Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My beloved wife and I are back in Brooklyn, two days later than we had intended, but in fine shape.  Our apartment is similarly in good shape.  While we were away, we did have water in the basement, and we are going to have to do a bit of work with a bleach solution, but it will go quickly and should pose no problem.

We are very lucky or blessed, as your belief system will have it, that nothing worse happened to our home.

As we flew in this morning, we saw some of the lingering high water from the recent storm.  And then, of course, blowhards jumped onto the thing as--and the quotes are scare quotes rather than indications of actual quotations--"a warning to the American people about the evils of government."

I remember Katrina.  Hell, I got my first publication because of that storm (it was a poem, in case you were wondering, and if you weren't, then too damned bad).  I recall that quite a bit of polemic was strewn about in that storm, too.  Except that the administration was different, and there wasn't quite so much of the "hurricanes are God's wrath for having too big a government" going on then.

Without minimizing the tragedy that has befallen many from Irene (because people did die and it is tragic that they did so), it was not the supermassive-end-of-the-freaking-world storm that many (including myself, I admit) feared it would be.  When it hit New York, it was a Cat. 1, a weakling as far as such things go.  At its worst, it was a Cat. 3, which is significant, but living memory recalls far stronger storms (Andrew comes to mind, as do a number of storms from 2005 and 2006).  If, as is asserted by some--and you know who you are--Irene was meant as a warning shot, it seems to be one less well-aimed and of a lower caliber than has gone before.  And that does not seem to me to be in keeping with a God increasingly angry with an overly bloated United States government.

And it does seem to me that it is overly arrogant for any flawed, mortal being to presume to speak on behalf of the Almighty--especially those who claim pious and devout Christianity.  After all, Jesus substantially abased Himself (John 13:5 provides an example, especially considering footwear and roads of the time).

But that could just be me.  Lord knows I have been wrong before.

Monday, August 29, 2011

20110829.1155 CDT

It seems that just about another month has passed between my making blog posts. I make no excuse for this, and why should I, since I am not accountable to people for this? It will suffice to note that I was busy with the end of the term, compiling my third dissertation chapter, and with travel.

Those who are aware that I live in Brooklyn will have some reaction to the fact that I was away from the city for both the earthquake and Irene. What reaction that will be, of course, will depend on the nature of those aware. Some will be pleased, others not so much.

At the moment, I am enjoying an unexpected additional day at my father-in-law's house in the middle of the country; that I was away for the storm meant that I was unable to return home as expected. Although I do very much long to get back to the home my wife and I have made together, it is nice to have a quiet day away from things before I return to the bustling hive that is New York City and the work I do to sustain myself there.

That does not mean that I am not looking forward to getting back to my usual tasks. I have had a couple of weeks off, now, and I feel much better. I got quite a bit of sleep, which was a pleasant change from the weeks before the last term at work ended, and I await the comments from my dissertation committee that will allow me to move ahead with the project and hopefully finish by the end of the fall term.

I am also looking forward to hearing from the folks in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In the midst of my trip, I sent off an abstract to them. It will be a while, I know, before I can expect to get word back from them, but I enjoy my excursions up to Michigan, and I would like to know if I shall have work to do this time while I am there...as will be the case with my upcoming trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for a conference in late October.

I suppose I ought to get to work refining that paper so that I do not embarrass myself when I present it. But that will wait until I get home again.