Thursday, November 30, 2006

When Will the Mantra Kick In?

The best paper is a done paper.
The best paper is a done paper.
The best paper is a done paper.
The best paper is a done paper...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

But It Doesn't Feel Good When I Stop

Remember the papers I was supposed to crank out? The ones I kinda started the blog for? So I'm working on one of them. (Yes, I know exactly how far behind this puts me.) (And that's why I'm not cut out for research. Teaching has all kinds of nice deadlines.) But Oh.My.GOD I cannot stand my primary source. Hate it hate it hateithateithateit.
Yes, that much. More.
Myopic, self-congratulatory, self-contradictory, and "clever" in cutesy ways such a book should never be, like asides.
(Anything that's of argueable taste in a blog? definitely does not belong in such a book.)
Unfortunately, I can use none of these reasons to explain, in the paper, why it is such a Very Bad Book.
I guess I'll go see if anyone's posted a blog entry, and then get back to the slog.


Number {mumble} Way In Which I Am Nearly Perfectly Normal

I hate my mother in law

Monday, November 27, 2006

How Analogies Can Be Useful

original title: "Let's Pretend..."
Let's pretend I'm in hairdressing school. I'm studying haircutting; it's taught in a separate section of the school from dyeing, and perms, and sets (for the clients who come in every week). I can take a class or two in other sections, but all my hairstyles have to be constructed with scissors. The problem is that I really prefer styles constructed in the perm section. Of course, I can't use hot rollers.
Hm. Maybe I should try to think of a way to use scissors to get perm hairstyles.
(And I didn't see this until my ridiculous analogy because why?)

Some Typing Mistakes I'm Making

wait becomes what
Typing becomes Typo
m becomes µ (let's see what blogger does with a mu.)
Others I've fog forog forgotten.
Why can I not type today?

So I'm Average, But....

I went to a certain big box store t'other day. (It wasn't the one that starts with wall. That's the problematic store I've chosen.) And I tried on some clothes. And I was astonished by the vanity sizing. Because remember how I said I'm perfectly average with respect to height and weight? Well, said average would have relegated me to Lane Bryant in the old days. But now? I'm a size 10. I mean, I'm happy to not have to face the fact that I really should be trying on clothes that have an X or two, but 10 is taking it too far.
But that's not the weirdest part.
The weirdest part is that said big box store has decided to vanity-size to weight -- but not to height. I'm wearing one of my new shirts today, and I have to roll up the cuffs 2-3 inches. You decide if that's really appropriate on a "long-sleeved tee." I know my answer. And my new pants, which I also considered wearing, are over-long by about the same amount.
So apparently the average American woman is getting heavier, but is still willow-tall.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Because She's the Most Brilliant Parodist Ever...

...any of you who don't regularly read The Little Professor must go instantly and read this.


Why can I not come up with intelligent, not-entirely-about-me comments for people's posts that I desperately want to comment on?

Privacy and Other Things

I worry sometimes about posting certain stories; I'm afraid they'll give me away. Not in the sense of "Our football team is now number 1 in the Pac10! Yay!" sort of way, where a reader can say, "Oh she's at UCLA, which I can know even though I'm at Carleton."
No, I mean the kind more along the line of "I looked fantastic today: I wore my purple velvet witch's hat, and my magenta swan's-down cloak," and a reader says "Oh my god, I saw her today."
(Not that I own either of those items, mind you.)
But this one is... Well, it's of a piece with this entry. And I... It's just...
See, my husband has "merely" an Associate's Degree. He's insulted when come home and ask him if he knows what these words mean; "Just because I'm not in a fancy PhD program doesn't mean I'm stupid," is basically what he says.
So the latest one: "salient." Now, two people asked about "vested interest," and that seemed like a lot to me. And while "vested interest" is not particularly important to that particular exam's discipline, "salient" is to this one's.
And not as a special definition; no, it's merely particularly useful.
And to the whole discipline, not just the particular subject.
Which is a junior-year-level subject.
So how many people asked what salient means?
Clearly? when my husband says "fancy"? he's playing up the idea that an AA means he's a yokel. He is not referring to the quality of the university.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Signs. Read the Signs

Granted, the building is confusing. We get that. We all had the same problem when we first came to it too.
But that's why the signs are there.
Read the damn signs.

Can Someone Please Explain to Me....

...How one can get into college without knowing what "akin" means?
Or "oblique"?
Or "vested interest"?

Friday, November 10, 2006

I'm in Mourning

Stupid football...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Because I Am an Egomaniac, Thank You Very Much

The "Things I've Done" meme? Seen (in no particular order) here, here, here, here, aaaaand here, among other places?
I changed it! I made a comment, and it's now part of the meme.
Hee hee! it's like Telephone, but with typing!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Tolly Not Part of the Plan

But too fun not to do. Seen at K8's and Anastasia's

(Except-- the memory? not so good. So I can only say I think these are all accurate...)

