Sunday, January 30, 2005

Erin's back, and she's gonna get you!

I hope that Paul didn't get too excited about being on top of the scoreboard for a few days there. I knew that as soon as Erin returned from her Florida vacation (SO jealous!) she would shoot back up again immediately. And indeed, when I came home today, there were 9 emails awaiting me, 7 of which were Erin racking up the points.

Lots to talk about today, but I'm very tired, and I need to call my parents, so it'll have to wait. Sorry.

"You talk about him as if he had occasional bad manners." (25 points)

Saturday, January 29, 2005

"wouldn't it be loverly?"

Name that quote for 10 points.

I chose that for my title because of the bee-yutiful weather today here in Lancaster. It's partly cloudy, and the temperature's been around 46 F (8 C). Now, that may not sound so wonderful to most of you, but for here in cloudy, cold, windy Lancaster, this is gorgeous! In fact, it's just perfect for me. OK, so I wouldn't temperatures a little higher -- maybe up to about 60 F -- but this is just how I like things. Unfortunately, it's not supposed to stay too long. The next week is supposed to be relatively warm, but cloudy most days as well.

I'm feeling productive today, because I went to the library. I was probably there for a whole half hour, even! :) I photocopied some journal articles I've been planning to read, about Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). They're a series of critiques by non-CDA scholars, and the responses from CDA scholars. I've been wanting to see what other scholars have had to criticize about CDA, and it should be interesting reading.

I also got some books about Orson Welles from the library. The last few days, I've been working on transcribing an episode of the Jack Benny radio show, an episode with Orson Welles as guest star. It's been getting me interested in Welles again, and I also wanted to look at some biographies to make sure that some of the things I want to say about him are backed up. Orson Welles was a very interesting man, and I have quite mixed reactions to him. My very least favorite film adaptation of Jane Eyre is the one with Orson Welles as Mr. Rochester, from 1944. But I digress -- all of this Orson Welles stuff is for a different day, preferrably after I've looked over the two books I got.

But what I really am excited about is the DVD I got from the library, The Third Man, which Welles starred in in 1949. I remember this film from when I was very little. It's one of the few movies my Dad has ever bought, and I remember watching it as a family once when I was pretty young. I've always loved the theme music from it, especially the Anton Karas version, and I seem to remember enjoying the film too. It's been a long time, though, so I don't really remember it too well, but I'm looking forward to watching it. As soon as I'm finished with it, in a few days, I plan to get Citizen Kane, which I've never seen before -- I figure it's about time.

Friday, January 28, 2005

new OTR site

I just have to share this site with you all, and many thanks to Donovan for introducing me to it. It's called, and they have lots of Old Time Radio mp3's for free. They don't necessarily have a whole lot of episodes of each show, but they quite a wide selection of shows, and many that I had never heard of before. I plan to try out some shows like Harry Lime (a spin-off of the movie The Third Man), Witch's Hour, and The Voyage of the Scarlet Queen in the next several weeks (or months?). I also downloaded 22 more episodes of The Whistler, that I didn't have before. That makes me very happy!

Speaking of OTR, I got my website all ready to upload, and the silly department lab computer won't read my CD-RW! So, I'll have to try again sometime.

So, a quote. "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." This is a tricky one, and here's why: you get 10 points if you can give me the most recent movie this is in (the most recent that I'm aware of, that is), 20 points for the name of the song, and 50 points for the name of the movie it was first used in. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

moles, alarms, and mice (or mouses?)

My Brother The Chiropractor recently sent me a little jar of C-4 Cream, which is a mixture of C-Herb and Replenishing Cream. C-Herb is an herbal product for removing cancerous or cancer-prone areas of skin, such as warts and moles. I have these two moles I've been wanting to get rid of, and after applying the cream for the last week or so, the first is starting to come off. It's pretty cool, actually. It just eats away at the weird skin and leaves the normal skin just as it is. I expect that it will be completely gone in about another week or two.

