Wednesday, March 31, 2004


create your own personalized map of the USA
or write about it on the open travel guide

I just had to add Wisconsin.

No, I did not have any cheese while I was there.

Hey, my ass is checking out the map. Do you think he is impressed?

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The last post (and Sherri's comment) got me thinking (a rarity, I know)...

We have all heard about (or from) voices in one's head.

I was wondering if anyone has heard from voices in other parts of the body.

I am sure the toes cry out in the dark, "Turn that light on, damn it! Turn it on!"

Of course, men often heed the directions of a certain body part. Whether they actually *hear* it speak is still a mystery.

Any other creative ideas out there?

Don't you hate it when the voices in your wife's head keep talking to you?

Have a look on Corn Smut to see what I am dealing with.

I already had enough trouble ignoring the voices in my own head. Soon they will be carrying on their own independent conversations. I just hope they don't get cell-phones. Now that would be annoying!

Sunday, March 28, 2004

I am still really tired.

I am not sure whether it was the draining on-campus interviewing process, the demands of travel, my body fighting off some illness, malnutrition, or something else. I just don't seem to have any energy. And thus no will to do anything. Even write in here.

After six weeks of existence, my address got its first bit of spam:

From : michael nwachukwu
Reply-To :
Sent : Sunday, March 28, 2004 9:18 AM
To :

It was one of those, give me your bank account number so I can transfer millions into it requests. I wonder how many people fall for that one.

I'll be back if I can find some energy somewhere.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Got back at 1:00 am this morning.

I am very, very, very tired.

Rest is in order. More later.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I am off to Wisconsin later today.

Yeah, I am still nervous.
So an Oregon county has decided to ban all marriage. Hmmm...that seems fair to me. If certain people can't get married, then no one can get married.

Although as Sara said when I told her the news, "There are going to be some upset couples whose wedding plans have gotten screwed up."

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Samuel Huntington's essay "The Hispanic Challenge" in Foreign Policy has gotten much attention both in cyberspace and in academia (you may recall that SH garnered much attention after September 11 because people began to wave his book "The Clash of Civilizations" around saying the "West" and "Islam" were on a collision course).

While I think the article is a piece of alarmist trash, it is important because there so many people in this country who think that way. I don't want to go into a discussion of it here. I just want to share the best summary of it that I have found.

It is from Julio Sueco: "Noticed how nightmare scenarios were drawn about the clash of civilizations, of unassimilated Mexicans running amok resisting sauerkraut at all costs?"

Yes, Julio, I did notice. And thanks for the laugh.

[By the way, I must admit that I am Mexican and I eat sauerkraut - I must be assimilated. Oh no!]

Monday, March 22, 2004

I leave for Wisconsin in two days.

I am tense and nervous. My back is tightening up and I feel anxiety creeping into my soul.

I am not sure why. I don't think I want this job. The people I have spoken with all seem very nice. There really should not be a reason for me to worry...

...but yet...

Maybe tomorrow I will feel better about it. I hope.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Tonight Sara and I went out for dinner to an [Ameri]-Mexican restaurant. It was pretty good [for New England]. I had the fish tacos.

Fish tacos and other good Mexican food are some of the reasons I really miss San Diego. I usually get fish tacos at Rubio's. Sara had a hard time accepting the combination of fish and taco at first. You need to understand that she is from New Mexico where fish is not a good choice of food because it is probably not fresh and putting it in a taco just does not make any sense. After her initial doubts, she has come to enjoy them as well.

There are many other reasons I miss San Diego. For example, walks on this beach. I also miss my family and friends. And that warm weather....ah nostalgia.

But those Rubio's fish tacos are good. Try them if you are ever in San Diego (although Rubio's has expanded all over the west - check their website for locations). As for my fish tacos tonight? They were good, but not the real thing.

I would not trade the company for anything, though - not even the best fish taco in the world.

Friday, March 19, 2004

From my fortune cookie the other day:

It doesn't matter.
Who is without a flaw?

Very encouraging, huh?

Thursday, March 18, 2004

It's a quiet (and lonely) night in the Xoloitzquintle household. Sara is staying with a friend in Boston tonight. She had an evening event and morning one tomorrow up there, so it was just easier for her to stay up there. But shhhhh...if anyone asks, especially the faculty on her dissertation committee, she is at home working hard on her dissertation.

Another Thursday is over. Phew. I can't believe a week has gone by since I was complaining about Thursdays and getting ready to go to San Antonio.

