17 November 2007

Holiday Intervention

I think, this year, when I'm home for the holidays, I might ask the cute-guy-two-doors-down out for coffee or lunch or something. We haven't really talked since we were kids. We know each other in passing, enough to say hi, but not enough to keep in touch (at all).

It's probably silly, and a little insane. And he might not even be home for the hols, but I just want to have a chance to hang out with him. How silly is that?



Any opinions, readers?

Perhaps this is a way to distract me from current issues. And who knows? Maybe he and I will have stuff in common.

14 November 2007


So, I'm reading along on one of my new-fave blogs (The Brit Girl) and I come across her posts on an article entitled "That Was No 'Accident'."

A few things came to mind while reading this article. 1. Holy fuck. Women need to get over themselves. 2. One of my favorite shows, Coupling, deals with a woman trying for a baby without letting her long-term boyfriend know. (Granted, he doesn't seem upset by the idea, he just didn't know they were trying.)

But this passage really ticked me off.

"A lot of us feel like it's not even really fair that men should get to vote, considering they could be 72 and, with a little Viagra, have another baby," says Vicki Iovine, author of The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy. "For us women, it's really a limited window. We know that boys who grow up to become men don't necessarily want to be men. They like to be boys. And so women say, 'You know what? He's gonna just have to snap out of it—and my pregnancy will be the thing to do it.'" The end, says Iovine, sometimes justifies the means. "Any guy with a heart and soul, and preferably with a job, once he sees the baby on the sonogram or hears the heartbeat, will melt," she says.


While it's not rape, in many ways, it's got a lot of the same power-play and manipulation aspects. (Oh, I'm gonna be flamed for that statement!) It's the woman saying, "It's all about what *I* want, what *you* want doesn't matter."

How many women would flip their shit if their SO had that attitude? Actually, let me rewind and address that passage piece by piece.

"A lot of us feel like it's not even really fair that men should get to vote, considering they could be 72 and, with a little Viagra, have another baby," says Vicki Iovine, author of The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy.
Where to start with what's wrong with that statement. Okay, if you're going to "oops" a guy, or more directly, trick and manipulate him into a pregnancy, you are (according to most US laws) requiring him to conribute to the financial upkeep of the child (that he may or may not have wanted, but you didn't bother talking to the man) for 18 to 21 to 25 years.

As for the "72 and with a little Viagra..." statement, then go find a man who's 72 and has some Viagra. If that's the age that the man wants to become a father. Or, better yet, go to a sperm bank.

For us women, it's really a limited window. We know that boys who grow
up to become men don't necessarily want to be men. They like to be
boys. And so women say, 'You know what? He's gonna just have to snap
out of it—and my pregnancy will be the thing to do it.'"
Okay, yes. Women are biologically fertile for a shorter time than men are. While this must be frustrating to some women, perhaps the reality is not the duration of fertility, but the maturity of men. Blame the previous generation for raising males who are not fully-formed emotionally by adulthood. "Forcing" a man to grow up is dumb, cruel, and, to be quite honest, damaging. How many men that have been oopsed are hesitant to ever fully trust a woman again? You women that are complaining how there are no good men? Blame the permissive "sisterhood" that some of you seem to rally around. Good men are out there, but apparently there's a trick to finding them prior to another woman doing a number on them. (Okay, perhaps I'm single-bitter, but honestly? I'm tired of hearing how decent guys are screwed over by needy women.)

If you want a man, date a man. Don't date a boy.

The end, says Iovine, sometimes justifies the means. "Any guy with a
heart and soul, and preferably with a job, once he sees the baby on the
sonogram or hears the heartbeat, will melt," she says.

Really? So, a guy who absolutely does not want children is heartless and soulless? Or it's okay if the guy is on the fence and gets "nudged" (their words, sure as hell not mine) if he has a job, because then it's great that he falls in love with the little tadpole? What happens if the guy doesn't change his mind? Well, that's okay, because he's still on the hook as far as financial support goes. I mean, that's all that really matters, isn't it?

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm on the fence leaning toward no on the kids front. I cannot see myself being pregnant or ever having kids. I'm not getting sterilized yet because I'm not 100% against having kids, I just can't see it at this point in my life. The one thing I'm fully aware of is that the only constant in life is change. I am, however, looking into an IUD. 10 years of birth control without having to worry about taking it at the same time every day or whatnot is nice. Add into that the double-duty aspect of IUD + Condom = no unintended visitors.

I guess what I really don't understand is two things.

1. Why don't these women communicate with their partners? Of course, the idea of the answer being "no" sucks, but better to realize that your partner isn't the right person for you than to trap them (and yourself) into a relationship that they didn't want.
2. Why don't these women find men that want what they want? Life is so much easier with someone that's walking down the same path as you. And honestly? It's easier still to walk alone than it is to walk with someone that's not on the same path as you.

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13 November 2007

Bad taste knitting joke... I loved it.

Three women were in the waiting room of a gynocologist, and each of them was knitting a sweater for their baby-to-be. The first one stopped and took a pill. "What was that?" the others asked her. "Oh, it was Vitamin C - I want my baby to be healthy." A few minutes later, another woman took a pill. "What was that?" the others asked. "Oh, it was iron - I want my baby to be big and strong." They continued knitting. Finally the third woman took a pill. "What was that?" the others asked her. "It was thalidomide," she said, "I just can't get the arms right on this sweater!"

10 November 2007

T-minus 6 months

I love traveling. I really do. I hate packing and flying places, but I like it when I'm there.

Even though my trip to the UK is going to be very backpacker, but I'm not 20 anymore and there's only so much of the hostel adventure that I can take without some level of luxury. Time to toss out the ol' link list again.

  • I need to find my backpack from my Australia trip. I'm pretty sure it's at the paternal household.
  • Dream Sack - a good alternative or solution for the sheets in the hostel. The last thing I need while traveling is an allergic reaction to washing powder.
  • GorillaPod - this will allow me to take decent photos (in theory) without having to haul around a seperate proper tripod.
  • Eye shades. I *wish* I had these when I was in Sydney. Great for naps and those annoying early morning risers that turn on the lights.
  • Compressable pillow. Again, allergic reactions bad. And I can also sleep with this pillow for a week or two before I travel and see if it'll work for me.
  • Luggage handle wraps. Jesus, people. I would love to see a choice other than black, red, or FLORAL! print. Until that happens, I need to attempt to identify my black luggage among all the other black luggage.
  • A neck pouch or a waist pouch for doing the traveling-money-thing.
  • I also need to get/find lightweight wrinkle-free clothing. Two pair of pants, a skirt or dress, and I'm sure other things.
And, in theory, I should be able to live on 3700 cubic inches for six weeks. Now I go make coffee and eat before I go insane.

05 November 2007

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Though, I prefer V for Vendetta. But happy Guy Fawkes Day, nonetheless!

02 November 2007

But this isn't porn!

Ahh, so much today and not a lot dealing with education in particular.

Went to class today. Spoke with the wife of my professor (who also teaches at the university) after class to talk about something "personal-professional" - yes, I was deliberately vague because it was not a private forum, and I really didn't need the older guys stepping in and telling me I was being dumb. I sent Wife-Professor an email explaining what I wanted to talk about when we met in a week and a half.

What it really boils down to is that I'm nearing 30 and while my biological clock isn't ticking loudly at the moment, I'm a little concerned with what choosing this profession means in relation to raising children. And while I'm sure I could speak with other professors in the department about it, the vast majority of those that I know have children are men, and it's a bit of a different investment level for them.

While it may seem like a strange thing to be concerned over, especially because I really don't intend to have children, I'm not taking them off the table. I hope that Wife-Professor will see it as a thoughtful question and concern about my future-professional and future-private life. We'll see what happens when I meet with her in a bit.

When I got home from class, I saw my music neighbor and thanked him for letting me know about his performance, gushed about his voice, and engaged in a general chat. He asked me what I was reading and immediately hid it behind my back, saying "I'm hesitant to show you because it's basically historical porn." Then I handed him The Last Templar, and he flipped through it, trying to figure out where the porn was. I then explained the concept of 'historical porn' and realized that no matter how cute he is or how wonderful his voice is, he's not one of those that groks history, and so the lusting comes to a close. Plus, he's four years younger than me, and with few exceptions, there's something that happens after the mid-twenties hump that just adds something to the life experience. I think he'll just stay a casual chatting acquaintance.

I have papers to work on, and my classmates are all going a little insane because they can't sort out how to approach the topics. I have my ideas, and I'm not sharing because, while I've shared factual information, I see no reason to present my methods to them. Oh, and my university had implemented this thing where we have to pay per print. It's cheaper (frighteningly enough) for me to print out at home. I'm a little disappointed. Ah, well.

And now I'm going to finish catching up on my TV watching before I start cranking in on my reading for the journals.

This is my life.

