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Snow Blood and Coal

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

This may well be my last post before I get to Indiana. I'm not sure when, but sometime soon, I'm going to take our network down and get rid of our DSL modem, and that will be the end of going online until the ninth of June. Wow. That's a long time. I might check my email from time to time between now and then, but for the most part, this is it.

But what I really have to post about is that I started reading the Sandman series of comics. So freaking cool! I love it. I haven't been able to put the first volume down since I started. The artwork is amazing, delicate and haunting in some places, yet very comic-like in others. The writing is excellent, and the story is a lot of fun, too. I had read somewhere that the first few issues are good, but it's hard to get attatched to the characters. I'm not finding that true at all. I've found myself attatched to the majority of the characters--even the ones that are really only tangential to the story at large. Wow. So good!

In other news,, packing is going really well. We sold Sarah's desk yesterday, and the guy who bought it is coming tomorrow to get it. Somebody is also coming tomorrow to get the sofa. I guess that since nobody wants my desk, I'll put it out on the curb with a sign that says take me. I can't really think of anything else to do at this point. For the $25 I'd get for it, it's not worth having it around until it sells, really. But then when that's gone, the only thing left will be the bed, and we'll get rid of that on Friday night, then leave on Saturday morning. Wow. Things are really coming together. Now if only Sarah would finish packing, all would be well with the world...

posted by Adam on 1:25 PM.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Alright. So I should preface this post by saying that it is in part a test of a new konfabulator widget that I downloaded today that lets you post to blogger type blogs. So if this looks screwie, that's the reason. But I do have stuff to say, mostly about stupidity and panicing and packing. On stupidity, I had my hitch installed yesterday. It took two hours to install, and it turns out that it's a little piece of metal that hangs down from the back of the car, about six inches from the ground, so now I can't have anything in the trunk, or it will scrape against the ground when I go over bumps. That really sucks, and it makes me worry about attatching a trailor to it, because that will make it go down even more. On the packing front, things are getting done. I think that I am going to get rid of my desk today, and hopefully the couch as well. I also need to get a bunch of newspaper so that I can finish packing the dishes and such. Finally, on the panic front last night, Sarah and I shared a panic attack last night due to the fact that there is still so much to do, and so very little time. But now to get to doing it...

posted by Adam on 10:06 PM.

Alright. So I should preface this post by saying that it is in part a test of a new konfabulator widget that I downloaded today that lets you post to blogger type blogs. So if this looks screwie, that's the reason. But I do have stuff to say, mostly about stupidity and panicing and packing. On stupidity, I had my hitch installed yesterday. It took two hours to install, and it turns out that it's a little piece of metal that hangs down from the back of the car, about six inches from the ground, so now I can't have anything in the trunk, or it will scrape against the ground when I go over bumps. That really sucks, and it makes me worry about attatching a trailor to it, because that will make it go down even more. On the packing front, things are getting done. I think that I am going to get rid of my desk today, and hopefully the couch as well. I also need to get a bunch of newspaper so that I can finish packing the dishes and such. Finally, on the panic front last night, Sarah and I shared a panic attack last night due to the fact that there is still so much to do, and so very little time. But now to get to doing it...

posted by Adam on 10:06 PM.

Alright. So I have three things to cover, and only a short amount of time to post: stupidity, packing, and panic. Here goes... On stupidity, I had my hitch installed yesterday. It took two hours to install, and it turns out that it's a little piece of metal that hangs down from the back of the car, about six inches from the ground, so now I can't have anything in the trunk, or it will scrape against the ground when I go over bumps. That really sucks, and it makes me worry about attatching a trailor to it, because that will make it go down even more. On the packing front, things are getting done. I think that I am going to get rid of my desk today, and hopefully the couch as well. I also need to get a bunch of newspaper so that I can finish packing the dishes and such. Finally, on the panic front last night, Sarah and I shared a panic attack last night due to the fact that there is still so much to do, and so very little time. But now to get to doing it...

posted by Adam on 12:17 PM.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Sarah and I went to Thai brunch with Jeana today, and it dawned on me today just how much I'll miss this place, and all the people I know here. We got there and sat next to some other folklore people, and then were met by even more folklore people, all of whom go there to eat on Sundays. So there were lots of goodbyes and there was lots of nostalgia all over the place, and to make things worse, they weren't making the coconut pancakes today that are what Sarah says she'll miss the most about Thai brunch.

