Miscellany

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Saturday Night Rant

I got back from Fargo a couple of hours ago, and now as my eyelids droop, for some reason I'm experiencing renewed annoyance at the fact that my university does not have an electronic submission option for theses and dissertations. The University of Tennessee has had it for about five years now, and I can't tell you how satisfying it was not to have to buy all that archival cotton paper, print out my M.A. thesis, and haul it to the Office of Graduate Studies. Instead, I saved the file on a Zip disk and took it over for the administrative assistant to copy it onto her hard drive, got my imprimatur from the Dean, and walked away. I'm taking my prelims this summer, and as far as I know, there isn't even talk of implementing electronic submission. Perhaps Shane will know who would make that decision and would help me.

Inscrutable as a Puppy Dog

I ran across this rather old piece about introverts. I find it terribly amusing, even though I'm one of the group getting burned. Jonathan Rauch, the author, says, "Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone." :-o Guilty as charged. More:

Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.

Oh, come ON. Introverts haven't cornered the market on complexity. I won't pretend to have figured out introverts, but extroverts aren't always what they tell you, either. I may be an open book, but a lot of inward drafting, review, and revision occurs before I go to press, heh.



Via a subsidiary of This Woman's Work.

HIV Spread in Porn Industry

From my old college buddy Charges comes a sad story: Porn actor Darren James has tested positive for HIV. They're afraid of that pyramid effect:

The Los Angeles-based industry, which normally films three to four films a day, must now wait 60 days to learn whether the deadly virus spread to 14 actresses who had onscreen sex with James, or to the 35 sex partners the women subsequently had.

Porn star Lara Roxx has tested positive as a result. I don't exactly embrace porn, but it seems insensitive to put a critical spin on this. It's just sad, and I hope no one else is affected. Maybe Lauren or someone at Alas will have thoughtful and appropriate comments on the matter. (Edited to add: Or Christine.)

Camel Spiders

I'm not going to tell how I became privy to this photograph from Iraq, just in case it's classified, but I can say that these things crawl into people's sleeping bags at night. Can you imagine?! Look, if you dare.

Zearley for Student Body President

I rarely get involved with student government elections, but in this case I've got to show my support for Tom Zearley for student body president. He's a former student of mine, and I can tell you that he's extremely intelligent and a thoughtful, caring, hardworking university citizen. I know he would be an excellent leader. Good luck, Tom.

Update: Zearley won by a close margin.

I knew it.

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!


If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!


How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla



This is coming from the weird little girl who, in kindergarten music class, when having to sing the obligatory folk songs that children of the 70s have to sing in school (think "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver), would cry if she had to sing a line that had bad grammar--especially double negatives. Those really used to upset me. The teacher would try to soothe me, saying, "It's just a song," but I was inconsolable.


Via Cindy and AKMA, also grammar gods.

Far Away

I was just looking in this week's City Pages, which I never read but should, since there's always very cool stuff going on here that I never actually seek out, and I happened to see that this weekend, a production of Far Away, a play by Caryl Churchill, is going on this weekend. Several years ago, I saw Vinegar Tom and loved it, so I'll try to get in on this opportunity. In other City Pages news, Englebert Humperdinck is performing at some casino around here. I might go, if only my mom could make it too, LOL.

Dude, who put a screw in YOUR spring roll?

The day before yesterday, after an all-around abysmal experience flying with US Airways which involved a missed connecting flight (it was their fault but they were still RUDE as could be about it), a flight attendant from hell, and deferred checked luggage that I had to go back to the airport to get (note to self: Never check luggage again), a friend and I went out for Thai food at one of our favorite restaurants. We ordered spring rolls as an appetizer, and as I bit eagerly into one, I felt something hard. I looked, and there was a SCREW in my spring roll!! Of all things! Kind of like this but shorter and not pointed:




They didn't even give us our meal for free. They brought us more spring rolls, didn't charge us for those, and apologized, but we had to pay for our entrees. What a terrible day it was. Anyway, as a result, I'm trying to introduce "Who put a screw in YOUR spring roll?" as a variant of "Who pissed in YOUR Cheerios?" So start using it; I haven't been that successful so far in introducing expressions. Some time ago I tried to get people to use the term "stool sample" as a negative term for a person, like "That guy at US Airways was a total stool sample." You don't have to curse or invoke a gendered slur that way.

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