Tuesday, December 31, 2002

 

Happy New Year!

Had a bad, disconnected holiday, which is why my blog has not been updated recently. I will write more later!

- posted by laurie @ 12/31/2002 11:26:00 PM (0) comments

Sunday, December 22, 2002

 

A good thing to do with some holiday cash might be a little investing, maybe? I had this grand idea a few years ago to find green or socailly responsible finds and try to save enough to invest. Well, if you have any similar thoughs, check out this link: About Social Investment Forum-environmental, green socially responsible investment, tobacco, toxic-free

- posted by laurie @ 12/22/2002 08:37:00 AM (0) comments

Saturday, December 21, 2002

 

It's Saturday night. I spent last night in the house, and it looks as if I will spend tonight the same way. Tomorrow is all about laundry and packing, as I leave early Monday morning for CA. A whole week away from Eric and the kitties. I get bored when I go to L.A. these days - I have a few friends left, but not many. OK, really I have only 2, and one of them will be out of town while I'm there. SO I'll have plenty of free time to spend with Dad and Grandma, which, no offense to my dear relatives, sounds less than thrilling. I am glad I have a paper to revise, two projects to work on, and a few books I want to read.

I hate the period immediately followng the end of the semester. After a nutty fifteen weeks in which every day seems to pile more work onto an already overflowing plate full of important tasks that need to be accomplished immediately, all of a sudden *poof* the plate is dramatically dumped, finals week and the handing in of seminar papers leaving it scraped impossibly clean. Nothing to do. This is not exactly true, as I do need to do laundry, wash some dishes, and tidy up the chaotic piles of books that always spontaneously grow around my primary work spaces during the end of the semester. But there's also this sense of empty void. I have been in school for so long now that not being in school is like being adrift, untied from the moorings of class schedules, syllabi, assigned reading. I'm bad at unstructured time. I get fidgety and lazy, all at once.

I can't believe I have spent the last seven and a half years in school full time. And that I only took one year off between high school and college. And that I have at least another year of classes, probably a year and a half (maybe more, but we'll be optomistic), before I start writing the dissertation. Have I spent way too much of my life in school, or what? It's worth it, though, I think. I like school. I'm relatively good at it. And I hope I'll be as good at being a researcher and a teacher, and at balancing those two roles, as well. Oh, yeah, and I hope I will be able to find a good job when I get the Ph.D.! Every so often another article pronounces that academia as we know it is dying, or already dead, in some cases. Some author somewhere has researched the university of the future, and it doesn't include tenure-track jobs. Sometimes it doens't include very many full-time jobs at all. And often it includes distance education, corporate university settings, and an academic market in which the paying customer is always right - and I have to say, from personal experience, I think this is already happening. I also think that, even if students are paying for their education, or if their parents are, whatever, they're not always right: a tuition bill supporting a professor's salary does not automatically confer an 'A' on anyone.

Well, that's a tangential rant.

If you can't tell, I am in a funk. I think I am going to go grab the Murakami book Eric got me, and officially begin winter break with a jag of non-academic reading.

By the way, for anyone who might be affected by such things, I broke down and bought a replacement cell phone yesterday. Same number. So you can call the cell again. I still hope to find my old one, though: if I find it within the next 30 days, AT&T will let me return the replacement phone and give me a full refund. Oh, and my semi-public thanks to the woman who helped me at the AT&T store last night: she got me a much better price on my replacement phone than I was originally "supposed" to get, and she made sure I got hooked up with all the free stuff and upgrades they were promoing at the time. Love it when people working in customer service take the title seriously!

- posted by laurie @ 12/21/2002 08:08:00 PM (0) comments

 

Is the U.S. experiencing Technical Difficulties?

This link courtesy of my friend Susan, who is in the habit of sending me funny and interesting forwards. Thanks, Su!

- posted by laurie @ 12/21/2002 09:06:00 AM (0) comments

Friday, December 20, 2002

 

Ok, so I made it (mostly) on time to physical therapy today, yay! and the guy says I am making progress and seem to have the right idea. Good thing number one.

And I just paid off a big scary bill. Good thing number two.

And then I went, after paying the big scary bill, to check and see how much would be left in my account after the payment for the big scary bill clears, and guess what? Instead of getting paid next week, as we're supposed to, the U of MN has paid early. Whoopee! I can get some shopping done!

I have to go run errands and keep working away on my projects - deadlines today and Sunday for getting feedback to people. School's out and I'm still working. Anyway, so far, good day, except that I am still tired and I have the headache from hell.

- posted by laurie @ 12/20/2002 12:26:00 PM (0) comments

Thursday, December 19, 2002

 

Short post - I am zonked and headed for nappyland, but -

I walked out the door at 2:55 to drive to the U and turn in my paper, due at 3:30. It's snowing. Grr. So I clean the car and try to drive at a safe, sane speed. Get to the campus, park, go hand in my paper. Early. Which never ever happens. And then I walked back to the garage, got in my car, and noticed . . .

The perfect, and I mean perfect tape is in my car's tape deck. So I pop it in, rewind to the beginning of side one, and blast the Soup Dragon's "I'm Free" louder than the factory speakers in my Hyundai Acent can really deal with. Pay the attendant, and proceed to drive, blaring that song, through campus, down Fourth, and onto 35W. If it hadn't been snowing, I probably would have been speeding.

I feel liberated. And exhausted. G'night!

- posted by laurie @ 12/19/2002 02:37:00 PM (0) comments

 

Oh geez. Look at the comments - see how they get a snitty - inspired by the people who say other women are being snitty. (S)HITLIST: Comment on Dumbing Down with Julia Stiles

Ouch.

- posted by laurie @ 12/19/2002 10:43:00 AM (0) comments

 

Ohboyohboyohboyohboy! I'm doooooooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnn
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Ok, sorry for scrolling obnoxiousness, but this marks the first time, quite literally, that I have had a paper done and printed out, even, a whole 3.5 hours before it's due! Yay me! Of course, I accomplished this miraculous feat by procrastinating until the last minute and then working literally all night long. I have been up since 9:30 yesterday. And now I have to drive my paper to the East Bank campus, which, honestly, makes me an eenie bit nervous. But I am going to eat some linch, shower, and have a cup of coffee before I ehad. The paper has to be in by 3:30 - I figure I have time to eat, shower, caffeinate first.

AND - once I turn it in, I will be officially done with this semester, OH JOY! I am sleeping in tomorrow! Oh, crap, no I am not. I have physical therapy, early. Ugh. Oh well.

Off to eat! Must shop, I am down to brown rice and cheese. MMMMMMMM.

- posted by laurie @ 12/19/2002 09:54:00 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

 

Just checking in . . . I am in the home stretch. In 12 hours I should be hitting "print" and getting ready to deliver my final paper for the semester. Can it all be done in 12 hours? Let's hope so! :)

- posted by laurie @ 12/18/2002 11:45:00 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

 

There's someone in the Russian Federation Zone 3 time zone reading my blog - I'm guessing that the few times that zone has shown up it's the same person because I can't imagine multiple hits from that area. Anyway, it's cool and random and interesting where hits on a page like this come from! Wish I could figure out how more people were getting here . . .

Ok, I am going back to work. Oh, the Internet. Such a distraction. I'm going to visit Eric, get a latte, and return re-energized and with decresaed desire (I hope) to procrastinate. HA! ha ha HA ha ha!

- posted by laurie @ 12/17/2002 07:39:00 PM (0) comments

 

You know, there seems to be a number of people in the blogging community (at least that I have encountered) trying to "lose weight." For those that are, I offer the following link: Understanding Your Body Fat Percentage

I have been on a bit a of a health kick since I moved here - only a bit of one because I still smoke, and my diet could still improve :) Anyway, I, like a lot of women, have this perception that I'm a little rounder than I should be. I have seen enough people struggle with eating disorders, and I know enough about body composition, to be really cautious about saying, "I want to lose weight." That's really just not true. I want to lose fat and increase muscle. But it is still nice to assess progress in some way, so I went to Target and bough a scale a few months ago. This was kind of a hard decision, since we have not, with good reason, had a scale in the house for years - long enough that I can't even remember in which past apartment bathroom I last saw a scale on the floor.

