Friday, November 30, 2007

So, Thanksgiving turned out to be a rather nice holiday. I didn't go home this year, so I stayed here in Madison and had dinner with some friends from my department. It was a nice evening with good company and great food. The hostess requested that I make my infamous banana cream pie. It's actually my grandmother's recipe that my momma taught me to make. Here's how it turned out:

Other than that, the semester is quickly winding down, and much too fast, I might add. I want to get this damn dissertation proposal finished and get my ass in gear so I can get the hell out of here. I'm so burned out of being here in Madison, and there's no way to alleviate the situation unless I finish this damn dissertation, defend it, and get a job so I can get the hell out of here.

I'm often asked where I want to go when I finish my PhD. Honestly, I don't have much of a choice in the matter. There are so few French medievalist positions, and they are highly coveted, so I will more than likely have to settle for a generalist position. That's fine as I knew that going into the game. However, the job market is national, not regional or local, so I have to be willing to move almost anywhere. A friend of mine is applying for a job in Laramie, Wyoming, and she tells me that it's a position that would suit me well. I'm like, no way in hell babe, that's where they string up us queers on fences. So, I do have some preference as to where I'd like to go. Ideally, I'd end up in some mid-size college/university town. I really don't want to live in California, Chicago, or NYC--it's just too damn expensive and I'm just a small town farmboy at heart.

I'm also asked what type of position would I like--do I want an appointment at a large research-orientated facility, or do I want to teach at a smaller undergraduate institution where the focus is teaching. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. The large research institution is more prestigious and pays better, and there is a better change of playing the field and getting your name known in your particular academic field. The drawback is that these positions are very difficult to come by for a medievalist, highly competitive, and the focus of your work is research, and your teaching is secondary. I did my Bachelors at a smaller liberal arts college, and I always said I'd like to teach at a place like that. However, the teaching loads at these schools is absolutely crazy, and there's almost no time for research. Therefore, it's harder to make a name for yourself and break into the larger research universities if you want to leave the smaller colleges and universities. Also, the pay is just dismal. You accrue a lot of debt while pursing a PhD, and a job that only pays 35K isn't going to pay the bills.

So, where do I want to end up, and what do I want? The answer is simple: I'll take whatever I can get! Ideally, I'd like to end up at a university like Notre Dame where both research and teaching are equally important. Of course, I don't necessarily want the gay hellhole of Notre Dame with its super-conservative atmosphere, but I'd like to teach at an institution that places equal importance on academic research and teaching.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Turkey Day Blahs

Well, I'm in total denial that the Holidays are here as I don't know where the time has gone. I'm really not prepared for all the hype this year. I wanted to go home this year for Thanksgiving, but I am unable to this year. I need to get my car looked at before I make a long journey, and I can't get it into the garage and repaired until after Thursday. So, I'll be spending the day with some friends and colleagues from my department.

I suppose I ought to pull out the Christmas lights and other decorations. I wish I had room for my huge tree, but my place is just too small. So, I'll be putting up my small tree. I just hope Singe the psycho kitty doesn't rape the Christmas tree angel like he did last year. Crazy perverted cat. LOL

Speaking of my cat, he loves the taste of my flesh, and I'm starting to get nervous because he hasn't bitten me in a really long time. I don't know what he's waiting for, and I'm starting to get nervous and a little paranoid about when he's going to strike next. Ever since he jumped on top of my fish tank and fell in, he's been very sweet to me. Of course, that makes me more suspicious. I'm convinced he's waiting for me to get most comfortable and confident that he's given up his flesh-eating ways, and that's when he'll strike.

Here's a pic of the little beast:

Yes, it's hard to believe that something so cute can be so viscous, but don't let that cute kitty facade fool you.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wow, Long Time, No Posts

Well, there's certainly been no excuse for not keeping up with my blog. Over a year has gone by since my last entry, so there's a lot to catch up on.

Well, there's grad school...that's going by painfully slow. Still working on the thesis. Last week, I went to St. Francis University in Pennsylvania to give a couple of guest lectures on the figure of Merlin in 13th Century Arthurian literature. The talks went amazingly well and rejuvenated my interest in my thesis subject. The personal life....well, that's a pathetic joke, but such are the gays of our lives.

My fish tank is doing well. I upgraded my 55 gallon reeftank to a 150 gallon tank, and I got rid of my nano reef and freshwater planted tank. Here's a random pic:

I have a lot more pics, but I'm just testing this out. This is a porcelain anemone crab that lives in my sebae anemone.