Monday, March 30, 2009

Meet the ILs

I spent a cool/cold/rainy, but fun, weekend entertaining the in laws. I took my MIL to the major shopping centers in Columbus (Polaris and Easton) and enjoyed window shopping and trying stuff on. The 1960s are totally back in style and I am loving it. I got a great shirt on Friday that I will have to post a picture of when I get a chance (i.e. the right weather) to wear it.

We ate yummy food- Smackies BBQ, Massey's Pizza, Katzinger Deli sandwhiches, cheesecake, apple pie with ice cream, and lots of tasty snacks.
We went to The Book Loft and the Conservatory, and watched a lot of basketball.

My FIL taught us a new card game, Golf, which I did very well at. I finished another book and picked up some new ones from the library. We went to the farmers market and took Grim to the park.

Overall, an excellent weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Geographical Bliss

We need the rain. It has been quite dry here. And, I like the rain. More yesterday's rain than today's rain though. Yesterday it was 65 degrees and rainy, today its more like 50 and rainy. I really would consider yesterday the first spring rain, and how refreshing it was! I walked from campus to my car, perhaps 4 or 5 blocks in it, and it felt great. My friends think I am nuts- but face turned upwards, hands held out, I love rain.

I hosted book club last night and it was a lot of fun. It was small compared to usual, but a good group. I had picked The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Place in the World as the book, but no one that was there, besides myself, finished it. I cannot blame them. I liked it, but it was over 300 pages, nonfiction, and really just began to drag after awhile, and it was not a quick read either. I think I enjoyed the Bhutan chapter and the Iceland chapter the most. I have had a strange fascination with Bhutan for quite sometime now, and it fed into that interest. Imagine a Himalayan country, locked away from the modern world, content with its identity and allowing the modern world in only so much as to not disturb its happy state of being. I would love to go there. While I have heard Iceland is beautiful, I did not know much about their culture, and reading about it in this book made me eager to visit. Of course my list of places to visit is miles long. But... If I were to do a top ten...

Top Ten Countries I would Like to Visit
(That I have not already been to)
1. Mongolia
2. Bhutan
3. Iceland
4. Turkey
5. Scotland
6. Antartica (OK - this is not a country, but I still think it fits on this list)
7. China
8. Cuba (A girl can dream... right? Maybe Obama will open up relations, as this is a very realistic place to want to go!)
9. Greece
10. Norway

Anyways, this book also interested me just because I am a person who is immensly effected by geography. It sort of drives Aaron nuts at times. I swoon over the lakes and trees of Minnesota. They give me an unexplainable sense of peace and happiness. I drool over mountains and cliffs. They provide me with a sense of adventure, curiosity, and of being alive. I dread the flat plains of Kansas. They fill me with a hopelessness and vulnerability. Ohio is just OK. Columbus is not an extraordinary place, it does not fill me with peace of adventure or awe, but neither does it cause me despair. Ohio is beautiful in its own way, a very agricultural way. Up in Amish country they have rolling green hills with sheep grazing and crops planted. It offers a certain contentment. Hawking Hills, the pride of Ohio in terms of accessible wilderness, offers some nice cliffs and forests, though it has nothing on Minnesota. I would like to explore Wild Ohio more, and may be planning some day trips to not-to-distant state parks besides Hawking Hills to see if perhaps Ohio has more to offer than I know. Until I discover something more, my heart pines for Minnesota, Lake Superior, and most specifically, Palisade Head.

I leave you with these (Palisade Head):

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book Review: Poisonwood Bible

A couple of days ago I finished reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I had entered into the book with some trepidation after seeing it on someones "worse books ever" list on Good Reads, but it is just proof that to each their own, as I found it interesting and compelling.

The Poisonwood Bible is the story of a Baptist preacher whon drags his wife and four daughters into Belgian Congo on a mission trip in 1959. It is told from the point of view of the women of the family (actually, mostly the daughters, while each section begins with a chapter, half narration, half philosophy and remembrance, by the mother). The father is a stubborn man, convinced of the superiority not only of the Lord and Jesus Christ, but also of his interpretation of Christianity, faith god's will, and his western ways.

