31 October 2005

- Lean and Mean -

So, I'm riding the train to the airport after the conference. I'm looking around, thinking, "man, people in this town are thin." Everyone on the train seemed exceptionally fit, thin, with well-toned muscles. I'm thinking this city doesn't have the supersize problem. Indeed this must be the fittest city in America.

Well, we come to a stop. Oddly, practically the whole train empties. As the train pulls from the station, I notice that there are lots and lots of people filling up the street in an incredible mass. There's a banner flying above the street. Then I remember—there's a marathon that day. Evidently this was the starting line.

I looked around the train. Normal Americans—just like me.

- Hallowe'en -

Judi J., first grader, is out making the rounds. She decided to be a fairy princess tonight. Surprise! Well, she is 6 after all! She also has a ghost costume (with a baby ghost doll), which she made clear she will put on to pass out candy after she is done trick or treating.

27 October 2005

- Travel Tale -

By some miracle, I actually arrived at the conference today. It all started when I stopped at the bank this morning and couldn't find my cash card. I'd left early so I just had enough time to go home and pick it up before heading to the airport.

Ok, so I'm going along, hitting every red light, but, hey, I'm cool about it.

So I arrive at the airport a little more than an hour before the flight, a bit tight but certainly ok, especially given that it's an early morning flight, so the wait at security isn't as long.

So I pull in to park, butgo in the wrong gate. Oops. Exit and back around the airport. Ok, lost ten more minutes on that, but still cool about it. I'm down to about 50 minutes. Getting tight, but it still shouldn't be a problem.

So I park and get to the shuttle station. There are already about 10 people there, so surely a shuttle has to be coming along soon, right? Am I wrong in thinking that?

Evidently I am. Because we wait there another 15 fucking minutes. The time clicks by. Finally, the shuttle comes. (Of course a second shuttle is right behind that one. Now that's useful. Whatever.)

Ok, so I arrive at the terminal and sprint to the kiosk. Enter my information. Which fucking airport am I going to again? What's its fucking code. So I finally just punch in the city. The computer takes its time finding the record. At last, there it is. I say I want to check one bag, press continue.


Time is 6:16 for a 6:45 flight. Missed the fucking check-in time by one minute.

Grrrr. I think I should have just stayed in bed.

* * * * *

Well, all's well that ends well. I flew standby all the way and managed to get in only about 90 minutes later than planned. And the hotel even has free wireless.

Now I can relax. Except I have to go out and see all those damn people at the conference.

24 October 2005

- Conference Report -

Well, conference #1 is over and done with. I finished the paper at 10 pm on Friday, presented at 1 pm on Saturday. That's as close as I've ever cut it. I hope I don't have to make a habit of it.

I still can't tell how the paper went over. It was the strangest thing. I got no vibe from the audience at all. The audience didn't seem bored. But I also received no feedback. I almost feel like I didn't present the paper. Weird, but whatever. The conference itself was good, and most importantly the food was exellent and there was coffee at every break. If you ever run a conference, remember the coffee. Folks will be forgiving for almost every planning foible so long as the coffee supply holds out.

Conferences #2 and #3 are in Boston and DC. They should be a bit less intense, since I'm not giving papers. But I do have an essay due at the beginning of December, so I'll be using some of the conference time to work on that.

22 October 2005

- Stress Puppy -

Still here, just in a panic writing a paper I finished last night. But it all ends this afternoon when I present it at 1. Whew!

17 October 2005

- Skating -

Yes, it was like 90 degrees yesterday, but the whole family nevertheless went skating. I haven't skated in years, though I grew up in Minnesota, so I practically learned to skate before I learned to walk. Judi J., first grader, however, had never skated. As you might expect, she could hardly keep from falling down when she started, but by the time we left, she was skating around the rink, slowly but on her own. It was so fun to see such determination in her face for the entire time we were there. She was going to figure out how to do this, by golly, if she had to stay there all day. By the time we left, about two hours later, she was exhausted but elated.

I'll post pictures if I can figure out how to download them off of my phone. I haven't figured out yet the bluetooth well enough to reliably download pictures.

15 October 2005


Yes, I am.

08 October 2005

- A Chance to Write -

It's been a busy week A couple of late days at school, lots of grading, lots of dissertation reading means: no time for my own work—and in two weeks I have to give a paper I haven't even started writing. Judi J., first grader and Spouse are headed out for an afternoon activity, so that will give me a couple of hours to write. Let's hope I can be productive.

05 October 2005

- More on Miers -

I must admit that I enjoyed seeing Georege Will go crazy over the Mier's nomination. I'm sure he used all of these same arguments when Dubya made questionable appointments to the federal and appellate courts...

With the two nominations Bush has made, I've been wondering whether Karl Rove has become persona non grata in the White House. Of course it's completely possible that Miers is a closet raving lunatic. But from the reaction on the right, you have to wonder why Rove couldn't convince Dubya to nominate someone who would make the true believers giddy.

Then an even more diabolic thought hit me: what if Rove in fact doesn't want Roe v. Wade overturned because it would remove one of the key issues that motivates the conservative base? He is an evil genius, after all, and it is completely possible to do the right thing for all the wrong reasons.

Rove would make a most fascinating character in a novel. And far too often fiction still seems to pass for reality these days.

03 October 2005


Harriet Ellen Miers??!

Dubya says: "I know her heart." Gosh, now I feel better.