Tuesday, March 31, 2009


From random

From random

Ah, it's that time of the year. The blast furnace that is Phoenix begins its pre-heating cycle while the rest of the country thaws out...sort of. Yep, it's time to start planning what is to be done with those precious few months where there is sun, green grass, fresh flowers, and cool breezes (and skirts!) across the country. Yes indeed now is the time to plan it all out...at least, everything besides June. But June is a busy month, shouldn't you plan it all out? You might find yourself asking (or you might not, I don't know my audience that well). I would tend to agree with you, my insightful audience, but a certain relative is planning a graduation party of a certain younger relative and has issued the following edict to the rest of the family, "Keep June open." I've tried explaining it's much easier to keep a month of the year open when the distance to be traveled is < 500 miles, but for each increment of 500 over that it gets exponentially difficult. The message has yet to sink in and my June is still "open".

That is, until I can get some other people on board with some summer events!

Things to do:
1.) Coachella - April 17th - probably not going to happen seeing as how it's in two weeks
2.) Bonnaroo - June 11th - this I would really like to go to, but it is quite pricey
3.) SummerFest - June 25th - might be able to make this one depending on when aforementioned graduation party is held
4.) Lollapalooza - August 7th - Ah, sweet home Chicago
5.) Setup meeting with agents on the East Coast - top secret code names to be distributed later
6.) Float Teh Riva - any random weekend where we feel like getting way too much sun and beer in the same day
7.) Hiking Flagstaff - gotta escape the heat sink of Phoenix at some point
8.) Lose job, boomerang back to parents' couch to be waited on hand and foot - what? they don't have a dog to take care of anymore, so they need something even more helpless.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

enter 'i_t'

Ok, so if you were actually "wait[ing] 4 it", then I'm sorry to disappoint you and say "i_t" was just my birthday and it came and went yesterday and thank you Sarah for the well wishes and what I am going to choose to interpret as a song. It was lovely, thank you, I'll try to make it to Denver next year for the live performance. My Mom actually tried cheating and calling me the day before with 'oh I had some time so I thought I would call and say hello and see if you had plans for your big day tomorrow'. First of all, nowhere in there was anything close to a 'happy birthday', and second, if I tried to pull that on HER birthday she would revoke my "favorite son" card - AND SHE ONLY HAS ONE! (son that is, not card, although technically she could only have...esplode!) She decided to do the semi-honorable thing and have Dad call me on the actual day. And, from the sound of his greeting, he was confused as to why he was calling...I might have told him my birthday was the 24th thereby driving the crazy train right into the bus of confusion and creating mass apathy.

Overall it was great. I got to chat with a couple people I haven't heard from in awhile (Csi and Knet). I heard from my agent in New Hampshire whom is doing quite well from the sounds of it and is thoroughly enjoying herself. My spy in Tucson gave me a ring and we discussed the finer points of mutual friends spending the first couple hours of a Saturday morning on the wagon - oh and Teh Riva! (coming mid-May). And tonight the LoneKnight and Timmay! took me out to the Brewhouse which is an improvement from last year when stupid Easter made everything be closed on the big day. And the parents sent a gift certificate for half.com which I promptly used to buy Proust was a Neuroscientist – Jonah Leherer, Hot, Flat, and Crowded – Thomas Friedman, and The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life – Ramesh Ponnuru. Also on my list of books to buy are the HOW series by Dr. Doris Haggis-on-whey, seriously look them up, they look hysterical.

A couple excerpts if I may: "Many Barracudas Are Named Ignacio And Want To Direct Films." and "...extremely comprehensive, dealing not only with the larger marine science issues one would expect from such a volume ("The Mid-Atlantic Grey Shark's Guide to Installing Floor Tile," and "What Kind of Music Do Giant Squids Listen to While Traveling by Train?"), but also detailing related topics such as "How Recycling Works in Utah," and "How Bread is Made." This strikes me as a must-own volume of reference material.

Something to consider: celery, raisins, carrots, crackers, cookies, bread, my finger, is there anything peanut butter doesn't make better? Broccoli? pizza?

Gross, pb pizza.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Apparently sitting at home, quietly reading is no longer the thing to do on Tuesday evenings, who knew? I've had no fewer than three people call me and excitedly ask "Hey, where you at? What you up to?" 1.) I'm at home 2.) I'm not ending my sentences in prepositions?

