Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Trying out the cleaning person..

Not too long after my last post, a non-Merry Maids cleaning service called, in response to my internet inquiry.

I decided to give them a try. They'll come on Tuesday and I'll evaluate if it is worth the cash.

I have to say that, after a weekend debate tournament in the Sunny State with a big blue Pacific Ocean, having someone else clean the place sounds pretty good. They can clean, I can do the laundry and at the end of it all, I'll be pretty darned far ahead.

I'll let you know how it goes.

A cleaning person

So, I'm considering hiring someone to come in and clean our apartment.

The thing is, it isn't as if I don' t have time to do it -- I hate that excuse for almost everything -- it is more like there are other things I'd rather be doing when I have days off. If hubby is home, I'd rather hang with him than clean the bathroom and when he isn't home, I'm often not home either. Also, with my travel schedule I have fewer weekend days off and I think I need to use my days at home to work on my dissertation.

On the other hand, I've read "Nickle and Dimed" and am having some pretty basic class guilt about this. Although, I should say that I used to clean houses for a living --- until the paychecks bounced too often -- So I know it would be a pretty easy job to do our place. Just, spiff up the bathroom, change the sheets, vaccume the whole place, dust and spiff up the kitchen. They'll have no catbox duties, nor will they do more than a load of laundry (depending on how long they'll be here... hmm). Were I still a cleaning person, I'd like to do our place.

and -- that is the other part of my problem, if I'd want to do it as a cleaning person --- why don't I just DO it?

Really, if I could just trade with someone for about an equal job -- it would be ideal. I'd go clean their place every other week and they'd come to mine. I could dust, vaccume etc without being tempted to do deeper cleaning, take a nap, watch TV or any of the other things that distract me when I go to clean our place.

Of course, we have an amazing vaccume.... they wouldn't have to haul theirs out of the car -- which was one of the nasty parts of cleaning places.

hmmm.... thoughts?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Old Kitty

Old kitty went to the vet yesterday and came back without any teeth. She's really, really mean when you try to look in her mouth -- so, when the vet went in to pull a couple of teeth they ended up pulling them all.

She's now home and more active than she was before she left. This makes some sense, as the vet said she'd start to feel better almost right away.... and, I think the pain medication helps a bit :).

For now she's eating a kind of gross mixture of babyfood and water. The vet thinks she'll be able to eat regular canned food in a few days -- about the time she's off of her pain medication. She'll be on antibiotics for about 10 days, so I'm going to play it safe and board her when I'm in California this weekend.

I also realized that I had a long-term problem, getting Old Kitty canned food while I'm out of town. In the past I could fill up the cat dish, lock the door and come back to irritated but fed cats. Now that she needs wet food every day, and seeing as how wet food gets icky if left out, I faced a quandry. Boarding is way too expensive and asking my cat sitters to do every other weekend isn't fair even to the most wonderful of friends...

Of course, like many problems -- the internet provided a solution, an 8-day cat feeder. For 69.95, the internet will send me a programmable cat feeder built for my Old Kitty -- When I'm gone for 4 days, she'll get two feedings per day. I ordered it and I should get it sometime next week.

Ha ha...

I have to admit that when I heard that the high temps here would be around 0 this weekend, I did a little happy dance.

I'll be in southern CA for the weekend at a huge debate tournament -- and I'll be wearing my sandals and looking at the ocean.

I can't say I'm at all sad about this -- except, perhaps to note that hubby won't be there and we have to go do that debate thing... otherwise, the weather will surely be better than at home.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I just deleted a post... for the first time

This evening I wrote a quick post about my decision to stop coaching debate. Yes -- it is official, this will be my last year as I'm tired of a variety of things about debate, including the travel and other demands. The people I'll actually miss within the community I can count on one hand, as most of them have already left...

I deleted the last post because the first comment that was one of the meanest things I've read. It really hurt me and it seems to me as if it was uncalled for. The comment more or less said they were happy that I was quitting because they hated me and so did everyone else... also, that I'm a shitty judge and have shitty teams.

The thing is, the comment didn't really surprise me. I have a feeling I know who it was from -- and, frankly, if I'm right you aren't worth the time or energy it would take me to be pissed at you. One of the things that bothers me the most about debate is that the community tends to support that kind of meaness and overall and hatred.

