St. Patrick’s Day in the Devenney House

My Wife enjoys the hell out of St. Patrick’s Day, but not in the twee way that most Americans do (having lived in Ireland and all earns her some special cred here, I think…). She dresses in green all stylish-like, but then she always tries to dress all stylish-like, so that’s not out of character for her. She makes sure the Boy receives a pot of something from The Leprechaun™ (like an Easter Basket only better and without all the crap religious connotations).1 And, as a master chef, she has made a pledge to serve a meal every St. Patrick’s Day cooked entirely in Guinness. Below is the visual evidence of my Wife’s respectful love for this holiday.

Tonight's Menu: Bangers and Mash, Cooked Cabbage, Onion and Carrot Guinness Gravy, and Irish Soda Bread.

Nothing says St. Patrick's Day like the Boy drinking milk out of a Guinness glass. Am I right?

Love this pic only because it makes the Wife look drunk (she wasn't).


I, on the other hand, couldn’t be bothered to wear green. Holidays blow. Sláinte!

  1. Yes I am well aware of the origins of St. Patrick’s Day. Just roll with it.

Teaching Hub Bullshit

Yesterday, the WordPress database for my Devenney Teaching Hub website took a dump most conveniently right before midterms. Cue endless panic from students who should have downloaded the study guides a month ago when they were posted. This morning, I was able to repair the database (no sweat), but since then domain forwarding has been all screwed up (DNS propagation has been spotty at best, at least according to What’s My DNS?).

Anyhow, until that gets squared away, for any students coming here trying to find the Hub, you can go to this address:

100 Comic Panels

The Boy (aka my son Evan) has his 100th day in 1st Grade coming up (which strangely enough schools seem to spend time celebrating now in elementary school…eh whatever). As part of this, all the children in his class must bring a collection of 100 items to school, whereupon they will do something edumacational with them. So with that, I give you the Boy’s 100 collection: 100 Comic Panels!

100 Comic Panels!

And yes, he and his Grandma Patty did cut up a few comic books for this (collectors can go jump in a lake; comics are to be used, bitches!).

The Depths of Madness: ROCKY IV, Deconstructed

One of my good friends…we’ll call him “Steve”…has this wonderful penchant for taking tangent ideas and blowing them utterly and completely out of proportion to all reality. It’s absolutely amazing to behold sometimes. In the past, this was mostly carried out while shooting the shit in the Towers dorm complex lobby at Central Michigan University or eating a late late dinner at Lil’ Chef around 2am. Now with the advent of the internet and social media, “Steve” can spread his madness even farther afield.

Exhibit A: I give you from Facebook “ROCKY IV, Deconstructed”…

My friends are pure awesomesauce, and don’t you forget it.

Mental Slurry on The Battle of Algiers (1966)

I showed The Battle of Algiers (1966) in my Europe since World War II class earlier tonight, and while I was watching, I scribbled random notes to myself (a good habit to have when it comes to talks and such). For shits and giggles, I have scanned and posted my page of notes below as a jpeg image, which serves as a mini-mental map of my head while watching the film, spelling errors and all. Why am I doing this? I blame Twitter. Consider this an analog version of live-tweeting an event.

Nobody Could Have Predicted

One of the many books I am reading right now (well, in this case, listening to the audio book while I drive) is Roger Crowley’s Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World (which originally came out in 2008). I’m about five chapters into the book, and I like it so far.

Towards the end of chapter five, there was a brief snippet that amused me to no end. In describing the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s colossal failure to take the city of Algiers in 1541, Crowley quotes a letter from the Emperor that uses a certain turn of phrase that caught my eye (emphasis mine):

Charles viewed the catastrophe with a remarkable levelness of spirit. “We must thank God for all,” he wrote to his brother Ferdinand, “and hope that after this disaster He will grant us of His great goodness, some great good fortune,” and he refused to accept the inevitable conclusion that he had sailed too late. As regards the sudden storm, he wrote that “nobody could have guessed that beforehand. It was essential not so much to rise early, as to rise at the right time, and God alone could judge what time that should be.”

“Nobody could have guessed that beforehand.” How interesting. George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and the whole Bush Administration used what we might label the Charles V Nobody Could Have Predicted Defense to defend themselves. I get it now.

Link of the Day for January 22nd

A selection of recent links and posts I find interesting or useful.

  • EnhancED Using Annotations for Close Reading Exercises – “Why close readings? Close reading emphasizes a search for meaning within important microcosms of a piece, such as a specific sentence of a poem or pigment in a tapestry, as a path to understanding a macrocosm, such as an author’s message, an historical event, or an entire culture. In the academy, those macrocosms could be the topic of a single lesson, a unit, or in some instances the subject of the course itself. “