Recently, my alarm clock stopped working. I think I wrote about it last Sunday, when I was late for church because I slept through my alarm. Well, on further investigation, I learned that I hadn't slept through my alarm; rather, my alarm hadn't really gone off. I've been using a software application that I downloaded off the internet, and it's been great so far. I usually wake up to a nice mp3 from a list that I've selected, and it works like a charm. It worked great last Saturday, when I had to get up early to go to Chester. But Sunday, it suddenly stopped. The application still starts up, but the music doesn't play. I've tried everything I know of, and nothing has gotten it to work. I'm going to send an email to the company and see if they know what's giong on. In the meantime, I may have to rely on friends to give me a call on the mornings when I need to wake up early -- which luckily, is only Sundays for the next few weeks. And if anyone has any brilliant ideas for me to try out, I'm open to suggestions.

Just before Christmas, my computer mouse also quit working. One day, it just decided to not work with my computer. So for the last month or so, I've been doing without a mouse, only using the pad at the front of my laptop. It felt weird, after four weeks of this, to use the department computers and have to use a mouse again! Anyway, a few days ago, my mouse suddenly changed its mind again, and decided to start working. So I now have a mouse again. But now, I'm so accustomed to my mouse-pad on my laptop, that I don't like using the mouse for everything anymore -- just some of the more difficult things, like cropping photos ans such.

QUOTE: "The hardest thing I've ever done is keep believing there's someone in this crazy world for me." (15 points)


I was going to post something, but I forgot what it was I wanted to say. So, here's today's quote:

"Who put me in this bed? I'll bet his face is red."

20 points

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

a few HP memes

I gacked these from Jen -- thanks!

Hmm, not thrilled, but I can handle this. I actually quite like Percy, and I think he gets the shaft sometimes.

I'm Mrs. Percy Weasley

The Weasley Boy Marriage Quiz
made by Sapphire.

OK, this one I don't get at all. I mean, *Cedric*? I've never been one for the athletic type. Although, come to think of it, Cedric does have a strong sense of right and wrong, and that's very important to me, so I can handle this one too.

I'm Mrs. Cedric Diggory

The HP Boy Marriage Quiz
made by Sapphire.

This is my favorite. What else can I say?

I'm Mrs. Albus Dumbledore

The HP Male Marriage Quiz
made by Sapphire.

And one more quote, for 10 points again. "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think whether they should."

Ah, what the heck, another one from the same source, just because I love it so much -- even though it might give it away.
"God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs."
"Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth."

a post with no point

A little while ago, I had a brief online chat with Paul, one of my readers (wow, I have 'readers'!), who mentioned that he checks my blog about twice a day. He also checks twice a day all the blogs of everyone else he knows, basically, and I hope this sentence confuses you as much as it does me. Anyway, point is, I suddenly felt like I had to post something so that I wouldn't disappoint Paul too much. So here it is. There's not a lot to talk about right now, but you're getting a post anyway.

First, let me take care of the quote for the day, worth 10 points this time:
"By the way, why did you kiss me?"
"I don't know. I was about to be hanged, it seemed like a good idea at the time."

Ah, the memories! I remember the first time I went to see that movie. But not too well apparently, as I seem to remember seeing it with some high school friends, but it came out a few years after I had graduated from high school, and I don't recall having any contact with those friends during that particular year. I think I'm mixing it up with the first time I saw another classic film of the same type of genre, which may just end up being tomorrow's quote. We'll see.

Well, for all those who haven't yet heard, let me make you all aware that I have been called, sustained, and set apart to serve as the Enrichment Counsellor in the local Relief Society presidency. It will certainly be an interesting experience, and one that will stretch me. Our February Enrichment is next week, on February 2nd -- not much time. I'm starting to freak about it a little bit. In any case, I'm anxious to get some new people in as Enrichment Leader and Enrichment Teacher. The sisters who are there now are wonderful, but one of them is moving very soon, and I feel very strongly that it is important to get new people into those positions so that I can train them to do things how I think they should be done. The Enrichment activities in our ward have largely been just for entertainment, at least the ones since I got here, and I have very strong feelings about making Enrichment something that really addresses and fills the needs of the sisters in a spiritually uplifting way. I also have strong feelings about the division of responsibility in planning and executing Enrichment meetings. All of this, you understand, is within the bounds of what the Spirit dictates in particular circumstances -- I don't want anyone thinking that I'm trying to be dictatorial and impose my own ideas about how things should be, with no regard for what's going on in the ward and what the Lord wants.

