Sunday, November 7, 2010

Aloha

I have become a delinquent blogger. That means it is time for me to say farewell. Yes, it is time. It’s a lot to say goodbye to, there are my readers, my blog friends and Dr. No. All deserve a worthy send-off. I don’t know how to do it. It has been a fabulous ride. What can I say? I started Acadamnit, and like all bloggers, wondered if anyone would ever read it. Then I wondered what if people do read it but they are all weirdos? What if I am outed? How would my colleagues react? Can I really obscure my identity? Can I tell anyone that I blog? Fortunately the answers turned out to be:

Yes, people do read it. No, they are not all weirdos. Maybe a couple of weirdos, but overall some very clever people that never cease to make me laugh out loud and have led me to feel “close” in that strange blog relationship kind of way to them. Nope, I have not lost my anonymity. If someone knows who I am- I am not aware of it. Eeew, my colleagues would be PISSED. Yes, I have been able to keep my identity obscured. I have often been tempted to include more personal information…in particular, information that would identify my profession. Have I told anyone that I blog? Yes, one person. One person who is forbidden to ever follow or comment. With this exception, Dr. No and Acadamnit are my little secrets.

Thank you for reading. I will miss this. Feel free to begin preparing the festschrift, perhaps a special edition of Plow Science?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tripping the Scale

You may have noticed that I haven’t been blog-reading or blog-writing much lately. That’s because I’ve been focusing my efforts on blog-rithmetic. Well, that’s a lie. I don’t even know what that is and even if I did, I wouldn’t engage in recreational math anyway. I have just been busy. Busy with tangible work and busy with the mental work required to adjust to tangible work after sabbatical. The shit’s exhausting but it’s not all bad. Some folks talk about the work/life balance. Usually the conclusion of such talk is to keep them separated and maintain dedication to each. This does not work for me. I cannot separate things into “work” and “life” categories. Work is how I spend the bulk of my days, it is responsible for the tweediness of my wardrobe, it is the reason I’ve read more nonfiction than fiction, and it provides money for the booze I drink on the couch it bought. Work is why I am tan in the summer, it is responsible for the bulk of my travel and for a significant portion of the people I know. Work keeps my dog in Milkbones.

There is no separation between work and life, no balance to seek. I am just trying to make work more tolerable and, at least occasionally, fun. But damn I feel busy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Changing of the Reasons

I have to remind myself why I ever wanted this job. I periodically need to think about that. I can always come up with a few reasons, but my reasons change― well, change in the sense that I rank my reasons differently but the reasons themselves are essentially the same. Considering that my job provides me with an endless array of work-related bullshit I need to keep a clear understanding of the positives because the goals and perks are easy to become complacent about. Sabbaticals have skyrocketed to the top of the list. Seeing my name in print remains a constant source of enjoyment and the fact that tweed is an acceptable sartorial fetish keeps these two reasons holding steady in the ranking. Various other reasons have fallen out of favor. For instance that MacAurthur Genius Grant just doesn’t seem to be forthcoming (damn you John D and Catherine T!) but the joys of a lazy boozy Sunday afternoon spent in my Professor House are still pretty good. It's easy for me to forget that as the post-sabbatical bullshit starts to accumulate.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Confession: Thetan Count Rising Edition

When I was young, and I mean young in terms of my academic career- so young that I had just realized what my college major should be, I had some insanely naïve views about scholars. I knew nothing about academic life. I just knew that some person wrote my textbook, taught my classes and wrote articles that were assigned for reading. Collectively they formed a mysterious people, a tribe of scholars that I made both exotic and admirable. It seemed so cool to me that they, these names I knew, were discovering things. I imagined their names attached to those perfect scholars we see in TIAA-CREF ads but more cracked out on tweed. I was ready to undergo training, perform indoctrination rites and drink the Kool-Aid. The moment I decided to be a myrealobjologist, that I would keep that textbook, this image of scholars began to erode. Bit by bit I learned about those people whose tribe I wanted to join, and the deeper into it you get the less envious the society becomes. Did I want to come back from sabbatical and encounter this?

No. Damn. Seriously. This is not what I wanted to come back to.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Leaving the (sab)Bat Cave: Screw Technology Edition

This transition from sabbatical life to real life is not so easy. I am suddenly busy, very busy, painful please get out of my office I cannot possibly solve all of your problems right now busy. I’ve lived this life before, but a year of not being busy makes you get soft. So, motherfucking god-damned shit on a stick motherfucking christ my University web system is a piece of fucking shit. (Oh, and anyone thinking what the fuck is with all that motherfucking gratuitous cursing shit just needs to fucking realize that it is not fucking easy returning to work after a sweet assed motherfucking sabbatical). Why does my university have this ridiculous web-based system controlling my access to all manner of important shit? Why is it so difficult to download a class list? When you push the download button next to the class list wouldn’t you expect some useful file to pop out? I do. Instead you get some bizarre file format with a bunch of useless info cluttering things up. I know MY name, it’s MY fucking class. Just give me THEIR names. I don’t care about all their secret numbers, or their parents, or the fact that they joined the Klingon club in motherfucking high school. And what’s with all the weird spacing? Should 30 names really require 82 fucking lines? I just want a list of names. Screw this. I’ll type it myself.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Flux Capacitor Needed

Wow. This is big. This changes everything. Here I am blogging away, ice cubes clincking in the scotch glass, lounging in my casual tweeds, it all seems perfectly normal right? But and this is a big BUT, a giant ass-slap to reality kind of but, it is the year 2015 for me. Yes! I am from the future. Holy crap. Who knew?! I must be wearing future-tweed and drinking extra old scotch! Cool! I can prove it! Just look at my syllabus! Today is obviously Monday, August 24! See! My entire schedule of events (readings, exams, blah,blah, blah) are ALL based on the fact that today is Monday, August 24. That won’t be possible until 2015! Clearly I am living in the future. Thankfully the scotch is fantastic.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Leaving the (sab)Bat Cave

I’ll try to keep this short…but, damn. I forgot how much shit there is to do on a daily basis when, like a normal non-sabbatical person, you actually go to work. Damn. Colleagues want you to do things. Students want you to do things. Emails flood in. Next thing you know you have a bunch of shit to review. The phone rings. You spend 20 minutes trying to figure out how to erase all your voice messages in the stupid university system without having to listen to them, any of them. I don’t want to hear any voicemail messages. I do not want to know how many there are (a years worth). I am not even willing to just put the phone down while the messages play, or even turn the volume down…there must be some way to just delete that shit instantly. I cannot figure it out. My office phone has this red light that lights up when you have messages. I hate the fucking red light. The only way to turn it off is to deal, really deal, with your voicemail. I refuse to fall victim to this evil “forced listening of my voicemail” university phone system. Screw it, I’m just going to spend the next hour searching for some electrical tape to cover up that damn light. Then I’m going home.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Syllabusted

I get it. I really do. For the sake of consistency and the prevention of future headaches we are all required to insert some very specific statements regarding disabilities and academic dishonesty. Fine. I can see the utility of that. But why must I insert multiple paragraphs of ridiculously wordy, overly complex bullshit? Who writes this crap? University lawyers I assume. And why does it keep getting longer?

