Friday, November 30, 2007

Movie Meme

I stole this idea from Andy, but I've seen quite a few less than him of these award winning movies. The ones in bold I've seen beginning to end, whereas the ones with an asterisk* I've only seen portions of. I've read the book versions of the ones in italics .

2006 The Departed

2005 Crash

2004 Million Dollar Baby

2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2002 Chicago

2001 A Beautiful Mind

2000 Gladiator

1999 American Beauty

1998 Shakespeare in Love

1997 Titanic

1996 The English Patient

1995 Braveheart

1994 Forrest Gump

1993 Schindler's List

1992 Unforgiven

1991 Silence of the Lambs

1990 Dances with Wolves

1989 Driving Miss Daisy*

1988 Rain Man

1987 The Last Emperor

1986 Platoon

1985 Out of Africa

1984 Amadeus*

1983 Terms of Endearment

1982 Gandhi

1981 Chariots of Fire

1980 Ordinary People

1979 Kramer Vs. Kramer

1978 The Deer Hunter

1977 Annie Hall

1976 Rocky*

1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

1974 The Godfather Part II

1973 The Sting

1972 The Godfather

1971 The French Connection

1970 Patton

1969 Midnight Cowboy

1968 Oliver!

1967 In the Heat of the Night

1966 A Man for All Seasons

1965 The Sound of Music

1964 My Fair Lady

1963 Tom Jones

1962 Lawrence of Arabia

1961 West Side Story

1960 The Apartment

1959 Ben-Hur

1958 Gigi

1957 The Bridge on the River Kwai

1956 Around the World in 80 Days

1955 Marty

1954 On the Waterfront

1953 From Here to Eternity

1952 The Greatest Show on Earth

1951 An American in Paris

1950 All About Eve

1949 All the King's Men

1948 Hamlet

1947 Gentleman's Agreement

1946 The Best Years of Our Lives

1945 The Lost Weekend

1944 Going My Way

1943 Casablanca

1942 Mrs. Miniver

1941 How Green Was My Valley

1940 Rebecca

1939 Gone With the Wind

1938 You Can't Take It With You

1937 The Life of Emile Zola

1936 The Great Ziegfeld

1935 Mutiny on the Bounty

1934 It Happened One Night

1933 Cavalcade

1932 Grand Hotel

1931 Cimarron

1930 All Quiet on the Western Front

1929 The Broadway Melody

1928 Sunrise

1927 Wings

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Laptop

I am blogging from my shiny new laptop! Yes, you read that correctly. Santa Claus delivered me an early present today. A new toy to play with. It's particularly nice to be sitting on the couch with a blanket and still be on the internet. Not to mention that I can now do my computing in a section of the house that I regularly heat. Bonus.

What's that about schoolwork you say? Bah! I'd much rather just play...

(Thank you Santa!)

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Warning: If you tend towards the squeamish (or if you're male), proceed with caution.

After reading about using sea sponges instead of tampons on one of my favorite blogs, I decided it was worth a shot. I had my reservations, of course, but so far they have all turned out to be warrantless.

I purchased Sea Sponge Tampons from GladRags, where I had previously purchased reusable cotton pads that I would also highly recommend. They are extremely comfortable, and there's no annoying string to irritate me. They couldn't be simpler to use; you merely rinse it out and put it back in. No garbage and no concerns over Toxic Shock Syndrome. Plus, they don't dry out the girl parts like regular tampons do.

As of right now, I can see no downside to them at all. I suppose for women like one of my former co-workers who was horrified and disgusted with me when I offered her an OB (it boggles my mind that you could be an adult with two children and be afraid of touching your private parts but whatever), then this product is not for you. But if you are someone that is concerned with lessening your impact on the environment or if you are economically motivated, then I would suggest replacing the tampons you normally use with the uber-comfy sponges.

Thanks for the inspiration, Riana!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bring on the panic

I just reviewed what I have coming due for my three classes. It is a lot. We have two weeks of classes left. I have two or three more presentations, four more papers, and two portfolios. These papers are of the major variety, not one page nothing-to-worry-about papers.

One problem I'm experiencing is the incompetent teaching methods of one of my professors. Two of the papers are for his class, and he has provided very little direction. I'm barely sure of the general idea behind them. We were supposed to propose topics for one of the papers and he would give feedback. Feedback, what feedback? None for me apparently.

Lots of assignments don't cause me to buckle down, pull an all-nighter, or bust my gut working on them. I merely observe the futility of the whole thing and wonder if I can still pull off a B if I don't even bother. Sigh.

I am so overwhelmed I don't even know where to begin.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Blow Off, take 2

Don't you just love it when you're at the grocery store and you see someone that has recently blown you off, so you become very fascinated in the menu at the sub counter, knowing full well that given your luck you will run into him in another part of the store. It can't be avoided. But still it manages to irritate you that he seems not at all surprised to see you, thus implying that he saw you the first time and didn't bother to say hi (again with the blow off!). Given this knowledge you are incapable of your infamous wit and humor, and only manage to bore him until he manages to escape your clutches.

