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July 14, 2008

Overheard in New York is my new favorite time-waste.

Yes, something has finally beat MyFace.


They Come in Other Flavors, You Know
Dude #1: It's not that I have a moral objection to the death penalty. I just don't think it should be the government making the decision.

Dude #2: Would you prefer an angry mob? --122nd & Amsterdam
via Overheard in New York, Apr 14, 2006

June 27, 2008

Quote of the Day: Jeanette Winterson

You Play. You win. You Play. You lose. You play.

June 02, 2008

Quote of the Day: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life's undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room.

May 16, 2008

Quote of the Day: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

I'm here, in this stupid little flat, on my own, and I'm thirty-five years old, and I own a tiny failing business, and my friends don't seem to be friends at all but people whose phone numbers I haven't lost. --Rob Gordon

November 09, 2007

Words and Codes and Things

Yes, that sequence of words I said made perfect sense.--Professor Farnsworth in the Futurama episode "The Honking" in season 2.


I don't really have a plan of action for this entry. I am sitting here, ticking things off my list and watching Futrama in Itallian with the subtitles on. I love Italian, its a great language. I had a nice conversation with one of my coworkers today about language and communication. Specifically, about people who aren't from 'round these parts not wanting to speak what's spoken here.


Now, obviously I have no problem with people speaking what they speak. I've said it before and I'll say it again, language is a resource that we utilize in order to communicate. We communicate any number of things from what it is we want to eat when we're ordering food in a restaurant to where we are from and to which groups in society we claim membership. And, sometimes you do that by speaking a language that is different from what is particular to that region. However, this coworker and I were dicussing what's commonly referred to as "language of wider communication" or LWC. The LWC for an area is more or less the Lingua Franca. Its what everyone speaks enough of to get by. It just so happens that English qualifies as an LWC in large swathes of the world these days and that I currently reside in an English-speaking country so it would make sense that the LWC here is English. My coworker and I are both not from here but neither of us have a problem with speaking English. Its just what you do here. However, there is this one guy at work who also not from these parts (but speaks English) who actually prefers to speak French (although, he's not French and he's not French Canadian and he's not from French Africa. French is a second language for him). If he can get away with going an entire shift without uttering an English word, he does. I think that's interesting. I've never worked with this particular chap, but the guy I was chatting with does frequently and it drives him bonkers. As I said before, I love Italian. I speak Italian to myself all the time (often when I'm walking up the road by myself and I don't think anyone is watching. This means that there is probably loads of CCTV footage of me muttering to myself like some crazy person.) And, I suppose if I could get away with it, I may do something like the French speaking guy, because I could. But, I'd probably get bored with it. When I'm talking to myself, I'm generally working something out or thinking through a problem. And, when I reach a solution I stop. The point is, I'm communicating in some way. I can't imagine being in a situation in which I can communicate with the people around me but I'm specifically choosing not to by choosing to use a linguistic resource that is not widely available. That just seems counter-productive. Although, maybe when he's speaking French he's talking to himself and trying to solve a problem or work something out. Maybe he's choosing to do it in a way that not everyone understands so that he doesn't have to admit some embarrassing secret or something.

June 30, 2007

Quote of the Day: Henry David Thoreau

"A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place,
but a seed to be planted and to bear more seeds toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea."
~ Henry David Thoreau

June 20, 2007

Quote of the Day: Alain de Botton

I passionately believe that's it's not just what you say that counts, it's also how you say it - that the success of your argument critically depends on your manner of presenting it.


June 06, 2007

Penguins. Pragmatics. A Joke from Preston.

My friend Preston once told me this joke:


There are two penguins up at the North Pole. They are sitting down to dinner and one of the penguins says to the other penguin, "Can you please pass me the salt?" to which the second penguin replied, "I AM NOT A TYPEWRITER!"


I was lying in bed this morning and this joke popped into my head. When I first heard it my response was, "But, there are no penguins at the North Pole. There is only one penguin in the Northern Hemisphere, and its equatorial." I think Preston at the time told me not be such a jerk, which was immediately followed by, "THAT is the one thing about the whole joke that bothered you? That there are no penguins in the Northern Hemisphere? It didn't bother you that the penguins were sitting down to a meal or that they speaking English or that they even knew what a typewriter was?" Of course, if I thought about it, these things would bother me. But, the first thing that bothered me, the thing that made everything else that was to follow bizarre yet irrelevant, is that the penguins wouldn't have been at the North Pole in the first place.

