Wednesday, February 25, 2015


The past few days have been a reminder that it is still winter at Sherwood Cottage. A fair bit of snow fell over the weekend and on Monday, coating the ground rather prettily (and somehow staying largely clear of the roads, which meant no snow day but also a chance to drive about and see the shining snow in relative safety), and while much of it has melted away, there is still some on the ground where the sun did not touch it. Temperatures will be a bit higher today, so more of it will likely melt away, but I doubt that it will all be gone by the time I get home this afternoon. I do not complain of it; it is nice to see snow for a day or two, but it is far less good to be blanketed by it day after day without let, as others have to be.

There are many things I miss about my life in New York City. The paycheck is one of them, of course, and groups to which I belonged are others. Winter is not, however; the way The City handles cold weather and its precipitation leaves much to be desired. Streets in the outer boroughs--including the best of them, Brooklyn--get plowed far less than they ought, and little provision is made for the actual removal of the snow. It is simply shoved to the side, where it gathers in piles and melts just enough to get into shoes but not enough to find its way to storm drains and be carried away. Sidewalks are shoveled one shovel wide, making a path that convincingly allows for one-way traffic while it handles five-way walking. But it does, at least, cut down on the smell. Somewhat.

Winters in Oklahoma, or at least in the part of Oklahoma where I find myself and where my daughter was born, are gentler in some regards. Streets get plowed but little, which annoys in many ways but also means that there are no piles of filthy sludge to jump while walking. And because people are not out afoot as much, they tend not to throw so much onto the snow, so that it stays more nearly pristine for longer; New York City snow is soon bestrewn with fast food wrappers and other detritus, including feces human and otherwise. (My tree well was a popular repository, whatever the season.) While I am certain there is poo in the snow here, it does not show up as much as it did there--and I am certain, too, that there is a metaphor in there somewhere. (When is there not?)

As the poet writes, though, "Þæs ofereode; þisses swa mæg." The way things are now will not endure, although whether the weather will grow colder before it grows warmer again remains to be seen. And it will grow cold once again thereafter, in any event. I suppose there is a metaphor to be found in that, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I noted yesterday that I had another job interview (which was welcome, as I received several emails telling me I had been turned down for other jobs). As is common in such circumstances, I wore a suit to sit for it--and because of the timing of the thing, I wore the suit throughout my teaching day. Like many men, I look good in a suit, even if it is one that I got on the cheap from a resale shop and thus probably does not fit me as well as it ought to do. (Of course, being able to button the pants is a benefit, and there are clothes in my closet I cannot button any longer. My exercise regimen has...fallen off somewhat. Surprisingly.) I was even more or less comfortable in the thing, although I am never pleased to be wearing a tie.

That said, I found myself aware of the masquerade I was carrying on as I ran around my building in a pinstripe suit. My position is not a lofty one; I a contingent academic laborer, although I am at the higher end of contingency. I do not have a private office anymore--but I recall having one (an experience enshrined in CCC, as I have noted)--and few if any even of my senior colleagues show up for work in suit and tie. Certainly, those with whom I share office space do not do so much, if at all; they and I more typically teach in jeans, possibly in sport coats or the feminine equivalent. And I do not come from circumstances conducive to wearing suits to work. While one grandfather, who was a teacher for decades, did do so, I did not grow up near him; instead, I was raised among tradesfolk, and a worsted wool jacket does not wear well when chipping trenches through caliche or crawling under mobile homes to connect electrical services. Thus, neither my upbringing nor my current professional context conduces to my going about in a suit. I know it, so I feel myself an impostor when I do wear one, despite seeing that I look good in one and knowing that my dressing in such a way has effects on my classroom--and perhaps on my job prospects, as well. "Dress for the job you want," after all, and I want a job that is more secure and pays at least as well as what I am getting now.

