Archive for August, 2006

Lebanon’s still there

August 27, 2006

Having not seen any Lebanon/Israel headlines in the past few weeks on CNN.com, I began to wonder if it was no longer newsworthy. After all, CNN is all about newsworthy headlines. I call in as evidence the numerous updates in the past week on Pluto’s planet status, several of which were given front page main headline dignity; the Jill Carroll captivity narrative, in 10 excruciating parts; and the results of a poll indicating that most Americans think Bin Laden is planning another attack. One of my recent favorites, though it wasn’t granted a place as the top story, was this:

Lost at sea for nine months
Mexican fishermen ate raw catch, prayed, played air guitar

That last element, definitely newsworthy.

So back to Lebanon: I typed it into the CNN search box, and the top hit was this choice story:

screen capture

Note that the lead singer of this “boy band” is 28 years old; I guess people who live in areas racked by war would find it easy to indulge in a prolonged childhood, to kind of get stuck in that adolescent phase. It only makes sense.

In CNN’s defense, this story disappeared from the top spot when I chose to sort my search results by “Relevance.” How Relevance is determined is anyone’s guess. It’s like deferring to generic “experts.” Experts in what? Relevant to what?

I love CNN. *kiss*

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Guitar Hero

August 21, 2006

Curly’s been playing a fair amount of “Guitar Hero” on the PlayStation 2 since arriving in the Golden State. Let me just confirm what you have perhaps already read at one of my friend’s blogs, that this is a really cool game.

I was playing on Easy, and then decided that was too easy, so I bumped it up to Expert (the highest level). Much to my surprise, I was able to complete “I wanna be sedated” the second time through. But Expert got too hard, so I dropped back down to the “Hard” level and am about 20 songs in. The last song in Group 4 is “Unsung” by Helmet. Usually the last song in a group is hard, but I got through it on the first try with a 5/5 star rating, something like 250,000 points, and an $1,850 gig payoff! (This is modest compared to the real shredders out there, but, being a novice, I was happy with it. Check YouTube for an awesome video of some guy playing “Bark at the moon” on Expert really well.)

What’s really cool is that on the harder settings, and harder songs, you begin to feel like you are actually playing a guitar.

Facing Middle Age With No Degree, and No Wife – New York Times

August 6, 2006

Facing Middle Age With No Degree, and No Wife – New York Times

The caption on the first photograph in this article reminds me of the Simpsons episode in which the Van Houtens divorced. Mr. Van Houten moves into an apartment community with lots of juvenile amenities, such as beds shaped like racecars. Mr. VH tries to impress Homer with his new independence: “I sleep in a racecar!” Homer pulls him back to reality by replying: “I sleep with my wife . . .”

A couple of highlights from the article:
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Curly Couch Partial US Tour

August 2, 2006

Who wants to have lunch or dinner with Curly between August 14th and 21st? I’m coming up, so you better get this party started. Don’t everybody jump at once, please. I’m all booked up for Aug. 11-13—will be out in the woods “roughing it” in a cabin with a bunch of current and ex-Lutherans. I’ll be the only Catholic—truly a sheep among wolves! :)—but there is still hope. One of our number is a vegetarian, so I won’t be the strangest fellow on this trip. Should be a good time!

Anybody looking for work?

August 1, 2006

I’ve got jobs coming out of my ears. Recently I was contacted about teaching writing and AP English lit at a nice prep school; this job I declined, because I am already teaching at two universities this fall, both of which jobs were basically handed to me (one through my institutional standing, the other through personal connections). And tonight I got a call, with a setup for teaching a literature class in the spring at a different university; I was recommended by a professor who teaches there. What am I gonna do with all this extra kwan? Or the better question is, will I still have time to work on my dissertation? (Or even better—will my gym time be safeguarded?)