Monday, April 30, 2007

Summer agenda:

(Articulating this now will help me get through the next two weeks, I feel certain.)

1. a new, non-work e-mail address that I will give only to people I want to talk to over the summer.
2. Check work e-mail only twice a month.
3. Digital days and analog days (on digital days: blog, read/send e-mail, do electronic composing of various kinds, read online. On analog days: write with a pen, play the piano and other instruments I have, sew, make books, read books.).
4. Watch television if I feel like it (actually, that's not so different than the rest of the year. Also, it's an exception to the digital/analog rule. If I want it to be.)
5. Go on a road trip with the historian.
6. Celebrate the birth of a grandson (soon!).
7. Whoop it up with Scotland daughter and her family, coming to visit (soon!).
8. Go to Idaho (oh thou fount of every blessing!).
9. Go to the farmer's market.
10. Read books. Lots of them.
11. Take walks. Lots of them.
12. Hang out with college daughter, running son, singing son, and makeup artist/new mom daughter as much as time, their schedules, and their willingness allows.
13. Garden (aka get the yard in shape).

All kinds of wonderful. I just have to get through the next two weeks.

Friday, April 27, 2007


I found this on In honor of the last days of National Poetry Month, the Colbert/Sean Penn Meta-Free-Phor-All, moderated by Robert Pinsky. Robert Pinsky!

If possible, view in a location with extremely fast internet. Your experience will be immeasurably more delightful.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Status report.

1. Moratorium on buying clothes and books: over.
2. Shower: still boss.
3. Student work still to respond to: a bunch.
4. Mouse count: zero since Valentine's Day
5. Music listening agenda: thirteen out of thirty-nine proposed recordings
6. Procrastination cake: finished

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


More mobile blogging. Today was an exquisite day for taking in a track meet, by the way. Too warm for the runners, probably, but great for the spectators.

The historian takes in the track meet.

Mobile blogging for the first time.

Of course, it's hardly mobile when I'm sitting in my living room . . . I think I will try posting from a track meet later today.

Monday, April 23, 2007

O, Pioneer!

Yesterday sometime between 4 and 5 p.m., the power went out here in my little piece of the heaven we call the South Valley. Among the things this meant, because I don't think you can fathom this for yourself, my readers:

1. no wireless, and hence, no internet (because all wireless is, ultimately, wired, isn't it? well, it is at the megastore, anyway)
2. no lights
3. no electricity--obvious, I know, but from this point follows
4. no cooking
5. no heat
6. impeded reading, and worst of all,
7. no television

I would have been a horrible pioneer, it's clear. We went to the dog park in the rain (oh, yes, there was not only no power but there was also rain), came home to still no power. A little whining later took us out for Mexican food. When we came back, the neighborhood streetlights were on, but still . . . no power! So not only could I not kid myself about the grading I still needed (and, as it turns out, still need!) to do, I couldn't blur my conscience with back-to-back episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, which almost always helps me ease from Sunday into Monday.

More whining ensued. We found piles of candles and lit them, which made it so we were less likely to stumble, but unable to do much else. I called my folks and had a nice conversation (another reason that a cell phone is good--you can call even when the power's out). The historian located a couple of flashlights. I got into my pajamas at 9:30 p.m., dear readers, which is like saying, "I gave up on life," climbed into bed with a flashlight and Foucault 2.0, and read for awhile. I fell asleep by 10, probably, and slept that kind of sleep where you're sort of between worlds--sleep is using you to think about your real life, in other words. I'm pretty sure I had good ideas about where to take our vacation, why so many people misread Foucault, what to cook for dinner if my stove ever worked again. Also, I had a nightmare about going to a conference but not being fully prepared with all the travel details (wait, I'm pretty sure I lived that nightmare once, but never mind).

The power finally came back on after midnight. The historian was extremely industrious during this darkness, organizing stuff, ignoring my intermittent whining, etc. The upside of this pioneering is that I got a massive amount of sleep yesterday. Also, the house has a lingering scent of candlewax.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Why don't we get together after the dance?

