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I finished watching Sense8 last night.
Sense8 )

After I finished watching Sense8, I also finished watching the last episode of "The Daily Show" on Hulu. I know the show will continue without Jon Stewart but it will not be the same. I watched the show for a long time, over 15 years. After 9/11, it was the voice of sanity. It made the long and ridiculous election season worth it every time. I was looking at my tags yesterday, on Dreamwidth (under 'tv (daily show)' ), and around five years ago I watched it every night and posted my reactions and links to my favorite parts. I only watched it occasionally lately but it was comfortable to know it was there. In May 2010, I went to see the show live. (I tried in Jan 2010 first but the line cut off just in front of us, it was a bummer). It was fun being part of the studio audience and see just how many in jokes with the audience make it on the air. I will miss this show and it's capacity in calling out hypocrits and the news media. Loved the 'bullshit' monologue that Jon Stewart ended with. And it was fantastic to see all the correspondents and get a behind scenes look at the offices and all the people who put the show together.
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Another Friday, another easy day for me to rest my brain. I really should do more rough drafts but I can’t bring myself to think.

Mama and I cleaned out my room of all the clutter by finally shoveling all my boxes of kitchen stuff into my grandmother’s old closet in my room. When I moved back home, that closet was full of my grandmother’s clothes and permanently locked. Mama just could not bring herself to empty it even so many years after my grandmother’s death. Finally, last year we did empty it. But only today we made it my closet. And my room looks was big and empty with no papers and boxes and books on the floor. All this empty space is actually really weird. I was very amused when Papa got home that it took him a few minutes of talking to me to even notice it and only when I was laughing at his observation powers. It is very very noticeable.

Last article in January National Geographic was on Cahokia, the first North American city in Illinois built by Native Americans from 1000 to 1300. As the article points now, not many people really know about this Mississippi culture that left gigantic dirt piles and towers. It was very interesting and new.

I cross stitched as I watching “Who DO You Think You Are?” This week it was about Vanessa Williams. As I love genealogy and archives and history, I enjoy this show. And thankfully the editing this year was much better – there was much less recap and a lot more connections to the history of the period.

The Daily Show is back on Hulu. That is great news for me as I can watch the show more again. Comedy Central’s buffering always sucks. Jon Stewart’s discussion of the congress’ new ‘definition’ of rape in their ‘no federal funding for abortion’ bill was mocked so well.

Cross stitch: light yellow and green for the cube.
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This morning I went to campus to pick up the New Humanities book for my writing classes and then I spend pretty much all day working on the syllabus. I read three articles and skimmed some others, picked my sequences and wrote up a schedule and the class requirements and it just took me five hours to put everything together. I’m only teaching one article I assigned before, the rest will be new. I’m set for the writing class. I even got the tech guys to put it on the internet for me on the class site. (For some reason the website does not like my version of Word, I can put up anything on it but the syllabus.)

The way this writing class works is the students read six articles over the course of the semester and write a close reading assignment, five papers (5 pages each), and a midterm and a final exam. Most of the papers compare two articles (except the first one, that’s just one reading). And the articles have to link to each other in two sequences of three readings each to teach students how to develop arguments better by building on ideas. In the past, I did sequences on science and environment, on religion, on identity and self, on gender etc. This time my semester will be about culture, first about moments of cultural change and how they affect us and what prompts them and then about cultural constructions of identity, especially ethnic and religious identity. I have a few articles that really want to say that social context is everything.

These will be my six readings: )

I really liked Jon Stewart’s speech from Monday’s episode offering hope at this time.

This movie, called “Priest” looks like great horror cheese : A Warrior priest (Paul Bettany) fighting vampires in a dystopia world and his own order too. Yes that is the plot, it looks like cheesy fun. And in 3D! Hee. I will so rent this on DVD next year.

So I was watching Doctor Who again with cross stitching and as I was watching “Army of Ghosts” episode of end of Season 2 that takes place in Torchwood 1 I kept thinking how Ianto was there at the time which made me want to see “Torchwood.” So I put on ‘Children of Earth’ on Netflix Instant and I watched the first episode. It is even creepier than I remember. That was definitely their best season but it is really hard to watch. I'm looking forward to the new season this summer.

Exercise: 30 min walk
Cross-stitch: color of the day is tan for little bear’s head
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I woke up at 6:30 again and instead of feeling frustrated I decided to do some work instead, so I just turned my computer on. That way by the time I had to get up at 8 I actually felt productive.

