Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's Full of Stars

Ok. This requires some delicate maneuvering. Someone who shall remain nameless unless he or she chooses to respond here became a Netflix friend and thus learned all the secrets of my ratings. Now comes the ridicule.

I gave Catwoman 3 stars.

Don't start the intervention yet! See, I give three stars to movies that entertained me, even if they're god-awful pieces of crap, which, I do agree, Catwoman was (other 3 star examples - The Beastmaster, Billy Madison, Earth Girls are Easy and The Fantastic Four). I think the problem is that I rarely watch movies that I don't enjoy on some level. I can generally tell when I'm not going to like 'em. I don't think I have many one or two stars at all. A quick check reveals Anchorman, Lord of War, and Red Corner in the 2 star category, and I'll stand by those. I couldn't even really laugh at those, much less, with them. I'm sure I'll get angry huffs of indignation about Anchorman lovers though. I just couldn't take it.

Ya gotta admit, if you watched Catwoman, I bet you laughed. Maybe not where the filmmakers wanted you to, but I bet you did :)

4.35mi 31'37"

Friday, December 29, 2006

Rock Quizster

Well, here we go. I was going to wait until the new year to start this, but hey, I was folding laundry while the tunes raged and I was inspired. First off, I'd like to thank those readers who have held on and kept visiting. I'm such a needy person. I love it when you respond.

So, without further ado, back by popular demand, I bring to you, the rebirth of luke warm:


Ok, you remember the drill. We need the title of the song and the artist (or "artist" in some cases). Arguing over who did the best cover of an original is encouraged, but Janis kicks Kris' ass at Bobby McGee, and that can be changed by neither men nor gods.

I'm going to mix those standard questions up with some short answers - no True/False or multiple choices (so far :) ) Also, I've made no attempt whatsoever to reconcile these with the earlier billions or quizicles, so expect review questions of songs we've already covered. You have been reviewing all semester long, haven't you?

She helped me with my suitcase,
She stands before my eyes
Driving me to the airport,
And to the friendly skies.
Sometimes, tell me
While she's touching you
Just by mistake
Accidentally do you say my name?
Old friends meet on the edge of town
Sharing conversation, hoping things will soon get better
While the children meet, got the world at their feet
Not knowing whats around the corner
Are we living for an uncertain future?
Don't be afraid to try again
Everyone goes south
Every now and then
You've done it, why can't
Someone else?
Out on the wiley, windy moors
We'd roll and fall in green.
You had a temper like my jealousy:
Too hot, too greedy.
How could you leave me,
When I needed to possess you?
I hated you. I loved you, too.
I was living for a dream, loving for a moment
Taking on the world, that was just my style
Then I touched your hand, I could hear you whisper...
I could leave but I won't go
Though my heart might tell me so
I can't feel a thing from my head down to my toes

Short Answer (Bonus points for title and artist)

Who might declare us "the nicest of the damned?"

9. What is it that brings out the man in me?

10. Where might you find a one-man band who'll toot his flute for you?

11. What did you swear the time before?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Digital Decadance

Well, there was a whole lot less work going on today and a whole lot more retail therapy. Oh, online shopping, how you seduce me with your reaching out to my laziness with your free shipping and random things I never knew I needed.

There were gift cards received this holiday, and I'm giddily shopping from the comfort of my home wearing much less than would be socially acceptable were I to be wandering around the brick and mortar stores, and that's a beautiful thing.

One thing that I did get out to shop for was a decent beginner's cookbook. Pretty much all I've got in my cooking toolbox are the bachelor specials, you know - omelets, chili, tacos, pasta, etc... So I did get out and hit the bookstore to find something that I hope will help. I'll blog it if anything I cook is notable in success or failure.

Also discovered while out today - Pear Cider. Oh, yum. Why is it so hard to find ciders here?

4.4mi 31'46"

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Brain Dead Meme!

A Meme? Easy? A window on my dark dark soul? Sign me up!

Via the Janus-like Pilgrim/Heretic

I present to you the first line(s) for each month of the past year-o-blogging (minus run reports)!


More rain - no run


Bloody Vikings...


I loved Choose You Own Adventure books - Something Awful has more of these right here - warning that some things there are, um... a bit tasteless.


"Making Eye Babies" Not Allowed


80 random people + blue polo shirts and khakis + plans to politely hang out at the local Best Buy = Hilarious


First off, an apology to what few loyal readers I've got left for the lack of posts lately. I've been doing the thesis tango with my advisors and a whole lotta caffeine.


Very bizarre surfing gets done late late at night when you're doing laundry (cause it's too bloomin' hot to do laundry during the day).



The Master said, "to see knowledge as knowledge and ignorance as ignorance - this is knowledge."

I shoulda listened to Confucius.



Andre Agassi: Regardless of whether or not you've never actually seen him play or care to, that was a great match.
US Basketball Team: Further evidence that NBA players are just overpaid egomaniacal ball hogs who can't play as a team or the natural result of trying to throw together a team in too short a time? I vote both.


Yesterday was mostly very cool. There was that incident - with the photocopier (I guess we're not supposed to say Xerox machine anymore, are we?). There was also the other incident with the photocopier. All I have to say is that I didn't do it. It was like that when I got there.


I think part of the reason for my lack of posts lately is more than simply the fact that I don’t sit in front of the computer 7 hours out of every day like I did at Old U.


There's a minor ick at USU (Urban Sprawl University - You like?).

So, the lessons learned here are as follows:
  • Pretty much all I do is link - no real content to be found here
  • I also whine.
  • I need to learn to blog better :)

4.33mi - 31'21"

Funny thing is that I haven't run for awhile. (again. I know, I know.) I started out and it felt soooo good. I started running a little faster and my entire body felt like it was just made to glide over the sidewalk. My breathing was coming easily and my legs flitted back and forth snicker-snack.

That lasted about 100 meters.

Holy poop I got tired. Muscles tightened, breath wheezed, legs pulled forward through mobile tubs of molasses. It got a little better as I ran through the shock of it all, but still. Yeesh.

On the plus side I took a hint from Jayfish and listened to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, which now comes in handy, easy to swallow podcast form (it's on iTunes too, if you like it that way), while I ran. I'm sure the other folks on the sidewalks were wondering why I was laughing out loud as I ran by them. They probably just thought I was a cruel punk mocking their slowness. I'm sure they'll trip me next time.

Happy Holidays To All

After a wild dash across and back across the nation, I've come back from the land of wind and dry skin. Fortunately for me, it's also the land of family, lots of food, and some kick-ass presents. Old stories were told. Old songs were sung, and I was reminded how much I really like my family. I know so many people who really dislike their family, so I guess I got off lucky. Throughout multiple flight delays (I had the least troubles - one delay and one missed flight, but a first class upgrade and a free ticket on an airline that I'm not sure I would want to fly with again, so it was pretty much a wash for me), holiday cheer was retained.

The obvious stars of the entire production were naturally the nieces. To get all the cliches out of the way, They're HUGE! The youngest is walking around and talking (the best thing you can hear is a toddler squealing out "Again! Again!" after seeing a trick or funny face), and the eldest is the cleverest thing on the planet.

I'm using today as a recovery day and then I'll go back into the research and work stuff tomorrow. I really needed that break. I feel recharged. That could also be because I actually did get out and run this morning. That'll be int he next post. Err... you've probably already seen it though. It's up there above this one, I'll bet.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Bird Is NOT The Word.

