Saturday, July 30, 2005

More chips? No, no, I couldn't possibly ...

As a kid, my parents made me play the violin. This because my grandfather played and my father always wanted to play.

Me? I wanted to watch Tom and Jerry, tap dance on the sidewalk, dig holes in the dirt, and chase the ice cream truck. So practicing was never a priority for me even when my violin teachers scolded me to tears and wrote nasty letters to my mother. I have always been lazy and undisciplined. Getting me to pick up that damn instrument was a fierce battle waged between me and my mother for 8 years. (I don't know why she did it.) My ability to read music and be somewhat in tune with others, I owe to my mother.

Everyday she would march me into my room, open the violin case, and sternly insist that I practice for 30 minutes. I would counter that I was hungry and needed a snack. My mother cannot bear the thought of a hungry child, so I got a snack. A temporary reprieve from the horrors of practicing scales and Mazas or Seitz (yes, like the bologna). I wasn't really hungry but I stuffed my gullet to stave off the inevitable.

And now in the face of my thesis, I am a mill horse making circles in an open field. Same song and dance, different unpleasant task. I get all hyped up to work on a figure, writing a new section, or revising an old section and then I find that I am hungry. For instance today, I have eaten enough to be uncomfortably full. The kind of full where if the room is too cold my stomach hurts and if the room is too warm I feel queasy. The kind of full where I think I can feel the food at the top of my throat. Because I can't possibly track down the right references with out sustenance. =P

All this is to say that I see what I am doing and understand why I am doing it yet I can't stop myself from doing it again.

Friday, July 29, 2005

flyby #2

Yesterday, while proctoring an exam, I had to escort a cricket out of the classroom. A student complained that the chirping was throwing off his test vibe. The poor thing hopped in my hands, insisting that it had paid the cover, ordered the two drink minimum, and had as much right to be there as the next guy.

Today, I borrowed a CD from the ultracool barrista to copy a song for G. Atypical behavior for me. In my defense - we asked after the artist and he confessed that he copied it for his mix from a mix CD that his brother made and did not know the name of the song or the artist. So rather than walk out emptyhanded and brokenhearted ... I stole music. You are witness to my moral decline. *Dear RIAA, this blog is a fictional work about a fictional cranky giraffe from the midwest*

Tomorrow, I would like to go berry picking. Or get a fancy meal in a swanky place with table cloths. Or see a movie with lots of explosions and clichees. However the big event planned for tomorrow evening is urban capture the flag.

flyby #1

Yesterday, I staffed my last show in town, ever. It might be fun to try my hand at booking shows or doing sound in my next locale. Then again I was never all that successful at it here and it might be cool to preserve my hearing and sanity.

Today, I ran around collecting boxes for packing and got admonished by my mother for getting so many parking tickets.

Tomorrow, I hope to have two figures mostly done and be stuffing references into text and writing some.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A slice of Cake?

"But you're caught in your own glory
You are believing your own stories
Writing your own headlines
Ignoring your own deadlines
but now you've gotta write them all again"

I would bake an elevator shaft full of cookies if I thought it would persuade Cake to come to my house to play.

a so belated political epiphany

My Dear Republican Party,

You have control of the federal government and the laws and policies that you enact will affect the US and the world for many years to come. I congratulate you and remind you that as Stan Lee says in the Spiderman comic with great power comes great responsiblity.

The problems of this nation are yours to solve. And while you cast blame on the media, liberals, the legacy of the Clinton Administration, violins on television, too much immigration, internet pron, and the decay of our moral fiber as a nation, I have decided that the question of who was to blame in the past no longer concerns me. That was then and this is now.

If you, with every political advantage, can't solve problems and accomplish great things for us, I say to you as the Illini hockey fan chants to the away teams' goalie: "It's all your fault. It's all your fault."

The nation is in your hands. People's complaints about lack of money or jobs or opportunity or medical insurance are not my problem, they are yours. As a part of the political minority, it's my job to sit back with a case of cheap beer ('cause it's what I can afford), mock your foibles, and fart in your general direction.

