Wednesday, November 30, 2005

the six-million dollar teacher

So I'm teaching on one leg this week. Presentation skills, no less! :?)

Being hobbled is a huge drag. I feel old. real old. My very pregnant wife is helping me get into the bathtub, not the other way around. That is seriously backward.

What's really frustrating is how long it takes to do everything. I'm walking around in slow motion to keep from reinjuring myself.

This must be what it feels like to be bionic.

Remember that old show the six-million dollar man? Everytime he went all bionic they did this slow-mo running and jumping footage.

That's me. I'm not slow, I'm just bionic. :?p

Monday, November 28, 2005

My daughter gets to be empress (maybe)

Being a father tends to open your eyes to things that may affect your kids.

Suddenly school bond measures and things like that become more than just another tax.

Being the father of girls opens up your eyes to the world of things that, as a guy, you never really think about. Not unless you're lying in a ditch with a soggy newspaper headline as your companion (my fate just the other day, it so happens).

I've cheered for Title 9 rights that may affect my girls someday and for strong female role-models.

My girls / anyone's girls should get to be scholarship athletes or executives or anything else they want. If they want to be world-class homemakers and mothers like my wife, then I'm a'gonna fight for that too.

So when I read this today, I said, "Right on! More opportunity for girls!" :?)

Black Sunday: Jeremy's shopping downfall


I gave in.

I went to a mall to buy stocking stuffers. No presents, mind you-- We generally make those ourselves. But for the little bric-a-brac one must go into the lion's den.

Target. Costco. The mall.

So, in search of fingernail clippers and a few other things I went. sneeringly. no "Black Friday" automaton, I.

What's that line about 'pride goeth before the fall?'

You got it.

15 prideful steps. slip. fall. ass-over-teakettle.

There I lay: twisted ankle, in the road, remorseless passersby, each look condemning me- 'drunk,' 'panhandler,' 'competition'.

So my shopping trip preemptorily ended with a visit to the doc, a slick-looking boot (and crutches!) and a chastened Jeremy.

Well, at least I didn't get run over by other shoppers.


Here I am, getting ready to teach sitting down for the next three days.

This is Nike, where people base jump or paraglide into work (tandem style for the carpoolers)

A cast or fresh wounds occasion tales of daring-do and noble wipeouts. What nobility is there in stepping off a curb and landing badly? I wasn't even freestyling!

So I'm left trying to conjure up an alternate, cool version of events. Something like jetpacking?, any other recommendations?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Black Friday Kabuki

I seem to, ah, have missed out on the Black Friday Kabuki this year.

Strange how when you make your own x-mas gifts all the hubbub, brouhaha and higgledy-piggledy suddenly just seem a tad foolish. :?)

But, tireless railer against all things consumer-ish, I couldn't help but comment...

Some more inventive (but less vocabulose!) blogger called the day-after-thanksgiving run on the stores "Black Friday Kabuki".

I like that. Fits nicely into my view of this whole consumer thing. We must go through the ritual, symbolic motions of buying our way through any special occasion.

That the news itself is merely a form of artificial drama that is covering another artifical drama is just too dizzyingly wonderful!

Yet for all that, I may be just a little sad I didn't get my $10 I-pod *tearing up a little*

I hope someone who really cares about me braved the savage sales and got me one! *weg*


Baby watch: T-minus 2 weeks...or any time really

Thanksgiving came and Thanksgiving went. No baby.

The staff at jer, uh...ME! had a pool going with many thinking a Thanksgiving birth would be just the sort of goofballery to expect from one of Jeremy's kids.

c'est la.

It was not to be.

So instead we gave thanks for not having to rush off with a, "Save me a drumstick!!!"

By the by, the Martha Stewart 2004 brine worked marvelously. I guess no one is wholly e-vil. -cackle-

So, well D-day (D for delivery) is now two weeks away, but the smart money says we'll be in before then.

Momma is carrying a lot of amniotic fluid, so water breakage is highly likely.


Jeremy fondly remembers a day, some 41 months ago when he was stirred from his slumber by beating hands and an urgent "We gotta go, my water broke!"

Calm, methodical, asleep Jeremy went through the steps-

*mumble mumble* "Is it just a little leak? 'cause in childbirth class they said-"

"No, it's not a leak. The bed is soaked! Get UP!"

*mumble mumble* "'kay, 'kay 'm getting up. Lemme pack th' bag."

"It IS packed. You are the only thing not ready to GO!"


