Let's not be linear about this!
Oct 29th 2002- see the front page for the first bloggy thingie... and then look HERE for more later. I have a LOT to say....
October 30th, 2002- Wellll... aren't we feeling a little overwhelmed lately! I find I'm spending an inordinate amt of time
either ignoring work or working at work that don't mean much for my work. Uhhhh....
The kids and I are off to see Jeff Perry talk about whatever (hopefully TOYL) tomorrow-- we'll see if I have enuf personality
to actually get any of them to show UP to the damn place. I think I've had a fan breakthru and no longer feel the need to
own some Nash Bridges prop becuz he was on the show. I do wish I could kinda swim aorund in his performance as Joe, really
wish it was on video, but I guess the true beauty of a play is once it's over, you never get that moment in time again. I
should just accept its clarity, its very moment-in-timeness. But don't we always wanna live those perfect moments again?
Poor memory-- we abuse it so much, asking it to recreate what never can be shown again. Ah well.
So academic! Well, right now I'm too tired to be angry, and if I play enuf Grateful Dead, I find I get to a semi-happy, mostly
clueless space in my head. I don't mind living in my head, it's got more room than my apartment. Of course, it can tend
to get crowded if I don't, ahem, air it out. Ha.
In the larger world-- well, you know. Sucks to be third world! And hell, now it sucks to be the UN-- how can we as a stupid
bigass ununited country push so many people around? When did we become the biggest bully? Besides, we know what happened
to the British and Roman empires. I give us another 100 years or so. By then, *I'll* be dead!
October 31st, Samhain, 2002-- well, sucks to have halloween and no one to hang with. SUUUUUCKS.
But, today six of my students and I went to go hear Jeff Perry talk at DePaul U theatre bldg, which was filled with semi-pretentious
characters. My kids were prepped for Time of Your Life questions, and most of the questions asked about Steppenwolf. He
was funny and engaging, and obviously bright. But, alas, no depth of discussion on TOYL. I asked him a questions-- Joe as
Buddha, and he fielded it, but in a theater manner "well, I said I'll try it." Well, he said a little more, but that was
the gist of it.
My poor kids were lost because he didn't talk about the play (no questions besides mine on it!), but I enjoyed myself. He
was engaging and kind, and very smart and funny. After, I got an autograph and my kids and I got pizza. Besides, he quoted
to me from the preface to the play and it was beautiful-- "In the time of your life, live--so that in that wondrous time you
shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." That was
But-- man, no halloween celebrations! Sucks.>
One day I'll be okay in the suburbs, but till then... and besides, it took two hours to get back from downtown!!
Nov 5, 2002-- Okay, so I took a few days off... but they were useful days. Saw the last performance of three I saw of TOYL,
and it was good but not as good as the second one I saw. Still and all... man. Powerful stuff!
Also saw Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore, which fueled my natural outrage but also left me kind of depressed about
the general state of our world. As usual.... Still and all, I wish I could take all my students to see it. It was great!
But, today we talked about Letter from Birmingham Jail and how it worked, and what it's like to deal with unjust laws, and
what we'd do... it was good. I enjoyed it, anyway. Today's election day all over, and I wonder if they're gonna go to the
polls and vote one way or another for their future. We shall see. I like this class, the 101s, and I think they'll mostly
be good students. Again, we shall see.
After an attempted delivery yesterday, I picked up a little poster tube from steppenwolf theatre, with my signed Jeff Perry
TOYL poster. He put "Sam-- in the time of your live-- LIVE. (heart), Jeff Perry". COOL! And the thing was sent Oct 31st
from downtown, took a while, but it was a poster tube inside a big ol monster tape-secured poster tube. They're just really
sweet folks over there, "all the way down the line", to quote from Saroyan's play. That they took the time... and that Jeff
actually put his name as the return address, man I guess maybe if we expected people we admire like actors to act civilly,
they would. All the people at Steppenwolf were very helpful and are very nice. Good experience, all around.
