You know what this envelope needs? A better taste

I don't actually mind the taste of envelope glue. In fact, I sort of like it. I'm always a little bit sad when I buy stamps now because they only sell self-adhesive ones. But, if I did find the taste of envelopes unsatisfying, I'd probably buy myself some Mmmvelopes. These little guys TASTE LIKE BACON!!!

I'm a big fan of bacon. A huge one even. I almost cannot get enough of it. That said, I'm totally buying some of that bacon salt. If it really works, I'm guessing that my non-bacon-sensing taste buds might atrophy from lack of use.

Of course, Bacon Salt is, I fear, one minor step away from the obvious trajectory. To wit: Squeez Bacon.

Reader, I died.

Life in the 19th Century was rough. Want proof? Look to the Brontë family. Patrick Bronte managed to outlive his entire family. By six years. No, no, wait for it, it gets better (worse?)

Patrick marries Maria in 1812, she dies less than 10 years later, having given him six children. Of these six, the two eldest die in 1825 (of consumption). The youngest three all die within 10 months of each other in 1848/49. Of course, all three died of some respiratory ailment. Because that's what people did in Victorian England (see above). Especially, if like Branwell, the son, you were an opium addict. I'm curious how Charlotte felt, out-surviving every single member of her family except her father. Apparently she got over it enough to get married. And pregnant. AND THEN DIE. Yep, she died with child, less than a year after her wedding.

Even better than all this is the fact that the sisters were never considered to be the success stories of the family. All the family's hopes were centered on Branwell. Then, of course, he seems to have either lost or stolen some money from his railway job, had an affair with the mother of the pupil he tutored, and became an alcoholic. So, maybe his death isn't so tragic. Well, it is tragic that it all had to happen at once to this family. So much dying. All over the place.

Sheesh, how did anyone survive in Victorian England?

Also: why did no one tell me that William James and Henry James were brothers? Doesn't that seem a bit excessive to have that much century-later impact birthed in one family?

Day 3, some bullets

I'm back in school, which is actually a pretty good thing. Now, all that extra mental energy that for the past month I was directing at myself can focus on other problems. Y'know, important things like Greek participles and learning a Tai Chi short form. A few things have been happening to me. Not enough for a whole post each, so instead, I present the highlights of my first three days.

  • My Greek prof is in his mid-sixties, I'd guess. But, he fist bumps. This happened on the first day when he put out his fist for me and I wasn't quite sure what he wanted. But, I went in for the bump and yep, that's what he was after. I'm not sure if the fist bumping makes him quirky/awesome or just sort of pathetic/trying too hard. He, does, also, though, wave to us. Like a little up-down of the fingers. This is more bizarre if you know he does this at random times. And that we meet in a seminar room which is just a big table. So he waves across the 3 feet. He also, though, does pitch accents when reading ancient Greek, which pretty much forgives everything.

  • I'm taking directed studies from the Hebrew professor. He sort of intimidates me (and by sort of, I mean, I feel super awkward and dumb around him). But, I bumped into him on campus yesterday and he handed me three bow ties. "Pick two," he said and then walked off. He's given up wearing ties and had told me last semester that I needed better ones. I didn't expect him to personally remedy the situation, though.

  • I find it so adorable, Sociology, that you think you can act like a social science when you want and then pretend you know what you're doing in the humanities world. You talk about experiments and data and hypotheses and then move on as if you understand deconstruction. I really don't know what to make of you. Also, how, precisely are you not anthropology?

  • I was in a class that was going to be horrific. On the first day, we were assigned a group. A group that would discuss questions together every. single. class. AND would be doing a group project together. The same group all semester. But, I found out it was waived with some transfer credits.

  • Of course, finding this out and getting this to actually happen has proved a headache. The adviser for languages and literature seems particularly useless. And, I feel like I'm going to get sucked into a catch-22 because the transfer admissions won't accept transfer by classes from previous degrees until approved by the adviser and the adviser won't approve them until the transfer admissions accepts them. Good thing they make everything so smooth and easy.

  • I'm not able to take Star Trek. I feel sort of glum about this, but as a bonus, the directed readings will provide me, I'm sure, with an endless supply of funny stories.

  • I'm always reminded the first few days of class that I'm such a snob. Like, in my institute class where one irritating guy said he was going into business and I thought to myself, "Of course you are." Or a guy in another class casually let it slip that he lived in Israel and Chile and San Francisco. So, you know he's cool, right? I probably shouldn't be allowed around people.


You speak (er, draw(?)) the truth so often. And yet this one feels particularly correct.

Thanks for that.

Neither here nor there

I have a very complicated relationship with the notion of traveling. On the one hand, I love it. There's new places to see! Adventures to have! Friends and family to visit! On the other hand, there's bags to be packed! Planes to be boarded! Time to be consumed by simply waiting! Money to be spent! Fears to be had about overstaying your welcome! New places to navigate! Foreign bathrooms and beds and furniture to negotiate! It exhausts me even thinking about it. But it also exhilarates me.

I think a large chunk of the problem is that I'm a list maker. And, getting ready for a trip always makes me feel like I should make a list of things that need to be accomplished before I leave. Inevitably, these lists are too long and I get to feeling overwhelmed. Then, I make lists of things to do where I'm going. Then I make lists of things to pack. Then it's a list of books to bring. And, before you can say "all aboard", I'm buried in piles of bullet points. On top of all of that, the world stubbornly refuses to cease moving forward while I try to get these things done. So, I'm still expected to work, even though I have laundry to get done. Or celebrate a friend's birthday even though I haven't packed (and of course, I have to make cupcakes for said celebration).* Of course, I also need to send in conference registrations, buy textbooks for classes, trim my beard, make a few major life decisions and so on and so on.

Clearly, I lack perspective. These things can wait (most of them). And the ones that can't can be accomplished. And, people invite me to visit them (or consent to let me visit them) because they like me (right? people aren't just too nice to say no, are they?) and so, I shouldn't worry about messing up on the trip. But, I can't shake the panic that sinks in about 48 hours before I go anywhere and which lingers as a sort of queasy uneasiness for the entire duration of any vacation.

One of the things not helping for this trip is that I'm coming back the same day that school starts. Thus, missing the first day of my Greek class. Since this is a different prof, I can't even rely on the semester of quasi-good graces I built up. Leaving Phoenix at 6.30 in the morning also sounds a bit like hell. And, it's decisions like this that remind me that I make dumb choices when I'm traveling. I frustrate myself so much sometimes.

So, I have all these bad things floating around, but every single time, I love the trip. Seriously. I have a great time regardless what actually happens and even if I get only five hours of sleep in three days. That's why I keep coming back to the idea of going places. It appeals to me much more than it irritates me. But, still, gosh, I wish this journey coming up overmorrow were finished already. Doesn't it realize I have a trip to Alaska to worry about?

*Note to this friend: I actually really do want to celebrate your birthday with you tomorrow. I just feel stretched, but I still know what's what, if you will. And I'm mostly being absurd.