Monday, February 27, 2006

Piper paying

So, while some work did get done on Saturday, Otis and I decided to be like real people and actually go out to a movie Saturday evening. Dingo, Johnbai, and Mel joined us for an impromptu Moovie Nite at the Varsity for a screening of all five of the Oscar-nominated live action short films. The films were all great, and so was the conversation-cum-coffee at the IHOP afterwards. After discussing the films, it took a long time to reach some consensus on our plans for thriving after the apocolypse / revolution / zombie invasion (which is more important: shotgun shells or moisturizer?), so, of course, we stayed out too late to actually get any additional grading done when we got home.

All that meant, of course, was that we essentially responded to papers from about 8:30 am to 8:00 pm yesterday, with a short break for Taco Del Mar at lunchtime and homemade stir-fry for dinner. Yay, the-opposite-of-lazy-Sunday!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Slapping the virtual dust from my hands

Well, that outghta take care of that! Before diving into work today, I have tried to get caught up with e-communication: reading all the newest entries in our burgeoning blogosphere, posting hither and yon, answering personal emails, and suchlike. Whew!

Thanks to everyone for the moving support. I'll be in touch with additional details as they develop.

Here's a picture
that I made a while ago of me as a Lego-man :

I am thinking of using this as my new profile picture. You can make a picture of yourself as a Lego-person here. Make one and email it to me; I'll cover the bandwith to put up a slide show or a web page or something.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Magoo, you've done it again...

And that is mis-timing a meeting and winding up with time free and no papers on hand to respond! My English 101 meeting here at cascadia starts at 3:30, not 3:00, so I have a few minutes to kill.

I will use this time to put out the first call for assistance in moving. Otis and I will be returning from paradise on Saturday, 3/25 at 11:00 pm. We need to be out of the Ridge apartment by Friday, 3/31. That pretty clearly narrows down moving day to Sunday, 3/26.

I think I will try to arrange for an in-town small rental truck for Sunday afternoon. How many stalwarts can I get to lend muscular and/or cartage assistance? Another pickup or two and a few sets of hands, and we can get the majority of the stuff moved over in a couple of hours - it's only a ten-minute drive to the new place, we have a convenenient parking space, there are no exterior stairs, and we'll try to have as much packed as we can before we even leave for paradise.

So, whattaya say? Any takers? The usual pizza-and-beer thing will follow.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Sunday Afternoon (on the Island of La Grande Jatte) with Walaka

I am taking a little break, since I have 75% of my responding done for the weekend. I still have a stack of short assignments and some lesson prep to do, but there are no community college classes tomorrow, so I have a little slack and some extra time. (I do have to teach at Antioch, however.)

Otis has spent her Sunday out in the wilds of Mt. Rainier, doing her feng shui/organizational thing with a client of Hi Lai. (As a matter of fact, she called to say she was on her way home as I was typing those lines.) When she gets back, we'll do a bit more work, since she has her IHS grading to do, too.

Speaking of high school, the winds of fate seem to be trying to blow me toward secondary ed: here's another "Upper School" position available, and it's within a long walk/easy bike ride from the townhome. Maybe I should start thinking seriously about this Mr. Chips thing...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I gotta get to work

But I can't resist posting this little clip, since so many of us are or have been involved with the teaching of English in some form.

Tip o' blog beret to The Cartoonist, whence this came.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The deal is done

Well, we put John Hancocks to paper tonight and have become officially indentured to our new townhome! It does indeed look to be perfect for most of our needs; we are still puzzling out the WWS set-up, but the rest of the functions and features are non-pareil. We take possession on 3/15 and will release this place on 3/31; of course, since we are in Hawaii until the 26th, we really only have five days in which to move, and that's during the first week of the quarter for me. It's always something.

I put up a Yahoo photo album with pictures we took tonight.

Man, it's cold

Well, looks like the "Arctic Blast" is here - it was 29 degrees when I got up. Brrrr. I'm sure the local news teams are out reporting on DeepFreeze-06! or whatever they will be calling it. And I'm sure glad I don't watch local news.

Looks like the townhome will be a go. I'll give details when the deal is inked.

We were in Ken's last night picking up some groceries when I noticed something: chocolate can be expensive! There were all kinds of little pieces, nicely wrapped, from about the size of a matchbook to the size of a transistor radio battery, and they cost like two bucks each. Granted, they were all from Belgium or Venezuela or somesuch, but still. I guess I never paid attention to that end of the market. It makes me wonder what kind of stuff they use in a Hershey bar that they can sell three times as much for a third the price.

Otis is feeling back to normal. She went to class yesterday and will be working to day, so 's all good.

As usual, I have a ton of responding for the weekend, but if I can get a little ahead tonight, maybe we'll do a Saturday night moovie.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Still crazy busy. Today is my "light" teaching day (only a full-time day equivalent) so I have a window in which to cram several hours of responding in order to stay on track. (My Mondays and Tuesdays are so busy I always feel that I have lost a march.)

Otis is still under the weather, but I think a break is in sight, She has been taking it slow the past few days, trying to let her body fight off whatever it is and get back up to snuff.

For once, the snow didn't slow things down at all! I even had most of my early class show up yesterday.

We have the paperwork in on the Roosevelt place - it's in the lap of the capricious gods, now.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The waning of the weekend

So, there are a few loose ends about that will need to be taken care of first thing tomorrow, but for all intents and purposes I got done what I needed to get done this weekend. Otis is in bed with an upset stomach, so I am just cleaning up my virtaul and actual desks.