Ok. See, one of the problems I have when trying to convince people I'm not gay (happens more often than you'd think or I'd hope) is that I enjoy musicals more than most folks. I've mentioned before that I can sing almost all of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I'm also fairly fluent in some others, and well... one of those 'others' is Grease.

Although I cannot be convinced that Sandra Dee wasn't much more attractive before she went all slut-o-rific in the final scene, I really like the film more than perhaps than I should. I say film, because I've only seen it live once, and if I remember correctly, it was a high school production. I think. It better have been, because it was god-awful.

So, imagine my surprise when I see this. Go ahead. Go check it out. There's a video there on the main page so it might not be work friendly, but you better not still be at work anyway, right?

So, I'm really torn. I think I'd really enjoy watching the decent singers audition and all, but umm... Did you watch that video? Are they going to porn up the show? 'Cause that's what it looks like. Grease ain't Cabaret. T'aint Chicago neither. Hey, I'm no prude, and I've got no beef with porn (pardon that phrasing), but I think that the sexuality of Grease needs to be at least a little understated - else who would be surprised at Rizzo's pregnancy scare? If the Pink Ladies turn out to be a little gang of Paris Hiltons, then I'll be oh so sad.

Maybe I'm too stuck on the movie being the only 'right' version. I do that. Woe betide anyone who covers a favorite song of mine.

So, it'll be on my record list, but I'm wary...

Just FYI


Quick Note

Just dropping by to leave a quick note to wish everyone a very pleasant Global Orgasm Day.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


In honor of the discovery of the title of the upcoming Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), I, having myself nothing worthwhile to present, pass on a link to some fun drawings.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quiz Dump!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."


The Northeast

The South

The Midland

North Central

The West


What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

- Grrr... I want to know which ones I missed >:(

What type of person do you attract?
Your Result: You attract geeks!

Your stunning intellect and love of sci-fi and video games allures the geeks like nothing else. Maybe it is the sparkle in your eye that makes them want to text you, who knows. Geeks make good partners, but tend to be arguementative. If you are a TRUE geek magnet, you will know if that was spelled correctly, and actually care. If it is a bad-boy/bad-girl you are seeking, you are barking up the wrong tree, unless they are just 'bad' behind a PS2 console.

You attract Yuppies!

You attract artsy people!

You attract models!

You attract unstable people!

You attract rednecks!

What type of person do you attract?
Quizzes for MySpace

Link Dump

Oh, yeah, I forgot:

  • Cool physics game - the dots are attracted to the balls, so get out there and move those balls! (and you can make up your own joke there, I can't be bothered)
  • The return of You Don' t Know Jack! - Do you guys remember this? It was a really funny trivia game many moons ago, and now it's back. I tried a few and the new ones seem pretty funny
  • Movie scenes made out of stationery! How many can you guess? I got 12/20. That's an F.
Also of note. I actually was social and went out for dinner last night! Woot! Yea me!

Time Cop-Out of the Year

Ok, Ok, I know I'm behind the news-cycle with this one, but as I'm sure everyone has seen by now, the Time Person of the Year is out, and it's 'You.'

Har har, clever clever.

I see what they mean - as a bulwark of the "old" media, a magazine is going to see the disturbance of the YouTubes and blogs and their aggressive watchdogging and raking of muck that is aimed not only at the standard targets of such things like politicians and movie folk and such, but at all media outlets as well. So, yeah, it would be silly to deny that there isn't a big shakeup going on. Bush's forged military records, Howard Dean's scream, panty-less coke-crazed attention whores - none of these would be what they are without the "new" media.

But I'm still not sold that impact is more important than, say Rumsfeld, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, or Hugo Chavez.

I'm not saying that their choice was unfounded. Hell, it's their magazine, they set the standards.

Feh, I guess it's a good thing I don't buy papers or magazines anymore. They're all online, don'tcha know?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday Meme!

From Jayfish, Zerodoll, etc...

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Nog is nice, but Chocolate is the best. My only trouble is that I can't drink hot drinks unless the weather is actually cold. I'm a human furnace.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Are you kidding? Santa? Feh! I'm sure it's the elves that do all the real work.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Many colors, I think. Different kinds of lights too. I like the little bubbling ones.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nah, I'm not too big on parasitic harassment inducers :)

5. When do you put your decorations up? I put up my decorations, oh... never. Maybe when I have a real place of my own?

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? White trash moment here. I love the canned cranberry sauce. Ya know, the kind that keeps the shape of the can - hehe.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? The anitipation. Always the anticipation.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I'm with Zerodoll - I honestly don't know. I've always been a cynical guy, but I also am easily deluded. I can't remember. Maybe I blocked the memory?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We used to do a little of both.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Don't have one :(

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? LOVE IT. It may be a function of living in snowless places for awhile, but snow is the best! Building forts, snowmen, caterpillars (for those to lazy to pick up the snowman pieces), it's just the bestest.

12. Can you ice skate? Never tried really.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Geek moment. Mom got my brother and me the Vic20 with a drawing pad. Soooo cool. We loved it so much we promised we would only use it for school - hehehe liars!

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Getting together with family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? All of it?

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? hmm... we don't really have any set traditions... maybe we need to start some...

17. What tops your tree? A better tree? Hmmm I can't remember right now... Angel start-thingie?

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? You need 'em both, now dontcha?

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? I like some of the old crooners doing the classics

20. Candy canes? Striped. What? Was this the free-association question?

21. Favorite Christmas movie? Honestly, all the old ones are ok - Rudolph, Wonderful Life, etc... I'm not sure I really would go out of my way to watch any of them. They're just all on, you know? so I watch some... Oh, I'd be remiss not to mention A Christmas Story. Because, you, know, he's going to shoot his eye out.

Edited to fix Zerodoll's link

Monday, December 18, 2006

Another Brick in the Mall

Yeesh. It's been a long time since I've been at the mall. random comments:
  • Lots of creepy people hanging around at the back of the video store looking at Japanese cartoons
    • The video store - weird. I guess it's been even longer since I've been in a video or movies store. Haven't they already been eaten up by iTunes and Borders yet?
  • mannequins... um... what the hell is up with their boobs? I realize that surprise at the sexualization and commercialization of children is pasee, but holy crap! If the store is selling clothes to pre-teens, I don't what to see nipples, thanks.
  • Do people really buy all those cell phone cases and accessories? By the look of the dude next to the little cart there, I can't imagine business is brisk.
  • There was a Wii set up at the games store. It actually looks like a lot of fun.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Is there anything more fascinating then the internets when there is work to be done? As in work that needs to be done tomorrow? Stumbleupon is an evil evil creation. It just sits there on the toolbar begging to be clicked. What will it bring? Pretty pictures? Funny stories? Outrage of the day? Wacky Japanese porn? There's no telling! Big money, big money, big money.... STOP!

Also - new record. My first grade complaint within hours of the grades being posted. USU students seem to be quite focused on the numbers. Sigh...

Sooooo tired.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Link Dump

Sunday Haiku

Weekend? What is that?
Eternal grading. My paper?
a binary dream.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Switch in Time

There's a minor ick at USU (Urban Sprawl University - You like?).

