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Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Oracle 

So, based on my standard Starbucks drink, the Oracle of Starbucks has this to say about my personality:

Personality type: High Maintenance

You pride yourself on being assertive and direct; everyone else thinks you're bossy and arrogant. You're constantly running your mouth about topics that only you would find interesting. Your capacity for wasting other people's time is limitless. Your friends find you intolerable, that's why they're plotting to kill you.

Also drinks: Water. Bottled, chilled, with four ice cubes, a twist of lemon, in a crystal glass.
Can also be found at: Trendy martini bars


Hmm, ok.

I also recently was perusing Do Thy Research and saw that there is another person who has read as many children's books as me (perhaps more! Let's not think about that...), according to her June 20 post listing the NEA's top 100 children's books (I've read the ones in bold):

1. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (9-12 years)
2. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (4-8 years)
3. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (4-8 years)
4. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss (4-8 years)
5. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (4-8 years)
6. Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch (4-8 years)
7. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (All ages)
8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Baby-Preschool)
9. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (Young Adult)
10. The Mitten by Jan Brett (4-8 years)
11. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (Baby-Preschool)
12. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (9-12 years)
13. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (9-12 years)
14. Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawing of Shel Silverstein by Shel Silverstein (All ages)
15. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (9-12 years)
16. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon (4-8 years)
17. Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss (4-8 years)
18. Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola (4-8 years)
19. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (4-8 years)
20. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr. (Baby-Preschool)
21. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (9-12 years)
22. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (4-8 years)
23. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (9-12 years)
24. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (9-12 years)
25. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (4-8 years)
26. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka (4-8 years)
27. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault (4-8 years)
28. Little House on the Prarie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (9-12 years)
29. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (9-12 years)
30. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (4-8 years)
31. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (9-12 years)
32. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (9-12 years)
33. Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks (9-12 years)
34. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (9-12 years)
35. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (9-12 years)
36. The BFG by Roald Dahl (9-12 years)
37. The Giver by Lois Lowry (9-12 years)
38. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff (4-8 years)
39. James and the Giant Peach: A Children's Story by Roald Dahl (9-12 years)
40. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (9-12 years)
41. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (9-12 years)
42. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (Young Adult)
43. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (4-8 years)
44. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner (9-12 years)
45. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (9-12 years)
46. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien (9-12 years)
47. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (All ages)
48. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (Baby-Preschool)
49. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman (4-8 years)
50. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (9-12 years)
51. Corduroy by Don Freeman (Baby-Preschool)
52. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg (4-8 years)
53. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka (4-8 years)
54. Matilda by Roald Dahl (9-12 years)
55. Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls (Young Adult)
56. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (9-12 years)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary (9-12 years)
58. The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White (9-12 years)
59. Are You My Mother? by Philip D. Eastman (4-8 years)
60. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (9-12 years)
61. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (4-8 years)
62. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss (4-8 years)
63. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (9-12 years)
64. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Baby-Preschool)
65. The Napping House by Audrey Wood (4-8 years)
66. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig (4-8 years)
67. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (4-8 years)
68. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (9-12 years)
69. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (All ages)
70. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (9-12 years)
71. Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss (4-8 years)
72. Basil of Baker Street, by Eve Titus (4-8 years)
73. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (4-8 years)
74. The Cay by Theodore Taylor (Young Adult)
75. Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey (4-8 years)
76. Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox (4-8 years)
77. Arthur series by Marc Tolon Brown (4-8 years)
78. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson (9-12 years)
79. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (4-8 years)
80. Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (9-12 years)
81. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton (4-8 years)
82. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown (Baby-Preschool)
83. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (9-12 years)
84. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish (4-8 years)
85. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (9-12 years)
86. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (9-12 years)
87. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater (9-12 years)
88. My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett (9-12 years)
89. Stuart Little by E. B. White (9-12 years)
90. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (9-12 years)
91. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (9-12 years)
92. The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola (4-8 years)
93. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (4-8 years)
94. Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell (4-8 years)
95. Heidi by Johanna Spyri (All ages)
96. Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (4-8 years)
97. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (Young Adult)
98. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (9-12 years)
99. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney (Baby-Preschool)
100. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch (4-8 years)