The daughters are more or less, willing or unwilling, along for the ride. The family, of course, quickly discovers they had no idea what they were getting into, and they each deal with it in their own way. The youngest, Ruth May, sees it with a child's innocence and makes the best of it, loving to teach the children games and catching animals, not dwelling on the bad things. The eldest, 16 year old Rachel, despises the place and plays a stereotype- materialistic, racist, and ignorant, believing whatever the official story is and set on nothing more than returning to her own material comfort that she feels she deserves. The middle two, supposedly 15 years old, though to me Leah's section reads more like a 10 or 12-year-old each offer a unique voice. Leah is adventerous and eager to please, seeking approval from authority figures. Adah, a mute, is the closest the book has to an objective narrator, though of course she brings her own perspective as well.

The book was, of course, depressing. How could a book about the Belgian Congo (later Zaire, later Democratic Republic of Congo), not be depressing? There is a whole field of American history that is not taught, not publicized, that the average person does not even know exists - and it embodies among other things the horrible things that the American government did in the name of stopping "evil communism". Tearing down democratic regimes and replacing them with despots, as happened in the Congo and is discussed in the book, was par for the course. Arming rebels to start civil war was par for the course. Better a dictatorship than a socialist democracy was the theme. It was not until the 1990s that the U.S. begin to sing the policy of "freedom and democracy for everyone" so fervently. People do not know this. Die hard patriots do not think about this, about our historical hypocrisies and the way we destroyed so many lives. Some readers think that The Poisonwood Bible is too preachy, driving the point to far. If anything it does not drive it far enough. I wonder how many people read this book and still do not really understand the atrocity of what America did in this time period, the suffering we caused. It would be quite easy to read this book and focus so much on the personal tragedies and forget or lose the overarching tragedies.

Anyways, enough ranting. Some final quotations to finish off the post:

"Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization" - Adah

"To live is to change, to aquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know" - The Mother

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Weekend's Over Already?

I had a great weekend with my older sister, Laurelyn. She arrived Friday night, coming straight to a farewell party I was going to for a friend. The company and food were both delicious, but we will be sad to see Daniel go. Towards the end of the night we gave in and watched some Basketball, which was perhaps a bad idea since OSU ended up losing to Sienna.

On Saturday, Laurelyn and I wandered over to the Winter Farmers Market in Worthington. It was very nice, a small indoor event. It has a lot of the same vendors that do the summer market - people who sell homemade jams, bread, soap, cheese, etc, people who raise meat animals, and there were even a couple of fresh vegetables available. I got some delicious snap peas and some cilantro and green onions to make something tasty later this week. After that adventure we headed mall-ward (Polaris) to look for wedding shoes and pick up a copy of the every-addictive Twilight, which came out on DVD at midnight on Friday. Back at the house Laurelyn returned her addictive cleaning attentions to my office, which had fallen into complete disarray since the last time she was here (when she cleaned my office closet). For the record, the office closet was still clean, just not the closet. Cleanliness and organization is much easier to maintain than to create.

Around 5pm, our Cousin Becky showed up and we all headed over to Banana Leaf, a delicious restaurant which I already have reviewed in a previous lengthy blog entry. It never disappoints me and we all enjoyed it. Then, back home to enjoy Twilight together (with some adult beverages of course). The movie was great. I love having a copy now, more immediate gratification for the addiction. Also, a lot of the extras are interesting - how they made it, the extra scenes, interviews with the main actors. I have to say though, the director is a complete nutcase and the interviews with the author (Stephanie Meyers) confirmed suspicions about the exact nature of the work. Definitely a guilty pleasure.

On Sunday, Laurelyn and I took Grim to the dog park, then stopped and picked up donuts, before returning home to finish the office. It is now immaculate. The books are even organized by topic, then alphabetically. That is my sister for you! I wish I could hire her to organize my whole house. We eventually made our way north to Grandma's with a springtime dessert cake in tow (or at least the makings of it) and enjoyed dinner with family. Laurelyn left straight from their to head back up to Michigan while Aaron and I hung around awhile before coming home.