01 November 2007


In the privacy of my own home (and occasionally out on the patio), I've been reading The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury. So far, he's come up with two wonderful quotes about my profession.

"...But you know how it is with the Templars. It's like archaeological porn, it's virtually academic suicide to be interested in them. It's gotten to the point where no one wants it known that they take the subject seriously. Too many crackpots obsessed with all kinds of conspiracy theories about their history. You know what Umberto Eco said, right?
"'A sure sign of a lunatic is that sooner or later, he brings up the Templars.'"1

And then there was...

"He's a history professor, for God's sake. They're supposed to be mild-mannered, pipe-smoking introverts, not -"

Maybe it's one of those things that you have to be a historian, or have a love of history, to understand, but my, those two quotes have made me giggle so far.

1Raymond Khoury The Last Templar (New York, Signet, 2005), 75.
2Ibid, 206.

31 October 2007

Horsemen of the Apocalypse

At the risk of turning into one of those single women that does nothing but bitch about men and lament about the lack of a love life.

Today, I bit the bullet. A guy in my class on East Asia helped me out by asking questions when I was giving my lecture. He bought me a few minutes more than I would have had were I just doing my lecture. I spoke with RiotGrrlJock about it on Monday and she figured that I might as well give it a shot. So, before class today, I asked the guy in my class out to coffee. Well, kinda. The conversation actually went like this:

"Hey, thanks for bailing my ass out on Monday and buying me some time. I really appreciated that, and I owe you a coffee."
"No, you don't. It's what we do for each other."

Now, it didn't come across as clinical as it seems in print. It was friendly, but it was a rejection. I wanted to make sure that I didn't come across as "Hi, I fancy you!" I wanted it to come across as platonic with the option to see what happens. But, I still was rejected.

On the walk home, I was honked and waved at by a pair of guys that seemed cute, but they were driving by quickly, and I was on the phone with RiotGrrlJock so I didn't really take a good look. Plus, I'm not used to being honked at, so I wasn't really aware that it might be aimed at me until they started waving.

So, I was dealing with the disappointment of being rejected, even for a friendly cup of coffee and then I got honked at. While I don't condone honking, it's normally a nice little ego boost. Not today. Today was the crushing disappointment of realizing that the highlight of my week was being honked at.

I got home, started puttering around, made myself lunch, and the words of another classmate came back to me. "You know, marriage means no more roommates..." to which I responded, "it's not like shopping!"

Like there's a man-pound. Sure, lemme go drop by the pound to go pick out a husband. "Oh, that one's cute. He's got droopy ears and big puppy-dog eyes. Now, before I fill out the paperwork and pay the adoption fee, I have a few questions...
"What was the previous owner's reason for surrender? Does he know any tricks? Is he housebroken? Can I leave him at home for a few hours without him peeing all over the couch? If I'm seen with a guy friend will he chew up my shoes?"

I think I'm just getting to the point where I miss having someone that wants to spend time with me and that thinks I'm special, and that isn't just a friend.

SavageCats came through for me today, though. She told me that he was being dumb and that I would eventually have an abundance of manflesh to choose from and that I was in the famine stage of 'feast or famine.' I told her that I'm going to go with the delusion that I'm waiting for a Brit, preferably a Scotsman or a Welshman.

But I'm still bummed about the events of today. Ah well. Tomorrow is another day.

Ein, zwei, drei. Drop! (Redux)

So, the classmate that was giggling over the German trees with me sent me a delightful email last night...

One of the editors was a professor of hers from last semester.

I can't help but think that those trees that are off-standard (or, you know, the yellow trees) are about to be sent off to the place that bad trees go.

I'm actually tempted to pick up How Green Were the Nazis? It seems like it would be an interesting read, and I'd be curious about the sources used. I'm also curious because it's edited, which leads me to believe it's a series of articles.

As for me, I'm in desperate need of doing some research and getting notes sorted for my plethora of papers that are coming up in short order.

30 October 2007

Ein, zwei, drei. Drop!

Today I had my environmental history class. Today's reading was Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares by Nancy Langston. It's in the Weyerhaeuser Environmental series, which led me to come to a musing... Why does my book dealing with environmental history make no statement of being printed on recycled paper? (If you guessed that it wasn't, you win an e-cookie.)

Anyway, onto the discussion during the seminar today. We were talking about the Euro-American view that American forests were imperfect and to be perfected, they should look and act similarly to European forests. (Think 17th, 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.) One of the professors, Dr. E, brought up German forests, and how they were different from American forests. German forests are generally a monoculture and planted so they're nearly geometric. Nice, ordered forests. I looked over at a classmate, who had lived in a number of places in Europe and said,
"Ve are German forests. Ve vill drop our leaves... ein, zwei, drei. Drop!"

Any time German trees or forests came up during the seminar, she and I were trying very hard not to burst into giggles.

We spent the last half of the class going around and presenting our questions/topics for our term papers. It gets around to my classmate that was giggling over German forests with me. She presents her topic starting with "pyramids!" Dr. E sighed in exasperation. Further explanation is given, but Dr. E has already made up his mind, because there are a few areas of study that are tantamount to academic suicide. Pyramids are one of them. Just too many conspiracy theories about 'em.

It gets around to me, and I'd already spoken with Dr. W about my topic, so she had an idea of what I was going to say. I looked straight at Dr. E and said "I'm thinking about looking at the Templars." Dr. E leaned back in his chair, looking as though he was about to cry. Dr. W caught on that I was tossing it out to play with Dr. E's mind and went with it. When Dr. E looked like he was going to lose it, I said, "let me try to alleviate your blood pressure, I'm actually looking at the influence of British 'cuisine' and culture on the importation of food crops, meat animals, and textile resources into Australia and New Zealand."

I don't think that my professors have quite gotten used to me yet. I think I exist as a paradox to them, someone that has a sense of humor (and decent comedic timing) and is still quite serious about her education. Add into that my quickness and breadth of knowledge (as exemplified by tossing out another academically taboo subject), and top it off with my attempt at being prepared when I go to class... I think I confuse them.

Dr. E then went on to ask me why I was looking at Australia and New Zealand. I smiled and said, "Because I'm crazy?" and then went on to explain that my area of focus was British colonization in the South Pacific dealing with Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Then I smirked at him and said, "unless I'm adequately bribed to change my mind."

Overall, it was a good day. Tomorrow looks promising, too, though I have a lot of research that needs to get done. Now to just get to the second part of my dinner (had salad earlier, now time for soup, I think), and then kick back for the rest of the evening and get my shit together for waking up early (well, early-ish) and getting stuff done. Whee!

27 October 2007


Sit down, dear readers. I have news.

I actually left the apartment for social reasons on a Friday evening.


My neighbor (the music one, not the Indian engineering student or the Kiss and Ignore CBwD one, but same apartment) told me about a performance he was in on Thursday. Bettie was being a bitch on Thursday (she decided to have a dead battery), so I didn't make it to the opening night performance, and that's okay, because I usually hate attending opening night. The actors generally don't have an idea of the live audience beats and either pause for laughter or applause that isn't coming or don't pause when it does happen.

Second night was just right. The musical was written by a local playwright, and based on what I read, it was his first play. Now, my neighbor told me that he was playing a man for half the show and a T-Rex for the other half, and that he'd be singing operatically. Well, it wasn't operatic singing in the way I'm accustomed, unless you'd count Les Miz and Phantom as operas. (I don't. I count them as musicals. On the other hand, Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar are considered to be rock operas, so I suppose any musical play *could* be considered an opera.)

Anyway, at the risk of sounding like I fall in love at the drop of the hat (or sounding disloyal to my CelebCrush of David Tennant), the music neighbor (I need to come up with a witty nickname for him) has a beautiful voice. He's a deep baritone and has wonderful control over his voice. The resonance and timbre was fantastic. His other (young) male co-star wasn't quite so aware of his tool. He was a tenor, but his voice was thin and reedy. The tenor had more classical training (MA in voice at NYU, I believe), but didn't come across as strong as the baritone.

You know what's coming next. Yep. I fell a little bit in love with my neighbor over the hour and a half performance. His voice is absolutely beautiful. And, I must admit, when I speak with him in passing, I always walk away feeling happier. It doesn't hurt that his speaking voice is lovely, deep, and a bit rumbly. Plus, the performance tonight had him in a bit of a spandex bodysuit and he does have a nice bum. I am a sucker for a good bum.

Back to the performance. My exit technique was perfected with T when she and I would go hit movies at the Bear Tooth. If we could be among the first out, we'd sprint for the exit and go-go-go. If we couldn't, we'd sit and hang back until the queue leaving was small enough to get out of the theatre without doing the entire "five feet forward, wait ten minutes" routine. I opted to wait. Music neighbor (who really needs a nickname) was holding the door open to backstage for the supporters of the troupe. As I left the building, I caught his eye (or he caught mine) and I smiled and waved, and got a smile and a wave in return. I think he was happy that someone that said they'd come to a production, did.