This joke didn't pop into my head because of the original discussion, it popped into my head because that's how I've been feeling the past few days...like a penguin at the North Pole making a simple request for some salt and being told in a raised voice that my interlocutor was not a typewriter. I've made a lot of references to the pragmatics of things lately, whether at the pub or just in general and I am left wondering, am I, by going about things the way I've always done them (which would mean in an American style) that I am doing wrong? Or, have I recently come into contact with a number of people who either have no social skills or who are being intentionally obtuse?

I like pragmatics. Not just because people don't say what they mean, but because when we use language in generally has some intent or purpose...something that we want to get done beyond the simple passing on of information. Pragmatics textbooks are full of examples of ways that we can use language to do things. There are classic examples of how, just by speaking the words we make something happen (For example: a wedding. " I now pronounce the husband and wife." when said after an exchange of vows signifies a marriage.) But, more often than not we get things done not by using the literal meanings of words, but through some sort of metaphorical or extended meanings of words. "Can I sit down?" isn't a request for you to verify whether an individual has the capacity to sit. Its something you say in order to get invited into a longer conversation. Its also something you say when you want someone to move their coat off of a seat so that you can sit down.

I'm not quite sure of the pragmatic intent behind, "Please pass the salt." aside from wanting the salt, but I have to figure it out, because I'm tired of hearing, "I AM NOT A TYPEWRITER!"

May 30, 2007

Surf Clouds

Sometimes, Cardiff has the sort of clouds that you expect to see in snaps taken at sunset by tourists visiting the beach. They have this salty, swept in from sea look that is harsh yet soft, backlit by the setting sun. Its one of the things I like about here; different enough from the methane sunsets of Iowa to be remarkable.


I was thinking today, while walking back from an interview at a coffee shop that a good cup of coffee from the same place you always get it is a little like making the bed in the morning. There are these steps and procedures that you have to go through if you are making it, and you might think, "Why bother?" Why mess around with hospital corners and making sure everything gets tucked in? Why bother count the seconds it takes to brew a shot? You have other things to do; the world is a busy and chaotic place.

Well, I reason that you bother because then, every time you see your bed its a reminder that there are things that you have control over. That maybe the universe isn't such a chaotic place; there is some sort of order. And you aren't bringing anything left over from yesterday, like twisted and mangled sheets because you kept tossing and turning before you fell asleep into the next day. Getting the same cup of coffee from the same place is a little like that. Its a reminder that there is order in the vast universe. A universe that may possibly be friendly because the barista that you see every Thursday and Saturday and some Mondays and Tuesdays has bothered to learn your name and not just your drink. Maybe I'm being optimistic and maybe its just subconcious, but I think these reminders of order are important to us. And even if they are the tiniest of things, they still do us good.

May 18, 2007

Quote of the Day: Alberto Moravia

"There are many reasons for keeping a diary: to make a note of facts that one considers important; to open one's heart, to give vent to one's feelings, to make confessions; from the instinct of economy which sometimes encourages a writer to make good use of even the smallest crumbs of his life, so that he may have one more book to publish; or again from vanity and self-satisfaction."

April 15, 2007

Lost In Translation

If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?
T. S. Eliot


I know everyone else discovered this film when it first came out in 2003; I'm a little behind the curve. It is beautiful and compelling. The story of two Americans trapped in a foreign culture by obligations who become friends, bonding over their inability to sleep as well as their outsider status with both the culture surrounding them as well as their obligations.


The film itself is beautiful, Tokyo seems to be perpetually glowing with a steely, blue light. The buildings all gray and white with people running around in charcoal and navy business suits. While shots of Charlotte (Scarlett Johannson) in temples around Japan are often lit brightly and warmly with a much richer colour palette including rich greens and reds.

So, I know this hasn't been much of a review, honestly I'm a little out of practice. The film was incredibly enjoyable and I recommend it.

How great would it be to start of a Jazz band with Bill Murray?

April 10, 2007

Love is in the air.

