Saturday, December 27, 2008

Public Service Announcement

[The following is prompted by some of the answers on the final exam in one of my classes where students could earn extra credit by identifying the capitals of several countries]

The capital of Mexico is not:
  • Tijuana
  • Cancun
  • Margaritaville
It's Mexico City (or Ciudad de Mexico, D.F.).

Thank you for your attention.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snowed In

Today was supposed to be a productive day.

I was supposed to go into the college, grade, collect papers, and get organized.

The weather had other plans.

It became a mellow day at home.  Not very productive, but I didn't mind.

I am looking forward to tomorrow.  I plan on walking around and taking some pictures in the snow.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Avoiding Responsibilities

This semester I quickly fell behind with my grading.  Once papers start piling up, it becomes more and more difficult to make the pile shrink.

I intended to grade today - I did manage to be productive yesterday - but it just didn't happen.  I didn't even look at a single paper.  In some ways, it is better for the students.  If I am not focused, I am more irritated.  The more irritated I am, the harsher grader I become.  

Of course, there is no guarantee that I will be feeling more focused or more charitable tomorrow or the day after.  Well, tomorrow I probably won't as I have an exam to give at 8:30 and then I have meetings.  

I enabled my procrastination by watching the Charlie Brown Chirstmas special tonight.  It had been ages since I watched the special.  I had always liked Peanuts and the special (in particular the music).  This time around I was amazed by the sophistication of the social commentary in the original special.  Sara, who was also watching, turned to me at one point and commented, "This isn't really for kids, is it?"  It is also amazing how relevant it is even today's society (it originally aired in 1965).  

Sara and I also joked about how all the Peanuts kids would be diagnosed with some disorder today and medicated in one way or another (or removed from their families and placed in foster care).  I even think it could be a new holiday party game: diagnose the Peanut kid.  

Oh, and the similarity between Snoopy and Zeus are uncanny.  Except that Snoopy is afraid of cats...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sign of the Apocalypse?

It was 62 degrees today.  And tomorrow we are supposed to get snow.

I am not complaining about the snow, but I wish the weather would make up its mind.

Today I spent most of my waking hours writing letters of recommendation (what goes around, comes's payback for all of those I asked my profs to write) and grading (I am nearly done with one of my three classes).  

Tomorrow I get interviewed by the NY Post.  I guess I am one of those rare creatures that has bought a house in recent times.   I may use this opportunity as leverage with a little accounting problem we have had with the bank that we got our mortgage through (more on that later).

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The Return

Yes, I have been away. Away in the land of being grown up.

House ownership.

Long-term, permanent work.

Short-term consulting gigs.

Politcs and elections.

Unpleasant surprises.


You know?  Responsibilities.

I am not sure what to make of it all.  

It has been a crazy set of months.  The fall semester is done - only finals remain and a ton of grading.  

I am looking forward to some down time.  I need it.  The dogs need it.  The house needs it.  

The house.  It is a wonderful place.  We were so fortunate on this front.  There have been the quirks of owning a new home, but relative to many of the horror stories I have heard, we are doing well.  There is still much left to do to make it fully home.  There are still many boxes that need to be unpacked.  The wonderful thing, though, is that when I unpack a box, I get to throw it away (yes, it goes into recycling).  No longer do I need to save it for "the next move."  It is such a wonderful feeling.  

We are finally getting real furniture.  We now have nice leather sectional for the living room, rather than a collection of rescued arm chairs and futons.  I ventured out into the Black Friday madness to purchase a bedroom set that was a good buy during one of those early-bird specials.  Being able to identify that the sales person was from Nigeria and asking him whether he was Ibo or Yoruba got me free delivery.  

Slowly it is becoming ours.

It has been a hectic autumn and my writing - here and elsewhere - has taken a hit.

But I need to return to it - especially elsewhere, but my writing here can be my muse, I hope.  

So grab some coffee and be prepared to indulge in my mindless rants, inane observations, and pointless stories.  Maybe...