Ay yi yi, Alito.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:30 am

Jessica said it better than I could, considering she’s an attorney and more knowledgeable on these topics.

I was going to write a mini-rant on the one position I find most abhorrent about Alito, but I really couldn’t pick just one. He is just such an 18th-century thinker. It’s really amazing that there are still people out there who think that when a woman gets married, she surrenders decision-making rights about her own body to her husband. What’s next, spousal permission forms before drastic haircuts? Oh, excuse me, husband permission forms. Something tells me there’s no hope for a law requiring a wife to consent to her husband’s vasectomy.

Maybe he’d be all right as long as you’re not a woman or non-white, and as long as nobody you care about is a woman or non-white. That leaves gay white men who have no fondness for any woman or non-white person, I guess.

Though I suspect that gay men don’t have much to gain from Alito either.

FILIBUSTER, cha cha cha.


I do this just to mess with you

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:54 pm

So we thought we had the whole vacation thing figured out.

And then we went out to dinner with our friend. It turns out he’s getting married in Norway this August, and we’re invited (for those of you who think you know who it is, you’re right).

I’ve never really thought about going to Norway before, but now that I think about it, it sounds pretty fun. I’ll keep you updated as the decision-making process continues.

Too loud!

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:21 am

I hope my future children are quiet. I’ve found that I get overstimulated very easily by loud noises, especially at night. I need about an hour of near-silence before I can chill out enough to go to sleep. I haven’t gotten a single good night’s sleep this week, because I’ve been rehearsing every night until 10 or 11, and of course that’s a very loud experience, so it takes a long time of lying around in silence to recover.

I also don’t like loud noises in the morning. It freaks me out when people are being loud and chatty around the coffee maker at work. I can’t talk until I’ve had coffee, but how else am I supposed to get at the coffee except by passing through the Chat Zone? [Edited to add: yes, I could make coffee at home. But that would require getting up early enough to make the coffee and drink it without burning myself. Challenges, challenges.]

Anecdotal evidence from my friends and relatives indicates that children shriek a lot, including but not limited to night time. Hm. Are child muzzles legal?


More food pics

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:13 am

I love it when Denny posts arty photos of food I cooked. It’s such a nice synthesis of our hobbies.

This meal is from a few weeks ago, kind of a “welcome to fall” themed meal. I think I posted recipes earlier.

On the menu:

* Pear and hazelnut salad with bleu cheese and balsamic vinaigrette
* Squash ravioli in brown butter hazelnut sauce (see also arty shot of me making the pasta)
* Apple, pear, and dried cherry pie

Take me to the photos, dang it.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:38 pm

You know, I enjoy being in Sweet Charity, I really do. But this rehearsal schedule is downright exhausting. It will be nice to be able to come home from work and just hang out. I haven’t done that for-freaking-ever. Conveniently, Lost is in reruns for the next few weeks, so I won’t have to watch that on tape like a sucker.

Yes, I’m jealous of all you TiVoters. I just can’t manage to prioritize television enough to pay any more than I already do at the moment.

Danny would say (and these are fake quotes because he didn’t really say it in these exact words, though he’s expressed the sentiment), “TiVo actually makes you prioritize television less, because you can live your life by your own schedule instead of being a slave to Rupert Murdoch and his gang of programming zombies.”

He’s right, of course, especially about the zombies. But I still can’t make myself cough up the funds.

In Donatellla news (that’s my car), I still don’t know whether that tinny noise under the hood is going to be a $150 repair or a $700 repair. The guys at the shop did manage to track down the part they’ll need if replacing just that part turns out to be sufficient, so there’s still hope. If that doesn’t do the trick, then that’s $700 I’m certainly not spending on TiVo.

Besides, it adds an interesting element to the already-spooky Lost when I watch it on an old VHS that’s been taped over many times. Sometimes the picture gets wiggly and their voices sound scary like ghosts. It’s all about the total experience.


Tapas for dinner

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:24 am

I whipped up some tapas for a light dinner the other night (well, it would have been light had it not been for the wine and dessert), and Denny posted some nice pictures of them.

