Thursday, April 24, 2008

false arrest?

Actor (not really, but that's how he's known) Wesley Snipes has been sentenced to three years in jail for tax problems. I'm upset about this...because if he needed to go to jail for anything it should've been for Passenger 57, perhaps the worst movie's so bad, it's not even entertaining.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

a night out

A good friend and fellow blogger did the return to BG tour this week. Last night was our drinking evening, and it ended the way it should...with one friend trying to steal street signs and another trying to grab a local rabbit.

Monday, April 21, 2008

last day teaching for the semester!

The sun is shining, the flowers blooming, and after my next class, I don't have to teach for a few months...just blast through some grading, and then I'm in the land of frozen drinks, palm trees, and babes in bikinis!

(Actually, it's just sitting on the couch and writing, but work with me here!)

I've done two of my classes so far, and only one of the students talked to me on the way out. On the plus side, this is the first semester in a while where my teaching and assignments didn't cause even one student's grandmother to die.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

of a pianer player

Last night, the spousal unit and I took a road trip to Adrian MI. We found out Saturday that Ben Folds was playing at the University there, and as we're both fans, we made the trek.

A friend of ours lives there, but he was at a book signing that day (for his own book...which, by the way, rocks) and couldn't meet us. But he did refer us to a good Mexican restaurant.

While the spousal unit only thought her flautas were "okay," I was a big fan of the tacos. Of course, the tacos were the recommended item, so I just chalk her avoidance of the specialty of the house to my spousal unit's desire to always walk the unbeaten path...and in no way would I ever say she was just being difficult with her choices...I'm too nice of a guy for that.

The concert was in a gym on the college campus. Somehow, I find it a bit depressing that so many of our experiences with music tend to take place in areas that are better suited for volleyball than for music. I wonder how much this gets on the nerves of the performers.

There was also something about the crowd at the event. They were not attractive people. Now, I'm not exactly what you'd call Humphrey Bogart, but it looked like someone had jumped through the crowd while beating people with an ugly stick.

There were, for some reason, a lot of people who were wearing either clothes or jewelry that looked like they made it in summer camp. There were a number of guys in the crowd who were larger but wearing tight shirts that emphasized their ample bosom. Again, I'm not exactly scrawny, but I know a secret that these guys obviously don't: if you're big, do NOT tuck in your shirt.

Opening act was Ben Lee, and he was okay...did as good as one guy with a guitar and songs that very few of us had ever heard can do.

Ben Folds, though, was really good. He's playing with a band these days...a drummer and a distorted bass's like the Ben Folds Five, but with different guys. There was also a roadie who would come out at random intervals to play tambourine...he always had his back to the crowd, played very dramatically, and then left without noticing the band at all.

They were very tight...played some stuff off their upcoming album, all the classics, some experimental/jam stuff. The version of "Narcolepsy" was a full-out sonic assault, which was interesting, because it's not normally my favorite song...but it rocked.

I also loved the instrumentation. We all know the bass through the distortion pedal bit, but he was also running his piano through well as through some other effects. He would hand mute certain strings so that the piano would be more percussive. He snuck in some synthesizer. At times, he attacked the piano, going so far as to play the piano by throwing his seat at it.

There was also singalong portions, but they weren't the annoying "call and response" bits (that unfortunately the opener used). Instead, he had us singing horn parts and 3 part melodies.

And the crowd loved it. Actually, it was weird to see a rock show where the virtuosity of the musicians was a draw. Most of the people out now rarely do extended solos or anything else. Here, they were the highlight, the draw. It reminded me of a Zappa show (albeit with more melody), and that truly gives one faith.

technology reaches its zenith

It's entirely too nice outside...perhaps the second day it's hit 70 degrees. Yet I have conferences.

Is this a problem? No, and this is one of the reasons I love technology. I have a laptop! I have wifi! I can go make a pot of iced tea and chat room conference from my lounge-y chair!