Yes, I suppose I could have walked over and chatted with him a bit, but to be honest, he lives across the hall. If I was horribly impressed with his performance and would never see him again, I'd probably have gone over to congratulate him, but I'll most likely see him tomorrow or next week. Plus, I'd like to get to know him better but it has to be organic. I also know that when I was doing performances, all I wanted to do after was go home and start my wind-down. I think he did, too. He got home shortly after me and while I was tempted to call out to him, I just couldn't bear to interrupt whatever plans he had for that evening.

I may ask him to let me know when he's practicing for his next performance or whatever he does for his voice studies because I would love to listen.

Am I twitterpated? No, I don't think so. I think it's every music-loving-girl's dream to date a guy that could serenade her and not sound like a cat going through a blender... But Hans Christian Andersen taught me long ago that you shouldn't ever fall in love with a voice. Though, it would be nice to be sung to, and he does have that particular resonating voice that just reverberates in your chest.

Maybe, just a little twitterpated, but that always happens to me after a performance. I think it's why I generally avoid local theatre because they're theoretically accessible. When I was in New York, the shows I saw on Broadway caused a bit of lusting after an actor or two. And we'll not get started in my lust caused by Les Miz (the first time, it was the little boy who played Gavroche. In my defense, I was 8 at the time. The second time, it was Jean Val Jean. The third, it was Javert.) , or Phantom (Webber's version had me lusting after the Phantom, Rice's version had me fancying Raoul). (And for Cats, I'll admit to having a curiosity for the actors playing Mephistopheles and Rum Tum Tugger. I was 10.)

Of course, with my preferences for a potential male partner, I very well may have to date an actor, just so I have my all-in-one. ;)

26 October 2007

This and $3.50 will get me a cup of coffee...

A few weeks ago, I was talking with SavageCats about this train wreck of a TV show that's made it into my Friday night DVR schedule. Moonlight. In short, it's a show about modern-day vampires living in LA. One of the main characters is played by Sophia Myles. I knew I'd seen her in something before, but I couldn't quite place her. I knew that I appreciated her acting, but I also disliked her immensely for some reason that I couldn't quite place... Then I remembered, she was dating my David Tennant.

SavageCats and I were further discussing what made it to my DVR line-up and what made hers, and she asked how I felt about Moonlight. I told her that I was rather hoping that it lasted a few seasons because that would mean that Ms. Myles was staying in the US for filming and one of two things would happen (to my mind) - David Tennant would move to the US or their relationship would end, thereby opening up the field for me. (Okay, nevermind that it takes me from a one in a billion chance to a one in nine hundred ninety nine million chance. Hush.) Well, apparently, I'm a bit of a suggestive clairvoyant. It seems that earlier this month, Tennant ended his relationship with Myles.

While I have the entire sisterhood solidarity with Myles over the suckiness that is being dumped over the phone, I can't fully fault Tennant for doing it in that manner. I'm coming more and more to the conclusion that if you are going to opt out of a relationship, you shouldn't wait for "the right time" or, if long distance, until you see the person next - you'll be dreading it and they'll still be blindsided. Of course, I have the luxury of saying this as a single woman.

Now, yes. I know that reality states that I will probably never meet David Tennant in a manner that allows me to interact with him past a hello and a handshake. However, I am an American, and it is a long standing pastime of ours to think that celebrity-mundane relationships are a distinct possibility. It is living in a fantasy world, but sometimes, it's not a bad break from reality.

In the event that Mr. Tennant ever reads this blog (hah! - but seriously, if you do ever read this blog, drop me an email. Jus' sayin'...) I do want to say that I am sorry to hear about the loss of his mum. I hope his dad is doing as well as can be expected. While I imagine it's hard to lose a parent, I'd imagine it's hard to lose the person that you wanted forever with, only to find that forever isn't long enough.

22 October 2007

Adventures in Cyberdating

Okay, not entirely "adventures," but close enough. At the insistence of RiotGrrlJock (again), I scrounged through Match.com for potential dates. Out of the many pages that came up, we only found one that the both of us approved and determined that my potential dating pool is definitely low.

I find it amusing. Poor RiotGrrlJock was depressed for me.

Ah well. It was a nice distraction from being sick or suffering from hellish allergies.

21 October 2007

And the hits just keep on comin'

In further news of "yep, this is my life," I cyberstalked looked up CBwD on MySpace at RiotJockGrrl's insistence. As of 17 October, he was "in a relationship." No worries, I find it amusing and figured as much.

Here's the thing that just sent me into fits of giggles. She was there!

There are just no words. I find it wildly amusing because 1. I didn't do anything I was ashamed of, so I'm good. 2. I'm single, and I didn't know about his relationship status, so I'm blameless, but his girlfriend will likely freak the big freak, all over me.

I don't think I've ever been happier to be single. Dear lord. And no, she doesn't strike me as being one for poly.

Oh lawdie. Seriously, when did my life turn into a bad sitcom?

19 October 2007

Oh, this could only be my life.

I did indeed go to the party last night, and cute-boy-with-dog kissed me. Unfortunately, I've determined he's a rental.

The shindig was interesting. It was partly for Homecoming (which I could give a rat's ass about) but more for CBwD's roommate. An Indian from Worcester, England, UK. Hello gorgeous British accent. Thankyouverymuch. Anyway, it was IfWEU's birthday and the to-do was in celebration of that. It was a fairly diverse group. A number of Indian grad students, a few African-American women and one man, some generic honkies, and a Hispanic couple.

Anyway, on to the events of the evening. It started off well, getting introduced and being immediately labeled as "cool" (I'd like to know when I started being "cool" because I don't really consider myself being that way). Drinking of beer, dancing, etc. CBwD and I were dancing occasionally, and flirting a bit, and then he put his face into mine and I told him he shouldn't be such a tease, and he kissed me. I, obviously, kissed him back. Pleasant, and just enough tongue, but not enough teeth. That little foray was interrupted by Virgin Indian Engineering Student, and VIES apologized for interrupting, and seemed a bit embarrassed by the situation. I did my standard "no worries" response and went on with the evening. I think there was a bit more kissing, and again, it was pleasant, but (and SavageCats will understand this) I wasn't really kissed.

More conversations ensued, and eventually I found myself out on the patio with VIES. (CBwD had hit his drunken limit and was put to bed with a glass of water and a plastic bucket. Sexy.) VIES decided then to tell me he was attracted to me, that I was the most feminine woman at the party (wait, what?) and that he wanted to know if he could kiss me. I told him that I was flattered at his interest, but that I wasn't really comfortable with that. He then proceeded to tell me that he was 22 years old, a virgin, his girlfriend back in India was fucking around on him with her ex-boyfriend, and that he'd like to lose his virginity to me.

Let me repeat that. He. Would. Like. To. Lose. His. Virginity. To. Me.

I again reiterated the "flattered" part, but told him that he really didn't want to lose his virginity to me. I didn't want that level of responsibility. And, honestly, it goes against my sexual belief structure to pop someone's cherry when they haven't mentally or psychologically explored their own sexual kinks. I also told him that there wasn't anything wrong with being a virgin at 22, which there isn't. But my god, I did not want that responsibility. No siree-Bob.

There was another aspect to it, as well. One that I didn't tell him, and I didn't even realize until I thought about it this morning (well, afternoon, actually). I can hear you now. "Oh, Adjunct Slave, are you about to tell us that you harbor a bit of racism? We're so disappointed." Some people might consider it to be racist, but I look at as being aware of cultural differences. You see, kissing CBwD was one thing. Yes, CBwD is white, but more importantly, he's American. I know that if it had progressed past kissing, it'd either be a one-off or a "for fun" excursion. With VIES, I'm not that aware of southern Indian culture, and I didn't know what the ramifications of a kiss would be, much less the implications associated with sex.

I know, when in Rome... But, there's the issue of even when in Rome, one carries their culture-of-origin baggage with them and we all have a tendency to view the world through our own filters, no matter how hard we may try not to.

Plus, the sheer responsibility for being someone's first. Eep! While you generally think you'll remember everyone you've slept with, there are some that fall into the hazy grey space of memory. If someone brings it up, you recall, but it's not part of the "oh yeah, I remember their name, rank, and serial number" reality that one's first sexual intercourse generally is.

I suspect that CBwD will be feeling a little awkward (and very hungover) when he sees me next, but I doubt I'll feel awkward. With anyone that I saw or interacted with at that party. A number of them will be a little fuzzy for name-to-face recognition, but I've become remarkably comfortable with who I am, and I didn't do anything where I made a fool out of myself. I will admit to being a little hungover today, because I foolishly didn't eat enough food before going to the thing, but I slept the sleep of the dead and that was nice, too.

