Call me

30 12 2013

See, there are some benefits to resisting every shiny (expensive) new toy:

New York City resident Kevin Cook was mugged at gunpoint in Central Park on Saturday, but when the thief stole Cook’s phone, he was so upset to find that it was an old flip phone that he gave it back, the New York Post reported.

“Once he saw my phone, he looked at it like, ‘What the f–k is this?’ and gave it back to me,” Cook told the paper. He described the phone in question as “like a 3-year-old generation Windows phone.”

Do I have a flip phone? Oh yes, I do.





I will try not to breathe

29 12 2013

So I got back from visiting a friend with C. (we decided against a drink at our bar) and went to bed earlier than I usually do on a Saturday night and it took awhile to fall asleep and I woke up at some point in the middle of the night and I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t sleep and I don’t know if it was the visit or the pancakes or coffee or waffle fries but I couldn’t sleep and somewhere in the midst of the not sleeping I came up with an idea for another novel.

I have the title and everything.

Now, I’ve already been working on another novel (and need to finish off the edits of the second novel and oh yeah send out pitch letters) which has been long in incubation and which I really want to see how it works out but now this not-sleep idea came WHOOSH and I think I could knock out a first draft right quick then let it rest while I work on that other novel (and finish the edits of the second and send out pitch letters) and I don’t know, see if I could write two at the same time (they’re very different ideas) and hm there’s that cyborgology conference I want to write a paper for and, well, goddamn.

January’s going to be a busy month.





So sorry

27 12 2013

I know it’s just killing you that I haven’t posted much this past week, but I’ve been fighting off a low-level migraine for the past, oh, hey, lookit that, week or so, and am too out of sorts to write.

And no, I don’t fake migraines. Not that I’m superstitious or anything, but the few times in the past when I’ve begged off of something due to a “migraine”, I’ve ended up really coming down with a migraine.

So I don’t mess with that shit anymore.

Tummy-aches, on the other hand. . . .





Merry happy peaceful

25 12 2013

From Absurd Brooklyn.

052

Since we don’t actually have snow in BK today, let’s just call this “aspirational”.

All of it.

xo





The most wonderful time of the year

21 12 2013

December 21st, northern hemisphere: winter solstice. The shortest day of the year.

Ah. Such a wonderful day.

It was, admittedly, disconcertingly warm in Brooklyn today, but still, more dark than light. My kinda day.

Of course, this means that the days following this one will begin to get longer, leading to the vernal equinox, which, alas, signals the gateway to the hellish summer solstice: the longest day of the year.

The horror.

Still, I shall enjoy what is left of this short day, and will not begrudge the winter sun it’s nudge toward more time.

Come spring, however, all bets are off.





How low can you go

21 12 2013

I can be an idiot sometimes.

(Only sometimes? Oh hush, you.)

Yesterday TNC posted a piece on the Duck Patriarch‘s happy-darkie views of the pre-Civil Rights era South, and I, frustrated with another columnist’s views of the same avian papa, vented about that other columnist at TNC’s joint.

Not cool.

Now, had TNC’s piece been about that other columnist, my small steam-blow would have been fine, and given that he spoke generally about race, culture, and America, my vent wasn’t completely off-topic. But it was still low.

I don’t have a problem bitching about that other columnist (Rod Dreher, by the way) on this site: insofar as he offers his views publicly, I can publicly offer my views on his views. But taking to TNC’s site to side-swipe Dreher is low both because I mis-used TNC’s space and, indeed, side-swiped rather than taking Dreher on directly.

I’m like Dreher in at least one crucial respect: I am highly reactive, and given to going off at the hint of a possibility of a provocation. I don’t particularly like this about myself, and try to keep my rants down to once or twice a month, and/or trying (not always succeeding) in levitating the anger with humor.

Anyway, instead of disciplining myself into silence or taking Dreher full-on on my own site, I wandered over to someone else’s joint to spray my bile. Again, not cool, and low.

I may never be cool, but I can try not to be low.





I don’t wanna talk about it now

20 12 2013

Late late, so quick quick:

I’m with Charlie Pierce on this issue: just because our courts have concluded that the First Amendment doesn’t (necessarily) extend to the private sphere doesn’t mean the rest of should so blithely dismiss concerns about free speech which one’s employers don’t like.

This deserve more thoughts than I have at the moment, but. . . yeah.

Maybe it ain’t censorship, but that don’ make it right.





Get on with your work

18 12 2013

End o’ semester, so: grading.

Still, two academy-related bits:

1) I do hope this dude gets kicked out of school. I dunno about prison—a bomb threat is serious matter, even if made for trivial (unprepared for exam) reasons—but when you mess with other students’ attempts to study when you couldn’t be bothered to do so yourself, you don’t deserve to be a part of that particular academic community.

2) Yes, yes, yes! Universities which take in far more graduate students than they know will ever get decent jobs are selfish, irresponsible, and only adding to the crisis in higher education employment.

One of the commenters noted that

This is a problem that is not going to be addressed by actions of universities. They need to organize and form actual professional societies like every other professional group that wants to have power over their field.

A nation-wide contingent union isn’t a bad idea, and the observation of another that fewer grad students won’t necessarily stop the process of “adjunctification” ain’t wrong, either.

But right now universities are feeding off the low-paid labor of grad students who are far more likely to end up as low-paid adjuncts than the relatively well-paid tenure-track professors for whom they work.

Whatever the motivation for reducing the number of grad slots, it’s a small mercy to those would-be students who won’t get sucked in to a “career” of cobbled-together courses, uncertain freelance gigs, and no dental plan.





She blinded me with science

14 12 2013

Quick note/plea: I’m putting together a proposal to teach another 300 general education course (as is the bioethics class), tentatively and excitingly called “Technology & Society”.

I’ve begun putting together a web page to serve as a resource for my would-be students at my course blog; as I am just getting started with this, the page is a bit thin on content. I’m not exactly sure how I’ll wrassle the various possibilities into a (semi-) coherent course, so I’ll be tossing up  links to as wide a variety of sites as possible.

Why do this? As the course will require a couple of honest-to-pete research papers, and as this is the first time many of the students will be writing h2p research papers, I’d like to give them as much of a boost as possible to get going.This isn’t meant to serve as a substitute for their own research, but rather, as leads.

(For comparison’s sake, you could look at the Bioethics articles and Bioethics sites & docs pages.)

Anyway, any help you could offer (in the comments, or via email—absurdist [at] gmx [dot] com) would be greatly appreciated!





I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes

12 12 2013

I cannot be the only one for whom Nick Lowe’s new Christmas album reminds her of the Bill Nighy character, Billy Mack, from Love Actually.

I mean, the song getting all the play is even called “Christmas At The Airport. . . .”