We're planning out the next course in the series that I'm TAing, and we had all the times and dates down, so I let my students know which classes I'll be TAing so that they can avoid me next time or (god help 'em) choose to take the class with me. Anywhoo, it turns out that now I'm going to have to switch class times with another TA due to the other TA having a seminar that must be taken. The seminar time was TBA, but now it's been A'ed, and it conflicted, and I'm the only other TA that can cover the class that X is going to have to give up. In return, X is going to take one of my classes.

So, no real trouble except a minor inconvenience, right? Well, not so much. Naturally, all the students had to lock in their class choices early, and many chose based on the times I told them. See, I know I'm being less than kind here, but even though I like the other TA a lot, I'm finding it hard to answer my students when they say, "So how X as a TA?" 'Cause the thing is, well, I'm not sure I would want to take a class from X. Some of this impression of X as a TA is subjective, but some of it is fairly well-founded.

I tell them that X is a great person, but I haven't sat in on X's classes, so I don't know what they're like. That's all true, but it's a bit disingenuous.

The material for the classes will all be basically the same, but we're given a lot of leeway and have a huge impact on the class, and I'm sure part of this is overstating my own abilities and blindness toward my own faults, but I'm worried about my students.

On the other hand, there isn't much I can do but try to steer them toward other TAs if the can switch, and if they can't switch, well... Harumph...

10.16mi - 1:17'15"

New route today. Actually kinda nice run once I got to the grassy part. Sadly, to get the grassy part, you have to run through about a mile and a half of sidewalks and crosswalks with balky crosswalk buttons. hmm... Still it was an out and back run that I could take longer, and it was pretty flat, so I'm sure I'll find use for it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

More Random Video-age

A couple of Benny Hinn Classics to get you chuckling on a Saturday night/Monday morning:

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Us Into

See? I went out for a short run, but I just kept running.

8.57mi - 1:02'41"

New PR for that route.

Thanks blog!

Edited to add: Thanks Profgrrrrrl! :)

Feeling Very Lazy

The main reason I'm posting this is to say that I'm going to go running. That way I will face shame and derision if I don't. 'Cause I don't wanna. I want to nap. I want to read non-required books. I want to watch TV. I want to eat. Anything but work or something that resembles work. But, alas, I oughtta (one t or two?).

So, much like Profgrrrrrl posting lost items so that they might find their way home, I post because I have to create my own peer pressure.

Maybe I'll just do a shorter run.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

8.64mi - 1:03'02"

'Nother run. I felt a little tight in the beginning, but eventually started to want to stride out a bit. Ended up with a slight quickening of my personal best for this particular route.

I think it's summed up nicely by the immortal words of George from the Blackadder (WWI) series:
Up diddly up, down diddly down, whoops, poop, twiddly dee - decent scrap with the fiendish Red Baron - bit of a jolly old crash landing behind enemy lines - capture, torture, escape, and then back home in time for tea and medals.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Loooong Run

I'm trying to get back into blogging more regularly, so here's a running update.

(don't get spooked about the length of the run, I've been kinda working up to it :) )

14.55mi - 1:54'31"

It was actually supposed to be about about a 10 miler, but on the way home I was feeling good so I went ahead and did a bonus loop. I wasn't really thinking about the mileage. I was actually thinking about doing a half-marathon that's coming up. Whoops. Already did. But I didn't even get a tshirt!

I have to say, I'm feeling pretty good, but going up the stairs now (several hours later) is, um... interesting :) The special joy was a very long post-run soak in a hot and then cool and then hot bath.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Of Handbaskets and Hell

Overheard in a very swanky deli:

"No, man. It all started on 9/11. They killed 3000 of our civilians. We owe them some civilians. I mean how come on 9/11 they kill 3000 civilians and it's no big deal, but when we kill some it's this huge deal?"

Sometimes it's hard for me to understand why we elect some of the people we do, why certain tv shows stay on the air and some fail, why a frightening percentage of the world sees the US as a threat. Then I hear something like this.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


As first seen at Zerodoll's

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Can I get away without shaving today?

2. How much cash do you have on you?
$1.77 (one bill, two quarters two dimes a nickel and two pennies, cause I know you're curious)

3. What’s a word that rhymes with “DOOR?”

4. Favorite planet?
I like the wobbly ones that are found off in other solar systems that we can't really see yet. Other than that, I've always been partial to Saturn - The rings, ya know?

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
Another TA from the class I teach

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Ummm... I really don't know. It's classical and nice, but I don't remember what it's called

7. What shirt are you wearing?
Old school 'go soccer team' t-shirt

8. Do you “label” yourself?
What the...? um... what a freakazoid question. I don't know... Rather than go into a tirade on identity issues, I'll just say 'no more than most other folks'

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?
No shoes. Last pair I had on was a pair of nike pegasus tenny-pumps for the afternoon run

10. Bright or Dark Room?
I prefer dark, but I usually need enough light to read by, 'cause lord knows that's all I do anymore

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
She rocks in many ways, and she's got cool kittie-cats

12. What does your watch look like?
It's an old Nike (my, aren't I branded. Maybe I need to rethink that 'label' question.) watch that went with the pre-iSweat pedometer they had. It's ok, but I probably should have a more classy one. I don't like those all metal monstrosities though. Hmph.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
Something like 'call me,' I think. Hey, I got up and checked the phone to find out the 4th last missed call, and frankly, I can tell you already that the actual answer to this question won't be amusing enough to me or you to make it worth the effort :)

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
I really don't know. I just moved here and haven't been around much, but I can't remember seeing one... Odd...

16. Whats a word that you say a lot?
'a' I also say 'an' and 'the' quite a bit. Some call me a 'smartass.'

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
My mom

18. Last furry thing you touched?

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
if we say that drugs are the needing prescription or illegal hookup types, then none. Otherwise, there's caffeine and those drugs in chocolate and tea and all that stuff. Vague question - define your terms. B-

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
Need? none. I think I have a roll or two rolling around here somewhere. I do have a roll that I developed for someone and never got the prints back to him though.

21. Favorite age you have been so far?
I never know how old I am. I have such a lousy sense of age that I can't really answer this one. I like my now though.

22. Your worst enemy?
Myself (to quote Mr. Mercury, "Gimme a choice!")

23. What is your current desktop picture?
This one

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"'scuse me" (hopping past someone on the running trail)

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
I think I'd go for the million bucks too, get back to me if the superpower changes though. I've just never been that excited about the being able to fly bit.

26. Do you like someone?
Do you mean like like, or like like? [] Check this box for like like or [] this box for like like.

27. The last song you listened to?
An old 1920's Shanghai jazz song called 'I Want Your Love'

28. What time of day were you born?
I knew at one time. Early morning? Maybe?

29. Whats your favorite number?
I don't really have one. If pressed, I might say 9

30. Where did you live in 1987?
Where the wind comes right before the raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains

31. Are you jealous of anyone?
Sure. Well, parts of people. I want her money, and his girlfriend and his body and her brains etc...

32. Is anyone jealous of you?
I know I have a better life than most people on the planet, but I don't think anyone who knows me personally really wishes they were me.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Asleep in bed. My then girlfriend called to wake me up and tell me what was going on. I had to go to work at the bookstore that day. We stayed open for a half day and I kept my headphones on all the time listening to the news. Customers made me very frustrated that day.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
You know, I was going to make fun of this question, but it is interesting that the one thing I never do is call the number for a refund. Ok, maybe not so interesting.