Ah, a great time to be alive!

update...wifi works out here. First bug bite of the season. No outlet, so I'm doomed to battery life. And there's so much light, my screen is mostly glare...but it still rocks.

wakeup call

Killing time before my conferences, and I've got the tv on. Flipping through channels, I just found out that Spike is playing repeats of The the ungodly hour of ten am! Can you really think of a worse way to wake up?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the obligatory depressing post, courtesy of a certain conservative newspaper suppliment

In case you missed it, this weekend's newspaper contained that very special issue of Parade which throws me into fits of melancholy on an annual basis: the "What People Earn" issue.

Now, I'm actually way past moaning about celebrities making exponentially more than me, even those talentless hacks like the Hilton or Simpson sisters. Doesn't bother me. The secret? I just took to heart Jimmy Carter's dictum "life ain't fair."

No, what I'm bummed about this time are the stupid and illogical jobs that get paid more than me, a Ph.D. in a full-time university teaching position:

  • psychic
  • bounty hunter
  • tow truck driver
  • locksmith
  • screen printer
  • dental assistant
  • casino dealer
  • massage therapist
  • Branson MO singer
  • rodeo steer wrestler

Yes, it's bad. Of course, with our current contract negotiations, there's a good chance that my earnings will plummet. But it could be worse; I still earn more than a hospital clown or a competitive eater.

But if the pro lacrosse mascot overtakes me next year, I will be mighty ticked off.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I've been working on a paper dealing with the media, New Orleans, and Katrina. For a while, I've been waiting to view When the Levees Broke...I've been backed up on work, but mainly, I've known this would be a very hard watch.

I'm not even halfway through it so far, and I've lost count on how many times I've wanted to hit someone. I am so mad, frustrated, and shaking angry at so many people. The only thing that's more overwhelming is the amount of times I've been horrified or broke down in tears.

My hatred of our current federal administration is at a new high, and I sincerely hope that people pay for their horrible inefficiency, disdain, and utter uncaring stupidity. This is one of the most powerful television events I've ever experienced.

Update: 3:40 into this, and my god, someone make me laugh, please.

one step closer to victory

Here in northwest Ohio, we're definitely in the middle of "the turn." After a winter whose snowfalls never seemed to end (not that we got that much snow, but it just never stopped), it might in fact finally be time to put away the snow boots. Yes, we're finally at that stage where both the calendar and the weather finally agree that it's Spring.

The signs:

  • We have projected high temperatures in the 60s all week. Right now, it's already 52. Actually, according to the weather widget on my laptop, it's 52.8, but outside, it feels like...52.8. You gotta love technology.
  • Last night, we decided to take the tertiary quilt off our bed.
  • While me and my lovely spousal unit decided to go for a random weekend walk yesterday, we saw an inordinate amount of frat boys playing in their front yard.
  • There were also a large number of joggers out, with a particularly high concentration of stick women. I guess that everyone's trying to get in swimsuit shape. I'm also exercising a bit more in hopes of being able to fit into that bikini by June.
  • The Bowling Green squirrels are out in force. They are still a bit downsized for the winter, but they're still large enough to take on the average bulldog.

Pretty soon, it will really start to get warm, and then the town will suddenly shake off its annual winter depression. I can see it now. Frat boys drinking Natty Light in kiddie pools in their front yards. Sorority "chicks" sunbathing in the park. Drunk undergrads on the decks at local frat boy bars.

I look forward to all this, and it's not for the unadulterated love of intoxicated student behavior. No, this all means three things. First, I'm that much closer to escaping the tyranny of socks and moving back into sweet, sweet sandals. Second, Smoovies (our cinematic smoothie place) should be opening soon. Finally, and most important, we as a town must be only be mere weeks until the undergrads pack up and go the hell back to wherever they came from. The town will be ours again! We will have won!

ps: Just got back from my morning walk, and when I asked about Smoovies, I was told that they weren't opening this year. Hope the resulting bad mood hurries up and lifts.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

an anniversary of sorts

interwub postcards, my webjournal blog, has just hit the 75 post mark. If you've never visited, it's where I post links to all the useful/insightful/helpful/just plain weird websites I encounter in my daily journeys around the World Wide Wub.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

do I make you laugh?

My lovely spousal unit just told me that my level of humor tends to add to her stress load. For people who know me and have experienced that humor, this should come as utterly no surprise.