Category Archives: Unfocused

The End of Another Year, Term

There were many goodbyes this week.  I took all of them as best I could.  There was some comic-like crying involved.  I had wanted to tell two or three of my students about my blog but didn’t.  I think I will have an opportunity to do so at some point in the near future.

This break also gives me another opportunity — to get back into blogging more.  I used to worry about appearances so much — not any more.  I think I will look into getting a better camera and post more pictures and videos.

Times have changed, but I am reluctant to be more active on facebook or twitter.  I like having this little space that only a few know about.

This is going to be a great winter break.

Competing Priorities

Yes, the election is very important to me,even living here in Texas.  Yesterday the academic students had a”Walk the Vote” event at school.  Let me say that the student body president this year is making himself known.  I don’t know him personally, but he is the first in my 10+ years that I recognize in the halls.

My other focus is a discussion panel that one of my classes will give Monday next.  It will be to all comers on campus.  Earlier this week I was freaking out, but today’s rehearsal was very good.  We have a few more functional hoops to jump through, but overall, we are ready.

My work life is rich (see above, and I haven’t touched on my other classes, which are also good), my home life with the garden, yard and most of all the pets are also quite fulfilling.  I don’t really miss my family.  It’s been really nice these past few months just donating to Heifer International instead of dealing with the competing for attention at my niece’s birthdays.  It’s also been nice not having to listen to the racism that was always a feature of family gatherings.  I’m a happier person by avoiding all of that negativity.

The election is important. I have made it a point to direct nervous nellies to the appropriate sanity sites.  I have also made sure that I don’t have to listen to the one Rmoney guy at work.  He burned several of us a week ago with our boss and has been apologizing since.

But now, work, four-footed ones, and the garden are making me very happy.

I don’t really need those people who claim to be family.

A New Start

I have mostly kept this blog hidden from all but my closest friends.  Some people have found me through links, but mostly it’s just a little blog for me and a few other people.

I’m hard to find for most of my students and that is how I have wanted it to be.

I’ve changed my mind.

I will blog more often and tell more of my students about it.

Things have changed with Facebook et al.

I don’t care for that platform, nor do I care for that twitter thing.

It’s the fall and there are new things beginning — as well as things ending.

I will get better about posting — starting now.

There is No Way Islam Can Take on Rap

Just an observation.  Rap is a protest song that transcends all religions or creeds.

Freedom is the key, and Rap is the voice.

In Mali, the Islam bullies may be winning now, but there is a voice of rap in the cities.  It is the voice of freedom.

How ironic.

Silly Kitteh!

From the NY Daily News via my new favorite blog Daily Intel at the NY Mag.

This kitteh survived.

Paul Fussell

It’s hard to say just how much his writings shaped my thinking and life.

I will always remember taking the train out of Riga going to teach class and reading Fussell.

He was under appreciated.  PBS Newshour didn’t do a segment about him tonight.  That’s on them, not him.

Carlos Fuentes

This will happen more and more as time goes by, but it will never be easy.

Carlos Fuentes died today.  I had the good fortune to meet him briefly in a book signing line many years ago.

He was a great writer and I thank him for my introduction to Mexican literature. His Buried Mirror is a touchstone for the history of our continent.

RIP, Carlos Fuentes.

The Weekend Begins!

Here’s a cute picture:

I have temporarily given up on installing a pond, so I built a bed and planted 5 horseradish roots.  The kittens like to sleep in the bed since I put down the plastic fencing stuff, and so they don’t feel like digging in it.

All five roots have sprouted.

We had homegrown fennel along with some free range grilled chicken last night.

The cucumbers are back in the bed I had them in the first year and thriving.

The pole beans that a friend gave me the seeds for are climbing well, right next to the tomato plant that made it through the winter.  I let the lettuce and cilantro bolt — again — and so it seems that in a few years, that’s all I’ll have as far as weeds go.

I took the bus home today.  It was actually nostalgic.  I often think of my time in Riga and taking all the different forms of transportation to make my way around the city.  That was many years ago, and I have always been angered at how backwards just a few people in this city can be about mass transit.  Even though we got rid of Tom DeLay, there’s always someone else to step in all big footed and jam up the progress.

I had a nice conversation while waiting for the bus.  It was with a woman who works at the zoo.  Another followed when a man got on at a stop along my way.  He was surprised that I said “hello” to him with such confidence.  I’m not afraid of anyone, and besides that, I have to work with Saudis EVERY DAY.

At any rate, despite my doubts yesterday evening about my plan to basically hide from the EASTER PEOPLE this weekend, I think those two encounters made it clear that it was the right decision.

Barring any technical difficulties, I see many pictures being posted over the next two days :)

The Solution to My Possible Problem

Next Sunday is Easter.  I haven’t heard from anyone in my family and I don’t want to.  I worry that some crazy person(s) will try to seek me out.

What to do?

I thought about going to a camping grounds, but the state of Texas does not make it easy to figure out what is available when and so I have another plan.

There is one place that I can park 24/7/365 and have paid for.  That place also houses things I need to do.

And so, I will take advantage of my proximity.

Imminent problem solved.

I Need Some Help

Since I have decided to leave my family, there are a few hot-point days that I want to make sure that I am not at home.

I’m looking at the first three dates and thinking that I will take each of the pups for a road trip.

The question is:  which pup would enjoy what trip.

None of these are mutually exclusive, but I will be taking them one at a time.

I love Galveston.  And I think every pup should get to swim in the Gulf.  I also love Stephen F. Austin National Park.  Or at least I did.  I haven’t been there in years, but I have fond memories of it.

So, since I have already decided to take one pup on one adventure this spring/summer, who should I take where and when?

Suggestions of other parks are cool, too.  I’m looking at leaving the night before the day and then coming home the night of the day.   (So, no, Roberto, no need for you to sit with — unless you just want to :)