Waiting in Vain?

When I talk to conservatives they are amazed that I am not one as well. "It's just that you seem smarter than that," they say with a condescending smile.

When I talk to conservatives I am amazed that they are conservatives. "It's just that you seem like a decent and caring person," I think to myself.

As the Bush administration barrels through its second term I still search for signs from someone in Congress, in the White House, in the Supreme Court, in the Republican Party, among the Neo-cons, on the religious right, among old school Reagan Era Republicans to show us this compassionate conservatism that was promised. (Is a one time $300 tax credit all I'm getting out of this?)

I wait for the compassion to wash through the nation like a waterfall bringing material and emotional support, kindness, and comfort to the people.

It's less like a waterfall and more like a wallsized Where's Waldo poster.

I am not convinced that you can be compassionate, kind, or generous while ruthlessly maximizing your profit margin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

odd realization about funny

Two times this past year I have been in a social situation in which I crack a joke and no one laughs until the "funny guy" repeats the same joke often right after me and the crowd laughs.

The previous time this happened to me My Guy turned to me as we left and asked why I was so quiet at the barbeque. "X was using and repeating my jokes and getting big laughs. I was curious to see what kind of material he comes up with on his own," I replied.

Delivery. Must hone my delivery.

now you see it, now you don't

Mister Underhill's blog is not to be found. This is the second time I have posted about a blog with a link, only to have it vanish.

(The scientific among you may wish for further experiments to test for a possible causal relationship between a mention here and blog evaporation. The vindictive among you may have plans to try to use my terrible gift for your own nefarious purposes.)

I will not to tempt fate any further. Maybe I'll just toss a link to the right once in a while.

prone to the power of fixation

Today I made a sandwiches and said with a laugh to My Guy, "I am training for the Sandwich Olympics."

Now I cannot shake this idea. There are chili cookoff's, Pillsbury Bakeoff's, contests for the best recipe with spam in it, and at least one festival devoted to the bagel. But who honors the great champion of eating on the run, the noble sandwich?

It has sparked a day dream about having a grand event with celebrity and culinary judges and contestants entered in different categories: hot, cold, veggie, meat, and so on. The all-around champion going home with a giant golden hoagie shaped trophy. Can you see it?

for geeks and gamers

these links are ganked from akibare:

the war on terror in unix

World War II as an online strategy game

not enough pages for greedy eyes

Read the most recent Harry Potter. As with the other 5 books, I am left suffering from a desperate need to know what happens next.

Monday, July 25, 2005

It turns out...

...that I am a poor proofreader.

I type, read, re-read, correct, re-read, correct, and post, find a typo, find a grammatical error fix them, come back find another and another and another.
The ones that I leave while commenting cause me to hide under the desk.

Clearly, repeated instances of hitting my head getting in and out of cars and all those gin and tonics have cancelled out years of education.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Don't close your eyes, you might miss something

"I was driving down a West Texas highway
when I seen a hitchhiker with his thumb pointed my way
Didn't look suspicious, didn't look any too clean
So I put on the brakes and I opened up the door
could tell he was a bum from the boots that he wore
He said I'm goin' down to Haskell, got a woman back in Abilene"
-Michael Martin Murphy and Boomer Castleman

I was having one of those days where I was feeling low enough to the ground that I could kick myself easily - a self-generated bad day that I could only make worse.

So I decided that a change of pace might help me refocus and get some work done. I went to the Champing Public library. What I realized on getting there is that there's lots of folks who come to Food Not Bombs that hang out there during the day to get away from the heat. More so than in Urbanana (Which actually has the better library) cause Champing stays open later.

And who do I run into but T, the train hopping drifter punk. He tells me that he is leaving town on Friday by bus. His ex-girlfriend emailed him and asked him to come home. Why is he traveling by bus? Because he wants to get there as fast as he can.

