Fagles, Dead
Sunday March 30th 2008, 10:41 am
Filed under: dead languages,obits,Work Tags:

Robert Fagles died a few days ago (NYTimes Obit).  That sucks.  I’ve been meaning to buy his new Aeneid for _ages_ now, and yet not having had time to read it, I’ve held off.  Maybe late April, then, to be read with gratitude for having translated the Iliad I read in high school, an Oddyssey I read in college, and an Aeneid to which I greatly look forward.  There’s a nice longer piece on him here.  I’m sick, feverish, sore of throat and pathetic of mien, yet shall continue to write.  If only Chronicles of Edward I and Edward II wasn’t missing from our library (and, for that matter, the library closed Fri-Sun.), and if only Google wasn’t stupid about putting the full view online, rather than snippet view, just because some fricking reprint company released a reprint in 1965.  Trust me, the 1882 edition is well out of copyright.  Anyway, I am not a translator, but for Fagles, “experto credite.”  

Friday March 28th 2008, 9:32 am
Filed under: geek Tags:

I’m sick. Or fighting something (throat of sandpaper, lung-rattling cough, etc.).  Perfect timing.  Whilst in denial over my morning coffee, however, and idly poking through WP themes and fonts, as I know this site looks shitein Windoze, I encountered an article on the Mac browser Safari, and how it now renders “webfonts” – check out this (or, if you’re on a PC, click here for a comparison.)  Imagine, not having to really on cascading font declarations, but able to just specify the fricking font.  As a veteran if profoundly amateur web designer, the prospect is most exciting.  April 19th, I shall be free.  Thoughts with the friend who got fucked by the Terminal 5 fiasco yesterday (which, I notice, the Beeb actually downplayed quite a bit), hoping you get home.  

Thursday March 27th 2008, 3:33 pm
Filed under: geek,sober,talks,Work Tags:

I was googling around on a topic for this talk (help!).  The Wikipedia entry looked, for a moment, as if it might have something to add, before I recalled that I pretty much wrote the damn entry (15 June 2004, according to the history of the page).  Should I trust myself?  Back to it….

Wednesday March 26th 2008, 1:45 pm
Filed under: whingeing,Work Tags:

Drowning. Busy. Out of town, back. Work. Depart in a week for that funny non-America North American country.  May stay, in case of emergency. But drowning in talks to write, syllabi to write, Distinguished Visiting Guests to host, classes to teach, and talks to write. Oh, and finish the damn grading.  Expect erratic and petulant updates.

Can’t make it up
Thursday March 20th 2008, 1:24 pm
Filed under: can't make that shit up,Miscellaneous, Truly Tags:

Ah, beeb, I love you so: “Filipinos warned on crucifixions. Health officials in the Philippines have issued a warning to people taking part in Easter crucifixion rituals.They have urged them to get tetanus vaccinations before they flagellate themselves and are nailed to crosses, and to practise good hygiene…..The health department has strongly advised penitents to check the condition of the whips they plan to use to lash their backs, the Manila Times newspaper reports.”  Gotta keep those whips and crosses clean, folks: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7305522.stm

something ventured, etc.
Wednesday March 19th 2008, 10:24 pm
Filed under: exit pursued by a bear,family,whingeing,Work Tags:

Well, the grading hasn’t gone half as well as it should have done.  Although the woman sitting in my office requiring a regular infusion of tissues as she wept her way through the “my husband said he wants a divorce” line did take up a good 40 minutes.  I can’t tell if the issue is that I care, or that I don’t.  A colleague, at a dinner amongst like-minded junior faculty (i.e. 3/5 of us) complimented me on my gravitas, and said there was no need to use talcum powder to gray my temples.  I was, of course, annoyed, although I would have been equally annoyed had she said I was “young” and “hip” (as annoyed as I was with the student who used scare quotes to convey the sentiment whilst inviting me to represent the English Dept for a recruiting event).  So, I want the gravitas, but I want to be one of the kids, I want to care, but I want to be carefree.  Is it any fucking wonder I can’t get their damn finals graded?  (Admittedly, they took the exam yesterday, but at least I’m quick to the self-flagellation this time ’round. Should cut back, all around, on drama. 10% .  Just like the state.)  Plus YCT’s parents are both, separately and yet magically collectively, in town, her brother’s in a bit of a bind, and we’re running away from all relatives, blood or otherwise, for the “Jews killed your dude” holiday this weekend.  Larks, Pip, serious fucking larks.  So, despite the TPT reclamation (and the fact Google indexes me again.  Take that, Google. Cuz I stoled you’re chalks.  You got that? I stoled your fucking chalks.) I’ll be on hiatus at some point over the next 6 days.  Not 7. Cuz I have way too much work to do for that. 