Whether I ought consciously to dress better more often, I do not know. I do appreciate feeling good, and looking good--looking like a professional--does help with that. Taking on the trappings associated with being more nearly elite also increases the perception of my authority, in the classroom and outside of it, and I do not deny that I like my authority respected; such as I have, I have worked hard to earn. But I am not certain how well it sits with me to carry out that particular type of performance--and I am not sure that my finances will allow me to get more suits that fit decently...

Monday, February 23, 2015


As I noted, last week saw my daughter, the incomparable Ms. 8, reach her first birthday. I also noted that she turned up with pneumonia and that several members of her extended family came up to see her. The celebration went reasonably well after we started treating her for the illness, and she seems to be on the mend--although she was not quite recovered yesterday, given what happened at both ends of her digestive tract. Ms. 8's mother and I both hope that she is more fully recovered and that we will not need to repeat a number of yesterday's events. They were neither helpful nor pleasant.

Today, I have another online interview, for which I am wearing a suit and tie. Picking which one I needed to wear reminded me of my increasing flabbiness, and not only in my well-fed belly; the shirt I had initially thought to wear does not admit of having the collar buttoned--at least it does not admit of it and allow blood to flow to my brain as it ought. But I know that I have been neglecting my health of late; I have not exercised as I ought to have done, and I accept the consequences thereof even as I know I need to work to address them. It is yet one more thing that I need to do, one more thing I need to somehow fit into my days.

There are many such things, of course. I yet have papers to write and job applications to complete (and I was reminded over the weekend of the consequences of putting off doing so), and I have the work of teaching to do (although I confess to having hoped for a snow day today; alas that it was not to be!). Grading will take up some time today or tomorrow, as my classes have an assignment due; it is only a memo, so easily graded and quickly, but still it must be done. I will need to do lesson prep for the assignments I have yet to issue them, as there are several coming up that will need attention before being distributed to the students. (I probably ought also to see about getting student examples from previous semesters up on the website where current students can review them.) And, since I have begun to be informed about my teaching schedule for the fall term (provided I am still in place and not elsewhere with a tenure-line job), I am nagged by the idea of starting to set up my assignment sequence for it--which means I need to see about getting a desk copy of one book or another. So I look to be busy this week no less than last.

Somehow, of course, I will get things done. I have no real other choice, actually; they need to be done, and I need to do them. Whether or not all of the things that need doing are worth doing, whether or not I benefit from doing them, is not clear to me. I have to believe that they are and that I do, but I am not at all sure...

Friday, February 20, 2015


A few days ago, while I was not looking, I had a massive spike in readership. Previously, on a good day, I had seen twenty to forty readers. Many days see one or two (especially recently, but I have not been updating this blog or others I maintain nearly as regularly as I ought to, so I should not complain overmuch about that). Monday, though, saw over 400 look at my blog--and I wish I knew what I had done to provoke the response. So far as I can tell, the 16 February 2015 entry did not do anything special; it bespeaks a snow day and a game ending. What makes it stand out, then, I am uncertain--and that means I am not likely able to do it again. (It is less important here than on blogs where I might be able to make a bit of money. This webspace, though, remains volunteer for reasons I believe I have noted.)

In any event, as I noted, yesterday was Ms. 8's birthday--and, as I noted, it was not the best of days for her. She has not been feeling well, which I may have noted, and I ended up taking her to the doctor, then to the hospital. Tests at the latter reveal that she has a mild case of pneumonia, which I did not know when I wrote yesterday and was far from happy to hear. (Neither were her mother and grandparents, who were on hand when I received the news from the doctor.) She will be going back to the doctor for more discussion today, which should see more done to help her and will make for two of us seeking medical advice--because I still need to get my eyes checked today. I read and write about what I read, perhaps not for a living but for a fair amount of money, and I have yet to learn how to do so without my eyes. Since my insurance makes sure Ms. 8 can get treated, and my looking at things supports my getting insurance, I do need to tend to such matters.

