Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
What I liked:
- Harris attacks the right and left with vigor, even more so the left especially in chapter 4, "The problem with Islam" which caused me to question every apologetic word I've uttered in defense of moderate Islam.
- He is much much more readable than Dawkins
- He, unlike Dawkins, doesn't try to simultaneously take on religion and any "unscientific" discourse like postmodernism (at least he doesn't in this book)
- So many provocative quotables--I will give you a few:
Monday, December 06, 2010
From the last page of the simply, yet fully explanatory, Bodies by Susie Orbach
"Our struggle is to recorporealise our bodies so that they become a place we live from rather than an aspiration always needing to be achieved"
"We need bodies sufficiently stable to allow us moments of bliss and adventure when, sure that they exist, we can then take leave of them"
NOTE: neither of these quotations was underlined though the previous reader of this book carefully, well not so carefully, underlined many insightful passages. My guess is once said reader hit the last two pages she was too excited, yet tired, to mark anymore. That, or I have no sense of a good quote.
Orbach also offers several critiques of postmodernism's insistence on performing our bodies in an effort to celebrate multiplicity and fluidity, but I won't bother with those quotations as certainly both sides overstate.
Time taken to read this simple, straight-forward, 200 page book: Several months, maybe more.
Context: book got lost amongst amazon and half.com purchases...and I think my wife borrowed it for a bit.
Off to open my two packages, the ones I've been eyeying as I typed each of these words.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
It's certainly the most rukous, honest, over-the-edge writing I've ever read by a practicing mormon. For example while staring into those funky amusement park mirrors, ones which made her look 80lbs skinnier, she says, "For the first time, I had a sweet spirit and a sweet ass." Now that's the best double entendre of the Mormon "sweet" that I've ever read.
*Comparing a patriarchal blessing to Keannu Reeves visiting the Oracles in the Matrix
*A description of how she used the "Fascinating Girl" (a book it seems many young Mormon girls were given which instructs them on how to please men through submission; my wife received a copy from her grandmother but I don't think it worked) to help her get a mormon boyfriend
*while getting hot and heavy with her atheist boyfriend she suddenly, unintentionally whispers in his ear "you need to pray and find out if god exists" which she later subscribes to her struggle with God Tourette's syndrome.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Rarely have I been so caught up in a series. And, sadly, I'm sure it will be a long long time before I find something as good. Thanks to Dr. W and Middlebrow for hooking me up though now you are responsible for my withdrawals.
BSG you were so frakking good!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Little did we know that there would be NO-body over the age of say 27 at the concert and NO-body under the age of say 18. So we were both the oldest at 40 or so and the youngest at 15 and 16 (the friend Seth took). I knew I was an outlier when they handed me a pamphlet on unintended pregnancies while waiting for a free snow cone. With three intended pregnancies completed and one vasectomy between us it didn't seem we were prime candidates for this literature. I guess we could have given one to my son and his friend-girl but we didn't want them to think of such things.
Other than feeling a bit old (yet also hip) it was a great concert. We were able to get quite close without getting down in the mosh-pit where we could see our son and friend bobbing around (their lack of age didn't scare them away from moshing). FUN was indeed very fun. An fairly new indie pop/rock band: check out their music video and other songs (especially The Gambler). And if you like come enjoy some FUN with us at The Venue on October 16th.
Surely there will be some older folks (like say 31) at the Venue, right?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
p.s. also watching this video might lessen any lingering anger you have about dogs or about my views concerning dogs.
Monday, August 30, 2010
It's not that I hate any one dog in front of me panting or chasing a stick or one I'm petting. In fact I find dog faces and actions to be charming (except the nose-in-crotch-move), even cute. And I'm perfectly willing to put up with the nose-in-crotch or even the dog-shit-on-shoe. Unfortunately dogs also bark and whine. And this I hate.