What I do find a bit of a surprise is that someone who hates me so much would take the time to read my blog -- and do so faithfully enough to have a comment within the first couple of hours of my posting. Whoever you are, you should think about that for a minute. I don't spend time cyber-stalking the people I dislike -- I spend my time in a more productive manner... or at least reading the blogs of people I like. For the record, please stop reading -- I don't want you here.

So, if you are still reading this -- yea, you won. You hate me and I can't even know who you are. I don't know what I've done to piss you off so badly, but -- I can't say I'm sorry -- because you are too much of a chicken-shit to let me know who you are... hmm. So, go ahead and hold a grudge against me. Keep on feeling superior and living in your own inbred little debate world. The thing is, what you said about me is probably actually true of you, although I would never spew that kind of hate on your blog because I'm a nice person who doesn't do that kind of crap. If you can't see that, it is your problem and not mine.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Relationship question for you...

I have a friend who is in a romantic relationship -- but has a pretty basic question about it...

Here's the scenario -- She's in her 30s and has never been married. She's highly educated, lots of fun and financially stable. She's in a relationship with someone who is nice, but kind of bland. This person would be perfectly willing to do whatever my friend wanted -- but, the relationship lacks sizzle. Marriage hasn't been discussed yet, probably because such a discussion would have to be initiated by my friend. Her honey would never bring it up, because they simply aren't that sort of person -- they are way to passive. My friend says that her prefered future is to be married and have a family.

My friend is in a quandry --- to stay with the non-sizzle person or not?

The non-sizzler has certain personality traits that make my friend a bit nuts -- but, she knew about these traits when she entered the relationship and thinks it is unfair to ask non-sizzler to change...and, would it ever be fair to ask someone to change their personality to interacti with you? She thinks it wouldn't and I agree.

The thing is that my friend also knows that the non-sizzler wouldn't do anything worthy of being broken up with either... thus, no good reasons on the horizon. My friend also knows that breaking up with non-sizzler would be very painful....

What do you think? Any words of wisdom for my pal?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Now I know what the dog felt like waiting for the bus...

We used to have a wonderful dog who would wait faithfully for us to come home from school. This is the same dog that wanted to 'save' us in the water by nearly drowning us... but, anyway -- she'd watch the road and be ready when we came home...

I feel like the dog.... if the dog could blog.

I'm in the DC.

I can see the street in front of our apartment.

I look at every car that goes down the street to see if it is my honey, home for the weekend.

Where am I lateley....

A view from the window of my Dissertation Chamber. At the bottom, on top of the pen holder, is the Thinking Cow.

The new purse -- welcome to the family.

The relatively new look for the Dissertation Chamber (DC) -- note, the bed comes complete with plenty of pillows and an extra-toed cat..... and the desk has appropriate levels of files and the ever important clock radio, lamp and phone.

Blog it and find it...

In the previous post I noted that I couldn't find copies of the key articles I needed to continue.

The next thing I did was stand up to move some stuff to another shelf, picking up half of a pile of papers and things...

You guessed it, the articles I needed were on top of the pile.

yikes. I'm now a believer...

Let's try another one--

I can't find the FedEx guy who is bringing my new purse.....


On the way to me:

1) My sweet hubby -- the cats and I miss him. He'll be here tonight for the whole weekend.... he doesn't have to go home until Monday. I'm looking forward to sharing the DC....

2) My new Coach purse (too lazy to link... it is a classic tan one with a flap, no clasp...). According to FedEx it will be here by 4:30.

I'd rather hubby be here by 4:30 -- oh well, by that time he'll be in "I don't know math" state.... on the way to me :).

Project progress:
I'm back into an old paper with the determiniation to do it right and get it accepted. Just getting started represents overcoming a huge hurtle for me. A trip to the library this weekend will let me find the articles -- AGAIN -- (somehow I keep losing them, don't know why... are there paper gnomes or something??) . Again, another exciting thing.

After the FedEx guy comes, I'll go to PetCo and to get a few groceries. Hubby and I plan to huddle in the DC this weekend getting stuff done and will need some good snacks. Then I'll finish some cleaning -- including loading the dishwasher, cleaning the Zen garden in the cat's bathroom, as well as some laundry -- while I wait for hubby to come home to me (and my new purse :) ).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dear Students...

In case you are wondering...

