they know what we think

The whole ad campaign for Heroes now is basically a countdown to the end of the season. Tonight it was "only three more shows left!". I think they know we can't stand their stupid program, we only watch it because we want to find out what happens!!!!!.

I can't believe I watched that hour of tv this evening. I have work to do!

happy Workers Day

Only problem is, I'm not a happy worker. More of a sleepy worker, really. Leah and I are both in the home stretch of our semesters, which means we're either doing homework or moaning about how much homework we have to do. It takes some of the enjoyment out of life, I have to tell you. At least some of the projects we have to do are kind of fun: I just made a brochure and poster for my class on disabilities (you can see a little picture of the poster down at the bottom of this post), and I got to fully employ my design powers in the service of school work for the first time ever. I also fully employed Leah in laying out the big sticker sheets that I used to put the design on the posterboard, because she's much better at that sort of thing than I am.

She's also much better at PowerPoint; so much so, in fact, that she recently won a cool thousand dollars in a contest to create a marketing piece using that regrettable piece of software. It's a pretty awesome presentation, so she clearly deserves the cash. See, not only is she an analytical powerhouse, she's also a hot marketer and designer! Potential employers, start making room now: she graduates B-school in just one year.

The best part about the $1000 (from my perspective, at least!) is that she's donating half of it to me for my discretionary spending. I'm sure I don't deserve it, but I did turn her on to the possibilities of stock photography... which was probably what won her the contest! So, maybe I do deserve it after all. Stock photography is pretty awesome; just look at how I used it in that poster.

When I presented it, my school chums all told me how professional it looked. I had to tell them I cheated by actually being a professional at the brochure-making. It's not really fair, I think. My future projects will be even better looking, because I plan on putting my ill-gotten $500 towards the Adobe CS3 upgrade. I was going to get it anyways—how could I resist—this just makes the purchase easier.


why don't you tell me these things?!

Comments were broken again, I find. They are now fixed. I implore you, readers, if you ever notice anything wrong with the blog please write me and tell me about it; do not assume I already know. See, I have just enough time to play with the code, but never enough time to test anything, so there very well may be issues. I would like to know if there are. Email me with any you see; if you don't know my email address you can contact me via this email form.

A mass email from Juan to all Babson Students:

Hey all:
I am pleased to announce the winner of the first marketing contest:
Leah Archibald, so help me congratulate him when you see him at Olin. Leah will receive U$1000 dollars from our sponsor.
Thanks to all the participants.

It's just more evidence of the institutionalized patriarchical mind-set in business, thinking that a contest winner would have to be a man, a man with a name pronounced like "Lee" or "Leigh." In fact, I am going to deny acceptance of my prize money in protest of gender stereotypes at Babson College!!!

Bah HA HA!!!!! Just kidding! You can call me by any pronoun as long as you don't call me late-for-my-one-thousand-dollars.

Congratulations to me for making an award-winning powerpoint, and also to Dan for watching that award-winning powerpoint slide by slide for two hours to help split-second synchronize the animation. I split the prize money with him because he looks cute with his shirt off and I am 50% generous.


ceci n'est pas une 'blog'

There is a growing trend, I find, of individuals making a basic error in terminology when discussing blogs. "I just read your last blog," they say or write. "That blog was dumb." Whut? Now to me, blog is short for weblog (web log) and thus is analogous to a journal in which we write individual entries, or, as I prefer given my earlier days on an internet message board, 'posts'. You wouldn't call a journal entry a journal, so why confuse the issue with blogs?

You may say that I'm supposed to be a descriptivist, so what am I doing complaining about this popular usage?! Well, yes. So if that's what it's going to be, go ahead with it... just be aware that it sounds really dumb.* At least, if you call each little piece we write a blog, you're going to need a new term to describe the whole collection of them. I look forward to hearing it!

*This only applies to the young folks; people over a certain age are exempt from sounding dumb when it comes to matters of the internet. Standards are different, you understand.


Visions of the Future

My final assignment for my leadership class is to create a vision statement for my life five years into the future, and to create a vision collage to go along with it. I had so much fun transfering all my goals into photoshop that i thought i'd share it with you.

Key to deep symbolism embedded in this image:
The brief-case symbolizes the fact that i finally got a job, one that requires leaving the house on a regular basis!
Our commitment to environmental sustainability is demonstrated through the windmill i added to the back of our home, as well as through the re-beautifying of one of our front bushes.
The sneakers on the front lawn signify my continued commitment to physical fitness, as well as my lack of care for putting my stuff away.
As you can see, in 2011 i drive a Prius but can't seem to park it worth shit.
Also, i added a Puggle.
Oh! And we up and birthed a kid, too!

I can't wait for DA fyutchR!


is any final really final?