Moving on, though ... I'm getting my data ready for my assignments of the semester. For one class, I'm analyzing linguistic variation (read: accents) in an episode of Jack Benny. That should be fun, and I've been working on the transcript for that particular show, which is always both enjoyable and tiring. For the other class, I think I'm going to do an analysis of some news articles about car accidents, and see whether they display a bias against SUVs. Lots of articles tend to personify SUVs and talk about them as though they have a mind of their own, and they go around purposely doing destructive things and killing people mercilessly. I'd like to see if that's a trend specifically linked with SUVs, or if it happens in reports about other cars as well, and the phenomenon occurs simply as a way to save words. Anyway, if you find any articles from the last 5 years or so about car accidents of any type, and specifically about SUVs, please let me know. Maybe drop me an email with a link.

Oh, and just one last note before I go. I'm working on updating my personal website, including a page with links to some of my favorite old time radio shows, so that you all understand what I'm raving about when I go on about Jack Benny, Phil Harris, and the Whistler. I'll be sure and let you all know when I have it uploaded.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Chester, soulmates, and coursework


On Saturday I went to Chester with a group that was organized by the Graduate College (kind of like when I went to Whitby in October). We stopped first at a factory outlet shopping center for 2-1/2 hours. I was done shopping after 1 hour. After that, I read for my CDA class -- that lasted about 20 minutes before I was so annoyed I couldn't take it any more -- and then I wandered around the complex for the next hour or so, reciting to myself the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, which I'm working on memorizing.

After that, we went to Chester. A lot of the students did more shopping there, as there are some great stores, and the sales are on big-time right now. I, however, went to the cathedral. I was highly impressed -- I've seen some great churches in my day (including Notre Dame de Paris and the York Minster), but this one blew them away, in my opinion. The outside wasn't that much to look at, although it was unusual, being made of sandstone. But the real kicker was inside -- the decorations were amazing. I kept taking pictures of the floor, because the tiling was so wonderful everywhere. Then there were the choir stalls, which are just always fascinating to me, and misericords. Good stuff. I will be sure to let you know when I've added those pictures to my website, and put some links in here.

I also tried to see the castle in Chester, and the moment I found it, I realized why the guidebook didn't really say anything about it. There has been a castle on the site since around 1070, but it has been so altered and dismantled down through the centuries, that by the time anyone was interested in preserving things like castles, there wasn't much left to preserve there anyway. I did, however, stop by at the Grosvenor Museum, which had a very interesting display about Roman Chester -- there was a Roman fortress at Chester by at least 76 AD, and many people think there was a Roman settlement much earlier, although there's no conclusive evidence of that. They had some interesting stuff in the display, including a Roman-style lock (fascinating!) and an abacus, with an explanation about how to add and subtract in Roman numerals. The main parts of the Roman fortress have left their mark in Chester, as the main streets of the fortress remain the main streets of the city now, and parts of the city wall mark the boundaries of the fortress as well.


Last night, "the girls" got together for dinner. (If you're not aware by now, "the girls" refers to JoAnna, Denise, and Sarah, all of whom are both students at Lancaster and members of the Church, and active ones -- there are other students in the ward, but they don't come to anything.) We had a sort of potluck meal together, and then we sat around doing silly girly games afterward. JoAnna taught us how to find out who our soulmate is (and I'm so planning to do it with lots of you!), and Denise taught us this numerology-type thing to find out if you're compatible with someone. Many of you will be pleased (and probably not surprised) to hear that my soulmate is Edward Fairfax Rochester. And if you don't know who that is, you can't be my friend anymore! :)

I had a great time, though! It was the sort of bonding experience that I really miss these days -- being able to sit around with girls who are not drinking, swearing, speaking a different language, or talking about who they want to shag, and just being silly and having fun together. Good times, good times.

I'm also very excited for FHE tonight. We're going to watch Napoleon Dynamite, with root beer floats, microwave popcorn, and rice crispy treats. Yum!! I'm so pumped for this movie -- I've heard tons about it, and I plan to like it. So I hope I'm not disappointed!


I got my first piece of coursework back today, with my mark (read: grade) on it. I got 73%.

Wait, wait! Before you get all sad for me, I have to tell you that in the Social Sciences Faculty, anything above a 70% is a "distincion" mark. So, that means I did really well. REALLY well. So, yay! :) Elena put some really good comments in, and looking through it, I realized how badly I need an editor for things like this -- there were several mistakes, the natural consequence of doing 3 drafts and then revising all of them before turning one in.

