Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A Holly, Jolly Christmas.

Well, today, my mom and I baked until we could not bake anymore. We made bourbon balls, cookies, fudge, and some other candy as well. I am totally exhausted! We had a goood time...but, honestly, I see now why people order stuff out of catalogs.

Other than that, all of my Christmas shopping is done. I babysat the other night and spent much time catching up with the kids and learning how to play games on the Nintendo Gamecube. I tried my best at Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but I think I am not so great at it. Anyway, it was a lot of fun. The kids have not changed a bit (other than the usual physical changes!), and I had a great time.

Well, because it is the holidays, posts will be limited....more later....

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

WHHHHYYYYYYYY???


Why do some students make life difficult?? I can't understand why simple concepts are hard to follow. Oh well. Such is life. And, as usual, I have tons of students with A's in the class. Totally not a reflection of the true grade. Instead, it is merely a byproduct of the new "teaching methods" we use in freshman comp now. In other words, you can keep writing your papers over and over again until you make an A. There is no incentive to work hard on it the first time. Ugh. This happens every semester. So frustrating. And, then, you have students who really deserve the A, and get it, but so do others who don't. GRRRR...I feel like I did when I was averaging grades in LS 501 last fall.
So, other than that, I am waiting for a student to turn in a paper via e-mail so that I can turn these grades in to the registrar. I am a bit restless. Additionally, while waiting for students to turn in papers at Starbuck's this morning, I overheard some girl talking about the fact that she had just lost her virginity the night before. Ok. Once again: WHHHHHYYYYYY? Why is this something I need to hear while I am drinking my gingerbread latte and reading Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, all at 8:45 this morning? That is so wrong. Couldn't you save it until at least 10? Ugh. Get over it and get a box of condoms.

Monday, December 12, 2005

One of those days...

Ugh. I have felt about two steps behind everyone else all day long today! I have been meeting with students, and I am exhausted. Some turned in everything BUT a revised essay which is the point of the portfolio project...something they were told in class and individually. What is the point? Anyway, most have done well, but the few who didn't really sunk themselves.

So, now I am indulging in a little glass of Pinot Noir.

I didn't have much time to read today, so I still don't have any final comments on the Anne Rice book. I did get to a point in the novel mentioning crucifixion and it is very strange to read...anyway, I like it much better now than I did in the beginning.

Other than that, I am just grading like crazy. Anyone else have any news???

Sunday, December 11, 2005

It's Happening Again

Well, either I am totally exhausted from the semester or I have some kind of sleeping disease. The tiredness and all started back up two days ago. I forced myself to stay awake yesterday, but today, I couldn't. Anyway, decided to do something about it today (granted, something unhealthy) and bought some drinks loaded with caffine...well, not too loaded. I didn't buy any of that energy drink stuff. I tried one of those on my way back to Tampa after visiting the folks...and, well, it just tastes like cold medicine and it didn't do a thing for me.

I don't really know what I want to do tonight. I have been reading Anne Rice's new novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. I didn't care for it at first...something about the narrative voice wasn't complete at first. However, I am getting into it now. Also, I was hesitant to read about a religious figure. I always find that the books and movies that discuss religion are concerned with presenting kodak moments or else want to show things in such a way that promotes some cause. I saw the movie The Passion of the Christ, and I think that the message I got from the movie was vastly different from the message of those around me. I can't speak for Mr. Mel Gibson, and from interviews I have heard it seems like he may or may not have had an agenda. However, I was less concerned with the textual/Biblical significance of the film than I was with the core human message. In my opinion, that film shows us exactly how horrible we can be to other people. That sounds simplistic, and maybe it is; but, if you watch the movie with that in mind, I think that it takes on a totally different meaning. So, that brings me back to Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. I don't know what Rice is trying to do with this book and I can't give an opinion yet because I am only about 1/3 of the way into it; however, I respect Anne Rice's talent enough that I am trusting her in this one. If you have never read Anne Rice, you are missing some of the most vibrant literature by a modern writer. My favorite book by Rice is Violin. I also enjoyed Interview with the Vampire and Pandora...Pandora is a fascinating book and I have a friend reading it right now....can't wait to hear what she thinks. I am totally in love with Marius in that book! Anyway, that is just my ramble for today.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Lovin' My Latte



I have to say that my absolute favorite thing about the holidays is the Starbucks Gingerbread Latte. I could drink it year round, and I am probably the only person asking in May if there is any leftover gingerbread syrup at the Starbucks counter. I have had some that were not made wonderfully, but most of the time it is made to perfection. I had the best one ever yesterday at the USF library Starbucks. The girl that made it deserves an award!
Anyway, as I finish up all of my finals, I must perpare my mind to grade. I hate grading. Sometimes, no matter how much time I put into it, it just seems arbitrary. And, the way the departments work these days, grades are weighed so that they don't really reflect anything of importance. Oh well. I am too tired to care at this point.

