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Showing posts from April, 2013

Gardening and the afterlife.

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I will preface this by saying that I'm sorry, but anyone who lays down non-biodegradable stuff in their flowerbeds, be it landscape fabric or rubber mulch or whatever, is hereby barred from whatever pleasant afterlife there may be. You forfeit your ticket, sir or madam. Off the bus with you, and don't let me catch your kind around here again! *shakes begrimed fist*

So. We have a front flowerbed by our walk that shows that at one point, previous owners of the house tried to do something to it. It's got edging and once had bushes and part of it is (badly) covered in rock but hasn't been maintained cause there are weeds growing through it. I tried last year to do something with the bigger part of it, but all I managed to do was get rid of the tall unsightly weeds, allowing short unsightly weeds to grow instead. This is not a significant improvement. I had thought I'd mulch and plant things, only to discover that the previous owners laid down landscape fabric and the…

Emails and efficiency

Thanks to my students, I learned that you can set up your unread emails to show up apart from and above your read emails in gmail (why yes, I am late to the party, where should I put my coat?). Having something like 4k+ unread emails in my box that have accrued over the years (primarily because I am both lazy and, on the occasions where I felt like getting rid of them, too damn easily overwhelmed to pick them out from the rest), I decided I should adopt this since it would let me find them easily. Sure enough, two days later, I have no unread emails in my inbox. Woo hoo!

It's not like all of these were important emails, mind you. Lots of them are store mailing lists that I want to stay on because I occasionally find something useful (but often don't). As I was clearing them out, though, it went fine back to 2011, and then jumped precipitously to 2008... and that was suddenly hard. I didn't have a lot of old spammy emails from back then; they were notifications from my son&…

Recharging.

It's been a long semester -- not just for me, but for everyone, I think. I haven't heard anyone anywhere say "oh, this spring was a blast." My school workload isn't even as heavy as it has been in semesters past, and I'm still just trying to hold on a few more days. There are a number of factors that play into this, really, and I won't get into them all here. Suffice it to say that I at least partly did this to myself, and partly had this done through things that were good but largely unavoidable, and partly had the hell week that everyone else had with more death and destruction and sadness than anyone should experience, and that led to this weekend's personal shutdown.

See, this weekend was THATCamp Games, a conference on game design and education being held at my university. I was really looking forward to this and wanted to go a lot. At the same time, between my introvert nature and the autism sensory/anxiety stuff ramping up like a reactor that l…

There are days...

Things are good these days. I have a wonderful relationship, a husband who cares for me even when I'm cranky and a touch on the chemically irrational side of things, good friends, and a degree program that's going well. My house is in good shape even if it does need a bit more care than I can give it the next three weeks. I have food and clothes and my car works and my kids are healthy and happy and my parents and brother are all well. No one has been blown up or swept off to Oz. My life is measurably better in pretty much every way here than it had been for a really long time.

Despite all this, there are things I miss.

I miss driving to the top of my hill in Seattle in the morning and gazing off at the misty Olympic mountains on the other side of the Sound, with the Cascades in my rear view mirror.

I miss the green chile tuna melts at the Columbia City Ale House, with a glass of hard cider to go with it.

I miss the green chile in Albuquerque altogether. 

I miss the scent of …

Conversations about conversation

One of the courses I'm taking this semester is Discourse Analysis, not because I felt it had a tremendous amount to do with what I want to study, but because I think it's important to have a varied intellectual toolbox and it's something I'd kind of been interested in, in a roundabout way. For those who haven't encountered it before, discourse analysis is a practice that pulls from a bunch of different humanities disciplines and looks at all manner of discourse, which is basically any information transferred between people (media, laws, emails, forms, recordings of conversation, non-fiction, fiction, discourse represented in drama, corporate texts, PR docs, etc.). It does so to find patterns and determine what the discourse is actually doing, along with what it says it's doing, and figure out how it accomplishes that end.

As with all classes, there has to be an end project, and DA's end project is a piece of discourse analysis. I had a hard time choosing an…