6.04.2009

801

Okay, I interrupt this blog's demise to offer one important edict for summer:

Jeep Wranglers are for hot guys. If you are not a hot guy, driving a Jeep Wrangler will NOT make you a hot guy. If you are not a hot guy, do. not. drive. a. JeepWrangler.

Back to your previously scheduled lives you go. Back to oblivion I go.

5.31.2009

And so

We end as inelegantly as we began. This, my 800th post, is my last. There is nothing special about 800, but when I could see it coming I knew my OCDness would be most happy with that tidy round number.

Several of you—most graciously—have suggested that I keep this blog going. And I thought about it. I still enjoy writing it and reading your comments, but here's the thing: the filler stuff—the quests for planters, the trips to Liberty Custard—in other words, the glimpses into my deep interior life, would all of the sudden become the point of the blog, and sorry, that's just not that interesting to me. This blog was conceived as a way to document a very particular journey; it has done that and, at least for me, so much more.

I did not expect to come away from Hamline and Going40 with such a strong conviction that writing needs to be a central part of my life, but I also didn't expect to secretly like my math class, so there you go. I will almost certainly blog again, perhaps even soon, but I am also anxious to explore the discipline required of other forms of writing (by which I do NOT mean academic papers for undergraduate courses, thankyousweetJesus). I am convinced that blogging is here to stay, though the craft will continue to morph as technology and sensibilities change.

Oh, the last round of limericks? You're all winners, but you knew that. I realized that we didn't really need another limerick contest; the community had moved beyond that. But my loyal little cadre of regular contributors will all find a little something on their doorsteps later this summer.

I would not trade a single moment of the last two years: they have been the richest of my life. Yes, there has been drudgery and trepidation and tedium, but in greater abundance there has been excitement and discovery and joy. I am grateful beyond measure for my time at Hamline, for this blog, and most importantly, for you. Talk to you soon.

And again with the Perfect Planter


I am happy to report that the Perfect Planter has found a mate. Thanks to generous graduation gifts, a beautiful copper (colored; I think it's steel, just like Serra's sculptures) planter found its way home from Tangletown Gardens yesterday. For those of you who are linguists, Tangletown means super-fricking-overpriced in several languages. But it's still a pretty place to go. And, of course, it is across the street from Mecca.

Bids and Turns

-posted by the Sous Blogger

Wow. Is it ever fun to have a command performance and cheering from the crowds. I feel so *wanted* - which, in case you didn't read the whole article in the NYTimes magazine a few weeks ago (and I know for sure at least one of you didn't) is exactly what turns women on. That may or may not be of interest to the readership in general.

I've been thinking for quite a while about the work of John Gottman, and how some of his ideas relate to blogkeeping. Gottman is the psychologist who was featured in Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink." He and his wife Julie work at the University of Washington doing research and clinical work on marriage and partner relationships. His undergrad degree was in math, and he's also a really good clinical therapist. So, in a field of generally crap research, he's a rare commodity who knows how to design a valid research protocol *and* do good therapy. They study couples, but they're interested in creating a science of relationships, and I really think their work generalizes to all human interactions in a very rich way.

They believe that intimacy is skill-based and behavioral, therefore teachable and learnable. It comes from a million small moments of mindful connectedness - call and response. Gottman reminds us that good relationships are really just one long conversation.

A bid is any small request for connection. A turn is how the other person responds. Bids can be spoken, or gestured, or written. The corresponding turn can complete a nice loop (turn towards), drop the ball (turn away), or harm the connection (turn against). The sweetest relationships are built on a rolling series of positive bids and turns.

To do this requires emotional intelligence. Another hero of ours, Daniel Goleman, was asked to give a one-sentence definition of EI, and said this: "Emotional intelligence is the ability to have an accurate hunch about what it's like to be the other person, and to act on it."

For a long time I've thought that blogging is a very fun series of bids - each post becomes a bid. Part of what has made it so good here is that there have been turns, too, and that's a hard thing to accomplish in a blog. The sparks ignite and we all feel part of something when the commenters start commenting to each other, and the authors pretend to arbitrate, and so on. That cascade creates community and connectedness and everybody has a better day as a result.

Uh oh. I was going to write much more, and certainly much better, but I have to go play F, F# and G in the handbell choir in 52 minutes, and that means getting in the shower right this instant. I'll be back.

***************

Later that same day . . .

