Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pepys it's not

So, what have I been doing since Sunday night? Let's see...

Got up.
Taught class.
Taught class.
Taught class.
Did laundry.
Graded papers while doing laundry.
Graded papers.
Did lesson prep.
Taught class.
Got up.
Taught class.
Taught class.
Taught class.
Graded papers.
Taught class.
Taught class.

I was looking over some blogs from last quarter and they got really boring with all the "Wah, I'm so busy" and "Wah, I teach so much" stuff, so this is the end of that.

Here is something really pretty for you to play with. Don't look for directions; just click on an element from the list, and then click-n-draw with it, and then see how the elements interact. It's pretty cool.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Man, I worked pretty solid all day and I'm still not as caught up as I wanted to be. Oh, well - I guess I'll just have to work a little harder tomorrow, and Tuesday, and maybe Wednesday, too, so I can spend Thursday and Friday before we leave getting ready for the lost weekend in Spokane, so I won't be behind next Sunday night. Neepers. I hate having to live in the future instead of the present.

Hey, I forgot to post this cartoon that Jen Forceful found:

I don't think I'd ever be mistaken for a girl - this seems like a problem particular to stick-people - but it still seemed appropriate.

Catching up with myself

I saw Johnbai's apologetic post and realized that it had been some time since I had posted here as well. I guess it's a sign of how busy things have gotten so quickly that not only didn't I post, but I didn't even know that I hadn't posted!

Anyhoo, Otis recovered from her grading marathon pretty well, and we had a good-but-busy rest of Wednesday. Thursday turned into another long day for me: classes in the morning, drive up to Bothell, planning/grading, class in the afternoon, dinner with Mel, then a curriculum meeting in the evening. That was pretty much that.

I miss having Fridays off. One of the drawbacks to teaching at North is that they don't employ much block scheduling - most of the classes meet every day. So, up again on Friday and to the classroom for the whole morning. Otis had two massages scheduled in the afternoon, so I went down to Antioch to take care of business and then met Dingo for a Trader Joe's run before she went off to do actual fun stuff with Johnbai. Otis and I finally saw Supersize Me at home Friday night. I thought it was a nice little piece of documentary film-making.

I spent most of yesterday right where I am now: typing at this keyboard, planning out the rest of the quarter for my two new classes, and doing related school work. Otis was at class all day, so I got quite a bit done, even taking time out for a nice long phone chat with JustJon. In the evening, the moovie group (me, Otis, and Jen Forceful) met at the Crest for Breakfast on Pluto. A bunch of the gang will be seeing it today, so all I will say is great!

Now: back to work!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Long time gone

Oh my goodness! Is it Wednesday already? Or, from another perspective, is it only Wednesday!

Sorry it's been so long since a post, but it feels even longer to me. This near-instantaneous ramping up to 24 credit-hours from only nine has hit me like a ton of bricks. It's as if someone had suddenly placed me in front of this old-time steam boiler, and I'm supposed to start shoveling in the coal to keep the pressure up, and I don't even know where the bin - or my shovel - is.

I'm taking the relative lightness of today to map out a strategy for the rest of the quarter. I think the problem was my going into the class with the attitude that I was subbing for the previous instructor and trying to teach the class as she would have done. Well, I am going to be in the class for eight weeks, so there's no way I'd able to keep that up, but it doesn't suit me anyway. So, I am going to set my own course, within the general guidelines of the syllabus as it stands, but definitely along the way that I want to go. I made this clear with the students in both classes today, and they actually seem energized by it - I think they could tell we were making less progress over the past two days than we might have otherwise. So here I go!

Poor Otie! Thanks to an unfortunate concatenation of events, she was running up against her deadline for both the pile of Macbeth papers and the big pile o' journals at the same time. Trouper that she is, she worked all day yesterday after school and was up until about 3:30 this morning finishing them all off -- and then had to drive up to Kenmore to drop them off at IHS by 8:00 am -- and then went to work for Hi Lai at 10:00 am! Send her some kudos and philos - she'll appreciate it while she sleeps, most likely for a greater part of the rest of the day!