It feels like a Sunday. This is not true, however as it is Tuesday. I am sitting, showered and all ready to work on my cover letter some more when I decide that I should check my email. I am hoping to receive one or two pieces from people that I may or may not whilst I am home...the emails will hopefully give me a clue as to whether that will happen. There is really nothing of interest and so I log out which kicks me automatically to the Yahoo home page which has this headline on it:

Dreamed Up Phone Number Leads Man to a Bride

Well, I have to click on it, since I'm in a fantastic mood having just spend a wonderful day and a half with my boyfriend. (We celebrated Easter by sitting around and doing nothing. In the name of our Lord, of course. It was amazing. Just sat around, eating pizza and watching movies. The last one we saw this morning was Smokin' Aces. It was okay. The plot was a little predictable, the twists you could see coming a mile off. But, the characters were very interesting. Its a bit of a shame that they spend so much time developing all these fantastic nutters to not play them all to the hilt.

March 09, 2007

Its been awhile

Hiya!

I know, its been forever since I've written. How funny that one person can own so much stationary, be absolutely enamored with the art of letter writing and actually manage to send so few of them. I contend that it is not the letter writing itself, but the posting that gets me. And, it does get me, every time. The post offices here are not publicly owned; they are mostly little convenience stores with little post office cubicles in the back. There is the occasional stand alone post office but it has been my experience that these are always dark or lit with the hideous green florescent lighting that makes everyone look yellow and unhappy. International letters have to be weighed before they will tell you how much they are to mail them. But, then it always ends up being 50p. Always. I should just buy a bunch of stamps at once and then I wouldn't have to worry about it but I never have the money on me for 10 stamps or 12 stamps; its always just the pound I need for the two letters in my pocket. Enough about my postage dilemma.

Its starting to get warmer here. And, its been windy. Not to resort to cliches, but in like a lion. Although, that doesn't mean much here as its always windy. I left the tea bag in my mug a little too long, and the tea has gone bitter. I'm going to finish it anyway, because it would be wrong to waste a cup of tea (even a bad cup of tea). Everyone thinks that things like a "good cup of coffee" or a "good cup of tea" are easy to make. How hard could it be, its some leaves and some water or some water and some ground roasted beans. Except, its an art. Tea leaves can be scorched or worse. (And, don't even get me started on coffee.) That was what was great about Annie's Tea Talk, back in the day when she had them. A little bit of information really does make for a better beverage. And, there's something enjoyable about watching the water boil, waiting for it to get to the "string of pearls" stage so as to not burn your green tea. (I have been drinking of a lot Twinings orange and lotus flower green tea. It is nice, but you have to pull the tea bag at just the right time or you either way tea that is too weak, or tea that tastes like a warm orange.)

I have been doing a lot of reading recently. Mostly academic, though. A lot of re-reading, really, just so I can get my references right. I have also been reading Fracine Prose's Reading Like a Writer. When I finish it, I plan picking up Stephen Fry's more recent book The Ode Less Traveled. Then, I'm either going to dive back into Proust or I'm going to read Northanger Abbey. I recently finished Lady Chatterly's Lover. I have to say that I was a little disappointed in the smut factor. I know it was written, what? almost 80 years ago now but still. It was an interesting discussion of different perspectives on sexuality that used the word "cunt" way more often than you see it in (non-feminist) literature. I did enjoy it, though, despite the disappointment.

I hope that you are well, and that this finds you in good spirits. I hope that the snow doesn't have you down. It will melt, and then it will be unbearably hot. It could be worse, The Welsh word for July literally means, "The end of Summer". So, they only expect it to be nice for June and July. Sometimes, I think I've picked the wrong specialty and that I should be going for my PhD in Literature. I know close reading isn't in vogue these days, but it would be neat to do a corpus study of a piece of literature looking for one thing or another. The end result would most likely be very Michael Hoey, or it wouldn't work at all. Ah, the things that keep me up at night.

Anyway, I miss our conversations and I hope to hear from you soon. Perhaps this time when I'm at the post office I will by 10 or 12 stamps instead of just one.


Love,

Kat(e)

March 07, 2007

It Often Surprises Me...

When little things make me happy. And, not just the little things that you expect. Like, chocolate (which is always good and generally consumed in small quantities.) Or, a good cup of a coffee but rather writing a strong sentence or coming up with a good idea.

Earlier today, I was working on a PhD proposal and I was smiling. Duh. Of course, thinking about ideas makes me happy. Why should that surprise me? Well, it does.