In other news, my parents left this morning. I spent most of yesterday with them. We went to Spenger's Grotto for lunch, and then decided to skip dinner in favor of just going to Albatross (my favorite bar in Berkeley). Lunch time was a little bit miserable, but we all had a good time playing darts and pool at Albatross, so that more than made up for it. It was odd. We were going to just go hang out in the hotel bar, but the entire dining area was closed because it was Berkeley High's prom. My mother was upset, but it turned out alright I guess, because they really liked the Albatross.

Anyway, now back to packing. We have about half of everything thaty needs packing packed, and hopefully we'll get much of the rest done today. So now just to do it!

posted by Adam on 3:04 PM.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

I didn't post yesterday, but that's forgivable. Yesterday was a very busy day. I graduated in the morning, then went to lunch at Juan's place, then came home feeling really sick, then went to the archive reception to say goodbye to everybody, then went to dinner at Citron, then went to Ben's party. It was a very busy day for me, and the next week is going to be full of busy days too, because I need to get going on this packing thing, get the hitch installed, find someone to whom we can give the couch and my desk, get the girl who bought the shelves to pick them up, etc. There's a lot to do and very little time, is all I'm saying. Speaking of which, I think that I am going to wash some dishes this morning... That should help the packing effort.

posted by Adam on 10:12 AM.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

It's official. I'm done grading finals. I have to go and enter the grades this morning, but then all I have left to do is graduate! Yay! My parents are coming up this afternoon, and we're probably going to go out to dinner. Then tomorrow morning is graduation, tomorrow afternoon is the folklore party, and tomorrow night, I have reservations for 5 at Citron for one last celebratory meal before I flee the Bay Area once and for all.

In other news, it's official. I am so sick that I don't know what to do with myself. My nose is stuffed, my ears won't pop, and I have a soar throat that ends all soar throats. I don't think that I've ever had a soar throat this bad. As of last night, I could barely talk. This morning it was better, but I think that that's because I awoke at 4 a.m. in massive amounts of pain and took a couple of Advil.

Finally, it's official. I bombed my German final. I walked in and sat down to take it. It was like taking a final for a class that I had never taken. I didn't understand either of the listening comprehension sections, I missed one reading comprehension section entirely, and even the exercises where I did know things were strikingly more difficult than any of the quizzes. The test was 13 pages long and it took me 2.5 hours, and it's not that I even finished when I turned it in. I just gave up. But I took the class pass / not pass, so hopefully it won't matter and I'll pass.

posted by Adam on 1:22 PM.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I'm half way through the Anthro 163 finals. So far, they are much better than the midterms. They are also taking less time to grade than I expected, which means that I'll probably have them done by tonight, leaving me most of the day tomorrow to goof around, then go see my parents.

The only other thing I have to do is take my German final today, for which I am not ready. I have only read back through 6 of the 8 chapters that we did this semester, and while I am confident that I remember most things, I definitely have to go over past participles and what preposition to use with what word in the dative and accusative again. These two things have driven me nuts all semester, and I get the feeling that they will be on the final too. But no owrries, I have all morning to study.

On a crappier note, I feel so crappy. I thought that I was over being sick a couple of days ago, but I guess that being under quite a bit of stress has gotten to me, and so I'm sitting here and typing, and feeling like death itself. I haven't slept through the night in three days, and half the time, I am unable to pop my ears. All I have to say is "Fuck sinus pressure!"

Finally, on the moving to Indiana front, things are going very well. We have found people to buy most of the furniture, and we managed to change our U-haul order from an 8 foot trailer to a 6 foot, which should be big enough, and should also be a lot easier to pull, especially over the rockies. I've gotten a lot of advice about pulling trailers, and I think that the piece to live by is "go slow, and things should be okay".

posted by Adam on 10:09 AM.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

So you know that you have a sinus pressure problem when you hold your nose to pop your ears and when you let it go, steam comes out. This happened to me all yesterday, and then finally, my ears stopped popping and I was simply miserable all night. So I doped myself up on allergy medication (to relieve the pressure) and advil and went to sleep. It's much better this morning. But wow, I think that that was the most agony my sinuses have ever inflicted upon me.

In other news, I took my Chaucer final yesterday. Not bad. I had to do a whole bunch of identifications, most of which I got wrong, but I think I got partial credit for having good reasons. Then there was a translation section which was pretty easy, and a pair of essays upon which I think I kicked ass. So I got As on the essays, and probably Bs on the other parts. Overall, I passed, and that's all that matters.