OK, I'm back from bells. I'd say I held my own on two out of three tunes, and completely unraveled during the last one. Oh well. No more bells until fall.

And now back to me.

I have loved the limerick contests here at G40 - I think maybe we took the blog form (and the limerick form) to a higher level. I learned that I can crank out 4-6 crappy limericks in ten minutes by thinking up three words that rhyme and then back-filling with other nonsense, plus two more other-rhyming words. This results in quantity, but no quality. For the really good stuff, you have to turn to the work of everyone else who's ever stopped in here.

What I'm the happiest about is that I got to be here on the front end of creating and defining the role of sous-blogger. We invented it together, and it became more fun than I could have imagined. When the complete history of the Internet is written, (probably by a robot named iGoogle06724) this will be the first place to make use of sous blogging.

*****************

Stephanie, I apologize for not starting a contest to name the next blog, because it was a really good idea. I was overwhelmed with The Caring and The Extreme Irritation all week, and didn't have time to go rogue.

In these waning hours, I'm suggesting that it's not too late to post your ideas here. My favorite, which I didn't invent, is Made Up Mind, and I offer it for your consideration.

Others?

- Deb, signing off

5.30.2009

Say it with me . . . .

Sous! Sous! Sous! Sous! Sous! Sous! Sous!

I think we can all agree that we need—one last time—to hear pearls of wisdom from our dear and much-tolerated Sous Blogger.

5.29.2009

Summer is a-comin' in

Lunch with Vollen boys @ Stella's rooftop.

When the bee stings

Things I will not miss about my recent college experience:

1. 20-year-old women dressed like frumpy whores
2. Small group work during class (code for the prof would like a break, so uses this lame pedagogical tic and tries to convince us that she is developing our critical thinking chops. Bull. Shit.)
3. Not playing the piano during a certain hour of the week you'd think I would be playing the piano.
4. The way the practice rooms smell like moldy armpits.
5. The wait for the computers to log in the basement computer lab.
6. The walk to my car against the wind on a freezing/snowy/stormy/rainy day after class.
7. Night classes (never. again.)
8. Moist hegemony
9. Unclear syllabi
10. The commuter center
11. Science
12. Taking, rather than teaching, some classes
13. The whining of the kiddies (some may find this ironic)
14. The Hamline Plan

5.28.2009

End times

I've been thinking about how empty and meaningless your lives are going to be without this blog, and now some of you are even threatening me with harm should I shut it down (and let's be clear: I AM shutting it down). One mean lady (she's essentially French and can't help it) intimated that I alone will be responsible for world hunger if I quit producing this blog. Another has said that he's likely to turn to meth without my blog to read. Okay, he didn't actually say that, but I think it's likely.

Here's my best advice. Read. A. Book.

As it should be

Even though it's been almost two years, I know that the earth is returning to its regular orbit because this morning I started piano lessons again with Stephanie. Yay for me! Those of you who know things that I have judiciously kept out of this blog know that this is a Very. Good. Thing.

No more recital music. All new repertoire, some of which is still under consideration.

So happy.

5.26.2009

Raindrops on roses

In the waning days of Going40, I thought I'd start a list of my favorite parts of the last two years. I'll add to this post as I think of things, so check back every. possible. minute.

1. Walking across campus on a beautiful day
2. Learning, or starting to learn, German
3. Big, cheap blueberry muffins at Klas
4. Laughing with my classmates
5. NCUR
6. My first semester 4.0
7. My second semester 4.0
8. Prof K
9. Writing
10. Checking for comments on Going40
11. Turning 40
12. The nap after the Twin Cities marathon
13. Discovering Oceanaire
14. My mother's wedding
15. Facebook
16. The orange quilt from my father
17. Triumphing, in a half-hearted way, over the adversity that is math
18. Liberty Frozen Custard
19. Tom (see comments)
20. Limericks
21. My partner (who has complained vociferously about his not being on this list yet)
22. Studying on the front porch
23. Learning at an advanced age
24. Having a sous blogger
25. Having a sous blogger who's all the boss of me
26. 376263
27. Access to all of Minnesota's college libraries
28. Searching journal articles online (students have it SO easy today)
29. Writing papers (good ones, damit)
30. Self-righteous indignation over my linguistics grade
31. Deciding that magna cum laude reflects both achievement and a full life, while summa represents unattractive single-mindedness
32. Alex Ross
33. My blogging buddies: WG, Squab, Meema, eWAC, Catchup, Lass, Ln, Native
34. English department courses

5.25.2009

To sum up

The festivities are finally over. A brief summary:

1. Recital: very fun. I'm pleased with the results, the crowd, the afterglow, and of course, my outfit. Seriously, it was quite a good experience.