Next Thursday will probably be even more tiring, but for different reasons. It will be Day 1 of my campus interview in Wisconsin. I am starting to get a little nervous about it. Right now I am just slightly too tired to worry about it too much, though.

It snowed pretty much all day today. It was very light snow, though, so it did not really pile up. I did see some very confused (and cold) robins today hopping about on the snow as I walked about campus. Come to think of it, they had the same expression as the students: "Isn't spring supposed to be here soon?"

As I write this I am sipping a Cabernet/Shiraz blend from Australia that is quite nice. Despite its recent trendiness, I am not a big fan of Shiraz and Cabernet is rather bold for evening drinking. The vinter who put this blend together knew what she or he was doing. I can't remember the label and I am too lazy to go to the kitchen to look it up. It has a aboriginal-like picture of a kangaroo on it though. I have also had their Merlot - very good too.

I have lost interest in the Presidential campaign. I know who I am going to vote for and I can do without the nastiness that has already started. It is sad that being nasty is the most effective way to campaign.

I really would like to go see a movie. Any movie, but preferably a good one.

I guess it is time that I wander off, brush my teeth, and put myself to bed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Things I need to do:

-Make a dentist appointment
-Take in our car for its 30K mile service (that's the big a costly one) - I think it needs it and the reason why the check engine mysteriously comes on and off.
-Set a date for my dissertation defense.
-Actually finish the bits and pieces that are keeping me from claiming that my dissertation is finished.
-Order my cap, gown, and hood for graduation.
-Revise a paper (co-written with Sara) that was submitted for publication (I have until June 1 for that one, but I can't forget about it).
-Kiss Sara more often. I can never kiss her enough.
-Bathe the dog - he's getting kinda stinky (not bad as far as dogs go, but he needs a bath nonetheless).
-Grade 60 exams.
-Grade short papers.
-Get a haircut.
-Get a massage (there's a story behind this one I will tell soon).

Ok, sorry about that. I need to come here occasionally and regurgitate all the stuff that is clogging up my mind.

Ignore me if you want.
I leave for Wisconsin in a week. Before then I need to prepare two presentations, practice my friendly yet professional demeanor, and learn as much about the department and faculty as possible. This on top of the normal demands of everyday life.

My students had their midterm yesterday. The professor wrote the exam and luckily he designed it so that it will be easy to grade. And thanks to the fact that Spring Break is in a week and a half, I will have three weeks to grade them. As I was proctoring the exam, I thought that I am so happy that I don't have to take exams anymore. I have always hated exams.

It snowed again yesterday. I guess it is still snowing lightly today. While I would welcome the arrival of spring, I don't mind the snow too much. Yesterday had to walk home from campus in the snow. I prefer that to walking in the rain.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Another day, another rejection.

Today's was for a ten month post-doc at UC San Diego. While it would have been nice to have been in San Diego (my mother lives there) and I would have been part of a good network of scholars there, it is *wicked far* (see, I am starting to go native here) from Boston.

My sister today had some good suggestions for me should none of the academic things pan out. She works in the non-profit sector and said there might be some opportunities there. Sara used to joke that she was going to get business cards with "Freelance Anthropologist" written on them. It might actually become a reality for me.

I am off to pick up Sara from the train station.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

We're back...

...and we are exhausted. That was a mighty long way to go for a weekend. It was worth it, though.

The memorial service was very nice. Some warm memories of Sara's grandfather were shared.

I also got to meet some of Sara's family and see the others I had met before again. I enjoyed that.

It's hard to believe that this morning we were in Texas. It was warm (albeit very wet) there. The chilly air as we walked out of the airport here was a rude welcome back.

I am off to sleep. G'nite.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

My thoughts are with the people of Madrid.

Yet another reason to plant a tree.
Did you see how bent out of shape the Republicans got after Kerry's comments about crooked liars...

Sometimes the truth hurts, doesn't it?

And how did they know that he was talking about them? From the clips I have seen there is no real reference about whom he is refering to. But I guess if the shoe fits...

Ok, I will stop with the tired cliches...
I dislike Thursdays. They are long days that are draining. Today was particularly bad because there were so many lose ends to tie up before we leave for Texas tomorrow.

I am trying to decide what work to take with me. Part of me wants to leave it all behind. Just let it be for a couple of days. I really can't. All those hours at the airport need to be used productively, at least a little.

I have been having very strange dreams recently. It is all the emotional comotion going on in both of our lives right now.

Stress - it will mess with your mind.

One recent dream: I was teaching a cooking class. It was entitled, "Cooking with Tripe". The main message I was trying to convey was, "You need to keep Tripe with Tripe." Yes, not everyone likes tripe (including me) so you don't want it mixing with any of the other dishes.

