Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Music-triggered memories

In line at the bank today: "Get out of my dreams, Get into my car," by the legendary Billy Ocean came on.

For N: scene of me coming to Andy's room in college so we could go to dinner/movie/whatever. Andy replied, "I'm not leaving until I hear Billy Ocean on the radio." N: "I have Billy Ocean in my room." "It's not the same."

For ~n: scene of junior high gym class with whatever her name was, the young kind of cute gym teacher. Everyone is sort of humming along, and then Jay L. (oh so cute, he was!) burst out into a whole dance number, including gesturing gym teacher to get "in the backseat, baby!"

It's amazing how memories can make a mediocre song seem so much better.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Another Mystery

Why do Americans hate soccer? Solved. It's really very simple, actually. Americans hate soccer because we tend to watch the American team.

It's a different sport when played by, say, Germany (wow!) or Argentina.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Good News Friday

I just sent out Chapter 6 to my advisor. I have completed two-thirds of the edits requested for Chapter 2. I have a significant portion of the Introduction mapped out. I'm rolling.

More later.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Th-Hers-Day, for the Ladies, World Cup Edition

[cue stadium chants and shirtless midfielders]

Can I just share a moment of disappointment from the opening round of the World Cup? And I'm not just talking the US elimination today. I mean, yes, that's sad. But at the same time, you've got to be happy for Ghana! But here's my beef: In the USA vs. Italy match, I couldn't help but notice that our Italian (Bocanegra) was hotter than their Italians. I mean, c'mon! As K-Lyn and I recently discussed, an Italian soccer team should be the male equivalent of the Swedish Bikini Team. There should be nothing hotter on earth. And these guys just weren't that hot.

So let me open it up to my lovely commenters: who is your Th-Hers-Day choice for "Man of the Match?" Do you fancy Beckham, or has some lesser-known caught your eye?

[soto voce] Didn't Naomi Wolf once say that on some days she wants to overthrow the patriarchy, and some days she just wants to be surrounded by 18 year old soccer players?

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Bonus: World Cup edition of DQ Memories

One of the Drama Queen's first words was "ball," which she used gleefully when we brought out the mini-basketball or the mini-soccer ball, the mini-football, etc. She would point at the ball and shout, "Ball!" Soon, she learned to pluralize when she saw more than one of an item.

Shortly after this linguistic leap, she discovered that her father has boxer shorts that have a soccer ball print on them. One day, he was getting dressed and DQ points at his shorts, yelling "Balls!" I laughed riotously, and I must admit egged her on a bit. "Where are daddy's balls?" And she would point at his crotch, enunciating quite clearly, "Balls!"

Chagrined, Spouse decided it was time to teach her the phrase, "Soccer balls."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Absent-Minded Dissertater

Item 1: It's miserably hot and I headed to campus today (in my Wicked t-shirt, as noted below) to pick up an interlibrary loan, return some books, and make some photocopies. Got everything done that I wanted to get done by noon, so I decided to come home for lunch and today's writing.

But when I got home, I discovered that my very last interlibrary loan had just arrived, and was ready to be picked up. Grr... Back to campus tomorrow to do some microfilm.

Item 2: [This is just sad, really.] Dr. Mellow once told me that he once recalled a book from himself. Went to the library, very upset that Book X, which he needed desperately, was checked out. So he filled out the little recall form in order to get Book X asap. Then he went home and checked his email, which had a message from the library saying he had to return Book X, as it was being recalled. Turned around, looked at shelf, and sure enough, Book X is sitting right there.

Sadly, I can now relate. One of the interlibrary loans I so desperately needed for chapter 6 arrived last week. I read through it, aware that I had read it probably 6 months before, taken notes on it, but that I was looking for different information now. I see that pages 170-180 would be particulary helpful to me, and make a note that I should photocopy those pages. That's when I hit the bookmark. On a sticky-note, tucked in the back of the book, is written "copy 170-180 before returning". In my handwriting.

So much for my much-lauded organizational skills.

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Today, I went to campus wearing my Wicked t-shirt.* One of the local campus activists wanted to hand me some literature, which I refused (as I tend to do). I guess the woman doubted my crunchy blue pedigree, for she asked me, "Does your shirt endorse Cheney?"

"No, it endorses Elphaba." But that was a good one.