1) Those signs by the door don't always indicate class is cancelled. Sometimes, like THIS time, the sign means the class moved down the hall. After the first day, most of you got a clue--- but one of you didn't get a clue until today.... but, that's ok, Mr/Ms. Clueless also thought the class meets MWF, when it is only MW..... Please think twice about working with this dingbat.

2) Your instructor can usually tell if you come to class high... we may not care enough to make a stink, but we can tell. We'll only make a stink if your being high is impacting other people or wasting our time... and sometimes, not even then. The fact that we don't make a stink doesn't mean that your being high isn't irritating or disrespectful to us, it only means that making a stink is more trouble than YOU are worth.

3) Just coming to class three hours per week is NOT sufficient to earn 3 hours of college credit. The standard is 2-3 hours of homework PER HOUR of class. Expecting you to do an average of 6-9 hours of work per week of class isn't at all unreasonable. If your class is an 'early finish' class that meets two nights per week, the average expected workload should be 12-18 hours per week. This equation is in your syllabus, had you chosen to read it.

4) To my Intro to Phil class and my Logic class -- I don't know you yet, but I do love you. You are talkative and seem to be thinking about what I'm saying. Please don't lose these great qualities. You are also coming to class -- which is a habit you need to keep. If y'all test and present as well as you are talking right now, you will have earned your As. Please don't make me hate you by May... I really don't want to.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Damm-you cable company

So, our cable saga started sometime just before we left for our long trip..

The lower channels worked fine, but nothing worked above about 26 or so...

In the bedroom, where we have the digital cable box, the HD stuff worked -- but nothing in the analog range...

We figured it was temporary and left town.

It wasn't -- when I got home all of the stuff I'd TIVO'd and DVRd (we have both.. yea, extravagant...) on those channels was either scrambled or blank.

I thought it was because of the old phone-cable box and our change to Vonnage.

A super nice cable guy came out to help me. When he removed the old phone box, the digital cable was fine -- but the TIVO wasn't.

It turns out that the problem was in the box downstairs -- his bone-head comapny put a Video block on our line-- that was supposed to be on someone else's line.

Translation: They f-ed up and blocked MY cable... and I'm going to get a credit out of them if it kills me. It is the best I can do for missing some of my favorite stuff...

yea -- wish me luck!

For the record...

Having a day off is nice... really nice. Sure, I'll do a bunch of work today -- but I don't have to go anyplace. Today is cold and snowy, kind of gray outside... I'm waiting for the cable guy to come and then I'll get down to some cleaning and academic work...

I hear there is snow in Arizona. I'd have been pissed had it come two weeks ago. It shouldn't snow on cacti...

Monday, January 22, 2007


A day of questions...

Why does extra-toed cat spill all the water out of his bowl, leaving a soggy mess on the kitchen floor? He seems to bat at the bowl, sloshing the water all over the kitchen.

Why do I teach better when I'm a bit tired and not at all prepared? I had a good teaching day in Intro today -- it was fun, I was on and I should have been exhausted and cranky.

Why don't my debate novices listen when I tell them there will be a quiz? I suppose I should realize they are just normal college kids -- the thing is that I'm not going to putz around with their not doing the homework, they have to know this stuff before they compete and giving quizzes may be the only way to do it.

A related question -- would it be mean to put questions they missed on the next quiz, making it longer?? hmmmm

Why doesn't the Coach store carry the classic bags? I know others love their current stuff, but I think it isn't for me... so, they ordered the bag for me via the store and it should be here by the end of the week. YEA!!! I have to admit I'm kind of sad about not having the instant gratification of a new bag NOW...

I've been up since 4:15 AM, with only an hour nap before school -- why can't I go to sleep?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Good friends...

I have to say that I have some really good friends... especially Brain.

Brain came down to visit hubby this weekend. They played cards for a while on Friday and Saturday (hubby won me a new Coach purse I'll buy next week.. I've always wanted one...) and then came out to have dinner with me and the team.

On Saturday I started feeling icky -- in the urgent rushes to the bathroom way... I went home with hubby and Brain stayed in my hotel room and got my team to the tournament the next day. I have to say that I trusted him completely to handle the situation and he did so with his usual grace.

The plan had been for hubby and I to meet the team at the tournament -- but, in the middle of the night it was clear to me that I wouldn't be up to judging any debate -- so hubby and Brain took over for me completely....

It must have been a quick bug and/or a bad food issue -- because I'm feeling a lot better tonight. I'm really happy about that, as we are flying home tomorrow morning really early and being sick and flying is awful.