I ended up blowing the extra cash to get a scale that would actually tell me something useful: one that measures weight as well as body fat. What I discovered in October, when I got the scale, is that, according to national standards, I was actually on the borderline between the fitness and acceptable ranges. Wow. And now, about 6 1/2 weeks later, I have dropped a few percentage points, though my body weight itself hasn't changed all that much. Lesson? Weight doesn't mean a whole lot.

Anyway, I found this page tonight (I was looking for a table that broke down levels of health according to fat %). The little blurb about the woman who weighs 130 and wants to lose 20 pounds got me thinking: how realisitic have me weight goals been during my adult life? Well, I did the same calculations they showed for the hypothetical woman and figured out that my goals have been fairly unrealistic.

At the low end of the athlete scale, I'd weigh 124, close to my usual "I'd like to weigh" goal of 125, which I really thought was reasonable. It's not. I'd have to maintain a serious, rigorous exercise scedule to (healthily) drop to that weight and, well, the truth is I really can't see that happening! I'm not an athlete. I'm 26 and probably in better shape now than I have been since about high school, mainly because I shoot for aerobic exercise three times a week. I do some leg weights every once in a while. I'll probably never weigh 125 and you know what? That's really ok with me. I could still drop a few pounds, but this page only goes to prove that, really, even if I didn't, I'm in an ok range. Goal now is to drop a few percentage points, or stay at the level I am currently at.

Anyway, for anyone out there in the process of shaping up, be healthy and realisitic. Please? Ok, thanks for putting up with me!

Back to statistics . . . more procrastination-inspired blogging to come, I'm sure! :)

- posted by laurie @ 12/17/2002 07:17:00 PM (0) comments

 

I am starting to think about vacation in a more serious way (less "gee I wish it would arrive" and more "gee, what do I pack?"). Southern California winter weather can be very unpredicatble. I've worn a (light) winter coat at Christmas, but also worn t-shirts. As such, I checked the forecast for the area of SoCal where my dad lives: the extended forecast through the 26th calls for daytime temps in the 50s and 60s with lows in the 40s!!!! Yay! What a nice change from Twin Cities temps. Jessica's probably laughing at me, if she's reading this, because I'm blogging about the evil Twin Cities weather again.

- posted by laurie @ 12/17/2002 03:39:00 PM (0) comments

 

If you haven't been to The Lair of the Crab of Ineffable Wisdom - a load of stuff by Joel Veitch that will probably crush your will to live (aka rathergood.com), I highly reccomend (some of) it. Check out the punk kittens - and keep an eye out for the stage-diving kitten.

- posted by laurie @ 12/17/2002 12:11:00 PM (0) comments

Monday, December 16, 2002

 

Braindead. Fried. Exhausted. But two out of three papers are handed in, for better or worse. I know one of them has at least one remnant from the battle with the printer this afternoon. I am thinking about taking a disk to the lab and tring to print there, but I think it might be a problem with the document, not with the printer. I'm not sure, though. I uninstalled and reinstalled the printer and checked for driver updates, but this didn't fix anything, and the errors kept on occurring in the same places in the documnet.

I hate paying for printing when I have two printers here (ok, one doesn't have a power source, but still). Maybe I'll ask a neighbor . . . I'll bring my own paper! Hmm . . . maybe not. Toner costs and all.

I hate computer labs.

- posted by laurie @ 12/16/2002 05:13:00 PM (0) comments

 

If my computer crashes one more time I will smash it to itty bits. If my printer keeps on merging lines of text together and ignoring the fact that 8 1/2" x 11" paper is, indeed, only 8 1/2 inches wide, it will follow the computer into the smashed-up-stuff pile.

And if blogger keeps on stealing well-written happy posts, I'll - well, I can't smash it, but I can move to another service, right? Right.

Hell's bells. Can I sleep tonight?

- posted by laurie @ 12/16/2002 09:16:00 AM (0) comments

Sunday, December 15, 2002

 

I'm stealing material from Kara again. I just had to know what my geek quotient was before I went back on the literature review for my reserch proposal. I propose to research . . . gah! I used to like my topic, but at the moment, I am a bit burnt out on it.

You are 56% geek
You are a geek. Good for you! Considering the endless complexity of the universe, as well as whatever discipline you happen to be most interested in, you'll never be bored as long as you have a good book store, a net connection, and thousands of dollars worth of expensive equipment. Assuming you're a technical geek, you'll be able to afford it, too. If you're not a technical geek, you're geek enough to mate with a technical geek and thereby get the needed dough. Dating tip: Don't date a geek of the same persuasion as you. You'll constantly try to out-geek the other.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com


- posted by laurie @ 12/15/2002 10:49:00 AM (0) comments

 

Post from the Pit of Despair (oh how I wish I had time to watch the Princess Bride right now!)

my papers aren't done.
my computer crashed and ate a chunk of work yesterday
i think i am getting sick
i need to sleep
i am scared of statistics and spss
i miss my family
i miss my best and closest friends
i just want to crawl into bed and cover my head

can this all be over yet?

- posted by laurie @ 12/15/2002 10:25:00 AM (0) comments

Friday, December 13, 2002

 

One last thing before I settle down for the night (away from the computer with the cable modem, anyway!): I'll be gone for the next few days. I must must get the two papers done. One's almost there, one's not as close as I would like.

Oh! and one more completely random thought before I shut myself off from blogger for the weekend: I want another tattoo. After I got out of class today I came this close to walking down the block to the tattoo place near campus and asking to see their book. I absolutely do not have the money, and I haven't gotten one in five years or thereabouts, but I want one! Just one more!

Oh, if I had it all to do over again, I would never have promised my panicky dad I wouldn't get any more. He found out about all of them at once, went a little haywire ("my baby! - my only child! - has five tattoos!" he then called all of the relatives and family friends he could think of and told them how depressed I had made him) and made me promise not to get any more. In the moment, I wanted to say anything to shut hum up and calm him down, and now I find myself bound by a promise I never wanted to make and do not want to keep. A lot of people have told me to just blow it off, I am an adult and can make up my own mind, etc., which is all well and good, I am fully capable of making up my mind for myself, thanks! But I also like to keep promises whenever possible.

All right, that was completely and utterly random. I'm going to curl up with the laptop and write a bit, then get some much-deserved sleep!

- posted by laurie @ 12/13/2002 09:52:00 PM (0) comments

 

What follows is actually a post from October 12 - I accidentally published it to an old, no-longer-used blog (updates and announcements for courses I taught at Penn State last year). Anyway, I liked the post and the linked site, so I'm going to go ahead and paste it on in!
*************old post starts here*************************
What gets lost in translation? This is a cool site. Insert a chunk of text, and watch as your text is translated back and forth between different languages and English. The end results are amusing, tortured little bits of text. Example:

My orignal text read, "The Internet has never been the utopian space that some people claim it was (or, in some cases, claim it currently is). The Internet was first used for military purposes, and spread to the unversities where scientific and technological research that supported the development of the Internet was taking place. At its inception, the Internet was not even remotely concieved of as a utopian space. In the beginning, it wasn't really even a public space, though there are those who would disagree on this point. What is meant by the previous statment is simply that access to the early Internet was limited by access to computer techology, knowledge of the existence of the Internet, and enough knowledge of how the previous two elements worked together to manage to get yourself online."

After being translated into French, back to English, to German, to English, to Italian, to English, to Portuguese, to English, and Finally to Spanish and back to English one last time, we end up with: "The Internet never was visionary of the zone that the objection of a certain age he (or, you determine the cases, condition inside that you are at the moment). Estêve of the Internet used the hour for him before the military objects and of the propagation you (atomizaton) with unversities this, in those the scientist and the technological search, that the development of the Internets supported, happens. With the relative beginning that the Internet was not distant concieved in date one to equal utopista of the zone. In the beginning a general zone was not really uniform, occurs exactly, that he would be in the contradiction in this point. What meaning of statment, that one precedes, is simple soon that the entrance to the Internet through the entrance to techology the calculation, that was limited knowledge of the existence of the Internets and the knowledge in the direction, where both elements which they precede the totality of the works you, the end to consider itself sufficient, in the line to stop above."