It’s simple. If you have some type of disability contact these people, here’s their email address, phone number, and office location. They’ll contact me and we’ll figure it out. If you cheat, and yes- you do know what that means (so don’t even try to convince me that you don’t) I will bring academic dishonesty charges against you. Here’s a link to what that entails. Simple enough. But instead, I have to say this, that, and the other thing in order to cover every possible ass you can think of. It’s making the information you are trying to convey more confusing, the specificity is making it more open to interpretation and most importantly, it is fucking up the layout of my damn syllabus.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Random Detritus

The city is distributing new trash cans. I got mine today…

For what percent of households is the first thing they put in their new trash can their old trash can?

What are you supposed to do with it?

I’m not going to throw it away but I don’t need it.

And screw those stupid ass ideas about turning it into a compost bin, planter, rain water collector, or whatever the fuck else bored people come up with. It’s a fucking trash can.

…I guess I just have to be trashier.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Playbook

Why is this so difficult? At times like this I am embarrassed to be an academic. Here we all are, again. We do this every year. We just need to come up with a class schedule. That’s it. We’ve done it before. But no. No. Instead of just getting this task over with everybody wants to forget a few things. Things that, considering that we all have PhDs, you’d think we could remember. So here’s a fucking list. Memorize it.

1. You cannot require students to take two specific courses and then schedule those two courses at the same fucking time. Really. It doesn’t work. We’ve been through this. Please refer to the minutes of the Class Scheduling Meetings (1985-2001, 2003-2009).

2. You cannot teach “Big Fun Intro Class We Teach to Boost Our Numbers” at 6:00 in the fucking AM. I’m pretty sure it’s not even possible to schedule a class that early. Pick a nice hangover accommodating hour of the day.

3. Stick to the fucking University schedule. You cannot start and end a class anytime you want. Have you not noticed that all classes follow a certain schedule? ALL classes?!? You cannot just declare your class to meet on Mondays and Thursdays at 4:38. That makes no sense.

4. Now is not the time to question the utility of required courses. Don’t question the graduate or undergraduate requirements. Don’t question the major or non-major requirements. Nobody fucking cares about that right now. The stupid course has to be taught so somebody needs to buck up and teach it. There will be plenty of time to discuss its lameness at other meetings. Remember back in 2002 when that class wasn’t taught and shit was all fucked up for years?

5. Get the necessary Class-Poaching Permits* prior to the meeting. Class-Poaching (aka the teaching of a class widely recognized as Dr. So-and-so’s) is permissible with required permits. Do not just try to up and steal a class from a colleague. This meeting is a big enough clusterfuck already. Let’s not add your personal differences into the mix.

*Class-Poaching Permits, depending on the season and species of class being poached, are available in the Department. Fees may vary. Minimum fee involves a simple conversation, maximum fees may include the costs of ammunition, the formation of posses, and ninja suits.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pod People

There’s a long list of things I don’t believe in. Decaffeinated coffee. Fairies. Ghosts. Gods. Edited volumes that are worth a shit. Angels. That Coke and Pepsi are equivalent. Vacuum cleaners that don’t lose suction. Reincarnation. Baggage fees. Jack & cokes. That Avatar was a good movie. The list goes on…

But I do believe that my ipod has magical powers. It does. Granted, all the music on my ipod is music I put there. I get that. But how does “random shuffle” know to pick the perfect tunes for a rainy intoxicated afternoon? How does it know that? How does it know that I need a post-writing music session? How does it know my type and degree of intoxication? How does it know the weather? I believe my ipod to be wise. Maybe I should sober up before the toaster starts talking to me. I gotta go. I have a strange and urgent need to make cinnamon toast.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yep, I’ve Joined the Bandwagon

Perhaps you find yourself thinking Hey, was that SCDP logo we saw in the new office in Arial font? No it wasn’t. It’s Akidenz Grotesk, totally acceptable if you are a stickler for such things. You might also be thinking Font? Who cares about that shiz. Did Don just request to be slapped around by a prostitute? Damn. Yes. Damn. Many of you however might be thinking Well I dooooo declare, what in tarnation are you talking about? Mad Men is the answer (and yes, I imagine you thinking in that folksy southern voice). I got sick of all the hype and figured there was no way the show could be worthy of all the praise it received. But then I watched it one night. I stand corrected. The show is good.

*Stole the hedcut from here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

City Council Decree

You realize that your office is in Crazytown right? In fact, you are a pillar of the community. You are sort of the unofficial mayor of Crazytown and perhaps the town cryer and maybe even the town thief. Your office, the one next door, and your labs make Crazytown. Beyond your walls is the city limits where Crazytown ends and the remainder of our Department begins. You are landlocked. You serve no purpose. You have no valuable goods or services with which you can engage in trade with our Department. You have broken all diplomatic ties. You will not be annexed into our Department. We will no longer provide services. We will allow Crazytown to further devolve into lawless chaos. Your town will wither and die. We will then take possession of your land and gentrify the shit out of it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sleazy

Fuck that. I just don’t give a shit. Why do I care about making learning “easier”? Easier? Fuck that. Look, I’m all for trying to be a decent teacher. I am willing to put some thought and effort into the task. But I have zero interest in making it fucking “easy”. Some shit just ain’t easy. It’s not easy for me and it won’t be easy for my students. That’s fucking college. So fuck you and your lame seminars about how I can make things “easier” for my students. What fucking good comes of easy?

Who runs these seminars? More pertinently, who the fuck comes up with the titles? Making Your Class Easier for Your Students. Now why the hell would I want to do that? And who the fuck needs a seminar about it? It would be easy to make my classes easy. We all know how to make our classes easy for students and ourselves. I mean think about that for a minute. Did any of you need longer than that to design the easiest motherfucking class ever? No. It’s easy. It’s also crap.

