Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Here I am on the eve of leaving again.

What a crazy week it has been. The interview in Southern Cal went well, but you can never predict the outcome of these things. We will just have to wait and see.

The interview process is exhausting and an exercise in repetition. In addition to teaching a class and giving a lecture, I met individually with about 12 people. And they all seem to ask you the same question. Around the sixth or seventh time around it is painful to remain enthusiastic about your reply. All the people seemed nice and genuinely interested in me and my research (and potential areas of teaching).

I did enjoy the warm sunny weather. It was strange to see all the hills and mountains draped in green - they are usually an earthly brown that I don't much care for. The mountains are all capped with snow and the smog was absent so that you could actually see them.

Speaking of weather, poor Sara was supposed to return to Boston on Sunday. After an overnight from Chile to Miami, she found herself stuck at the airport because of the blizzard in the Northeast. I booked a hotel room for her because I was pretty sure she would not make it out. She had to wait until this morning for a flight. I guess it was a blessing in disguise because she also did not have winter clothes since she had been in the summer of the Southern Hemisphere. The time in Miami gave her time to visit a mall and buy a coat. Something she will need this afternoon as she makes her way home from the airport in wind chills that are in the single digits.

All that snow awaits me for tomorrow evening. It is supposed to snow even more tonight and tomorrow. I might find myself standed in some random airport. I hope not.

Upon my return and after worrying about Sara, I needed to prepare for my class. I love teaching, but prep time doesn't excite me. Although without it, you can really bomb. So it has to be done. This week were are talking about place and space.

Here is a question for you: Is cyperspace a place? Why or why not? It is something we will get to in tomorrow's lecture.

I just looked out of my office window into a thick blanket of fog. I then thought about the sub-zero temperatures awaiting me in Boston along with piles and piles of snow. Southern Cal seems very attractive at this time...traffic and all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I am off to Southern California today. Perhaps it will be sunny there this time.

I am somewhere in between being nervous about the interview and being in denial about it. Perhaps the denial is the way I cope with the nervousness.

The weather here went from cold and snow, to cold and ice - leaving a nice layer of the slippery stuff everywhere, to being 59 degrees. Everything is a nice slushy mess outside. At least the pipe in the kitchen unfroze sometime last night.

I need to finish packing and head off to the airport. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Dear Dr. King,

I regret to inform you that your dream is not yet achieved. However, I am still committed to fight and struggle for it so that it may yet be reached. Once again thank you for setting the wheels in motion.

With utmost respect.


P.S. If it is not too much trouble, could you channel some of your oratory skills to me for my two interview lectures this week? It never hurts to ask, does it?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

It snowed last night.

It is still cold and my kitchen pipe is still frozen.

My skin is complaining about the cold, dry weather (it does this by rashing and itching).

The dog caught a squirrel this morning, which was slowed down by the snow or the cold or both. The dog picked it up and snapped its neck because a few seconds later when I told him to drop it, the squirrel was history.

I should be working on my teaching plan for my interview, but I am procrastinating.

I don't even feel like writing here. So I won't...

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Random Thoughts on a Late Friday Evening

It's too cold for my chilango butt right now. It is a good thing that I am an academic and I don't need to spend any unecessary time outside - other than walking the dog, of course.

Things are busy around here. Catching up from being away for five weeks, preparing for a new semester, and getting ready for a big job interview have all kept me on my toes.

I am also missing Sara more than ever - if that is possible. She's in Chile and now I can't even hear her voice (she really can't call and email is very sporadic). The good thing is that I am going to Boston soon after she gets back. I am so looking forward to that trip. I am also happy that we are more than halfway through this time apart mistake.

After eating too much and unhealthy foods for the past month and a half, I have decided that it is time to eat healthier food and eat less in general. It has been hard the past couple of days. I have enjoyed all the fruit and vegetables I have eaten, but I find myself craving food a few hours later. Mostly chocolate, of course. Ok, I can't write about this because my stomach is starting to complain and I really don't want to eat another apple or orange.

I should also be doing more exercise, but it is hard when you have so much to do and when it is so cold outside.

The Chilean Red Wine Blend from Trader Joe's is fairly good, especially when you consider it only costs $2.99. I wish we had a Trader Joe's here in town. Alas.

There are more interesting things I could be writing about...but I am not. Is it because I am lazy or because I am tired?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Cynical Observation

Orphaned children as a result of a tsunami - outpouring of compassion and charity.

Orphaned children as a result of AIDS - help dependent on location. Eastern Europe - they get help. Africa and Thailand - ignored.

Orphaned children as a result of genocide - forgotten (i.e. Rwanda).

Orphaned children as a result of war - seldom acknowledged (e.g. Iraq).

Yes, there are needy children everywhere, but why are some object of our attention and others not?

Back in Washington (State)

After four days of driving, I made it back. Now I have to deal with having been gone for 5 weeks. A lot piles up in that time period.

And yes, I am very tired.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Here I am.

I know I have been absent quite a bit. It is hard to make an appearance when you don't have your own computer. Ok, I admit that I have also been a tad lazy as of late. I'm on vacation, though, so it is understandable.

Things have been busy. I am back in San Diego and Sara is in Chile. Tomorrow I start my drive back to Washington despite the forecasts for a horrible storm. These forecasts have intimidated me and led me to plan my trip back along the coast. I do not want to get stuck because of snow-closed mountain passes. The trip will be slower and I am adding an extra day to the journey. If all goes well, I will be back on Wednesday.

In other news...
Just before Christmas I had a phone interview for a position at a college in Southern California. It must of gone well because they have invited me for a campus interview. This means that I am probably among the last 3 or 4 candidates. This is a big confidence booster, but at the same time it has made things much more hectic. I am flying down for the interview less than a week after I get back. Before I do I need to prepare a lecture on my research and teach an Intro to Anthro class. I also had to find someone to look after the dog while I am gone and I still need to figure out what to do with my own class since I will be missing the second and third meetings. Not a good way to start the semester.

During my visit here in San Diego I went to see my best friend from high school's daughter who is in the hospital with cancer. She had a tumor in her leg that has spread. While that tumor has shruck with chemo, she now has cancerous growths in her lungs. To be honest, when she was diagnosed almost two years ago, I doubted that she would live this long. But her outlook is not that good. While we were there, they had to reinsert the catheter in her chest where she receives medications and numerous other fluids. She began screaming and crying even before they touched her. As they inserted the needle, she screamed in a way I have never heard anyone scream. My heart goes out to this child who a couple of years ago was a vibrant and joyful little girl. Now she is a lonely and scared little person in a hospital. I must say though that the Children's Hospital in San Diego is an outstanding institution.

Yesterday I went to donate blood into my friend's daughter's account. It was the least I could do. If any of you in the San Diego area have a pint of blood that you don't know what to do with, please consider donating it at the San Diego Blood Bank - account YG01.

I should get back to my packing. I will be gone for a couple of days again, but I am sure you will all do fine without me. You always do. I will try to make an appearance when I get back to Washington, although things are bound to be hectic and busy.

I hope you all are well.