And I thought academic syntax was tortured - this is really bad!

****************************************************************
See? That was worth re-posting, wasn't it?

- posted by laurie @ 12/13/2002 09:31:00 PM (0) comments

 

From Fark.com (btw, cool link - thanks Kara!), a story about my former place of residence: Centre Daily Times | 12/13/2002 | Man gets two years for indecent exposure - that indecent exposure being hitting classmates with his genitalia on a school bus during a field trip. Can you see why I was anxious to get out of central PA and to move here, to the Twin Cities, a nice metropolitan area with art, culture, cultural diversity, a lower incest rate, and less news stories about boys assaulting people with their genitalia on school busses.

- posted by laurie @ 12/13/2002 09:24:00 PM (0) comments

Thursday, December 12, 2002

 

Blah. Blah, blah, blah. Everything that I write is coming out just like that. I wish I could just stay up all night and knock out this lit review. It's torturing me. But unlike every other grad student I know of in the Rhetoric Department, I'm not done with classes on Thursday of every week. Nah. My silly butt decided to take two freakin' Friday classes. I just want to work. Aren't classes over yet?? Do I HAVE to go to Cognitive Science at 10:10 am tomorrow??? Do I? Well, the answer's "yep. you do. and you have to go in early so you can get some number crunching done on spss tomorrow before the cogsci class, so you can have *intelligent* questions to ask your prof. in the last quantitative class tomorrow."

Grr. I am in no mood to be communicating with anyone - online or off. I think my only conversational partners should be me, myself, and I for the next little bit. Good thing I am home alone (the crazy Eric boy decided to pick up an extra shift at B&N this week - so he worked 8 hours during the day and then got in the car and drove a half-hour to a 5 1/2 hour shift at B&N tonight. again, not my idea or choice. all his.). Well, maybe I can talk to the kitties. Tybalt doesn't care what mood I am in as long as petting is involved, and Clara, the sweet thing she is, gets more and more friendly as I get more and more stressed/upset/grouchy. Good kitties. Yeah, I'm blogging about my kitties. But I don't have a picture of them up here. Of course, I do have a picture of them online (you have to scroll down). Some stereotypes develop for a reason, you know? Women blogging about their cats is probably one of them!

- posted by laurie @ 12/12/2002 07:09:00 PM (0) comments

 

My results on the Temerament Test (take it yourself - click the link):

PTypes Temperament Score
Idealist17
Rationalist4
Traditionalist7
Hedonist2
Your temperament type is Idealist.

Yep. Confirms the other one I took online - results were posted here some time ago. I took this because Kara had this linked from her blog. My reaction is similar to hers: I'm an Idealist - and I could have guessed that!

- posted by laurie @ 12/12/2002 09:55:00 AM (0) comments

 

Eight-minute-dating. Seriously. Red about it: Brokentype: Eight Little Rejections.

Also a recent update from weblogs.com.

I am glad . . .
1) that I am no longer single!
2) that I am not single in NYC
3) that when I was single in NYC I was 18, not too awfully worried about meeting someone, and didn't know about/encounter this kind of thing (I did go on dates with a few people I met online, but they were full-length dates - chaperoned by my best friend and roomie, usually).

- posted by laurie @ 12/12/2002 09:46:00 AM (0) comments

 

I sometimes write about the associational linking patterns and paths by which I got from page A to page Z - the one I blog about - and about how these patterns are sometimes complex and impossible to remember. Well, apparently, I'm not the only one :) and I am not the only one who has about 30 browser windows open at the same time. There's a nifty little script posted over at Assume the Position that'll tell you how you landed on that particular page.

Nifty, isn't it?

Links: from the blogger edit page -> my site -> weblogs ping form -> Weblogs.com home -> Assume the Position (one of the recently updated).

- posted by laurie @ 12/12/2002 09:30:00 AM (0) comments

 

A forward from my friend Mariano: made me laugh so hard I almost spouted coffee all over my desk.

These kinds of things always crack me up!

- posted by laurie @ 12/12/2002 09:17:00 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

 

I'm saving holiday pennies for one of the cute quackers from The official home of the Rubba Ducks. If you click on the link for the official site (not the store), there's a cute, swing-y little song/flash intro. I love ducks, as anyone who has been in my bathroom may be able to tell you. One guest commented that there were too many in there - impossible, in my opinion. Normally I stick to little yellow duckies, but in the case of these cute little guys, I will make an exception.

I also have to say - I'm savin' pennies for the TMBG Dial-a-Song collection that recently came out. B&N has it for $31.00 or thereabouts, but I have most of the songs already on other albums (it's kind of a 'best of' thing). Pricey, but worht it, I think.

How many pnnies is that? I'd better get out the wrappers, make my little stacks of ten, and start rolling some change, huh?

Not much accomplished today - at least not this evening. I did spend this morning figuring out EXACTLY what I need to do to complete the quantitative methods paper (except for one variable: it lines up in the opposite direction as the rest, and can't be "flipped" - what do I do???). Went shopping for groceries and a ball for physical therapy (see monday post - "wax on, wax off."), got dinner, went to B&N looking for a CD (love it that Eric works at B&N: discounted food, coffee, music, movies, and books. got all of my books for school in the spring semester from B&N - for 30% off!) but didn't buy anything. Then came home to a call from my sis, who is also dealing with end-of-the-semester type issues, as well as with some personal stuff. I try to be supportive, just as she is supportive of me. Chin up, kid! I love you tons!

For anyone who hasn't noticed, I think my sister is one of the coolest people in the entire world. She's an artist. I can't draw a stick figure. When I was her age, I wanted to be a badass. I think she is a badass. I'm not jealous: we're different people, we have different goals (though we are certainly 100% related: for all the differences, we have a lot of the same beliefs, strong motivation, and a weird amount of resilience in the face of the absurdity that qualifies as our family - somthing I don't think I will ever ever ever write about here). But anyway, she just got a job as a bus mechanic. She drives the U MD shuttle busses, and as of winter break, will begin fixing them, too. Maybe she'll teach me something about fixing cars. I always wanted to learn, but never got around to it. Anyway, she seriously rocks, and I hate being so far away from her.

I'm sleepy, but I swore I would do my physical therapy exercises before bed, and then I'll have to read or something to cool down after (um, not like flapping my arm up and down twenty times and doing the"wax on, wax off" exercise is going to make me break a sweat, but still, exercising and then going to bed is a recipe for insomnia and soreness the next day).

I was hoping to be on campus early tomorrow morning, but it looks like I'll be sleeping in a bit. I am so much more productive at night, but then my whole perception of early and late gets warped.

Parting comment before going to flap and wax: has anyone seen my cell phone? Seriously. I lost it somewhere in my travels around the Twin Cities. Of course, it may be in my apartment. But it's on silent, so it's kinda hard to tell.

flap flap flap
wax on, wax off

g'night

- posted by laurie @ 12/11/2002 11:42:00 PM (0) comments

 

Clancy has a very interesting presentation about online scholarly publication linked from this entry on her blog. Academics and writers, take note!

Does the same apply for journalists and non-academic writers? Does publishing an article or a story online carry less resume weight than a print publication? Hmmmm. . .

good stuff, Clancy!

- posted by laurie @ 12/11/2002 10:30:00 PM (0) comments

 

I made time in my writing schedule today to have a phone conversation with my dad. I shouldn't have bothered. I've got enough to do right now without trying to explain academia, grants, research assistantships, and so on to my dad. I tell him something I'm really excited about, and he says, "oh. that's nice." I should know better, but I still expect a little enthusiasm. a bit of parental support. Whatever. The moment I decided not to become a lawyer, a doctor, or some other high-earning, high-status professional, it was all over, as far as he was concerned. What a confidence booster during the end of the semester. Not that I am completely broken up by it: at this stage in my life, I'm used to it, and I am just irritated.

