Archive for the 'fluff' Category

October 17th 2012
Marshall College scandal: Dr. Jones denied tenure!

Posted under fluff & jobs & students

Love you anyway!

Sad, but true.  Here’s an excerpt from the Archaeology department’s T & P committee letter to Dr. Jones (h/t Monocle Man for this one):

January 22, 1939

Assistant Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr.
Department of Anthropology
Chapman Hall 227B
Marshall College

Dr. Jones:

As chairman of the Committee on Promotion and Tenure, I regret to inform you that your recent application for tenure has been denied by a vote of 6 to 1. Following past policies and procedures, proceedings from the committee’s deliberations that were pertinent to our decision have been summarized below according to the assessment criteria.

Demonstrates suitable experience and expertise in chosen field:

The committee concurred that Dr. Jones does seem to possess a nearly superhuman breadth of linguistic knowledge and an uncanny familiarity with the history and material culture of the occult. However, his understanding and practice of archaeology gave the committee the greatest cause for alarm. Criticisms of Dr. Jones ranged from “possessing a perceptible methodological deficiency” to “practicing archaeology with a complete lack of, disregard for, and colossal ignorance of current methodology, theory, and ethics” to “unabashed grave-robbing.” Given such appraisals, perhaps it isn’t surprising to learn that several Central and South American countries recently assembled to enact legislation aimed at permanently prohibiting his entry.

Moreover, no one on the committee can identify who or what instilled Dr. Jones with the belief that an archaeologist’s tool kit should consist solely of a bullwhip and a revolver. Continue Reading »

5 Comments »

September 9th 2012
How d’ye like them apples?

Posted under American history & childhood & fluff & happy endings & local news

This is September in Colorado:  cool nights and warm afternoons with clear, blue skies.  We’re lucky to have an heirloom apple tree in our yard, which this year is absolutely loaded with fruit.  (The hot, dry summer has been perversely great for the Colorado fruit crop.  This tree ain’t exactly an orchard, but it appears to share in the local bounty.)  With any luck, we’ll have enough pies and applesauce to last us until the apple blossoms open next spring.

Maybe it’s due to my huge fangirl crush in the 1970s on Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House series, but I’ve always been inordinately charmed by “free food,” and aggressively motivated to do something with it when I find it.  When I was a little girl, I loved finding those ferny weeds in people’s lawns that looked like Queen Anne’s Lace, but whose roots resembled (and tasted like) thin, pale carrots.  (Maybe they were Queen Anne’s Lace?  I don’t know.)  I remember a scrawny clover whose lemony leaves we used to chew.  My greatest childhood discovery was perhaps a patch of strawberries along a lazy spring that burbled up in the woods by my house. Continue Reading »

24 Comments »

August 29th 2012
Question of the day:

Posted under American history & fluff

Has David Brooks had a stroke?  Or is Joe Nocera or Gail Collins in fact the author of this piece?

Mitt grew up in a modest family. His father had an auto body shop called the American Motors Corporation, and his mother owned a small piece of land, Brazil. He had several boyhood friends, many of whom owned Nascar franchises, and excelled at school, where his fourth-grade project, “Inspiring Actuaries I Have Known,” was widely admired. Continue Reading »

17 Comments »

August 24th 2012
GOTADNC!

Posted under fluff & local news

Leaving campus today, I walked by a car with a Colorado license plate that read “GOTADNC.”  I thought to myself:  someone is advertising that she had an abortion (D & C)?  That’s pretty bold!  Or maybe the car belongs to a gynecologist, even though that doesn’t really make sense?  (As in:  “I just gotta do me some D & Cs!)  Or maybe it belongs to a local Dem pol who’s on her way to the Democratic National Convention?  (Get it?  GO TA DNC?  You betcha!)

So I e-mailed a colleague about this, and she Continue Reading »

12 Comments »

August 21st 2012
Ayn Ryan: the Gen X pol we deserve? Yes, but hardly the first.

Posted under American history & fluff & Gender & jobs & wankers & women's history

 

Srsly?

