So I did a last minute trip to Vancouver this weekend. I spent last week getting nothing done and hating my life as usual so when I decided to head up Thursday I had a whole day full of errands to run first. Things that had to be done like getting my glasses fixed, laundry, getting a new silent hamster wheel (did I mention I adopted a little hamster named Oscar?). Weekend was good even though it rained on Saturday. I took my friends out to a very condensed lindy hop drop in lesson where they pretty much covered 3/4 of what I have learned in 12 weeks into 50 minutes. I finally lost my social-dancing-with-strangers virginity at the Stomp it Off dance that came after the lesson. The live band was pretty fun.

I brought up some DVDS to watch on my parents big new TV. One of them was Wedding Crashers which I heard was funny. I got through maybe the first 10 minutes and I had to shut it off. It was stupid and not funny and Owen Wilson is really annoying and plays the same idiot character in every movie. Also saw the Accidental Tourist which was pretty good but a little slow and depressing. The movie I saw that I liked best this weekend though was Stranger than Fiction. I heard that Ebert and Roeper liked it but I am just not into the moronic Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Owen Wilson etc type Hollywood movie so I never saw it before but it was surprisingly awesome. I don't even want to explain the plot because I don't know how to do it without giving it away but just trust me. It's good. I have a new respect for Will Ferrell and wish he would do some more non-moronic movies now.



It shouldn't take weeks to put away an airbed and sleeping bags I brought out for visitors Labor Day weekend (I'm a neat freak so this is by no means normal). The handrail I took down to paint a month ago (and left on the stairs) should've gone back up before K came over out of pity to put it back up yesterday. I shouldn't be sleeping 15+ hours on a sunny day on the weekend. And it shouldn't take me a whole summer to write a response paper for 2 credits. Sitting motionless for hours while the rest of the city is out enjoying what's left of summer, probably also a bad sign. The fact that I have no idea when classes start (including the one I teach) and feel nauseated thinking about it is also not so good. I had a long to-do list for the summer -- finishing a paper I already presented at a conference, updating Endnote, reading about 10 books for exams, putting in a paper for publication, figuring out more details on what I'm doing for my diss. Big fat zero on that list. I read one book. ONE. Christ. I have a TA meeting today and getting myself dressed and on a bus to campus is going to be like moving a mountain. I would like to return the brain that mother nature gave me for one that isn't defective.



Look what happens when I'm at my computer all day. I blog a lot and I catch up on blogs. Man oh man was it worthwhile to read Pants's blog again. Her brother had a Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints themed costume party. OH my fucking god. The photos are hilarious. I must share.


Just a collection of some of my favorite reader comments to news articles about Palin.

- If she won't answer questions, the media should work around that and instead yell "Look! Gays!" or "Condoms!" near Palin and just watch her dive under the podium in fear.
- For trying to appeal to Hillary-style feminists, it sure seems funny that the men around her are telling her when she can speak and when she can't.
- Of course she's not scared to answer any questions; she's incapable of answering them. John McCain and Britney Paris Palin '08.
- The last thing Crazy McCain wants for Scary Sarah is for her to be unscripted...she might put her proverbial foot in it (she is going to do it anyway) and scare those that thought she was a Goddess! Run Sarah Run...we are coming after you with our San Francisco Values and you might get cooties!
- During the debates there will be no scripts allowed. So if I were her, I would carry a bible. she is going to need it
- the Hillary comparisons have got to stop. Hillary never would have hid behind a man like Palin hides behind McBush

And this was a more general comment I found. A bit tragic:
-Democrats have science, reason, and humanity on their sides. Republicans have . . . . a love of Jesus and lots of flags. And yet the Republicans will probably win again.


Another reason why I like living among Seattlites. I don't think you'd read these kinds of comments from readers in many other cities.


The US presidential election coming up is going to be historic and frankly it's making me very nervous. I thought Americans, even conservative ones, would have the brains to see through McCain's bullshit and the absurdity of his pick of running mate. Then again Americans also gave W 4 more years so I should learn to be less surprised.

In any case there is an election going on in my neck of the woods soon too. Our PM, Conservative Stephen Harper is trying to hold the federal election early knowing full well that an Obama win could sway Canadian voters to vote further to the political left.

The new saying in Canada is ABC -- Anything But Conservative. Wanna know why?

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams (also a conservative) says of PM Harper,
"Even without a majority, he has cut funding for minorities, cut funding for literacy, cut funding to students, volunteers, museums and arts and culture groups right across the country [and] his government cut funding to women's groups and … actually went so far as to remove the federal mandate to advance equality for women."
More here.

I should get one of those shirts that say "Don't blame me, I voted Liberal." Canadians (including ex-pats), please vote Harper the fuck out of there. He is messing up our country.