The good news from the tournament is that the Rock Stars made it to finals -- which was their first elimination round. I'm happy for them.

The code word for the night -- "double-cactification'

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Back in Red State, tournament 1

As usual, the Red State cold tournament is one of my favorites... I love to see the old friends here. The debates I watched were mostly interesting.

I wish my teams had done better, reading the ballots will be interesting. I think the rock stars are 2/4 and Sunshine and Swear Jar may be 3-3. They have some partnership issues to sort out -- I'm trying to keep my eyes on the nationals prize... it isn't easy, but I can do it.

I saw D1 today -- he's his normal self -- whatever that is... Tomorrow I expect to see Bex and Brain -- along with hubby.

I may insist on Indian food tomorrow night, as hubby went to play with Brain today instead of hanging out here with me. That may be the price he'll pay -- the rock stars can order a pizza if they don't like it.... I kind of don't really care.

I've decided that I'm going to be aware of stopping being their mothers.... they don't need one, they need a coach. So, I'm on a kick of treating them like adults. Requiring them to watch rounds doesn't mean that they'll pay attention in those rounds etc... So, I'm not going to insist they do so. On the other hand, I'm also not going to worry too much if they don't break -- especially if they make rookie mistakes that could have been avoided by being in touch with what is going on.

Sunshine is trying -- as Kristy would say -- "bless her heart"... which is what she says about people who try hard but sometimes miss. She's worried about making Swear Jar mad. The thing is, Swear Jar is going to be Swear Jar no matter what. He may get irritated, but he'll get over it. She has a typically female thing about not wanting to disappoint people (sounds like Bex... hmm). In some ways Swear Jar is like the Woodchuck -- so it kind of fits. Maybe a little Bex therapy would do her some good.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Not as bad as I'd thought it would be...

I met my classes today --

My logic class started getting into the argument we constructed about the parking lot... my students are enraged about the parking situation -- much more so than any political or social problems.

My Intro to Phil classroom changed at kind of the last minute. What makes me a little worried is that about 50% of the class walked by the bright yellow classroom change sign and sat in the old room waiting for me for 20 minutes. Finally, someone must have thought to check the sign on the door and I got a flood of people into the correct room.

My new debaters have a ton of potential. They are pretty smart-assed and funny. They are also finding time during the school day to work on stuff together -- and they are sharing a textbook! if they can learn to debate together and form a relationship this semester, next year they should be tearing up the circuit. I'm not sure what I'll do -- since I think Sunshine will be around next year as well... I highly doubt Swear Jar will be around to be her partner, but he also isn't talking about going elsewhere for school, at least not to me -- so who knows.

I also made a partner change without a lot of drama. Their old partners decided it would be better for them to class interpersonally than to work with people who lack the ambition to get ready for competition. I thought there might be drama when I made the change -- but, it seems like it worked out ok... hmmm

Tomorrow I'll pack to leave again... this time to Red State, with the debaters in their new configuration.

Wish us luck -- we'll need it :).

A new routine

A scene from the Dissertation Chamber:

I'm on my laptop, adjusting PowerPoint slides for the next few class meetings.

My table is in front of the window, outside is a snowy scene -- the sun is shining with a bright blue light --it looks cold.

I have a cup of coffee and "chick talk" radio on to keep me company.

The table is cluttered with my textbooks for this semester -- and graced with a photo of hubby from several summers ago.

Under the table, the front of my feet are chilly -- there is a draft from the window.

The back of my legs are warm, I have the space heater running... the room will be cosy soon.

Extra-toed cat is reclining on the floor in front of the space heater. I think he's found a new friend.

YEA -- this will work.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

not ready---

Umm -- can I call in sick or something -- for the semester?

I'm in a strange time right now. I'm thinking a lot more about debate than my classes -- probably because debate will take a lot more time than my classes this semester.

What I really need to do is to put my classes into auto-pilot and give my brainpower to my writing instead..

if only I could do that.

I'd like to develop a few long-term goals this semester...

1) Get up at 7 AM every morning... shouldn't be hard as I'm a morning person.
2) Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch before I leave the house.
3) on MW Remember to pack a light early evening meal to eat before debate.
4) On Tuesday and non-travel Thursdays Use the Timer technique to get 6-8 hours of my own writing done. On Travel Thursdays work from 8-12.
5) Do all of my prep and grading on MW before class.
6) Learn to keep focused in the Dissertation Chamber...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Home Sweet home...

