Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


You can stuff your sorries in a sack, Mister!

Filed under : Life in general,Student Life,Travel
On October 29, 2009
At 1:00 am
Comments : 6

Oh hi, I remember this blog! How come no one told me grad school took so much time? I have nothing to tell you after what I’ve just told you (Masters = work) except that it’s officially Thursday which means I leave for Austin tomorrow. Woot! I think I’m ready. I hope I’m ready. I haven’t been to Texas since 2000 and that was San Antonio where I spent approximately 36 hours. There was something there I was supposed to remember. What was that again?

But I’m told Austin is different and weird and since I’m different and weird, I think I’m going to really like it. Oh, and it has bats, which they recommend for Halloween. Beyond my own visits, my chief knowledge of Texas comes from King of the Hill, which is a show I dearly love. Before you say anything, I know that Texas is a big state (they seem to tell you that a lot) and that if someone told me they knew New York City because they’d seen a show about Buffalo, I’d laugh and laugh. Are there shows about Buffalo? Let me know in the comments if there are.

Aside from that, I’m most excited about my new laptop backpack. I sort of made up my mind that I would never use a backpack because… I’m not really sure why, they just seem inelegant. I didn’t even use one in high school or college. But the bag I used to use at work didn’t fit a laptop and the messenger bag TC gave out at Orientation fit a laptop but not much else. So on the days I carried Big Mac to school, I’d carry two bags and that’s been kind of unwieldy. It’s rained a lot here lately and the umbrella was just the final straw on my overloaded scale. And since I never have time to exercise anymore, walking to school has to be it. Try that balancing two heavy bags. Backpack it is.

But I didn’t want one of those generic Jansport dealies or something plain black and boring. So I got this!

Ooooh, purple flowers! I might even forget it’s a backpack.

Title comes from a Seinfeld episode.

Refreshments – King Of The Hill


Yes, yes, only two things on the brain right now

Filed under : Baseball,Student Life
On October 21, 2009
At 10:00 pm
Comments : 9


Anyway, I managed to combine school and baseball tonight with my “Visualization of Instructional Design.” That is, do a PowerPoint (well, now I use Keynote but whatever) illustrating theories of Instructional Design with some other method of visualization.

Here’s how I did it.

(click to enlarge)

The professor said it was, “very unique.” I think that means, “I don’t even know what to think” in academic speak.


Dateline: TC Cafeteria, between classes

Filed under : Baseball,Student Life
On October 19, 2009
At 4:30 pm
Comments : 3


iPod song of the week – Yes

Filed under : iPod Song of the Week
On October 11, 2009
At 11:30 pm
Comments : 3

I’ve always wanted to use Yes for the iSotW but the songs I love are just too long. Even the songs I don’t love are way too long and would use up too much of the memory I’m allocated in the free version of the service I was using. But three things conspired to have me change my mind.

1. They’re in a commercial. You know I hate this, I really do. On rare occasions where it’s a song I don’t often get to hear, I’m momentarily too glad to have that chance to be too angry about it. More often, I am indignant and pissed off. This is one of those times. Yes means a lot to me (more on this later) and hearing their songs pimped for… I don’t know (ha! Take that! I don’t even know what you’re advertising!) just enrages me. All I know is, it’s “I’ve Seen All Good People” and they play it a lot during the baseball playoffs, along with that stupid Avis copy copy copy commercial.

2. I’ve switched away from box dot net to something far easier! It’s Lala is a music “rental” site that allows you to hear any song once and after that, you can pay 10 cents to hear it any time. You can also buy mp3’s at good prices but I can already do that other places. They also allow you to “upload” your own music so the music you already have and the music you’ve paid 10 cents apiece for lives together. I put the quotey marks there because you needn’t actually upload, it just matches the song against what it already has on its servers and then allows you access.

They gave me 25 free songs and I have put together an awesome playlist. I won’t show it to you now but the point is, you can put widgets on your site even for songs you don’t own or rent, so no more need for box dot net which forced me to upload my own music and also let people swipe it if they were clever enough. You can imagine that that sort of bothered me; there are too many clever people out there.

The widget says you can only hear the song once, but it let me hear it again, so I’m not sure about that one. But bottom line: I don’t have to upload anything and there are no limits on total file size so bring on the ten minute songs!

3. I mentioned Yes means a lot to me and like most things, it’s because they remind me of my childhood. Sister2 was a giant Yes fan and I used to borrow all her LP records. Later, in a more jokey way, they remind me of my college experience because my roommate and I could agree on only two bands: the Beatles and Yes. By listening to my CD’s she became this hugh jass Yes fan (we even saw Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe together at Merriwether Post Pavilion) eclipsing anything I ever felt. Wowzah. We both liked to go to sleep to music and, sharing a room, let’s just say I ended up listening to Classic Yes so often that the opening track, “Heart of the Sunrise,” will put me to sleep faster than you can say Pavlov’s dog.

The other reason I listened to so much Yes in college was because I have this problem with studying; I find it hard to do to music but other noise distracts me. This may seem odd in light of the fact that I worked to music, I fall asleep to music, I run to music, and I generally walk around with an iPod glued to my eardrum. But those are events that only take half my attention and so I need music. Music is never background noise to me; it takes a bunch of my attention. So I like it on the subway or while doing a spreadsheet or falling asleep (so my thoughts don’t race away) but while studying I need my entire brain. Besides Classical (yes, I said Classical), the only music I can study to is Yes. It has long instrumental passages that meander away and let me think. I was reminded of this tonight while the middle-aged gay couple downstairs were celebrating the end of “Don’t Ask Don’t tell” by having a knock-down-drag-out fight while I was attempting a particularly dense reading about Instructional Design. Thank goodness for Tales From Topographic Oceans! They just don’t make double albums with one song per side like they used to. Except The Mars Volta.

So, this is all to say that it’s the perfect time for Yes. This is my favorite Yes song and always has been. It’s got lots of parts, which is typical of Yes songs, but it’s the pathos mixed with a calm sort of hope that I like best. And, as always, there is Jon Anderson, the greatest voice in pop music ever. Sorry, I will not debate this.

Take it away, Lala!

Yes – And You And I


October 6, 2009

Filed under : Life in general
On October 6, 2009
At 12:00 am
Comments : 8

Dear everyone,

Today is my birthday! It’s my birthday too, yeah! (That only makes sense if I’m Sybil, but anyway). I chose today to tell you about my VSE (very special endeavor). Once again, I’m walking with Team Fabulous! in a Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure, this time in Austin, Texas. My team is small but Texas is big, or so I was told by many years of TV. No, actually, I’ve been to Texas several times, but never Austin. Still, the theme is the same, getting together with good friends and raising money for a cause in which I believe, research into curing breast cancer and health care aid for those suffering from BC.

As you know, the woman who gave birth to me 20 years ago (*cough*) today, died of this disease so I figured this was the right day. Also, no one can refuse a woman on her birthday. Or maybe it’s a Sicilian on his daughter’s wedding day. That one always confuses me.

For those who were hoping for “Give Dough, Get Cookies,” I apologize but this year that won’t be possible because of the Etsy shop. I hope to bring it back next year. For those who already gave, thanks so much! For those who gave to other Komen drives or to your favorite cause, that’s awesome! For those who can’t afford to this year, next year is also a good year for charity (Magic Jewball can always see into next year)! For those who live in the greater Austin area, please join us!

I hope I have everyone covered there.

Here is the link to give:

Thanks & love,

Yes, I get a Google calendar reminder on my birthday. Shut up.

Birthday – The Sugarcubes