My semester ends May 8th, and before that fateful next tuesay i need to complete one data-mining paper, take one finance final, finish half of an econ problem set (the first half of which i finished over six hours today) and print out my vision paper which i finished yesteray. It doesn't seem like so much when i write it down, but let me put it this way: if it were only that finance final on monday i'd be freaking out. Workload Now = COMPLETE FREAK!

Whenever i'm stressed i seem to get sick, and this weekend is no different. I went to the doctor with a sore throat today, and he was like, "welllll, it could be strep but it probobly isn't..." And i was like, "I paid twenty bucks for this office visit!!! Perscribe me antibiotics or DIE!!!!"

So now i have a weekend of killing all the bacteria in my body to look forward to. I hope it doesn't kill my smartness colony!!! I need that one!


a battle for the ages... in my mouth

Last night for dinner I made peanut noodles, a dish whose sauce included, this time, both chili oil and Mongolian fire oil, as well as a number of cloves of garlic. (I have referred to this sauce before, as an ice cream topping in that case.) As you might expect, the taste lingered long past dinner-time; in fact it was still very much present when the time came for me to brush my teeth before bed. Rather than simply chasing the garlic-pepper fumes from my mouth, however, the toothpaste reacted with them in a truly startling fashion, setting up a furious tingling over my entire tongue. It was startling, let me tell you.

Whatever chemical reaction was going on (Leah's got us some fancy baking-powder toothpaste, so there are all sorts of chemicals involved), the battle between mint and garlic-pepper was clearly won by the latter: when I woke up this morning, the taste of the sauce was again strongly present. No more strange sensations on brushing my teeth, however.

dreaming of paradise

Leah posted her visions of the future; I have visions of the future too, but mine don't extend much beyond the middle of next week. As we may have mentioned, we're in what is technically known as crunch time school-wise, and have a great deal of work to do. This means that things we'd much rather be doing, like, say, cleaning the basement or washing clothes, have fallen by the wayside. As we think of those things, the period beyond the end of the semester takes on a mystical quality, not unlike the Millennium so enthusiastically awaited by the radical sects of the period around the English Civil War. My speech is peppered with references to it. "After school is done, I'm going to start baking bread again." "After school's done, I'll have time to organize the office." "After school's done, maybe we can go away for a couple days!" It's only the dreaming that's keeping me sane.

it's always a competition with us

Naturally, Leah and I are fighting over who has to work harder for school. Overall, Leah probably wins because she has to do things with numbers and stuff, and I go to a school that has assigned coloring homework. But right now the tables are turned! She is currently out drinking, having finished up her next-to-last big assignment (a real, live, final exam! I wish I had some of those!). Me, I still have so many assignments to do by Wednesday that I even forgot some of them. Take that!

phew, finally! wait, what?

Yay, all done! Er, except for the take home final due next week. And the math lesson I have to teach the third graders tomorrow. And I made the mistake of telling the design clients I'd be done with school, so now they all want me to do work for them. And we're having this big party Saturday. Parties are alot of work!!

Why won't my life just let me relax and devote my attentions to becoming a full-time blogger, like I've always dreamed of being?

We have a blog???

I've been so busy working on this other blog network for work, that i totally forgot we have our own blog to maintain! But... since blogging about forgetting to blog is like the most booring thing evar, here is a funny story.

We hosted a party saturday evening to celebrate the end of the semester; it was a BBQ featuring the traditional hamburgers and hot-dogs, along with lots of other food which cost us over a hundred bucks (this part is not so much funny as it is sad.) Anyway, the hamburgers were a bit more popular than the hot-dogs, partly because the vegetarian version were home-made black-bean burgers, and the veggie version of the hotdogs were disgusting rectangles of tofu dyed slightly brownish in color. After the party ended, we cleaned up all the extras and put the leftovers in the fridge.

Now this was Saturday. Fast forward to today when i stepped outside to hang up the laundry and i stepped on, STEPPED ON a cold hot-dog with a single bite taken out of it. A COLD HOT-DOG WITH A SINGLE BITE TAKEN OUT OF IT. Now, how you think it would feel to step on? That's exectly how it feels. Like a cold hot dog. with a bite taken out of it. Like a cold hot dog that has not only been out in the rain, but in somebody's mouth, and it was too gross to even eat the rest of it, so they threw it back on the porch. And me in my bare feat. Yeah, it was gross.

The big question of the story is, where did it come from? It wasn't there when we cleaned up on Saturday. Could an animal have taken it out of the trash, but it was even too gross for a racoon to eat? Possibly. It was that gross to step on.


what is there for us now?

A couple things that I didn't get to do for the last month or so of school: read, and bake bread. I did both today, and not much else. Win! My greatest stress is now once again the lawn: both neighbors mowed in the last couple days, so our grass is standing up at least two inches higher than the surrounding plots. We have nicer flowers though, I think.

