Thursday, September 29, 2005

I didn’t go rock climbing tonight. I’ve rescheduled my play for after I get my work done. I am spending the night grading papers and drinking near beer. Clausthaler is the current favorite. They’ve been doing it the longest, so it stands to reason that they would be good, if not the best. I’ve had a moderately pensive day. No, that’s not the right word. Pensive implies some kind of contemplative anxiety and my state of mind has been internal, but not worried.

Sometimes when you are in a mood you go for long walks, let’s say that I’ve been doing that, only I do the walking, the roaming, in my head. It started when I was walking briskly up to the train platform this morning. It wasn’t exactly morning as I heard the bells chiming noon. The bells that I heard were the bells in the Carillon tower at Concordia Seminary.

When I was in high school I was a custodian for Concordia and one of my occasional jobs was to throw a rope down from the tower (very Rapunzel) to haul up a garden hose so I could wash off (and out) all the pigeon crap. Seventeen to thirty two and I live close enough to my past to literally still hear it in the distance while I wait for the train. Why is education so involved with waiting? It’s enough to make you take a mental wander through rare visited rooms of mental minutia and the memories of duties long ago discharged for 3.35 an hour.

That’s where I spend my wanders, in the alternate futures of each decision, no matter how small. In an alternate reality Einstein made a board game based on his theory of time, he called it “Adventures on Infinite Earths”. It’s the game I spend most days playing. The nice thing about games is that you can always start over. Every few years I shake the etch-a-sketch in an attempt to start over, but the first patters I drew always stay visible, and every new image is just a refraction of the old.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Well dressed and water logged. I didn’t bring an umbrella today and the fall storm season is upon us. I tried to wait out the heavy rain in the car, but it started to pour when I was halfway up the hill to the south campus library. I ducked into The Children’s Resource Center for a bit and watched their fish (very nice one hundred gallon tank with a variety of African Cichlids), but it felt too much like I was in a hospital waiting room, so I braved the drench and puddle jumped the rest of the way here. Who published the paper on the calming effect of fish? I have been in several hospital waiting rooms over the past two years and they all have huge, well-maintained tanks.

So, I made arrangements to go rock (wall) climbing again tomorrow night. I’m a little worried about the expense of this new hobby, but I need to do something healthy, so why not this? “Because it’s expensive,” she shouted at her screen. I suppose it would also help to have health insurance if I am going to spend my time climbing forty foot walls and riding motorcycles. I had to sign my life away last time I was at the gym, initialing two pages of “I will not sue you because I know that this is intrinsically risky but I’m doing it anyway” jargon. “Oh my God, you don’t have health insurance?” she exclaimed. I haven’t had health insurance for a very long time. I don’t have cable TV either. When your student loan debt and credit card debt from ten years in school hit your lower middle class income, there is not a lot left over for frivolities like health insurance. “And rock climbing,” she added dryly.

Ah well, our ship will come in. “What ship is that?” she said with a dubious crossing of her arms. You know, all those great policies of the Bush administration that do more to help fund education, the arts, and enrich middle class America. All the positives of this administration will come home to roost.

“I’m leaving.”


“Because you’re hallucinating.”


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

It’s official, I’m an UMSL student. I just bought my first jump drive. Before I started back to school I had no idea what a jump drive was. If you don’t know, it’s a replacement for data storage devices of the past. Most UMSL computers lack any kind of disk drive. If you wish to bring your documents with you then you need a jump drive as that is the only port in the data storm. Essentially it is a plug that fits into/over a USB port. Nearly all UMSL computer monitors have a USB port in the side where you can plug your jump drive in. I’ve been emailing my papers back and forth between school and my home computer as attachments. This is silly. The jump drive is the solution.

If you know anything about the history of portable data storage you know that designs in the past have not occurred in a vacuum. Just as modern cars and trains (roads and railroad tracks) have design widths related to Roman chariots, the first home computer floppy disks were designed in reference to the size of a standard bar napkin, as that was the planning environment. The next generation of smaller and harder disks came to being with the left front shirt pocket in mind. And now we have the jump drive, which ostensibly could hang from your key chain. When you buy a jump drive, it often comes with a lanyard.

I could think of this year in my life as the year of the lanyard. Both of my teaching jobs require that I wear a picture ID on a lanyard while I am on campus. This is apparently all the rage in the security conscious realms of institutionalism. My jump drive is in a sense my UMSL ID on a lanyard. That’s interesting. The college lanyard is not one of identity but data storage, where information/knowledge is more important then personal representation. That’s a lit major for you, always reading for subtext.