Well, it all worked out pretty well that time. Don't fix it if it's not broken, says I. -chuckle-

Now, if I can just remember the breathing sequence. I think it was something like-

"... --- ... / ... --- ..."

That sounds about right...*g*

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

best of NPR: Hamlet in prison

You pull in to the driveway, but the NPR story ain't over. Indecision!

Run inside and turn on the stereo (for Jeremy, a 10 minute techno-fetishistic nightmare)


Sit in the car, lights off, guiltily listening.

I always want someone else to be in that car with me, sharing a great story. You weren't there that time, so here is one of those driveway moments. I hope you find some delight in it:

(You will nead RealAudio to play this)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

superman trailer

Check out the trailer.

The music and Brando voiceover are giving me goosebumplies.


don't mess with Texas...computers

Well, I ended yesterday with hopes the sun would come out tomorrow and wipe away my gloom.

I didn't have one of my favorite breakfasts, but the sun is indeed shining...

The crisis at Sony BMG Entertainment worsened Monday when the Texas attorney general sued the record label, saying it violated the state's new anti-spyware law.

....The lawsuits follow Sony's recall of nearly 5 million copy-protected CDs that contain a hidden file susceptible to viruses when played on a Windows-equipped computer. The company has asked retailers to remove more than 50 CD titles from store shelves and to replace them with non-copy-protected versions expected in stores by the end of the week.

Attorney General Greg Abbott says that despite the recall, his staff found CDs with XCP copy-protection created by British firm First4Internet on store shelves Monday. He estimates that as many as tens of thousands of Texas consumers have bought the CDs, and notes that Texas' spyware law calls for fines of $100,000 per violation. "Our message to Sony," he says: "Don't mess with Texas computers."

"don't mess with texas computers." priceless!

Happy day! :?D

Monday, November 21, 2005

favorite breakfasts

Rumination complete. Here are the favorite breakfasts painstakingly compiled by our staff statisticians from literally innumerable submissions over countless hours of procrastination...

Favorite Breakfasts

5. Sourdough Pancakes

Maple syrup, no other contaminants


4. Pain Raisin

Not tortured raisins. Raisin Bread en français


3. Eggs Mixed-up with Toast

Soft boiled, with cubed toast, salted & peppered


2. Spam, Spam, Eggs & Spam

Or any variation: egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam...


1. Bacon

with anything

breaking news: Madonna + microwave popcorn = bad (real shocker)

warning: listening to Madonna while eating microwave popcorn is bad for you (but not for the obvious reasons)

A few days ago Michael Hiltzik blogged about a piece of spyware on Sony music CD's that gets secretly installed on your PC if you play one of their disks on your computer.

It's breathtaking how the people who made these decisions at Sony (and, let's be honest, at most other corporations) justify their actions.

Loyalty to abstractions like "dollar" "shareholder value" "corporation" "bottom line"... pit people against people.

(yeah yeah, it's a scarcity world out there until Star Trek can make food out of air. i get that. but...)

With each successive layer of abstraction comes a greater degree of separation between us. It's like an anti-Will Smith thing. 7, 8...57 degrees of separation...Charlemagne who?

It becomes easier and easier to make decisions that are anti-social; as anti-social as that kid who blew away the popular vice-principle the other day, just cleaner when you can afford market statisticians to do the sterilizing.

Sadly, we don't need all those layers to confuse us. All we have to do is stop seeing people as customers and start seeing them as consumers. Three little letters and watch what we are capable of!

Customers, we have to serve.

Consumers we must capture, manipulate, cajole, distract, lead by the nose, squeeze every penny out of.

When someone is a consumer in your mind, how much easier is it to do the patently inhumane and indefensible? Consumers are sub-human. Heck, we're sub-cattle.

How much easier is it to make a product that kills the user, degrades health, has obvious warning signs?

In a statement, DuPont said "Allegations that food-contact paper made with DuPont materials contain unsafe levels of PFOA (C8) are false.

"EWG staff toxicologist Tim Kropp agrees that there is no PFOA in the treated paper. It's only after the perfluorinated chemical is ingested that it breaks down into PFOA in the body, he said.

DuPont said its products are safe and that it "has always complied with all FDA regulations and standards regarding these products."

How honorable of them. Their product is not harmful until it leeches into the food that enters the human body. It is our own body that is distorting this noble chemical compound and killing us.

Good thing I can trust in DuPont. I clearly can't trust my body to have my own best interests at heart.

And to think, before DuPont so graciously hath brought to light this dangerous treason, I'd been unknowingly killing myself for decades!

