Barbara's Random Thoughts

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Highlights of the week

So many things are going on right now. This week? Well...

Monday's commute took me an HOUR and 15 minutes because of an overturned potato truck that caught fire. (A POTATO truck, people!!) I got to work at 9:15 instead of 8:30. Monday just happened to be our company "Day at the Races," and the office closed at 11:30 so we could all head off for a free buffet lunch before the races. I got virtually nothing done on Monday, but the free lunch was good! And we had fun rooting for the horses with cool names. Like "Dino Camino" and "Always Picked On."

On Tuesday afternoon, Nancy & John and the kids stopped by my work to say hi! They were on their way down the coast from Santa Rosa. It was great, they all traipsed into the humanities wing, and I introduced them to my fellow EAs. One of the editors commented later about how cute the kids were and how she wished she hadn't been on the phone when they were here!

Then there's the job promotion saga. I feel like I'm ready to pursue moving up to an assistant editor role at work. There's an opening for an AE in Sociology, which is kind of interesting to me. After a lot of deliberation, I applied for the position and had an interview on Tuesday. I really enjoyed the interview. I think this editor would be great to work with, and my editor speaks highly of him.

However, my lengthy deliberation over applying was because there's a possibility of an opening for an assistant editor on my own team, which I would much prefer. Both of our current AEs are in the process of interviewing for different sales rep positions, and if one or both of them get those jobs, there's an open position for me to move into. I would absolutely kick myself if I was hired to the Sociology team, only to find out I could have had the same role on my team.

But, the timing is looking better and better. I should find out by tomorrow if one of our current AEs will get a sales rep job--opening up that position for me to potentially move up. And, I've just heard that there's a second round of interviews with the Social Sciences editor-in-chief, so that buys me a little more time on the Sociology side of things. Oh, to wait and see. Stay tuned...
| posted by Barbara | 7:46 PM |

Quote for the day

"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."
--Alice Cooper, in the Washington Post

(link pilfered from Allison Lives)
| posted by Barbara | 7:23 PM |

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

More Gymnastics Fun

My roommate and I were debating whether Morgan and Paul Hamm are identical or fraternal twins. I decided to look it up online (my usual response), and turned up this article. Mmm. I do like that picture.

Ok, ok, and we were also debating which twin is cuter. I prefer Morgan, she prefers Paul. At least we're not fighting over the same twin. Speaking of the Hamm boys, how about that high bar drama last night? I stayed up till midnight to watch it, and I'm glad I did.

I thought Morgan did quite well; I was very proud of my boy. And how classy is Alexei Nemov? I was really impressed by his gracious attempts to quiet the crowd before Paul's routine.

And, for contrast, how's this for ungracious? I'm rather fond of this particular response, dubbing Khorkina "Whiner of the Week."
| posted by Barbara | 2:19 AM |

Friday, August 20, 2004

Eats, Blogs & Leaves

Came across this on Blogger. It's worth a read if you find yourself amused by or in agreement with the following quotes:

Though Blogger gives everything else away for free, sadly the service does not come with a cranky grammar bitch with blue pencil in hand. Luckily for you, however, it does come with a spell-check and an edit button. These tools are your friends. Use them.

Proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar are not merely the tools by which anal-retentive freaks like me get their kicks; they give words meaning, clarity, and, if you're lucky, beauty.

Actually, it's really worth a read if you're not in agreement with the above. Because you should be. =)
| posted by Barbara | 1:37 AM |

Thursday, August 19, 2004


I've been staying up far too late watching the Olympics, specifically the gymnastics. And wasn't last night awesome? Paul Hamm was amazing. I was shocked, disappointed, and--sadly--amused to see him sit down on that vault landing, practically on top of the judges' table. And then to come back and win gold? SO, so cool.

I was talking to a co-worker the other day about how team gymnastics isn't really a team sport. Each person on the team competes individually, on individual events, and then their scores are added up for the team total. They never really compete together on anything--it's only a team effort in that their scores are combined. So we came up with some ideas for true team gymnastics--events that would require gymnasts working together.

