Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Me + Youtube = Lazy

I'm spending my lunch hour watching Square One TV on Youtube today.
Here's a little Halloween link for you. Go learn about probability.
But if you're feeling lazy...learn about the Mathematics of Love.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So, I'm not having a really great week at this point; it's not that anything bad has happened really, my mind/spirit/whatever just is not in a good place. When I am close to tears in the middle of the afternoon and walk all the way across campus to get a reuben sandwich, and am closer to tears when I think about what will happen if I don't get one, something shady is going on in the Avacious headspace. True, I worked hard this weekend. True, I've sort of opted out of Halloween this year (despite the Russian doll costume I put together at the last minute to stop by a party with the sole purpose of seeing all the babies dressed up). True my relax time hasn't been as relaxing as I'd like. I don't know. Things just ain't right.
Last night, I made some real efforts to get myself together. For instance, I checked out one of my old youth favorite books by Lloyd Alexander, and read the whole thing (130 pages). I also wore my Tinkerbell pants, which have been aforementioned in this spot as soul-quieting. I also made some potato soup--I never have before, but I threw some butter and seasoning in a pot, baked two potatoes in the microwave while heating a cup of evaporated milk and however much skim milk seemed appropriate, then threw the chopped up potatoes in the soup and mushed it around. I left the skins in. I'm here to tell you it was the most soothing thing I could have made at that moment. I ate it along with a chicken leg, and later had some bread pudding and apple salad, and I was full. That, it was so good.
So, somehow things will get back to normal eventually. I'm going to try for a walk tonight since it's a bit warmer, and then try to relax for reals. Maybe even a bath.

Friday, October 26, 2007

As there is no hockey this weekend, things will be pretty quiet at the Avacious household. I'll be grading some essays and probably doing the following:
Taking several naps because this chilly, cloudy weather is making me feel like a sleepy bear.
Stopping by a Halloween party for a few minutes with the sole goal of seeing some little ones looking adorable. I will probably be dressing as Ballerina Barbie for that brief time period. Gotta use that blond wig somewhere.
Making something nice to eat. If I meet my essay quota early tonight, I'll make a proper meal, or perhaps I'll go throw something on high in the slow cooker so it can cook whilst I do essays. Seems to me that I bought some stuff for slow cooker coconut chicken or something like that.
Watching some Halloween TV. My love for Halloween movies is well known, and there's a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be finished while I watch whatever presents itself to my eyes.

On a related note, can I just say that Olive and one of the aunts singing "Birdhouse in Your Soul" on Pushing Daisies warmed my heart? That show continues to deliver the kind of quirky hilarity that I need in my TV life right now. It and Supernatural are about neck and neck for my favor. It reminds me of the years in my teenage girlhood when SeaQuest, X-Files, and Dr. Quinn were all wrestling for my attention.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Truer Words...

Today, during 110 game day, Team Picasso went out to an early lead. While their celebration of good point-earnings remained throughout the game, their hand-raising and answering of questions got less sharp as time went on, and as Team B took over the scoring and eventually ended with an insurmountable lead.
In response to this movement, I felt moved to quip, "You're having the same problem the hockey team had last night."
Like Team Picasso, the Falcons came out strong last night; they looked slightly overmatched, but willing to grit their teeth and fight for a win with confidence. The team looked a little more physical than it should, which led to a lot of penalties again, but other teams have used physical strategies before. As long as you have the pass efficiency to back it up, no biggie. And for a while, they did. Plays were being made, and cleverness came into play when plays went sour or when loose pucks needed to be collected. I love looking at the team make something out of accidents, or have the presence of mind to capitalize on another team's lapse in concentration. It's beautiful, like poetry. I love it!
That energy and display of smarts deteriorated after Notre Dame scored their second goal. The play became scrappy. A few good plays were still made, but on the whole it looked like the Falcons were scrambling, as though they weren't thinking anymore, couldn't see what to do with quirky puck movement. Exhaustion plays a role, especially with recent games and with so much PK time (PK still succeeding pretty well, by the way--hooray for the slide block, used to great success by MSU back in the day). But concentrating through the exhaustion...I'm not seeing it. And, once tipped off their early momentum, they were never able to recover the same strength and coordination as a team with which they began.
The team this year has great potential to succeed in games. They can win, and I think they know it. I think they're smart, and are capable of showing that throughout a game. But I saw ghosts of last season lurking in that arena, especially in the third period, and it had nothing to do with Halloween.
Win or lose, I love my team, and I'm generally pretty proud of them when they're working hard and playing like they mean it. I understand better than most the sheer exhaustion of being under the lights for long stretches of time and straining your body past its limits. But my training from day one was in performance--not letting on that you're tired or discouraged until you are out of those lights, and practicing that vitality even in rehearsals, when you're the only one to motivate yourself to care. So, it hurts when I can tell the boys are discouraged. I saw some good things last night, and even some great things. But I want to see them in the third period just as much as the first. I'm greedy, I admit it. But I want to think my men are just as greedy.
Which sounds a little naughty. We'll just go with it.
I heart you, BG hockey!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Avacious on Ice

So, yesterday I "Skated with the Falcons."
I wasn't going to go, because I'm a little concerned about a groupie is okay, or even superfan, but groupie is too much. But I was on campus, the time was right, and I thought it would be heartwarming to watch the guys skate around with the kids. I didn't even bring my skates in at first, but then I saw that there was a variety of people there, including wee ones and adults and very few students, so I hauled the skates out, laced up, and got my lazy butt out there.
It was fun; it was indeed heartwarming to watch the guys with the little kids, and to chat with all my guys as we all circled around. I didn't fall down, which was a plus. I did have the worst foot cramp for a bit, but even that eased up after a while. I almost got picked up, but given my desire not to fall down when set back down, I declined for the moment. Picked up lots of hugs though. And got a poster signed for my office.
All in all, it was a much needed balm to my soul for what promises to be a tough week.
Tomorrow, hockey vs. Notre Dame. Can you handle it?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Reasons I'm happy today, in no particular order

The Holiday Victoria's Secret arrived today. The diamond bra is 4.5 million dollars this year. It's actually kind of cute, with bejewelled holly on it, though nothing will ever beat the sweet wing-styled one they had a few years ago.
The Falcons beat RIT 5-3 last night in a very exciting hockey game, which I happily listened to on the radio while eating pizza and these little Meijer mushroom appetizer things and balancing my checkbook. There were about a zillion penalties, but the PK came through and the guys held on. Have I mentioned how much I heart/am obsessed with hockey?
It is a gorgeous day outside, with some sun, but it still feels like fall. I will be taking a lovely lovely walk today, or several.
I finished rough drafts, and any school work that remains for the next few days can be completed at school. This means time to solve a wing-related problem.
This month I solved a mystery from my childhood; I never understood that song in the Shirley Temple A Little Princess. The title sounded like "Old Candrow," and what the heck would that mean? Then, recently, while watching a rented dvd of The Muppet Show, I heard them sing it, and darned if I didn't at last figure out it was "Old Kent Road," so I could finally find the almost incomprehensible lyrics online.
Hooray for today!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Week in review

My birthday is in four weeks.
The fantasysports team names I was looking for and decided I'd thrown out are in my keyboard drawer, where I thought they should be but where I mysteriously could not find them.
The new dress went over pretty well with the students. I'm angling for the best-dressed instructor award.
I have decidedly not gotten enough exercise this week, but have eaten a number of prefab food items.
I tried to do this online health assessment thing; what it taught me is that I'm underweight, but that I should get more exercise and eat less fat and more healthy items.
Sadly, the Falcons lost last night to the Niagara Purple Eagles...and yet they outshot them. Remember what I said about shooting luck and turnovers? Yeah. Boys, remember--lift and separate.
And due to my excitement about listening to the game, I straight up forgot to watch my favorite show, Supernatural. I'll give you a moment to get over your shock.

Right. I have 13 revisions and 17 more rough drafts to read. My goal is to get the revisions done or at least mostly done before I leave this office. Then, drafts, and then hockey on the radio vs. RIT. Good times.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back from the wilds of Bath

