Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mid-November Blahs

In general, I really do enjoy Fall, but I hate that feeling I always get in mid-November as the semester is madly rushing towards an end, deadlines are quickly approaches, and the Holidays are just around the corner.

How about those elections!?! For the first time in, oh let's say eight years, I'm very happy with the results. Despite all the current economic woes and war, there's a feeling of optimism for so many of us who believe that things can, and more importantly, *should* be better. Of course, there are those who are doing their best to delegitimize the man before he even takes office, but I refuse to let those voices shaken my faith that we will finally be on the right path.

However, despite the excitement with the presidential election, I'm still very disheartened and disgusted that all the anti-gay legislation passed in every state that had a proposition on the ballot (anti-gay marriage laws in California, Arizona, and Florida, and let's not forget the hateful law in Arkansas that prevents gays from adopting children or becoming foster parents). Really what pisses me off with those who are so anti-gay marriage is that it is really none of their damn business. Here's a little bit of advice, assholes: don't like gay marriage, well then don't marry a homosexual. It's really quite simple. And what's this crap preventing gays from adopting or fostering children? Really? With so many children in need of loving homes, why deny a child the chance to live and grow up in a loving environment. State endorsed hatred and bigotry, reinforced by the religious nuts, has got to come to an end. This is a civil rights issue. How many years ago was it when interracial marriage was illegal? Were the same arguments about preserving the integrity of the American family used? Yeah, I thought so.

Oh, spare me the bit where marriage is a religious institution. If that's the case, how come my brother was married by a judge in a civil ceremony? Is he any less married? It's semantics, and I can guarantee you that the same religious institutions that that flocked together to spread their bigotry against gay marriage would raise the same fuss against gay civil unions. And really, how convenient is it to hide behind your religious convictions to spread your hate and intolerance?

Well, if there's one thing we should have learned from History by now is that the majority never willingly gives up power and rights to the minority--they have to be fought for. I'm personally tired of seeing a majority decide what civil rights a minority can have. It's time for people to start to get really pissed off if we want to see any change in the future.

I know I'm pissed off, are you?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Time flies by....

Wow, it's been a while since I've updated this thing. I suppose I should get off my lazy butt and post something. Sadly, there really isn't that much to post. The Fall semester started off with a mad rush and hasn't slowed down at all. I'm teaching two sections of an intermediate French literature and culture course. The nice thing about this class is that it's only open to Freshmen--ah, fresh minds to corrupt. Seriously, it's nice to teach students who want to take a French class, unlike the regular language courses that are filled up with students who only want to take the class to get the requirement out of the way. By the end of last Spring, I really wanted to bang my head against the wall.

What else is new? Hmmm....I quit my job at the pet store where I was working over the summer. I had wanted to stay there at minimal hours during the school year, but the bullshit quotient quickly became too high and I decided it was time to leave the drama behind me. For the record, I really hate picking up the slack and cleaning up other people's messes--not acceptable!

The thesis is going along. I'm making good progress on it and I'm happy with how it's going.

And just because I can, here are some pics of my babies:

Singe staring at the fish tank:

And Siam looking all photogenic:

One tired baby, although it does look like he's laughing hysterically:

And finally, a pic of the two boys together--I think Singe is flipping me off:

I can't get over how big Si is getting...and how fast! All the little guy does is eat and poop, eat and poop. He eats over twice as much as Singe, and the automatic litter box is working overtime.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Meet Siam

Well, since Singe is super nuts and absolutely crazy, I decided to add to his neuroses and bring home a little 10 week old seal point Siamese kitten. Singe is so emotionally needy that I figured a companion would do him some good. So far, so good. There has been some hissing and growling, but no fur has flown yet. Siam, the new kitty, hasn't quite figured out that Singe doesn't want to play with him.

I started working at a pet store last month in the fish department (3800 gallons of freshwater, 3600 gallons of saltwater). We take in abandoned kittens, and this past weekend, someone brought in this little Siamese. I immediately fell in love with his blue eyes and points, so I brought him home Saturday night.

Here are some pics:

I wish I had other exciting things to add, but I really don't. I'm plugging away on my thesis and working at the pet store.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Here Comes the Rain Again....

Good lord, I never thought I'd say I was sick and tired of the rain after all the snow we had this winter, but it's official, I'm tired of it. Constant rain and thunderstorms equals lots of flooding. In a period of one week, there were 18 confirmed tornadoes in southern Wisconsin (9 one day, nine another). Thankfully they all missed Madison. So, except for a flooded parking lot and periodic power outages, things have been ok.

I realize I haven't updated this blog in ages, but there's really not much to update. I've been working on my thesis and I finally turned in the outline and first chapter to my adviser before the end of the semester. Now I'm working on another chapter detailing magic ('merveilleux') in 12th Century Arthurian literature, and the following chapter will detail how magic in 13th Century Arthurian texts has been sanitized and Christianized. When it first appeared in 12th Century grail quests, the grail was just a mystical serving dish, it wasn't figured as the cup of Christ until Robert de Boron in the early 13th Century. I hope to get another chapter or two done this summer. I also desperately need to find a summer job or I'm going to get awfully hungry next month, haha.

Let's see, in other news, I had an awful red flatworm infestation in my reef tank--it was so disgusting, there were tens of thousands of flatworms covering everything. I tried natural methods, added predators, but they didn't make a dent. So finally, I added some chemicals and I nuked the bastards. Fortunately, I siphoned off as many flatworms as I could, so the toxins from the dying flatworms didn't kill anything. However, the flatworms did smother many of my corals, and I lost many of them. Oh well, nothing like starting out from scratch I guess.