New Haircut

You know you go to a good hair stylist when you say you want Jenna Jamison's haircut and he knows EXACTLY what you're talking about.

It has a real style and everything!

Adult film industry, here i come! (just kidding, ma!)


Art show

Our friend Greg Haynes opened an art show this weekend at the Bedford Public Library. Greg is a real live studio artist who makes his living by painting pretty pretty paintings, and hopefully this show will be the kick-off to a very successful gallery run. Unfortunately, Greg already sold four paintings on Friday, so he'd better get to work making more!!!

One of the paintings for sale, hanging in the picturesque Bedford Public Library.

The artist and his muse.

Dan says, "Maybe this one is a little out of our price range."

it is finally over

The title of this post can apply both to my semester and to the Heroes season, and both endings are welcome and well overdue. I spent about 18 of the last 24 hours (or rather, the 24 hours between 2:00 Sunday afternoon and 2:00 today) finishing up my pre-practicum binder, the crowning achievement of my nine full days of observations in schools this semester. That's a pretty hefty chunk of work for a "class" that doesn't give me any credits or a grade, but since how I do on it pretty much decides my future in the program I wanted to make sure to do a reasonably competent job. (And the plus side of no credits is, the whole thing was free! Hmm. How far I have sunk to see doing work without paying for the privilege as a silver lining.)

Leah, don't read the next paragraph until you watch the show. Unless you want to save yourself an hour of mediocre television.

As for Heroes, it was a pretty lame conclusion, typical of the way the show has, all along, set up cliff-hangers at the end of episodes and then dispelled them anticlimactically in the first three minutes of the next show. Silar was super easy to kill at the end, and Peter flew away so he would blow up a piece of the sky rather than the city. Yay. And why did he have to take Nathan with him? Could he not have just flown—or time traveled, for that matter—on his own, or did his imminent nuclear meltdown interfere with his other powers? In any case, it couldn't have been more of a deus ex machina if the writers themselves had snatched Peter from the scene with giant pens. Why did Nathan change his mind all of a sudden? What happened to witchy Mrs. Petrelli?! The world may never know, or care. They had a teaser for next season at the end of the episode. Maybe we'll have thrown away our tv by the time it airs, so I'll be spared another 16 hours of this silly show.


Our trip to the Concord River: an artist rendering

Today we took a trip to the Concord River and drama ensued. Dan said he wished he had a camera, he was so sad we didn't bring the camera. So I promised him i would draw the events for our readership.

First Rascal jumped into the river to chase a stick.

But then he just kept going.

Dan suggested he might drift all the way to Lowell.

Neither of us were wearing baithing suits.

I jumped in and swam as fast as I could.

I swam and swam and was panicked that I would lose him, he was so far off.

Luckily, Rascal paddled out of the current stream to the protection of some trees.

And then swam all the way back to Dan who was waiting on the shore.

I never touched Rascal in the water, but I think he appreciated my moral support.

When I came out of the water I was freezing and wet. I was wearing a long cotton t-shirt and shorts.

Dan said, "I wish I had a camera."


life is tough

Now that I don't have school to schedule my life, I just don't know what to do with myself! I mean, what kind of day is it when all you do is watch a play, plant flowers, take the dog to the river, and grill some salmon and asparagus at 3:00 in the afternoon?! It's shameful, is what it is. Oh yeah, I read some comic books too.

Yes, I know this post would be better if I had illustrated it. Leah sets the bar so high...

heat index

We can tell how hot it is around here by looking at how Rascal is lying down. Refer to the following table for a guide to interpreting his posture:

Curled up, tail over nose		< 55°
Curled up, head on feet			56° - 70°
On side, legs tucked in			71° - 80°
On side, legs every which way		> 81°

Of course, you also have to take into account the surface upon which he is lying; in cold weather it is invariably the couch or our bed, and on the hottest of days he only lies on the wood floor. The rugs or his own bed are for intermediate temperatures.

sporting update

I have a confession to make. I sometimes watch SportsCenter in the morning, but only if the Sox won their game the previous night. No reason to watch a losing effort twice! Well, this morning I discovered I had another highlight to worry about: apparently my "alma mater" Cornell had something of a successful season in the lacrosse this year, and yesterday were playing in the national semifinal against Duke. I knew nothing of this until yesterday afternoon, just before the game was due to start, and apparently I jinxed the team completely. When I was unaware of their existence—I don't even know what lacrosse is!—they were undefeated, and the first game I knew about they lost. Even worse, in the approximately forty seconds of that I watched Duke scored two goals (or points, I don't know what they call them in that crazy sport). Since the margin of victory was only one, I feel even more responsible. Oh well, there's only next year. Unless, of course, they only play lacrosse in odd-numbered years; for all I know that might be the case!

