The Weblog

Home for the heteronomous

Friday Afternoon Confessional: Amputation

I confess that this week I got to my local L station just as a train was arriving and ran up the stairs in a desperate effort to catch it, going so far as to put my fingers in the closing door (sustaining no injuries). After the train left, I noticed that it wasn’t even going the direction I wanted, so I walked to the other end of the platform in an effort to save face in case anyone still remembered my mad dash by the time the right train came.

I confess that I have been struggling with incredibly unreliable internet connectivity for the past couple weeks, including a skipping problem with AirTunes that made it totally unlistenable, and this week I finally figured out that it stemmed from an “upgrade” to my wireless adapter’s device driver. Once I “downgraded” to the original version, everything immediately started working flawlessly. The engineers who designed this “upgrade” might want to look into becoming centrist Democratic senators.

I confess that I am a bit intimidated by the idea of going back to the travel routine that comes with the start of the school year at Kalamazoo, but I think I can handle the two ten-week quarters I’ve signed up for, particularly with a month-long break between them. (In fact, if anyone in the provost’s office is reading, I could definitely handle a third quarter as well!)

I confess that this week I discovered that a mood that is perfect for novel-reading: a kind of mild listlessness that calls for a “medium-sized” task — something more than watching TV or hovering over the internet, but less than any kind of project that’s actually important or necessary (so that neither working on an article or grading would fit the bill). Basically it’s the kind of mood where you should by all rights be on some kind of train, but instead you’re at home.


September 17, 2010 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional


  1. I confess that I think the train system in Chicago should be referred to as the “El” and its stops as “El stops”.

    Comment by ben | September 17, 2010

  2. I like ‘L’ stops. Because saying or writing “the ‘El'” seems redundant. I confess life is too short to wait for other people to pull their heads out of their asses.

    Comment by ebolden | September 17, 2010

  3. I confess I’m babysitting my friend’s twelve-week-old, not-yet-housebroken puppy today, at work. I confess I may be really trying my employer’s patience. But holy smokes is this thing ever cute. I keep thinking of that line from Lolita, about how the fragility of baby animals causes an intense internal pain. I confess it’s already wrecked part of the carpet, and has chewed up a couple of files. It’s not even noon yet.

    Comment by jms | September 17, 2010

  4. I confess that I think I would give up $.50 to $1 per hour in pay to be able to bring my dog to work. Of course, then the puppy would throw a fit at home every day.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | September 17, 2010

  5. I confess that my state of not having any refereeing to do, which I confessed to last week, has ended.

    Comment by Hugh | September 17, 2010

  6. I confess that on hearing “L station”, I assumed for a moment that Adam was commuting from Williamsburg.

    I confess to dread at having to write my first graduate fellowship applications, a full six months ahead of when I expected to have to!

    Comment by Drew J | September 17, 2010

  7. i confess i couldn’t get what amputation refers to until now that i got it was about the internet connection/fingers in the door

    Comment by read | September 18, 2010

  8. I confess I was, generally speaking, impressed with my first year “Power and Violence” students this week–our first substantive week. They led most of the class, telling me about what they thought power, violence, and exchange were. (Readings for this week: Pierre Clastres and Marcel Mauss.) They did really well, coming up with more or less, vague versions of commonly accepted views. Two problem students though, one–who interrogated me in last week’s introduction on my degrees?–kept insisting that political leaders (e.g., Bush, Harper, Blair) were not culpable for military actions they ordered: only soldiers could be blamed. I suspect she enjoyed Ayn Rand, but I’m not sure yet. The other went on, at length and I wasn’t sure how to cut him off, about gold: science proves it is valuable, “they” know it, that’s why “they” stole it from everybody after WWII and put it in Fort Know. I didn’t know we had gold standard fanatics in Canada. He said, last week, that was from Mississauga or something, but insisted that he “hated the Leafs and loved the Flames.” A true contrarian.

    Comment by Craig | September 18, 2010

  9. I also confess to being upset that Thursday was moved to AUFS: I feel less able to talk about my own viewing habits given that I think “Mad Men” is a piece of shit for what the British call “wankers.” So, while the finale to “True Blood” was an emotional let down, it was an intellectual tour-de-force. I just wish that the writers would understand that something big is supposed to happen in finales and that they are not teasers for the next season. Saw an episode of “What I Like About You” (here’s one thing: Amanda Bynes before she got locked into a tanning machine and had fake breasts inserted–she reminds me of my dog, Mica, in many ways). Rev. Steve Newlin was in it. Awesome.

    Comment by Craig | September 18, 2010

  10. I confess that I wish Craig would talk about his television shows at the AUFS Spoiler Alert Thursday.

    I confess to a shameless bleg — does anyone have access to Project MUSE at, who would be willing to download an article for me?

    Comment by jms | September 18, 2010

  11. I hope that “Mad Men” is over this weekend so Thursday can return here. “NCIS,” “NCIS: LA,” “Special Victims Unit,” “Fringe,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Supernatural,” “Dexter,” and “Bored to Death” all start this coming week. “Law & Order: LA” and “Human Target” start the week after. And “Caprica” (?!) starts the week after that.

    Comment by Craig | September 18, 2010

  12. Jms — if no one has hooked you up yet, I can. Pseud @ the gee mail.

    Comment by oudemia | September 19, 2010

  13. I confess that I was genuinely surprised by the shaking fury with which my wife reacted to me telling her I skydived today. More surprised than by the skydiving itself.

    Comment by k-sky | September 19, 2010

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: