My Favorite Hoarding

This topic was difficult for me. I am no minimalist, I'm not even a Moderatilist. I have a lot of things and I like most of them. Inside I know that I could rival Darcy in her Consumer ways. That being said, I had several thoughts about what my favorite possession is.

First I thought of my camera. The immediate problem here is that I've owned a lot of different cameras. And more relevantly, it's really the pictures I like so much, not the camera. As collections of things were declared illegal, that excluded my collection of pictures, which was my second thought. As well as my collections of mustards, sweaters, and socks. My 3rd, 4th, and 5th thoughts respectively. Next my grandfather's globe from 1943 came to mind. This had a number of things going for it:
1. It was my grandfather's and he's dead now.
2. I really like maps (see previous post).
3. The political boundaries of the world were very different in 1943 than they are from today, 1939, and 1946.
4. It lights up.

Anyway, I really like the globe, and I've had it since I was a kid. But I don't think it's actually my favorite possession. That has to go to this picture:
Anyone who's ever lived with me certainly recognizes it, since it's hung in my room since it was taken. Both of the older Barnebey children have similar poster sized prints around somewhere. Unfortunately the negatives to these have been lost, so there's no reprinting them. Last year I had it framed as the previous 6 years of apartment/dorm living had been particularly hard on it. Now I like it even more.

I think this explains a lot about me.


What do you draw when bored?

Joboga's Pirate Chicken got me thinking about doodling. Recently I have been on a bit of a map stint. This little diddy was drawn on Thursday during a Stats lecture. I fell pretty good about it, except Texas. I always have trouble with Texas. But who cares. I think I'm ready to move on to my next geographic region: Africa

Sometimes, instead of drawing maps, I practice my country capitals. Here we see Europe, also done during Stats. I have no idea what the capital of Montenegro is, but its only been a country for like a year, so I don't feel bad about that. On the other hand, I always forget at least one of the Baltic capitals, and they've been around for a while. This time it looks like it was Lithuania.

In other news: I have purchased my pumpkin for the 1st Annual Jack-o-Lantern Contest. It is large and will be amazing. Prepare yourselves


Cooking Up a Sweater

Today true sweater weather has finally arrived. In honor of this I'm wearing a nice mid-weight argyle.

In other news, yesterday we had a TA meeting. It was the most uncomfortable meeting I have ever been a part of. It seems that the four of us (3 TAs and a professor) do not agree on how we should be going about our grading. Accusations were flying around the room, all in treacly sweet voices, and I think the professor may have been close to crying. None of these are my people.


A Brief Essay

My people are from Wales. And England. There's also some German in there from my Mom's side. These are the Dreizigackers. Or at least they used to be since there were only 2 daughters in that family. Now what's not Barnebey is Hall. And the Hall's are Mormon. In general I do not consider Mormon's my people. In fact I don't consider religious people my people. I don't understand them. Republicans aren't my people either, but not because I don't understand them, just because I don't agree with them. Which is very different, but has the same result.

Things that do encourage my camaraderie: playing games, eating cheese, telling smart but not pretentious jokes, telling pretentious jokes but facetiously, trying new things, appreciating good food unaffectedly, drinking Coors Light, and using a Macintosh during the mid-late '90s.

Incidentally, linguistics students are rarely my people. On the other hand linguistics professors typically are. This has both good and bad implications.


Field Crumpets

Yesterday Stanford, Ansley and I played Field Crumpets. I originally described this game as similar to polo with whiffle bats, and without horses. After playing it though I think it's actually closer to field hockey, except without the little plaid skirts. Also there's a relative dearth of young Northeastern WASP-ettes.

Anyway, we were invited to play field crumpets by Dalibor, a computer science grad student from the Czech Republic. Of course that means he was actually born in Czechoslovakia, a fact that is not relevant to this story at all. Still, wouldn't it be strange if the place you were born suddenly became something else? Like what if New Jersey decided that it really didn't fit in with the rest of America (Huzzah!) and decoupled itself? In contrast to what happened when the South tried this, I figure a lot of people would actually be OK with it. Of course old New Jersery would probably want to rename itself to make sure it had a clean break and a chance at a fresh start. I figure the most likely choice would be to try to highlight its only redeeming quality (Shorelandia?) since there's really not much of a Lenni Lenape population there anymore. So, say you were unlucky enough to have been born in West Trenton, or Vineland, or (I'm sorry for even saying it) Pennsauken? Wouldn't that be strange? (see #4 here for an additional wrinkle to this scenario)

Anyway, field crumpets with the comp. sci. peeps (and Meghan from Spanish). The blue team consists of myself, Martin, Meghan, 'John', and someone other guy whose name I can't remember. John was foreign and when he introduced himself to those of us who don't know him we weren't sure what he said. He then said to just call him John. How about you just say your name so we can hear you and we'll call you that? Across the field we faced the red team: Tommy, Tristan, Molly(?), and Dalibor, who, being something of a Field Crumpet ringer, was relegated to the team with fewer players.

Despite being played with plastic bats and a child's Sponge Bob rubber ball, FCs is actually a fairly fast paced game. Or at least it is when Tommy, Martin, and I are playing. We (maybe just me) may have brought a little more competitive spirit to the game than was expected by the geek squad we were playing with. This resulted in me finding myself on the ground after making some diving lunge for the ball fairly often, as well as a healthy number of collisions. My face in particular had 2 very physical moments. The first was a brief but direct introduction to the end of Dolibor's bat (to be fair my face was very close to the ball at the time) and the second was a chance meeting with Tommy's shoulder. I really wish this latter one had been filmed since it resulted in my recoiling backwards and falling to the ground. My only regret of the afternoon was my difficulty in scoring on Dolibor. Three things make me feel better about this: 1. he's European and obviously knows his way around a soccer goal too, 2. I did get a few past him (though only on the side of the field that was easier to score on), and 3. it turns out the red team was cheating by leaving him in the goal for so long.