What I did with my Saturday and Sunday:
1. Novi LUSH. "On my way" homehome, I stopped in Novi to visit the store that is now closest to me (though still an hour and a half away--curiously, it only adds 10 minutes to my route home). They aren't in their permanent location yet so no fridge and therefore no fresh face masks. Also, I found out that my now-favorite (thanks to the demise of Ginger) product, Something Wicked This Way Comes, is being discontinued, and someone had already snatched up every last one. I didn't cry, but I felt like it. But I still bought (mumbles vague amount) worth of stuff.
2. Homehome in Bath. I confess, I didn't do much. I sat around and talked to my folks, ate a brownie, watched some hockey on tv, wrote my hockey blog, failed to get the MSU-N. Dakota hockey game on the radio (do you see a pattern?), read some HP 7. Ate burgers and fries--you'll remember my Mom's fries are the best ever.
3. Church. I love going to church at home. Then we ate at Subway.
4. Memorial Service for Dr. Durr. I admit I remained dry-eyed--I've already shed my tears for Dr. Durr, and my sadness at losing such a "fierce" lady too soon is now internal. There was a dance in her honor, which was pretty, and a few faculty members in particular had nice memories of her in addition to reading some poems. We sang a few hymns, and I got to visit with my friend Kim, with whom I experienced some amazing dance things in college via Dr. Durr's encouragement. Through some of the service, I was trying to reconstruct in my head some of "The Dixinator"'s choreography for Evita.
5. Back to BG. Despite basically having twice the church-style singing in one day, I sang a great part of the way back. I even brought out my Belinda Carlisle for some extra 80s power.
6. Worst sewing disaster ever. The dress was almost finished. All I had left was some hand sewing of facing on the inside. But then my iron burned two holes in part of the bodice/sleeve and the sleeve band. GAH! I had to deconstruct the sleeve band and facing, replace the band, and sew the whole thing back together, this time higher up on the bodice/sleeve to hide the other hole. It will be about an inch off, but I think the style of the dress will make it unnoticeable. Fingers crossed. I have to finish the hand sewing tonight and test it out tomorrow, I think. Miraculously, I didn't get that upset, just sort of resigned. What does this mean?
Today, we're back to the grind. I have one day left of no essays for a week or so.

And finally, will someone please tell me how this works? It's from CNN, an article about Fresno's secret underground: "Omachi's father, a Japanese immigrant, was born here in 1913 "between a bar and a house of ill repute," she said."
If he was born here, that sort of makes him NOT an immigrant, yes? Even if in 1913 new births were considered not Americans in Chinatown, our designations would change now, wouldn't they?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hockey Analysis

OK, so BG beat Windsor with a kingly score of 12-1. One might think that, in a game without much competition ,as the results show, one can't learn much. In some ways, I agree; the Notre Dame game coming up on the 23rd will be a better look for me at what BG can accomplish this year. I know the guys are feeling good about things, which warms my heart. Still, some mental notes I made:
Centering looked better last night; there were a few lost pucks and a few empty sticks, but on the whole the centering pass was cleaner and more effective than it has been in the last few years.
I was also delighted to see what the sports people tend to call "creative" moves on the ice--turning some not-so-pretty puck handling and body movement, and loose pucks, into productive moments, simply through being alert and adaptable. Our team has lacked that, and I'm interested to see if this is maintained. I hope so, because it's fun to watch, and gives fans confidence.
A big shout-out to the defense for keeping Windsor shut out on their power plays, and even enabling a BG shorthanded goal by frosh Dan Sexton (who hat-tricked, with Mazzei). Defense is so often a thankless job, and truthfully there were a few scrappy moments but also some good clears and some playmaking. I'm anxious to see how play looks when more pucks make it in front of the net, but for the moment knowing BG did well on the penalty kill is important. Also, I saw a lot of good puck stripping going on at zone's edge. Most of this was of the poke and hook check variety, but not only did it work, but the offense was ready to pick it up, which is happy.
I have been watching BG line changes with a shrewd eye in the last few years. Last year, they were ridiculously slow. They look better this year, and Brian Moore in particular gets my thief-in-the-night award--I know him, and therefore pay close attention to his time on the ice and I still can't figure out how he got on and off sometimes without me seeing. Sneaky.
My new favorite kamikaze player is one of my current students. Last year it was Kai Kantola because no matter what that guy would throw himself at whatever he was doing, and he never looked as tired as I assume he felt. Last night, I watched David Solway perform similarly; whether on his skates or on his knees, he was willing to throw himself at a play. He also spent more than his fair share of time in the penalty box...also like Kantola, who was eventually escorted off with a misconduct.
Areas needing improvement: I still say better passing is in order. Windsor isn't that great either, so I didn't have much to compare to, but having grown up a Spartan in the glory days I know what good passing looks like and we're not there yet.
This brings me to my biggest pet peeve ever: So help me, if they (and I don't just mean our team) don't stop beating on the ice every time they want the puck or are open, I am going to take their sticks and smack them. I have NEVER seen this work, usually it's just like yelling "throw to me! I'm open," which immediately means you won't be. It's distracting, and I hate it. The only man allowed to beat on the ice is the goalie, when power plays are almost over, which is just common sense. Please, men, just learn to sense where your teammates are.
I saw better skating last night than I am accustomed to, but some of the guys still could profit from some movement lessons.
Finally, TURNOVERS. These need immediate improvement. Even given the higher level of play I saw last night, the turnovers were ridiculous. MSU has occasionally had problems with this, too, and BG suffered in some late-season games last year. Better teams than Windsor will capitalize on these lost pucks and all the other good work we're doing will be for naught. This goes hand in hand with the passing, of course, making sure that passes are clean and that the skater keeps moving once he has the puck...having a plan for that puck.
That's about it. It was good to see three of "my guys" (Moore, Dee, and Solway) on the ice, and good to get back to the arena for some action. It was also good to see pucks make it into the net. Here's hoping we get some better luck with shooting this year.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some simple Thursday facts