Synchronized Vaulting: Gymnasts vaulting side by side...they have synchronized diving, so why not synchronized vaulting?
Doubles Uneven Bars: You can fit two girls on the uneven bars at once, right? There are two bars, after all.
Synchronized Still Rings: Why they call them the still rings still mystifies me. But anyway. They could hang four rings side by side--or facing each other--and off those boys go with synchronized routines. I want to see the Hamm twins on this one.
Pairs Floor Exercise: You know, like pairs ice skating. Get those male and female gymnasts doing the floor exercise together! See if they can avoid running into each other on those tumbling passes!

I really think I'm on to something here.
| posted by Barbara | 11:57 PM |

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Letting go

Sometimes closed doors are a good thing. I've been on a Toad kick lately, and these lyrics have been especially appropriate:

Take the dreams that should have died
The ones that kept you lying awake
When you should have been all right
And throw 'em all away

With the time I waste on the life I never had
I could have turned myself into a better man
| posted by Barbara | 5:54 PM |

Monday, August 16, 2004

Review Quote of the Day

From, on Ward Just's novel, An Unfinished Season:

"It's not so much that you can't put it down, but that you shouldn't put it down because the moment you stop reading, the spell breaks and you're left with the aftertaste of pretentious insight."
| posted by Barbara | 7:55 PM |

Saturday, August 14, 2004


I wrote this a while ago. I came across it this week while I was unpacking, and thought I'd share.


I saw your blue eyes in a magazine today.
And yesterday,
one of your songs was running through my head.
Of course, neither the eyes
nor the song
actually belonged to you.
But in my mind, they did.
And when it comes down to it,
That's the only you
that really belongs to me, anyway.
| posted by Barbara | 5:54 AM |

Thursday, August 12, 2004

iPod vs. the Cassette Tape

I know you've been wondering how they compare. Now you can find out with this comparative study!

(Kristy, you might want to reconsider the headache it's been getting the software installed on your iMac...why not return to your old friend the cassette tape?)
| posted by Barbara | 11:39 PM |

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Ducat, Damschroeder, and Oshinsky.

What, you ask? These are author last names I have recently discovered. They are highly recommended for use as expletives when you are frustrated. All three together, if you are really frustrated.
| posted by Barbara | 11:52 PM |

I'm a goddess


?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
| posted by Barbara | 6:14 PM |


I was listening to NPR on my way to work this morning, and they were playing clips from various John Kerry speeches. Kerry's voice reminded me of someone, but I couldn't quite place it. Then I realized: John Kerry sounds--ever so slightly--like Rowlf the Dog from the Muppets.

That is the extent of my political commentary for the morning.
| posted by Barbara | 6:06 PM |

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Eichler homes

The weekend I moved, Anne pointed out to me that my neighborhood is full of Eichler homes. I had never heard of Eichler homes before, but now the subject fascinates me. I walked to Bible study last night, and couldn't help but admire all the Eichlers I passed on the way to church.

Joseph Eichler was a real estate developer and home designer. He designed suburban tract homes in California between 1949 and 1974, mainly in the Bay area. (Except for 3 homes built in New York. With the atriums and large windows that were characteristic of his designs, I don't know how that worked.) Palo Alto has the largest concentration of Eichler homes in California, and I live right next to Los Arboles, one of the last neighborhoods of Eichler homes to be built before Eichler's death in 1974.

I find this intriguing right now. If you're interested, more history on Eichler can be found here.

And I just have to share this quote from the above page:
Joe [Eichler] resigned from the National Association of Home Builders in 1958 in protest of racial discrimination policies and, according to reports from long-time Eichler owners, offered to buy back homes from those who had trouble accepting their neighbors.

"If, as you claim, this will destroy property values," Joe once told some disgruntled Eichler owners, "I could lose millions...You should be ashamed of yourselves for wasting your time and mine with such pettiness."