Easy is for right now- a sunny Friday afternoon. I’ll be holding a seminar on my patio titled How to Pass an Easy Afternoon Through Sunshine and Substances. Sign up now to secure your spot!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hero Worship

How many letters of recommendation have I written? Who the fuck knows. A lot. How many letters have I written for my hero? One. I just wrote it. When I’ve written such letters in the past for people considerably more “senior/accomplished” than me it’s always been in the context of me serving the role as the more “junior/newbie” letter writer. Know what I mean? I’ve always been expected to attest to their skills as a mentor/professor/leader from the perspective of a young ‘un. But this time was different. I mean, shit, this dude is my hero. I’m actually flattered to have the chance to flatter him and by “flattered” I mean “fuck yeah go me!” I’m a jerk like that. One minute I’m reminiscing about how awesome someone else is, how grateful I am to know them…and then, poof, I’m waxing philosophical about how fancy and tenured I am.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grammnit!

Making shit move around doesn’t make it better. Unless you’re juggling, in which case it’s much better to keep shit moving around. Hold on, let me explain what I’m seeing right now. Microsoft Word, in its infinite wisdom, is freaking the fuck out right now. The title has the squiggly red lines under it and the second sentence appears to be resting on Astroturf. Oh, and Astroturf keeps getting capitalized even though I don’t think plastic greenery is worthy of capitalism. I’ve grown accustom to seeing a good percentage of the words I type sitting on little red or green squiggle boats. I don’t really care. I like pissing off Word. You ever click on the “About this sentence button”? I had never bothered until now. This is what comes up for the second sentence up there.

Fragment: If the marked words are an incomplete thought, consider developing this thought into a complete sentence by adding a subject or a verb or combining this text with another sentence.

Instead of: Meteors the entire night.

Consider: We watched meteors the entire night.

Instead of: Because the teacher said to.

Consider: You have to, because the teacher said to.


What? Technically, I get it. When I write for work I can make the effort to be grammatical. But when I just want to convey the fact that the addition of swirling photos all over the fucking University homepage just makes it even MORE annoying, well, fuck I will not consider revising! Why? Because the teacher fucking said so.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

NOOOOOOOOOOOO


What the fuck is this nonsense? You need to register for my class but it’s full?

My class. Full.

Shit. Shit. Shit. I have to teach again. What the fuck am I teaching again? Shit. Shit. Shit.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Who Are You, What Are You Doing and Why Do You Keep Looking At Me?!?

So I was stumbling around blogland drinking coffee and recuperating from eating grilled things and blowing stuff up― which, by the way, is exactly how ‘Merica wants us to celebrate its birthday. If that’s not what you did than you clearly hate ‘Merica (and by default, you must hate me, cheetohs, PBR and everything else that makes this country kickass too, in which case you can just move along). Anyhoo, I found myself over at Proflike's place. As I rooted around in the bushes looking for unexploded bottle rockets and unopened beers I found this meme. Seeing as how I can’t grill it, explode it or use it to intoxicate myself, I may as well post it. I’ve simplified it a bit, but hey, I’m curious. Don’t be shy. Just answer the damn questions…I’ll go make another pot of coffee. Cream? Sugar? Whiskey?

Tell me about you. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? If so, what draws you here as opposed to meatier, more academic fare? And if not, what brought you here and why have you stayed? Let loose with those comments.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Check Yo Self

So I got beaned in the head with a baseball. Seriously. A giant bulbous growth spurted out of my head instantly. It was crazy. A huge lump just materialized in seconds. That part was kinda cool. It was like being in a sci-fi film with a giant alien baby about to pop out of my head. I’m fine and the alien baby is retreating back into my brain. I am now in the “black-eye phase” of the getting-whacked-in-the-head-recovery-process. So people who see me think I am either a volatile drunk or a battered wife. Those are the stereotypes the fine people of the hardware store were weighing as I purchased trash bags. Sure, we can all think of lots of reasons why somebody would have a black eye, but when you’re of a certain age I think Mr. Dude Who Gets Drunk And Picks Fights and Mrs. That Bastard Hit Me are the most obvious guesses. And people guess. They fucking do, I can see it on their faces. This is not paranoia on my part. Although, I did recently experience some head trauma…and the trash bags were kinda looking at me funny…it is 1985 right?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mofo

Oh it’s on! Prepare to get served. You brought it, now I’m going to bring it, and you’re going to get served! OK. I don’t competitively dance so I can’t keep this lingo up, just know that I know what you are doing and I am prepared to win this battle. You think I don’t know what you did? That I don’t see the long-term implications? What the fuck mofo?

It was your choice. You started it. I could have started it but I didn’t, because I am a calculating motherfucker. But you just couldn’t wait. You couldn’t be patient and now I’m going to win. Why couldn’t you wait mofo? Are you that weak? You just couldn’t stand the length of the grass anymore? It was bugging you so bad you just had to go and mow? You just had to make that obvious mowed vs. unmowed divide in our shared strip of lawn? What the fuck? You think I didn’t notice? I have to mow the lawn now. You made it painfully obvious. You completely destroyed the unity between our yards. You took their peaceful coexistence and drew a line. A line in the grass. A divide. You made mowed and unmowed where there was once a happy expanse of grass.

You really want to play this game with me? Cause I’ll mow mofo. Oh yes, I will mow. I’m going to mow my side better! It’ll be even shorter mofo. I might even put nice diagonal strips in it! Take that! You like that? You want some more? I’m going to fertilize. And I’m going to find the optimal placement for my sprinkler; your lawn will no longer be privy to any additional water from my side. None. I could probably get my dog to start pissing over on your side too. Would you like that? Golf course greens keepers are going to be asking me for advice and I’ll probably start renting out my side of the lawn for photo shoots (so don’t pester all the hot models on my side). You brought this on yourself. All you had to do was wait a few more days. But no. So what if my other lawn neighbor is going to be pissed. You started it. Not me. You just had to be a mofo didn’t you?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why Yes, I Speak Sunglassese!

The mile-long multilingual information sheet that accompanied my new sunglasses left out one critical translation. Sure, one can read this essential information in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, Russian and 6 other languages that I cannot positively identify. But you can’t understand a damn thing unless you know Sunglassese. This is a pretty serious oversight and how they could have left out the most important translation of all is beyond me. Fortunately for all of you naked eyeballers out there I Iearned Sunglassese in my youth. In my early teenage years to be exact, the time of one’s life when you blow all your cash on a pair of Raybans. I was introduced to Sunglassese by a burning need to look cool and because I was stoned enough that sunglasses became a needed accessory. You know, because stoned high-schoolers don’t AT ALL look like stoners when wearing sunglasses all the motherfucking time, what was I thinking? Oh yeah! I wasn’t! Anyhoo, I’ve translated a few key passages for you.


English: Only --------- utilizes pure Plutonite lens material, a proprietary synthetic that exceeds the optical requirements of ANSI Z87.1 standards while inherently blocking 100% of all UVA, UVB, UVC, and harmful blue light up to 400nm.