Today was the rough-draft day for my students for their final exam. I threw them a pretty easy question based on the last three readings they had to do. The question was: “How does immigration affect the immigrants’ culture?” The Naipaul essay specifically talks about how Indians (from India) had to adopt their ceremonies once they moved to Trinidad. It is a pretty wide question that they can take in many directions, they can talk about language or preserving culture in a foreign land – as long as they had a thesis. Some were still confused by the question. Do you mean the culture of the home country? No, I don’t, I mean the culture of the immigrants who by definition are living somewhere else. This is not that hard people – you have three examples and you even suggested something similar in class discussion and I told you I might use that. I graded a bit during the first class, got some pizza and banana for the second class and read “The Winter Queen.” That book is so much more awesome than I remember.

I finally, finally got the health center give me a urologist referral. And then they tell me that because of our school’s shitty insurance I might have to pay as much of 20% of any tests done at the real doctor’s office. You used to be a better insurance just two years ago, school, now even this insurance sucks. But my bladder has been bothering me for at least six month and it is not a UTI, they keep checking. I really hope the urologist will be able to explain it somehow. Or at least rule out anything horrible.

Funny animated cartoon about the origins on War on Christmas on "The Daily Show"
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I’ve been watching “The Daily Show” online this week as the team headed to Washington and this morning I saw the interview with President Obama. There should be a drinking game every time he says ‘folks.’ I liked listening to a reasonable conversation and Jon Stewart is never afraid to ask question that put his guests on the defensive. So it really felt like a productive conversation. Why can’t all political discussions be like that?

I found the perfect cat toy for Kate, Bear’s parents’ little kitty. It is a little teddy bear with catnip inside. I figure since Kate likes to climb into my Bear’s lap so much, she needs her own little bear to play with when Bear isn’t there.

I turned to NBC at 8p ready to watch the “Community” Halloween zombie episode when I realized they are showing Shrek Halloween special first. And it was actually really silly parodies of Bride of Frankenstein, Psycho and the Exorcist. I was giggling throughout. I think my favorite bit was Pinocchio rising off the bed like something is possessing him and it turns out it were just his strings.

“Community” Halloween episode. Zombies! Troy as the hero (for once, the black man makes it to the end as Abed puts it). And Abba soundtrack through it all to make it extra silly. Community rocks its Halloween. Shirley, why Chang, really. The throwing of the cat was hilarious. As usual, this show is awesome and very funny. Now I’m really in the Halloween spirit.
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Teaching went well today. We did sample paragraphs. It went really well, I think. At least they worked on it and everything and mostly paid attention. I still have four more papers to grade. How did I do 40 papers per cycle five years ago? My attention span has lessened.
Some links for today:

1. What people in US actually know about religion:

USAToday article and the US Religious Knowledge Survey . Not surprisingly more educated and minority religions know more about other religion and even their own religious doctrines.

2. Census taken in the recession on various social practices like marriage.

3. Article on whether Colbert’s testimony was ‘bad’ for Congress or actually helped the cause.
The article pointed out how the testimony actually raised publicity for real experts. Daily Show did a nice segment on this too.

I was catching up a little on “the Daily Show” – their website really has buffering problems – I really miss having it on Hulu.

Tonight was also about 90s music nostalgia apparently – I somehow missed uploading my old 90s CD into iTunes and so now I’m listening to Boyz II Men, TLC and 1996 Grammy nominees. It all started because I wanted to hear Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” and I knew I had it on CD but not on my iPod. Oh, the 90s – my teenage years. But this music is really for one night listening, a lot of it is pretty dated.

I have a big headache, mostly ‘I’m tired and stared at the computer too much’ headache where if I have any lights or sounds around me I will throw up. It is not a migraine exactly, since it is all frontal lobe but I’m just going to bed early. Advil and an ice-pack and sleep should help.
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Teaching day – I do hate getting up early. I get tired earlier in the day and my palpitations show up a little. But I do like leaving the house and working so I guess I just have to accept it!

I printed all my teaching stuff in the morning and then wrote an email to a college looking for adjuncts for Spring Semester. They are looking for someone to teach “History of Law” so maybe they would hire me. The school is close to where I live so I figure it doesn’t hurt to send off ‘I’m interested’ email along with my CV. The pay sucks but I would be teaching history. We’ll see.

