August 2006 Archives

For my W315 - Writing for the Web class, we've started off with our own, new, focused blogs.

Mine is at http://stephendonner.wordpress.com, but as of right now WordPress seems to be having a bit of difficulty keeping my authentication state replicated across its many servers.

As a result, entries for the foreseeable future might be truncated.

Sweet! We've got brand-spanking new Apple iMacs here, of the Intel Dual-Core variety.

Have you all (I say that like there were more than one of you, but I digress) seen the new U.S. Department of Transportation anti-drunk-driving commercials? You know, the ones where the drunk driver pulls up to the cop, sloshing around in his vehicle until ordered to open the window, at which point the hallmark golden liquor froth splashes out?

I find those commercials amusing (not the subject matter, natch, just the way in which it's presented). I wonder: do they/did they screen these commercials against any sort of demographics?

We 20-somethings have an unusually irreverent sense of humor, though I do admit they're a lot nicer than those anti-heroin commercials of the mid-90s, where a totally crazed, strung-out gal goes around smashing up her kitchen with a frying pan, whilst an egg sizzles in the background.

Of all the academics I've read for school, I must declare Ian Duncan to be, by far, the most articulate and well written scholar by a long shot.

(Perhaps I'm wrong, but as I did state "of all the academics I've read..." I think I have leeway.

Duncan commands a mastery of the English language which doesn't feel as forced in its dispersement as does Neal Stephenson's.

I once fancifully imagined myself as a graduate student in Berkeley's English program, but thought better of it when I realized the daunting undertaking that would be financially, mentally, and of course, logistically.

From the Nasonex commercial, "Side effects were mild, and included headaches, nausea, and viral infections" (emphasis mine).

Since when have "viral infections" ever been a mild, acceptable "side effect" from a medication?

Few of you know, and I bet even fewer care, that I eschew sugar whenever possible, and instead quite heavily use Splenda.

Therefore, it fills my heart with superficial joy to announce that another oft-beloved temptation which I succumb to on occasion--Starbucks--now offers its DoubleShot in a Light formulation.

In normal Splenda-infused formulations, a near-alcohol tinge can be tasted, but that is suppressed nicely in its coffees.

A trend is emerging, and perhaps a disturbing one at that, and that is that I've become quite attached to--one might declare reliant on--caffeine. It started with the Fall 2005 semester, and the obscene undertaking which culminated in my final paper for E301 - Literatures in English to 1600. Although I have at times successfully quelled it, this reliance reemerged during my Summer 2006 Geology course, and hasn't shown any signs of slowdown since.

Because I'm weird like this--I have a predilection for cataloging!--, I'll just randomly blog about the books I picked up today for my fall semester.

Unavailable at the bookstore were, I think, three or four books that I needed (a couple for Screenwriting, and at least one additional book for Advanced Expository Writing).

E304 - Literatures in English, 1900 - Present:
- The Oxford Book of English Short Stories ed. A. S. Byatt
- Extravagant Strangers: A Literature of Belonging ed. Caryl Phillips
- Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard
- Pymalion by George Bernard Shaw
- Never Let Me Go: A Novel by Kazuo Ishiguro

W302 - Screenwriting:
- Writing the Screenplay by Alan A. Armer

W315 - Writing for the Web:
- The Non-Designer's Web Book, Third Edition by Robin Williams & John Tollett

W350 - Advanced Expository Writing:
- The Subject is Story: Essays for Writers and Readers eds. Wendy Bishop & Hans Ostrom

I'm already beginning to feel overwhelmed; hopefully the professors and classmates, and an interest in the material, will do wonders to assuage that sense of dread.

On the good side of things, though, my beloved ruling authority at the national level thought it fitting to pass ample-sized amounts of money my way, such that I now don't have any personal debt for this final year!

Kudos to the Democrats for that; I know most Republicans would scoff at the idea of taxpayers paying for my tuition and books (with a "smattering"--in reality quite a large amount--for gas and other expenses, to boot!)

I'm now ramping up mentally for my reemergence into school.

I'm happy to leave the summer behind, and looking forward to the fall, in general, but not winter.

My classes are small this semester--no class over 30 students--and I appreciate that.

My Anthropology, American History, Biology, and Political Science classes were all around 50 students.

E304 Literatures in English (1900 - Present) - 30 students
W302 Screenwriting - 19 students
W315 Writing for the Web - 16 students
W350 Advanced Expository Writing - 20 students

Also, strangely enough, I don't have any lectures held in Wiekamp Hall; they're all in Northside or in Greenlawn, with only the usage of the computer lab billed in Wiekamp.

I didn't care much tonight for Fox's new someone-important-is-missing entry "Vanished," but "Prison Break" never fails to deliver.

Also, Google has finally released Writely to the general public (although I _swear_ I signed up for their email notification and never got one).

In the never-ending-quest for order amidst the chaos that is my life, I'm glad I've stumbled upon Ta-da List.

Try it out; if you're as hectic as I am, you'll appreciate its feature set which does indeed help a bit.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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