Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Work email from the archives.

I'm deleting about a hundred messages a day from my work email account, because it's slow on the upload. I used to house over 2,000 messages, but I'm trying to get it down to 500 or so. Here's a gem I found (font in tact from original):


From: Justin de la Cruz
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 2:29 PM
Subject: Teaching award binder update.


Please ignore my last email to you.

I just noticed that the grade distribution and syllabi information have to date back to Fall 2002 for the distinguished teaching award binder. I have attached an updated spreadsheet for the grade totals. I will find your grade distributions for Spring 2005 to Summer 2007. I do not have access to your grades before Spring 2005, so if you could fill out the attachment or give me the data for grades from Fall 2002 to Fall 2004, then I could fill it in for you.

Sorry for the confusion,



Subject: RE: Teaching award binder update.

Thanks Justin. I appreciate your help. I am about to nuts.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blog plug.

Robby's been hitting on some interesting stuff over at his blog, everything is so absurd. You should check it out.

I mean, I like Pandora, dislike Comcast, and see the potential in Google Chrome, too.

Cool pic:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The literary Lebowski.

The Big Lebowski is very high-brow, by the way. If anybody questions the academic merit of it, you can discuss how Oedipal it is (among other things).

One of the major things in Freud's Oedipus Complex is the son wanting to sleep with the mother. Consider when The Dude is introduced to "Mrs. Lebowski" ("Oh, you're Bunny.") -- she immediately offers to do sexual things. He's a Lebowski, she's a Lebowski. But she's married to an older, father figure ("Go get a job, sir!"), so she is at least somewhat introduced as a "mother figure" to The Dude's "son figure."

And then recall how The Dude in fact DOES sleep with another Lebowski -- Maude. Even though this would play into a sort of "sister" in my theoretical setup, there is still much parental tension displayed ("I'm sorry your stepmother is a nympho..." "Please don't call her my stepmother.").

To stretch this aspect a bit more, all The Dude ever wanted was to get his rug back -- a yearning to restore the status of his home ("It really tied the room together") -- possibly a display of getting his parents back together or trying to mend a broken home from his youth.

Another powerful aspect of the Oedipus Complex is displayed through the film's threats of castration -- this was a major part of Freud's theory too. The father would fear that the son would castrate him, in order to render him useless so that the son may take the father's place with the mother figure. The Germans threaten The Dude with castration and The Dude in turn threatens Larry with castration. (Neither of these come from a "son figure" wanting to castrate a "father figure", but the mere inclusion of the threats ties it in together with Freud.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rambling: On Music.

Sometimes I find myself falling in love with music again. Not specific tunes or albums, just the concept. That hackneyed statement that every human civilization/society that we've ever known about had music in it. Singing, instruments.

"Music: What the fuck?"

This happened today as I was driving around town, listening to Morrissey's Vauxhall and I full blast. I remember that it took me a while to get into this album. I just skipped to "Billy Bud" and "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get." But I really like all of it now.

So this magical pondering of music infiltrated my afternoon... until I made the mistake of watching this:

What the hell is up with Jethro Tull? I think (once I find the disc space) I'm going to download this whole album (which is just the one song performed above, but 40 minutes longer) and just listen to it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Boring day at work.

I wrote this after a long, boring day at work. I think I might be slipping. (Click to see larger.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Forest for the Trees.

I'm currently reading Betsy Lerner's The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers and the first half was very engaging. It was all about writers' personalities and finding the muse and all that. Lot of great quotes, lot of great anecdotes -- the lady worked for 10 years as a book editor and now works as a literary agent for authors.

I'm also reading The Iliad, which is less engaging, to say the least.

Google Calendar!

I've gotten an overwhelming response to my Google calendar for work. Two others I work with have already asked me about helping them to organize and publish a calendar for their own purposes. I will gladly do so.

I'm so ingrained with Google, it's almost scary. Many of my friends find it scary. They think Google will turn evil, will steal my information, will steal my identity, and I'll be left in the trash heap of the internet. I'm not so concerned. I'm young and trusting and able to bounce back.

My next work project will be toying around with starting a blog for the office. It wouldn't be for official updates, no, but for something more mundane: I get TONS of emails from email listservs and I just don't want to hang on to them. I figure I might just forward all the potentially useless information I get to a blog (one can publish posts via email) and just save things that way and delete all this junk from my inbox. Because as soon as I start purging messages, be sure that will be the day someone asks me: "Do you know when that speaker is coming? Do you know what his topic will be?"

I'm unsure if this will be a useless venture.

(And although Google Calendar is a great tool, I have yet to utilize it for my personal purposes. I might find that I need a personal calendar sometime, but I'd rather keep things bouncing around in my noggin for now.)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chrome-colored lenses.

Oh my goodness. It's so fast. I can feel the power surging through my fingertips. It's like the Matrix (1).

Since I mostly just use Google applications when I'm online, I figured the smartest thing would be to use the Google browser (G00GCHROME -- THROW SOME Ds ON IT). And this is the smartest thing they could have worked on. And it's the best thing since FireFox. Sure, it will take adjusting, as any great thing does. But it's great, and if you don't believe me, read this:

"It's great."