Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


A polar bear is a mammle

Filed under : Life in general
On February 23, 2011
At 11:15 pm
Comments : 3

You know what’s disheartening? Putting together a new resume and trying to find maybe three bullet points out of your previously long and rich descriptives that can possibly be tweaked to impress someone in your new field. Ouch.

However, I did have this experience with a third grader today. She was doing a Powerpoint (remember how everything I hated about my old job was symbolized by smarmy Powerpoint decks I had to put together? Yeah, now I teach little kids how to use PP. Hello, irony!) about polar bears and the question her slide was supposed to answer was, “what are some related animals to your animal?” Her answer (in all caps, but I won’t duplicate that) was:

Polar bears have mothers and fathers and kids and aunts and uncles and cousins who are related to them, just like people.

Then I had to break it to her gently that she had misunderstood the question. She insisted that’s what Wikipedia had said. Yeah. Someone hire me to have experiences like that every day. Please.

Title comes from another slide. In my head I pronounced it Ma’am-lay.

Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced?



Filed under : Student Life
On February 17, 2011
At 11:30 pm
Comments : 4

I am having a stressful week. There, I said it. My part-time job blows and is more demanding than I have energy for, teaching is HARD (and time-consuming), and oh yeah, classes and thesis deadlines. Also, see the previous many posts about being ill, because none of these things is made easier by not being able to breathe through my nose plus having my throat feel like I swallowed glass. I even missed a show last night about which I had been dreaming for twenty years. That’s a bit of an exaggeration. But it was the live performance of an album that has meant something to me for nearly twenty years. Yeah.

Oh hey, and did you hear? They’re eliminating the jobs of 6,000 teachers here. That ought to make it easy to find a job at the end of all this.

You may wonder if at times like these I wish I could go back to my old life. When you see this video, you’ll understand why I don’t. Even if it’s scored with an Interpol song.

Wow, the sound of the Windows start-up chime whilst* drinking take-out coffee and that exact keyboard, LCD, and stand… if only I’d had one of those dipping birds, that would have been my desk. Look out, I’m going to hug a third-grader tomorrow.

*I had to say whilst; the bear is British.

Title story: When I graduated college and moved away from campus, living alone in Baltimore, breaking up with College Boyfriend, and figuring out what to do with my life, Priest=Aura was one of three or four albums that kept me company. It is an album, like bands don’t seem to make anymore, and I first heard it back then as I did most records: on the sound system at Sam Goody’s where I worked. As my pal Ned Raggett points out, the album is sequenced like a journey. This is how it starts.
The Church – Aura


Puffs plus misery

Filed under : Life in general
On February 13, 2011
At 2:00 pm
Comments : 11

People always like to brag about how you can get everything delivered in New York, and that might be true, but the trouble is that there are no superstores so no one store will never have all the things you need on a given day. Also, that I’m a poor student and can’t pay extra to have lots of things delivered. So today, I got out from under my multi-blankets and shopped for all the things I require. Here was my list:

  • Decongestant
  • Antihistamine
  • Tissues
  • Chicken soup
  • Matzo balls
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Apple juice
  • Brown sugar*

*I promised chocolate chip cookie cake to the fine folks putting up with me at my internship school later this week. There is no medicinal value, despite what Mick Jagger says.

As you can tell, I’m illin’. But I plan on being drugged and full of assorted chickeny foods very shortly. I just hope I’m better in time for my favorite holiday, Half-Price Chocolate Day.

I really wanted to call this post “Puffs plus one.” But that made no sense. Still, this song is in my head.
Haircut 100 – Love Plus One


It seemed logical at the time

Filed under : Student Life
On February 10, 2011
At 9:40 am
Comments : 5

I don’t want to overstate how busy/crazed I am right now, but this thought occurred to me this morning. See, I am at that stage you all know, where you feel a sickness coming on: your throat begins to feel raw, you suddenly find the tissues are running out more quickly, and there is the edge of ache in your head. And like most days, my Thursday and Friday are stacked like a tower with level after level of things I’ve committed to and mean everything to what I’m doing. So after the initial, “I should really get back in bed” thought and then the mental flipping through of all the things that I simply could not skip today (the work that doesn’t pay me if I don’t go, the workshop in Eastern Queens that is imperative for a project I’m doing, the planning meetings with my cooperating teachers which mean the difference between being prepared and being humiliated in classes I teach and TA), that’s when the thought popped into my head: I’ll simply have to schedule getting sick for this weekend.

I’ve penciled that in for Friday at 5.

Mudhoney – Touch Me I’m Sick


Letters we’d like to send

Filed under : Student Life
On February 9, 2011
At 1:30 am
Comments : 5

Dear Professor,

cc: Barnes & Noble, UPS

The dog ate my reading. And by “the dog” I mean “UPS.” Yes, for the second week in a row, I won’t be able to participate in class discussion because my textbook is trapped somewhere in the middle of this fine country of ours. Also, I’d like you to turn your attention to that area which says “2 business days” because it has never changed since the day I received my “we have shipped your order” e-mail from Barnes & Noble & Satan. Only the date I’m supposed to receive it has. See how it says “Thursday, 2/10/11, By End of Day?” That was originally several other dates.

Not that you asked, but yes, I did laugh when I got the LivingSocial offer for a half price credit at B&N. Because, B&N and UPS, with regards to the phrase “two business days,” I do not think those words mean what you think they mean.

By the way, at The Record Label, we had a warehouse in Sparks, NV. We used it to service our west coast accounts. Because by the time a store in New York receives an order from Nevada, the record is already over. KWIM? That’s what we call “customer service.” But here is a phrase I won’t bother to explain to you as you’ll have no need to understand it: “repeat business.”

Your pal,

Richard Ashcroft – The Journey (video)