Nuff gushing. Off to eat, off to vote, off to agitate like a washing machine....
Nov 12, 2002- Busy busy busy. Trying to work on my own stuff, like that's gonna happen. Weirdness int he world too- the UN
says it's okay to bomb Iraq? Or something? And tornadoes in TN and AL just killing the hell outta people? What up with that?
My general poverty continues too, which is not so cool. Good thing the kits have food!
Talked about George Wallace and segregation today in class- very confused kids. I don't think they've ever thought about privilege
and racism much in their short lives. One older student though is pretty into it, since she grew up in TN during integration
there. INteresting conversations.
No poetry today-- don't have it in me. Go look at someone else's shit for that!
November 19, 2002- Dateline Suburbs from Hell, my office. It seems to me this quarter ahould be over! I feel I'm banging
my head against the wall in most of my classes, trying to get them to care about writing and for themost part they don't Few
of them care until it's too late, alas... On the other hand, and there always is another hand, I'm enjoying a couple of students'
abilities and commitment. I imagine it's the first quarter blues I'm feeling. And then stupid and pointless "dialogues" about
grammar teaching wherein questions do not get answered. The presenter was fuckin' brilliant at avoidance! Almost stunning
in the ability to dodge. Felt like I was watching a tennis match with no one hitting the ball back over the net. It was frankly
embarrassing. Ah well. They did give us snackies.
I'm still overwhelmed by the amount of infighting and backbiting in passive-aggressive ways that seems to go on. There's
so much for us all to do I don't see where anyone has the energy! But I come from a more carefully guarded communication
group... we don't reveal much lest we get whapped with it later. C'est la fill-in-the-cliche here!
Okay it's a new year babies!!
Jan 9 2003 DATELINE:mi oficina
Yeah yeah, I was gone a while... I went home to San Antonio and hung with the fam-- some weirdness between two of my brothers'
families, including a threatened restraining order against the WHOLE family.. Idiot boy Rick and his wife. Sigh. Ah well.
I think I enjoyed the break. I finished the quarter ragged, but ducked out quickly and was in Iowa City for a week hangin'
with buds. I loved it. Had the wassail thing, exchanged gifts, etc etc.
But I'm back, and happier in school. I'm teaching lit now (1 out of four classes) and loving it all. They're bright and engaged.
The other 102 courses I think will be fine. We shall see. But I'm happier and keeping very busy. I may be getting hold of
myself here at this job. Now if I could just finish organizing the apartment.... but the cats dig having the occasional box
to rummage it. Casy's tail grows to a thing of magnificence and awe... it's QUITE the duster-butt!
This radical is not ranting and raging much now... but give me time. We may be at war, fear grows, and we often feel so helpless.
I just wish I could convince some people we are NOT helpless.
Jan 13, 2003-- David' bday!
So today's semi-disappointment concerns my kiddos' lack of awareness. We did creation narratives and damned if any of them
had a whole lot of insight. Most of them ARE incredibly young. I suppose it'll happen. But still-- I'm always stunned by
lack of self-awareness. Not that I'm enlightened, but at least I know I don't know.
On the other hand, I'm keeping my head down and not agitating too many people. Lately I feel as if the ass. dean has been
talking down to me a little, but-- well, probably her. I can't care too much, particularly if I'm doing my job.
And I seem to be doing it well. Good evaluations, good feedback-- the job is smoothing out. NOt that I'm not a tokenish figure,
but-- I don't CARE. I'm doing the work, ya know?
Pretty soon I'll be organizing my half of an int'l scholar seminar, COD trying to globalize the curriculum. We'll see. I like
being in on the ground floor. Could be useful and fun. we'll see if anything changes!
YES< WE DO UPDATE!:)
Mar 31, 2003. New quarter of teaching, 101 classes and one Independent Study of american lit 20th-21st cent. Of course, we
are at "war" (declared yet?) with Iraq... and it's freaky and weird and all of that. I'm not despairing yet, but there's so
much info and no one seems to know how to present it. There's anger and hate and a LOT of confusion... that's what I really
hate. Of course, can we as a rule be trusted to edit for ourselves plain info? I try to help my students do that, but...
I'm one person.
On the other hand, I had a week break, spent it in IA and MN (yay) and got some perspective. Winter quarter was very hard.
And a little weird. I'm still pissing people off thru no fault of my own. What up with that? Not my fault. I try to be nice.
I am, mostly. Wouldn't change a thing I taught, so if someone wants to call me a racist, it's their gig, not mine. Mark Twain
wrote it, I just present it...
See what I mean about ignorance and fear? I'm nothing to fear, unless someone doesn't want their kiddos being trained in
critical thinking...:0) Sigh.
April 28, 2003
Well, the "war" is over... I don't even want to think where we will hit next. It's been a haul. Scary and weird at times.
Work goes. I think it goes well. Once again, evals said I did very very well. In any event, I'm plugging away. Will take
summer off and damn well deserve it!
I think I may be calming. Had to go hom eto TX for family.. ma wasn't well. I didn't handle all of that visit well, but I
may be learning. And learning what toavoid.
Off to do something involving not doing laundry--
May 23- Mom's bday
I have had way too much bad feelings lately about this place. I don't like the nastiness here. It's borderline evil. And certainly
too stupid for words.
Part of me is really wondering whether I can live here. I knwo it's almost over, but I mean for real- I wouldn't live around
neonazis either. It's not that bad, but I feel it's breaking me up. Somehow. Pressure from all the fuck over. ONline, offline,
work.. only the cats arent' stressing me. :D Good for that!
Fuck. I dunno. I really don't. MAybe I should start looking around for another job, Texas, somewhere. I'd love to go back
**********WOW! A whole year later!
MAY 24 2004
Well kids, here I am..back int he office, near end of 2nd year at ol' COD, new digs--Oak Park, loving it-- older, wiser...and
probably better off.
Did I say above the war in Iraq was over? Silly me to believe that...we're stil lin it, things are sticky messy nasty, and
I'm tired of it. POlitics rearing ugly head, Kerry presumptive Demo nominee (how we miss you Mr Dean!), and both men with
nastyu haircuts and too much money and bad connections to evil secret richpeople societies. MIchael MOore made a new film,
Fahrenheit 9/11, which is being tooled over by Disney, who owns Miramaz, and they say they don't wanna release it. Oh please.
I'm so tired of Dems taking the high road, being smacked, Repubs being ridiculous, then when they get smacked squealing of
partisan politics. Is there any other kind? Certainly not that has been wrough recently. I hate hypocrisy of all kinds. Left,
Right, Center...don't matter.
Have looked into emigrating to Australia if the elections pull that "proud to be a mediocre student" man back into the white
house. I mean for real. FOR REAL. I'm imagining if he hadn't been who he was he'da flunked outta Yale... and been booted out
of UTX as well. C student. BLEH. Fricking BLEH man...
Let's see...on other tip... cats are fine. we have painted, maroon and grey, the new apt, love its hardwood floors and funkiness
tho BOY the maintenance can be hard to make shift butt!
Oh yeah. I finally defended my dissertation April 28, 2004, and graduated May 14, 2004, in the compant of two other friends
and a couple hundred grad students. Yes..i AM Doctor Lopez...
As you were...
JUNE 6, 2004--DDay, Normandy, etc etc. Marge n Dan's Anniv. Chris n Russ' Anniv..
So all kinda chaos erupts on this day...
I spent last week in Miami at a conference on race n ethnicity in higher ed. Mostly I felt out of place. I'm working on the
places and groups I feel comfy with, and well...things are still fluid. It's amazing how i feel more comfy in the LGBT yadayada
community, you know? Though I insist and tell Joe all the time i'm a one-fag hag.
So, I still got a tan. I'm still apparently shy and projecting a "dont get near me" look. Must be effective!
In national news, Reagan is dead. Ding dong... heh. Kidding. Or not. Heh.