She is his dreadlocked hippy chick soulmate and he hopes that now that she is out of jail, the two of them can stay clean and maybe set up a squat with solar panels for electricity and a rainwater bath. "We'll put a white picket fence up outside our squat," he jokes. He recounts their fights and their travels. "The layer of dirt is cute. She can be as hairy as she wants. I don't care. And even when she smells, to me she don't stink," he confides. His face lights up saying that she has excellent aim. "If she throws a rock at ya, it's gonna hit ya!"

Perhaps the sky is falling down and everything is going to pot. Perhaps I am lost right now. The world keeps spinning and all of us on it are fighting and drinking and living and loving and it's a beautiful thing. Even when you haven't had a shower in days and you carry everything you own on your back. I wish him good fortune and joy on his journey.

the compound word or portmanteau

Buttfloss - a variant on the thong. Considered by some to be the racier, more extreme variation.

Dental floss is thread that is used to dislodge things stuck between teeth.
Transferring this usage to the butt ... *shudder* ... is gross.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

short post #5

This series of posts was broken up as an experiment, to make things slightly less runonsentence-y. (for K)

My Guy turned to me the day I posted "time travel" and said, "Baby, you're a blograt. It's like being a mallrat, only not."

So true.

I have terrible bloggorhea.

not at all short post #4

A while back I went to wikipedia and read the section about blogs because I wanted to get the skinny on podcasting. (The same way I intend to dust in the living room and end up balancing my checkbook.)
I realized that I know about nothing about the etiquette of blogging.

But I did find a term there that encapsulates the passive-aggressive online embodiment my real-life conflict averse passive aggressive self

Blogfoo - Statements written with an air of generality while obviously pointed at a specific person or group of people.

See, I tell myself that I have a very important, principled, important, and universally generalizable thing that I have distilled through being inspired by that thing that so and so said/did. And that I need to share from the electronic soapbox of blog, journal, or in reply to an email list. But being human, I cannot say that my motives are always so pure. There is always the subconscious to contend with.

I have been called out on my Blogfoo once. (It was more like email list foo.) I was thoroughly embarassed by this and cowed. I should have been more direct. The guy was being vindictive, manipulative, controlling, and freaky and using the pretext of a principled position of justice and decency. He won. His Blogfoo is much stronger than mine. I am traveling in search of a master in the ancient lands who can teach me drunken-dragon-underwater-nightlight-baseballbat blogfoo before we meet again.

*bows deeply*

not so short post #3

Ever notice how your guy does not have to be the smartest, best-looking, or sexiest guy you've ever been with but it will totally needle him if you imply that he's not the funniest guy you've ever met.

JE is the funniest person I have ever met. Whenever I say this to any man it immediately causes offense.

Don't get me wrong I have met some really funny people while in grad school. (you are all nodding and trying to think something charitable about grad students, right?) SO frequently caused me to choke on beverages that I was trying to imbibe and PJ would have me lightheaded from laughing. And MomVee (while not being from my grad school phase) is in point of fact terrifically funny.

Nonetheless, JE tops my book. One of the great things about JE (and all my favorite funny people) is that he is never working the room to be King of the Funny Hill. It's not a competition to him. He is a generously funny dude, not only will he laugh at your joke because he loves to laugh, he will then build off of your joke and spin out an even bigger laugh (even if your initial joke was not that funny.)

short post #2

Great blog title:
All that porn isn't going to watch itself
I find the very popular Mister Underhill to be bewilderingly alien and at times very funny. Put it this way: Have you burned any cycles speculating on how many average guys with office jobs you could beat up in a bar fight? And if you did, would you blog about it?
And have you considered how this number might change if they had baseball bats?

For me the answer is zero, in my very limited experience with these kinds of things, a blow to the head causes me to weave-n-wobble while loudly and repeatedly saying "Owwww!" (Now, if I had the baseball bat ... well, that's another story altogether ...)
; P

(no animals or humanoids were harmed in the writing of this post)

short post #1

My Guy and I made stencils. One is ominous and the other is bare bones-y but they please me. If you send me something I will stencil it for you.

Monday, July 18, 2005

silly rabbit, the internet is for ... lol.

