23 June 2006


Real estate horror
Unimaginable woe
Can of cashews please

22 June 2006


In case you were wondering, I quit. You may ask what; in fact that would be an entirely reasonable question. I guess the answer is academia, though that seems a thoroughly unsatisfactory answer to me. The situation is probably a bit more complex than that single word answer allows. Perhaps I should back up a little and offer a little context.

I am an academic in the conventional sense of the term. You know, robes, classes, office hours, conferences, the whole shtick; or at least I was. Six months ago I left my tenure track position and a respectable midwestern university to live with my wife – a fellow academic at a highly respectable northeastern college. And in between that time and now something has happened. You see, I am no longer qualified – apparently – to be an academic. Despite everything I would have considered to be evidence to the contrary, this must be the case.

Oh, I am perfectly fine to be the bridesmaid, the date invited along to prompt the pretty, desirable one to go out next Friday evening, but woo-worthy no longer. It is not just the juicy tenure lines in question here boys and girls, we’re talking about one-years and adjunctville too. This new found status of unworthiness even seems to extend its reach to staff and support positions as well. Despite pedigrees and experience, I am now the other – though perhaps I have lost the right to use such terminology now that I am not an academic. Perhaps I should better consider myself the cute little baby bunny about six weeks after Easter. You know the one.

I suppose it may be a bit of a reach to say I quit; I haven’t really a choice. But you get the sentiment. Perhaps if some one of you could explain to me what I have done over the past four years of being in your midst that has rendered me a leper I could get a better grasp of things, but since there seems to be a secret handshake to which I am not privy I shall probably never know.

So, until I either figure out what it is I am doing wrong, or decide that I too think cantilevering a piece of black steel is the height of scholarship in my field, I quit.

The only problem is there is nothing else I want to do. So, if anyone out there is still interested I most assuredly would recant the above words and come running back with all possible alacrity.

By the way, does anyone out there have a quaint little teaching position handy?

18 June 2006


16 June 2006


[klik 'imij to en'lärj ]

15 June 2006


As I was saying, the wife and I are buying a house – or at least attempting to do so. And as the purported closing date draws nearer and nearer I find myself less and less clear about the internal logic involved in this purchase. My current conundrum is wrapped up in this whole title search that the lawyers seem to be bandying back and forth among them. I gather, through my convoluted connections to the relevant information, that this has something to do with proving the present owners actually own the property we are hoping to buy from them.

As a quick aside I feel compelled to note that this is usually the point in discussions of the house purchasing process that I – to borrow from Edith Wharton – begin to speak “with a tearful prodigality of italics.”

You see, I would have previously assumed that this is the sort of thing to happen at the beginning of the process – perhaps at the point that one walks into a realtor’s office wishing to sell a home. Were I to be a realtor, I believe the first questions I would ask someone in this situation would be, “Do you actually own this property?” closely followed by, “Would you mind providing a bit of documentation, as that certainly would be helpful in this whole selling of the house thing?”

Perhaps I am missing some facts of vital significance that render this line of thinking inappropriate. I could, quite conceivably, be right off of my rocker in even contemplating such possibilities, but, inevitably, I persist – not that it does me any good.

At the moment, somewhere in the ether or netherland between our lawyer and theirs float incomprehensible sets of data – though they seems to simply hang there and move no closer to resolution despite the almost daily nudges we attempt to perform. I suspect our nudges are merely ill-placed as we are not quite certain what, specifically, we are looking to move forward – seeing as we seem to be stuck on resolving that seemingly basic condition, that of whether the seller does, in fact, have the right to sell the house.

Hence, we seem to twiddle our thumbs a lot, pining away for the home we should have already occupied, wonder when, and sometimes if, we shall ever reside there. It also allows me that much needed time to ponder the potential intricacies of why realtors do not seem to ask the questions I would, thus leaving me all this spare time to ponder the spare time I seem to have.

On another note: following up our first golf outing, I offer you an update. Today nine holes were played with the greatly improved scores of fifty-four and eighty-two, respectively.