John recently gave me a talking to about selling myself short and not taking care of myself. While I didn't enjoy being lectured, he had a few good points. He might not be the most tactful little monkey, but he most certainly cares about me. And, I love him for that.

January 13, 2007

Quote of the Day: Joshua Fineberg

If one believes in the intrinsic value of art, then--contrary to most contemporary ways of thinking--taste and social construction are of decidedly secondary importance.

This quote is from a piece entitled "Classical Music: Why Bother?" that I read because it was suggested to me by my friend Preston. The piece suggests that our "lack of understanding/like" for Classical Music is actually indicative of a larger problem we have with "Art" (note the Capital A). He suggests, and I agree with him, that Art exists because we get something out of it, because we take something way for the experience and that it is not necessarily there to make us feel good or so that we can draw enjoyment from it.

Preston originally gave me the article as a source of inspiration for a mix CD I was making him at the time. I asked him for a theme, and the article was his response to my request. He wanted not something that he would expect, or something that he would enjoy necessarily, but something that he would give him an experience that we would, afterwards, not want to be without. I think my mix CD fell short of this incredibly lofty aim, but I think it is a good aim and something that should be considered a lot more often, not just of our artistic work, but of work in general.

January 04, 2007

Quote of the Day: Anais Nin

When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.

Long rant, most likely on the subject of politics to follow.

December 11, 2006

Quote of the Day: Rob Gordon

If I were a John Cusack movie, I would be High Fidelity. I'm that snarky, closed off yet absolutely in love with living and my little life person in the world that spends their afternoons rearranging matches and telling you things about the world and about me in the form of top five lists.

For example: Today's Top Five Fuck-Ups.

1. My hotmail account not receiving an email from my Korean boss
2. My boss and the secretary sending me the same book 4 times
3. The student I needed the book to teach cancelling because of technical problems.
4. Misplacing a book with important visa-related notes
5. Only getting five hours of sleep last night

Okay, so that isn't a very exciting list, its certainly no list of historical figures with whom I'd play Risk. But, you get the point. I was thinking today about High Fidelity and all of the joyous and quotable nuggets in the film. Quotableness I now share with you a quote by main character Rob Gordon (although it more likely penned by Nick Hornby or the screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis):


what came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

September 09, 2006

Quote of the Day: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

" First of all we've got to get rid of these voting machines. These electronic voting machines that can be hacked. It happened in Ohio. Its happened all over the country and they are unreliable. And we've got to get rid of them. We've got to insist that our public officials get rid of them. we've got to, you know. This is a battle that is a the equivalent of the American revolution. We've gotta get the vote back and if we don't get the vote back, if we don't insure the intergrity of our voting system we are going to lose American democracy"--From the Politically Direct Podcast from June 4, 2006.


This quote came from my data set, so if it looks oddly puncutuated or sounds wacky and out of rhythm, that might be my fault or it might simply be a constraint of speech. There are things you can do in print that are awful hard to duplicate when speaking, like anything involving a semi-colon. But, that's another story for another day.

Even though its just a midterm election that is coming up, I thought it would be appropriate to get a little political. This may not be the most elegant way of putting it, but Mr. Kennedy was certainly speaking in earnest and I think he makes a very valid point. If we can't trust in the system with which we elect our public officials, then we can't trust the governing body as a whole. And without that trust, without faith in the ability to elect public officials and indeed without that ability at all (as in the instances where fraud has taken place) there is no democracy. In the last several years we've seen some astounding things in relation to the franchise and it has to stop.

September 07, 2006

Quote of the Day: Karin Aijmer

"Even if routines have a constituent structure, they are not necessarily generated by grammar."--From Conversational Routines in English: Convention and Creativity.


So, basically even if it looks like something could be broken up into smaller things...like nouns or verbs, that doesn't mean it is broken up into smaller things. As it turns out we can store quite large strings of things in our brains. Thank God for that, since without it my thesis would be pointless speculation.

September 06, 2006

Quote of the Day: John Heritage

"The social world is a pervasively conversational one in which an overwhelming proportion of the world's business is conducted through the medium of social interaction." --From Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology by John Heritage (1984, Polity Press: Cambridge).

