Saturday, January 31, 2009

certainly better than last January

January, and Winter Term, are coming to a quick end. For a variety of reasons, it hasn't been a really terrific January. I'm more than a bit anxious about the depression (or is it depressed about the anxiety? who can tell?), for one thing. I've had to deal with an unspeakably angering faculty rights case, which has cost time, energy, and some little anxiety as well.

But you know what, so far this Obama guy looks to be trying to do some good. Plus, I haven't had to euthanize anybody. I made two exemplary meatloaves and numerous terrific batches of bread. Guerin's beer should be just about ready to eat. Good stuff.

I'm plodding along with re-learning fundamentals of fingerpicking, to adapt my playing to the kind of fingerstyle guitar I have aspired to, and admired from afar, and which is frequently very badly represented in guitar tabulature to be found online. (I found a tab for John Fahey's number "Sligo River Blues" that was apparently transcribed by a tone-deaf music-hating arhythmic maniac just prior to overdosing on barbiturates. Thankfully, helpfully, some French dude videocapped himself playing the thing and youtubed it. I'm about 1/4 of 1% done learning it.)

I'm getting around to the presentation I have to prepare for the Society for Phenomenology and Media's 11th - count 'em! - conference, next month near DC. It'll be nice to go to DC again. The last time we were there was just after the 2004 election, and we spent a lot of time explaining away our disparaging remarks about the Bush administration, speaking clearly and distinctly into various lamps, lightswitches, bedside tables, Gideon's Bibles, and ceiling tiles that, we felt certain, had no doubt been wiretapped For The Safety Of The Homeland And In Support Of Our Troops. We'll at least feel like things have changed.

That's where I am at present: I at least feel like I've helped a faculty colleague, like the new president has good ideas and intentions, like I'm advancing my guitar playing, like it's been a better January. I hold my final judgment in abeyance. Time will tell.

I wonder if this is how it felt to be Nick Drake.

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