*Note: this is not me in the picture. This is from the Wicked web site.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Topic sentence, anyone?

Now, before I go off on this post, in the interest of full disclosure, Advisor and I have had several conversations about the importance of topic sentences, the subtext of which were usually "[Quinn], you really need to make sure your paragraphs make sense."

And that's why this particular two-sentence paragraph delighted me so much today. While reviewing the lit on detention homes for female "sex offenders" during World War I, I came across this gem:
Good behavior was rewarded with special privileges. A high wire stockade surrounded the premises.

End of paragraph. End of juxtaposition. Hee!

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

This is where we used to live

It's starting to hit home. Two more weeks in, er, Lawndale. And I'm starting to have those moments when I realize I'll be leaving a lot behind. And not just the air pollution and threat of hurricanes.

I've lived here for ten years. So here's the top ten things I'll miss about my adopted city:

10. My favorite Lebanese takeout restaurant. Cheap, good food. And the hummus is never too salty.

9. Forget that. All the restaurants. This town knows how to eat!

8. Professional sports teams that aren't truly repugnant socially.

7. The wildflowers along the highway.

6. 75 degree days in January. (But I'll trade them for 75 degree days in July.)

5. Crape Myrtle trees.

4. Our local folk music bar/Irish pub. Mmm...

3. My in-laws. (This is also a toss-up, since we're moving back to my homeland and consequently, Spouse's in-laws.)

2. My job. I've really enjoyed graduate school and the work I've accomplished here.

1. The friends I've made.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Dude, they're just breasts! Get over it!

In a show of solidarity with some other cool mommy bloggers out there, to say that I think the campaign to increase breastfeeding rates in the US is a good idea, but that the method of doing it (by accusing bottle-feeders of poisoning their children) is a bad idea. How about instead of taking a negative approach to a situation that is already fraught with negativity and challenges, we focus on the positive? For instance, try to change the image of breastfeeding in this country from being obscene to natural? SomeoneJen over at Scribbler's suggested posting pics of breastfeeding. Sounds good to me.

So I take this moment to up the visibility of breastfeeding. This is all about making it more socially acceptable to women, but also to all those uptight dudes out there who think that breasts should be hidden unless they are there for the male gaze.

So, with all that out, here's Quinn nursing (in a shot that I hope won't jeopardize my anonymity too much).

Doesn't that just make you hott?

On this day in History

Andy was born. Aw!

Much love to the man who taught me about opera, big city living, and Stuff on my Cat.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Road to Nowhere

A few years ago, there was a web site called Road to Springfield, which was a NCAA-version bracket tournament, complete with 64 seeded entries, of characters from the Simpsons. People voted on who would win each matchup, providing rationale behind their choices. The battle came down to a championship matchup between C. Montgomery Burns and Ralph Wiggum, with Burns triumphing much like the UNLV juggernaut of 1990.

Despite the tag line, "at least Duke can't win," this contest was the highlight of my summer (I was studying for comps. It sucked.)

Now, Corndog has produced another competition worthy of attention. Check out the head-to-head children's television crap-off. My money's on Oobi.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What a day!

I didn't leave the house until 5pm today, and that was only to pick up some soy milk and the drycleaning. What I did do was finish the blasted chapter. Just sent it to my study group, and hope to have it in serviceable condition for the advisor by Monday.

Guess I'm entitled to 3 songs or some other fantastic prize!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

We're two for two in these quizzy things...

First Elizabeth Bennett and now this. I wouldn't have pegged it myself, but I think this one got me right:

Miracle Max

Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

Bumper Sticker Watch

Haven't done one of these in a while, but I couldn't resist: "Colbert/Stewart 2008" in the parking lot at school today. On my car: "Stewart/Colbert 2008." More evidence that the tide has turned, eh?


Monday, June 12, 2006

The Wild Boy loves the Sport of Kings

WB woke from his nap a little early on Saturday, while his sister was still dozing. So I brought him into the family room and set him in front of his bucket of animals (the ultimate toy for my animal obsessed child who loves sorting). Then I turned on the TV in hopes of catching a little World Cup before DQ woke up.

