Monday, February 07, 2011


I've always been one of the reasons the stereotype of "absent-minded professor" exists. Even at the best of times, I tend to be klutzy and forgetful (one of last semester's students noted on a teaching evaluation that I'm "accident prone," and that's true, if somewhat off-topic). But today I really outdid myself. I got to a job talk late because I went to two wrong rooms -- in two wrong buildings, interrupting two classes in the process -- spilled tea all over myself in my first class, and then told the students to have a good weekend.


Well, I do want them to have a good weekend, but saying that on Monday's just rubbing in the fact that the week's barely started, right?

Before I left my office for my first class, I downloaded Google Chrome and set it up with the same apps and extensions I have at home. When I returned to my office, the apps included two games that I swear, swear, I didn't download. (I promptly deleted them, since I hardly need more ways to fritter away time.) So either my computer's possessed or someone's sneaking into my office. Neither idea is reassuring.

Gah. Time to set up the computer so it won't come out of sleep without a password. Pain in the patootie, if you ask me. Not, of course, that it makes any sense that someone would break into my office to download games. There must be some other explanation. It's still mighty strange.

On happier notes:

I'm listening to an audio version of Kate Braestrup's Here If You Need Me and loving it. She's a chaplain for the Maine State Game Warden Service -- coolest! job! ever! -- and I highly recommend the book.

Weather permitting, which it looks like it actually might, we're going to San Francisco for the long President's Day weekend. I have a professional gig on Friday, visiting a class on "Philosophy and Science Fiction" at UCSF -- they'll have read two of my stories, which we'll be discussing -- and the rest of the weekend we'll see our friend Ellen and her family, and walk on the beach, and hike the Land's End trails, and eat good food. We have a hotel reservation and a cat-sitter. Now we just need good weather! This is a real extravagance, especially so soon before the Spring Break cruise, but it's the trip we didn't get to do over Christmas, and I think I need it. Maybe when I come back, I'll be less spacey.

Oh, and check out this cool photo. Behind the English building on campus there's a small manmade pond called Manzanita Lake. It's frequented by ducks and swans and geese that are fun to watch, especially when they have their babies in the spring (although the babies often get picked off by owls, which isn't fun, although necessary for the owls), and it contains concrete rings, mini-pools, whose function I don't quite understand. On my way home tonight, I looked at the lake and at the trees reflected in it, and I realized that the calmer water inside the concrete ring was reflecting the tree much more clearly. So I took a snapshot. Interesting image, isn't it?

Finally, have you all seen the happy news that dark chocolate is healthier than fruit? Of course, since the study was conducted by the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition, there may have been some bias involved. But I had some dark chocolate after dinner anyway, just in case it's true.


  1. That IS an interesting photo. It almost looks like a portal into another world. Now you know what the mini pools are for...they are to make us think.

  2. Anonymous6:29 AM

    Mybabyjohn's comment suddenly makes me think of the pools in the wood between the worlds in "The Magician's Nephew" - must go and re-read immediately!

    And on a different note, Susan, I hope your week is continuing better than it began.

    Take care,


  3. While I have you attention, please indulge me in a tangent: credit where due here and here.

  4. Thank you very much, Marshall!


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