Not as bad and without the periodic screaming
(2005-01-19 - 3:36 p.m.)

When you use the computers in the lab, you�re supposed to delete or copy to memory on a personal drive any work you may have done and saved locally. But sometimes people don�t, and you�ll find stuff like this:

Make the Music w/your Mouth � Biz Markie This is my most favorite track on the disc. The innovation of beat-boxing, to me, is quite fascinating. Utilizing his mouth, Biz Markie does a remarkable job at reproducing the sounds of percussion instruments that the resemblance is uncanny. It is extremely hard for me to differentiate between what sounds were the product of an actual, tangible musical instrument and what sounds were actually made by him using his mouth. This song exemplifies talent and creativity at its finest. Rating 1-5: 5.

With respect to the school project, I keep remembering the part, early in "High Fidelity," where Rob describes Laura�s corporate attorney gig � something to the effect of how she had to take a job paying 70,000 pounds a year because she couldn�t find one that paid 20,000, and she says that�s all you need to know about Thatcherism. It�s nice that I did well on my test and consequently have some interviews lined up. (Should I go to dinner with Indiana on February 10? The restaurant�s better than Pitt�s.) But look at me with my "the school project": something is missing that in an ideal world I feel should be there. I feel guilty for not being all gung ho about getting my education on � I almost typed "in this fashion" but nuked it because I�m not sure that�s relevant; the point is that in a way that has nothing to do with Seattle I wish I could stay put. I wish there were jobs available here that weren�t essentially high-level admin positions, I wish the public sector wasn�t built on passivity and nepotism, I wish the economy were better and that I�d never left my fat-ish IT job in the summer of 2000. But with respect to the school project I also think of an interview I read once with one of the actresses from "Seventh Heaven" in which she made reference to people often asking her if she wouldn�t rather be on a cooler show and play a cool and angsty character rather than a preacher�s kid. Yes, she said, that would be great. But the fact is that she was not on such a show, and the one she was on was fine with her.

I just ran into Jason. He is doing research on umami. I misheard him at first and thought he said "your mom."

So today, first morning back at my old desk. I set up a bunch of meetings and got coffee at Tully�s. I was right about the 8:00 part, but I didn�t leave until 12:30, and since it was a ridiculously nice day, sixty degrees and not quite sunny enough that I regretted my lack of sunglasses, I walked up the hill to class. I�m pretty much caught up and now I would like to get a little bit ahead, build up a buffer so that when I start to miss blocks of days at a time it won�t be hell to get out from under. That�s what I came to the computer lab to do, anyway. You can see how well it is working. I think I may end up sorry I took the German class. The thing is, driving from home to Fremont during rush hour, especially in the rain like it was last night, is somewhere between stressful and harrowing, and then since the lot at the language school is so tiny there�s the matter of driving around Fremont for parking, never a good bet at any time of day, and then I get righteously angry at the language school for providing so few parking places (and, in case I do snag one, additionally angry on account of how tiny and narrow they are especially when they are filled with SUVs which oh but yes they tend to be) when they know how bad Fremont is, and sheepishly angry with myself for not having investigated this aspect of the classes-taking before I signed up � and then, running late and stressed out and filled with useless anger, I have to go sit down at a table that�s in an alcove, not even in a room of its own so it will get noisy when the students begin to arrive for the next class period and then I will get angry again with the school for not having a lobby, this isn�t Manhattan, people, and I sit down at the table in the alcove and instead of doing what to me would be learning German I have to engage in these ridiculous dialogues pretending that I am a Schriftstellerin vom Hamburg who kommt aus Belgien and whose Postleitzahl is 22047� well, all of this is not a constituent element of the good life, as far as I�m concerned. I was whining about the indignity of the dialogue last night when I got home, and Steve shut me up with seven withering words: "That�s all people talk about in Germany." OK, fair enough. I shut up. But I don�t have to like it. I think I was spoiled taking Latin and then Greek, because in these classes it wasn�t done even at the high-school level, I never got an index card that identified me as Gaius, an agricola from Ostia who lives in colle or some hoo-ha like that. And it�s worse because we don�t have the pronunciation down and the instructor isn�t correcting us yet, we�re just gargling our way through, and without either the sound or the sense � I mean the structure � to me it seems there is no point, I wonder what I am doing there, why I spent an unpleasant hour in transport and made myself so restlessly angry to sit there and read off a card. It surprises me that the other people in my class, adults all, don�t feel the same way, because I imagine if they did, if the scholars of adult education found that we grown-ups wanted to get down to business with vocabulary and verb tenses like in college my Greek classes did from day one (thank you, Mr. Goldfarb), then that is the way the instructors would be teaching. I�ll stick it out through the end of the quarter, but to go on I�m going to look into something that feels a little more grown-up and rigorous, maybe those modules that are advertised in the Economist, where the Teutonic blonde with the laptop regards the camera competently from her seat at a caf�. Can you see the Eiffel Tower in the background, or am I making that part up? I wouldn�t have to drive there either.

Math: still hard, and two and a half hours of it still feels like a lot to sit through. New haircut: happy with. Double weekend: these things are never as grand as you think they�re going to be, are they? I got bogged down in the kitchen and on errands. I put dried cherries in the banana bread. Movies: "Kinsey" (ehh, but Bloomington looked good); "Hotel Rwanda" (marvelous acting, clunky and sanitizing script, absurd that Joaquin Phoenix is billed third and I am wondering if this is because his is a name that otherwise hesitant ticket-buyers will recognize or because he�s white); "Million Dollar Baby" (oh man was it good, and may I say I love, love, love the Swank vs. Bening � sorry � rematch for the Oscars this year, for which by the way I am considering essaying a Spanish theme, I am not sure yet. And so far betting on Bening.) Also by the way, my sister has in common with Jerry a film-review blog, I found out this morning.

This is the part of the diary entry where my aphasia sets in. I�m going to walk to QFC for a banana and some yogurt and fresh air while the afternoon�s fresh too, then go see if there are any cds on sale that I can rationalize buying. I think for today I will call being caught up good enough. I leave you as I found you, with the wisdom of my schoolmate.

It�s Like That � Run DMC In terms of the song minus the lyrics, I hate it. It sounded like "The Breaks", but not as bad and without the periodic screaming. Thank goodness. I must admit that with the lyrics of this song, nevertheless, Run DMC took hip-hop to a new level. Rather than focusing on situations of love and friendship and partying like the previous tracks on this disc, they focused more on social-conscious situations. For example, the first couple of verses of this song focus on a disillusionment of life itself as a direct result of financial insecurity. Everyone, Run DMC raps, is "tryin� to make ends meet". They later advise their listeners, "The next time someone�s teaching why don�'t you get taught?" Perhaps what they mean is in order to make something of your life, you can�t just lie there and wait for it, you have to stand up and do something. Rating 1-5: 3.

Standing up and doing something: working on it, with the tools I have. Disillusionment with life itself: though I may gripe, not even close.

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