Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Quiz in a Poke


The only missed one was number one! - Robert Palmer - I Didn't Mean To Turn You On. Well, it's actually a lie. I kinda tired to turn you on, but only a little bit. EDIT - Zerodoll actually did get this one. I'm sorry about that! I'm getting rusty on these quizzes, maybe I need to do them more often :)

Ah, but camera obscura brings out a oh, so difficult problem. Hazy Shade of Winter - Simon and Garfunkel or the Bangles. I first heard the Bangles version, and loved it, but there's nothing that S&G have done that I don't love. Ah, troubles (and not of the doggie kind).

In any case - here's a new quiz!

But my dreams
They aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be

You see it all around you
Good lovin' gone bad
And usually it's too late when you realize what you had

So you think you’re lonely
Well my friend I’m lonely too

The first time that I got it
I was just ten years old
I got it from some kitty next door

Johnny died one night, died in his bed,
Bottle of whiskey, sleeping tablets by his head.

He's got such a supple wrist

I can walk down the street there's no one there
Though, the pavements are one huge crowd

In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don’t know when that road turned onto the road I’m on

It’s all wrong, but it’s all right.
The way that you treat me baby.
Once I was strong but I lost the fight.
You won’t find a better loser.

You've got everything, but nothing's cool
They've just found your father in the swimming pool

You see the world through your cynical eyes
You're a troubled young man I can tell
You've got it all in the palm of your hand
But your hand's wet with sweat

And when I awoke and felt you warm and near,
I kissed your honey hair with my grateful tears.
Oh I love you, girl.
Oh, I love you.

We have to shout above the din of our Rice Crispies


I could barely walk when I milked a cow
When I was three I pushed a plow
While chopping wood I moved my legs
And they saw me dancing when I gathered eggs

Once I never could hope to win
You starting down the road leaving me again
The threats you made were meant to cut me down
And if our love was just a circus you'd be a clown by now

Two Bits

From the land of the Cheeky Prof:

25 Questions that no one would ever think to ask:

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
"Ugh. I don't need to shave today, do I?"

2. How much cash do you have on you?
~$30, which is odd, because I usually hate carrying much cash

3. What's a word that rhymes with TEST?

4. planet?

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list?
Hmmm... I don't know. It's not a number I recognize.

6. What is your favorite ring on your phone?
Marriage of Figaro

7. What shirt are you wearing?
Black polo (without the little polo guy though - it's Land's End, I think... I can't see the tag from here :)

8. What do you label yourself?

9. Name the brand of your shoes you're recently wearing?
Nike running shoes (Air somethingorother, but then again, aren't they all?) I'm hoping that I can find a bit of time to go run today

10. Bright or Dark Room?
Right now, I'm in my office, which is very bright thanks to our friend the sun.

11. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping - I live a thrilling life, it's true. Actually I had to go to sleep early because I had a 9am shoot this morning.

12. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
Words to the effect of: "This costs too much money. Why don't I just call you?"

13. Where is your nearest 7-11?
Oh, wow... maybe... 3 miles? maybe?

14. What's a saying that you say a lot?

15.Who told you they loved you last?
My Sis-tah

16. Last furry thing you touched?
Briar, the 9 billion pound monster dog who lives in the house where I am staying. He needed a good petting and patting this morning before I left

17. How Many Drugs Have You Done In The Past three Days?
I really hate drugs of all kinds - even when I need to take them. I get very unhappy when I'm living somewhere where my allergies kick up, because then I have to take antihistamines, and I always feel that that's cheating somehow. I know, I know, not a healthy attitude. So, no drugs. I did take a multivitamin, does that count?

18. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?
Film! Ha! actually, I do have a roll of Tmax that I should get developed one day. I'm a completely digital shutter-monkey now.

19. Favorite age you have been so far?

20. your worst enemy?
The sloth that lives inside my brain and makes me want to be laaaaazy

21. What is your current desktop picture?
A picture of the card my brother sent me for Christmas (here it is)

22. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"Kick ass this afternoon!" When I biked by one of our basketball players this morning. They've got a game today.

23. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly, which would you choose?
Ya know, I've never been a big fan of the flying superpower. I'd go for other powers long before flying. But this one's tough, because I bet I could make a lot of money flying. Of course, I'd probably be shot down by some duck hunter or declared an threat to homeland security because I wouldn't screen myself before flight. I guess I'd take the money...

24. Do you like someone?
Almost everyone, actually... Almost...

25. The last song you listened to?
25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Poetry Meme

Great Idea Jo(e)!

Here's an old fave from Li Bo (Elling Eide, Trans):

Beneath the blossoms with a pot of wine,
No friends at hand, so I poured alone;
I raised my cup to invite the moon,
Turned to my shadow, and we became three.

Now the moon has never learned about my drinking,
And my shadow had merely followed my form,
But I quickly made friends with the moon and my shadow;
To find pleasure in life, make the most of the spring.

Whenever I sang, the moon swayed with me;
Whenever I danced, my shadow went wild.
Drinking, we shared our enjoyment together;
Drunk, then each went off on his own.
But forever agreed on dispassionate revels,
We promised to meet in the far Milky Way.

Ah, Friday

I should give up trying to get anything done on a Friday. I've got two sections and two lectures all with very minimal time in-between. Several other officemates have the same problem, so in-between classes we all pile into the office (there's 5 of us total in here now. 3 desks, five people. Don't even get me started about shelf space), and we end up chatting all day long. Nothing gets done but we have a grand old time.

Today there was the furniture drama:
Where did the X go? Several admin people are frantically wondering. Frantic why? No one knows. No one has ever cared much about X, and it's been gone for over a year.

Admin #1 pops head into the office: Anyone seen the X?
All office folk: Nope, it's been gone for a long time
Admin #1: Ah.
(five munites pass)
Admin #2 pops head into the office: Anyone seen the X?
All office folk: Nope, it's been gone for a long time
(five minutes pass)
Random McStudent pops head in the door: Anyone seen...
All office folk break into wild hysterical laughter
R McS: (Head cocked to the side like a puppy) Professor Y?
All office staff still giggling: Um, We thought you wanted the X!
R McS: (quizzical look)

We finally straightened him out, but ah, it was funny. I know, I know. You had to be there. Trust me, it was funny.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Like you want another post about how crazy-busy I've become. Well, unfortunately that's what this is. Enjoy :)

Actually I'm not whining. The only downside is that I'm way behind on my running and blog reading (and my thesis, but I'm beginning to understand that's the norm).

Best class o' the moment:

I've got a seminar that is taught by my advisor, so it's great already, but it's gathering interest from other quarters. From the beginning, another big-name faculty sat in, and now we hear murmurs that a up-and-comer faculty is interested in sitting in too. Normally this might be troublesome, especially if my advisor weren't truly expert in the field, but he is, and the whole class has turned into an incredible round table discussion of the topic. Advisor prompts the discussion, but it's free-wheeling and hitting topics that we couldn't cover as completely without big-name. Adding the up-and-comer, who is an expert in a subfield of what we're dealing with, but in a different way, should be even my interesting.

This is what I had hoped university would be. Experts dealing with vital topics and pulling from each other, while students follow and learn how to enter the discussion. Each of us will present a very brief review of material and try to add to the discussion. This may sound like a typical seminar, but with the two (3?) faculty coming at the problem from different angles, it's better than any other I've had. Today the class went on about an hour longer than it should have and no one wanted to leave.

How am I going to leave this place?

Alright, this was more gush than while, but oh, well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What Else Has The Media Hidden From Us?

I'm sure everyone has seen this, but I just did and I literally laughed out loud. Make sure and read to the end.

From Alas, a blog
info at educe me

Don't You Understand? I NEED This Class!

Yes. You are graduating (so you think) in the Spring and you just found out that you need this class to graduate (I'm not even sure I could be that oblivious). And you want in. And it's full. And you want in. Bursting at the seems full. And you want in. No you didn't come to any of the lectures or discussions held so far. And you want in.

Ah...yes, and also this:

You're a senior and you need this class. You'll just die if you aren't able to get this class and graduate on time (on whose time?). You'll do anything to get in. Anything. Oh, I'm the TA that has the early morning sections? Where's the other TA?


My Run

Fair warning: Enormous post of dubious value. May cause drowsiness. Do not read and operate heavy machinery. Read at your own risk.

