This is why technical communicators can’t have nice things

January 18, 2010

Actually, the memo below is why technical communicators aren’t allowed to claim neutrality when it comes to their output. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link to read it, because yes, the content is more than a little disturbing, and I really have no interest in ambushing anyone with this text.

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Gee, Tara, think your issues could be showing a little more?

November 19, 2009

Just reread some of what I posted for 505 today, and I’m left with, “Angry? Me? Whatever makes you say such a thing?”


So I’m thinking I might be skimming through the anger stage at the moment (with a brief detour through denial earlier today), which … yeah. Needs to happen. But I also need to pay attention, because seriously, I’m not interested in being the kind of asshole who loses her shit and expects everyone else to just suck it up.


No. Seriously.

October 26, 2009

My life has become such that my light reading now includes judicial opinions.


Fun night

October 23, 2009

Met with a few of my classmates from ENGL505 as well as Prof. Krause this evening down at The Corner Brewery, and a fun time was had by all. I like having the chance to meet my classmates in person, and I sincerely doubt I’ll ever have an online course where I don’t take the time to go in to meet the instructor at least once. As convenient as the online format is, I think it’s important to have face time as well. I’m convinced that the interactions online can only be improved once you’ve had a chance to just sit and chat for a while.

Beer, of course, is a helpful addition.


Kenneth Burke has broken my brain

October 18, 2009

Send help, soonest.

On the non-brain-breaking end of the scale is Elisabeth Alford, whose Thucydides and the Plague in Athens: The Roots of Scientific Writing is the very model of readability. Her prose is clear and to the point. More importantly, I don’t have to reference my dictionary every other line. Elisabeth, I’m giving you a 4-star rating.


Oh, Orly —

October 13, 2009

You wacky, wacky gal. I’m supposed to be reading On Rhetoric right now, but thanks to your latest shenanigans (and Cronopio), I’m instead engrossed in Judge Land’s most excellent retort to your pathetic plea for attention.

Sweetie, give it up. Seriously. If you aren’t disbarred because of this latest round of misconduct, you surely will be after the next round.

No love,


ETA: It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when a judicial order is my light reading for the night. On the other hand, it’s really well written. And kind of snarky.


Around town

October 11, 2009

I took D to see The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850–1874 at the U of M Museum of Art yesterday. It was an interesting exhibit and worth a visit, but man, oh man did the lighting designer screw up on one of the walls. The lights are situated in such a way that there’s a heavy shadow from the top edge of the frames intruding on the paintings themselves. These shadows are so intrusive that at first, it looks as though they’re a part of the painting. I’m calling it a mistake, because paintings on the other three walls don’t have this problem — it’s only the one wall.

Aside from those issues, there were a great many photographs and paintings of Normandy, and what was interesting was how the curator set it up so that the viewer could see the same general image, but from the perspective of multiple artists/photographers. Oddly, it was whilst we were looking at these that I finally understood why Plato (via Socrates) was against art, because it doesn’t accurately portray reality — it portrays the artist’s singular vision of a reality that doesn’t encompass the whole. One of the photographers — Davanne, I think — deliberately framed one of his images of Étratat so that only the fishing boats and ramshackle buildings could be seen. According to the accompanying information, he wanted very much to convey the sense that this small fishing village still retained its rural character despite the fact that beyond the framing, there was actually a fairly large tourist town complete with hotels and casinos.

The stupid thing is, I’ve known this forever, but I didn’t make the connection until yesterday. And the same is true of writing — it doesn’t encompass the whole of the writer’s thoughts, it only conveys a very small and specific portion of the writer’s thoughts. But that’s okay. It really shouldn’t do more than that, because honestly? My brain is a scary enough place as it is, and I don’t think anyone else needs to be rooting around in there. Anyway, it was my little epiphany for the weekend, and I’m happy with it.

Finally, to the campus planners at the University of Michigan: handicap accessible restrooms means that anyone can get through the door, not just the able-bodied. Your restrooms in the basement of the new section of the UMMA pretty much fail this basic test of usability. Hell, I had trouble opening the damn doors, and I’m a healthy adult. D, who is 88 years old and who uses a motorized scooter to get around, could not get into and out of the men’s room without help. Add the electric openers already, would you?