Friday, April 12, 2002

The conference is tomorrow, and we're basically ready. I have a few signs to make tonight, but that's about it. Very exciting.

I'm going to spend tomorrow night with Jane, celebrating our "halfway birthday." Her birthday's the 11th and mine's the 20th, so we traditionally celebrate on the 15th. However, since the 15th is a weekday, we're moving it back this year. I have good gifts for her; I'm sure she's going to love one of them. Details to follow after she's actually gotten it. I went shopping yesterday afternoon on Mill Avenue for her gifts, and ended up buying some stuff for myself. Bath & Body Works has a new aromatherapy line, and I got some "invigorating" lotion & a sugar scrub. (Sugar scrubs, for the uninitiated, are a combo of brown sugar and oil, rubbed on skin to moisturize and exfoliate. It feels really, really good. I highly recommend.) Anyway, the invigorating thing? Works. I staggered into the shower this morning, (ugh. morning. i am awake. this is bad.) open up the sugar scrub, and use it. Bam. I am awake, energized, happy to be moving. Definitely of the good.

"Somewhere, every day, every hour, there are horses in the air." And there's a sentence I've never heard before. Discovery's doing "stuff on planes" day; we just finished watching "The Secret Life of Baggage," and now they have, "The Secret Life of Air Freight." Stuff going places I've never been. Places far more interesting than here.

Okay, Memphis isn't much more interesting than here. But it isn't here, and I suppose that's what matters. I feel like everyone's gone somewhere cool except me. Us. I really want to go overseas. Now. But I'd settle for going somewhere I've never been before.

Not king. Kings get to travel.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Crazy day today. The Best Practices in Education Conference, on which I've been working for months, is this Saturday. (Woo!) We're up to 140 registered attendees, out of a projected 250. We're taking out an ad in the Republic tomorrow, in the Valley & State section. My boss called them to place the ad, and explained what we're doing (the conference is aimed at educators from the K-16 level, with workshops on best practices, and the Gold Star Road to Excellence Awards, which are given to actual successful practices). They got very excited, and are going to do a pre-conference article! Yay! Hopefully it'll pull in more people. Hey, if any of the millions of people who read my blog are teachers, or are studying to be teachers, or know teachers, or know teachers-in-training, there's more info at the Commission web site. Free food is involved. It's also eligible for re-certification and Prop 300 credit. Tell your friends. Tell your enemies. Tell strangers on the street. It will be lots of fun. And you get to see me, live and in person, which is a thrill not to be missed. Really.

Tomorrow I go see my advisor, so she can tell me whether I'm really within one semester of graduating. Thoughts about grad school no longer fill my days and nights, but I'm still contemplating. It's not every day you get to make life-changing decisions. At least I don't. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Or maybe you are.

I'm reading Volpone for my Ren. Drama class. Unsurprisingly, every third line is some kind of sexual pun. After reading this, I will never again think Shakespeare is bawdy. No wonder my professor likes it.

Nick is tipping virtual cows. I am not making this up. If you've ever wondered about the joys of cow tipping, but worried about the possible environmental impact, go buy Might and Magic 9. It will not disappoint. Strangely, we've been having a cow-tipping discussion on one of my mailing lists. Several members have done so.

Still not king. But at least I'm not desperate enough for entertainment to tip cows.


Tuesday, April 09, 2002

I changed my blog's template (because Carlos complained about the blinking) and now my description is screwed up. Anybody know how to make it so it's not justified? (Never thought I'd try to get rid of the justification for my blog...) I'm not willing to spend more time fiddling with it, because I really need to finish that paper.

