Large numbers large difference small changes
Thursday February 28th 2019, 10:11 pm
Filed under: can't make that shit up,change,family,himself,money,nextish,something new,tired Tags:

Large numbers moved around today, after delays. Life changing, I suppose, though the life changes will be incremental rather than immediate. And, frankly, I already got a second shot a 13 years ago, and dug a hole just deep enough that I could always keep shoveling, and wasn’t going to drown, but wasn’t going to get very far ahead either. Which was fine. But instead, one typo and three sets of lawyers later, here I am. One completed, one pending, one with an additional step, and one to be folded in with some others. And then, presto magico, not only am I still part of the global bourgeoisie, but will be even more so. Neither elated nor despondent, not proud nor ashamed, nor quite meh. It’s a big deal. It will make his life different, and that matters, assuming we manage to make the differences the right ones. Who knows. I’m fucking tired. It was a weird day.

Vanitas vanitatis
Tuesday November 20th 2018, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Boozy,damn,Oxford,tempest in a teapot,tired,Work Tags:

ok, so I’d never heard of before – a search engine that apparently finances social and environmentally beneficial projects. I’ve no idea if that’s true. But, new search engine, first instinct is to do some work, see if anything new turns up. I ran three or four searches about the big article I’m slowly working on. Nothing important, but definitely a new slice of info out there. Then, curious/vain, a vanity search on my first book.  Only to find something new – reported statistics for the most-borrowed books from the English Faculty Library, Ford of Oxen. Only to find my book on the first page – the 24th most checked out book in academic year 2016-17.

Really, I’ve no idea how to process this fact. I assume it’s a version of me – one student, renewing and renewing and renewing it 38 times in the year, hoping Roberta won’t notice. Also, there are way too many medieval books on that list, suggesting serious imbalance. 1 and 10 are renaissance books, and 19 is post colonialism. And the rest of the top 25 are medieval, which is nuts.

Anyway, I’m apparently big in Japan, except Japan is Oxford, and that’s fucking mind boggling

(Update: it was totally one person, just the one year  I was big 2016-17, but not even top 200 since then. Missed my own damn 15 minutes, apparently)



I used to know them. Possibly all of them. Sometime after moving to HelLA, when Google Earth was still a new product, I made a flythrough of all the places I’d lived. A few were approximate, and I’m sure I started only notionally in HelLA before the litany of addresses in the Bay and UK – Unit 1, women’s co-op, Dwight, funny summer sublet that the dead guy from Sublime had rented, Piedmont/Oakland, MLK couch, the Mission, Ward, Warehouse, Fyfield, Iffley, North Oxford, (redacted), Goldhawk Rd, West Ken, LES, UWS, West Village, East Village, Brooklyn, aaaand back to WeHo. And then the list continued – midcity, Silverlake, Echo Park. And now, my ultimate fear, back to the suburbs. As if all the in between places didn’t happen. (Apparently, I do in fact know them all still. But that’s not my point.)

Which of course isn’t true. This isn’t the leaving of Ox, or even the leaving London despair of present and future purpose (though return still looks slim). This is a move cross-town to save time, lots and lots of time, for people large and (more importantly) small.

The tangible scars of my past can live again. Not the burns or pierces or tattoos – the BOOKS. No longer in boxes in the basement, the selves that rose and fall, lived and died, and folded tens of thousands of pages over to varying depths. Who failed to read, and failed to fold, chastened, even humbled, by the staggering expanse of unread pages. On bookshelves, freshly ordered for delivery in 10 days.

A walk up in the wet from a bar I’m fond of, but never lived at. A last hike tomorrow, I think, more meaningful, a thousand loops later. Likely without the 35 pounds, though. Toddlers don’t experience nostalgia, I don’t think, in the ways I do.

Though, I think we’ll come back to look at the mustard flowers.

Stress, and grief

She said, to answer my question what points she was working on. Also, where your spine meets your ribs, so, a major parenting spot. Not really an empty center. And her “hot hands” (shared, apparently, by her 11 year old daughter but not her 11 year old son) healing. And also disturbing, working through old and newer ambitions and desires, aspirations and intentions. A Greek meander left to right, hyper rational and logical, and all I am, a Celtic knot, mystical and magical and all I’m not very good at being and have, frankly, neglected. And a not very empty center.

twenty weeks was a lifetime ago
Saturday February 18th 2017, 11:19 pm
Filed under: Boozy,himself,tired Tags:

Helen’s congratulations on the halfway point of YCT’s pregnancy greets me every time I log on here – the last approved comment. At 2 plus 2 minus 4 days, “mine own self” over there (tossing and thumping), who today broke out “Yes. OhhhhKaaaay. Hiiiii” and “hidden junction” (!) (too many Thomas/train books) is long past the on-his-way phase.