Teaching itself went well today. They all came and all turned in Paper 1. Then we started on the new reading and I taught them what connections mean. A totally spontaneous exercise that I made up in the first class turned into a great exercise and I hope they learned something. It felt productive to me.

With a lunch of burger and fries (since I’m fasting tomorrow I wanted a big meal), I read a National Geographic article on Fraser Island off the coast of Australia. The photographs are absolutely gorgeous. Definitely a place I would want to visit if I ever get to Australia. What I liked is the story of Eliza Fraser (for whom the island is named – well, the article said the island is named for her and her husband). During a voyager, the her husband’s ship ran into trouble in Great Barrier Reef, and they all had to get into shody longboats. During the month they tried to get to town, Eliza gave birth (the baby died). They finally due to all kinds of distresses they landed on Great Sandy Island (later to be known as Fraser island). Then they were in the hands of Aborigines who made them work and stuff, apparently naked. Her husband, Captain Fraser, died at this point along with many others. Eliza’s release was negotiated by an ex-convict who spoke the language. Then she apparently married another captain, got to England and told the scandalous story of her captivity, nicely embellished at Hyde Park for money. Apparently she wrote it down. I just find her interesting.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert continue to be wonderful. Jon Stewart will be holding “Rally to Restore Sanity” on Oct 30 in DC. He is right that it looks like only crazy people show up to those Fox sponsored rallies and he just wants to bring reasonable conversation back. Here is a clip announcing it, what cracked me up is a sign “I disagree with you but I’m sure you are not Hitler.”

Stephen Colbert will also hold “March to Keep Fear Alive” at the same time. I wish I lived in DC.

Yom Kippur started this evening and I wanted to go to real Kol Nidre services. It is the only time I go to a synagogue during the year and I missed last two years. I love the melodies. So I put on a white shirt and a grey skirt and black slippers, ate my dinner at 6 and drank two glasses of water and Papa drove me to the synagogue nearby. It was a really nice place. I really liked the open space in front of the ark; it was a big hall. The prayer book was different. It had a lot of translation in verse so it sounded a bit off at times but still the melodies in Hebrew were the same, obviously. This was technically a conservative congregation (which is really between Reform and Orthodox), but men and women sat together and there was a lot of prayer in English before being repeated in Hebrew. What was cool about this year was because I learned how to read Hebrew last year, I could follow the place from where the prayer was being read. I still don’t understand it (I plan to pick Biblical Hebrew up again soon) but at least I could read along for the most part and sound it out. The cantor was fantastic: a beautiful singer. Here is Kol Nidre from YouTube.
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Teaching today – all about quotes. I woke up at 7 and finished the rough drafts. I also brought Oreo cookies to class to teach them about paragraphs. I liked the second class more today mostly because the first class already came up with examples for me.

I did my patriotic duty this afternoon by voting in the primary election – just attorney general and senator for me. There are new voting machines. Scanner ones. Instead of the trusty level, now we fill out a form and then feed it into a scanner machine. I’m just glad it is not all computer and there are paper copies.

I apparently forgot my flash drive at school. Good thing the department secretary emailed me before I even realized this. The way their computers are set up is really makes forgetting the drive easy. I’ll just have to pick it up on Friday. At least I know where it is.

I watched “The Daily Show” today. I kind of took a break from it this summer, I was not in the mood to interact with the world too much. But now it feels right to watch it again. I really wish it was still on Hulu, their website likes to buffer a lot. Making fun of media’s overreactions to current stories on Quran burnings and the community center near Ground Zero (or as Jon Stewart calls it “Community Center of Death” was great to see.

I should really finish Season 5 of “Highlander” since there is only one episode left, but I’m not a fan of that storyline so I rather read my book instead.

Some links:

Climate changes and melting ice are uncovering lots of archeological artifacts . The ice is actually melting too fast to get to everything and preserve it.

The wage gap between men and women is shrinking due to crappy economy. Sounds a bit like Bennett argument that while things sometimes improve for women, it is special circumstance that won’t last in the long term. I just love that they need to qualify and justify why the wage gap was diminishing.

In other news, for the first time ever, more women than men earn PhDs in the US .

Get Medieval has an awesome writer – my type of snarky humor. This time: maidens and dragons and general badassery of women saints.

