Saturday, October 08, 2005

Word o' the Day

Word of the day:

v. tr.
To rebuke or criticize harshly or abusively; berate.
v. intr.
To use harshly abusive language; rail.

I love words.  I really do.  Sometimes, however, I think scholars collect pet words just to send poor students like me to the dictionary.


I’m trying out the new Google feed-reader, and so far it’s ok. I imported my feeds from Bloglines, and they all inserted themselves into the Google reader just fine, but they wouldn’t seem to update for quite a while. I was watching Bloglines pick up new posts, but GR sat there silently – prettily, but silently. Another bad thing is that I keep my public Gmail account up most of the time, so I have to use the GR with that account to avoid all of the logging in and logging out. It feels a little odd to be reading blogs and such without the (honestly rather flimsy) cover of my pseudonym, but it’s all paranoia.

There wasn’t a musical quiz last night, so I’ll give you a hefty dose of what I’ve been listening to today.

#1 – Easy!
Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed the Rio Grande?
I can see it in your eyes
How proud you were to fight for freedom in this land

#2 – Waaaay too easy
Standing in the dock at Southampton,
Trying to get to Holland or France.
The man in the mac said, "You've got to turn back".
You know they didn't even give us a chance.

#3 – Maybe kinda hard
Love of two is one
Here but now they're gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear we couldn't go on
The door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew and then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared
Saying don't be afraid

#4 – Great running song
He drinks a whisky drink
He drinks a vodka drink
He drinks a lager drink
He drinks a cider drink

#5 – I think I’m still in love with this singer (there’s a little bit of whistling too :) )
Hey, hey - they say I better get a chaperone
Because I can't stop messin' with the danger zone
No, I won't worry, and I won't fret - Ain't no law against it yet.

#6 – And a bonus song, just ‘cause I love you all so much
They say that life is tit for tat
And that's the way I live
So, I deserve a lot of tat
For what I've got to give
Don't you know that this hand
Washes that one too

Friday, October 07, 2005

Wallace and Gromit – Curse of the Were-Rabbit

This is another movie I really liked. I have to admit that I’ve only seen a couple of the W&G shorts, but I had an idea of what this would be like. I think it survived the transition to a full-length feature very well.

The story is solid and of course the voice-acting is wonderful. It’s completely family friendly, but not bland like so many ‘family movies’ are (there was a trailer for Cheaper by the Dozen Two, and man, does that look awful. And I like Steve Martin).

Most of all, it’s really funny. You’ve got your physical comedy, your puns, sight gags, and the standard wackiness you’d expect. Even in a less-than-crowded cinema, I laughed out loud several times.

I have to admit, even though it was very funny and captivating and definitely worth seeing, it’s not a great film. It’s not a movie that I’m going to remember for years and buy the minute it comes out of DVD.

Even though it is a completely different movie, it’ll probably be compared to Corpse Bride simply because of the stop-action filming (great article about the filming of CB here), and I have to say, I don’t think it was a good as CB. W&G was wonderfully inventive, but it didn’t create another world as effectively as CB.

Again, it’s very much worth the ticket, and as with Corpse Bride, I’m really happy that movies that aren’t just the same old standard Hollywood schlock are getting wide release. I do feel like a bit of some cheeeeese though...

Wallace and Gromit – Curse of the Were-Rabbit 8/10

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Insert Title Here

Great meeting with my advisor today. I was feeling a little directionless about my thesis, but I think I’m back on track now. I was able to give him more data than he thought I would be able to get and he even got excited about the direction of some of the research. It’s so helpful to see someone else interested in what I’ve been banging my head against for so long. Here’s hoping that I can maintain the focus and enthusiasm. Oh, yeah, and write. I should write, too.

Musical Madness!

First off the one that no one could figure out from yesterday was “Love in an Elevator” by Aerosmith. <Alex Trebek> Ooooo it was Aerosmith. Sorry. </Alex Trebek>

Tonight’s serenade is as follows:

Hey I was just a skinny lad
Never knew no good from bad
But I knew life before I left my nursery

Shouldn’t be too tough :)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I'm Stuck On an Old Music Station, Send Help!

Alright – how about a lyrical quiz, because as the song playing right now tells me, the rhythm is going to get you. I’ve got to do two, cause the first one is too easy. Remember, we're looking for singer/band & title.


Don't switch the blade on the guy in shades
oh no.
Don't masquerade with the guy in shades
oh no
I can't believe it!
Don't be afraid of the guy in shades
oh no
it can't escape you


But where am I gonna look
They tell me that love is blind
I really need a girl like an open book
To read between the lines

Actually, that one’s pretty easy, too… I’ll have to add one more nasty one…


But shoot it in the right direction
Make making it your intention-ooh yeah
Live those dreams
Scheme those schemes
Got to hit me
Hit me
Hit me with those laser beams

Oh, no - this one just came on, you'll never get this one!

You can tell I'm educated, I studied at the Sorbonne
Doctored in mathematics, I could have been a don
I can program a computer, choose the perfect time
If you've got the inclination, I have got the crime

Can I Borrow Your Notes?

Wow. A student specifically thanked me for a handout. He said, “This is great. This will really help out in Gruubing.” I didn’t hear sarcasm, so I guess it’s real.

Classes went pretty well, but I’m getting a little frustrated because I want to talk about so many things that I think everyone would love to talk about, but we never have enough time. I know I shouldn’t worry so much as long as good discussions are going on, but there are so many wonderful juicy things to talk about!

Other class notes:

· No one has scoffed my insistence on name tags on the table.