Sunglassese: Dude. These are sunglasses. If you go outside when it’s sunny shit will look better. And FYI, that’s pretty much what sunglasses are, it’s their job.

English: --------- performance eyewear also takes advantage of XYZ Optics, a breakthrough that maintains precise clarity at all angles of vision and extends the range of optical correction to the periphery of dual-spherical eyewear lenses and single-lens sports shields.

Sunglassese: Dude. You’ll be able to see all normal. It just won’t be so damn bright out. Oh, and that applies to normal sunglasses (I hope that’s what you bought) or douchebag visor /wraparound style sunglasses that only come in neon colors, or single-lens sports shields if you prefer (if you bought that shit you should return it).

English: In most cases earsocks are replaceable and are sold separately.

Sunglassese: Dude. What? Earsocks? That’s funny. I guess that rubbery thing on the part by your ear is an earsock and it can be replaced, it probably costs like a million bucks though and are you really going to track down a replacement earsock? When that part breaks you’re screwed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Torture Reading

In that last post I was doing my usual bloggity-blog babbling about the “TIAA CREF Important Notice Regarding Availability of Proxy Materials for the Participant Meeting to be held on July 20, 2010” which I found to be fascinating. I read damn near everything TIAA CREF sends me. I don’t do this with other financial shit. They keep suggesting that I should just read all the crap they send me on online. I should, but I enjoy reading it fresh out of the envelope on that weird thin crinkly “financial” paper. I do. It’s a weird thing. I derive some sick pleasure from it. I always find some interesting nugget of information in there. Or sometimes I just marvel at how baffled I am by financialese and wonder what the hell they are trying to convey to me. It also makes me fantasize about retirement. It just entertains me.

But I should not enjoy reading that whack shit. Does anyone else have some odd little reading favorite? I don’t mean trashy stuff. I mean everybody enjoys a trashy novel and/or fluffy magazine every once in awhile. I mean stuff that would generally be considered tortuous to read. Like TIAA CREF corporate updates, ingredients lists, the fine print on credit card offers, directions for assembling furniture (well, those can be pretty funny actually), fast food packaging, paint cans, you know- stuff you should not enjoy reading- stuff that 90% of people would be like “why the motherfuck would you read that on purpose?”

I just copped to my own tortuous, yet pleasurable, reading of TIAA CREF financial statements. I will also admit to reading those horrendous “book club” questions publishers sometimes put at the back of popular novels. I find them absolutely idiotic and I read them knowing they will provide no insight into the novel. What they will do is make me angry with their stupidly obvious questions. Really? That totally obvious thing was totally obviously symbolic of that other obvious thing? My word! I had no idea. Thanks “book club” for clearing that up! Honestly, I often just don’t want the book to be done yet- so I read that crap. Oh, and I like reading those ads for commemorative plates, gold coins, and back braces that show up in Parade and USA Weekend in the Sunday paper. Have you ever read those? They seem to be written for 75+ year old shut-ins with endless knickknack space and a slew of nonfunctioning body parts. I find them creepily pleasing.

Now, what about your own tortuous reading habits? For example, Arlenna (who was able to tear herself away from the latest edition of “Coffee News”) and JC confess a few here . Please share.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Write-In Candidate: Me

Is anyone else just digging the “TIAA CREF Important Notice Regarding Availability of Proxy Materials for the Participant Meeting to be held on July 20, 2010” dated June 9, 2010? You know that packet thingy about the election of trustees that came in the mail? It’s pretty damn interesting. I’m not kidding. If you haven’t seen this thing then you need to go find it. Dig through the mail and find it. Keep looking! Did you look in the book catalogues? What about under that magazine? What about that mail under the coffee cup? Is it in there? Hey, that’s not coffee. Go check the box right now, or just go here.

I’ll just assume you found it. Did you read those nominee bios? See those tables of information? Their contact address? Prior work experiences? Other directorships? Who are these people? You know who I think they are? (That’s not really a question because OF COURSE I’m going to tell you) But do you know who I think they are?!? They are us. They are us, if we had chosen to use our educations and skills to make shit-tons of money instead of, you know, dedicating our lives to researching some weird shit.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tech News

Do you smell that? No. Not that. The other smell? It’s new computer smell! Mmmmm. New keyboard typing. It’s so weird but so fun. Exotic almost! Damn, and the screen is fucking huge. Huge! I CAN BLOW, SHIT, WAIT, WHY’S THAT LIGHT ON? Oh, caps lock was on. Anyway, I can blow up this page and make the letters appear as ginormous monster-sized letters. That’s cool. Do the letters look super shiny and new to you? Can you tell that this keyboard sounds and feels different? That the screen is so huge I unconsciously keep scooting my chair back as my mother’s voice screeches “move back you’re too close to the tv!”? Wow. I mean this thing is so tidy. I haven’t gunked it up with lectures, messy data files, tweed porn downloads, various writings, and monkey pictures yet. (And FYI new computer: I like to make up words, get used to it, but “gunked” is a word where I come from! Ginormous too!) Anyway, enjoy your contact high of fancy new computer smell while I play all the games new computers come with! (until I make myself delete them)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Word

There is that thing, that thing we call collegiality. I cannot provide a decent definition. I mean something along the lines of “mutually supportive interaction among colleagues” would vaguely suffice- but not really. It also includes the simple ability of not being annoying, of not stinking up the department with your food smells, owning books that are worth borrowing and being willing to lend them out, and supplying me with university letterhead when I run out and am too lazy to walk downstairs and get some. We don’t have to like each other (like in the sense of real friendliness, the not in the “not like, like” definition). In fact as long as we can interact calmly, we can despise each other and still be collegial. But what do you call that other facet of work colleague relations? Their collegiality outside of work? You know? If you think about the colleagues that you never want to see socially and the ones you do, it’s because they have very different non-work collegiality scores. It’s more like collegeniality.

Collegeniality is the ability to pleasantly engage in non-work related interactions in non-work related environments. High scoring colleagues are those who you can run into at mutual friends dinner parties (RFDPs) and not cringe. You won’t regret having brought a 24-pack of PBR to RFDPs with these folks. Sometimes you run into them at the movies, and even though you got all fucked up because Get Him to the Greek seemed like it would be a shit-ton funnier with a little “help” you don’t mind because your collegenial colleague is in a similar state. You can also identify your collegenial colleagues in the drug aisle of your local grocer at 1:38AM. If you can comfortably make eye contact while dressed in some combination of sleepwear, outerwear, and long underwear selecting the most powerful narcotic-like substances you can buy without a prescription so you can spend your days with the flu alternating between sleeping and hallucinating, then you’ve met a collegenial colleague. Collegiality and collegeniality are distinct qualities that must not be confused or merged. They do not correlate.