These responses, for whatever reason, seem to draw the ire of the caller. "Well, what are you doing later [on]?" Hmmm, since you insist, I was going to finish reading this technical manual for the Cisco CTS3200 TelePresence and Unified Conferencing System then I was going to jump back into Free Culture because it's been two days since I've had a chance to pick that one up and I was thoroughly enjoying it until I had to put it down and actually do stupid schoolwork. Hello? still there? This massive sentence usually puts them to sleep or makes them hang up. But for those still on the line I get a wicked tongue lashing about reading and being "boring" and a "recluse" or "homebody". Look you philistines, I enjoy my quiet time and I enjoy reading I don't care if it's Saturday night or Tuesday night if I have a good book in my hands (or on my Kindle) I want to be reading it. The End.

I guess when I don't want to go out with my friends it's because I "enjoy the dark, dank confines of [my] cave-like apartment", but when they don't want to go out it's because they're "trying to save money" or "have other plans" or "jesus christ it's nine thirty in the morning dude". Look, I'm twenty-five and stuck in a surprisingly meaningless existence - I don't need some silly excuse to drink, if anything I need a reason NOT to be inebriated (and even work fails to be reason enough). I never realized "my friends" - who are terrible people and I have no idea why I bother keeping them around - were so happy with their lives they need special occasions to consume depressants. Me? I do it to help me sleep.

Anyone have good book recommendations? Preferably non-fiction =) I'll pimp How We Decide it's a great book and his blog http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/ is fascinating. It kept me distracted from homework for a few hours this past weekend.

Grandma Simpson would be proud ;)

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Gotta post it; Happy Pi Day everyone!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


There have been a lot of metaphors used over the years to describe schools; lush gardens where the future is tended and grown, artisans molding the clay of young minds, a factory where the next generation's proletariat can be efficiently subdued, oh, and prison. Ever wonder which is more accurate?

I'm beginning to think teachers are being overwhelmed by the expectations being placed on their profession. Teachers are expected to be well versed in multiple learning theories whose axioms are often very different and occasionally contradictory all while preparing lessons and assessments that incorporate different levels of student abilities, technology, diverse cultural and economic backgrounds, and state and national standards. Oh, and did I mention the tests? All these things seem to obfuscate the only goal a teacher should have: teaching. I realize that common sense dictates that more information, more oversight, more options, and more considerations are all good things, but ultimately it places a considerable drain on a teacher, their mental faculties, and resources.

What other profession has so many groups to answer to? Parents, students, politicians, and administrators. Whose "clients" are people that are being forced to be there? yes, this is assuming the students are the clients - I realize the argument could easily be made that the parents/taxpayers are the clients, but the students are the only people that teachers deal with on a daily basis and also ultimately decide how well a teacher is doing mostly because of their test scores. What other profession is expected to continue their education after being hired on? Teachers are expected to keep up to speed on technology, new learning theories, and new assessment strategies.

Some professions that I can think of that match up fairly well with teachers: doctors - they're expected to remain aware of new medical techniques and diseases, but don't have quite the clientele AND they tend to be fairly well reimbursed. Military personnel are under intense public scrutiny, but again don't have the clientele. Prison wardens have to know the law, deal with cranky clients, and are under a pretty serious microscope. We need a change in focus and priority if we're going to change the metaphor.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Talk about a vicious cycle - blowing one's nose, especially when it's all runny and stuffins. You blow it and it feels better, but the more you blow the more tender it becomes and the more sensitive it is. So what happens? Well if so much as a dust particle settles on this area (forget a runny nose) you have to blow your nose again, thereby tenderizing it more, ad infinitum. And guess what IT'S BAD FOR YOU!
To summarizate: Blowing one's nose reverses the direction the mucus is trying to drain and can cause addition bacteria to become lodged in the sinus cavity. Yes, you're supposed to let the mucus drain - into your throat - so all that hacking and disgusting gurgling that person in the cube next to you is doing, they're trying to be healthy about things and not make themselves sicker, give them a break, eh? If you much blow your nose, do it one nostril at a time. And it just wouldn't be publishable in America if it didn't suggest you take drugs. So hop yourself up on decongestants and blow one nostril at a time.