26 Tammuz/8 July, 2010

Thursday, July 8th, 2010 11:00 pm
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Emmy’s. They are on the lower scale of award shows I look forward to – mostly because I generally watch different kind of TV than the Emmy voters. I do look through the whole list of nominations, mainly because I want to see who gets choreography. Before SYTYCD I didn’t even care about this category. How is Cat Deeley always left out of Best Host category? This is definitely an injustice. Mia got a nomination for Addiction dance and Koop Island Blues and One from last season and Stacy Tooki got a nomination for the fear dance (which I don’t remember). Chelsie Hightower, a former contestant, got a choreographer nomination for Dancing with the Stars. Now that is awesome. I’m also excited that Andre Braugher got a nomination for “Men of a Certain Age” and that Sharon Gless got one for “Burn Notice.” “Moonshot” and “Special Relationship” got a nom for TV movie. Both movies, I liked. “Caprica” has one for visual effects. I’m disappointed that “Community” has been totally excluded. The lack of women writers is also pretty sad as there weren’t a lot of women writers nominated.

The spy exchange feels so ridiculous. The whole thing is like a big farce. Did we step back in time here?

Daily Show women respond to media stirred idea that just because there are few women writers and correspondents, women are not part of the show.

I was in a waiting room today for a while so I read an article in July’s National Geographic about Pakistan. It is nice to get a perspective of what life is like there and what people really think about religion and extremism. And this article was great in presenting multiple points of view.

SYTYCD Top 8 )

“Friends with Money” I got this movie because Jason Isaacs is in it, frankly. But he wasn’t even in the movie too much. I had to look up the movie on IMDB to see what everyone’s name was after I watched about fifteen minutes and still couldn’t tell. The movie was alright. I didn’t like very many characters in it. I liked intellectually the issues the movie raises about life and money and economic disparities and all sort of relationship stuff – but I really couldn’t care much about most of the characters. So, in the end, I don’t think this was a successful movie.

Highlander. S1E14. Killer mimes! This was a very silly episode with some very hammy acting. It was worth it just for the adorable flashback of when Duncan meets Tessa for the first time. Still, killer mimes! Someone had to write this and think it would make a great episode. Why do two French policemen speak English to each other? This was a really good bad episode. Very silly in a lot of ways.

29 Iyar/13 May, 2010

Thursday, May 13th, 2010 11:00 pm
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Lewis Black making fun of Glen Beck or “ Glen Beck has Nazi tourette’s ” I think this is my favorite “Back in Black” segment.

Another report from the Daily Show: cage fighting for Jesus .

Legality of fanfic issues are very country specific which many on the internet forget. Very interesting piece.

I saw the trailer for “The Adjustment Bureau” with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. I really should read some Philip K. Dick stories since movies based on his works have interesting concepts. I will definitely check it out on the DVD. I put Philip K. Dick on my Amazon wish list.

I walked to the library in late afternoon for Michael Pollan “In Defense of Food: and Eater’s Manifesto” that finally came for me. I first read his stuff in the writing classes I teach five years ago and in generally his ideas and research appeal to me. His motto is “eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” He really does not like the idea of processed food as he doesn’t consider it food or really good for the human body. He also calls to task the switch in conversation from ‘food’ to ‘nutrition’ some of it he traces to various Washington lobbies. He also believes that the food and the idea of food are cultural issues and well as biological, and not just purely related to physical health as the current ideas on eating would have us believe. So I really wanted to actually read his new book for a while and I’m glad I get to now.

Bones S5E21 )

Very creative combination of pop music with violins.

27 Iyar/11 May, 2010

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 11:00 pm
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Jon Stewart made a slash fanfiction joke (about a history book on the founding fathers) at the beginning of yesterday’s show that I don’t think his audience got. Hee.

So Conservatives and Liberal Democrats came to some sort of agreement and Cameron is now the Prime Minister. We’ll see if the coalition with actually work. Still, conservatives in power make me sad even if it is in a foreign country.

Lovely response to current fanfic discussion, a summary of the internet in the recent past.

As I ate dinner, a fanfic idea about Remus came to me and I actually sat down and wrote it for once. The finished result was not actually a story I set out to tell, it gained a life of its own. It is mostly angst. Bear is going to beta for me (after I explained to him what beta meant), if he actually gets around to it.

House S6E20 )

I am still waiting on whether to go to the doctor again. My symptoms feel better but my body is still not 100%. I will see a bit longer. I might go on Monday since I’ll be on campus anyway.