Last week of classes is coming up and HELL, this quarter needs to end!! Craziness. Almost everyone I've talked to this quarter
just is having a hard time, and I doubt everyone is faking it. We did however just hire a new ass. dean (heh) who actually
has EXPERIENCE. Be still my heart.
I do try to keep school/work much more separate from my home life lately. The grind of diss/ teacahing/ etc was brutal, and
I needa break and to go onward. I admit I'm nervous about losing the last connection to the other freaks in grad school...my
good friends. I know we'll keep in touch, but there's always a lingering cold fear of not. Isn't that always the way?
All right. Nuff.
JUNE 15, 2004, MY OFFICE< 530pm, way too damn late...grrr
So, here we are about to start summer school. YAY, whoopee...yip yip. Imagine a yappy chihuahua here.
I'm not all that enthused because I really want to SLEEP. I DO. It all seems a bit pointless, even if I am gonna teach Modern
American Lit, which shit, i have a DEGREE in. Speaking of which, I received my diploma from the U of Iowa. WOOHOO! Hopefully
that also means my very last financial aid loan from Iowa has come in..and that the refund is also coming my way! Heh heh....can
someone say "Ikea visit"??
In other things- I am now registered for the 8th (I think) Bi Con in Minneapolis. Lotsa Bis, no carbs...heh. I'm actually
kind of happy to be going. I'm really a bit sick of the noninclusiveness of too many gays. I'm so over em. And this includes
friends who "know better". Bastids.
Well, my students were bastids anyhow...some of em. Plagiarizers ahoy. Like seven. Once again, one I found on last day of
grading, today. Motherfuckin' sigh. WHY is it so hard for them? And so endemic? *rant rant moan bitch mutter sigh fuck fuck
Besides that, I still like teaching here. Was just a hard quarter, with the diss and all. I think it'll get better. And I
had gaytime at Iowa City Pride this weekend... nice cute lesbians, a few gay men, a shitload of sun and a second degree sunburn!
Yeah! I so needed it. And i ate a lot, too.
I think if I simply find time to putter about in the apt....clean up,. paint, make new bookshelves, cast out the demons that
dwell within the deepest recesses of...Oh. Sorry. As you were. *Yog Sothoth! Yog Sothoth! Cthulu F'thagn!*
I do need downtime, cat time, me time. And Ikea shelving time, too. And now I have a HEAP of fabulous fem cds from being
in Iowa. Laurie even made me a copy of The Roches two cds. Heh. They do rock, but in a very odd way.... Have to hear to believe.
On the fun tip and "Sam spent too much money but fuckit!" tip, I bought a lovely Monteverde Intima fountain pen. 75 bucks.
LOVELY. www.monteverdepens.com, check em out.I have the burnt orange one. With brown ink in it, and I have a couple pens on
order. I'm such a Bi:)
My friend Spike tells me tummy issues for her are still wonky. My best friend Joe needs Sam time and money. My friend Laurie
was so tired she passed out on her cat watching the Daily Show, and Robinovitch got baby's first celly. That's the friend
report, so far.
You all come back now, y'hear???
JUNE 22, 2004, TUESDAY, MY OFFICE
Ah yeah. Well, June is dawning fine, though I am becoming a hermit more and more. I'm so tired of most people and they frustrate
me. I had a great time last saturday volunteering at a Human rights Campaign gala dinner in Chitown, though I ended up with
really hurty feet. Damn.
However, was fun to hang with a buncha gay peeps and their admirers, flirt some, see Hopward Dean speak...and I have to say,
he's really very erudite and funny. He's obviously a brave man and good speaker, and I think we fucked up by letting him get
steamrolled by the media.
My friend Laurie had an interesting take on why Dean went down post-Iowa--let me see if I can find it to share...DAMMIT I
can't. I will ask if she has it somewhere...