The birthday celebration will continue, of course. More of Ms. 8's extended family will be coming in today and tomorrow (albeit in less haste and panic than around this time last year). Her health permitting, we will be doing things together in the area. Amid it, my job search continues (I have some five applications due before end of day tomorrow), as does the regular work of teaching (all three of my classes meet today; we will be discussing ethics), and I will be sitting in on a teleconference with folks in Columbus, Ohio, for the 2015 Tolkien Days at Ohio State University. My video for the talk is already uploaded--or at least convincingly linked through to--an online museum; once I figure out how to connect to it without my most excellent administrative abilities, I will see about letting people know about it.

It is good to keep busy.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


At this time last year, I was at the hospital with my Mrs., waiting for Ms. 8 to be born--five weeks ahead of schedule. Ms. 8 and I spent this morning at the hospital again, which is not how I would have preferred to spend her birthday morning--but I am glad that I was able to do it, and that I am able to hold her this February 19, since I was not last time.

Happy birthday, my darling daughter, and I look forward to many more with you.

Monday, February 16, 2015


The weather around Sherwood Cottage decided to issue a reminder that winter is still the season here; I woke up to find a blanket of white on the ground and the school where I work delaying its start until noon. (This means I still teach two of my three classes today.) I had honestly hoped that a full stop would be in order, but the administration evidently decided that things will be safe enough to permit travel to the school by noon. Whether that will actually be the case, and whether my students will believe it is the case, I do not know. I expect not, though; when even I wanted a snow day, I could hardly be shocked that my students, already reluctant to be in a class that they "don't need" with a professor who "doesn't know what he's doing," would take one. But I may be wrong; it remains to be seen.

In the event, I get a few extra hours to work on my own materials rather than those demanded by the classroom, and I appreciate it. (I do still need to get to the office to do a bit of grading before the classes that do meet today.) Freelance work continues, and having time to read for it helps (although I will note that the book I am reading now is really bad). I imagine that the Mrs. and Ms. 8 (who turns 1 this week) will be happy to have me around a bit longer, too, although they seem to be enjoying sleeping in. (I remain annoyed at having to sleep, although I seem to need to do so more of late. I do not know why; it precedes my head-cold of last week.) I do have a better work setup at Sherwood Cottage than in my current office, although thinking on it reminds me of the setup I had at my previous job (documented in the December 2014 CCC, I might add) and which I miss greatly. Being home, then, allows me to get a bit more done than might otherwise have been the case, although not as much as was true in other places I have been.

The online L5R Winter Court game I am helping administer is winding down at last. I will have a bit more to do after formal play stops, but it will nonetheless be nice to have one less thing to which to attend. I do wish that I had had more presence of mind with it, both in administering it and in using it to further my research--I have gotten a little bit out of it, but not as much as I might have preferred. Such is life, I suppose, and I can hope to archive or otherwise record some of what happened on its boards so that I can make some use of it in the future. Maybe. For while RPG materials come up in a short talk I am giving via video, they have not much informed my research since my undergraduate days. It is another thing I miss.

There are many such things.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Today is one of my grandmother's eighty-sixth birthday. (I already called her.) I am fortunate enough to know both of my grandmothers, to have both of them still with me and part of my life into my thirties and into the life of my own daughter. Not all are so lucky, as I well know, either in having their grandparents around or in having grandparents worth having around. That I am so fortunate, I know, and I am both mindful of it and thankful for it.

I have not always been diligent about marking the day in this webspace; I have noted it only in 2011 and 2014 previously, and the 2011 note is remarkably brief. Last year's is a bit better, I think, and more in line with the woman I know my grandmother to be. I do not know if I have another such story to share about her today, honestly. My own parts in the stories of my life have not always been the best acted, and even my self-pity and reflexive condemnation will only allow so much baring of my failures. I imagine the same is true for us all, although I grew up with and around people who are not as apt to note their own inadequacies to others as I seem to be.

