Friday, May 30, 2008

well THAT was exciting

Sometime around mid-morning on Tuesday I came down with a horrible gastrointestinal...thing. I think I learned a valuable lesson about triple-washing vegetables. At least that's what I think it was.

Anyway, I am now upright again, and able to sit in one place for an extended period of time, so back to work it is. I have never been so hungry, or more terrified to eat. That's a bad combination.


Monday, May 26, 2008

is "yelp" a synonym for "procrastinate"?

I just spent some time yelping. I've always wanted to write stuff up for, and I've started doing just that. I only have a few things in there right now (11, I think), but I'll add things over time.



Am back....cats survived without me (but with a cat-checker person who came in a few times) very tired and have a ton of work to do. Hiked a thousand miles straight up a hill in one day with only half a bottle of water, but more on that later. (all great yosemite stories are exaggerated, don't you know).


Friday, May 23, 2008

i'm a good reader!

I'll take any compliment in an academic setting, so "you read that so well! it was really easy to follow" and having people chuckle in all the right places == teh awesome. Come to think of it, I hope the chuckled-upon parts were all the right places, since it wasn't my paper...

But anyway, I got to Oakland and then to my friends' house in Los Altos, and then to SF the next day. It was good. Then I went to Oakland in the car and picked up Michelle, and we made it back to the hotel...and the wi-fi works and Travelocity is awesome because we got a great room at a great price.

Today we are off to the conference all day and then to really good dinner with my bestest pal. It's a little sad that bestest pal's partner (who ranks very high in my estimation as well) won't be there, but she's off being good mom with her son who is playing soccer in Oregon at the Manchester United Premier Cup on the Nike campus. That's a really good excuse for not having dinner with me. It's super prestigious.

I just woke Michelle up and we're off to the city shortly. She's some kind of crazy and doesn't do caffeine. I'm not sure how she survives.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I'm going off to San Francisco (and vicinity) later this week. The American Literature Association annual conference alternates between San Francisco and Boston and this year it happens to be in SF (and those friends of mine in the Boston area, you can be damn sure I'll be there next May).

I went to this conference in 2006—just for one day, just to see what it was all about and how different things were between a wee graduate conference (of the type I had been to) and a conference consisting of major scholars in my field. What I found in 2006 was that people were nice, speakers were smart (and sometimes funny), and people at all levels (grad students, junior faculty, senior faculty) were sometimes nervous and self-conscious. In other words, I didn't learn anything new about the profession or about people, but I had a lot of suspicions confirmed—namely, that people are human and the only thing keeping me from giving my own presentation was an interesting thought or two of my own. Nothing I couldn't overcome.

Now, two years later, I have original and interesting thoughts of my own. However, I couldn't get my shit together in early January and submit an abstract of anything for consideration, so I'm not presenting anything of my own. But I am presenting.

Make that "reading"...I'm pinch-hitting for someone who can't make it to her panel. I will read her paper at the first panel on the first day of the conference. It's a favor, and if academics are anything like business (or life itself, I suppose), favors are always good things to do.

I am not really nervous about it, despite the fact that the paper is full of hifalutin' language that I read more than I hear (let alone speak), and despite the fact that the subject is not something in which I am well-versed (or even minimally versed), and despite the fact that the person I am standing in for is a major player in that particular area. Of course, now I'm nervous about not being nervous.

To do this favor, I'm flying in a day earlier than planned, which means that I'll pick up my buddy Michelle from the airport the next day. Like true literature geeks, we have panels all mapped out for two others days of the conference. Some of our grad school buddies and profs are presenting and we will be supporting them by going to their panels and cheering wildly (ok, not the last part). I'm particularly interested to see what the DMC does with Edith Wharton and Aquaman...yes, from Entourage. If there's one thing I've learned in my short time here at WSU it is to trust the DMC. But still...should be interesting.

Oh and on one of the days on our trip, we're doing a particularly insane Yosemite experience. Believe me, I will report back.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

where does this go on my CV?

At first I thought this was going to a continuation of the running joke I have with myself about how it's just so awesome that I have eight books (thirteen total editions) to my name when not a single one is actually applicable to my new career.

But as I was finishing up the 4th edition of Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL, and Apache All-in-One—which I believe is off to the printers now and will be on the shelves of your favorite Barnes & Noble (etc) in a few weeks—I thought "you know, I know this book is used in colleges and universities...that kind of makes it applicable...I wonder how many places use it?" I e-mailed my people and got an answer pretty quickly: over 150 (I have a spreadsheet).


So...where does this go on my CV? Currently I have a section at the end called something like "non-academic publications" where I put all this stuff/my old CNet and HotWired stuff/ that a good place? Does it not belong at all? Does it belong more prominently? Would it belong more prominently once I do more "academic" things with my technical knowledge?

