playing with wordpress
i am playing with wordpress, trying to get things working. this semester i am concentrating, among other things, on permanence in my virtual identity. last semester i concentrated on establishing permanence irl and it helped create peace in my life. there were several things i am not happy with using typepad, not least having to use a redirect to use my domain. i thought that i would try wordpress before my subscription with typepad ran out. if i like it, i will not renew this account...either way, i am looking for permanence.
so. for a little while, check this blog for updates
Caffeinated Middle English
Oh! I am way to caffeinated for my own good this morning! I was up very late last night reading Middle English, and up early trying to make it look less like Greek than it did the night before. I was successful in that I understand it more, but I think it is going to take a little more time before it feels natural. It is, however, interesting…like a big crossword puzzle.
It is good that I have gotten into the swing of things this semester at an early stage. This week has been very busy! Therese and I finished our paper for Blogtalk and submitted it for publication. I am not sure I am allowed to upload it here yet, as they are going to publish a book of all the conference papers. I have emailed and asked, and when I find out I will publish…or not, depending on the decision ;-) I will place an excerpt in the continue reading part.
Also, I have changed webhotels. I was paying quite a lot for very little space, so I have signed up for a new one with a lot of space. I am using typepad at the moment because I kept running out of space and did not want to have to open several programs just to upload files to my blog. On this new server I am going to try out wordpress. As I have never used the program, I am not sure I will like it. If I don’t, I will upload MT again. The reason I am thinking about switching is the overwhelming amount of comment spam I was getting with MT, even using blacklist. My problem with typepad is the inability to ping automatically. I hope that this is a function that wordpress has embedded. Although, I want to be able to moblog, too. This is something that is very easy to do in typepad…will have to weight the pros and cons. I have learned not to mess with the working blog until everything else is up and running!
Ok, enough procrastination…back to identifying loan words in Middle English texts…
sometimes i love quizzes...and i think that it is quite ironic that i became this character when it is also the one i chose to represent me two years ago in the monster project... maybe i just want to wear kinky 'clothes' and have my way with everyone ;-)
|Which Rocky Horror Picture Show character are you?|
|Click Here to Take This Quiz|
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.
the truth is not always pretty
wow...like francis says, this puts everything into perspective. when did 'class' and 'wealth' become prerequisites for leading the country...even at the expense of human decency? this is a scary time we live in, and my country seems to be paving the 'terrorist' way. by using that word so much, is he trying to prevent others from throwing it against him? perhaps he doth protest too much!
living the faiytale, part II
yesterday we went on a spur of the moment road trip to the zoo in lycksele. i was not sure how good a time we would have, as it was a somewhat long drive for such a short time at the actual park. a good time was had by all, however. we saw all the swedish animals; wolverine, fox, bear, moose, rabbits, etc...
and on the way home we saw 'wild' reindeer grazing in a meadow...
living the fairy tale
sometimes living in sweden feels like i am living in a fairy tale, a beautiful book full of glossy illustrations of light, green forests, mushrooms, and berries. every once in a while daycare closes for planning and we get a special day with our children when traffic is light and everyone is healthy. today was one of those days. my kids and i went to the river and walked down the trail to find fresh raspberries, but we were really on the search for a unicorn. we found tracks and glittery soil (which of course comes from the glitter embedded in the coat of the unicorn). my daughter is totally convinced that we were just around the corner from the fantastic animal. we did not find any unicorns, but we did pick a lot of berries and had a fun picnic by the riverside.
...tomorrow, waffles and fresh raspberry jam! yum!
how synchronic can conversations become in blogging? how quickly can conversations occur (both with or without plug ins, RSS, etc.)? these were 'hot' topics at blogtalk this year (at least at the after conference dinners), and very interesting to my particular research. i venture to say without plug ins of some sort, blog chat will still be significantly delayed. i have seen quite a few plug ins now, and today i found an interesting one on dina's blog called chatango. i have also found that you can use skype on your site, but it is a bit messier as both people must have the program installed on his or her computer. i am using it more as a portal than a resource for meeting new people/contacts.
we used a plug in on our jokkmokk blog called the blob (must search for link) which was very effective for this type of event coverage. the draw back was the loss of comments. we noticed a very specific behavior with this plugin, however...flocking. the blog also shows how many people are on your site simultaneously. when people noticed that they were not the only ones looking at a site, they were more likely to go into the chat (which offered both the option to use voice and text). will having a chat plug in embedded in your blog make conversation more synchronous, or will it simply become a portal for pre-arranged meetings, similar to my skpye button?
my summer literature students made some very interesting parallels between Apartheid South Africa as portrayed in Woza Albert! with Guantanamo Bay. we had a great class in which we did dramatic interpretations taken from different scenes from Woza Albert! it really was a great way of 'transporting' the students into another culture where they experienced things like oppression and power struggles. this is definitely a lesson i will use in the future.
