June 17th, 2009
|11:24 am - Mac Question|
OK, I am now using Joachim's old Mac, because the 5-year-old PC my Mom gave me now has a blurry screen, and my 8-year-old thinkpad (a fine machine) freezes every couple hours.
So I'm on Joachim's old Mac, but I don't know much about it... I'd like to maybe install Sims 2, but I'm not sure what the specs of this machine are. You know how you can click on "My Computer" on a PC and find out everything you need to know? How do you do that on a Mac?
June 4th, 2009
|06:05 pm - Obama's speech was generally pretty good, but...|
... I don't think global nuclear disarmament is realistic. What does he think is gonna happen to the weapons, they are gonna evaporate?
|05:24 am - It must have been cool to be a medieval catholic|
For J's birthday last night, we went to St Chapelle, where we saw a harpsichord and violin concert. It was absolutely beautiful. The chapel is so full of stained glass windows, and what isn't window is painted and gilded, that you feel like you must be a diamond ring in a jewelry box. The music was wonderful, and looking up at the gorgeous blue and red and green and pink windows, I felt transported.
I was thinking about it the other day at Chartres. How cool it must have been when there was incense, and priests in heavily embroidered robes and nuns in veils, and fabulous music. It must have been so cool.
Church is so boring now. Even the nuns wear normal clothes.
But imagine back then!
On another topic, my cousin P is a perv. We had dinner at his house with his wife M, and his kids, who are a couple years younger than us, E and G.
His house is full of sex artwork. His lamp in the living room is the torso of a blindfolded naked lady. The bathroom has three prints of naked buttocks, ready to be penetrated, and one odd picture of... a brothel? It's a cartoon drawing of women who look like Jessica Rabbit, but with bigger boobs and hair, and wearing only bustiers and garter belts. Its a five story house, looking like a doll house so you can see inside. The girls are eating, peeing, showering, swinging, reading, washing, sleeping, dancing, playing instruments... everything you can imagine doing in this house and yard.
It was quite odd to be so out there about it. I mean, most of the pervs I know clean up a bit when family members come over! It was a bit creepy.
June 3rd, 2009
|05:14 am - I'm a bit depressed|
I feel like a parasite. I contribute nothing of worth to society. I need to find a better job, but is it worth it since we're only gonna be in Philly another year? It might be better to stay at my current part-time job, so that it would be a 2-year job on my resume, rather than get a better job for 1 year, and have 1 year at my job and 1 year at this new job. I don't know. Thoughts?
June 2nd, 2009
|04:12 am - Dinner|
Last night I had dinner with my dad's cousin, who has the same name as my brother, and his boytoy. My cousin is a round little fellow who looks a bit like Papa Smurf. He's the fun cousin, who brings gifts and takes people out to dinner and likes to have a glass of wine. This is because he lives in Pakistan where he can't get any wine. He does "democracy building" for a living. He is hoping to transfer to Armenia.
The boy toy is a Russian photographer in his mid-twenties. Very cute guy. Go, C! He lives in Kazakastan. You know, where Borat is from. He thought the movie was silly. Which of course, it is.
We discussed politics... he blames Obama for the overspending and the future deficit. He's very conservative and right-wing, which isn't something I've seen in a lot of gay guys. I think he's more libertarian than conservative, though, which would make more sense. He isn't a fundie as far as I know... that would be REALLY odd.
June 1st, 2009
|07:30 am - Paris|
You are probably wondering what I am up to. I've been very busy... I'm in Paris!
We are staying in a small studio with a kitchenette. We are in the 5me, near the Pantheon and the Luxemburg. J works on his math problem during the day, and I've been doing householdy things and working on my novel during the day. There are a whole lot of mathematicians who have been invited. We had lunch with his PhD advisor a week or so ago. J comes home for lunch, or we go eat somewhere. It's very domestic and cosy.
We arrived on a Sunday, and hung out a couple of days. Then we went to Lausanne, where he had a job interview. Things are looking good there. Lausanne is a beautiful city on Lake Geneva. His parents came for a day, and we took a boat ride across the lake to Evian-les-bains (where the bottled water is from). Then we went to Geneva to see my relatives. My grandmother is in the process of moving to Morges, which is near Lausanne, so if we moved there we'd be near here. A lot of the professors live in Morges, as the university is halfway between Lausanne and Morges, and Morges is cheaper. Since the house was chaos, we stayed in a hotel, in a very overpriced garret room with spiderwebs in the rafters. Then we went back to Paris.
