Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Better jobs than mine (part 39).

People, it was cold today, particularly during the part of the day when I was walking to my car, and thereafter. Cold, as in "cold." But it was all good, because after an extremely warm greeting from both Bruiser and the historian when I got home, the mail came, and there was a Sundance catalog. Good for browsing, good for venal envy, good for a good time before tossing it into the recycling bin.

Near the end of the catalog was an item: Paradox Pants. How, you may ask yourself, can mere trousers be paradoxical? Simple: they are "soft yet strong, fashionable yet functional."

Trendy yet timeless? Cute yet insufferable? Smart yet stupid? Maybe, cropped yet full-length? Come on, play along: ------- yet ---------. Dingy yet distinguished. Dorky yet delectable. Dopey yet Sleepy. Clearly my great powers of language manipulation are misplaced, misspent, misapplied, misused. Also: undercompensated. Undercompensated yet unappreciated. Wait, that's not a paradox.


  1. Beautiful yet ugly? Expensive yet cheap? Luxurious yet stingy? Concrete yet abstract? Here yet there.
    I want me some of them abstract pants. Please.

  2. 1) Loved yet hated.
    2) Salty yet sweet.
    3) Drunk yet sober.
    4) Fancy yet plain.

    I could probably go on, but I give myself a headache, yet wouldn't it be a good headache?


    And what's up. You never SigNo anymore. Have you lost my address? I think you have. Remove the old reference to the Comcast site and just go to http://www.signifyingnothing.com

  3. Okay. I was thinking about better jobs than mine today. I was watching Dillan (retarded, charming guy, 15-year veteran at the company, who delivers the mail). I was wondering whether I wouldn't enjoy swapping jobs with Dillan.

  4. I have no paradoxes to share but like Susan I've had moments of wondering what if.

    Once when I came into start my day as an alternative high school teacher, I saw the custodian, Allen, outside mowing the lawn. It was a brisk sunny morning yet he had a short sleeve shirt on. He looked like he was enjoying himself; in fact, in my seven years there I never saw him get angry or upset. I knew he would still be mowing away 30 minutes later while I would have to face grouchy teenagers and lazy colleagues.

    During the day I would make dozens of decisions about how to teach something or another, how to engage students, how to perfect team teaching, and how to deal with a young girl in my class who was addicted to heroin. In the afternoon I had yet another meeting where we would argue about the effectiveness of service learning; by the afternoon Allen would be cleaning up the commons, now emptied of students.

    And for a brief, amazingly brief given the contrast, moment I thought, what if....

    (Sorry I think this is a post rather than a comment)



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