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Random Saturday Stuff

What a beautiful day: 64 degrees and thunderstormy. I say that knowing how much I sound like a member of the Addams family, but oh well; I do love this kind of weather. Last night I had a very weird dream. I attended a speech given by George W. Bush. His photographers had forgotten their cameras, so one of his aides asked if anyone in the audience had a camera. It just so happened that I had my big fabulous Canon A2E, so I went up to the front. They instructed me to sit in the front row, along with a bunch of soldiers in Army uniforms, and take pictures. I did, and then after the speech, Bush asked if there were any questions. I raised my hand and stammered something about women's rights, and Colin Powell said, "Why don't you tell us what you really think?" They then told me they liked my pictures so much that they wanted me to be Bush's official photographer, and were willing to pay me a lot of money. I thought to myself, can I really be the photographer for an administration that goes against everything I stand for? Would I still be able to blog about my political views? Then I woke up.

Da-na-na-na-NA-na, today's my birthday...

Well, technically I was born at 11:18 p.m. on October 3, 1974, making me now 29 years old. I went to the doctor for an annual physical yesterday, and they wanted to check my hemoglobin, my cholesterol, my glucose levels, etc. The doctor thinks I might have an overactive thyroid (which would explain why I'm hot all the time, why I have trouble sleeping, why I start shaking when I haven't had food for several hours, etc.). What a fantastic way to usher in my 30s, sigh. I need to get back in the exercising habit. Anyway, I'm happy to have a lot of people to celebrate with!

Ooo, Ooo, Child

Ever have a day when you just don't want to do all those things you have to do? Well, today's like that for me. I just want to curl up in my apartment and watch the movie Riding in Cars with Boys. Eh, for now I'll have to settle for listening to "Ooo, Ooo, Child" by the Five Stairsteps as I get ready to do all those things I have to do. I don't own the Riding in Cars with Boys soundtrack, but I know that song was on it.

I have a case of the Mondays! (If you haven't seen Office Space, see it now.)

The Ol' College Try

Yesterday, I finished revising my paper titled "Sites of Resistance: Weblogs and Creative Commons Licenses" for the AoIR conference. It was nominated for a student prize (based on the abstract), so I thought I better revise the paper, which I wrote for a class last spring. The original paper was definitely not my best work; I just did what I could with the time allotted, which you have to do sometimes, right? I was dreading looking at the paper, but I did, because I thought about my general guideline in situations like these: If you don't apply for that job/scholarship/award, you have a 100% chance of NOT getting it. If you do apply, you will increase those odds slightly.

I don't think I've ever revised a paper on such a large scale. I mean I took that thing apart and put it back together again. I took out whole paragraphs, cut whole sections and pasted them in different places in the paper, and added paragraphs and sentences that helped express my argument in a more authoritative voice. In other words, I did what all those writing textbooks say to do, and I'm happy with the results. I'm actually going to submit the paper to the conference archive in a few days for all to see! To friends, I joked that trying to revise this paper was like polishing a turd. It was, but I learned in the process, which couldn't come at a better time, as I'm about to start teaching composition again.

Got a story about independence?

Send it to BUST! Deadline is imminent (September 1), but they only want 2,500 words or fewer.

Declare your independence in BUST's upcoming "Independence" issue !
Friday, August 8, 2003 What does independence mean to you? Is it leaving the nest? Leaving a relationship? Leaving an addiction behind? Is independence overrated? If you

On the Town

Yesterday, some of my friends decided to do a little Sex and the City-style girls' night out (in Minneapolis, not NYC. We did our best. :)). We were fierce!

First we went to this trendy new place that, thankfully, had a buffet, to help offset the horrendous cost of parking. It had framed photographs of celebrities such as Hugh Grant, Cameron Diaz, and Sarah Michelle Gellar on the walls and high-finance, power-suit-wearing happy hour attendees all over the place. Then, we went to another pricey place before deciding on a seafood place for dinner. I had oysters on the half-shell, which I hadn't had for about 20 years. Heaven. Then salmon pasta, yum--and after that, I called it a night...a great night of girl talk and fun. Tomorrow some of us are going downtown again for the sales at Marshall Field's and Neiman-Marcus. I'm still looking for some Doc Martens sandals.

Validation!

I've gotten a couple of warm fuzzy emails from students. One said:

Thank you for your hard work teaching us the last couple of months. I really feel as though I have learned a lot about technical and professional writing.

Another said:

I learned a lot in this class in terms of technical writing. I don't like writing but now I tend to like it. I hope this will continue.

They may be ploys to get better grades, but I hope not. I did work very hard teaching this summer, and now I feel as though it was worth it.

Why I could never be a mother

Leigh Anne's July 29 post. I always read Leigh Anne's blog because I appreciate her wit and grace. She's the only one who could write in such a way about being simultaneously the owner of a store that sells sex toys and the mother of two toddlers. But the July 29 story is too much. Charlie, you've said I'll change my mind (I'm 28 years old, will be 29 in about six weeks), but when I think of myself as a parent, I picture Leigh Anne on July 29, but WITHOUT the wit and grace.

Edited to add: I love children--and I know parenting is difficult and of utmost importance. I hope I didn't come off sounding like I think otherwise. It's just that stories like the one I linked to scare me, which says more about me than anyone else.

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