On an unrelated note, I keep thinking that Jes and I have been a couple for four months. This is not the case. We were out together a few times before she went to Australia, but we were not together. She came to a few parties at the house both before and after Australia. She sent me a postcard. We weren’t going on dates until right after Vanessa’s birthday at the end of June. If we’re taking Bastille day (July 14th) as the shift from going on dates to dating then that puts us at barely two and half months. It’s interesting to feel as though it has been much longer.

We had the luxury in that first month of being mostly free of academic and professional responsibilities, so we were able to spend lots of time together. As our working lives intrude now, we are harder pressed to get that “us” time. I am not behind in my classes yet, but I could be if I don’t take this coming weekend and make a big push on long term, projects. She too has a number of other obligations that she needs to get the jump on. Speaking of jumping, jump drives, USB devices, and the devices of us, I need to unplug and jump off to class.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Handy man where are you coming from handy man, nobody knows who you are:
(It’s sung to the theme of the animated Spider-Man show from my childhood)

We’ve got the Bellington Realty handy man here today giving us new bathroom fixtures, new kitchen sink plumbing, a new front door handle, and a new storm window for the impending winter of doom. He’s going to wait on the plaster until the roof guys make it back over to complete the tuck pointing.

I have a million and one school projects to do, as I got only a fraction of my weekend work done over the actual weekend. Liz is coming by at lunch time with baby Alex born back in July. She’s in town visiting her two sisters and their families. Yeah, no time to blog Dr. Jones. Back to work.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sunday in rain, the remnants of Rita are rolling by my window. Yes, it made it all the way to St. Louis. I haven’t been tracking the news. After the bus exploded I just couldn’t listen anymore. Instead I’ve been keeping my attention local.

Friday night Jes and I went to the Forest Park Community College One Act Play Festival. My friend Mary directed two of the plays. They were both excellent and one starred Steve Potter of KWMU fame. Many of the usual suspects descended on Mary’s house last night for the cast party. The Vanessa quote, “It’s going to be odd listening to Cityscape on Friday after hanging out with him”.

Jes took about 300 pictures, so perhaps I’ll post some later. I am trying to get motivated to do some academic work, but the rain has got me too damn mellow. Ah well, soon we’re off to Illinois for Jes’ stepmother’s birthday party. I have tomorrow to work. Today I shall listen to the storm.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Many of Bush’s attempts to reverse Clinton practices have turned out to be unsuccessful:
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"Hello? FEMA? A hurricane! No thanks, I quit drinking a few years ago. Besides, I always preferred hand grenades. They’ll wreck you like a hurricane, but they’re military green.”


Friday, September 23, 2005

Social climber:

I may have a new hobby/sport. Last night Eric (Fuzzy) took me climbing at one of the Midwest’s best indoor climbing clubs. I am sore today, but not too bad. I am also ready to go back ASAP! How’s that for a sales pitch.


In the ongoing saga of St. Louis as the world’s biggest small town I ran into someone I know there. It turns out that Karen’s younger brother Allen’s girlfriend Brandy – who I knew from Kirksville – works there. Anyway, after getting all strapped into the safety gear I did four climbs over the course of a few hours. I would guess each climb to be forty or fifty feet, but they could have been more or less. The first two were fun and easy and I made it to the top without any problems. Eric did some great teaching getting me to trust the ropes and learn the safety knots. I never fell, but it was nice to know that I could without getting hurt.

I did the third climb too quickly after the first two and about three quarters up the wall my arms just stopped working. I looked like Popeye when I got down, my forearms seemed swollen to twice their normal size and I couldn’t close my hands. It took about an hour for me to be ready to try a fourth climb on a harder course, and then I zipped right up to the top.

Routes – after you get the basics of being against a wall with ropes, toes and fingers for support, you up the ante by following specific paths. The finger and foot holds of a particular path will be marked by colored tape next to them, so, “climb the wall” becomes “climb the wall using only the holds that have silver tape next to them”. Each of these routes has been named with things like, “Brain drain”.

