Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where's an English teacher when you need one?!?

I know I wrote research papers in high school - didn't I?

But then again, that was back when the Internetz was something new and scary. It had games, and this wacky "e-mail" thing, but that was it. When you had to write research papers, you got your little butt down to the library and made friends with our good buddy Mr. Dewey, of Decimal System fame.

You grabbed your encyclopedias, a book or two - maybe even a magazine or newspaper if you were really cutting edge. (I was in all Honors classes, so yes, I used magazines, thankyouverymuch.) You looked at the notes your teacher gave you to cite an encyclopedia, a book, and a periodical, and you were set. Whoo-hoo!

I took one class in college where we had to write research papers (a grand total of three). Again, I used books. One citation format, and I was done. No, wait - I might have gotten online sources for the very last paper, because by the time I sat down to start it, the library was closed, and the all-night computer lab was my only recourse. Either way, that was still a nice, clean-cut "online source" citation. And it was a science class, so he wasn't that big on the mechanics of the paper.

Because I am that annoying G/T kid, all raw and cutting-edge, my dissertation is about a rock band. I already blew some people's minds when I asked how to cite a song from a CD (then again, that was at the local community college). I figured out how to adjust the "short story collection" citation format to fit "songs on a CD" - but what the heck do I do for YouTube videos of live performances of those songs??

Who's the author? The TV channel that aired the concert? The artist, who wrote the lyrics? The band, who composed the song (music and lyrics together, and performance)? The guy who took the TV footage and put it on YouTube? Does the guy who posted it on YouTube count as the "editor"? The "publisher"?


Sometimes, you gotta put it in perspective...

Janet Reid shared this blog post today. Sometimes we have to be reminded to focus on the positives.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

¡Yo voy a decir que NO!

(Yes, I know this is 20 years old, and from another country... but why does it seem to fit our current situation so well?)

Friday, October 17, 2008

I wantz to haz it...

You know how babies will get so tired they can't go to sleep? They're sleepy and crying, but they work themselves into these fits where they're angry that they're tired, and because they're angry and throwing the tantrum they can't relax enough to go to sleep. That's kind of where I am right now.
Freddy's out of town, visiting his buddies in CA. So I'm home alone, which I'm sure is adding to the blahness. I do have the cats for company, which is nice... except when they're howling at each other because Gus wants to play and nobody else does. But that's another post.
I'm being overly-sensitive and overly-defensive online. I feel everything is a personal attack, to me personally. In a way, reproductive rights is an issue that affects me directly, and attacking my reproductive rights is an attack on my person, so I'm not being paranoid... but I should stop reading blogs and the news. There's nothing I can do about it now, so I need to remove that toxicity from my life. Ignorance is sanity.
I made a donation to Planned Parenthood yesterday. Among all the other donation information, they asked for my political affiliation. Usually, I check Democrat - no, I do not agree with Democrats on every issue, but I do agree with them on my two highest priorities and that's the party whose candidates have a chance to win in our two-party system. Yesterday, however, I checked Socialist.
I'm so sick of the state of affairs, I don't even want to pretend to be civilized anymore. If Anarchist had been an option, I might have checked that. But I knew Socialist would make the GOP mad enough (yes, because they DO care about the box I check on the form), so I went with that.
The cat door just swung. That might have been Gus, remembering how to use the cat door to escape to the magical realm beyond The Kitchen. I should go find him... he's too little to be out on his own. And he's not very bright, so he won't remember how the door works by the time he decides he wants to come back to the safety and comfort of The Kitchen.
After I retrieve him, I'm going to bed. Maybe he'll be kind enough to curl up next to me and purr me to sleep (and purrvana)... instead of jumping about my head and licking the tip of my nose with his scratchy, stinky kitten tongue.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

(Maybe I should just go bury my head in the sand... make it all go away...)

Now, now... at least Gov. Palin didn't make you pay for your own rape kit. OH, WAIT -

If you don't want to read the whole thing, at least watch the last video.