I have good friends, a super-supportive sister, a phenomenal husband, and a pretty understanding mom. All in all, life's pretty good.

back to the writing.

- posted by laurie @ 12/11/2002 01:33:00 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

 

When I have more time, I'll watch some of these features at the sync. Oddly enough, I know the people who rin this site, and some of the people that did shows - not well, through a mutual friend.

I have to go do some more work right now. I got two presentations out of the way today, but I still have three papers to go! Uh, the 19th is too far away, but simultaneously not far enough away! It will all be done, better or worse, on the 19th! Whoopee!

'Night.

- posted by laurie @ 12/10/2002 10:07:00 PM (0) comments

Monday, December 09, 2002

 

What I want right now is to listen to anything listed here: Official Mary Prankster Website

Mary. you rock!

- posted by laurie @ 12/09/2002 07:45:00 PM (0) comments

 

My email is on crack. Outlook keeps on telling me I have new mail when I don't. or reports eight new messages when I have three. ???

Other gripes: tagboard seems to be down for the count. grrr!

In better news, PT was better than I expected. I like the therapist - liked his more holistic approach to therapy, and his insistence on my understanding what he was doing/saying/reccommending, and why. His recommendations for exercises seemed reasonable, and he suggested I do the exercises until I began to feel signs of fatigue - said set numbers and rigorous schedules weren't his style. Well, they're not mine, either! Now I just have to out and buy one thing - a ball of some sort - he had me using what looked like a pint-sized foursquare ball for one exercise - place the ball between my palm and the wall and rotate. Reminded me very much of the Karate Kid - "wax on, wax off."

I have two presentations to work on and a lit review to write and rework. I'm working for a bit on my presentation then going to visit Eric at work and get paninni and maybe a soy latte *sigh* the new favorite form of caffeine. All the jolt, none of the bellyache, and even some good-for-you stuff in the soy milk. How cool would it be if coffee were good for you? Oh, I'd be in heaven (probably with an acid ulcer and the caffeine jitters, but hey!).

Can I nap before going to Barnes and Noble? No? Well, I thought I would ask, at least.

- posted by laurie @ 12/09/2002 04:18:00 PM (0) comments

 

Everybody's doing it - Clancy and Kara both wrote about it over the weekend, and I, too have now joined PhD Weblogs. All the cool grad students are doin' it! :)


*yawn* I did not get enough sleep last night, nor will I get enough sleep tonight. I have to head to physical therapy in like -1 minutes :) and I just hope I don't fall over!

Now my thumbs and my middle finger hurt. I use an ergonomic keyborad at home, too!

Man, did I have a bad dram last night! I dreamed about the death of someone I have not met, but who is close to someone I know. That's all I'm going to say about it. Anway, it was disturbing, but dream interpretation stuff usually takes dreams about death to be positive - portent of good luck, positive change, those kinds of things.

Ok, gotta run out the door. Toodles!

- posted by laurie @ 12/09/2002 06:34:00 AM (0) comments

Sunday, December 08, 2002

 

I got so very little done this weekend. I think I am going to have to cry soon. I suppose it will all get done, as it usually does, but it will, also as usual, be painful, stressful, and unnerving. My thumbs hurt (does that make any sense?) from typing. Too bad I ended up deleting a good portion of what I typed.

*yawn* I have got to hit the hay. Physical therapy starts tomorrow, then I have the last official day of Quantitative Methods, and then I need to discuss the fine details of my current standing in that class with the prof. After that, home to write more of the lit review, and to prepare two oral presentations for Tuesday.

Any takers on how many hours of sleep I'll get tomorrow night? If I was a betting person, I'd bet somewhere in the less-than-six-but-more-than-two range. But I'm not a betting person. I have never even purchased a lottery ticket in the course of my life, never been to Vegas, don't play bingo.

As stated before, happy thoughts, good vibes, friendly hugs are all being accepted and will be appreciated. If you, too, are being toppled by the end of the semester, or even by non-school stress, I will happily reciprocate.

n e e d t o s t o p t y p i n g - o u c h ! ! !

- posted by laurie @ 12/08/2002 10:55:00 PM (0) comments

 

I am not a sports fan in general, but my father's a USC alum, and so in honor of him, I post this: HoustonChronicle.com - Miami-Ohio State, Iowa-USC top bowl matchups. I'm glad they had a good season, and I'm sorry, for Dad's sake, that 'SC is not Rose Bowl bound this year!

- posted by laurie @ 12/08/2002 10:43:00 PM (0) comments

 

Add to xmas list: just about anything from here. Eric and I have been wanting a subscription to Adbusters for years! Adbusters: Orders

- posted by laurie @ 12/08/2002 11:59:00 AM (0) comments

 

What's your name in hieroglyphics? Mine's

find yours at http://www.upennmuseum.com/hieroglyphsreal.cgi

link from http://www.mydevweb.com/. The associational linking patterns for this one are a bit complicated. The simplified version: I got there from here, which I got to from here (which, by the way, is worth exploring even if you can't read - a lot of the design work is very nice!), all because I followed a link from the main page here.

That's how I spent my study break. See ya tomorrow!

- posted by laurie @ 12/08/2002 11:11:00 AM (0) comments

Saturday, December 07, 2002

 

Are you in Minnesota/ want to read the blogs of people in Minnesota? The Usual Noise has a list of MN bloggers on the sidebar - scroll dooown!

Nifty!

Associational linking credits: visited Kara's site, checked out Technorati, found that this site linked mine, found MN blogroll. Pretty nifty.

(hey, I'm doin' pretty badly at this no-blogging-until-semester-under-control thing still, aren't I?)

- posted by laurie @ 12/07/2002 08:42:00 PM (0) comments

 

BLOOPER - a blogger parody. Link also from http://wannabegirl.org/. Lots of good stuff there!

BTW, the scc or whatever in my last post is supposed to be CSS, as in cascading style sheets, but blogger's down so I can't change it at the moment. Disculpe!

- posted by laurie @ 12/07/2002 03:10:00 PM (0) comments

 

Hey, I am always complaining about redesigining, typos, and bad things about/improvements that need to be made to my blog. Well, it could be worse: my blog could look like this:



Mess up your blog at http://crazy.sytes.net/.
link from http://wannabegirl.org/, who's also got some cool scc stuff on her site - good ol' hugware. yay!

- posted by laurie @ 12/07/2002 03:00:00 PM (0) comments

 

Hey - just so y'all know - I think the panick attack/math-anxiety thing is over. I'm not going to lose it! I promise!

- posted by laurie @ 12/07/2002 12:33:00 PM (0) comments

Friday, December 06, 2002

 

Yep. Breaking down already on the no-blogging. But it's Friday AND I am stressed, stressed, and I need someplace to vent.

I just got my second exam back from the Quantitative Methods in Communication course I'm taking. I got a 90%. NOT good. Why? Well, because I did the math for my GPA for this semester. Basically, I have determined that I must get an A in this class. I HAVE TO. The prof does not do +/- grading, so basically, even if I get As in both of my other classes, if I get a B in the COMM class (80-89) I would end up with a 3.667 GPA. Not bad, right? Ok, maybe not in the overall scheme of things, but if I get less than a 3.75 I lose my fellowship, and then I have what amounts to no funding for next semester, and THEN we have serious issues (in addition to not being able to pay bills/rent, I'd lose 50% of my health insurance and tuition benefits. Peachy-keen, right?). On the flip side (and this just makes me ill to think about), if I happen to get an A- in each of the two classes I am taking within my own department, but I get an A in the COMM class, I get a 3.778 - *squeak* - which sets up the bad, bad incentive for me to crack hard on the quantitative methods and let the other two classes sliiide just a bit - which I really don't want to do, and don't really feel that I can afford to do, given that the instructors are people within my own department and field for whom I have great respect and with whom I want to continue good relationships. Yeek.