Ethnomethodology is the study of how people within an ethnographic group go about their daily activities as members of the group. So, ethnomethodologists study what it means to be a member, how one functions as a member, how one recognizes other members, etc. While not really my bag, ethnomethodology certainly has its benefits and ethnomethodologists have contributed much to such fields as sociology and linguistics. I like this quote because its pretty much true the world over. We talk. We talk to create bonds between us. We talk to define ourselves. We talk in order to, just generally, get shit done and then get the hell out of Dodge. (Or, we talk in order to avoid getting shit done so that we can continue to stay in Dodge just a little bit longer.)

September 02, 2006

Goal of the Day: 11,000 words

Although I have not yet managed to add anything to my word count today, I have set a goal for myself. My goal is 11,000 words. Now, you might think that is a huge number for it would mean that I'd be adding 2,000 words to the paper today. And, you would be correct. It is in fact an enormous number. But, I like to aim high.

But, I feel I am capable of accomplishing such a feat. Plus, I have no other plans for today, or for the rest of the weekend or indeed the rest of the week so I might as well put my shoulder to the grindstone and plow ahead. Wish me luck.

September 01, 2006

Quote of the Day: Steve from thesneeze.com

Steve over at thesneeze.com has this feature that he calls, Steve, Don't Eat It!  Its absolutely wicked and full of nuggets of glorious text like today's quote:

 

 

I almost want to say it was like a freshly douched pork chop. But I won't. Why? Because I'm a fucking gentleman.

 

Good on you, Steve.  That had me giggling for ages.  And, as you may know, giggling is like carbonated approval.  Or some shit like that.  I don't know, I go a little mad after more than eight hours of thesis-writing. 

August 28, 2006

Quote of the Day: Dwight Bolinger

"[Speech] informs sometimes...but much of the time its aim is to cajole, persuade, entreat, excuse, cow, deceive, or merely to maintain contact." 

 

This is from Dwight Bolinger's classic Intonation and its Parts. I want to say it was originally published in the '70s but Amazon has a copy from 1989. 

 

Basically, academics everywhere concur that mostly, we don't talk to actually exchange information but for a variety of reasons, like to get you to give me that biscuit.  No, the one of the left.  No, your left.  That one with the big piece of white chocolate on top.  Ya.  Thanks, dude.  So, when your Mother said, "Do you think I'm talking to hear myself speak?"  she very likely could have been.

 

July 08, 2006

Out Loud

“You think I’m talking just to hear myself talk?”  –Bill Cosby.

    Maybe I do like the sound of my own voice.  I don’t know.  I do know that I love language.  All language.  My language.  I like the well-crafted sonnets of John Donne as much as I like the colorful metaphor and imagery put forth by the Manic Street Preachers.  I find both to be evocative.  
    I must be weird.  I like being alone.  I like silence.  I like space.  These are not human norms.  Preliterate, tribal societies don’t have the concept of personal space that we have.  Life is a social thing, something that is spent, by default talking with and being near the same small group of people all the time.  I dig my clique, don’t get me wrong.  And I would go to great ends to see them happy and safe.  I know, that would make me not weird.  
    Its more... I like to talk about ideas.  Language is an idea.  Language is a different idea for everyone.  This is something that we do all day, everyday and I suppose in the space of our tribes, what we say, what we reference is common.  You don’t have to bother to define it further, because you were all there when it happened and saw it happen and understand what is being described and what is meant.  Guess you had to be there.  Literacy changes that.  Literacy creates language that spans time, place, class, and gender.  It gives language the appearance of being stark, immutable and the status quo.  Maybe its that I do a lot of identity theorizing.  But written/oral, person/persona, image/content, these are distinctions I can make and do make.  When I talk, I like talking about ideas.  Feelings are for feeling and living is for living they don’t need to be discussed.  I like to separate ideas out from emotions so that, like play-doh I can observe them, roll them over and manipulate them.  I like to engage with them.  Maybe that’s not weird.
    I like saying, “ I learned this thing...” And I like getting excited about it and I like telling people about it.  I like when this happens for other people.  The classical world doesn’t interest me, except when I get to hear it filtered through the excitement and presentation of my friend Elizabeth.  So, maybe this isn’t separating things from emotion... maybe its just separating them from things that aren’t love.  My point is, she’s not telling me about what’s going on in her life or what people were wearing, she’s connecting with the past and something beyond the immediate, getting excited about it and sharing it.  I like that.  I like that a lot.  
    