One can be extremely collegenial even though they never show up to meetings on time or answer motherfucking obviously important emails. Likewise, one can be extremely collegial even though they insist on assaulting you with details of their obviously horrible design plans of their obviously horribly designed house every damn time you see them. I’ve created a word, collegenial, so that those of us with colleagues who don’t understand these differences can figure it out, add it to your vocabulary please.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lawn Service

Uhm, what? I have to do what? I have to do that when? How many times? For how long? Why?

Oh. Because that other person is going on sabbatical next year…and they did shit for me while I was on sabbatical…so I should just shut the fuck up and do shit for them? Yep. It’s the only reasonable response. Yep. End of blog post. Nothing to complain about here, no sirrrreeeee.

DAMNIT! SHIT. IS THAT SOME KIND OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE? FUCK. That sounds like it involves actual work, crap, and that other thing? Ugh. I’ll do it, only because I left a big stinking pile of service in the departmental lawn and somebody else cleaned it up. So it’s my turn to pick up service turds.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What I Like About Coming Home

Sudoku Benders: I usually have my newspaper stopped but I often forget. I really do try and have it stopped and I really do honestly forget to stop it sometimes, but I also secretly like it when I come home to a pile of newspapers on my countertop. I guess that’s not much of a secret now, but it seems so silly. The newspapers filled with old news also contain enough puzzles to go on a Sudoku bender! For some reason Sudoku puzzles not in the newspaper just don’t satisfy me. I want newsprint. To sit down with a cup of coffee and plow through a few is the perfect “I just got home and need to relax” activity.

Home Coffee: Aaaaahhh home coffee… Coffee shop coffee is great. I like my afternoon coffee shop coffees. But morning coffee is a completely different experience. Morning coffee, the kind that is needed immediately after waking up, the kind of coffee made in your kitchen prior to even attempting any other activity, the kind that is sometimes brought in the shower with you, that is consumed naked, dressed, and in all matter of mental disrepair, is very different. It is never good away from home. It doesn’t matter what kind of coffee maker it is or what kind of coffee is used, wherever the hell you scrounge up that first cup of not-from-home-coffee it will not be good.

Plants: Everyone knows the shit you plant in the yard will not grow, make a flower, or produce any tangible signs of life until you leave. It’s Gardening 101 people.

GPS Peace: Shut the fuck up GPS! We both know I need you but I am not making a motherfucking U-turn and I am not getting on the freeway. Dude. Traffic here is outrageous and its necessary to drive like an asshole (mandatory actually). There will be no u-turns, I will cut-off the motherfucker in front of me (yeah you douchebag in the Porsche) and I will turn left when I’m damn well ready.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Top Killa

What? Is BP seriously considering turning off its camera? That’s not true right? I’ve been duped by media bias right? C’mon BP! Let me guess, you turn the camera off and perform your “top kill”. Then what? The camera comes back on? To show what? A beautiful digitally enhanced scene of underwater fish love? Mermaids and shiz? Fuck you BP.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Beer Googles

Due largely to my own vanity (and slightly to my ingrained reliance on data collecting) I google myself. I google my real name and profession (e.g., Real Me, realjobologist; R. Me, realjobology) and the blog me (e.g., Acadamnit kicks ass; Acadamnit tweedy love). Real Me is winning the numbers race by a landslide. Real Me and blog me are equally vain, Real Me just conceals it while blog me just revels in the damnity goodness. So there I was with my beer googles on thinking I look mighty fine, mighty fine indeed. Sobriety rudely interrupted this moment as a single email ripped those beer googles off my face. Cool Journal of Myjobology just rejected my manuscript. REJECTED. Motherfucking damnit. Yikes. Fuck. You’d think by now I could handle this news in some reasonable sanity preserving fashion. But no. I’ll just fluctuate between rage and utter dejection for the next 48 hours...and maybe engage in a little therapeutic googling (e.g., Editor of Myjobology Journal sucks ass).

Monday, May 17, 2010

Comings & Goings

Have you ever seen a Kum & Go store? The first time I saw one I cracked the fuck up. Really? Kum & Go? Do I have an unusually dirty mind or is that not a rather risqué name for a convenience store? It brings up all kinds of dirty connotations for me. But then again I’m the kind of person that can still get a good laugh out of Uranus jokes. I prefer the pronunciation “your anus” not that “yura nus” crap I remember high school science teachers using (although I still find it funny that they used “yura nus” due more so to their own embarrassment at saying “anus” rather than any commitment to scientific nomenclature). I can’t help it. Uranus is the funniest planet and Kum & Go is just a damn nasty name for a chain of convenience stores. I bring this up because I’ve been coming and going (to and from places people! for those of you with extremely dirty minds) a lot lately.

I just returned from tropical paradise. I am brown and happy. Well, that’s not entirely true. I am mostly brown, white in some important places and a little red― but happy. I have complained endlessly about my job. But you know, it enables me to have a lot of shit I really love. Tropical vacations for one. I mean I just went on vacation from sabbatical! That’s beautiful. I have no idea who came up with the “academic sabbatical” but it’s fucking brilliant and I like to think whoever that person is they’re a Uranus giggler too. Come to think of it I should probably know the history of academic sabbaticals…but I don’t and I don’t really give a fuck. That person will just remain a mysterious entity bringing happiness much happiness to the world.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shout Outs

Inside Higher Ed is now inside my head. I wanted to write “inside my higher head” but that could be interpreted a couple of different ways. Although feel free to pick one and there’s a good chance you could be correct. (award yourself 10 blog reading points!) So every once in awhile I, and many of you, get a shout out over in Inside Higher Ed land. This results in flood of people reading a particular post. It’s like Inside Higher Ed sent out invitations to your party- but didn’t tell you. That’s OK. It’s actually rather flattering . It’s like seeing your work cited. Does that not cause a minor, but very real, rush? A little thrill? I should specify that I am referring to the positive/neutral citation, not the negative “what is wrong with this motherfucker?” type of citation. But seeing my name and work like that? It never ceases to amaze me. The Inside Higher Ed shout out is similar.