Pacifiers. The bane of my existence, the chief solace of his. Alas, time to take it all away, particularly before preschool begins in a handful of months (!!!!!). But not today.

Dunno. Drunk. A day of taxes, books, music, walks, and Vietnamese food. There have been worse.

Wednesday October 26th 2016, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous, Truly,tired Tags:

It’s not a word. It’s just the truth. Who knew things could bring more tired into the world. I read after a meh day, where being prepared seemed to make everything less convincing. Which is discouraging. But so it goes. Meh. Tired.

Eleventh Fall
Monday September 19th 2016, 9:24 pm
Filed under: calendars,can't make that shit up,nextish,seasonal,tired Tags:

Having been shopping for child seats for a bike, not a great title, perhaps. But so it goes. 10 fucking years. 11 fall quarters. Thousands of students. And today, the 8th volunteer day, sorting canned goods at a food bank. The kids are alright (though, I know I wasn’t a kid at 18. Nope. Not at all.). Amusing that one of them was a junior-year-abroad from London, via TCD, who when I was describing my current book to a crowd tilted his head and said “Ashburnham House”?

Playing with the finally-upgraded new version of Logic, messing with vocals from North Oxford two? three? life-times ago.Double-tracking, re-pitching for harmonies and counter-lines, fiddling with pitch and timing for realism. Oh, the things you can do. Technology. Kids today. Etc.

Mostly, tired. But I try to begin fall with something more than the baseline of requisite enthusiasm. A few days in DC getting actual work done were a nice push to slough off the summertime sadness of another 6 weeks sold for money in a compromise I will always resent. Gonna be a busy year. It always is, but this one looks like more work and less ohmygodchildicanthelpfuckitivegotanexcusesorrybye.

Wednesday October 28th 2015, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Boozy,HelLA,himself,tired Tags:

Frittata. I couldn’t come up with the word. Egg thing that begins with f. Quiche. Quiche with an f. F quiche. Just gone. Other words have gone as well. I lost it 90 minutes into a three hour seminar yesterday. Just ran out of things to think, to say. I rambled unconvincingly. It’s week 5, of 10, and I’m hitting a wall. Two more reviews to write and a DH talk. I’ll get it done, cuz that’s what I do, and sheer force of will and coffee will see me through as they always have. But the ruthlessness that used to make that work is impossible in the face of a smile that glows and vibrates when you nuzzle his neck or chomp on his nose. Or even just look at him funny.

Dunno. But my god I’m fucking tired.

tempura tempora
Wednesday September 10th 2014, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Boozy,himself,seasonal,something new,tired,transitions Tags:

Deep fried time. A few more local deadlines – a final exam tomorrow, papers to grade and finals to grade. And then a few weeks to sort myself, solo, to get some work done. And then, TIME. Time ticking down to the arrival, of course, that’s one of the only clocks really pressing on me. A strange lull, this evening, as YCT meets with her writing group, her own work nearing a pivotal series of moments that will, in’sh’alla, lead from private to public. A strange lull, this, with a few weeks of the archive on the horizon, and then a YEAR of time (well, 9 months, but subtract and then re-add 6 weeks at the end, and there’s some uncertainty about the status of the 10 weeks after that, which could go either way). But, a YEAR (loosely defined) of time to work, to write, to think, to be properly miserable and DO something with the misery other than shut it down to get the devoirs done. To find new rhythms and new habits and new ways to indulge, no, to engage in existing hobbies. It all goes out the door, of course, in some ways, but so what? Burn the shit? I have time. I’m where I want to be, if not quite who I want to be, and certainly doing what I always said I would, and I’m not that fussed whether or not I feel I haven’t won at all. As half of ABBA would write. “Coming up for air” sings The Acid on KCRW, and I think, yes. That. Exactly fucking that.

blue tape
Saturday August 23rd 2014, 10:57 pm
Filed under: himself,tired,Work Tags:

My hands are soft. A blister beneath my ring, a sliced thumb from a wayward putty knife, general hand-tired from two days of brushwork and rollers. Wax on, wax off, indeed, if done properly. An odd day of contemplation, on manual labor, on my own years of not only doing it but priding myself on the doing of it, on masculinity and how and why to model and teach the things that matter, on perfection and cutting corners and feeling obligated to do it, for the most part, as right as possible while still leaving space for an imperfect product. On those who disagreed. Discuss.

And now the ocean, not quite audible over the dishwasher and the traffic, but I can feel it, a block away, its enormity and its tides and its to and fro and rhythms. A walk on the beach, a windy evening chill, a slender thread of what if, but mostly a profound sense of here and now, born of exhaustion and knees less nimble and a back less accommodating than the lifetime ago when I did this every day.