Posting has been light because it’s the beginning of the academic year and I have a lot going on research-wise.

Here are some things that I’ve been doing aside from writing and setting up the semester:

1. I’ve gone to an outdoors pool just for myself. For the first time in 13 years. What prevented me from going for 13 years? Well, it’s obviously not the lack of $5 that one visit costs.

I had an amazing time. The pool is surrounded by cornfields on 3 sides. It’s extremely peaceful to sit there and stare at the empty fields. I got a ton of work done.

2. I finally managed to have a good cup of coffee at work. For the first time in 9 years. I got a very beautiful free coffeemaker in a retro style through Vine and brought it to my office. What prevented me from doing this before? Well, it’s obviously not the lack of free coffeemakers which I get offered almost daily on Vine.

3. I’m teaching myself a crash course in post-crisis literature because I need to write a talk for Germany, and it’s not like I can show up with a bunch of recycled material I published before. Post-crisis literature is outstanding, by the way.

4. This is the second month I’m getting a BomiBox, which is my Korean beauty subscription. I couldn’t be happier about it. Great selection, great variety, interesting new products. They need to do twice-monthly boxes to be completely perfect.

5. I’m trying out an experiment where I only pay cash for anything that isn’t bills. Unexpectedly, it saves a ton of money.

6. I’m level 907 in Candy Crush.

7. In a curious reversal of roles, N now makes breakfast for me. And it’s delicious. He does steel-cut oatmeal with all sorts of add-ons: sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, dried apricots, bran, etc.

8. I resigned from being a union rep today. Not for any ideological reason but because I have too much going on and I can’t give it the time it deserves.

9. I have 7 trips planned this academic year but I have hopes that one or two more will surface. They are not all work-related, obviously.

What’s been going on for you?

14 thoughts on “Update

  1. I just started school but things haven’t gotten too busy yet. Lately I’ve just been in awe over Republican’s attacks on my congressional candidate so I’ve been falling that. The party is straight up accusing him of being a communist (which is especially heinous because his mother was a refugee from the communist Chinese.) They’re also trying to link him to Libyan terrorist attacks that happened when he was 6 and to 9/11. I expect they’ll blame him for the Rape of Nanking next.


  2. I got my AS, and I got a job in my field! I’m working in a hospital lab. It’s a first step. I’m taking a year and deciding on what the next step should be.


  3. My wife and I just returned from WorldCon in San Jose CA. Before and after we visited friends, first in Watsonville, then in Berkley.

    I attended a topology conference at Auburn University in March, and another one at California State Chico in May. We have made two trips to St. Louis to see operas. We saw you on the second trip to St. Louis.


  4. Very busy with the beginning of the semester, but I had a great experience in one of my courses Thursday morning. We were discussing the first longish text of the semester and it’s one that past students have tended to find “ok, but not great” and I have to point out lots of things they didn’t notice to convince them that it’s actually better than they had initially realized. But this group was very enthusiastic about the text and thought it was great, they had picked up on most of the things I wanted them to notice, and we had a really lively class discussion. I had been worried about that class because it is a bit larger than usual, but now I think it’s probably going to be a really enjoyable group.

    I have wound up on lots of committees for this year and I’m a little worried about keeping up with that and all of the grading since my courses are all pretty full. But we have two trips planned and booked for the winter break and I bought tickets to several plays and dance performances throughout the fall semester. Having things like that booked before the start of the semester is so good for me psychologically. On those days when my to-do list seems impossibly long, a few minutes thinking about those trips is a great boost to power through and get things done.


  5. I just got the report from my first post-tenure review. Apparently everything is looking good, despite the amount of time I waste reading blogs.

    BTW, I ordered Cold Intimacies based on your recommendation and started reading it last night. Thanks for pointing it out.


  6. I am on partial FMLA due to my father’s situation and it’s great, I am only teaching 2 classes. One is a decent junior-level course I’ve taught before and that goes well, and the other is a senior/graduate seminar right in field.

    I have page proofs.

    For my cousin’s 100th birthday there was an exhibit of his works at the Pushkin House-Museum.

    I am late on an article. I have the whole day to work on it, though.

    I have 2 speakers coming this semester. One is not famous and will have an audience because I am scheduling them during class time, and inviting others to attend. The other one is very famous and nobody seems interested so far. I hope to have an audience at least, and not to be the only one at the dinner. I TOLD people they should not have me invite this person unless they were really interested – I TOLD them.


  7. Right now, reading posts like

    Зверское преступление против участницы Майдана и гражданской активистки – Екатерине Гандзюк плеснули в лицо концентрированной кислотой – всколыхнуло людей.

    and poems:

    Арсений Тарковский

    Вот и лето прошло,
    Словно и не бывало.
    На пригреве тепло.
    Только этого мало.

    Все, что сбыться могло,
    Мне, как лист пятипалый,
    Прямо в руки легло,
    Только этого мало.

    Понапрасну ни зло,
    Ни добро не пропало,
    Все горело светло,
    Только этого мало.

    Жизнь брала под крыло,
    Берегла и спасала,
    Мне и вправду везло.
    Только этого мало.

    Листьев не обожгло,
    Веток не обломало…
    День промыт, как стекло,
    Только этого мало.



  8. Have you heard of this?

    Американские ученые разработали лекарство, которое может произвести настоящую революцию в анестезии. Новое обезболивающее намного эффективнее морфина, но при этом не имеет его побочных эффектов, главный из которых – развитие зависимости от препарата.

    Вещество, получившее название AT-121, уже прошло испытания на животных, включая высших приматов, и показало впечатляющие результаты.

    “Кроме того, это вещество эффективно блокирует потенциальное злоупотребление лекарственными опиоидами, поэтому мы надеемся, что его можно будет использовать для лечения не только боли, но и опиоидной зависимости”, – заявил один из разработчиков лекарства, профессор фармакологии Университета Уэйк-Форест Мэй Чуань Ко.



    1. Problem is, we heard all the same things about opioid meds that were said to have been engineered in a way that prevented addiction. And then the opioid crisis happened.

      Medication doesn’t cure pain (it only deadens the symptoms) and medication definitely doesn’t cure addiction.


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