Saturday, June 14, 2008


Well I am now a MASTER (of fine arts). My defense on Thursday was pretty uneventful, for which I am thankful. My committee was great--sweet and supportive and complimentary of my work. They see much of the material as eventually factoring into something book length, which has been in the back of my mind, but at the moment I find much to overwhelming to think about. The discipline will be in starting back in before it all goes completely stale.

But at the moment I have a pile of revision I want to do--my screenplay and several stories are all in danger of being lost forever if I don't revisit them soon, as I know the USC program will likely be demanding.

My eyes can now turn west...I packed my first box of clothes yesterday, and packed an equal sized box to get rid of, so that felt good. Unfortunately I had more trouble packing a box of books today--it was supposed to be a box to go straight to a second-hand dealer in L.A. when I get there so I could have store credit at a local bookshop--but it was difficult to fill up the box because I felt I hadn't spent enough time with the books yet. The music and spanish books I feel I should save for my sister. And I never read Ethan Frome, or a Thousand Acres or the critical essay in the Film Noir book. Shouldn't I do that before giving them away?

Thus I am at All Saints (a coffee shop) with Ethan Frome in hand even as I write this. My iced green tea latte sits on the table, but unfortunately I forgot to request soy milk, so it has regular milk, and apparently my tastes have changed, because I keep taking sips and it keeps tasting bleechh!

On the GPS front, I purchased a Magellan 4250 but have already returned it. It seemed okay--but the voice recognition is obviously more wishful than developed technology, and it didn't know the streets around my house--not that I can really blame Magellan for this, since Mapquest and most printed maps of Tallahassee make similar errors even though the fences and dead ends have been in place since I moved here three years ago. (Where do map updates come from anyway? Who reports to whom a street closes permanently?) Then this morning, just to make sure I felt okay about returning--I looked through the Points of Interest for our nearest Post Office. Although five others were on the list, the one I was looking for (the one that is open on Saturday)was not. Three strikes and out.

Plus I have been doing more research, and am now investigating the Dash Express which, though flawed in some ways, seems to be the most right thinking technology for an urban traffic infested city like Los(t) Angeles. i'm quite excited my the philosophy behind it really--the units are interconnected in BOTH directions--so that my position is being (anonymously) tracked and that information can help other drivers, and vice versa. For instance, say I leave my house and wonder (as often happens) whether I should take Sepulveda Blvd south, which has traffic lights and will take about twenty minutes, or if I should chance getting on the 405 freeway, which on a good day will cut my time in half, but one a bad day could double it or worse. I can look on my Dash unit and see, in real time whether other Dash cars on the 405 are moving, or standing still and use that information to make my decision. THIS is the kind of problem solving that I love--and, if you've heard me rant about dynamic ridesharing at all, you will see that this is exactly the kind of technology that will be required to make it work. I'm incredibly excited that a company is beginning to work with it.

More on this later, you can be sure!


  1. "A Thousand Acres" is not worth reading.

    And it's nice to know about the GPS, because I've been thinking about getting one too.

    Also, congrats on finishing and successfully defending your thesis! I can't wait to be in that place in a year. But it seems anticlimactic...

  2. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Oh heyyy, welcome to the club! The Master's club, that is.

    Remind me to show you the hand shake when you get out here! it's a doozie!



  3. Congratulations! And while I sort of like A Thousand Acres, there are better books to spend your precious summer days on.