Similar, but not quite the same. It has the additional component of making one feel a little party-crashed upon. It’s as if Inside Higher Ed compiled a perfectly respectable guest list, sent the invitations, the guests show up, and the party is packed and jovial. But the next morning you wake up and think “who the fuck were those people?” What just happened exactly? Whose underwear are these?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Here Nor There

Brace yourselves because I have one very long ramble in me. This is one of those blog posts that will be far, far too long. Random observations will be flying, tangents are inevitable and I might even need to include footnotes. Boredom for you, my dear readers, is imminent. So you know, expect to start reading but then feel free to switch to skimming, or gouging your eyes out, or heavy drinking. But I haven’t written one of these in awhile. Why is that? I don’t really know. It finally started to get a little sunny, I put in a patio, it was 4/20, I did some work… I could provide you with many possible excuses. But none of them are really the issue. I just sorta lost interest. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like blogging. Because I do. And I like the readers of this thing- you people are interesting. Sorry to call you “you people” but I mean that kindly my intertubes peeps. I can also admit that blogging provides a unique thrill. Isn’t it exciting to get a comment? They never cease to amaze me. And I have blogs that I read regularly. Blog reading and writing just became an everyday part of my life. And then it didn’t. And how many sentences can I start with And anyway?

My interest just waned. I just did other stuff. I got thoroughly emerged into the luxury of sabbatical. I’m not going to say that it’s just been one big party. It hasn’t. I’ve done some work, enough to keep up my end of the sabbatical bargain. But you know, I haven’t been this free of obligations since I was probably 14. I’ve just been doing the things I always wished I had more time to do. Blogging, enjoyable as it is, just got a bit lost in the shuffle. It’s like that jar of fancy olives you buy that ends pushed into the back of your fridge where it sits forgotten about until one day you grope around back there in your fridges nether regions. And you realize holy shit I have yummy olives! So you pop a few in your mouth and check the liquor stash for martini fixings. So I’m back. I’m emerging from a blog reading and writing hiatus, cocktail shaker in hand.

Huh? What just happened there? Did I just compare blogging to forgotten pickled products in fridge nether regions? Yes sirrreee I did. What the fuck? I also just realized that my absence in blog world has been noticed. Shit. What can I say? What was I trying to say? I can’t really explain it. I was just laying low. No, I know! I just ran out for some ice! YES. Ice. See, look in the freezer. I got that ice. Enjoy! Fuck. What am I doing? I don’t know. I’m at THAT stage of sabbatical. Granted, indecision is a luxury. But…crap. I have lots of…lots of, well, chapters. I need a few more though. But fuck. A tropical island awaits me.

My brain has had two preoccupations lately. One is a panicky sense of needing to finish something- reminiscent of the final stages of dissertation writing. The other is absolute excitement at the prospect of sunny beaches and cold beer. You’d think I could work this situation to my advantage. Not a lot of mental gymnastics involved in committing myself to working and then celebrating in the ocean. But, ugh. I just want to skip ahead to the fun part. Damn.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A-B-C-Baby You and Me

You are so right. That is Jermaine. It’s so very not relevant. So back-up singer to a more important issue. So just along for the ride like. So not the main event. You know, it’s Jermaine. I’m thrilled you want to waste my time with your Jermaine issues. Why bother with the reason we are ALL here when we can revel in more Jermaine topics? What the fuck is with these people? Focus on the fucking fundamentals not the damn Jermaine.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Homo sabbaticus

SShhhhhhhhh! Having spent the last six years living amongst the departmental pack we finally have the animal isolated. We’ve doused ourselves in professor musk and if we stay quiet we can creep into its cave habitat and get close enough for a shot. Once tranquilized we’ll affix the tracking equipment and monitoring devices, don’t worry, the small 20 lb helmet and 65 lb battery pack won’t impede the animals movement in any way. Quick! SSSHHHHHHH. quick! fire the dart before it attacks! The animal is now stirring. Still groggy from the tranquilizer let’s turn on the equipment and listen in on its thoughts:

Write it. Just do it. It’s not so hard.
Yes it is. I’m tired of this stuff.
You can do this. You’ve been doing it for years now. Just do it.
That was almost convincing, but then you sounded like a Nike ad.
Fair enough. But you have been doing this for awhile now. Hey! Remember those black canvas Vans you used to have? Those were great. You should get some more.
A classic shoe really. Good times. Stop distracting me. You’re supposed to be helping me work. You know writing that thing?
Sorry, yeah. You should write that up. You’ve done all the other work. You just need to sit down and crank the mother out.
Ooh funky! P-Funky. like turn the mother out? Give Up the Funk. That’s another classic.
Can you stop making inane pop cultural references and just listen to what I’m saying? Stay focused. Work. Remember that? You need to write that thing about all that stuff? Sound familiar? Or are you just going to keep babbling about random things? Although, you have a point, I have P-Funk blasting on my side of things now too. Good tune.
Really? Cause I just switched to the JB’s…still funky though.
Anyway, look, we need to stop all this nonsense and just get writing. And FYI you need stop consuming scotcholate, stop watching so much tv, and don’t ever give me that decaf shit again.
Hey! That was a freaky accident. I did not purposefully make decaf coffee and it hurt me too you know!
Pass me a peanut-butter cup.
It just seems boring. I think it could be really good though. I’ve been working on this stuff for a long time. But, ugh, and don’t go imposing all your rigid crap on me. Don’t impose a schedule and daily page limits on me. I hate that. It’s so cumbersome. You’re such a tight ass.
That’s cause it works! You’ll do it. You can’t stand missing a deadline. Or at least you think you can’t stand it because you’ve never actually missed one. Have you? See. You’re a punctual motherfucker. Admit it.
Yeah maybe. Join me for a drink?
You idiot, just give me the drink. I’ll grant you 48 hours and after that if I don’t see some real progress you’re going on lockdown. I mean scheduled working hours with daily page limits.
Fuck. 48 hours? When would it start? Can we agree on 48 hours starting tomorrow morning?
Yeah. I’m too full of scotcholate to start right now anyway.
OK cool. Is it time for Lost yet?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Confession: Household Edition

I have a professor house. You know what I mean by professor house? I am sure you do, most of you are probably living in one too. It’s more of an interior aesthetic than an architectural style. It’s an eclectic style with lots of variations, but you know it when you see it. The furniture choices, the art, and the fridge magnets all contribute but it’s the books that always give it away. It’s the books that weren’t deemed worthy of placement in your office. The graduate school castoffs, the duplicates and the “currently being read” books that reliably identify a professor house. But even when lacking books you can just tell. I can tell when I see one and I can tell that I’m living in one. My concerns with all the stereotypical trappings of professordom stem from the fact that I never expected to be a professor. I don’t mean that I just breezed through grad school and fell into a job, oh whoops! I’m a professor! No. But I just didn’t realize how defining this job can be. When I look at houses for sale I see it. I know if my house was for sale people would think professor house or at least “university people” live here. There are worse stereotypes, I shouldn’t complain…my house could be known as the too many scotch bottles in the recycling bin house…but that might be subsumed by the professor house designation…there’s no escaping it. I go back and forth with my professorness.