I love kids books. The only sad thing about this list is that it leaves out so many older books. Like what about A Little Princess, Peter Pan, The Enchanted Castle, At the Back of the North Wind, Five Children and It, The Princess and the Goblin, What Katy Did (my favorite book as a child), A Girl of the Limberlost, and so on.

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Do you hear something? 

Last night, Kandice and I decided to head over Idaho Center-ward to catch the fireworks at the tail end of the God and Country Rally. Last summer I saw them from the rally itself at the Idaho Center, but this time we decided to sit a little farther away in order to both beat the traffic and avoid the music. So we parked ourselves on the grassy hillside next to the Mercy North Clinic where Kandice works (we tried to get on the roof, but were foiled, alas!) and, along with other lawn-chair- and blanket-laden people, waited for the fireworks to start.

After a few minutes of chatting and getting comfortable, I noticed a strange noise, sort of a hissing sound. It seemed to be coming from the grass. I leaned over and listened more closely. Yes, the grass was definitely hissing. "Kandice, do you hear that?" I said. "That hissing sound?" She leaned closer, and we both sat still for a moment, listening. It was getting louder.

Suddenly Kandice jumped to her feet. "Move! Move!" she yelled. "Hurry!" I grabbed my jacket and book and staggered after her. The moment our feet touched the pavement of the parking lot, great streams of water jetted up from the place where we had been sitting and other key places around the lawn. Sprinklers.

As kids screamed and parents frantically gathered up belongings, we laughed and laughed. "Life rarely has such perfect timing," Kandice said. Indeed.

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Color Me Flummoxed 

I don't know why Blogger decided that a nice huge space in between my title and post would be a good idea, but there you are. No, there aren't meant to be any pictures here, it just happened that way. And I have no idea how to fix it. Maybe it will set itself right again at some point on its own. We can hope.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Tragicomic Combination of Dogs and Thunderstorms 

So I'm in Nampa for the week, enjoying my favorite haunts and the continuous company of my friends. However, I am rather short on sleep. As it happens, I'm staying with Mark and Tammy, who are keeping her dad's dogs for awhile. Said dogs are not fond of thunderstorms. Said dogs bark continuously throughout the length of such storms. It has stormed 3 of the 4 nights I've been here. My room is directly across the hall from the dogs' room. Are you seeing the problem with this scenario?

However, last night, Tammy and I went up to her dad's house with the dogs (her dad's away) and spent the night up there to give Mark a break (from the dogs, not from us). Of course it started storming again, and the dogs insisted that they would only be happy if they could sleep on the bed with us. So I spent last night with Tuffy snuggled up to my legs. And he stole the covers.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Although I certainly have more free time since summer began, I'm afraid my posting has diminished, due first to my tendency to not be on campus much...well, at all, really, and second to my 12-hour work days (13 today!) when at my parents' house, which leave little time for blogging. Maybe once Christin and I get a place, move in, and set up internet service, I'll begin with the daily or semi-daily posting again.

Today I spent my breaks in between working calling up rental services for appointments to view houses & apartments. A conversation with one oldish, gruff-sounding guy went like this:

(I had talked to his wife earlier, who gave him my name and # to return the call)

Him: Is Devon there?

Me: This is her.

Him: This is...Devon? [Usual confusion regarding my name, which apparently is usually perceived as a boy's]

Me: Yup. Called about the apartment on *** Street.

Him: You'll be living there with your husband?

Me: No. A roommate. [What? Do I sound married?]

Him: I see. And what's your partner's name? [Typical Eugene. Roomate=romantically involved, apparently.]