I found the terminology and social vernacular to be much more challenging than the actual climbing. For me, learning the etiquette of an environment is always a fairly nuanced thing. As a sport of risk there are several required interactions as relates to checking your equipment, having appropriate knots tied, negotiating who will “belay” you (hold the other end of your rope), conveying when you’re ready to start the climb, when you’d like the ropes to be tighter, and when you’re ready to rappel down from a climb. Modern man has learned that in any situation involving rope, command words with unequivocal meaning are very important. There is also the small talk of climbers to learn, a banter that codifies details of ascending in holds, grips, and “fucking popped my hips out of socket” falls.

One thing Eric pointed out is that some sports are fairly competitive and difficult to break into. This gym was welcoming and very supportive. I’m not sure how much of a feat it was that I made it to the top several times on my first few tries, but several people warmly congratulated me. In the more difficult climbs people would hang from clips on the wall for several minutes before tackling another stretch. People on the ground watching the climbers would shout out encouragement and praise for every good hold in the assent and there was no rushing or impatience as mid level climbers took their time on harder routes.

Yeah, so I’m looking at maybe two hundred dollars in equipment, or ongoing rental fees involving shoes that are much more beaten then the bowling rental variety. I need a pair of shoes, a harness, a chalk bag, an industrial strength locking carabiner, and a belay device. Someday I might even need some rope.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Meme

things I plan to do before I die:
1. Alaskan Cruise
2. Great Wall
3. Get a Ph.D. or two
4. be debt free
5. have a family
6. write that novel
7. publish that novel
8. realize my potential

7 things I can do:
1. Teach
2. Mixology
3. learn stuff
4. type clichés
5. cook
6. sleep
7. spend money I don’t have

7 things I cannot do:
1. make accurate lists
2. get my bus running
3. decide what to do with my bus
4. respect all forms of authority
5. pick a career
6. be of constant good cheer
7. stop rhyming

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1. language
2. necks – love a good clavicle
3. eyes
5. swerves
6. verve
7. nerve

7 things that I say most often:
1. fucking hell
2. Jesus!!
3. hmmmmmmm
4. bastards
5. ?
6. ?
7. ?

7 celebrity crushes:
1. Scarlett Johansson
2. Kate Beckinsale
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Famke Janssen
5. Scarlett Johansson
6. Ashley Judd
7. Scarlett Johansson

7 people I want to do this:
1. Jes
2. Kelly
3. Fuzzy
4. Jen
5. Keri
6. Vicki
7. Michelle



Thank you Michelle!!! Your Jello brain, pop rocks, and smarty candy came in the mail!!! You are so sweet. The brain you got is a cross section brain and the one I am missing is a top view, so if I ever have the both together then we can do a full anatomy lesson before getting drunk on the doctored Jello (simply replace the water in the recipe with vodka). I’ll make a few for Jason’s Halloween and house warming party next month. Do you think the brains will make the trip across the state to KC? I’ll need to get one of those organ donor coolers to transport them in. I could do two halves with the new mold and then assemble them later. Oh, the possibilities are endless.


I play a number of odd games and I am constantly looking for new ones. Today I played the ride the mini bus game. I’m like a little kid in that every morning when I take the train into school I feel like I am waiting for a ride, as though I were on the Wild Safari Tram at Bush Gardens Florida. I’m not one of those people who has trouble taking pleasure in small things. I am all about the small things.

I don’t need to ride the UMSL mini bus, as the metro link train takes me where I need to go, but I just felt like taking a ride between classes and I was curious. The driver took us into every nook and cranny of the south campus before launching across Natural Bridge to the main library. He was into knowing the names of all the passengers and said personal hellos and goodbyes to many of the passengers.

Crystal, who sat next to me, is getting married soon and can’t pick a career. She’s good in biology, but is afraid of the required biochemistry class. So much so that she wants to switch majors. She’s always wanted to be a massage therapist (how do these people find me?). Her fiancé told her that he’d love and marry her even if she were a garbage collector and her parents will support her in whatever she does. Strangers like to talk to me about their lives. Perhaps I should have gone into analysis.

We were standing room only on the mini bus by the time we docked. I wasn’t exactly where I needed to go, but everyone else was getting off so I took it as good enough. I was close to the math building – I play this game in the math building where I sit in on math classes in the math lab to use the computers. I am playing this game right now. There’s a red flag on a yellow pole on my desk like a flag for a golf pin and it’s lying down on a hinge like a rural mailbox marker. If I have any trouble with the math assignment that I’m not doing for the class I’m not taking then I can raise the flag and the teacher will come over and not help me. It’s like hide and seek without the seeking. It’s more like hide and blog.