Will I kiss CBwD again? If the opportunity presents itself, probably, but only if sober. I'm curious if he was looking at the world through beer goggles and upon sobriety will realize that I'm not the typical American pretty girl. I'm not skinny. I'm not reserved. And I am definitely not quiet. But, he is a rental. Not even a test-drive, or a rent-to-own. He's not relationship material as far as I'm concerned, but he might be fun to hang out with. We shall see. If I don't mention CBwD again, you'll know what's happened.

18 October 2007


Okay, so I just did massive rantyness, I know. But, there's more to share.

I consider myself to be socially inept. This is not to say that I'm socially unaware, because I do keep track of all kinds of things in order to try and figure out social interactions.

I did my "OMG, out of smokes, must procure more, ASAP!" thing earlier this evening. Brought my wallet, my cell phone, and my hands-free just in case. Procurement of smokes goes well, get home, park, bring everything inside and realize that I've forgotten my hands-free in Bettie. Easy enough fix, go outside and fetch hands-free.

Get done with that, and I find myself immediately accosted by an adorable little dachshund named Rusty (née "Digger"), so I make use of the free fuzz therapy. I see his owner is on the way, calls him back and I decide to have a chat with him about the pup. As I'm talking with random dog guy, I realize that he is 1. nicely tall, 2. nicely fuzzy (god love men who are capable of facial hair and pull it off well), and 3. at precisely the right angle to be getting a full view of my cleavage (I was not fully aware that I was wearing a Cleavage Ahoy! shirt until that moment). After a bit more chatting, he invites me to a post-bonfire party at his apartment, right across the hall. Glee!

I should go. The bonfire will probably go until 9 pm. I should go.

And to think, I've been bitching about no prospects and how I'm not going to find one right outside my door. I'm not sure if this actually is one, or if he's just one of those "invite everyone" guys, but still. Nice to know that I strike someone as being neat enough to invite over.

...Now to find out if he can reasonably mimic a British or Scottish accent.

[The logical part of my brain tells me that I shouldn't be thinking about this guy in a way that anywhere near resembles romantic or sexual because I really need to keep my shit together while I get grad school done and that I'm probably going to be out of the country for my doctoral program, but still... I can visit fantasy-land for a while, right?]

I'm a bit overwhelmed with cute-guy-with-dog stuff. Don't mind me.

"Oh, you people and your quaint little categories..."

Among the classes I am taking for my master's this semester is a class on Environmental History.

I can hear you now. "But Adjunct Slave, you've outed yourself as a conservative. Why are you taking an Environmental ANYTHING class?"

Okay, allow me to explain.
1. I am a fiscally conservative, socially moderate-liberal libertarian. (Basically, I'm hated by both major US parties because they have no idea how I'll vote.)
2. As T has pointed out to me (in one of the many "Must call the Slave on her shit" moments), I'm actually a Roosevelt Environmentalist. Basically, I am in full agreement that certain places need to be set aside, but not to the point where we call them "wilderness" and disallow any human animal from stepping foot in the area without filling out reams of forms.
3. I'm always up for a good, reasoned discourse.

I digress, the background there was to illuminate the context, not to create a perception issue. In a recent class, the discussion was on Gender and the Environment. [Even though I don't come from a hard science background, I've always been taught that "sex" is the proper way to refer to male/female issues and "gender" is reserved for linguistics. Apparently, that is true, but in history we prefer to use gender for language and sexual biology, and sex is used as a descriptor for the act. Who knew?] Back to the thrust of this post.

One of the articles we read was on the Ski Bunny culture of the 20th century and the shift to Shred Betties. As a result, I brought in some photos of the Lange Girls from the 1980s. In fact, I brought in these images:
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I don't fully understand the entire "OMG, Offensive!" attitude, because I brought these images in as an example and a prop to encourage conversation (something the seminar classes I'm taking seem to lack), so while they may be seen as offensive to some, they were in context for this course and the topic of the day.

I like to give my professors warning before I toss out something that people might have an "OMG, PRON!" reaction to, so I brought these (crappy, black and white) printouts to the attention of the lead professor before the class started. I hadn't even been able to explain my logic in bringing them because he took one look at the images, flipped the pages upside-down, and tucked them under his paperwork. When I said "that's for discussion when we get to the ski culture article," he removed them from his possession and put them on the table.

Personal bias much?

Here's my bitch. Either we're historians or we're playing at being historians. If we are actual, honest to Bast, historians, then we cannot afford to wear our biases on our sleeves. I am fully aware that I view the world through a filter. My filter is one of an educated, upper-middle class, white, Northern American (United States, not continent), female (there are subsequent filters, but that set is the primary one). If the professors aren't willing to realize and tamp down their socio-cultural biases, then we have a problem. If we're just playing at being historians, let me know so I can look at other programs. Needless to say, personal and professional respect has been rethought.

Here's the deal. We historians (or junior historians) are constantly engaged in different cultures and time periods. We do not have the luxury of wrapping ourselves in our biases to the point where it prohibits us from doing our goddamned jobs. We are trained to look at evidence and analyze it. We are told to check our personal baggage at the door. We are attacked by professors and colleagues if we dare slip into anachronisms. If those who are teaching us are wrapping themselves in their own biases, they are playing the role of both Zeus and Prometheus, chaining themselves to the rocks for their own transgressions.

During the course of this seminar, we discussed sex (and I mean "historian" sex) and euphemisms. A student traced the paradigm shift of Earth from Mother to Whore. Images of nymphs and cavorting women. But my documentation was immediately offensive. Is this because of the distance of 20 years as opposed to 200? Are we so incapable of distance ourselves that we have to rely on the construct of time?

Now, if the scandalized professor's concern was that someone might be offended and think he brought in these objectified images of women, I understand. But you know what? I have no problem with everyone knowing that I brought them in. If someone is offended, I want to know why. If someone complains, it goes through a process, and the professor should point out that I brought in the images. I'll happily go up before the ethics board (I don't understand why they're so scary) and defend my choice to bring in potentially offensive images because they were in context to the potential conversation. I will happily step forward and defend my right to free speech (that one hasn't been taken away in academics, yet, right?) and freedom of academic discourse.

There are not many times that I regret what I did not say (because those moments where I don't say something are rare), but this was one of them:
"Oh, you Americans and your puritanical view of sex. I'd wager that most people here have
had it, and if you haven't had it, you think you might like to. Even if you have had sex,
you'd probably like to do it again. Sex has been around for thousands upon thousands of
years. Why is it such a sacred cow? Someone, somewhere in the world is having sex right
. And you know what? Good for them."

Now, there are certain people that I won't talk about sex around because, well, I just don't ever want to see them as sexual beings. Whether it's because of a pre-existing relationship or because I find them physically or mentally unattractive, that's my thing. But as an exercise of intellectual and academic discourse? It's just sex, people. It should be something that is enjoyable to talk about and discuss, not feared.

How on earth do people today have romantic or intimate relationships? If the "good stuff" is so scary or "bad" to talk about, how does anyone get their sexual and emotional needs met?

24 June 2007

My fandom is stalkerish

Okay, so I've discussed my unhealthy obsession with admiration for David Tennant on here, I know I have. Even in brief. What I haven't stated is that I also have some serious love for Graham Norton. (Seriously, if the man ever called me up and said "I need someone to carry my child," I'd probably do it in a heartbeat - in exchange for cash and a way to get citizenship in the UK...)

Now, imagine my *squeeness* when David Tennant showed up on The Graham Norton Show. It's absolutely hilarious, and the geek factor of Tennant just makes me want to stalk love him just a little bit more. Seriously, the man hits on so much of what's on my list.

Best line from the show? "Derek, it's the Doctor, you had your chance, you blew it!" The look on his face is priceless when he turns off the mobile. (It's in part 4, about 5:12 in if you just want to skip to, but you'll miss the back bit.)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Oh yeah, I'm a fangirl. I admit it. And, seriously? If any of my squeeness ever gets me a call or a chance to meet Tennant? The public embarrassment will be SO worth it.

21 June 2007

Nothing to see here, move along...

Not a whole lot to report in the history/teaching realm.

In other news, while I was accompanying my Division Chair on a trip to Breckenridge, CO for a conference, my Subaru died. Not badly, just enough to be a whiny little bitch and need more work done on him than he was worth. (Yes, I believe the Subaru was a little gay-emo-gothwannabe male car. Your point?) So, I traded him in and got Bettie. She's a 2003 Jeep Liberty (black, natch), and there's only two things I'm not entirely thrilled with - she has a whistle in her windshield and she's an automatic. Well, and she's not a Wrangler, but I'm happy enough with a KJ as opposed to a TJ. (She gets better gas mileage than the TJ, but not quite so ready to go off-roading... Next one, I suppose.)

In other words, I have joined the cult of Jeep. I've wanted a Jeep for a damned long time, so it's not that big of a surprise that I ended up with one. She should last me for a few years at least.

Still need to get her in for a full inspection and all, but in due time (and finances).

