Friday, November 30, 2007
Not sure what the point was actually. Several days were bare minimum perfunctory posts. I suppose it takes a modicum of discipline to blog on a daily basis, but bare minimum discipline isn't really something I have trouble with.
I've spent a fair chunk of the early evening watching the local tv station's coverage of a hostage taking situation at a Hilary Clinton campaign office in a neighboring town. That was kind of exciting, even if it does seem to turn out to be more about a troubled man on a bender making some bad decisions rather than anything to do with Hillary herself. She just got on tv and made sure to turn it into a political soundbite opportunity for herself. Par for the course and I expected that from her.
The most interesting event of the day has yet to happen. Since my girl is with me for a couple of weeks while her dad is away, we are taking the opportunity to go check out a Friday night shabbat service at the local temple. I haven't been to temple in years. My girl has never been. Neither has my boyfriend, who was raised Catholic. I think the girl should be able to have the chance to experience what it's about at least once. And I'm a little nervous but also looking forward to seeing what it's like.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The rest of it? I don't know. I spent a lot of time trying really hard and still felt like most of what I did wasn't right or good enough. That's not Japan's fault. There were other ways to approach it. I just wasn't able to do it that way.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I find it crazy that a court could find JT LeRoy guilty of fraud for writing under a pseudonym, but no criminal legal action can be taken against this psycho-mother who apparently got her kicks by tormenting a child while hiding behind a facade on MySpace. I hope the girl's parents sue the shit out of that stupid woman in civil court.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
I won't go out and socialize with students who are still taking my classes, but once they're of legal age and no longer my students I think it's okay. I really do enjoy my students and I get to know the ones who take classes with me for two or three years pretty well. I realize they're going to move on with their lives and go out into the world, but I love it when they keep in touch and let me know how things are going. It's great when they send emails or keep in touch on Facebook, but it's even better to go hang out and have a few beers together.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The food came out from the kitchen via the pantry. Turkey and stuffing. Broccoli "souffle" that was really more of a broccoli and cheese casserole but no less the object of my ardent affection for the gap between the fancy name and the plebeian ingredients. Mashed potatoes. Salad. Cranberry sauce. No yams or sweet potatoes or God forbid, anything with mini-marshmallows. That room, with its chandelier, fireplace, hardwood floor covered by an oriental rug, some sort of pastoral mural wall paper on the long wall. It could never allow mini-marshmallows.
The straight backed chairs demanded good posture and of course we had to dress properly for the occasion. The conversation was warm. Lots of grownup talk, of course. I liked to listen even though I don't think I understood. My grandfather always tough in his convictions; a counterpoint to my grandmother who was soft and gentle and wore her long gray hair wrapped into a bun on the back of her head.
After the pies and the grownups' coffee we'd adjourn to the living room, a room used only on special occasions. Otherwise it was a place to pass through on the way to the den, where the TV and stereo resided in a long, narrow room full of wood-louvered windows and two huge hanging ferns. A few more logs tossed onto the fire and we were full, warm and sleepy. One year I fell asleep on the gold velvet sofa. The mark of my napping drool remained long after the nap was done. I turned over the cushion and hoped no one would notice.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving, no matter where you are and how you spend it!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
So, obviously this means adjunct faculty are to blame for dropping graduation rates, right? This kind of logic reminds me of the reasoning in the classic article, The Dangers of Bread.
I tried taking the dog out for his usual evening walk, in the pitch darkness of 5 pm. He wasn't willing to go along with the program. I think I liked being out there more than he did. Eventually I had enough of his lollygagging and questioning looks and turned around to head home.
I'm officially on Thanksgiving vacation. I'm partially happy and partially not, because I'm fighting the urge to drown myself in either carbs, chocolate alcohol, or a combination of all three. I'm trying to make that just a one-day event on The Day itself and not an excuse for a week (or even half week) of debauchery.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Well, it's not that I don't have a life. I just have a rather predictable, settled life. That's not really so bad considering I am a 42 year old with a child, a committed relationship, a steady job and a couple of pets. I'm a homebody, damnit! There are worse ways to go through life. I went out one night last week. To the local Meet Up for knitters. And it was fun. I enjoy hanging out with other women who are obsessed with yarn.
