Sunday, November 28, 2004

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree . . .

Meredith and I purchased our Christmas Tree.

Driving around town with the thing on the hood of my truck was a bit nerve wracking. I was certain that at some point it'd blow away. Anyway, it had been raining for most of the day today, so the tree was quite damp.

Trees don't look all that glorious when their bound up with twine and heaped on top of a vehicle driving around gray Utica.

But after we got the thing up the stairs, dried off, and untied it sprung to life.

You'll get pictures in its full glory when I get my camera back from school.

Meantime, sleep off the tryptophan, friends.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Odd Couple

Holy Cheese Sandwich!!

This Cheese Sandwich has garnered a lot of attention in the news media today.

I suppose it's a relic that's up there with things like the left pinky finger print of Jesus on my car windshield, the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, or the Tablecloth of Turin.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Big Push

It's the week of Thanksgiving vacation and in academia, it's the time when classes are gearing up for the big push into the final home stretch.

This past week I had a barrage of things to correct and hand back to my students. Fortunately, I had the foresight to have all the major products come due last week so that I can have an actual break during Thanksgiving.

Here's what I intend to do:

1. Finish The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

2. Watch lots of football

3. Cook a huge vat of garlic mashed potatos to bring to a Turkey Day party

4. Calculate some student grades (so it's not so overwhelming come the end of the semester)

5. Watch many movies, including Ray, Alfie, Alexsander, and other films with names in the titles.

6. Sleep. Sleep lots.

7. Organize my bookshelf

8. Organize my CD cases

9. Organize my life

Thursday, November 18, 2004

National Book Award winners announced


I must admit that I haven't read any of the books on this list. Have you?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Hump day, but my week so far.

1. Graded 38 fiction portfolios. Some of the highlights include several portfolios with significant amounts of mising material and dialogue like "Oh, baby." "Hi." "Hi."

2. Corrected 32 written summaries, some of which were written about the wrong essay (hmmmmmmm).

3. Missed Daniel Tobin's reading at Hamilton.

4. Ate Meredith's pork roast two nights in a row.

5. Walked Jake twelve times. Covered him up with a blanket seven times.

6. Made fliers for Thom Ward and Phil Memmer reading.

7. Told student activities that they better post the fliers soon after passing their office and seeing them still in a pile a day later.

8. Thought about playing video games for thirty-six hours altogether.

9. Read short chapters out of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

10. Took Digital photographs of approximately six pieces of art.

11. Accepted three CD's full of more art.

12. Took out garbage and recycling.

13. Went to the gym three times since Sunday.

14. Picked up an old barbeque grill.

15. Prepped for my Wednesday night Creative Writing class.

16. Made copies of a guide to acting.

17. Escorted Thom Ward and Phil Memmer through campus.

18. Read an introduction I prepared for Thom and Phil during the reading.

19. Took Thom and Phil to a Thai restaurant (if you've read my earlier post, not only do we have Vietnamese food in Utica, but we have Thai as well).

20. Raced back to campus for a Division meeting (which I missed).

21. Raced back to the Dean of Faculty's office for another meeting (which I barely caught)

22. Ran Jake for the thirteenth time.

23. Picked up poop.

24. Signed up 38 students for individual conferences to be held Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday.

25. And I also aught classes . . . one of the topics was reality television. I want to become a reality tv celebrity these days.

And . . . it's only Wednesday.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

It's Getting Cold!!!

It's about 20 degrees outside right now. I'm wearing four layers of clothing, drinking coffee, and curling up into a small ball as I grade the last set of my creative writing fiction (friction) portfolios.

I'm trying not to procrastinate, but . . . I hate grading at this point in the semester (hell, I hate grading, period). There's so much football on television. . . and I've got so many books I want to read.

Just received The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and I want to spend all day reading. I've also got Rita Dove's new book, American Smooth.

I think the books will keep me warmer than the portfolios. Yes?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Most humorous thing I've read while grading portfolios . . .

This one's a direct quote from a fiction portfolio by a student in my Introduction to Creative Writing Class:

"This style of writing, for one, makes it very easy to read. If I wanted to become a writer and wanted to make the most amount of money, ie, appealing to the greatest number of readers, then this would be an ideal style to write with because everyone is able to read it and still get that there is more to it than what is written."

. . .

help me.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Cold and sleepy . . .

I took Jake out about an hour ago so he could fulfill his duties as a dog. Anyway, it's snowing. I'm not happy. It's the first of many snows. So many things left to do, too. I have to get my car winterized. . . I have to get thermal underwear. . . buy hot cocoa. *sigh*

Speaking of freezing . . . I saw this website with a map of the state-by-state % of votes for each candidate.

I'm still in shock. A colleague of mine was seen wearing a black arm band as she taught her classes.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I'm on a blogging roll!

Just thought I'd mention that The Incredibles is GREAT!!!!!!

I'm going to see it again! Also, there's a very exciting trailer for Star Wars Episode III. I know there are other geeks out there. I hear your heart racing at the mention of SW III. :-D Anyway, everyone in the theatre applauded after the trailer. BUZZZ BUZZZ BUZZZ!!!