It is definitely time to retreat to your lair to watch more TV.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lunchtime Bullets

  • My discussion group went fine last night. I almost ran out of things to talk about, but I just made it to the end of my 45 minutes. By luck of the draw my group was less than responsive and pretty much non-participatory. I did a free-association-brainstorming activity with them and it was like pulling teeth. I can't believe that there are really six people on the planet that can't think of a single word in association with race or ethnicity or culture. Maybe they were giving me a taste of what it might be like to work with moody teenagers.
  • I also had a little difference of opinion with one of my group members (fortunately after I was done and in no way related to my topic) about the affect humans are having on global warming. She said none at all. Oh boy. I guess that means I should run out and buy a Hummer.
  • I managed to do a little raking this weekend (no small miracle given the activity-packed two days it was). I filled two containers and two bags. Who knows when I'll have another chance to do more. Maybe all of the leaves will blow into my neighbors' yard and save me the trouble...
  • Do I have to explain how nice it is to have no class tonight? And tomorrow night! Yay! I see hours of uninterrupted TV watching in my future.
  • I still haven't figured out what I'm doing for Thanksgiving. I've received two invitations: my step-mom's mother and a friend of a co-worker who makes an occasional appearance on a blog I read regularly. I'm torn, as I would prefer to stay home and eat a whole store-bought apple pie by myself. But seeing as how the second invite came from a friend of two people I know and like, I'm sure I would have a good time. If I were a social person, that is.
  • Somehow I accidentally bought frozen enchiladas without cheese and with excessive spice. Note to self: read packaging more carefully in future. No cheese = not worth eating.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Reflections

It's been a solitary morning as usual, but I feel it more than normal because my mother and sister are madly cooking and baking at Sis' house, while I am doing my own thing here. Tonight we shall have an early Thanksgiving dinner, and I should probably make my way over there and help with the preparations. But it's never been my thing, and I'm sure I would just get in their way and be bored out of my skull.

I caught up on my week's worth of General Hospital this morning, did two loads of laundry, added that extra blanket to the bed, and submitted several short assignments to the online learning tool we use for classes. Two of my three classes have been cancelled in advance of the upcoming holiday, but I have plenty of long-terms assignments I could be working on. Plus, I have to lead a 45 minute discussion group Monday night on how race, culture, and ethnicity affect learning. Right now, I'm a little heavy on activities and light on content. Maybe I can find some of that Sunday night?

Today is National Adoption Day, and I've been thinking about how much I want children and how I would love to bring a child into my life that needs a home. But considering how hectic my life is now, I know it would be wise to wait until after I get my degree and find a teaching job. Sometimes I get tired of waiting for all of the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place though.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

freeze yur buns

I've now seen this "freeze yur buns" campaign on two blogs I read regularly. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon to talk about what I do and what I could do better.

I have two thermostats in my house. The one that controls the temperature for the family room is set at 60 all the time. The second thermostat controls the heat for the livingroom and diningroom. That one I adjust based on my presence in the house. I keep it at 60 degrees when I'm not home, which these days is often up to 12 hours a day. When I am home I push it up to 65. Unfortunately, the thermostat is unreliable and often heats only to 63 or 64.

I turn the heat on in the bathroom only while I shower in the mornings. On cold nights I also turn the heat on in my bedroom to the lowest setting (not temperature driven). I occasionally turn the heat on in my computer room, but more often I just decided to go watch TV instead.

On sunny days I have the added bonus of the hot air pumped down from the solar panels. They can really make a difference on clear days, but in this neck of the woods those can be in short supply come wintertime. I find the sound of the solar running to be such a comfort.

I use flannel sheets and keep a mid-range goose down comforter on the bed year-round. I need to add another blanket or two so I can turn down the heat at night or not turn it on in my bedroom at all. I wear layers of clothes and keep several blankets on the couch. I have a microwavable rice bag scented with lavender. I have block-out curtains in the livingroom that are designed to reduce drafts. I need to do something about the seal on the back door where tons of cold air gets in. Last winter I piled a big couch pillow in front of it.

I could definitely lower the temps while I'm gone (58?) and while I'm in bed (62?). I will try. That's the best I can offer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Burying my head in the sand

The more time that passes between posts, the harder it is for me to think of something to say.

I am so busy, busier now than I've been so far this semester. A lot of my bigger projects are coming due for school, and I'm training and hiring a crop of temps for the coming "busy season" at work. I can't get any work done while I'm at work, so when I get home from class at night instead of working on schoolwork, I'm working on work work. And I don't like like it. (Is that from The Wonder Years?)

Today was the last day of my suburban placement, but because of the chaotic nature of my urban placement I still have 6.5 hours left to clock there. To say that I am less than thrilled would be an understatement.

It's registration time and I don't even want to think about how I will coordinate my classes next semester with a reasonable work schedule. For now I am taking the ostrich approach and ignoring it altogether.

