Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cheesing it up on my own

So I took a look around and was told that the school could help me out with this stuff. (I will need to either fly or walk to Wisconsin- pick one. Also, I could swim or fly to Spain.) Having dutifully filled out numerous forms and obtained even more numerous signatures, I was informed on February 25th, that no help would be forthcoming as...ummm....they had spent their entire budget for '08. Which is totally understandable. As such, I am putting up a paypal button so that my thousands of readers, supporters and admirers can do what the school can't. This goes out to haters as well. Think about it- if I get sent to Spain, I'll be in a remote location about 10 miles from Africa. No blogging. At all. Sweet ain't it?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cheesing it up

I have two invitations in my mailbox. Three actually.
These invitations are for conferences where I am to present GROUNDBREAKING AND VERY IMPORTANT RESEARCH THE LIKES OF WHICH HAVE NEVER BEEN PRESENTED BEFORE. The GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH concerns second language acquisition or how someone else can learn a foreign language so you don't have to. Anyhow, these invites are to Madison, Wisconsin, southern Spain and Long Island, New York- all within an 8 day span in April.

I have had the chance to visit Madison, Wisconsin previously. What brought me there can best be illustrated by this graphic:

This was a visit to a lady I fondly refer to as potential ex wife #3, and I had the chance to explore Janesville, Racine and Whitewater as well. Not much needs to be said of these places except that once you have seen them you will either move to North Dakota or cross the entire upper midwest off your travel list. I saw them in December. Guess what I did.

But now I will have a chance to see it in April, with the cheese trees in full bloom and the scent of beer flowers everywhere. I may visit some Amish. We can watch their home movies.

Nevertheless, to my regret, I can't stay long since I am scheduled to be in Long Island that exact same weekend. How this will transpire will be most interesting to see. I do so like the impossible. Anyhow, as a warmup for all of this, I will probably (depending on the benevolence of my local benefactors) make a stop south of Barcelona, Spain the previous weekend for another presentation. This appeals to me very much as my cousin, who wised up and did a Ph.D. in economics instead of the namby-pamby social sciences, spent many summers on the spanish coast and, when he can be coaxed into human interaction, expresses the view that it was not the most loathsome experience of his life. As such, I'm looking forward to it. If I get there.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What in the hell is....

systemic functional linguistics? What projects are being researched there? How can I show off my lack of knowledge in this area? Any ideas?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ray Bradbury was half right

Many moons ago, Ray Bradbury (author. What's an author? Nevermind. Whoops, here come the troops. I gotta hide.)

-resuming from the bunker-

predicted that as people are no longer reading very much, we are "creating a nation of morons." As the present and forever occupant of the Extremely White House illustrates, RB had a point. However, I would like to upgrade his thesis thusly:

With the advent of the internet, we are creating a nation of moronic sociopaths. See, the internet has made it possible for us to have close non-relationships with each other whereby we send IMs (instant messages) to each other for ever and ever and ever (and ever) while emailing (also forever) and text messaging cell phones (guess for how long) all without ever meeting the other person face to face. Just imagine. A friendship in this brave new world could, theoretically, exist over the course of a decade or five without the "friends" ever meeting, shaking hands, hearing each other's voices doing anything together or even knowing their "friends" names. Of course this means that any emotional attachment is impossible as "friends" can turn each other off with the click of a button. On the upside, it is absolutely no problem to acquire 49,999,999,999 friends without ever remembering a birthday or even a name. In fact, after a while, all 49,999,999,999 friends will look pretty much the same and they will all be called Joanie. This new world is so gonna rock. Now if my friends will excuse me, I gotta go do stuff. Text ya later Joanie.

Monday, February 11, 2008

See, what we have here is a failure to want to communicate

The South has a peculiar notion which goes something like this: We are special and unique. We are better than you. Because we are better than you, we get to decide whether or not we follow the law, not you. If we choose not to do what we have to do, suck it up. Got that? Good. Now go pound dirt you g-dless swine! And don't forget your station, boy!

Right off the bat, I have two problems with this, maybe even three: First, I happen to be the G-dless swine in question. This is, as you might imagine, bad. I'd much rather be inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.

Secondly, Louisiana, which has been a U.S. State since 1865 (or at least 1964- theoretically), is bound by all the laws of the U.S. So when you point an enraged finger at me and say that I am not entitled to certain things under the law until "this school says you are", you may be just a bit mistaken. Don't worry, this happens a lot.

Finally, I have a hunch I won't be able to correct this mistake diplomatically.

Oh and by the way, has anyone else* noticed that all the janitors here are black and all the professors are white**? It tells ya something.

*this assumes that I have local readers and may be discovered soon. Angola awaits?

**yes, there may be some professor of African-American lit around who is black, but face it, he'll fill the quota of one. And yes, I am aware that without Asian profs and students, there would be no Science departments here but since they are segregated into the Conference Center, it doesn't really count.