My parents gave me a few buckets of tomatoes last month and I am not a huge tomato eater. I gave half of them to Mary and then I decided to make salsa out of what I had left before it went bad. Unfortunately I made it way too hot for most people (Jes). So I went and bought more tomatoes last night to mellow the concoction – then instead I just made a milder batch. I had no idea the gold I had been given by the rents. It cost me six bucks to equal half of what I’d used in the first batch. Now I will follow Vicki and “can” the lot of it. I figure on giving some of it to friends who will either eat it or let it go bad in their refrigerators. I’ve got a hot and a medium so let me know what you want, if you want any. I’ll bring a bunch to your cast party on Saturday Mary.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Some days, despite everything that is going right, I still feel just a little bit broken. I suppose that’s the way of these low grade depressions, every tree casts a shadow in the afternoon and all that rot. Today we can chalk it up to not enough sleep. I was up at 5:30 in order to professional dress myself for a seven fifteen show time. I made an aside comment to my CT about Wednesdays being a long day for me (I’m in class until 8 tonight) and she offered to let me alter my schedule to half days. I like getting my hours in one large block of time, but a regular sleep schedule helps everything. It’s a half an hour until my last class and I am already cooked. My CT is having a keg party this weekend and she called the liquor store during her planning period to order an import keg. I love my profession, thinkers and drinkers the lot of us.

I met several other male English teachers today, all of whom have ponytails. I guess I am one of a type: Mr. Sensitive English Teacher with ponytail. It’s nice to see that I won’t need to cut my hair to get a job. Barring explosions of insanity on my part, they will offer me a position after my internship is over.

However, the more I teach high school, the more it’s clear that I probably belong in a college setting. I suggested showing Igby Goes Down as an adaptation of Catcher in the Rye, but you really can’t show that sort of thing in high school (even if you can read it). My CT is going to use her DVR to troll for an edited version of it on USA network, so sad. Must dash to class.


A rare moment to muse and amuse:

Did my snow day help me get ahead in school, or at the very least caught up? Nope. Jes and I watched Gladiator and then went out to St. Louis Mills. I’d never been to the mega mall in the flood plane and I was in the mood to walk far indoors. I’m not very familiar with the hall of mirrors that is the county which surrounds St. Louis, where all the people and the business look alike, but for small refractions of place and time. So, I’m not sure how we got there or back. I know we used cell phones to get her father’s advice on which of the highways intersected near the nightmare winding halls of mercantilism.

We didn’t buy anything. We don’t really need anything. We did browse the hell out of that place though. We even watched the St. Louis Blues Hockey Team practice unto pointlessness. The public viewing for the practice is one of the mega mall’s attractions. The only thing I almost bought was a pool cue. They were buy one get one free. We did spend a little cash on Japanese fast food noodle bowls (as the guys at Panda Express looked sullenly at as across the vast food court as we cast a ballot in an ancient culture war). I no longer buy things. I buy services, information, and percentage points. I do buy food, but if you think of that in terms of the energy units that fuel the ongoing chemical fire of my finite humanity, then you aren’t really talking about things in the same context as other, more decorative widgets. I did try to buy that frog ice sculpture mold off of ebay, but it never showed up.

You must admit that capitalism, while always one for sketchy ideas, has taken some odd turns of late. This past weekend we were invited to a loft tour where we could spend ten dollars apiece for tickets to people trying to sell us lofts. We were in Mikasa in the mall and the sales girl handed Jes a flyer while saying, “With our special promotion today, the more you spend, the more you save!” I understand and appreciate exponential discounting, but as Jes observed, “Obviously the more you spend, the more you spend.”

I had a teacher in high school who liked to talk about the shift in power that was evident in who built palaces for whom. From the hill fort to the medieval castle and on to the cathedral and the skyscraper, each shift in cultural power from farmer to soldier to king, emperor, bishop, pope, robber baron and mogul brought with it a shift in the real estate. Now we build palaces for the consumer, every food court aspires to be a Hanging Garden of Babylon with foliage and fountains galore. But we build our malls in the flood plane because planned obsolescence is part of every contemporary commercial venture. Douglas Adams was very comically astute in his Restaurant at the End of the Universe, eschatology sells and the end of a fashion and the fashion of the end is always drawing nigh. On the surface they say fashion is often a cult of youth, but what drives that lust for youth if not the fear of death. That’s a classic bait and switch.