I hope there is a fine DuPont chemical in the near future to help me regulate these self-destructive impulses.

"This was a merry message." - Exeter

(heh. I seem to have worked myself into a dark mood about this. Summoned up quite a piece of sarcastic wit, dinn I?! No doubt I'll be better tomorrow. 'specially if I start the day with one of the 5 FAVORITE BREAKFASTS in the next post. *yummy* :?D )

Friday, November 18, 2005

the weekend beckons, and so must I

class over. body weary. voice harshed.

Home will I go and contemplate a more compleat post. I think I shall ruminate on the qualities of the perfect breakfast foods.

Mmmm....soft-boiled eggs mixed up with toast....gooey mmm....*homer simpson drool of love*


Until then!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

yes I am teaching writing tomorrow

Is Jeremy getting a little amped about teaching a writing class tomorrow???



Better to get it out of my system here, or that'll be one interesting writing class... *chuckle*

the native and true challenger


Sarah at Misadventures has dubbed her site "Most aptly named"!

Woe and misery! Shame and eternal shame, nothing but shame! *much gnashing of teeth and rending of hair*

We here at jer, uh...ME! can hardly bear being less apt. Naturally there must be some honest mistake... ;?p

jer,uh...ME! is clearly most jer,uh...ME!

But then Misadventures is most misadventurous.

How then does jer,uh...ME! exude even MORE jer,uh...ME!-ness than Misadventures' Misadventurous-ness?

And is the aptness arms race itself a labor in misadvenure-ous-ness-edness??

And does THAT rise to a higher level of misadventure than Misadventures?!?

Man in black: Truly you have a dizzying intellect.

Vizzini: Wait till I get going!
To be or not to misadventurouslyishnessedly jer,uh...ME! be, THAT is the question! :?p

post-class post

So I'm a teacher. Ya knew that, right? :?)

I just wrapped up a class today - my favorite class.

Some classes leave me drained and with a post-class letdown (not the milk kind).

There's an intensity to being in the moment with a class, using more of your awareness than just about any other time.

Maybe performing in a pro team sport is analogous.

There's getting the words out, conveying the tone, observing audience response, working out how to draw them in or provoke questions, managing the lesson plan, synthesizing, relating... And we're not even getting into the physical delivery, the tools of the trade the setup or the cleanup.

All that is a rush. Then the evals pass out and it's over. Afterburner switches off and awareness of fatigue creeps in.

Then the letdown as self starts critiquing all the successes and failures of the day.

Did I mention I teach 1 and 2 day classes? Yeah, a slightly different animal from 75minutes we all barely made it through as undergrads.

Back to my original statement - this class is my favorite. Time/Life management.

When this class lets out, I don't feel drained. I feel energized.

"Where some women satisfy, she makes most hungry" - Heinlein

I'm sitting here now, shoulders tightening up a little, feet sore, students already half-way home and I want to keep going.

This must be what it feels like to know what you should be doing in life.

Anyone else feel that way about something?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Baby watch: T-minus 3 ça change, plus c'est la même chose

The more things change, the more they're the same.

As we near the appointed hour, I wonder what changes this second baby will bring to our lives.

I confess, somewhat more on the "Oh My GOD, how are we gonna __(fill in the blank)__... with two!" side than the "stretching the mind toward infinite possibilities" side.

And yet, not everything changes. It is comforting to be able to rely on continuity in the face of peril.

So when I hear our august leaders respond to evidence of foul play with confusing canards and prevarications, I am not offended. I am calmed.

When French patriots shout "France, love it or leave it!" at disaffected neighbors, I am taken back to a more simple time when this was American jingoism.

See, our democratic values are taking root in other places of the world...

So the world goes on in the same ways.

As December waxes, we'll be a little out of the world, hibernating with a couple of snuggly little girls in the warm, comforting, familiar constants with new babies:

sleep-deprivation hallucinations

strung-out nerves



Wednesday, November 09, 2005

statler or waldorf?

El Corporal says...

"Jer, this unique look into your deeper psyche leaves me feeling... deeply disturbed. ;)

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the one and only TANGENT MAN has
returned to us!!!" ;) -- El Corporal!


Naturally, mein freud. er, freund.

The posters are alternately my id (whom you know so well as TM) and my ego. The voice of restraint...yup, superego.

