23 January 2007

A-questing we will go!

Poor, dear, faithful readers!

I know I haven't been posting much... In truth, I lack much of substance to offer.

I've been spending my time either doing housework IRL or battling beasts in WoW. I'm working hard to level up, but everyone with whom I play is at a higher level, and it's discouraging. I go on quests with them, since I don't want to be by myself, but I tend to die a lot. *sigh*

If I can, I'll try to figure out a way to post a picture of what I look like as my character: I'm a Level 17 Human Rogue, for what it's worth.

18 January 2007

What's to say? I'm not having anything interesting going on right now, other than life-as-usual.

I'm sure there are things going on in my life, but can't think of aught at all.

15 January 2007

Some Trick

I know there must be some trick to it, but it looks awfully fishy to me!!

Reality, Part ii

You know you are a LOSER when you start getting carpal tunnel syndrome from playing WORLD OF WARCRAFT. During the same weekend that you forgot to return your mother's phone call (seriously, I remember to reply to e-mails better than returning phone calls).

On the plus side, Jeff and I visited our local church for another Sunday morning service, and decided that it is acceptable. And as a bonus, I walked into the worship center and immediately recognized an old friend from Biola that I haven't seen for years, who is now living in Visalia with her husband and 1-year-old child.

And I did my second part of a two-part series on Mormonism for our Bible study on Sunday evening. Everyone seemed to think it went well.

13 January 2007



Rex Reed lists the great cultural figures that died in 2006.

I was aware of most of them, but how did it escape my notice that Robert Sterling had died?

More from the Trenches

Ah, the fabulous world of middle school note-writing. This latest one is from a repentant ex-boyfriend, who decides to try and get his spurned girlfriend back.

What ↑ Well just righting back to tell u that I love u 2 and I am going to give us a second change I just said no this morning cause I was confused & I'm sorry really mean it. I'm sorry I mad u cry I don't have a house phone so u can't call me sorry my mom & dad have cell phones well later
See u later


Well, Sxxxxx, your sentiments are understood and appreciated, but since I picked up your note from the ground in my classroom, it's anybody's guess as to whether or not your lady love received it and read it. Maybe she did, and cast it away in scorn. Or maybe she didn't, and your young love is forever lost. *sniff sniff* And just a bit of advice, Sxxxxx: You'll be smoother and more successful if you end on a positive note (e.g. "I think communication in writing is so much more sophisticated and meaningful than talking on the telephone, don't you? Let's keep doing this.") rather than a pathetically negative one ("You can't call me because we don't have a house phone."), because that implies that your phone got shut off or something, because mom and dad didn't pay the bill, and it's likely that the car will be repossessed pretty soon, and with no phone AND no car, you can kiss any potential future high school popularity GOOD-BYE.

12 January 2007


The thing about working for the school district is that I'm learning a lot about public education, and sure enough, I've discovered that it's so screwed up that it's a miracle that anybody learns anything at all. Actual education is a priority far below either political agenda or political correctness. The mandates and standards set at a national, state, or district level are completely unrelated to anything that can and does happen in a classroom. This is Reality. Teachers are resigned to this fact, and if students learn anything, anything, it is because schools are filled with dedicated, altruistic people who truly believe in what they are doing, and accomplish great things despite all the ridiculous requirements and political nonsense that they must endure on a daily basis.

11 January 2007

Technical glitch

I've been informed that my blog doesn't come out very well when viewed in Internet Explorer; apparently, the posts only show up below all the sidebars. I've been using Mozilla Firefox, so I wasn't aware of the problems until Melissa pointed them out to me. I am unsure how to fix them, so we might have to bear with.

At work, I've moved classrooms two times in two days. I'm so tired from hauling and organizing all my books (both textbooks and reading books). My first new classroom (the one I occupied yesterday) had neither telephone nor internet. Considering the fact that part of my job is to call parents/guardians, and another part is my extremely detailed logging of entries in an online database, it was difficult to get things done yesterday. Today, in my second new classroom, I had a phone, but no computer. Brilliant. I finally obtained a computer after school, so tomorrow, I should be back on track. I must confess, I get pretty frustrated with the administrators at times. I try to be gracious, though.

10 January 2007

Not much to tell. Kind of a boring day, though I worked hard and am tired.

I need to clean my house and get organized. I'm developing my own system, as other people's systems often don't work for me.

But now, it's bed time.

09 January 2007

The return to work wasn't quite as horrible as I might have feared. I am moving to a new classroom, which is basically a portable/modular that has been installed next to a permanent wing of the school; it will be nice, as long as all the dirt and drywall is cleaned and vacuumed out. I'll have temperature control, and unlike the old classroom, it's not a converted weight room with weight machines in the corners. I am not, however, looking forward to hauling all my books over.

