Puma is kind of a dope.

The other day Sharayah and I were outside and the windows to our apartment were open. We saw Puma looking out at us through the screen, and he seemed a little bothered. So, of course, we came over and taunted him. It turns out, if you run the end of a stick along the screen he's just dumb enough to think he can grab it or eat it. This actually went on for several minutes without him ever understanding that even if he was fast enough to catch it, he couldn't get his mouth on it. We also found some berries and set them at the bottom of the window, and he couldn't figure out why he couldn't eat them. It was pretty great. At some point, though, he started getting upset that he couldn't get to us. We walked back and forth between windows from two different rooms, and he always ran to join us, whining as though we had him in a cage. See, to Puma, a cage is any place where he is and we are not. Perhaps more accurately, it's any place where he is and Sharayah is not. Sometimes in Tulsa he would think we had left the apartment (since we had an upstairs) and he'd start yowling the most sad, pathetic cries you've ever heard. He'll do the same thing here if we ever have a closed door between us and him. No matter the size of the room, if we're not in it, it's a cage. Apparently this doesn't just apply to rooms, but the entire apartment. Puma can curl up on a 1 square foot spot on the floor, and he lives in an 1100 square foot cage.

Sharayah made a tasty potato soup today. I helped peel the potatoes for her. It was pretty tough because they were those little red potatoes, so there isn't much room to grip them while you peel. On the other hand, the little ones are easier to wash. I told her that they were small potatoes compared to regular potatoes. It wasn't my idea, but I poured my soup over a Kaiser roll to get some sort of biscuits and gravy style effect. I don't know about all that, but it was pretty good so I'll probably do it again. I think the effect was more like bread and soup, but that's probably better anyway.

Thanksgiving is almost here. I'll be going with family (wife, parents, siblings) to Williamsburg, actually to the same place where Sharayah and I stayed this past summer. Hopefully the trees will still have some leaves, because seeing them in all their fall color glory has to be amazing, judging by what they looked like with green leaves. We'll have the place starting from the Saturday before Thanksgiving, so it's pretty tempting to skip the last two days of school before break and just take the whole week off down there. Maybe someone can bring a laptop and Skype the lectures to me. That would actually be pretty cool. Either way I'm expecting some fun and finally some time to relax for a couple days. Also food.

So it looks like next semester my TA assignment will be to teach math education for future k-8 teachers. I'm thinking that their method of randomly assigning TAs to different classes is a bad idea. I'm not saying it's not an important class, but I have no interest in math at that level. If I end up teaching, it'll be at a university. My only consolation is that it does seem to be a well planned and organized course. I don't agree that it's a good use of my abilities to teach it, but it's a good course for people who actually want to teach math to children. There's a lot of stress on trying to obtain a deeper understanding of numbers and operations, so that when they try to teach the problem solving techniques, it's not just a set of steps, it's based on an understanding of what the problem is really asking at a fundamental level. At any rate, hopefully it will only be for a semester and then I can teach something more interesting. I will probably teach some level of Calculus over the summer, which is a little uninteresting because I've TAed it so many times, but at least it's subject matter that I enjoy.

 the darkness around me


oh to be a child

Children's entertainment just got better.

  • I thought Ratatouille was decent, but Ratatoing? That's pushing it. There's a blue mouse. I'm not sure what to do with that.
  • I loved Charlotte's Web when I was a kid (all except for the millions of baby spiders released to roam the world at the end), but Spider's Web? Look, the pig's name is Walt instead of Wilbur. That's an instantaneous 2 point deduction right there.
  • Chop.Kick.Panda. What a brilliant title to generalize Kung Fu Panda. Personally, I didn't think the actual Kung Fu Panda (the first one, I never saw the sequel) was that great (and I have a thing for pandas [and most things large and furry {and asian?}] so that's really saying something...), so I don't have super high expectations for the Chop Kick Panda. Unfortunately.
  • House balloon to the rescue! I thought Up was a pretty good movie ("squirrel!!"), but I really thought the title was borderline unappealing. Making a rip-off "What's Up" is not an improvement. At all. 
These just look like potentially hilarious (but most likely awful) movies. Part of me wants to watch them while the more logical side of me is protesting fiercely. Since I don't think I could ever get Jason to participate in such a viewing, I think I will give in to my protesting side. Sigh.

I figure a kid (if they're young enough, at least) won't care if his/her movie is a lousy rip-off of a better-in-nearly-every-single-aspect movie. The fundamentals are there: You have the talking animals, the bright colors, the kung fu (or should I say chop kicks?). If I were a kid, I think it would be a  winning combination. Anyway.

I guess what I like about the good animated movies of today (which naturally excludes all of the above pictured) is that it is generally entertaining for an actual child as well as a child-like korean posing as a 25 year old. I don't believe these movies would fall into that category. I suppose I can't say that definitively since I haven't seen but bits and pieces of them, but I'm pretty confident. An 11 on a scale of 1 to 10, conservatively.

I suppose the primary point of this particular post has been accomplished, so I shall rein in all additional (but unrelated) rambling thoughts. Done.

I would bet every single feather in this picture that they are not going to see any of the above-pictured movies. For one, they are ducks. For two, I'm positive the movies went straight to DVD. Positive.