Then I came home and Sarah and I made signs to advertize the crap that we're selling before we leave. They weren't up for five minutes when a girl called and bought the printer, a set of cubbies, and a book shelf. She took the printer, and she says that she'll pick the other two up later. This, however, is very good. It means we're really leaving.

posted by Adam on 10:13 AM.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Today has been a studying and packing day, mostly. This morning, I went and did brunch with Sarah's mother's side of her family, then came home and did Chaucer Chaucer Chaucer. I need to do a little bit more in the morning, but right now I feel reasonably confident that I won't fail, which is all that matters in the end. I also did some studying for German. I'm just getting into the stuff that I'm really shakey on, but I think that that will be okay too. As long as I can remember when to use am, um, and im in time constructions, and what prepositions go with what nouns in the dative case, I think that I should be fine. Only the latter part is hard, and I don't think that they will test on it too rigorously. Oh yeah! I also need to figure out how to tell strong verbs from weak verbs for the sake of making past participles, but I haven't found a satasfactory explanation of that yet. But no more studying for me today... at least for a while. Sarah just graduated, and I'm going out with her father and his family for dinner tonight at lovely Cafe de la Paz.

posted by Adam on 8:09 PM.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Last night was crazy. I awoke yesterday morning with a mild soar throat, and by the evening, I was absolutely miserable. I got to bed around eleven, and went right to sleep, only to awaken at 2:30 in the morning, unable to get to sleep again. I think that I was delerious with fever, because all I could think about was how insecure my wireless network was, and how I should set the broken powerbook up as a proxy server, and have sarah and my computers use it to do SSH tunneling for extra security. So finally, I got back to sleep, but again, I was up again at 5:30 and couldn't get back to sleep for an hour, and then finally, I got up around 8 once and for all. What a terrible night. When I awoke this morning, I think that I still had a bit of a fever, which has since broken, but it was pretty terrible.

Well, off to study. Yay.

posted by Adam on 3:46 PM.

Friday, May 16, 2003

So last night, I had a brilliant idea. I have an old powerbook with a broken monitor, and I was trying to decide whether to sell it or throw it out or bring it with me to Indiana when I realized, I could make a headless file and print server out of it. So I tool it out, and using the TV as a monitor, installed OS X and Remote Desktop on it, then hooked it up to my network and gave it a static IP address. Now, with my firewire hard drive hooked to it, both Sarah and I can mount it and listen to music from anywhere in the apartment that we happen to have our computers. I haven't hooked up the printer yet, but that should be just as easy. It's really the last step in getting away from being tethered to my desk. Now, without the hard drive attatched to my computer, I can sit in bed or in the couch, be on the computer, and listen to music. I've started writing a bunch of Applescripts to control it. The idea as of now is that the server should be asleep as much as possible, and only awaken when it is needed. So I have a script to wake it up for printing, one to wake it and mount the hard drive, and I'm about to start working on one that will allow me to sync files and folders between my hard drive and the powerbook's internal hard drive. There's a lot of free space on there (8gb, I think), so that would make for a good small scale backup solution. A year and a half ago, this would have been a project for which I would have instantly defaulted to linux and bash scripts, but I think that the way that I have it now is a better solution...

In other news, Sarah's family is coming in today, so I'm going to meet her grandmother and her maternal aunt for the first time. This should be very interesting, as I've gotten the impression that neither of them really approve of Sarah and I living together, and they certainly don't approve of her coming to Indiana with me ("You're throwing your like away" etc.). So we'll see what happens...

Finally, studying. I think that all I have to say about that is that I need to. I read through the Merchant's Tale and the Franklin's Tale last night, but I still have five or six left to do, not to mention reviewing the ones that I've already read. I also have a whole bunch of German to do, since I won't have time to study the night before, so it should be busy. We'll see what happens with that too...

posted by Adam on 11:59 AM.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Well, yesterday was useless as far as studying went. I wasted the morning on video games, then around 1, Sarah and I went to the library to try and study, but we couldn't find a place to sit. Doe was entirely full, and the only places open in moffitt were those hideous airport seats that everybody refuses to use. So I came home, did a little bit of packing, a lot of napping, and then watched two episodes of Enterprise, played some cards, and went to sleep.

In other news, the evening before last, I got a call from an old friend telling me that he was coming up here to work some last minute stuff out with the university before he transfers here. I didn't see him yesterday because I thought I would be studying, but we're going to go to breakfast today, which should be fun. I havn't seen him in just over a year, and before that I hadn't seen him in three. It'll be interesting to see how much we have to say to each other at the very least, now...

posted by Adam on 10:14 AM.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

So after much crying and yelling and throwing up (mostly not me), I have the contents of my desk and work area almost all boxed up and ready to be moved to indiana. There are a few things left on my desktop to move, but mostly everything is done, and all done in a single box, which is very nice. I figure that I'll have this one, then three boxes with a mixture of books and clothes, and that will be about it for me. There will be a few other stray things, but for the most part, I can say with certainty that I really don't have all that much stuff.