I've been working on my camera, so I got some decent pictures. Here's a random sampling:

Well, that's all for now, I hope to do better in keeping up with this blog. Yeah right, I know, I've said that before. ;-)

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm a Fruit!

You Are a Banana

You are mellow, easy going, and a total softie on the inside.

People find it really easy to get along with you. You suit most tastes.

And while you're very sweet, you're not boring or ordinary.

You have an attraction to the exotic, and you could show up anywhere... doing almost anything!

You are spirited, energetic, and a total kick to be around.

You're also quite funny. Your sense of humor is on the goofy side, and it fits you well.

Well, we already knew that I was a fruit!!! LMAO

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Well, I suppose it's time I update my blog...after all, it's only been a month, lol. Not a whole helluva lot is going on in my life, so there's really not that much to report. I'm on Spring Break this week, which is nice because it gives me the chance to work solely on my own research this week without having to worry about teaching and grading.

I'm playing with the macro lens on camera, and I came up with this picture:

Not too bad, it's not photoshopped or anything. I'm gonna break down and try to sign up for a photography class. My last camera confused me, and it was just a point and shoot digital. I understand the basic concepts behind SLR photography, but putting those concepts into practice is an entirely different ballgame.

So, Tanya, this update is for you! :-)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just Checking In...

Well, I figured it was time for me to check in and make an update. Can I just say that I'm so sick and fucking tired of winter? We've had record snowfall amounts here this winter. We had an ice storm late last night and early this morning before it changed over to a wet/heavy snow. I'm so not looking forward to chipping all ice off my car. I usually bus into campus, so maybe I'll just let the car sit for a few days and let the sun melt some of the ice. I've slipped and fallen a couple of times in my parking lot. I guess salt is hard to come by in these parts (or that's the excuse Maintenance has been giving me all winter).

Ugh, my birthday is next Monday (the 25th)....I'm so not looking forward to it. I know I'm still young in the grand scheme of things, but shit, I feel like I'm 65 in gay years, lol.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First Day is Over

Well, all the fun of a very uneventful break is finally over. The new semester started today and I taught my first class. Jesus Christ, the temperatures here are freezing! I thought my face was going to fall off while I was just walking to the bus stop. When I got home this afternoon, I had to check to make sure that my important bits were still intact, lol.

You just gotta love the first day of class. It doesn't matter that I've taught this class several times, I still get the jitters on the first day. I was so absent-minded today. I forgot my class roster, and I took the wrong textbook with me to class. Fortunately, I didn't need the textbook. Of course, the laptop LCD projector gave me fits, but that's typical. I'm a medievalist, we're not supposed to be gifted with technology.

Ugh, my poor reef tank looks like ass. All this time, money, and effort put into this tank, and I'm not liking what I'm seeing. The fishies are very happy and doing great, but my corals are not doing so well. I had a huge hair algae outbreak this fall that completely covered everything. I gave away a lot of my SPS corals because they weren't looking so great, but then I ended up still losing the ones that were looking great. But, the hair algae has finally subsided, and I just ordered new lightbulbs. Damn, replacing three 400 watt metal halide bulbs isn't cheap! Ouch, that hurt. I'm hoping that the new bulbs will make a difference. I'm also getting the wireless wave controller for my Vortechs, so that'll be a fun toy to play with.

On a related note, I ended up getting two pairs of glasses at the optometrist. They were just running a sale that was too good to refuse. Well, actually, I just got one pair of regular eyeglasses with all the bells and whistles (special thin material, special coatings, etc), then I got a second pair made into prescription sunglasses. Someone stole my last pair of sunglasses because they saw the Armani case. Bastards, I hope they couldn't see straight and walked out into some traffic. I'll keep a closer eye on this pair.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fun is Over!

Well, my winter break officially ended today. I had my course meeting and I have a lot of prep work to do now before I start teaching on Tuesday. I've taught this second semester beginning French course several times (this is #7), but the format has changed a little. I'm very relieved because I was originally placed in a classroom that had no multimedia or laptop projectors, and since this course is built around using all sorts of media, it was going to be a huge PITA to drag all the equipment in every day. Fortunately, my room assignment was changed.

I'm off for an eye appointment here in a little bit. It's time I get some new glasses. I don't think my eyes have worsened any, but it's been a few years since my last exam. Also, I really want/need some new glasses. Hopefully I won't come home with anything too dorky.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Whew...the Holidays are Over!

Well, the Holidays certainly went by quickly this year. I can't really complain since I wasn't in the mood to celebrate them much this year. I guess I had the single man's Grinch attitude this year.

I didn't do much for Christmas this year. I went home to my parents' home in Indiana and stayed there through the New Year. I wanted to come home before New Year's, but I ended up catching a nasty flu, so I stayed a little longer than I had intended. My brother, sister-in-law, and their two kids came home as well, so it was mayhem for a few days. Oh well, the craziness it a part of what makes the Holidays fun. I was also able to hang out with my two best friends from high school and their two kids.

Since returning to Madison, I've done nothing much except work on my thesis (pouring through research). I've also been playing with my Christmas gift to myself: A Canon Rebel XTi digital SLR camera. I got some nice lenses, including a macro lens to get some close up shots. I've never used a SLR camera before, so everything is new to me. Here are a couple of good shots I came up with.

Singe, the psycho kitty looking all cute and demure:

And here's a macro shot of the water outlet siphon on my squamosa clam:

I still got a lot of improvement to make, but it's a start.