While I was in Breck, I also lost a contact whilst crossing the street (I know, only me), so I had to get into an optometrist because my Rx was out of date. Now I'm on dailies, which is nice. It'll be even nicer when my contacts get in from VisionDirect. (A year's worth of contacts for $87 after I get the rebate back. I've never had it so cheap!)

Other things happened in Breck, but I'm not sharing those. Let's just say that when the words "you're as old as some of my students" pops from my mouth, I should leave. Immediately.

Took tons of photos. Decided that I could definitely live in the Rockies (though I think I'd be happier in the UT Rockies - better snow). Found some community colleges around ski towns that would suit me well, figured out a plan to make it possible (keep the current 'net job, get a full time position at the CCs there, swing so my schedule is M-W, ski ThF, work as a liftie SaSu for the free pass, and give up all hobbies aside from knitting, skiing, and biking), and now will just happily wait until I'm done with my PhD and start looking at those areas then.

Now, I think I'm done with my diversion from having to clean my flat. It must be done (as much as I hate doing it).

03 June 2007

Time for another tab dump

First hand accounts of Fijian cannibalism.
Dr. Hallowell's blog dealing with ADHD in students and adults.
Linklist for sources and information on Tibetan Buddhism.
Suggested reading lists for history grad students (see comments).
Doctor Who postery goodness.
General contact information for David Tennant - possible interview for UK trip. (No, it's not specific enough for you to contact and get all kinds of things.)
Respondus information for WebCT quizzes and testing.
Fall course online resource - myHistoryLab.
Memorable quotes from Firefly and Serenity.

02 June 2007

They have a name for that...

And, apparently, it's called Academic Impostor Syndrome.

(Caltech has an article on the topic.)

Allow me to let you in on a dirty little secret of mine. I think that every single day I run the risk of being discovered. A student asks me a question, and I give them an answer from the hip. I know the information is valid, but I don't recall an absolute cite for it. Is it true, or is it my brain creating something out of whole cloth?

Then there's those five little words that every person in my position fears. No, not "where is this relationship going?"1 but rather, "you have so much potential." The initial thought is "no, I don't," the second, "if you only knew."

I've suspected for a while that I couldn't be the only person that has this sensation. It's not that I'm unaware of my intelligence. Look, I know I'm a smart cookie. I know that a great deal of it has to do with my inherent curiosity about the world (thanks, in no small part, to my "neurological defect")... But I always suspected that it was something I just had to live with. You see, I was a glorious "B/B+" student during undergrad. Now, part of that was because I was lazy. I'd attend classes, but rarely crack a book unless I had to for an assignment. In fact... I've never really learned how to study, even in law school. In law school, I read the cases, worked through the problems, pulled the information, complied it, and regurgitated it. But even then, I wasn't really studying.

I'm starting grad school in the fall, and I still don't really know how to study. And yet, I teach. I have to explain to students how best to study. Shit, I'm a fraud.

And some day, someone's going to find me out.

There's a litany of things that I could divulge. Frauds I feel like I've perpetrated.

I am strongly debating on ordering the CD/Book from the first link above. If it's worthwhile, I'll report back on how wonderful it is. Mostly, what I'd want out of it is how to encourage my brain to realize how good it is. And hopefully it'll get me past that academic block that has kept me as a B student.

1I love this quote from Coupling.

31 May 2007

Pre-Summer To Do Update

  • Update dates for quizzes
  • Update dates for assignments
  • Update dates for exams
  • Place ID section in MC exam
  • Remove essay sections/documents
  • Rework "Format" dox
  • Double check Syllabus, upload .pdf version
  • Create page 'o links - Adobe Acrobat Reader and Powerpoint Viewer
  • Update supplemental dox for assignments
  • Create supplemental website - doesn't matter if it's rough, just get it up.
  • Note-out mini lectures
The rest of these can be done over the course of the next week. Thank the PTBs.

Stainless Steel Ungulate?

Because of my own marvelous ability to injure myself, I had to switch out my nose screw for a hoop today. Only problem was, the bloody thing wouldn't play nice and go in smoothly, so I went to the piercing and tattoo shop near my house.

The owner gave me a hard time because I begged him to let me in before hours so I could pick up this hoop. Told me that if I needed help with the capture bead, to come back and he'd put it in after he opened. Needless to say that the owner gave me a bit of a hard time, mocking me. I explained to him that I did know how to insert a simple hoop, but it apparently wasn't understanding its role in the entire situation.

So I wander in there, asking for help again. Different guy starts going to work on placing the piercing only to find that there's something strange going on with the back (inside the nose) side of the piercing. The back of the piercing is either closed up, smaller than the entry, or has blown. So he pulls a taper out of the autoclave wrap and tells me "it's not a needle, it's a taper."

That's not what my brain thought it was. My brain went to tapir. Different thing entirely. In fact, it's one of these:

It took me a few seconds to explain to my brain that it would be impossible for a tapir to perform the same use as a taper.

Yeah, it was that kind of special day.

30 May 2007

Pre-Summer To Do List

  • Update dates for quizzes
  • Update dates for assignments
  • Update dates for exams
  • Place ID section in MC exam
  • Remove essay sections/documents
  • Rework "Format" dox
  • Double check Syllabus, upload .pdf version
  • Create page 'o links - Adobe Acrobat Reader and Powerpoint Viewer
  • Update supplemental dox for assignments
  • Create supplemental website - doesn't matter if it's rough, just get it up.
  • Note-out mini lectures

There's only 8?

The eight types of graduate student


Why are we postgrads here? Well, for lots of reasons, says Patrick Tomlin

Tuesday May 15, 2007
The Guardian

When I started this column, I promised myself I wouldn't let it become a monthly whinge about how poor I am. Partly because that would be as boring as if I stood in your garden and recited excerpts from my thesis, and partly because, as graduate students go, I'm not too badly off.

But I have had to make financial sacrifices to pursue my studies. Given that everyone else has presumably had to do so too, I initially figured that we must all be there because of a pure thirst for knowledge. I've since realised, however, that the impulses that draw someone to academic study beyond graduation are a lot more varied than that.

While I've only been at it a short while, I am sufficiently aware of the unwritten columnists' code to know one is expected to make wild generalisations, shun nuance, and present categories in a list format. So, without further ado, I present the eight types of graduate student:

1. The Wannabe Undergraduate

They had such fun as undergraduates that they cannot bear it to end. They prop up the bar, talking to undergrads about their thesis, rather than actually writing it. They judge success by notches on the bedpost and hangovers accrued instead of marks, grades and the intellectual respect of their peers.

2. The Student Who Tried Employment

Some postgraduates have been out into the real world and had a real job, with a desk and a computer and a pay cheque and a lunch break and a pension and appraisals and meetings and everything. And, for whatever reason, they have found it wanting.

3. The Couldn't-Survive-Anywhere-but-at-University

The group most likely to be cultivating eccentricities - keeping a mouse in their pocket or wearing socks with Marxist slogans sewn into them - while still too young to shave.

4. The CV-Filler

Their primary focus is not what they study, but what it will look like on their CV. They believe this qualification will give them "that extra edge". Most likely to end up as accountants or lawyers, never employing the knowledge gained.

5. The Prestigious Scholarship Recipient

Rather than worrying about what the subject they study will look like on their CV, their primary focus is who is paying for it. In a reversal of the usual relationship between funding and studying, in which the former is a means to the latter, the funding is regarded as an end in itself and the studying something that has to be endured to be able to call themselves a [insert name of dead white man] scholar for the rest of their lives.

6. The One Who Just Needs Answers

They really are motivated purely by the desire to find answers about their specific area of interest.

7. The Eternal Student

They are not bothered whether their academic career shows linear progress, they're just collecting qualifications and trying to get every letter of the alphabet after their name.

8. The Polymath

These geniuses could have studied anything, anywhere. They will probably go on to great things across several disciplines, and already understand your thesis better than you do. An unfortunate subset are also charming, witty and good-looking, and therefore hated by everyone.

And which am I? I'd like to think No 6, but I suspect there's more than a touch of No 2 about me, too.

· Patrick Tomlin is researching a doctorate in political theory at Oxford University. His column appears monthly

25 May 2007

Update from State

I've gotten the letter saying "We're looking into your application and we'll let you know what's what" from state. I'm waiting for it to filter past the department head's desk.

At least it's some notification of "we got it."

17 May 2007

Stop telling me lies, students!

We all know the old children's chant...
Ring around the rosies
Pocketful of posies
Ashes, ashes
They all fall down
"The deadly outbreak of bubonic plague, also known as the "black death," that struck Western Europe in 1347 wiped out more than a third of the population. An event such as that was destined to be immortalized in the cultural consciousness, and many of the lines in the nursery rhyme do seem to correlate to the situation (people did think flowers could ward off disease). However, there is little evidence to support this theory. The rhyme did not appear in print until 1881, more than 500 years after the fact, rendering it highly unlikely to have originated during the time of the plague. There are also several recorded variants of the rhyme, most of which do not include the same apparent references to the disease."1

It is a possibility that the chant came about as a remembrance of the bubonic plague, but as a part of the actual history of the black death, the answer is no.

