Friday, November 28, 2003

Bye Bye

I guess there's only a couple days of existence left for our Bolt page on The parent company was bought out by some other big company (Vivendi and CNET, if you really want me to name names. It's all just corporate crap to me.) and I have heard that all the data now on will be deleted when the changeover takes place December 1.
I suppose I could spend part of this weekend putting together a new site for us, but I'm working at Atomic all weekend long and I still have plenty of work to do for the last two weeks of the semester. I'm bummed that I will not be getting any pay checks from mid-December to late January. I should have been out looking for a seasonal job this past week, but I knew I was needed to cover hours at Stef's store. I work there for store credit, basically hair services.
I can feel seasonal grumpiness (where's the sun dammit?!) coming over me. I should be writing more songs. I can feel them stewing around in me. I shared a couple with Stef and she said she wants to use them. We need to write more anyway. We also still need a drummer and a new website.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Winter Look

Spur of the moment "image change" inspired by the discovery of squidfingers' incredible patterns. Also added a little Web Fire Escape button for anyone who needs to suddenly bail from the page at work.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

It Can't Be Helped?

I could write volumes about why I hate the particular textbook I am teaching from this semester, even though I am told it is very popular and widely used in Japan. (I'm using it because my students were halfway through it after last year.) But rather than go on and on about its myriad faults, I will share with you this one superlative example of the total randomness of this text.
In Chapter 21, the Translation and Grammatical Notes book lists the often used phrase shikata ga arimasen, which means "it can't be helped" or "nothing can be done", in the vocabulary section. It's definitely a key phrase for understanding the Japanese language, culture and psyche. But it does not appear even once in Chapter 21 in the main textbook. It's not in the example sentences, the conversation, the drills, the short conversations or anywhere else. What the hell is up with that? It can't be helped? I think it could have.

A Unique Form of Torture for a Sunday Morning

Looking to add a little pain to your life?
I've got your solution. Try spending a sunny Sunday morning proofreading medical research reports (otolaryngology) written by Japanese doctors. After a couple of years at this I now know far more about olfactomtery (measuring the sense of smell) than any lay person should.
Yes, I realize that it's cool that in my own small way I am making a contribution to the global body of medical knowledge by helping these doctors get their research results published in English language journals. (It also benefits my financial status, which is certainly in sore need of assistance.) Maybe I just hate the fact that I have spent a beautiful weekend morning working because I procrastinated all week. Also, my nose has been out of order for about 5 days due to a cold and I don't feel like thinking about noses right now!! And maybe I just feel like having something to crab about.

Friday, November 21, 2003

I just listened to WHEB's Morning Buzz crew interview James Iha, now in A Perfect Circle. He's like the rocker dude version of
Tiffany on Daria.
He s-p-e-a-k-s s-o s-l-o-w-l-y.
But out of the constellation of various rocker types, I kind of think that type is cool.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Today's Lesson Learned

I will not take "non-drowsy" daytime cold medicine before going to teach ever again.
I don't care how big and blocky they write "NON-DROWSY" on the side of daytime cold medicine, that stuff renders me half brain dead.I figured between bring a little medicinally affected and feeling like a small porcupine was living between my nose and the top of my throat and needing to blow my nose every 30 seconds, the medicine option seemed at least more socially acceptable.
That was probably a misjudgement. I figure if I had pounded a few beers and taken a couple of bong hits it would have had roughly the same effect on my mental processes. I was giving the answers when I meant to be asking questions and I couldn't remember entire sentences that students had just said. I apologized for being so out of it and they're all pretty cool so I think they understood it was an honest mistake.

Monday, November 17, 2003

How Did I Get Here

I've worked long enough now to know that I like a satisfying job that pays less more than a job I can't stand that pays more. It doesn't even have to be a job I can't stand. One that annoys the hell out of me isn't worth it either.
Last year at this time I was teaching lethargic students and was feeling that way myself. The paycheck was fat. The apartment was tiny and heated by a kerosene fan heater. I spent a disproportionate amount of time wishing to be elsewhere. All in all, it kind of sucked.
Now I have a job I really enjoy even though the pay is crappy, the benefits nonexistent and the future prospects don't exactly appear to be burning brightly in the near or far distance. So on the security scale I'm hovering low-- no health insurance, no job security, just making ends meet. Welcome back to America.
On the other hand, we have a house, a yard, a car and a dog. I'm in a band and writing songs with my sister. I sleep well at night and wake up feeling pretty good almost every day. I feel like a completely different person than I was last year. Wouldn't want to be where I was then now.

