At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

The deadline for book requests is getting close and faculty across the campus are hastily circling random items in book catalogs and sending them my way so that all the money is spent. So I've been kept busy the past couple of days with the dull but easy work of double checking to make sure we don't already own the items and that no other faculty member has requested them. By the way, do any bibliophiles out there know if paperback books fitted with hardback library binding are as durable as books originally produced hardbound? When I have the option I choose the former, since we can save 30 or more dollars per book, but the savings may not be worth it if these books fall apart in a few years.

J. told me his wife wants to set me up with one of her coworkers. The only thing he told me about this person is that she has a "sweet personality." Yikes! Needless to say, I declined.

It is mildly annoying that a number of people here, generally older people, express shock at my being unmarried and tell me with not the least subtlety that I need to get hitched. Surprising, too, given the region's religiosity; haven't these people read St. Paul? I'm not saying that I myself have voluntarily chosen celibacy for the unfettered service of God, but making marriage normative is flat contrary to Christian teaching. Kierkegaard would get absolutely apoplectic in the Bible Belt.

Last night I read a long Cordwainer Smith story, "The Dead Lady of Clown Town." It's about a group of genetically engineered mutants who undertake a Gandhian non-violent protest to be recognized as humans. I liked it for its emotional and moral depth compared to the previous stories in the anthology, which were more like typical sci-fi in their focus on futuristic technology.

Tonight I think I'll drive down to Lubbock to check out a jazz combo composed of Texas Tech music faculty. No cover charge and the joint has a liquor license.


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