They are also not as apt as I am to gush or to appreciate gushing. (I do not know where the part of me that is comes from, really, and I am not always pleased to have it. Being passionate about things is good, I suppose, but intemperance in that passion is far less so, and I have not always or even often been good about moderating my feelings.) I need offer no paean here; I shall certainly not sing it, as my time as a music major proved to me that there is a thing called a bucket and I cannot carry a tune in one. She knows I love and appreciate her--or she damned well ought to by now; she's had more than thirty-two years to learn it, and if she hasn't by now, there're problems with her that I am the wrong kind of doctor to fix.

I cannot be with the family to help her celebrate her birthday this time, and I have not been able to for some time. My wife, Ms. 8, and I have sent what we could along, this year and previously, and we can only hope that it is enough. (Grandma said it was when I called her this morning. Why she would lie about it at her age...) And we can--and very much do--hope for more birthdays with her, however many more we may be offered. Each of us only gets so many, after all, and Ms. 8, in particular, has yet to get a fair share of them.

Friday, February 13, 2015


I am aware that my writing has been somewhat ragged this month. I have skipped days and made all-too-brief entries other days. Things are busy for me, as I believe I have indicated, not only from the work of teaching and grading (and I have a major assignment hanging over my head at the moment as one of several weekend events), but also from the work of freelancing (I have a job to do in that regard, another weekend event), my own ongoing research (just getting a book chapter finalized, which I appreciate greatly; the short piece which I need to make into a video presentation for Tolkien Days; as well as setup for Kalamazoo; seeing about getting things together for SCMLA, since I am chairing a panel and want to present on another; and possibly putting together something for MLA itself), ongoing job hunts (I have an online interview today, and I have been sending out applications in rapid succession for a while, now) and the work of maintaining Sherwood Cottage, particularly with Ms. 8's first birthday coming up in less than a week. The head-cold, which is currently trying to move into my chest despite my ramping up my fluid and vitamin intake, is not helping.

Still, I ought not to complain. I have work to do, and that I keep getting asked to do the work by people who are prominent in their fields (I was invited to participate in the Tolkien Days thing, and the folks organizing it are eminent scholars of medievalism--my kind of people) bespeaks the regard in which I am held. (If it would translate into a tenure-line position, I would be grateful.) The more "normal" work keeps money flowing into the household, and it supports medical, dental, and vision insurance, the last of which my Mrs. and Ms. 8 will use today and I will use next week. (Since my wife and I both wear glasses from need, as do our parents, we expect that Ms. 8 will end up needing to, as well. Best to accustom her to the optometrist early.) There are problems, certainly, but there are always problems, and those I face are far easier to face than others I might name and which are faced by others not too far from where I sit as I write this. I work to resolve mine, because the fact that they are less bad does not mean they are not problems, but this morning, at least, I have a sense of perspective about them.

It is not often that I have such a sense. Like many, I grow easily myopic, consumed with the small part of existence that is mine, failing to see beyond it. My world is restricted, partly because I have chosen a way of life that is often cloistered, and although my walls are not living jet, they yet circumscribe but little, and the doors within them are small. It becomes easy to forget what lies outside them when sight or sound of that outside rarely penetrates them. I and others will do well to remember better.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


That colds and other diseases travel through households is plain to me. I have the cold that the Mrs. brought home from the pharmacy and passed to Ms. 8 before our daughter decided to share with Daddy. I am glad she already shares, but I think she needs to learn to keep a few things to herself. I a on the mend, though, and it is not as if I have not worked because my nose is a mucus-faucet and my body suffering other symptoms of whatever virus this happens to be. I wrote two freelance pieces yesterday, and I have more writing to do today--including work on a short piece to be delivered electronically for the Tolkien Days event in Ohio (I only need to come up with five to ten minutes of material, so I ought not to have a problem) and more in the way of job applications (I have been getting interviews, so I am doing something right with them).