Thursday, November 13, 2003


Not quite the classic that Soylent Green is, but then again, what is?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Hats R Me

Currently on a severe knitting jag. Just finished knitting my very own Marsan Watchcap. It only took a couple of days and I have already started making another one for Rachel.
Last week I made a crappy prototype for the hat with some black yarn I had hanging around. The first of anything I make is usually pretty rough, so I didn't worry too much about mistakes. I just wanted to make sure I liked the shape and fit of it before I went all out.
I went to Spinning Yarns in downtown Dover to get the yarn. It's a really nice shop with a great selection of merchandise and a mellow and open atmosphere. Before I even started looking for what I was going to buy I checked out every type of yarn they had, because there was so much variety and it was all so nice.
For hat #1 I settled on a skein of navy blue 100% worsted wool. It came out nice and I think I will proceed with my plan of hand knitting caps to give as holiday season presents.
I've got to admit. A lot of my knitting motivation comes from this guy right now.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Ch ch ch ch changes

Today is a full moon, a lunar eclipse and the day of Harmonic Concordance. Big changes are afoot all around.
I spent the afternoon at the funeral of a friend. He was one of the truly sweetest people I have ever known. I'd never been in an Episcopalian church before. It was interesting. I haven't been to a funeral since my sister Kate died almost ten years ago.
Most religions I've ever heard of or read about have some kind of heaven. I like to think that since it's such a universal concept among religions there's got to be some truth in it.
There's heaven in Buddhism too. I don't know if people know that or just think it's about going around in circles. Pureland Buddhism is actually kind of like Christianity. It's not about acheiving enlightenment through individual effort, but a belief that belief in a higher power and repetition of prayers will gain you entrance to the Western Paradise when you pass on. I suppose a lot of the details are different, but I see a definite similarity in form.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Getting Electric at the Cave

OK. It's almost 1am and I have to get up and teach tomorrow morning but I am still too wound up from our jam session at the Electric Cave to go to bed, so I'm drinking chamomile tea and trying to will myself into sleepiness.
Jim Tierney, the Cave Master and ultimate Bogaht brother, IS THE MAN. I don't even have the words to describe how totally fucking cool he is and how much fun we had. And we're planning on doing it again next week too!!!!! Life rocks sometimes.

Dover voter turnout low

Dover voter turnout low
This sucks that people can't even be bothered to get out and vote for their local government officials.
I did. It took all of ten minutes, including getting registered there at the polls.

Monday, November 03, 2003

The Observer | International | Bush says God chose him to lead his nation

This article, Bush says God chose him to lead his nation, is exactly what scares the hell out of me about America and all of its religious nuts.
I am not godless, but I don't buy in to organized religion. I'm all for morality, just not much one for conformity or patriarchy. At least in America conformity is pretty much optional. It was everything in Japan. Conformity could be the religion of Japan.
In my heart I know it's live free or die. That was probably the seed of my discontent in Japan. I know it all depends on how you see things, but I never really felt free there.


The yellow leaves are the last to go.

Saturday, November 01, 2003


I shared a success I had this week at the Weight Watchers meeting this morning. (By the way, Weight Watchers is awesome, in case you're wondering.) Yesterday afternoon I made cupcakes for my niece's Halloween party. Anyone who bakes or has a baker in the house knows that licking the bowl and the mixing utensils after you're done is part of the fun of it all. But even just a few good swipes and you've got a couple of teaspoons of the stuff down your gullet. You could eat most of a cupcake's worth of batter and pretend you never did it. It's mindless eating.
Anyway, I shared that after I made the cupcakes I threw all the utensils into a bowl of water in the sink as soon as I was done using them and I did the same with the bowl when I was through with that. Everyone ooh-ed in empathy and clapped. I also lost 1.4 pounds last week, which makes almost 5 lbs in 2 weeks.
When I went to WW as a kid with my dad those meetings made me cringe sometimes. How could you sit there and talk about your weight in front of other people and not want to die of embarassment! Now I think it's awesome. There really is something satisfying and rewarding in having other people acknowledge your accomplishment. Even if it is just for throwing a chocolately spoon in the sink instead of licking it.