I'm officially tired of students including this information in their papers on the bubonic plague.

From Discovery Channel, Busting Myths quiz on Flowers.

15 May 2007

Done. Done. DONE!

Another semester in the books. I just have to turn in my grade sheets and I'm free!

Well, sort of. I have a lot of things that need to be done during the interim session, I may be teaching an English course this summer if they need another instructor, I have to create my C.V. since I'm no longer in resume-land as far as careers go, and I have to start doing some hefty work on the website.

And then I start teaching summer session sometime in June. I need to break out ye olde calendar and figure out the dates for that and my self-imposed deadlines for the summer. I may be needing to put together a thing in MS Project.

But, my first order of business for tomorrow is to get a manicure done (and possibly a pedicure) and then turn in my grade sheets. Then I'll start making frantic notes and drawing pretty pictures on graph paper to work out the web design. Oh, and clean, because the insurance people are coming in to look over the roof and ceiling on Thursday.

I think I've figured out a system, though. Start from the macro, work towards the micro. Start my lists with what I need to do, then break it down into manageable chunks. I think my brain can cope with that.

14 May 2007

It's a philosophy...

A student* asked me a few weeks ago: "Miss, you're one of those people who's really nice, up until the point where you're just... Well, not... Aren't you?"

I hemmed and hawed for a bit before I looked at her and said, "Well, my basic philosophy on life is this: so long as we all play by the nice rules of polite society, everything is fine. The moment that someone breaks those rules in regards to me, I don't feel like I have to play by them either. I think that's fair."

She just looked at me and said, "I'm not sure if I now really like you, or if I should be scared."

...And yes, I do believe in karma.

*Not my student, just a student on campus.

13 May 2007

Another semester winds down...

A few students surprised me. Their abilities increased over the course of the semester, and a number of them became better at communicating their information. And it's given me some ideas of how to approach my future studies.

I also have a link for you... 7th grader's perceptions of scientists before and after a trip to Fermilabs. Allow me to say that I would have killed for a field trip to a place like Fermilabs when I was in school.

06 May 2007

On DVD August 14.
The appropriateness of the date amuses me.
Need I say more?

So many little posts...

Well, my online classes decided to implode last week. I shouldn't say my online courses, since it impacted everyone at the university that teaches an online or hybrid course, but some of them were my courses... And I've been having to deal with the explosion of "omg, wtf, bbq?!" from the students after the thing went boom...

So, to recover from the mental exhaustion of the last few days, I've been knitting. It will turn into a cute summer top when it's done

A week left until the end of the semester, then I get to work on a pilot program for Fall over the summer as well as reworking my courses for the fall semester textbook change. Whee!

03 May 2007

A solution to one of my biggest complaints

Audacity allows for the recording of audio (free, so I love it) and will convert to OGG, MP3, or WAV.

(Yeah, Adjunct Slave... So what?)

So? SO? So, this means that I can finally create lectures for the online courses I teach.

This is beyond fabulous!

Now to find a sourceforge program that will allow me to pull clips off DVDs and other video files.

25 April 2007

During the Protestant Reformation Lecture...

I was telling my students about the possible [looking for a confirmed source that it has been done] abolition of limbo for those who die unbaptized (apparently, they'll go to heaven now?).

One of my students asked, and logically so, "What happens to the dead infants before now?"

I gave a response that still makes my head spin (and makes me giggle like an insane schoolgirl):
"I don't know if there's a grandfather clause for dead unbaptized infants in limbo."

I do have a way with words...

23 April 2007

There wasn't a delay, your space-time continuum is broken

I have been down with the Klendian Death Flu. Actually, it was just a really bad heat rash combined with a sinus infection. Whee.

Hopefully there will be wonderful tidbits when I grade the next round of papers (tomorrow to Wednesday) to share. The semester is almost over, and I have two wonderful paychecks left before my world comes crashing down for 4 weeks while I wait for summer session pay to come in to play.

This summer will consist of my reworking my courses entirely (whee!) because of a much needed change to the textbook.

Hopefully, I will receive a happy note from my first undergrad school telling me that I should happily prepare for graduate school in fall. I'm also hoping that my mother gets the CEO position that she's applying for at a branch of that university so I might get a lovely little discount on my education there. Hey, I'll fully admit to being a cheap bitch.

Not a whole lot else is going on in the life, currently. I highly resent the fact that I have to show ID to purchase sudafed.

13 April 2007

Sir yes SIR

Full metal ELF Parody of FULL METAL JACKET

It's raining 300 men...

Speakers up, people.

If you don't laugh at this, there's something wildly wrong with you.

06 April 2007

Sometimes my students are brilliant and amusing

In an essay dealing with the Germanic influence on the fall of Rome, a student gave this background tidbit...

"In 58 BC, Julius Caesar felt compelled to meet his neighbors to the north."

I laughed. So hard. And yes, she's getting extra points because of this statement.

04 April 2007

Firefly/Serenity Fangirl Squeeness

Nathan Fillion has a MySpace page.

I hate MySpace. With a passion. But... It's Fillion... So torn.

Japanese Passover Tip

Wow. Just... Wow. (And it works!)

31 March 2007

Another day...

Another year of prepping for grad schools.

All of the places I applied to sent me very nice "Thank you but no thank you" letters. And honestly? I can't blame them. I didn't do the legwork that I should have done, and now I know better for next application season.

So, between now and then, I continue teaching, prepping for a retake of the GREs (preferably at a site that doesn't have a problem with burn in on the monitors), and I start finding out as much information as I possibly can from any source that's willing to help me. In fact, I start on Monday. Since I'll be in the same city as my first undergrad university, I figured that I would pop off an email to a former professor that attained Most Favored Professor status.

I think he'll be a very valuable source of information.

I've also discovered that while I love British history, World War II history, and Tokugawa Shogunate history, I need to figure out where I want to spend my focus. This will be my life. British history is fantastic and fascinating, but is that where I want to spend my life? Same with WWII and TSJ. So, back to inspection of the historical navel, as it were.

And then, I start emailing anyone that might email me back.

15 March 2007



And my Spring Break starts a week from today.

I'm looking forward to seeing 5 friends as a result of this trip to the east coast. I'm also looking forward to spending some time with an old friend when I get back.

...I still have to send in/submit resumes/do whatnot for the grand job hunt.

And I'm really hoping to get back on a sane sleep schedule soon.

14 March 2007

This is Calcutta. Bohemia is Dead.

I forgot to point out something...

While I was running errands, I was listening to "La Vie Boheme." Windows down (because it's insanely warm here), driving down Main Street. At a stop light in "downtown."

Families all around.

The line "creation, vacation, mutual masturbation!" came out of my speakers (and my mouth) loud as could be. And many pairs of eyes swiveled toward me.

This is my life.

Hey, artist! Ya got a dollar?

Today I got errands done.

For anyone else, this wouldn't be a big deal. Some of you may sit there and think, "ew, errands. I hate errands. I know where the Slave is going with this..."

I hate errands, but for a completely different reason from most people.

You see, errands are the bane of any ADHDer's existence. I had three stops to make today: Sam's Club (for a DVD and gas), State Farm (to pay my insurance), and the grocery store. I went into Sam's and picked up the DVD I was looking for (Casino Royale, if anyone was interested), and picked up about 8 others that were decent flicks and on the cheap rack. I also picked up a book, got my card updated to the new one so I could get gas, and got gas. So far so good, right?

I go to pay my car insurance at State Farm. On my way there, I go past the grocery store. Do I remember that I have to go to the grocery store as I pass it? No. Most people, seeing the grocery store would trigger the "I have to go there" reminder. Me? I drive right by it to get my insurance paid up.

I come home. I have to send out a resume, and apply for a position opening at the university. Have I done either of those yet? No.

Have I put away the things I bought at Sam's? No.

Have I started grading papers? No.

What have I done? I've cleaned up my bedroom (to a very minor extent),
changed the sheets on my bed (we're not even going to talk about how long it's been since that happened last), listened to "Rent" a few times, put Casino Royale in the DVD player and it's been sitting on pause for at least two and a half hours... because I needed to clean my bedroom.

As a break between cleaning, I called the guy who canceled the date in Boston and threw an olive branch at him (because ADHD makes you so sane when it comes to interpersonal relationships) and said if he's still interested in meeting for coffee when I'm in Boston, I'd be up for it. Also told him that I thought his ignoring me was bullshit, if he wanted to have nothing to do with me again, he should man up and tell me (essentially).

Probably not the wisest thing to do, but it's done.

Here's the key about my type of ADHD. I'm inattentive/impulsive type. When I do things, they seem like fantastic ideas at the time. Calling someone on their shit? Perfect. I appreciate it when people call me on my shit. Doesn't everyone? (Answer: No.)