Yeah...right...whatever. Stupid subconscious...

Whenever I think I am going nuts, though, I just have to remember my current yoga she is out there. I'll tell some stories sometime later. In anycase, I am not doing too bad.

Yesterday they cut down a tree that was in front of our house (actually more on the side - we live on a corner). The tree was very sick. On windy days, branches of it would fall on the street below. I was careful not to park our car there. It needed to be cut down. Still it makes me sad. Despite its failing health, it was hanging on. Every spring, a few branches would amazingly put out a few leaves. And every fall those leaves turned into some amazing colors. We won't see those few leaves reappear this spring. I feel like I should plant a tree somewhere sometime soon. The cycle of life...or so they say.

To all a good weekend and I will be back on Sunday...

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I used the one of the words that kept popping in my mind the other in the title of the presentation I will be giving for my interview:

"New Faces, Indelible Images: Ideology and the Representation of Immigrants in Italian Public Discourse"

Now if I can only find a way to use the other one...

Also my travel dates are set: March 24-26. This is going to be interesting.

Day after tomorrow we are off to San Antonio, Texas for Sara's grandfather's funeral. We're back on Sunday.

I will be criss-crossing the country quite a bit over the next few weeks. And I am already tired...

Tuesday, March 09, 2004


It has been an eventful career week in our household. Sara was offered a position (go on over there and congratulate her) and I was asked for an on-campus interview (last step before being offered a position).

Problem: Sara's job is in Boston and mine is in Kenosha, WI.

Now, I still have not been offered the job, so I may be getting ahead of myself.

Stay tuned.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Did you know...?

Today is Interantional Women's Day. In Italy men buy mimosas (a small yellow flower) for the women in their lives.

Some issues come to mind:

- This day is not even mentioned here in the US. Why? (Probably because of its socialist origins).
- Why just one day? Women deserve more, don't they?

In any case, to all the women out there, here is to your contributions to society, your struggles, and your future.
I admit that I am a card carrying member of the AAA and I fully endorse the statement below (you can see the original here):

Statement on Marriage and the Family from the American Anthropological Association

Arlington, Virginia;
The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association, the world's largest organization of anthropologists, the people who study culture, releases the following statement in response to President Bush's call for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage as a threat to civilization.

"The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies."

The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association strongly opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples."

Media may contact either of the names below:

To discuss the AAA Statement please contact: Elizabeth M. Brumfiel, AAA President (847) 491-4564, office.

To discuss anthropological research on marriage and family please contact: Roger Lancaster, Anthropologist, author, The Trouble with Nature: Sex in Science and Popular Culture , 2003 (202) 285-4241 cellular

Sunday, March 07, 2004

For the Dogs

Sara and I went to the Pet Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center. I had gone several years ago. It was before we had a dog, but we were living with someone else who owned a Dachshund. The show was fun because they had numerous rescue leagues represented with lots of dogs to look at and play with. I also brought back numerous treats and dog related goodies.

I was looking forward to going and bringing our dog a bagful of surprises. The event was very disappointing. It was much smaller than in the past (yet it seemed much more crowded). We only got a handful of freebies. Maybe it is the poor state of th economy, I don't know.

There were a few rescues and we enjoyed seeing some of the rare breeds that were there (although I am a staunch believer in mutts, being a cultural mutt myself). We even saw some real to life xoloitzquintles. They are pretty ugly, but then again so am I. The ugliest dog, however, had to be the Neapolitan Mastiff. We also watched some of the agility exhibition. In the end it was just to chaotic and crowded, we ended up leaving. Not before we bought our own dog a bag of peanut butter cookies.
Maybe I will ask my Psychiatrist...

I often get songs or jingles stuck in my head. Sometimes I get words stuck in there too. Today I have two that keep popping up, I am not sure why.

They are:

Accoutrement and Indelible

Monks and Devils

You come across the strangest things when you are channel surfing. We only get the very basic cable: local television channels, all the home shopping channels, local access channels, and our one bonus is the Discovery Channel. To get from the Discovery Channel to the local networks you need to go through numerous local access channels as you surf.

One of the local access channels is some sort of local Catholic television. This usually airs some priest giving mass, nuns signing or praying, or the inside of some church somewhere. As I passed by the channel during a recent surfing episode, Sara and I caught a glimpse of a monk's talk show.