22 Iyar/6 May, 2010

Thursday, May 6th, 2010 11:00 pm
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Bones S5E20 )

A new study on Neanderthal genes that found that some humans are related to Neanderthals. One of my high school science teachers was crazy about Neanderthals – he had a special extra credit week about them and even showed us “Clan of the Cave Bear” to my discomfort – I was very young and that movie has some explicit scenes. I should probably rewatch that movie now that I won’t be embarrassed to watch it.

The flood in Nashville looks crazy.

Jon Stewart mocking political jargon and meaningless rhetorical phrases like “American people want” and even using a clip from X-men how “American People don’t want their children to be taught by mutants” is priceless.

The talk with editor of Newsweek made me think of the last time I bought print media. I read USA Today online every day and sometimes I would buy it for the train; but when I was in England I always looked forward to Sunday so I could get the Sunday Times and read their Art and Entertainment section. There were wonderful book reviews and movie review and I still remember an article on “Serenity” and an interview with Joss Whedon. I didn’t know anything about “Firefly” yet and only seen some random episodes of “Buffy” on TV (I only really watched “Buffy” consistently in the fall of 2005). I do miss that newspaper and the whole Sunday routine.

Following the British election tonight – what will happen with Hung Parliament is an interesting quesion. I was looking at map of Britain with Times Online Election Center . I looked up all Norfolk and London – both places where I used to live. And just as with milk cartoon colors, it is the opposite in UK – conservatives are blue there and labour is red, while in US conservatives are red. I was watching some results coming in live on BBC online as well – in the middle of the night in England. I don’t know why it is so fascinating but it is. It will be fascinating to see three party system at work.

English Department just emailed me to check if their scheduling for me for Fall semester will work. Nice of them of check, actually. This means that Fall Semester is set. Tuesdays and Fridays will be early to rise. Yay.

The prettiness of Buffy #36 cover, with Spike . They better fix the eyes to blue. And a second cover – a parody on Twilight movies.

“Dune.” I was all slowly getting into the story, ignoring all the gender implications, so I could just enjoy the story. I liked that the traitor had complex motivations and he was not just randomly corrupted and there were some interesting developments and action. And then I read that the Evil guy on top of being very Evil, is also homosexual which was not described as a flattering characteristic. It feels like the author wanted to emphasize the character’s Evilness so he decided to add this little detail. Just so you don’t start admiring the intelligence of the Evil character, note that he likes young men, preferably enslaved and drugged so they wouldn’t ‘wrestle’ when the Evil guy was just in the mood for gay rape. Congratulations, book, on more clichés and appalling characterization. I’m almost done reading the first part of the book, so I will keep reading it, but there is a reason why I’m reading it so slowly. At least I like Lady Jessica character, one of very few female characters so far.

19 Iyar/3 May, 2010

Monday, May 3rd, 2010 11:00 pm
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When I woke up this morning, it was to the heavily pouring rain. My first thought was that “the Daily Show” was cursed. I had a few other chances to go see the taping of it, but one time we couldn’t make it and another time the line cut off right in front of us. With Papa getting sick and the rain, I thought the universe was trying to tell me something. But it all worked out and I got to see Jon Stewart live.

I was home until 1pm so that I could give Papa tea and lunch and just be home with him, and then I left to catch the bus. I was worried it would take too long again, but I got to “Daily Show” studio surprisingly fast. I took the express bus and then transferred to the E train at Chambers. I was at the studio by 2:40 and that with a bathroom stop. There weren’t that many people ahead of me, so I settled down to wait, knowing for sure we would make the show this time.

It was a long wait, but I came prepared with “Dune.” The pouring rain started again for a bit, but we were under awning and just had to make sure the water won’t come through the gaps. Medusa came to join me around 4 and then we waited some more. Then finally we got to go inside and then see the show. The warm-up guy laughed at the audience some and Jon Stewart came out to answer some questions and he was funny. The Daily Show studio is bigger than the Colbert Studio, and it felt more formal. Didn’t get the handshake this time, but it was still lots of fun.

Jon Stewart included a few jokes from the pre-show into the show itself, which we as the audience appreciated and at the end he chatted with Colbert with his feet on his desk before filming the segment with Colbert. For me the funniest bits were on Times Square failed bomb. The guest was alright, not too funny but the rest of the show was great. It is a long wait and I’m glad I went. I won’t probably go again but it was a great experience.

