Saturday, January 31, 2009
But since I had offered to proofread some job-application materials for my old teacher, yesterday I got an e-mail from him with the promised stuff to be dissected by my red pen. It's been intriguing to look at it all; he's led an interesting life and loves a lot of the same stuff I do. I somewhat wish I had met him in college (he graduated a year after I did), because I think we would have bonded. It's not terribly surprising, I guess, since a love of the same material and a similar sensibility is probably a large part of the reason why he liked my writing so much. It's weird to think it's that subjective, this assessment of talent and worth. But I guess it's like love and anything else: aren't we all just looking for that reflection of ourselves?
Among the things that compose an application for a writing professor, I find there's something called a "portfolio," which, in his rendering, consists of a narrative of his teaching methodology, as illustrated by a fictionalized class made up of various students he has taught, along with examples of their writing in an appendix. I am one of these students!
It's weird to see fictional me in class setting; I seem to be quite the thoughtful, engaged participant. I somewhat take issue with his suggestion of me as a shy, librarian type who doesn't like to meet people's eyes, although I totally dig having my Corningware dish immortalized. And I won't burst his bubble by telling him that the class methodology had very little to do with that particular story, and that all the word-game words I incorporated were my own, thrown out in class not because I reached that mondo-creative state, but because I had already decided to use them.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The verdict brought to an end what one lawmaker branded "the freak show" in Illinois. Over the past few weeks, Blagojevich found himself isolated, with almost the entire political establishment lined up against him. The furor paralyzed state government and made Blagojevich and his helmet of lush, dark hair a punchline from coast to coast.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
It's Friday, so random music to ease me into my day.
1. she is beyond good and evil, the pop group
2. quicksand, david bowie
3. freedom hangs like heaven, iron & wine
4. we can talk, the band
5. deirdre, the beach boys
6. before i'm over you, loretta lynn
7. cast off crown, deerhoof
8. straight to you, nick cave & the bad seeds
9. walken, wilco
10. heaven, squeeze
And do you suppose it can be blamed on my cable-less existence that I know all about things like the Heat Surge and the Chia cat grass planter but had never until yesterday heard of this film?
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
And one of Obama's first actions is going to be lifting the global gag rule--i.e., the rule prohibiting federal funding to international family planning groups that mention abortion--which is most excellent news.
Seems like it took forever to get here, right? I hope everybody's somewhere television or internet adjacent in order to watch this. We've fired up the tv in the library and are projecting the arrival of bagels to cater the occasion.
I was getting misty just seeing the crowds (if I still lived there, damn, I'd have some fairly primo location, at least for the folks pouring across Memorial Bridge from Virginia), so I just know I'm going to be bawling. Luckily, in anticipation of this, I brought out the waterproof mascara this morning.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Post-move insanity continues apace, including bathroom drama ("the door's shut! the door's locked! how will we know if someone's in there? maybe we need a sign.") and building safety and security orientation, which, sadly--and despite the content and delivery ("What do we do in this situation? Can anyone tell me? We give them the Broadway smile!")--did not actually feature hand puppets.
Random music because I was an idiot and left my ipod here last night, hence I'm in tune withdrawal.
1. farther on up the road, lonnie mack
2. what's mine is yours, sleater-kinney
3. 8 days on the road, howard tate
4. brownsville blues, furry lewis
5. wildwood flower, loretta lynn
6. i'm going to hell, the long blondes
7. 1000 umbrellas, xtc
8. in the aeroplane over the sea, neutral milk hotel
9. interzone, joy division
10. turnstyles, stanley ross
And thank god the week is over and I have Monday off for MLK day. Oh, and I registered for my next writing class. So yay for me on that.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Similarly, I find out while listening to NPR on the way home that there is a person--more than one!--who spends time tossing frozen turkeys into airplane engines to test against bird strikes. Sure, we're happy these brave souls tirelessly perform their jobs (as I'm sure are the people on that U.S. Airways flight). But can you imagine a kid in this world pining, pining to grow up to be a turkey tosser?
As home values across the country continue to plummet, the authorities say a new breed of swindler is preying on the tens of thousands of homeowners desperate to avoid foreclosure.
Until recently, defrauders tried to bilk homeowners out of the equity in their homes. Now, with that equity often dried up, they are presenting themselves as “foreclosure rescue companies” that charge upfront fees to modify loans but often do nothing to stave off foreclosure.
On the bright side, literally, the sun is out. Also, while I may look like an arctic refugee, I am toasty here in my windowless office.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
But, we are finally moved to the new office space! And I am in posh accommodations, indeed, compared with the other people who are not muckety-mucks. I have the solo office, with two spaces from which to choose my favorite work nook. I have a bright green wall and cheery overhead lights. (How they make fluorescent lights cheery and warm, as opposed to soul-scorching, I don't know. Maybe they popped for the special "warm light" versions.) I have less shelf space than before, but I have the luxury of floor and desk space in which to temporarily park all the stuff I no longer have shelf space for.