35. Do you consider yourself kind?
[stolen verbatim from Zerodoll] I think so, but I also am selfish.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
I'm pretty anti-tattoo, so if I were forced, I guess I'd get a single needle-prick's worth of a tattoo on the heel of my left foot.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
Ok, geek-out here, I'd love to be fluent in Latin. If it had to be a living language, I'd pick Arabic (so long as the military didn't find out and try to pull me back in), Chinese or Japanese.

38. Would you move for the person you loved?

39. Are you touchy feely?

40. What’s your life motto?
People have life mottos? Umm... I don't.

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
I try to keep a pen on me. Um... sunglasses... I'm trying to think of things that not everyone would carry with them... Ah, USB drive.

42. What’s your favourite town/city?
Way too many. I love NYC, but I haven't been there in so long. London, Beijing, San Fran, honestly, just about any city can make me happy, well, almost :)

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
A wonderful 'California Burrito' from a local dive restaurant

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
um... I have not idea. Years ago?

45. Can you change the oil on a car?
I could, but won't. Note that I have no car.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
Married and doing theatre somewhere in... Texas maybe?

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
Personally, I don't know jack. There are, however, those in my immediate family who have traced us back to the 1600s I think

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
Fancy? That's another term that needs a definition. By the author's wacky British spelling of favourite, I'm wondering if they don't mean fancy dress as in costumes. Hmm... Anywhoo dressed up for a conference earlier this year and I can't remember the last time I did a costume party costume. It was probably that murder mystery dinner thing where I dressed up as Riker from star trek (I know, I know...)

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
A little post run soreness in my calves

50. Have you been burned by love?
I can't top Zerodoll who is copying running42k: Yeah, burned by my love of pizza. Hot cheese, yowsa! (With an "s")

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Early Onset Alzheimer's

Things I have misplaced today:
  • sunglasses
    • where I left them on the counter
  • keys
    • where I left them on the bookshelf
  • that book I should have been reading
    • it was in my bag
    • extra bonus - I looked in the bag multiple times and didn't see it
  • combination lock
    • in the old workout bag
  • sanity
    • TBA
All but the last have been recovered.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

View From the Sidewalk

On the run this evening, I saw about 20 or so people sitting in line on the sidewalk on the other side of the street. They had chairs and blankets and coolers and stuff. I thought they might be getting ready to go see a game of something, but they weren't in team colors and they looked like they were settling in for a long time. I was running two big long loops, so I had time to think about what in the world they might be doing. by the time I got back to them, I realized it. Around the corner is the big techie store. They were waiting for this. It doesn't come out until Friday. Ok, folks, I'm a huge geek, but that... that's beyond the pale. And let me tell you, some of the people in line were really really pale. :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

I Know...

it may not seem like it, but I am still here. I'm trying to relax and enjoy things. I'm trying to do some non-school stuff, but it's just so hard. I'm beating myself up for not getting everything done like it should be done, so I'm just continuing my being bummed out, but you guys don't want to hear about any of that. I'm going to try to keep blogging because I really do enjoy it, but I also want to post more fun and less whining (my whines aren't really even worth Wednesday Whining at casa de Phantom)

Anyway, here a few random bullets of strangeness:
  • T-shirt on 18-ish year old girl seen on campus: "MILF-to-be." Good lord, I hope I never have daughters. I want to be a cool uncle, but if my nieces wear that, I'll disown them. I can do that, right?
  • One non-school thing I did get out for (last week sometime?) was a chamber music master class that another TA was performing in. Very very cool. Why don't I go listen to more classical music? It's soooo much better live.
  • I signed up for the Metro-Sprawl Marathon. It's next year spring-ish. I get a 'in training' tshirt. yea! Am I ready to do another marathon? um... nope. I have been doing longer runs though. hehe. More to come on that.
  • I am going to visit family for Festivus (or Chrismahanukwanzakah if you prefer), but not Thanksgiving. Yea! and Boo Hiss!
  • Today I had to watch three other TAs present the same material that I presented today and write reports on their methodology. Very interesting. I hate going into other peoples' classes. I always assume that I'm disrupting the atmosphere. I even had one student (not mine) realize I TAed for the same class and he asked me a question loudly in the middle of class while the TA was talking! Grrr... young whippersnappers. Now that it's all done though, I'm kind of glad they made us do it. There are a few interesting methods that other TAs do that I might pick up, but the main lesson was, I think, that I shouldn't try to teach the way that other people do. I've got a unique style (like everyone else) and it seems to work, but I couldn't do it they way that he does - or him or him.
  • That last bullet was more than a bullet's worth of stream of consciousness blather, but, well, there it is.
Ok. I'm crawling back into my reading position to try to crank though enough material to not embarrass myself too badly at tomorrow's seminar.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

On The Couch

I think part of the reason for my lack of posts lately is more than simply the fact that I don’t sit in front of the computer 7 hours out of every day like I did at Old U. I think it’s something a little more fundamental. I imagine it’s not odd or unexpected that a switch to a bigger and more ‘important’ university would lead to stress, anxiety and self-questioning. I generally hate doing or being thought of as doing what is expected, but there you have it – I’m having a bit of an stress crisis.

Part of it comes from simple insecurity. The main seminar I’m in right now is on a topic that I don’t consider strictly in my realm of study, but I’m wondering more and more if it isn’t dealing with a lot of topics that I need to be able to manipulate well. Add to that the fact that the class I’m TAing now (and will be for the foreseeable future) is one that I feel more than a little bit uncomfortable teaching, and it all adds up to me feeling that I’m not doing what I want to be doing, and I don’t feel particularly effective doing what I’m doing.

So. I’m buried in work about things that I believe are important but not particularly interesting or as rewarding as I would like, and worried that this is what the next 5 years (perhaps the entire academic career?) will be like.

All this makes me feel sluggish. I’m not running as much as I used to. I’m sleeping more than I should. I feel like my brain is set on slow. I sometimes struggle to force myself to read through a page of words that swim around the page only to realize that I didn’t really understand any of it and have to start again. I'm pretty lazy to begin with, but now it seems to be getting worse.

As an optimist against all reason, I should say that I’m glad I’m in the seminar, and I am getting a lot out of it. I’m glad I’m TAing the difficult class for a lot of reasons. I really do think things will come out all right, even though I couldn’t tell you how. I just hope that I’ll be able to find something to re-inspire me – something challenging but that I know I can do, and do well.

I’ve got a pile of grading I don’t want to do, several chapters left to read (at least they’re in English), and a response paper to write, but I think I’m going to put on my running clothes and see if that convinces me to get out the door and run.

Edited to add: Because of the Blogger outage, I didn't post this right after I wrote it, but I did get out and do a long run. It felt pretty good.

8.88mi - 1:05'55"

Monday, October 30, 2006

Rock, Paper Scissors

Cuts: Paper

I looked around but the paper they had didn't explain its strengths and they weren't selling any rocks.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

You Are Cordially Invited

To beat my score of 879 on this trigram game.

I nearly got stumped on a couple of them :(

And yes, I should be grading.

Curiouser and Curiouser

I have received a mysterious missive from a million-mile away man. Because of blocking by a blockheaded former bloc-land, he became bereft of blogger. Consequently, he came to be incapable of commenting. Crap.