My grades on the two tests, each worth 30% (30 points) of the final, are 27 and 28.5. There's a cummulative final exam left to go - and the lowest grade of the three will be dropped - and a final project/paper. Question: Should I focus my efforts on the paper, and keep fingers crossed that I get a good grade on that, or should I divide my focus between getting the paper done solidly and studying for the cummulative final, in hopes of getting somewhere in the 28-30 range?

My knee-jerk reaction is to concentrate on the paper. IF I get the full 10 hw/participation points (which according to the syllabus is an all-or-nothing thing) - plus I have some amount of extra credit for participating in research (I did a survey for a study), which is "up to two points on the final average" - then, according to my trusty calculator, I need a C or better (somewhere in the 22ish out of 30 range, depending on the value of the x-credit) on the paper to get a 90, hence an A. But what if I fudge up my statistical analysis on the paper, or write up my findings in some unacceptable way, and end up bombing the paper?

Put this together with the wonderful fact that I have two other major projects due in the near future - 12-15 page (single-spaced, so, 24-30, really) literature review with associated presentation all due on Tuesday, plus a research proposal with associated presentation (presentation for this one also Tuesday, through my own poor planning and lack of foresight) - though the proposal itself in hard-copy format is not due until the 16th. THEN the COMM final, should I choose to take it, on the 18th, and the COMM paper due the next day. Oh, yeah, and I start physical therapy on Monday. Like I've got time for THAT crap.

Shit. By the way, if you're in grad school/considering grad school: if your friends, colleagues, advisors, etc. tell you NOT to take four classes in one semester, um, listen to them. Your life will be easier and a hell of a lot less stressful.

Other than laying off the caffeine and deep-breathing (and not wasting time blogging), anyone have ideas, recommendations, suggestions? I'm open! Please help! Oh, and any good thoughts/good vibes/friendly, supportive hugs you want to send my way will be much appreciated.

I think I am going to go deep-breathe for a while - exercise (good stress-reliever and mood-booster) - drink some tea - head to the library.

I am SO GOOD at making my life as stressful as humanly possible. Gotta quit. Not healthy!

- posted by laurie @ 12/06/2002 01:51:00 PM (0) comments

Thursday, December 05, 2002

 

I'm serious this time. I am taking a break from the blog, from AIM, from social activity and anything approaching a life outside of classes until I can get this semester under control and under wraps.

See you on the flip side!

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 09:24:00 PM (0) comments

 

Went to Perkin's. Sat in smoking section, drank decaf, and ate a yummy turkey omelette. I read, too. And got to smoke without freezing my butt off.

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 09:22:00 PM (0) comments

 

Ah! I found the post I was looking for! I wanted the link to Image Cafe, because I still haven't sent the e-engagement card I was writing about a few days ago, mainly because most of the ones I found were simply not appropriate. So, I wanted this link because the site has some absolutely beautiful photos that can be trsnformed into e-cards. Maybe I'll send roses or something like that - better than a Yahoo! animated, "so, you've decided to walk down the plank . . ." pirate-themed thing, or something even tackier.

Now, I am off to work. I'm starving and want nothing more than to head to Perkin's for the smoking section, a cup o' coffee, and a nice chicken tenders dinner (with a book in hand, of course!), but I think I will meet with resistance from Eric, who just did his own check-by-phone payment. Well, at least the electricity won't be cut off! I'm bad about paying bills on time, but he's bad about paying them before people call or the pink-and-red, "we might have to send you to collections" letter comes in the mail. I think we collectively are getting better about this, though. We were just so broke in State College that we never paid bills because we never had money. We paid rent and got groceries. That's about it. Anyway, now that we're relatively financially solvent, we need to develop habits that will help get our credit out of the crapper!

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 05:44:00 PM (0) comments

 

OK, added the site/web search thingee. It seems to sporadically make my template go haywire. It is also just another piece of only semi-useful junk shoved into the right-content box of my blog. I reeeeely need to clean stuff up, maybe work out a three-column layout. We'll see if the search thing is useful or not - I wanted it more for me, because I occasionally write stuff I'd like to find later, and end up wasting a lot of time searching the archives. But I just tried, and can't find what I wanted to anyway. Meh.

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 05:29:00 PM (0) comments

 

Not sure what to say about this - Blogging as Cubism - part of Mark Phillips' Pages: Blog.

It's an interesting appraoch to blog-related projects. Seems to be a pretty well-read site, well-rated on bloghop, and well-thought-out. Worth a browse.

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 04:59:00 PM (0) comments

 

What does your name mean? Here's what one source says about mine:
Zodiacal Zephyr: Acrophonology NAME ANALYSIS FOR: Laurie Ann Johnson

Laurie:
You are fair-minded sometimes to the point of being opinionated. You have a strong need to be loved and appreciated. You have much enthusiasm with a driving attitude toward achievement in life. You are soft-hearted with a charitable nature. You enjoy a challenge. You can take thought-directed actions. You are relatively demonstrative in your affections. You enjoy being stroked verbally and physically. You can be quite inventive and quite curious.

Ann:
You have much enthusiasm with a driving attitude toward achievement in life. You can handle details well. You have a methodical mind. You must learn to give 'wise' service and not be a martyr.

Johnson:
You have a love of travel and adventure, and you enjoy sports. You also have a very strong sense of fair play and want justice. You have a great deal of loyalty to those you love. You have much inner strength. You work hard to achieve material success through your own efforts. You must learn to give 'wise' service and not be a martyr. You try to be prudent. You have good business acumen. You need to learn flexibility.

Out of curiosity (because, as a married woman who changed my name, I always wonder about whether 'full name' on these things is legal, given, assumed, whatever), I put in my maiden name.

Farmer:
You have an aptitude for dealing with the public. You would do well in entertainment and politics. You feel secure in group endeavors. You have a need to be up front. You have a lack of confidence in your mental abilities and do not like being forced into giving your opinion. You are always involved with projects and things to do. You need to learn to be expressive. You are a person who cannot tolerate being misunderstood.

The first and the middle seem to be pretty on-target, but I am not sure if the married or the maiden last name, if either, is more accurate. They both seem to be off on some things - like the good business acumen (hello? oh, I didn't pay this month? check by phone? I guess so . . . ) and security in group endeavors - I think working in a group is great, but I honestly prefer to work alone on most things.

BTW: If you didn't know what my birth name was before, you do now. Please, please don't laugh, ok? Elementary school was hard enough. A little, shy, skinny, freckle-faced tomboy (always with messy hair, usually on the grubby side, and hardly ever wearing the "right" thing) with the last name "Farmer" is an easy target. Changing my name when I got married wasn't because I'm not feminist (friends and readers: you know this isn't the case at all!) or because I was bowing to the powers of a patriarchal society where I am given by father to husband through the marriage contract or some such crap - I changed my name because I hated my maiden name. I planned all my life to do so. Of course, my kind-hearted friends and coworkers instantly pointed out, after I got engaged, that hypenating to "Farmer-Johnson" would be a really good idea. Yeah, maybe for those who wanted the surname-associated torture to last my entire life, sure. Thanks, I'm happy being a semi-anonymous Johnson adrift on the sea of Johnsons here in Minnesota. Suits me just fine!

Oh, by the way, associational linking creadits for this go to: whoever linked to memex from the ad on littlelioness.net and made it show up in my stats, and to http://littlelioness.net/, from whose site I got to http://drunken.azn-bish.com/, where the name analysis site was linked.

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 04:09:00 PM (0) comments

 

Hmm, I'm back from class and have been playing around with my site meter. I think it's working now, not returning javascript errors, and displaying the way I want (though I may have to change the colors - I really like orange but it looks funky with the rotating colors of my template). Now all I really want to add to this specific page is maybe a "search" function - anyone have recommendations for a good, free site search tool? Then this page would have most of the stuff I want on it - at least in the way of free goodies.

Then all I have to do is go about redesigning the page, tearing down everything I have done and rebuilding it. At this point, I *might* consider moving to another app/hotsing solution, though I did pay for ad-free hosting here, and I should use it.