Running son and date (Sammy), who permitted photos before going to the prom.

A little history is called for here: there has been little in the way of going out with girls during RS's tenure as a teen boy. What with the jobs where he works just enough to pay for, what, his incidental expenses, the upkeep of the party shed, his sporting activities . . . oh, I don't know, and I frankly haven't cared, because it's just one more thing to worry about. I guess the point is, there's been none of this kind of activity before, and now, he presents himself in a tux . . .

. . . the wearing of which, of course, presents its own challenges. Here, his dad helps him to deconstruct the tie (previously: I helped him to buckle the silly vest around his extra skinny waist).

Handsome boy, pretty (smart, tall) girl. I haven't had a report about the overall event, though at some ungodly hour when it was all over, RS and his friend Dustin came by in civvies, with treats, to watch the Jazz game, which he had recorded. I arose to unlock the door, which entailed much flurrying and settling of dogs. By decree, I wasn't allowed to say a word about the outcome of the game. I really hope the dance was more fun.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


1. "I've just come from Modern Poetry class, and boy are my frontal lobes chafed." (My Science Fiction Twin)

Don't usually feel that way about modern poetry myself (although, come on, it really depends on the poet, doesn't it?).

2. Too much grading to do? so many students asking for extensions your head is coming unscrewed? suffering from brainmelt? Then bake, I say. There's a beautiful Procrastination Cake coming out of the oven any minute now. That comes after the Procrastination Thai food and the Procrastination movie (Fracture) (otherwise known as the Procrastination date, otherwise known as the Procrastination dinner-and-a-movie. And cake.)

3. Those who have opined within my hearing that there's nothing good at the movies, oh my gosh. You are crazy! There's so much good at the movies, including, and to wit: The Namesake, The Lookout, The Hoax. Also, Fracture was a completely good popcorn movie. Also, Becket, as in Richard Burton, is at the Regency. That's not to mention that Will Ferrell ice-skating movie which I am totally planning on seeing and totally laughing my ass off at.

4. But really, it's time to start finishing my work. That's tomorrow. That's after watching another track meet and taking the dogs to the park and maybe scrubbing my shower until it knows who's boss. And having some next-day Procrastination Cake.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Little stories.

Suburban scene. From the bedroom where I was watching The Gilmore Girls, I heard the historian answer the door, then little snatches of conversation. With girls, it sounded like.

"Bruiser's a great dog, too, but a little more rambunctious," he said. Then a little more back and forth; then the door closing.

"I hope that was all right," he said to me, standing in the bedroom door.

"What?" I said, meaning, "you hope what was all right?"

"I just let two girls--they were about 10 or 11--take Betty for a walk. They said they walk dogs, or bathe them, or pick up poop."

I paused, then said, "I think it'll be fine." Both Bruiser and the historian watched from their respective perches to see if I was right.

Fifteen minutes later, the two girls returned. A little rush of air and excitement when they came back in. Bruiser leapt to his feet from the bed where he was helping me keep track of the plot of The Gilmore Girls, what with all the coming, the going, and the walking of dogs (but not him). The girls reported that Betty was "sweet" and that she "mosied along." This time, I arose from my television watching posture to meet them.

"I grew up with big dogs!" the more garrulous of them exclaimed. "I've walked Great Danes, Rottweilers, boxers, . . ."

"Well, then, if you've walked those kinds of dogs, you can definitely walk Bruiser," I said. They agreed. They're coming back next Tuesday, they said, at 6:45 p.m., to take Betty on another walk, for 30 minutes this time. (We paid them $2 each for today's trial walk.) In a couple of weeks, they said they'd try taking Bruiser out for a spin. Maybe when it gets warm, we'll pay them to give baths to our big dogs (one of them a very, very furry big dog).