On the menu was baguette with serrano ham and manchego cheese (it looks like a blob of butter but it’s cheese). The manchego was from the friendly neighborhood Co-op, and the serrano ham was from Prairie Table, a new store in town that sells kitchenware and some food items. Hooray for easy access to serrano ham! I hope they eventually expand to include Spanish chorizo and some more cheeses; right now they have a smallish but eclectic collection, and I’d love to see it grow.

We also had patatas bravas, which is roasted potatoes (you can also deep-fry them, but roasting is easier and just as tasty) with spicy tomato sauce and aioli. For dessert we had chocolate mousse with oranges. The wine was a Ribera del Duero.

It was really quite quick and easy (it helped that I had tomato sauce base in the freezer from the summer’s bounty), not to mention tasty and fun. I like dinner dates at home.


Cheese shoes

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:32 pm

I forgot to post about a funny thing that happened over the weekend. My cousin Debi and her cute 2.8-year-old Max came over to visit (we also got to see cousin Laura and boyfriend Joe later, which was fun too). Denny and Max were having lots of fun together, including a trip over to the playground near our house. We were getting ready to go out there, and Denny was putting his shoes on. Denny’s shoes are much like these (only in mellower shades of green and yellow):

Max looked at the yellow area with holes in it and said, “You have cheese shoes.”

Good old Max. Good old cheese shoes.

8th grade math

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:27 am

I had a really terrible experience with 8th grade math, mostly due to a horrible, incompetent algebra teacher. For that reason, I feel vindicated by my score on this internet quiz, which is certainly more reliable than any evidence on my report card that I didn’t do so hot.

I thought Holly might appreciate this too (though, to be fair, it sounds like her students are doing way harder things than the questions on this quiz demand. There are no linear equations that require graphing on this quiz).

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?


Possible change of plans

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:18 am

So you know how I was all worked up about going to Rome?

Well, I still want to do that, but Denny put a bug in my ear about Argentina. I’ve always wanted to go to Argentina, and it seems like now (or this spring) might be a good time to do it. Here’s why:

1. The Argentine peso is weak, whereas the euro is strong. Even though it’s more expensive to fly to South America than to Europe, I think I would more or less break even financially because it’s cheaper to stay and eat.

2. Bird flu. I know it hasn’t been detected in Italy (yet), but there have been cases in Russia and Greece. Greece is close to Italy and Croatia, which were the places I was interested in going. Maybe it would be better to wait until they’ve got that under better control.

3. I’ve already been to Rome. Sure, it’s my favorite city in the whole entire world, but maybe that’s just because I haven’t been to Buenos Aires yet.

Thoughts? Have any of my brilliant readers been to Argentina (Danny?)? It’s a really big country, so obviously we can’t see the whole thing; we were thinking of maybe concentrating on Buenos Aires and one other area. What “other area” should we pick? Current front-runners are the Iguazú Falls/rainforest area and the Patagonia/Tierra del Fuego area.


I wonder if they have Chrysalis Crunch…

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:34 pm

And to think, I’ve been in the insect-free fruit club all this time like a sucker.

Epicurious food shop

I’m not a Libertarian, honestly

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:19 am

‘Cheeseburger bill’ puts bite on lawsuits

I have mixed feelings on this issue.

On one hand…

* It’s classist. Obesity disproportionately affects the poor, in part because people who have to work crappy jobs in all their waking hours just to make ends meet don’t have the time or resources to cook nutritious meals. Fast food is cheap and convenient.

* Kids in the public schools are not, for the most part, exposed to healthy eating options. You can teach the food pyramid all you want, but when all the cafeteria has is pizza and burgers, it’s cultivating a culture of unhealthy eating habits.

* There are parallels to the class-action lawsuits against tobacco companies, which I do support (the lawsuits, that is, not the companies).

On the other hand…

* Seriously, people. I can spend five bucks at the Farmers’ Market and get pounds and pounds of vegetables, and my local Farmers’ Market even accepts WIC coupons. Yes, it takes more time to actually go shopping for ingredients and cook healthy meals, but I’m not sure I buy the argument that it’s cheaper. And if you must eat at a fast food place, they do sell salads, you know.

