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What I did today

I woke up around 9:30. Last night I was up late and was in any case exhausted. It was the first day of the History of Christian Thought class that I am “co-teaching” with Ted Jennings. Class got out at 9:30, and Ted and I split a pitcher at Jimmy’s afterward. I had good CTA karma for my impractically long commute up until the single-track construction zone on the Brown Line, which left us sitting still for quite a while. I had to give up on my designated CTA reading, Doug Henwood’s After the New Economy, due to fatigue, but I didn’t want to fall asleep during the indefinite wait because I was technically only one stop away from home. I seriously considered getting a cab for the four block walk home from the train station, but none were nearby.

I realized this morning that I would need to go grocery shopping right away. I could get by without cereal, having bread with peanut butter — a breakfast staple of my dad when I was growing up, but a fallback for me — instead, but I needed to get coffee. I ate breakfast, showered, did my Supermemory exercises, read my feeds, checked my bank and credit card balances, and then went to the store. I forgot a coupon for a cheap brand of coffee, and so bought an expensive one. I also got pasta and sauce (2 each), cereal, bananas, chips, and a loaf of bread. When I got back, I unpacked the groceries and unloaded the dishwasher. I then talked to Brad on IM for a while, wrote a blog post, and caught up on the feeds that had come up while I was at the store.

For lunch I decided to get bahn mi, and while I was at the Vietnamese bakery, I got enough sandwiches for several days. On my return, I boiled some frozen green beans to accompany my bahn mi, put the bahn mi on a plate with some chips, and watched the Prison Break season premier. It was entertaining enough and seemed to promise a better season than last, once I got past the resurrection of Sarah Tancredi.

I spent much of the afternoon going through my notes over Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks and my underlinings in Schmitt’s Roman Catholicism and Political Form and Laclau’s On Populist Reason for a paper for a panel on Laclau. During that process, I also paced about the apartment trying to think of how to structure my argument and fit it within the constraints of a conference paper and at some point paused to write the previous post on this blog, about Sarah Palin. Conversations with Brad and The Girl occurred intermintantly throughout this period, and I also read and commented upon this post, which tagged me with Infinite Thought’s Dogmeme.

Then a friend called who was concerned that I seemed very angry, based on my blog postings — we had previously discussed my self-reported moodiness and depression. We also talked about the possibility (or necessity) of moving abroad, specifically to Latin America, after finishing our PhDs. After we hung up, I began preparing some pasta for dinner. Right now I am letting my pasta cool. My plans for the rest of the day are to watch an episode of The Sopranos over dinner, then get at least a start on the Laclau paper.


September 3, 2008 - Posted by | meta


  1. Don’t read Henwood – even as train reading. He just has a inch-deep understanding of what he’s talking about. If you absolutely NEED to read heterodox economists (Henwood isn’t an economist), I’ll find something for you. Besides, I always found the best train/transport reading was David Goodis or Jim Thompson crime novels.

    Comment by burritoboy | September 3, 2008

  2. Jim Thompson is the shit.

    Comment by Kelsey Craven | September 3, 2008

  3. What’s wrong with Henwood?

    I look forward to tracing the arc of Adam’s grocery shopping into Brad DeLong-esque gourmetness as his career as a public intellectual develops. Also nothing more jarringly reminds me of cross-atlantic lifestyle differences than reading about foods I have never even heard of mentioned in passing. The wikipedia entry for bahn mi even provides a bonus link to ‘head cheese’, which is not even cheese!

    Comment by Gabe | September 4, 2008

  4. Read Henwood, and take everything Burritoboy says with a grein of salt from here on out. He may conceivably have a point of some kind, but make him put up or shut up. All I see from him so far is an argument from authority, and I’m not aware that he has any authority at all.

    Comment by John Emerson | September 4, 2008

  5. The problem with Henwood is that he’s very shallow. Like I said, Henwood is roughly an inch deep. Within the inch that he inhabits he might not be grotesquely wrong, but that inch doesn’t get you very deep. John, I couldn’t care less whether Henwood has a degree in economics or not, but it’s obvious to me Henwood hasn’t done much hard thinking about the subject.

    Comment by burritoboy | September 5, 2008

  6. It’s amazing to me that you can write multiple books, publish a newsletter, and run a radio program about a topic without thinking deeply about it.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | September 5, 2008

  7. It’s amazing to me that you can write multiple books, publish a newsletter, and run a radio program about a topic without thinking deeply about it.

    Just ask Posner.

    Comment by ben | September 5, 2008

  8. “It’s amazing to me that you can write multiple books, publish a newsletter, and run a radio program about a topic without thinking deeply about it.”

    Why not? The only thing of note in Henwood’s case is that he does it from a shallow “left” perspective which isn’t as common as the common-as-dirt but equally shallow vulgarized neoclassical perspective. That said, is Henwood more right than those counterparts? Absolutely, but it’s not really, in my opinion, Henwood perse who’s somehow uniquely or even uncommonly right, but rather the deeper thinkers and harder workers that Henwood is relying on are.

    Comment by burritoboy | September 5, 2008

  9. Burritoboy, so far you’ve told Adam not to read a book. You vaguely suggested that you might suggest a book for him to read if he really had to. But after three posts you have made no positive recommendation. I’m inclined to think that Henwood must have stolen your girlfriend or peed in your Wheaties or something, and also that you don’t really want Adam to read any radical economics of any kind.

    As I said: put up or shut up. Maybe you’ll do that on your fourth try.

    Comment by John Emerson | September 6, 2008

  10. No, John, Henwood masturbated in my Grape-Nuts. You notice that Adam didn’t ask? So, since Adam doesn’t need my opinion, I’m not going to opine for your benefit.

    Comment by burritoboy | September 8, 2008

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