07 January 2007


I have to go back to work tomorrow. Now, I don't really mind my job. It's not as if I'll be going back to a situation I hate. However, it would be nice to be independently wealthy.

Jeff and I went to visit a church today. It was okay.

06 January 2007

Funny work stuff

Or, Why the Chinese and Japanese are totally winning in the education-of-children battle.

Melissa voted for having more funny work stories in my blog. Now, seeing as how I work with juvenile delinquents in a region populated by a lot of illegal immigrants and other fun people, humor is always just around the corner if I know where to look. I haven't been to work for three weeks, so I have no new stories, but I do have the transcript of a real, genuine note that I found on the ground outside my classroom and haven't found time yet to post. I am not making this up; I am actually reproducing the hand-penned (pink) note exactly as written, aside from disguising the name and the fact that I can't reproduce the hearts and smileys dotted here and there.

To: My Babe
4rm: Me

My bad 4 write n pink. When he see you play football, I didn't no u waz dat good. I though football waz over. I waz gona buy yo holiday gram 2 day, datz y I waz on da stage. How can I forget to call you, nobody can forget about Kxxxxxx oh yea nigga I herd dat u threw som den at yo teacher head, if anything I need to get dat class wit U. Ya'll niggaz is hella crazy
Im a get ma cell phone in January, den I'm give u dat #, I'll talk 2 you 2nite so answer yo phone Yadidi

Kxxxxxx Babe

I know, I know! I can handle slang and abbreviations (kids have been using 4 in place of "for" and 2 in place of "to" or "too" for decades), but the grammar and punctuation are so spotty as to be frightening. And I thought the point of writing things like abbreviations was to abbreviate. Writing "was" as "waz" accomplishes nothing. The offering of antecedents for pronouns is spurious at best (Who is the "he" referenced in the first line? Never made clear.). Even the penmanship was lacking (though you wouldn't know that, as I typed it up). Obviously, the youth of today have created their own method of communication, safe from comprehension by adults, but thank God that their lack of organizational or cooperational skills prevents them from going further and actually taking over the world... The use of the hitherto questionable word "nigga" is something I will allow as culturally appropriate affectionate slang within this particular context, but still: At this point, I make the impassioned plea to disallow students from listening to gangsta rap and hip-hop until they graduate from high school with competency in the English language.

05 January 2007

The Black Parade

Jeff's birthday present was a copy of My Chemical Romance's newly released album, The Black Parade. We both like it a lot. I have been aware of MCR for a few years, but neither Jeff nor I were particularly impressed by them (although I must confess to having been fascinated by the music video for "Helena"). I dismissed them as moderately talented musicians who were trying too hard to be goth-punk. Before holiday, however, we happened to catch a show on Fuse, chronicling the making of the video for "Welcome to the Black Parade", and were both of us struck by the sound and ideas of MCR's latest work. Jeff decided he wanted to check out the album, which is a "concept" album, in which the artists seek to have a unified theme that pulls all of the songs together, and possibly even tells a story. [See Green Day, American Idiot.] In this case, My Chemical Romance adopts the persona of a fictional band, The Black Parade, and records all the music of the album as The Black Parade (which basically is what Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band would have been like if they'd done heroin instead of LSD). Jeff likes the idea of concept albums; I find them intriguing, but somehow against the grain of how I think popular music should be done: On a strong song-by-song basis, with maybe a book to tie songs together if necessary; if it was good enough for Irving Berlin, it's good enough for me! Jeff sees the value of single shots in pop music, but pointed out that most of my preferred singers recorded in the days of 45 records, each of which was released with a single on each side; collections and extended-play albums were comparatively rare. Now, however, people have the option of just purchasing a single from iTunes or buying an entire album, and if artists want people to shell out for that whole album, they have to make it worth the consumers' while. Hence, the emphasis on coherence within an entire album. Get it? Got it. Good.

View "Welcome to the Black Parade" below.

I am not the sort to gush about totally hot rock stars or anything, but I also observed (aloud, to Jeff, in case you were wondering) that My Chemical Romance is one of the few punk bands out there that has a majority of good-looking guys, and is the only one I can call to mind at the moment. Generally, a punk band is lucky to have one hottie, if any (which is why they get all tattoed and pierced: to distract you from how actually unattractive they are). See, for example, Green Day (again), Fallout Boy, All American Rejects, Blink-182, etc. etc. ad nauseum. By contrast, none of the guys in MCR happens to be dog-ugly, and the ones that aren't immediately good-looking really mostly need a better haircut (*ahem* guitarist Ray Toro).
See? Don't they look all ironically detached and counter-cultural? It's adorable, really.

