Tuesday, February 28, 2006

ok so i didn't quite finish my results section draft or my methods section. but i came to realize where i was going into "stupidland" in my methods section and rambling on about stats that had nothing really to do with my study and how exactly this whole breakdowns and focus shifts thing is working out. i mean it's a start...but bodker seemed to have quantification more on the brain...i think. i need to reread that but the book is in my office at wimse. ugh. my brain feels paralyzed some days.

Monday, February 27, 2006

give me my romeo; and, when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.*

moon observations...so you might be thinking "what EXACTLY am i on" to be writing a blog post about the moon but it's for the inquiry-based learning course i'm auditing with my thesis chair, chip...and it seems that the moon has gone missing right now...but i found it years ago on the eve of the czech republic becoming a part of the eu when i was wandering around the city being an internationalist...

inspired by suzhen's answer/question about where the moon lies in our hearts...i took a little diversion myself:ground control to major tom
ground control to major tom
take your protein pills and put your helmet on
every morning i wake up and take my regimented pill allotment in order to stay on this planet and avoid the mania and the extreme lows as best as i can...better living through chemistry, they say...or do they? it took years and years before i gave brave new world a try and now i wonder if i'll ever truely be free of it. one side of my brain tells me that it's no different than a diabetic and their insulin. but then i remember the insulin shock treatments that they used to give to patients in asylums and i'm amazed that we're all still around...and i wonder what things they'll be looking back at in 50 years when they figure out that we're all, now, doing things all wrong? the evolution of the science of medicine...when are our inquiries possibly harmful and how can we ever know?ground control to major tom
commencing countdown, engines on
check ignition and may god’s love be with you
the inquiry into god...where exactly do we go after this place...me, raised without religion, and i wonder how one could ever choose a relgion when they weren't raised in one...not so much if we can change religions but more of the idea that religion...is.ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, lift-offthis is ground control to major tom
you’ve really made the grade
and the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare
it's been suggested that there was more to bowie's story than space exploration (the song was first released in 1969 to coincide with man's landing on the moon), that maybe it had a little more to do with his addiction to drugs around that time than space itself.

and i always remember that guy -- and there's always that one guy (or girl) -- who went into rehab right after his dissertation defense for his addiction to heroin that started when he began grad school and i wonder how similar these other drugs that i take to stay grounded really are when the pharmacist looks at me and says "oh, the usual, eh?" heroin, after all, was once used as cough syrup...this is major tom to ground control
i’m stepping through the door
and i’m floating in a most peculiar way
and the stars look very different today
i worried and i worry how much all of these things effect (or do i mean affect?) me...i wondered and i wonder how much i've changed and there are some days that i think i'm more in touch with my mood shifts than i was before the stabilizers entered the picture and i think that maybe it's freed me to take more challenges and walk around countries where the languages look mostly like pictures and i miss those conversations with complete strangers on a train, looking at a map...inquiring into what is different and why that might be...and admitting to others that my inquiry goes on and goes on in some very humbling ways...i.e., googling toilet+"how to use"+taiwan...but then i find strange comfort in how others broadcast their own inquiries into the more humbling things in lifefor here
am I sitting in a tin can
far above the world
planet earth is blue
and there’s nothing i can do
and i know that even if i spent the next 500 hours sitting with a resident in the hospital that there still might be nothing i can do...and then i remember the conversation the other day that had me wondering why the other knew so much about the way to die and i wondered why i knew why she was correct...the inquiry into death and dying, the hallmark of the depressed and recovering depressives, the kind of sick club that somehow tells us that maybe we aren't alone and maybe we should stick around and see where things take us...to change and be changed...though i’m past one hundred thousand miles
i’m feeling very still
and i think my spaceship knows which way to go
tell my wife i love her very much (she knows!)
ground control to major tom
your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
can you hear me, major tom?
can you hear me, major tom?
can you hear me, major tom?
can you hear....
we miss hearing the one's closest to us and sometimes we think we hear the voices of the one's who have moved on and i wonder if they see the moon that we can't find right now and i wonder so many things about why i can't talk about the deeper inquiries about the painful things with the ones closest to me but i find voice on this blog...but to what audience? some i know, some i'm close with...but the ones i write to don't see this and i think what if they did? would they understand? would they?here
am i floating round my tin can
far above the moon
planet earth is blue
and there's nothing I can do
bowie's -- who was influenced by and an influence to german musicians -- song "space oddity"*** eventually spawned a remake by german peter schilling suggesting that maybe major tom wasn't really lost in space...but was instead...home...and maybe that's where we come from before this life...and where we go after...my god...it's full of stars...** romeo and juliet, william shakespeare
*** 2001/2010, arthur c. clarke
*** lyrics of david bowie's space oddity
lol. i was looking for the ibl wiki and i found chip's blog entry about his desire for an intervention for his internationalist ways (i.e., a return to america1 rather than the america2 he first came back to).