So, big sigh of relief on that one! I was starting to get really nervous about it, so it's great to see that I did all right. That grade, of course, is subject to alteration when the external examiners review the work, but I hear that they rarely change the grades, except in unusual circumstances. That grade, though, also means that I'm on track (so far) to get an overall distinction for my degree, which would be really great. I'd also have to get over 70% on my dissertation in the summer, along with high marks on all of my other coursework. So, there's much left to do, but hey! it's still a possibility.


I've been trying to think of harder ones for y'all, as I keep thinking of the same books and movies. But, for today, I'll have to stick with a fairly easy one again.

"Only during thunderstorms, sir." (10 points)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Jack Benny link

I was checking out the website of the International Jack Benny Fan Club (of which I am a member!) today, and they had a link to Yuks television, where there are clips from four of the greatest classic comedians of American entertainment. For those of you who have never experienced the wonder of Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, or Groucho Marx, I highly recommend that you use this link. (Red Skelton is also in there in a classic role as Freddie the Freeloader, but not nearly as funny.)

Today's quote, for 10 points: "I would be quiet if he liked, and as to talking rationally, I flattered myself I was doing that now." And just for good measure, one more (from a different source), for 20 points: "What's a Chinese urn?" "Depends how long he works!"

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Happy Inauguration Day!

Today is a good day in American politics, and I mean that whether you're Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green, or whatever else. Inauguration Day is always historic, and I hope we pay attention to it. I've added one of my favorite quotes from Bush's Inauguration Speech on the sidebar. It was a great speech -- and I mean that if you're conservative. :) It was great because it reached beyond the bounds of President Bush himself, and stretched to the ambitious topics of freedom, God-given rights, and the founding and preservation of America. Weighty matter, that. If you didn't hear it, please read it. I promise you'll be better off for it. President George W. Bush's Second Inaugural Address

I also watched National Treasure today, and that in conjunction with the Inauguration today has made me ... pensive, I guess? I want to say that I'm reminiscent about the Declaration of Independence, but let me clarify that. It sounds like I'm saying that I was somehow involved in the drafting of the Declaration, which (of course) I was not. However, I have personally adopted the Declaration of Independence as a statement of personal belief, and that's what I've been reminiscing about. It's now on my desktop wallpaper. Unfortunately, I can't read it.

About the movie, though. It was good, not great. The writing was weak, and it had a plot that was bursting to the seams -- so much so, that you felt completely out of your depth by about 3 minutes into the film. There was no time to catch your breath before you were thrown into the middle of this huge plot. Action and conflict are important in plots, and you have to have it at the beginning to pull people in, but you need to allow your audience time to soak it in, as well. But enough on that.

Today's quote, worth 20 points: "One may have that condition by fits only."

Monday, January 17, 2005

weird dreams, and State of Fear

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. But I've separated everything, so you can pick and choose what you want to read.

Let me start with the QUOTE, so you don't have to scroll all the way down to find it. "I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me." (10 points)

weird dreams

I've been having really weird dreams lately. A few nights ago, I dreamt that I was at home and it was Christmas time. We all sat down for Christmas dinner, but the mood wasn't very bright. Soon, people from the family started drifting away from the table and didn't come back. There was also a little spat starting up between my brother and my mom. Eventually, everyone was gone except for me and my brother (not the one who was arguing with my mom). I could hear my mom in the kitchen, complaining about how she had to do all the work, and no one appreciated what she had to go through. And I started crying, and yelling about how Christmas in England was so much better, because they actually all stayed at the table and talked with each other and acted like a family. My brother was goading me on all the while, agreeing about how our family wasn't acting like a family. It was so intense that I actually had tears in my eyes when I woke up a few minutes later.

Then, the night before last, I dreamt that I had applied to the University of North Texas to do a Master's in Physics. They wrote me back with a rejection letter, stating that they were not accepting me, mainly due to the poor recommendation that one of my high school teachers had given me. I hadn't asked this teacher to recommend me anyway, and I couldn't help thinking that it sounded like they had gone specifically to this teacher to try and get some dirt on me. They quoted parts of his "recommendation" to me, saying things like that I was "hopelessly ignorant and dim-witted" and that my "presence in the classroom had caused disruption to the other students". Things that really didn't sound like me at all. But the thing that really annoyed me was that this particular teacher taught a math class, which I admittedly hadn't done well in, and they had purposely ignored my high grades in other math classes and in my high school and college Physics classes. The teacher who had slandered me was one that I never had in high school in real life, but the really weird thing is that I remembered him from another dream I had months ago. I had taken the first half of this math class already and done really well in it. But then I had him for the second half of the class, and for some reason, the two of us just couldn't stand each other. So I would sit at my desk in the back of his classroom and seethe with rage at him while I tried to work out my problems, and it was like everything I had learned in the previous semester had suddenly disappeared from my memory. So I didn't do well in that particular class, but all the rest of my grades had been very high. The dream ended with me writing back a letter to the UNT Physics department, accusing them of bias and cherry-picking, and outlining my argument for why I was qualified for a Master's in Physics.