In other news, I turned in my 250 paper today. A folklore grad student accompanied me to Dundes' box in the anthropology office, and right after I dropped my 25 page paper in, she crushed it with a draft of her 250 page+ thesis. I hope he finds my poor paper under all of that.

Thinking about it, it occurs to me why I'm not as excited about this paper as when I started. I think that it's really good, but it feels like a summary of everything I have to say about folklore and literature, rather than being simply what I have to say about folklore and literature. I commented to a friend of mine today that I feel like I have twice as much in me as I put in the paper, and that's without any serious examples of what I'm talking about. She responded that I could probably expand it into a thesis, but I kind of cringe at that idea. Much as this has been a rewarding research experience, I want to stay clear of folklore and literature for a while. I figure that at the end of the summer I'll edit it and send it off to some journal or another, but until then, forget it.

17 days until I leave for Indiana, and all I have left to do until then is take finals, grade the 163 final, get the u-haul sorted out, finish packing, sell everything I don't want to take... ah fuck it. I have a whole lot left to do for 17 days.

posted by Adam on 2:57 AM.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Finished! It's done! I have the printed copy of my paper in my hands right now, and I'm going to go to German and then turn it in. But a scary thought occured to me as it was printing. Now that I don't have this paper to worry about, what am I going to do? I need to study for finals, but that can't take up all my time. I'm going to be so bored and care free... it's a little bit upsetting.

On the other hand, I'm finished with my last paper at Cal, which is a great feeling. I'm going to start packing for Indiana tonight, because as far as I'm concerned, I'm already graduated.

posted by Adam on 10:37 AM.

Almost done. One more short paragraph to write, and then that's it. I'll be able to print it out, turn it in, and be happy... now off to sleep before I do something crazy like try to write that last paragraph tonight. It'll have to wait until morning. Too tired...

posted by Adam on 2:13 AM.

Monday, May 12, 2003

So I've spent the morning thusfar worrying that there will be some requirement that I have not filled, and that I will not be able to graduate. I know it's a stupid thing to be worrying about, but I keep hearing stories about people who walk and then don't realize that they haven't graduated for three months. That would really suck for me, and what's more, that would also mean the end of grad school for me, and so it would just suck all the more, and keep on sucking for a long time. But I think that my fears are unfounded. I think that I am in fact going to graduate and that everything will be alright. Speaking of which, I need to order a confirmation of degree...

In other news, I went through and revised what I had of my ideology section again. I think that it's getting better. Still not excellent, but not God-awful like it was when I first wrote it. Tonight, I need to write the rest of it and then figure out how to link all my observations about ideology, folklore, and literature together. I think that that last part will be the big problem. I feel like I'm making random observations and don't say anything too coherent overall in this section. I also need to figure out whether or not I want a conclusion. As it stands now, I don't think so. I think that a conclusion would just repeat everything that I've said already and not add anything except an easy way for people to annotate this if they should ever so wish. While I'm not against easy annotation, I think that it would be a stupid (not to mention ego-centric) reason to write a conclusion. So for the moment, the verdict is no conclusion. We shall see if that changes before I turn it in.

Finally, in the Adam news today, I need to make dinner reservations for 5 for after I graduate. My parents and my sister are coming up, so plus Sarah and I, that equals 5. I think that I'm going to try to get a reservation at Chez Panis, but barring that, I need to decide whether I want to go with Tratoria La Siciliana, Cafe de la Paz, or something new. I'm thinking something new, since I'm leaving, but I really want more good Italian food too, so I'll have to figure it out.

posted by Adam on 11:56 AM.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Alright. So the paper is coming along pretty well. I have about 4 paragraphs left to write, and then all I need to do is edit, which I can do tomorrow, perhaps during the day (maybe I can get it in by 4:00 tomorrow after all). And what's more, it's really not too bad. I went over what I had written about ideology yesterday again today, did some editing, and it almost makes sense. I have a couple of more things left to say about it, which will come out horribly, I'll go over them a couple of times tonight, go over the whole thing again tomorrow, and like I said, done.