Tuesday March 18th 2008, 9:00 am
Filed under: geek,inner-polish-teenage-girl,procrastination,Work Tags:

Did I mention I was busy?  Please believe me that developing this site is not finished, by a long shot. I want to re-do the archives (too many, too busy), the font (too ugly on Win), the navigation on the left (too arbitrary), the color scheme (too white/black/gray), the picture (too grassy), the comment and tag color (too red), the footer (too big), and the lack of a favico (too lame). First, however, I need to go finish writing my final examination and then, you know, sit there and proctor the thing for farking 3 hours while the little bastards scribble furiously.  Then alas, I need to grade the damn thing (having finished grading the last few papers during the exam).  Write write write work work, etc.  I spend so much time being busy, I don’t feel I get a whole lot of time to just be smart.  Oh, it isn’t easy being green, or me.  oh well.  A vigorous wave to old friends who have found their way to the new site.  And don’t worry – my inner drama queen will resurface, but right now it’s all geekery and work. The drama’s not gone, she’s just waiting for an opportune moment to start throwing wrenches….

oh, the statistics you’ll know
Monday March 17th 2008, 8:47 am
Filed under: geek,teaching,whingeing,Work Tags:

More geekery, I’m afraid, this time over coffee. I’d forgotten how satisfying it was to have (the illusion of)  Complete Control Over Your Online Environment.  See that link up there? I did that. I styled that. I slapped around some stolen CSS, and in the fashion of derivative works everywhere, it’s now _mine_.  Ah, derivativity, the idea and the anxiety that launched a thousand ships for me. Or, at least, one M.Phil and D.Phil thesis, and will play a small cameo in the upcoming Book. (OK, it’s too early to panic about writing time.  Today’s agenda: grade last 2 papers [submitted on Thursday, I’ll have you note – that’s how fricking desperate I am for time], meet with grad student about Old English Orals list, make up final examination for tomorrow, and, oh yeah, throw everything I’ve got for one final day of writing Retirement Talk of Staggering Genius so that I can turn to my talk on a body politic that keeps chopping bits off its own body. Or something.  Oh, and the flat needs cleaning, badly, in advance of the arrival of YCT’s mother.  I’m sure there’s something else, but I refuse to look at my calendar or to-do list until I’ve finished this first cup of coffee).  Where was I?  Web stats. CSS.  Thieving it all back.  Life.  Yeah, whatever.  It doesn’t count as procrastination if you weren’t going to use that time to work.  And, what’s the difference between tags and categories?  Hmmph.  On the other hand, I’m making a bid for Google to re-learn “I stoled you’re chalks”.  You see that Google? Scrape that shit. Index it.  Remember it.  Cuz I stoled you’re chalks. 

Take that, domain thieving bitches
Sunday March 16th 2008, 5:42 pm
Filed under: geek,procrastination Tags:

Lady and gentleman, boy and girl, tenpointtype is back!  I felt the odd impulse this morning to see whether the original domain, tenpointtype.org, had become available, and lo, it was so.  I let the domain lapse, very consciously, shortly after I moved to New York, in early 2005.  I hadn’t been writing much (I’m still not, of course, but that’s not the issue), I was totally broke (I still am, but that’s temporary), utterly miserable (not so much), despondent and despairing (again, not so much) and just not interested in publicly whingeing in a non-stop fashion.  Clearly, evil cyber-thieves have automated clients set to discover domains that are not renewed promptly, so when I let the original tenpointtype domain lapse, it got snapped up by parties unknown.  And there was no way in hell I was going to buy it back from the domain kidnappers for $100. So I let it sit, and there things stood, until this morning.  But now, in an idle moment (read: WAAAAAAAY too much work, ever more creative procrastination and work-avoidance), I discovered TPT was available. I’ve registered the domain, set up a year-long hosting with evil corporate domain hosting people (which next year perhaps I’ll switch to someone reasonable, but I was in a hurry), and, well, that’s all she wrote.  I don’t imagine I’ll spend too much time working on the site in the near term future (although I’ve downloaded WordPress already….),and will continue to whinge here. But it feels like a victory, nonetheless, so I thought I’d share.  Hmm. Shower, grade, write. Sigh.

Thursday March 13th 2008, 6:53 am
Filed under: calendars,commies,reminiscence,whingeing,Work Tags:

Last day of class, tomorrow.  And my reward? A shitload of papers, followed by a shitload of finals, on Tuesday.  If I handle it right (i.e. punish/reward myself sufficiently), I should have it all cleared off my desk by this time next week, so I can abandon the paper I was working on today (*waves cheerily*) and turn to the one I haven’t written (*waves warily*) before then turning back to the one I was working on, etc.  The turn around is brutal – a single week of spring break, and then the new quarter, and in that week the two talks and two classes to prepare.  Yes, of course it could be much much worse, and to the one of you who I know reads this with her 4-4 teaching load, yeah, poor little rich kid, etc., but hell, it’s my blog and I’ll whinge if I want to.  Last year I taught Fall and Winter, and had spring off – I went to England last April, to look at the books (and drink of the pints, if my increasingly saturated memory serves aright).  An email exchange with the friend who probably will never receive the letter, and a friendly reminder that her shit doesn’t stink.  And a thought, unexpected, that if I stay here until they’ve decided they won’t make me leave, I’m playing it safe.  Never been my strong suit, safe, even if it’s been my weak point (if that makes any sense, and I think it does, if you know what I mean and I think you do).  Why not shove my head in the jaws of a hostile institution halfway through?  Although I should probably finish this book of mine, in that case, and get it out the door and perhaps a polite review or two.  Or, fuck it, burn the shit.  Admit that I have less control over my life as “successful” than I ever did whilst betwixt and between and in the cracks.  And reassert that control by redefining successful.  Or just admit that I’m annoyed I finished the Scotch.  “I’m out of Chivas,” he said to a room full of construction workers, staggeringly slightly.  Not me, fools.  Him. To quote M., as N calls him, “Only to read childrens’ books / only to love childish things, / throwing away adult things, / rising from saddest looks.”