Yes.  Yes, he is.  But Historiann must disagree in the strongest possible terms with Noreen Malone’s claim that Ayn Ryan is “the first member of his generation to run on a major party ticket.”  Is our collective historical memory shorter than four years now?  (Oh, the United States of Amnesia!  How we miss you already, Gore Vidal!  I picture you in an afterlife on the set of the Dick Cavett show with fellow guests Norman Mailer, Bill Buckley, and Truman Capote, all of you just as bitchy as ever, forever!) Continue Reading »

17 Comments »

August 15th 2012
Yellowstone: le safari de l’Amerique du Nord

Posted under fluff & happy endings & local news

In our Yellowstone adventure, every day was full of marvels and wonders we don’t get to see or experience in our everyday lives.  We saw, in order:  lots of elk (bulls mostly), marmots, a coyote, bison galore, a black wolf, and a black bear!  (Fratguy thinks it was a grizzly bear, but I say it was black and I’m sticking to my story.)  Several brown, cutthroat, rainbow, and brook trout were caught (and released.)  Plus of course we saw loads of geysers, hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, and the like volcanic wonders, like Castle Geyser here on the right.

Once again, I was struck by the numbers of French, German, Japanese, and Chinese tourists.  I also heard some Russian and Italian spoken by other parties.  All of western Wyoming really was full of French people–we chatted with a few families on a French tour who stopped in the same hotel we did last night in Jackson Hole. Continue Reading »

13 Comments »

August 7th 2012
Gone fishin’.

Posted under fluff & happy endings & local news

Mama needs a break, kids.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit several of our major National Parks and Monuments this summer– Arches National Park Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, Mesa Verde, and now Yellowstone.  (Touring these parks is kind of an expansive version of a staycation for us westerners.)

I wonder what kind of charismatic megafauna we’ll see–moose?  A bear?  A cougar?  I haven’t seen a cougar up close and personal since I almost stepped on one’s tail in Strathcona Provincial Park in British Columbia in 1997.  It was the one time in my life when I was left literally speechless, and could only gesture to the giant tail and the terrific haunches to which it was attached.  I can probably live happily without coming that close to a cougar ever again. Continue Reading »

12 Comments »

July 21st 2012
Your free hit of juvenalia and alternative nineteenth-century U.S. history and letters

Posted under American history & art & fluff

Dude, why can’t you do both?

Do you subscribe to The Writers’ Block podcast?  This is why it’s worthwhile:

Most of the book I wrote while watching music videos on MTV.  Yes, that’s how old I am.  Back then MTV still played videos.  Now, now doubt, you picture me wearing high-button shoes and rolling a hoop down a dirt road in, I don’t know, ancient Thebes?

Nobody ever had so much fun writing a book.  I’d be couch surfing with Alexander Graham Bell and Dolley Madison and watching Echo and the Bunnymen videos.  Abraham Lincoln would order us a pizza, and Bell would offer everyone hits of MDA.  That’s how far back this happened.  We didn’t call ecstasy “E.”  We didn’t even call it “X.”  Louisa May Alcott would be rolling us a fattie.  I’d shake my head no.  I’d whine, “Guys, I can’t get high!  I need to write my novel.”  And Harriet Beecher Stowe would say, “Dude, why can’t you do both?”

Continue Reading »

11 Comments »

July 18th 2012
Our colleagues, ourselves

Posted under fluff & jobs & students & technoskepticism

GayProf is back, and he’s got another hilarious quiz for all of you proffie types, “Collegial is as Collegial Does.”  Here’s a little flava:

My office:

Best: “Is a place where I work quietly.”

Fair: “Is a place where I meet students from time to time.”

Bad: “Is a place where I can really turn up the volume on my music.”

Evil: “Smells suspiciously of sulphur.”

.       .       .       .       .

The role model who influenced my career:

Best: “The hardworking professors who took an interest in me as a student. They not only taught me the knowledge that I need for this job, but also what it means to be a committed educator.”

Fair: “Wonder Woman.”

Bad: “I did it on my own. Nobody ever helped me and I was always falling through the cracks.”

Evil: “Pope Benedict XVI.”

Honestly?  I would rate myself “fair” for the most part.  Continue Reading »

11 Comments »

July 11th 2012
Twice in a Lifetime

Posted under childhood & Dolls & fluff & happy endings

For Madeline, with all our love.

Here’s one for Madeline and Annabel: Continue Reading »

4 Comments »

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