It was nice to land in BN state -- give a Somali cab driver directions to my place and come home...

Tonight I've:
-- showered in my own shower
-- put on my favorite PJs
-- found something to munch on
-- pet the cat (repeat... )

I think tonight I'll get around to unpacking my suitcase, as I have to pack it again on Thursday. Otherwise, I'm going to hit my own bed early -- watch some DVR and pet the cat..

Tomorrow I'll sleep until I wake up and then go to campus to clean my office and make sure my copies are ready for the first day of school. I'll probably prep the first couple of weeks and do some elecronic housekeeping..

Trip photos -- how things change

We go home today -- BN state is supposed to get some snow, but they are pretty good about keeping the airport open etc... by dinnertime I should be snuggled with the cats watching as much stuff on the TIVO as I can cram in before going to school tomorrow to prep for next semester.

This trip was my first real experience with the desert. It is an amazing place and someplace I've come to love and appreciate... even if I'm not sure I could live in. I also returned to Denver and some of my favorite mountains.... mountains I love, miss when I'm in the rather flat Midwest -- and that I'd even give up lakes to live in...

The Continental Divide a couple of summers ago....

The same sign now....

Last weekend in the Sonoran desert, communing with the Saguro cacti...

This weekend in the Rocky Mountians...

and... we leave on Thursday for Red State for another tournament.... sigh.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

All kinds of drama next week...

Last semester I had the homophobic-nasty-single-mom, with the grade complaint. She didn't understand why not including ANY arguments in favor of same-sex marriage was an indication that she missed the point of the class and was lucky to get a C... If I weren't so ethical, I'd have given her a D.

I also had a grade-grubber who was over-confident in his logic abilities... so didn't come to class. Sadly, he didn't do as well as he thought and I was generous in giving him a C...

Both will want to talk with me next week -- ggah....

Also, there might be some debate drama next week... I can't blog about it, but suffice it to say that things may change, and that change will make me happier.... as well as (I hope) make the prepared and hard-working debaters on my squad happier as well.

The snowy mountains, me and Sunshine...

So -- when the team was done debating I gave them a choice.. They could go back to the hotel and watch football, hang out at the tournament and get a ride back to the hotel, or go to the mountains.

The only mountain-taker I had was Sunshine... and even though it was snowy and the visibility was crap, and it was getting dark, we had a good time.

Sunshine had never been to the Rocky Mountains before... we ended up going up Loveland Pass to the Continental Divide. When we got there, we realized that being at nearly 12,000 feet made us pretty giggly -- so we had some fun. We took pictures and I tried to ignore the four guys who were pissing on the other side of the road..

On the way home we stopped in Idaho Springs at the Buffalo Bar. I didn't realize that Sunshine loves buffalo... so the trip was a hit.

It was really nice to get to know Sunshine. She's packed a lot of interesting experiences into her life.

Tomorrow I'll get home, after two weeks away. While I'm sure Brain was an amazing cat sitter (if you are reading.. thanks a TON, I owe you dinner, plus some!) I'm also sure the cats will be really irritated with me.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Debate update...

Things are going a bit better than I'd feared they would.. but, they could do so much better... aargh.

A couple of my debaters are really starting to shine. The are getting it and doing well -- problem is their partners aren't doing as well and seem to be holding them back.

I wish I could put the stars together and leave the others to suffer the consequences of their lack of improvement -- but, the stars butt heads. If they could work together, they'd be awsome... but, I think they both want to be the lead sled dog.

Who knows how the semester will end -- and I know March will come sooner rather than anybody here with me can understand now...

I decided that if the kept the good attitude going, we'd go to the mountains when they are done debating tomorrow... we may not have the time to do it, but if they can manage two back to back tournaments and still be upbeat at the end of the second one, they deserve the reward.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Special Message to Wise Woman

Before I forget - there is a store in Parker Colorado called "Jackalope". 12450 S. Parker Rd...

From sun to gray

My debaters weren't interested in a trip to the mountains, once they found out that South Park doesn't really exist. I wasn't really excited about it, only because the weather is gray and nasty -- so the views wouldn't be good anyway.