Me: Christin. [knowing that visions of a lesbian couple are flashing into his head]
We're U of O students.

Him: Ah...[He envisions loud parties--perhaps of drunk lesbians] and...uh...what year are you? Freshman?

Me: No, I'm a grad student, and my roommate will be a law student.

Him: Oh, I see. [Clearly relieved. Apparently mature hippie lesbians are no problem.] What time would you like to see the place, then?

So anyway, I'm going to try to look as clean-cut and straight as possible on Thursday when I meet this guy--no new Old Navy peasant skirt allowed. Perhaps a suit jacket...

In other news, I'm spending this week fixing up one of my parents' rentals--which I might consider living in if it was, oh, 60 miles closer to campus. Tearing down nasty wallpaper, caulking cracks in the ceiling, pulling out nails in the walls. Tomorrow we starting painting, I think. It's all pretty fun, actually. And I find this kind of work more interesting now that I'm old enough to be needing these skills for my own potential dwelling places. Now if I could only figure out how to unclog my shower drain...

When at home, I've begun studying for quals, which is tons more fun than studying for classes. I bought some huge butcher paper and have started making a big old timeline with colored Sharpies--which are about my favorite things in the world. So I have a "British" side and an "American" side, and I'm writing in important historical events and movements and author's major works. Fun, fun, fun.

This Friday will be my journey over the mountains to Nampa (hooray, hooray), undertaken in my parents' minivan, since I think my car might just be a little to old for this sort of thing. It's getting whiny. I thought about taking Amtrak, since sitting and reading for eight hours is more fun than staring at the road. And I have mostly fond memories of the time my family all took the train to Minnesota and back one summer. But then I found out that the trains don't go to Idaho, only buses, so I said no thanks. I've had more than enough experiences with long-distance bus trips, thank you very much. Greyhound bus drivers are extremely scary. Plus it would take, like, twice as long as driving myself, which is not worth the few bucks I'd save.

Let's see...I recently started watching the show, "Tru Calling," on DVD, starring Eliza Dushku (who also played "Faith" on Buffy). It's quite reminiscent of "Early Edition"--remember that one? I used to have such a crush on the lead, whatever his name was. Speaking of Buffy, I ordered Season 6 online and the stupid UPS people just left it on my front stoop while I was at my parents' house. Naturally it got stolen--about 50 people walk through our parking lot every day, and it's not like I have a front yard or walkway to buffer me. They might as well have handed it to the nearest passerby for all the good the delivery did me. If this is UPS's policy, it's an awfully stupid one. If I were an unethical person, I would just follow the UPS truck around, picking up packages whenever they leave them at unoccupied houses. Seriously. And then sell everything on Ebay.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Conversation in the Propagation Room 

Scene: Four girls doing Euonymous cuttings

Gerardo: If you see a round black insect that looks like a beetle, let me know--it's called a weevil. It's very bad--eats the plants. We're trying to get rid of them, but there might be some still in there.

Us: round, black, like a beetle...got it.

(Three hours later.)

Us: (in chorus) Gerarrrrdooooo! We have a bug for you!

Gerardo: (looking very excited) Mmm, yes, this looks very good.

Us: Shall we throw it away?

Gerardo: No, I'll go give it to Denny... I think he does experiments on them...

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Good on ya, mate! 

Shout out to Lorlee, who recommended Danny Deckchair, a very funny Aussie movie about a guy who ties some balloons to his lawn chair and floats away. I love how Australians abbreviate everything (or as Calvin would say, abbrev everything), like barby, telly, brekky, etc. That's fun.

Today we're propagating Euonymous cuttings, listening to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, and telling stories. 0 comments

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I got an A, I got an A, I got an A, hey hey hey hey!