Seriously scary factoid

Courtesy of Nick Carbo.

Sorry I've been away, but . . .

I'm swamped at the moment. I've got a set of essays coming in (33) plus about ten revisions. In addition to those papers, I've got about 30 portfolios for my creative writing class. I'm also bumming about 11/3.

Anyway, in better news:

Kundiman & Verlaine


an evening of words & libation, celebrating
Pinoy Poetics, a groundbreaking anthology
of Filipino-American poetry

with readings by contributors:

Oliver de la Paz
Paolo Javier
Joseph O. Legaspi

Wednesday, November 10
110 Rivington St.
(b/w Ludlow & Essex Sts., Manhattan's Lower East Side)

$5 suggested donation
Doors open at 5:30pm, readings at 6:45pm
Open bar, 6-7pm
Sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka & Gekkeikan Sake

For more information on Pinoy Poetics, please visit the following website:


Kundiman is a non-profit organization committed to the discovery and cultivation of emerging Asian-American poets. Through instruction and collaboration programs with established Asian-American poets, Kundiman hopes to advance the quality of the work of Asian-American writers. Through literature, we aim to celebrate and promote evidence of strong and positive Asian-American culture and identity.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Chomping noodles and chomping at the bit to vote.

Last night Meredith and I had Pho at Pho Mekong here in Utica with some friends from Hamilton College and Colgate College. (Yes, we have a Vietnamese restaurant in Utica). As always, with academics, talks turned to politics. We talked about the Red Sox first. Celeste Friend, a philosophy professor over at Hamilton is a devout Sox fan and saw symbolism in their victory over St. Louis. We talked about throwing a parade after victory. Because we're in a particularly red area of New York, we decided that that would be moderately dangerous, given that it's hunting season in Upstate New York. We plan on wearing loud colors . . . perhaps flourescent red.

We also talked about the strangest field trips we've ever had. How these two things came about in our conversations, I'll never know. Celeste talked about going to Plymouth Rock and watching the reenactors. Meredith talked about going to Civil War battle grounds. Jennifer, a Sociologist at Hamilton, talked about having inmates speak at her high school. We then talked about the differences between a "Shank" and a "Shiv." I'm not sure if there IS a difference. They're both stabby things. When I was young, we went to the birds of prey refuge center in Boise and we also went to see pigs get slaughtered.

Pho Mekong serves several shakes as desserts and I tried the avocado shake. Yes, it sounds weird, but it's excellent. It tastes a lot like green tea ice cream. Most everyone else ordered mango shakes. They apparently had durian shakes. I don't know if any of you have ever experienced durian fruit, but it smells like poo poo. Anyway, while we were drinking our shakes, we talked about swear words. Meredith was talking about the rules of language and how we place our swear words. We say things like "No F*#king way" and "Big F*#king deal." But we don't say "F*#king no way" or "F*#king big deal."

I don't see what the big f*#king deal is. It just sounds better one way than the other. Lots of things sound better one way than the other. . . Take President John F. Kerry, for example. That sounds a lot better to me than President George W. Bush. The World Champion Boston Red Sox sounds pretty good to me too. If you were to tell me that George won New York, I'd say "No F*#king way."

Monday, November 01, 2004

Halloween Costumes on the Subway

The AAWW reading was fun. Victoria Chang made an appearance! She and Todd came all the way out from the West Coast to hang with the East Coast posse. Anyway, the event was well attended and warm feelings were all around. Aimee, in true pinay fasion, had all the Filipino writers in attendance stand on the AAWW stage and pose for a picture. Watch her blog. ;-)

After, we all went to a bar called BLUE. Someone got a Rum and Coke that cost $10. Ouch. Beers were $6 a bottle. All complaining aside, the company was glorious. Pat Rosal was his luminous self, as was Paolo Javier. Joseph Legaspi wore his hot red pants and Sarah Gambito wore her tiger coat. Tina Chang and Jen Chang (not related) were as lovely as ever . . . We ate potstickers, fried calamari, and pizza. I watched Leslie Ann drink this bizarre milky alcohol . . . Meredith crawled underneath the table . . . Purvi had a Korean dish from a restaurant nearby . . . the night was strange. Everyone went dancing after the bar, but Mere and I were pooped. We didn't get much sleep on Friday because we had visted Meredith's friends Bram and Barbara Jean up in Rhinebeck and spent the night tossing and turning on a too-soft futon while the loud radiator kept ticking. We had gotten up very early on the Saturday morning and we drove down to Brooklyn, burning a good bit of our day. Anyway, Pat, Sarah, Joseph, Aimee, and the rest of the crew went dancing. We parted company.

After the BLUE bar, Meredith and I wandered over to the subway. A man in a banana costume greeted us as we boarded the train. He seemed to be completely naked except for his tennis shoes and his banana costume. Our fellow subway passengers were amused. I think mercury was in retrograde because we kept missing our stop while a cadre of costumed folks boarded and exited the subway. A sheik escorted a mutant ninja turtle. Tin tin wandered in with Mario. A character by the name of Flora Fandango sat in an adjacent seat. It was a strange but wonderful night.