Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Return to Cali

Very hard to leave the NW this time, I had to say goodbye to Madaline in between her school and volleyball practice. I am sitting in the airport terminal in Seattle wondering how my life has become so spread out with an out of control schedule. Time at home was good, but the chaos surrounding the house remodel was pretty extreme and it was hard to get comfortable. Hopefully, it will be worth it in the long run as it should turn out really nice. I will be flying back on Oct 2nd for 4-5 days to see Madaline when my brother be there also to see the new house for the first time. We'll see what he thinks about the new casa. Now I have to finish reading another script and formulate my plan to escape jury duty. I think I'll tell them I'll apply Roman Law to everything or suggest trial by ordeal/combat. Maybe that will work.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

House Renovation Chaos

My family's house renovation is rapidly becoming a major mess that is about to drive my father insane. Contractors are a nightmare to deal with on so many levels. The mess at the place makes productive work at that location a near impossibility. I'm starting to worry about getting all my work done in the next 3 weeks. Hopefully, I can get in the right mindset and environment. At least I was able to have a quick trip to Eugene to see E and C a couple of days ago. Much too short, but it was good nonetheless. I hope everyone is doing well - now I must try to be productive.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Close to recovery

After the return flight from hell, I have finally started to recover and get back in sync with things stateside. Italy was great this year, but there are many bureaucratic messes to clean up after being away that long. Will be leaving for the Northwest within the next few days, once I get stuff together. There is some chance for a trip to Eugene in late Aug- early Sept, depending on a variety of factors. Then I have to return to do the jury duty in LA County I delayed before I left, an absolute nightmare. Somehow, I don't think the judge will want me on one and they will kick me loose on the first day. I would refuse to abide by instructions on the law and thoroughly do not believe in the legal system in any way. Anarchy is ideal. Have a great remainder of the summer all - be well!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Great time in Italy

Having a great time in Italy with lots of food and drink. Thought I would show this tidbit that got released by my studio over the past couple of days. I give them the history - they take it where they want to go. With any luck, it will be TIS worthy. Looks like it could have a large audience. I hope all is well for everybody.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Off to italy

After extensive fun times with Madaline, I am now off to Italy for 6 weeks. Hopefully, I can dig up something good this year, but it will be great food and drink in any case. I'm hoping my smartphone will work properly over there this year, so we'll see if I can give some degree of updates - who knows. I hope to have trips work out where I can meet some friends in Siena one week and then hang out with Peter W and his wife one weekend at their villa on the Bay of Naples - it will depend on their schedule. Should be fun if it works out. I hope everyone has a great summer!

Monday, June 29, 2009

In a Cycle of Entertaining Activities

most of the month has been spent in an intense cycle of entertaining activities with Madaline. Had her 12th birthday yesterday at Disneyland. It should be memorable for her and stand out from other birthday's for years to come. It seemed an appropriate place to have her final childhood birthday there with the next few being the teenage years - hard to think about for me. In any case, she was very happy. the last 3 weeks have been filled with Universal Studios, museums, time at the beach, Medieval Times this last Thursday (our knight incompetently died early in the show - Madaline thought I could take them all with my battle axe when I was still in my prime), tomorrow we go down to the wild animal park outside of San Diego and possibly the zoo as well. Should be fun. I hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Heart like a Racehorse

Cardiologist decided today my heart was functioning within normal operating parameters and was rather large like that of a racehorse (not the roided up ones) with good bloodflow and oxygenation levels. Anomaly spotted on tests was likely a genetic issue from my grandfather that causes EKG rythms to read different. Prior chest pain was apparently pleurisy where fluid builds up in lining of chestwall to cause stabbing pain with each breath. Lots of antibiotics and pain meds, but I'm much better now. On a good note, I will fly Madaline down here soon to have fun for 3 weeks before I go to Italy to dig on July 6th. Lots of SoCal fun with Madaline before my dig. In addition, Peter and his wife said last night I could go down and visit at their villa they own just outside of Pompeii on the Bay of Naples. That should be real nice. Now I've got to grade some bad papers for tomorrow.

Here's a blog I posted as a comment - sorry

I'm absolutely hammered right now having gone to a nice dinner in an exclusive cigar bar in Beverly Hills with P. Weller (Robocop), followed up by more martinis and 18 year old scotch at a bar in Westwood. I have to teach a section at 8am, but it is good to have cut loose for this evening. It is still weird being in LA with people like Jessica Simpson's dad next to us in the bar = less than impressive on that note. I've been dealing with a variety of issues lately and I have to see a cardiologist tomorrow (hopefully I'll live), but I've fully embraced the motto of live in the now and screw the future. Academics take themselves way too seriously and don't realize they are irrelevant to 99.99% of the population. It was good to see Cabiria yesterday and have a good lunch together. She said all of you seemed to be doing well. I do miss the close-knit nature of past years, but I am adapting to LA lifestyle. TV show is going well and I am off to Italy soon for the summer. Sorry my blogs have been non-existent, but here is one. I'm off to sleep it off.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Early Version

Here's how I pay the bills now. Historicity is becoming more difficult in this show, but I'm willing to take cash over preserving academic integrity in the midst of this economy. I have hopes it can be entertaining while still being informative of a long-lost time when it was honorable to be badass; a less hypocritical moral system than we are stuck with nowadays.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Random Airport Blog