If I were king, deadlines would not be an issue.
Taking a break from writing a paper to - what else - write something else. I'm now convinced that Fox Sports World has taken over from ESPN 2 in the "weird sports" niche market. What's on FSW at 1:30 in the morning? Darts. Specifically, the quarter finals of the World Darts Championship. I didn't know there was a World Darts Championship, but I suppose every competition must have a World Championship. Darts, much to my surprise, is kind of exciting. There's actually strategy, but you can tell that the rules were conceived of by drunk men in pubs, because that's the only context in which they make sense. Darts is also much more interesting than ping-pong with bored Asian commentators. Dave assures me that ping-pong is much more interesting when the commentators don't sound like they belong on a golf show. Really. You'd also think that if any odd sport would be commentated like golf, it'd be darts. You know: "He's coming up to the mark now. He needs fifty points to win this," etc, all in hushed voices.

Darts strategy doesn't usually involve hitting the bulls-eye, which I thought was the point of darts, silly me. Apparently you get 551 points, and the goal is to count down to zero. EXACTLY zero; if you go over (under?), you don't get scored for those darts. There are places on the board that are double- and triple-score, so scoring darts sounds rather like scoring Scrabble, only without the Q.

We moved from Richard III to Hamlet in Shakespeare tonight. We talked about Protestants and Catholics, which just goes to show how much there is going on in a Shakespearean play. And perhaps why you shouldn't feel like you've studied Shakespeare if you've only done it in high school. We covered Hamlet in my AP English class, so I've studied it, right? Then how come I didn't know why Fortinbras showed up at the end or the sectarian elements of the play? Hamlet and Horatio studied in Wittenburg, the cradle of Protestantism; Laertes studied in Catholic France. Hamlet's father's clearly experiencing Purgatory (roaming at night, penned up being tortured during the day, lather rinse repeat until the soul comes clean). Protestants don't believe in Purgatory; what is the elder Hamlet doing there? Is he Catholic? If so, why's Hamlet going to school in the Land of the Lutherans? And why isn't young Hamlet king, anyway? He's probably in his late 20s at least, since he clearly remembers Yorick, who died 23 years before; well past his majority even in Denmark. Rationally, Hamlet (and I keep typing it Hamelt, like he's a type of sandwich rather than a type of omlet) should've been king, rather than his uncle. The whole uncle-as-king thing doesn't make any sense. Some critic suggests that Claudius is king by right of conquest, but - wouldn't he have to have conquered first? It's not like it's common knowledge that he knocked off his brother in order to marry his sister-in-law.

Still not king. And neither is Hamlet.

Sunday, April 07, 2002

What is it about WIllowFic that attracts bad writers? Actually, I don't even have to ask, because I know the answer already; I'd just forgotten. Before I started reading Willow fic, I read an essay on the phenomenon of Willow Sue. Now I understand it. Sigh.

I love the Internet; I really do. If nothing else, having this venue to put my work up is a Good Thing (TM). Unfortunately, it also means all the high school kids who like to write also have a venue to put up stuff that should never see the light of day. I wrote when I was in high school. I'm really, really glad the Net as such didn't really exist then, because I only inflicted my tortured prose and Mary Sues on my friends (who were duly impressed). As a general rule - and I'm sure there are exceptions - teenagers should be forced to wait at least until they reach college before they publish anything beyond the realm of their experience, at least age-wise. High school girls writing romance between adults is an excercise in the absurd, at best. We won't get into virgins writing sex scenes.... I ranted about vampires and sex with Christi and Maureen the other night, noting how a Spike/Angel pairing should always include violence, blood, and power plays. Hell, just watch Spike and Buffy in canon, and extrapolate from that how Spike and Angel would interact. Similarly, a Giles and Willow pairing should always include guilt and self-doubt on his part. I can definitely see Giles and Willow together; at the moment, I'm writing two different fics with that pairing. However, he's some 20 years older than Willow. (I don't know how old Giles is, but Tony Head is 48. Of course, Alison Hannigan is 28 and Willow is 21.) He's going to be worried about that. He's going to feel guilty that somehow he's "taking advantage" of her. He's going to be worried that she'll "come to her senses" and leave him, or fall in love with someone closer to his own age. He's not going to let himself take her for granted. Like most Buffy relationships, it's going to be just a little bit dark. And that's before we get into the "Ripper" elements....

Not king. Not dealing well.