Wednesday, January 16, 2013


The interview?  It's over.  It started on Mexican time - half an hour late.   There were two interviewers: one was a woman whose questioning was a bit aggressive and the other was an old guy who just seemed tired.  My Spanish held up - a slip into Italian here and not remembering the word for counterpart were a couple of the mistakes. Overall, I don't think I could have done anything differently or better.

Now I wait.

These days I find myself struggling, questioning, and just feeling rather blue.  It seems like I can't get my feet planted without challenge after challenge coming up.  It is rather overwhelming and taxing.

Nothing much more to say right now.


Tuesday, January 08, 2013


Last summer I applied for a Fulbright fellowship to go to Mexico.  I would like to go there for a year to teach and do research.

I found out in November that my application was forwarded to Mexico following the peer review process in the U.S.  Then last month I was contacted by the Mexican Fulbright commission to schedule a skype interview.  That interview is tomorrow - and it is in Spanish.  Now this should not be a problem, but I will be nervous and it is quite a different thing to chat in Spanish and talk about your teaching philosophy and research plan.

Por lo tanto deberia estar escribiendo en espanol.  Un problema es que en esta computadora (es PC) no es facil poner los acentos.  En mi Mac, es mucho mas facil, pero no estoy usando mi Mac ahora.  

Pero bien, la entrevista.  No me gusta usar skype porque no me gusta verme en la pantalla.  Me distrae.  Siempre me pongo a pensar, de veras soy tan feo?  Ay, que pelon me estoy quedando.  Y luego me olvido de lo que tengo que decir.  Sin embargo, no hay de otra.  

Creo que se lo que me van a preguntar.  Porque quieres hacer este programa?  Como sera parte de tu formacion profesional?  Que cursos piensas ofrecer?  Seguramente habran preguntas que no puedo anticipar.  Deberia haber practicado mas para la entrevista, pero ahora ya es demasiado tarde.  Ni modo.  

Ademas de la solicitud a la beca Fulbright, he tenido que hacer mi solicitud para obtener sabatico de mi universidad.  En casi todas la universidades, un periodo sabatico es automatico despues de ciertos anos de empleo, pero en la mia no.  Solo hay un cierto numero de espacios y uno tiene que hacer la solicitud.  Este ano hay mas candidatos porque el ano pasado no se ortogaron ningun sabatico porque estabamos trabajando sin contrato.  El colmo sera si me gano la beca pero no me otorgan el sabatico.  Bueno, no puedo pensar en esto, tengo que concentrarme en la entrevista.  

Ya veremos como sale.  Sera muy breve - solo veinte minutos. Pasara lo que pasara.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Los Detectives SalvajesLos Detectives Salvajes by Roberto Bolaño
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Strange book with a very different structure.  The story about the two main characters is told through a collection of narratives collected from other 50 or so characters who interacted with the characters.  These narratives are book ended by the journal of a different character who really does not appear in the middle part of the book.  At times, the structure could be disorienting, but overall I liked it.

There is a lot of social and literary commentary embedded in the story, some of it which was beyond my expertise (the literary part).

View all my reviews

New Year
Blogs seem to be a thing of the past.  There are a few troopers that carry on, but the wonderful community that existed some eight to ten years ago is long gone.  

But I think I will come back and do my own little thing here.  Maybe its old school , retro, classic...etc.

Life continues to be a struggle - mostly because of finances.  Some due to mental issues.  Things change, yet they stay the same.  

Moving on.

Random thought - first of the year.  What's with the new toilet paper commercials?  "Enjoy the go"?  "Are you getting everything you want from your toilet paper"?  

It reminds me of when I was in middle school, we had a drama class.  For the class we were broke up into groups supposed to come up with different sketches.  The small auditorium was mostly empty save for a few random things left laying about.  One day, our sketch was supposed to be some type of television commercial.  My friend Fred, the most outgoing and charismatic of my friends, found a light socket with a light bulb with a three foot wire attached to it.  I am not sure why that was laying about in the auditorium but it was.  For some reason, we thought we would do a toilet paper commercial.  Fred was going to be the announcer.  We got Chris, the kid that usually got pushed around - mostly by Fred, to be the tester.  I think I was the assistant.  The commercial went as follows:  Chris would do his business and then use toilet paper A.  After which he would bend over and Fred would hold the light bulb on the wire up to his butt.  He would indicate how toilet paper A had left scratches and not done a good job at cleaning.  Then Chris would do some doo again and use brand B.  Again he would bend over while Fred used the bulb to illuminate his rear showing how this time he was clean and had no scratches.  

The students all found this hilarious, especially because Fred could really sell it.  The teacher, however, was horrified.  She was also a friend of my mother, who got a call that evening.  All my mom could say to me was, "Why?"  

We were middle school boys - similar to the ones who now are apparently writing toilet paper commercials.