Thursday, April 27, 2006


Hello world! Hope you're all well.

On occasion I do free-lance work to supplement the "lemming foundation of research into dead people" budget. My editor is a PITA but we get on well and have a comfortable relationship. I wouldn't want this editor at my bedside were I dying, but we get on well. I can respect the sense of history and context that my editor has and he/she seems to respect my experience.

Said editor had planned to attend my graduation. I've learned that a group from church had made similiar plans. (sighs)

Meanwhile it's the end of the semester, so I am grading quickly and wishing everyone the best. I do believe in my students, but the proccess of writing letters of rec are enough to make anyone a cynic.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


1000 more days to GWB's time in office.

This is how many days JFK spent as president.

(tries to compare Bay of Pigs and Iraq...)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Yorkshire Terrier revisited

Thank-you to everyone who has commented, called and e-mailed with your support over the last few days. Quite simply, I do not have words sufficient to thank all of you for your on-going support.

I've decided not to blog about the next stages of the bureaucracy. I do have options and strings left, and I intend to thoroughly investigate all of them. If any of them are of particular interest, please drop me an e-mail.

Today is the feast day of Gabriel the Arch-Angel. I'm not quite sure how an angel can be a saint, but no matter. Not surprisingly, he is the pratron of anyone involved in communication and, by extension, of stamp collectors. I had no idea that stamp collectors even had a patron saint.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

an anvil on the hang-glider

I got a call from my advisor (may he live forever) last night. It seems that the Gang of Four (tm) wants another 12-18 months' worth of research, writing and revision from me. So much for graduating next month.

I promise to be cheerier tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

teacher stuff

I've been writing exams today and pondering my syllabus for this summer. I try to be professional in my course outlines and goals, but something about exams brings out the goofy in me. A little humor seems to actually help students relax during an exam, but it's best limited to the extra credit questions, rather than the essays. The round of questions I wrote before lunch (I need to write several versions of the same exam)contained far too many in-jokes and references that no one but me will understand.

I take that back "none of my students." The joke about being "nailed to a perch" will have to go, as will all of the As Time Goes By references, though I might keep a few of the names. The lemming joke should probably be dispensed with as well, alas.

I hate making multiple choice exams almost as much as I hate grading them. The one perk is that they do allow you to express the sillier random pop culture aspects of your personality. Alas, I am not all that funny, nor am I being paid to do so.

Over teh years I've written quite a few letters of rec for former students, and so far I have a 100% acceptance rate. I've just heard from one of them. He seems a nice guy and was a fair student, but not great. I tried to highlight what he'd learned about writing from me and stressed the improvement in his grades, but feared it might not be enough. Whew! He got in.

Monday, April 17, 2006

what dreams may come

Last night I dreamed that a very attractive man invited me to have a nightcap in his (very nice but not ostentatious) apartment. We were drinking martinis (which I loathe) when his cats came into the room. Being a polite person, even when asleep, I asked my companion to introduce me.

I never did seem to know how many cats he had, but I do remember that he'd named each of them after a letter of a Greek alphabet, in order. Other than Alpha and Omega, I haven't thought about the Greek alphabet since college (what can I say, I knew a lot of fraternity guys) but somehow in my dream I knew that this man had named his cats in alphabetical order. Some had died, so the cats weren't in order, at which point he began to tell me about each of the various feline demises in his life.

Usually I try to analyze my dreams for what my subsconcious might be trying to tell me. In this case, and with all respect to Sam, I think I'll refrain.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

books I think I've read

I read a novel today. I have many shortcomings as a person, let alone as an academic, but I do read quickly. It truly was a luxury to sit down with a book and read it, cover to cover, without constant breaks for additional chapter revisions, etc.

Not that it was a very enjoyable novel - I hate it when men try to imagine what women think about sex because they almost always get it wrong - but I read all of it.

Still no word from my advisor (may he live forever) which I take as a good omen.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

oh what a beautiful day

It's a glorious day today - the thunderstorms disappeared and teh sun came out. I spent more time outside with a novel before sitting down again to the joyful task of making out a syllabus.

Sam treed a cat today, despite the fence between them. Even neutered dogs have their [pride.

Words Written: zero (ha! ha!)
Lessons Graded: fifty-six

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

he would have an airplane

Slowly settling into the waiting process, I've realized that I don't have a thing suitable for wearing to my defense. Tempting though it is to shsow up in my favorite history-geek t-shirt, baggy jeans and silly sweatshirt, the wool socks would probably not make an appropriate fashion statement.

I still think it's preposterous that we share atime zone with Maine, but I am grateful for teh extra hour of daylight in the evening. Sam and I can take longer walks and I worry less about rushing him past the hydrants so that we can get home before twilight. Soon it will be too hot to walk in the evenings, and I want to enjoy the time that we have left.

I haven't yet gotten around to putting away any of the books. I've been trying to decide if I should adopt another organizational idea or continue with the old one. The clutter, needledd to say, is enormous. There's a narrow path for me and poor Sam picks his way carefully about, or else settles for a flying leap.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I am alone with my sheep

Words Written: zero (ye-haw!)
Lessons Graded: zero (The natives are beyond restless)
Books on Floor: One hundred and eighty-eight
Books on Desk: seven
coffee cups on desk: three
soda cans on desk: four (yes it's SODA and not pop)
Pleasant conversations with my advisor (may he live forever): one

Now I get to bite my nails until I defend, later on in the month. About half of th3 time, faith has kept me going. I am a damned good teacher, if I say so myself, and God is going to make possible what I have failed to do.

The other half of the time I want to hide in bed with the covers pulled up to my chin. I don't know of anyone who failed their orals, but it must happen.

On a more cheerful note, I've spent the past week reading novels and watching TV, two activities in short supply during the last days of the diss. Oh, and did I mention that I have a job teaching summer session? Spending July in a classroom is not my idea of a great time, but it's going to be VERY GOOD for my C.V.

OK, I'm officially back - look out!

Monday, April 03, 2006

good times and bum times, I've seen 'em all and my dear

Yes, I am alive. I am utterly worn out, but I'm still here. I'll put up a post with details, such as words written and books on floor sometime soon.

The diss is a lot shorter than I would have liked, but I devoutly hope that the quality will outweigh the quantity.