The next best thing about the holidays is that the ABC Family network plays Harry Potter a lot! I am watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone tonight. It is so funny to see how much those kids have changed!

Well, everyone continue to enjoy the holidays!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

"Champ is alright with you, darling?"



'Tis the season...and I feel that I must pay homage to my favorite TV show ever: Absolutely Fabulous (AbFab). Yes, kiddies, I like it even better in some ways than Dallas. But, we must not really compare apples and oranges, my friends. I must say that my favorite episodes were in the earlier seasons; however, some of the more recent episodes are equally funny.
If you have never seen AbFab, I order you to rent it today!!! Start with the early seasons. Some of the best episodes take place in Morocco and France...


Fondue?(...watch the episode and you will understand!)
Anyway, I felt that it was essential to promote my favorite show!!!

Also...

Today, I have been reading and reading, trying to prepare for a take-home final I need to complete. I think I will work on it tomorrow. Then, I need to clean and perpare myself to grade LOTS of portfolios that belong to my students. I am not really looking forward to that right now. In fact, I may need to take a hint from Patsy in AbFab...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Let My People Go.



Well, tonight I had my last class of the semester, and it seemed like it would never end. We finished discussing the novel before we even had our break at 7:15. However, the professor (who is very nice, I promise) came back and waxed philosophical about Dickens for and hour and 15 minutes. We were all astonished. Eventually, we started watching him play with his hair (very long hair) and at one point it actually stood straight up. This led to much stiffled giggling (it really is cute) and concerted efforts to pay attention. It was exhausting.
I also taught my last classes of the semester today. Well, I really didn't teach today because it was just a "take care of business" kind of class where everyone turned things in before the finals period.

Other than that, I am getting ready to indulge in more mindless entertainment. Will let you know how that goes...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Things I Want to Do During the Holidays.

Well, as my brain slowly slips out of academic mode, I am trying to think of all of the fun things I want to do during the holidays!

1. I HAVE to see the new Harry Potter movie. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Firs is my favorite book so far...

2. I want to read a non-school book...maybe a few.

3. I want to have coffee at my little table at Bad Ass Coffee in T-town.

4. I must play with Casey for at least 30 minutes uninterrupted.

5. And, Casey must have a bath. Not exactly fun, but satisfying (to me, at least! No more bad smelling dog).

6. My parents and I have to watch a lot fun holiday movies...Love Actually (my favorite, for obvious reasons), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, When Harry Met Sally (New Year's Scene), etc.

7-infinity....open for discussion.


Today, I did accomplish writing an outline for my 18th cent. paper. Additionally, I found all of the passages I intend to analyze. So, now all that is left is to actually write the paper!
I am also trying to catch up on some reading I had to abandon in another class when I was preparing for my Dickens paper. Ahh...my eyes are going for sure. Well, until I can think of something interesting to say, I will sign off.

"Signing Off. Signing Off. S-I-N-I-N-G Off. Signing off." (Melanie in character...though I won't say which character....years ago. I still laugh!)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Eyes Wide Open

Okay, so I had extreme fatigue over the weekend and could not get enough sleep. Then, last night, I could not sleep at all. What is up with that??? And, to top it off, I am not even tired today. I mean, I was up until 2:30, after which I dozed on and off for a very short while until I finally gave up around 5 a.m. UGH. My body is, at last, rejecting my busy schedule.

Nothing of interest (well, to anyone reading this) happened today. I think my last presentation went well (on Frances Burney). Now, I just have to fine tune my ideas so that I can actually write the paper.