But it was not to be. The first thing that came on was the Belmont Stakes, which for some reason is about an 11 hour television event, with pre-race analysis, profiles of the horses, the owners, the jockeys, the history, everything. WB didn't care about all that. He just wanted to see the horses. The boy who never notices what's on the TV screamed and ran to the set, banging on it every time they showed a horse. He was in heaven.

Needless to say, I have no idea how the first round of the World Cup is going, but I'm fully up to date on the condition of Barbaro's broken leg.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Dissertation to-do list

Before the move, I wish to accomplish the following:

1. Draft out the rest of Chapter 6 and get it to Advisor.
2. Rework chapter 2. (This may be difficult...)
3. Put the whole thing together and start hashing out where my introduction and conclusion should go.

If I do this, I will treat myself to a selection of work-out song downloads. Let's say 3 for each accomplishment.


Yay! World Cup has begun.
Boo! I'm writing today.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Temporary relief for mild depression...

...that doesn't involve a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

Over at You-Tube, the Evolution of Dance. I'm especially fond of the Vanilla Ice segment. Hat-Tip to Patricia, who doesn't blog, but totally should if she had time.



In case you missed it, Jon Stewart smacked Bill Bennett down last night on the issue of gay marriage. It was a delight. An utter delight. I don't think the video's up on Comedy Central yet, but Crooks and Liars has got some analysis and video links.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bonus Wild Boy Antics

The 'rents were kind enough to keep the kids while we house-hunted last week. So for two days, from 9 to 3, we saw houses while the grandparents ran after DQ and WB. Came home after Day 1.

"How did it go?"
"Fine. But [Wild Boy] has a temper!"
"He hit me."
"And he threw things."
"And he scowls."
"Oh, yeah."

Luckily, he morphed into Angel Boy while DQ was sick. It's nice that they take turns being demanding these days.

Running Hot and Cold

What a trip! Our visit to Cascadia stuffed about as much into one week as humanly possible, and that's before DQ got croup.

Long and short: we bought a house. It's fantastic. Needs a little cosmetic work, but the price was fabulous and the neighborhood was exactly what we wanted. Walking distance to the elementary school, the preschool, the gym, and several restaurants. Yay! Also, a bargain and in really good shape. We bought it and signed the kids up for the coming year in preschool. That all went really well.

Everything else? Not so much. Closing on our Lawndale house went "smoothly" (that is, until I actually checked to see if the money had arrived to pay off the mortgage). I did not relish spending hours on the phone -- often holding a cranky child or two -- with the bank and the title company determining exactly where the money was, when it was sent, and why it wasn't showing up anywhere. The title company blatantly lied to us, telling us that the money had been wired on Tuesday, when the tracking numbers they gave us indicated that it had not been sent until three days (and three irate phone calls with no response) later. ARGH!

In the midst of all this, a tree fell down on our former property... coming this close to hitting Spouses's car. But that situation got resolved quickly, thanks to the efforts of my dogsitter, my next door neighbor, and the buyer. Wonderful! And this was after the poorly-timed ceiling leak of two days before closing. Yet with a little scrambling, we managed to get out alive and in one piece from property ownership in Lawndale. Whew!

Spouse worked five swing shifts at his new job while in town, which was exhausting for him and exhausting for me, since I was home with the munchkins. And we couldn't even do fun stuff like enjoy the nice weather or go to the zoo! Just watch a lot of Noggin and cough. Croup sucks.

Add into the mix my one job-related lunch, in which a lovely professor basically told me that the market is not so good. But she gave me some good ideas of other things to do to put out some roots. So we'll see.

And speaking of professional development... I had brought one scholarly article and one essay to be edited with me on the trip. Figuring that was a reasonable amount of work to take with me for a week away from the diss. But did I even look at it? Of course not.

Anyway, back to work.


As seen at APL's:

Which Classic Female Literary Character Are you?

You're Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen!
Take this quiz!

Monday, June 05, 2006

We're back!

Back in Lawndale for three more weeks. The trip was hectic. Too much to discuss now. It's late and DQ is at last sleeping peacefully. So until I have the time to unpack all the details, here's a brief reverie. The scene: DQ is curious about the Windex out on the counter. "Mommy, what's that blue thing doing here?" Love that kid.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Where's Anne Shirley when you need her?

The Drama Queen has croup. What a lovely vacation. (But a day late to make Wednesday Whining.)

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