Today I joked to ZG that My Guy and I get much insight into each other's state of mind from reading each other's electronic tapplings. She asked what we would do when the revolution came and such technologies were gone. I replied that we would resort to passing each other notes.

the blurts version

went to the intonation festival in chi
both days. It was very dusty. sun beating down, very hot. lots of bands. cool tunes.
ran into folks I knew *!*
love the wrens and the decemberists were pretty fab.
twenty kids skanked like mad in the field - the ground was shaking.
dorky announcer.
had a funnel cake, and a deep friend twinkie.
too much of a good thing is punishing.
it's also wonderful
very good people watching.

PETA was there - you don't want to know how chickens are treated. =(

got to watch a cub game on a very swanky rooftop.
I saw how the other half lives.
the beer, the food, the ice cream, the super soakers
and the cubs.
cubs won 8-2!

And now home again.
This will of course be sorted into a very long series of posts.

cute t-shirt from the fest:
"I am so blogging this."

Friday, July 15, 2005

inequity sucks, so does guilt

*I got paid. Thank God! I kiss the ground in gratitude. I can pay rent and all those parking tickets and get a haircut and buy some shoes and slow my ever increasing credit card debt*

I compared paychecks with someone today. He is getting paid more than I am but not by much. He points out that he is working much more than I am. Very true. And I feel bad about this.

It is not fair. I get paid more because my field draws more students and money because everyone wants to be a medical doctor when they grow up because there will never be a time when people are happy to be sick and never be a time when people are not afraid to die. Provided you can pay your malpractice insurance business is always good.

In any work situation or volunteer situation (even relationships) people are always comparing in this way to see who is working and who is not and who is working more. It gives you something to complain about and a list of people to hate and resent.

It is "the lazy grasshopper and the industrious ants" story. In any given situation there are people who doing nothing and reap great benefits off the considerable effort of others. It is not fair. And it pisses people off.

Sometimes it seems petty to me. But it's understandable. They wish that they were getting more while doing less. They resent doing the work of others along with their own. At the very least they wish everyone was pulling their weight and that they didn't have to pick up the slack left by slackers. It's not fair. They don't slack because if they did no one would be working and everything would go to hell. Which is probably true, who are we kidding here.

So at this moment I feel very bad that I am getting paid more when I am doing less. I feel bad that the world is unfair.

And because nobody likes to feel bad, I kinda secretly wish that I was a jackass. Because if I were a jackass I would not feel bad and I would not feel ashamed. I would acknowledge my luck and revel in it, prancing around doing a happy dance at my good fortune. (maybe deride others as suckers - that always seems to make people feel pretty good.) Knowing full and well that tomorrow my luck could change and the situation reversed. After all when winter came that grasshopper was screwed.

lesson of the day: there are compelling reasons that people don't talk about how much money they make.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

time travel

When I went to my college reunion some years ago I had this brief exchange with a graduating senior as a much older alumni. And I felt like I was looking through the mirror someone I used to be, or know.

Currently, I have made the acquaintance of a group of young people age 16-18 (half my age). It's pretty weird. We are not exactly friends. People that young, understandably, have a very limited interest in foggies of an age that Thoreau deems untrustworthy. But to interact with them without a dynamic of authority or hierarchy (I am not leader, teacher, parent, or counselor) is unusual in this world. It's not me, it's My Guy - really - who has enabled this to happen. I am too far removed from them but he is close enough generationally to them to connect.

Today I realized that by stepping into this circle of acquaintance, I have fallen through a fold in the space time continuum. To a place that looks an awful lot like my adolescence. These kids are smarter, cooler. more radical, adventurous, and confident than I (or anyone I knew) ever was at that age (and maybe at this age). But that being said, they (the Z's, B, and BE) remind me sooooo much of JS, Bones, RBriteT, TS, and SKu - the kids that I hung out my senior year. So much so.

So this is a shout out to Crossroads from a time when it still looked like an abandoned grocery store, had only been recently accredited, and the cool kids smoked outside in the corner.

