Day 377: Pabst Blue Ribbon…

…was had in large amounts last night. Effect: brain damage that results in stylistically terrible passive constructions. Cause: cool shit has happened. Very cool shit. I, however, will not reveal what it is until everything is set in stone (which will happen in about a week or so). Hence, there is not yet anything to celebrate (the PBRs last night were “not yet” celebratory beers, Blochian beers, if you will) and nothing to congratulate me for (I’m still scared of jinxing stuff, even thought that’s almost impossible at this point). So, what this post is officially really about is Pabst Blue Ribbon: what a great beer. Everyone should have lots of it on a daily basis. Out of cans. In dive bars. Especially, when it causes yuppie-dive-bar-tourists drinking Sapporo and chilled shots of Patron to stare at you in disbelief. Oh PBR, how happy you make me. So, no congratulating, please. Only comments on PBR will be accepted.


Day 249: Sleepless in Chicago

Damn, I’m tired. Had to pull an all-nighter to catch up on writing, grading and applications. Am exhausted. Will go to the Überstein Hofbräuhaus with a friend later tonight to unwind. Yes, that’s right! Überstein. Seems appropriate: I’m über-tired and definitely have an itch for stress-escapism by getting über-drunk (which, considering the amount of work that needs to get done tomorrow, is not a possbility).

Be that as it may, contrary to what Robert Frost may claim, fall (not spring) seems to be the mischief in me: there is a job opening at Regent University. Do you think I should apply? There certainly is lots of “über” at that place (not the good kind, though). I wonder if I can put a notion in their heads. But, über-Pat probably, “moves in darkness as it seems to me // Not of woods only and the shade of trees. // He will not go behind his father’s saying…”


Day 248: Blackle

Today, a recycled, or a parasite post, if you will. I have to do a lot of work and additionally actually send out the first three applications. Still, it doesn’t feel like the actual serious stage has begun yet and these applications applications feel more like trial runs (since they are for visiting assistant prof. positions, which I would only be willing to consider, if I got nothing else). But I am sure this attitude will change quickly, once I actually find myself walking to the post office with an application for a job at a very intimidating program in my hand (which will happen for the first time on Friday). Oh: I got really fancy paper and envelopes for CV, cover letter, diss. precis and teaching philosophy (the writing sample will still be on regular paper)–that stuff is expensive! If you are going on the academic job market next year, here one practical suggestion: put aside a serious chunk of money! Adding together postage (I am sending priority with delivery confirmation), stationary, toner cartriges, online dossier services, alcohol and pain killers, the academic job market can become a pricy undertaking quite quickly. It may not be exaggerated to calculate about $10-15 min. for each school you will be applying to–and there will (hopefully) be a bunch (especially, if you are also considering post-docs, etc.)–and this is a calculation excluding pill-popping and beer you can cry into at night.

As for today’s post: it is something I saw on the site of fellow SCTer Nirmal, who is fighting the good fight over in Boston. Suggestion: a black version of Google would save 750 megawatt-hours a year. You can find a detailed explanation of this here. You can find a black model of Google (called “Blackle”) here.

I’ve been using black or at least really dark templates for my mail accounts for a while now (as well as for the customizable pages, online blackboard sites for my courses, etc.), but I mainly did it for aesthetic reasons–it seems less harsh in the morning and gently eases me into a day of work that initially appears less scary this way. Good to know that this also has an environmental purpose.

Day 244: Job Market and Procrastination

This will be another weekend of me not leaving the house and instead spending time in front of my computer working on such things as writing samples, grading, dissertation descriptions, etc. I got up early this morning and made a giant calendar with due dates for job applications, conference talks, dissertation chapters, articles and other writing projects for the next three months, which decoratively, yet threateningly occupies the wall-space above my bed, so that it is the first thing I see after getting up and the last thing before falling asleep. While this strange need for self-flagellation may appear to be a rather morbid pre-breakfast activity, the day was immediately rescued by Q101, who greeted me with the Ramones’ “I Wanna be Sedated” as the first song of the day–there is just something about the Ramones that always puts me in a good mood (which is strange, considering I first began listening to them in my teenage-angst, no future/depressed-phase punk rock caters to so well).

After finishing this first project I had some coffee and breakfast and then found myself in the mood for some quality procrastination before getting back to my writing sample. Consequently, I started thinking about Halloween costumes (which is quality procrastination, indeed, considering that I may not even have the time to leave the house on Halloween). I saw a red cardinal costume in a Halloween store on Halsted from the bus yesterday. This made me consider the following option (including two friends, fittingly from the Spanish Department–yes, that’s you!):

I would really love to enter bars this way–especially in the company of two friends who are similarly stressed out by their dissertations and need to celebrate utter insanity for one night. (“Amongst our chief weaponry are such diverse elements as surprise, a thesis on the political and ideological problems of the very concept of diversity, an almost fanatical devotion to our dissertations and beer, as well as an utter lack of social skills after years of grad school.”)

Come to think of it, considering my current psychological condition, this would be a more appropriate costume–my brain hurts:

Day 231: Hands Hurt.

