Saturday, September 07, 2002

Mmm...that King Carlos V sure is a tasty guy.
10:18 PM

I just spent a good chunk of my evening reading a good chunk of Arlene Stein's The Stranger Next Door: The Story of a Small Community's Battle over Sex, Faith, and Civil Rights. I picked it up when I saw it was about the Oregon Citizen's Alliance and Measure 9. Both C. and I thought it would be a good read since Measure 9 played such an important role in our lives when we lived in Oregon.

Well, okay, it's readable. But the author lacks credibility. She refuses to the name town about which she's writing; instead she makes up this "Timbertown" moniker and peppers the pages with anecdotes about its residents (who may or may not be real). I can see changing the names of individuals to respect their privacy, but writing a chronicle of a town's struggle with a civil rights movement, then disguising the town with a false name and location is completely stupid. For one thing, she uses city documents as sources at several points in the narrative, but cites them as having come from "Timbertown." As a scholar, I would like to check her sources and see if my assessment of the documents matches hers. But I can't, because she won't tell us what the town's name is. She undermines her own authority, and it's really a waste of time to read it, since there's no way to really think critically about her sources.

9:46 PM

One of these days, someone is going to shoot someone else in the house next door, and I'm going to turn to Catherine and say, "I am SO GLAD I never got involved with those people."

They have been arguing non-stop for four years. Their house isn't even that close to ours, and we can hear them screaming at each other. We noticed them the day after we moved in--Catherine went out to eat breakfast on the screen porch but had to come back in because it was so unpleasant. And we pretty much haven't been able to spend time outside on the porch since we moved in, because we just don't want to listen to it.

This morning, Catherine went out to the porch to let the cats in at 7 a.m., and the neighbors were already screaming at each other. I went out at 8:30 to grab some clothes off the rack, and they were still fighting. Catherine thinks the teenage son is going to be the one who breaks and buys a gun and kills his parents. I'm putting my money on the dad. Well, sometimes I think the mom will crack, she already seems distinctly odd. Either way, I don't want to be around when it happens.

We are definitely putting that fence back in.

2:51 PM

First practice went just fine.

Dragged myself out of bed this morning to do the breast cancer walk. I think the walk is much shorter than it used to be, it hardly took anytime at all.

Ran some errands, had lunch, then we went to the volleyball game. Volleyball is such a weird sport. It's populated by sorority girls--I've never seen a straighter, whiter bunch of girls in my life--and it's full of frilly, girly things. For instance, after every point, each player plasters a faux Miss America smile on her face, the players on the floor all touch fingertips, and then they give a single clap. Too stupid. On the other hand, they're also trying to ram the ball down the other team's throat with as much force as possible. It's a game for schizophrenics.

This is the first season IU has used the librero position, and that made it a little different. The sport has completely changed since the last time I played, the rotations have changed, the scoring has changed, the substitution rules have been completely rewritten. It's a much faster game. The traditionalist part of me is kind of sad, but the fidgety part of me is just as glad she doesn't have to sit in an un-airconditioned gym for any longer than possible.

I am big on good sportsmanship. We've only been to two IU events since school started, and both experiences were marred by boorish fans. Both times it was the young, college male being completely obnoxious that ruined the experience for us. We actually left the soccer game early because this group of six boys planted themselves in front of us and proceeded to obscenely heckle the players on the opposite team. Today, this group of boys was harrassing the players on the Evansville team, yelling and holding up signs saying things like "You suck!" One of them even got up and yelled at them as the teams were changing sides after the first game. He came out to the court as they walked by and yelled in their faces, saying, "Come on! Give us a game! You suck!" Well, the Evansville fans were pissed off at this kid, and even the announcer was, like, "Dude, sit down."

I don't understand what these kids think they're doing. Did they behave this way in high school? Didn't anyone ever tell them that sportsmanship counts? They're an embarrassment to the university.

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