Tuesday, December 28, 2004

It's that time of year...

Okay, this is the time for the obligatory moment o' depression. You see, I've been on the academic job market for quite some time. Come holidays, when I visit with family (direct and in-laws), I always am forced to give them the job update...that essentially nothing is happening, there is no sign that anything will happen, and I most likely might be doing part-time work forever.

What makes all this worse is that most of the jobs for which I'm applying are in the English field. Most major English departments do their initial interviews at the Modern Language Association conference. Well, it started yesterday, and rather than being wined and dined by senior faculty from around the world, I'm sitting here in Bowling Green, staring out my window, looking at the snow-covered shrubbery, and contemplating a trip outside to look for child-assembled snowmen to knock down and beat up.

On top of that, I'm still short of classes for the upcoming semester. I have interviewed at Mercy College (a Catholic nursing school) for a class and tutoring, but they haven't gotten back to me as of yet. I have one BG class (Ethnic Studies again) and one UT class (a Comp II that has a text I hate, and that I have no real idea how to teach).

So I am gonna just keep focusing on the plusses. Playoff football starts soon. There is a New Year's party, so I'm guaranteed at least one really good drunk. My wife has work, so the chances of me having to become the next Fred Garber are less than they were two weeks ago. Yay.


The most superfluous feature of this blog? The feedback feature...or as I like to call it, the "echo chamber"...hello (hello..hello..hello)?

Thursday, December 23, 2004


In memory of our first major snowfall of the year, check out this collection of Calvin and Hobbes snowmen strips.

Bill Watterson, come back...we miss you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Bowling Green Falcons!

Yes, everyone, you have your opportunity tonight to see the illustrious BGSU Falcons in the GMAC bowl. Watch this MAC powerhouse in action!

Friday, December 17, 2004

cover songs

So I was trying this morning to figure out what makes a good cover song, and why we don't see more of them. There used to be a time when most of rock and roll was covers. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones both did mostly covers on their first album. Large hunks of Led Zeppelin were covers of Willie Dixon songs (although usually without credit).

Yes, there are some good covers nowadays...the Atari's cover of "Boys of Summer" or Foo Fighters doing "Baker Street" leap to mind...but not nearly as I would expect. And I want to forget abominations like Marilyn Manson doing "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" or Hole's "Gold Dust Woman."

I think that to do a really good cover, you have to like the song you're doing, but you have to bring an unexpected twist. The best cover I can think of right now is from one of my brother's and a friend's old band, when they did just a CRUSHING version of "Knights in White Satin" (which never got played out and might not exist on tape even). A great local Jacksonville band used to do a cover of "Like a Virgin" that floored me.

Personally, I do a pretty mean slow country/blues version of "Boys of Summer" and a moaning run-through of Tom Petty's "Rebel" that will make you weep...that is, if I can ever afford new strings for the acoustic so I can play the damn thing. And last year, me and some academic comrades worked up a cowpunk/jazz cover of "Shout at the Devil" that would've wowed them...then we got all overworked and quit playing together, which is the story of my life, musically.

So, without much more ado (there's been enough already), my top 5 covers I would do if I had a 4 track and time to kill:

  1. "Sister Golden Hair" by America...this is just dying for about thirty guitars
  2. "A Place Nobody Can Find" by Sam and Dave...tons o' people have made a living off their songs...why not me?
  3. "Monday Morning" by Fleetwood Mac...this already rawks, and more people need to know it.
  4. "Vacation" by the Go-Go's...c'mon, a non-commercialized version of this would rip.
  5. "Looks Like We Made It" by Barry Mannelow...remove the shmaltz and it's a solid song.

Y'know, I only own two of these, and I am actively apathetic to the other three...but I could make these good. As a friend says, "Aw, yeah."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

what's wrong with the world in general

My friend Jim "Iowa Thunder" Davis graduates tomorrow with his Ph.D....further proof that any idiot can get one. Nothing personal, Jim...after all, I'm example 1.

school's out

So I finished grading my last final today...just have to drop the grade sheet off tomorrow and I'm done. Two thoughts result, though:

1) I have to constantly remind myself that there are the occasional students who seek the level of mediocraty. I had more than one student who scored in the fifties on the final. How can you do that? Doesn't there come a certain time in the study process where you realize that you are not gonna do well, and that your time would be better spent drinking grocery store vodka in the plastic bottle?

That's probably not as disappointing, however, as the students who SHOULD score As but end up in the C range instead...and there's more than one of them. While I really don't mean to turn this into a rant about "those wacky kids," this does show that hard work is more valuable than innate skill any time.

End of moralizing lesson.

2) Now that the semester is over, I can actually get back to readying papers for publication, doing research for future projects, and working on a book revision plan for my publisher...y'know, the kind of thing that I, as an academic, am supposed to be doing all the time. Don't get me wrong, I really do love teaching...and it has changed my thinking in real and vital ways. But it is gonna be unbelievably nice when/if I ever get a real job which allows me to do this stuff as a matter of course.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

the best rock and roll band in the world, RIP

I have been in mourning the last few days. The best rock and roll band in the entire world, Slobberbone, has announced their impending breakup. Words cannot describe how much they mean to me. They restored my faith in rock and roll at a time when it was at an all-time low. Intelligent lyrics, murder ballads, drunken rampage, and more energy than a cyclone. Please, if you have never heard them, check out the link on the right and give them a shot.

Slobberbone, you will be missed.

weird news

Okay, how is this for weird news? Yesterday I learned that a job for which I phone interviewed (and was immediately told I was "on the top list of candidates) went to someone else? Further proof that many involved in academic job searches either (a) have no social skills or (b) are specifically trying to set me up so they can point fingers and laugh at my expense.

On the same day, however, I was informed via the post that I am under consideration for the 2006 edition of _Who's Who in America_!! Yes, that's me...bringing excellence in part-time teaching to the level of national recognition.

Tell your friends that it can happen to them as well.

...and away we go.

Welcome to the first memorial posting of TheMikeDuBose, where we build the best Mike DuBoses around. No, we have nothing to do with the ex-football coach. We are instead involved in many manners of fine cuisine, cheap adult beverages, exotic interdisciplinary academics, and using third person narrative for no apparent reason. Please feel free to address any questions to themikedubose@yahoo.com, so that they may be promptly ignored.