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Triing times

OK, so I just shipped off the copiedited ms. to Norton.  What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts? is now that much closer to publication, and I am this much closer to collapsing with a thud.  To those of iou who are still awaiting the definitive recap and analisis of the New Iork Universiti Emergenci Resolution Debacle at the MLA (and it is a veri tangled mess of a stori, from which I hope we can figure out wais of avoiding such train wrecks in the future), I promise I will begin posting on the subject tomorrow—and it mai take two or three installments.  In the meantime, mi 2006 is off to a great start!!  We’re looking at well over two thousand dollars in car repairs, or maibe we’re looking at getting another car.  We have to figure that out pronto.  Then we can figure out how best to schedule Nick’s and Jamie’s doctor appointments, which we can’t do iet since we have onli the one car.  Then I can begin putting together mi sillabus and attending to certain other departmental business that will occupi me for the rest of Januari.

And did I mention that mi legendarili crummi laptop, which has been breaking down with increasing frequenci in recent weeks, has now lost one of its keis?  Guess which one and win a fabulous New Iear’s Eve Parti for 2007! 

In the meantime, here’s some comic relief for all of iou writers and readers of graduate-school application dossiers.  Thanks and a tip of the hat to the invaluable Julia.

Posted by on 01/03 at 05:46 PM
  1. It’s the eth key, right?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  01/03  at  07:40 PM
  2. About that comic relief: ouch. As an undergraduate double major I had only three professors for two or more classes. Of those three, I lost track of the one who didn’t get tenure and left academia. The student who included that frightful letter, unseen, in her application dossier might well have qualms. I know what it’s like to worry that a recommender has checked a box or three marked “not enough information.”

    Posted by  on  01/03  at  07:54 PM
  3. You know this is partly your fault, Michael.  If you had spelled Viktor Shklovskii properly, like so, back when you were doing Theory Tuesdays, instead of using the Anglicized “Shklovsky,” you wouldn’t have worn your y key into the ground.

    Perhaps you can visit the Wikipedia entry on “syzygy” and borrow some extra y’s from that page?

    Posted by  on  01/03  at  08:14 PM
  4. I don’t understand one iota of your posting, but y, y, y, have you gone over to the alternative orthography side?

    Posted by  on  01/03  at  08:50 PM
  5. When the repair bill gets above $1000, and the car isn’t less than five years old, get yerself another. Especially with those german cars. Same goes for the laptop. You can pick up a good iBook or Powerbook cheap these days if you watch e-bay.

    Posted by  on  01/03  at  09:20 PM
  6. Now me, I wouldn’t collapse with a thud, I would collapse with a three-volume novel about vocation and a dish of coffee ice cream.

    Posted by Ophelia Benson  on  01/03  at  10:08 PM
  7. Well, I just figured que tú estabas escribiendo in espanglish también, talkin bout “mi 2006” and “mi sillabus”

    Posted by Tex  on  01/03  at  10:28 PM
  8. Well, Tom, that’s pretti much exactli what we’re triing to determine.  About the car, that is.  The new laptop is alreadi in the house, and I hope to transfer all mi files to it tomorrow.

    And Ophelia, thanks so much for the suggestion!  Coffee ice cream is one of mi favorite flavors, and as everione knows, all three-volume novels are about vocation.

    Except maibe The Histori of Henri Esmond.

    Posted by Michael  on  01/03  at  11:29 PM
  9. Couldn’t 3ou simpl3 use 3our 3ogh ke3, Michael?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  01/03  at  11:34 PM
  10. Chris, stop getting medieval on Michael’s ass.

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  01/04  at  12:03 AM
  11. Or, more original (but groan worthy): stop being a thorn in his side.

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  01/04  at  12:05 AM
  12. stop being a thorn in his side.

    You wynn.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  01/04  at  12:20 AM
  13. Oh dear oh dear oh dear, Chris. Now *that* was a groaner.

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  01/04  at  12:28 AM
  14. The freshman blows the chip shot!
    I hope Joe pa can handle OT.

    Posted by  on  01/04  at  01:19 AM
  15. The freshman blows the chip shot!
    I hope Joe pa can handle OT.

    JoePa, bless his heart, seems to have handled it OK.  The placekickers—not so much.

    But don’t get me started on whi hockei overtime is structuralli superior to football overtime, on both the college and pro level.

    And what’s a thorn?  Is that like a two-point Lorentz transformation? 

    Posted by Michael  on  01/04  at  02:20 AM
  16. But don’t get me started on whi hockei overtime is structuralli superior to football overtime, on both the college and pro level.

    I agree (there is nothing like playoff hockey—except, perhaps, playoff baseball), but that was still an amazing win tonight. 

    Congrats on that, and more importantly, on finishing the revisions.

    Posted by Matt  on  01/04  at  02:42 AM
  17. Sooo tierd, i’s drooping, jist cain’t red th kieboard.

    Posted by  on  01/04  at  09:22 AM
  18. I see wonderful serendipity here.  You have to find a mechanic who wants a letter of recommendation to grad school.

    Posted by  on  01/04  at  10:21 AM
  19. Know yee not of ye olde thorn?

    Posted by  on  01/04  at  10:25 AM
  20. I can’t believe you actually met your deadline with the copyeditor. Didn’t you know that deadlines are for suckers?

