Archive for the 'Random(er)' Category

06
Feb
08

Of dogs and students

Last week was nuts. Just nuts. Between the schedule I was keeping and the snowy weather forcing me to carpool into town the week felt like it absolutely crawled. Tuesday evening came and I was sure – absolutely SURE – that it had to be Thursday. There was no possible way that there could still be 3 whole days left in the week!

Part of what made the week insane was that it was conference week, meeting and talking to students about their works-in-progress. It’s honestly one of my favorite parts of teaching since it gives me the chance to get to know the people in my class as more than just semi-blank faces or words on a page or screen. Not only do we talk about their work but I get to share laughs about rainbow sprinkle-covered hot cocoa, cultural criticism on everything from global warming to vegan eating habits to Rocky Horror Picture show, and to hear stories of life-changing trips overseas or of the challenges of being a first-generation college student. I drink copious amounts of coffee until I could swear that even my hair follicles are jittery and I walk away mentally and emotionally exhausted, but fulfilled and simply thinking – Wow! what a privilege!

By Thursday night, however, after juggling all that my week encompassed I found myself so overwhelmed with human contact that at one point I literally stuck my fingers in my ears and hummed to myself. (Luckily this is Bellingham and odd social behavior isn’t frowned upon as much here as it might be in other places!) So when Friday rolled around and I was able to haul my stuff over to the house where I was doggy-sitting it was such a welcome relief. Skipper, the English Lab I was watching, is probably one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. He’s fun and peppy but incredibly easygoing. For instance, when I decided to laze in bed reading on Sunday morning he climbed up on the pillow next to me, nestled his nose against my neck and flung one limp-pawed arm across my chest. For a few moments he gazed intently at the pages of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that I was re-reading and I could have sworn he was passing his eyes back and forth across the lines, left to right. Soon though he was snoring and twitching.

A good dose of furry critter was just what I needed. Who could resist this face, after all?

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 And there’s just something about Labrador eyebrows.

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Skipper, I believe, thinks he’s human. And I’m inclined to agree.

More faitfully blogging to follow (I hope).

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21
Jan
08

Beautiful Machinery and a Dinosaur

Wiled away several hours yesterday watching the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale with Dad. Some truly beautiful cars, although my favorites from the 30’s and 40’s (aka gangster Fords and Chevy’s were rather few and far between and went for piddly #’s under 100 grand.) Here’s a few of the more interesting auction results:
This Corvette – a 6 speed manual, 6.2 liter V8 with the 00001 serial number – drew the highest bid of any car all weekend – a cool MILLION, to charity.

 

This 1963 Thunderbird concept car went to the owner of the Blackhawk Auto Museuem (from my hometown digs of the East Bay Area, CA).
And then…there was this. Not a car of course, but a robot-dino-that folds up into a tractor-trailer-and crushes cars. It cost 5 million to build and has been “entertaining” since the early 90’s. As bidding slowed down the Robosaurus was heard to growl “I need a new Daddy. If you take me home I promise not to eat any of your classic cars.” Indeed… would you trust the word of somethin’ that looks like this? 😉

15
Jan
08

Delurking is delightful…

So apparently last week was National De-Lurking week. Who declared it such, I dunno. But sounds like a good idea. I’ve learned today in face-to-face conversation with friends/colleagues that I have a number of lurkers who, for whatever reason, have not commented. No problem. After all, just taking the time to read is great and I appreciate it. But please, feel free to comment – anything. Or just add to my collection of wierd or bizarre YouTube videos. That’s fine, too.  So…

Join Fluffy here and leave a note. 🙂
(Fluffy is a homage to Cathy. Although someday I’ll have a kitty to blog with I don’t currently so for now Fluffy – my virtual cat that I borrowed from another blogger – will have to do).

14
Jan
08

Just because I can…

Make sure that you turn on the sound…

It gets more hilarious everytime I watch it! If nothing else, my English 101 students are fabulous resources for adding to my growing collection of YouTube vids.

12
Jan
08

What’s my Blog About?

The answer: I dunno. I had one person ask me yesterday, isn’t a blog supposed to be “about” something? Maybe. Is it? I was talking to a new student yesterday as well who wants to start up her own political blog. But it seems as if, with the ones that I read they’re about all sorts of things….a wierd mish-mash of personal journal (whatcha been up to?) internet surfing, and with the academic ones I read – research and scholarly interests. So what is mine about? I had originally intended it to be a place that I noted thoughts about stuff that I was reading….hence the title with “Bookworm.” But I quickly realized (as in, within hours) that such a theme simply wouldn’t work. What I found myself wanting to blog about was whatever stuff was running through my head. Sometimes what I read, yes, but often not. Then I realized, if blogging is writing and with other kinds of writing I don’t know what I want to say until I say it, how can I possibly know what I want to blog about? What I concluded then was that this blog, at least at this point, will be a wierd mish-mash of anything and everything. What it may become I don’t know. So there’s my disclaimer: my blog isn’t ABOUT anything so I have no idea what may show up here. Hope that any readers lurking out there are OK with that, too. (And thanks to the person who raised the question!) 🙂

08
Jan
08

Human Tetris

I recently saw a snippet of a program on the the Discovery Channel about the History of Videogames  and a portion of it was dedicated to discussing the phenomenon of Tetris. One of the things that the program touched upon was the way that Tetris simply messes with your mind (my words, of course, not theirs).  One of the participants interviewed talked about dreaming in Tetris and about seeing all the objects around him in regards to their spatial configurations. How could he get X object to fit around Y object? While I have to admit I have never gone so far as to want to play Tetris with my living room furniture, I’ve dreamed in Tetris. I always thought it was because I am simply WAY to intense with videogames of all kinds to the extent that I have mostly ceased to play them. But turns out it may not just be me….seems like Tetris really does do strange and unexpected things to the way that one’s brain conceives the world. But why Tetris? After all, when I played Mario Brothers all the time at about the age of twelve it wasn’t as if I was searching out coins or power-ups in my sleep…

So anyway, here is this artist who is making videos that mimic Tetris but uses people. Strikes me as a little disturbing but then again, it may be a pretty savvy commentary on how we behave in set patterns I’m thinking about how how my students will come into the classroom and always sit in the same spot in the relation to the way the room is laid out. Either way I always find it so interesting when these pivotal pieces of pop culture get remade.