Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It's funny 'cause it's true

Spouse: [DQ], don't put your feet on the computer screen.
DQ: But I like to!
Spouse: Well, we don't always get what we like.
DQ: But I want to!
Quinn: Well, life is tough.
DQ: No it's not.
Quinn: Not for you.
DQ: Yeah, just for you.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

This is not my beautiful house!

We sold the house. Praise be to Jebus!

We leave tomorrow for the Cool Blue North to search for a new beautiful house, to hang with the fam, and to meet up with some very lovely people at a very special someone's wedding.

Blogging may be sporadic. Carry on.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Meaningless Milestone

My dissertation draft now sits at a stately 200 pages. I rule!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

When good literature lies

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." -- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Um, no. While I tend to agree with the Atticus Finch worldview about a good many things, there is one point I must make.

Mockingbirds are mean little SOBs! They attack my dogs. They attack me. They like to build their nests with animal or human hair, and my long ponytail is very inviting.

This weekend, I intervened when my dog and my neighbor's cat were both being dive-bombed by one of those little birds. I did not commit the sin of killing the bird, but I did give him a good scare.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Happy Defenestration Day!

Go here or here to learn more. Ain't language fantastic?


Sunday, May 21, 2006

English to Wild Boy Dictionary

Hello -- Hi
Goodbye -- Bye Bye
Goodnight -- Ni Ni
Blanket -- Baba
Cow -- Ow
Dog -- Og
Lion -- Rar
Giraffe -- Aya! (this is his favorite word)
Hippo -- Ee-o
Sheep -- Baa
Cat -- At
Animals -- Ama
Banana -- Nana
All Gone -- Aga
Sister -- Didi (this is actually a Gujarati term he's picked up, much to the grandparents' pleasures)
Mommy -- Mami
Daddy -- Mami

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Weekend Crafty Blogging

I visited a friend and her new baby a couple of days ago, bringing along my traditional gift, a crocheted baby afghan.

While I was there, she asked if I could do some little repairs on her older daughter's blanket, a purple one with daisies, which she wanted to hold onto as a keepsake. I have to say, it's one of my favorites I've ever made (even if the squares were a bit sloppy and prone to breakage!) I noticed that my blankets have become a little less complicated since having my second child. I prefer now to do patterns that don't involve constantly referring to a pattern book, or for that matter doing too much counting.

And here's my most recent creation. It was sort of an ad-hoc strategy to use up some yarn remnants I had. But I really like the way it turned out.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"You're the man now, blog!"

I've updated the blogroll a bit, including a new favorite, Word Daze (beret tip to Neel). If you've ever wanted to know what the proper collective noun is for gummy worms, look no further. Or farther. Or further. [Damn you, Forrester!]

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Narrow Your Eyes!

I've gone on record saying I don't approve too heartily of some of the lessons in the kids' show, "Max and Ruby". And after watching a couple of more episodes, I see that I still don't approve too heartily. Ruby is bossy and there is no parental supervision anywhere to be seen. But I admit it. I love Max!

Reason #1: He's devious. Devious is good. Well, not good, but entertaining.

Reason #2: He has a nemesis. It's like Maggie and Gerald, the baby with one eyebrow. I wish I could find an image of Max and Morris narrowing their eyes at one another. It's priceless. Both Spouse and I were laughing at the entire "Max Meets Morris" episode.

Reason #3: The animation is simple, yet projects expression surprisingly well. Max doesn't talk much, but his eyes say volumes! For instance, the picture to the right says, "Get me out of this @*&$ sailor suit!"

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The Prequels

Are done.

Both Advisor and Reader #2 have drafts of the first five chapters of the dissertation. I am now moving on to Chapter 6, which will incorporate some of my fun court records material from my recent road trip. It stands at 20 pages currently, and is very very very messy. Once I get all the chapters drafted, I'll have to go back and take a crack at the introduction and conclusion. Eek! The optimistic goal is to have a full draft to the committee by the beginning of July.

Not so in the works: job interview cancelled thanks to budget shortfall on the school's part. Urgh. Oh, well. More time to write. (Aren't I philosophical this morning?)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Academics: Beware!

From Dr. William J. Robinson, author of Sex Knowledge for Men (1916):

"Intellectual pursuits. Nature resents burning the candle at both ends, and it is very rare that people who devote all their time to severe intellectual work do not pay for it by sexual weakness or impotence."


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Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Wild Boy on Communication

Scene: a few weeks ago. The park with the Wild Boy, Quinn, another boy of approximately the same age, and his mom. The boys are playing.

Quinn: "[WB], are you making a friend? Say hi."
Other mom: "Oh, does your son talk?"
Quinn: "No."
Other mom: "Neither does mine. He just makes animal noises."
Other boy: "Woof!"

The Wild boy has entered the animal noise phase. Barely says Mama, but clearly can do "Moo," "Baa," and "Rar!"


The Drama Queen on Aesthetics

"Ladybugs are pretty. So are belly buttons."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Road trip!

No, I didn't head off to Emily Dickinson College to pick up dates. But I did conduct a brief research trip (two days) in a city about 3 hours away. It was a good trip. The archives on day one were somewhat helpful (albeit FREEZING! as per usual.) Got some good material for Chapter 6, which is a disaster right now.

