Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

Archive for February, 2009

Processing

Posted by Gerald on February 24, 2009

I just found out my maternal grandfather has died.

We weren’t particularly close.  I grew up far away from my extended family.  He and my father had some issues between them that were never really resolved.  We lived very different lives.  Still, he was my grandfather.  He was never as openly affectionate as my paternal grandfather was, but still showed me affection in his way.  I saw more of that when I occasionally encountered him as an adult. 

I haven’t seen him in many years.  Since that last meeting he developed Alzheimer’s.  He finally succumbed to pneumonia after a bout of flu last week.  He was 86.

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So I’m Pathetic and Trendy

Posted by Gerald on February 20, 2009

In the aftermath of my last blog post I got a bunch of Facebook friend requests and so I went ahead and signed up.

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Again

Posted by Gerald on February 18, 2009

It seems like everybody is on Facebook except me.  I never get invited to the cool kids’ parties.  I’d join now, but that would seem pathetic and trendy.

Oh, well…

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In No Particular Order…

Posted by Gerald on February 18, 2009

Our visiting scholar has returned to Beijing.  He had to cut his year short due to developments at his home university.  I had occasion to drive him to many events and we spent a lot of time talking.  I began to see China from a completely new place and I had the experience of trying to help him understand everything from western ideas of the soul to American politics.  As an anthropologist he showed a desire to dive into every experience he could and talking to him about them showed me my home in a new light.  I miss him, but it is cool to know that I’ve got a place to stay in Beijing should I ever be able to go there.

The week before Valentine’s saw the anniversary of my mother’s death.  I finally packed up her clothes and donated them to a clothing drive for a local drug rehabilitation program.  The process was harder than I imagined, but not overly so.  Still, it made for an unsettling week.  I finished it off by going out for beer and pizza with my good friend Steve.  Much venting ensued…

Saturday I attended an anti-Valentine’s party (no one with a Valentine could attend – except our hostess whose husband is in the early stages of his second deployment to Iraq.)  We ate pizza and boneless hot wings then watched two movies of my choice: The War of the Roses and Heathers.  I felt both forwarded the evening’s theme – better to be alone than with the wrong person.

Battlestar Galactica is the best damn piece of tv drama I’ve seen in a long time – maybe ever.

I’m not too sure about Dollhouse yet.

I may be setting myself up for disappointment, but I’m really getting charged about the Watchmen movie.  If plans hold I might go with a group to see it at the Imax theater in Charlotte or Raleigh.

Ever since Monday’s episode of Chuck I’ve had “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads playing in my brain.

I’m hoping to get to see the Decemberists on their upcoming tour.

A student told me today that my advice to read the textbook both before and after class was really helping her put the pieces together.

You’ve got to be happy with the little victories.

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Huh

Posted by Gerald on February 4, 2009

Lots of people seem to be reading my review of “Cloverfield” recently.  Huh.

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Busy Weekend

Posted by Gerald on February 4, 2009

Last Saturday our visiting Chinese scholar threw a Chinese New Year’s party.  I drank much beer and ate some good food and was in the best mood I can remember having been in for quite awhile.  It was a lot of fun.  On Sunday my good friend Steve threw a Super Bowl party for our Chinese friend.  He really took to American football and says he wants to follow it when he goes back home (which, unfortunately, will be very soon.)  We had all of the football standards foods – hot wings, nachos, etc…  I was one of the more knowledgeable viewers at the party when it comes to football and for those of you who know me, you will realize that means the group bar was set pretty low.  Still, fun game to watch, good performance at half-time – but the ads were a bit lame, I thought.

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Semester

Posted by Gerald on February 4, 2009

All of my classes have kicked off for the semester (I had a late start for one because it is for high school students and they didn’t finish up their semester until well into January.)  I am real happy so far.  All of my classes have at least a few people who want to talk and engage.  I do not have to drive to the other campus this semester.  Finally, I’m really finding my feet with the World Civ classes.  I am SO much happier teaching this stuff than Western civ… patterns, structures, blatant materialism and no explaining the ideas of dead white guys.  Me like!  My online history of Africa course has some really sharp students who are carrying on their online discussions with little guidance or prompting from me.

Of course, I haven’t given any major quizzes yet – that starts in the next week.

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