Miscellany

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Go and Read

I figured it was time for a link roundup. Forgive the "Norm MacDonald imitating Larry King's bits" quality of the post:

Margo, Darling on hair. Margo just got her hair cut really short, and she reflects on it eloquently. It reminds me of college, when my hair was Mia Farrow short.

Not really an article to read, but check out the cover of In These Times. I'm going to have to go to Whole Foods to see if they have a copy. If not, the local co-op, where I should be shopping instead anyway.

Some evangelical Christians are also environmentalists. Find out about coalition-building ideas for the two groups. I say "two groups," but I know that the label "environmentalist" encompasses lots of different kinds of people.

Also at Campus Progress, a former pageant winner does a feminist analysis of pageantry.

The Little Professor has a smart take on plagiarism; see also the comments on the cross-post at The Valve.

My Childhood Idol

And you know, she still is:

Recognize her?

Quotidian Bullets

  • Two days ago, I tried a McGriddle for the first time. It was okay, and I ate the whole thing, but I doubt I'll ever have another one. All this time I thought I'd hate them because I don't like sweet and salty combinations, usually, but I broke down and tried one. It tasted like pancakes with filler in the middle (in other words, the maple sweetness of the syrup was by far the predominant flavor).
  • Sometimes, your parents will pleasantly surprise you. For years I've been dreading telling my parents I don't want to have a wedding. A wedding to me calls forth associations of unpleasant deference to others. It's supposed to be your day, but the planning is almost inevitably filled with fights and wheedling: "But it would break your aunt's heart if you didn't ask your cousin to do the music at the wedding," "You know you can't have coconut cake; so-and-so is allergic to it," "[Family friend] would be so offended if you didn't ask his daughter to be the flower girl," etc. Imagine my relief when, after finally confessing to my mom that my dream wedding would be at the court house, she was sincerely thrilled.
  • Speaking of my mom, I might as well link to that Deborah Tannen article in the Post. I don't have anything to say about it, but there you go.
  • Does anyone remember when Burt Reynolds was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Boogie Nights, and a lot of people thought he should win? I remember that he was interviewed by someone -- was it during The Barbara Walters Special? Or on the red carpet by a random reporter? -- and the interviewer asked him what he'd do if he didn't win. He replied, "If I don't win, I'm going to show them the best acting they've ever seen." I know I'm not imagining it. Anyone else know what I'm talking about?

Random Memory, Recalled While Landing in Minneapolis Airport Yesterday

Scene: 1996, Tourway Pancake House, Florence, AL. ~3:00 a.m. We're having some greasy diner food after leaving some club or another. Across the aisle, one booth contains an old, grizzled, drunk man and another booth contains a young woman, also drunk, passed out with her head on the table. The man is putting on a show of griping about how long the food is taking.

MAN (to us, gesturing toward the young woman in the next booth): She ain't doin' the Texas Two-Step; she's doin' the Alabama Git-Down!

MY FRIENDS AND ME: polite laughter

MAN: DID YOU HEAR ME? I SAID, SHE AIN'T DOIN' THE TEXAS TWO-STEP; SHE'S DOIN' THE ALABAMA GIT-DOWN!

Four Things Meme

Pi tagged me.

Four Jobs You’ve Had In Your Life:

1. Concession stand/ticket booth cashier at a movie theater
2. Hostess at Logan's Roadhouse
3. Model for figure drawing/painting classes
4. Comic book store employee (I filed Magic cards and bagged, boarded, and filed comic books)

Four Movies You Could Watch Over And Over:

1. Clueless
2. Rushmore
3. Star Trek: First Contact
4. The Bourne Identity

Four Places You’ve Lived:

1. My parents' house in Florence, AL
2. My apartment in Knoxville
3. That horrible apartment
4. The efficiency I live in now

Four TV Shows You Love To Watch:

1. Lost
2. The Sopranos
3. Alias
4. The Simpsons

Four Places You’ve Been On Vacation:

1. Myrtle Beach, SC
2. Destin, FL
3. Las Vegas
4. New York City

Four Blogs You Visit Daily:

1. The Valve
2. Prof. B.
3. New Kid
4. Girl Genius

Four Of Your Favorite Foods:

1. Chocolate mousse
2. Pizza with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and jalapeno peppers
3. Collard greens with cornbread
4. Potatoes, skin on, cut in the style of home fries, roasted in the oven with bacon, salt, pepper, leeks, and cloves of garlic

Four Places You’d Rather Be:

1. Atlanta, GA
2. The Tenure Track
3. On the porch at F.A. eating oysters on the half shell
4. Asheville, NC (everyone says it's nice; I'd love to find out)

Four Albums You Can’t Live Without:

1. Appetite for Destruction, Guns'n'Roses
2. Made in USA, Pizzicato Five
3. Miles of Aisles, Joni Mitchell
4. Easy Rider, Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

(so many runners-up: Diana Krall's Love Scenes and The Girl in the Other Room, Sade's Lovers Rock, Diamond Life, Promise, Love Deluxe, various albums from Lucinda Williams and Kasey Chambers, etc.)

Four Vehicles I’ve Owned:

1. A white 1990 Nissan 240SX
2. A black 1990 Buick Reatta
3. The car I drive now, a red 1998 Honda Civic
4. I had a go-cart; does that count...?

Four People To Be Tagged: If you haven't done it yet, you're one of the four!

Edited to add links to those who have heeded the call: GXX, bdegenaro, and John.

Public Health, Diabetes, Exercise

Has anyone else been reading those scary stories about diabetes in the Times (it's a series)? If not, do so now. The gist of the stories is that diabetes has become a serious threat to public health, especially among the poor and predominately Latino and African American. This brings up a lot of issues related to public policy, the economy, government funding for health care, and race-based medicine, and it serves as a cautionary tale about diet and exercise for everyone, especially for those of us who have a family history of diabetes. I've already decided that the next first-year or advanced composition course I teach is going to have a public health theme.*

On a related note, a few weeks ago I read that if you run or walk eleven miles a week, you won't gain any visceral fat. That's the kind I always gain, so I'm implementing this advice: I've been doing one mile on the treadmill three days a week, two miles the other four days. I didn't run at all yesterday, so today I did three miles.

* Edited to add that I've been thinking more about this as the day has progressed. I'm seeing this course as having five units:

  1. Complications related to obesity
  2. HIV/AIDS and safer sex campaigns
  3. Anti-smoking campaigns and smoking ban legislation
  4. Infectious disease (in this case, I'm thinking about using bird flu as a case)
  5. Environmentalism and public health (I'm thinking along the lines of environmental racism)

Any other suggestions, like for assigned reading? A good friend of mine has already recommended assigning Super Size Me.

Celebrity Lookalikes

All this talk about lookalikes has prompted me to look up pictures of that one celebrity people have told me all my life that I resemble: Hayley Mills. I generally agree with that one, especially in this photograph:

I could get bangs again, scrunch up my face that way, and someone could take a picture of me in that outfit, from that angle, superimpose it onto that photograph, and have almost an exact match. It's creepy.

First post of 2006

So, it's 2006. Know where I'm ringing in the New Year? Krystal. What can I say? I had to do some work that required the net, and where else can I get online? (My parents don't have access.) I've learned that the emoticon for a Krystal burger, which, for the uninitiated, is like a White Castle or a Sassy's Slider, is: (|]

Happy New Year, everyone! I look forward to a New Year's Day meal of black-eyed peas with hog jowl, rice, collard greens (for money in the new year), and cornbread. What's your traditional New Year's Day meal?

Also, those MLA posts are so totally coming. I just had other work to do first.

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