It's odd that after not running for only a little less than a week how much my body seemed to enjoy getting back into it. The thing is that I'm really lazy, and I do not like doing things, of which running is one. I had time to run this weekend and I didn't, and I can't really fathom why I didn't, especially with my newfound attempt to be healthy - well more healthy,

I got to the gym at a decent time (earlier than the hordes it seemed). I got a decent locker (note to guy on the other side of the bench: If you must sing, I think you need to go into a lower register. The falsetto ain't your bag, baby). There was even a treadmill available amongst a bevy of quite aesthetically pleasing joggers (and one walker. I hope she was doing a cool-down. I've seen folks walk for 10+ minutes on a treadmill. Um. We live in a gorgeous outdoor-friendly area. GO OUTSIDE).

I didn't take the treadmill though. Despite the come-hither glances of the angelic underdressed wonders (that was most likely my imagination), I strode off to do my outdoor trail run.

I usually have a bit of over-enthusiasm when I start a run. I'll end up running a bit faster than my pace will allow. Today, once I passed through the gaggle of gogglers (we can't be having campus tour this early, can we?), I hit a flat stretch and it was like my legs grew like the heart of the Grinch. I zoomed through the populated part of the run, dodging the dodgy and passing the pedestrian to come up on the best part of the run.

There's a trail that climbs and drops as in winds a loop around a pond surrounded by all manner of strange birds and stranger birders. Before I can get to the trail proper, I have to hit the stairs of doom. They're maybe twenty to twenty-five feet high and they always break up my stride.
It's a good place to catch my breath going down, but I can't help but remind myself that after the trail, I'm going to have to go back up the stairs to get back to the gym. It's with this thought in mind I hit the first part of the trail. It's a long slow curve and perfectly flat with only a couple
of puddles to navigate. I run. My legs like it. I run faster.

There's a lot of ego involved in this trail for me. I'm competitive enough that I feel the need to at least make a good show when I come up against another runner. Usually they're running the other direction, so I don't worry too much (will I meet them on the other side of the loop? I'd
better speed up so that I put more distance down than they do before we meet). When they are running the same direction as I am, I have to try to pass them - It must be my reptilian brain. I usually can't though because I take all the little side trails that no one else does. Today I passed
one woman twice. She probably thought I was a stalker.

About halfway through the loop, there's a huge dip. It's probably about as high as the stairs of doom and it goes down at a pretty good slope. It's another place to gauge the run. If I stretch my strides out, I can really get going and get about half-way up the incline on the other side before I know it. Other days, my breath isn't with me and I have to take it slow, but with the knowledge that the incline on the other side will tear me up if I don't have the momentum. Today that's where I passed the other runner the first time. Full stride. Wonderful.

I usually do two laps around the trail and then start back to the gym. The stairs are the gateway to the trail back. Today, they blur. Two at a time, I float up. Back to a flat run. Back to the crowds on campus. Back to the noises and the bikes. Back to the world. My feet are still feeling good, my legs, strong. My breathing has come back to me after the stairs tried to take it away, but I can't stretch out my stride because of the crowds.

Right before I get back to the gym, there's a straight path that is usually empty. It's my landing strip. The rule is that I have to sprint at the end of every run. Sprinting at the end is very telling. It's amazing how much energy you find at the end of a run. After nearly an
hour of panting, blinking the sweat out of your eyes, with the goal far off but visible at the horizon, if you push a little, you find you've got a lot more left. So I push hard. Usually, I've only got enough left to stretch out my stride as far as I can, and maybe put a little kick in. Today I
was able to really push. I flew down the path, pulling up only at the end of my runway, the courtyard of the gym. Who knew I still had that much left in me?

Writing this, I can feel the soreness creeping into the high backs of my thighs (from all the long striding, I'm guessing) and a possible mini-blister, but I feel so good right now. It's not just the run. I've felt good all day, but the run was exactly what I needed.

PS I like Performancing a lot, but sometimes the formatting goes wonky. Grrr...

Zoom-a-Zoom Zoom

8.15km - 42'13"

Pretty decent pace for me. That works out to... what? It's right at 5 miles, so that's a smuge over 8 minute miles? 8'25-ish?