I thought lead singer Gerard Way was scary in the past, but he ditched the emo hair and went blonde, and now he looks much better (by which I mean not only pretty, but non-consumptive as well).
Old Gerard

New Gerard

Furthermore, My Chemical Romance had the good sense to utilize the talents of a legendary entertainer in The Black Parade. She sings a few lines as the title character in the song "Mama". Can you guess who it might be? [Hint: It's not Madonna.]

Keep up the good work, My Chemical Romance! I suspect that you still have a few years of solid music left in you (unless you pull a Blink-182 and disband before really reaching maturity as a band--yes, I'm still scarred, thank you). And remember that you're free to continue experimenting with your style and performance, as after a certain point, artistic pretentions pass out of the realm of pretentiousness and enter the dimension of "so pretentious, it's adorable!". [See Picasso, Pablo, or Eliot, T.S.] And also, people will forgive you for a lot of things, if you're really hot. A few more of you might want to look into that hair-changing thing, okay? Okay.


Jeff alluded to a problem with domain controllers and accounts, which translates to me losing a month and a half worth of documents and data from my laptop. I didn't understand what actually happened, but when he told me about it, I recognized the words "cache" and "back up". I do have backups through November 19, 2006, but don't understand how anything could have been deleted from my hard drive when Jeff supposedly just made a profile or account for me on my computer. But my files are gone, gone, GONE!! Wah!! Fortunately, it was not a crushing blow, and I'll recover from it, but I've done some writing, particularly things related to my lists (I'm a mad list-keeper) and movie reviews, and I don't know if I'll be able to reconstruct some of it.

Woe is me.

04 January 2007

Happy Birthday, Jane Wyman!

Jane Wyman was a decent actress who achieved some measure of popularity in the 1940s, and won an Oscar for her performance as a deaf girl in Johnny Belinda (proving that the Academy's bias toward rewarding actors who portray characters with physical infirmities is nothing new under the sun, but Wyman is actually pretty good and more subdued than most actresses might have played). Anyway, I'm embarrassed to say that I thought Jane Wyman was dead, until she showed up on IMDB's front page as the birthday girl. She is now 93 years of age!!!

And she was now-dead US President Ronald Reagan's first wife. I can just imagine her chatting it up in the 1980s. "Yeah, I totally slept with the president. But it was legit at the time!"
Her son Michael Reagan spoke at Torrey Convocation my first year in Torrey. But I didn't go. Haha. Sorry, Jane, I didn't mean to diss your boy.

03 January 2007

Home Again, Home Again

We made it from Phoenix to Visalia in less than 9 hours.

Little introverted Kiti is happy to be home. She will spend the next several days holed up in the house: reading After the Ice, blogging, writing other stuff, watching Veronica Mars, and generally avoiding people.

Took the plunge

Moved over to the new Google-compatible Blogger.

Bigger and better? We shall see.

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

To celebrate, we went to the Arizona Science Center-- Yes, we go to science museums for fun. We then went to get my hair cut (it's not too different, just shorter and with layers) and THEN to Islands for dinner with Sam and Melissa and Dan and Jen.

Is it a problem that I think Family Guy is just hilarious? I mean, it's vulgar and crosses all kinds of lines of human decency. Yet, it's utterly funny, quotable, and tied into the cultural zeitgeist. The tidbit in this most recent season with the terrorist messing up while recording a video for Al-Jazeera was some of the funniest television I have ever seen; if you saw it, you know what I'm talking about.

Hmm, what else? What should I do to spice up my blog? Political commentary? Book, film, and music reviews? Increasingly ridiculous stories from work? Let's see what 2007 will bring to the blogging table.

02 January 2007

Well, the first day of 2007 has come and gone. It was pretty uneventful. Dan woke me up at 8:45 am, calling me to see if I wanted to spend some time with Mom and Dad (who were visiting Dan and Jen in order to watch all three LOTR films on New Year's Eve) before they returned to LA. I did, and after a bit of misdirection (Phoenix has numbered streets, in which 10th Avenue is VERY DIFFERENT from 10th Street), I enjoyed my time at Starbucks with the other four. When I got back to the apartment, the other three had gotten up.

We spent some time at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, talking about origin theory and art, and chatted more in the evening. We also went to the hot tub and ended up swimming around in the pool. It felt good to get a little exercise.