This is the Monday of my spring break. The break is filling up quite faster than I had expected. Before, it seemed to stretch before be, a glorious chance to read novels, watch movies, clean the house, and take the dog to exciting new locations. But, tomorrow I am going to the outlets with friends, Wednesday I have a class to go to (rescheduled) and am hosting book club, Thursday night I am hosting a party, and Friday my ILs are coming. Most of these things (besides class) are fun things, but they still certainly change the week away from being one of novel reading and park hopping. I am sure I will survive though! LOL. As my other post said ... "I ain't ever had too much fun!!"

And perhaps a new Mantra while I am quoting things:
"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one." - Dr Seuss

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring is Here

Today is the official start of spring, so I thought I should brighten up my blog a bit! I still have a bit of work to do to clean up this "snap dragon" theme, like changing the blue titles, but I am struggling to find the coding for that bit so I will have to wait for another day. Right now its time for some serious spring cleaning because I have a visitor coming tonight!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh What Beautiful Morning...

Oh what a beautiful morning
Oh what a beautiful day
I have a beautiful feeling
Everything's going my way.

I started the day at 11:30 (after an early awakening revealed a monstrous migraine requiring drugs and more sleep). But at 11:30 I felt great. I got up, and threw open the windows to let in the crisp, clear wonderfully fresh air. It felt amazing. I decided immediately that I should not spend the day inside and set to finding something to do outside, finally settling on rollerblading. I drove over to Antrim Park, which sits on the Olentangy River Trail, strapped on my Rollerblades, and set out. It was peaceful and beautiful. I Rollerblades over four miles! When I got back to my starting point I settled down onto a wooden bench overlooking a small lake (perhaps a large pond) and relaxed in the sun. It felt great.

After a bit a women joined me and struck up conversation. Her name was Joanne. She is a retired school administrator who is now trying to get a book published. She was nice enough, if not overly curious or interfering. It was an odd but enjoyable encounter.

After she wandered off to call and wish her twin sister a happy birthday I headed back towards my own neighborhood. Just as I was about to cross High Street, through the cute downtown area of Worthington, it struck me that an Ice Cream Cone would be delicious and also that I had a free Graeter's coupon in my wallet. I turned down High Street and found Graeters, ordered a scoop of Pistachio Ice Cream and meandered back up High Street past all of the adorable family owned shops and beautiful churches. The ice cream was amazing, maybe the best pistachio ice cream I have ever had. It had whole delicious pistachios in it! I found the building where Worthington has its winter's farmer market (which I intend to attend this weekend), and eventually made my way back to the car, and after a brief stop at the grocery store, back home.

What an immensely peaceful way to spend a day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finally Finals

I am done with my Econ Exam. I believe I passed, which was pretty much all I was going for.

I am done with grading, except one straggler paper. I will submit grades as soon as I either receive that or the deadline for late papers expires (today at noon)

My assessment of teaching? Its about how I thought it would be. I don't dislike it, but I don't particularly love it either. Maybe if I could teach an econ/math based course (like game theory) I would truly enjoy it. I also do not think I am very good at it, or I should clarify. I am good at conveying information and helping people understand it. I just get lazy about some things.

Yesterday I went with my friend to finish my teapot. I get to see the finished product next week! (they have to glaze and fire it). I hope it turns out!!

Other than that, things are good. I have been finding plenty of ways to relax - reading, TV (American Idol last night was quite good, which is surprising since usually country night stinks), friends. I think this will be a great spring break. I feel like I have not posted much substance as of yet and would like to remedy that, but I need to be inspired first.

Hope everyone else is doing well :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Girl Too Pretty...