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 03:25:00 PM (0) comments

 

And yet again, I wrote up a post, hit 'publish' and had blogger freak out on me. Ironically, I was linking to an article that was discussing the 20 worst of the web for this year, and blogger was on that list!

I'm out the door for class.

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 12:25:00 PM (0) comments

 

So, everyone's posting Christmas wish lists on blogs all over the place. Maybe I should follow suit? Or maybe not - Eric and I don't really celebrate Christmas, mainly because we aren't particularly enamored of organized religion as a whole, and it seems a little silly to celebrate Christmas if you don't really affiliate yourself with Christianity. Just my/our perspective. Of course, the holiday season is about more than Christmas, and it is nice to participate in the sharing of happines, joy, compassion for others, etc that goes on at this time of year (although the last time I went to visit Eric at work in the Mall of Americas, it was really disturbing to see how many holiday shoppers were not sharing any of the above sentiments - they were grouchy, rude, nasty - hardly anyone was smiling). And it's always nice to get and give stuff. So . . . in no particular order . . .

My Wish List

1. A bigger memory card for my digital camera.
2. A router, so I can split my current broadband connection between the desktop pc and the laptop mac.
3. books. if they are about technology and cuture, fairy tales, peer-to-peer, or intellectual property, I'll read them.
4. a new power cord for my printer. it's sitting on my desk with no power source - really useful.
5. a scanner.
6. bedclothes - need new bedspread, sheets, etc. preferably in some pattern that will show minimal amounts of kitty hair from our two tri-colored monsters.
7. software of various types - including a new OS for the desktop. Windows ME bites the big one, especially if the computer running ME is using a non-intel chip. also would be cool to have a graphics/imaging software package of some type.
8. An appointment with a massage therapist. Physical therapy may be good for my shoulder, but I think a massage would be good for body and soul!
9. Scrabble. The set I have now is older than me and is missing tiles.
10. Duckie bathroom stuff from Target. I've got the toothbrush holder and shower curtain, but wouldn't mind some of the other duckie-themed accessories.
11. Other duckie stuff - rubber duckies, stuffed animals, candles, watever.
12. Sparkly things. Preferably of the silver sparkly or irridescent sparkly variety.
13. They Might Be Giants stuff: new releases I don't have, old releases I don't have/have managed to lose, t-shirts, just about anything. More than anything I want to get something autographed by both Johns (hey, this is a WISH LIST!), even though I know this is highly, highly unlikely.

(the last four on the list represent my silly obsessions: They Might Be Giants, anything sparkly/shiny or ducky - though I prefer cute yellow ducks, with which I have been moderately obsessed since, wow, junior high school. might as well say forever! come to think of it, I've been obsessed with TMBG for about the same length of time.)

I also have a lot of intangible things I'd like. Here's a few: I'd like to keep in touch with friends, I'd like to get good grades (hey, Santa! That's the biggie!), and so on.

And finally, I'd like a lot of things for other people.

I'd like for my mom to have a phone that worked well and reliably, since it is her main source of contact with the outside world (in a world where I was more financially secure, I'd be wishing for a souped-up, voice-activated, internet-connected computer for her, but the phone's a more reasonable and more feasible wish).
I'd like for certain members of my family, and some friends, as well, to have to concern themselves less with financial details. Being poor and in debt sucks, as a lot of us know all too well!
I'd like for Eric to have a good job where he was respected and appreciated.

I'm waxing cheesy, so I'll quit here before I start spouting off about the fuzzy intangibles I wish I could give everyone during this holiday season. I'm such a sap sometimes!

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 11:43:00 AM (1) comments

 

I'm currently plowing through The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman (for the literature review on metaphor and interculutral communication). It's an accessible, thoughtful discussion of globalization, but also very disturbing, in many ways. I don't know about you all, but I am disturbed by the idea that governments, corporations, and what he calls "super-empowered individuals" are all converging, as far as their behaviors go. He doesn't mention it (or hasn't yet, anyway), but the university is also in this group of entities that are increasingly functioning more like businesses. Personally, I think that universities and governments have different mandates and social functions than corporations, and that it should be of great concern that they are expected to function like multinational businesses in the era of globalization.

Friedman also has interesting insights on the homogenization of business, culture, and government. He repeatedly notes that, in order to be competitive, institutions and businesses have to function under the same protocols and standards. Contrast this to some of the articles in Charles Ess's Technology and Culture and in Kolko and Nakamura's Race in Cyberspace, where authors argue that the Internet and communications technologies can do as much to preserve local culture as they can to homogenize global culture. It's all very complex, and a little confusing.

I am glad I have gotten around to reading Friedman. His perspective and his insight into the world of commerce is useful, and I have generally not looked into these areas too much - I have focused mainly on literary theory, cultural studies, and intercultural communication. Friedman brings a different perspective to my work, and it is, again, yet another argument for an interdisciplinary approach to communication and technology issues. Reading Friedman along with/against people such as Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Raul Homero Villa is challenging - there's a little bit of cognitive dissonance going on in my brain right now - but is also useful.

Back to the book, and to the rest of my reading list! The next week and a half are truly going to be hell. Fast-paced, reading-and-writing intensive hell.

- posted by laurie @ 12/05/2002 10:44:00 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

 

So, it's snowing here. Eric looks out the window and says, "yeah, it's still snowing."
I say: "Oh no! Am I going to be late for class?"
Eric looks at me and deadpans: "Yeah, but I don't think the snow will have anything to do with it."

Speaking of which: need to shower and get dressed and be in the car by 1:00. Uh, it might happen!

- posted by laurie @ 12/04/2002 10:35:00 AM (0) comments

 

And once again, I tried to tweak my blog, and I'm now getting errors. This time they are javascript errors. Maybe adding the site meter wasn't such a great idea.

- posted by laurie @ 12/04/2002 10:29:00 AM (0) comments

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

 

Hi advertising.
Well, if I advertise other people's blogs for free, they will advertise mine for free. Good deal, no?

Check it out! Honestly, free ads for your very own blog!

- posted by laurie @ 12/03/2002 11:16:00 PM (0) comments

 

By the way, I have decided that Jessica has come up with the coolest blog name ever!

- posted by laurie @ 12/03/2002 10:46:00 PM (0) comments

 

Hey! I just added to my blogroll! Jessica's got a blog! Check it out: Pianissimo

Now if I could only get Rafi to blog (most recent in the "harassing Rafi" installment of posts), I'd be happy!

- posted by laurie @ 12/03/2002 08:55:00 PM (0) comments

 

[A Selfish Plea]

Hey! Hey! Can I make a request? I currently have only 7 votes on bloghop.com, but, even with the one meanie who gave me a one, I am at an 83%. IF only eight more people rate this blog, and if I stay at the same ranking level, I'll be pretty high in the "best" listing on the site. So . . .
well, if you have already rated this blog, I'll not ask you to vote again, because that would be dishonest and crappy of me - but if you haven't, if you could scroll on down, look for the "rate me on bloghop.com" graphic (in the right column), and click on the number you think this blog deserves . . . well, I'd appreciate it.

Oh, and for the record, I'm really not asking people to give me fives and boost me unfairly on the rankings. Be honest, ok?

[/Selfish Plea]

- posted by laurie @ 12/03/2002 08:39:00 PM (0) comments

 

Evening all! I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who has linked to me/emailed me about this site/left a tag or comment. It really does mean a lot!

I had a conversation this evening with a non-blogger about why I blog. I tried to explain to him why I blog, and I had more trouble than I though I would. I originally started my first blog (still hosted on blogger, but not currently maintained - it originally had a cooler template before the blogger hack, when my template file disappeared) for purely academic purposes. I had troubles publishing to that one, so I started this one - again, ostensibly for academic reasons, but this blog has become more, much more, than I expected. I blog for interaction, I blog for me, for my readers, for procrastination, for self-expression, for so many other reasons (hey Clancy, want to know why I blog? I think I just summed most of it up there! ;) ).