In contrast, those in Cubesville are seething and resentful, bunched together and fighting over common areas. I'm sympathetic, to be sure. It's a raw deal, and there's no privacy (well, there will be a lot of the time, because two of the three people only work part time).
And okay, a part of me feels guilty. I didn't ask for anything (okay, the oversized monitor, I did ask for, but I can't help it if they give it to me, right?). But another part of me thinks: eh, I'm here more than you, I'm not a clock watcher, and I step up to do much, much more. So I don't feel too bad about it.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I think we can all be properly chastened at our skepticism over Joe the Plumber's journalistic bona fides. I think the "Israel people" are going to be warming up to him, a la Barbara Walters, and telling him their true feelings. Mark my words, he'll be giving us a side to this conflict, a human side.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Now if I could only get my camera connection and music in a network-accessible location so that I may avoid the twelve-step process of carrying files back and forth, I would be golden for all occasions.
Friday, January 9, 2009
I'm on my last free weekday day before our regularly scheduled work days resume on Monday. I will be very very sad to resume real-world functioning and to have to return to new windowless quarters at our new office space. However, I will say that there may be benefit to me seeing actual human beings in the wild, as I'm starting to resemble a bag lady, shlumping around in the same sweater for days in a row, no makeup, crazy hair, ripped coat, hat with strings hanging off everywhere. And just yesterday, while ducking through a mall, I was waylaid by a friendly European woman selling hair straightening irons. I could barely understand her, and she could barely understand me, but as she beckoned me over to ply her wares, I found myself telling her, at length, about how one cannot contemplate achieving anything good with one's hair while the weather is so bad and we're all skulking around with ugly knit caps and consequent hat hair and static. At first, she tried to keep up with me on my diatribe, asking for clarification. Finally, she just fell silent and looked at me like I was a lunatic.
But I console myself on the inevitable slide into old-age eccentricity with some new music. My pre-shoveling random shuffle doesn't seem keen to feature any of it, but still, I know it's there.
1. water ban, pernice brothers
2. iron woman, devin davis
3. nature of the experiment, tokyo police club
4. friday night, lily allen
5. things that scare me, neko case
6. ancient curse, peter, bjorn & john
7. five years, david bowie
8. all we have is now, flaming lips
9. sunny afternoon, the kinks
10. mannequin, wire
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Joe The Plumber is putting down his wrenches and picking up a reporter's notebook.
The Ohio man who became a household name during the presidential campaign says he is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for the conservative Web site pjtv.com.
Samuel J. Wurzelbacher (WUR'-zuhl-bah-kur) says he'll spend 10 days covering the fighting.
He tells WNWO-TV in Toledo that he wants to let Israel's '''Average Joes' share their story.''
Once my new laser printer gets here (today, if the UPS gods are smiling on me), I'll be able to send off to the old-school journals who are still insisted on receiving paper manuscripts with self-addressed stamped envelopes.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Apparently, a certain president elect was on an episode during the first season that never aired. But they're going to show the episode on January 16. I am going to have to watch this, because I'm dying to know what restaurant he picked.
LATER: Or, I could just watch the video snippet. Jesus.
Some cause and effect: if you habitually in past have been known to casually read directives or not at all and subsequently misinterpret them, other folk may then be inclined to question what you say when you assert facts. The confidence with which you assert your casually gleaned facts does not actually make them any more true.
On the other hand, moving logistics take on a surreal and nonsensical lemming-like aspect when they are directed by the above sort of people and carried out by folks who tend to want to outsource tedious decision-making and thinking about any details. For example:
Head-scratching office denizen: "You're saying we should take the toner cartridges out of all of our printers before the movers get here? Um, okay. I guess. If everybody else is doing it."
ALSO: It goes without saying that refrigerators, having sat open post-defrosting for two weeks, must be doused in bleach before they may safely be moved to a new location. This gives the added benefit of clearing the sinuses of everyone, providing headaches for some, and intensifying migraines of others. Plus, I can confirm, having toured the new space with office furniture in place, that each minion of the appropriate pay grade gets exactly as much as the next guy.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Seen on the streets while I was walking around today:
1. A man, skipping with two small children down the main drag in town and singing, at the top of his lungs, "We're Off to See the Wizard." You really have to admire that abandonment of propriety and embrace of the ridiculous in full, crowded public.
2. A guy on a motorcycle somehow playing a bagpipe version of "Amazing Grace." I'm not saying he was actually playing the bagpipes, I'm saying that the music was somehow coming from his little setup, piped in or out, as it were.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
For an estimated 1 million owners of the Zune media player, New Year's Eve was the day their music died. A technical glitch related to the 2008 leap year caused some versions of Microsoft Corp.'s devices across the globe to seize Wednesday. The devices should come back to life today. But not before making many of the Zune faithful wonder why they hadn't bought an iPod instead.