The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Wow, I haven't updated this for a long time. You'd think that dreary, homebinding winter would make one WANT to spend time on the computer, blogging, but apparently that's not the case, judging from the radio silence here. I do have some excuses: a book MS had to be finished, two demanding classes with smart students who deserve lots of feedback on their writing; the ongoing project to spruce up our house, and so on. I do have some stored-up opinions:

Barry Bonds should not come back and play for the Pirates. Even if he played for the league minimum. As my wife can tell you, I get suckered in every year, thinking that maybe this will be the year the Bucs ne suckent pas. I have a distinct lack of even that doomed enthusiasm this year. And boy, would the presence of Barry kill any good feelings this town has for the team.

John Dos Passos' MANHATTAN TRANSFER is a very easy book to skim through and ask of yourself, "and why is this a 'classic'?"--which was my opinion after reading it last fall. But as I learned while teaching the book, it really rewards a careful reading. There is much more going on there than I initially saw.

Ikea furniture is very versatile and cool looking in the catalog. Putting it together is unbelievably rational and intuitive, and the manuals are the greatest examples of clear communication I've seen in that genre. But it's time-consuming, hard on the hands, and that crappy, heavy particle board leaves no margin for error.

And I've now made my peace with voting for Obama. My first candidate was Kucinich; then I decided I was an Edwards man; then I agonized forever about Clinton v. Obama. And given that I don't see any really significant difference between the two in terms of policy, I have to vote on who has the best chance of beating McCain...

--side note: why are we talking about "having a chance to beat" a Republican, this year? what happened to the death of that party? why are we not able to nominate the proverbial ham sandwich and still beat the representative of the party that gave us warrantless wiretapping, torture, extraordinary rendition, the discrediting of science, environmental and labor laws written by corporate lobbyists, the "women's health" office staffed by antiabortion, anticontraception fanatics, and so on? this is ludicrous! is it fear, is it our certainty that we'll always be losers, or is it real?--

...and that appears to be Obama. Sorry, Hillary. Love you, love what you stand for. We just can't lose this one. Not after 2004.


  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger Anna said…

    Hey, glad to see you back online. I too go on inexplicable radio silences- just get tired of public expression? - not sure.

    Check out the blog really entertaining.

    OK, can you tell me why I should like and read Gunter Grass' a Tin Drum? Book club book and it's killing me.

  • At 8:26 PM, Blogger mantooth said…

    hola anna cómo estás?--

    I read it in college--not even for a class--and couldn't stand it. So you're not alone.

  • At 12:50 PM, Blogger Anna said…

    Wow, that's a relief. I've been thinking of all these excuses.


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