Archive for April, 2008

What’s up with the drawer?

April 16, 2008



This is my drawer of short-sleeved shirts. It doesn’t include the t-shirts I wear to the gym. Those at least get a regular look. These I haven’t seen since October or so.

Yes, it is like Christmas. There are a few things that I got right before leaving LA and on a fall trip to Minneapolis that I barely recognize as my own. I’m looking forward to dressing like a version of the person I once was. Although I do still find myself uncertain about what I can wear here while still appearing normal. Scratch that. There’s no way I can appear normal here. I wonder about what I can wear without attracting the wrong kind of aggressive attention.  But I don’t actually believe I can control that either.

Winter has made me miss dressing normally, without layers, without worrying about slush stains, etc. It has also turned me into a person who lowers my car windows when it hits 38º and who has a hard time wearing a jacket when it hits 50º. That’s strange. I was always uncomfortable outside during the coldest times.

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This is my arm on winter. Any questions?

April 15, 2008

My arm hasn’t been this pale in years. Today I opened the drawer where I keep short-sleeved shirts. It has clothing I had forgotten.

Maybe I’m too sensitive.

April 14, 2008


This picture is of my larger class taking an exam today.

The first point of this post is to admit that I’m way too sensitive. I don’t like being in the room with exam nervous energy. They often think I’m joking when I say that; but it does bother me. So I often watch them from outside. That’s why you see the wire in the window. So many institutional buildings have that feature.

The second point of this post is to state my annoyance with people who complain about not knowing things from lecture when they don’t come to lecture. During exams we (the TA and I) see new faces. I’m fine with them not attending as long as they’re willing to accept that their absence brings consequences.

Maybe a third, tangential post is that this room often has random big sticks in the front. Some seem natural, others machined. I don’t know why.

Oh, and a fourth thing that I can’t go without mentioning is that Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man was the first book on the syllabus. The class is in the third level of the basement.

There’s nothing to see here.

April 13, 2008

I think this is a recording of the last show I saw in LA. There’s not enough information on the YouTube clip. And I don’t exactly remember the date. But it was a Wednesday. That seems right. I went to the show with my friend Julie and a friend of hers from school. Yep, school.  All my friends are always after a bit more.  As I said, it was a Wednesday and folks were tired. The thing about that show is that it was filled with working folks, men in those blue shirts with briefcases and women who had just come from someplace and had to get home early for work in the morning. My 8:00 am start time was the latest among our group.  It was a hip hop show for 30-somethings.

Peanut Butter Wolf was doing a show a night for a week. Each show was in a different club. This one was in a place called Little Temple, after the bigger, west side Temple Bar. He was spinning old school hip hop 45s. That probably had a lot to do with the older crowd.

I was told before I moved here that there are no hip hop clubs left, that they’re almost always shut down quickly. So much of the hip hop has to happen on campus. While I’m glad that it does happen on campus, the limitation is frightening. And the idea that most of the shows will be filled with only kids is really odd and quite disheartening.

By the way, the YouTube post is here for a few reasons. One is that I didn’t see anything that I wanted to take a picture of today. Given the errands and attempts at errands from today, my commentary would have been snarky.

There are a few things I’ve seen over the past few days that I haven’t recorded but wanted to.

1. A few days ago I saw Christmas trees on lawns. I know that the organic matter pick up has just begun for the first time since it started snowing in November. But that doesn’t explain where people hid those dead trees. (I couldn’t photograph them because I was driving.)

2. I found myself thinking about my friends Tania and Beau this morning. Then when I went into the student union, I noticed that the cashier had his nails (fingernails) painted a blue/teal color. That reminded me of Beau, who always painted his toenails that color.  The site of the cashier felt especially surprising because the color, and weather nice enough to wear flip-flops, were among the things I was remembering. One doesn’t usually ask to take pictures of a stranger’s hands.

WordPress should have a spot for choosing a mood via multiple choice the way that LiveJournal does. Then all this would be clearer.

local culture

April 12, 2008

This is a free bus that goes around campus then to student family housing. Note the beer wrap. I’ve been here for months and this still strikes me as unusual. I know that my experience has been limited. But in my experience, all the other campuses with buses cover them in school colors.

Oh, and I cheated. I took this picture last week. Today with the rain/snow, I can’t feel motivated enough to leave my nice warm house.

I remember a moment when I thought I might learn to do this.

April 11, 2008

One of my friends, Dawn Smith-Camacho, started the organization shown in the clip, J.U.i.C.E in Los Angeles. It’s a non-profit serving area young people interested in working with and through the various branches of hip hop. At one of my nights there I saw a two-year-old attempting some moves. His mom brought him in when they were passing by. He loved it so much that if she left before the night was over, he cried to be brought back to the church. So she started bringing him every week. It was pretty funny to see a tiny chubby body attempting moves that are usually associated with angles.

That may have also been the night I wandered into the music production part of the workshop and saw one of the members of my dissertation committee, Cheryl Keyes. She worked with the group on some grants and spends time with the board and the participants. It’s all good work.

As you can tell, I’m in a looking back mode.

My subconscious is working undertime.

April 10, 2008

lat machine

Many nights I can’t sleep.  But last night I did.  In my dream I found a new kind of lat machine at the gym. I could see the red muscle highlights on the diagram attached to the contraption.   Maybe that’s a sign that I need to find a new lat machine at the gym.

want want want want want, wah wah wah

April 9, 2008

Scrivener screenshot

I want this software.  I need to update my laptop’s OS  to use it.  I heard about it in a podcast and wanted a disc copy.  The Apple store doesn’t have it.  The last guy I talked to hadn’t heard of it and tried to direct me to a clearly inferior product, one dedicated to a type of writing I don’t do at all.

Scrivener was developed by a writer who wanted the program to suit his needs.  So far, I like what I see.

I’m hoping this will help me with my stress-induced forgetting.  Last week, while in a grocery line, I forgot my PIN.  “When did you remember?” people keep asking.  I haven’t.

that familiar feeling

April 8, 2008

my very own gas station, well not really

Maybe one measure of of this city’s size is that with one exception, every time I bought gas here was at this station, in fact at this very pump.

Oh, and that rain is turning into snow tonight.

a lost life

April 7, 2008

This undergraduate student, Brittany Sue Zimmermann, was murdered in her apartment last Wednesday.

Brittany Sue Zimmermann

These flowers are left over from a memorial service held last night.

memorial service

I don’t have anything useful to say about a murdered 21-year-old.  There are signs up around campus that advise,  among other things “Make eye contact, at least briefly with everyone you  encounter.”