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Neds has started a new thing for all of us to try: Find Your Daemon. Check her post for a fuller explanation. Here are my results:

The Butterfly
BUTTERFLY - Your daemon may be a butterfly. It is ironic that the butterfly traditionally represents the psyche, yet it is one of the least emotive physical forms that your daemon can take. It is very hard to tell what a butterfly is feeling, and perhaps that is why you feel so comfortable with this form. You have many, many friends and a beautiful soul, but you don't like to reveal what your innermost feelings are. You aren't afraid to be yourself - you are vibrant and colourful. But at the same time, you don't like to wear your heart on your sleeve.

What Is Your Daemon?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, January 20, 2006

Oh, noes!

It looks like my "vacation" might be over.

In the course of a pregnancy, it is as likely as not that something will not go the way that it was originally thought to be going. This seems to have been the case for the colleague for whom I am going to cover classes: it appears that instead of her last working day being February 17, her last working day was yesterday. Yikes!

I will know for sure tomorrow, but it seems that my 160% load will last for eight out of eleven weeks instead of for four out of eleven weeks. I'll like the money, but I'll sure miss the time.

I had better make this a good weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bloggin' fool

Wow - timing is everything. I finally get my work schedule down to something like human, and Otis piles her plate higher than family night at King's Table. She's got the rest of her school projects to do. She's been doing lots of practice massages, in anticipation of starting of her business in less than four months. She's still working for Hi Lai, and in fact, has to do another feng shui housecall all day this Sunday. She's still reading papers for IHS: currently it's themes on MacBeth (so, Lady MacBeth was all, like, "let's kill the king," and MacBeth did, because he was whipped) but there's about eight cubic feet of black-and-white composition book journals waiting their turn. And she's still doing her consulting work. Oh yeah - and her body feels beat up and she had a migraine the other day. Yipes! I feel like a slacker all of a sudden.

Otis working through the pain (that's ice strapped to her wrist).

I am actually taking decent advantage of my free time: I have been doing some personal projects as well as blogging like mad on Last Shortbox.

One big task is developing the Rhetoric of Comics class for Antioch; I'll have a bit of a shakedown for that when I do How to Read a Graphic Novel for SPL in about six weeks. in pursuit of this, I ordered a slug of books about comic book writing through Amazon; I got a pretty good deal on a bunch of used copies, and they all came promptly and in great shape. Score!

I've also been doing the full-time-job-hunt thing. I'm hoping to find a tenure-track position here in Seattle, or cobble together some kind of full-time position at one institutuion out of bits and pieces. Now's the time for that to start rolling, so keep digits crossed.

It has been more trouble than it ought to be finding a new seat cover for my scooter. I have moved to about Plan 9 in my schemes to replace the rotting mass of duct tape that currently serves as a saddle. I think I am going to try to get a piece of vinyl and make a whole new cover myself.

I was dissin' Johnbai over the featured music on his blog, so in order to mend fences I am going to make an hommage to his innovation. I won't put it in the sidebar like he does, but here's one of my favorites, the title track from an album that Dingo turned me on to. (Clicky for noise.)

And here's a strange intersection of worlds: A cranky review of a graphic novel (and graphic novels in general) from a Jewish perspective.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Yay, work!

I have been offered two classes at Cascadia for the Spring. This is cool, because it means I have made my budget goals for the fiscal year (ends October) now, and I don't have to go looking for more work! Anything else is gravy. Wheee!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It's International De-lurking Week!

For those of you who read HKC regularly (or irregularly) but usually don't say anything, this is the one week a year to throw the blogger a bone and just say hi! Click the little comment button, check the anonymous box so you don't even have to create an account or anything, and leave your bon mot and your John Hancock. It would be cool.

For my fellow bloggers, you can go here to learn more about De-lurking Week.

This note is stickied to stay at the top for a while.
New stuff below.

So, what'd you do yesterday?

Um, I watched Firefly...

Oh, that's a cool show. What else did you do?