"Too much fun, whats that mean?
Its like a girl too pretty, there is no such thing
Being too lucky
With too much class
Too much money
A car too fast,
No Matter what they say I've done,
I ain't never had too much fun"

I had a good, fun packed Friday night and Saturday. Last night DH took me out on a date. We went to a Puerto Rican restaurant and then out to see Slumdog Millionaire. Good times! The restaurant was OK, good food but its not something I am going to start craving or insist on taking people to eat. The movie was also quite good, though I guess I sort of felt like "really? This was the best movie of the year?" afterwards. I mean, don't get me wrong, its quite good, very good, definitely deserves some recognition, but I am not so sure it is the movie of the year. I will have to see some of the other competitors before I make up my mind, but I have heard Milk is amazing. Different people react to Slumdog Millionaire differently. I came away from it depressed. My friend R came away neutral, and my friend M came away happy and optimistic. The next line is a SPOILER. The movie has a lot of horrible things happen in it but ultimately has a happy ending. That is why there is the mix of reactions. The thing is, all of the horrible things that happen are real life events, things people deal with everyday, where as the good things that happen are all entirely contrived and unrealistic. So, its like this fantasy about "if only life worked out the way it does in the movies". So. I came away depressed. Such is life though!

When we got home we both inadvertantly went right to bed... as in, laid down for a minute and ended up sleeping 12 hours. That was odd.

This morning I watched the final two episodes of Torchwood - season 1, and then met M & R to paint some pottery. I am painting a tea pot. I need to put one more coat on it, so we are likely going back Tuesday. Then, right after I got home from that I met up with friend T to watch more Torchwood. Well, actually we had ("had") to watch some Dr. Who first, which was tons of fun, and then back to Torchwood and its melodrama. I really like some of the characters.

Tomorrow will be a day of studying and grading. I do have a test to pass on Monday after all (that is my standard now, passing the economics exam). I have all sorts of fun things lined up in coming days and weeks. I like to keep busy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Delinquencies, But, A Good Week

I have been somewhat delinquent in updating this blog and completely and utterly delinquent at updating my geography blog. I don't know why, just could not get the motivation.

But things are going quite well and I have been in the good mood. I am on a major reading-for-fun binge. I finished Transparent Things and am in the middle of Look at the Harlequins, both by Nabokov. I finished the poetry anthology. I am in the middle of Geography of Bliss for book club and Kiss for fun as well, with Brave New World anxiously waiting on my night stand for me to finish one of the others. I have become an even more active member of the site Good Reads and encourage anyone who loves reading or just wants to see what other people are reading or read book reviews to sign up. Its free, its easy, its fun.

On Tuesday I gave my last lecture of the quarter. It was on underdevelopment and civil war in Africa.Thursday I gave a review session and they did their teacher evaluations, which I look forward to seeing when the quarter is over. On Monday I give the final exam and also take my final exam in economics. Once I finish grading those Monday exams I am off until March 30th. Sweet.

I have been taking Grim to the dog park quite frequently, in fact I took her every night so far this week. She loves it and in a lot of ways it is easier to take her their than to walk her. We have become regulars, and so the other regulars are starting to get to know us. Grim is a very gentle play buddy. She usually is the largest dog, or one of the largest dogs there, but she also seems to be one of the gentlest with the small dogs. She loves to chase anything or anyone who runs, but she is not so interested in what happens if and when she catches them. Sometimes I think she prefers not to catch them. The one downside to all of this is her lack of coordination. If she is chasing a small dog and that small dog happens to stop without warning, she very well may run the dog over, even as she attempts to throw on the breaks or jump. But I would much rather have these unintentional habits than her being over aggressive or dominant towards other dogs.

Not much else going on. I am just in an overall good mood! DH has been playing a lot of World of War Craft and I am thinking of reactivating my account. I was disturbed by the school shooting in Germany and see it as a perverse sign of globalization. I think its hilarious that investors responded to news such as "G.E. lost its AAA credit rating, but only by one point, not by the ten points expected" by surging in the market. Well... an economic recovery has got to start somewhere. No big news on the job front for DH, but the contractor he previously worked for is back on the table (we thought they had decided on no new hires, but it seems quite the opposite). If he gets an offer from them he will find out about it on April 20th.