The National Communication Association is an academic association that I'm a member of but one that tends to anger me to no end. And I'm not the only one. Their daily digest of distribution list postings are full of angry members' rants. There has not been one response to the flurry of angry emails from the execs. Here are a few of the complaints:

- They are holding this year's annual conference at the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego which is being boycotted by most other academic and professional organizations and citizens' groups because the hotel's owner contributed thousands of dollars in support of a proposition to ban gay marriage. They are also in the middle of a labor union dispute (their room cleaners have to clean more rooms for the same pay and have no job security)
- They wanted us to register for the conference so far ahead that most people get stuck with a gap between paying the money and getting the money reimbursed by our departments. This is a gap that hurts graduate students and people in teaching positions who still have tight budgets
- The convention program is looking more and more like a phone book and NCA does not allow us the option to just view it online to save a few trees
- The hotels with discounted rooms for the conference are full except for one, and the conference is still 4 months away
- They charge a big wad of money for the preconference courses/seminars but the instructors they recruit to teach/lead them don't see most of that money
- Younger scholars and people of color have complained of just not feeling very welcome at the conference (I'd agree)

And my complaints:
- They send us the badges in the mail and if you forget to bring yours to the conference you have to pay for a replacement badge -- why not just save the postage and envelopes, have the badges at the conference and have a badge pick up station at the check in? (they could learn a thing or two from organizers of tech conferences I tell you)
- The web site is horrendous which is particularly embarrassing (as in I'm embarrassed for them) because they are a communication association. It is impossible to find anything on that site and their new flashy "RFP tracker" is not even a web application, it is a link to a 53-page PDF file (OMG, are you kidding me?). Oh and they can't even keep the font sizes and styles consistent from page to page (ever heard of CSS?). Ugh, I could go on and on. The web site is just pathetic. Pair a design student with an information architecture/comp sci student together on an internship and let them have at it. It couldn't get any worse.
- Almost all the faces I see in the newsletter are of old white folks, usually men. You'd think it was a newsletter for AARP or something (oh wait, AARP would have more people of color in their publication). One of the articles in the last issue of Spectra (their newsletter) was a rant from a grumpy old professor who was annoyed with laptops in the classroom and with students bringing Blackberries and Palm Pilots (he admitted he didn't know the difference and, yes, he said Palm Pilots). Laptops are how we electronically take notes these days, those mysterious things that replaced typewriters which replaced stone tablets. See where I'm going with this? Technology serves a purpose and it's related to communication and an important topic of study in our field for people very unlike him (thank the gods). His claims about technology getting in the way of learning were hyperbolic and serve only as an indication of how out of touch he is with the way business (and academics) is done these days.

I guess I could sum them up as old fashioned, inefficient, disorganized, bloated, out-of-touch, and inflexible.



Really looking forward to seeing this Jessica Yu film

Here is the facebook group with listings of when and where to catch it


The words of Bristol Palin's baby daddy from his MySpace page:

On his MySpace page, Johnston boasts, "I'm a f - - -in' redneck" who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

"But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some s- - - and just f - - -in' chillin' I guess."

"Ya f - - - with me I'll kick [your] ass," he added.

He also claims to be "in a relationship," but states, "I don't want kids."

from the NY Post. Nice.


Here is a random collection of thoughts and updates since I'm not having coherent thoughts lately.

- Good article on why we like Facebook and Twitter
- I bought a shirt from Threadless of unicorns humping under a rainbow and it rocks
- Watching the RNC is far too grating so I follow FakeSarahPalin on Twitter instead
- Went to the famous Red Mill burgers for first time this weekend and it was tasty, but I was disappointed that there was no option to have a fried egg on top
- Got the $39 introductory massage special at the franchise Massage Envy and it was surprisingly good
- I went social dancing (lindy hop) for the first time at the Century Ballroom and had a great time (especially after I made K dance with me NOT in the cool (i.e. highly experienced) kids part of the dance floor where people know what they're doing and most teach classes. Instead I looked for the part of the dancefloor where people looked like they had just learned a basic east coast swing at the free half hour pre-dance lesson. I fit in better there.
- I start another series of intermediate level lessons next week and can't wait since this partner dancing stuff is the hardest, most intimidating thing I've attempted since learning to snowboard 10 years ago. Actually, this is harder and scary in a different way (scary in terms of kicking strangers in the shins and looking perpetually confused, out of step, and stupid vs. scary as in I could fall off a snowy cliff and die right here scary).
- I'm putting in an effort to reduce my consumption of red meat (except for the trip to Red Mill Burgers) for the sake of sustainability (House of Prime Rib would be another exception if I ever head there again in the near future)
- I decided not to submit a paper to a conference for 2 reasons - 1. it'll be on my birthday 2. there is no division for race and ethnicity and I think that's lame 3. (ok 3 reasons) it's in Arizona and I'm saving up my good shit for a conference in Honolulu (after you go to a few academic conferences and realize how draining and expensive it is, you tend to get a bit pickier)