more every day :)

Earworm of the Morning Plus Bonus Funky Dream!

Cool Change by the Little River Band (had to look that one up too. See? I would have failed all of my own quizzes)

Funky Dream - I'm running a D&D game with an old friend from many schools ago - we're going to make money at this by charging the people who play - genius! Odder is that the people seem to be willing to pay. We play in a barn on a campus near the sea. Seriously, like a big red barn that maybe needs only a silo. My friend (who actually runs the game) leaves early and then later I drive home apparently drunk (did I drink there? maybe some tumblers of red stuff?). Several times, the road veers left and I try to turn the wheel left but my arms turn the wheel right - stupid arms. One time I'm impressed that I don't go over the guardrail off the cliff over there into the sea. Is this Hawaii? Looks a lot like Hawaii. Now I'm on raised overpasses, but I still don't go over the railings. Eventually I pass some place I seem to remember from other dreams. Then I finally go off the road and onto some kind of latticed girder work (construction? Still raised high over the ground). I stop the car (it's an SUV! Good god - I'm driving an SUV! The shame of it all!) and a car pulls up behind me. It's not a cop, but he asks me to hand over my keys and I do.

Oh, B* - Pandas are on the way!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

I've discovered that I follow through on things more when I make them slightly more public, so I'm going to try to do that a little more here on the blog, and maybe I'll be able to actually have a social life this year - believe in miracles, friends and neighbors.

This spring I promised myself that I would, so I've been surfing the dating sites almost all day today. Ach, depressing. So far the results are... limited and confusing - much like my love life in general, I suppose.

I actually like the eHarmony system quite a lot, but either I'm a bigger freak than I assumed (quite possible), or everyone who wasn't hyper-Christian already left eHarmony after all the bad press they got. I think I ended up with two results within my state. And I like in a big state. And I think dating someone in Germany or Turkey would be cool, but perhaps not right now - The first date at a coffee shop might be... expensive.

The other two I've tried so far are Match.com (which I've heard has had some quality successes :P) and Chemistry.com. Match.com looks good - plenty of people - but a little overwhelming, and I'm not sure how well they match up with me. Anyway, that's where I've spent the most time today, and I might have screwed up the questionnaire on Chemistry, because their summary of my personality is a bit odd. Either that or I don't know myself as well as I thought. Also possible.

Also, dang! These things ain't cheap! Free versions for me for now.

iAm Sick Of It All

I'm geeky - that's obvious. I'm also often opposed to whatever is popular, for no other reason than its popularity, even when it's to my detriment. Thus, I was horrified and tickled at the same time when I heard that Apple dropped the price of the iPhone from $599 to $399 this morning. Bear in mind that all the early adopters and hardcore Apple fanboys lined up to buy those things when they were released, what, a little over two months ago? I guarantee that there are folks who just got together enough money to get one just last week. Oh, so ouch. I wonder if the stores will honor the price change if they come in to argue.

Not A Natural Man

Almost every morning I wake up with a song in my head. I don't know why, I don't know how. Often it's a song I haven't heard in years. For example, this morning: Pusherman by Steppenwolf (had to look that up). Does this reflect on my sanity or lack thereof?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Smoooth. Real Smooooth

  • Two Japanese young women get on a very crowded bus and end up standing next to that guy. You know that guy. The overly-friendly, overly-loud guy who never really says anything horribly offensive, but makes everyone on the bus uncomfortable anyway. The women don't have a very good command of English, but the guy is trying his best to tell women number one how much he really loves her. Welcome to the US.
    • (sidenote) After the women get off (he kisses their hands), a couple of sk8r bois (with boards) take their place in front of the guy. Said bois are quite young. That guy proceeds to tell a, um... rather blue joke and then explain that marijuana is ok, they'd better not do crack, 'cause he did that for seventeen years and it just about killed him.
    • After the bois leave he announces that he is going to learn Japanese next so he can talk to all the sexy Japanese women. Then he announces his departure and lets everyone know that he'll be riding again next week, same time same bus. Good to know.
  • In the grocery store, there's a older very skeezy looking guy following around a cute young stocker who looks to be taking him to some other aisle. The only part of the conversation I catch is the guy saying "... You don't know what that means? That means 'beautiful little one.' That's what you are." This followed by an exasperated sigh and a quickened pace from the stocker.
  • Elsewhere in the grocery store, geeky-looking but large and imposing man has stunning women backed up against the diet sodas. She: arms folded across chest glancing from him to her shopping cart a few times. Him: one hand casually leaning against the display next to her, the other gesturing as he talks. As I pass by, she starts suddenly and, interrupting him, says that it was nice to meet him and starts to push away her cart, stopping only briefly to half-heartedly shake his proffered hand. As she moves away with a quickness, he makes no effort to hide the fact that he's staring right at her butt.

Gah. What a day for love. Does cupid have a hangover or something?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Crosstown Traffic

Also, Labor Day bus schedules suck. Boooo.

It Slices, It Dices, It Makes Julianne Classes

Oh, dear. This is going to be ugly.

Classes don't start for me for a little bit yet, so I'm just finding out how things are going to go down. Hoo-boy. So, I found out that I'm TAing the same course I did last year, which is good - it's probably my best fit here, and it's steady for the whole year. So, good.

But there's bad, too. There's real bad. Budget Cuts. The class is an intro class. A pretty big intro class. Think mid-low three digits. So, anywhoo, I just found out our class size got cut by about a third for this year because we can't afford to teach all the students who want to learn. Absolutely infuriating.

So while I'm really happy to see that I'm one of the few TAs who are still, um, employed, I am really not looking forward to the first day of class where I get to tell several dozens of students that I'd would love to have them in my class, but I can't let them in.

Usually, I have no problem telling students that there's no room in the inn, because, generally, they're the ones who never got their act together, didn't really want or need the class in the first place, and generally perform badly if I let them in anyway. That's the thing, too. If I feel there's just cause, the department usually gives me the final call if I want to let a latecomer in. And beyond that, there's generally only a handful that we can't get in one section or another.

This time, there are going to be majors and minors who need the class, freshmen who the department needs to court into becoming majors, and all sorts of quality folks that I'm going to have to turn away. And I'm going to probably have no call about letting in exceptional case beyond that.