Tuesday, May 22, 2007

part one in a continuing series...

One of the things that my wife tells me is that I have too much rage. She seems to tell me this most often when I'm driving. My general response is that people need to be told when they are being stupid...otherwise, how will they change?

So, in an attempt to satisfy both my wife and my own point of view, I present the first entry into the ongoing series "what's wrong with the world":

I was just at the grocery store, and while ringing up my groceries, the cashier picked up my watermelon and asked: "Would you like this in a bag?"

annual trip to the ancestral homeland

The spousal unit and I will be in FLA from this sunday to June 3. Photos and recollections to come.

why science has become cool to me

My research over the last few years has caused me to gain a new interest in science. I've been paying attention to a number of astronomy-related developments, and here are some things I've learned:

  • There is a moon of Saturn which has lakes made of polyethylene.
  • One moon of Saturn has volcanoes which spew ice into space...those ice chunks are a large part of Saturn's rings.
  • The Hubble has photographed dark matter.
  • Mars has huge ice sheets below its surface.

These discoveries make me realize how much more exciting science is than scifi. Sorry I don't have links for any of these, but I'm gonna start posting this kind of stuff when I see it.

more proof that celebs have gone too far

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has been accused of hosting dog fights at this house/estate, and other football players are showing support. One of the more frightful quotes, from Washington Redskin Clinton Portis: "It's his property; it's his dogs. If that's what he wants to do, do it."

I love football, but idiots like these guys make it hard to do so.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

note on the death of Jerry Falwell

So, last night, on the way to see the Hold Steady, we were discussing the death of Jerry Falwell and that man's importance and claims. A quote will suffice:

"Damnit, if you just liked men instead of other women, all those brave heroes of 9/11 wouldn't have had to die."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


For the last number of years, I have had a strange relationship with summers. When I was an undergrad/MA student, I generally took classes...so there was no real distinction between summer and anytime else. This continued when I took a class after my first year as a Ph.D. student. The summer after that was a full-out cram for the standard pre-dissertation exams, so again, it really wasn't a break.

After that, I've mostly spent summers either working on my writing or procrastinating by drinking and watching too much television. I can never seem to do them both, and I know that I desperately need to balance teh two.

The thing is, I tend to need deadlines to work, and I find it hard to take my self-imposed deadlines seriously. I finished my dissertation because I made my glorious dissertation advisor give me absolute deadlines (which I needed, as I was starting part-time work the next year). The summer after I finished my diss, I took off in an attempt to write a lot...but without deadlines, this just turned into a decompression summer. The summer after that, I did the zoo thing (previously chronicled here) rather than write. Last summer was supposed to be writing but became decompression instead.

So this summer is weird in that I have to work. I have a full agenda. I just have to get to it. If I want any success on the job market, I have to dramatically up the number of publications I have, and summer is the only time I can do that (a 5/4 load doesn't lend itself to research). I'm beginning to get afraid that if I do not find a tenure-track job soon, I'm gonna be typecast as a writing instructor rather than as a media scholar, which is what I want. So, I have to find discipline.

In summertime, there are (as always) distractions, both good and bad...especially when one is tied to the college life. Already, I have a few friends who will be leaving for jobs elsewhere. Cookouts and drinking bouts tend to happen with a much greater frequency. As is the case with many friends, the spousal unit and I will be doing an inevitable family visit to the sunshine state. After that, we get to concentrate on finding her a new job (especially as she will be, shortly after the summer's up, laid off thanks to a bank merger).

But I think I can balance the work and fun sides this time around. After all, I have a job waiting for me in the fall. I can largely recycle teaching material for my Fall classes. Everyone around me is fairly healthy for a change. So I think I can still write and have fun.

I just need to get all taoist on this. Harmony. Balance.

Maybe I can achieve this by an intense combination of chanting and destroying my TiVo.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

it's official!

In a faculty meeting today, one of my bosses leaned over to me and whispered "You might be the meanest bastard in this department."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

quote of the night

Last night, on the way home from the bars: "I don't think I really have that much of an alternative lifestyle...I get up, I watch some TV, I go out and drink"...