In other news, I started looking into DSL for my new apartment in Bloomington. It seems that the only carrier is SBC Yahoo, which, sort of unfortunately, does PPoE. On the bright side, though, my new wireless router is able to do PPoE from what I understand, and so that won't be too much a pain in the ass for me. If it were just my computer that was being connected to the DSL line, that would be a pain, but my understanding is that the router does all the dirty logging on stuff by itself. Also, SBC will also be my local phone provider in Bloomington, and so when I call to sign up for everything, I'll see if I can't get a package deal. That would be really nice. I wonder when I should call to get everything hooked up? I figure that I'll do it right before I leave Berkeley, and tell them that I want it all hooked up by the ninth. I wonder how long it'll take to get DSL installed. It couldn't possibly take a whole month like it did three years ago when I got my connection here. Could it?

posted by Adam on 6:21 PM.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Wow. I had a very strange night. I had a strong cup of coffee around 8 pm, expecting to be up all night writing, but when Sarah went to bed around 10:30, I couldn't write anymore, because I need light to work, and even the light in the living room was bothering her. So I wandered around for a little bit, then tried to go to sleep, then got back up at midnight and rethought my entire paper (I think that I wrote about that sometime in the middle of the night). I went to bed around 1 and slept until 6, when I got up again, wandered around some more, and added some ideas to the blossoming outline of my ideology section. Then I went back to bed again at 6:30, got up at 8, and here I am. Strange night...

posted by Adam on 10:29 AM.

I think that I have this pesky ideology section of my paper down. I've been going about it all wrong. Thus far, what I have been trying to do is define ideology by writing a critical summary of Althusser's Ideology and the State, and then talk about how it links to folklore and literature. What I am going to do instead is forget about a lengthy definition, and just talk about how it functions instead. I am going to lead by talking about how folklore and literature interact with ideology, and only add definition as it comes up in my argument. I have an outline that will leave me with about five pages of text on the subject, the right length, so what more could I ask for. I'm excited. I wish that Sarah wasn't sleeping so that I could start writing, but if I wanted to start now, as it stands, I'd have to go into the other room and write on the couch, which is very uncomfortable and doesn't lend itself to getting shit done. It's really a shame, because I'm all caffinated and ready to go, and I am reasonably sure that I won't be this excited in the morning. On the other hand, I'd probably write better in the morning after I get some sleep and get the caffeine out of my system. I guess it's a toss-up...

Must remind myself to bring Folktales of Norway to Strada...

posted by Adam on 2:30 AM.

Friday, May 09, 2003

So I'm home and I'm still not writing, but I am putting my time to good use. I'm listening to the Dodger game, playing video games, and napping on and off. I am going to make dinner in about 20 minutes, and then I am going to write. I swear.

Isn't it weird when you see an old professor walking around with whom you don't get along? I saw an old latin professor a couple of days ago, and we sort of nodded at each other and scuttled away as fast as we could in opposite directions. For that matter, last week, I saw another old latin instructor and the same thing happened. What is it with me and latin?

The archive today was nightmarish again. There were twelve or thirteen people in there at various times this afternoon doing last minute research, and I ended up helping two or three at a time. I promised to lend one of them a book that he couldn't find in the library, so I have to meet him at a coffee shop tomorrow morning at 11:30 to give it to him. The coffee tomorrow will be good for my writing. I hope that I get the book back.

And that's all I've got. My ecclectic update for the next little while.

posted by Adam on 7:47 PM.

Sarah read through my 250 paper last night and had some really helpful comments, so today, I have to go through and make a whole shitload of corrections before I get back to the ideology bit. I am going to finish the part about Althusser's article today, though, and move on to how ideology links folklore and literature. That will leave me a couple of things to do tomorrow, but not too much, and then I'll need to write a conclusion. I can get this thing done by Monday, I just need resolve. My goal is to finish it by tomorrow night, then take all of Sunday to do nothing but edit. It seems like a realistic goal, but it all depends on how much will power I have. Ben is having a philosophy party tonight that I would really like to attend, so if things go horribly awry with my writing, perhaps I shall do that... I also need to go and do a bunch of hours in the archive today, but I figure that while I'm up there I can get some coffee, and then come home around three or four and write write write.

Damned will power...

posted by Adam on 11:04 AM.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Last night was really cool. In honor of the last folklore seminar meeting of the year, we all went to Prof. Dundes' house, had class there, and then had dinner. I took four other people up there in my car, so it was pretty crowded, and apparently some other people thought I was taking them too, but oh well, they got there either way, and really, it wouldn't have been that bad a walk. The class went well, and then we all sat down to eat, and Prof. Dundes' wife proceeded to regail us with a whole bunch of stories about when they were younger, including how the two of them met, how they spent a year in France, and some stuff about living in Bloomington. Overall, it was a fun evening.