Dear Cristina,

I about fell out of my chair when I heard John McCain say this during the presidential debate last night:
"Just again, the example of the eloquence of Sen. Obama. He's
'health for the mother.' You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything. That's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, 'health.'"— Sen. John McCain, during presidential debate
Since when did women's health become extreme?

What's really extreme here is that John McCain doesn't understand that women's health matters.

What John McCain said last night, in front of millions of viewers, was belittling to women. He not only mocked Barack Obama for supporting women's health, he mocked women across the country. The debate last night was just the most vivid example of what we've known all along: John McCain is out of touch on women's health.

The simple fact is that we need a president who wants to protect and promote women's health, not ridicule it. If John McCain doesn't understand that, then he's not prepared to govern this country.

Remember, this is not the only example where John McCain doesn't get it when it comes to women's health.

Just a couple months back, McCain had the deer-in-the-headlights look, and couldn't answer whether he thought it was fair that insurance companies that cover Viagra should also cover birth control.

And, remember the time when McCain was asked whether he thought condoms helped stopped the spread of HIV? McCain's response, "You've stumped me."

And there's more. Let's count the ways that John McCain is out of touch on women's health and women's rights:
  • He's voted 125 times against women's health.He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade.
  • He opposes funding to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies.
  • He opposes requiring health care plans to cover birth control.
  • He opposes equal pay legislation, saying it wouldn't do "anything to help the rights of women."
  • He's proposed a health care plan that will be worse for women.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, gets it. Obama talked about commonsense proposals to prevent unintended pregnancy. He talked about a woman, along with her family and her doctor, deciding what is best for her health care.

The simple fact is that Barack Obama is a passionate advocate for women's rights, and has a long and consistent record of standing up for women's health care. As president, he will improve access to quality health care for women, support and protect a woman's right to choose, support comprehensive sex education to keep our young people healthy and safe, and invest in prevention programs, including family planning services and breast cancer screenings.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Women voting for John McCain is like chickens voting for Col. Sanders.

Watch McCain's statement during the debate here.

Please stay involved:

Send a voter-to-voter note right now. Take two minutes, right now, to write a short personal note to an undecided voter about why a McCain/Palin administration would be disastrous for women's health — we'll get to work on delivering it for you! Not sure how to get started? Don't worry, we've got a sample note for you to use.

This weekend is our big push for on-the-ground volunteers. Join us in your own community to educate voters during our Mobilization Weekend.

Help us continue to educate voters in battleground states about how out of touch Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are on issues that matter to women. Watch our video, make a donation, and pass it on!

Forward this email to everyone you know who cares about women's health.

Thank you again.
Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seriously, people - remember the "Love one another as I have loved you" part?

Slowly clearing out my Google Reader backlog, I came across this post on The Swivet, regarding Prop 8 in California. I couldn't have said it better myself, so I won't try (aren't you relieved?) But I wil quote:
Let me be perfectly clear: Nobody who would truly claim to be a Christian
would ever support such a proposition. Why? Because it's not something that
Jesus Christ himself ever would have supported. The dude was a radical,
remember? He partied with whores and tax collectors and slept with twelve other
men for three years. I'd say he was pretty much okay with the whole same-sex
thing, wouldn't you???

Why is this so hard to understand?

Flash Drive, Flash Drive - O, Wherefore Art Thou?

Brainiac that I am, I lost my flash drive. I took it out of my purse one day at school, for a very silly reason; I am almost certain I put it back in my purse at the end of the day, and took it out again at home, but, since it's missing, I can't say for sure.

Personally, I blame the cat. Gus must have knocked the thing off the desk and killed it somewhere in the house. (He's very good at killing things, as most kittens are.) I keep asking him to bring it back to me, but he's too busy killing something else (usually Indy - who whines like a little baby and takes all the abuse) to listen. I have crawled all over the floor shining a tiny little flashlight under furniture and appliances, but alas, to no avail.