*shakes fist at those superego crêpe-sucking de-Gualists in jeremployee relations*

We (meaning I - superego establishment type speaking here) try to maintain a delicate balance of ego expression and id surpression, but sometimes the ids get all riled up and go burning Peugeots to the ground. metaphorically speaking, of course. -sagely nod-

*catches other self reminiscing about family car in 80's and the many almost burnt-to-the-ground occasions*

...would you guess? - yes, it was a brown Peugeot. nasty thing. french engineers somehow managed to make attitude a car feature. french attitude. ~~shudder~~ :?P

now they're making french fry holders standard. where will the madness end?!? frenched Peugeots with french fry holders??? is that the ends of invention?!!



*actually, ego rather fancies frenched headlights*

*id really wants french fries right now.*

Tuesday, November 08, 2005



"Christopher Hayes has seen Robert Greenwald's new documentary, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, and writes today about Wal-Mart's brass knuckle anti-union tactics"

I'm not necessarily pro-union, but I do think Wal-Mart is bad for people and communities.

Friend Sarah has some good things to say about merchants over at Misadventures.

Buy local!

Monday, November 07, 2005

back to verk

Ah, Prague- someday I will come to thee...and ve vill dahnce, and drink wahn and share tender moments und be serenaded by the lilting strains of oompapa.
{The editors at jer, uh...ME! wish to acknowledge that the writer's previous post does not represent the opinions of jer, uh...ME! nor its affiliates: what, me...WORRY? and News Corp. We, however, believe in redemption and will be beating Jeremy out-back-the-'oodshed til his tuckus has attained the glowing red shine of redemptive glory. or boiled lobster. Thank you.}

...and lobster ain't boiled

"WE DO NOT TORTURE"....President Bush today

Of course we don't.


This is so sad. Is three years too early for the next contenders to start running? Let's just stop the pain...

(hrm, not very -ahem- gingerly put of me. better go back to m' sushi lest les personnelle d'éthique censure me for going off topic.)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

a mandate on a mission

Now that my administration has exactly 1 more vote than not, I will use this mandate to bring accountability back to blogging.

We here at jer,uh...ME! will blog not only what is on Jeremy's mind, but what is right. EVEN if Jeremy is not in his right mind at the time!

{Our staff ethicists are currently working out how that's gonna square. }


Seriously (what?) - Now that I am a seasoned hand at this random thought stuff (who's he kidding!), I've reached that mid-life crisis where we bloggers--can you feel me, brethren and sistren?--begin to question what our place is in the firmament.

A blog would seem to need to be about something identifiable enough to attract and hold the attention of would-be return customers.

N'est pas?

...and there are much smarter, better-read, more politically informed folk out there doing great stuff. I go to their sites to get my fix. You probably do too. ;?)

My hope for jer, uh...ME! is that this will be a little sliver of ginger to chew on in between gulps of the heftier stuff.

Yup, I wanna be the palate cleanser of the blogsmic sushi bar.

So as you conveyor-belt your way through the news of the day and attend to your passions, do pause and partake of our sweet, spicy, pickled ramblings and jet off again maybe just a little renewed and ready for another hunk of unagi.


Friday, November 04, 2005

and I will name him George!

Yee-haw! jer,uh...ME! has his first customer (thank you, El Corporal). How long I have waited for a reader of my vewy own...

...I will name him George.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

full poem

This is the full poem from which the previous post borrows. It is a sentimental favorite of mine.

mit schprinkles!

got a coffee. comfort for a cold rainy day - a very traditional sort of thing for the northwest; both coffee and rain.

I slurped the mocha yum yum and what to my wandering taste buds did appear?.....sprinkles!

Okay, good coffee is not a sprinkle-adorned sort of thing (though a dollop of whiskey-laced whipped cream on top is very nice). But this was not really good coffee. This was coffee-on-the-go. with chocolate and milk contaminants. and sprinkles.

The sprinkles were a little unlooked-for reminder (as if wind and pelting rain were not) that we have entered sprinkle-season. Christmas is on the way. Winter and m-m-maybe snow?!

Last year was dry and sad - no real winter, not much snow on the mountain.

So hooray for those sprinkles- both rainy and coffee-bedecked varieties. May they both be harbingers of a white Christmas.

" small proportions we just beauties see,
and in short measures, life may perfect be."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

at last, a purpose for cars!

There's a different sort of car ad making the rounds from astonished e-friend to e-friend. Thus, I present it to you.

The backstory is it was done at great expense and without computer animation. You can google the whole thing if interested.

Personally, I just found it hand-clappingly wonderful that someone actually deconstructed a car and made something just a little beautiful happen.

Would this be classified as high-performance art? -chuckle-