These are things I'm wondering today. Any insights welcome.

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i swear i am going to blog stuff today

...if for no other reason than my bookmarks are getting really long (I bookmark things I want to write about and then delete the bookmark when I've done it).

Then again, there was just a big 'splosion noise here, so perhaps the power will go out soon. In California, big noises like that usually meant that transformers blew up and the power would go off.

Come on people, it was only "hot" (85) for one day! Don't overload the transformers!

That being said, it was hot-ish yesterday. My California friends reported temps in the 100s, so I'm not complaining -- only reporting. Not a big fan of the Winter directly to Summer routine (a week ago there was still snow on some hills and frost in the morning), but what are you gonna do.


Monday, May 12, 2008

birding (unofficially)

 Black-headed GrosbeakI really enjoy watching birds (in general) and identifying birds when they fly into my yard. This (crappy) photo is of a Black-headed Grosbeak who came to visit/get a snack yesterday morning. The same bird was back again this morning.

I never get good pictures of my yard birds because they can see the movement when I reach for my camera, and then they fly away.

Usually I just have the same small flock of Pygmy Nuthatches and Red-breasted Nuthatches, plus the family of California Quail. In the last few days, a small flock of European Starlings has been hanging out, as well as a group of five or six Red-winged Blackbirds.

Occasionally, a Magpie or Common Raven will swoop in and take a drink from the faux birdbath. "Faux" because it's not really a birdbath proper—it's the bottom of one of those big plastic planters, and it's just sitting on the ground. The birds like to sit around the edge, and the squirrels and the rabbits and the occasional neighborhood cat take sips out of it. The only bird I've ever seen use it as a birdbath is the Robin. Everyone else just drinks out of it.

Yesterday we [my friends Jim and Karen are here] drove all over the region and we saw a ton of hawks (very common), a bunch of White-throated Swifts at Palouse Falls, and then when we were back in town we nearly ran over a Pheasant that ran across the road. Exciting times indeed.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

music meme: the answers

Shoot, and I thought I removed the difficult ones...

Here are the answers for the 20 that weren't guessed in the original post.

1) you can get from here to there "It Could Be Sunshine" by Love and Rockets
2) messenger of fear in sight "The Thing That Should Not Be" by Metallica
3) i don't think you understand "Cold As Ice" by Indigo Girls (technically, Amy)
4) see the storm is broken "The Sky Is Broken" by Moby
5) closer, no hesitation "Humming" by Portishead
6) let him come into the city "The Distance" by Live
7) who's car am I driving in? "Strays" by Jane's Addiction
8) another world, another time "Trip Like I Do" by The Crystal Method
11) you spent five years saying you'd come my way "Heartache For Everyone" by Indigo Girls (technically, Amy (again))
13) i'm lying in my bed, the blanket is warm "Mojo Pin" by Jeff Buckley
14) lookin' back on my life you know that all I see "This Time" by The Verve
15) life was fun life was great "Out the Window" by Violent Femmes
16) on i wait (i'm a time bomb) "The Drama You've Been Craving" by Sleater-Kinney
18) some people say such awful things "Ooh" by Scissor Sisters
19) oh, dream about me "Dream About Me" by Moby
20) the possible dream finale of seem "Pencil Rain" by TMBG
21) up ahead in the distance I can hear the cannon blast "Redemption Dream" by Michelle Malone
22) now the radio stutters. snaps to life. "Aftermath" by REM
24) there's a moment in my mind "Sentimental Guy" by Ben Folds
25) wake up next to you, honest screw. "Honest Skrew" by Patrick Park


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

six weeks: all theory all the time

fun for the next six weeksSo A (my committee chair) says the other day something along the lines of "Hey, I want to read some theory. You want to read some theory?" and I said "Theory? Never have to ask me twice." or something like that. She wanted to read Baudrillard's The Conspiracy of Art and I wanted to read/re-read some McGann with someone, and we came up with the two Hayles books and the Landow book together.

I'm teaching during second session (starts June 16) and she's leaving town right before that, so we're doing our little reading thing over the next six weeks (tomorrow's the first meeting: Baudrillard first). Theory is way more fun when you're reading/talking about it with someone...and not in a pretentious or way but in a way that makes you want to just run right out afterwards and write or build something cool.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

still not out from under all my work

Schoolwork done. check.
Grades in, etc. check.
Proposal-writing for a bunch of different stuff including 4Cs...unchecked.
Work work, which was on the backburner last week as I finished papers...unchecked.

However, going to San Francisco for a few days (and Yosemite for one whole day) in a little over two weeks? check!

However (again), time to post anything at all interesting? unchecked.