We did get a chance to see the townhome today, and it is nearly perfect. It comes with a pretty high rent, but really not so much considering it includes Otis's workspace, complete with separate entrance and adjoining bathroom. We have to do the credit application routine, and hope to negotiate as late a move-in as we can. We'll see where this goes.

Of course, to complicate things completely, there is a full-time opening in Bellingham at a place that I love to work (Whatcom CC), for a job for which I am exceedingly qualified. We'll see where that goes. too.

Only two weeks of classes left at Brenneke! Otis's schedule is lighter than it has been for more than a month. It's amazing how this ride has gone, innit? We should be ready to party hardy at the Stanford Center in 19 days.

Hey, there's a new blink in the bling: fasten your seatbelts, because Scotty has entered the blogosphere.

And here is a little movie that I think you (and this especially means our linguist and near-linguist friends) will find totally cool.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

That was the week that was

Man, the week has just flown by! Y'know, with my load, it's not the teaching that keeps me so busy; it's not even the responding, although that does take some time; it's the keeping all the verdammnt papers in order! I keep getting new stacks and heaps: papers, excercises, journals, folders. It's a job just to keep them straight so I know what it is I need to do.

Had a mini-WWS last night: Mighty Mel, J-Force, and Mary-Bee came over for the show. We wound up watching The Wooden Man's Bride, a "Chinese Renaissance" film from the early nineties (J brought it). It was a little weird and a good movie; we were commenting on how much the style of Chinese films has changed from Ju Dou to Hero - but how that Mongolian landscape never fails to stun.

Otis and I have found what might be a perfect townhouse, over in the Roosevelt area; we just can't seem to get in contact with landlords, either by phone or email! I hope they are just away for the weekend; this looks like it might be a really good place for all our needs. Wish us some good rental-karma.

Here's a little toy for Valentine's Day: It makes a .jpg of one of those little candy hearts, with your custom message. Put one on your blog!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


So, I got everything done that I needed to get done this weekend. Yay! Of course, my plate is already full again...

Otis and I went shopping at Trader Joe's on Sunday. Fun stuff there, and we bought a bunch of it. I think we need to shop alternate weeks at Joe's, Whole Foods, PCC, and Safeway to get all the stuff we like. (Have you seen the new Organics brand at Safeway? Cheap!)

It's been warm the past few days - I think the longjohns are gone now, and the kiltiness is back to normal.

Speaking of kilts, I may have to change the name of this blog to Hoodies and Kilts and No Sweats. Take a look at this outfit. I think my summer shoes are coming from here.

Speaking of blogs, I ask this of my blogmates seriously: should we leave Blogger? More to the point, should we disassociate ourselves from Google? The Students for a Free Tibet think we should.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Work and play

So, okay, as usual, the weekend has included a bunch of work. I have that Monday-Friday schedule going on, so I was teaching Friday morning, and then spent most of Friday afternoon taking care of business and lesson planning and such (I now have a nice long, low shelf running alongside the wall near my desk so I can keep all the piles of my to-do work in order). Otis had to go out for a while yesterday on writer consultant errands, and I stayed home and got a lot of papers responded while the wind whipped around the Ridge. (Man, it was loud overnight Fri-Sat, but it didn't appear to do much damage up here.) And, of course, I still have a stack of stuff to do today.

Nonetheless, we managed to do some fun stuff, too. On Friday night, I finally got a chance to see Talk to Her (on the white wall). And last night, we joined Jen Forceful and Sunni-V (and wa whole mess of other folks) for a house concert at Linda S and Mike's place with Jean Mann.

Otis and I had gone to a previous house concert by Jean last June. That was a great time, and this time was just as big a treat. Jean played guitar and sang, and was accompanied by her sideman-sidekick Bill on bass, mandolin, slide guitar, and accordion. Jean performed mostly original tunes, including two numbers (that will appear on her new CD) that got their "world debut" perfomances last night; she also covered some songs by the likes of Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt, and Joan Osborne (and I think Jean's version of "One of Us" is just fantastic).

The music is what I would call folk-rock if I had to put a label on it, but that's a bit reductive: the song "Pink Clouds" has a haiku-like elegance in the lyrics and some vocal bits that are reminiscent of the best of Tracy Chapman; "The Dance" is a haunting waltz which could easily have been lifted from the soundtrack of a French art film. Whether opening with a playful rendition of "Space Cowboy" or introducing her ephemeral "Daisies and Fire," Jean's vocal control and evocative phrasings were captivating. I'd certainly sit her at the same table with Sarah Harmer and Nekko Case at my musical cafe.

Check out Jean's website and pick up one of her CDs. It's good stuff that has earned its place in our rotation.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Something that is just wow

Without any ado, I present a little thing I was sent by one of my former students:

Talk about perspective...

So, I had my meeting with JJ, and the comix talk at the Fremont Library is shaping up nicely. I have been inundated with papers, but staying home this weekend should get me back on the beam. Everything else is more-or-less under control, and the coming quarters are also looking pretty good.

We had a nice dinner tonight at the Tamarind Tree for Otis's mom's birthday. I can't get me enough of that tofu and green beans... mmm-mm.

So, what do y'all think of this job? Think I could do the Dead Poets Society thing for a while? Should I go for it?