Thursday, November 16, 2006

The November lull

I seem to recall that it was about this time last year that I let my blog lag for a week and a bit ... something about November, perhaps. My apologies to my loyal readers for this unexpected hiatus, though I'm not nearly as delinquent as some people I could mention.

Not that my life has been exceptionally exciting this past week. The highlights are as follows:

1. I have a new hat. Having learned the hard way that unmbrellas are pretty much useless here because of the wind, and needing something to keep the frequent rain off my head, I opted for an Outback-style oilskin fedora that matches my Outback-style oilskin coat. I'm inordinately excited about this purchase, principally because I have at long last found a hat that looks good on me. It's one of the benefits of getting older, I think -- this same hat would have looked ridiculous on me ten years ago. I'm thinking of it as my Carlsberg years hat.

2. I'm delivering a public lecture in a week and a half or so, the writing of which has been preoccupying me the last few days. It's under the auspices of the Philosophy Department, and takes place at the Ship Inn Pub downtown. You've gotta love a lecture series that takes place at a pub. My talk is titled "History's Better Angels: American Exceptionalism at the End," which is deliberately vague because I'm still in the process of working out precisely what I want to say.

3. I have decided I need to buy a dictaphone. I was interviewed for the campus newspaper yesterday about the public lecture, and where I have been banging my head against the wall trying to articulate on paper my argument, I provided my interviewer with a lucid and succinct summary of the gist of my talk. I was tempted to ask her for a transcription of what I said. The thing is, this happens with distressing frequency: I'm having a hell of a time getting something written, then say exactly what it is I was to say in casual conversation. Of course, I then don't remember precisely what I said. So I'm thinking a dictaphone is in order.

4. My friends Nancy and Marco had a great party on Saturday night, with a spread of food to die for and lots and lots and lots of wine. I don't remember much about it.

5. As part of my research for this lecture, I've been reading a lot of Hegel, which is not something I recommend unless you happen to (1) need a reason to drink, (2) love circuitously written abstractions on dialectics, history and the Absolute Spirit, (3) are determined to understand the origins of our unspoken assumption that history is linear and naturally progressive, or (4) are masochistic.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

carlsberg years sound great in contrast to the cater-your-drinking-habits-to-drink-special years.

how is the campus paper at your school by the way???

iceman said...

DON'T BUY ANYTHING YOU NEED BEFORE CHRISTMAS!YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT SANTA MAY BRING!!!!!!

Lesley said...

Ha ha ICEMAN. That was funny. It's odd how things happen that you end up wearing things you wouldn't be caught dead in ten years ago, like winter coats for instance, or mitts, or jeans without any holes in them...

Your lecture sounds cool. I recommend the kind of dictaphone where you plug it into your computer and it types it up for you. It's called VOICE RECOGNITION and it's an invention of the gods. Although, really ask at Best Buy/Future Shop...the one I got couldn't really understand my voice and kept spelling the words wrong. Which was actually pretty funny, when I realized it wasn't going to fly for work and just sat back and enjoyed saying bad words into it...

Ok I'm twelve alright? And I'm not wearing my snowpants to school!

Chris in NF said...

Brian: The campus paper here is pretty good -- I'm guessing you're asking me about the student paper, and how it compares to The Gazette at UWO? Well, it's pretty good. It's called The Muse. I wish I could tell ya that Western blows it out of the water, but really I can't. Not unless I'm going to be rather dishonest.

I was however interviewed for the main campus paper, MUN's version of The Western News ... ironically enough titled The Gazette. Funny old world.

Dad: roger.

Lesley: remind me at some point to blog about how my father got the moniker Iceman. And no, it has nothing to do with Top Gun.

Anonymous said...

I understand what you mean about the ease of explaining yourself in conversation versus trying to get the damn thing down on paper. I'm sure one day we'll all walk around wired... in fact, down here everyone walks around with those bluetooth earpieces for their cells, even when not talking on the phone, just in case someone calls. It's very strange to see little old ladies walking around the grocery store with a futuristic earpiece... it's like their going through "the change" - to cyborg...

star*mora said...

ahhh hegel...that's funny he factored in heavily for my undergrad thesis...plus nietzche, cassirer, arendt and several others when i wrote that 80 pager back in 94 about the end of history and the birth of technological man. that was when you scoffed at my enthusiasm for email and almost no-one seemed to use it back then!
hmmm guess my use of hegel makes me a little off...

Chris in NF said...

I actually remember that conversation ... though you should keep in mind that I might have been mocking you merely for the sake of mocking you. :-)

It is funny though how things like email go from the exciting promise of new technological vistas to annoyance -- he says, having just cleared two dozen spams out of his inbox.