Um, nothing... just watched Firefly.

Yes, yesterday was the Firefly marathon. Over the course of fifteen hours we viewed all 15 episodes of the television series and watched the theatrical movie. Wow. It was actually good stuff - Joss Whedon writes him some good space opera, and it's even better without commercials.

I think I survived only because I claimed as
droit de seigneur use of the big blue comfy chair for the whole day. Otis was here, there, and everywhere: she had to leave for a good chunk of the the day for massage duties and spent a lot of time she was back playing hostess (i.e., cleaning up the bazillion glasses and plates we used).

The champion guest was Mighty Mel, who arrived at 9:30 am and stayed until the bitter end at 1:30 am (fleeing so soon only to be able to beat the drunks back to Woodinville). She also brought a killer homemade salsa to share.

Johnbai showed up with his mombai, Cherbai, just as we were getting the DVDs going at 10:00 am or so; Cherbai stayed for the whole shebang but Johnbai cut out for a while to watch the Seahawks game in the bedroom.

Soapy and Dingo came late and didn't stay for the screening of the movie. Each brought really cool foodstuffs: Soapy found all these odd boutique soft drinks and Dingo had snappy little Asian treats.

In-and-out visitors included Jimbo5, who was here for much of the day but had take off for a bit to do animal duty. Calvin sans Hobbes & Merry, the Girl of No Gimmicks* arrived a wee bit late with JagGirl; she stayed for the whole show, but they had to leave for a while to attend a kiddie party. Claymation and Emmy were also in and out for good bits of the day; Emmy off to do mysterious things and Clay to watch football with Johnbai.

We ate incessantly: way too much popcorn and peapods and carrots and crackers and dip and ranch dressing and garlic pretzel nuggets and corn chips and salsa and cookies and crap like that; but we made up for it by having some exellent Pagliacci pizza for dinner (and a salad, too).

A highlight of the evening's viewing was the hot girl-on-girl back massage action, which Otis and Dingo declined to re-enact for the room.

I never did quite get the knack down of operating the three remotes at the same time. But I don't feel bad, because Soapy didn't memorize the Firefly theme song, either.

I think Johnbai was nuts to suggest this. It was great fun, but we're probably done with white-wall spectration marthons for a little while.

Unless, of course, someone has all the Justice League cartoons on DVD...

*and that is an allusion so obscure I doubt that even the geekiest of readers of this blog will get it

Friday, January 13, 2006

Odds and ends

So, someone told me that it has rained every day since December 19th. Neepers. I'm getting tired of bein' wet alla time, alla time bein' wet.

I have to say that I am really feeling the difference between working 160% and working 60% of a full-time schedule. Now, if I could only find a way to somehow make 100% of full-time salary...

Here's a movie trailer that looks like it might be interesting. I haven't heard anything about it.

Cross-post notice: Scotty Magic invites us to another gig. I know I'm taking advantage of it, since Scotty says in his announcement that he's heading to Cairo for a year -- looks like there's a tiara in his future...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Link farm

Wow - what a great lunch Otis and I had today with Dingo and Johnbai. Just a spur-of-the-moment thing, but the Thai food and talk were both top drawer. And Johnbai didn't get towed, because I drove!

Here are some links that I have been meaning to pass on, or that came up in conversation today, or both.

For techno-geekishness, here's a site that provides to-scale represetnation of all kinds of spaceships, from all kinds of sources.

This site has a demo of face-recognition software that matches an uploaded photo against a file of celebrities.

For Neds: It's not Googlewhack, it's Google-Fight!

Performance art with skulls and grass skirt.

Remember that build-a-mao-of-Europe game we were playing a while back? This site lets you make a map recording where you have been. Pretty neat.

Here's a good site for getting an aerial photo of your house or block. This link goes to a familiar landmark; find your own place!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Movie round-up

A belated response to Johnbai's best/worst list.

Note: I noticed that (quelle horreur!) that there seemed to be gaps in my spreadsheet. I think I have plugged all the holes. Since I saw relatively few movies (in the theater) this year, I just listed all of them with a comment.