1. My back hurts.
2. I will be wearing my fleece Tinkerbell pants to the reading tonight.
3. I will be going to the hockey game tomorrow night.
4. Pushing Daisies remains hilarious.
5. Casey deserved her Top Chef crowd favorite award.
6. Ghosthunters was not scary last night.
7. I will be wearing an Icy Hot patch this evening.
8. Students are frustrating.
9. I am cold.
10. Progress reports are more time-consuming than administrators think.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Please go and read this. It's a good article, but also Randy DeVita is mentioned in it, and I know him. That is cool beyond belief. Stephen King put Randy's name in writing. Randy, you rock!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Let's start the week off right

First, let's talk a little about the Falcon Face-Off.
It was not terribly crowded in there, but in some ways that's okay. Really, the boys had about all the autograph signing they could do afterward, and it was also a nice chance for the visiting parents to get to see their boys and get to talk to them after. I hope they come back to see what it's really like during a game, though.
As far as skills go, centering passes need work, and pass instincts still do, too. I'm telling you, if these boys don't stop beating on the ice every damn time they want the puck I'm going to (gently but insistently) beat them with a hockey stick. I mean, what's the use if an opposing player can then bang on the ice, and get the puck passed to him (which, if I'm not mistaken, Derek Whitmore actually did at one point) because people don't know where their teammates really are? Players need to be able to sense these things, to feel intuitively where one's team members are. That's something I always admired about the Spartan squad when I was at State, and before, and something I have seldom seen from any team, including the Spartans, since. This trend of banging the ice must die in hockey. It's not improving anyone's game.
Basic ice movement looked better than usual. A lot of the younger guys are very quick; too ready to get all unnecessarily tricky with plays at times, perhaps, but eager. However, on the whole I felt it took much too long for both sides to look like they cared, and the "white team" didn't look really ready until 13 minutes in, which is ridiculous. The "orange team," while ultimately losing, at least got out and banged some stuff around right away. That can backfire, but it's better than being too tentative and/or blase. As I told my current hockey-playing student last week, "You have to get the grr." Don't look tired. Perform. Etc.
On the whole, it was a good studying experience for me, and I've never even seen some of "my guys" play before; all of them got at least a shot off, and two of them scored. After, I made my four sign white t-shirt squares that I will be sewing with some orange squares into a scarf. Because that's how much I heart them.

In other news, let's talk abot TV for a sec. House was funny...House is always funny, but Wilson actually has me giggling out loud right now. Ghosthunters (and Steve is in total agreement with me on this) was creep-to-the-y scary on Wednesday. As in, I was mildly afraid in the shower that night. Top Chef, by comparison, was a disaster. The live thing was pointless, and I was so sad for Casey's fizzle and Dale's ultimate loss I was sorry I'd watched it. Thursday, of course, was the Supernatural premiere, and let me just say, thanks, show creators, for the background footage which included Sam's big makeout before the episode proper, because, well, I needed that. Dean's mild debauchery is a sight to behold. Bless their hot little hearts. Oh yeah, and lots of stuff happened.
Now about Pushing Daisies--I wasn't going to watch this show, not being in the market, really, but Kristin Chenowith is on it, and darned if Jim Dale (aka the voice of Harry Potter audiobooks) narrates it. I watched it when they replayed the pilot, and you know what? It's weird and cute, and thus far I approve of it. So, it just may make it into my lineup.
TV sucked on Friday so I rented 1408. It was very S. King short story in the timing/pacing department, and on the whole I enjoyed it. I was more creeped out toward the beginning, though, than the end, as is often the case. I was creeped out enough to stop the movie and take my shower before I watched the rest, but then ultimately decided I needn't have bothered.

And finally, it's hot and there's a dead squirrel in my front yard that stinks, and I have no shovel with which to remedy the situation.