Ok, well, technically, I got one A and one A-, but I'll take it! The A- was from--who else?--my poetry prof. However, this means she must have liked the suck-up paper I wrote for her, at least more than the one I wrote based on my own ideas. And the A was from my Arthurian prof, who clearly liked the paper I wrote in the wee hours of Friday morning. Wow. Now, as an undergrad getting good grades, I would have been like, Yay me! This year, it's more along the lines of, why me? As in, why have the academia gods chosen to bless me? Maybe it was all those human sacrifices...

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ah the joys of being back in propagation... I feel like I'm 13 again. Geron gets to have a couple of her school friends working with her this summer--that's something I definitely never got to do. But, there is a girl from OSU here doing an internship this summer, so maybe we'll get friendly. And there's always Brenna to talk to. Except she never wants to do anything cool like make up stories or listen to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with me. Maybe I'll teach her some Spanish. It's all about passing the time...

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Few Words On All-Nighters 

All-nighters really suck. Pretty much I hate them. I've never liked to stay up late--ask Kim, who raged ceaselessly about this characteristic of mine in jr. high and high school--but to stay up all night, that's basically my own personal vision of hell. And yet... I still pulled an all-nighter on Thursday night. I had a paper due at noon on Friday (note: all normal papers are due at 5, which is the good and perfect time for a paper to be due), and I didn't really get going on it until after my other, harder paper was turned in on Thursday at 5. Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I had miles to go before I slept, and thus, the all-nighter.

Here are the horrible things about staying up all night: Getting hungry at about 2am and realizing that no matter what you eat, it's going to make you feel really sick in about 3 hours; the time between 2:30 and 5, when the hours all sort of flow together until you begin to wonder (in your sleep-deprived state) if perhaps you've slipped into an alternate dimension where it remains 3:45 forever and your paper stays perpetually 2/3s done--like in Narnia where the witch makes it "always winter and never Christmas"; naturally, your inner clock is completely out of whack for the next few days, leaving you exhausted all day long and unable to sleep at night, not to mention super susceptible to; and the worst part, for me, is those last few hours before you finally go to bed, when your body periodically gives a little shiver and you think for a moment that you just might have a narcolepsy moment, fall down where you stand, and start snoring loudly.

Still, I feel compelled to be honest and say that, despite its wretchedness, the all-nighter can be seductive: there's a hint of law-breaking about it, isn't there? The thrill of staying up past one's bedtime, of being awake when the rest of the world is asleep. Seeing the sunrise after staying up all night is a singular sensation, as well. And of course there's the telling everyone who'll listen over the next few days how you stayed up all night and eliciting all their pity. That's a joy not to be overlooked.

But mostly it's horrible. The only way I made it through was that I kept playing the Wicked soundtrack and thinking about how much worse Elphaba had it than me. ("One more disaster I can add to my...generous supply....") And drinking enough coffee to give me like five ulcers. And Spider Solitaire. The three magic ingredients.

In any case, the Gehenna is over; summer is here. I see many, many full nights of sleep ahead of me--and, what's more imminent, a graduation party for my little sis this afternoon and a celebration I-survived-my-first-year-of-grad-school-so-let's-have-chocolate-and-wine party tonight. Let the merrymaking commence!

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Dog Days of Summer 

Lets take a moment to muse on how much I hate my neighbor's dog. As many of you know, I like dogs. I've grown up with dogs. I even want my own dog someday when I have space and time for one. Granted, I am partial to large dogs, but even Tammy's hyper sheltie, Steph's shih-tzu, and the Hardenbrook's annoying little miniature schnauzer all grew on me after awhile. Not so with this one...

First of all, it's a tiny brute--about the size of my purse--and nearly hairless. The little hair that it does have is white, so its pink skin shows through in places, like on top of its head. It hunches forward and tucks in its butt when it walks so that it somewhat resembles a hyena. It has an underbite and one squinty eye, also, so it looks like a perpetual mixture of groveling and resentment. Even you strange people who think profoundly ugly animals are "cute" in a grotesque way could not possibly find this creature attractive.