 

--August 2005 

June 14, 2006

A Shot in the dark

Our Oven and stove in the flat are broken.  Its a major bummer. 

Continue reading "A Shot in the dark" »

May 11, 2006

Oh dear, Oh dear.

I would like to watch a film right now.  Preferrably something in black and white.  This, of course, is not an option as I have one paper that it without a conclusion and one paper that would otherwise be done were it not for the fact that it is over by a little more than 400 words (thats not including my footnotes and tables because I don't think that words in tables should count against me.)  Oh my, oh me.  I'm thinking about making some popcorn, too.  This is not because I am interested in eating popcorn so much as I think I would like to do something that doesn't involve using my brain for a minute. 

 

Oh, and my paper that doesn't have a conclusion...it went through two drafts prior to getting typed up (more or less) and now its on the computer (starting over once it got to the computer) its on draft 9 and every time I read it I somehow manage to add to it without adding things in the relevant places (such as the CONCLUSION).  And, of course, once I add something, I have to go back to the beginning and read it from there to make sure everything flows right.  

 

I have issues...

 

 

May 10, 2006

The varying ways we use language help us to address the non-linguistic problem of how to socially organize ourselves, how to recognize others from our same social group and how to further connect and continue renew and establish social relationships...

The guy who was sitting behind me in the computer lab got half way to the door before he remembered his disk in the disk drive.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is that sort of day.  Its the sort of day when the sun is shining and the birds and singing and you really want to be elsewhere.  Its the sort of day in which you plagiarize the paper you are working on in order to find a subject line. 

 

Here is my question, boys and girls.  how can you get over 3,000 words into to something that has a 4,000 word limit and not manage to include ANY "illustrative" examples?

May 08, 2006

Illustrative examples

So, I am writing a paper for my class on discourse and social interaction, which I keep calling in my head strategic interaction.  I have been having a number of problems with the essay, most of them stemming from my overwhelming desire to write a good paper, something that I am proud of, something that I won't think about as embarrassing when I write this professor a letter after term is over to request letters of reference for the phD programs I am applying to.  There is, of course, the added pressure that this is the only thing on which I will be graded for the class.  For this paper, I am discussing the work of two sociologists and one linguist and, more or less, how applicable their concepts are to the field of discourse.  The paper is supposed to be critical and here's the thing with that... people in the field tend not to be critical of the guys I'm writing on because, as my professor recenly said in a meeting with him, we're just so excited to apply the concepts and see them work.  So, anyway, I'm trying to be critical and I'm writing my paper and so far, this monstrosity that isn't supposed to be more than 4,000 words is just under 3,000 and contains no illustrative examples.  When I first started writing the paper, I collected a small data sample (about fifteen minutes in length) of John and I playing the children's game Guess Who?.  I thought I could analyse the text showing how they would be analysed if I were coming at it from the three different approaches of the three different guys, but now I think that's just too much work.  And, as has been pointed out to me, illustrative examples are meant to just clarify your point.  They don't have to be ground breaking, they just have to support your argument. 

A good example of what I mean by illustrative examples can be seen running through the work of Erving Goffman  (for example, in Frame AnalysisGoffman is a freaking master of coming up with the anecdote to prove his point (in Frame Analysis he seems to draw heavily from newspaper articles).  And, since is topic is the organization of experience, it is in fact quite exciting when you have examples of how experience that are organization in a Goffmanian way.  So, I'm thinking now about using Invader Zim to make my many points.  (My essay, at this point, is essentially about the organization of research aims and how they effect the methodology you use to investigate them.) 

 At this point, I'm thinking about throwing in the towel for a bit and walking home.  I've been working on this more or less since 9:45 this  morning and its almost 4 in the afternoon now.  Although, I would like to get through to the bottom of this draft (I'm on draft 6) before I move locations.  I can't decide if I'm being stubborn of systematic.  bah. 

May 06, 2006

I don't know why I was thinking of this....