14 June 2006


You see, I am finding it rather difficult to write for extended periods of time these days. Until recently I found it a pleasure to sit on front of this monitor tapping away at the little white keys for hours on end, but now, it has become a strangled process. It is not that I love the words any less, or that I have ceased to find happiness in puzzling for half an hour over the perfect turn of phrase. It is more a matter of changes in my environment in anticipation of the new house. The clutter grows thicker by the hour – or so it seems – and there seems ever so little point in doing much about it.

For example, last week, after a bike ride with the wife, it no longer seemed necessary to put the bikes back into the small storage closet off of the living room. Thus, we pulled the dining room table out another two feet so they would fit between said table and the wall in the room that triples as entry hall, office, and dining room [when we have guests, for we more commonly eat in the living room/guest bedroom/den].

Hence, I have the growing feeling that the walls are inching closer and closer still. While this is doing wonders for my desire to be in the new house – as well as my long-standing, generalized fear that the universe is slowly imploding upon me – it seems to do little for my ability to write. But there is, happily, a slightly too blue room upstairs in the new house that will serve grandly as a writing room/ studio/office for the wife and me – the library will be downstairs. And there, I say to myself, perhaps quixotically, volumes shall be written; this space will be everything that the current entry hall/office/dining room is not. This room just off the top of the stairs with its door to the second floor sunroom will inspire the elegant prose that remains constricted in this ever shrinking room with its perpetually spreading molehills of things, which I am sure are destined to become mountains before the week is through. There, in the blue room, I shall write. But, for the moment I really must flee to the bedroom ere that stack of recently purchased vintage crockery finally makes the leap towards my head that currently seems inevitable.

[Note: The picture associated with this post has been omitted as it is simply too terrifying. Get back, you damnable crockery!]

P.S. In lieu of the photo that normally would have accompanied this post, but that has been omitted out of concern for your well-being [both physical and mental], the wife has begged my indulgence that I post the rather lovely photograph of two out of the three rather lovely deer that she saw during her afternoon’s ramblings.

13 June 2006


In anticipation of our impending escalation further up the ranks of the bourgeoisie, the wife and I took another half step on the path toward full-fledged membership within the conventions of the American Dream. Today we played golf.

Actually, though, to call what we did golf may be a bit of an overstatement. As evidence, I present our scorecard.

If you cannot tell, we only played six holes because we grew tired and decided it was time to make dinner. Furthermore our respective cumulative scores for those six holes were forty-four and sixty-seven respectively.

You see, we have free memberships at the course attached to the college where the wife teaches. We do in fact have golf clubs, but other than the facts that we have said clubs and swing them at what are known as golf balls on an authentic golf course, our activity bears little genuine resemblance to golf as it is normally conceived.

But, nonetheless, today we were out there, playing golf, and with each swing – misses included – poor Marx rolled over yet another time, shuddering at the excess in which we were indulging. What further bourgeois decadences may ensue once we take possession of out oversized home – only time will tell.

But today, we reveled in putting aside the looming anxiety over unseen papers shuffling through unknown hands in unimaginable offices, and in ignoring the growing necessity of packing up an overfilled three-room apartment. Today we played golf.

11 June 2006


interactive performances #3
staring contest

[click image above to view ]

10 June 2006


interactive performances #2
the showdown

[click image above to view ]

05 June 2006


Due to delays and distractions, detours and disruptions, I shall deviate from my daily duty of digital dissemintion until Friday.

Do not dismay.


01 June 2006


Some mornings, as I sit down to a cup of coffee, the world stands up and decides to scare me. Today is one of those days.

On a distinctly other subject, the wife and I have happily arrived at our dear friend's parents' house, where we have met the fantastic progenitors of said friend along with her "thoughtful" brother -- see the newspaper ad which is not attached, thus you cannot actually see it and, instead, must take my word for it that an ad does exist that describes him as "thoughtful" -- as well as one of the dearest, darlingest dogs in the history of the world.

But, alas, amidst all this happiness, the world still intrudes with its distressing messages. Damn you advertisers in the Columbus, Indiana newspaper. But do not worry, dear readers, we will soon adventure onward and assuredly erase such dire things from mind. So, once again, I say Huzzah!