Then I came home, watched Star Trek, and went directly to sleep. I haven't slept well in over a month, but getting to sleep at 10 and not waking up until 7:30 really helped things. I feel refreshed and rested this morning, and hopefully it will carry over until tonight, so that I can get some writing done. I think it will, but you never know...

I need to go to German today, then go to Kroeber and drop off the 250 course evaluations, then call U-Haul, all before I go to work. U-Haul, by the way, is really evil. They have terrible customer service, and nobody seems to know anything over there. Not to mention the fact that doing a cross-country move with them (or anybody else) is absurdly expensive, even for the cheapest options. Oh well, I knew that I couldn't do it for nothing...

posted by Adam on 10:40 AM.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I am about to do a whole bunch of excerpting from the Daily Cal in a moment, so brace yourself. Rong-Gong Lin II, the Editor in Chief, wrote a column today that I think epitomizes everything wrong both with Berkeley and that newspaper, so here it goes:

More than 50 students met with two editors and myself yesterday, angry about yesterday's story, "Cal Football Player Arrested in Assault," a story about how Cal football player Michael Gray was arrested following a fight outside a fraternity involving as many as 50 people over the weekend.

Students were upset about a number of issues with the story. Publishing Gray's photograph drew attention to the fact that an African American was connected with an assault, which the students said perpetuated a negative, stereotypical image of African Americans.

In deciding how to handle the story, we saw it as a public figure getting arrested at a major fight on campus. The fight in itself is newsworthy, and the fact that a Cal football player was arrested also makes it a story.

Why was a photo run? It's to highlight one of the main figures of a story, whether it be a profile of a candidate, an athlete on her way to prominence or a protester who for days refused to say her name to police.

There were some problems with the story, leading some students to say it was biased and one-sided. We should have included the fact that we attempted to contact Gray for the story to get his perspective, as well as other individuals who might have been able to offer another perspective on the issue. (Through police, the article did say Gray denied any involvement.) The attempt to contact him was unsuccessful, but the article should have included that fact as a reminder that the article didn't have as full of a picture as we would have liked. (See correction below.)

That said, we are very conscious of the issues some students brought up with us. Some pointed out that images in mainstream media put out a negative stereotype of African Americans, that they are unfairly associated with alleged crimes. The stereotypes can lead to damaging consequences, and some pointed to the repugnant practice of racial profiling as an effect.

This pretty clearly demonstrates why I so strongly dislike Berkeley students. An African American football player was arrested for assault, the Daily Cal reported it, and all hell broke loose. Perhaps Lin is right and the article was a bit one sided (that is what happens when the other side was not available for comment), but still, the article was newsworthy, and the Daily Cal had every right to run a picture with it, especially considering the amount of face recognition that this guy has.

Then, of course, there's the glaring problem with the Daily Cal: They gave in. This column seems to rest somewhere between an apology and a retraction, when in fact there is no real reason for either. Either Lin is so weak in his resolution that he gave in to the unruly mob that came to visit him (50 students?!), or else he has so little confidence in his news staff that he automatically assumes that any complaint is their fault. Maybe both. I would assume the latter, however, if only because I don't have much confidence in their news staff, but that's just my bias...

Anyway, though, this so epitomizes my distaste on both accounts, that I almost found it insulting, which is really odd, because I only really react strongly to these columns once in a blue moon. Anyway, you can find the full column here.

posted by Adam on 10:37 AM.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

I feel like I should post something today, although I don't have a lot to post. I was very worried about my German quiz going in this morning, but it turned out not to be too hard. Tomorrow is going to be the hard part, because we are going to have oral exams: we are going to be paired up and forced to have ten minute conversations on a topic of the instructor's choice, while he watches and grades. That's kind of freaky, not only because my speaking and understanding aren't that great, but because my grade is sort of dependant on how well the other person speaks and understands. It's all good, I guess. I'm taking it pass / not pass, anyway.

