Showing posts from 2009

Yes, Ma'am

Tonight, the waiter said yes, ma'am to me. And in his eyes I knew there was an expression. He didn't always look at me directly, or intently, or timidly. It wasn't arrogance, the arrogance of flirting. I knew that I was very flattered and enjoyed it.

Lynn St Sirup Pancake Potluck

Last Sunday, I attended Lynn St Sirup Pancake Potluck. Yes, the correct spelling is Syrup. The invitation reads Sirup Pancake Potluck. You are correct, I just finished writing a dissertation. I have to reproduce the form rather than the correct spelling. Perhaps the misspelling is telling of something, I don't know. I was really stressed out last Sunday, but I attended anyway, with C, A, and Baby C (BC), my cool neighbors (CN), around 10.30 am.

We sat at the end of a table. Wait, that's out of order. We arrived with our potluck participation: CN: fresh, organic, sliced strawberries, Me: de-frosted mixed berries from the grocery store. We placed the food on the buffet table (as opposed to the seating tables). I noticed on the buffet the coffee on offer, labeled "Fair Trade Organic." Why the "Fair Trade Organic" on the label... Is this something brought to the buffet by people who want to be known as cool in a specific sub-culture? It is generous of them to br…

Punctured Innertube

I had a flat tire on my bike today. I knew I was in for trouble as I biked in to work in the morning, just no time to address the issue. It happened while I was living my life, teaching, meeting the two TAs.

Too proud, my bike, she falls apart in private. Lets all the air out of her back inner-tube.

I'm standing at the bike rack. Now, the rain is more than a mist, and it is a bit cool. My high heels (I anticipated biking rather than walking anywhere) and the cold rain rule out walking the bike to the shop.

I called my friend, C. She is very nice and picked me up with her enormous SUV and drove me to see the lunatic at his bike shop. My plan is to leave the bike with the lunatic, ride home in C's warm and dry SUV, and return for my bike tomorrow, when I will be calm, potentially, and the problem of the flat tire will be in correct proportion.

There is the part of the story that involves C and me lifting my commuter bike in the back of her SUV and it is funny because it took many …

Croatia is...

Croatia is the Brazil of Europe...


Vatroslav Mihacik, a football school professor and former goalkeeper, said: 'Our nickname is the Brazil of Europe because of the style we play. Conditions in Croatia are far worse than in England where you have better facilities, better pitches, experts on nutrition and physiology and so on. But we are creative. Creativity is the deciding factor in growing a good player.'

Jebem ti sve po spisku...

I recommend this article in Central Europe Review:

Fuck this Article: The Yugoslav lexicon of swear words:

The article is hilarious and accurate. I never adjusted to hearing the violent swearing that is part of daily life (i.e. riding the tram) in Zagreb. I did pick up the habit of saying f***, which I had to give up for Lent to break the habit. Anger is fine, but swearing might be too violent an expression. I often miss living somewhere that people are free to have their own thoughts and expressions, including the not-nice ones.

Video won't kill the radio star

every time i see you falling, i get down on my knees and pray. i'm waiting for that final moment when you say the words that i can't say...

started the work day at 6am with a New Order song on the radio, ending it at 7pm the same way. erases exhaustion of the work in-between ...

I love the radio. The unexpected song. The right song. At the right time. At the unexpected time. Video won't kill the radio star.

(especially Radio Nigel dot com and 107.1 at U of Illinois)

Best Bar on the Adriatic Coast

This is Buza, the best bar on the Adriatic Coast. It is in Dubrovnik, in/outside the city walls. Hanging over the opening in the city walls that leads to this bar is a sign that reads: Cold Drinks With The Most Beautiful View. And it is. Especially at sunset.

pencilnpaper: Museum of Broken Relationships

My neighborhood.

I walked out of my back door Sunday afternoon, on my way to my tennis match. I saw this image of my neighbor's laundry line. Of little C's overalls. The scene captured my mood that day. Life is good. Simple things are good. A spontaneous dinner the night before with good neighbors. A sport I enjoy very much. I wrote all day on my dissertation, and the writing is past the point of crisis. Winter is almost over, spring is almost here.
Punk Goddess Debbie Harry in a scout's uniform on The Muppet Show. Word up.

"Desire" collage

"Desire." Today in class, I lectured on Advertising Research. We discussed ZMET, in which researchers ask people a question, in this case, "what do you desire." People answer the question through making a collage on a blank piece of paper. I used a back copy of Vogue - from my bookshelf.

I explained to the students how the images represent desire for me. They accepted it, asked me questions, "What kind of dog would you like to have?" "A boxer, I had two when I was little, Rex and Max. His name would be Rex, and ... we would be best friends." "What is your ideal man like." "The right time, right place, and he feels he is good enough." Felt great to take this sort of risk, opening up a bit.