The monk was old, was wearing a gray robe, and had a long flowing white beard. The phrase we heard during the few seconds I stopped on the channels was, "Now I am going to play the devil's advocate..." [Flip]

I had to pause. Sara just looked at each other and then started laughing...It is not a phrase you expect a monk to say.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

New Theory

My new theory is that our *friend* Osama has already been captured by US forces and he is being kept at an *undisclosed location* (with the vice-president keeping him company? Perhaps). He will be revealed as being captured at the most politically opportune moment. Statisticians have been intensely laboring to see the exact time when such a revelation will create the most fruitful bump in the approval ratings so as to help the president win re-election.

Do I really believe this? No. But I would not be surprised if it were true.

Thursday, March 04, 2004


Why does it not surprise me to find this headline following this headline? I hope most Americans aren't that stupid to fall for it. Some aren't. But some are.

It's all so frustrating!
Here's something for good laugh

Your future occupation by meteoric
Your name
Your future occupationProstitute
Yearly income$669,602
Hours per week you work10
EducationOver 6 years of college
Created with quill18's MemeGen 3.0!

All I can say is that I must be pretty good at my job to make that kind of money and only work those few hours. I am not sure Sara will be happy with this future occupation.

[Found at Enigma's place.]
Yes, another quiz, such is the state of my mind...
This quiz turned out ok, I guess...

Allan Johnson
You are Allan G. Johnson! Surprise, you're a man!
You're also a radical man that talks about
patriarchy, male privilege, misogyny, gender
roles, and what the role of men in a feminist
movement should be. You're willing to call men
(including yourself) on privilege. We love you!

Which Western feminist icon are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

No Title

It has been a very long day and I am on my way to bed. Just a short note to say that I think the interview went as well as could be expected. I am not good in interviews and I am not good on the phone. It was also awkward because there were two people on the other end of the line on a speaker phone.

I did stutter and umed and ahed quite a bit, but I think I put forth a fairly accurate picture of myself and my abilities and I showed a genuine interest in their department. Now we wait and see.

Thank you once again to all of you offered words of support.

I have yet another busy day ahead of me tomorrow. Teaching fun! The problem is the reading for this week is deadly boring. I am sure many of the students have not done it. And I cannot say that I blame them. Time to get creative...Hmmm

By the way, there is a new - non-political - poll down below on the side. Check it out and vote!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Xolo's Dilemma

Yesterday I received two rejection letters for two postdocs that I would have really liked to have had. Now I have to quickly overcome that disappointment and be enthusiastic for a phone interview for a job tomorrow morning.

For the record:

Jobs 1*-4
Postdocs 0-3

*The one is the interview I have tomorrow.
Super Tuesday

It is the big voting day, but I am one of those numerous registered voters who will not vote today. Why? It isn't as much that I don't care or feel disenfranchized, it is more that there really isn't a reason to.

You see, I am registered to vote in California. For some reason I am registered with the Green Party. I cannot remember why I did this, but I did it when I was in college. It was either because I was adhering to my youthful environmental ideals or I was trying to impress a girl (if that was it, it definitely did not work). Whatever the reason, I never changed it. I will, once I know where I am living after I graduate and register there.

California has a closed primary and there is no one really to chose from on the Green ticket, so I just won't vote. If I were a registered Democrat, however, I am still not sure who I would vote for. Although, I think it is a foregone conclusion that the candidate will be Kerry.

Monday, March 01, 2004


I spent most of the weekend writing syllabi for the university position for which I am being considered. In some ways it can be fun, but it is also draining. Doing more than one is truly exhausting. I am on number four today. This will be the last since they need to be sent today.

My office is a mess. Books and papers everywhere, blanketing the floor and my desk. Finding the right book or artile for each class is quite difficult.

As I worked, I turned on the television and paid vague attention to the Oscars.

Not one surprise. Or perhaps the fact that Lord of the Rings won everything it was nominated for could be considered a surprise. Everything else went as expected. I like it when the person no one has ever heard of wins.

A few other thoughts:

- Kudos to Tim Robbins who upon winning ended his speech with a social message, yet not the tired anti-war/anti-Bush one, but one against abuse.
- When will we see an Oscar go to an ugly actress playing a beautiful, glamorous woman, rather than a pretty face who uglies herself up?
- Not that I find those actresses pretty. I still fail to understand why society considers amaciated women who serve their fake breasts on a platter (most of those dresses last night did just that) attractive.
- Will the best actor Oscar ever go to someone not playing a character with a tormented soul or physical handicap?
- Does anyone care who wins the sound editing Oscar other than those receiving it?
- I need to get the soundtrack to "The Triplets of Belleville."

Ok, back to work on this last syllabi.