I like this guy.
| posted by Barbara | 7:50 PM |

The hookah-smoking caterpillar

At work, we've been discussing cover images for our new catalog. We've been using Alice in Wonderland artwork for years, and for this cover, one of the suggested images is of the caterpillar talking to Alice while smoking a hookah. I liked this response to that particular image:

I did like the caterpillar, because in that part of the story I believe he asks Alice, "Who are you?" Which ties in with our goal of teaching students insight, philosophy as a means of learning more about yourself. However, I'd hate for customers to think that we are suggesting that philosophical insight can only be achieved by smoking unknown substances.

Emphasis mine.
| posted by Barbara | 7:19 PM |

Friday, August 06, 2004

You know you want some.

Theory trading cards!

Handy and fun information on prominent thinkers and concepts, presented on pocket-sized collectible cards for your trading enjoyment. Download and print the online set, or buy the higher-quality published set for the low, low price of $12.95.

You can put them in your pocket, and refer to them secretly during seminars or pretentious dinners. You can play them as a card game, or just admire them as art.

My personal favorite:

Jacques Lacan
Strengths: Highly influential among many theoretical schools
Weaknesses: Often unintelligible, bordering on nonsense
Special skills: Requires subtitling in his native language

| posted by Barbara | 7:35 PM |

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Wales 2004 Pictures

If you're interested in seeing some pictures from my trip to Wales, Heather has some posted here on her Wales update site. Or, get together with me in person and I'll be happy to share more. =)
| posted by Barbara | 11:31 PM |

Surprise, surprise.

You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every book ever published. You are a fountain of endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and never fail to impress at a party.
What people love: You can answer almost any question people ask, and have thus been nicknamed Jeeves.
What people hate: You constantly correct their grammar and insult their paperbacks.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
| posted by Barbara | 5:38 PM |

Top 10 Actual Excuses from Reviewers

I am blatantly plagiarizing this list from a co-worker who shall remain nameless. She's actually received all of these excuses from textbook reviewers during her time as an Editorial Assistant. Enjoy. You couldn't make these things up if you tried.

10. Unfortunately, I got a horrendous flu-like cold while at a conference, and this knocked me down for about five days.

9. After reading the "profiler" attachment necessary, I have decided not to do the review. I don't feel comfortable giving out all of that personal information.

8. Every single time I had a block of time to do this the last couple of weeks, the computer thwarted my attempts.

7. In my head, I had thought that it was due by May 15th, but Saturday would be an odd day for a deadline.

6. An hour and a half at the dentist slowed me down this morning.

5. Best-laid plans o' mice and men gang aft a-gley, I'm afraid. I'll send it either tonight or tomorrow morning. Company's coming over. Sorry!

4. Between classes, my car has broken down and is in the shop and the tax return deadline, I may need an extension of a couple of days.

3. My air conditioner went out at my house and I have spent the day having it looked at, which has delayed the completion of the review.

2. Last week and this weekend brought unforeseen fires to put out in my life as a composer. I did not want to rush a review of your work, so I did not finish.

And everyone’s favorite...

1. I am afraid that I will not be able to meet today's deadline for review of the text. We have recently had a faculty member murdered by a student which has slowed things down here a bit.
| posted by Barbara | 1:51 AM |

Monday, August 02, 2004

Boxes and more boxes

The move is complete! Things actually went very smoothly this weekend...huge thanks to my moving help: Karen helped me move boxes on Friday, then Josh, Kelly, and Anne helped me move furniture on Saturday. And I wouldn't have been able to assemble my bed without the help of Anne and the handy socket wrench from Target.

Though the move may be complete, the unpacking most definitely is not. My room (and the rest of the house, sadly!) is strewn with various boxes, bags, and what I affectionately call "random crap" that all needs to find a place for itself. This is gonna take a while. Somehow I never feel at home until my books are settled, and it's gonna be at least a couple of days before I can put all my books where they belong. Sigh.
| posted by Barbara | 7:27 PM |