Friday, August 22, 2008

I know it has been a while since I signed on, because the blogger dashboard is different tonight.

I got my grades done (I thought I had until 11:59 pm on the 21st...turns out that I was holding up the registrar from doing degree clearance for August graduates! Yikes! I am not sure if Lyme Disease has impacted my brain, or if the registrar was just hassling me). I failed two students and gave three D grades. I already had quite a go around with one of the students who failed. I suspect I will get some complaints, if not from another of those five then from one of the students who got C or B. There were quite a few A grades this summer also. That is the way summer is, students are either completely motivated, or total slackers.

I have three of my syllabi done, and the online class partially updated. I am always pushing deadlines, but this semester is ridiculous.

But I will get everything done tomorrow, and the weekend looks great for swimming. I am also going to plant spinach.

Last night we went to see Neil Diamond at the Times Union Center. (Note: it will always be the Knick Arena to me.) I am not a fan of his at all, in fact the only song that came to mind when I agreed to go was "Coming to America." (Turns out that was the encore.) We got the tickets for free, though, and who can say no to that? They were nosebleed, second row from the top, but even those go for $55 each. Apparently, when shows don't sell out, the unsold tickets are donated to charities, and become tax write-offs for the arena and entertainer. So that's how we got them.

It was a curious experience, watching the concert from so high up. I don't think I have ever sat so far away. It wasn't bad, actually, because it was not nearly as loud up there. And when you aren't a major fan, it is more comfortable to sit away from the groupies who were throwing underwear on the stage. Sometimes it was almost like being an observer, rather than a participant. The one drawback was that it was hot up there! It seemed that many people around me were afraid of heights. Despite my various phobias and neuroses, that isn't a problem of mine.

He played several songs from a new album (the standout was a song called "Pretty Amazing Grace,") and a lot of his old stuff. It turned out that I knew about three-quarters of them, for example "Sweet Caroline," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (a song I have never liked, but then I am not a Streisand enthusiast, and most recently she generates memories of my last root canal - when the dentist was playing one of her albums and I thought I would go insane), and "Forever in Blue Jeans."

He spoke about his faith and his Brooklyn childhood. There was a big screen behind the stage with close ups of the band, or sometimes with pictures of his family, from when he was a kid, so binoculars were not necessary. It was somewhat generic (he didn't mention Albany) and he didn't do that much chatting. There was no political commentary, which was a welcome change from most concerts I attend. I can't say it transformed me into a fan who will run out and buy his albums, but it was a surprisingly enjoyable night.

I almost forgot! Ande got his first mouse. He was so proud that he puffed up to twice his size, but even at that, he is still much smaller than Edna. She supervised. It was kind of awful in a way (I can't even kill spiders or ants), but on the other hand, getting rid of (indoor, he will never be allowed to get critters outside) pests is a great thing about cats. Both dogs were either afraid or disgusted, I couldn't tell which. They do not seem to have any instincts.

There are parents who put "my child is an honor student" bumper stickers on their car. And then there's me, recording my cat's first successful hunt.

Finally: some interesting links on Lyme Disease / transmission from insects other than ticks here.

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