hunting for dragons
tonight we went hunting for dragons. we went up a blueberry covered path that twists through the sparse pine forest. we found its tracks (apparently this is a red dragon, very sweet and nice, according to my son), found both the mushrooms it likes to eat and the rock it likes to sit upon, as well as another rock which is the forgotten, unhatched egg... i then found a lovely 'tooth' which the dragon must have lost while eating and spitting out the broken-up bicycle beside the path. showing it to my son, he said, "no mom, that is just a stick." silly me!
one thing that i have noticed from the researchers i admire is that they ask a lot of questions and they state a lot of observations (to state the obvious). this is the way to begin good, quality research...so now the time comes to ask those questions...
my first article will deal with the notion of space (not outer). are blogs a space, how are they built... i want to use mental space theory and examine language on a micro level in order to determine the extent of this space. i have read the thought 'blogs are both a personal and public space'. i have even stated in my MA thesis that blogs are simultaneously a conversation with oneself and an open-ended invitation for conversation with readers. if this is so, how is this space constructed linguistically? does it differ from blogs that do not use comments, thus uninviting conversation in a shared space. which blog(s) do i examine?
goal for this week: decide on which blogs to study...organize my categories so my personal and professional items will be easier to sift through!
also, do i let these bloggers know that i am looking at their language? i think i will have to if i want to publish the results. it would be theoretically simple to google catch phrases, thus eliminating any chances for anonymity. i guess i have my answer :-)
why it is home
i have been thinking a lot lately about why this is my home. after moving so many times, why stop here? i have found my answers in small separate moments this week.
*the smell of the clean, crisp air as autumn begins to wraps its refreshing arms around me while biking home.
*the small boy sitting in the blueberry patch, blue juices dripping down his chin and arm, merrily eating his way across the meadow.
*the rainbow crossing one side of the lake and landing on the other
*my children running back and forth without the threat of cars mowing down their games, giving them the freedom to laugh and run without worries.
tomorrow i will begin teaching my second year of theater at a local 'high-school'. i have finished planning out the projects for the year and i am very excited about some of the things we will do. we will start out by working with movement and character, then perform as 'living statues' in town. we will also do a large performance, a mock research commission and will analyze several plays. theater is a great way to realize and experiment with emotions and especially appropriate at an age where experimentation and growth are such an important part of ones life.
the stories we tell ourselves, an ever evolving continuation
i am constantly intrigued by the stories we tell ourselves. it is not that we consciously lie to ourselves and to others, but we all look at the world and at ourselves through a glass colored by our own beliefs and prior observations. i received in my email this morning the newspaper article that will come out on saturday about me and blogging. this is only the second time that i have read someone else's perception of me and again i was surprised. the first time was during the jokkmokk adventure when i was described as an activist by our director. maybe i am, i am still not so sure about that one. there is a difference between feeling passionately about something and being an activist. this article calls me restless. when i first read it, i was shocked! me, restless! it turns out, after thinking about it a while, that it is true. i am very restless. i always have been! it is the reason that i often take too many tasks on at once, or i research something that is always changing. for me, i could not think of anything worse than doing the same thing day in and day out. i need change, i need stimulation... i guess i am restless, but i kind of like it :-)
The saga of Max, Part II
i thought i had until monday to create a solution for max, but i was wrong. my landlord came to me the next morning and very rudely proclaimed that the problem had to be taken care of today, not monday, today and that i had to remember to be respectful of my neighbors. (was very insulted at the respectful part as i really like my neighbors and have really, really tried to be respectful and keep max quiet...it is not like i sit in here and pinch him when i feel like he had not howled enough.) so, i 'bit the bullet' and bought the collar that squirts lemony stuff in his nose instead of waited the three days so i could rent it (which was a 150:- to 1685:- difference!!!) which means the bookshelves i really need will have to wait a little while longer. *sigh* max seems to be responding well to the collar. i have only left him for short spells in order to not be completely traumatized by it. the first time i came home, he was looking at me with huge eyes and his whole body was shaking...a lot of the liquid was gone. poor thing! he seems to be getting a little better, which is good because i start teaching in the morning.
enough ramblings, it is time to get to work!
getting things done
It is time for another semester and time to get new things done. I am coming off of vacation with a renewed supply of energy and enthusiasm. I have now integrated my research blog posts into this blog, but I still need to go back and apply categories and organize things. I have also done a lot with the HUMlab blog, which will be up and running by the end of this month. I have also finished planning for my Theater class which will be doing living statues in about three weeks. I can not wait to see how it turns out! Brief brainstorming session...
Projects for this semester...
*Write short Tekka article with Therese
*Finish HUMlab blog (this month)
*First blogging article (completed..hope so!...more details as it becomes more concrete)
*Finish first book with mother
On the down side, I thought that Max, my dog, had stopped howling when I am gone. Wrong :-( My upstairs neighbor came and complained again tonight. I made a deal with him that we would wait and see until Monday when I receive a special collar that is supposed to train him not to howl by squirting smelly lemony stuff on his nose when he does it. I hope this works, I really do not want to get rid of him. The other option is doggy daycare, but with Emma and Sebastian in daycare across town, I really do not see that as a long term solution. I hope this works out. Any doggy training suggestions out there???
To kill or not to kill?