That's all for now folks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Poem

I am currently reading (clearly, among other things) 100 Great Poems of the Twentieth Century and have stumbled upon a poem that describes something I experience frequently - periodic existential crises if you will. If you are interested, you can read it on google books:

"The Tobacco Shop" by Fernando Pessoa (translated by Richard Zenith)

Another Good Weekend

This weekend flew by, even faster than usual I think!

Friday night I went out to dinner at the Banana Leaf Indian Restaurant with some friends. It did not disappoint. I have already posted an excellent, detailed review of this place so feel free to look that up if you want more info. It is quite delicious. Even more interesting was the fact one of the friends who was with me had never had Indian, ever! I was glad to change that and she seemed to like it pretty well, especially the potato dishes! Then, we left their husbands behind and the three of us girls headed out to see Twilight again, meeting up with my cousin at the theater. I was happy to be going to see it, but not super excited as I had been the first three times. Then we sat down and the movie began and all the excitement came rushing back. My cousin and I are already talking about another trip. Did I mention the DVD comes out March 21st? LOL.

Saturday during the day I baked cookies and watched a few more episodes of Torchwood, a BBC Sci Fi show that my friend Tracy introduced us to. I really like it, very fun show. I baked Maple Snickerdoodles, and I must say they turned out wonderfully, they almost melt in your mouth. In the evening I headed over the The Bare Bowl with some of my Internet pals and started to paint a teapot. It was a lot of fun, and I have to go back because I am no where near finishing!! That ended around 8:15pm and then I started the 45 minute drive down to Hilliard where I was due for a house warming. It was a small gathering, but lots of fun. We played the Wii, chatted, and had a good game of trivial pursuit in which my team beat Aaron's. Yay us! LOL. When we got home at 1:30am, I was not tired, and ended up staying up another hour. Add to that the daylight savings change and I did not make it to sleep until around 3:30am. Wowza!

So, it should be no surprise I was slow moving on Sunday morning! I baked the bottom half of springtime dessert in the morning while watching more Torchwood, and then headed off to my Grandma's. We redecorated her Valentine's Day tree as a St. Patty's Day tree and I must say it turned out quite good, despite Cousin Becky's skepticism. Uncle Curt did a great job purchasing decorations for it and Aunt Karen and I put it all together while he prepared dinner. My Grandma really likes it! Here is some pictures:

I stayed at Grandma's house pretty late, got home around 11pm and promptly stayed up reading Look at the Harlequins by Nabokov. It is a tough read, even compared to other Nabokov. I also am noticing distinct and predictable trends as I read more and more of this author (who I constantly describe as my favorite!) - weak main characters who either had or believe they have a mental defect, chasing after unpredictable, emotionally scarred or muted women. Other frequent themes include pedophilia, sleep and dreams, the nature of time, the nature of history, and the nature of reality. It is these last three themes that keep me coming back. There also seems to be something going on between books. I think I will soon need to read a book ABOUT Nabokov to better orient my reading of him.

Today? Home. Remember, dissertation workshop got cancelled. I am writing a lecture and study guide, and then, if my current mood remains, I want to get some spring cleaning done. There are so many little tasks around the house that have been being put off for ages, and given my free time, there is nothing except my own laziness stopping me from achieving them!!

Wish me luck!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Gossip and Self Reflection

We all have personality flaws, insecurities, little things that make us less likable to other people than we might be. Gossiping is also human nature. So, tonight, I found myself gossiping about someones main insecurities, personality flaws that become annoying and hard to deal with. It is human nature to enjoy such conversations, to embrace and laugh at the flaws of others.

But, I think it is only fair to the person who I was gossiping about if I stop for a moment to consider what my personality flaws might be. Surely I annoy her at times as well. Surely there are things I do and ways I act that are just as insecure or just as abrasive, the question is what? It is so much easier to identify someone else's flaws than your own, the world is seen much clearer when you are viewing some straight on, rather than through your own reflection. If you read this blog and you would like to help me "guess" my flaws, go for it. (Of course, it stops being guessing once an outside party is involved! That is why no one ever partakes in such invitations).

