Thursday, February 22, 2007

academic overload

It's a strange period of my life in terms of research. After long periods of dormancy following the dissertation and my years of adjunct hell, I am deep into more research than I care to think about.

Just this semester, I am on track to finish:

  • a conference presentation and subsequent paper on House and models of authority figures in the postmodern media
  • a paper on constructions of race and ethnicity in pro football broadcasts (focusing on the return of the NFL to New Orleans)
  • a book review of a book on New Orleans tourism
  • a narrative of my year of adjunt hell

This is on top of my summer plans to:

  • revise and submit my horror fiction chapter of my diss
  • revise and start shopping around my book proposal
  • rewrite my diss theory chapter to center on cyberpunk, network theory, and identity
  • teach myself Gramsci

In the midst of all this, I just discovered, while doing research for one of my many papers, the common theme of my current work. I even have a title for book two: Whither Authority? Control, Networked Intelligence, and Authority in the Postmodern Media.

I hope I stop thinking of ideas before I explode.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

a special day

Today's my lovely wife's birthday. If there was justice in the world, there would be dancing and street carnivals worldwide.

yesterday's random quote of the day

"It didn't make me throw just made me cry"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

new Flickr photos

I have new art photos up at my Flickr page if anyone's interested. I include, for your viewing pleasure, a sample.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

hearts and sliders

In celebration of that great greeting card-inspired holiday, the spousal unit and I went to (as I've mentioned before) the White Castle Valentine's Day Candle-light Dinner. And it was everything we expected.

There was a hostess who showed us to our pink table-clothed, flower-balloon-candle festooned table. The store was decorated in pink, with hearts. There were Cupid garlandss adorning the windows.

One of the workers, wearing a plastic apron decorated with hearts, took our order like a real waitress...she dropped off our menus, got our drinks, took our main order, brought our food, and checked up on us a few times. Actually, now that I think of it, we got better service from her than at many fine restaurants. And the whole staff approached the night with much better of a sense of humor than I would have, if I would've been a minimum wage-earning fast food employee being asked to play dress-up.

The meal itself was classic White Castle. My wife and I each had a number of sliders and split a sack of fries. Afterward, the waitress brought us a complimentary cupcake (with a heart ring stuck in the frosting) and a bag of Valentine candy.

It was probably the most romantic V day I've ever had...which says something about me, no doubt. The wife also enjoyed it very much...which, no doubt, also says something about her. This is why I love her.

mental state

In response to my last post, I have already recieved an e-mail and an international call from a worried friend. All I can really say is, to quote "Crash" Davis, "I have been known to howl at the moon."

Anyway, the lovely spousal unit will be home today, so all is well.

Friday, February 16, 2007


She gently brushed her lips against mine, kissing me, before smiling and thanking me for being so understanding. I just smiled and told her to drive safely before watching her drive away. What else could I do?

I felt bad enough as it was. I know that her mother, my mother-in-law, was in the hospital, I know that she was facing surgery, and I knew that my spouse should be there, needed to be there. I knew this, but I still resented it horribly.

And it's not that I don't like my mother-in-law and wish her the best. My mother-in-law is, funny, insightful, caring. It's awful that she's ill, it's awful has to have surgery, it's awful that she has to travel to Cleveland for competent doctors. She puts up with too much in her life already, and she really doesn't need or deserve any other intrusion.

I know this makes me awful, but I cannot help but resent her a little bit for getting my wife for yet another weekend, in spite of how much I love my mother-in-law and want her to be well.

I am lonely, you see.

It's not like I don't have enough to keep me occupied. I have a presentation in two weeks, for which I haven't typed word one. I have parents, relatives, high school friends, life-changing former roomates, all of whom have been waiting months for word one from me. I have papers to write, book proposals to revise, classes to plan. Instead of doing any of this, however, I keep finding myself just sitting, doing nothing, being lonely.

Lonliness is never like it is in the movies or in overdramatic novels. There's no wailing, no shaking tears, no cavernous bouts of depression. I'm just empty. I have to force myself to do anything, and even then, I'm just going through the motions.

I read the saddest books I can find, and they suddenly move me not in the slightest. I try turning on the television, but that's no good...everything on the TiVo is one of "our" programs, and there's utterly nothing else that draws me in even a little. I try splurging, fixing myself a thick steak for dinner, but as good as it is (and I find myself knawing on the bone, regressing into a neanderthal), it doesn't really bring me any joy...five minutes later, and I am back on the couch, staring blankly into space. Nothing works, and there is no escape. Finally, I give up, crawl into bed, stretch out fully...but I keep looking over to her side, reaching out my leg so that I can feel her warmth, and she's not there.

It will only be a few days, I know. My love will be back on Sunday. Right now, though, that seems unimaginably far away, deep into the future. I want her here now. I want to see her eyes that can light up the room, see her flash that smile that makes me want to explode. I want to make her laugh, I want to hold her close, I want to smell her hair and have her body pressed up against me.

Before I had someone, I used to be scared of giving myself completely to someone else, of putting myself at anyone's mercy. Now, it doesn't frighten me that I've invested so much of myself into her as I thought it would, because she brings so much to me, makes me such a better person. I just need her, and when she's away like this, it reminds me of how much. Now, I'm just a little scared because I know why, deeper than ever, that I don't like being alone, apart, separated.

She did call yestersday, so I did get to hear her voice. It was lilting, beautiful, vibrant, and it filled me with so much joy yet also so much sadness. I wanted to talk to her forever, but after she left, nothing really happened to me, so I had no real tales or events to relate, and I couldn't really think of anything to the call was entirely too short.

There was so much I needed to say to her, but I had no idea how to say what I needed to say, which always seems to be the case. How do you say the things you really need to say? Can you even really say them, without holding that person close?

That's why I'm lonely.

Friday, February 09, 2007

deconstructing food tv

Yes, I still don't have time for this (I haven't e-mailed my own mother in weeks, yet I post here), but Anthony Bourdain has a great take on the various Food Network personalities. Read it if you're as much of a geek for this channel as am I.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

wither sex advice?

I'm really way too busy to be posting anything (3 weeks 'till a conference presentation, and I haven't written paragraph one), but The Onion A/V Club has Sarah Silverman answering sex advice's brilliant but not for the faint of heart.

Monday, February 05, 2007

pain and weather

Today, it was so cold that my face hurt after walking from my car to the office. We had a low of -1 F. People live in weather colder than this. I have no idea why.

Screw you, you ratbastard groundhogs.

Friday, February 02, 2007

greetings on this, the most Freudian of holidays.

Even the damn groundhog's in on global warming...Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, so even less winter this year.

Hope your day doesn't keep repeating.