Monthly Archives: November 2014

D&D and Mental Illness

What do the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM) and the typical roleplaying game player’s handbook (PHB) have in common? The character typographies that both articulate are what Kenneth Burke would call “recipes for wise living, sometimes moral, sometimes technical” for fantasy worlds. Burke got this idea of recipes for living by analyzing proverbs…


Giving Thanks

Keeping track of gratitudes helps keep me positive and appreciative. The only rule is people can't be on the list because there are too many to name. Focusing on the small things keeps me mindful. Here's my gratitudes for today.


The people who helped me get to the Northwoods of Wisconsin this year – people who wrote letters of recommendation, proofread job application packets, and held my hand; committee members and HR staff who held a job search; family, friends, and my partner who packed and moved me here; my cats who didn’t run away. This is where I need to be and I’m grateful I got here.

The realtors, bankers, and inspectors of Rhinelander who got me into a home in time for Thanksgiving.

The Louisiana students who have told me this summer and fall semester that they miss me, starting from the ones I had in 1999 to the ones I had in 2014; they remind me why higher education is a great job.


Insurance to cover replacing a car I wrecked, a roof damaged by hail, and hail damage on a new car. I was expensive to carry this year.

The abundance of windows in my new house that lets the light in from all directions and the happiness that the cats derive from this experience.

The Fiat Pop is a wee beastie of a machine.

The bounty of Hodags in Rhinelander; what a joy, that.


There’s so much love in my life, and I’m sorry I was too busy and stupid to cherish it last year.

There’s a new chapter of life, filled with trees, renewed purpose, 401k’s, and zombie apocalypse supplies. It’s all good.


Foiling and Basting a Turkey

Why do you add flour to the oven bag when you bag baste a turkey? According to Reynolds Kitchens: to blend the fat and juices and to protect against bursting. That did not explain enough. Crowd-sourced answers say that it keeps the bag from sticking to the bird. Still not enough. Also, doesn’t make a lick of sense. Dr. Greg…

Marriage is Like a Credit Card

Relationship advice on the internet is worse than something in Cosmo or Ladies’ Home Journal, mostly due to sheer volume and banality. The 9 Smartest Marriage Tips Ever from Salon bobbed through the data streams today, its author claiming to provide new, useful information derived from experts who ranged from her grandmother to the latest research. The article disappointed on…

Clarence Darrow

There is more to Clarence Darrow than I thought. As the old story goes, the famous litigator slyly distracted juries with his cigar. He supposedly threaded a thin wire through the cigar to keep the burning ashes from falling. Enthralled juries would watch the ashes with anticipation instead of listening to the opposing counsel. True or not, the story has…

snow kiteboarding

Winter is coming

Today is day four of new home ownership. It has snowed real-snow once, and I went to an empty parking lot to practice driving in the Pop. The Pop is at the dealer getting an “undercoating” to keep from rusting. It is colder than a Baton Rouge winter. I have worn everything warm that I own and winter is just…