AND HERE IT IS!:
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2004 10:59:03 -0600
Subject: a brief analysis with a nod to ernest borman
the dean fiasco confirmed a theory that i had been postulating about his campaign for some time, which i had come to believe
closely paralleled the e.r.a. campaign, though not as drawn out. (i did some of my graduate research on this theory, so don't
let me go on too long.) it basically goes like this--
camp became too enthralled with their own image, too invested in who "we" are versus who "they" are, too enamored of their
own success (the grassroots roots,
the blogs, the meet-ups, the pep rallies, the perfect storm volunteers with the orange hats--here's a hint--when folks start
dressing alike its a BIG red flag,
especially when they have bad fashion sense), and failed to look around them at what "they" were really interested in, responding
to, and needed to hear. the
illusion of a highly motivated team with a very high level of group consciousness allowed them to believe that everyone *must*
agree with them, because that is the only way possible, and subsequently to dismiss the criticisms of the campaign and the
candidate as unwarranted. the more that the rest of the population picked up on that vibe, the less likely they were to buy
consciousness raising is a very powerful tool, but raised too high too
quickly, it goes bad (witness in some instances the greek system, the military, the dot com industry, churches and other cults,
nazis, the contract with america, and, most importantly, the current american government, which we can
only hope will crash and burn). "failure is impossible" is a great slogan (thank you susan b. anthony), but it doesn't necessarily
serve us well when failure actually *is* possible.
that is the irony of a campaign that is really inspiring for
the volunteers, like the era campaign was--great organization, great slogans, great music (if i do say so myself), color coordinated
outfits, and amazing rallies--like the dean campaign has been here. what works to keep the dedicated dedicated does not necessarily
effectively communicate with the rest of the folks you need to persuade to expand your sphere of
influence (note dean's post caucus speech). and a group consciousness raised too high too fast will inevitably fall just
as far and just as fast.
and that, in a nutshell, is what should have been my dissertation.
and one footnote is that dean comes off as a little wacky to anybody outside the group (and of course that the right wing
press totally hates him). did you see him singing the star spangled banner at a heckler yesterday? i'd like to think that
i'm immune to right wing network spin about him, but that was just wacky. i did caucus for the guy, but there was a moment
when a dean campaigner was
coming after me in a last ditch effort to make sure that i went the right way (i didn't have a sticker yet) that i considered
changing my mind. she was really
annoying and not very convincing. and i was already a supporter. imagine if you were waffling. his team created an environment
in which no one who wasn't viable at their caucus was interested in signing on with them, so the gepharts and clarks went
with kerry, the kucinichs went with edwards (nobody bothered with lieberman), and undecideds mostly chose kerry.
the second footnote is that carole king did promise a show here with james taylor if kerry got nominated, and that may
have persuaded a lot of folks. guess the press didn't pick up on impact of that factor.
* * * * * *
I do have smart friends...and I think it's a good analogy. Ah Howard, we hardly knew ye...
JUNE 23, 2004-- ACTUALLY AT HOME!!
Just a brief update. I updated the thing from a friend above on Howard Dean. I watched "And the Band Played on" for dramatic
renewal of purpose this pride month, and forgot how it tends to make me cry off and on. I have always, since I was a wee thing,
wondered how one type of person can "hate" another for being in love with someone-- whether for orientation or race or ethnicity
or religion. And surprisingly, it persists. I am willing to see everyone's "point of view" but I'll be damned if I'm willing
to let any group steamroll another group which is not doing anything illegal and which deserves all the rights accorded to
the straight white man. Besides, if the SWMs are becoming the minority... things they is gonna change! Yes baby.
So, I do what I can where I can, and try not to suffer from burnout. It explains why i sometimes go hopping off to Iowa City
for relaxation. Even if it's for a cause I believe in, at least I feel a bit more relaxed there among activists. Those who
stick their heads in the sand are gonna suffocate, after all. Grin.
Chalk this one up in the "I hate straight white able-bodied males" column. I have those moments. I am, after all, and in spite
of the opinions of some, only human. A pity, really...