By the way, why didn't we ever go to a decimal time system?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Evil but Funny

Ok, I ususally don't go in for these, but this is the best blonde joke ever.

No Sleep For Me!

So, ummm... yeah. I watched the whole movie instead of going to sleep.

Actually I haven't seen Roman Holiday is a long time, but I still love it, and Ms. Hepburn is still crush-worthy. I'm a little surprise actually, because this was a popular film, why Hollywood hasn't done a remake. The heads of the big studios have already convinced me that they refuse to even look at any film that has anything approaching novelty, and the audience has shown themselves to be equally adamantly opposed to watching anything but the same old stories with the same old characters. Even the cinemas themselves are loathe to screen anything that might sprain some brain cell out there.

I was thinking all about this while watching the movie, and wondering how they might do the remake. Gregory Peck's character was a slightly older guy, so Hollywood would have to go with a Clooney-ish actor. Hepburn was very young, and very thin (I didn't remember her being that thin - kinda spooky), so they'd go straight for a Lohan-esque 'actress.'

The story would have to change, of course. Any possibility of the sad but satisfying end of the original would have to be thrown out. Well, either that or you could have a sex scene. It's ok for the characters to not end up together so long as the guy gets to sleep with the girl at some point. Come to think of it, there would probably have to be sex in the movie regardless.

I will say, one thing that I thought was funny in the original is that when they finally do have that long steamy kiss, they don't move. I can only assume that this was a movie code regulation, but it looked a bit odd: Tension tension tension, passionate embrace! Kiss! and pause. Careful - no jaw movement, the youth in the audience may get the wrong idea. No tongue, ministers might implode... and... break! ok, you can act again...

How’s that for a rambling incoherent post?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Overread!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Overread!

  1. An average beaver can cut down Overread every year.
  2. Overread can't drink - he absorbs water from his surroundings by osmosis.
  3. Overreadocracy is government by Overread.
  4. Influenza got its name because people believed the disease was caused by the evil "influence" of Overread.
  5. Overread can pollinate up to six times more efficiently than the honeybee!
  6. Some people in Malaysia bathe their babies in beer to protect them from Overread.
  7. The colour of Overread is no indication of his spiciness, but size usually is!
  8. Overread can usually be found in nests built in the webs of large spiders!
  9. There are roughly 10,000 man-made objects the size of Overread orbiting the Earth.
  10. The risk of being struck by Overread is one occurence every 9,300 years.
Seen all over, but first at Bright Star's and Scrivener's


Grrrr. I need to go to sleep, but the evil TV just started playing Roman Holiday! I have a serious crush on Audrey Hepburn in this movie. Will I sleep? Who knows!

Honey, Where Are My Jackboots?

Thank goodness the Pentagon thinks these things through. The US would face a long, hard-fought war against the code-named 'RED' nation:
The planners anticipated a war "of long duration" because "the RED race" is "more or less phlegmatic" but "noted for its ability to fight to a finish."

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he'd never heard of the plan.
He also said he wouldn't admit to knowing about such a plan if he did..."We don't talk about any of our contingency plans," he said.

The kicker is that it's all about plans to invade... Wait for it... Canada. Yup. Ok, well, it's all about pre-WWII plans, but still, today it seems wonderfully hilarious.

The wiley Canadians were prepared as well:
His "Defence Scheme No. 1" called for Canadian soldiers to invade the
United States, charging toward Albany, Minneapolis, Seattle and Great
Falls, Mont., at the first signs of a possible U.S. invasion.
There's even a unknown (to me, anyway) history of agression between the two nations even after the War of 1812 with horriffic casualties:
In 1839, Americans from Maine confronted Canadians in a border dispute known as the Aroostook War. "There were never any shots fired," said Etzinger, the Canadian Embassy
spokesman, "but I think an American cow was injured -- and a Canadian
Don't underestimate our seemingly pacific northern neighbors:

Etzinger, the Canadian Embassy spokesman, isn't worried about an
American invasion because Canada has a secret weapon -- actually
thousands of secret weapons.

"We've got thousands of Canadians in
the U.S. right now, in place secretly," he said. "They could be on your
street. We've sent people like Celine Dion and Mike Myers to secretly
infiltrate American society."

Via no great matter and robmacdougall's History Carnival. All quotes from the WaPo article.