Also, I'm sick of ESPN using SportsCenter, and especially the Top Plays segment, as an advertising vehicle for the latest "sports" property they're trying to promote. Lacrosse I don't object to—it is, I'm told, a game of long standing in the Native American community—but indoor football? Ultimate Fighting Championship?! Come on guys, those aren't sports, they're circus sideshows. Or, I don't know, ads for "Energy drinks" or something.


risky behaviors

We're told that Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer around here. To celebrate, the Globe published an article about everything we should be afraid of every time we dare to venture outside of the house in the warm weather. Mosquitoes, spiders, and ticks, oh my! The way they write it, you're risking instant death every time you have to take the dog for a walk. Unless, of course, you wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt (in dark colors, natch; just watch out for cars if you're out after sunset).

The worst part was the section on poison ivy; if we have any, we're told we should seek professional advice before removing it. Good thing I didn't know that when I put two layers of plastic grocery bags over my hands and ripped out all the deadly vines that the previous owners of 11 Beacon Street had left to us. Professional help, pah. Professional help will be the downfall of our society, just like orgies were to Rome. Professional help and fear-mongering; I think the Romans had it better.

On the other hand, we're both of us suffering rather severely from the itchies this season. Poison ivy for me, and bugbites for both of us. "I have open sores all over my body," Leah just told me. Ah, summer!


Rascal can't hunt

We had a disaster in the farming: rabbits or groundhogs ate every single one of the baby pea plants down to the ground, so now we're left with no vegetables planted. Got to get to work! Anyways, as a result I'm kind of mad at the rabbits, so when Rascal noticed a couple of them hanging around the yard this evening, and very kindly alerted me as to their presence, I let him out after them. Unfortunately, his pursuit techniques need a little work.

We don't know what breeds he descended from, but clearly he's some sort of hound mix, so he has some hunting genes in him. The problem, I think, is that he can't decide whether he's a sight hound or a scent hound. Or maybe he just needs more practice. He takes off after the first thing he sees (without taking the time to scan the yard and notice that there might be another little fuzzy thing much closer) and when he loses sight of it he has absolutely no idea what to do. On the plus side, he's now grown-up and attentive enough to realize that when I'm calling him back it's to put him on the right line and give him a chance to use his powers of sniffing. If only he could find a way to determine if the animal that left the scent trail was coming or going.

Needless to say, we were oh-for-two on the rabbits. Just as well, because I'm not sure I'd know how to cook one if we got it; absent any fresh game I dined on spaghetti.


good thing Google isn't evil

As you already know if you read any other blogs, Google has added something called "Street View" to Google Maps. Basically, they've got vans with cameras driving around and taking pictures of everything; then the elves at Google HQ somehow combine the images so you can pan the view as in those old Quicktime VR thingies. Only with Google you can also move your viewpoint, walking down the virtual street, if you will. It's very cool, if only because it lets you see things like this:

When more cities are covered (as of now only parts of San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, and Miami are visible) this is going to be super useful. Heretofore I've been reduced to trying to use the satellite view to figure out where, for example, the entrance to a parking lot is before I try and drive there; how much better would it be to be able to get an actual street level view?

Naturally, some folks have come out against the whole thing as an invasion of privacy. Sure, some people were photographed by the van and frozen forever in Googlemapland (at least until the next update); other people didn't close their blinds so anyone checking their address can now see that they have a tabby who likes to sit in the window. I say, big deal. Anyone who walks by my actual house can see in the windows, and if people mean me harm I think I have more to fear from the ones on the street in front of the house than someone 500 miles away on the internet. It's not like it's difficult to locate people now without Google Street View. Clearly, the wicked cool benefits outweigh any possible negatives.

Plus, how much fun is it to wander around the virtual streets and point out all the cool things you find?


more news from the internets

The folks at LiveJournal have removed a bunch of fanfiction journals or groups or something because they some mention of various "undesirable behaviors". Like, Six Apart isn't happy hosting Harry Potter slash fiction (hot Snape on Harry action!). Who cares: if you want control over your own content, folks, register and design your own sites. It isn't any expensive any more. I felt compelled to comment, though, because much of the reaction has been along the lines of the following:

I'm of the opinion that SixApart has never been good at anything.

Now there's an argument I can get behind!

I'm a bad hippy

I wanted to ride my bike to the library this evening (you know, alternative forms of transport and all) but just as I went to set out, it started raining. I checked the weather radar and it seemed to indicate that the few drops falling were the forerunner of a larger storm, so I regrettably decided that the car might be wiser. The first book I noticed when I reached the library was How to Live Well Without Owning a Car, so I felt kind of bad. By the time I left not only had the rain stopped, but the pavement was already dry.

Also I made myself a delicious healthy dinner of vegetables and lentils, but later decided to bake cookies. Then I ate the leftover cookie dough out of the bowl while watching tv. Baby steps!