State of Fear

I'm almost done reading State of Fear, by Michael Crichton. It's typical Crichton drivel and reads more like a film script than a novel. It's riddled with profanity and is much more overtly sexual than I appreciate, especially the first 100 pages or so. Its only redeeming quality is intriguing ideas.

The novel has had several reviews, many good and many bad. And while I haven't read most of them, the ones I have read seem to ignore an important part of the novel. Most of the reviews, from what I've read, focus on the idea of global warming and environmentalism. That's a big part of the novel, and a very intriguing one, as Crichton cites all kinds of commonly plugged evidence for and against global warming and other environmental 'catastrophes'. The heroes of the novel come out on the side against these issues, and I completely agree with their arguments. But there is a bigger issue at play in the novel. State of Fear is not really about global warming, any more than Amadeus is about Mozart. Both are about a wider and deeper issue, and the overt subject is merely a means to an end.

State of Fear is about just what it says it's about: the State of Fear. Its central theme is that modern society thrives on keeping its citizens in fear about something or other. People are very easy to manipulate when they are afraid, and our modern society illustrates that point as well as anything. There is, as Crichton calls it, a politico-legal-media organization (the PLM) that operates to keep people in fear so that they can control them. Modern universities feed the fear by 'discovering' new things to fear.

Now, while all this sounds a lot like a crack-pot vast conspiracy theory, I must say I agree with it on the whole. My one problem with Crichton's theory is that he doesn't seem to move beyond the Communist scare. Right now, he says, the fear is environmental catastrophe. Before that, it was the Cold War and nuclear threat. Before that, it was Communism. But before that ... ? He doesn't mention anything. Which raises the question for me, if the theory is correct, then what was the big fear before Communism, and before that, and so on? Which also raises the question, when did this 'rule by fear' begin? Can it be pinned down to a particular time period, a particular theory, or is he suggesting that it is perpetual - has always been around, and always will?

Crichton answers the first question, in part, in his appendix, where he discusses the theory of eugenics, which was highly influential at the beginning of the 20th century. But he still doesn't move beyond that. And, as far as I can tell, he doesn't answer the other questions (keeping in mind that I haven't quite finished it yet). But I would have to ask whether it isn't possible that this 'rule by fear' can be pegged down as arising around the time that Marxism came into favor?

Friday, January 14, 2005


So, I can't sleep. I have tried everything I know, including sleeping pills, but nothing is doing the trick tonight. I even put in Robin Hood, hoping it would soothe me to watch a familiar DVD, eventually lulling me to sleep. Didn't work.

There is no point whatsoever to this post. Sorry to disappoint you.

I suppose I ought to go try reading my CDA textbook now, that ought to make me sleep. On second thought, though, it might just end up making me so mad that I'll be up for another two hours.

"London ... now home of the world's greatest secret agent, who has his home in a smart red pillar box somewhere in Mayfair." (50 points -- get that one, Erin!)

more phantom-ness

Today's quote is one that I couldn't help thinking about when I watching The Phantom of the Opera yesterday. It wasn't quite appropriate at that point in the movie, and I had to stifle laughter. It happened during the reprise of All I Ask of You, when the Phantom realizes that Christine is in love with Raoul, and he's sitting there singing and crying. It's one of my favorite parts of the musical, actually. Anyway, I couldn't help but think, "Is that a tear? How do you people do it? Did you pinch yourself? Or are you thinking right now, 'My dog is dead.'" (20 points, just because it's so durn funny, and you deserve it if you know this quote)

I've also been ruminating on my attraction to the story of The Phantom of the Opera. It's such a dark story, but I truly love it. I'm not just talking about the musical -- that I love primarily because of the music. But the actual story, completely apart from the musical, I also just love. The novel manages to make me bawl like a baby every time I read it, and that's not too common for me. The story touches something in me that nothing else has ever managed to quite get at. What is that something? Any thoughts out there?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

phantom of the opera ... again

Yeah, it's just as good the second time.