Working through illness is something to which I am accustomed by familial and academic experience. Something my grandmother said about her own father's comments--something to the effect of "I don't feel better staying in bed, so I might as well work"--comes to mind for me, as does an episode from early in my wonderful relationship with my most excellent wife. I believe I have noted when I contracted mono; the woman who is now my Mrs. nursed me through the experience, to my great benefit (in several regards). While amid the worst symptoms, I remained largely in my dorm room--and my then-friend and now-wife brought me the coursework I would otherwise have been missing. Somehow, I managed to translate passages of Beowulf and complete quizzes on them while running a high fever and watching pink elephant people try to take my shoes. After that, laying out from work seems less acceptable.

I am not at full, admittedly. I did not write in this webspace yesterday, after all, and the freelance work I did was of limited scope. My nose yet runs, and my body does not want to move as I know it ought to do. Nor yet am I as quick on the uptake as I normally am, although that may be because I have not had as much coffee, partly as a result of sleeping later than I normally would have done. But I am just arrogant enough to note that even off of my best, I am pretty damned good, and since I am thus good, I will be returning to work today, striding into classroom after classroom to try to lead students to better understanding, sitting at my computer to write more words for the edification of others and paychecks for me. There is really no excuse for me not to do so, and the reasons for me to work long remain as they ever have been. The Mrs. and Ms. 8 deserve no less--and, indeed, a great deal more.

Monday, February 9, 2015


We are told
Make hay while the sun shines
And I am standing
Scythe in hand
Under other lights than heaven's
Whether the sun shines does not matter
And the sheaves I handle
Grow from the ground only indirectly

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I have made no secret that much of my freelance work consists of me reading novels that have been brought to the forefront of popular attention through their presence on bestseller lists and writing up what amount to study notes and book guides about them. It is easy work, if perhaps time-consuming, and caters to those strengths I have developed through years of formal literary study and practice after the formal study was done. (It pays well, too, and I do not find fault with that. Honestly, I wish I could recommend the line for which I do the ghost-written write-ups here; more people buying them means more work for me in writing them, and thus more money. But I do not think I can get away with that.)

The current project is a bit of an outlier; I am reading and writing up Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, a classic novel familiar from schoolroom reading lists and returned to particular prominence by the fraught announcement of another Lee novel to be published. It has been some years since I read the book--it may well have been high school, which is half a lifetime ago for me, anymore--and while I am not opposed to treating something with a bit more...heft than is common for me to handle with the freelance work I do, I do find myself in a bit of a quandary. For such a book as To Kill a Mockingbird has already much written about it, and finding what little bits of understanding can be pulled from the text that have not already been, particularly since the book lies well outside my normal areas of expertise, will prove something of a challenge. (Given the choice, I would get paid for easy work rather than difficult. More reward for less expenditure is more profit, after all, and profit is good, is it not?)

Then again, finding new things to say about works already long discussed is something with which I ought to be familiar as a scholar of medieval literatures and cultures. Chaucer, the Pearl-poet, Malory, and others all have had much said about them, and across centuries, yet there are still new things to find within them, new things to say about them. Lee, for all her skill and for all the relevance and cultural penetration of her work (for I think I am far from alone in having read the book in high school), has not had nearly so much attention paid her as have those authors I normally confront. It may be an anti-presentist conceit to say so, just as the idea that there is nothing else of value to find in the works of old is a fallacious presentist assertion, but I think there is yet room to work with the novel. And, even if it will be a challenge to wade through what has already been said about the piece (which I may or may not do; the demands of the job are not the kind that demand that I make a full survey of current scholarship--or even a passing one), it is the kind of thing that I enjoy doing. Added to the pay, it makes the freelance bit attractive, indeed.

Friday, February 6, 2015


The Mrs. continues to feel poorly, so much so that she came home form work a half-day early yesterday. That she does is compounded by Ms. 8 having had some trouble sleeping; our daughter neither took a nap of any substance nor slept peacefully through the night as she heretofore normally has. Couple that with trouble breathing due to clogged sinuses, and the Mrs. did not have a good night of it. It will make for an interesting day for her while I am at work today--and I more or less must be at work today, both at the school and at home (for I did not complete the freelance piece I had meant to get done, as Ms. 8 demanded more time and attention than normal, and her care takes precedence).

Today will see me at work again, yes; I have my classes to teach and a meeting to attend after the teaching day is done. And, yes, I need to crank out the freelance piece I have on the docket; I need the money it represents. So I had probably ought to get on that kind of thing, especially since I do not know where I am going to go with this bit of writing...

Thursday, February 5, 2015


The Mrs. is feeling under the weather, which is never a good thing. Aside from my unenjoyment of the suffering of those whom I love, the event serves as a reminder of just how much she does for the home--for I get to take on more of it. I do not mind, as such, although I do not think that many people enjoy having yet more work to do. Still, things need to be done, and I am the one who is available to do them--fortunately, one or two things that might normally press upon me do not at the moment, so I have a bit of freedom to attend to other concerns...

I will not go through the litany of deeds to be done this day. I have no need to do so; they are familiar to me, and I have made them familiar to readers of this blog. (Or I think so.) Nor will I again bemoan having them to do--at least, I will not today. What I will do instead is turn my attention to them, as I just now did to Ms. 8, who appeared to have frightened herself. (She is fine, by the way, as she approaches being a full year old. Two weeks remain until then, and activities are planned. Some of them even sound interesting.)

I will also note my admiration for my wife's hardihood. She feels badly, indeed, but she still went to work today. Although one of the things to which I will be attending today will bring in money, it will not be enough, and her work will help to offset my admitted insufficiency. We both know that we both have to work, and to work as many paying hours as we can find. The situation is not idea, certainly, but I greatly respect her commitment to doing so and what she endures in doing her part to support the household. I am not at all convinced that I match her in it--and I have no qualms about saying so publicly.

For now, though, I do have things to do to be sure that Sherwood Cottage is clean and nice for her when she returns, and that Ms. 8 gets what she needs to continue to grow healthy and strong as she has these past eleven and a half months. And I will see about the other work that I have to do today--less than other days, perhaps, but not less important for being less extensive.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


There is yet and ever much to do

Teaching today
Looking out over a class
As it looks back at me
And a supervisor supervises
Assessing my assessments

Grading to come
Grading done yesterday
Arguments forthcoming

Marks to make on pages
Mine and others'
And never enough time to do them all

It is the middle of the week
And it is largely typical

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


The plains-sweeping wind blows outside, carrying chill and sounds of traffic to Sherwood Cottage, and I once again wish for warmer feet. They would offer less distraction from today's tasks of pushing through a shorter freelance piece (which ought not to take long) and grading what came in yesterday as needing grading. (The students have been advised that I might not get all of that done today. They have proven more engaged than most, which prompts me to work harder for them, but there are other demands on my time, and some of them come before the jobs I do. Ms. 8, for example--and she seems to be doing better so far today.)

I find also that I will have something to write for the Tales after Tolkien Society blog, to which I have been admittedly insufficiently attentive. A member of the Society pointed out a news article in which a Texas fourth-grader was suspended from school for "threatening" another student with Tolkien's One Ring. (Here's another.) Having grown up in Texas, although not the part of the sprawling Lone Star State in question, I am unsurprised that such a thing happened. (I will also not be surprised if the incident ends up being lampooned in Texas Monthly's Bum Steer Awards.) Texas schools favor zero-tolerance policies for those outside the highest socio-economic strata, and they tend to take a dim view of those who express interest in things other than guns, sports, and "Christian" faith. (And maybe alcohol, although there are many dry counties in the state.)

I doubt that the kid in question is an angel, otherwise. I note that the child is reported to have been in disciplinary trouble at other points--although one instance could use more context, and another seems to be a typical overreaction--and, as a teacher, I know that a student identified as a troublemaker receives careful scrutiny. Can't be helped, really. human nature being as flawed as it is and in the ways it is. But I also doubt that, had the kid quoted Revelation or some other...flavorful part of the Bible, he would have been sanctioned by the school. And I note the differences in headlines between the two articles; while the Daily News has problems (with which I am familiar from life in The City), it is not in this case making the mistake of equating a student referring to fictional magic as actually enacting "real" magic, as the more local source does. So I have to wonder what else is going on--and I have to think that I know full well what it is.

There are places where decades past have never passed. The places cling to years gone by, idealizing them in what soon become unhealthy ways, focusing on fads that are soon proven foolish to those who actually pay attention--but they do not pay attention, remaining happily consumed with themselves and their desperate cleaving to "when things were better." I think such a thing is in place where the child lives, and I think the time clung to is the time when Pat Pulling was popular. And that is a shame.

Monday, February 2, 2015


The Super Bowl is over. I did not watch it, as I have neither television service nor any interest in the sport. Today, I will have to hear about the results--briefly--and then things will move on. It pleases me, for I have better things to do.

One of them may or may not be to attend to Groundhog Day. It is, of course, entirely immaterial, but it is entertaining. And today, at least, is still winter; it is some 12 degrees Fahrenheit as I write this, and temperatures near Sherwood Cottage are not expected to get higher than the mid-30s. I am fortunately provided with warm clothes and ample personal insulation, though, so I do not much mind. I could stand to have warmer feet, though.

Work continues, of course. I pushed through a 4,500-word freelance piece yesterday, for which I expect to make around $100. (Indeed, news about payoff came in while I was writing this.) I look forward to having another come in soon. Too, my students are to submit memoranda to me today, so I will have some grading to do in the next day or two; I probably also ought to draft the next assignment sheet for them. So far, they have been quite good about getting to my office hours; I have already seen more this term than I saw throughout the previous. Having students who care about their grades in time to do something meaningful for them is a refreshing change from normal practice, and I could stand to see it happen more often than it has.

I have not been attending to research as I ought, unfortunately. The work of teaching and grading takes up much time, as does freelancing--and the allure of payout from the latter is compelling. I have also been spending time working on a number of job applications; I sent out three yesterday after finishing the freelance job, and I have at least one that I need to send out today. (I had meant to do it yesterday, but even I can only do so much.) And, in truth, I have been giving time to the L5R pbp game, which is near its end. There is a research survey I have meant to disseminate through it, but I have not put it together yet, and I am not sure at this point that I will be able to do so. I'll make the attempt, though, and get some useful work out of the endeavor.

I suppose, then, that I ought to be about my business. There is enough of it to command my full attention, certainly, even aside from the obligations I have to family. Ms. 8 nears being a year old, and preparations to celebrate that event are underway. She also did a fair impression of an alarm clock with a short-timed snooze button this morning; the alarm is off for the moment, but finding out what shorted her circuits is something the Mrs. and I ought to see about doing.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Writing continues, as it should, although not as well as it should. I took most of yesterday off, and I have been neglecting my journal writing entirely too much...Today, I need to push through a 4,500-word freelance piece and send out several job applications. I suppose this is the price I pay for taking a day off; I ought to now better by now than to do such things. I do know better, in fact, having written to that effect at least once if not more often.

(How "off" a day is that is spent in taking care of the actual physical house is, admittedly, an open question. Yesterday saw one of the cats get entangled with blinds in the living room. I got to replace said blinds--and I bought underwear while I was out getting the new blinds, as many of the pairs I had had had holes in them.* Underwear is needful; I once tried to go without it, and I was punished for my temerity in a particularly intimately biting way. Never again.)

So, after a bit of breakfast provided by my most excellent wife, I will get right back to work. It is the only thing I can do.

*Yes, "I had had had." Past perfect referring to the past event of having holes. Seriously, people...