Freedom and servitude have been running along those same lines of late, the current administration asks us to do our part to preserve freedom by continuing to consume, as if the debt culture that dominates so many American work to live lives weren’t just the latest version of the company store, where the boss pays you in access to the things he wants to sell you – it doesn’t take long to figure out that you won’t be paying off your passage to the land of opportunity anytime soon. Well, we may have not elected these monopolists in the first go round, but their reelection should hang heavy on more than a few hearts. That’s naïve America for you, more than willing to pay for the privilege of being sold a bill of goods if it comes in a package that they like. Just another Texas carpetbagger on the grandest grift there ever was.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Snow Day!!!!

We had huge storms come through St. Louis last night and as a consequence my university is without power. I was halfway there this morning when I heard the announcement on public radio. KWMU must be running on backup as they are housed in the portion of the university that is without power. I figured I’d check it out as I was almost there, and sure enough both the north and south campuses had signs up confirming the closure. South campus had a nice office sign and north campus had spun a stop sign around backward and painted “campus closed” on it in bright green spray paint.

What do you do with a snow day? Jes won’t be teaching and I won’t be student-ing so perhaps we should watch Gladiator and play in the rain.


Friday, September 16, 2005

What’s new? I’ve got Jen in town for a few days so we spent the morning getting coffee and then we picked me up a new-to-me used dryer for fifty bucks from a Habitat for Humanity salvage business. It works great and now I can use the two broken dryers and the broken washer to build that robot I’ve always wanted.

While we were getting the dryer installed (perhaps) the cable guy came by. We waited the whole afternoon for him to show up. When I called at 4:45 (and was on various holds until 5:15) we discovered that the tech claimed to have been by at 1:30. He didn’t try very hard or the dog would have gone nuts. I doubt he was here at all and as this is the second time I have spent all day waiting for them I cancelled the service order. We might get dish or something but Charter Cable can go take a f-ing leap. The only, and I mean only, thing I like about Charter is that they are month to month. It seems like everyone else wants a year or more contract. Even still, a number of them are offer home theaters of DVR’s with your contract, so that might be worth it, maybe.

Anyway, now we’re waiting for Derek to get in from Kirksville and then we’re oof to see Jes blow glass at Third Degree. In fact, I think that’s him now – later….


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

To say that my internship has begun in earnest would be a massive understatement. I am now assistant teaching two Sophomore American Literature classes (Flowers for Algernon) and two AP Literature classes (The Catcher in Rye). I am also an assistant editor of both the yearbook and the school newspaper. They put this boy to work. I had a great day. I love the kids. I love the school. My CT (cooperating teacher) is a year younger than me and she is the division head so that’s a little odd, but only a little. It’s a school with issues, having just expanded from 250 kids to around 800 due to redistricting. Zoinks Scooby I need to go to bed, I’ve been at it since five a.m.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005



My new blog skin has suggested to me the composition of a short song:

Io, Io, it’s off to Jupiter we go
With lightning strikes
And monkey gripes
Io, Io, Io
He has a think
He’s got a drink
Io, Io, Io


An outtake from my life after a presentation by one Dr. Schulte - a member of the Missouri Board of Education - in which he speculated quite frankly on the desire of business interests to discredit public education to open the door for private enterprise – it is quite possible that No Child Left Behind intentionally sets impossible standards in order to create public support for charter schools.

I have been thinking about Dr. Schulte's presentation all week and it has been the subject of several conversations, both within and outside of this program. I was stuck, as I am sure we all were, by his intelligence and his humor. While we strive through our classes to become expert teachers were are aware of, but try not to focus on, the degree to which schools are political entities. We know that we will need to be political within our departments and within the larger institutions. We are aware of the frequent strikes in local districts and of the encroachment of big business on the federal funds that finance public institutions. Our focus on fundamentals seems to assume that these monsters outside the gates will need to be faced with whatever skills we developed elsewhere. Where can one gain an accurate view of the political landscape into which we are graduating? It seems that we must weather these storms once at sea and that if we are to survive the high burnout statistics it is advisable that we cultivate a sense of humor and an appreciation of the ironic. It also seems that as well trained English scholars we should always be reading for subtext.


I am having an odd morning. I am sort of euphoric. It’s just one of those days where I just feel really grateful for everything I have, and by “have” I mean the friendships, opportunities, and responsibilities that are in my life right now. Last night I went out with Kat and Jes for Indian food after I got off work and this morning I had an artichoke soufflé at Panera Bread Company, so my euphoria could be dietary. Or perhaps it’s that my work is going well, despite the weekend debacle of a poorly organized event. Most of my students are on track and I do think that this online class structure can work. I feel helpful and prepared in my teaching role. My girlfriend is home. I like that.