Its name, apparently is "Patches" when the neighbors are pleased with it, "Pat" when they are not. However, having been in fairly close proximity with the little beast for a few months, I can tell you that their are no color patches apparent anywhere (mange patches, perhaps...). Now that it's nice out, it has been out running around a lot more, sniffing about; it presumed to venture into my open door once, but I put a stop to that straight away, and I suspect it will not make so bold again. I will grant that it isn't too yappy. It has an annoying bark, naturally, but it doesn't make use of it too often. But whenever it has spent a few minutes at sweet liberty outside--just enough time to wander off--one of the neighbors will step outside and call, loudly, outside my window, "PAT! PAT! WHERE ARE YOU?! PAT! COME BACK HERE! GET IN THE HOUSE! COME HERE, PAT! GET IN THE HOUSE! GET IN HERE! PAT!" At this point, the mut trots around the corner and stops about five feet from the door, waiting for the neighbors to continue calling it for a good thirty seconds (Pat, GET in the HOUSE! GET IN HERE! PAT! PAT!) before it deigns to walk over the threshold and leave me in peace.

All I can say is, if someday the little rascal ventures a little too far out into the street on rush hour, I won't be shedding many tears. (I wonder if a trail of dog biscuits down the center line would do the trick...)

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Second Wind 

Well, when I entered this computer lab three hours ago, I thought that there was a pretty good chance they would be scraping me up off the floor tomorrow morning. I had just come in from a so-called pizza party for writing lab people, in which we all sat around a circular booth staring exhaustedly at each other for an hour, pizza slices hanging from our mouths. However, I’m feeling pretty good; I've written another two pages or so--bringing the total up to just over 11 pages, and I'm feeling like there might actually be a conclusion on this paper in a couple hours.

So, clearly, its time to take a break and answer Steph's five(ish) questions—which I must point out, are super questions. Bloody hard, but super. Just what I would wish to be asked, if I were asking someone to ask me…you know.)

1. You're teaching Intro to Lit to college freshmen. What three assignments are absolute musts on your syllabus?

Three! Yikes. You’re not making this easy for me. Ok, Intro to lit… I’m assuming this is a class for English majors: 1) I think the first would be some kind of assignment to get them to start thinking about why certain books are labeled “literature” and not others. Maybe something like a paper (or presentation to the class, perhaps) on what makes a “classic,” with all their reasons defended and illustrated with examples. 2) I would take an easy, but apt passage from a children’s book and try reading it as “literary critics,” approaching it from a feminist perspective, looking for symbolic meaning, deconstructing it, psychoanalyzing it, the works—so that we can see all the different ways one can approach a text. It would be a children's book so that it would be manageable in class and less intimidating. 3) A close reading of a modern (20th century) poem, possibly done in pairs, in the hope that my students wouldn’t graduate as English majors terrified of poetry (like many do).

2. If you could live inside one book, which one would you choose and why? (And you can’t pick anything by L.M. Montgomery).

Drat! Thwarted in my first choice. Naturally, of course, anyone in their right mind would want to go be best friends with Anne and try to steal Gilbert from her if they could. But if not Avonlea… let’s see… I always wonder this myself about fantasy novels: which would be the best fantasy world to live in. I pretty much always decide on Narnia, although Neverland and Oz and Middle Earth are close runners-up. But to live in any book… I’m assuming that I would still have to be myself…for example, I couldn’t go into Harry Potter, because I’d be a Muggle, so that’d be pointless. I would like to go to I Capture the Castle for awhile, to become friends with Cassandra, but not live there, because they have no money and Topaz would get on my nerves. Hmm, upon extensive reflection (about 45 minutes) I think that Narnia wins out over pretty much any conceivable real-world scenario. Particularly, though, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which would mean traveling on “a very Narnian ship” to lands known and unknown, becoming friends with Lucy (my favorite of the Pevenseys)seeing dragons and mermaids, finding water that turns anything to gold, and eventually getting to the utter east, “where the sky and waters meet, where the waves grow sweet.” And doing it all with Prince Caspian, whom I’ve always imagined to be a real dish.

