Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Like a fat kid steals Cake

Filed under : Music,Student Life
On January 26, 2011
At 11:30 pm
Comments : 5

For some reason my Billboard feed stopped working a while back and suddenly started working today. So I was inundated with 96 items. I’m glad they worked that out and I’m glad I’m in a position to be so meh about music industry news that I barely noticed. Apparently, though, last week brought the lowest selling #1 album in chart history with Cake’s new record selling a mere 44,000 units in its first week. There are no zeroes missing in that number! Back in the good old days when CDs cost 18.98 and we spent our days snorting blow and counting our money, those kind of numbers might put you in the upper reaches of the Top 100.

This morning, as I sat in the library of the K-12 school where I intern, four girls came in and sat near me. The tail end of the conversation they were having about ipods featured this line from one of the girls: “I just use _____ to get the music out of the videos and then they are mp3s. I don’t even use iTunes anymore.” (I didn’t redact that, I just didn’t quite catch what tool she uses to do this – there are several). As they got to work, I thought in my head, “you have no idea that the person who is sitting three feet from you is only here because of that very sentence.” Well, it’s not that simple, but that’s certainly a big chunk of the reason. I didn’t say anything. But I will. Someday.

Cake – The Distance


There goes my street-walking business

Filed under : Student Life
On January 23, 2011
At 7:30 pm
Comments : 5

I’m on the second of of the three certification exams I must take for New York State to declare that I’m fit for a school setting (I passed the first one, yay me and yay sad exam) and have been taking practice tests to prepare myself. The first exam was SAT/GREish and tested things like math, science, English, history, etc. while this one tests pedagogy (i.e. how to teach) and state policy. Now, coming from the music business or even the private sector in general, where what I do doesn’t effect children (unless you count gangsta rap), I have a sort of fractured view on what the requirements are for the job. It colors how I answer some of these questions, none more than this one:

When deciding upon the fitness of a teacher providing instructional services to serve as a New York State public school teacher, a district:

a. must use as the sole basis for its decision the teacher’s conduct and competence in the classroom
b. may include the teacher’s personal behavior outside the classroom as part of its evaluation

(there were two more, but they were irrelevant and clearly red herrings)


Yes, I got this one wrong. Oh dear.

Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)


Ric Ocasek knows EVERYTHING

Filed under : The Internets
On January 20, 2011
At 7:30 pm
Comments :Comments Off on Ric Ocasek knows EVERYTHING

I don’t know the answer to question 1 but I sort of wonder if this person also asked “Where can I get a good manicure?” in the Nine Inch Nails category.

Just another reason I wish these inane questions were out of my sidebar. But in the meantime, we’ll just file this one under “Facebook Idiots, volume 16.”

The Cars – I’m Not the One


Picture of the Day – Australian Open

Filed under : Tennis
On January 18, 2011
At 7:00 pm
Comments : 2

I feel like I watched this match all day. I DVR’d it, watched it all morning, then my recording ended at four hours, because that’s all the time I have left on my DVR. So then I had to find the repeat and record that because I had to go to work, and I only finished watching it about ten minutes ago. Don’t worry, by then I knew the result was as shown below.

It’s hard to have a fabulous match the first round, because then you have nothing left for the #185 you’re playing in the second. But I dislike Lleyton Hewitt just enough to be really, really happy about a 4.75 hour slugfest victory. By the way, the match was still going on when I woke up this morning (it had started at 4:15 am) but I didn’t even bother to turn on the TV… because who’d have thunk it?*

*I should have thunk it. Bad Becca, bad.

Image from


Welcome back, Jewball

Filed under : Life in general
On January 17, 2011
At 1:15 am
Comments : 9

When I was a kid, one of the things my mother did as an educational consultant was to do workshops. In my life, I have to admit, I never knew what the hell a workshop was. I figured this out decades later as a grad student in education. Pretty much within the last year, in fact. I go to a lot of them now and sort of wish I could go back in time and tell my mother that I know what she’s talking about. She’d usually say something like, “I did an Early Childhood workshop and they loved me!” And she would always say this in a totally surprised and authentically appreciative voice. The thing I got out of this was that my mother was good at her job and people liked her performance. Naturally, this never amazed me as her daughter. But I still had no idea what the thing she did actually was.

When I typed that first line of the post, I hesitated at what job description to give my mother because I honestly never knew her title until her last one, and that’s because I have her old business card. As an adult, I am able to label her job as “educational consultant.” You may wonder what I told people my mother did when I was a child and didn’t have a handy term like “teacher” or “lawyer.” What I would tell people was, “my mother teaches teachers how to teach.” Just like I told people my father was a doctor who treated sick computers. In reality, he had a Ph.D. in engineering and worked at IBM. But doctor has a distinct meaning to kids.

This blog is focused quite a lot on the ongoing dialogue between me and my past. I’m always sort of reaching towards it, sometimes tussling with it, often trying to make my peace with it, and always trying to figure it out. Tomorrow, that is, today in a few hours, I go back to my old high school to give an introductory presentation which will eventually lead up to a series of workshops. Many of my former teachers still teach there and will be in the audience. If you imagine I am freaked out by this, just jack that image up a bit and that’s where I’m at. You may even wonder why I said yes to this (especially as it’s a holiday and my day off – and I’m not getting paid). In the 30 seconds I had to consider it, my line of thought was this: the only reason I wouldn’t do this is because I’m afraid to do this. And that’s not a good enough reason. But that doesn’t make me less afraid.

When I was in high school, I often came in unprepared. I’m a procrastinator and, like most teenagers, I liked to slack off. Well, I still like to slack off. I did wait till the last day to put together my presentation, but it was more because I have so little time. And the fact that I finished it the night before and not in the car on the way to school (or in the class before… or in the class) already puts me ahead of where I was then. But I do wonder if the teachers will look at me and think, “wasn’t she the one whose grade I lowered because she had a bad attitude?” (That actually happened.) Or, “I really think that girl nearly failed my class.” (That happened a few times, too.) Why the hell should they listen to me?

Well, for one thing, because I know technology and they don’t. But mostly because if I’m old, that means they’re really old and probably don’t remember that I actually even sat in their classrooms. One can hope, anyway.

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