I finished early at the archives on Tuesday night, so I did a little shopping, ate a little dinner, and then found myself a nice cheap motel for the night. Two historic happenings: 1) it was my first night away from the Wild Boy. It only took 17 months for me to take a night off. And it was wonderful. 2) it was my first time watching Sex and the City. Meh. It was nice, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it.

The next morning, I went to the county courthouse, where I had to first be interviewed by the County Clerk, before he would let me do research. The interview consisted of about 30 seconds of me explaining my project and 15 minutes of him talking about his decision to run for public office, his campaign platform (should I mention I'm not a voter in his county?), his community outreach programs, his responsibilities, and the fact that his staff never shows up on time despite their responsibility to the good people of the county to maintain proper hours to conduct county business. Um, ok. Actually, I didn't mind, since one of the staffers who was late was the woman who had my docket books. So even after Mr. County Clerk finished his spiel, I couldn't get right to work. I twiddled my thumbs until Staff Woman showed up, 40 minutes late.

At 8:45, I had my docket books and was sequestered in a conference room happily sorting through the criminal proceedings during World War I. Yay! I should share some things I learned.

Things you could be arrested for in 1917 and 1918:
  • "Offering a bribe to a voter" (dozens of these on election day, interspersed with "keeping a saloon open on election day") -- ok, these ones make sense
  • "Rudely displaying a pistol"
  • "Starting automobile of another"
  • "Sending anonymous letter" ???
  • "Shifting gears" ???? (I'm guessing auto-related criminal charges were still being worked out)
  • "Molesting auto" (ditto. Is this comparable to grand theft auto, or auto-erotica?)

And, of course, "Alluring a female" which was duly noted in my research.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Noggin Anonymous

Deep Questions about Children's Television:

On Blue's Clues, what exactly is the nature of the relationship between Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper? They're French, and she was feminist enough to keep her name. And he does the cooking. Come to think of it, I dig Mr. Salt!

And while we're at it, why can the dogs not talk, but everyone else (cats, shovels, Side Table Drawer) can? Is this making some statement about the relative intelligence of canines versus household appliances?

Why does Thomas the [f'ing] Tank Engine's eyes move, but not his mouth when he talks? (I posed this to a dad at the bookstore one day as we refereed our children battling over a Percy. He was stumped.)

Considering Father Bear and Mother Bear (and the grandparents, obviously) dress in late Victorian garb, covering up as much as possible, why do they let Little Bear run around naked all the time?

Is there any adult supervision of Max and Ruby? (If I were their mom, I certainly wouldn't leave Ruby in charge!)


Please feel free to post theories in response to my questions, or suggest your own stumpers.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Writing update

Things are going... well. I mean, well, I guess. I turned in Chapter 2(5) (fifth chapter I've written, 2nd in book order) to Advisor on Tuesday. Today, I'm doing some minor cleanup on chapters 1-3 to send to my second reader (she hasn't seen anything but 4 and 5, which were completed last calendar year).

Next week: turn my attention to chapter 6. For that, I need to make one more minor research trip, which will take me to a nearby city archives and (if I'm lucky) the county courthouse. I spoke with a courthouse employee yesterday about the availability of court records from 1917 to 1918. She informed that they are not sorted by year, and do I have social security numbers for the participants? Um, no. Why not? Because there was no social security back then. And then she says, "Well, and I don't know how helpful they'll be... the ones from back then are handwritten and not in the database." Yeah, I know. Now can I come there and see them please? I eagerly await her reply today.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Corndog, we hardly knew ye...

But you will be missed.

The Adventures of Tenali Raman

This is just weird.

My in-laws returned from a visit to the homeland with two DVDs for the kids. One was animated tales from the Panchatantra. Scared the shit out of the Drama Queen. And me, too.

The second one, she's kind of into. It's called The Adventures of Tenali Raman. And it's weird. Weird in so many different ways.

Not the least of which is that the lead character bears a striking resemblance to the Jon Lovitz character, The Critic. Except he has no nipples.

Also disturbing: He lives in a kingdom called Vijayanagara, which when said fast, sounds a lot like Vagina Agra. His court rival, Raj Guru, sounds like he is moaning in pleasure when he is supposed to be growling with disgruntled rage. And his little minion is a blue critter with a Hitler moustache. And just about every episode revolves around attempted murder or warfare.

But other than all that, it's kind of funny.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The cunning use of quizzes

As seen at K-Lyn, they really do have a quiz for everything! Fuckin'amazing!

Which Eddie Izzard Quote Are You?

Gods Procrastination
Take this quiz!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Significance of World War I

"There was a WAR! And the WHOLE WORLD was involved! And it was only the FIRST ONE!" -- courtesy of a colleague.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Since it's been a recent topic on this blog and others, I thought I'd pass on Stephen Colbert's analysis of plagiarism:

Life imitates Art.
Art imitates Life.
Therefore, art imitates art. That's just math.

I'll have to remember that next time I'm grading a batch of papers copied straight from the internet.