· I still can’t pronounce that guy’s name. I’m really sorry. I should be able to.

· It’s so hard not to ask the relative-of-famous-person to… I don’t know, perform or something?

· Bad, bad me – I made a political comment/joke that I probably shouldn’t have. It seemed like everyone laughed, but that’s no excuse, really.

· The talkative ‘expert’ is in one of my sections. He’s a good guy, but we’re going to have to sit down and talk. I understand he knows a lot of this already. He doesn’t need to impress me or anyone else, and he’s starting to affect the class environment.

You are Rerun!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Rerun? Who in the world is Rerun?

As seen at New Kid on the Hallway

Another Reason Why I Don't Need Caffeine

One more time for those who weren't here on Don't Be an Idiot Day:



These are two separate things, and as you might guess by their names, they have different uses.

Also, for those of you who have never seen or heard of the mythical 'car' or the 'road' it uses, standard procedure for us in the US is to drive on the right-hand side of the road. This works for bikepaths too. It's also a good idea to look both ways before crossing a bikepath. I feel sure this might have been covered somewhere in kindergarten, but maybe I'm wrong.

And a special note of love to the cute little barely dressed things that were riding in a giant clump at less than walking speed on the narrow bikepath leading to campus: I know it's fun to ride to class with your friends and chat about last night's adventure (I agree, it sounds like Bill is after you). And I understand that at eight in the morning, you might not be at your best. Perhaps, however, when someone bicycles up from behind and courteously calls out, "on your left, please," the proper action would be to pull slightly to the right so that the line of people following you might pass.

Thank you and have a lovely day.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

76 Trombones in My Parade

Alrighty, last one tonight!

First off – Hey Fish, "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" has a whistling part, and "Walk Like an Egyptian Does" too! Can anyone think of other songs with whistling in them?

Tonight’s musical quiz is a toughie from 1995:

I believe Fate smiled and destiny
Laughed as she came to my cradle
"Know this child will be able"Laughed as my body she lifted
"Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience
And with faith
She'll make her way"

I Don't Think I'm In Kansas Anymore

I’m taking a seminar that’s led by a professor who is pretty well known and a bit of the media darling.  He doesn’t do Gruub work, but he does very similar stuff in a related field.  Anyway, he’s a very charismatic guy and he’s insanely well-read and he does great work that pretty much everyone has a great deal of respect, myself included.  I have a great deal of respect for him and what he has done.

Well, in seminar today, we gave mini-response papers to some readings, and frankly, I didn’t like the readings much.  The professor tore my piece apart pretty well, and to be honest, the things he said about it were valid and I’ll learn a lot if he attacks all my work that well.  
Thinking about all this during my run, I think I’ve come to a disturbing conclusion about myself.  I really don’t like theory.  I mean, I think it’s important, and I read a couple theory-people that I think are useful and thought-provoking, but it seems like the vast majority of theorists are creating entire worlds of thought based solely off of other theorists that did the same ten years ago, who did it ten years ago, ad nauseum.  I think at some point they have left their original fields and entered into something else not directly related to where they started, and yet I believe that they believe that they are dealing with Gruub.  I’m sure they’re convinced of it.  Maybe I’m just not well-enough versed in the high priests of theory to see the light in all this, but, well… quite a lot of it seems like a sham.  Who is the voice behind the curtain?

I know I’m speaking from the frustration that I felt today and probably will feel for some of the rest of this seminar, but I needed to get that out.

Afternoon Run

8.2km – 45’17” Should be about a minute quicker too, ‘cause I stopped to chat with a guy I know and haven’t seen in about a year.  He was just sitting on a bench out by the path.  Kinda odd, really.

Notes to dudes in the locker room:

#1     Dude.  The bench is not for your use only.  There are about ten other guys that need to use it too, over here.  Moreover, it’s probably not the best spot to sprawl out and read.  I know it’s a manual for your shiny new heart rate monitor, and that’s athletically related, but if you’re reading in when I come in from my run, and you’re still reading after I’m showered and changing clothes, then maybe you should think about removing to the library.  I hear they even have desks over there.

#2     Dude.  Spiderman Underoo/Speedos are kinda cool when you are seven.  A little less so when you’re 40-ish.  Save them for your special nights with that someone you care for.  Not so much for the locker room audience.

#3     Dude.  If you feel the need to scrub it for that long, maybe it would be better to go in and have the doctor take a look at it.  Seriously.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t wear contacts.  There are things I would prefer to remain clouded in the mists of myopia.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I'm Dragging.


Long day.

No energy to write.

I leave you with today’s tune test.

Whatever happened to Saturday night?
When you dressed up sharp and you felt alright
It don't seem the same since cosmic light
Came into my life, I thought I was divine.

It’s much more energetic than I feel right now.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I Play My Xs On Triple Letter Scores

6.01 km – 31’12”

Felt pretty good, too. I just did the quickish run-loop by where I live. Since I knew I was just going to do one loop, I tried to pick up the pace a little bit, and that seemed to work. I even had a sub-five minute kilometer and two at 5’04”. Maybe I should try to run shorter runs more often.

Proof that I’m way more geeky than is healthy:

I turned on ESPN when I got up this morning to watch a bit of the pregame shows (granted, not so geeky), but by the time I got back from my run, I turned the TV back on and they were showing the Scrabble championships. They even had Stephen Fastis, the guy who wrote Word Freak, doing the play-by-play. Play-by-play in a Scrabble game! How can you tell me that cable isn’t a wonderful curse? Rather than watch a quarter or two of football before I left the house, I sat there and watched other people play Scrabble. That’s pretty pathetic, isn’t it?