bio: December 2005 Archives

Collin 3, Winter 0

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I must say that I never realized just how many "Icy Pavement Zones" there are in between Syracuse and Binghamton, and I would have continued in my ignorant bliss but for the fact that it was night, there was a light snow drizzle, and it was about 25 degrees.

Despite the adrenalin rush that this weather prompted, the drive was pretty easy, as I completed the 3rd of my 3 holiday legs without incident. In fact, driving to the store today, I encountered more snow in that brief trip than I had over the 2000 miles (and change) that I drove in the last few weeks.

And now I can begin the year-long process of steeling myself for next year's MLA. Unlike this year, where we had no one on the market from Syracuse, it's possible that we'll have as many as 7 or 8 next year, and so I'll have other duties to attend to, in addition to any potential interviews that I might have (up for tenure = on the market).

All in all, from the perspective both of a potential interviewee and the chair of our program's Placement Committee, it was probably a good thing for me to be there this year as part of an interview team. You never "forget" the experience, but it doesn't hurt to freshen up the memory...

Oh, and a happy new year to all...

  1. Chocolate Crinkles

  2. Golden Cookies

  3. Holiday M&M Cookies

  4. Homemade Toffee

  5. Peppermint Bark

It's mostly old standbys this year, as arriving in Iowa last Friday night doesn't leave me with loads of time for baking. But baking I've been doing, with more to come.

The house I grew up in is finally sold, and so this is the last holiday that I'll spend in this kitchen. It's been a little bit of a challenge, because most of the kitchen gear is sitting in boxes at the new house, and I've had to make do a little more than usual, including a supply trip for new cooling racks, sifter, spatula, pan, etc. And that trip included the obligatory encounter with someone who was astounded that I do the baking 'round here.

Oh, and I think my wrapping's done for the most part. Not bad at all.

On this day in history

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The Irish Free State is declared (1921)
Kitty O'Neil sets a new women's land speed record (1976)
Comedian Steven Wright is born (1955)
The US gov't standardizes the size of license plates (1955)
Agnes Moorehead (Endora on Bewitched) is born (1900)
A federal judge rules that Ulysses is in fact not obscene (1933)
The Great Halifax Explosion! (1917)
Ira Gershwin is born (1896)
Orange County goes bankrupt (1994)

And for good measure, on my own 25th birthday, Elián González was born in Cuba (1993)

Just so's you know.

Who's feeling old?

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I spend roughly one week of any given year contemplating my relationship to time, calendars, and age. For me, it began on Saturday. I woke up a little earlier than normal that morning, and zoned in front of the television, taking in what felt to me like pretty sparse programming. VH1's "Top 40 Videos of 2005" seemed like as good a choice as any.

You might think that I'm about to wax nostalgic about how I used to recognize most of the videos and/or artists on such a show, but in fact, I'm not. I still recognize most of them, and while I don't consider myself particularly attuned to the pop scene, I do still keep an ear open now and again. Instead, I want to talk about the show itself. In most cases, we got maybe 10 seconds of video, and then 2 minutes of random J-list celebrities (including a disproportionate number of unemployed comedians) literally explaining the videos to the audience.

Here's my question, which betrays my age, I fear: on what planet are there people who want to watch random pseudo-celebrities explain music videos to us rather than just watching more of the videos themselves? It's not like videos are a genre given to excessive narrative intricacy in the first place--I certainly don't need someone to explain them to me. It's as though Exposition has been elevated to the level of programming.

Maybe I'm just being curmudgeonly. I'm allowed, given that tomorrow I begin a year-long transition from my mid-30s to my late-30s.

That is all.



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This page is a archive of entries in the bio category from December 2005.

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