I told them that South Park didn't exist when we were in Minnesota -- but they didn't believe me until they asked the slowest waiter in the world at Village Inn.

it is kind of sad to go from the desert to the snowy mountain city were many people were stuck in the airport. I'm missing the cacti - -and the hubby. It was REALLY hard to resist a couple of out-bound flights at the airport... one would have put me back in Red State, the other back in desert state -- but, I resisted the urge.

While I was waiting for the debater's flight to come in, I wandered around the suburbs a bit and saw the apartment hubby lived in when I first started to visit him. The neighborhood is rough and it looks like they are revamping the building, but for now the back looks the same -- I took some photos..... and rememberd the old times (hubby, you should be blushing now...).

Since we are here for two debate tournaments, we'll have a practice round before dinner and a practice round after dinner -- they are rusty and I know it. I also know that they haven't done the work I told them to do over break, so they could have a rough weekend. At the end, we'll have a little discusion about doing the things I tell them to do -- and that every one of those things has an f-ing reason behind it. For now, I'm trying to stay positive and not get pissy with them. They are young and cocky -- (one actually said to me in December "I don't think they'll use those topic areas anyway, so I ignored them" - It took all my will power not smack him and say, so -- how long have you been coaching and holding out on me -- asshat).

And, who knows, maybe they are right and they didn't need to do the work I told them to do -- we'll see.

My last day in the desert...

First -- YEA for free internet in the airport. One more reason to like this city...

I spent yesterday afternoon at the botanical garden. Walking for a couple of hours among the wide variety of cacti was pretty amazing and a good end to my time here.

I got pretty interested in the textures of the plants and ended up takikng close-up photos of many, many, many plants. I'll post some later, after I wrestle with iphoto a bit...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Desert City

On Thursday I'll leave desert city for a debate tournament, and then a few days at home...

When I think of my nearly two weeks here, I'll think of the following... in no particular order

1) THE HOTEL -- decent enough, but after two weeks in a so-so bed with light blankets I'll be happy to get home. Also, the complete disconnect between my reading feminist epistemology and phil of science here, while the nearly all female maids clean the rooms every day. Talk about some class guilt on my part.

2) Feminisim, epistemology and philosophy of science... it is what I've been working on. In particular, "6.498765th wave feminism" -- I make up a new number every time.....

3) Frank Lloyd Wright's home... cool as heck.

4) Road construction -- they closed down a major street -- completely -- for two weeks. The two weeks we were here....

5) Everyone here is from someplace else -- or, at least the English-speaking service economy people are all from up north.

6) The phrases "42 degrees" and "Icy Blast" in the same sentence. To me, getting up to 42 means no jacket weather...

7) Saguraro cacti -- love them, want one for my own, will never have one.... so sad.

8) Football fans -- Ohio and Florida fans = obnoxious drunk crowds... Oklahoma, surprised by their defeat and Boisie State thrilled to death... all and all, about what I expected.

9) Being glad I have my job... I keep running into the day manager of the hotel. I'll casually mention that something is wrong and she'll take care of it... last one was the dryer in the guest laundry. She went upstairs, felt it was warm and thought it worked -- aparently didn't try to actually start the dryer... (ya gotta wonder). I have nightmares that, without an education, I'd BE her.... or, with my education I'll still end up as her.

10) Being looked right through... hubby and I both noticed that we seem to send out signals to service people that don't seem to get picked-up. A classic example was when we walked up to the hostess stand at the hotel restaurant during brunch. I had to tell the woman that there would be two of us AND that we wanted to eat... When I smiled and said, "two, please" -- she acted as if she hadn't recieved enough information... umm-- there's food, you are standing in the position of power to distribute food, it is meal time and you wonder why people are asking you for a f-ing table? Perhaps she was shocked that I'd be wearing shorts and a t-shirt when it was so cold (65-70).

Monday, January 08, 2007

Fat suits are the new black face

I'm tired of seeing some skinny little thang' get into a "fat suit" to prove that fat people are treated differently than skinny people.

Duh -- look around, listen to what fat people tell you and use your brain.

Thin is in and if you aren't thin, you are less of a person.

Frankly, I'm as insulted by the fat suit as black folks should be about people who paint their skin dark to see if racisim exists.

As if my testimony isn't enough to convince you that there are fat-biggots out there.

yea, once again I'm disgusted by the media and popular culture... so, what eles is new?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A day in the desert

Today, I learned to love cacti...tall cacti (Saguaro), short cacti (barrel), ones with paddle shaped leaves, and cacti that look fuzzy but aren't (teddybear curro).