For so long, I knew that no one read my blog but me, but that has changed lately. Somewhere in the last two months or so, I gained readers. It is both gratifying and nerve-wracking to know that people read what I write. Kara asked me to start pinging weblogs.com so she knew when I update - really cool (thanks, Kara!) but, again, a little disconcerting. Even though this blog started out as an academic project, it has really become a place for me to spout off about things academic and personal in a non-academic voice. Who wants to read my rambling and rants? I tried to get distant friends into reading my blog, but so far, I have struck out! They were the only ones I could think of that might be interested in my content.

Even though I am getting a Ph.D and am perfectly capable of writing incomprehensible, theoretical, dense prose (want proof? go to my cyberculture site and read the papers posted there - but PLEASE!!! if you want to use any of this anywhere, let me know - I am still working on this stuff, and in the IP/copyright-happy world we [academics/aspiring academics] live in, my ideas are my capital and my future), this site is a place for me to say things like, "meh. whatever," or "awesome! that rocked!" and not feel guilty about being lowbrow, sounding uneducated, or whatever.

Anyway, I guess that part of the reason I had a hard time justifying "why I blog" is also related to my reaction when I found out that someone gave me a ranking of one on bloghop.com: my blog is strongly linked to my identity, It is uncomfortable (but not necessarily bad) when someone questions or critiques my identity. And now I could go on to a whole post about identity politics, women and indentity, and so forth, but I don't feel like it. And since this is my blog, my space, my online home, in many ways, I just won't go there! I don't have to justify what I put here - it's like my typo post - what's here is here, deal. If you like it, I am happy. If you don't, well, to some extent, I feel bad, but really, this is my space, and if you don't like what I say, then too bad.

Ok, I have degenerated into completete rant. Sorry. This started out as a thank-you, and I'd like to end it on the same note: it is so cool that people like what I write, what I have to say. I have a bit of an inferiority complex in general, so even though I may rant, I really do appreciate the feedback here.

- posted by laurie @ 12/03/2002 07:35:00 PM (0) comments

 

What to blog when you've got nothing good to blog about?
Another Googlism post:

Googlism for: rhetoric

rhetoric is back
rhetoric is beginning to wear thin
rhetoric is nice
rhetoric is belied by
rhetoric is not a will
rhetoric is it doesn't stop
rhetoric is dead?
rhetoric is
rhetoric is straining korean peace
rhetoric is misleading
rhetoric is the theory of persuasive
rhetoric is a poor
rhetoric is not "womens rhetoric"
rhetoric is scaring europe
rhetoric is risky
rhetoric is the medium
rhetoric is commonly defined as "the art of using language to
rhetoric is no solution
rhetoric is back by hans bergmann
rhetoric is not enough by janine zacharia
rhetoric is cause for concern 02/28/02
rhetoric is beginning to wear thin nick gage
rhetoric is the counterpart of cookery
rhetoric is often defined as the theory
rhetoric is belied by its policy actions
rhetoric is it doesn't stop even after you turn it off
rhetoric is something like the "art of persuasion
rhetoric is "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion
rhetoric is overblown
rhetoric is meeting reality" you've heard the talk before
rhetoric is obscured by many different interpretations and opinions on the subject
rhetoric is most often used for selfish reasons
rhetoric is the theory of persuasive communication
rhetoric is exclusive
rhetoric is out of control
rhetoric is a poor substitute for action
rhetoric is persuasiveness
rhetoric is rooted in contexts
rhetoric is not "womens rhetoric"
rhetoric is and why it is important
rhetoric is automatically manipulative and false; it means that the world of human affairs simply does not involve the sort of absolute
rhetoric is the study of the strategies of using words to accomplish a purpose
rhetoric is the study of effective speaking and writing
rhetoric is made apparent
rhetoric is not enough
rhetoric is a mere "skill"
rhetoric is the art of discovering all the available means of persuasion in any given case
rhetoric is about persuasion
rhetoric is an art to set forth by utterance of words
rhetoric is and what
rhetoric is concerned with the state of babel after the fall
rhetoric is risky jonathan wright
rhetoric is a mode of establishing a medium between the material and the audience
rhetoric is over
rhetoric is doubly disturbing
rhetoric is commonly defined as "the art of using language to persuade or influence others"
rhetoric is about persuasive speech
rhetoric is considered to be about a certain ability to talk and write
rhetoric is "finding the available means of persuasion
rhetoric is thousands of years old and its contributors deserve to be recognized
rhetoric is "the faculty of observing in a given case the available means of persuasion
rhetoric is all about
rhetoric is too simplistic to believe chavez frias is doing what his heart tells him to do for the majority of the people of venezuela vheadline
rhetoric is the economics
rhetoric is difficult to describe succinctly because it was not his primary concern
rhetoric is necessary for successful literature
rhetoric is thus to learn how to adjust any act of communication to the actual situation
rhetoric is the manual to be checked
rhetoric is thus not limited to any particular discipline; as a method of analysis
rhetoric is terms of tolerance
rhetoric is a way of communicating through symbols that assume a variety of forms
rhetoric is a study of the way political parties present their messages to voters in national elections
rhetoric is not a particularly difficult subject; but however you see it
rhetoric is described as an experience of making a sort of delight and gratification
rhetoric is one of the three original liberal arts
rhetoric is one of the tools of their trade
rhetoric is a vice of manner
rhetoric is practised as a method to develop the communicative and social capacity of students as well as the ability to analyse political and social issues
rhetoric is or how
rhetoric is based on layout
rhetoric is significant
rhetoric is necessary and even
rhetoric is arguably one of the oldest disciplines in the world
rhetoric is defined as the art or study of using language effectively and persuasively
rhetoric is the counterpart of dialectic
rhetoric is integrally involved with political philosophy and practice
rhetoric is in some sense almost magical
rhetoric is so old and has been used in so many ways that it is difficult to define
rhetoric is manipulation or a respectable academic discipline/art is a question going back to the golden age of greece
rhetoric is "the ability
rhetoric is an approach to language us as an action
rhetoric is the idea that words are powerful tools in the art of persuading the human soul
rhetoric is both much more complicated than this
rhetoric is a way of reading the endless discursive debris that surrounds us
rhetoric is not evil
rhetoric is manifest in settings ranging from the professional to the political
rhetoric is the rhetoric of dissatisfaction
rhetoric is oratory

- posted by laurie @ 12/03/2002 11:46:00 AM (0) comments

 

A quote from Musings from the Underground - Jay: "here I am, sitting on the dark side of the moon, drinking diet coke, and dreaming of fractals."

Just struck me. It's such an encapsulated image.

Words are wonderful. THe ability to do interesting things with them is a gift.

- posted by laurie @ 12/03/2002 11:31:00 AM (0) comments

 

[gripe]

What is the deal with parking at the U? I entered the online lottery for parking last night. The lottery runs from December 2 to December 11, and entrants are notifed on the 12th as to the status of their applications. What does one win in this lottery? The right to pay anywhere from $108.00 to almost $500.00 to park in a certain lot for a semester. The losers get something, too: a place on the waiting list for all their selected parking lost and the possibility of being notified if and when a space becomes available.

This system is insane. This is the third large state university at which I have been a student, and the second Big Ten institution. Parking at Maryland and at Penn State was a problem, don't get me wrong, but the rates were reasonable! I'm sure rates at MD have gone up, but I paid less than $100.00 for a year-long lot tag. Penn State was in the same neighborhood (I didn't ever get one there, but I did investigate). At MD, there were lotteries for *prime* lot space, but generally, students could apply in person or via the phone registration system (I think by the time I was leaving they had also instituted a web-based application form). Lots were assigned based on credit level and class standing, as well as on/off-campus living situations. It was harder to get a space if you lived on campus, but this does kind of make sense. Anyway, the point is, as long as you weren't a freshman (for whom the system is just really bad), and you applied early enough, you would get a permit. Given the options, too, of phone, web, or in-person application, the whole process was fairly accessible.