A friend of mine hadn't seen it yet, and I certainly raised no objections to accompanying her, despite having seen it once already. So we went tonight. It's just fantastic. Can I say that again? It's fantastic!!

Patrick Wilson is perfect as Raoul, Gerard Butler is perfect as the Phantom, and Emmy Rossum is perfect as Christine. Minnie Driver is hilarious as Carlotta (although she doesn't sing for herself -- surprise! -- which everyone else does). Honestly, my only complaints are these: First, Emmy Rossum doesn't quite do justice to the high notes on a few songs, notably "Think of Me" and "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"; second, the chandelier falls in the wrong place -- plot-wise, not physically.

And I would also like to state here that I believe the height of men's fashion occurred right around 1850 - 1860. In my opinion, there is no fashion of any other time that is quite so becoming to a man. Similarly, there is nothing so sexy as a cloak or greatcoat in the hands (or, preferrably, around the shoulders) of a man who knows how to use it. However, let me also state quite plainly that, while I find these fashions most satisfactory in the proper context, that context is clearly not nowadays. Most people who try to get away with this stuff in the modern era are usually, well, kind of creepy. Or just plain weird.

OK, today's quote. Oh, and before I forget, I didn't assign a point value for yesterday's, so I'll have to say that it's the default of 10. As is today's.

"Why, you speak treason."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


So lately, I've been watching lots of DVDs. I didn't realize this until just today. But in the last week, I have watched several hours worth of Danger Mouse, 13 Going On 30, Emma, The Four Feathers, Zoolander (not worth it), and ... well, the last one I'm going to leave for my daily quote, so read on! And then today I got my Christmas package from the Pehrsons (thanks!), which included two DVDs of Jack Benny television programs. Yay! You know, for being such a fan of Jack Benny's, it might come as rather a shock that I have never, ever seen one of his TV shows. So thanks a ton, Paul and Christina, for this brand new experience! :D

Oh, and as if all this were not enough, I am planning to go watch Phantom of the Opera again with a friend who hasn't seen it yet. Movies galore.

On the academic side of life, things are getting better. I started reading my first CDA textbook today, and although I still think it's a woolly area, I'm more at ease with the idea of studying it for three months. Happily, after that, I can turn back to traditional stylistics (which I enjoy much more) and not worry about CDA ever again, if I don't want to. Although I suspect I will, but probably not for the reasons that Ruth Wodak would want me to.

All right, the 'daily' quote: "If there's one thing I know, it's not to mess with Mother Nature, mother-in-laws, or mother freakin' Ukrainians."

Monday, January 10, 2005

school frustrations

The new term started today, and I have to say that I'm quite annoyed with things. I'm starting to be truly disillusioned with academia. Mind, I've been aware for several years that modern academia is terribly biased, but I've always felt that my desire to teach outweighed that fact. Right now, though, I'm not so sure.

My two main classes this term are in Critical Discourse Analysis and Sociolinguistics. Now, I've been deeply interested in both of these topics (well, maybe not CDA, but discourse analysis in general), and I was excited to take the classes. Until about the last week or so of last term. That was when the CDA teacher taught our mandatory colloquium-like class. Maybe it's just her nationality ... you know, culture-related issues ... but I just can't get over the feeling that she sure thinks a lot of herself and is so excited to teach this course so that she can talk about how brilliant she is and how much she's done, while dropping names every five minutes. But besides all that, it seems that the whole philosophy of CDA is rather "woolly", as Hermione would say (5 points for the right book). It seems to me that it's very much based on intuition and previous bias, which is rather ironic, since it claims as one of its main tenets that the researcher should "question everything". And I get the same feeling about modern sociolinguistics, although I haven't been to that class yet. Now, I suppose that it's always possible to just move away into areas that are more interesting and dealable to me, but I'm disturbed at the trend that seems to taking place in modern academia, this trend toward the touchy-feely disguised as science. And now I'm wondering whether I really want to be pushing against that for the rest of my life. But on the other hand, I currently don't feel like I really have many marketable skills right now. Aargh. I hope I'm able to come to terms with this soon.