After the show, we went to have some Indian food. Ninth Avenue has some good restaurants. And I even took food home for the next day. We also got to walk in the city a bit.

The trip home was very quick and only took an hour by taking subway down to Rector St and catching express bus again. So for a day that started depressing and rainy and uncertain, it turned into a very good day.

7 Iyar/21 April, 2010

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 11:00 pm
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A great ‘Daily Show’ episode with Jon Stewart taking on Fox News again. “Fox News you’re the lupus of news” is my favorite tag line now. And the way he killed his guest. Wow, nice. Jon Stewart just sat back and calmly countered various absurdities. His guest should know to be better prepared.

Doctor Who Confidential for the first episode: like MTV cribs episode in showing off the Tardis (with music).

“Hurt Locker” I’m not that much into war movies. And it is a boy movie. The main character was interesting in his craziness and motivations. And this movie is very much a character study – a man who is addicted to war and his job and thrives on the danger. He is at his best when he is diffusing bombs, it makes him happy and that is what he does. It is also a story of three very different men. 4 out of 5. I think it is a movie that needs to be digested. Having Ralph Fiennes in the movie was nice. Still, for me the best movie of 2009 was “Star Trek” hands down.

Great comic on reaction of Joss Whedon directing “Avengers.”
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Jon Stewart mocking Glen Beck: priceless.

“Who Do You Think You Are?” Today’s episode is about Lisa Kudrow and she traveled to Belarus! to look into the story of her great-grandmother, who lived in little Jewish community outside Minsk. I just liked that there were pictures on Minsk on national television. And the whole episode was just really sweet especially as Lisa Kudrow found a cousin of her father still alive in Poland.

Caprica S1E8 )

16 Adar/2 March, 2010

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 11:00 pm
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Living together before marriage doesn’t doom it, no matter what conservatives say.

“A Mighty Heart” – a surprisingly affective movie. I can’t imagine being in that kind of situation.

Viacom is removing “Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” from Hulu. While the episodes will still be available from Comedy Central website, I greeted this news with a loud “Noooo.” Hulu is just easier to access, and I watch “The Daily Show” on it on the day after the episode air.

"Graveyard Book". Last chapter. More of a wrapping up chapter. Good book overall but it is more for children than adults. Not that it wasn't entertaining.
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Jon Stewart’s analysis of credit card use and credit card reform - priceless

Today I went to dinner in the city with the girls. We’ve been planning this for a few weeks. I was nice to get out of the house. It has been snowy and cold the whole month and I mostly stay home lately. At one o’clock in the afternoon lots of plans collided together, which called for some last minute changes. A few weeks ago, my Mom offered to host a daughter of her classmate who was coming to New York to audition for a music school. (She is a high school senior) She lives in Minnesota, or some such northern state, but she was in Boston in the beginning of this week for auditions to other music schools. She was planning to come to New York by train on Thursday or Friday for her Sunday audition, but due to upcoming snowstorm, she got last minute ticket out on Wednesday. Since I was going to Manhattan for dinner anyway, and her train would get to Penn station by 8pm, it was up to me to pick her up. I called the girls to move up the dinner to 6pm, and luckily no one had a problem with this. So my evening became much more scheduled, which slightly elevated my anxiety level. But other than some unsteadiness by the end of dinner (which was possibly cause by impromptu workout), I was fine and I’m just happy about that.

The whole evening was filled with randomness. First, on the subway, on the way to dinner, we were entertained by two guys, one of drums and one on guitar, who not only played but tried to engaged a train full of New Yorkers in a conversation and tried to get all to be polite and say “good evening.” Now, most people in New York subways are trained to mind their own business and not to react to anything. So most of that was like pulling teeth. Still, they played a nice song and I gave them the change I had. It did pass the time.

In the subway station, where I got out, the escalator was not working. Normally, this would not be a huge issue, but this particular station happens to be very deep underground. So I had an impromptu stair master climb. It was long. I went for consistent and steady but still, I have been sitting at home since it is winter, and my body is not in a shape it is in the summer when I roller-blade every other day. By the end I had to drink my whole water bottle and I think it might have contributed to general malaise feeling by the end of the evening. It did energize me for a bit, though and it does remind me to get up and walk more.

