I was at the library from about noon until a little after 3:00. That damn Volume 3 of Technical Communication Quarterly as still not been found and reshelved, which is totally annoying. I needed an article in that. Also, I found out that three of the four articles I wanted, and thought were in the stacks, were actually in the Satellite stacks, and I had to put a request in for them. And, the request will not be filled before Monday, as they are not working today due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, and don't work on the weekend. That means they won't even see the request until Monday, and I doubt it will be filled Monday once they see it. I need the information for our presentation Monday night. That totally sucks.
I created 10 of the 15 entries I need for my annotated bibliography, which is due next Thursday. I got them out of three years' worth of STC proceedings, and feel pretty good about them. I'll get the rest from the STC Single Sourcing SIG, and should have no problem finishing that by Thursday. I do, however, have to create a presentation around the bibliography, but it's only a 5-minute presentation, so shouldn't be too bad. God, I can't wait for this semester to be over.
I walked back into the cleanest smelling house in the world. That beautiful man, Robert, gave it a good scrubover. I can't begin to articulate how much I appreciate that. I hate hate hate doing it, and he does such a stellar job.
I worked on my sections of our group presentation at home from 3:30 to 6:00, when Robert called. He'd been to the spa.
We went to Papa Lou's for dinner, where he had a burger and I had a cheeseburger, and we split an order of fries and an order of onion rings. They have wireless Internet access there now, including "Genie" handhelds that you can use while you're there. We logged into AIM, and said "hey" to chasman, just to see if it worked. Also, Robert logged into a porn site, just to see if they had any filters or firewalls on their connection. They didn't.
We listened to some episodes of This American Life:
Spies Like Us
11/19/04, Episode 278
Stories about amateur spies – regular people who spy on other regular people, and the consequences of their spying.
Prologue. Host Ira Glass talks to This American Life contributing editor Jack Hitt about the time he hacked into his employer's computer and found out what he didn't want to know. (6 minutes)
Act One. The Lobbyist. When Burt Covit was programming his VCR one day, he accidentally tuned in to a channel showing the lobby of a building. He started to watch, and couldn't stop. Then a mysterious woman appeared, wearing a pill-box hat. Burt told this story on the CBC radio program Wiretap. Jonathan Goldstein, a contributing editor to This American Life, is the host of Wiretap. This story is a work of fiction, staged as a radio interview. (12 minutes) Song: "Television," Robyn Hitchcock
Act Two. Life With the Haters. Writer Beth Lisick decides to try a new strategy to get her infant to sleep better, and buys a baby monitor as part of the deal. Soon, she's hearing her neighbors make drug dealsover the monitor's frequency. And then she learns some other, more complicated information. (14 1/2 minutes)
Act Three. Mystery Shoppers. They are ordinary people who go undercover in coffee shops and chain stores, spying for The Man. This American Life producer Lisa Pollak reports. (11 1/2 minutes) Song: "Town With No Secrets," Mark Mallman Act Four. Stop Bugging Me. What do you do when you think your apartment is being bugged? You call the apartment de-buggers. It's a weird job; still, someone's got to do it. This American Life producer Jane Feltes goes on a counterespionage mission. (10 minutes) Song: "Spies Like Us," Paul McCartney
Then we listened to one of my favorites, from the "Favorite Collection." I just love the way Ira laughs in this episode.
4/25/97, Episode 61
Stories of when things go wrong. Really wrong. When you leave the normal realm of human error, fumble, mishap and mistake and enter the territory of really huge breakdowns. Fiascos. Things go so awry that normal social order collapses. This week's show is a philosophical inquiry in the nature of fiascos, perhaps the first ever.
Act One. Opening Night. Writer and TAL Contributing Editor Jack Hitt tells the story of a small town production of Peter Pan in which the flying apparatus smacks the actors into the furniture, in which Captain Hook's hook flies off his arm and hits an old woman in the stomach. By the end of the evening, firemen have arrived and all the normal boundaries between audience and actors have completely dissolved. (23 minutes)
Next we listened to:
January 14, 2000, Episode 149
In the hospital, we give up our normal schedule and sleep patterns; we give up our normal food and clothing; we're in a place that has its own rules and its own language and its own customs. And in the midst of all this, there's this complicated human interaction we have to negotiate: we have to deal with doctors and nurses to get the care we need. In this show we hear stories of those delicate and sometimes-not-so-delicate negotiations.
Prologue. Ira talks with Robert Lipsyte, author of In the Country of Illness, who tells a story of how one lady in New York won the hospital staff over to her side with one conversation. (4 minutes)
Act One. Is That Your Final Answer? When Terry Shine's father was in the hospital, Terry and his brothers spent weeks in the hospital, trying to do whatever they could to help. But first they had to learn the language and customs of the average American hospital. For example, consider this question: would their dad get better medical care if they dressed in cleanly pressed shirts and ties? This is an excerpt from Terry Shine's book Fathers Aren't Supposed to Die: Five Brothers Reunite to Say Goodbye. (15 minutes) Song: The Replacements, "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out"
Act Two. The Other Nursing Staff. No radio program about caregivers in a hospital would be complete without a few words about the caregiver that is the most omnipresent... in every room, in the waiting rooms, at the nurses' stations. It's television. To investigate its power in a medical facility, Nancy Updike went to the most television-friendly hospital imaginable: the one actual television stars go to when they get sick, Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles. (6 minutes)
Act Three. Fire and Ice Cream. When a nurse asks a 14-year-old burn victim out for ice cream, is it a date? Brent Runyon tells the story, which was produced by Jay Allison, part of his Life Stories series, with help from Christina Egloff and funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The story is part of Runyon's book The Burn Journals. Host Ira Glass then speaks with an interested party. (19 minutes) Song: Elliott Smith, "Say Yes"
Act Four. Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places. Wendy Dorr--an assistant producer at Radio Diaries--has this story of what happens to you if you break one of the cardinal rules of a hospital, over and over, for years. (8 minutes) Song: Bobby "Blue" Bland, "I'll Take Care of You."
We ended listening to an episode that included David Sedaris' reading of "I Like Guys," which is an excerpt from his book, Naked.
The Cruelty of Children
6/21/96, Episode 27
Stories about kids being mean to each other.
Prologue. Bully Book. A first grader explains to host Ira Glass how bullies become bullies. His explanation: they read a book on how to be a bully. According to his reasoning, how else could you explain why kids are mean to each other? It couldn't be that they're just bad. (2 minutes)
Act One. I Like Guys. David Sedaris reads an excerpt of his book "Naked" before a live audience, one of his funniest and most affecting stories. As an adolescent boy, David feared he might be a homosexual and didn't want to be. He explains how his secret plan was to win the lottery, and then hire doctors who'd purge him of his homosexual impulses. Sometimes kids in his class at school would taunt the boys they thought were sissies, and when they did, he tried to be the loudest and meanest. He figured if he didn't act that way, they'd all turn on him next. Then he goes away to summer camp and meets a boy named Pete who seems like an outsider in the same way he is. At first they get close. Then Pete turns on him. (26 minutes)
I read another chapter of The Nuclear Age. I'm now officially over half way at page 165 of 312.