Anyway - his emailed comment was that while I do look a bit like Mr. Bart, I am much closer to Ex-Daily Show and 40-Year Old Virgin Steve Carell. I have to agree. I think I look more like him than Roger.

So Overread is a mix of this and that, but poorer and less popular than either.

PS. It seems that mentioning Desperate Housewives really drives traffic. I doubt it's what they're searching for though.

Hotlinking images is sometimes bad, sometimes funny. This time it was funny. I've been a good boy and removed the hotlinked images :)
PS - Roger Bart? is that a porn name?

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Know I'm Desperate, But I Didn't Think It Would Turn Out Like This

Well, it seems inescapable. I am Roger Bart. Two more people confirmed that I could be no one else. He's my doppleganger. This would be very cool if I could cash his checks, although I hear he died on the show, so the checks might not be as good now. Maybe I can at least get into swanky restaurants or something.

Are there any cool things I could do if I were passing myself off as a TV star?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stop Them Before They Sing Again

Helpful hints and comments from Overread to the nice young women in the band that was playing outside the student center-ish place on campus:

  1. Learn to sing. Really. It'll help. The guitars and drums sounded ok as I walked by, but unless you got a whole lot better, you need a singer. Because despite what you may think, you don't have one.
  2. I understand that it's good to try to get the crowd all riled up and all, but after the first 10 or so times of trying to get them to chant your name, if they still don't, you may want to move on and umm... play some music or something. I would still advise against singing though (see #1)
  3. Were you all drunk? Stoned? or just very uncoordinated?
Perhaps all of these boil down to #3.

Bonus quote from the Prostelitizer's Alley:

[Shouted loudly enough for me to hear from far far away]: "Get your religion out of my face!"

Again, In Lieu of Content....

'Cause I'm sure that someone needs this.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

4.49mi - 31'55"

Perhaps a shorter run would have been... um smarter.

ouch, ouch, ouch...

Oh, and thanks to the humiliation of the iSweat Nike+ thingamabob, I can now easily see that it has been 3 full weeks since my last run. Gee. Thanks.

Along those lines. They ran the Chicago Marathon Today. The winner slipped and fell as he crossed the finish line. Expect this in video on Youtube any second now.

If You Blog It, You Will Go.

I'm feeling oh, so blah. I haven't run in a couple of weeks. Coincidence? I think not. The tough this is that running seems to be a self perpetuating thing. You feel good and through experience, you know that running helps you feel good so you keep doing it. On the other side, you feel lazy and blah, and because running takes energy and commitment, being blah and lazy makes you run less. So it just gets worse.

So, I have a whole crapload of stuff to get done today. I've finished my daily 'must surf' internet (more on that later), and I'm going to make time to go on a run. Like, now. And because I've blogged it, I can't back out, 'cause like, my 3 remaining readers (hi guys!) would make fun of me and I'm easily shame-able.

So - in closing, I give you the fruits of today's surfing (what can I say - I like strange ads):

Maybe I should just turn this into a video posting site. Sigh...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Is Nothing Sacred?

Why, no. Since you've asked, no, nothing's sacred.

Fraggle Rock: The Movie

Oh, yes - just in case you forget:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Question of Qontent

See, here's the thing. I don't sit in front of a computer all day anymore. At Old U, I came in early, dumped all my bags and books and such in my office and wondered off to class. Between and after classes, I'd go back to the office and read, study, or... umm... well, blog.

And that's the thing. Finding time and opportunity to blog is a bit harder here at New U. I don't intend on stopping the blogging (and who knows, maybe the lyrics quizzes may pop back up from time to time), but it's going to take awhile for me to get into a new groove.

So, for now, let's see what I can put into bullets.

  • Seminar OF DOOM is still kicking my tush. I'm feeling very underprepared in the theory department, but hey, that's one of the reasons I'm taking the seminar, right? I am however reading faster and better in the really hard language though, and that's clearly thanks tot he fact that I have to - 'natch. I'm still going to bitch about it though.
  • I'm better at some things than others, and I think I may be enjoying that a little too much.
  • I had to be videotaped TAing the class today. It was pretty disruptive. I don't think it's a good idea to bring a huge tripod-mounted video camera (VHS? are we breaking into brand new 80s tech?) into a class that needs a very secure and mistake-friendly environment. The cameraman looks bored. Maybe I should have asked him a few questions. In any case I think it went ok, but I'm not looking forward to reviewing the tape with the whole 'Who wants to be a TA?' seminar.
  • I'm eating way too much and exercising not enough.
In closing, I present a scene from the theatre of the absurd as performed outside the student union-ish building.

[White Christian Proselytizer Dude stands in front of a table that is covered in pamphlets. He sees Asian-Looking Gal approaching. He dives behind his table and frantically shuffles through his pamphlets as ALG draws near. ALG passes near the table. WCPD jumps in front of her and thrusts a pamphlet covered in Korean characters under her nose.]


[ALG, after recovering well from a near cardiac arrest, applies a stare that could kill. WCPD watches ALG stride angrily away. WCPD sadly returns to his post dejected but undaunted, and awaits his next victim]


Saturday, October 14, 2006

And Now, For Something Completely Different

In lieu of content, I present to you, my childhood:

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yummy Licrorice, Odd Warning

Yummy! Gotta love black licorice (couldn't even get the photo before the bag was empty :) )

Black Licorice

However, when I look closer at the bag...

Detail Black Licorice

Not for weight control? ummm... Has this been a problem? Forget eating less. Forget exercise. I'm going to start gorging on black licorice. Yeah, good plan, friend.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I'm A Big Boy Now!

The bed came! The desk came! Guess which has gotten more use so far. :(

If you guessed the desk, then you are sadly correct. The bed is quite nice and comfy (although now I want new bedding too). It's a little bouncy too, which is fun. As for the desk, it's wonderful to actually have a usable workspace in the place where I live - especially since I don't have a good office. I haven't had that for... well, even longer than I haven't had a real bed. Anyway putting both in the room required a bit of tetris-like arranging, but I think it's all good now. I still need one more big bookcase - like one of those nice 6 footersbefore I can finally get completely out of boxes... sigh... but alas, that's not going to happen for awhile, if ever.

Seminar OF DOOM: I'm done with the chapters (2, English) and 2.5 articles (insanely hard foreign language). Now don't tell me that I've still got several articles left to read before tomorrow, because I don't want to hear it. Oh yeah, and a response paper. Gah.

TA class: I'm going to be filmed? Twice? Ugh. I mean pedagogically, I can see why, but but but... I don't wanna.

Class I'm TAing: Hehe... They think I know what I'm doing. Hehe... Oh, hello there, what's this? Homework!? Umm... I don't remember agreeing to this. I mean, a couple of papers, maybe, but homework grading? sigh... Oh, yeah, there's a quiz to grade too. Maybe tomorrow?

Now! Back to the stack of articles!

PS: Best misheard lyric: "Hold me closer, tiny Danza."

Friday, October 06, 2006

Yesterday - All My Mucus Seemed So Far Away

Yesterday was mostly very cool. There was that incident - with the photocopier (I guess we're not supposed to say Xerox machine anymore, are we?). There was also the other incident with the photocopier. All I have to say is that I didn't do it. It was like that when I got there.

