Penn State and officials from State College, Pennsylvania, are paying stores and bars not to sell booze on "State Patty's Day", a cleverly named holiday celebrating, well, booze.
I have no idea if this plan will work, but I'm skeptical. On the other hand, my understanding is that U.Va. successfully banned Easters basically by fiat. So who knows.
By my lights, there are two problems here: (1) there's such a thing as a "private prison corporation"; and (2) naming sports arenas after companies is stupid. (Except maybe Wrigley Field and other old time-y ones.)
Seriously damning with faint praise. Shell stores? Papa Johns?
Recently there was one circulating about why it was great to live in Texas, and despite the obnoxious premise, did actually mostly stick to things that are charming in Texas. But this Florida list is terrible. OTOH, Florida is terrible, so. And I say all this with some lingering affection for the state.
About a week ago, Stanleyville posted a note on my door advising of an upcoming interruption to water service. (Presumably, the city's installing infrastructure for the new Unicorn Delivery System.) Like any normal person, I affixed this note to my refrigerator and promptly forgot about it.
Fast forward to this morning: it's surprising just how many times I've gone over and absentmindedly tried to cut on the faucet. Quick drink of water. Oh, right. Just gonna rinse off this dirty plate. Oh, right.
All of which is a great reminder that I'm a privileged jerk who takes far too much for granted.
I was in conversation with a member of our music department, and the question came up, "Do you get nervous before big performances?"
She related a story of being in a workshop, and also attending was the musician who is her personal idol, and someone asked the same question of him. His answer: "If I'm nervous, I practice until I know I won't make any mistakes. Then I'm not nervous." So, she concluded, she adopted that philosophy as well.
I just find that amazing, and like nothing I've ever undertaken. Nor anything I'd ever want to undertake.
I don't know how to say it without sounding like a total conehead, but somehow I can never quite make sense of the concept of "having a meaningful life" or "having a sense of purpose". Or I can't figure out how it applies to my life.
The study participants reported deriving meaning from giving a part of themselves away to others and making a sacrifice on behalf of the overall group. In the words of Martin E. P. Seligman, one of the leading psychological scientists alive today, in the meaningful life "you use your highest strengths and talents to belong to and serve something you believe is larger than the self." For instance, having more meaning in one's life was associated with activities like buying presents for others, taking care of kids, and arguing. People whose lives have high levels of meaning often actively seek meaning out even when they know it will come at the expense of happiness. Because they have invested themselves in something bigger than themselves, they also worry more and have higher levels of stress and anxiety in their lives than happy people.
I like those things, and somehow I still feel like I'm missing the point. It's not that my life is meaningless...or maybe it just doesn't bother me that it's meaningless.
I'm taking a handful of students camping this weekend. I'm worried I'm not thinking through all the details sufficiently. Menu-planning, etc. Oddball things to bring. One student can't eat grains or sugars.
Please help. Please don't threadjack.
From Nick, to Text: a song that cannot be sung (I'm sure there are many jokes in that vein, but I find that one funny).
Here's that Slate article on forgiveness that someone asked for a post about. I agree with others who say fuck no, you have no obligation to forgive or take care of your horrible, abusive parents, as they age.
I was reading a throwaway article recently on the power of forgiveness and blah blah blah, and how great it is for your health and stress. There was a parenthetical which basically said "Studies have shown that revenge also offers similar benefits to one's health and stress levels." I thought that was kind of awesome.
How worried are you all about sequestration? I assume a last-minute deal will be struck again. Am I right that the cuts this time around are worse than they were for the Jan 1st deadline? It seemed like last time there was more hang-wringing about defense cuts, which I had trouble getting upset about (although I get that it affects a lot of local economies) whereas this time the phrase across-the-board is getting tossed around, and there's more in my facebook feed about what cuts to research and education would look like.
This is what it looks like when you try to write about something and you're completely uninformed, and did not bother to rummage up one single relevant article with actual facts. I plead snot & crud and generally feeling cruddy. I'm home sick today!
I realize no one here is applying for a job, of which I'm on the search committee. Whatever. If I'm ever assessing your teaching, do this for me: when you ask the class a question, stop talking. Don't sit there and elaborate on your question, or rephrase your question, or ramble. Just stop talking. Let there be silence.
(I also advocate this in terms of parenting. If you want to know what your kid thinks, ask your question and shut up. Let there be silence and let it stretch out. Let the situation unfold.)
Also I really love the new Justin Timberlake song. Obviously I have Tom Haverford's levels of passion for 90s R&B, so maybe it's just that I love Timbaland, and he's always floating around in the background of anything JT does.
Chris Y sends along 5 Ways To Reduce Bullshit on the Veldt. It's a good list.
I don't really know any of the players in the following story, but I heard about it anecdotally and thought you all might like to dive in.
A couple has been together about a year. My tenuous connection comes about via the boyfriend, so it's his perspective that the story comes from. It's shit-or-get-off-the-pot time: should he propose? His main reservation is her short-term memory. It's terrible. She's seen neurologists, but is not currently in any treatment. Basically she doesn't remember conversations they have. Who can say to what degree this is laziness or inattention, and to what degree it's a condition?
He has to decide if this will drive him fucking nuts over the next few decades or not. You get to judge and hypothesize from the comfort of your armchair. Enjoy.
LW writes: Probably things have always worked this way, but this was a really depressing read, both the author's amoral voice and the description of what happened, careful not to actually name any US institution-- I mean really, why mention that?
Every week, three blogs went up, and every month a check arrived. Then, suddenly, it all stopped. First, the blogs didn't get posted, then the checks stopped arriving.
The Sheikh ended up under some kind of house arrest, the lawyer said, but the security guy was imprisoned for months.
And so the tale ended. I've recounted the story of the Sheikh many times, and this being Los Angeles, people say, "Write a screenplay!" So I'm thinking about it. Of course, actual events would only be the starting point. I'll have to add a few other elements....
Heebie's take: I didn't find it depressing at all! I found it totally fascinating. (It must be noted that the author really doesn't get that blog is a verb, and what you write is a post.) If any of you happen to be wealthy Arab sheiks who need someone to ghostwrite a life for them, consider me willing and able.