Of course most dog owners think those annoying dogs are the other guys, but I'm pretty sure that can't be true. Those barking dogs all over must be owned by some of the people who think their dogs rarely bark. BARKING DOGS REALLY STRESS ME OUT. And this makes me wonder why people love dogs so much given that they bark, given that they know they will annoy their HUMAN neighbors, keep them up, put them on edge. How does one justify impacting 20 people who live around you so you can once in awhile walk your dog or rub his head???
Annoy isn't quite the right word though; it under-sales the annoyance. It's about more than just an annoyance. Example: Often these days I can't go out in my back yard to pick a tomato because...a stupid dog, one I've tried to make friends with no success, barks wildly at me. This makes me feel like I lost ownership of my back yard and my garden, enjoyments I deserve but are now taken away from me because someone believes owning a dog is vital to their lives.
Yet if the dog is vital why do I hear the owner yelling constantly at the dog to shut-up? I do not understand dog ownership. I simply do not. That's ok but if someone wants a dog please don't share the negative aspects of such a purchase with me, your neighbor. I didn't choose to buy a dog and I don't get any of the benefits (face licks? companionship? goofy looks we anthropomorphize?).
Nervously awaiting attacks from readers.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
7: national forests visited
2: national parks seen (Crater and Redwood)
4: state parks entered (two amazing ones just outside of Coos Bay)
3: P & B sandwiches eaten
22: couples traveling 101 with bikes heavy laden gear
Thousands: redwood trees experienced
1: redwood trees driven through
2: helpings of fish and chips
0: things left in hotels
3: things left in hotel 2 weeks ago in Cedar city
3: visits to the hot tub
1: motel dives stayed at
3: gracious, mostly curious, kid-teen travelers
2700: feet gained on hikes
9: hikes taken
4: motels/hotels stayed in
3: bike rides with the wife
80: miles cycled
1: dangerous cycle ascent and descent on highway 101 into the deliciously dark redwoods
thousands: rocks on the ocean hopped with youngest son
2: days before I must return to work
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Still, I do check into the blogging world on occasion--just read (though didn't comment) a great post from HT Mega and the Cold cold north.
Maybe I will get revved up about blogging or possibly it will fade into that distant past of "things I used to do." Either way, I am certainly glad I started a blog several years back.
It was at a crucial moment for me--negotiating and constructing an identity not tied to the rules and regs of Mormonism. But that main purpose is now less pressing and, for all my good intentions, I doubt I will every fully develop a blog for the people as some of my friends have done. Seems I am in the majority of bloggers who ebb and flow according to personal needs and circumstances; a rare blogger it is who creates a robust consistent public persona like HT Mega or Signifying Nothing.
Most of us our content with the ebb and flowing, personal rants, lists and occasional deep reflections. Which is fine too (i.e. no criticism intended). Merely interesting to note, for me, our different motivations for making our writing public. In intend no hierarchy of blogging. I could now go all scholarly here with a bit of work but I think not. If I did I might contradict the entire tenor of my post--the sloughing off of desire.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
"Can I give you one of these?" a young man of maybe 20 asks approaching my swing, stepping on my grass, entering my space.
"What is it?" I ask in a friendly tone; I'm pretty sure he won't give a sales pitch as he has been quickly leaving his hangers on each door.
"No, I'm not interested in that." He turns and walks to the next house.
But to my surprise I'm not through with him: "Too bad you are wasting your time on that." He walks quickly up to the next house cutting across the lawn. I watch.
When he turns to come back to the sidewalk, I heckle: "So we need someone more conservative huh? That's what we need? More business. Less concern for the everyday guy?" He does not proffer even a turn of the head.
As he moves to the next house, my boys come out from the living room, wondering about the commotion. I tell them that young man is supporting a lunatic and I won't have it on my lawn. I'm kind of grinning but their faces tell me it may be a sinister grin. The young man sneaks a quick peak back at us. I wonder what is going through his head: "another crazy liberal--should have known it with that earring" or maybe he was silently singing a hymn, a tactic learned on his LDS mission, to fight his impulse to break my face.
I almost start to chastise myself: could have talked to him...should have engaged him. But no; I'm angry and I'm not apologizing. Could have been much worse: I fantasize imagining door hangers accidentally falling to the ground, my hose unfortunately dousing them...very sorry for that.
