Friday, August 25, 2017

Tenured Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift, just awarded tenure, has scores to settle. You did her wrong so you're on her list. The old Taylor Swift is gone, and tenured Taylor is spoiling for a fight. Look what you made me do, she hollers, before heading to a committee meeting to spark controversy. Don't you dare ask her to participate in another weekend admissions event. She ain't got time for brown bags no more. She doesn't trust the power brokers in admin nor her colleagues who seek to usurp her. Be aware of tenured Taylor, she will haunt you in your dreams, in department meetings, and in contract negotiations.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


if you are in one of my classes this semester, know that i care, know that i try.

my mind is open, i believe.

i search for facts and patterns.

i'm perplexed, amazed, disappointed, and inspired all at once by human behavior.

i seek to understand.

i aim to listen, really listen.

being human i am flawed.

sometimes i am nothing more than 13-year-old me, listening to classic rock, except now i'm 45, and i can watch my favorite songs on YouTube, like the one below.

and i might even be late to class one day because i crawled into a YouTube hole and how you could blame me? i mean, look at this video. look at the late Keith Moon's t-shirt. look at the passion that Keith exuded as he played the drums.

one more thing....

i really wanna know, tell me, who are you?

Songs of the Day - "In Undertow" and "Won't Get Fooled Again"

"In Undertow" by Alvvays is in heavy rotation these days on Sirius XMU, and for good reason. Amazing lyrics and beautiful singing.

It seemed like a lock for song of the day, especially when it was in my head while talking a walk at my local park this morning.

But after a quick grocery store run, one of the best songs of all time came on my car radio. And, so, for the primal scream and the hope that somehow, some way, some day, we won't be fooled again, here are The Who with our other song of the day. Go directly to 4:28 mark if you want to hear Roger Daltrey scream, and then to 7:45 for the mother of all screams.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017

Eat Sweet Potato Tacos

Humans don't deserve tacos.

But being blessed with tacos, we are in the fortunate position of deciding all the different ways to enjoy them. 

I usually eat tacos with beef, chicken, chorizo, or fish.

But I'm steering away from meat and fish lately and working in more vegetarian options. 

Tonight's dinner was sweet potato tacos--a delicious and budget-friendly meal.

If you already love sweet potatoes you surely don't need a recipe, but in case you need one check out this. I used mozzarella cheese because that's what I had in the fridge. I left out black beans for no particular reason. For the avocado sauce I substituted sour cream for yogurt because, once again, it was in the fridge. 

Life is hard and humans will disappoint but tacos help us press on. 

So make tacos not war and use sweet potatoes in your tacos. 

The end.

It Was the Summer of '17

All the not Trump takes you need to know...

David Brooks went to lunch with a friend from high school. She froze at the sight of obscure sandwiches. I would have had the ethnic advantage in the situation (being approximately 75% Italian-American) and would have ordered something with capicollo.

Someone believes there is a link between avocado toast and inability to buy homes. I've never purchased avocado toast but I like avocados and love toast so it's on my bucket list. I'm lucky to be a home owner but then again I belong to Generation X so to be honest I can't lend valuable insight to this story.

A guy finds his wife physically attractive first it was okay to say it then not. I'm not sure what the lesson is but it potentially serves as a reminder that THE INTERNET THRIVES ON HUMILIATION (a take from 2016 that I actually like a lot).

Participation trophies are horrible and, like delis that serve unusual cured meats, are ruining society. That's a take from 2010 until forever and I disagree because first of all not everybody gets participation trophies, second of all they are not ruining society, and third of all my 6-year-old got one for playing baseball this year and it's really not a big deal. My 9-year-old did not receive one at the end of his soccer season but no one bothers to report on all the youth athletes who don't get trophies so you can thank me for being on the vanguard of RESPONSIBLE TAKE BLOGGING (TM).

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Back to School Checklist for Professors

We're running out of time, fellow professors. Only one month left of summer. Once the semester begins, many of our research agendas will come to a crashing halt. Less time to research and write, and less time to do everything else. Some things to do while you can....

1. Clean your coffee maker. They say mold grows in that thing. If you have vinegar you can clean it. Just use your favorite search engine to see how to do it. This is listed first because obviously if there is no coffee there is no productivity. If you don't need coffee to be productive, you are a superhero.

2. Clean out your closet. In the last two days my clothes donation pile has grown into a heap of shirts that I stopped wearing or can no longer fit into. I cleared out a bunch of clothes yesterday and just did more of the same today. Now I can more easily find the stuff I actually wear and figure out a few new things to buy before the semester begins. Yes, I still do a little back to school shopping.

3. Are there any bills that you can reduce? Bills, bills, bills, a stubborn fact of life. Can you shave a few bucks from your mobile device bill? If you haven't cut the cord, can you get your cable provider to cut you some slack? How about your insurance? Call around and see if you can find a nice customer service rep to help you out. Or maybe it's time to change services? Or at least figure out a way to spend less on groceries and eating out? Do what you can to save some $$$$$.

4. What's your lunch plan for the upcoming school year? Eat on the fly? Skip meals? PB & J? Packaged salads? I can't go without lunch because I'll crash in the classroom. I usually go with leftovers from dinner or a turkey wrap or hummus wrap. or PB & J in a pinch. But I'm thinking of getting off PB & J because I read something about peanut butter a few years ago that disgusted me and I can't believe I'm still eating PB & J if it's true but in any case I think it's time to quit peanut butter. I also am close to dropping cold cuts and just going with veggie wraps and hummus wraps. I love the fall, it's my favorite season, I think the back to school vibe is part of the reason, and fall means soup season so I'll mix in some soups too. Shout out to Buzzfeed Tasty for meal ideas.

5. Are you happy (or content) with your routine? I mean, the entire morning to night semester routine. Do a quick inventory and reflect. Maybe you need to start or adjust your exercise routine. Maybe you need to change up what you do in the classroom. Maybe you need to avoid negative colleagues and spend more time with positive ones. Maybe YOU can be a better colleague (that includes me and I try and will try harder). Think through your routine (the routine is so comfortable, being that many of us are creatures of habit) but the routine can always be tweaked.

6. Plan. I'm not the best planner. I'd hesitate to even call myself a good planner. It's one of those "areas of growth," I guess you could say. But plan ahead if you can. Or check in with colleagues who are good planners, that's what I do. I'm lucky to have more experienced colleagues who always have their eye on the next step. I try to soak up their skills. I have 16 years in the game but there is still so, so much I don't know. Lifelong learning, as they say.

7. In the last point I typed the word 'eye' and 'know' so now I have De La Soul's "Eye Know" on the brain so listen to the song because it's lovely and has a reference to Lottos. So wipe your Lottos on the mat and get ready for the upcoming semester!

Thank You, YouTube

I should never take YouTube for granted. The ability to pull up almost any song I've ever liked and then listen to it 40 times in a row. That's something that makes me happy. So when a Commodores song pops into my head and I can't locate the mix CD I made 10 years ago that has it, I can immediately find it on YouTube.

Having been with the same person for 17 years, I haven't needed a breakup song in a long time. But I can still deeply appreciate a tremendous breakup song. Here we have it with Sail On. "I gave you my heart and I tried to make you happy, and you gave me nothin' in return." Ouch. But the best line is "I've thrown away the blues, I'm tired of bein' used." The public pronouncement of "I want everyone to know I'm lookin' for a good time" is also fantastic. The last minute of the song is triumphant.

1979, baby, sailing on to postmodernism.