Hubby, like a salmon or sea turtle -- returns to his home....

An amazing view on the way back from the Kit Mountain observatory...

A nice assortment of cacti at the Desert Museum

Here kitty kitty -- a cat that would give even mom's huge cats an inferiority complex...

A hummingbird at rest -- hubby was focued on taking this photo when another hummingbird was tasting him...

If you find yourself in Tucson, really -- really -- really take the time to drive into the desert and go to the Desert Museum. Far from being a museum, it is a desert educaiton center.... you can learn all about the plants and animals of the desert, while always having a restroom and waterfountain nearby.

As Hubby and I drove back into town after seeing a completely different landscape than we've seen before, the lack of trees and strange variety of plants made us realize how varied our winter break has been... from near Canada, to near Mexico -- with a good dose of Midwest in between. We've seen a great lake and centuries old cacti. We've seen poverty and excess (parts of Tucson and Scottsdale... not really in the same state) and have been in the same town as two bowl games.

Places I've been...

create your own personalized map of the USA

Don't ask me why I haven't gone to Nevada, Idaho or Oklahoma... now I kind of want to go just to fill in the whole western US...

Of the missing eastern states, Maine is the one I'd like to see the most.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

When I should be working...

I'm working in the law library of the Sandra Day O'Conner College of Law at ASU... and, while I should be reading feminism, I took a break to check my course registrations...

The good news is that my novice debate course has a lot of potential -- especially with the addition of K...

K is a fun, challenging and very bright black male student. He gave a great presentation in my ethics class this fall and wants to go to law school -- a natural....

He probably won't be on the circuit this spring, but next fall -- watch out! K, J and N will be ready to go!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Taliesin West -- amazing

I've always kind of had a thing for Frank Lloyd Wright -- amazing architect, brilliant person etc. After today, I'd really love to go to Falling Water and I really should go see his stuff in Wisconsin, includiing the original Taliesin.

A while back I saw a TV show about him and Taliesin... how his apprenitices lived in tents and built the complex by hand etc. Wright didn't live in Arizona the whole year, rather he spent the summer in Wisconsin and October - April in Arizona... leaving before it got too hot.

I really can't describe Taliesin West, and my photos can't do it justice. What I'm missing is a way to convey how peaceful it was up there. Away from the traffic and noise of the city. Surrounded by cacti and other desert plants. The sound of the fountains (Taliesin has it's own water source... and more than a few ponds and fountains).

I think the best bit was the old guy tour guide... you know the type. He wore a black hat and sunglasses and knew a lot about Wright and his family -- including quite a bit of 60+ year old "gossip" -- which may or may not have been true, but was fun anyhow...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Everyone here is from the Midwest

So far everyone I've talked to here wants to know where I'm from.... When I tell them Red State / BN state they tell me about when they used to live there.... without fail.

I really do think that everyonoe in this desert city is from the Midwest.

I can see why they came, although I think the oppressive sunshine and unforgiving good weather would put too much pressure on me. I like the challenge of living where the weather wants to kill you -- as it also gives you an excuse not to go outside temping death.

Exerpts from my "Feminisim" playlist

On the way down here I decided I needed a new playlist for my ipod....

Included on "Feminism" -- among some others that arent as ironic...
Barbie Girl
Skater Boy
If I had $1,000,000 (Barenaked Ladies)
Goodbye Earl
Uptown Girl
Big Fella (Black 47)
Boys of Summer
Get Over It
First off, we made it to the desert. My toes are freed from socks and other confining clothing, the palm trees are lovely and Boisie State beat OSU to win the Fiesta Bowl across town. All is well…

Now we are at the Holiday Inn that will be our home for the next two weeks. It is acceptable, as it has both a king-sized bed and a refrigerator. As a bonus feature, it has a balcony that overlooks the dumpster -- and an orange tree... My plan for tomorrow is a morning in the library and then a bit of grocery shopping and reading by the pool in the afternoon. If all goes well, I’ll reward myself with a nap.

As usual, I have a few secret notes to those I met while flying here:

To the officious woman in the security line: Shoving hubby was not cool and then snorting, “you have a laptop” did NOT justify your barging in front of him. Acting as if a laptop is somehow contraband or foreign to an airport shows what a nasty Red State hick you are. FYI, you were in no hurry to catch that flight. I saw you sit there for 90 minutes before they called your boarding group. Don’t be such a nasty piece of work on the way home.