("I'm looking for baggage that goes with mine.")

And after I do something like that, I sit and think about it for a while. Stew. Ponder. And it's the same reason that I have a tendency to get obsessive. Because of the chemical cocktail in my brain resulting from ADHD, conflict and other highly emotionally charged things are actually mentally soothing to me. I can't help but wonder if I could afford my meds, and I was on them, would I have done that? Would I have made that (probably foolish) phone call?

Would I offer up so much (too much) of myself when I'm getting to know a person that there's the possibility for a romantic interest?

I send a thousand voicemails and emails a year that I wish I could take back. That I wish time would stop right before the send button was pressed.

Despite all of this, I love my brain. I think I'm more creative for my "disability." Everything looks a little different to my eyes than it does to anyone else. But there are still days where I wish for nothing more than to be "normal."

13 March 2007

And sometimes just being is reason enough

I was just outside, enjoying some of the sunshine when a student walked by. I could tell by his gait that he was one of our "special services" students... Developmentally delayed. Mild retardation.

As he walked near me, I said "hi" - because that's what's expected of me as an instructor here, and because that's what I do. He muttered a "hi" in return and kept walking a few paces. Then he turned around.

"Um. Hi. Excuse me. Can I... Can I ask you two questions?"
"I have an assignment, I need to ask people their names and what they do."

So, he rummages through his backpack, pulls out a green sheet of paper with the words "Assignment 4: Meet new people." and three locations to put name and occupation.

I was the first person on his green sheet.

After he filled out my name and my occupation (Teacher), he thanked me for helping him, put his things in his backpack, and started walking away. He then turned around and introduced himself. As he walked away again, he dropped his pen. I stood up, picked up his pen, and called him by his name to let him know he had dropped it.

Just calling him by name made him smile. And I started to wonder if he felt invisible. Even around our campus, the typical students ignore the special services students. Occasionally mock them. Don't say hi. Don't bother to learn their names.

As I was walking back in to the office, I had a Shakespearean muse. Would Greg by any other name seem less invisible?

Did the simple act of remembering and calling him by name really create that small level of connection that so many of us take for granted?

Two minutes of my day. And I think that Greg impacted me by his willingness and bravery more than I could have imagined when I woke this morning.

Today's reason

Because sometimes, you just have to wake up to remind yourself to take a breath.

Because sometimes, pain is the reminder that you are living.

Because sometimes, you hope that the Universe is wrong.

Because it only lasts 24 hours, and then it starts all over again.

11 March 2007

Open request to the Universe:

I went twenty years without. I had a month and a half with. I am now without again, and I am attempting to reconcile this in the dark and swirly place that is my mind.

I'd really appreciate it if you'd stop popping up with derivatives, be it in my crossword, my location hits, my television programs, or my radio.

It was not my choice, but it is something I have to abide by. I have done all I can, and now I am giving it up to the Universe. Time will tell what will occur, and I'm trying very hard not to cry out in frustration. Release a barbaric yawp! I am attempting to pick up the pieces that were left from this somewhat shocking and shattering event. I am trying to find the fine line between hope and a fool's errand. I am doing my best to cope with the situation as it stands.

So I'd really, really appreciate it if you would just stop fucking with my head.

No Love,Thank you,

If it's March, it must be Midterms...

And out come the obligatory "I'm not doing well, can I still get a B/pass the course/wash your car until the end of time?" emails.

Great Jumpin' Jehoshaphat, kids... halfway through the semester (that would be why they're called midterms) is a little past the time to go, "Houston, we have a problem."

...Of course, the Slave just realized that it's 4 am where she is... Stupid "Spring Forward" time of the year. I don't want to grade midterms tomorrow. I'd rather sit at home, watch (and mock) the History Channel, and knit.

So, in a way, thank you to those students that decided to blow off the midterm. Thank you to the students that have all but dropped, except for doing the paperwork. It gives me just that much less to grade in the way of midterms.

I think that next semester, I'll be chucking the essay part of the midterm and just dropping it down to identification terms and multiple choice. I give them enough writing assignments over the semester. I should be nice to the poor students, shouldn't I?

...Hmm. Maybe. Maybe not.

09 March 2007

It all makes sense now

"It's like a God complex."
"What's God?"
"You know when you want something and you close your eyes and you wish really hard for it? God's the guy who ignores you."
-- The Island

Not turning out to be a great movie, but has some good lines.

08 March 2007

Midterm Victory

There is a student that I've suspected of cheating on his quizzes.

So for the midterm, I forced all the students to sit at least one seat apart.

Guess who got the low score on the midterm?
If you guessed the suspected student, you were right.

Guess who was among the high scorers on the midterm?
If you guessed the student who he used to sit next to, you were right.

Guess who's feeling oh-so-vindicated right now?
If you guessed Adjunct Slave... you so get an e-cookie.

To all students out there... if you think you're getting away with cheating, you're not. We lowly instructors are just biding our time to fuck you over. And we will. Oh yes. We will.

05 March 2007

Who to the what now?

I love this... AI is practicing law without a license.

Favorite quote from the article:
"...ruling that the software was effectively practicing law without a license."

While I'd love to be a judge in this case, I'm so glad I left law school

01 March 2007

Out of the mouths of babes...

So, during break today, a CIS student was telling me how he just bought a Wii, and downloaded Super Mario Bros. I told him I can't think of SMB without thinking of Dane Cook and we had a good laugh about that.

So we go back into class.

I ask (during review) why DOS has it's own Virtual Machine under 9x/Me. A different student responds:

Because DOS plays with itself.

I think my approximate response was o.O

Looked at the student with the Wii and just lost it.

Well, at least the day got better after the start from Princeton. They said no, too.

26 February 2007


Since my last weigh in, I'm down 3% body fat (and up two pounds, but I suspect that's muscle).

So, looks like I'll be staying on the low-sugar, low-flour diet and keeping up with the yoga and the other exercising goodies.

Whee! Clothes are already fitting better, and I'm getting in the right mindset. I am also in desperate need of more Stash lemon tea, as the starfruit tea just tastes... odd.

My grand plan? Become the incredible shrinking woman over the next semester, get down to at least 150 (preferably 135-140) by graduation. The real goal? That I have to take a good chunk of my summer earnings to cover a new wardrobe. (Granted, I'll probably use my mad sewing skillz to modify a number of skirts and tops, but still...)

Yep. I'm working on not being that fat chick.

25 February 2007


Today was grading day. Whee! (Ugh.)

I actually gave out a few full points in one of my classes. Either the word has gotten out, or I've got a few students that are just with it.

As a counterpoint, I had one student that, when scraping all the points I could find for her, received a 10%. But wait, it gets better. She turned the assignment in late, which is an automatic 10% deduction. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a math whiz, but I'm pretty sure that the maths go like this:

Yeah. I feel bad because she did put some effort and time into the assignment. Not a whole lot, but some. But, like when it comes to the end of the semester, I can't cry over giving an "F" - but I still have that fleeting moment of thinking, "was there some way I could have reached that student?" It's easier in face-to-face, it really is. And I'm not sure which type of teaching I prefer. Face to face forces me to think on my feet, which I really like... But I sometimes get home from teaching and go "oh, damn, did I pull that out of my ass or is it true?"

Tomorrow is to be devoted to going through two new textbooks and weigh in on which one I'd prefer to use for future history courses. Believe me, anything will be an improvement over this text. Though I suspect that it's not going to be by much.

I wonder if there's a way that instructors are supposed to review textbooks for possible use. All I know is that I got 'em for free, and then I can apparently sell 'em back to the bookseller for $15. I'm a little conflicted. I love books, textbooks, the whole nine yards. But it's free money. Like really free money. Then Heinlein pops up in my head saying TANSTAAFL!

Yeah. That's my life.

...I wonder if they'll ever want to turn my class into one for the prisons on the web. I should ask. It'd be kinda fun. I think I'd like to go by a pseudonym for that, though.

Adjunct Slave Gets... Fit?

Well, after much thought and deliberation, I'd like to be a size 8 again. Size 6 would be nice, but rather impossible short of shaving bone. So, in that vein, I've started doing exercise along with my "eat healthy" diet. (Need to pick up some brown rice, though.)

Yoga kicked my ass today. As in sweat rolling down the face. I decided to get back into yoga because it was low impact! Have I really gotten that much out of shape?Nirvair would be so disappointed. So yeah. Namaste Yoga in the morning. Pushups and sit ups before dinner. Kundalhini Yoga before bed. At least my lean muscles will be getting toned. Once I find/purchase a new jump rope, I'll be getting cardio that way, too.

God. If I quit drinking and quit swearing, I'd be perfect. And then the world would implode because that's the 7th sign of the Apocalypse.

21 February 2007

Lesson For Today...