John, I want to say when he was 12 or 13, was hit in the head with a brick.  I don't remember the details of what he told me happened, exactly (and actually, now that I think about it he probably doesn't remember them either).  Apparently, he and his friends were messing around and some how this brick-hitting happened.  His friends thought he was dead, but he wasn't and they took him to the hospital and when people asked him what happened he said he fell.  Now, the truth is, one of his mates was responsible for the brick-hitting.  John said that when people asked him about what had happened he thought about his friend's parents and how good they had been to him.  He didn't want to see them hurt by anything bad happening to their son, so he said he fell. 

 

Now, for some reason, the truth of the situation came out, as it always does in big situations like this, and his mate's parents made his mate go and apologize for all the trouble he had caused.  John's parents had only heard John's story so when his mate turned up to apologize to them for hurting their son they were perplexed.  If I remember correctly, John then got into trouble for lying.  

 

I was thinking about this while I was walking home today.  You know how random stuff just pops into your head.  I was listening to  The Barenaked Ladies If I had $1,000,000 and singing along while I walked down the street.  Its weird how stuff can just pop into your head sometimes.  So, I texted John a line from the song, "If I had $1,000,000, I would buy you a monkey".  When I see him later, I'm going to ask him if he knows where its from.  Then, if he doesn't, I'm going to play it for him. 

April 28, 2006

Money

One has to pay the bills, its a necessity.  And, if you think about everything that goes on in the world and everything that everyone wants to do and things that people want to get done and where everything goes and what happens to it.... I'm babbling, I know.  I was just thinking about money and paying bills and...well, funding my education.  I just emailed a professor to thank them for emailing me and clarifying the details of the studentship that is available through the department. 

 

A friend of mine who is Kuwaiti suggested to Anne-Marie and I today that we come and work in Kuwait.  We could teach at one of the American schools.  I don't know if I'm qualified to actually teach anything.  Its sort of... I don't know.  I actually wouldn't mind taking on a year or so contract and working in Kuwait, I think it would be an incredible experience.  I don't think my parents or my boyfriend would approve, though.

 

Okay, I have to get back to work now.

April 24, 2006

Bore da, swchd ddi chi, bore ma?

I have a feeling I just misspelled all of those words.  I can't decide if I feel incredibly stressed out...or just pissed off at myself for not being a harder worker.  I've not had a bad day.  Actually, I've had a pretty good day.  I received an email from the professor in charge of the studentship I am working on an application for.  She said that there is no citizenship restriction but has indicated that it will be an advantage to speak more than one European language.  So, I have to stop being afraid and just suck it up and own up to the fact that I do, in fact, speak Spanish and Italian and stop denying my abilities.  Also, for some reason I'm having trouble checking my university email.  its pissing me off. 

April 19, 2006

study break

Sometimes, I think to think of studying as the time I spend between breaks.

April 18, 2006

Stupid Freaking Quotes...

For some reason I don't feel nearly as productive as a should.  I keep thinking about The House of Yes.  There is a bit of dialogue:

 

Anthony: What does anybody do all day?  What do you do all day?  What do I do all day?

Marty: What do you do all day?

Anthony: (pauses)  I don't know.  That's not the point. 

 

I can't help but think that I don't do nearly enough work, that somehow I should be doing more or working harder.  (This is perhaps a no-brainer as I've updated this three times today.) 

April 17, 2006

Everything Closes on Sundays

And even though its Monday, everything has closed today.  I am taking a study break from my reading and later John is going to cook me dinner.  (Isn't that sweet of him?)  A lot of things are closed (or close early) on Sundays in the UK.  I think its quaint, and its certainly nice for everyone to have a day off.  I said this last night and one of John's roommates said, "Why? Its not their lives, people should be able to work if they want to."  Which is interesting.  I know of no one would would honestly say, "Yes, please, I know this is a holiday, but I'd like some more mandatory toil, please."  But, that could just be me being sarcastic.  But, being that today is a bank holiday, its Easter Monday, everything is closed today.  Well, not everything.  The grocery stores that were shut yesterday are open today, but walking down the road to the grocers was a little like being in a ghost town.  Everything was sealed up and shut, grates down and doors locked.  The coffee shop I like to frequent was open and I would have stopped for a cup but I was on a mission to buy bacon so that I could make grilled cheese with bacon sandwiches.  Everything is quiet, my housemates are still all gone away on holiday.  But, that's okay.  I have lovely daffodils my Mom bought when she was here and later I will be having spaghetti with John.  It should make for a nice evening.  Also, the sun is out and its shining.  I dig that.