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Off to Houston

Good news for all of you who are weary of the 2000-word mini-essays I’ve been posting lately (like the one below):  I’m taking a break!  It’s off to Rice University to deliver the keynote address at a conference on “The Post-National Nation:  Ideology and Institution in the Global Era”—and this one’s a special event, because I’m bringing Jamie with me.  (Many, many thanks to the conference organizers who are making this possible.) He’s been eagerly looking forward to this for months and months.  How psyched is he?  This psyched:  the other night, after he finished his math homework (he really gets the concepts of factors and fractions; he still stumbles a bit with long division), he had to compose sentences with his spelling words, one of which was “control.” He immediately came up with “you need to control yourself when you are excited.” “Good one!” I said.  “Like going to Houston,” he replied.

Well, let’s hope that’s a good sign, and that all goes well.  He loves hotels, he loves hotel pools, and he really loves room service.  And then on Sunday we’re off to the zoo.  See you all next week.

Posted by on 03/24 at 09:48 AM
  1. I hope both of you have fun, and for goodness sakes, stay away from oil refineries!

    Posted by DocMara  on  03/24  at  11:33 AM
  2. And I’m sure he’s going to be real proud of his Dad, too. Safe trip.

    Posted by  on  03/24  at  11:51 AM
  3. Have a great trip, Michael and Jamie!

    Posted by David Ross McIrvine  on  03/24  at  12:00 PM
  4. Strangely enough, I’ll be in Houston this weekend, visiting the peeps. I’m sure we’ll run into each other, it’s such a small, unsprawling place. If you need any hints on the large sections of town to completely avoid, let me know. Short version: stay inside the inner loop (610).

    BTW: you must refer to people who go to the university as “Rice Krispies.” They love it.

    Posted by norbizness  on  03/24  at  02:10 PM
  5. Yeah well, I’ve never been perfectly comfortable with long division myself.  Tell Jamie that it’s no barrier to understanding the Big Bang and black holes.

    Posted by Sean  on  03/24  at  02:17 PM
  6. This is a good read for the trip down; the battle over DH’s activities in Florida.  Warning to your son: stay away from the toxic clouds floating over Houston from the refinery explosion.”


    “Students who believe their professor is singling them out for “public ridicule” – for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class – would also be given the right to sue.

    “Some professors say, ‘Evolution is a fact. I don’t want to hear about Intelligent Design (a creationist theory), and if you don’t like it, there’s the door,’” Baxley said, citing one example when he thought a student should sue. “

    Posted by  on  03/24  at  02:33 PM
  7. Tell Jamie that when he licks long division I’ll pay him twenty bucks an hour for tutoring. I think I knew how to do it for about half an hour about thirty-five years ago.

    (And then you can have him figure out his self-withholding as a teachable math moment! It’s win-win!)

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  03/24  at  03:17 PM
  8. Bully for Jamie.  Last time I visited that zoo (47 years ago) it was a dandy, and they had just ushered a baby giraffe into the world.  Bully for Dad, too, by the way.  And let us know where we can track down that erudite presentation in print when you get back.  Enjoy Houston.  It’s a biggie!

    Posted by  on  03/24  at  04:03 PM
  9. enjoy your trip! i hope Jamie can use his math skills to help you figure the TIPS for all that hotel room service!


    Posted by  on  03/24  at  04:08 PM
  10. A few book chapters here, a quick 2000-word blog post there, and . . . look, I have just enough time to dash off a keynote address! What is in College Park’s water?

    Thanks for your most recent posts. You articulated things that I can’t seem to lately without taking a swing at someone. Good luck at the conference and do enjoy time with your son.

    Posted by  on  03/24  at  04:52 PM
  11. Yo tiny town word teasers,
    whaazzup with yers?
    I tell yer what about me is
    that I’m dead busy ‘n up to all sorts of daftness
    in me own mind.
    I’m a full time unemployed penniless poet
    and I’ve just been offered a well paid voluntary position
    bein’ a global news hound,
    reviewin for the World Poetry Council Collective;
    but it’s a bit tricky at the mo
    coz I’m banged up on the secure unit of Ward 11.

    However, hope is at hand coz
    if youse lot out there in virtual world
    can rustle up a snatch squad
    and have a do at smuggling me past the nurses
    when showtime explodes on the pages of cyberspace,
    I’m your number one hack,
    firin’ on all the ink cylindrical spikes
    I can stick in and go to OD heaven on,
    you squeeze feelin’ trainee corpses.

    Just tell me sister about the where’s ‘n when’s
    and make sure there’s a stash of unmentionables on standby
    so I can get in the right frame of mind
    as befits a man of the press at such an occassion
    of soundual splendid texty whatsathingy,
    where the air is usually thick with rants from the great
    right through to the giftless of our too few true poetic community.

    Doin’ it this way youse ole cocksmen and women
    at the helm of the next generation,
    means we can mix up the writin’.
    Not that I’m sayin’ your lot’s stuff’s ever stale
    old town ‘’n new place mates ‘n muckers,
    no way.
    In my humble opinion your life in words represent
    the rocktastic tip top nexus of linguistivally innovative
    lyrical investigative journalistic bio
    which is unafraid to say what it thinks
    and offers the discerning reader a real insight into your brains,
    in a clicheless non limp style
    which is bursting at the brim with the spark ‘n fire
    betraying an eyefull of the forge
    from where the language of the truly gifted emerges,
    which leads me to believe,
    my sock cooking mothers,
    that you have been annointed by the lingo god of cool taste in all matters chat.

    Posted by Jan Manzwotz  on  03/24  at  06:29 PM
  12. What, no billion comments-generating contest/endless argument to keep us busy while you’re gone?

    Dammit, Rushmore is simply better than The Royal Tenenbaums!

    And can you believe Roxy Music is “reuniting” without Eno?

    Posted by Alex  on  03/24  at  08:25 PM
  13. Now there’s a brilliant idea-guys weekend out. Hope you two have a great time-doubt the Houston Zoo has a lot of shark-related exhibits, but I’m sure there will be other things very worthy of viewing. So go and have fun!

    Posted by  on  03/24  at  09:24 PM
  14. Dammit, Rushmore is simply better than The Royal Tenenbaums!

    Erm, well, no--they’re both horrible movies by a wildly overrated director.

    [ducks for cover]

    Posted by  on  03/25  at  01:26 AM
  15. Rushmore and Tenenbaums are Woody Allen movies?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  03/25  at  03:23 AM
  16. Much better essay length this time, Michaél, though if you permit me, I might edit you further. Perhaps something like:

    “Good news for all of you… I’m taking a break! It’s off to… Institution… I’m bringing… many, many conference organizers… psyched… psyched… still stumbles a bit with long… sentences… And then on Sunday we’re off to the zoo.  See you all next week.”

    Yeah, like that.



    Posted by  on  03/25  at  04:19 AM
  17. Dieter,
    I’ve added your execellent site to the short blogroll at my humble site. Any objections and I’ll drop the link like a bad habit. Enjoy your break and let me just take this opportunity to say “Screw David Horowitz, he is a fascist moron” and “somebody ought to cross-check Gary Bettman, hard”

    Posted by Reverend Paperboy  on  03/27  at  05:08 AM
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