Sigh. I'm trying to do my best to counter a rollback of human rights and general niceness. I'm not that naive, but I'm not
completely beaten into the ground. I think the revolution will come. Maybe ala Hothead Paisan (see www.hotheadpaisan.com cause
Chicken Rules!), but the revolution will come... DO YOU HEAR ME BIG FUCKING BROTHER???!?!
Laaa... Have to teach in an hour. I don't really care. so there you are.:)
JUNE 24, 2004
Dontcha love it when other people figure out how to do things for ya, like blog html?? I do:) heh heh heh.
SO far so good with teaching in summer. I'm not as annoyed, I get paid REAL damn well... and the kiddos seem engaged.
Or frightened, I really can't tell.
With luck, next week I'll be painting the apt again. I'm psyched. LOVE painting. Maybe even another IKEA run! For loganberries
n "Billy" bookcases. I'm soooo excited! How trendy n Chicago am I becoming??!?
Chicago Pride Parade Sunday, coming up. Will be there with my bad bi self, marching along. Hopefully bringing along a
friend as well. Considering a trip to Las Vegas with Joe, or perhaps just waiting till Aug for the Bi Con. Yeee haawww...
I can't really be more original today. I'm tired. OH! But I bought a mini-guitar for my office...to annoy the crap out
of my suitemates, no doubt!
JULY 7, 2004
Well, it didn't take a chiro for me to know I shoulda taken some time off. It is amazing to me, each and every day, how the
body can continue to function, going along, not feeling any pain until one day you try to heft a spatula and go down like
a sack of bricks. I always store all of my stress in my back, in a handy little glass jar so I can keep an eye on it. I am
so functional, so totally able to function when I can barely move, or barely want to. My poor chiro was like "i can't let
you leave here with you all hunched over!" He's cute. Well, not THAT way. But still.
For other things... well, last week I missed a dr appt AND a class. AIG!! I've never done that, and boy was I really confused...it
would be embarrassing, but frankly i don't have the time to be. I don't really like the class, or the classroom-- too small
and with dopey little chemistry class tables. I used to wonder in high school if those things were perhaps indestructible.
None of our experiments blowin' up gummy bears ever made a dent. Hmmm...Maybe we should build cars from that stuff.
I'm afraid I'm rather not feeling clever. I did paint some walls in my apt, so i feel better about that, but then again...
I guess I need time, space, money, and a few gnomes to help me out. Feh...
AUGUST 30 2004--my office
well, the benefits of being a teacher...are becoming slowly clear again now that i didnt kill any students during the summer
session...more on that in a few minutes as i WORK, for once, fer gawds sake!!
ANNNNND the continuation of that last post above, but now it's American Labor Day, Monday Sept 6, 2004 REMEMBER THE HAYMARKET
But I digress. I think I was going to rant about my students in summer but you know I just don't care about them anymore right
now, so it's all good. However, I will rant about the way I hate US political seasons. Even while granting that people deserve
to have an opinion, I do think they should also be willing to examine them closely. Sometimes they are deeply held convictions,
ans ok, yeah I guess I can give ya that. But I can't hate or love a politician simply because they are for or against me.
Personally, I'm sure most of the guys up there are decent enough fellows, not hell spawn. (Reminds me. I saw Exorcist the
Beginning, and it was not half bad. Very character driven.) I guess way too many years of education means ya often see things
in shades of puce n pink, not black n white.
But well.. there are many good things in the world, not all happening to me. Some doof broke into my car to steal my radio.
I'm sorry. That's too ghetto for me. Sheesh. It was annoying, but I suppose I learned the lesson. I also have pretty good
insurance. Heh. Thank heavens only a 250.00 deductible. (That'd be about 125 sterling.) And, I'm trying to find time to update
this site thingy and delete suspiciously informative information about me:) giggle....Anyway. You all have a great labor day!
The 1976 Steppenwolf Theatre Company (not like you can tell). I worship their ability. Cliqa above and check them out.
|Kickass Sister Dolores Huerta kicking, well, ass..