Owl Ring

I also wanted to share with you a photo of my owl ring that I bought in the Dominican Republic. People everywhere start shrieking with delight when they see it.

The great Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva collected silver rings. She lived and died in the most dire poverty imaginable but, during the times when she had some money, she had boxes filled with unusual weirdly shaped silver rings that she gave as gifts by the handful to people she liked.

I also love my weird silver rings. People even refer to me as “the prof with the rings.”

The Definition of Good Parents

This is not my definition but it blows my mind with how good it is.

“You can see the difference between good parents and bad parents in the goals they pursue.

Bad parents want their child to become a lawyer / get a college degree / get married / have children / make a lot of money / learn to play the piano / be an athlete, etc. The child is an agent of their desires. S/he is supposed to structure his / her life in a way that will enable the parents to live out their fantasy vicariously.

Good parents don’t want any of this. They want to become redundant. This is their central goal: they work to ensure that the child is prepared to deal independently with the world, generate desires of his or her own, and work towards fulfilling them in any way s/he sees fit.”


Ideology Aside, Chick-Fil-A Food Is Garbage

Over a dozen times in the past week I have seen words “tasty” and “delicious” placed next to a description of Chick-Fil-A meals. This has got me wondering. Are people who write such things completely nuts? We have this pathetic excuse for food sold on our campus and I tried it twice. It tastes completely disgusting. The so-called chicken is made of stale cardboard. The fries are soggy and extremely oversalted. I felt woozy and bloated for hours after I ate this shit. A while later, I even tried it one other time to make sure I was giving the place the benefit of the doubt. Bleh! I still want to vomit as I think about it. Burger King is a Michelin-quality joint compared to Chick-Fil-A*.

I understand that nobody cares about the nutritional properties of this garbage in the midst of an important discussion on gay rights. But as much as I abhor the homophobic beliefs of people who flocked to the chain and bought its disgusting junk to support the hateful beliefs of its owners, I couldn’t help feeling compassion for the folks who not only bought but actually ate – put in their bodies! – crazy amounts of this poison in the midst of a heavy heat wave. I mean, go ahead buy it to support hatred everywhere, that’s your God-given right, but at least don’t consume the crap.

In my Spanish Beginners II class, I once decided to help students learn the names of different foodstuffs in Spanish.

“Tell me what your favorite foods are,” I suggested, “and I will teach you how to say it in Spanish.”

Immediately, students started sharing.


“Fried chicken!”

“Chicken tenders!”

“Chicken nuggets!”

“Chicken wings!”

That was when I realized that the activity wasn’t going as planned. Of course, I tried making my own suggestions because there is a limit to how many times you can say “pollo” in a classroom and not get bored. The students didn’t want to discuss anything but chicken, though. Beef and pork were deemed “boring”, rabbit and duck were disgusting, and all the different vegetables I started naming made students make vomiting noises.

People’s palates are woefully undeveloped. This country is the best place ever to explore all the permutations of all the amazing cuisines of the world. You can develop gastronomically as much as you want and not get financially ruined in the process. Yet people choose to eat the same chicken flavored cardboard day in and day out. This is incomprehensible to me.

* There is, however, one place that is worse even than Chick-Fil-A. It’s called “Arby’s.” I visited it once back in Indiana and I still have nightmares.

P.S. I swear to God, if anybody leaves an idiotic comment of the “Everybody should have the right to eat whatever they want” variety, I’ll bite their head off. I’m not proposing constitutional amendments preventing outlawing consumption of garbage. I’m just suggesting that people are limiting their experience of the world for no reason.