2. Family: my mother and her husband, my father and partner, and both sisters came to attend all or part of the festivities. We all had a wonderful weekend together, and I'm grateful for their presence (and unnecessarily and unexpectedly, their presents).

3. Commencement: I can't lie. Crossing that stage is something I will never, ever forget. Ceremonies are boring, and this one was no exception, but corny as it may be, putting on that cap and gown and gold tassle meant something. I was proud to graduate, and to graduate magna cum laude with a 3.859 GPA.

4. My partner: Along with my friends, Eric was an amazing support through all this, not just the weekend, but the last two years. Enough so that now he's sick as a dog, trying to recover from strep throat.

How do I know this is all really over? I spent part of today choosing new piano repertoire and researching grad school programs.

5.24.2009

Perfect planter redux

This year I want a concrete planter. Preferably for a lot less than
three hundred bucks.

A Sunday tour of garden centers

5.23.2009

The Story of It

There was a time—remember that time?—when you missed out on something important. You didn't achieve what you wanted, or you tried to do something that didn't work out. The experience stung, but you forgot about It and moved on. Or maybe you resolved to fix It right away, and did. Or maybe you put It away (It was only a little black speck of a thing anyway), giving It a little space.

It was an annoyance, but It resided in the back of your mind, that little speck, with your other neglected memories, long-solved problems, and discarded plans.

For some of you, It was content back there, along for a ride, not causing you many problems. But for the rest of you, It morphed; no longer a simple annoyance, It began to take up more than its fair share of space, intruding on the rest of your life, becoming untenable, a hostile invader.

At some point, It demanded action. With so much time gone by, satisfying It was no easy matter. It demanded tenacity, even a bit of cleverness. But you'd been around long enough to know that you could take care of It. And you did. When you had finished It, you were amazed at how brightly It shone; It gleamed in the sun, catching the light just so.

After all your friends congratulated you on your accomplishment, It took up residence in that space that had been waiting for It. It could't begin to fill up all the space you had created for It.

But It was content, and as time went by, It grew: not too much, certainly not out of proportion to its importance, but filling out that empty space quite nicely. And even better, that ungainly space—with time and inattention—receded, until It and that space were one, inseparable and satisfying.
Happiness is the color orange.

My family is removed from the festivities.

Proud to be a Piper

James M. Lawson, Jr. receiving an honorary doctorate.

Procession

Lining up

I'm #261

A normal Saturday

Coffee, puppy tails from Isle Bun, a walk with the dog, a college diploma. Boring.

5.22.2009

You know what's cool?

So many things, but among the attendees tonight, there were several parents with small children in attendance. Some brought kids, others arranged for babysitters, or juggled with another parent. Whatever they did, it was a lot of work, on a school night, and I'm so grateful. My life is so easy. Anne and Angie and Christian and Heather and Mark and Caytie and Marcela and Elise and anyone I'm forgetting because it's late and I've had a lot of not-so-innocent punch: I admire you!

About to take a bow


As fun as it is to liveblog, it turns out the people with real cameras get better pictures. I'm extending my sous blogger agency and adding photos from Angie and Eric.

I love these pictures.

(And I'm glad The Chef understands the auteur-like nature of my work here.)

-posted by the Sous Blogger

During the encore


I took no photos until the encore, when it seemed like it wouldn't be back luck or bad manners.

- posted by the Sous Blogger

5.21.2009

Confident at the half

Though I am such a baby I started crying at the end of the Chopin, I
was so relieved it was over.

[typos courtesy of iPhone]

7:30 PM



- posted by the Sous Blogger
- photo credits to Angie

7:26 pm



A small portion of the large audience is pictured here, synchronizing their iPhones.

- posted by the Sous Blogger

Live blogging recital

Just kidding! But I am backstage and just heard Eric laugh, so I'm
relieved that someone is here. See you after.

[typos courtesy of iPhone]

Limerick deadline extended

Per many suggestions the new deadline will be Saturday May 23, 4:00pm.

