Friday, September 08, 2006


This morning, I met up with a returning-from-sabbatical professor who I TAed for a couple of years ago (years! geeze). We had a great chat about the class I'm teaching now (she's teaching it soonish) and about the 'FUTURE OF THE FIELD' and other 'IMPORTANT TOPICS.' It's an odd thing because I have distinct memories of feeling like the newbie grad student when last we talked, but now I feel like I'm being treated like a colleague. What a wonderful feeling.

We also talked a lot about me heading out to new and unknown lands to do the PhD. It's tough for me to talk in dept about things that cause anxiety (What a unique trait, eh?), but we talked a lot about the things that are worrying me - the ego minefield of a so-called more important university with so-called more important people and all the new stress of actually figuring out my field etc... etc...

Anyway, It was very nicely cathartic. I think I've always believed that it would all work out ok on some level, but it's another step forward to actually say it out loud to someone.

The title of this post is based on the fact that she asked me when I was moving and I thought about it for a sec before realizing that I'm moving next weekend. Good grief. That's way too fast. Expect a week or more of move-blogging - with special guest(s)!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I Know I'm Desperate, But Seriously...

The woman at the local greasy spoon who served up my omelet this morning had more disturbing news.

I apparently am a dead ringer for one of the actors on Desperate Housewives (one of the men). The thing is that I didn't ask which one. I took a look at the cast page and I still can't figure it out. The only 'You look like' kinda thing that I'm used to getting is Robin Williams, but I think that's more of a personality thing. Oh, and the hair.

So the closest one, I figure may be this guy, but my friend in the office says it has to be this guy.

So, you guys who know what I look like, what do you think? How Desperate am I?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Cafe Snippit Coda

Is it simply impossible for a cafe to be run at a comfortable temperature? Are there laws that require either icicles or heatstroke?

For the record, I am a very un-skinny man with a deep and abiding love of wintry climes and a rich shiny coat of fur (raw eggs in the kibble, doncha know?), and I am shivering like Rush Limbaugh when his maid is on vacation.

On the plus side, grading is nearly done and as soon as I email these back I'm getting out of here. Either I'm going soft (probable) or the papers are getting better. It's probably the exhaustion. These student's don't know how good they've got it.

[edited to change Bill O'Reilly to Rush Limbaugh. I can't keep my wackos straight]

Cafe Snippit Redux

Ma'am (a different ma'am, this time),

I realize that we may not be in the swankiest of cafes, but exactingly laying down 40 or so napkins so as to completely cover your table before delicately placing your coffee in the middle doesn't actually make the place any more... posh.

I have to admit though, I had to stifle a laugh when you kicked the table, sloshing coffee all over your carefully-laid napkin table cloth. Then I sighed when you picked them all up, threw them away and started all over again.

The two women huddled over their two Mactops were also suitably amused. But it's best not to dig too deeply into their lives. All I've overheard over the cafe music and my own earphones was the line, 'My friends all do a lot of, seriously, like, hard core drugs, and people look at me, and they just think that I do too!'

Cafe Snippit

I think after the third time you told the gentleman with you that he had to put some half and half in his coffee, and for the fourth time he refused, it's probably time to drop it. The fourth time, waving the thermos in his face, was probably not going to change his mind.

Run. Run quickly and far.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Overreaid

O Muses, I call but impotently on thee to express that which mortal mouths, by the nature of their being made of flesh and fed by course and earthy breads, cannot express! Oh! Would that ambrosia were the provender of this my form and these my fingers, that I might express in words the fundament of my tale in the fullness of its tragic scope!

Alas, I know well, that I am not loved by the muses. They deign not to enter my hands in spirit that I might weave a tale that might bind perusers in purple strands of profundity and wonder. Much less am I the blissful host of some god, who might grant clarity of expression allowing a man of dust to carry forth some divine grudge, spite or whim in the telling of histories or other diversions, and in this proxy action achieve glory and renown.

I am thus struck dumb, palpably bound as if with Promethean chains to the earth, loving, but fecund only for the fruits of toil, never to the stirrings of my pen or keyboard. However much straining upward, yet doomed never to reach the Olympian peaks, I resign myself to the unembroidered and pale purpose of my post without the aid that might assure the tearing of your clothes and gnashing of your teeth in sympathy.

My dear friends drifting in the viscous ether of the blogosphere, much as pearls, having been cast into a broad salted sea, might slowly flutter lower, ever gleaming, hear me and bemoan my worldly ills. I have, in these several previous days, blest by glorious sun and the temperate clime of the nearby fields, taken repose in enjoyment of such splendor presented by the season.

I have, with a few and most excellent acquaintances, enjoyed the games of physical prowess for which those of my town are well-known. For, while I have no such skill myself, I take great joy in watching those who are so blest, and I have some small ability in the recording of their exploits.

I have also diverted myself in the viewing of films and reading of many an obscure text. Both these diversions being of a kind that both wearies the body and enlivens the spirit, I find myself restless of mind and yet heavy in body.

These activities are fitting and well for a man with leisure, and would that I were in such a situation, I could pleasantly sun myself as the cat is wont to do and enjoy a furtherance of these my diversions.

Alas, my fate is one much more cruel and ever so much the worse for being self-imposed. The tragedy of my tale lies in the cruel fact that I made bold enough to swear an oath to my several students that their papers that now crowd my hard drive, teaming with misspellings, lies and cruel logical incongruities, just as the maggots that infest a rotting carcass, such that even the birds of carrion dare not approach to feed, would be carefully read and commented upon before the resumption of lectures on Tuesday. I now have good reason to rue the oath, oh vile vanity that made me speak such words! and I now bring oaths of a more heavy and venomous ilk upon the head of him who, two days hence, knowing full well the burden, made such a hasty pact.

Alas, oaths, no matter they be made in whatever situation, be they imposed from momentary possession of some noxious spirit, an imbalance of the humors so ill-understood in our age of the interwebs, in the full-blooded blush of wine-induced friendship, or in the cold calculation of gain and profit, must be upheld, even if more colorful oaths accompany the fulfilling.

Thus I end my tale of woe. I beg of you, consider it as a tale to chill the bones, or frighten children on a crisp night before a fire, when shadows dance slightly outside of notice taunting the inner mind with possible shapes of balky projectors and their accompanying tech-support, and each twig snapped without visible cause might presage an approaching student who might ask you if they must cite their sources.

Take this also as a tale of caution! Heed my suffering and bring it not upon yourself! Know yourself, and keep this knowing tightly within your breast, that seeming-enjoyable procrastination as might be gained in such diversions as games, books, films, and aye, verily, blogs, while amusing and heart-lifting, carry a heavy cost. Be it e'en so, for my post is nearing its end, and yet, from those shadows, where the firelight reaches not, I hear the snapping of a twig, and I know not its cause.

I shall look to it, for I have given my oath, and dare not break it. But as boon friends, serve as my brothers and sisters, and, should I fall in the fulfilling of my oath, let not the students take my body and desecrate it, as has been done to others in times past. Fight with might and main around my fallen body that you may bring it back and lay it on a bier of fine timber with my laptop on my chest. Offer hecatombs to the gods, that I may find rest, but above all, heed my tale, and make no oaths to any, but those that you can fulfill.