What has Sheraton done for me lately?


Today I was at the Sheraton giving a presentation on libraries and archives doing community history outreach.

The last time I was in the Sheraton was sometime the 1980s. It was still the Holiday Inn. Sex was involved.

The time before that, I accidentally met REO Speedwagon. They offered me a beer. I declined.

I’m pretty sure I enjoyed giving the presentation much more than I enjoyed meeting REO Speedwagon.

Honestly, I can’t really remember how much I enjoyed the sex.

Randomly Thursday night

Random realization upon hitting the ripe old age of “middle” (an ongoing series):

  • it is OK to pay movers to handle the big stuff.
  • if you don’t ask anyone to help you move, you are absolved of any responsibility to help anyone else move.
  • The only reason I still have cable is to keep TCM. Now that I no longer need cable to do that, there is no good reason not to cut the cord.
  • Good meatloaf is always worth an extra five-minute drive. Really good meatloaf even merits an extra ten-minute drive.
  • Having a job and a boss that you like is an incredibly wonderful thing.


So that article about which I was so stressed went through peer review and was accepted with minimal revisions in four days. That’s a pretty enviable turnaround time for an academic journal, some of which take many months for a decision (a good example being the other article of mine that got accepted this summer). Even better, this one was accepted in time for me to add it to the tenure package, giving me two extra publications to include.

And I’m already done with the revisions.

Pretty good way to start a long weekend, methinks.


I finally submitted that article, approximately seven hours before it was due.

  • It’s either going to be really good or really awful. I basically wrote the whole thing over the course of about a week and a half, due to all the drama in my universe this summer, and I didn’t even have a chance to let someone else read over it. Pressing “submit” felt kind of like having unprotected sex with a complete stranger.
  • When your article is to some extent a case study about things you did at your own institution, which is named in the text, the concept of a blind peer review starts to sound a little bit ludicrous
  • There are no journal content management systems that are not incredibly irritating for authors. None. Not one. That includes the one we use for the two open access journals where I’m the managing editor.
  • Unless this article gets approved in the next two weeks, it will have no effect whatsoever on my tenure decision. I knew that going in. I still wrote it. Go figure.

I’m going to go have leftovers from last night’s delicious meal with no name now.

Randomly Sunday afternoon


No attention span. Latest stuff:

  • The house sale continues to be a nightmare, thanks to that fucking oil tank that we thought nine years ago would be “no big deal.” So far it’s probably cost me $15,000 and I still don’t have a clean bill of health. the buyers (and their lender) are getting nervous. So am I.
  • That said, the house is mostly cleared out. And the non-tank repairs came in at (slightly) under $6500, so there’s that. If I can keep expenses at this level, at least I won’t owe money at closing.
  • The chimney sweep was as cute as a bug’s ear. it was a lust connection.
  • After moving them yet again, I’m torn. Should I leave my records to someone I really like or to someone I really hate?
  • Finished my next article today, more or less. If I can get one or two of my librarian pals to give it a look tomorrow, I may actually get it submitted on time.
  • Pondering Pittsburgh for Labor Day weekend, as Toronto for Thanksgiving in October is looking much less likely.
  • Someone who gets it.
  • Best news of the week? I am once again not at Burning Man. That fact may make up for all my other stress.

Randomly Tuesday night

A few updates before bed:

  • I’m in the inspection and repair phase on the house. Assuming I get the state rebate for removing that oil tank and assuming the general repair list does not cost more than the current estimate from my handyman, I may manage to end up with a little bit of cash (albeit a good bit less than even my downpayment) after closing. I’ll still be selling the place at a significant loss, but at least I’m not underwater. And it’s worth it to finally close that chapter of my life.
  • I lucked out in that a couple of things I thought would be big issues–primarily some stairs the ex built that are sinking and have become a major eyesore but would also cost a fortune to remove, and some paving on the other side that drains in the wrong direction–were not fixes requested by the buyer. i dodged a bullet on those.
  • Even better, I’m doing surprisingly well selling the furniture, which gives me cash and makes moving easier.
  • Nashville was pleasant enough, all in all. My presentation went well and actually got a lot of positive feedback. I was able to do some Groceteria research and I may actually return for a weekend at some point, although I have no real desire for anything more than a weekend.
  • I’ve had a pretty prestigious publication accepted. More on that later.
  • I’m pondering my annual Thanksgiving trip to Toronto. I’ve been traveling a lot this year and I’m wondering if another big trip is a good idea. But I think I deserve a reward once the house is sold and the articles are done…and in general after the really shitty summer I’ve had. And the loonie is at an all-time low, so it’s a really good time to visit. I’ll keep you posted.
  • I didn’t sit through the Republican debate last week. I started watching for laughs–kind of like you’d start watching a bad movie–but the plot and the dialogue were so implausible that I just couldn’t swallow it, even as a farce.


The last time I saw Nashville…

…was in October of 1992. It was the first stop on my first cross-country road trip when I was moving to San Francisco. As I recall, I was there on a Monday night. I stayed at the Motel 6, went to a couple of bars, and left the next morning. I remember almost nothing about the place, except that the queer bar was as boring as every other Southern queer bar, and the alt-rock place downtown was completely empty on a Monday night. And I think I was in some neighborhood near Vanderbilt that had old houses and a Kinko’s.

Anyway, I’ll be there again this week doing a conference presentation. Suggestions that don’t involve boring queer bars or Kinko’s are welcome.


It’s going to be a long month.

Aside from all the issues with my mom, which are resulting in her moving to a new facility sometime this week, my aunt passed away on Friday so there’s now a funeral in the mix as I prepare for the move.

And yesterday afternoon, I finally got an offer on the house. Unfortunately, the offer is a little low and has a pretty major contingency, which will prove time-consuming at a point where I don’t have a lot of time to spare. I’m really happy to finally have an offer, but the timing kind of sucks. Assuming the offer flies, they’re also be the issue of clearing out the house.

On top of everything else, I have a conference presentation in Nashville the week after next. I’m also in the middle of writing two articles, both of which are due in late August.  

I may find myself sleeping (or drinking) a lot in September.

Day 3: Oakland


Presentation day. Spent most of the day at the conference Things went quite well.

Other highlights:

  • Lunch at Rosamunde in Swan’s Market.
  • Reception at the Oakland Museum of California. Free beer and I got to keep the glass. And the California history gallery was nice too.
  • A nice long stroll around Lake Merritt, which reminded me that I always did like Oakland. if I’d stayed in the Bay Area, I’m pretty sure that’s where I would’ve ended up.

I think tomorrow may involve a bit of shopping Berkeley and San Francisco. And maybe some Pancho Villa.