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea – from the shore
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg – no, but that seems cool
19. Slept under the stars – but I don’t like camping just the same.
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon – I wish!
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb – one of those I don’t remember; I may have
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster – wheeeee!
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking – only way I can dance
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment – I don't remember when, but I do remember it
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing – well, sort of, but not in the real way, so...
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving – eek! no!
51. Visited Ireland – someday, I hope
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan – another want-to-do.
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites

70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight – I’m pretty sure it was more than 6 hours.
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch – why is this on here? hasn’t everyone?
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music – not professionally, but that’s not the question, is it.
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date – I think?
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror — ditto to Anastasia: never performed, but have dressed up.
96. Raised (raising) children (child) – I’ll just leave Anastasia’s, because it’s right.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
– wish I hadn’t
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild – ick! mushrooms!
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper – I want to say yes, but I can’t remember
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach – again, ditto Anastasia: “unfortunately”
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes – who I apparently think I am, because I’ve made them also
134. Read The Iliad – no, but I did read the Odyssey over and over
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Writing, Writing, Over Inadequacy...

John Kerry is a wishy-washy idiot.
(Just had to get that out.)
So. I started this blog with the aim of writing every day -- er, every work day. That's clearly not happening. See, I'm just too fiddly; I look over it again & say, "Why didn't I phrase that this way?" or "...use that word?" Of course, the writing-every-day thing was supposed to help me with that fiddly-ness.
Isn't working.
New topic: While I have a raging ego, I also don't like it, and am also a depressive. Between the two, I manage to tell myself exactly how completely unspecial, boring, dull, etc. I am.
And a tangent: I was going to do a 100 things about me collection. My last one is...
Please hold; your party will be with you shortly
Dee da da da daaa da... Number 28. Now, see, the thing about these 100-things-about-me is that they seem to be the cool, the unusual, the special. I alluded to the fact that I don't see a lot special about myself, so this is a little difficult.
I'm going to turn this all around. I'm going to start posting more often; if I can't think of anything cool enough to say, I'm going to post a 100-thing. And -- this is the part I love -- I'm going to turn around that "I'm so average" talk, and try to come up with all the ways I am average*. (This is going to be fun.) Because that's going to be just as hard as coming up with all the ways I'm special.
(I have no idea why I love this so much.)
So, for my first completely average thing (number 29 on the 100-things): I am within half an inch of the average height and 10 pounds of the average weight for an american woman.

*Okay, so it's not going to be perfectly average. I may choose some areas where I'm in one of the top 5 most popular categories. Like instruments: ocarina lessons? unusual. Either the piano or the violin lessons? "average." (Maybe I should use the word "common," hmm?)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And Policy-Makers Wonder Why Americans Do Poorly in School

I could rant and rave about the anti-school attitude embodied by children's advertising, but I prefer to give two examples from adult-land.
(I'm tired, and more at a loss for words than usual. Please forgive the portemanteaus.)
*A popular NYC radio station makes elaborate fun of an ad posted in a local paper (I don't know which one) in which a research facility is looking for meth users. I don't remember the details, but the facility wanted to pay the users X hundreds of dollars if the users stayed with them for Y number of days. And rather than supporting this as a worthy step in the fight to understand and control the addiction behaviors which fuel the drug culture, this prominent media outlet spoofs it as ridiculous.
*There exists a magazine (it starts with "W" and ends with "ed," and is an anagram of a synonym for "eerie." I have no wish to be Googled by its fans.) which seems to be an entry into geekdom for the non-geeks. One would think, therefore, that it would portray geekdom in a positive light.
Oh, no.
--October's issue: they profile a topologist. A knot theorist, to be more specific. And comment, in parenthesis "(yes, they give out doctorates for that)".
--September's issue: they discuss the peer review process for scientific articles. It starts out seeming to be reporting from the side of the scientists (vs. the non-scientists, not vs. the editors), with a not-snarky tone, and one is lulled into thinking that this will indeed present a sympathetic entry view into science. Approximately 2/3s of the way through the article, the author mentions a website called arXiv. Another parenthetical comment: "(The X is supposed to be the Greek letter chi; it's pronounced "archive." If you were a physicist, you'd find that hilarious.)"
--The November cover, which I'm quite astonished Pharyngula has not yet commented on, is "The New Atheism: No Heaven. No Hell. Just Science. Inside the crusade against religion."
Yeah. Well, that just makes me want to run out and get a job in science. Doesn't it you? because look at the abuse you'll get from your supposed allies when you do.