To my compadres - I hope that you have not lost the savor of living, that you are still fighting the good fight, and
Bones, I hope you still radiate the positive "dudeness" and good humor that you did back then.

the shit that shows that I am one of them no action - all type and hype gals

You have seen my unacheivable two year plan. Now let me offer up my summer vacation activity wishlist:

I have friends going to the crimethinc convergence in Bloomington, IN. It sounds kinda fun. Especially if you are 17 year old, radical, empassioned, force to be reckoned with, who drives a station wagon converted to run veggie oil. =)

I am considering going to the intonation music festival. I should not as I have not heard of or heard 90% of the artists that are playing, I lack cash, and I need to be furiously writing or packing up my house. But perhaps the irresponsible will win out in the end because my ears are tired of what they've been hearing and could stand the lift of hours (and hours) of new (and live) music.

I also want to go to the Prometheus Radio Barnraising. Prometheus and Grassroots Radio are joining together to help Northampton, MA set up their community low power FM radio station and get it on the air. They will build and install a radio transmitter and have lots of hands on workshops about radio related stuff - production and whatnot. Alas, I will be here grading exams to bring home the bacon. If I had my druthers I'd be there.

And the state of Illinois department of natural resources has a Fall program called "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Workshop." They have sessions on stuff like canoeing, firearm safety, orienteering, archery, medicinal plants, edible plants in the wild, and turkey hunting. I have never even been camping. It would be totally out of my comfort zone. Can you imagine me eating bugs and making fire by rubbing two sticks together? Yeah, me neither. But I am intrigued.

(I am at a very skills oriented phase of my life. It's like Peter said to Heidella re: the story of Heidi - I am still wanting to learn in this part of my life - we'll see what I do with what I learn in the next part of my life {you need to read/see Wendy Wasserstein's play "The Heidi Chronicles"} )

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Because I should be doing other things

The Task:

Go to a blog you read and click on a link to a blog they read, and click on a link to a blog they read, and so on 6 times.

Tell us where you are, how you got there, and give us a quote.

Here -> -> -> -> ->>

When I get worried, I start imagining my own death in everyday activities: “My return flight is the evening of July 4,” I emailed her a month ago. “This vastly increases the chances of being hit by a stray firework and thus crashing so as long as you won’t feel too guilty about this on the off-chance it happens—I’ll book it!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

food adventure (I'm not a vegetarian but ...)

I, half asleep at the grocery cart, accidently bought the super soft silken tofu and needed to use it.
So I made a tofu pumpkin pie:

This receipe is ganked from VegWeb.

1 can (16oz) pureed pumpkin
3/4 cp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
10-12 oz silken/soft tofu (blended until smooth)
1 pie shell (I used graham cracker crust)

Preheat oven 425F
Use mixer to combine pumpkin and sugar.
Add salt, spices, and blended tofu.
Pour into pie shell
Bake 15 min.
lower heat to 350F
bake 40 min
Chill. Serve.

It firms up nicer if you chill it overnight.

It's nice and pumpkiny, easy easy easy to make, has the benefits of eating tofu without the feeling that you are eating tofu, and no animals will be harmed or exploited in its making and baking.

(Provided that the pie crust uses no buttter or non-vegan shortening or non vegan margarine - {most commercial margarines have whey and thus are not vegan.} and the sugar is vegan.)

This is the food for thought part. It might gross you out.
Me, I'm fascinated.

Is refined sugar vegan?

According to VegFamily who asked PETA about this one and the Canadian Sugar Institute (Who unlike wanks like the Sugar Association and some sugar companies are the coolest for giving people the straight dope on sugar processing.) During processing, sugar is filtered to take out inorganic compounds (that you might not want to be eating) and crap that would color the sugar. Beet sugar is filtered through diatomaceous earth - the fossilized shells of ancient single-celled marine creatures. *ew*
Cane sugar is commonly filtered through bone char - the dried purified bones of cows *ew ew* ( The bone char apparently works really well.) This very old Purifymind article has a great bit about corporate claims that the bones are imported and come from cows that have died of natural causes.