I think my personality flaws are probably something along the lines of being judgmental, unforgiving, and perhaps even sanctimonious. I tend to think my own judgment is correct and have trouble understanding how someone else could judge it differently, particularly in certain cases. Also, I have a feeling that, due to being judgmental and unforgiving, my first impression of someone (not just the first meeting, but the way they establish themselves in my mind) greatly affects just how sanctimonious and egotistical I become. In other words, if I initially judge someone as highly intelligent and reasonable, then I will not be overly assertive with them. However,if I initially judge someone as weak or illogical or flaw-ridden, I will likely always think I am right when I get into an argument or debate with them, rather than really understanding their point of view. This is a character flaw. I imagine it must be quite frustrating for someone to be my friend when I am sure that my judgment is better than theirs. This is probably particularly a problem when my initial impression of someone is incorrect, or if they change as a person.

So what is to be done? Obviously, the point of self reflection and self criticism is to attempt to correct our flaws and become a better person, but I feel a particular resistance to changing these habits, perhaps because it would require admitting that my judgment is not always better than these people, perhaps because I enjoy judging (which is totally true, why do you think I like grading? Or writing a geography quiz?), or perhaps just because I think it is part of who I am. I have strong opinions, and I believe myself to have sound judgment. If I am proven wrong, I accept it, but most arguments are not about proof. If this is indeed the case, perhaps the best solution is not to try and change my behavior, not stop judging, but rather to allow more flexibility, to allow the images I create in my mind of people to be shaped by their behavior overtime, by how they may grow and change as a person.

Probably a good idea.


Yesterday we arrived home, after a tasty meal at Raising Caines, to a kitchen floor full of glass. We could identify at least three broken glasses amongst the wreckage, though I really think it actually was four. Thank you kitties. The glasses had been on the Kitchen counter, the counter cats are not allowed up on, drying. I am guessing our newest addition, who does not really know the downstairs rules yet and is a much more reckless jumper than the other two, came barreling into the kitchen either being chased by the dog, or more likely his own shadow and jumped onto the counter without looking, sliding across it slightly taking out four of the seven glasses there.

Grim is limping. Hopefully its nothing, but it does make me worry about hip displaysia (common in large breed), or something else not so fun. However, this ailment did not stop her from partaking in my food when I went upstairs to hand Aaron the phone. I got back down and her nose was in my bowl, and bits of food were all around as she has dug in so hastily. I don't even know why she liked it, it was pretty spicy!! I was really looking forward to finishing that.

Oh well, I guess its all worth it. I read a study today that said people with pets are more emotionally stable and less stressed. Good in the long term, but today they definitely added more chaos to my life!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

On my Way...

In twenty minutes I leave for another econ class. I do not plan to provide a stream of conscious blog for this one however. I should be taking better notes today. We are on to Oligopolies, which I do not remember at all.

I am a seriously guilty person. I think it stems from an underlying personality trait of wanting to live up to other peoples expectations, and this causes lots and lots of guilt. Today's cause of guilt? Grading. Some kid thinks I graded him to harsh. For the record, I did not. But that does not stop me from feeling guilty that he did poorly. It is so entirely illogical and stupid.

I also feel guilty because we jointly managed to get dissertation workshop canceled this coming Monday. I pulled out because I will not have anything ready. Then, my friend pulled out because she is really struggling lately, then because us two dropped out, the third presenter decided to drop out. No more presenters means no more workshop. I feel bad about it because the professor really wants to help us do well and we are jointly disappointing him. Once again, this should not be my guilt to bear (its not my fault the other two dropped out!!).

I think guilt is a dragon for me. It affects me way too much, for inappropriate reasons, and can just make me unhappy. Anyone have any mantras to stop feeling guilty?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Two Hours in My Mind (An Experiment in Stream of Consciousness)

I walk into the classroom where my economics course is held five minutes before class starts, feeling late because the classroom fills up so far. Luckily there are two desks available around where I normally sit. I switch the position of the two desks so I can be both comfortable and in the preferable location. I open my notebook, write the date on the top of the page, note that I missed a class so if I go back to look at my notes it will make sense that they are not continuous, and start doodling. A guy comes in and asks me to scoot back so he can squeeze by. He sits next to me and asks how I have been. This guy is nice enough, but I don't particularly like talking to him because he always seems to be flirting. He even asked me out once. Of course, now he knows I am married, but the flirting thing is still weird. He complains about how boring class is. I doodle. I wonder if he is watching me doodle.

