Posted by: Mark | January 6, 2009

Since You’ve Been Gone

The only reason I’m not embarrassed to title this post in this fashion is because I’m actually hearing this lyric in my head in the context of the Girl Talk mash-up, and not the original Kelly Clarkson song.

But that being said, it’s been a while since I’ve been active on my blog, and I want to make sure that I don’t let this thing just fade away into nothingness. I was away for a while on vacation and did practically nothing productive in the traditional sense of the word, although in the nontraditional sense of productivity I am still giddy with how much I enjoyed my time with my family. However, getting back to a huge stack of papers and a rapidly approaching semester end has found me only able to sort through some of my thoughts late at night as a treat to myself after getting through yet another stack of papers.

So anyway, for those that read this with a degree of regularity, I have had several recurring posts that have been sort of left unresolved, so I figured that now would be a good time to check in on how those things are going, as well as give a preview for how I hope to use this blog in the future.

-First off we have Gandalf the Sea Monkey. As a brief re-cap, Gandalf was the sole-surviving sea monkey in my class sea monkey tank (not my idea) who appeared to have huge testicles. Well, before break he revealed his true colors. He is actually a she, those were pregnancy sacs (a simple google search could have shown me that anyway), and now there’s like 50 sea monkeys swimming around with Gandalf. (We still refer to him as a male despite obvious arguments against it, thus the masculine name remains.) This has also refuted our claim that he was a cannibal. Two strikes and we’re out. However, another student gave me yet another sea monkey tank for Xmas and so now we have a 2nd tank in the works. The water is purifying and we should have monkeys going in a few weeks. I am trying to talk some of the more engineering-minded students into designing a tubeway that connects the two tanks so that maybe we could make one tank like the VIP tank and Gandalf could act as bouncer or something like that. finally has a functional Mac player, and it’s beautiful. I love how it looks. Yes, it took a while to get there, but it’s up and running. And so this being said, my buddy Brent Jordan is still very much in the running for their music video contest, in a video that I made. In fact, he’s in the semi-finals, which start on January 7th, so do us a favor and click here to vote and support independent music and video making.

(Side note to this point. As a guy who really likes making short videos, I don’t really watch many short videos, especially not music videos. So it wasn’t until I came across the tumblr accounts of two my favorite Southern girls GoldenMeg and WithoutMelissa [both of whom are totally worth checking out regularly, and they’re also fun to follow on twitter] that I finally saw the music video for the Bright Eyes song “First Day Of My Life.” I vaguely liked the song for a while but seeing the video has made me really like it, and has definitely inspired me to make a music video that can be truly awesome at some point in my life. So here it is, to break up all this text from this post.)

Augustus the Bulldog, our puppy, was back with his breeder while we were gone, and I’m ecstatic that now he’s back home with us. We had a merry reunion and it took about 24 hours for him to feel us and our schedule back out, but now we’re back on track. He is growing larger by the day. I have not updated his blog in a while due to a) not seeing him, and b) not having the time lately, but I hope to get some good stuff up there soon. An interesting side-note about him: he has become increasingly less active in the bowel movement department, and much more stubborn about refusing to even try when we go outside. As of tonight I have dubbed him the Constipated Tyrant.

-Teaching still rocks my socks. It takes a day or two to get really back in the groove after two weeks off but I’m back and totally into it with a lot of stuff on my mind. I’ve been stewing on some definite blog posts about teaching that will be coming down the pipeline. I also need to remember that grading is never as bad as I anticipate it will be. never. ever. ever.

-My “We’re All In This Together” idea for my family, to keep on tooting my own horn, turned out to be a huge success. There was a ton of variety in the responses and it helped to create a venue for all of us to connect and relate in intellectual and emotional ways that I don’t think would have happened on the trip without something like this. My sister is so fired up about that she wants to make sharing-written-treatises to become a regular thing within the family, which I would love. I will follow up on my promise and post a few writings from family members.

So those are the main updates. I also have some hopes for how this blog will evolve. I am eager to try and be more frequent, and not necessarily as lengthy. My average post clocks in at around 800 words, which is long for a blog, and I think it’s OK if they are shorter and more frequent. I also hope to connect to other bloggers more and become more active in the blogosphere. A final thing that I’m going to venture into doing is reviewing things that I like on this blog. I’ve come across some cool products and ideas that I think are worth sharing. I’m committed to it: I’ve already added a “Reviews” section in my categories, so booyah!

So here’s to 2009 and getting back in the cyber-saddle. I look forward to a fun year of writing.



  1. […] Since You’ve Been Gone « Haraka Haraka Haina Baraka […]

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