The price is not the only thing about U parking that makes no sense: the lots and ramps on campus are both permit and public: I often park in the Fairgrounds lot on the St Paul campus. This lot has a small section devoted to permit parking. Another small portion of the lot is reserved (in the morning) for carpoolers, who get a reduced daily rate if they arrive during morning hours. The greatest part of this lot, by far, however, is daily-rate: $3.25 to park in the lot per day. Of course, there are also more expensive day lots (the one by Continuing Ed on the St Paul campus is $5.00 per day) or the always-closer-and-therefore-way-more-expensive garages. $5.00 for 1-2 hours just seems excessive for a garage. It is nice that the garages cap out at a $12.00/day max, but even then! Too much money!

Why aren't more spaces made available for permit parking? Wouldn't it be better for students (and staff, who go through a similar procedure, from what I gather - at least they have the waiting-list thing, too) to know that they had a parking space guaranteed? It's not like the U isn't making money off of the high semester parking rates, but then again, the daily and hourly lots do make more money.

The U does offer the convenient alternative of the U-pass: $50.00 for a bus pass for the semester. This is a good deal, I admit, but for me, taking the bus would be a great big pain - way more trouble than it's worth. For those of us living in the 'burbs, the bus is a time-suck. It takes me 15-20 minutes to drive to the St Paul campus, and about 20-25 minutes to get to the East Bank. Compare that to over an hour to the East Bank on the bus, and about an hour and a half to St Paul.

Come on, we're college students/graduate students: many of us have limited incomes and tight schedules (work commitments, a lot of classwork). Give us a break!

[/gripe]

- posted by laurie @ 12/03/2002 11:11:00 AM (0) comments

Monday, December 02, 2002

 

More random reporting: my Penn State email still works. I have 84 new emails! When, I wonder, will they turn the email off? I haven't been a teacher or a student there since July.

I'll be more upset when my web page goes. I have all the files backed up, but what I really need to do is create a new site for UMN and stuff going on here. I need time to give myslef some mini web-design projects: blog needs overhaul, need new web page, and so on.

- posted by laurie @ 12/02/2002 11:11:00 PM (0) comments

 

So - inspired by the need to procrastinate, a girl's-night-out conversation that involved googling random people from your past, and a link to the Tom Tomorrow site on some blog I got to from the links on some blog I was reading (see? associational linking - this is somewhat on target as far as my site description goes), I decided to see if I could find an old boyfriend from my high school days. This is going waaaay back - dated him when I was sixteen.

Just curious, you know? What people have been up to, how life changes over the years, all of that.

Not 100% sure it's the same person, but I am pretty sure I found him - or at least a site for a zine run by him (?). Appears it hasn't been updated in a while.

Kinda cool, what one can dig up on google!

- posted by laurie @ 12/02/2002 09:54:00 PM (0) comments

 

I'm waiting for my webmail inblox page to load here on campus, and thought I'd throw out a little post while waiiiiiiting for the interminable page load - I just cleaned out my mailbox so it wouldn't do this anymore, for pete's sake!

Nothing really to say - except that it is sooo cold here and I had to wait for three shuttle busses to pass me by before I got aggressive enough to shove my way onto a bus (and, ok, there weren't that many people left anyway).

The only other thing: I am considering taking a blogcation until the end of the semester. I gotta get the papers done, and blogging just isn't helping.

- posted by laurie @ 12/02/2002 01:18:00 PM (0) comments

 

Ummm - by the way - I was looking over that last post - I sound positively geriatric. Swear I'm 26. OK, I am coming up on 27 but puh-leeze (and I hate putting that inflection on the word but it's how I feel).

I actually just asked the doctor: "So, my Dad wants to take me on a motorcycle trip when I go to visit him for vacation, but I am concerned that, what with the back and soulder, it may not be a good idea, so I told him I would ask when I came in for the MRI results."

What's wrong with this? Maybe that I am 26 and my Dad is - well, he's over 60, 'nuff said. And here am I, asking the doctor to clear me for a road-trip - seems ass-backwards to me. Ok, enough about how I am a weenie. I have better things to be doing - like sending an engagement e-card to friedns from Penn State. Another couple decided to walk the plank! Hope they have as much fun being married as Eric and I do! (btw, no sarcasm intended, there: being happily partnered with a wonderful, loving, goofy individual is, hands down, the best thing about my life)

- posted by laurie @ 12/02/2002 10:03:00 AM (0) comments

 

Medical update: My MRI came back looking good - no obvious tears or rotator cuff damage. This is mostly good - I say mostly because it means no trips to the orthopedist, and no surgery, but what it does mean is intensive physical therapy. At least a month's worth of hands-on work with a therapist, twice a week, beginning one week from today (and who knows how much in-home, daily work I'll be doing - that plus the aerobic exercise I have been tryong to stick with, and I will be working out for hours each day). Ugh - I really do not have time for this at the very end of the semester! And then winter break gets in the way - I hadn't planned to spend my winter break in PT (in fact, I hadn't planned to spend my break in this state, for the most part). No fun! No fun!

Also weird is the fact that I have all of this shoulder and associated back pain, but I haven't ever really injured myself - I mean, I have strained muscles trying to be a badass and move large pieces of furniture by myself (an apartment with three women - my sis in sixth grade, my mom (who is disabled), and me at eighteen: who do you think got to lift/move the heavy things? If you guessed me, you'd be correct. Laurie: the unofficial "man" of the house.). I also tried to outdo everyone in the "how much can you carry on one tray" competition when I waited tables, But that really doesn't account for the kinds of problems I am having, according to medical experts.

So what caused all of this? Apparently, I am flexible, stuff in my shoulder/back is loose, and I have very little muscle mass to support all of my stupid loose joints. So, it's going to be upper body/abdominall/lower back strengthening and conditioning for me. I actually had an earlier problem with my left hip - kept popping in and out of joint, and the NP I saw for that said a very similar thing: too much loosness, probably some (irreversible) stretching in the ligament, basically nothing that can be done for it. Of course, the doctor I saw today did say that, should therapy fail to address my concerns, an orthopedist may reccoment elective surgery to go in and tighten things up - but this is really not a great option.

And here I thought flexibility was a good thing.

- posted by laurie @ 12/02/2002 09:02:00 AM (0) comments

 

Ugh. Today's forecast: high of 19 and a low 0. Current conditions: Feels like -2. Whether or not I look like a great silly goofball, I'm digging out the down!

Now to go throw on clothes and scrape the car - all in order to get to yet another AM doctor's appointment. Why is it that Boynton never has any appointments at, say, 2:30? 3:00? AFTER my 1:25 - 2:15 class, instead of before? Huh?

Oh, crap. I am going to be late again. Perpetual condition. But need more coffee before facing cold.

- posted by laurie @ 12/02/2002 06:16:00 AM (0) comments

Sunday, December 01, 2002

 

Want to expand your blog-reading? Check out this link to NetRing: Mi Diario. This is the member listings page for the ring - I'm not joining because I don't blog in Spanish, but I do read Spanish, and it's nice to get outside of the anglophone web whenever possible!

- posted by laurie @ 12/01/2002 01:05:00 PM (0) comments

 

In the spirit of procrastination and anticipation of the second LOTR movie, as well as a part of the neverending quest for a screen name which I can use that is not formally associated with my name and which I like, I played around with the Middle-earth Name Generator today. I knew it - I'm an elf! Here's what the name generator said:

According to the Red Book of Westmarch,
In Middle-earth, Laurie Ann Johnson was a
Sad Teleri


Elven Name Possibilities for Laurie Ann Johnson
The root name suitable for feminine and masculine is:
Araros
Another masculine version is:
Ararosion
More feminine versions are:
Ararosiel
Ararosien
Araroswen


Hobbit lad name for Laurie Ann Johnson
Nick Baker from Buckland
Hobbit lass name for Laurie Ann Johnson
Myrtle Baker from Buckland


Dwarven Name for Laurie Ann Johnson
Serin Marblearmour
This name is for both genders.


Orkish Name for Laurie Ann Johnson
Golrat the Slaughterer
This name is for both genders.


I kind of like the first elvin name, but I don't think I'd use it as a screen/login name. Guess I'll have to keep looking.

- posted by laurie @ 12/01/2002 12:28:00 PM (0) comments