The Facebook layout sucks so much that it might even drive me back here! But it sucks, because LJ to me is chiefly an anonymous blogging tool/community (most of my LJ friends are not people I know or see in RL), whereas FB had enormous value to me as a way of keeping up with all my RL friends -- a very geographically far-flung group -- and a significant portion of my family as well, for a relative low time cost. Sort of keeping a lot of relationships on the simmer (ready to be brought back to the front burner at any time) that would otherwise die of neglect. Now they've abandoned that in favour of copying Twitter and, as ever when popular web applications misunderstand their user base and try to "get" someone else's users by fundamentally diluting/destroying their own brand, they are doing a crappy job. Heigh-ho.
So what else? I was tickled to see Admiral Adama weighing in on RaceFail '09:
When one of the UN's representatives talked about how part of their mandate was to safeguard the human rights of everyone, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and station, Olmos got a little heated. "You never should've invited me here," he said, before blasting the UN for continuing to use race as a term of separation, of division among peoples. His voice rose, steadily, as if years of social activism was coming to a head on this night. Then, directing his attention to the high schoolers: "Adults will never be able to stop using the word 'race' as a cultural determinant....There is only one race: the human race. SO SAY WE ALL!"Awesome. And I love that everyone in the room shouted "SO SAY WE ALL!" back at him.
I have been thinking a lot about the fact that nothing anyone ever says in the pubic sphere is reliable -- almost by definition, but especially in any society where public truth-telling has severe consequences (so that, for example, the problem in America is that some people DO tell the truth but can't get anyone to pay attention, whereas in the USSR it was more than your life was worth to tell the truth. You could do it pseudonymously, at great risk; or in a non-literal form (music), which is why so many people were and are deeply invested in Shostakovich's politics (as if the truth about them could ever be known, or indeed could be a singular "truth"); or in private, in low tones, around the kitchen table. I think the only person in Soviet history who ever stood up and told the truth -- AS HE SAW IT -- in public, regardless of cost, was Pavlik Morozov. And we all know how that turned out.
Delicious and simple recipe: I have been eating my way through Spring Break with the following very quick, simple and gratifying healthy dish. In a pot, boil up some whole-grain pasta (I used bow-ties today: yum). Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat a little bit of olive oil, lightly fry some diced onion, add a couple of handfuls of washed, chopped greens (preferably something sturdy and not too wilty: turnip greens are PERFECT), stir, chop up a couple of sun-dried tomatoes (and/or a small quantity of diced fresh tomatoes) and add, stir, remove from heat. When pasta is done, mix it in with the greens and season with grated Asiago cheese, fresh papper, and anything else you like. Obviously, anything else you feel like (e.g. diced bell peppers) can be added to the pan of veges. It makes a lovely warm pasta salad which I am totally going to make in VAST quantities next time I have a party.
Am trying to resurrect the Daily Five, which fell by the wayside as soon as the semester started. But it's hard because there is ALWAYS something more urgent to do than any of the five things on the list: at the moment I have a letter of recommendation to write that is due, like, NOW, and a huge stack of papers to grade, and a smaller paile of midterm exams, plus a HUGE amount of material to prep. for my graduate seminar on Monday (I got ambitious, to put it mildly -- but now I owe it to my students, who are fab and will have dutifully ploughed through all this material, to distil two-hours' worth of really useful, structured discussion out of it).
On the agenda for today: write rec letter, prep guest room to receive next week's houseguest, grade at least 10 papers, do a guided Ashtanga yoga practice (I have that booked for 2:30pm), read at least part of the novel for Monday and watch the film. Also study Georgian for an hour or so (I had to drop Ukrainian because I didn't have the time or funding to continue it this term). I really need to get at least twice as much as that done in order not to get SLAMMED next week, but the day is so horribly short...