And now I'm walking, walking barefoot with beautiful descriptions of an eclipse in my mind to retrieve these political rantings. I want to assure myself that I wasn't overreacting. I first notice "race between....business man....lawyer" then "Stop the insanity" and almost panic: "maybe it's are actually critical of the the upcoming race, the whole thing." Relieved, yet profoundly disappointed, I see it is clearly a spot for Tim Bridgewater.
When Bob Bennett isn't conservative enough to make it out of the republican caucus you know you are in trouble. I'm angry. Knew I was peeved about all this but had no idea how angry. Tired of these rich people who tell us we should stop needless wealth distribution. How could this get a guy making 30K with no insurance to vote for Tim? But it will. And that guy will feel safer at night because he will believe that spooky Obamacare won't ruin our nation now that Tim is on the job.
Friday, May 07, 2010
I almost asked my wife to follow me in the van down to my local mechanic; I’m so glad I didn’t. On the short half mile walk home I was amazed at what I saw that I miss each day as I drive the same route to work: the refreshing brisk breeze, a mother goose with six tiny goslings, a enormously fat robin, the sound of a beautiful whistling bird which tellingly I do not know the name of, the presence of the wooded land somehow not developed along our neighborhood’s one and only country road.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m abundantly thankful for a cheap efficient car which moves me from place to place in comfort, but I was struck by the unseen, often unfelt price we pay if we unmindfully take advantage of this luxury.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Friday, April 02, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Saturday, February 06, 2010
- Complete 4 Cs presentation and retention study: transcribe about 6hrs of recorded focus groups and interviews, do research, write up a draft of reports, decide with Sig-No and Antistrophe what the fuck we will say during our presentation
- Read and lead book discussion on Life as we know it by M. Berube for English conference on Disability
- Read Oliver Sack's amazing book on neurological disorders: The man who mistook his wife for a hat for personal book club
- Finish grading first set of response papers for my SF class, grade 2nd set next week
- Grade memoirs for 2010 course
- Grade out midterm portfolios for all 70 students in 2010 the week before I go to Louisville--why oh why....oops I'm in no complaint mode
- Review a new textbook on writing in the disciplines, one which is very thick
- Submit report to TETCY on best TETYC article of 2009
- Continue meeting with School curr committee which is in the throes of redefining itself
- Support the Writing and social justice conference on Disability by shepherding a flock of students to submit proposals, complete their projects, and show up
- Amidst all this try to respond in a timely and professional manner to the zillion student questions and inquiries which will surely come over the next 6 weeks
- Continue developing English 2010 curriculum for my newly minted tech-enhanced course/ new textbook
- Meet with and read carefully read work of the incredibly passionate and intelligent independent study student I'm working with
- Limit communication to children: "Do that now!" or "Do that now before I kick your ass!"
- House viewing: 5 minutes per night as I do my core exercises
- Sexual activity: A 3 minute quickie every week, one bonus 5 min session for following all rules and regulations for one week (will have to run this by significant other)
- No silly blogging once I'm finished with this post--and don't even consider logging onto FB
- Discontinue meditation and Yoga practices for 6 weeks--peace and serenity certainly won't help me get anything done!!!!
- No useless conversations/emails with students about questions and concerns about assignments and their writing. New standard line: "You are so full of shit; just do you work and get back with me when you are done."
- Lean Cuisine-It for all lunches--sandwiches and fruits are overrated anyways and peeling/cutting fruit is WAAAYYY too time consuming
- Drive 95mph to work: this is 15 mph faster than I currently drive so that means I will travel 15 mph further each hour I drive. And since I spend about an hour driving every day that should save me... ah who the fuck knows and I don't have time to figure it out. Suffice it to say that it will save me time. P.S. I will kick it up to 105mph if I see flashing lights.
- Only read and grade every other paper giving the all missed papers a B- grade--no one will notice and odds are every student will eventually get an honestly graded paper eventually