In other news, it happened to me today that I was in the library and somebody came up to me and started asking me questions about Anthro 163. I know that I'm a reader for the class, but it's still kind of weird that people assume that I know something, and that it's my jon to help them. I guess that it is sort of my job to help them, but it's still kind of weird...

posted by Adam on 7:43 PM.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Alright. So in preparation for moving to Bloomington, Sarah and I went out and bought an Airport card for her computer and a wireless router. We figure that in the next apartment, we don't want to run wires all over (not to mention that we might want to wander while on the internet), so it would be best to get this kind of a setup going. We have it working now, but really, I'm not sure whether I like it or not. It seems more tempermental than my old connection. Also, ,with my DSL service set up the way it is, a router seems like a waste of IPs, considering that I get 4 statics, and with the router in place, I'm really only using one. That won't be a problem in Bloomington, though, because our service will only have one dynamic IP that we'll have to share. So I guess I'll tough it out.

I do like the wireless connection, though, because it means that I can wander around the apartment on the internet. I was reading my email on the couch tonight, which was very nice, and when I was setting up Sarah's computer to work with WEP encryption, I was able to bring mine over so that I could enter the key and get it exactly right. it was odd, though, because WEP was being tempermental at first and randomly kicking Sarah off, so I had to reconfikgure it a couple of times. It seems to work now, though, which gives me piece of mind. I know it's not very strong encryption, but it is better than nothing...

In other news, my inability to study persists. All day, I think that I was able to study for German for about two hours, and I've done nothing on my paper. I really hate this feeling, because I want to work on my paper, but I have no concentration when I really sit down to do it. I think that what I am going to do is get the German stuff out of the way, and then really sit down and pound it all out at the library, then spend whatever time I have left editing. It doesn't matter if it's not 100% smooth, I guess, since I plan to re-edit over the summer before I try and get it published anyway. My inability to concentrate just doesn't bode well for my plans to be an academic, because I really do have to be able to write on command to really be successful. Oh well... maybe I should see a therapist about it. It's almost like a phobia...

posted by Adam on 11:50 PM.

This is the kind of FUD that really hurts the credibility of those who would consider themselves "outside mainstream culture" in America. Not only that, but, while I'm sure that the study was done to the best of the psychologists' abilities, the artical, which is all that most people will see, is a load of crap. What songs did the researchers use as part of the test? When, exactly? And did they retest the same people multiple times? It seems sort of irresponsible for CNN to post this kind of a story, knowing it will be the only source of information for most people, without providing all of the relevent information... Oh well.

So in other news, I wrote about three pages about ideology yesterday. I figure that I have about half a page left to write on ideology itself, and then I can get on to writing about the way that it influences, and is influenced by, folklore and literature. This section is going to turn out longer than I thought. Perhaps I can cut and condense, but I feel like I am already doing that. Subjectivity gets all of two sentences...

Other than writing, though, yesterday was entirely unproductive. I sat down to catch up on my German workbook, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. What terrible busywork it is. Even my instructor agrees, but he has to assign it, or so says his boss, at least. But bah! I'm taking the class pass / not pass, so I don't really care all that much anyway... oh well.

posted by Adam on 10:53 AM.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

I really just don't feel like I have the concentration to do work tonight. This afternoon, I went through Althusser's essays on ideology and came up with a pretty coherent outline of what he has to say and where I disagree with him. I also figured out how I was going to discuss the manner in which folklore and literature are products of ideology, and how they re-produce ideology (rather than saying that they either reinforce or subvert it; they really do neither). But I can't bring myself to write it all down tonight, so bla.

I also can't bring myself to do German tonight, despite the fact that i REALLY need to. I have the workbook chapter, which I haven't yet started, due on monday, a quiz on tuesday, and then oral exams sometime between wednesday and friday, but I still feel like I have no motivation to study. But what the fuck. I'm taking it pass / not pass and right now I think that I have a B+ in the class, so if I don't do very well on the quiz and the oral exam, whatever.

I think that I'm just going to watch Deep Space Nine and E.R. tonight, then get a goodnight's sleep and have another go and being a student in the morning. Maybe I shouldn't have had Ahi tuna for dinner... Maybe I shouldn't have had beer (actually, I think that's it. It didn't drunken me, but it killed my caffine high). But whatever. Like I said, I'll try again tomorrow.

posted by Adam on 11:43 PM.

Wow. A lot of stuff has happened. Lets see, yesterday afternoon, Sarah and I got an apartment in Bloomington. We haven't signed the papers quite yet, but we're going to on Monday. It's a 2 bedroom apartment with a balcony and a dining area that's separate from the living room. How cool is that? It's very close to campus, and there are raquetball facilities in the complex, which might get me to play more often. Over all, a very cool place. And we can move in June 9, which means that when we get to Bloomington, we'll only have to be in a hotel for a couple of days. Sarah wants to stop on our way to see her mother, and I just figured out what my objection is to that. There's a folklore conference that goes from June 6th to the 8th, and I really want to go and meet the faculty, since most of them won't be on campus for the rest of the summer. We'll see what happens. Maybe we can do both...

