A Lament for the Blogosphere of Yesteryear

(Today's title: a contender for worst...title...ever.)

I have little time or energy, as ever, but I wanted to say: I miss blogs. I miss the days, those halcyon days of youth way back in 2006 or so, when a lot of people had personal blogs that they wrote in for no good reason, often several times a week. It was nice because a lot of the blogs I read were written by friends who lived far away...it was an easy way to keep up with the basic happenings, goings-on, and shenanigans of people I didn't get to see in the flesh very often.

Near as I can tell, blogs live on among people who use them for something useful, like social/political/intellectual commentary or serious hobbyism (craft blogs are still huge, apparently, according to B.) The pointless personal blogs I so love, however, have either been replaced by tumblr among people who give a shit about keeping up with the times (the only friend I have in this category is K), or simply abandoned (like most of the ones I have in my Google Reader selection.)

The two jobs, the baby, the sobbing softly curled up in a little ball*, etc., keep my posts down to one every week or two these days, but I have no intention of throwing in the towel. Just as I was still hand-coding HTML in my old blog years after it was hopelessly archaic to do so, I will still be blogging when everyone else is, like, projecting their memories into one another's brains via wireless signals running over IP V6 (or something.) Uh, so there.

* Me, not that baby, usually.



It's time again for the annual coast trip, in which an elite cadre of the good-looking goes to Lincoln City and stays at a Saudi Prince's vacation home. This year promises to involve movies, walks, it's cold outside, aquariums, breweries, drinkin', a puppet show (?!), and the best of all video games: Mario Kart for the Wii.

I just need to get through a few hours of computery stuff at work and then we are off to navigate some snowy roads.



After you finish a PhD, you enter the teaching wilderness. Statistically, you're unlikely to have secured a tenure-track job, either at a four-year university or a community college / junior college. The plan, then, is to try to do all of the following:
  1. Teach classes as an adjunct instructor at any institution that will take you, a class here and a class there.
  2. If necessary, teach those classes at several different places at once. This involves driving back and forth in the city / region you live in, teaching a class in the morning at College A, one in the early afternoon at College B, and a third in the evening at College C.
  3. You have no health insurance, you have no job security, you earn about 600 bucks/class you teach, per month.
  4. Keep up your "real" academic work: write papers and present them at academic conferences. Pay out of pocket to get to and stay at said conferences, somehow.
  5. Each year, spin the wheel again. Apply for as many tenure-track jobs as you can all over the country. Hope and pray that you get an interview for one of them. Pay out of pocket to to go the big national conference at which all of the first-round interviews are held.
  6. Eventually, you either beat the odds and get a "real" job or you give up and do something else (just don't be an idiot and go to law school in your late 30s, okay?)
I was talking to B about it last night after we put Plan C to bed (and before Plan C woke up again and nearly drove B crazy.) All I've felt since I threw in the towel and contented myself with teaching and doing computer stuff, knowing that I'll probably end up being a full-time IT again at some point, is relief. Life is tough, trying to bring up this kid, working two part-time jobs and making ends meet, etc., but it's nowhere near as tough as trying to pull off steps 1 through 6 as defined above. In a phrase: fuck that.

This post brought to you by the use of the second-person voice.


Regarding Rock n Roll and Beer and So On

Ok then!

Motorhead show: just as good as expected. Let's see here...

Opening band: Valiant Thorr. Honestly, that is the worst band name in the world next to (ahem) "Endangered Feces," which is the band name a certain brilliant young woman I know is peripherally involved in knowing about. They were a lot better than their band name was (is), but they also did a lot of shenanigans involving hopping about.

Clutch: so good, you guys. They didn't need the window dressing. Four guys in t-shirts and sneakers, just rocking the (sorry, mom) fuck out, super-hard. The band didn't even move, expect for the highly-charismatic lead singer*, and their kick-ass bluesy riffs were right on. The contrast with Valiant Thorrrrrrrrrrrrrr was telling.

Motorhead: come on. This is like saying "Jesus was very religious." Motorhead were very rocking. This was the fifth (?) time I saw them live and the only disappointments were that a. you couldn't really hear Lemmy's witticisms because the vocals were a little muddy in the mix, and b., they didn't play Orgasmatron, which is in my top three favorite serious rock** songs.

So, in short, the show was a lot of fun, and I got to go with three of my homies, including Ransom, who had never seen Motorhead live before and was appropriately enthusiastic.

The beer part of the post:

Ok. So, Rogue Ales is among the most renowned microbreweries from Oregon, perhaps best-known for their delicious Dead Guy Ale. I am a big fan of drinking the beers they brew in their brewery. However, I am decidedly OPPOSED to the fact that they charge (sorry, mom) FUCKING ELEVEN FIFTY FOR A SIX PACK. COME ON, you JERKS! Their 22 oz. beers are like six bucks. If they made sandwiches, they would charge ten bucks. ETC.

The thing is, yes, Rogue makes really great beer. The thing is, I am not going to pay almost twice as much for their beer, because SO DO A LOT OF OTHER BREWERIES. HONESTLY.

Sorry to shout about it, I just don't like the precedent they're trying to set here. If I wanted to spend a lot of money on booze, I'd get into fancy wine.

* Brother of Mary Alice from Ace of Cakes. I am not making this up.
** Serious rock is a personal genre.


I'm Happy People Smoke in Portland

Just a few random notes this morning, pending the return of my wife and child from the wilds of California later this afternoon...
  1. I like that so many people smoke in Portland. I like how smoking is, at this point, a kind of defiant act in the face of death itself. It reminds me of the whole rant from Trainspotting ("choose life, choose a big shiny car, choose an automatic washing machine..." etc. etc.) I smile to myself while I'm walking around downtown when I see all the folks standing outside of their jobs smoking on the sidewalks.
  2. My homie K is doing a music video for KMFDM. I am not making this up. This is probably the single biggest connection / interaction anyone I know has had in the music, er, it's not a "business" anymore, so let's say "music hobbyism."
  3. I had fun going out last night to a "bar" and "drinking beers" with "good-looking people I'm friends with." I sure do love that little baby daughter of mine, but it was nice to sneak out and goof off like old times last night.
  4. Speaking of that, I'm going to see Motorhead tonight at the Roseland, accompanied by two of my software buddies from the software company I do software-related software things at. Oh, and F'ing CLUTCH is opening! Clutch is on the short list of bands who deserve to even be on the same bill as Motorhead.
  5. Devo is coming to Portland. I had to buy a ticket to see them, finally. Before they all die, because let's face it, they're getting pretty old.
  6. My poor wife is so, so tired after a week on nonstop mom duty. She is one tough cookie.