[typos courtesy of iPhone]

Ready to go


Even my outfit (Chanel, naturally) is pressed and waiting.

5.20.2009

Oops

I think I accidentally aced my last final. All done. I actually got
goosebumps walking away from campus.

[typos courtesy of iPhone]

One. Last. Final.

5.18.2009

Overheard greeting o' the day

Barista: How are you doing?
Customer: Livin' the dream.

Feelin' good from my head to my shoes

So here's the thing. It's a gorgeous day out. I just played the HELL out of my piano jury. I have a lot of work ahead of me this week, but you know what? I've decided (drumroll, please) that being an uptight J is not going to help me this week. If I don't enjoy this week, it's going to be over and I will have missed it. I have been waiting for this week for N-I-N-E-T-E-E-N years. I can study for my finals and take them, understanding that I'll probably do fine, may do super, and in the end it's not going to matter all that much. I can continue to practice and fine-hone my programme (I'm British), understanding that I'm going to have a supportive, eager audience that wants to hear me play well. AND I get to see almost all of my family this week. AND I get to graduate from college. AND I have the most supportive spouse in the universe.

No sarcasm here. Just a bit of pop psychology to start the week. So there.

5.17.2009

Fortified for the week ahead

Tonight's dinner:

Smoked Trout Mousse

Asparagus and Gruyere Bread Pudding

Salad of Green Beans, Asparagus, Peas, and Baby Garden Greens with Creme Fraiche Lemon Viniagrette

Navarin of Lamb with Ramps, New Potatoes, Carrots, and Snap Peas

Hot from the oven Berenbaum butter rolls

French Laundry Lemon Tart with Whipped Cream, Honey, and Mascarpone

Not at a restaurant. Right here at home, made collaboratively with friends. We are full, and we are sated, and we. are. ready.

5.15.2009

Clarification

Some have suggested (okay, one, and that was the underworked sous blogger), that I might enjoy law school next. I told her, and I tell you now, that I immediately thought of three things I would enjoy more than law school.

1. Pulling out all my fingernails
2. Working with heavy machinery at a tool and die (or dye, as I originally wrote)
3. Vaginal intercourse

Speaking to the board

Is fun. We were all awesome. I totally want to testify at a
congressional hearing next.

[typos courtesy of iPhone]

5.14.2009

Triumph des Menschengeistes

As I write this, I am moved by the profound coincidence that one week from this very moment, overwhelming applause still ringing in my ears, I will sit down at the piano in Sundin Hall to begin my senior recital (only nineteen short years after the first time that was supposed to happen, for those keeping score at home). It seems appropriate, what with things wrapping up and all (and yes, that includes Going40, which goes away May 31), to reflect back as only our fair readership can. That's right, it's LIMERICK TIME! Our final limerick contest. Your poems should be appropriate to the times (but please, nothing too congratulatory; I'm just a simple country boy). The prize will be glorious, the judge astute and eminent. The contest ends at 6:59pm, Thursday, May 21 (at which points your butts had better be in their seats at Sundin Hall—there are, by the way, very few excused absences being offered).

Limerickten Sie!

Continuing the countdown

No more biology classes, ever ever again (we'll just pretend next week's final doesn't exist). As a sign of my commitment to the subject, I've already sold back my books. Tomorrow I'll presenting to the Board of Trustees, with Prof K and two other student researchers, a summary of my research. Giving me five minutes and a free microphone in front of the Board is not one of Prof K's most prudent decisions. She should be scared.

What's left? Here's the schedule:

Monday, 9:49am. Piano Jury
Tuesday, 10:00am, German Final; 12:15p Final recital runthrough
Wednesday, 7:45am Biology Final (the answers, by the way, are a. biodiversity; b. endemism; c. keystone species; and d. albedo effect)
Thursday, 7:30pm, I can't remember exactly, but it involves a new outfit
Friday, Not One Damn Thing.
Saturday, 11:30am Commencement

5.13.2009

Does anyone else think

that I'm a bit much? I mean, really, how much psychic space should my recital and impending graduation be taking up in everyone's lives, or even in my own? It's all I can fricking think about. I'm so sorry to be such a burden to you all. Fear not, it will all be over soon.

5.12.2009

I am thankful that . . .

. . . I never have to go to another biology lab for the rest of my life, forever and ever. Amen.