In other news, I went and saw X2 last night. I don't want to provide any spoilers for this one, so suffice to say, wow, what a good movie. I think that it was significantly better than the last one. There were certain bits that I didn't like about it, but that's to be expected from any movie, and especially any movie based on a comic book that I have read and enjoy. Overall, though, I think that it was the best comic book movie I've seen since the first X-men. certainly beats the pants off of Spidy, which is a shame because I really like Spidy better...

Oh yeah, I also saw some people last night whom I haven't seen in quite some time. I was standing in line to pick up my pre-ordered tickets, and they showed up. There was momentarily the very nice possibility that we would all go see the movie together, but then the 10:10 show was sold out so they had to go to the 10:30 show. It was cool though. We hung out and talked for a while and that was fun. I'm going to miss randomly bumping into people I know...

posted by Adam on 12:10 PM.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Alright. It's been a while since we've done a segment on my Chaucer professor, so here it goes:

Today, someone in class asked him why everybody in The Canterbury Tales seems to be named John or Alison. He responded, I did some work on that in the sixteenth century. Everybody started cracking up at that, and I don't think that he could quite figure out why. You'd think that being an English professor, he'd be more able to keep such ambiguous double meanings out of his language...

Anyway, I thought it was funny, so I thought I'd share. Now back to trying to compile GCC for the Hitachi SH1 processor so that I can compile my own firmware for my Archos Jukebox...

posted by Adam on 7:27 PM.

I was going to get work done last night. I really was. But Sarah turned in her big English thesis thing and wanted to celebrate, so instead we went out to dinner, and then came home and played cards and watched TV. By the time we were done with that, we were both tired and decided to go to sleep early. Man, I really was going to get work done last night... but oh well.

So today is the day that I have to go and line up a cap and gown. I also have to call the power company and the phone company and have our service disconnected as of May 31. This moving thing is really starting to happen, and I'm so glad. Perhaps if I get home early enough this afternoon, I may also call up some landlords in Bloomington and figure out what they have available. If they would email me pictures, I might take an apartment without actually having physically seen it. I know it's not the best of ideas, but I would really like not to have to stay in a hotel while I look for a place once we get to bloomington, and I don't want to pay any more for the U-haul than we absolutely have to, and keeping it for more than a couple of days once we get there will certainly drive the price up... so yeah, I want to get this done and then not have to worry about anything else except reasonably nice things like having to buy furniture and getting a library card so that I can do research over the summer...

By the way, check this out:

posted by Adam on 10:35 AM.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

So today is the day that I start doing the thousand things that I need to do before I move out of the asscrack that is my apartment. I need to rent a cap and gown this morning, as well as calling U-Haul and finding out exactly how much it will cost to rent a hitch and trailer to get Sarah and my stuff across the country. Then, tomorrow, I'm going to call and notify my utilities that I'm cancelling them as of May 31st, and start calling potential landlords in Bloomington to find out what's available over there. I'm a little worried because I've found a lot of stuff that is available for August, but not all that much available right now. I'm sure that there's something, though, and that whatever it is isn't too bad. Worst comes to worst, I sublet something until August, and then get something when those apartments become available. But that would be the absolute worst coming to the absolute worst, as I don't want to move any more than is absolutely necessary.

In other news, today is the day for me to get back to my Folklore and Literature paper. I have one more section to write, and then a conclusion. That's really not too bad at all. I figure that my section on ideology and how it relates to folklore and literature can be short (say four or five pages), and then I can move on and finish this damned thing. The goal for tonight is to read back through Althusser and this bit of a book by Catherine Besley on ideology. Then, if I have time, I'll go back through my Paul Ricoeur article, Mythologies and some Foucault, although I'm pretty confident about all of that stuff... I can finish this thing this weekend and then be done. DONE!

posted by Adam on 10:50 AM.

I turned in my Chaucer paper today. That's very nice. A load off my mind. But now I have to turn to German and study all night long, because tomorrow, our instructor is putting on a special two-day event that requires that we know a bunch of vocabulary. I suck a learning vocabulary, but I want it to go well because a professor from the German department is coming to observe, and it's important for our instructor that it go well. So I really need to study. But I turned in my Chaucer paper today, so I don't want to. Oh well... Off to study.

posted by Adam on 12:12 AM.

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