Class starts. The professor jumps into the middle of the Spence Model. Really? We are still in game theory? I really thought we would be out of game theory by now. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered coming. Going for an extended bathroom break sounds nice, but it would be awkward to come back in. The professor says he is sick so at least we might get out early. He jumps into the model and I quickly figure out what model it is. I did not know its name but I have done the model. I wish there was something else I could do to occupy my mind besides listen to him. Perhaps I could make a to do list. But I don't really feel like it. I could list the countries of the world, but I know them very well now so its no where near as challenging or entertaining as it used to be. There is some work I could be doing for a group project, but I feel guilty when I think about that so I move on. The professor is now explaining the separating equilibrium. I copy it down half-heartily, not bothering to fully comprehend it because I know I can figure it out again later (since it is review anyways). This is a pretty good professor most of the time. I wonder how good of a teacher I am. I know I get to technical with explanations sometimes, but when I feel myself doing that I try to back step and start over with an example or a more plain-English way of describing the concept. I did that today with over-valuated currencies in Africa. Talking about currency is always hard.

Now the professor is talking about something called the intuitive criterion. I have not heard of it, but I cannot get myself to concentrate. It has to do with when someone will make a mistake in a game. I will have to look it up in the book later. All the sudden there is a huge outburst of noise outside the classroom. What the heck? Very odd. The professor ignores it for about thirty seconds and then stops lecturing and looks skeptically at the door. The whole classroom starts laughing as we listen to what seems to be someone throwing a fit down the hall. The boy in front of me gets up and closes the door. I wonder what he is yelling about? I imagine possible scenarios - a worker that just got fired? or maybe that is just some one's lecture method? Despite the door being closed, I can still hear it very loudly since I am near the door. I am sort of thankful for that because its something to think about besides the lecture. It gets particularly loud and I look around to see if anyone else is also listening. I try to find someone to make eye contact with, a shared moment of hilarity and confusion. I lock eyes for a second with a blond girl who I have talked to but don't know her name. We both laugh. Social behavior is very strange when you get thinking about it. The professor is talking about timing. Definitely review. All the sudden there is an outburst of laughter from an entire classroom. It must be a class making that noise. I wish I was there, laughing at someone sounds much better than this. I bet it is a Drama class. The noise dies down, and now there is only the occasional applause.

The professor finishes game theory and pauses awkwardly. There is a shuffle in the classroom, a collective wish that he wants to end the class because his cold. Instead we are told he feels OK and he will continue on to Monopolies. I should take notes now. The classroom is very oddly shaped, sort of a trapezoid, but only slightly, and with one corner cut off. There are built-in book cases on the opposite side of the room. I copy the first-order condition off the blackboard and wonder why they are there. The building must have been built at a time when bookshelves in a classroom would make sense. I realize I have missed the second order condition and copy down a graph from the board. Perhaps the classroom was built when teachers still had their own classrooms, or at least where classrooms were always used for the same subject. Now those bookshelves are completely useless. No one will leave anything on them except perhaps garbage. The professor moves onto comparative statics. Review. It is clear that the book I am reading by Nabokov right now is rubbing off on me. Transparent Things has a tendency to drop off into the history of random objects that the characters encounter, trying to prove the philosophical point that material objects inherently have history and suck us into history. Perhaps he is right, or he is just rubbing off on me. I wonder what someone else would think if they could read my thoughts, if this random flirtatious guy next to me knew I was considering a Nabokov model. If someone could read minds like Edward in Twilight, or like the legilimency from Harry Potter. I just listened to that section of book five in the car last night on my way to Krispy Kremes. The professor makes the point that monopolies will produce enough items such that the marginal price equals the marginal cost. This is good review, I jot that down quickly.