Also, I know from my dissertation research and my friends' work that collage is important for research, so I wanted to show how much you can tell from the images.

I'm looking at mine now, and all the relationship/feelings are on one s…

I don't know how to title this; I'll go with: "Signs"

It is Friday. I'm in South Bend to look at houses. It is three months after my interview at Notre Dame.

I checked in and walked to my hotel room a few minutes ago. I passed by the hotel dining room, and heard a girl crying and talking in an anguished tone. I glanced over, and some girls were sitting in rows there, looking at a woman at the front of the room.

I imagined saving teen girls from drugs or the devil in general workshop/weekend. I went back to my business, and then remembered all the tennis racket bags on the floor by the front door. I remembered the lady I greeted as I waited at reception; Polish, a mother of a UNC player, here from Carmel IN; oh, they lost. That is why the mother is waiting, that is why the girl is crying. This makes much more sense, this is familiar. The scene is comforting.

I'm in the right place; I'm on the right side.

Maybe you see yourself in this. The tenderness of a memory of yourself as younger, and the satisfaction of the present tense.

Homemade Soup (Dissertation excerpt)

I like publishing on this blog the sections of my dissertation that I know will have to be cut. I especially like the voice I found for writing this more reflective part and I really like returning to a place I love as I read this. Enjoy.

“Coming to Zagreb to study display cabinets (vitrina) is like going to Saudi Arabia to study sand.” That is how my friend Dalibor N. gave me his approval of my fieldwork while we were watching people at a cafĂ© on Flowers Square, one Zagreb Saturday morning. Every aspect of the vitrina in your mother’s or grandmother’s home calls up scenes in the mind’s eye and evokes feelings. The vitrina is the backdrop for silence of the room, the apartment, the building, the neighborhood, the city, Sunday from 2pm to 5pm. You, your family, your neighbors, your friends: everyone is at home, it is time for lunch. In the living room, in the apartment building, in the neighborhood, in the city, in the suburb: silence. At least there are some sounds in the house. The w…

Random Photos: bumper stickers

Bumper sticker in the parking lot of Schnuck's, Urbana, IL, today...

First time I've ever seen this message or campaign. Interesting.

Breakfast for Dinner

There is one correct breakfast: egg boiled for 5 minutes, toast, coffee (tea is also ok).
Bacon at breakfast: a way to suspend the start of the day.
Breakfast for dinner: I can't put anything else together, so I'm making luxuries (pancakes), especially meaningful since the alternative is usually not a luxurious food (pasta with olive oil, good but not a luxury).
Cereal? Grains in such a form is food for a chicken or pig. Although I think oatmeal is a nice mid-morning snack.

Movie Review: The Wackness (2008)

The Wackness (2008) is a good movie. I know because I watched it. I also know I saw myself in the characters in the movie. When I was in high school, graduating in 1991, my boyfriend was from Brooklyn. The main character reminds me of him. The Wackness is a coming-of-age story. What makes it a coming-of-age story? His heart is broken by Stef, his girl, his best friendship and best relationship is with a person whom we would not expect, and he is more grown-up than his parents.

Oh, and the music is great. It captures the moments in the film. It also captures the period. East Coast hip-hop. Something entirely new. A new sound, a new generation. No, not the first one that grew up with immature parents, or heartache, and so on. But there was something about that period that I remember. I remember how unique it was.

If you were born in 1991...

Today in class, I asked the students when they were born (1991). I asked them what were the influences on their years in high school:

Columbine (high school shootings across the US)
Oklahoma City attack
Reality TV
Boy bands (Hanson)
Britney Spears
Bill Clinton

That's a lot of violence to experience, at the individual and societal levels. Pop culture goes very low culture. Lots of attention on teens to make it big. President defines standards for men's responsibility, activity, in sex and relationships.

I'm Gen X. Our worries were more along the lines of nuclear war destroying humanity, pot, stds. Much less violence. Much less pressure to make it. I wouldn't say we didn't have "real" problems, or we didn't know how good we had it, although that is tempting. I'm stunned, though, at the violence Gen Y faced as high school students. It is very foreign to my experience.

The Snuggie

Today's post falls is a photo of an in-store display of the Snuggie at my local Wallgreen's. It falls in the category of posting photos of things I see when I'm out shopping...

There is a back story to the Snuggie, will fill out the rest of the post soon...

I'm back, thank you for waiting...

Sometimes you are browsing google for images to use in powerpoint - ie an ad for a lawnmower to illustrate a point about household as a really broad product category - and you come across gems that you can't use in class but at the same time find intriguing and so you post them to facebook. This is a morotcycle with a john deer engine.