This sucks on multiple levels:

  • My sister gave me that flash drive. It was the first one of those contraptions I owned; I wanted to get one (floppies had gone the way of the dodo and re-writable CDs were moving in that direction as well - yes, this was back in the day when some of us still considered these archaic devices to be "viable options") but I felt I couldn't justify the expense. Then this little green thing came in the mail - and I knew it was a good one, because Marcy'd bought it. She and Zach read all those Consumer Reports magazines and such, and he's an enginerd to begin with - he knows about computer things, and stuff. In the card, Marcy had written that I could save my novels on the flash drive. My novels - because I was a writer.
  • For days after I discovered it was missing, I was too scared to look in My Documents and make sure I had backed up all my NaNos and other writings to my laptop. I was keeping all of that on that flash drive (I now have several drives, each one has its "job:" teaching stuff, creative writing stuff, wedding stuff...), and I should have been smart enough to BACK IT UP ON MY LAPTOP but sometimes I'm not as smart as I should be.
  • The latest version of my dissertation, for the Master's degree that's been on hold for years now, was on that flash drive. Most of it was still on my laptop, but I spent the better part of a Saturday re-organizing the paper and writing, and those words were like pulling teeth and then some. I was brilliant enough NOT to save the latest copy to my laptop... even though I had been working ON my laptop. See? I told you I'm not that smart sometimes...

This dissertation has been hanging over my head for years - and I have great excuses for each and every one of those years, but thankfully now I have a loving husband who's not going to let me get away with that much longer. If I don't get this thing finished by November, guess what's not going to happen for me. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION.

Yesterday I sat down to assess the damage. It helped a little that Saturday I'd gone to Target and bought a new, pink flash drive.

I have not opened any of the documents, but all NaNo folders (2004-present) were saved in My Documents, waiting for me, like good little children. So were other folders, labeled Novels, Stories, and Poems, which made me feel even giddier.

As for the dissertation, it wasn't as bad as I had originally thought. I must have saved halfway through that session, because the paper looked better than I remembered it; also, I was able to re-write the missing pages without removing any teeth. Always a plus.

I have about 10 pages to go; if I sit my butt in the chair long enough to get it done, I can do it this weekend (Freddy will be out of town, so there won't be much else to do). Which leaves me the next weekend to start getting ready for NaNo - yay! (I need the prep time this year: I'm "cheating" and finishing my NaNo from two years ago... which means I need to read what I wrote, to know where I was and where I need to keep going.)

Can she do it?

Only time will tell...

Friday, October 10, 2008

If I may clarify this misconception...

As you may have noticed from the photo to your right, I bear a slight resemblance to Tina Fey. (It's the glasses, mainly.)

I am not the only person who bears a slight resemblance to Tina Fey.

Now, you may have learned in math class that if a=b, and b=c, then a=c.

This intrinsic property of math does not, however, transfer to other areas of life (ironic - don't you think? - given it's the transitive property; nevertheless, I assure you this is the case).

Therefore, boys and girls:

I look like Tina Fey.

Sarah Palin looks like Tina Fey.

This DOES NOT, in any way, shape, or form, mean that I look like Sarah Palin. Regardless of what students, colleagues, and even my hairdresser may think.

And on that note, if I may share this with you nie people:

Monday, October 06, 2008

"I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date - no time, no time!!"

I have a bazillion blog posts I need to write, but absolutely no time to even think about them. Grades are due tomorrow at 8:00 am and I am so far behind I want to cry.

Cliff Notes (not so much to keep you updated; more to remind me of what I want to write):

  • I lost my flash drive, and no, I was not smart enough to save the latest copy of my dissertation on my laptop as backup.
  • finally did the triathlon this weekend. Not so great. And it took up any and all free time this weekend (hence the obscene behindness on grading).
  • the hypocrisy of miscarriages and abortion: "life" begins as soon as the egg is fertilized - but when a woman miscarries, do we offer proper consolation for the "death"? No, we simply treat it as an unfortunate medical condition. If we talk about it at all.
  • NaNoWriMo is coming!!! (And yes, people on the forums are already starting to tick me off.)

Okay, break's over. Back to work.