Unfortunately the 3rd, and tie breaking, game of the afternoon was cut short due to a deflated crumpet that had vaulting itself onto a fence post. Which reminds me of a great line from In To The Wild.


70's Chic

Yes, short sleeves. And with a collar. I won't be upset if someone claims that this sweater is ugly.


The North Shore of WI pulled us in again as we were up By Ashland and Bayfield for the weekend. This time people did some running. As was discussed, I don't understand the whole running trend, and thus did not participate in that activity. On the other hand I did participate in our dramatic production: "Traveling With Judas", in which Joanna and I played the parts of estranged ex-fiances (she having slept with my father), who are traveling with the same group of friends. This was really just played out once, over the breakfast table at the Pinehurst Inn, and Joanna wasn't even there. But my new belle and I put on a good show.

Pictures & Movies


De Brasserie Douche Zac

That's Dutch for The Douche Bag Brasserie. This place opened up down the street recently, so last night Martin, Yana, and I paid it a visit. As we walked out later that night my first words were, "that was the highest concentration of pretension I've been around in a long time." Which is surprisingly ironic because today as I began to write this blog I looked up Brasserie V online, only to see that featured prominently at the top of their site is this definition:

bras-se-rie (brās ′ Ə -ře′) an unpretentious restaurant, tavern, or the like, that serves drinks, esp. beer, and simple or hearty food.

The problems started for me when the bar tender, or perhaps he would prefer bierista, asked as we walked in the door if we were going to be having beer or wine. In general, at places that are supposed to have large selections of both, I like to see what my options are. Apparently we should have been thinking about this on the way over though so we could answer promptly as we entered. So, after bringing both a beer and wine list bierista offers to let us sample any of the beers before we choose, but only if we can pronounce them correctly. This is the first point of the night in which I thought: douche bag. It was by no means the last. Specifically we were told how he "just can't stand it when people pronounce Hoegaarden wrong. I upped my judgement from douche bag to Skoczen's favorite douche box. The über-academic graduate student from the German department sitting nearby at the bar quickly joined in, eagerly stating his disgust with poorly pronounced Dutch beer names too. He is precisely the reason why people don't like graduate students. Now, Hoegaarden is actually originally from Flanders which is part of Belgium, but where they speak Flemish, which is part of de Dutch. And that brings up a good point. Not only do neither of these pretentious lecturers on Germanic pronunciation not speak Dutch (or Flemish), but they also had no idea who they were talking to, namely a girl who's lived her whole life in Germany, a guy who was born there and is still fluent, and a linguist who knows his phonetics and phonology.

Once the German connection is made of course the tediously predictable Twenty-Something self-embiggenment begins with the places they've been, the people they've seen, the odysseys they've been on, the foreign lands they've fallen in love with. Demonstrating the advanced nature of grad student's douchery, this is all conducted in German. I take the opportunity to order a Corsendonk, which not only did I like the taste of but I really enjoyed saying too.

Later, as the airs of faux-worldliness began to die down, the barkeep attempted to find a beer Yana would like. She asked for something dark. He came back with 3 amber colored beers, all pronounced as too sweet. This, as with the rest of her judgments, I found to be a reasonable criticism. He poured 3 more, slightly darker this time. Also too sweet. "Wait", he says, "I know just what you want." A legitimately dark beer arrives, and is rejected promptly as too watery. Mr. Belgian Beer is clearly distraught by his underperforming Belgian beers. I enjoy this moment. Finally he opens a bottle of something that is deemed acceptable, although overly liquoricey, and he moves his attention to other customers.

We enjoy our beers, we order a cheese plate. The cheese is good (and includes a new variety to me, idiazábel) but isn't amazing. The nuts that come with the cheese are tasty though. We ask about them, and the description begins as such: "Well they're almonds, obviously; and they're toasted, obviously;
and then we throw in a little butter, that's clarified butter, but just a bit, I mean literally just a few drops... " He goes on, and the pretension goes on with him.

To top off the evening, before leaving we hear a guy sitting behind us make the claim that humans will soon be loosing their finger nails. This, as he explains to the rest of his hip-ish table, is surely to happen soon because nails no longer serve a purpose (obviously) and we will thus promptly be evolving to a nail-less state. Right, because there's absolutely nothing wrong with that statement. Douche Bag.


I think I may have implied that I would be wearing an ugly sweater this week, if so I lied. Instead I wore this blue and white striped number. This sweater is important because it was influential in starting the Sweater Thursday movement (although at the time I mistakenly said it was black and white), as such it deserved to be recognized. In this picture I attempt to counteract the excessive coquettishness seen here.


Madeline Island

To add to the growing list of accounts, recounts, raves, and reviews of the Madeline Island trip from Jobonga, Lucia, 11Frogs, and Loud: wbarnebey.com/madeline


Sweater Thursday

So here we are. The inaugural (Favorite) Sweater Thursday. I've chosen to go with a light blue crew neck today. This is certainly not my favorite sweater ever, my yellow argyle sweater vest and blue and white christmas sweater come to mind, but it is the sweater I most wanted to wear this morning. It's classic, and it sets off my eyes. Also there is a wolf looking over my shoulder. Perhaps Thursdays should be known as Sweater of the Moment Thursdays rather than Favorite Sweater Thursdays, to avoid a feeling of untruthfulness among participants. In an interesting note, I teach all 3 of my discussion sections on Thursdays. It appears that from now on my students will only be seeing me in sweaters. I'm OK with that.