I wish I could say I’ve avoided the stereotypes, but I look around, and here I am, in my professor house. It’s so damn comfortable. These things bug me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Remember The Regal Beagle

That is both a question and a command. That cozy lounge where the Three’s Company folks hung out, remember? It was where Jack, Janet, and a revolving troop of idiotic blond Chrissy’s went to have a drink, Jack’s friend (whoever the hell he was) would often be there and the Ropers maybe too? Sorry, my memory of the Regal Beagle is a little hazy. I was pretty young when Three’s Company was on. I remember only that every episode seemed the same. As a kid, each show went like this: “important thing” must happen, misunderstanding occurs, hijinks threatening the outcome of "important thing” ensues, Janet must be made to prove her worth in some way in an attempt to overcome her “not the pretty” one role, Chrissy won’t fuck Jack (which even as a kid I was sick and tired of the whole gay/not gay Jack joke thread), everything works out and you go to the Regal Beagle for a cocktail. I don’t think I’ve seen the show since I was a little sarcastic wee one― so that impression of the show is all I have to work with. But I liked the Regal Beagle. As a kid it struck me as soooooo grown-up. The kind of place I never went to because it was for grown-ups …where even if I did get to go, I’d have to drink some stupidly named soda-with-a-cherry-drink in the corner.

Now that I’m grown up, where oh where is my damn Regal Beagle? Can’t I go out for a drink without running into some student? I thought the Regal Beagle was supposed to be relaxed and boozy. Not a place where one has to hear “Hey I was in your class!” or drunken graduate student research fantasies* Anyway, I want the Regal Beagle!

*there is a place for those, we expect to hear them every time we invite you to a party- it’s OK we expect it. Carry on.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lost And Found

Wow! Thanks њѲѣфдά*! I do want some Japanese porn! њѲѣфдά was thoughtful enough to leave me a comment with a link to porn. I feel so lucky. Surely, њѲѣфдά doesn’t leave porn links for just any old blogger. It’s a RELIEF actually. I’ve been blogging for well over a year now. It has amazed me that none of you, my smart educated reader peeps, ever thought to send me Japanese porn links. Really! What’s up with that? Clearly this blog is just a plea for links to Asian porn and term-paper writing websites. Until њѲѣфдά came along I was beginning to wonder if anyone was ever going to notice my true agenda. It’s so obvious! It’s just been one long endless plea for naked Asian chicks. Geez. Do you see it now? Do you blog-readers in your fancy professor pants? Do you blog-readers with your all grammatically correct thoughtful prose? (Yeah, I’m a little jealous). How about you stoned students? Well? My new best blog bud њѲѣфдά got it. Damn straight they did. Now, if I could only find links to a website that will give me a great car loan (regardless of my credit history), enable me turn a picture of myself into a cartoon (a personal dream), add all kinds of blinky bouncy things to my blog (so classy), and finish my coursework online for the Associates Degree in "Assistant to the Physicians’ Assistants’ Office Clerk Cause This Ain’t A Real Medical Degree” degree that I’ve been working on I’d be all set!

* Sorry њѲѣфдά but that's the best approximation of your name I can come up, it translates to Assface no?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Withdrawal

I’ve spent the last 24 hours deep in thought. As the Olympics have come to an end, it was time for me to reflect, to ponder the greatness, and get back to ignoring hockey. What have I learned in the last two weeks? Where have I been? What does it all mean? Why don’t I have any booze left? It’s a lot to think about. It’s like houseguests just left. After two weeks of being in my home the Olympics have finally departed. They’ve left me only with soiled Norwegian pants in the hamper and my thoughts of them. Oh, and visions of sugarplums AND giant inflatable beavers. Is there some type of Olympic methadone I can take?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This Could Earn Me A Pulitzer

So if you’re in a four-man bobsled team, and you’re not the driver or the brakeman, your job is to run, push, and jump into the ice jalopy. That’s it. Run and push, sit. The running and pushing lasts all of two seconds, the sitting slightly longer. Since I once helped push-start a car, I consider myself something of an expert on these matters. I even engaged in a little bobsled training last night while watching the Olympics. You can too. Just stand on the side of your couch and practice hopping over the armrest onto the seat real fast. I did this multiple times while exclaiming “Look! I’m a bobsledder!” In addition to honing your bobsledding skills it provides loads of entertainment for your fellow Olympic-watchers (especially the 20th time you do it). Last night we saw a few bobsled teams flipped over on the dreaded 50-50 Curve (or as the announcers call it: THE 50-50 CURVEAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!).

The flipped over teams went barreling down the track on their heads. Fortunately, no one appeared injured. This speaks to the importance of helmets. Cruising down the ice chute on their heads these teams were able to maintain some pretty impressive speeds and finish the race without noticeable head trauma. Way to go helmet designers right? Well, I believe there is a larger message to be learned from this. No one is talking about it publicly yet, but the whispers in the bobsled community are growing louder. Dramatic innovations in bobsledding helmets are being created in top secret bobsledding labs all around the world. There might even be such a facility in your own community, tucked away and out of sight. Perhaps deep underground, accessible only by password via your local bowling alley or donut shop proprietor, there could even be a top secret bobsledding lab right next door to your own home! What are they up to? Well, here’s the scoop: Helmets are being manufactured with running blades. In the event of a flip over bobsledders will be able to cruise down not just on their heads, but on running blades attached to their helmets. When all four bobsledders align their heads they will essentially create a complete sled blade enabling them to continue their run smoothly in the event of a flip over. Obviously three blades on each helmet are required, a little unwieldy, but certain to provide the biggest innovation in bobsledding since the development of sledsuit butt-webbing.

You haven’t heard about this through NBC because they are in collusion with the bobsledders. As an Olympic investigative reporter I’m tracking this story for you. If you have any tips please report them to me. Do not trust any other news organizations! Perhaps you have seen suspicious bobsled activity in your neighborhood (like odd tracks in the snow that might lead to a secret bobsled lab) or suspicious lycra suit fragments? Report all information regarding secret bobsledding activity directly to me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cause It Was Ladies Night!

