Being = Grading

It’s time to rant incoherently online, to put the Presentable Prof. (defender of respectable and logical academic discourse) persona to sleep, claiming verbal diarrhea posted in public without paragraph breaks. Comma comma comma, citation citation citation. I’ve earned it. So to interrupt the latest and possibly-most-ridiculous Trump shitstorm (Comey-firing) as well as my own ill-fated, all-week & late-night Final Grades marathon, I’d like thank the following, without which I would’ve spent these days hollering unprofessional unpleasantries at my laptop: coffee-M.I.A.-coffee-Slayer-coffee-M.I.A., as well as my drumset sitting nearby in my study for whenever I caught a plagiarist. And now that there’s no hope in hell I’ll meet my deadline: Lana Del Rey and merlot. (I am more specific on the wine than the coffee. Why?) See I’m at the point where, in a comment to a Texas student’s essay on Open Carry, I find myself searching Mary Karr’s badass memoir The Liar’s Club for that line about how every Texan knows how to…well, here it is: “In Texas any four-year-old knew you didn’t point a firearm at a live creature unless you wanted it dead. Even a busted, empty gun got handled like a snake.” (And then the author’s mother spends the next epoch pointing an unnecessarily swanky pistol at her drunken husband while deflating him with a merciless rhapsody on how fucking worthless he is.) So for the moment I’m all for Open Carry in the state that produces such trenchant nonfiction lit. 


They Are the Ones Who Knock

I had taken leave of my office to fetch the Exacto Knife to cut a sharp little cord off my latest candidate for Acceptable Office Chair when the doorbell rang. The No Solicitors sign hasn’t been working lately. Yesterday it was two guys in dress shirts, belts & slacks, carrying tablets. We let them walk away. But today at 2:30, it was a dark-haired young woman in a tank top and jeans carrying a cigarette whose smoke was brought right into the living room by our “kid fan,” the magical conductor in the hallway ceiling that draws such currents from the windows and doors that we once had our five-year-old convinced it would lift her up and outta the house if she didn’t behave. So this lady, what, had she lost her dog, her child?

No, she wanted to know if we were in the market for landscaping or any other lawn services.

I gave her the standard line: We rent this house we don’t own it, we don’t cover that end of things. Which was not a very forthright thing to say to a stranger who wore no landscaping garb and presented no landscaping brochure but did bring smoke into our home. She said OK and turned back down the sidewalk; I shut the door.

Wife and I compared notes on her sketchy demeanor and likely objective. Personally, I found her to be more dazed and maybe sad than sketchy, as if not sure herself just how she came to be knocking on doors with this particular offer on a sunny afternoon. Our guess was that she was scraping around for drug money, scoping out houses to burglarize, or both.

So with a thoughtful air, Wife picked up her keys and said she’d be right back.

Five minutes later she returned with a report that the woman’s partner was a tall dude with reddish hair who sat in a blue Toyota truck looking sketchily this way and that while his lady friend knocked on doors. They’d been followed down the road and had their license number recorded; now they were getting themselves reported to the non-emergency police.

The dogs, sound asleep, are still on call; no walk for them tonight!


Just flirting with Hindi since two nights ago–with the Mango app, free via the public library. Picked up volume A of The Longman Anthology of World Literature, containing the Ramayana and bits of the Mahabharata, that we read in the Non-Western Lit course I sort of taught a few years ago. What was the name of the documentary series we watched to put it all in context? Hosted by a thin British guy exploring the realms where dance told the birth of the world and statues were doused with colors; later, in China, climbing a sacred mountain behind a thinner Chinese guy with a cig in his mouth…

Ah, The Story of India. YouTube it.


What do you call this place, then? Some theme or another requests permission to be established before you submit your nomenclature.


Screw This

Blogging just ain’t for me, I’m telling myself. It hasn’t been for years, and even then, it wasn’t. That wasn’t blogging, it was drafting, spewing–towards a literary criticism. I’m only on here because I can be sure that it won’t be lost in the digital ether between my tablet and my laptop…my laptop, I use for work. It’s big and powerful, with keys spread confidently across a handsome black surface. It’s not for play. A bluetooth keyboard separate from the screen it’s sent to, however–isn’t that enticing? So, thanks, WordPress, for saving my drafts. Blogger is not on Kindle, and neither is Tumblr. (Well, there’s a client app. Screw that.) 


Title Please

Tell me, do I not own you? 


Nietzsche Dog

Again, that eternal question.

Nietzsche Dog

Our Schnauzer finally got a haircut that evokes his namesake. Feel free to call him “Nietzsch” (no one ever knows what to do with that final “e,” anyway).