Sunday, October 29, 2006

testing . . .

Um, hello?

I can't see my blog and haven't been able to since yesterday afternoon. I can only infer from my Sitemeter stats, that others cannot see it either. Although, also via Sitemeter, I can access specific archived posts. That gives me a little hope . . . .

Whither me blog?

Will now try to publish this post.

ETA: WELL! I guess we just needed to republish the entire blog! Excellent! Now back to work on the frackin' textbook.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

here's a little tip

Never write a textbook.

Unless, maybe, you're tenured and you REALLY feel the need to write one.

Otherwise, doing so will ruin you.

Okay, maybe not ruin you. Not if you work for an institution that values textbook-writing. And not if you are rewarded for writing one. And not if you really, really want to write one.

Otherwise, it will ruin you. If you find yourself in a position similar to my own, it will ruin you.

Unless, of course, you have an official guarantee from the Provost's Office that you will be granted tenure despite all the time you spent working on a textbook instead of doing other things like grant-grubbing.

Even if your textbook is the "most highly and consistantly praised" your editor has ever seen in his many years with Major Academic Publishing House, committing to and writing a textbook before you are tenured will ruin you.

Even if--or, especially if--you are co-writing said textbook with two of your colleagues.

Newly hired academic dearies, do not write a textbook. Unless you meet the unless-es of all of the above.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

maybe i am or maybe i am

Seen first at Clare's.

The Wild Rose
Random Brutal Love Dreamer (RBLDf)

shmolorful, but unpicked. You are The Wild Rose.

Prone to bouts of cynicism, sarcasm, and thorns, you excite a certain kind of man. Hoping to gather you up, he flirts and winks and asks you out, ultimately professing his love. Then you make him bleed. Why? Because you're the rare, independent, self-sufficient kind of woman who does want love, but not from a weakling.

You don't seem to take yourself too seriously, and that's refreshing. You aren't uptight; you don't over-plan. Romance-wise, sex isn't a top priority--a true relationship would be preferable. For your age, you haven't had a lot of bonafide love experience, though, and this kind of gets to core of the issue. You're very selective.

Your exact opposite:
The Dirty Little Secret

Deliberate Gentle Sex Master
The problem is them, not you, right? You have lofty standards that few measure up to. You're out there all right, but not to be picked up by just anyone.

"You're never truly single as long as you have yourself."

ALWAYS AVOID: The Bachelor

CONSIDER: The Vapor Trail.

Link: The 32-Type Dating Test by OkCupid - Free Online Dating.

will write soon

In the meantime, enjoy the ridiculous adorability that is Louie:

Sunday, October 8, 2006

late 20th c. fears that seem to have disappeared from the public consciousness

Some of you may remember a post I wrote a while back about maladies that seemed so prevalent in the 1970s and 1980s but now, perhaps due to technological advancements, seem to have disappeared. I spent a good amount of time during my formative years worrying about falling victim to these afflictions. I've been anxious for a very long time, you see. Incidentally, I also believed I'd be un/lucky enough to encounter one of the monsters or eerie phenomena featured on In Search Of.

Currently, there's a commercial running that features some poor suit sinking in quicksand as his companions seem concerned only with making/investing/worshipping money. The first time I saw this ad, my brain nearly shortcircuited with a mess of memories. Quicksand! I used to be tortured by the thought that I may some day step into some and die a simultaneously slow and quick death. And I wasn't an anomoly. All my friends were tormented knowing that such a death trap existed in the world--despite the fact that we knew both tips for survival. One is "DON'T STRUGGLE." As you may well know, struggling makes you sink faster. The other tip, naturally, is to avoid any place quicksand can be found. We vowed never to find ourselves alone in any environment hospitable to the quicksand . . . though none of us knew which environments those might be. The woods in our backyards? The desert? The tropics? Central Park? I still have no idea where one is likely to find the sand of death.