I'm also taking that approach with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. If I ignore it, maybe it won't happen. So far I'm thinking it just might be me and the parade and the heck with the rest of the world. Sometimes I think being a hermit sounds like heaven.

Enough of this; I have to take out the trash.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Cold Hands

It's been so cold lately that I haven't been able to do my schoolwork in the evenings. I know that just sounds like a lame excuse, but cold temperatures prevent me from activity just as much as extreme heat does. Possibly more so. I can't force myself to sit up at my computer when I could be huddled beneath a blanket on the couch. My mouse hand usually takes the brunt of it, turning into a chunk of ice.

I have several papers to write this weekend, so I guess I'll be turning the heat on in that room and hoping for some cold-hardy endurance to develop. Yeah right.

I better buy some herbal tea.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Day in the Life

5:50am - Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
5:57am - Alarm goes off again. Get up.
6:00am - Take dog outside. Feed dog.
6:10am - Get in shower.
7:00am - Eat breakfast.
7:25am - Leave for work.
8:05am - Pull in parking lot at work (curses, late again!).
11:30am - Leave to go to urban placement.
2:30pm - Arrive back at work. Scarf down microwavable meal for lunch.
3:30pm - Leave for class. Drive to other side of campus. Hike up hill.
4:00pm - Class begins.
6:45pm - Class ends. Stand around chatting.
7:00pm - First meeting of portfolio preparation class.
7:45pm - Portfolio class ends. Walk to car.
8:15pm - Arrive at polling place. VOTE.
8:30pm - Arrive home. Drag yard waste to curb in gale force winds and icy rain.
8:45pm - Turn on computer. Reboot after it fails to initiate.
8:50pm - Nuke white rice in a pouch, add butter and salt. Eat dinner.
9:15pm - Realize that the odds of doing any schoolwork not good.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Yoohoo, all you striking writers out there...

Please resolve your issues before my soap is affected. I can live without the rest of my shows, but I need my daily dose of General Hospital.

Say what you will, all you TV snobs, but GH makes me happy. Period. End of discussion.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Perils of Drinking too Much Coffee

I donated blood yesterday at a local Catholic church/school. I find the main downtown donation center to be extremely inconvenient in both location and hours of operation, so I jumped at the chance to go to this blood-mobile.

They've changed the procedure for testing for iron. It used to be that they would place a drop of your blood in a vile of something and observe how quickly it dropped. Now they insert a drop of blood into a small machine which calculates the iron content and spits out a number. Much less room for interpretation. I've never had a problem with iron content, so this was a fascinating new development.

Another change is that they no longer zip through the invasive questions at top speed like an expert auctioneer. Now you answer questions like "Have you had sex with a man who's had sex with a man since 1976?" by clicking through computer screens all by yourself. I could see where people might get bored and click the wrong answer. I wonder if that would make your blood unusable or if they would stop the procedure before actually drawing the blood.

When it came time for the blood-letting, I was very uncomfortable with the woman who would be taking care of me. I could think of no way to tell her that I would rather have someone else do it without offending her and potentially embarrassing myself. I heard her telling another Red Cross worker that she'd had two cups of coffee and was a little shaky. So I was not surprised when she had immediate problems with my left arm. The blood didn't flow out through the needle and into the bag. Instead it pooled beneath the skin in a visible lump. I agreed to let them try my right arm (I have very good veins in both arms, so that was not the issue). Supervisor Lady came over, rewrapped my left arm, and got me ice for it. She then started the blood draw on my right arm in a very smooth and professional fashion. However, she went on her lunch break and left the Coffee Crazy to remove the needle at the end. You'd think that would be the easy part, but she still managed to jostle it around painfully as she yammered on about something unrelated.

I headed to the canteen for my juice and cookies, reflecting on how this experience would be hard to get past with regards to wanting to donate again. If I do donate again (and I'm sure I will, just not right away) I hope I have the nerve to speak up if I am not comfortable with someone.

When I left Supervisor Lady was still having a tete-a-tete with the Coffee Crazy. My left arm is very sore and a lovely bruise is already developing.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Progress Report on Classes

I encountered day 2 of fetal pig dissections at my suburban placement yesterday. That did not make me happy. Somehow I'd managed to forget that aspect of high school biology (probably because it was not a part of the curriculum at my high school). There's something to be said for computer simulated dissections...

My group and I had our lab lesson last night. We had to plan and teach a 50 minute lesson. The professor over-booked the class time, and since we occupied the third slot, we had only 20 minutes of class left when we started. Our classmates were grumbling and not as engaged as we had hoped, but at least it's over with. I can put that behind me and worry about the mock parent-teacher conference I have tomorrow.

I was sadden to be told by the principal at one of my placements that chemistry and physics are really "where it's at" in science teaching right now. What about bio? Will I be able to find a job? I'm not sure that was the nicest thing for him to say to me, a first semester grad student. Crush the little newbie, why don't ya!