Also, maybe this says something about me, or maybe it's universal, but if you need something done really fast, and I'm the guy to do it, just tell me what needs done and I'll do it. If I have questions, I'll ask. I don't need to know why the problem exists, and I don't need to know who screwed everything up as some kind of Stanislavski motivation to get the thing done. Most importantly, I don't think the 99+ other people in the room needed to know who screwed everything up. Maybe that's partially because I don't believe he screwed it up in the first place, but there you are.

That being said, after the crisis is over, I'll be happy to gossip with you about who screwed up. I know, I know, I'm awful that way.

The untaintedly wonderful part of the day was my blogger meetup. I know, I've known her forever, but we rarely get to sit down and chat without other distractions. We got to mosey around campus, and I got to show off the gorgeous buildings and the curiously (or perhaps not so curiously) phallic statuary. I even got to see her in professional mode when she was talking shop with other shop talkers. Very cool. I've never seen her do that.

As always, there wasn't enough time, but I guess it's all about leaving before we get sick of each other so that we'll want to meet up again, right? :)

And, finally, yes, I am getting sick (took me long enough to get around to the title, didn't it?). So rather than dive immediately into the readings again, I'm going to curl up, watch a movie and go to bed. Netflix just sent me Fun with Dick and Jane (the new version), and I think that's probably the perfect movie to sleep through.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

You Could Cut the Tension With a Suitable and Well-Maintained Tension-Cutting Apparatus

Bullets of varying length and value:
  • Whooo! the first seminar meeting has come and went and I am in deep doo-doo. The class is interesting. Not really my bag (baby), but an interesting topic anyway, but the real killer is that the professor, who is a well-known up-and-comer in the field is a lover-of-theory. This is terrifying to me. I know I need to be acquainted with more theory, if only to defend myself against it, but this seminar is going to be thick with it. It builds character, right? Who knows, maybe I'll find something useful. maybe I'll become a theory hound myself.
  • On the plus side, I'm not the only one spooked. Some of the other grad folks are planning pre-seminar pow-wows to try to get our minds around the ideas.
  • Oh yeah, did I mention that 90% of the reading (and there is a lot of it, too) is in a second language to me? And not just any second language, but a frickin' crazy hard second language? No? Well, it is. Theory. In another language. I'm not a bright man.
  • There is stress (the tension of the title) between some of the TAs and the prof. Oooooo. edgy.
  • Said prof is holding a meeting for all of us TA folk exactly at the time I should be happily chatting with a blogging buddy over dinner. We are trying to schedule around the meeting. Grrr...
  • My bike was not ready today, and for that I am sad
  • I broke down and bought a bed. This is partially in response to Zerodoll's live for today post (which I can't seem to find so I've just linked to her homepage). I've lived far too long without a bed (nearly what, about 5 years now?) and it's hight time I do better for myself.
  • I broke down and bought a computer desk. This is partially because my office sucks. It's in one of the most beautiful and oldest buildings on campus, but it's also used by about 20 other folks and there's no way to lock anything up, so you can't actually leave anything there. I thought I might be able to get along without a desk, but it looks like I'm going to be doing a lot of work at home :(
  • Desk and bed will be arriving Saturday (so they say). They ain't DWR or anything, but I'll get some photos for yas - if they look ok. :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

4.42mi - 31'29"

For me the hardest thing is putting on clothes - running clothes, you freaks. No offense though, some of my best friends are freaks. I really am a very lazy person. Every day I battle the get my ass moving fight. I really love lying down and watching tv. And now - because the new roomie's girlfriend's family had an extra - we have a couch. That means I can sit on a very comfy couch and watch tv, or read, or even nap! Oh! the wonders of modern... um... furniture?

Where I'm going with this is that once I get my running gear on, I've pretty much committed to running. I guess it's because I would feel goofier than normal sitting on the couch eating chips in my sweat-wicking shirt and spandex and such. This is also, I imagine, an argument for getting specific clothes for working out. If I just ran in a tshirt and regular shorts, it would be less of a commitment to movement and I could stay on the couch. That, and because I sweat like a racehorse I need the sweat wicking stuff, but perhaps that's another story.

Yesterday I didn't make it. I was going to run in the morning, but I... just... couldn't... make it... to... the... closet... Ok, fair criticism - that's too many ellipses, but the point is there. Lest anyone be inspired by my running, know that I'm not a workout guy. I'm lazy. And, now that I've got a couch, I intend to take full advantage of it.

These hills are really starting to take their toll. Long and souls destroying. ugh.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Really Great Shoe...

The show was really wonderful. I really am so glad that I went (and hey - a free $50 ticket or two don't hurt either). And I wish I could tell you more about it, but then I'd loose my mild-mannered secret identity. Ah well, just trust me - it was great. Now that I'm in a city that actually has a little bit of culture, even if you may have to hunt for it, I'm hoping I get more chances to start going to theatre again.

I even got to shake the hand of the producer and thank him for the show. The third and final part of the show is tomorrow, and I've got a ticket. Woot!

Bonus quotes from earlier in the day:

Gal on cell phone talking waaaay to loudly:
"He did it? Ohmygod! In front of... In front of 3000 people! Ohmygod! I am so glad he's not my boyfriend. Yeah. Why didn't she call me? I'm going to call her."

tweenish skater boi on campus with 10 or so other skater bois:
"Hey dude! No! Man, just chill. No. We're like, like guests here, you can't tear the place up."

Saturday, September 30, 2006

We Have The Technology

Well, I finally did it. I've made the decision to put my beloved bike under the knife... err... wrench. All of the key parts are original from when I bought it with the insurance money I got after being smashed into by an elderly driver. And that was about 14 years ago. A couple of days ago, the back wheel started wobbling a bit more than could be fixed with a little spoke tightening. So, I took it into a local bike shop and told them to go to town. A bunch of little wear and tear issues are going to be fixed, the cables, both back and front sprocket thingies (TOUCH MY MONKEY) are getting changed out, and I understand they are going to hang a little pine-scented cardboard tree from the rear-view mirror.

Also of note:
  • The show I'm seeing tonight (and tomorrow) is actually a three-day marathon-style to-do. I'm thinking of actually dressing up. The horror.
  • This morning: 4.39mi - 31'08"
  • First day of class was very odd - main lesson learned: If something works in the first class, it cannot work in the second class.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Alas, No Diamond

Well, Neil wasn't there, nor was anyone stilt-bound, but there was an open bar, and that's something. The shindig was actually pretty well-stocked with goodies of the drinkable and edible varieties. What it didn't have, alas was space. multiple thousands in one building was frankly a bit too much for me. It didn't make matters much better that I was lugging around my bag o' joy. See, I don't have a lockable office anymore, so I have to drag about everything I own, and that sucks.

Anyway, beer, eggrolls, mini sammiches, roast beast, and other finger foods were enjoyed before I escaped crushment.

Such was yesterday.

Today was the first big day o classes. I got to see the lecturer for whom I TA in action, lecturing. Frankly, it was a pretty bad situation. several hundred students, none of whom seemed to have properly enrolled. Most of the class was eaten up with trying to sort people into categories - those with a faint glimmer of hope of getting in the class over there, those with no hope over there, and the handful of people who actually enrolled properly can sit over there and daydream. uck.