3. What do you wish you would have done differently in high school? (buy me more presents, right? make me cookies? be my TA?)

Yes, yes, all of the above.
Also, obviously, cared way, wayyy less about what people thought of me.
Not gone out for basketball as a senior.
Done The Importance of Being Earnest.
Spent all that wasted time in Mr. Johnson’s classes reading Derrida in preparation for grad school.
Broken more rules.
Told a certain someone to go…ahem, never mind.
Read fewer romances and more feminist criticism.
Formed a Nerds Alliance for all the other uncool people.
Gone to Europe despite parental objections.
Tried to be more aware of other people’s problems.
Taken Physics.
Been nicer to my sister.

4. What is your favorite scent? Least favorite?

A single favorite is simply not a possibility when scents are so varied. Of flowers: Lilac. Of food: Oranges. Of houses: Tammy’s. Of spices: Basil. Others: A dusty street when it has just begun to rain, new books, the window cleaner we used at Camp Kuratli, fresh bark dust, the room spray you got me for my apartment.
Least favorites: cigarette smoke, the oil they put on the gravel at my parents house to keep down the dust, Corn-Nuts.

5. What is one grammatical error that drives you insane--spelling, hanging prepositions, split infinitives. I say death to overuse of exclamation points and comma splices!!!

See, this is a dangerous question, because there are certain people who read this blog with an eye out for grammatical errors so that they can come back to me later and say, ha ha, you’re an English graduate student and you still spelled the possessive “its” with an apostrophe. So here’s one error that I promise never, never to commit:
I really hate it when people spell a word according to how they mispronounce it, like “assumably” for “presumably,” “irregardless” instead of “regardless,” “for all intensive purposes” instead of “for all intents and purposes,” “foilage” for “foliage,” or the worst ones, “pronounciate” for “pronunciate” and “supposably” for “supposedly.”

and because I’m curious -- 6. What non-religious book do you think everybody should read?

Everybody. That’s an awfully wide audience. Umm, after careful consideration, I’m going to be radical and say, none. There is no one book that everyone should read. Sorry to be boring. I do think, however, that I could find the perfect book recommendation for any one person, if I knew a little bit about them.

The Official Interview Game Rules

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be
different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others
in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them
five questions.

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"Your sunny someday will come one day soon..." 

*Singing "Hang On, Little Tomato" to myself...* 0 comments

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

# 379 --Emily Dickinson 

The Grass so little has to do,
A Sphere of simple Green -
With only Butterflies, to brood,
And Bees, to entertain -

And stir all day to pretty tunes
The Breezes fetch along,
And hold the Sunshine, in it's lap
And bow to everything.

And thread the Dews, all night, like Pearl,
And make itself so fine
A Duchess, were too common
For such a noticing,

And even when it die, to pass
In odors so divine -
As lowly spices, laid to sleep -
Or Spikenards perishing -

And then to dwell in Sovreign Barns,
And dream the Days away,
The Grass so little has to do,
I wish I were a Hay -

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Thank heaven, I am finally, finally finished in the writing lab. Amy asked me to work over the summer, and although I briefly considered it--which tells you how desperate I am to make money--it conflicted with nursery work. And I was pretty happy to have an excuse to refuse. Now all that's left is a pizza party (and boy do we deserve it).