As I mentioned, we work during the day, and then we do our hanging out in the evening. We like to stroll down to the Quartier Latin, and hang out around there. Sometimes we eat out. Sometimes we have dinner first, then walk around. We've both been to Paris several times before, so there isn't the pressure to sightsee, we can just enjoy ourselves. We did do some touristy stuff...
We went to Chartres on Saturday. I LOVED it. Paris is wonderful, but my favorite part of France is all these cute small towns. I made the same observation last year when we rented the car and bummed around the countryside outside of Toulouse. Chartres looks like the town from Beauty and the Beast. It's got enough shops and restaurants to be interesting, but there's a calmer feel to it, and there are nice plazas with restaurants on them. And, of course, the cathedral, which is splendid.
We saw "The Bald Soprano" that evening, in the Theatre de la Huchette. If any of you speak French and go to Paris, see it, or see "La Lecon" which I saw a few years back when I was chaperoning students around France. Ionesco is brilliant, and the production is great, even for those whose French is shaky (though you need a basic amount to understand it).
We went to the Louvre on Sunday. We didn't see the Mona Lisa, since we've both seen it before, we went to see an Egyptian exhibition, and then we just wandered around. We did go by the Venus de Milo. The Egyptian exhibit was very cool, lots of pictures of Osiris with the crook and scourge. As for the pyramid... people usually love or hate it. I was ambivilent towards it until Sunday, when we had to stand under it because of the lines. Two words... greenhouse effect.
Tonight we are dining with my cousin C, who works in Pakistan, and his young eastern European ballet dancer lover. Tomorrow we are dining with my Parisian cousins. Wednesday is J's birthday, and we are going to St. Chapelle to see a concert. It's a beautiful old church. I've never been, but J loves it. I ordered his cake today, I suppose we will eat it when we get back from the concert.
This weekend, we leave Paris for Basel, where he is meeting with a professor from the University. He has an interview Monday morning. Sunday night, his parents are taking us out to dinner. After his interview, we are off to Evian-les-bains, where he is giving a talk for a math conference. While we are there, I will take the boat across to see my grandmother, who will probably be in Morges by then. Then we are off to Basel again, and then home!
It is going to be a very busy summer. We'll have 2 weeks in Philly, and his friend Wilhelm is coming to work with him on their big math project. During that time, I will go up to Boston to see some friends and my family. Then, my brother's wedding is the first weekend of July, then his brother is coming to visit, then we are going to see Wilhelm in Chicago for two weeks, then that brings us to August. We may go to China in August, it depends what happens with the flu and all that. Then two weeks of rest, and school starts again! We're in a total whirl!
And hopefully before the end of the summer, he'll get another offer... from Lausanne! We will see. If we move to Lausanne, come visit us.
May 28th, 2009
|07:49 am - J's promotion went through!|
It is contingent on his getting his greencard, which is annoying, since the University office is being very slow about that, but as long as he gets it in the next 2 years, he has tenure at our current location!!!
May 25th, 2009
May 23rd, 2009
|01:05 am - I know I sound spoiled, but...|
So, my grandmother is moving to her apartment, so her stuff is getting split up between her three kids.
There was some stuff I thought I was going to get. My whole life I was told I would get some of it. For about half of my life I kind of planned around it, asking for Christmas and Birthday gifts that would match this stuff. And now I'm not getting it, the way they ended up splitting the stuff. I'm getting other stuff, equally valuable stuff... but less practical. And not the stuff I spent my past 15 birthdays and Christmasses asking for matching stuff for.
I know it's spoiled of me, I know it isn't my stuff. I know I'm the grandchild, not the child. I know they don't need to give me anything at all. But at the same time, I'm so dissapointed that I'm crying.
It turns out I am much more materialistic than I thought.
May 9th, 2009
|06:59 pm - Dilemma|
One of my students has a thick inner-city accent. This is going to hold him back in life, no question. It would be nice if people didn't discriminate, but they do. He is nice, polite, and hard-working... doesn't matter. His accent marks him.
How do I delicately go about referring him to the speech services? I'm trying to figure out who his adviser is. I hope his adviser can do this instead of me.
I guess I'm also worried that I'd be accused of discrimination or being insulting or something. But really, no one has done this kid any favors by letting him get this far without speaking "Standard American English". If this kid wants to be taken seriously when he gets out, and have access to a wider range of opportunities, he needs to learn to speak the standard dialect.
What are your thoughts?