My first TA section is tomorrow, and I'm a bit worried. Not only do I not understand any of the technical and administrative issues, the content is something fundamentally different from anything I've ever taught before. Joy. So, I'd better get plotting.

Oh, yeah. Bonus cool! I got free tickets to a really cool show this weekend. Yea me!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dark Secrets of the Ivory Tower

Secret #1, it ain't ivory. It's mahogany.

I just escaped from orientation number four, and am very prepared for the wild and crazy shindig that has been promised for tonight.

This last orientation was perhaps the most sobering. It was the departmental one that explains all the how-tos of getting a PhD here. It was brought home in painfully clear language the time and effort required. It was terrifying and exciting. I'm sure there are going to be many more of these awakenings, but I'll say it here as I've said before and I'm sure I'll say again. I'm in a PhD program. I mean seriously. Wow. What in the hell were they thinking when they let me in? hehe. I feel like a kid that's been let into the teacher's lounge.

On that note, I've been given the keys (figuratively) to a members only reading room. No hoi paloi allowed in, thank you very much. Only grads and profs, and only those from our corner of academia, because you can't ever trust some types of those people. You know how they are. It really is gorgeous, too. I've sprawled out at a nice desk next to a window surrounded by lovely books (useful ones, even) happily housed in arches of dark wood. I think I'm going to live in here. Pity it's not open 24 hours.

I've got a few more minutes before the above-mentioned shindig, so I'll gather myself up and head out. They promised foods from all corners of the world, acrobats.... on stilts! and monkeys! on stilts! and... and... Neil Diamond! They said they couldn't get him on stilts though. Something about insurance or somesuch. So they've got Scott Biao - on stilts!

If I see any of that, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

4.44mi - 31'58"

After the last run, my thighs were burning like crazy. Even before today's run, I could still feel the burn a little bit. I still made it a bit faster than last time. I'll probably be in agony tomorrow though.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I've been so oriented that I could point out north at the north pole. Seriously. Friday was one all day orientation and today was another all day orientation. I think there's one more on Wednesday. It's only a half day though. Then there's a departmental shindig tomorrow, I think. Ye gods.

On the plus side, I had a chance to meet with the prof I'm TAing for and the other TAs, too. I've never TAed a class with so many TAs. We've got a conferance room full of 'em. Also on the plus side, it sounds like the mandatory 'intro to TAing' class shouldn't be too burdensome. One the less than plus side, I realize that the work load for the TA class itself is going to be brutal.

Then there's the grad seminar - I learned that the prof is cruel and inhuman in assigning readings, astronomical in expectations and cosmic in her theortical ruminations.

Then there's the reading group. We're tackling some pieces that aren't well studied yet because none of us have read them yet. So that'll be more work.

In short, I'm in way over my head already. But that makes me happy, and I need that.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Back on Track, er... Sidewalk

4.49mi - 33'20"

Well, it's certainly a different kind of running here in Newtown. Hills. Wow. Again, I didn't realize that there were so many hills here. There's the sharp quick ones that make you stare at your toes and the long gradual slope ones that make you rethink religion. I think this is a good thing, but it'll take some getting used to.
Lots of crosswalks and glancing around for cars making right turns without turn signals. On the plus side, there are a lot of runners out there, or at least there were this morning. I looked online and found a whole lot of running routes, and some even go into some kinda green areas, but most of them are longer runs. I think I need a few mid-range runs to get me back into stride before I do that.

The roommate is coming today. I really thought I was past the part of my life where I would have roommates, but I guess that's poverty for ya. He says he's bringing a table and some chairs and maybe even *gasp* a couch! Maybe it's not so bad a thing after all.

Anyway, before he comes, I'm going to head out and do a photo walk. I might not have any free time once school starts up next week, so I'd better do it now, right?

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Trend Continues

It's funny how something you half expected to happen can really hit you hard when it does. I just talked to my ex-girlfriend last night. We used to joke about the fact that the last three women I dated got married within a year of breaking up with me.

Last night she told me she got married in June. I'm still processing it, and I am really happy for her, but damn. It hurts a lot more than I thought it would.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another Oopsie Nominee

Best description of someone who went mad:

"She became mentally absent."

The Oopsies

Final Exam Oopsies*

Best spelling error that spell check isn't going to get you out of:

Nominee #1
The nation was run by technicians and bearcats.**

* In the best tradition of the Oscars, Tonies and Razzies, the Oopsies are the awards given to outstanding achievement in inadvertently making the instructor laugh.

** Original sentence altered to protect those who don't proofread.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bullets Over A Street Other Than Broadway

Random new school thoughts:
  • Smoking? I thought we we past all of that. Old uni was a very anti-smoke place. There are many more smokers here. Grr...
  • biking with earphones is going to be a thing of the past. The streets here are much less bike friendly. I did get a helmet today.
  • hills? I didn't know this place had hills! I walked for about 3 hours yesterday adn I felt the calf burn this morning - yea!
  • Getting my ID card was spookily simple. The photo is passable.
  • You can't pay for laundry here with coins - it has to be through the ID card. I kinda like that. I don't like hoarding coins to feed those beasts
  • Roommate still isn't here yet. I'll keep you updated. :)

The University is Gone! Long Live the University!

I finally made it to New to You U. That's not going to be the name, by the way. As proof of my move, I give you a photo of my new neighbor:

Devious Squirrel

Look at those teeth! Big sharp pointy teeth! But, he (she?) could probably use some of those whitening strips. I thought about photoshopping them white so that they poor dude wouldn't be embarrassed, but in the end I didn't.

The move went surprisingly well considering all the trip-ups and silly mistakes I made. That's a story for another day. On the completely cool upside of things, there was a massive blogger meeting (which also happened to be a family gathering) and much fun was had by all. Again, I'll post more about the move itself later

The campus here is very nice. We've got the 'old and ivy-covered' niche pretty well taken care of with a healthy dose of 'holy crap where do they get the money to buy the new buildings' sprinkled in to taste. There was a mild aggravation when I tried to access the internet from my new place. It seems that they need you to install a piece of spyware that monitors your computer to make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date. That's evil, but understandable. problem is that their spyware doesn't support Windows Vista. hehe advanced spyware protection, wot?

Aside from that hiccup, things have gone pretty smoothly. I've wondered around quite a bit and taken a few pictures. I think I need to block out a good long photo-tour though. Of course, most of you folks wont get to see that 'cause you'd figure out where I am and come stalk me. :)

So now I'm off to try and get some grading done. I've escaped the old place, but not the old place's work. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What's With All This Dust Everywhere?

It's not you, it's me. I'm not ignoring you, I'm just trying to work some things out for myself.

Hehe. Actually, I'm just insanely busy. Let's try out the patented Bullets of Blah!

  • Today is the last full lecture for the summer and this Friday after I give the final, the packing enters its full-on panic phase.
  • It looks like Saturday is the DAY OF THE MOVE.
  • I'm really excited.
  • I've slowly been carting my books home from the office and putting them into boxes, but it seems like there's always more junk in the office and at home. Can I just dump it all? Feh, I guess it's always like that, right?
  • Naturally, no running going on either, so I'm feeling flabby and very low-energy.
  • Ok! Lecture in 30 minutes!
  • We're dealing with so many terrible things - emotionally very very difficult things.
  • Is it a bad thing that I consider a lecture successful if someone cries? Because that sounds bad.
  • I'm off like a prom dress!