I got up very early this morning to read psychology journals for one of my courses. We are doing the legal and intellectual history of disability in America right now and it is fascinating stuff. In my study of American atrocities I had somehow missed Virginia’s forced sterilization of over 800,000 poor and mentally infirm. Their program was foundational for Hitler’s final solution. Having attended Truman State I already knew about our “distinguished” alumni Harry Laughlin and his Medal of Honor in Eugenics from Hitler, I was unaware of the degree to which we had put these theories into practice – in Virginia and California in particular.

Ah well, back to studying. I love school. Does that make me a dork? Is it bad to be a dork? I used to play Zork… I have some understanding of the physical phenomena quark… On Saturday last I served friends pork… Does incessant rhyming make you say hork or stab your eye with a fork?


Monday, September 12, 2005

I’m feeling all Love & Rockets today because I’ve got no new tales to tell
(Um…that’s a lyric to a song from a band you might not know).

I had some of the gang over Saturday night for a meat fest. Conversation eventually turned to New Orleans and we talked about some of the horrible things we’ve been hearing. Our friends Mark and Robin have strong ties to New Orleans via graduate school and they are hearing that the ninth ward was deliberately flooded to save a wealthy primarily white area. The structure of the rumor suggests that this possibility is getting some play in the European press and there is a paper trail. I’m not finding anything concrete in my web searches to back it up, just other blogs with the same rumor. If you do see anything more legitimate on this possibility please send it my way.

I worked all weekend and I am contractually forbidden from giving you any details about that. Sorry. Believe me. I’d like to tell you all about it as it was silly. I suppose it’s not proprietary to tell you that I found myself at the front of a room to which eighty people had been invited, by a chair count there was room for less than twenty, but luckily only two showed up. Good thing I went to Kinko’s at two a.m. to make enough copies for all of them.

In other news I had a great deal of financial aid come in and I’ve been listening to it sizzle like water on a hot frying pan as all that cash hits my various past due accounts. My debts shall be visited upon the seventh generation of them that are… is… generated by me. Biblical debt repayment is the only way to go. It’s very declarative in a King James kind of way. Of course having children would cost much more than the debt I already have, so passing the debt buck to future generations does seem like a bit of flawed plan, at least for debt repayment.

I am sick of not drinking. Not in an I-need-a-drink kind of way but in a has-anyone-seen-my-social-life kind of way. Three months down on the fourth of September and six to go in drinkless land. I met a guy – well several people – at a work meeting who were all very excited about hitting a martini bar after our Saturday session. A substantial proportion of academics are drinkers – the vast majority. In many places I can limp along with my near beer, but a martini bar is not one of those places, so I had to bow out of post work bonding.

It is still a fucking sauna in the hottest city on earth. Our never-ending-worst-year-I-can-recall-sweat-fest continues with one hundred degree day after another. I could wax poetic about my evaporative tendencies but I think I’ll leave off blogging and get back to work, 20 papers to grade and three to write.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Jes just called, she and Kelly are safe and unloading at Kelly's new apartment!!!


Meat Crazy!!!!!!

With Jes and her fish n’ chicken habit out of town I have decided to roast meat. I am trying something my grandmother used to do, but that I have never done. I am slow roasting a pork roast and a beef roast together in my industrial roasting pan. My parents sent half their garden home with me so I have hundreds of huge carrots to use – substantially fatter than a beer bottle big ass make you look like a cartoon bugs bunny WWII buy your war bonds promo for the Marine Corps super carrots. So I’ve got super carrots, potatoes, onions, a little olive oil, some fresh rosemary from the porch and 3.5 hours at 250, which is not super slow but will yield the desired result before midnight – seven thirty I think (4-6 lbs = 3.5 hrs at 250 degrees). I floured and then seared both cuts of meat in olive oil and garlic so that might shave some time off.

No trip to the ville. It’s 100 degrees and my car AC is broke.


Friday, September 09, 2005

I had an early morning today, helping Jes and Kelly get on the road for Florida. I hate to see a road trip in process that I can’t participate in, but the school I teach at has orientation tomorrow and it is a requirement that I be there. In fact I am spending today prepping handouts and my presentation. They are spending the day aimed at Atlanta in an F-150 pulling a horse trailer and newer VW Bug with a huge German Sheppard in the back seat.