The end product of these processes is pure sugar. No animal bits of any kind remain.

Some companies use ion exchange or granular carbon which has a wood or coal base in the filtering process.
(coal - dried fossilized and compressed bits of prehistoric plant and dinosaur. *ew?*)

If this repulses you, VegFamily has a list of sugar companies that do or do not use the bone char process.

Suffice it to say it must be so difficult to be a committed vegan. People are sneaking the use of animal products at you at every turn, even into your Snickers bar.

And is the use of a fossilized animal product also considered unethical? They died before humans roamed the earth ....

Monday, July 11, 2005

the key to success

If you have seen the movie "The Corporation", you know that part of its analysis is the following: a corporation is legally considered to be a person and if you were to assess the behavior of many of these "persons" you would conclude that many of them could be clinically diagnosed as sociopaths. So says Dr. Robert Hare, the creator of the Psychopathy Checklist.

One might say that this is what can happen when people are no longer held accountable for their actions and they can hide behind an organizational structure such as incorporation.

Or you might suspect as Alan Deutschman of Fast Company does that your boss may in fact be a psychopath, or a narcissist.

Peter Carlson
of the Washington Post did a write up of this article with a second half devoted to the process by which congressmen finance their cronies' pork barrel projects to the tune of $32.7 billion of taxpayer money. Oh, to be a crony!

pennies from heaven

I bought a bottle of lemonade with my credit card.
A whopping $1.09 that I did not have in cash.
So sad. Except that the man behind the counter told me that there's folks that will charge a pack of gum.
"And that's 37 cents!" he declared with a laugh, "You spend your money however you want, I won't judge."

My temporarily low cash flow state has me thinking about the panhandlers of San Fran. I saw this guy who would hide behind a piece of fencing that he had covered in fake foliage. He sat behind it in a high traffic part of Fisherman's Warf and when a group of tourists walked by he would jump out from behind it with a big shout - startling the poor hapless visitors, and causing the on-lookers much amusement. (very candid camera) And then he would request a small donation from people for having made them laugh.

Not to mention the belly dancers, bucket drummers, the busking musicians, the guy who "needs five more dollars to get gas for the van so he can get his family home", and the guys with the signs that read "I just want a beer."

Sunday, July 10, 2005

ctrl + alt+ del

In any situation
many things are unknowable
the best you can do is figure out
where you are
what you want
and in case of emergency

how to get out

Friday, July 08, 2005

blog faux pas

I commented on a stranger's blog. (It's a very charming blog) She was requesting comments from bitter people. (Who knows bitter? I know bitter. I smile, I laugh, I kid, but hey - I know bitter.) So comment I did. And was chastised and rebuffed by both author and a reader. *ouch!*

I stepped in it. I was just trying to share and offer a little support. I misunderstood.

I get snarky about how very excessively sweet and supportive people are when commenting. But I understand. Now a little more acutely than before. *wince* We're all beautiful sensitive people out here sharing our lives, sharing our thoughts. It's scary. And it's a rare person who really likes a storm cloud.

So if I have been snarky or bitter or cold on your site, I am very sorry. I think you're sooo lovely, else I wouldn't be reading. I am putting myself on a regimen of sweets, Hallmark cards and Disney movies to try and remedy the situation. No guarantee that it will work.

No bitter for you!

(All for me, right here. ;P )

Thursday, July 07, 2005

To London

Though you are an ocean away you are in our thoughts and our hearts.
Here and all over the world.

In London today

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fireworks and flag waving

My shoes are wet and I have soot in my hair. Champing has a pretty decent fireworks display for the 4th. This year K and I sat bundled in blankets in the wind and the rain for the fireworks. The wind brought the fireworks in very close. They were exploding right over our heads and even with my glasses fogging up and spattered with rain, it was rockin'. They were larger than my field of view. I have a neck cramp.

To describe them is silly. But there was one where a thousand bright lights exploded out and then squiggled around like they were alive.