So that commercial has got me thinking about all of these things, but also about the origin of my awareness. From where did I first learn of quicksand? Could it be from the episodes of Land of the Lost? Or at least one episode of Fantasy Island, as AP suggests? Perhaps from one of those Japanese monster movies I used to watch on Sunday afternoon? If anyone can relate to this post and/or remember how quicksand became a prominent feature of my generation's consciousness, please do throw me a bone. Or, a branch, I should say, keeping with the theme of "Save me from this gritty quagmire of death!"

Saturday, October 7, 2006

the sunny outlook of our sparkly new chair

From Friday's Faculty Meeting

Chair: The Dean's Office is considering making a call for minority recruitment hires, so we should spend some time thinking about folks we'd like to consider.

Faculty Member Who's in the Know: Actually, the Provost's Office said they're not likely to approve any funding for that this year.

Chair: Well, right. Like I said, the Dean's Office is considering it.

FMWitK: But the Provost's Office won't likely approve it.

Chair: You and I are saying the same thing.

FMWitK: I . . . . You're . . . . We're . . . . Uh, yes. We're saying the same thing.

[FMWitK is our only faculty person of color. She is accutely aware of the rhetorical stylings of the Dean's and Provost's Offices. We will not be afforded recruitment hires this year, despite our white male chair's optimism. Bless his heart.]


Chair: As you know, our main budget request for this year was the increase in GTA stipends. Aaannd, the Budget is now in. Aaaannnd, we didn't get the increase.


Chair: I KNOW. I KNOW. And remember what our external reviewers wrote about our GTA stipend two years ago? How it is "pathetic" and "pitiful"? That report is the joke of the Dean's Office.


Chair: I know. I know. We'll just have to try again next year.

[Our GTAs make less than $10,000 a year. They're not the lowest paid GTAs in our R1 university. But no matter! Our department has 900 majors and 16 faculty members. Our GTAs teach the vast majority of our curricula. We've been asking for a higher stipend for almost 10 years. Our new Chair seems to think that this simply can't go on for much longer. Bless his heart.]

death be not kind

Two lives were taken from our neighborhood in the past two weeks. The first belonged to a beloved man who dwelled in the house across the street. The second belonged to a magnificent reptile who dwelled in the pond that connects the innermost houses of our 'hood.

Alcoholsim took the first right before he turned 60.
Poison took the second before he turned 6.

But really, the root cause of these deaths is the same. Mankind was cruel to both. Death be not kind when it is sired by negligence and fear.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

teach me, please

I've been watching an HBO Dane Cook special for over a half hour and I haven't even smiled. I know I'm all morose and shit, but I'm still capable of the occasional titter. I've even guffawed in the last eight months. More than a few times. But this guy? Nuthin'.

How and when did he become so popular? And, why? And what's up with that hand gesture? what does it mean? And--and I know you can't really answer this, but--why does his voice irritate the fuck outta me? It's not just his timbre, tone, and pitch. It's his inflection. His pacing. His voice makes me want to shovel-feed him ether.

And, yes, I do realize that I have readers who think that my little rant here is an attempt to out-funny DC as I diss him. But I don't care. Judge at will. I'm all morose and shit.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

whither time?

Or, more precisely, whither my sense of time?

It's been eight months since my father died. But that quantification is my only sense of chronology between February 2 and October 2. I just read some of my posts from that period and none of them seem right. They all seem out of order. The written details conjure memories of the events I narrated. But the timing is off. Surely I didn't live those days between the death of my father and now. Surely I experienced those events before my father died. How could I possibly have experienced, felt, thought, written, you name it, anything since my father died?

I read the posts and I remember. But I don't remember. Not properly. Alongside my memories is an equally forceful dysfunctional ticking clock that tells me that my memories are a sham. That clock tells me that I somehow "went on" after the death of my father. That I re-entered my world of teaching and researching and writing. It's that twisted clock, the other voice, that equally forceful presence, that reverberates loudest in my head right now.

My time and memories aren't right.

I haven't gone on.

I'm still here.

And my father is only now gone. Over and over. He's only now gone.