If you're part of my incredibly large fan base, you've noticed that I haven't updated this site much. Well with the colder weather I've been inspired to redecorate with a wintry theme. Perhaps a bit gray, but it'll work for now.
It's about the middle of fall quarter, and I've been feeling a tad overwhelmed, not unusual for this point in the quarter and nothing insurmountable, but still, I'm ready for the quarter to be over. I'm taking 19 credit hours, I'm still a COM101 TA, and this quarter I've started doing some tutoring, partly as another opportunity to practice German, partly to see how I like teaching one-on-one, and partly (minimally) to earn a tiny bit more money.
I updated my study page, so you can hear about how my classes are going if you like.
Have you seen 8 Femmes yet? It was playing at Neon Movies downtown. I've seen it twice and think it's hilarious. What made it even funnier the second time is that during the end credits, the old man behind me stood up and said loudly, "That was the worst film I've ever seen in my life!"
The movie's about eight women snowed in at a French country home in the 1950s. The man of the house is found murdered in his bed, and all sorts of over-the-top revelations come out as the women try to figure out whodunnit. What makes it even better is that throughout the film they break into wonderful songs. Apparently the songs disturb some people, but I love them. The soundtrack's available at amazon.fr and amazon.de, and you can hear clips online there.
Pour ne pas vivre seul des filles aiment des filles
Et l'on voit des gar?ons ?pouser des gar?ons
Pour ne pas vivre seul
D'autres font des enfants des enfants qui sont seuls
Comme tous les enfants
Pour ne pas vivre seul
On fait des cath?drales o? tous ceux qui sont seuls
S'accrochent ? une ?toile
In order not to live alone
The girls love other girls
And boys marry other boys
In order not to live alone
Others make children of the children who are alone
Like all children are
In order not to live alone
One makes cathedrals
Where all those who are alone
Hang onto a star
Okay so I gave into vanity and got myself a domain name, davidlauri.com. I didn't go overboard though. It was only $15, at 15dollardomains.com, which includes URL and e-mail forwarding. So the site's still actually hosted at my ISP and at Wright State.
I switched from DSL to cable today. I've also canceled my landline phone, deciding to rely solely on my cell phone for voice communications. The two decisions are related.
I wasn't particularly dissatisfied with DSL, although DSL can cause some severe headaches. When I first got DSL, with Earthlink -- the dial-up ISP I'd been using, a little over two years ago, before cable modems were available in Dayton, the installation took way longer than promised. Also, my DSL service was disrupted three times in the time that I had it, each time for about a week. Each time it would go out, I would have to call Earthlink, wait on hold for at least 30 minutes and sometimes longer, talk to a tier 1 technical support person, explain that I had changed nothing on my computer and nothing in my house, explain that I worked in IT, still have to do stupid tests like rebooting my computer and unplugging the DSL DSU, and then wait on hold again for at least 30 minutes to talk to a tier 2 technical support person. Then the tier 2 technical support person would put me on hold for 20 or 30 more minutes while he or she called Covad, the third-party company actually offering DSL in Dayton, to run a line test. Then it would be several days before Covad could work things out with Ameritech to get my line back up.
My DSL has been working fine for several months but it would have gone out again, I'm sure, because each DSL subscriber has a separate line and if Covad or Ameritech do anything to mess it up, Covad or Ameritech don't notice until the user calls their provider and a complaint works its way through the system.
Being a student and wanting to economize a bit, I've been thinking of canceling my landline phone for some time, thinking about it even more when I saw that Azonick had done so. But I was afraid that if I canceled my phone line, that surely Ameritech would mess up my DSL. And then I realized that Earthlink's cable service is only $41.95 a month, which is less than the $49.95 I've been paying them each month for DSL service. They offer free installation for cable and the first month of service free, and no contract is required.
Of course nothing is simple. I called and said I wanted to switch from DSL to cable. Fine, they said. You have to cancel your DSL line and then we can place an order for cable. Why, I asked. Just because that's how our system is, they said. Let me talk to a supervisor, I said. Finally they let me order cable on a new account while keeping DSL on my old account. Three weeks later (imagine no broadband for three weeks!) I have cable installed. I got some flack today when I called to cancel the DSL and have my old Earthlink e-mail address switched over to my new cable account, but after again talking to a supervisor, they realized again that they can do it. Especially since if they couldn't let me keep my old e-mail address, I would have canceled Earthlink altogether and just gotten Roadrunner directly from Time Warner.
At any rate, the speed's about the same, it's switched, and I'm happy for now. My DSL line this morning, before I canceled it, tested at 1210kbps down and 317kbps up, and the cable, after it was installed, tested at 1539kbps down and 355kbps up. Sure, cable modems are supposed to be faster, but I'm not going to complain.
I went to a play tonight, at Playhouse South. The play is Baby, a musical about three couples either having babies or wanting babies. I'd been warned by Joshua Mollohan, who plays Danny, not to come, but I figured if he really hadn't wanted me to come, he wouldn't have told me about it. I guess he's learned the hard way. At any rate, he's a good singer, so go see him yourself. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm through November 24th.
I was surprised to learn that Jessica Bledsoe, who is in my short story writing class this quarter, is on the board of Playhouse South and is a star too.
Neon Movies had the press preview of Frida tonight, and I was lucky enough to win a free pass. The movie opens to the public tomorrow. It's about an artist I'd never heard of, Frida Kahlo, who was married to another artist I'd never heard of, Diego Rivera. Their lives are part of the history we're not taught in school, in part because they were Mexicans, in part because they were communist/socialist revolutionaries, and in part because they weren't Ozzie and Harriet. In addition to giving a glimpse of that history, the movie is visually pleasing and works well in getting across a taste of Kahlo's art. Go see it while you can.
I've had two major plumbing leaks in my house, both related to bathrooms and both upstairs. My front bathroom is directly over my dining room, and the shower leaks. My back bathroom is directly over the kitchen and the bathtub leaks. I paid a plumber to fix the leaks, but basically he knocked holes in my ceilings and couldn't figure out the leaks' sources, so I stopped him before the meter ran too high. Since I live alone, I just didn't use the front shower and basically dealt with the leak in the kitchen.
Luckily, since I'm living on a student's budget, my mother's boyfriend Mac offered to see what he could do. He made a more professional hole in my dining room ceiling and quickly realized that the problem was with the shower drain. Unfortunately, the drain, having living in the house years longer than I have, doesn't want to leave. Mac attacked the drain with a reciprocating saw (at least I think that's what kind of saw he said it was) and broke two metal blades. However, Mac never gives up, so the drain's time is almost up.
I went to my sister's today for Thanksgiving. My nephew Carl wore the Indian headdress that he made to celebrate the holiday. Click on the pic for a larger view, and you'll see that his Indian name is Blue Moon, which his father explained to me is because Carl behaves once in a blue moon. Carl wasn't impressed when I told him there was a restaurant in my neighborhood named for him.