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Archive for September 24th, 2009

busy man i am

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1. Was browsing in the LRB Bookshop today and picked up a particularly handsome and fronttabled book about literature in my period. Hmm… Lovely, I thought, I’d like mine to look just like this. I wonder who the publisher…

My heart fell when I realized that the book was published by a house that had read my dissertation back in 2005 and expressed enthusiasm about publishing the fucker. I had turned them down, as said fucker needed work, and besides, we were taught, back in the golden years and by people whose career paths had been paved in gold, not to publish with commercial presses as it looks bad on the CV.

Fuck. Fuck. Perhaps I’ll try again with them now, in a much worse publishing environment, and several years on. But the thought of all I might have been doing with this monstrosity off my plate…. Fuck.

2. Have been writing (and missing deadlines) more or less constantly. For the current thing, all the famous people have theirs in; mine is basically the only one outstanding. And I am not famous, sadly. But the interesting thing is that approximately a third of the piece was cut and pasted (and, sure, heavily editted) from the blog, which actually seems to be becoming the notebook-type resource that I’ve always intended it to be.

Good news is that I think this thing I am just about to finish is probably the best thing I’ve written since the piece that got me both jobs that I’ve had. You have to wait for Ads’s products, but sometimes Ads’s products are ok. Wish I could link to all of it on here. One day! Soon!

3. Went to a meeting with my kid’s school teacher today. They start a year earlier here than they do in the US, which I suppose means one day my daughter, if we ever move back to the US, will turn out to be brilliant and troubled. Anyway: was astounded by the amount of material that we learn when we go to school. The letters and numbers, counting and reading, writing and adding. And then all the other stuff.

The teacher has asked me, in my capacity as a university lecturer, to come do things for the kids. I am thinking Isotypes. What do you think?

One of the other girls, quickly becoming one of my daughter’s friends, has a pair of academic parents. What sucks is that the mom likely just read a friend’s job application that didn’t work out. (They didn’t hire me either when I applied….) What is funny is that the dad reminds me of a character on Mad Men, spitting image, but it’s not that flattering a comparison. He also flirted like shit with my wife tonight, unaware perhaps that I was her husband. Hmmm…..

4. I am a bit crestfallen that I won’t have an opportunity to go on my daily run tomorrow. What busy lives we lead! But running is actually starting to help – I go to sleep earlier than I’ve ever done, as I’m actually normal-tired at the end of the day instead of rangey-exhausted.

5. A year and a half in, and I am actually starting to make friends with my colleagues. I mean I was friendly enough before, but now there’s a weekly meetup of guys, and this is a good sign for me, you have no idea.

6. School starts next week. Americans will be shocked to hear this, but the first week of university here is mostly taken up with drinks parties – no, not just for us, but for us with the students, i.e. new undergraduates. What a dissolute place this is. I have pledged myself to remain not quite dry, but dry enough, during said parties. I do like the party involving the MA students, who again, now that the pound has fallen against the dollar, will be largely American. It’s funny to see their faces fall when it dawns on them that they’ve paid all this money to participate in enormous numbers of seminars with a guy from New Jersey.

7. I am not sure, but I think I might have a sockpuppet problem.

8. I have decided to ask my parents for some money, as I likely need it. You might have heard, but the cost of living in London is a wee bit high.

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September 24, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Posted in academia