The Life Aquatic: Nicely done, a little bit style over substance. I guess I don't resonate with the “bad dad” theme that is the thread here

In Good Company: Surprisingly good; some subtlety in performances and plot transcended a pedestrian situation.
Vera Drake: Brilliant, just brilliant.
The Incredibles: Best superhero movie ever. One of the best movies of the year, period.
Born into Brothels: Compelling subject matter; well done.
Schultze Gets the Blues: Totally cool.
The Sea Inside: Challenging and thought-provoking.
Bride and Prejudice: Hooray for Bollywood (lite)! Great fun.
Pizza: Well constructed and engaging.
Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: Best bird-related documentary of the year.
Millions: You couldn't have not liked it.

Fantastic Four: One of the best translations of a particular superhero sensibility to the screen.
March of the Penguins: Second-best bird-related documentary of the year.
Sky High: Very amusing fluff, with extra bonus Bruce Campbell action that gave us a new tagline: Siiiiiiiiiiiiide-kick!
Mad Hot Ballroom: Not the best documentary, but fun stuff.
Batman Begins: A nice balance of comic book sensibility and mainstream action movie
War of the Worlds: I like Spielberg again, and even managed to stand Cruise for the duration
Me and You and Everyone We Know: Idiosyncratic and totally cool, and I hope to see more from Miranda July.
Serenity: Made me care about characters from a defunct TV show and was a rollicking good movie to boot.
King Kong: TOO!

(Apparently I was only supposed to list official 2005 movies.)

State of the whirred

Thursday's prep and class went fine. I'm sure liking this lighter schedule!

Didn't get to see Ms Matcha on Thursday evening, and she's back to Japan already, so we'll have to wait for next time.

Otis's three hours of free massage at Cascadia went fine - people were appreciative and all the logistics worked out. Then we had a bit of a celebratory afternoon, capped with pho and Narnia. (The movie wasn't much, but the animation was wonderful.)

But Friday lingered long into the night, as we met Dingo and JustJon and Kathy at the Ladro for late night coffee - so cool, so hip, so urban.

Otis had a weekend class, so her Saturday was indoors. Jon and K and I, however, were free to roam around in the rain until we got tired of that (no walk around Green lake for us!) and hid out in the apartment after a foray for NY pizza. It was great to be chillaxing and great to meet Kathy; I expect we'll be seeing a lot of her, too.
When Otis joined us after class, we all went up to Cafe Flora for a sumptuous dinner.

I took Otis to class today and bid bon voyage to Jon and Kathy at their hotel. The rest of the day is mine - bwah-hah-hah! I will exploit it by -- dare I say it? -- cleaning out my file cabinet!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Still whirring in 2006

Well, I have been trying to adapt to this not teaching in the morning stuff, and I have been staying abed until 7:30 or so. What a slug!

I feel like things are still clicking along this week. Classes have started up again (as of Monday at Antioch) but we still have the tailings of all the holiday festivities. Wendy was over on Monday for a last visit before she headed back to LA, but I didn't get to see her, since I had to go to class. I spent most of the day Tuesday up at Cascadia, prepping for the quarter (and hanging with Mel, who was doing much the same) before evening classes. Yesterday was the day for the last Nedstravaganza, which began with a Denny's lunch, ended with late-night pie and included several excursions on various quests, some fruitful and some not, but all fun.

And it's not over! There's class today, and a potential visit from Ms Matcha, Otis's buddy from Japan. Tomorrow Otis is doing her three hours of community service (massage school-related, not court-ordered) up at Cascadia, and JustJon and K come into town for the weekend. Yipe! My cup runneth over - and it's cool!

Monday, January 02, 2006


When we were having our new year's resolution discussion at breakfast yesterday, I didn't mention the one and only resoultion that I make every year.

Many people have talked about it in many ways, and each year - each day, really - I hope that I can make fewer statements and ask more questions.

Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions.
-Claude Levi-Strauss.

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.
-James Thurber

Happy New Year.