To the guy sitting next to me from Omaha to Denver: I could smell your New Year’s celebration – you didn’t have to tell me you were still a bit drunk. I hope you have a safe flight to LA and that your hangovers aren’t the barfing kind. Also, your response to what I do for a living is the 2nd most common response… many people tell me, “I didn’t do well in Philosophy, so I stopped taking it”.. duh, it is hard and most people don’t get it.

To the couple sitting in front of me and hubby: Dude, you are short, you don’t need to recline your seat all the way back into hubby’s space. Girl, I’m going to pretend for the sake of both of our dignity and sanity that you weren’t joining the Mile High Club 6 inches in front of me with that scummy, white-supremicist-looking, tattoo wearing dude that had his head nearly in hubby’s lap. We’ll pretend it is innocent cuddling…. Really, it is better that way.

To all of my regular travelers who are also my readers: – take my word for it, you really don’t want to fly on New Year’s day – the people are both inexperienced AND hung-over.

To D1 (whom I didn’t see, but who has a strong objection to children on leashes..): Children should be on leashes in airports. Way too many kids were prime for the snatching at DIA.

To the nice young man from Maui: Thanks for the funny, I’m passing it on – It seems that yesterday he was behind two gentlemen from London in the supermarket checkout lane near where he is living in Colorado. The check-out girl asks to see their ID, then says, “You live in London, you must speak French.” The gentlemen say “no, we speak English”, to which she replies, “Isn’t London in Paris?”.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Up early and out

It feels almost 'normal' to be up at 5 AM on a Monday in Red State in order to catch a flight.

What is abnormal, and wonderful, is my hubby...

gee, that kind of intentionally came out wrong, but I'm going to leave it...

The real wonderful thing is that hubby is going with me!!! Also, that we aren't going back to BN state, rather we are going to the desert for two weeks....

and possibly a weekend trip to the Grand Canyon...

So, I've got my feminist philosophy packed up. I've got all my stuff for 2+ weeks in my small suitcase (cuz I'm a packing ninja..) and our cab should be here in an hour. Time for me to shower, dress and find some caffiene.

Feminism and changing names...

Another paper is brewing in my head -- the politics of personal identity and feminism.. The core worry is why it matters that a married woman take her spouse's name. Is the feminist pressure to keep 'your own name' the same for same-sex couples as it is for hetero couples?

Of all people, hubby caught crap within his grad department for MY decision to take his name when we got married. The fact that I was 21, it was 1990 and I hadn't done anything (including get a BA) in 'my own name' didn't seem to resonate with the feminists in his department. Many of them were actually mad at HIM for my decision -- like I'm some weak-willed little thing who was easily taken advantage of and pretty much 'name-raped'....

OK... those of you who know me in real life -- take a minute to stop laughing...

really ... I can hear you laugh from here...

For the rest of you -- if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm pretty strong willed. Hubby is also very open mineded and seriously gave me the option to keep my original name.

I guess what kind of chapps my butt about this issue are the following things..

1) I grew-up as a child whose last name was different than her mother's. It was a pain in the but to explain that I was Me C. and my mom was Mom M. By 7th grade, I started telling her to use my last name with the school and things got better. I didn't want my vanity and my politics to cause that kind of troule for my own kids. I also didn't want to have to fight or negotiate with hubby about the last names of our children -- and have the kids split their names. I know my pals PB and PF have a neat deal set-up, but that is their deal and wasn't mine in 1990. Why can't feminists accept this choice of mine about my own name?

2) "MY name' is my FATHER's last name. Talk about continuing the patriarchy... I should continue the name that my father gave me instead of the name of the man I CHOOSE to be with? This makes no sense. Especially considering that my father's family isn't all that influential in my life. On the other hand -- were I to take a last name that really means something to me, I'd take my mother's maiden name -- that side of the family has been and still IS my extended family.

3) Why the F is it any of their business what my last name is and why I decided to take his instead of mine? If the government has no right to determine what I do inside my woumb, why should feminists care how I sign my checks or what my diplomas read?


anyway, I'm thinking about a personal identity paper (metaphysics, I think) concerning this issue and feminist's take on it...

since personal narrative is relevant to feminist thought -- it might be a good idea.