Today, a girl came in with a guy whom I assumed to be her boyfriend. He answered all the questions I asked her, even though her name was on the paper. Finally, I turned to him and said, "I'd like her to answer the question, since it's her paper." The girl gave me a panicked look and said, "We're working on it together." "You're in the same class?" I asked doubtfully. They both nodded. "Wellll... ok." What can you do? There is no way that guy's name is going on that paper. Chances are they aren't even in the same class. The protective way he leaned over her during the conference suggests to me that he's just "helping" her a little in her classes. As though she'll learn anything with him doing everything for her. And I'm quite sure I had them once before (during another term) and noticed the exact same dynamic. He even answered for her when I asked if "Lin"* was in the room. As though she wasn't even there. Disturbing. I predict if she stays with that guy she'll never need to answer another question her entire life. (I suspect that if their genders had been reversed so that the girlfriend knew more [assuming this guy does know more about writing than her, which I doubt], you still wouldn't catch the guy bringing the girl with him to hang over his shoulder and correct his errors. Oh no, she'd be writing his essay for him [which I also suspect had happened here] back in the dorms , and then he'd come to the writing lab alone and pretend he'd wrote it himself. There would be no "we work on this together.")

In other news, I chose my textbook for Writing 121 next year. So this summer I'll be reading the essays and putting together my syllabus (my syllabus--that sounds nice, doesn't it?). Haley and I are going to request to share an office down in the GTF basement.

*We'll pretend that's her name.

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

You may want to consider staying clear of this blog until Friday after 5. Just a suggestion. 

I'm writing this on a very sticky keyboard, so although I would like to write a long post, I don't think I'm going to have the patience, considering how often I have to backspace to write an error-free sentence.

My body starts doing strange things at the end of term. Suddenly I start having insomnia and, when I do sleep, nightmares. Last night I dreamed I had to take my qualifying exams early and cross-stitch the lengthy essays after writing them. Yeah. Tell me about it.

Also, for some reason I could not start working yesterday until about 9pm. My mind refused to behave. It accepted no other means of stimulation than That Thing You Do and Harry Potter. Then at 9 I suddenly got all productive until 2am. I'm slightly afraid that I'm turning into Tammy, who would show up at Brit Lit classes and say, "I was up until 4:30am last night working on my paper." I could never understand why she couldn't pull together what seemed not a huge amount of work in the time that she had during the day. Poor time management, I thought, oh so superiorly. Silly, silly Devon. Let me tell you, if there is anything that this year of grad school has taught me, it is humility.

I have become one of those students who waits until she gets home to look at her grades...and often wishes she didn't have to look at them at all. (I apologize a hundred times over for nagging a certain someone--you know who you are--about that years ago.) I have eaten all my angry complaints about Professor Dennis telling me not to go to grad school because it will suck away my soul. And now I understand all those students who play X-box for hours (Spider Solitaire, anyone?) instead of doing their homework because they just can't face a paper they know will be inferior no matter how long they spend on it.

(And if you worry about the excessive negativity of this post, let me remind you that it is not only finals' week of the term, but end of the third term of the year, when I'm used to semesters. I'm entitled to be negative. In a week, my everything will be turned in, and the talking of summertime will, hopefully, begin again.)

On the upside, I have pink fingernails with sparkles.

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

"Long ago, the delicate tangles of his hair covered the emptiness of my hands." 

Would you like to hear it again?

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Somehow, I never get tired of Spider Solitaire 0 comments
I hate allergy season! I just want to take out my eyeballs and scrub them with a Brillo pad. 0 comments

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I'm supposed to be generating constructive feedback for my Arthurian classmates' papers, but instead I'm reading this. Clever. I'm a minor Star Wars fan--not the camp-out-the-night-before-in-the-theater-parking-lot type, but the go-see-it-later-that-week type. Anyway, on this blog, I recommend the "Ewok Cookout" post and the "I Don't Know If It's Art, But I Know What I Like" post, although all the ones I've read are hilarious.

And since a little whining is in order after the paper I received back from the Poetry prof today, can I just say that "You've got a germ of a good essay here, but..." is not a particularly good way to begin end comments on the final essay of a first-year grad student with a very fragile sense of self. And really, does she imagine that heartless metaphors will motivate me to work harder on it? Au contraire.