* Well, duh. Fast food is unhealthy, and it’s not McDonalds’s fault if you stuff your face with it all the time and get all heart-attacky.

* Unlike the dastardly tobacco industry, the fast-food industry is selling a product that is not physically addictive and can be enjoyed in moderation. They also aren’t making any claims that their product is healthy (remember those old-timey cigarette ads that claimed smoking was good for the constitution?). Eating junk food is a conscious choice every single time you do it.

I’m not a health nazi, seriously. I love luxurious, high-fat, gourmet food (and I admit it, fast food French fries are hard to beat). But I enjoy it in moderation, in combination with exercise and lighter eating the rest of the time. It’s pretty insulting to the American public to assume that they’re too stupid to understand the cause-and-effect relationship between fast food and poor health. A victim mentality does not serve to better us as a people.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:53 pm

For the record, I would like to state that I took a nice 5.5 mile run, had a hot shower, a Diet Sunkist Lemonade, and I’m in much better spirits.

I’m still mad about the work thing, but I am not my job.



Denny’s cooking me dinner. He’s nice.


Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:00 pm

Warning: this is a post bitching about my job. If you are my coworker, you will commiserate. If you are my boss…maybe you’d better just stop reading right now to save us both some embarrassment.

So a while back, my boss asked me to write up a proposal for this situation that the Deans of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences cooked up, in which each department chair would have access to all the course websites within his/her department, and the Deans would have access to every course website within the department (these are password-protected sites that are usually only accessible to the people teaching or taking the course). My boss wanted me to do this because he feels it’s important for me to take leadership as the campus CMS Administrator.

I am not necessarily opposed to the Deans’ idea, because it has merits that I won’t go into detail about here, but I anticipate some resistance from faculty. For that reason, I feel strongly that the message needs to come from the Deans and not from us. My über-boss (my boss’s boss, whom I respect a lot) is always concerned about the relationship ITS has with the rest of campus, including a need to avoid any perception that we are overstepping our bounds and violating faculty autonomy, so that’s an area in which I try to be sensitive. I drafted a three-phase proposal, including recommended discussion points for the Deans to use in their communications with department chairs and faculty. I worked hard on it, and I sent it to my boss last week. We discussed it at a meeting yesterday, and I got some feedback from other coworkers that I thought was good, so I did another draft of it.

This morning I went to discuss the new draft with my boss, and I found out that he had already communicated with the Deans’ office and they had already written an email to the department chairs. This email completely bypassed me; my boss didn’t CC me on any of his communications with the Deans’ office, and it didn’t include what I felt was the most important part: the fact that we’re doing this on request of the Deans.


So the message I get from this is that my boss wants me to take leadership and gives me the task of devising a plan for working with the Deans’ office, which is a very leadershippy thing to do. But then when I effing try to DO it, he completely ignores my contributions and goes along as if I don’t even exist.

It was really insulting, and he might have mentioned in the meeting yesterday that I shouldn’t waste my time tweaking the proposal, because he had already skipped over what I considered to be the most important part.

Fortunately, after I very strongly stated my case, we were able to get a hold of the Deans’ office and intercept the message so it includes some rewording. I still would have been more comfortable actually using the plan I devised, but it’s better than it was.

I hate being told that my opinion matters when it clearly doesn’t. Either I’m a drone or I’m not; don’t flatter me with responsibility if you don’t really want me to have it.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:56 pm

Eeeek. I feel as if I have nothing to say. This will be surprising to those of you who think I never shut up.

Well, OK, I can tell you one funny story. Yesterday I brought the wedding album in to work, and I showed it to someone we work with peripherally. This person is in charge of setting up IDs and email addresses. Today Denny had a conversation with her that went a little something like this:

LADY: “I really liked your wedding pictures.”
DC: “Thanks.”
LADY: “So…Aprille hasn’t asked me anything about changing her name in her email address.”
DC: “Yeah, she’s not changing it.”
LADY: “Really? Because I can change it, no problem.”
DC: “No, she’s not changing her name.”
LADY: “Oh, so she’ll keep her name professionally and just change it socially?”
DC: “Nope, she’s just keeping her name altogether.”
LADY: “Oh, so she’s one of those INDEPENDENT THINKERS.”
DC: “Yep.”