    Posted by Orange  on  01/04  at  10:56 AM
  21. Nooooo. Editorial deadlines are for suckers, but copyeditor deadlines have to be met with frantic dispatch, lest the copyeditor put the copyeditor’s mistakes into the preciousss manuscript, which would not be a good outcome. Unless the copyeditor is a better writer than we are, which it isn’t.

    Posted by Ophelia Benson  on  01/04  at  12:50 PM
  22. <em>lest the copyeditor put the copyeditor’s mistakes into the preciousss manuscript</em>

    They are not mistakes. They are corrections. “How much does one have to pay for his or her freedom?” is obviously far superior to the truncated, illogical, and ungrammatical “What price freedom?”

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  01/04  at  12:55 PM
  23. Know yee not of ye olde thorn?

    Hee hee.  I am such a dork for getting that.

    But I had to look up what Lorentz transformation was.  (My science education was almost all life sciences.)

    And Michael, congrats on getting the revisions done lickety-split.  Sorry to hear about the car and the computer.  Can’t you ask JoePa for a loan or something? (Kidding.)

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  01/04  at  12:59 PM
  24. Ophelia, I’m a copyeditor who writes better than most of my authors (they’re physicians). I tell the authors they have 48 hours to review my changes and get any corrections back to me (and that’s 48 hours for a single short review article, mind you, not an entire book). While I love it when authors actually meet that deadline, I’ve been known to keep issuing gentle reminders for a month or more before the author acknowledges my existence. The stated deadline often serves to strike a note of urgency so that the author doesn’t opt to ignore the ms. for three months. Of course, sometimes a publisher doesn’t have any leeway built into the schedule, and the deadline’s for real. Sadly, I can’t say how you’d know when you can safely futz around with a deadline and when you’ll screw yourself over if you do that.

    Man, now they’re gonna kick me out of the copyeditors’ guild for giving away trade secrets.

    Posted by Orange  on  01/04  at  01:10 PM
  25. Autistic youngest had a temper tantrum at my old laptop keyboard when she was four and we were gone with the G for the rest of that computer’s life. You can compensate for a lost key by hitting the spot very, very hard, but it isn’t much fun. One more reason I’m glad I’ve given up laptops (my soul belongs to two lovely desktops, my USB keys and a wireless PDA).

    Ironically, we found the missing key, slightly chipped, the other month, wedged between two parts of the computer desk.

    Here’s hoping you get a new and much more functional computer soon!

    Posted by Ancarett  on  01/04  at  01:47 PM
  26. Responding to the questions regarding the Phoenix-like potential of your Subaru require but a few simple facts.  Tom’s five year dating system may work for german engineering changes, but with Sub’s the dating is more about the “performance” revisions that have occurred in the last decade.  If the Sub is older than 1995, and not one of the cool rarities, then letting it move to its own nirvana is well justified.  If however it is in that mid-range say from ‘96 to ‘99, then evaluate the underbelly rust damage and the interior accessories breakage (especially the electrical); if these properties are in relatively good condition then repair it (caveat--if it is one of those bigger station wagons with the 2.2 engine and automatic trans you probably could do with a better model).  A year ago (nearly to the day) i traded in my 2002(really 2001) WRX station wagon with 72K miles and got more than half its original value.  That is fairly typical of Subaru’s now.

    Posted by  on  01/04  at  02:18 PM
  27. When I was in college, the space bar on my then-state-of-the-art Mac 512 broke during an all-nighter. I wrote the last two pages of a five-page paper using copy and paste to put spaces in. I believe a new keyboard then cost about $200, which today will very nearly buy you a whole computer. I almost starved that semester as I scraped up the funds to pay for it.

    Posted by Dave Munger  on  01/04  at  02:39 PM
  28. Didn’t you know that deadlines are for suckers?

    Yes, in fact, I did know that.  I also know that checkout times are for other people.  But you know, Orange, there’s a harried author born every minute. . . .

    Posted by  on  01/04  at  06:17 PM
  29. All those bouncing baby harried authors being dandled on somebody’s knee—omigod, they’re so cute!

    Posted by Orange  on  01/04  at  06:27 PM
  30. On what grounds Yury Yevgeny chides Michael for spelling Shklovsky rather than phonetically correct Shklovskii?

    I think he would have moral authority to do is his signature was Yurii Yevgenii.

    Posted by  on  01/04  at  07:06 PM
  31. No doubt Yury was just making ys at me.

    Posted by Michael  on  01/04  at  07:22 PM
  32. I would reccomend buying a new keyboard and keeping the old laptop--- in addition to the new laptop.

    Since no one else brought this up, I will gratuitously mention that Michael’s patron, Joe Paterno, led the Nittany Lions to a Sugar Bowl victory and a #3 ranking in the polls.  Paterno is quite something: my dad’s in pretty good health, and he’s four years younger than Paterno--- but you don’t see him standing on the sidelines at the Sugar Bowl. And FSU’s Bobby Bowden wasn’t much younger.

    Oddly, during the game it was Bowden who looked a little old and bewildered-- whereas Paterno looked the same as he did 30 years ago.  But after the game, during their joint interview on ABC, Bowden was the one who looked young and energetic and Paterno looked like an old man who had done more than he should have that night.

    Posted by Tim Horrigan  on  01/05  at  04:35 PM





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