Signifying Bruiser. I often think Bruiser would talk to me if he could. He seems to have quite a bit to say. He hardly every uses his words, though. Bruiser communicates through the manipulation of objects. For instance, when he's hungry, he picks up his food bowl, which is metal, carries it a short distance, then drops it on the floor with a clatter. Then he looks up at you. As if to say, "Do you get it now? Do I need to spell it out for you?" If the water bowl's empty, he spins it. I'm pretty sure he would have a lot to say about, say, who the Democrats should nominate for their Presidential candidate, or what we should do about Iraq. He just doesn't have an appropriate object to manipulate.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Good weekend.

running son set a personal record (4:48) in the mile (meet at Mountain View)

bruiser tore it up at the dog park

it's definitely spring

Thursday, April 12, 2007

1600 meters.

Running son wasn't particularly happy with the results of this race--he's in the lead here, but came in second. Even so, last week he didn't even feel good enough to run this event, so that's progress. He'll run another mile and an 800 on Saturday, the results of which I will report.

In other news, I'm about a third of the way through writing a little piece I like to call a "keynote address" for the Student Philosophy Conference, a process which inevitably leads me to contemplate questions such as "how did I let this happen?" At the moment, the paper is called "Philosophy, Unreadability, and the Question of Henry James' Late Style," and so far I'm citing Stanley Cavell, Mikhail Bakhtin, Max Beerbohm, and Marianne Moore. Also the Old Undecidable himself, HJ. Could be a disaster--I'll let you know.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Track meets.

Wednesday and Saturday were track meet days. Running son has suffered a series of ignominious injuries (a bursitis of the hip--trans something something bursitis; a sprained ankle) as well as a cold that derived, I am sure of it, from not enough sleep (aka, not going to bed when I advised) and eating crap. So his meet on Wednesday saw him, on the one hand, not running his main event (the mile) because basically it was hard for him to breathe through all the snot, but on the other hand, running events he will never run again, such as the 4x4 relay, in which he ran a respectable 400 meters in 56 seconds. Also a 200 meter dash and the 800, which is or will be, we think, one of his events.

The 800 meter.

Unknown female hurdler, from another school, no less.

Using the panorama feature of one of my zillion photo programs to turn a series of shots of this sprinter (this time a West Jordan Jaguar) into a single photo, a little electronic feat that I happen to think is pretty damn cool. (Click on the photo to see the coolness, but bigger.)

Running son feeling pleased as punch at his unexpected strong anchor leg in the 4x4.

This morning's meet was down at Orem High. Feeling good enough to run in the middle heat of the mile, RS had a personal record of 4:51 in the mile.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What is wrong with this picture?

More like, what is right.


1. The daybed is part of a massive renovation taking place in the party-shed. Yes, we're starting another season. What you can't see is the brand new floor Teen Boy Squad have almost already installed. While it's true that there has been random thriftstore furniture in the yard and on the patio for a couple of weeks, and also they threw away a shocking amount of trash that was without question from last season, despite all the promises they made to me about how they had totally cleaned out the shed, progress is being made. Some progress.

2. Duck, you say? Yes, there was a wild duck in the yard this a.m. I tried for a closer shot but didn't want to scare it away. The historian took a longer view (what are historians for?), and shooed this duck and its mate away, thinking that perhaps they were seeking a nesting place. And, after all, we have dogs. Most likely at least one duck-eating dog (thy name is Bruiser). This reminds me of when a dog from my past life, a dachshund, captured a wild chicken in this same yard (I don't know--it was a chicken and it looked undomesticated--isn't that wild?) and ate it. He took it back to his bed and was protecting it pretty ferociously. The historian had to lure him--and dogs really never take the long view, do they?--away from the chicken carcass (precious!) with a piece of hot dog. Ironic.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Not caring one bit that I am a copycat. (okay, maybe just one bit.)

Middlebrow, as is his genius (well, one of his geniuses), found this cool new thing, which I am, as usual, copying. Also, I figured out how to use my cellphone pictures, finally, something I'm sure any ten-year-old knew but somehow I couldn't get sorted.


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