Oh, the horror!


My life

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:36 pm

Go to work.
Go home.
Eat something.
Go to rehearsal.
Run on treadmill if time permits.
Wave arms in front of husband’s face so he doesn’t forget who you are, due to recent low levels of time at home.
Read four pages of book.
Get drowsy.
Go to sleep.


This is my life lately, with an occasional chomp on the soft tissues of the mouth thrown in.

Oh, wait, something exciting did happen. I went to see Lily Tomlin, one of my long-time idols and inspirations, do her one-woman show. It was pretty darn good. It didn’t knock my socks off, but she is amazingly spry for a woman in her late 60’s. Some of it seemed kind of tired, because it was just re-runs of her old standards, but she also worked in some new material I hadn’t heard.

Also, when we got our programs, they gave everybody a notecard on which you could write a question. The ushers gathered them up, and someone involved with the production selected about ten for her to answer onstage. They picked mine, which was thrilling. I asked her to comment on why, in our society, humor is a trait that’s more encouraged in boys than in girls, and what we can to do encourage young women in comedy.

She didn’t really offer any solutions, just talked about how it’s so much better now than it used to be, and gave some examples about how it was bad in the past. It was still exciting to have her pick my question, though.


Friday Five

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:59 pm

From my friend Morgan…

1. While pulling a large, green, dry booger from your nose, a coarse, black nasal hair falls out from the depths of your nasal cavity. You are sure you have the world record beat in nasal hairs. Do you call Guiness? Do you continue to grow it if you find you need another 1/4 inch to beat the record? Or do you quickly pluck the sucker and throw it away in disgust?

I think I would probably pluck it, except it hurts a LOT to pluck nose hairs. Have you ever tried it? Therefore, I might be more inclined to use some tiny scissors to trim it. Denny’s electric razor might have a nose hair attachment I could use, too.

I would take a picture of it first, though, because it’s funny.

2. Ask me a question. Also answer it as you think I would.

Are you excited that your wife is having a baby girl? Are you going to let your son ride the pony that you buy for her?

You would answer: “Yes, I am excited, because little girls are the greatest thing ever. In fact, my one regret in life is that I was born male so I never had the chance to experience being a little girl. I will never let my son ride her pet pony, because he would probably do something to spook it and get thrown off, and we’d have to send it to the glue factory. That would break my little girl’s heart, and I would never let that happen.”

3. A famous local taco stand is offering steak and bean burritos for $0.20. How many would you buy?

Oh, man, so many. I’d buy them for the whole office and everybody would love me. The downside is that we already have a few people in this office who aren’t the greatest bathroom citizens, and burritos would only compound that fact. Maybe I’d pass them out right at the end of the day on Friday, so they could do all their bad citizenship at home.

4. You fall through the ice on a lake and die. Visiting the pearly gates, instead of St. Peter, you find Brigham Young, obviously a sign that the Mormons have it right. Instantly you are shocked back to life, as the paramedics treat you for sever hypothermia. Would you eat a Klondike Bar for lunch? Would you let Denny take another wife?

I don’t really like Klondike bars. I would eat a Magnum bar, though, if I was anywhere near one. Magnum bars are like Klondike bars only a thousand times better, especially the ones with almonds.

I suppose Denny could remarry, on the condition that any future spouse of his be at least 20% less smart, cute, and fun than me. I would want her to always feel slightly inferior. She would also have to be ok with seeing my taxidermied body on the couch every day.

[For those of you who seem to think that I am an egomaniac, I am kidding, people. She only has to be 10% less smart, cute, and fun than me.]

5. Have you ever seen the movie Quiggly Down Under? If not, in your best guess, describe the movie’s plot. If so, rename the movie to better fit the plot.

Never seen it, so I guess I have to invent a plot.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Squiggly who had a terrible speech impediment and couldn’t pronounce the letter S. Therefore, much to his chagrin, everyone thought his hame was Quiggly. Only he knew the truth, but there was no way he could communicate this to others (because he lived in a world where there was no possible way of writing his name down and showing it to people). He was so depressed he moved into a cave DOWN UNDER his house, and there he met a friendly little mole who became his one true friend.