I am currently waiting to be interviewed by a local journalist about blogging. While thinking of things to say to him, I began to think about my own blogs. I am unsure whether or not to kill off my research blog. I created it during an emotional time in order to separate my work from my personal life, but now I am not so sure I want to do that anymore. My blog has now fulfilled my need for an emotional outlet, and now I feel the need for a place to discuss my research. I think that using categories and pinging the appropriate channels is a good way to go. Now that I have my research post, there is more to say on that front, and less to say on the personal one. So here is my question...thrown out to all bloggers out there... Do you prefer categories to separate blogs? Do personal entries get in the way of research, or detract from the integrity of the research?
update: (as of 30 seconds ago :) What about a side blog with excerpts from posts specifically to do with my research? It would serve the same purpose as having two blogs, but with a much easier interface...
friends have been asking who these people are, so from left to right (Aunt Suzy, Seb, Emma, Mom)
Home is where the heart is
I have not written in a while, but lots of things have been happening!
*Lots of beach time (look like a lobster at the moment)
*lots of kid playing
*lots shopping trips with parents and aunt
*new computer bought (although just figured out tonight that I am missing a cord, so I may not keep it if they can not replace it…what a shame…I really, really like it)
I have had a nice time visiting my parents so far. After living in Umea for four years, I have discovered that I am now a hybrid. I am not really American or really Swedish…I am something in between. There are things here that really bother me, like the lack of recycling and bike paths, and play parks on every corner. But in Sweden, I miss the availability of inexpensive products and the availability to my parents. All in all, I do feel like my home is Sweden. I feel at home there, I have made a home there. It is where my heart is.
In Virginia with my parents today. I thought that trip would be he%@, traveling alone with three year old twins, but it was not. We traveled from Umea to Stockholm and then got on a plane over the Atlantic. They did not sleep a wink on the planes, but the were great! They just sat and read and watched TV and were sweet kids. We also had a *long* delay in Newark because storms in Washington DC caused the airports to close. But still the kids were great! They did not cry (and finally slept). I could not ask for better children! (and that is not just a prejudiced mother talking! ;) Now we are here and having a great time. There will be *very* little blogging while I am here. Have a great summer everyone, see you
When I was young, my mother (who was an elementary teacher) decorated her classrooms beautifully. Although neither one of us can draw worth a flip, we could colour! My mother would project great pictures onto butcher paper and trace them. We would take those really big boxes of crayola crayons and colour and shade and bring these pictures into life. I have been thinking a lot about the stories my daughter has begun to spin, and they remind me of the type of poetry Shel Silverstein created (another mother contribution). With that in mind, I am going to take white wall paper and create a room full of the poetry and drawings of the late great Silverstein in the projected creativeness my mother taught me and tack them up over their ugly wallpaper (easily removed…I have learned my ‘only renting’ lessons the hard way). So, without further ado… a sampling
If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
God says to me with kind of a smile,
‘Hey how would you like to God awhile
And steer the world?’
‘Okay,’ says I, ‘I’ll give it a try.
Where do I set?
How much do I get?
What time is lunch?
When can I quit?’
‘Gimme back that wheel.’ Says God,
‘I don’t think you’re quite ready yet.’
Love his poetry!
The stories we tell ourselves
I seem to have a prevailing theme in my life this summer. During my summer class (which was just incredible, btw) we discussed the nature of truth. Is there really ‘a’ truth, or is truth just the stories that we tell ourselves. I have also immersed myself in blogs, both through my new RSS reader, through my new research area, and through the conference I recently attended. Blogs are nothing if not pieces of our collective stories thrown together mish mash and aggregated in readers (still in love with blogging, do not get me wrong :-). Yesterday, my kids were laying in my bed, whispering to each other and giggling. Snuggling up to them, I discovered that my daughter was telling this very involved story about a troll who offered her blue popcorn, and why she really loved blue popcorn. She looked up, noticed the strange shape of the ceiling lamp and began to spin her tale to include the lamp. Her story was involved and detailed and so creative. I lay there beside my son, both of us enraptured by her narrative. We all tell ourselves stories, and as adults we spend a lot of energy trying to define and defend them. There are some, however, that are comfortable within their own story, who can spin enchanted tales and swirl together worlds, who walk within their story surrounded by an aura of pride, confidence and joy. My daughter is one of the enchanted spinners of life, and for that I am grateful.
(picture from http://clipartfantasy.altervista.org/mostri.htm)
What is wrong with us? When did people stop being seen as something with feelings and instead seen through the propaganda coloured lens of yesterday’s news. Why don’t we care anymore? Why don’t we stop this? Why don’t we rise up? Have *we* become so indifferent???
My kids have been with their father for the past two weeks on vacation. It was the first time that I was away from them for so long and it was an emotional roller coaster. In 20 minutes, however, I get to go pick them up!!! I am so excited! I even cleaned the house top to bottom (and for those of you who know me know that that in itself is amazing ;-) Many, many other things have happened since my return from BlogTalk and I will write more tonight, but for now I am going to bounce up and down until I can go and get them…