5.11.2009

Goodness (detail)

A rare bit of cheery news

Hello,

As my trusty sous blogger has indicated, things have been a bit, um, hectic. But the good news is that I have been officially cleared for commencement as of this morning (there had been a hold up with some transfer credits). A very big WHEW.

Onward.

5.10.2009

Update from the Sous Blogger

It's been a little thin around here, hasn't it? Even I (the sous blogger) have been somewhat off duty, what with trying to stay in business, and maximizing a trip to Boston for a conference and some goofing off, and s-l-o-w-l-y learning to cook. They had a little add-on at the conference about the Enneagram, which has a large cult following, sort of like the Myers-Briggs. I found out that I'm a 2 ("the giver") with a 3 wing ("the achiever"), and The Blogger is a 9 ("the peacemaker") with a 1 wing ("the perfectionist"). It seems a little more astrology-like than the MBTI, but maybe that's just because it's new to me.

I did actually see The Blogger Himself In Person this week. He played very well at piano club Thursday night. I bought a little bio-feedback thingy when I was in Boston, and we all tried playing piano while it was monitoring stress levels. Details of this experiment will be reported at another time, due to HIPAA regulations. I can tell you, though, that his programme for the recital is so beautiful, and the music he's finding in it is so rich, you're out of your mind if you don't cancel the rest of your life in order to attend.

Thursday, May 21, 7:30 PM.
Sundin Hall on the Hamline campus.

In other news, His hair is longer than I've seen it ever, except in pictures from junior high, which makes it look darker than I'm used to. I surreptitiously studied it a little, and have full confidence that the dark is due to the length, and not the result of some man-made product. (However, you should drop everything in order to see Eric's hair this coming Tuesday night.)

The biggest stressor for Him has been the conceptualization, planning, and acquisition of performancewear, and I'm happy to report that yesterday represented a huge success in that area. The remaining concerns are: tasteful splash of pocket square color, yes or no?, and can we get Sundin Hall repainted a tasteful warm white in the next ten days? As you can well understand, a *lot* of brain time and energy is going into these last details. And oh by the way, classes, labs, papers, finals, piles of work, blah, blah, blah.

I suppose, for the sake of full disclosure, I should add that He's had a migraine every day this week due to His delicate nature, and is pretty much just living on Imitrex.

As you probably know, He's a Myers-Briggs J (INFJ, actually) and his J-ness is craving completion. Craving. Catastrophically. Ready to explode. I am a P, and my P-ness points out once again that finishing this chapter is about stamina and time management. He's hurtling to the finish line, which is rushing toward him at the speed of light.

Over and out.

. . .heh. heh. heh. she said P-ness. . .

- posted by the Sous Blogger, on behalf of the Blogger Himself

5.07.2009

Full circle

My oral presentation is in the same room where I cut my collaborative
research teeth. So super duper special. I kind of sucked at the honors
recital. Fine.

5.06.2009

Whirling dervish

Oh, hello. To Bemidji. Funeral. Back from Bemidji. Way too much work. Practice piano. A million other things. Blah.
Tomorrow, no class. It's Honors Day. I will play in the Honors Recital. One movement from the Ravel Sonatine. Four minutes and done.
Then, I give my NCUR presentation one more time. For all of you unable to make it to LaCrosse (which was, let's face it, all of you), here's a great excuse to skip out of work and listen to some academic-speak. It promises to be hegemonorrific. And more than a little moist.

Because I know you won't want to miss it:

Multidisciplinary Scholarship Panel Presentation
Session II: 3:15-4:30 p.m.
Giddens/Alumni Learning Center, Room 106W

In addition to my presentation, the other panelists will include:
a. “About Me": Self Disclosure on the Social Networking Site, Facebook - A Cross Cultural and Cross Gender Content Analysis
b. Robots, Pilots, and the Endless Waltz of Battle: Examining Japanese Postwar Historical Consciousness through the Mecha Anime Genre
c. Dystopian Film: The Paradox of Critical Entertainment

Good stuff, all.

5.02.2009

A bar with a view

Moto-i, in our neighborhood. I don't particularly like Sake, and Moto-I's food is eh, but I'll be happy to sit and have a gin and tonic on a sunny afternoon, enjoying the view.

Gay gay


Eric didn't want to be the only one at the derby party without a hat.

4.30.2009

Draconian laws

I dutifully turned left.

Die Blumen

If only Drew Science Hall (behind the flowers, where I'm about to take
an exam) was half so appealing.