It is possible to have violent, wracking sobs in the adjunct office quietly enough where students don't notice the noise. They will, however, ask after the loud nose-blowing. Thank goodness it was windy today and allergies were a valid enough excuse.

It was a bitch of a day.

12 February 2007

England v. Alabama

Just o.O

Further proof that I'm a Northerner at heart. Someone says something I disagree with, I try to talk them to death, not... Well, just watch.

[Thanks to Lizzu for the link.]


I am booked for Spring Break! Providence/Boston here I come!

And about damned time. I've been in desperate need of getting out of this town for something other than a family-related holiday. I haven't been on a solo holiday in nearly two years. And I haven't been on a solo holiday that lasted more than a long weekend in six. In fact, the last solo holiday I went on was my trip to Australia for Spring Break, 2001.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that this trip to the east coast also includes a date/meeting/thing with an old friend from 20 years ago. And some time spent with friends that I haven't seen in three or four years. Yes, I'll have to do the obligatory "look at universities I applied to" thing while I'm there, though I'm limited as to which ones I look at. (Sorry, Cornell, Penn, and Michigan, you're a little too far away to hit this trip.)

I'm booked!

I'm far too excited about this. However, it is one more stressor that has been relieved.

...Now to figure out how to pack for a week and a half in a hiking pack or duffle bag, after all, I'm going to be transiting between Providence and Boston for places to stay and lugging around a proper suitcase seems excessive to me... I also need to find out where my backpack is.

[Edit: Backpack found! I have no idea if it'll fit what I plan on bringing. I'll have to do a test run after laundry this weekend.]

Some things are too good not to share...

For my Doctor Who fans out there, there's some decent fanart, and I'm here to present you with the links...

The Doctor's Girls
(by mimi-na on DeviantArt)
This is awesome. It's basically a chibi rendition of all the female companions that had some emotional attachment to the Doctor.

omg DOCTORZ (by mimi-na on DeviantArt)
Quasi-chibi, mostly caricature. Of the two "new" doctors that don't run the risk of being fuzzy in my mind, her rendition of Eccleston is more identifiable to me. Tennant, there's something not quite right about him - I think it's the eyes.
All in all, though, I love the concept. It shows the variation in Doctors over the years.

[Thanks to Tweedlekeys for the links.]

It was the day of the great race...

From Wired News: February 12, 1908 - The Great Race.

This article is the win for one reason and one reason alone. This quote:

"In the end, it was the Americans who reached Paris first, at 6 p.m. on July 30. Order of finish: The U.S., Germany, Italy and France. Almost like World War II."

I don't hate France, or the French. Most of the French people I know are quite nice. I dislike Parisians, though... And so do most of my French friends. We all know it wasn't the French that came in last in World War II, it was the Parisians - they just took the rest of France with them. *ducks*1

1This is completely tongue in cheek. I've only ever met one Parisian and I did not like her. (Mme. Riggs, if you're reading, you're a sour old coot that needs to get a sense of humor!) (Edit: Actually, Mme. Riggs, if you're reading this, you're far more hip than I realized, and that gets e-cookies at the very least. I'm still not happy with you for kicking me out of French class in Jr. High just because I was overtired and spoke French with a German accent. I'm sorry you were in Paris when Hitler marched through the Arc d'Triomphe, but that's no reason to get mad at me. I didn't know.)

11 February 2007

Heroes of the Republic

I'm still not in love with the new Octavian. I think that Max Perkis would have persisted in doing an admirable job as the (forgive the mixed timelines this next statement evokes) Machiavellian prodigy personae of Octavian pre-Augustus Caesar.

We finally get some clues as to timeline in this episode! Octavian is referred to as being 19, that puts us at around 44 B.C. - but wait, we have a problem! 44 B.C. was the year of the death of Julius Caesar! And didn't they have little Octy (Max Perkis' Octavian will hereby be referred to as "Octy" or "Octavian v. 1.0") ride off after getting bitchslapped by Antony? Here's where we start to decrypt the oddities of Roman political society in the 1st century B.C.

[Warning, history lesson content ahead!]

Gaius Julius Caesar (Octavian) was declared consul suffectus around 44 B.C., engaged in military and political skirmishes, Octavian pissed off a great many equites and senators when the triumverate started proscriptions that removed a great deal of their property and wealth. Whoops!

Fast forward to 31 B.C. Octavian marches on Rome after being successful against Cleopatra and Marc Antony in Egypt. There, he is appointed consul, but not given the role of dictator by the Senate... Yet. It takes Octavian another 4 years before he completes the transformation into Augustus Caesar, and even then, we're still not at the "Emperor Augustus" phase of the Roman world.

In 27 B.C., Octavian relinquishes control of Egypt and returns the reins of power in Rome to the Senate. In return, Octavian is granted the titles of Augustus and Princeps. Princeps means "first citizen," and is frequently attributed to the beginning of the Augustan Age of Rome (the first part of the Pax Romana), but it's still not quite to Emperor.

In the ultimate P.R. campaign, Octavian changes his name to Augustus to show himself as a benign and benevolent ruler, as opposed to the 17 years of warfare that he engaged upon in the belief that it was for the benefit of Rome.

[End History Lesson Content]

Another clue as to timestamp! We (come close to the) close of the episode with Atia (who, I suspect, was as devious as we are led to believe, though might not been a bedwarmer of Antony's) forcing Antony into a meeting with Octavian v. 2.0 (he's not Augustus, yet!). This gives a whiff of the beginning of the Second Triumverate (that little get-together boys' club of Marc Antony, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Gaius Julius Caesar (Octavian) - this is a historical oddity that they don't point out, but rather refer to pre-Augustus Octavian as "Gaius Octavian Caesar" - bah!).

So, best I can tell, we're spanning 44 and 43 B.C. in this episode.

What about my opinions on Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo? Well, they were real people, but there wasn't a whole lot of "let's follow these people" by historians past the journals kept by Julius Caesar. In the British fashion of showing the dichotomy of society, we are treated to glimpses of the everyman as represented by Vorenus and Pullo. After the Gallic Wars, no one much followed the lives of Vorenus and Pullo, so this is all subjective fantasy. After all, it is ultimately a television show, and we have to have some level of grab to it - as wonderful as the Caesarian plot twists are, they're a bit out of grasp to follow for the entire hour.

Were the Bacchanalian festivals really like they were depicted? Hell if I know. Historically, we're limited to artwork to describe religious occasions, and those were generally showing the average (read: government sanctioned) festival, not necessarily those of the elite or the poor. I did, however, think Agrippa's "abduction" of Octavia was sweet, and his romantic sentiment towards Octavia just means that I feel so much worse for him when the harsh reality of Octavia's future kicks in. :(

Yeah, the latent romantic in me sighed contentedly when he said "I would tear down the sky for you if you asked me to." Really does make me feel sorry for him in the inevitable disappointment that he'll experience. The cynic in me rears her ugly head at this point and says, "but that is the typical way of it. If everyone had their interest returned, the entire frustration about relationships wouldn't exist as it does in humanity." Reality lies somewhere in the middle.

Things to look forward to in episodes to come, if they don't deviate from the historical rolls... Octavia is married off by Octavian to someone that makes today's dysfunctional families look downright sensible. There will be a political suicide here and there. Marriage, divorce, marriage, birth, divorce, marriage. (What, you thought Americans or modern day society had the lock on serial monogamy? Please. The Romans had this down to a science!) We're also going to (hopefully) get to see the true ruthlessness of my beloved Octavian Caesar.

[Fangirl Crank Upcoming]

I still maintain that they should have kept Max Perkis for the role of Octavian. There's something delightfully wrong about Perkis' characterization of Octavian - he has that je ne sais quoi about him, where you believe the intellect and the clinical aspects of his mind, but there's also that odd appeal where he's still insecure but he has the false confidence where it doesn't show through. This new actor, Woods, for Octavian shows a little too much nervousness. Octavian was stubborn, ruthless, idealistic, and calculating. This new actor wavers too much between insecurity and ruthless, but without that Machiavellian panache that Perkis brought to the role. Perkis' representation was angrier in a way that made sense for the character.

I'm also a fangirl for Perkis, but that's beside the point. I just don't believe Woods' characterization of Octavian.

[End Fangirl Crank]

I can't quite tell what timespan they're aiming for with this season of Rome. We ended Season 1 on 15 March 44 B.C. Five episodes in to Season 2 and we're at sometime in 43 B.C., I suspect we're around March again, as it's the end of the Warring Months (but I highly doubt that Antony or Octavian would respect those traditions). By this time of Season 1, we'd covered 49/48 B.C. to around 46 B.C. (I could be mistaken, I haven't been obsessively watching Season 1 recently.

Personally, I'd love to see them get to the beginning of the Augustan Era, but I suspect that they'll leave the climax with the conquest of Antony and Cleopatra in 31 B.C. That's a lot of time to cover in the next 7 episodes if they stick with the 12 episode season standard.