Firefly - (Cross posting)

Check out the event notice for the Firefly marathon on the group blog.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Post-party expression

Wow - heckuva night! I got up yesterday at 7:00 am, and didn't go to sleep until 10:00 am today. What a way to bring in the new year.

The all-night movie party, as you might be able to tell from the prior post, was a great success, and the apartment on the Ridge was full of totally cool folks.

Mighty Mel and Mel Jr. were the first to arrive, just as the 8:00 pm show was starting, and they stayed almost to the bitter end. Mel made Hardcore status, although Mel Jr. did spend most of the night horizontal. They left just before breakfast to head back to Woodinville to get Mel Mater, but never returned. Tant pis!

A new addition to the gang was Hi Lai and spouse Welcome Matt, who came early and provided the sparkplug for the fun engine that got the party roaring.

Jen Forceful gracefully graced the affair with sparkling hair as well a sparkling personality, and JJ provided the much needed elements of classy cookies, classy champagne, and classy company.

We were also favored with the presence of b&c, who walked all the way up from Ballard to add their own gentle charm to the proceedings.

The Cap Hill contigent - Johnbai, Dingo, and Wheylona - arrived laden with comestibles and attitude - although only one made it to
Hardcore status.

Neds came with cannonballs (edible), mullings (potable), and a lot of good cheer.

After far too long an absence from these digs, MaryBee (squired by High) joined in the fun after earlier festivities.

Fresh from yet another command performance for his adoring public, Scotty Magic tuxedoed in after midnight with GinaTiara and cast his spell on the party.

Soapy, always
Hardcore and fresh from his gig as audience for a different show, arrived late and rocked the house with his never-gets-old "I haven't seen you since last year" bit.

And just when we thought it was over, Runny Sunny from down the hall came in at the last minute to share the closing moments of the party and the first moments of the first day of the new year.

The movies? My Life as a Dog was cool, and people actually watched. The Shaggy Dog seemed to suck, even by fifities Disney standards, but we really can't say since we watched most of it with the sound off. Even the spectacle of a dog driving a police car was not enough to pull the gamers out of the bedroom. A Boy and His Dog had an outre appeal, but not quite enough to focus the crowd. (Except for the penis-milking scene, which drew everyone into the room.) (It wasn't long enough, though.) (The scene.) Everyone settled down for Ghost Dog, but that's when people starting heading back to their own beds or crashing in the nap room - except for the
Hardcore gang! We skipped the 4:00 am movie in favor of a Futurama episode, game playing and general tomfoolery, and picked up the cinema theme again with Fighting Devil Dogs of the Air, a 1934 piece of fluff that seemed crypto-homerotic, at least after having been up all night.

The televised Space Needle countdown interlude seemed to lack elan, but the new year was rung in with toasts and cheers and hoots and hollers nonetheless. Non-cinema activities thorughout the night included additional beta-testing of The Game, simulblogging, and tarot readings.

Morning was greeted with high-volume music, pillow-assaults, and general rousings, until the last remnants - Johnbai, Dingo, Wheylona, Neds, JJ, Soapy, Otis, and I - made our way to Silence Heart Nest for breakfast at 8:30 am.

Otis and I made it back to the apartment and bed by 10:00 am. We got up at 2:00 pm; Otis got ready and went off to Carnation to give Reiki to a dog and I have been cleaning the apartment. It's in pretty good shape now; I just have to tackle the kitchen.

Well worth it.

And here, in a place of honor, are

The Hardcore

Those to whom sleep was a stranger
01-01-06 6:56 am

Mid-party blog

Happy New Year! We are between movies -- Hi Lai and Welcome Matt just left, along with Jen Forceful, and Scotty Magic and GinaTiara just showed up. There's pizza and cheesecake and cookies and dip and all kinds of stuff that people brought. Johnbai's Game got a Beta test, movies were watched and mocked, champagne has been drunk, and toasts were made. It's all good.

The party proper

The game

Nedra blogging

Morning update 010106 1556: This post has been proofread and enhanced with clicky goodness.