The other highlight of the week (or of the past few days, which is all I seem to recall in any detail. Anything further back then that is pretty much a blur) was that I baked my first-ever cheesecake. It was a trial run of a new recipe I'm planning to make for Thanksgiving. After extensive quality testing I have declared that it has passed the test and is now approved for Thanksgiving worthiness. This year my brother-in-law is in charge of the meal and I'm handling the deserts. I'm really looking forward to it. My bro-in-law is an excellent cook and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. After that I can start worrying full-time about what to buy people for Christmas presents.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
During my daily check of Japan Probe I clicked on a Latest Japan News Headline link and ended up on this post by Ampontan. I think I've run across the author on a translator's mailing list or two and my recall is that he's generally a pretty smart cookie, so I was kind of disappointed to see him appearing to flog the old "American women are jealous that I chose a Japanese one" stereotype. I honestly haven't heard that line in years and even still, most American women change their point of view once they hear that Japanese women control the family finances. (Money is power, after all.)
I really didn't understand his cringing response to the feedback an American family got when they announced to friends that they were moving temporarily to Japan to advance the wife's career opportunities. I believe that most Japanese couldn't even imagine moving abroad for the wife's career advancement.
In the end, I just don't get the need for so much justification of what is ultimately a very personal decision. If you are happy with your partner, no matter what nationality, personality, occupation, station or gender, then good for you. You don't need to sell the rationale your choice for anyone else's approval.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Some people may think I never lived up to my potential since I graduated from a "fancy" high school and didn't go to an Ivy League college, nor did I chose to follow a lucrative career path. Of the many lessons I learned at that school, go out and make a lot of money really was never one of them. The importance of learning foreign languages and cultures was emphasized; as was the notion of teaching as a career option. I learned that it was okay to have a passion for learning and to love being in school. I think I took what I needed from the four years I spent there and along the way learned that having my own opinions and standing behind them ultimately is more valuable than following, or even leading, the herd.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
I found this while surfing the NaBloPoMo randomizer.
I think it means no one understands what I'm talking about but they nod in agreement because they think it' supposed to be making sense.
We can discuss my mistrust of and poor attitude towards Academia and Academics (the people) some other time, ok?
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Municipal elections were held here yesterday. The big issue was an amendment to adopt a a tax cap that would limit increases in spending based on the Consumer Price Index and the value of the previous year's new construction and demolition permits. While everyone agrees the city needs to get its spending under control, opponents pointed out that the tax cap could foreseeably lead to cuts in school budgets, road maintenance, street lights and other things most people consider necessities. I thought about it and decided I was voting against the tax cap and then made my choices for mayor and city councilors based on where they stood on the tax cap issue. I'm afraid the cap might end up resulting in more new construction permits being issued in order to raise revenue to the result that the town will become over-developed and less attractive as a place to live.
Apparently other people in town don't see it that way because the tax cap amendment was passed and the current mayor was re-elected to office even though he chose not to take a position on the issue and his most serious challenger was clearly supportive of the cap. It seems like most wards voted for Councilors who supported the tax cap, so maybe people just like Myers as a mayor and his declining to take a stand on the tax cap issue was neutral enough to please everyone. I understand that people don't want to see any more increases in their property taxes, but I hope the school system doesn't suffer because of it.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
And lest you think Hello Kitty is just a cute plastic children's toy, maybe you ought to know that her shallow, expressionless demeanor is deeper than that, she is, in fact, a "cute-therapist for the emotionally exhausted masses" of Japan.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Once in a while I decide to change things up and do my grocery shopping at Shaws rather than Hannaford, my usual haunt. In general I think Hannaford has better produce and I'm used to it, so I can get in and out of there with relatively more efficiency than Shaws. But today I decided on a change of pace and went to Shaws. And was reminded of what is probably the real reason why I usually chose not to shop there-- their shopping carts give me really strong static shocks. Audible snapping electrical-sounding shocks. Even when I hold on to the plastic handle cover, the shocks sneak up underneath my fingers and get me there.
Snap! Ow! Snap! Ow! roll roll roll Snap! Oww!
That's no way to shop.
So yeah, the all registers open from 4pm-7pm thing is really good, but unless it's a quick enough trip that I can carry my purchases in one of those hand baskets, I'm not shopping at Shaws anymore.
* I realize the post has nothing to do with the title. I just thought I'd announce that I am also not pleased that it is DARK out at 5pm now. And it'll only worse until the holiday season is done with.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Oh God. I'm becoming one of those people...