I have a few minutes before my flight leaves SeaTac to return to SoCal after a week with Madaline. I have resurrected my laptop after an untimely death earlier in the week that has caused me to fail behind. I was actually assigned a weeks worth of Greek translation that is due by 2pm tomorrow on the first day of the quarter. Needless to say, I am less than pleased with such a heinous situation. I'll probably have to stay up much of the night to start the quarter - how lovely. In any case, everything else progresses, despite the snail's pace. I'll be happy to get the summer in Italy again as it is the only time I can recharge. I'm supposed to make it back for my big high school reunion, but the dates look like I might still be in Italy. Such is life, and Italy is the better situation, but the reunion would have been comical if nothing else. We'll see how it goes. TV show is going off it's own way, but the checks keep coming. I'll likely have to slap a historical disclaimer on my involvement, but I'm content to prostitute my academic soul for money. Be well - I'm off to the plane.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Holding Together

Forgive the lack of blogging. I no longer have the mental energy to compose my moderately entertaining blogs as I used to. My brain is on cruise control with all focus dealing with my present schedule. I no longer have the invested emotion necessary to comment on society's absurdity, the ridiculous political environment, or the economy. Thus, my blogs will be boring for awhile - until I have a renewed sense of vigor and recover my active contempt for society. Right now it is passive contempt that lacks an appropriate edge worthy of TIS blogs - hence, no blogging. On a better note, I had a nice respite last week when my daughter came down to stay with me for awhile. We had fun and she really enjoyed herself. She was able to attend a lecture on Egyptology that she loved. We did lots of shopping at a variety of malls, she happily splurged with my studio money. I felt like we were trying to stimulate the economy all on our own, but it was good overall. She is doing well enough and that is pretty much all I care about anymore. Everything else in my life has faded away at present and I find myself simply going through the motions to advance to the next stage of my academic situation. I've already been in my present phase too long, I'm pretty much functioning as an academic robot until i can get to Italy this summer. It appears to be 95% viable, but it is still dependent on student commitment to provide the necessary funding. Hard to say in a bad economy, but it looks good so far. I need time in Italy to recharge. I didn't realize how important it was until last year. Hopefully it will work out. I hope everyone is doing well. I'll try to muster the energy to blog more, but we'll see.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Return Trip to Italy for Dig this Summer is now Confirmed

I just got word I was able to secure my position as a staff member on the excavation in central Italy again. It was good this job came through again because the administration and funding of the site moved to a completely different institution on the east coast. Thankfully, I proved valuable enough last year that the new administration will fund my return and costs in Italy, which I can add to the additional summer funding I already have put in place from my school. I'm trying to horde some of the money from my studio job so I can have a completely kickass summer and decompress my brain again. It should allow me to stay in Italy for about 6 weeks from the beginning of July with a pretty good budget to have a great time and still have plenty of money for the remainder of the summer when I will be able to stay in Oregon until the end of Sept. The arrangement of things this year should be much better than last year for a variety of reasons. The break from my present routine will be of the utmost importance in maintaining sanity. I'd give anything to be in Rome right now, but it is coming soon enough. Now I'm off to a birthday party for a 1 year old girl with some friends.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Drudgery of Academic Exile

I'm rapidly being drained of all passion and zest for life by my present academic situation. I've pretty much become a vacant entity that processes information throughout he day, relays that information to a few students and faculty, assimilates more information, eats some shoddily prepared food as quickly as possible, returns to small room in apartment, processes necessary interactions on computer, physically works out at a minimal level to keep blood flowing, returns to computer and books, lays down when back is tired and watches short bursts of tv while back stretches out, gets back up and processes info in isolation until 3am, sleeps 4.5 hours, gets up and does it all again in an endless monotony. The only time I have any life is during the holidays or when I travel abroad. I have another year and a half of existing in this hellish cocoon if everything goes smoothly. I'm hoping to break the drudgery if I can get back to Italy, but that is unknown at this point. I fondly miss the prior balance I had in my life in years past when I remember what it was to have a good time and not be thoroughly oppressed by a crushing schedule. I used to be able to have a life and get the necessary work done because the requirements were considerably less. I'm not sure there will be much left of me after all of this if I can't change some things. I am presently trying to secure a new living situation in a different area where I can try to build an actual life, but time is a problem. I advise everyone to never allow your life to become as fragmented as mine where the fundamental components of life are spread over three states in a way that stretches you so thin there is nothing left of you. Nevertheless, I will endure and give the finger to the world until the next phase of my life initiates a new transformation. I will live like a Taoist monk for a year and go with the flow until I shed my skin again in the next phase of my life. The only fundamental truth is that some level of change is inevitable. Thus spoke TIS.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blog Reengagement

My apologies on dropping off planet. I will attempt to be more diligent in posting. Just went through a mild earthquake, which was moderately amusing. Schedule is ridiculous this quarter as I am TAing, grading as a reader for the survey of the Roman Empire course, taking both a Latin course on Tacitus and Greek course on Xenophon, history seminar on Romanization, all while serving as a historical consultant, for which I was anonymously referenced in a recent show promotional tour by the show-runner. For now, I will not allow my name to be formally attached to the project so that I can insulate my future academic reputation from such a stylized/CGI/graphic novel style show. The show will be designed to appeal to a pop culture audience, but I am providing primary sources on a variety of background topics as well as direct suggestions rooted in real historical context. However, the sources themselves are extremely thin in ways that allow them to make up purely dramatic plotlines for their own particular vision. They are making a very concerted effort though. In any case, we'll see how it goes and I hope it does well. This thing will probably be even so raw as to offend those with delicate sensibilities, moreso than HBO because this is the first time this show-runner has been unleashed from the restricitions of his past shows, but you all know I laugh at such weak sensitivity in this mollified society. Strength and Honor!