Sunday, April 7, 2013

News and Updates

1. I just don’t like making this sort of post, because it means that I haven’t had the time to write a real post.  It’s a way of marking out some of the random thoughts and events that have occurred so I don’t forget.  I suppose that in itself is worth something, especially since otherwise things get lost.  But still.  It’s more fun to be able to think about things a bit.

2. My children have now had yet another experience that I have never had – they spent Friday night cruising Our Little Town in a white stretch limo.  It was a friend’s birthday party, and her mom – somewhat at a loss as to what to do for a kid who is too big for the usual birthday party but not old enough to go out drinking – decided that two hours in a limo followed by a nice dinner at the local hibachi grill would be perfect.  And you know what?  It was.  Apparently they spent the two hours eating, giggling, singing songs over the intercom with the driver, and generally marveling at the existence of a quarter-mile-long vehicle with a mirrored interior.  Me?  I was just impressed that the driver managed to back the thing into my driveway without casualties.

3. While they were driving about town, I was down at the County Fairground, setting up for the annual Pre-Fair Cat Show.  This meant hauling out several million folding chairs and about that many six-foot-long tables, all manufactured out of depleted uranium and grief, and arranging them artistically throughout a metal and concrete building specifically designed to maximize echoes.

4. Not surprisingly, therefore, we found ourselves spending all day Saturday at the cat show, which was most pleasingly arranged, thank you very much.  Tabitha was in charge of Midgie – who genuinely hated the experience, to the point of developing salt crystals on her nose from sweating so much – while Lauren entered into the photography and art section of the contest.  Kim served as a judge’s assistant, and I spent most of the day in the food booth.  Lauren took home a couple of ribbons for her efforts, but Midgie was not deemed medal-worthy this time around.  She did win a certificate declaring her “Best Dressed,” as she has nice markings, but any hope of  “Miss Congeniality” probably died when she hissed at the judges and threatened to ruin their credit ratings.

And your mangy little dog, too.

5. Rather than do the intelligent thing and just stay home curled into a fetal ball after the cat show, Kim and I ended up going out to the Home Campus production of The Full Monty.  It was a good show, and I enjoyed the sets and lighting because that’s the sort of thing I pay attention to in shows.  Force of habit, what can I say?  And yes, they did go full monty on us, though a carefully designed lighting cue (brilliant backlight, no front light) kept the visuals to a minimum.  This was probably a good thing.

6. There is just way too much grading to do.  Grading is the least rewarding part of teaching.

7. It is a fascinating thing to hear reports of a national news story for the better part of a week and then realize that you know someone who is deep in the middle of it.  Someday, when the dust settles, I will have to ask this person about what actually happened, as opposed to what was reported to have happened.

8. It is finally spring here in Baja Canada, which means that the snow has melted and the minor league baseball team is back on the field.  Sometimes that happens in the opposite order, and it was close this year.  At least the robins aren’t freezing their tail feathers off anymore.  And here in Wisconsin, once the temperature peeks above freezing everyone pulls out the t-shirts and ramps up their ice cream consumption.  Because it’s spring, dammit.

9. Pro-tip for students: If your writing makes your professor think of the Inigo Montoya Lexicographical Uncertainty Principle, you probably need to rethink your strategy.


Lee I said...

This was quite a proper post. I laughed all (well, most) of the way through. I saw a matinee production of The Full Monty. The audience consisted primarily of silver-haired old ladies (yours truly included) who whooped and hollared and threw panties on the stage. Someone has certainly figured out that light flash thing and apparently passed it along to all the little local productions.

Did your play have a guy who kept running up the wall and falling flat on his back? I wonder how his health is these days.

(Darn. This Chrome browser is resisting touch screen wherein I enlarge the captcha so I have some hope of solving it.)

David said...

Thanks, Lee. :)

There were quite a few silver-haired old ladies at the performance we saw, though it was a very mixed audience from that perspective. I think your audience would have been more fun, though. I have learned many things in my life, but "do not get in the way of old ladies" ranks high up on the list of important ones.

We did have the wall guy, but his performance was sufficiently mannered that his health was not a concern.

Nathan said...

Ahhhh, the old several million folding chairs and about that many six-foot-long tables, all manufactured out of depleted uranium and grief! I have extensive experience with these having set up crew catering spaces 13-1/2 bazillion times. I recall one Saturday when I wasn't "really" working but thought we'd get the chore out of the way instead of having to do it on Monday at 5:00a.m. We were setting up as fast as we could (so we could take the rest of the day off) and I managed to hit myself over the head with a chair and gave myself a concussion. The remainder of the day was surprisingly lacking in fun.

John Foust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Foust said...

Just to ease the burn on the Montoya'd students, and to affirm your appreciation of pedantry, I will point out the difference between hibachi and teppanyaki. The local peppermill-juggling facility certainly has a teppanyaki, but probably doesn't do the steaks on the hibachi.

David said...

Nathan - part of me really wants to know how you managed to do that, and part of me thinks I am better off not knowing because it would only make me want to see if I could replicate it.

John - Huh. Learn something new every day. In my defense, I will only say that I think they call it that at the restaurant, so I am repeating the mistakes of others. Not sure that helps my case any, but there you go.

My student last night made copious use of the word "tyrannical" in sentences where there was no possibility of any legitimate definition of that term being appropriate. It got tiring after a while.