Tomorrow afternoon I think I am headed to the ville to throw money at my bus with Chris and a friend of his – we are seeking confirmation of this plan – that would be throwing good money after bad. We can also participate in the Happy Ass CD release party at the Dukum, so if you’re a ville stalker I’ll see you there. You can buy me an NA Bush in a can (the Dukum needs to work on their NA selection). If I do get the bus running, parking suggestions would be appreciated.

I am waiting for the cable people to come install infinite distractions. We are on a trial where you get every channel for three months and then you decide what you want to keep and pay regular price for.

Part of the fun this week was that after a year of complaints about leaks in the ceiling, my landlord finally put a new roof on. That means that for three days the place resounded with hammers while I tried to write papers. Jes thought it sounded just like Sebastian chewing his bone on the wood floor and then amplified one thousand times. Scrape, scrape, scrape, thud, thud, clink, grind, thud, thud…..thud in a-syncopated rhythm.

The workers were nice and the even picked up most of the roofing nails. I am not going anywhere near my driveway for a few weeks even though they did use that big magnet thing. If you come and visit I suggest you park up the street.

So I have this motorcycle sort of, that’s interesting. My dad got it for free from this guy that used to live at the bottom of the hill near the entrance to our farm. This guy crashed it a few years ago and thus it has sat. The tires have almost zero miles on them and are essentially brand new. It needs some work to the (I would prefer a new set of) handlebars and associated devices. The glass on the speedometer is broken. It’s probably about 500 dollars from roadworthy.

It is a large 850 made for highway cruising. It is one serious hunk of metal compared to Jes’s bike. It has shaft instead of belt propulsion and it has four cylinders that each get their own carburetor. Dad was saying I should ditch the plastic air intake and do all four in separate shiny chrome. That sounds good to me. Ah well, there you have it, a slightly longer post from monkey and his momentum.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

I think I am fighting a cold, or allergies, or a season change, or something – but I am too busy to allow the symptoms to manifest and run their course so I am dosing cold medication. I’ve been writing so much for school that my motivation to blog is almost zero. I wrote three papers yesterday and two today. I already have a first stack to grade tomorrow. Yes I am taking five classes, attending an internship, and teaching two online courses. No, I will have no life. The weekend in Wisconsin was good. New motorcycle needs much work, left it there. Jes seemed to handle the family well and had my uncles helping her at golf and cards. OK, must nap. I will only survive if I master the nap.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I am sitting under planes. The university I attend is in the flight path to Lambert International Airport. I sit here doing my homework and watch the underbelly of aviation glide past my glass perch.

I am stressed and fried just a little. How are you?


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I am moving into uber busy mode so I imagine posting will be sporadic at best. I do have a new phone, but I have no idea how to work it yet. I’ll read the instructions tomorrow. Today I just have too much to do. Thanks to D’s sister Spookaloot for the new and evolving digs. She has a great talent for web design and you should surf through our little neighborhood to catch examples of her work.


Monday, September 05, 2005

Home again – drive there was great – drive back sucked for no other reason than the length. Sixteen hours is too many hours in a small car with a bored dog.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

The man with the golden cell phone arm:

The title is a reference to a classic book and film adaptation about heroin addiction. I am in withdrawal and you might be calling me right now. Am I supposed to explain these references or just drop them? Anyway I left both my van and my cell phone over at my sister’s today as they have limited utility of late. I am borrowing her Jetta for mileage on a trip to cheese land. My phone is two years old and beat to death, so in this plan expiration widow she and I are switching to Sprint I think and getting new phones. I had to leave mine with her for the sim card transfer this weekend. You could call me at home, but I’ll be Wisconsin so you might not want to bother. Jes and I are off tomorrow to relax before the coming onslaught. My life is getting busier as I start both an internship and teaching two sections of a new class next week.

So here are some now and then shots of the farm house to which we are headed.

Built in the 1880’s

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Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Vinyl sided in the 1990’s

Ah well. I might not blog much for a few days. Have a nice Labor Day!


I’m sure like many of you I am watching the news and wondering what, if anything, we can do to help. New Orleans is a city that I have wandered many times over the past few years and is something of a Mecca for the thinker’s drinker. Jen was saying in chat yesterday that as someone who is oriented to New Orleans she is taking this fairly personally. I guess we donate money and time as we are able, and we watch with thoughts of support and compassion.