Dinner itself was great. We got a table in a restaurant where we ate before and where usually you need to wait a while to get a table. I didn’t want to leave early but I had to get to train station. I didn’t realize it until much later (when I was on the ferry heading home) that I forgot my scarf at the restaurant. Luckily, I called Marianna, who found the phone number for the restaurant and they found it. She will pick it up for me tomorrow.

I then picked up the girl in the train station, which was actually hassle free. We took the subway, the ferry and the train back to my house, since it is cheaper and easier to do with a suitcase and it has such pretty views of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. By the time we got home, I was exhausted but happy with my evening.

Women’s aerials – Belarus in fourth, one woman fell.

Women’s bobsled – two sleds overturned but otherwise fun to watch. The German crash was a bit horrific, but they were all ok.
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Snow! It is very winter wonderland outside. The trees are capped by snow, the world is white and the sky is grey since it is snowing all day. Entire eastern seaboard is shutdown. Papa is working from home today since everyone is pretty much been told to stay off the roads. I, for one, am enjoying the prettiness and don’t think it is Armageddon as some news stations are calling it. (I did enjoy Jon Stewart making fun of the snow coverage, though).

Leverage was fun in its little moments with a first of a two parter. It is a nice light show to watch.
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This morning I was waiting for a package from India that contained a necklace for my Aunt in Belarus that Mama ordered from New York in the internet – global commerce in action. I just find this cool. I finally came like twenty minutes before I had to leave the house to go to the city.

Medusa and I were supposed to go to “The Daily Show” today. So we met earlier for lunch. We stumbled into a Thai place that was decent with really good spring rolls and tasty dressing and we walked around a lot. But in seeking a bathroom before we went to wait on the Daily Show line, we got to the line too late. The line was enormous and we got cut off and didn’t get to go. I’m disappointed but there is nothing one can do. I’ll try to get tickets for May or something. At least we got to hang out and eat Thai food so it was not for nothing. Next time I’ll know to be there around 2:30.

Instead of the show, I went to join Yeva for a free Hebrew class in a synagogue on fifth avenue. It was a nice small class that practiced letters and basic sentences. While I know all the letters and vowels pretty solidly by now, I never read outloud to a person who knows Hebrew before and it was good to do that and get little corrections and reinforcement too and hear letter read. Leah, the girl, who taught the class was very welcoming and the class was very informative. It takes me too long to get to the city, otherwise, I would go every week.

After the class we met up with Marianna and Janna for dinner (I was planning to join that dinner after a show anyway). We went to this Italian place where the waiter flirted with Yeva and we got a wrong appetizer so we ended up eating two appetizers for the price of one (confusing Portobello mushrooms with goat cheese and regular mushrooms with mozzarella does take talent) and the food was pretty decent. Not the best Italian restaurant ever but decent one. Just seeing each other again was a fun part. So the whole day ended up being a socializing day and walking around a lot day and I’m just grateful for that.
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I forgot how much fun “Doctor Who” episode “Unicorn and the Wasp” was. Doctor, Donna, Agatha Christie and a fun murder mystery. And, of course, British people who carry on.

I thoroughly enjoyed the “Daily Show” segments in the last two episodes mocking both Christian proselytizing on Fox and the whole nostalgic “losing American values” bit. A commentator on Fox actually suggested in all seriousness that if Tiger Woods wants to come out of the scandal and find some peace with it all, he should find redemption with Jesus since his Buddhist religion will actually be inadequate, of course. And then when people were shocked at the obvious condescension of that statement, he went on O’Reilly to further say how that was not proselytizing but the only true fact, obviously and how hard it is to support Jesus in this country. Jon Stewart had a “panel” of religious experts each promoting their religion for Tiger and other religious commentary and, of course, showing how Fox disrespects other religions all the time but the mere suggesting that Christianity is not the superior one just sends them to a frenzy. John Oliver’s investigation to find the mysterious wonderful American past full of traditional values and good old days than the Fox commentators constantly point to while saying how we are all in Hell now was also great. Showing inanity of the 70s and the gender inequality of the 60s, the atomic scare and cold war and racism of the 50s, more racism and war of the 40s and the depression of the 30s to point out that the commentators are just idealizing their childhood was just a very smart rebuttal to all the inanity. Watching the “Daily Show” just helps maintain sanity sometimes.

I feel like my mind is totally going sometimes. I completely forgot that I needed to pay scholarly society dues until I got a email from them on another subject. I still have a few days, but it was sitting on my night stand and I just forgot. Where is my brain?


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October 2017

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