Tuesday, March 27, 2007

claim to fame

I've recently starting listening to PotterCast, produced by The Leaky Cauldron, at Paul's recommendation. It's kind of fun, and I find it a much easier way to keep track of what's going on in HP fandom, rather than spending hours online trying to read all the different forums (which I'm not particularly fond of, anyway). So, I'm sitting in my bed, simply because it's comfy, and listening to PotterCast 81 while trying to figure out some FTP problems I'm having and re-sizing over and over an image that I want to use for a website I'm creating ...

When I hear the voice of my good friend, Emily. That's right, she's on this PotterCast. Now, I knew that Emily -- aka wahlee_98 -- has been working with The Leaky Cauldron for about a year. But I don't normally pay much attention to TLC. Now, though, I'm listening to PotterCast on a regular basis, and today I'm hearing my personal acquaintance on it. I totally have an "in" in the HP fandom world! (I already knew that, actually, but it's somehow much more real to me now.)

Congrats, Emily! Hope everything continues to go well for you.
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. (83 points -- This really has nothing to do with today's post, but I recently came across it, and it's been stuck in my head lately.)

Monday, March 26, 2007


Sorry about the weird layout, but I don't feel like messing with it enough to get the layout right.
My results:
I am Spider-Man

Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Friday, March 9, 2007

Caernarfon, Seattle, and Kansas

I am compeltely obsessed with Welsh. During the last few weeks I have checked out pretty much everything on the BBC Learn Welsh website, so I've learned a lot of the same things over and over again. I've finally found my favorite "course" (it's called The Big Welsh Challenge), but they've only got 4 lessons up so far, and I'm more than ready to move on ... but I expect it will be a while. So, in the meantime, I'll keep playing with Colin & Cumberland and eavesdropping on the Lloyd family -- my next favorite "courses."

I have also decided two things that I want to do with my life.

First, I want to go to Wales and take a Welsh course there. I've decided Caernarfon sounds nice. It's in the North-West, which has the highest percentage of Welsh-speakers in Wales, it's next to the sea, and it's got a nice, cheap little youth hostel. Oh, and a castle -- those are always fun. I've been working on pronouncing the sentence "Dw i'n byw yng Nghaernarfon" -- "I live in Caernarfon." (It's got this nasty nasal mutation, but I'm getting it worked out.)

Second, I've decided that I really want to be -- not a college professor or even a stylistician -- but a language-instruction assessor. You know, like a secret shopper, only for language instruction courses. I would go around and sit in on all these language classes and learn new languages and then assess the course and instructor(s). How fun would that be? It would give me a great excuse to move to Wales and take a Welsh course, not to mention courses in Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Egyptian heiroglyphs, Laotian, Maori, Czech ... the list goes on and on. Now I just need to find someone who actually offers a job doing that kind of thing ...

Meanwhile, it looks like I will be in Washington state for about two weeks this summer. I will be going out to help one of the linguistics professors here at UNT, who is starting her own business offering English-language-instruction summer vacation tours. This year they'll be in Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula, and I'll go along to provide more native English input for the Japanese and Chinese speakers and to offer some language instruction along the way. I'm pretty excited for it. It will be a paid position, I will get to see Washington, and I'll have something pretty nifty to put on my resume and CV.

And, much closer to home, I'm going to Kansas next weekend to visit Margo. I am very excited for it. It's the beginning of Spring Break out here, and Margo and I are planning to watch some movies (see today's quote), hang out, sing a musical number for her singles branch, and shoot some guns. (Perhaps -- I'm not sure what else we decided after the musical number, so I don't remember whether or not guns ended up in the final plans.) After that, I'm flying out to Utah for the rest of the week to see my family. I'm planning to help my sister paint and take my Dad out to a movie for his birthday. Oddly enough, I love the painting, but taking Dad out is a Herculean task. I really want him to see Amazing Grace, though -- I think he'd love it, and he needs to learn to spend time with his family.
A la batterie!! (101 points)

Oh yes, the last quote was from The Great Muppet Caper. I Netflixed it a while ago, and it's still here -- I love enough that I keep wanting to invite people over to watch it with me. Charles Grodin is wonderful in that movie. I'm always impressed with his ability to play passionate love scenes against a pig made of styrofoam.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

what do you podcast?

The other day, Paul posted an entry about podcasting, and I found it really interesting. So I decided that, instead of leaving a comment, I would post about the same thing over here. In the rest of the world, this would be a trackback, but Blogger doesn't support trackbacks, and I haven't tried the HaloScan software yet ... another day, maybe.

Anyway, here are the podcasts I subscribe to (font styles and symbols explained below):
Audio only -
  • 12 Byzantine Rulers: The History of the Byzantine Empire
  • British History 101
  • C2 Uchafbwyntiau'r Wythnos (BBC's Welsh-language radio station)*
  • Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
  • Great Moments in History*
  • IndieFeed: Alternative/Modern Rock Music*
  • Legal Lad's QnD Tips for a More Lawful Life
  • Matt's Today in History*
  • Money Girl's QnD Tips for a Richer Life
  • Mr. Manners' QnD Tips for a More Polite Life
  • Muse-Podcast (in German, by Alexandra Pilz)
  • New BYU Speeches
  • Pandora Podcast Series
  • The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson Podcast*
  • The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd
  • The Sean Hannity Show Podcast
Video podcasts -
  • Art History in Just a Minute
  • Ask MUSE - MUSE answers fan questions (actually, there's an audio-only feed and a video feed, but I prefer to watch)
  • FOX News Flash
  • What Not to Wear: Trends
And here's the explanation: an asterisked (*) show is one that I have only recently begun subscribing to, and I'm not sure whether I'll keep listening to it; bold shows are my favorites; those in italics are the ones I rarely listen to. I'm not as podcast-centric as Paul apparently is -- I still definitely listen to more music on my iPod -- but I do love some of these. I can't wait for the next episode of "Art History in Just a Minute," which is hosted by this guy from "down under" (I'm not sure whether it's Australia or New Zealand), and it's really fun; the host on "12 Byzantine Rulers" is just amazing, in my opinion; "British History 101," while somewhat stiffer than "12 Byzantine Rulers," includes great detail and thorough research in various topics in British history; and the "Pandora Podcast Series" has taught me tons about modern music (I was able to answer 4 of the 5 questions in a Jeopardy! drumming category recently, all because of Pandora). And, of course, "The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd" holds a special place in my heart, as the first podcast I ever subscribed to. It's geared toward children, and it's highly derivative, but it can sure be a lot of fun! And informative, too -- I've learned all kinds of junk from them.

The last quote was from the song "Istanbul, Not Constantinople," by both the Four Lads and They Might Be Giants. I've given Elizabeth 5 extra points for knowing about the Jack Benny sketch, and 5 extra points to Erin for knowing the names of both groups with recorded versions of the song.
No, honey, that's a frog -- bears wear hats. (82 points)