I think that tonight, after all of the work I have done for the last few days, I will totally indulge in some visual entertainment. Should it be Dallas? A Hugh Grant movie? Oh, and speaking of Dallas, season 4, the one in which you discover "Who Shot J.R.?" will be out January 24. I am countin' down the days. However, the Tampa Tribune ruined it for me several weeks ago, during the anniversary of the episode, when they printed that Kristen shot him. FINE. I was so mad. I had been monitoring every conversation about Dallas with my relatives who were making fun of me for watching it, making sure that no one slipped and told me. My world has crumbled, and I m giving up my subscription to the Tampa Tribune in January. (Okay...it really isn't because of that...I just don't have time to read it.) Anyway, I will still enjoy watching Sue Ellen get drunk.

Oh! Heath, you used to call me Sue Ellen in high school, remember? That is hilarious! Well, I did not turn out to be a drunk. And, I have not married a misogynist oil tycoon either. Oh well. So much for the life of Susie.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Wow...these folks are nuts. Check this out...

First of all, why would anyone steal from the Salvation Army folks? If this isn't karma coming to bite you in the ass, I don't know what is...

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2005/12/5/132367.html

And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact, be the first steps of a journey...(from Lemony Snicket)


The wisdom that can be found in "children's" books...

Okay, well, today was better. I didn't feel bad, but I was pretty tired by the end of the day. Maybe it was just a 48 hour kind of thing. Anyway, on a better note, I think I have finally decided on a thesis for my paper due in the 18th cent. lit class. I have been thinking about it (literally) all day...it finally came to me around 6:30. Now, my brain hurts.

Other than that, I did take some time out (probably what led to my discovery) to watch the movie Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events ( http://www.unfortunateeventsmovie.com/main_flash.html ). It was very interesting. I can't say that I LOVED it. I did love the books. I borrowed them from a little boy that I babysit occasionally. Those books are so dark and contain a lot of really interesting ideas. I don't think the movie was able to adequately convey all of those ideas. Still, the artistry was perfect. It was just like I imagined it. Also, there were some wonderful actors/actresses in the movie. Has anyone out there read the books? What do you think??

Illness update

Feeling much better...but I guess that I should be considering how much I have slept! Anyway, maybe it is over.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

What do I have???

Ugh... I feel completely awful today. I don't know what ails me. I am so tired (this has gone on for three days!!!) and I think I actually have a fever now. I never sleep during the day, but for the last two days, I have taken a three hour nap each day. When I left Border's this morning, my legs felt as weak as they did when I used to run really long training runs. I CANNOT get sick right now. I have so much work to do...At least, I probably don't have consumption...so I can fully disassociate myself with the Victorians.

Other than that, I feel that today's rant must also discuss my agitation with Tampa drivers. No wonder there are so many bad accidents and pedestrians killed. These folks just cannot wait and they don't care if they kill you in the process. Yesterday and today I completely lost patience with them, resulting in my coming home earlier than expected from my daily trip to Borders or Barnes and Noble. All I want is a short, quiet drive to the bookstore. Right. Not in this town. Even driving from Tuscaloosa to Barnes and Noble in Birmingham is less stressful. Anyway, that is all.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I don't want to play with you anyway.

Okay. I have to use this space to rant for a bit. I REALLY hate it when students sign up for an appointment to see me and then don't show up. It is so irresponsible...and such a pathetic form of rejection considering that my class is probably the least stressful of any class that they take.

I also dislike people (who shall remain nameless) who send out important departmental notices ONE week before class ends asking for documents from students who had no idea they were responsible for submitting such documents. Yes, I am annoyed. This always happens. I like organization....in fact, I live by it in my professional life (although you could not tell by looking at my random stack of books for research). Still, I know which books I need at the time...and I don't ask someone else to find them for me. Ugh. Anyway, that is all.

On a happier note, I am almost finished with my first semester of the PhD program. This, of course, means that I still have a long way to go; but, one semester down really helps my morale. It has not been terrible...although I may change my mind once grades are submitted! I just hate the end of the semester chaos that is inevitable (okay...I am ranting again).

On a very sad note, my great-great-uncle in Indiana had to put his dog to sleep. Uncle Jack is 93 and his dog, Virgie, was a French mastiff (or maybe a bull mastiff). Anyway, she was the sweetest dog in the world...well, except for Casey (see photo in previous blog entry). I see Virgie every summer....I will miss her. I really hope Jack gets another dog (just NOT a deer hound) because it will keep him active. But, in my mind, Virgie will always be shuffling through the corn fields of Indiana. Now, she will be Virtual Virgie, roaming the digital space of my blog.