again and again and again and again. again and again, again and again
Monday April 01st 2019, 11:12 pm
Filed under: family,fear,HelLA,himself Tags:

Less The Bird and the Bee, more father in the hospital. Again and again. “They threw a reception for me when I got here,” he said today, “and that’s the only time I saw that one doctor, who, it turns out, is parters with this other doctor from Missouri, who knows so-and-so.” And this is with the oxygen. At least it’s sometimes cheerful where he is, wherever the fuck that is, and he can network and play a political angle on his Alzheimer’s-ridden fantasies.

So now, oxygen. A return to wheelchairs not walkers. He couldn’t remember that he had oxygen, that it was in his nose, not his ear. Why it was there. He’s got my birthday. He’s got the grudge that he hasn’t seen YCT in quite some time. He forgot 8 hours of my sister on Saturday from 3-11am, but he remembered that I graced him with my presence for a few hours that same day (well trained, that). He knows he’s a player, but he doesn’t know what he’s playing. And the pieces won’t stay on the board. And he’s so very, very, very afraid of dying.

I dunno. “Haven’t seen him in weeks” has been the joke for so long re: ending it all. But helping him into bed, being forced to touch his old man’s body (and those feet. My god. Those feet. Blood clots, apparently, plus diabetes, and maybe losing a few toes. Those feet. You could lose your soul getting too near those feet.) All of his weaknesses. And all of that terrible strength so long ago. Only a few years, now, until small is the age I was when he was when it was. It’s unimaginable, but even more horrifyingly, I don’t need to imagine it – I can just picture it. I will never. But I will never not know. And I can’t protect him from knowing someone who knows, even if (and i fucking believe it, absolutely) that he’ll never know.



Moral calculus
Tuesday May 23rd 2017, 11:26 pm
Filed under: fear,grief,teaching Tags:

They were unconvinced. It is, frankly, not Lakoff’s finest. There are some truths, but he’s too eager to make them systemic, totalizing, rather than doing his best work – poking small holes in other people’s bubbles. So, moral economies, positive actions and debt repayments. Before frames, even. So we did an analysis of the Manchester bomber’s possible calculus. And the horror of seeing everything as quantifiable, the cost (metaphor not intended) was too much.



4 minutes later
Wednesday June 01st 2016, 10:33 pm
Filed under: family,fear,friends,grief,whatsnext,Work Tags:

4 minutes later, 4 minutes after my meaningless check in to TPT this morning, a man would shoot another man. 2 shots, apparently, to shoot and kill his engineering professor. It has been widely reported, though without any substantiation I’ve seen, that he did so over grades.

So, here, everyone – have an A. Have 52 channels of A. Because I’m not dying because I gave you a B, or a C, or a D. And YCT shouldn’t have to spend 2+ hours “locked down” in an “active shooter situation” because your euphemisms don’t hide how FUCKED UP all of this is.

The anger is replacing the fear, the frustration overrunning the helplessness, the rage rumbling against the tender and the desperate.

The anger that we allow this to happen, over and over. A school shooting a week, apparently, since Sandy Hook. But fuck numbers, fuck statistics. Anger that MY ANGER is always-already a symptom that is somehow invalidating. That it’s “hysteria” and a particular political stance. That to be angry about senseless gun death is to be hysterical, and thus wrong, and eminently dismissable.

Two and a half hours. Her students asked to give their final presentations, despite sitting on the floor in the dark, despite not being able to show their slides, despite their phones lighting up with texts and calls from loved ones intermittently. How is it possible that 15 students and a teacher, times 10, times 100, times 1000, times 2000, can be frozen in the dark, in fear? More than thirty five thousand students on campus, maybe fifty plus thousand including staff and faculty. Frozen. Talking about the Bront√ęs in context. The context of school shootings, of senseless wholesale death because we hold these truths to be self-evident: that my right to kill you, me, and anyone else with a gun is more important than anything else.

