This is the the fearsome Hodag, resident of Rhinelander in the Beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin (note: beautiful and Northwoods must be said together; these words are inseparable when referring to this part of Wisconsin). I would love to take a picture of every Hodag in town, a daunting task given the sheer number of these creatures. The magnitude of these beasts in their multitudinousness demands documented. These are the Hodags at my realtor’s office. ,,,Read More →

Over the years, my therapists have asked me how I feel. They tell me my answers express my inner thoughts, not my feelings. My vocabulary of feelings is remarkably thin. This is unsurprising given that I am an academic; thinking to the exclusion of feeling is, presumably, my occupational psychosis. Ironically, the academy has taken the turn to affect. It’s an interesting twist given the centuries-long atrophy of feeling in the sacred grove. Now that post-human, post-gendered, post-raced but always material bodies can play in the exclusive grove, we can talk academically about how it all feels. Unintentionally. What gives? I have noticed a popular turnRead More →

Scramble with Friends

I play Scramble with Friends, the only phone game for me. My score drops precipitously without regular play, but more significantly, my self esteem drops too. Scramble with Friends is the best life coach and personal cheerleader ever. Although Zynga games don’t deserve free advertising, I highly recommend playing this one because of the audio rewards when you score. A voice shouts: “Excellent!!” “Amazing!!” “Excellent!!” “Amazing!!” “Good!!” The soundtrack is better than the game. In fact, people should say these things to the friends and loved ones in their lives in the course of a conversation throughout the day at random moments. Picture it! ThatRead More →

Students who take public speaking classes are fearful of delivering speeches. Although we work on speech anxiety in my classes, that is not our focus.Anxiety is a “fight or flight” physiological response left over from the “caveman” (That’s Sexist!) days when we needed adrenaline to face a predator. Since classmates are not predators, folks shouldn’t worry. There are many silly myths about how to handle speech anxiety, such as have a drink to knock the edge off, or look over people’s heads instead of making direct eye contact. Anything that keeps you from engaging with the audience is a mistake. The silliest of all isRead More →

My cats are overweight, a problem common to aging pets and pet owners who spend too much time indoors at the computer or on the sofa watching television. My cats are on a diet, which causes Milo some serious problems. Milo is a large, lumbering cat of Siamese mix. He’s muscle, fat, size, and stealth. He’s all love, and all hunger, and like your typical Siamese cat, he’s a complete bully. The other cat, the lonesome Hank Williams, was a pariah in another life. He stands his ground, but only for so long. So Milo, whose full name should be Milosevic, muscles him out ofRead More →

Can feminists own guns? Here are some slightly modified excerpts of a Facebook chat conversation between a former student of mine and me. The student has extensive military experience and gave me advice once about the Kid and the Marines. He also met the Kid once. This FB conversation was prompted by a speech in class delivered by a different student on the subject of AK-47s. Me: Did I tell you what my niece told me about the Zombie Apocalypse? Him: We always need new recruits for the apocalypse. Me: She told me that she and her boyfriend actually discussed leaving me behind in theRead More →

Let me introduce you to this cat. Her name is Monkey, which is short for Alien Monkey Cat. Some people call her AMC for short, but only on Facebook. She is visiting from another planet and she is residing with me for a time while she spies on us. I am using this as an opportunity to spread the word widely, and perhaps save the planet from takeover by her species. Be forewarned. They have dripping, venomous spikes in their tails. Now, just to be clear, the purpose of today’s post is to discuss the equinox broom phenomenon. A meme has been going around onRead More →