It is strange how different people view the world so differently. If someone could spend a day in my head, they probably would get a whole new view of the world. Of course, it would be a double-lens of sorts since it would be what they were thinking about what I was thinking. It is fascinating the way different people's minds work differently. I should blog about how I think, perhaps a stream of conscious. In fact, this class would not be a bad topic to do that about since I am mainly sitting here trying not to be bored. The professor explains why resale undermines the ability of monopolies to price discriminate, especially preventing first degree price discrimination. It makes me think of the fuss over the Child Safety act that threatened to end resale of many baby items. I spent a lot of time reading up on that and I don't know why. I think I just like feeling knowledgeable. It is of course possible that DH was right and that was all a conspiracy of sorts, or I should say, a result of special interest pressure on the congress to help eliminate resale and foreign goods. It seems a bit ridiculous to me, but a lot of things in politics are ridiculous. A lot of people are spazzing out about Obama's budget at the moment, but I think it is just politicking and will get cut down by Congress. I think by offering many proposals, more are likely to get passed. And if something important is left out, Obama can blame congress this way. I am not sure how I feel about Obama politicking. I mean, he has to do it to get things done in Washington, but his image of integrity is threatened by it. I remember thinking that H. Clinton would make a better president because she would know how to get things done, but I guess that Obama knows his way around politics just fine.

The professor has moved onto second degree price discrimination. I write down the definition and then return to daydreaming since I understand it without the example he is about to give. I am really tired and think about the trouble I had falling asleep last night. Every time I turned off the TV my head developed into either a huge, guilt and worry filled mess, which is relatively typical, or I saw little monkeys shooting darts at balloons. I obviously have been playing way to much Bloon Tower Defense. It is sort of ridiculous really. Finally I turned on the first Harry Potter movie that was on the Disney channel and rolled over and tried to go to sleep. It was not working so well. I just kept thinking and thinking. I think the Harry Potter movies are permanantly imprinted on my brain. I wonder if that is a bad thing. I don't think so. Finally DH came in and changed it to sports and asked me some questions which I answered in an extremely disoriented and I am sure humourous manner and then he got into bed. It is so much easier falling asleep when you can be thinking about how cold his hand is on my side or something rather than trying to determine the future.

Woah! My professor just drew a seriously weird demand curve. I wonder why. Oh. Its still second degree price discrimination. He then draws a normal demand curve and shows how a similar idea works on the different curves. It makes sense so I start to tune out again. Then he suddenly interrupts himself and says we are all looking at him like he is speaking ancient Greek and are their any questions? We seem to have rocked his boat. I wonder if my face looked confused. It has a tendency to do that when I am thinking. I wonder how I will get to my doctors appointment tomorrow, and how it will go. It sounds like I will be having a lot of random standard tests done that I have never had, like cholesterol and such. I hope my report is good. Now he is showing us how to find the area of a triangle. Not just any triangle, a very specific triangle. Review. I am getting really drowsy. He puts up the definition of third degree price discrimination and I write it down, noting the examples of coupons and international markets. Coupons... we should use more coupons. Actually we should grocery shop more and I should cook more. It is one of my failed New Years resolutions, but its not to late. I could make it a spring resolution, accompanying my spring resolution to lose weight. What is an inverse demand function? Oh well. I don't think its an important, and I can figure it out later if it is. I am cooking at least one more time this week - the cooking club recipe. It sounds tasty. I should soak the beans tonight. I am excited to be hosting book club next month. I hope people like the book. I hope DH gets the projects around the house done he promised back in December to have finished by March. I wonder what room I should hold book club in.

People seem to be packing up to leave. Is it time to go? The professor has finished his Third Degree Price Discrimination Examples. I try not to jump the gun and rudely rustle my papers. I slowly put the caps on my pens. He is trying to tell us what we are doing for the rest of the quarter and I just can't pay attention. Oh well. I wonder if my class pays attention when I tell them similar things. He is done. Finally I can get out of here. Maybe I will go blog about it.