Friday, September 08, 2006


This morning, I met up with a returning-from-sabbatical professor who I TAed for a couple of years ago (years! geeze). We had a great chat about the class I'm teaching now (she's teaching it soonish) and about the 'FUTURE OF THE FIELD' and other 'IMPORTANT TOPICS.' It's an odd thing because I have distinct memories of feeling like the newbie grad student when last we talked, but now I feel like I'm being treated like a colleague. What a wonderful feeling.

We also talked a lot about me heading out to new and unknown lands to do the PhD. It's tough for me to talk in dept about things that cause anxiety (What a unique trait, eh?), but we talked a lot about the things that are worrying me - the ego minefield of a so-called more important university with so-called more important people and all the new stress of actually figuring out my field etc... etc...

Anyway, It was very nicely cathartic. I think I've always believed that it would all work out ok on some level, but it's another step forward to actually say it out loud to someone.

The title of this post is based on the fact that she asked me when I was moving and I thought about it for a sec before realizing that I'm moving next weekend. Good grief. That's way too fast. Expect a week or more of move-blogging - with special guest(s)!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I Know I'm Desperate, But Seriously...

The woman at the local greasy spoon who served up my omelet this morning had more disturbing news.

I apparently am a dead ringer for one of the actors on Desperate Housewives (one of the men). The thing is that I didn't ask which one. I took a look at the cast page and I still can't figure it out. The only 'You look like' kinda thing that I'm used to getting is Robin Williams, but I think that's more of a personality thing. Oh, and the hair.

So the closest one, I figure may be this guy, but my friend in the office says it has to be this guy.

So, you guys who know what I look like, what do you think? How Desperate am I?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Cafe Snippit Coda

Is it simply impossible for a cafe to be run at a comfortable temperature? Are there laws that require either icicles or heatstroke?

For the record, I am a very un-skinny man with a deep and abiding love of wintry climes and a rich shiny coat of fur (raw eggs in the kibble, doncha know?), and I am shivering like Rush Limbaugh when his maid is on vacation.

On the plus side, grading is nearly done and as soon as I email these back I'm getting out of here. Either I'm going soft (probable) or the papers are getting better. It's probably the exhaustion. These student's don't know how good they've got it.

[edited to change Bill O'Reilly to Rush Limbaugh. I can't keep my wackos straight]

Cafe Snippit Redux

Ma'am (a different ma'am, this time),

I realize that we may not be in the swankiest of cafes, but exactingly laying down 40 or so napkins so as to completely cover your table before delicately placing your coffee in the middle doesn't actually make the place any more... posh.

I have to admit though, I had to stifle a laugh when you kicked the table, sloshing coffee all over your carefully-laid napkin table cloth. Then I sighed when you picked them all up, threw them away and started all over again.

The two women huddled over their two Mactops were also suitably amused. But it's best not to dig too deeply into their lives. All I've overheard over the cafe music and my own earphones was the line, 'My friends all do a lot of, seriously, like, hard core drugs, and people look at me, and they just think that I do too!'

Cafe Snippit

I think after the third time you told the gentleman with you that he had to put some half and half in his coffee, and for the fourth time he refused, it's probably time to drop it. The fourth time, waving the thermos in his face, was probably not going to change his mind.

Run. Run quickly and far.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Overreaid

O Muses, I call but impotently on thee to express that which mortal mouths, by the nature of their being made of flesh and fed by course and earthy breads, cannot express! Oh! Would that ambrosia were the provender of this my form and these my fingers, that I might express in words the fundament of my tale in the fullness of its tragic scope!

Alas, I know well, that I am not loved by the muses. They deign not to enter my hands in spirit that I might weave a tale that might bind perusers in purple strands of profundity and wonder. Much less am I the blissful host of some god, who might grant clarity of expression allowing a man of dust to carry forth some divine grudge, spite or whim in the telling of histories or other diversions, and in this proxy action achieve glory and renown.

I am thus struck dumb, palpably bound as if with Promethean chains to the earth, loving, but fecund only for the fruits of toil, never to the stirrings of my pen or keyboard. However much straining upward, yet doomed never to reach the Olympian peaks, I resign myself to the unembroidered and pale purpose of my post without the aid that might assure the tearing of your clothes and gnashing of your teeth in sympathy.

My dear friends drifting in the viscous ether of the blogosphere, much as pearls, having been cast into a broad salted sea, might slowly flutter lower, ever gleaming, hear me and bemoan my worldly ills. I have, in these several previous days, blest by glorious sun and the temperate clime of the nearby fields, taken repose in enjoyment of such splendor presented by the season.

I have, with a few and most excellent acquaintances, enjoyed the games of physical prowess for which those of my town are well-known. For, while I have no such skill myself, I take great joy in watching those who are so blest, and I have some small ability in the recording of their exploits.

I have also diverted myself in the viewing of films and reading of many an obscure text. Both these diversions being of a kind that both wearies the body and enlivens the spirit, I find myself restless of mind and yet heavy in body.

These activities are fitting and well for a man with leisure, and would that I were in such a situation, I could pleasantly sun myself as the cat is wont to do and enjoy a furtherance of these my diversions.

Alas, my fate is one much more cruel and ever so much the worse for being self-imposed. The tragedy of my tale lies in the cruel fact that I made bold enough to swear an oath to my several students that their papers that now crowd my hard drive, teaming with misspellings, lies and cruel logical incongruities, just as the maggots that infest a rotting carcass, such that even the birds of carrion dare not approach to feed, would be carefully read and commented upon before the resumption of lectures on Tuesday. I now have good reason to rue the oath, oh vile vanity that made me speak such words! and I now bring oaths of a more heavy and venomous ilk upon the head of him who, two days hence, knowing full well the burden, made such a hasty pact.

Alas, oaths, no matter they be made in whatever situation, be they imposed from momentary possession of some noxious spirit, an imbalance of the humors so ill-understood in our age of the interwebs, in the full-blooded blush of wine-induced friendship, or in the cold calculation of gain and profit, must be upheld, even if more colorful oaths accompany the fulfilling.

Thus I end my tale of woe. I beg of you, consider it as a tale to chill the bones, or frighten children on a crisp night before a fire, when shadows dance slightly outside of notice taunting the inner mind with possible shapes of balky projectors and their accompanying tech-support, and each twig snapped without visible cause might presage an approaching student who might ask you if they must cite their sources.

Take this also as a tale of caution! Heed my suffering and bring it not upon yourself! Know yourself, and keep this knowing tightly within your breast, that seeming-enjoyable procrastination as might be gained in such diversions as games, books, films, and aye, verily, blogs, while amusing and heart-lifting, carry a heavy cost. Be it e'en so, for my post is nearing its end, and yet, from those shadows, where the firelight reaches not, I hear the snapping of a twig, and I know not its cause.

I shall look to it, for I have given my oath, and dare not break it. But as boon friends, serve as my brothers and sisters, and, should I fall in the fulfilling of my oath, let not the students take my body and desecrate it, as has been done to others in times past. Fight with might and main around my fallen body that you may bring it back and lay it on a bier of fine timber with my laptop on my chest. Offer hecatombs to the gods, that I may find rest, but above all, heed my tale, and make no oaths to any, but those that you can fulfill.