Higher Ed IT scandal: update

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:23 pm

The scuttlebutt is that it wasn’t so much a merger as a major purchase by Blackboard.

This is all based on rumor and hearsay…but it’s certainly bolstered by the fact that the new company will be named Blackboard, the current CEO of Blackboard will remain CEO, and they are going to be moving toward a single course management system. Something tells me it’s not going to be Vista (WebCT’s flagship product).

Vista was a product we very seriously considered; it’s far more technically sound than Blackboard, but we ended up not going with it for a variety of reasons, most of which were related to ease of use (or lack thereof). Still, it would be a shame to see all that functionality go down the tubes.

It’s pretty geeky of me that I’ve spent so much time thinking about this over the last 30 hours. I recognize and embrace that fact.


Ay ay ay!

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:19 pm

In the category of “news that is only interesting to me and anyone else who works in the higher ed IT field”:

Blackboard and WebCT are merging.

Holy crap!

Ow ow ow

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:01 pm

I have chomped my lip THREE STUPID TIMES today. I keep getting too bold and thinking it’s ok to chew gum again. It is clearly not ok to chew gum.

I’m trying to write during my lunch break, but I’m feeling tired and irritable and not much is coming out of my brain. I skipped my morning coffee because I had to dash to a meeting I’d forgotten about, and now I don’t want any because I’m afraid it would hurt the glob of hamburger that used to be my lip.

Whine, whine, whine. Woe is me. I really do try to be a positive person and remember all the things that are good in my life. I figure nobody wants to read a post full of bitching.

Ok, here are some good things:

* There is a delicious pork roast cooking in the crock pot right now with some onions and garlic, and when I get home it’s going to smell great. I will then shred said pork and make tasty burritos for dinner.

* There is a new episode of Lost tonight, which I am going to watch with my nice husband.

* James and Jessica have a new doggy


The EU and me

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:49 am

I am just Ms. Posty McPosterson today.

I was chagrined to see that Northwest Airlines, my usual airline of choice and the frequent flier program in which I participate, jacked up their prices to Rome. I wonder if that has anything to do with their whole bankruptcy thing. Anyway, in good news, American (with whom I also have miles, though not as many) is now offering a better price.

In general, I am in favor of the European Union. I think it’s done some very good things for some of the poorer countries in Europe (Greece, Portugal), and it’s nice to have a consolidated voice of reason in the western world. I am also crazy for the euro, though it would be nice if the dollar were stronger. One time, pre-euro, I was stuck in Dusseldorf on a several-hour layover, and I was very annoyed by the prospect of having to exchange my dollars to deutschmarks to just buy a damn bottle of water. Fortunately the Germans, civilized folks that they are, had free water in nice little cups at the airport.

So anyway, yeah, I like the EU. However, one little thing that saddens me a bit is that you no longer get your passport stamped when you go between EU countries. From the pages in my passport, you’d think I’ve spent a lot of time in Amsterdam and nowhere else in Europe in the last several years. But no! I have never even stepped outside the Amsterdam airport. I just connect there a lot because it’s a hub for Northwest/KLM.

So as I shop around for flights to Rome, I find myself thinking about what itinerary would cool up my passport the most. Right now American has three different routes to choose from: connecting through Brussels, through London, and through Zurich. I think Brussels is out (even though I’ve always wanted to try genuine Belgian pommes frites) because it’s a very short layover, and we’ll have to do customs and baggage control. Yuck.

I’d rather not do London, because I already have a London stamp, and since the UK doesn’t use the euro, I’d be stuck in that same Dusseldorf situation if I wanted to buy anything.

[Oh duh. I forgot about the international currency of Visa. But it’s almost as dumb to put a bottle of water on a Visa as it is to exchange for pounds sterling.]

So that leaves us with Zurich: exciting Swiss stamp on my passport, pretty short flight down to Rome, and a reasonable layover.

I really want to buy these tickets, but maybe I should wait a little longer to see if any price wars arise. Oh, the exquisite torture of travel planning.

Powered by WordPress