Tomorrow, I teach the last day of metaphors and embodied language – a “Fiat Lux” class, started in response to 9/11 to get students talking about the big issues. I think we’ll analyze the metaphors at play in all of the headlines and articles. And part of me, the terrified part, is relieved the class is pass/not-pass, and everyone will pas. And part of me is so, so, so very angry that I’m afraid.



one up, one down
Saturday May 21st 2011, 7:59 am
Filed under: damn,exit pursued by a bear,fear,hangover,HelLA,maudlin,Rubbish,Work Tags:

Not even that, really. I know deadlines are flexible, but this is fucking ridiculous. The lesser has one that’s quite positive, the greater one that’s quite negative, neither has two, nor answers, though I imagine they’re coming, soon, this week. Just after the Rapture, then, which might turn out to be conveniently timed. Ah, failure, my favorite category. Or, worse, indeterminate mediocrity. Thinking on driving home yesterday, “I don’t want to be famous, I want to be remembered.” Which doesn’t answer the question of scope or scale or quantity, but there you have it. Yet, I suppose much like the cancer that has come back, after all these years, to YCTNW’s family member, at least shit can move forward. I hold out hope, knowing it will hurt worse, having sent a potentially ill-advised (because reactionary) email. And a summer that will be filled with labor, though of spirits high or low it’s not entirely clear. Or perhaps that wine shop in Queens beckons.



rinse repeat revise
Thursday December 09th 2010, 10:34 pm
Filed under: fear,myjobfuckingsometimesdoesntrock,seasonal,tempest in a teapot,whingeing,Work Tags:

Mostly because I want a record,doing this again. Again. Again. In classic Proustian fashion, the real tragedy here is that doing it only means it will happen again. It’s an insane final push, this, to get the manuscript shipped and shaped to send out. But it will come back, the odds say, and require rewriting and revising and resubmitting. There will be, then, another insane final push to get the manuscript shipped and shaped to send out, hopefully that time followed by first prize, a contract, which will prompt a third round of revise, though sans resubmit, leading to yet another insane final push to get the manuscript shipped and shaped to send out. With such a thrilling tripartite and repetitive future, yet everything riding on it at the same time, you might see how the exhaustion and the 18 hour days lack the charm they might once have, etc. Final days, though, minus some grading, a dinner, and a fucking trip to the dentist. And the status bar gives me a word count, and i wonder if it all might be better spent writing the other prose, the epilogue I hope to conjure, the transitions yet to be crafted for paragraphs lacking elegance. But there’s always the next round, inevitable as it is,as they are. How much of a fuck is enough of a fuck to give to make sure I get the rounds in, rather then ending fucked? If you see what I mean.



bad day, shit in need of burning
Saturday October 30th 2010, 6:29 pm
Filed under: fear,Work Tags:

Don’t really have time for em, so today’s shite day, brought to you by the letters QQ and the number of days I don’t have left, feels like a spectacularly shite day. Thursday’s inspiration on how to finish the chapter helped me make the transition from part 1 to, well, the chapter, but leaves me cold as far as actually finishing the chapter. An inspired transition to nowhere, really, suggesting I should be a politician in Alaska. Friday’s inspiring lecture (one student emailed me to thank me; one of my grad students emailed me to tell me how inspired the students were, etc.) fucking useless in the face of an undone chapter, and unwritten pages. The chapter that was supposed to be done by tomorrow, and won’t be (maybe just under 2/3 complete), and so November will be a month of doubling up, of polishing the shit out of everything else while still trying to add shit to the end of the chapter of shit (which was a different chapter, but has now officially shifted) and sorting out shit more generally, plus writing shit to append to beginning and end, plus summarizing the shit so that I can sell this shit. Well, shit. This shit might not end well. Or it might. Shit. Perhaps I should try burning it. “He burned the shit at both ends during that last month,” they’ll say. Or, not. Shit.



why do i care?
Saturday January 03rd 2009, 6:18 pm
Filed under: Berkeley,bored now,fear,friends,inner-polish-teenage-girl,tempest in a teapot Tags:

The question of the day. Followed by Do I Care, Is This Caring, What Is It I Actually Am Caring About, Why Does This Matter, and If You Don’t Care Why Are You So Fussed? An old friend, who at some point ceased to be a friend without actually ceasing to be a friend. If you see what I mean, and I think you do (or, for that matter, know of whom I speak). An angry outburst at the friend-in-the-middle last night, and dinner tonight. Which I’m sure will be perfectly innocuous. But I’m irked, and feeling unresolved about the whole caring question. Is it nostalgia (the pain of an open wound, says one), a lost self, a lost other, a very emphatically not lost self or other? “He’s a clown”, said still another friend, with regards to still another player in this dumb, dumb, dumb game that both is and isn’t, matters and doesn’t, bugs me and doesn’t.



puff puff pass
Friday September 12th 2008, 10:17 am
Filed under: change,fear Tags:

Better caffeinated, but the pit in my stomach grows ever deeper. Just this side of hyperventilating, looking out over the awful precipice of wanting, tempered by the shackles of fear and the crutch of comfort. Ah, Li Hua, you knew it well –

Shower, drive the always full but always lonely streets to work, head down and, well, work….