Bring it

Day one.

4.29.2009

Jesus feels better with a Persian rug in the den


He doesn't, however, feel so good that I left my SA fountain soda tumbler in the photo. There's another one (rug, not soda, and no they don't match because that would be gross) by the piano. And there's a third one crying piteously that I left it behind. I may have to rectify that. It was also fun to see one of the original Wayzata estates, built in 1929.

One for the ladies who love the ladies

From xkcd:


This morning's blog prolificacy, by the bye, is NOT about piano practice avoidance. It is about German grammar review avoidance. Very different animals.

Lame lame

One of Hamline's most pathetic entities is the Office of Commuter Connections. This is Hamline's attempt to make its increasingly non-resident students feel welcome and loved. The commuter lounge is in a dark, unattractive basement (having been kicked out of newly remodeled prime real estate in the library earlier this year), and serves absolutely no purpose. Every so often the office, in an attempt to justify its existence, offers superfun events. Today's special doings include "guess what's in the jar and win a $15 gas card." Woohoo! But, even better (sit down before you read this, because it is soooo exciting):
We will also have board games and amazing snacks like Doritos, Wheat Thins, Lays barbeque chips, baked Lays, Oreos, Ritz Bitz, and a lot more!!
I. Can. Hardly. Wait.

Something's coming

When I woke up yesterday morning, something had changed. I had been waiting for it, and knew that it would hit soon, but was unsure exactly when. A very precise but hard-to-define feeling: as of yesterday, everything I do is about performing my recital. It's almost a physical sensation. Chores and studying and work are either an irritating interruption or welcome distraction from practicing. If I'm online I'm either avoiding the piano or taking a well-deserved break. If I'm not thinking about the music itself, I'm humming or mindlessly tapping it on my knee. I'm very inwardly focused, which makes me seem rude and selfish (some of you might not note much of a difference). I'm reminded a bit of a certain skier/triathlete I know, the morning of a race. Except—lucky Eric—I'm still more than three weeks away from the event.

4.28.2009

What to wear?

What does one wear when the performance space, while acoustically
suberb, features teal upholstery, neo-something columns, and past-its-
prime-salmon walls? Surely I can't be the only one fretting about this.

Things I'd rather do than attend bio lab today

1. Practice the piano
2. Eat a decent lunch
3. Anything

4.27.2009

Bulldog makes it all better

Stinky dog and tots

It's official

I have senioritis. I have zero interest in learning anything. I am irritated by the pathetic pedagogical attempts of every teacher I have ever had, and particularly those I have now (no offense). I resent all homework, every exam, each moment I must spend looking up some lame word or term. I hate the time it takes to log on a computer at the library. I hate the way the worker's glove looks condensed with moisture at the Klas snack bar. I want to burn all my textbooks. I hate the humid, musty, neglected smell of the music building. I hate all the handmade posters on butcher paper on the railings of every building for dance team tryouts, choir concerts, and student government involvement. I want to be a normal adult, with normal problems. I want nothing to do with children who think the fall of the Berlin Wall coincides with the civil war and the alleged birth of Christ. In short: I. Am. Done.

Except for that I'm not.

4.25.2009

RIP


Bea Arthur, 1922-2009

Never say Going40 doesn't have eclectic taste.

4.23.2009

Form, meet function


Humble materials, basic design, but a great result. These are littered about the courtyard of a new apartment building near us; Viggo and I stopped to admire during our warm, windy walk.

4.22.2009

A review

Mozart concert arias are so. boring.

4.20.2009

Triptych

Kitchen counter detail, Still Life with Bowls and Unsightly Cords


Kitchen counter, upon our return this evening


The responsible party


Nothing broken, and nothing in the bowls in the first place. Just a very curious, very smart, very bad dog.

Why am I the last person on earth to know everything?

Like, for instance, that I love the webcomic xkcd.

4.18.2009

Too much?

This seems like a LOT of incense. Thanks to Doppelgänger for the alert.


And, exhale

Yes, the trip was great, but home is way better.