There was a particularly nice segment when they were playing "America" from West Side Story where the squeal of the rockets and the crackle were timed perfectly with the music.

As for the rest of it. Something must be done about the state of country music today. Hank Williams must be rolling in his grave. I wish the Dixie Chicks had not apologized for expressing their feelings about the war. It would make me feel like country music was still a healthy, diverse, and viable art form and not a jingoistic, shmaltzy caricature of music.

I realize that I grew up before the days of political correctness. In grade school once a week a music teacher came to visit us. We got songbooks and sang along to a record player. This is where I learned the words to the Battle Hymn Republic, God Bless America, Anchors Away, Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder, America the Beautiful, and all those other beautiful nationalistic songs of proganda. They did not use Columbia the gem of the ocean, My country tis of thee, Grand old flag, or Yankee Doodle Dandy.

They did however play Dixie, Camptown Races, and Old Black Joe. When did traditional songs of the south become part of our national celebration? Especially songs of nostalgia for plantation days. I mean, 'cmon!

Gershwin and Ray Charles were butchered and there was a particularly painful segment of Tchaikovsky's March Slav. (Yes, Mom, those years you forced me to play in the orchestra have allowed me to identify and mock fireworks music.)

Before everything got started they were playing old Elvis Costello on the PA. I very much hoped that they would play "What's So Funny 'bout Peace, Love, and Understanding."

Monday, July 04, 2005

grumbling wallflower

Despite my parents best efforts, despite my efforts to change (or to at the very least hide it), I am all those horrible things that people tell you about only children.

I understand that in the grand scheme of the universe I am the tiniest of specks. I am one carbon based life form in a swirling infinity. And that my problems (or victories) don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

Still, being an only child, being spoiled rotten, being a Daddy's girl, being a faculty brat, knowing that at one time I was at the center of someone's universe is heady stuff to overcome. It's hard to shake. I wonder if I ever will completely.

Even now there are days where I don't want to be merely thanked, I don't want someone to say "Hey, nice job!" I want the smallest act on my part to elicit a standing ovation or a parade in my honor. I want to stand in the center of waves of adulation.

I realize that I have done nothing deserving of such treatment, that it is a ridiculous thing to want.

Nonetheless, there are days that I want to be Queen. I want to look around and see that queenie-ness reflected in the eyes of others.

I am not particularly proud of this. It just is.

Blog loss

*Update on the Babel fish post*
This is written with the aid of Google's language tools.
Esto se escribe con la ayuda del traductor del google

El Blog De Magda is gone.
El Blog De Magda ha desaparecido.

I am very sad about this.
Soy muy triste sobre esto.

Does anyone know where she went?
¿cualquier persona sabe adónde ella fue?

Magda, where are you?
¿Magda, donde es usted?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I have a dream

That one day the laws of imminent domain will be used to tear down Walmart Superstores to build skate parks and sculpture gardens.

Microsoft Excel has unexpectedly quit

Turns out my computer has some kind of resistance to statistics too.

I had finally given up on actually understanding the statistical analyses that I am using in favor of just looking at the P value. All set to crank. And Excel shuts down on me. *!* When I reopen the program the tool menu is missing from the top bar. I can't analyze jack shit now.

The Microsoft "never much help" menus all require that I fix problems I have with the tool menu by actually clicking on things that are in the tool menu.

In my sleep deprived derangement I about started to cry.

I know, I know I can still use the statistical functions. They are able to do all the necessary calculations. And I should find a proper statistical package. Not some @#$#@%'d up kludge that normal people use for, uh, what do y'all use this steaming piece of #!@% for?

I just.

I thought I was getting somewhere.

Friday, July 01, 2005

anything but productive

I have a mental block in my head that is making it very hard to grasp statistics.
Yeah yeah sigma, yeah yeah normal distribution, 1.96, p value null hypothesis ... might as well all be written in Estonian.

Everytime I think I am starting to get a handle on it, I find that I am holding that damn block instead.
@#!%$#@ !