And the feelings right, la, la, la, la, la! I don’t know anymore lyrics to that song, but feel free to sing quietly to yourself if you do. Every Winter Olympics we are collectively cajoled into giving a shit about Ladies Figure Skating and every year I watch like the obedient ‘Merican citizen that I am. This ritualized behavior results in me, every four years, thinking: a) what the fuck was that? b) are my triple-clutz jokes still funny? and, c) who names their child Richard Button? I am still left pondering these issues, but let’s review the final six skaters. Oh, but due to the occasional, yet overrated, need for sobriety I watched the skating sans chemical enhancement. Which means I was: a) bored, b)unable to remember any of the skaters names and, c) compelled to think of things in the form of lettered lists. So here was the lineup:

Red with tights that didn’t match her skin color girl (USA): Not good. Not good at all. Sorry, I feel a twinge of guilt (see what sobriety does to me?!?) trashing some teenager, but this girl needs to focus her efforts elsewhere because figure skating is not her strength. She was painfully NOT graceful on the ice and I couldn’t help but wonder if she had some crazy Mormon underwear on under her skating outfit. You know how some Mormon women have that pale, larval, grossly wholesome look going on? She had that in spades. Not good. (yeah, I said it)
Green Cleopatra Robot (Japan): With the right choreography this girl could be a contender. What is the right choreography you ask? The robot dance. You know what I mean, who among has never engaged in a little robot dance? That herky-jerky suite of movements that never ceases to be funny while drinking could really be her dance genre. On an additional choreography note, if you are going to dress up like Cleopatra you HAVE to “walk like an Egyptian” during your footwork sequences. Everyone knows that. Automatic 15 point deduction, sorry Robo-skater.
Blue Graceful (Korea): She rocked! I Kim Yu Na, she rocked it. Gold medal.
Pippy Long-Sleeves (Japan): This lady was good too. Very graceful. Silver medal.
Turquoise (Canada): She gets a free pass. Her mom died. Bronze medal.
Red & Black (USA): She has potential but had the unfortunate position of skating after Blue Graceful and Pippy Long-Sleeves got the crowd all fired up and Turquoise got everybody all misty-eyed. It was like being scheduled to give your conference presentation following the biggest crank in your field who gave a paper trashing the previous paper, which was delivered by the biggest most famous person in your field. What the fuck are you supposed to do?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Todeigh At The Olympics

I’m still watching. I figure getting completely burnt out on sports I never watch is all part of the Olympic experience. What happened tonight? Well, some Swedish dude won a gold in x-country. Mary Carillo went sled-dogging. There was skiing, the visibility sucked. Lindsey Vonn crashed, Mancuso had to stop her run, she skied over to a crashed Vonn, it was weird. Then they made Mancuso re-run, she did, landed in 18th place, and then she cried while Vonn took off to get her hand x-rayed. The second run was canceled due to shit weather. Which, if you were watching this in primetime like me, suddenly explained why the night’s lineup seemed so lame- you take away the skiing and you’re left with more speedskating, some bobsleigh (that makes it sound more interesting) and some free style skiing aerials (fuck that sport needs a better name).

Speed skating offered the usual parade of ping-pong ball hats and 80s sunglasses but the Womens Relay was an impressive throwdown by South Korea. They beat China. Well, they beat them until the ref’s disqualified South Korea at which point they lost big time. The call was complete bullshit and the 10 minute monologue entitled “Who Paid This Ref?” that I yelled at the tv did not reverse this verdict. China won gold, Canada the silver, and the ‘Merican team won bronze (even though we were soooooo far behind we got lapped). Korea won damnit. With all the authority vested in me as an Olympic commentator, I award Korea the gold medal (if China refuses to give it up, Plushenko should give Korea his platinum). Moving on, bobsleigh was weigh boring. I saw the “too tall Jones” the “snowboard in space” and the “mom gets credit for the happy meal” commercials for the hundredth time. But the Olympic crowds are get rowdier (I suspect most of the bobsleigh crowd is weighsted) and the announcers are all running on fumes. It’s enough to keep me interested.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Swiffer Sweeper Why Aren’t You Sponsoring The Curling Team?

Some things just go together. Much like The Captain and Tennille, me and scotch, Joanie and Chachi, Swiffer Sweeper and curling are an obvious match. They just go together. It’s plain as day. Their union requires no explanation. What’s needed here, and I mean literally right here, is some brilliant and seamless segue into what doesn’t go together. Readers, you need to insert this brilliance yourself. Go ahead, take a minute and think up some text that could be inserted here that would change the course of this paragraph. Many of you are writers so just work your magic. I’m tapped out. Interspersed with my Olympic viewing marathon I am also watching the various shenanigans going on in my Department. I watch both safely ensconced in my saBATtical cave and today I feel the need to rant about one of my colleagues. So gone on now, take this little shred of Olympic coverage I’ve tossed out and work it into a train of thought about things that should never, ever, ever go together. Ready?

Listen up Professor Deadwood, you and Department Head DO NOT go together! You haven’t done a damn thing since I’ve been here, that’s almost seven fucking years. To be honest, I don’t even care. If you want to be non-productive, fine. But, just fucking embrace your role as deadwood. We’ve all given up on you completing any research, teaching a decent class, or even serving some general “senior colleague” advice-giving role. We all put up with your notorious lack of organizational skills, your inappropriate comments, and the general dislike we all feel toward you. We do this because many, many years ago you did some things. Nothing fantastic mind you, but enough that we can all see a little bit of ourselves in your younger self. Your accomplishments are just enough for us to try and maintain a degree of collegial respect until you retire. So what has gotten into you? All of a sudden you want to be department head? No fucking way. You are stirring up all kinds of drama. Why are you inventing problems, pretending to “know” things, spreading rumors? You and Department Head are a frightening mix. Nobody will support you. Your “strategy” for gaining our support is NOT working. Part of me fears that you have dementia and need some help and part of me wants to kick your elderly ass.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Team America!

Fuck Yeah! As stated beautifully by Naptime Writing in the comments of my last post:

“Do not forget...DO NOT forget...that your patriotic duties include getting all jacked up for the medal tallies, in which the accident of one's birthplace is deemed the most important category against which we compare success. If your country, wherein you pay taxes with the athletes who appear in those tallies, has more medals than another, you are clearly, as a citizen, a world-class athlete.”

Damn straight! Suck it Canadian hockey fans! Go USA! These colors don’t run! Or curl, or bobsled, or men’s luge, but let’s not get picky. U-S-A! U-S-A! Hey world: Guess who’s winning the medal count? ‘Merica! And you know what you can’t make ‘Merica without? ME! Otherwise you’d just be left with ‘Rica, which could imply Costa Rica I guess, but do you see any ‘Rican athletes kicking ass on the slopes? No sirreee. In fact it’s as clear as the beautiful aquamarine ocean waters that I would very much like to be swimming in that tropical countries suck at the Winter Olympics. Ha! Unbelievable. You lazy beach dwellers just aren’t badass enough to compete with ‘Merica! Learn to ski damnit. And guess what higher latitude countries: We are crushing you too! Just because your entire population is the size of only one of our awesome states is no excuse. Pull yourselves up by your lederhosen! But thanks for showing up athletes-from-loser-countries! The more attractive among you can enjoy fornicating with our athletes. (But please keep in mind that any children resulting from such unions should be educated in your country, not mine. Oh, and any required medical care is best dealt with in your country too.)