anyway, there's a discussion about the moon going on and whether or not we can see it right now...so i'll look for it out on the balcony later tonight...

dissertation time...yet another conference opp that didn't apply to me because i've done my dissertation completely backwards...oh well.
i really do understand what my wimses say about the dorm food with a caveat...to me it does taste ok...but i know all about the monotony of it all. i mean we were all there at some point and i remember when we found out that the virginia government had prioritized things so that the jails got better food than the universities and i remember chrissan and kellie and kate and i going to owens because they at least always had hamburgers and we fooled ourselves into thinking that if we doctored them enough with all kinds of crap that they would somehow taste somewhat normal...and i laugh when i see the girls in the dorm doctoring their cereal with ice cream or putting a ton of bbq sauce on potatoes or eating nothing but tortilla chips and cheese or mixing sodas together...and i think, damn, it's a good thing they have things like late night these days because maybe that cuts down on all the pizza ordering but maybe it doesn't, i don't know, but late night seems to be ui's equivalent of owens back at tech...so i think that the pizza ordering is probably unchanged over the generation switch...especially now that you can order cookies for delivery...but they'll never have the calzones from backstreets that we had...

wow. it's been years.
up late...yeah, listening to the dissertation mix again and trying to code "unexpected findings" in the four transcripts i've gotten back so far. while i was searching for that inquiry circle after looking more carefully at the exchanges between one of my dyads, i found a wiki space that chip started on writing the dissertation. at first i thought oh, is how they talk to one another in this game environment inquiry with a big 'I'? or can there be shorter, small 'i' inquiries...and is the inquiry cycle really what i should be looking for in my transcripts? i mean i *could* go through and code each transcript based on frequency counts of the inquiry circle...or maybe look how different parts of inquiry circle and see how the circle isn't so clean...maybe looking like chains of a sort where one inquiry begins, a different inquiry begins, the first inquiry ends, then the second inquiry ends, thus showing the interleved learning throughout...but that's "too clean" and real life...do we really pass through these formal parts of inquiry in everything we do? lol...ok, i'm now picturing showing my committee this mob of circles all over the place and needing a wide screen tv and so maybe i should have my defense in the lobby of the seibel center at the big ass tv across from the cafe. maybe that's not quite the right analysis i want to go with...

anyway, dammit chip...i now see what you mean about the dissertation as inquiry process though...it's my fucking inquiry that's driving this thing. oy. we're in for a bumpy ride.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

it's unofficials time again (yeah, that's a link to last year's memorable account) and i'm glad that i don't have another friday class this year, lol. will i partake? nah...it's more for the young and i've already lived that scene with different backdrops and storylines. as i always tell all my girls, just be careful, ok? that always seems to get a surprise reaction from them and then i realize, oh yeah...i'm old. :) but, yeah, hell yeah...i can promise you this...i was once young(er) and i have stories and stories that i could tell you for a whole year and still not cover the half of it.

chris was right, steve was right, jesse was right...it IS fucking hilarious looking back to last year...now! the main problem was that they forgot and left a few sober people in the class who went straight to the dean...and me dealing with administrative shit is never an endearing thing...
watching the documentary common threads: stories from the quilt again and i remember that, oh yeah, that was my adolescence and i remember all the finger pointing, the ignorance, the fear, the sub in my 8th grade french class who showed us a movie about aids in haiti and it was 1984...1984. me, living in dc, where politicians...ignored...ignored...denied? and i graduated to the quilt...only to move on to knowing too many friends who would be dead, sooner than later...and my mom telling me in the kitchen what happened to that neighbor kid and part of me still doesn't want to believe it because of marvin, because of others...and i wonder if that was supposed to make me feel better...because it doesn't, it still doesn't. there was nothing anyone could do, she said, because he'd already died and...

two people die in separate car accidents. one was your friend and one fucked up your brain and some say both were sinners but that can't be right, that can't be. and i remember marvin telling me after one of my many oh-so-traumatic breakups...if i were straight, i'd marry you in a heartbeat. and i remember driving around in his beat up piece of shit car after rehearsal, after class, after bitching at bk for hours and we'd yell "what the fuck" out the window, toward the drillfield and us laughing about holly's hair catching on fire at that party, the one that jay was at and we realized what the deal was and paul and i going to formals and debbie weirded out by everyone in her life changing and it would have been more fun if marvin had been there...

years later, years later, in the attic finding out about it all and i remember he was the only one becki confided in, back in those days when we were weak but thinking we were strong and i remember her telling me in that grand sitting room at that impossibly posh virginia resort about his husband dying...and i tried to call...i did call...and we were supposed to meet up but he never showed and later i learned that he...

yeah, that's it, that's the end of that story.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

it's still the 25th, huh? damn it's almost march and i'm having panic attacks right and left over the big d. i mean i want to work on it but then sometimes i freeze in my tracks, or i fuck with my dissertation itunes playlist, or i get short tempered because it's the end of the day and i'm exhausted, or...i drink enough starbucks doubleshots to get all of wimse on a caffiene overload...

this shouldn't be this hard, right? yeah, that doesn't keep me from wanting to choke the independent coder/transcriber for fucking around with my data since AUGUST when she said that it'd be done before december...and now it's almost the end of february...and she's completed four of the sixteen. at least i have four but dammit...she hasn't done a single competitive dyad and i'm trying to work on my results...

and that's just another fucking excuse. annoying, yes. especially since it's costing me a zillion dollars to hire her out and last time i checked i was working four jobs to pay all my bills. but again...i focus on that shit and then go into shut down mode. and it's like the other ta said when we were huddled in the parking lot...when everything in your brain is already spinning out of control, these things are like a stick poked into a moving bicycle wheel.

so i am going to finish my methods section part one because, please, why exactly am i putting this off? i guess because the data are already collected and something in my brain seems to think that i've already written it...or that it's moved on, i no longer find it amusing, and it must leave now [note: obscure snl deiter reference]. anyway i'm working on it right now, yeah, with another starbucks doubleshot at one side and the pile of homework assignments and quizzes that i need to grade on the other. and i'm listening to my ever-growing dissertation itunes mix...and feeling the high of the manic swing up because who knows when my monthly will actually occur after all that's happened lately...but the pre-period stuff is *supposedly* right around the corner.

and another one of my girls is having trouble in that area...god dammit...i can't solve this one and i'll i can do is identify and empathize...but at least i feel more effective in knowing this kind of advise...i just don't know if i'm useful when dealing with the borderliners...dr. b is right...it was about me, it was about me, it was about me. but why? why the fuck didn't he catch me in the middle of the storm...probably because i wouldn't have listened anyway...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

thx neil blender

thx neil!
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
no i don't know who this is but it is one of many of my city stickers collections, this one also from helsinki...a very stickered city it seems.

but in order to further thank neil blender, and follow up on my inquiry on who the hell he is, i'm posting this latest sticker photo with a possibility of finding out who exactly i'm thanking.

i think neil would approve if he is the skateboarding neil blender that keeps coming up on google. and yes, that link is from fecalface.com...ok...
rofl. ok, i know i'm not the only one who watched the olympics last night and wondered, after seeing the possessed look on sasha cohen's face throughout her skate, damn...maybe she did make a pact with the devil or something. i mean she can make some scary-ass looking faces. a commenter at deadspin points out the dominatrix looking photos of her on her website. and, apparently, she said "rockstar" after the short skate instead of "fuck yeah." but it seems that pact with the devil didn't quite pan out...silver in the end.

[comment: no, i'm not REALLY suggesting she really is involved with satan...i'm just talking about the looks on her face before, during, and after the short skate.]
my eclectic mix of weirdness on my ipod is astonishing...to me at least. i keep adding songs to my "dissertation mix" which is becoming sort of a soundtrack of my life...yes, even kate bush from my moody grrrrl adolescent storm and stress (remember that term, psy 430-ers? hope so...it was question one on the exam you just took)...don't give up by kate bush and peter gabriel...that very well could be one of the top songs on my life soundtrack list. i remember telling lee years ago at that bar at the w hotel in new orleans that we definitely weren't cool enough to be at that kate bush got me through my teenage years and he laughed and said that at first he though "whaaaaaat?" but then he thought about it and...yeah. makes sense.

project new orleans didn't go over super well last night and i can see why people would be freaked about showing the levee system and the reminder of all the sadness...and i wonder...and maybe i'll bring this topic up at the next inquiry meeting/class/event...when is it too early to talk about sadness and pain? and how can we do that in a socially responsible way that doesn't project an air of well, jeeez...go figure that happened...we set ourselves up for the pain we get. maybe i didn't explain it very well...a link to the displaced...

i didn't understand new orleans until i was in grad school and then it seemed like i was in that city every minute for a conference or a sugar bowl...i feel like i need to take the pilgrimage again...to see it for what it is now, to see how it's trying, despirately to not give up and give in...i need to see new orleans rising up again...rise up...phoenix...rise...

from the warehouse district where we were that night and it merged into the afterparty and it merged into morning and coffee and a hurricaine and jealosy and seeing that part of myself that i can be when i'm through with stiffening up and waiting for the crash...and there i go...there i go around and round and i feel sick and you feel sick but it's all a part of it...greasy spoons and grenades and that damned river and the people staying, standing...we know we're battling impossible odds but that's just the way it is...round and round that restaurant...on the balcony telling that guy that he's doing it all wrong and you can see the ties disappearing...you can see them all taking a chance...for at least that one moment.

and then you come back. you remember where you are. and you, once again, stiffen up and wait for the accident to occur...because you know it will...and at that point you've forgotten everything that the city had to teach you.

Post exam at depresso

blurred cellphone cam shot of my laptop (with this very blog pulled up on screen) and my "i just gave an exam" coffee and brownie...at depresso, you know...the one on sixth and daniels where the moody people hang out, probably made moodier by all the suits from the adminstrative centers that surround us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

ok so my challenge for tonight...is write those five pages of results that i was supposed to bring to yesterday's meeting with chip when i was instead writing a manifesto on adolescent brain development and cognition...

will i succeed? stay tuned. because i'm supposed to answer you here. :|

let me love (helsinki)

let me love (helsinki)
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
one of the many random stickers i've found in cities around the world...which reminds me that i saw a sticker outside the cs building the other day, on a lamppost, that said "if george bush wasn't white, he'd be in jail by now." i need to keep my camera on me at all times. of course...now with mobile blogging...see, i have this camera thingee on the phone that i never remember to use...
i'm embarassed to admit to this but i have to have one of those pill counters so that i remember that, yes, i took the damn p/w/e this morning. sometimes it doesn't help...i still remember to take it much later than i should and i remember in the middle of that night calling c to bring me the bag because i was starting to get the shakes and i wonder if it's because i went past the halflife or if it had more to do with the fact that i was up for so many hours running on sugar and coffee and manic and full of panicked reaction, reacting...reacting.

chip had a good point this morning though. he often makes many good points and one of my earlist posts on this blog is in fact a quote that he wrote back in the very beginnings of this dissertation, uh, journey. ugh. that word "journey" was so boring but i could think of anything else at the moment. anyway, i guess we can call it a journey because it's had enough lost baggage found and rerouted flights and trains and misread directions and listening to people who i thought knew better but then i remember that i've never been very good listening to authority. even in those times where i find that i am the authority. especially those times. and i lie frozen in place and i can't get warm and i can't hide and i can't be found.

so anyway back to the topic...or a topic...i threw out my entire schedule yesterday except the faculty dinner last night -- which was actually quite useful for me surprisingly -- because i knew my students were going to flunk their exam on thursday if i didn't, yes, take a stand and do something to make sure that they knew the material that they needed to know...and so chip and i didn't meet. and i blew off my appt with dr b monday and last thursday...thursday because it was the beginning of the exam nightmare and i talked right through it...monday due to panic attacks. chip emails me back this morning with this:you're very good about caring for others. i would never want to see you change that. but you also need to remember to find time to work toward your own goals, and not let others wreck your schedule (more than occasionally!). remember that you're doing a lot for your students and wimse's when
you show them how to accomplish challenging tasks (like dissertations) and to stay happy doing it. you also have others (research directors, committee members, ...) who care very much for you and your work, so that what you accomplish serves them as well.
yeah...i never thought about that bit about showing people how to accomplish challenging tasks in the midst of all the chaos all around us. and that may be the first time...actually it is the first time...since i came to this place where a faculty member, boss, supervisor, provost, whatever other titled people i've come into contact with at this university has said anything to me like "hey, btw, we do care for you." caring for me?

and that's it, isn't it, dr. b? all those years of accommodation...that's it, isn't it? i don't know how to be cared about. time to let go, huh?

The medication is wearing off...

the medication is wearing off...but i'm still fucking around with stupid technology shit...mobile blogging. see ya in san jose next month.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

from a daily show repeat but absolutely hilarious (i think...). so harrison ford is talking about his new movie, whatever it's called, and john stewart asks him what he'll be doing on the night of the premiere: "i will be at home, under the covers, waiting to find out how much they hate me"i wake up saying that almost every day. :|

Monday, February 20, 2006

monitor your baby

monitor your baby
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
this is easily one of my favorite things from computex, the industry event in taipei that i snuck into after the cscl conference was over. it's nice that you can now game without worrying about having your kid in the same room?!? so, yeah, this is a tool for adding more of an "xbox live" feel to pc games...only the latest xbox live does not have this baby monitoring feature. i think i need to suggest this to my peeps over at the mothership.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

ah...salon's broadsheet has an entry on the classic jake versus lloyd argument that we gen-xers have been having for years and years now. forget jake...too many years thinking that i'd find an inner lloyd in a jake one of these days resulting in finding too many losers...when what i really needed was a lloyd who'd meet me in the waiting room in the middle of the night, crying because he knew i couldn't take it any more but had to stay and see it through...and sometimes...and often...i wonder why? why he doesn't see the damaged goods that all the jakes in the world always saw when they tried to be lloyds...but you can't be what you aren't in your soul...and they'd disappear...almost as if they'd never existed...because they never did.

london bafta mask

london bafta mask
Originally uploaded by vrgrrl.
this is from the bafta's held around v-day two years ago in london when c took a chance and booked a flight to come with us and we've been living together ever since. i'd have to say, that was probably the best v-day ever...only the reason behind the trip was to get the fuck out of here and not so much about v-day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

oh yeah...it's vday...a hated day but i no longer hate it as much as i used to and c said that i was talking in my sleep last night and i wonder if i wasn't dreaming of 1992 and all the crap that usually crosses my mind this time of year. and i had 20 minutes to get ready and make it to lis by 9am and somehow i did and the day was fine and now i'm watching some law and order svu rerun because i'm bored with the olympics, and yes...even the ski-n-shoot has bored me, especially with our veep shooting people at random and i think maybe all the repubs will just go completely nuts and start shooting each other up...it would save money in the impeachment investigations...

ah right. cause that's gonna happen.
take the fucking quiz:
which american city are you?

your dark exterior masks a caffeine driven activism. you'll take up a cause and you'll get ugly to advance it.

go figure that i scored a "0" on dc...where i grew up. ah seattle. there's gotta be a way to get back without losing my soul completely, right?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

these are mediocre times and people are losing hope. it's hard for many people to believe that there are extraordinary things inside themselves, as well as others. i hope you can keep an open mind... ["unbreakable"]a lot of things in this life just don't make any sense...like how trying to help someone ends up almost getting you fired and no matter what you do, you can still never know what's coming up right around the corner.

and yesterday he kept telling me, as a side note, that this is my issue, this is my issue, this is my issue...but how can you learn to trust the ones who fail constantly all around you everyday?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

titles...this is the part of academia and the world that i really hate...what's your title. call me prof blank. call me ms lalala.

i've been back and forth on the whole thing. what if i decide to let everyone keep calling me "michelle" after i graduate? is that such a bad thing? i mean there's this weirdness with how close i've gotten to all my undergraduates -- in wimse, in the classes i teach -- that to suddenly say "oh, you'll now refer to me as dr. or prof." would seem disingenuous...is that the word i'm looking for? anyway, it's not that it's weird that i'm so close to so many undergrads...i mean that's the group i care for the most, that i do research on to help make life more gentle on...dr b says that i am the surrogate mother for so many...and maybe that's right in some ways. i'm not a mother replacement but i do think that there are times in which we need to reach out, be human, and not worry so much about this in loco parentis crap that the university wants to avoid at all costs. hey, let's be human...and while we're at it...call me michelle dammit. unless you're an ass. like, say, at the dos office or at the mck pharmacy...then i might say "uh, that's DOCTOR." because those are the people that i think need a reality check.