I colleague of mine died in an accident yesterday at work. I. am. stunned.
Teaching can be a dangerous job, but this man had an especially dangerous job teaching students how to maintain wind turbines on a two-story cell-tower-ish looking thing.
Wasn't the weather... cause of the accident is still under investigation, but the student he was up there with is okay--- physically. I have a feeling he saved that student's life. He was just that kind of guy.
Weird thing was, I was leaving a noontime faculty meeting and walked past the tower/class-area heading out to my car when I saw the cop cars and ambulance as it drove away. Offhandedly I thought: I need to email him to ask what happened and if he's okay.
An email informed me a couple hours later that he had died as a result of his injuries from the two-story fall.
Shocked and stunned.
He was 36, had an adopted greyhound, loved the outdoors, loved his job, was a teacher and a kind soul who thought our stupid world was important enough to respect with green-energy jobs and infrastructure. He will be missed.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
I colleague of mine died in an accident yesterday at work. I. am. stunned.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Out to lunch
Be back in two years
Sorry for my horrid and seemingly determined avoidance of the blogosphere.
I landed a full-time professorship in late July... have been doing that waving-my-arms-while-running-forward-as-fast-as-I-can-so-I-don't-trip-and-fall-flat-on-my-face thing.
My excuse for the twenty-four months prior? A newly discovered condition known as B.A. No, not Big Ass (but that's apropos, too). Blog Apathy. Just couldn't read anymore, didn't want to write, felt like a douche-y blog friend. Add to that the *18* classes I taught in the academic year 2010... yes, being an adjunct nearly cost me what was left of my sanity after I finished the hell that is known as "writing a dissertation" in 2009.
We are getting ready to move my 80 year old mother to the town where she swore she would never return after my dad left her for the lab tech with whom he had been sneaking around, 30+ years ago. (Hi, Dad's Wife, if you are reading this. Congrats on the 30 years of marriage.) *That* has been one f*ck of an epic battle. Long story. Not worth going into.
Tom's doing well. He's writing his dissertation and expected to graduate in December. And by "expected," that means he is registered as a candidate (officially, with the university, too) and he better be writing it because I will kick his furry man-butt if he doesn't.
Since I last broadcast my nonsense into the ether: we have not moved; we still have two cats; we almost moved to Australia; we got a second car; we decided 1,000% we are not having kids; we almost talked about moving to Scotland/Sweden/Munich (Tom's getting all kinds of job ads now that he's nearing the end of the 'ole doctoratino); we are about one year older, none the wiser, and still stuck in the middle of corn fields.
What has changed: I am okay with it. All of it. Really.
Except the GOP.
Not okay with those fuckers. Ever.
I'll be back for more...
I leave you with the finished product of a project I started years ago and gave my mom for X-mas last year (finally) as in X-mas, ten months ago X-mas:
I know. I am a procrastinator...
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Bernie Sanders, perhaps one of the only rational remaining members of Congress in terms of our debt, has a great petition for the president that you can sign at this link.
We need to send a message to our Commander-in-Chief that we middle-classers are sick and tired of paying the tab for the orgy of excess by the top 2%.
We need to make sure they pay their fair share. There is indeed *something* trickling down... it's yellow but it isn't gold doubloons...
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Dear Mr.-Big-Wall-Street-Eff-You-Mainstreeter Bank,
I am closing my account and taking my business to a locally owned and operated bank.
This is on the heels of many, many things that have pissed me right the hell off in the last few years about your bank (one that got its ass covered by my tax dollars). The last straw: my *two* direct deposits for May (slow month pay-wise in higher ed if you are an adjunct) didn't meet your rules for ONE minimum deposit, EVEN THOUGH BOTH TOGETHER BLEW THE MINIMUM OUT OF THE WATER! You swiftly debited my account $12 in order to show me the error of my ways. When I called about it I was told (by a disinterested and crappy telephone "banker") to: check my account daily (do) and... wait for it..... wait for it.... to ask my boss to "adjust" my pay so that it would meet the YOUR BANK'S needs.
Yes. You read that right. A telephone customer "service" rep told me to go to my BOSS and tell him/her that he/she needs to give me a raise--- to satisfy your arbitrary and uncommunicated demands. Seriously. I never was informed about this direct deposit minimum eight years and a couple hundred grand in transactions ago....
My mainstreet moolah isn't good enough for you? Fine. I just got paid $100 to open a checking account at another bank without giving them a *SINGLE* penny. That's right. I have not given them one, red cent and am a proud new customer. They don't have any fine print, either. No fees for anything.
This gal is taking everything out of your institution, will never do business with you again, and will actively tell the roughly 400 students I teach annually not to do business with you, either. And tell them to tell all of their little Facebook, twitter and other social networking friends that, too.
An American Who is Sick and Tired of Getting Screwed Coming and Going by You as You Put Dancefloors in Your Third Mansion (the One with a New Helipad) and Diddle The "Help"
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Not too long ago an aged Christian predicted the end of the world... you are thinking to yourself, which one?
Seems like some folks are rapt with the notion that the end looms near. One thing being a cancer survivor teachers you: the end is always near and not just by means of illness. I could get hit by a bus, a falling chunk of twister-hail, a random act of violence.
What fascinates me these days are my inner thoughts (and now outer musings) about the juxtaposition between organized religion and non-organized spirituality. Too, I am inclined to draw attention to the fact that one distinctly relies on fear as a shuttle of control. (Guess which one?) I suppose I'd rather be on the inside looking out instead of the other way around... I'd rather be the seer than the seen.
In general, I tend to think of "belief" as a rather personal thing--- in every way imaginable. I'll try to explain.