I heart LaCrosse

This morning, I made it my mission to support the economy of downtown LaCrosse until I can return. Grabbed an au lait at Grounded Specialty Coffee, then breakfast (again) at Fayze's. I stumbled into Leithold's Music, which has been in business since the late 1800's (and looks it). A community band was rehearsing in the basement, and I perused obscure scores, the likes of which I haven't seen since shopping in Chicago several years ago. Weird. I got 50% off original prices (and some of those original prices were from the 1980s) on piano and organ music by Wallingford Riegger, Robert Casadesus, Ron Boud, Jan Bender, William Bates, Donald Busarow, Adrian Self, Noel Goemanne, and a kickass suite of compositions by Flor Peeters arranged for harpsichord and chamber organ, which Doppelgänger and I will someday perform. Then it was off to Dale Street Clothing, one of those odd stores, like a clothing store we like in Fargo, that has all sorts of cool stuff you don't expect to see in a smaller market. Three shirts and a jacket later (again, 50% off), I headed to Pearl Street Books and picked up works by Oliver Sacks and Truman Capote. Finally, I ran into friends at Pearl Street Confectioners, where I knew I'd need to procure Eric some candy, and ended up getting ice cream with them, for the third time this trip. I will come rolling home shortly. This trip has been great fun.

Where's my book?

If I am reading this correctly, Going40 would have a book deal by now if my readership worked harder. Get on that.

4.17.2009

Our Queen

Self-declared. This is the chosen design for our NCUR flag. We are
going to hike up a bluff tomorrow morning and plant it in a castle
that someone saw above campus. Don't ask. Things have degenerated
quite a bit.

Hangin' with my peeps

Acoustic night at the Root Note. A couple Hamline guys are about to
play.

An intimate dinner for 37

The Hamline kiddies, faculty, and I are all having dinner tonight, on
Hamline's dime. We are laughing a lot, and Prof K just ate an entire
bloomin' onion. Good times.

[typos courtesy of iPhone]

NCUR art exhibit

Cyanotype on cotton

My European vacation

I'm touring churches on my walk to campus. St. Joseph the Workman
Cathedral, built in 1962. Kind of stunning in a Wisconsin kind of way.

4.16.2009

This was $2.50

And homemade, and like Grand Old Creamery.

And this

1 presentation + listening to 11 others =

Still in session

I'm getting academic papered out.

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It went well

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And scene

NCUR Presentation

I'll be presenting in just over an hour. I've only managed to re-edit my presentation about 47 times, but I think I'll be okay. You can follow along with the admittedly eclectic visual aids at Everyone's a Critic.

Good morning, boys and girls

It's been quite the adventure thus far, here in LaCrosse. I decided to walk to the university last night to register, using the if-I-were-a-university-in-a-medium-sized-town-where-would-I-be method. So instead of walking 1.6 miles, I walked about 3.5. Now I rely on the shuttles.

This is a crazy operation. Very organized: tote bags, water bottles, presentation books, schedules, signage everywhere, and so forth. Which is appropriate, given that 2,500 of us are presenting over three days. Someone is making a killing on this racket.

I spent most of last night holed up in my room, editing my presentation, and creating a visual representation to show via blog whilst I'm dropping the pears of wisdom. I'll link to that later (don't want to give away the good stuff yet).

Now I'm all dressed up, ready to catch a shuttle to UWLA. I'm going to catch some other presentations before my own at 2:45pm. I will also be posting some of my favorite project titles, because, holy crap, people will research just. about. anything.

Here we go!

4.15.2009

This bar

Is named The Piggy, which is unfortunate, though I hope it means the
pork is good. It could also be named The Cougar, because the clientele
looks they're all here to audition for The Real Housewives of LaCrosse
County. Who knew that silicone was so readily available in this part
of Wisconsin?

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Registration

When I finally get on my computer I'll catch you up. A looong trip to
the Uni to register (because I'm dumb). For now, a nice bar, a glass
of wine, and pulled pork while I review my presentation.

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Welcome to LaCrosse

Hotel is on the waterfront. I must find wifi.

It's really pretty here

Ten miles out.

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Entering Cannon Falls

My journey is your journey.

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So far, bored

Most of the kids are in the back of the bus. Very quiet close to the
front. I've already been annoyed by an earnest conversation about
literary theorists. I should have brought a People magazine.

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Riding the bus (not with my sister)

I can't actually believe this is happening, but I am at the starting
point of a four day college trip. NCUR 2009 (where N stands for nerd;
and yes Prof K, I include myself in that category). I'll do my best to
bring you the highlights. There may be some lowlights, too. But for
now, all aboard the Northfield Lines charter.