Well, on to today's real quote of the day (the last one was just an hors-d'ouevre -- I think that's how you spell it!). This one's worth ... 35 points, I'd say. "The impertinence lies, sir, with those who would seek to influence a man to deny his beliefs!"

Sunday, January 9, 2005

sigh of relief

So, I'm done. All assignments completely finished. The only thing I have left to do is to print one more copy of each, as I forgot that we're required to hand in two copies of all our coursework. So I'll go do that in the morning, before my first class of the new term at 11:00.

Also, I want to make it clear that you can still grab points for quotes even if someone else has already left a comment with the correct answer. We're operating on the honor system here, and if you say you knew it without looking, then I trust you. "And remember -- this is for posterity, so be honest." (15 points)

I'm now off to read some more Harry Potter before the term starts for real, and then to bed, to bed! I've had some really late nights recently, so it will be nice to get to bed at a decent time finally. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2005

pocket-knife found, eyebrows tweezed ... ah, what a relief!

For the last few weeks, I've been unable to find my pocket-knife, which was quite disconcerting, partly because I just really like my pocket-knife, and partly because I always use those tweezers to clean up my eyebrows. All other tweezers are just so hard for me to deal with. Anyway, I've been trying to use these silly tweezers that I got from a Christmas cracker on Boxing Day, and they were terrible. But today, I found my pocket-knife again! I had accidentally put it in a different place in my backpack than I normally do, and it was hidden quite effectively so that I couldn't find it. So, I tweezed my eyebrows again today, and boy do I feel better!

I've been forcing myself to write this paper for corpus linguistics, and I just hate forcing myself to write. I'm sure this is going to be one of my least favorite papers ever, but you have to do what you have to do, huh?

OK, and now for today's quote of the day. This one's worth ... let's say 20 points. "You shall walk up the pyramids of Egypt!"

Thursday, January 6, 2005

making the switch

So, I'm planning to get an iPod in the next month or so, and in preparation I'm trying to actually get used to iTunes. I've had iTunes on my computer for some time now, but I haven't really used it that much (I mostly downloaded it so I could use the feature on the music store that lets you look at the playlists from radio stations -- I love that!). But, I'm starting to think I'd better make the switch from Windows Media Player. For one thing, we all know that anything from Apple is better than anything from Microsoft. Secondly, I like that iTunes uses standard file formats (like mp3 and AAC), since that makes it easier to work with the files in other programs, many of which don't support wma format. And, besides all that, if I'm going to have an iPod, then I'd like to actually know how to use iTunes so that all my music is in it when I want to synch.

The biggest problem I've had is that I've downloaded a lot of music from, which downloads as protected wma files -- which, of course, iTunes can't convert. So, for all of those, I'm having to write them to CDs first and then re-insert the CD so that iTunes will be able to rip the files. Sheesh! What a pain! But, I expect it to all be worthwhile in the end.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

the plague of the boring titles

So, tonight I really truly finished my pragmatics assignment. And I suppose I ought to happy that my biggest problem these days seems to be finding interesting titles. I used to give my papers cool titles like "Did you say 'beets' or 'beats'?" and "From ignorance to expertise". Now those are intersting titles. But no, right now all I can come up with is the boring stuff that really ought to be in the subtitle. So for now, at least, my pragmatics paper has no better title than "Pragmatics and humor in an extract from The Jack Benny Program". How boring is that?! Doesn't exactly jump out at you and make you want to read it, huh? Sounds like "chloroform in print", to quote a famous American humorist (let's say ... 20 points for the person who said it, and another 10 for what they were referring to).

So, any ideas? Let me know. I'm getting desperate about this. Especially as I don't want to send two papers to UNT with my grad school application that have practically the same title.

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

two down, one to go

Congratulate me! Tonight I finished my second assignment, this one for pragmatics. (Well, I'm almost done, that is -- I still have to look up a few references in the library and tweak my conclusion.) That means I only have one more to write, about corpus linguistics. I'm really dreading that one, as I feel like I have very little to say. However, these past two papers have made me feel like 5,000 words was very little, so maybe it won't be so bad.

So, yay!! I'm feeling rather accomplished now.

Oh, and one more quick quote for you. This one is worth 50 points, as I doubt that any of you will know it, but we'll see ... OK, here goes: "I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes, I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak."