Haven’t Updated In A While

•March 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So, let’s see…

The weekend before this last one I went to ICFA. Roomed with nihilistic-kid, grabbed breakfast at Denny’s with Jim Kelly, met various interesting people, and listened to some papers. A good time was had by all.

Since getting back, I’ve been grading papers, watching “The Wire” on DVD, teaching, writing, hanging out, getting caught up on some MFA stuff, and reading “Less Than Zero” by Bret Easton Ellis. So far, this is my favorite paragraph of the book:

“The psychiatrist I see during the four weeks I’m back is young and has a beard and drives a 450 SL and has a house in Malibu. I’ll sit in his office in Westwood with the shades drawn and my sunglasses on, smoking a cigarette, sometimes cloves, just to irritate him, sometimes crying. Sometimes I’ll yell at him and he’ll yell back. I tell him that I have these bizarre sexual fantasies and his interest will increase noticeably. I’ll start to laugh for no reason and then feel sick. I lie to him sometimes. He’ll tell me about his mistress and the repairs being done on his house in Tahoe and I’ll shut my eyes and light another cigarette, gritting my teeth. Sometimes I just get up and leave.”


New Awkward Haiku Post

•March 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Yes, Glenn Beck Says Stupid Shit, But I Want You To Shut Up About It


•March 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Since I mentioned this here before, I should probably say that the event itself went fine. I passed, and am now officially entitled to obnoxiously correct people who call me “Mr. Burgis.”

A Progression

•March 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The Rough Draft Of My Dissertation Is Finished And Sent Off To Everyone On My Committee: October

The External Reader Signs On, And My Defense Is Scheduled: January

The Paperwork Is Filled Out And Signed By Everyone, And A Room Is Reserved For The Defense: Last Friday

The Final Draft Is Finished And Sent Off To Everyone On My Committee: Ten Minutes Ago

Actual Day and Time of My Defense: Next Monday At 3 PM

Quote of the Day

•February 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A few minutes ago, I did an e-mail search for “Hartry Field,” the external member of my dissertation committee, looking for something he sent me a while back. One of the search results was an e-mail from my friend N— from a couple years ago, when we were both getting ready to take our qualifying exams. (The e-mail had nothing to do with Field, except that he’d been mentioned somewhere earlier in the correspondence.) At the time, we had a complicated bet going related to the upcoming quals. The following is a quote from N—-‘s e-mail:

“In any case, I am fairly confident you will fuck up completely this weekend. You will get distracted by alcohol or any of the things that distract Bender on Futurama…and then, my friend, I will collect a small jar of bitter tears that you cry when you lose. I will then take those tears and will make martinis out of them and drink them with a high-class call girl who I hire for the occasion. We will toast your defeat…when she asks me why this drink is so delicious I will laugh and tell her we are ‘drinking Ben’s suffering’…and then we will BOTH will laugh and laugh and laugh at your SHAME….”

I make no commentary about this passage, except for this:

I didn’t lose the bet.

Terrorism: A Guide For The Perplexed

•February 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This afternoon, I was fucking around online, procrastinating before diving into another round of dissertation edits, and nihilistic-kid IM’d me with a link to this diatribe.* I read through it, and made fun of it a bit–my favorite line is the one about how, if the fact that he has to sign his confusing tax forms isn’t “the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is”–before finally asking Nick where he found it. “I read the news,” he said, so I did a quick google search….and…wow.

Suicide note.

The best part about this is the various assurances from federal officials that “it wasn’t terrorism-related.” Obviously, given that we have a case of a guy who flew a plane into a building to kill a bunch of people in order to express his political opposition to the American government, it would be easy to get confused and start to wonder if it was terrorism. Here’s the key piece of information that should dispel that mistaken impression:

Dude was white.

Kind of like how the murder of Dr. Tiller (a politically-motivated act of violence against one civilian, with the intention of terrorizing a bunch of other civilians) wasn’t terrorism, but an Army psychiatrist going on a shooting spree against a bunch of his (uniformed, combatant) co-workers at Ft. Hood was terrorism. I mean, c’mon, dude’s name was Major Hassan. Case closed.

Anyway, needless to say, I’m holding my breath waiting for lots and lots of tea party spokesmen to appear on tv to apologize profusely for spending the last year whipping up hysterical frenzy about taxes and the need to water the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Any day now…

*The website he showed me was one that started at the beginning of the rant, without providing the context that’s on top of the link I provided here.

Thought Of The Day

•February 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“I’d rather be a writer than a human being.”

–Theodore Sturgeon