Typing not easy. Helped a friend move all day yesterday. I am now calling this one “The Deadliest Move V. 2.0.” Wow. I’m in pain. Shouldn’t have done it hungover in retrospect. Had a little freakout on Friday night due to what seemed to be an unmanageable workload (I did get a LOT of work done last week, hardly slept but still this was not enough). Hence, decided to solve the problem by saying, “fuck it all” and went to the Oktoberfest with two friends. The fest was pretty sucky, so we decided to go to a “German” bar down the street that just opened. It’s called “Prost–Deutschland/Chicago” and apparently re-created Germany based on the movie Beerfest. German Massbier. Drinking out of boots. Chanting. Everybody ridiculously drunk. Sad place, yet we decided we had to fit in or be labelled uncool. Since that would have been tragic considering the social importance of the people making up that specific discourse field, we drank. Lots. Biked home (bad idea). Got up at 8 a.m. and took a bus downtown to help my friend (the busride was a walk on the edge as well). Finished moving after midnight last night. Got up relatively early today to do work.

That’s all I have to report. I feel like ass. And not like a nice one. Can’t blog in more detail. Must preserve remainder of mental ability for writing. Poor decision making this weekend. Should not drink. Should not have friends. I.e.: should be a better grad student.

Day 216: Know Your Enemy…

… is a fantastic song. However, it has nothing to do with what follows. Or does it? No, no. Not really. I am a very friendly person. That is, if you are not…

ok, this may take too long 🙂

I have been tagged by anaj to answer 19 questions. Apparently, this is some new thing going around the blogosphere. I wonder: why 19? And who cares? (Do we actually care to find out something of substance about the people whose blog we read? Is this really an attempt to build a social community that has depth? Or is this purely an exercise in narcissism? I suspect it may be the latter. Seriously, Hardt and Negri aside, isn’t the social component of the internet less about finding and connecting with someone you find interesting than doing things so that lots of people will find you interesting–the desire to connect seems less democratic than purely flowing into one single direction [i.e. the enjoyment arising from building a community of virtual stalkers who stalk an ideally, digitally projected version of yourself?–i.e. is the the consentual, collective creation of social simulacra?]) In this spirit, here are my answers:

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.
I have LOTS of scars. I used to be both a very stupid child and a rather self-destructive teenager. There are also lots of weird medical or embarassing stories to tell here. Ask me if you really want to hear more. (Ok–one quick, harmless one: I have a big scar on my upper lip that is the result of a toilet door splitting my lip completely in the middle (vertically)–was hard to get back together but now it is not too noticeable) 

2. What does your phone look like? List your reasons to buy it?
It is black and silver. It is scratched and banged up. It allows me to communicate with people who are otherwise not visually or audibly accessible to me.

3. What is on the walls of your bedroom?
A Che flag and a painting/collection of quotes of Sacco and Vanzetti. Oh, and a Metropolis poster and prints of van Gogh’s Guernica and Man with Guitar.

4. What is your current desktop picture?
Yves Tanguy, Indefinite Divisibility

5. Do you believe in gay marriage?
I don’t believe in marriage, period. However, I also believe that craziness is not specific to gender or sexual orientation, so if a gay person is really crazy enough to want to get married, he/she should be allowed to express his/her craziness in the same way heterosexual people are allowed to do.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?
I want to be done with my dissertation and have a job lined up so I can concentrate on drinking and hiking through the desert/mountains by myself for a few months.

7 . What time were you born?
no idea

8. Are your parents still together?

9. Last person who made you cry?
Don’t want to say.

10. What is your favorite perfume / cologne?
Cool Water (that is what I use most frequently, at least)

11. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?
Every combination, really (well, red and white is a little freaky but who am I to judge–I had a bunny once who could make that shit work!). I have to admit, however, that I do have a serious fetish for black hair and bright blue eyes.

12. What are you listening to? Why?
Wind in trees. My window is open.

13. Do you get scared of the dark?
If I do, I pretend to be Chuck Norris and then the dark gets scared of me. 

14. Do you like painkillers?

15. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
Yes. In fact, I have never done so.

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Anything that would require outdoor fire/barbecue to be prepared, which in turn would require me drinking beer while preparing it, which would mean that I am done with writing for the next few days, because otherwise I would not have time to do this.

17. Who was the last person who made you mad?

18. List one habit you have that has the potential to annoy people?
I tend to isolate myself for long periods of time and unintentionally alienate people when I write (it is apparently quite annoying, bordering on the cruel).

19. Who was the last person who made you smile?
Someone in the street who gave me what seemed to be a really big, uninhibited and honest smile and said: “hi!” this morning when I got back from buying coffee. Isn’t that just the best beginning for a day?

I guess I also have to tag other people. Let’s see. I hereby tag: Joanna, Shannon, Red Crochet, Dejan, caveblogem and ELECTRA.

Day 208: Global Warming, DeVito and Beer

After Hollywood has successfully turned an important discussion (global warming) that required actual radical political changes, which needed to be founded upon ideological changes, into a mere fad that will most likely not lead to permanent transformations but will be forgotten by most in about a year or two (“anti-global warming was sooo 2006/07”–maybe it will come back like the 1960s concern with peace and the social bond that was turned into the Love Parade and its connected fashion industry), I am still hopeful when I see that serious (grassroots) organizations/campaigns still fight the good fight and try to popularize the discussion in good, i.e. effective (i.e. smarter than DiCaprio’s latest sorry attempt), ways. Here a Sierra Club program that really spoke to me: picking “green beer:”

Oh, and the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelpha (which, I must admit, has been amusing me to no end–really a form of comedy I appreciate–sorry!) worked with the Sierra Club as well. Here the ad:

The link to the Sierra Club homepage can be found in my blogroll–they do a lot of really great stuff. Also: subscribe to the “Daily Ray of Hope” service. Good thing to wake up to.