In point of fact, it is the Arthurian paper that will be receiving the majority of my attention this weekend, due to the comments I received from the Arthurian prof this morning: "Devon, I just finished reading your paper. You write beautifully; I'm sure you hear that all the time, don't you? You have a lovely style. The paper is looking really good." No kidding. All this spoken with utter sincerity. I nearly fell over. Compliments. Actual compliments from a professor. And all over a paper that I...well, you heard my opinion of it in a recent post, I believe, in which I censored my true feelings with dollar signs and asterisks because my little sister reads this blog.

But no more! I will revise tirelessly and polish it till it shines because that professor thinks I'm a good writer. I'm endlessly motivated to further impress people who already have good opinions of me. As for the other paper, well, what can I do? Clearly, she thinks the whole thing's crap, so I'll probably just half-heartedly rewrite it to parrot whatever her reading is and fix the split infinitives that are apparently such huge bloody errors, despite the fact that no one cares about them any more, even grammar nazis like me. (Please note in the above paragraph, one telling example of how Devon deals with criticism--denial of responsibility, sarcasm, and prompt giving up.)

Ok, I think I need to change the subject. Let's talk about my new blog link: The Phantom Professor (see right). Apparently, this is an adjunct prof at a swank private university who writes about her students and colleagues anonymously on her blog, or did, until someone found out it was her, at which point she was simultaneously fired and offered a book deal. Check it out.

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Well, I was going to write a whole post about how I'm in a post-turned-in-something-important slump, but then I decided that would bore you, so instead I'm going to do the random list thing.

--The other night I had a nightmare that all these dog demons were rising out of the ground and attacking everyone. No, I have no idea what it means. I like dogs.

--I watched The Village a few days ago and it wasn't as scary as I'd anticipated. And yes, like a million people told me it wasn't scary, but those are the people who are like, "The Ring isn't all that scary," so I didn't believe them. But I liked it, a lot. I even watched it twice.

--I have only one (1) more day in the writing lab. True, it's a six-hour shift, but then I will be free, free, free.

--I rollerbladed to school today, and it occurred to me when I was about halfway here that if it rains this afternoon, I will be walking the four miles back home.

--I have started rereading the Harry Potter books so that all the details will be nice and fresh when the sixth one comes out in a month or so. I'm looking forward to reading it, of course, but also dreading finishing it, because the wait between #6 and #7 is going to be murder. Especially since I agree with the Underground Lake guy that Harry's going to die in the end.

--I've started keeping my eyes peeled (isn't that a gross phrase? I hate it) for "For Rent" signs around town, since Christin and I are going to need a place that is bigger than my current place (and also free of obnoxious, obsequious neighbors). How lovely to think of having a house. And I can conceive of moving, now that it's been 9 months since I last tried it. It's sort of like all-nighters--I swear them off forever every time, but after about 4 or 5 months, when something is pressing, I think, "An all-nighter wouldn't be that bad..."

--My bathroom tub is partially clogged, and I bought Dare to Repair from Smith's so that I could fix it (and also because I've always wanted that book), but I can't figure out how to unscrew the drain. Any suggestions?

--We have to prepare to read two Dunbar poems for class today--one dialect and one not. Reading dialect poetry aloud in front of other people is always kind of intimidating. Not looking forward to it.

--Speaking of class, in an hour and a half will be my last class of my first year of grad school!!!! I expect fireworks, blowing whistles, confetti, the works. I tell you what, I never thought this day would come--or rather, that I would live to see it. This calls for some wine and seriously decadent chocolate torte.

--I saw the recent Old Navy commercial for their ruffly skirts and it made want to rush down immediately and buy one--maybe the white one. I would be worried that I'm becoming a consumerism drone except that these skirts are seriously the only fashion of this year that I even like at all. The satiny tanktops? No. Those cropped cartigans that tie in front? Double no. And why am I still seeing people in leg-warmers?? Other than a ruffly skirt or two, I'm going to wait to buy clothes until they get cuter.

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