I think that organized religion (regardless of type or leaning) tends to place responsibility for one's life *outside* of one's self. Those of the religious persuasion rely on an external source for all of their power, guidance, and choices. By proxy, it means that no one else has power either or if they do it is granted to them by this same outer-existing thing. This external source tends to be rather parental, judgmental, and jealous ---not unlike the human societies that conjure such a "being."
On the other hand, I think of reincarnation as the ultimate paradigm for personal responsibility. If one considers reincarnation then we are truly at the center of our lives and the choices that we make to create the life we have (or don't). Not only do we choose our lives, but those with whom we travel in this life.
I'd much rather think that my existence is a series of choices made on a meta-conscious level rather than a slowly unraveling destiny shaped by a grand-rug weaver (or clock-maker if you prefer a mechanistic approach). I also like the idea of approaching all those with whom my life comes into contact as teachers instead of combatants. That somehow we have all mutually agreed to join the classroom of life to learn how to play well with others instead of just running with scissors. That we dance with all partners, we learn how to say goodbye gracefully, and that we practice peace instead of just making it.
Perhaps it helps me to rest better at night thinking and trusting that I am where I have chosen to be and that thought is as empowering as it is terrifying on some levels. It's been a long, dry patch where I have neglected the tapestry of my life... slowly, deliberately, I am returning to the loom and seeing it again as a means to connect the frayed ends into a greater whole. Instead of focusing on what crosses me, I have been trying to see what tracks I am laying down. These days it seems more important to be aware of what we put into life instead of what (or how) we get out of it.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
After reading, seeing and hearing all about the end of the world today, I just wanted you all to know I am in the boat-load of sinners still sailing the seas of life.
Not raptured and not bummed about it... I wish something like that would *really* happen so all of the self-righteous pricks and bitches would just get the hell off the planet and leave those of us who entrust our minds to science and fact (not mythiness) to get to the work of improving things around these here parts of the solar system.
Sadder still are those that believe this nonsense and do harm to others (like their children) in order to save them the end-times:
I wonder if all of those who aren't raptured today and who are devout Apocalyptics will admit that they were wrong or that maybe they aren't going to be among the chosen? Doubt it. Seriously.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I have a confession: I am glad that Bin Laden is dead. Yeah, he was a Grade-A Fuck-a-doodle-do. No doubt about it. I am glad for any modicum of "peace" it may offer to grieving families.
*However* I am more than a little disturbed by all of the revelry going on. I can't shake the feeling that all of the *celebration* is not unlike radical parades where folks fire weapons into the sky for zealous causes.
One death will not bring back the countless *thousands* of lives lost on and since September 11, 2001. One death will not atone for all of the senseless attacks on unarmed, innocent people since then, the millions of gallons of blood and tears shed.
I shudder a bit to see so many people *rejoicing* at one death. Why all the barbaric "let's see his body" garbage? Or "show us pictures of the scene." I makes me wonder how "civilized" our society truly is in the face of these events that seem to glorify violence and justify violence as the final solution to problems. I don't have an answer to break the cycle, but we at least must try to break OPEN the meaning of that cycle...
Don't get me wrong; I am glad the prick is dead. Ten million bullets don't nearly approach the justice he so rightfully deserved. If I were religiously inclined I would offer, further, that I hope he's roasting in the inferno, balls in the hottest white spot. However, have we become so parched with revenge that we, as Americans, have turned into grave dancers?
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
In times like these, I feel the need for perspective. (Soundtrack is nice, too.)
May you laugh with a heart free from fear...
Friday, April 15, 2011
One of my totally awesome graduate students emailed me this video (courtesy of MoveOn):
Happy Friday, all!
PS: Sorry I continue to be an absent-minded professor and blogger! I miss you all more than you will ever know and am so grateful for those who stop by and leave comments (in particular, sorry Paul, Diana, and Sidhe that it took me *so long* to see your comments on that really old post!)
Monday, February 28, 2011
Great pics from rallies to support labor in the U.S.
Happy Monday, all.
In case you missed how this is just another move in the erosion of our democracy brought to you by the uber-wealthy, see here.
Organized labor is the only thing standing between the rich, who create nothing and own everything, and us...
The uber rich buy our politicians...
The uber rich control our banks...
The uber rich decide whether or not we will breathe clean air or have safe water...
The uber rich decide who lives and dies because of their strangle-hold on insurance companies...
The uber rich own the media that continues to pit us against one another (*6* companies own 90% of every kind of media on *the planet.* *6.*)...
The uber rich *are* the enemy in our own midst...
PS: From a blogger at Daily Kos:
Here's a side-by-side comparison of federal budget proposals Democrat vs. Republican.
If you are a member of the GOP, how do you sleep at night?
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Sunday, February 27, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
For an excellent, comprehensive read (with colorful pictures!) see this story from MotherJones.
It clearly shows who has benefited and who has been damaged by the economic policies of our Government in the last 40 years+.
Happy Friday, all.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
This is how the defunding of a medical-provider for low-income women proves the depths to which the GOP has sunk:
Loony logic seems about right...
PS: A bill has been proposed in the GA legislature that would make miscarriages punishable by the death penalty... yes, you read that right.
"Under Rep. Franklin's bill, HB 1, women who miscarry could become felons if they cannot prove that there was 'no human involvement whatsoever in the causation' of their miscarriage."
Monday, February 21, 2011
My words aren't there these days, so I defer to others with *much* greater talent.
For an excellent psychological and sociological deconstruction of Conservative Destructionism, see this article by George Lakoff, "What Conservatives Really Want."
Truer words are rarely written... their destruction of the middle class, women's health rights, the environment, and public media will be the end of American democracy as we have known it...