It's getting harder to find the time to blog. Is it the endless teaching hours? Is it all the studying, books and articles to read, papers to write? Is it that I, too, must eat, sleep, socialize, and all those other things in the bottom levels of Maslow's hierarchy?
Go ahead and believe that it is; it'll make me sound more together. And it is true some, or even a lot of the time. If you believe it, then feel free to not read any further. Just admire the panda photo some more (from the Giant Panda Research Center just outside of Chengdu, my random photo from China for this post). Otherwise, here are some of the things which are really keeping me from my blogosphere home. You may wish to try some of them, but only if you don't have any work of your own, or pressing deadlines, for the next several weeks.
1) The Archers. This is the most pathetic one...let me justify it. See, I used to live in London, right? Where I was at one point in an, erm, relationship (I use that term lovingly, but loosely) with an older gentleman who listened a lot to Radio 4 (which in American terms, is, maybe NPR?) Soon, I started listening to Radio 4, too. All the time. And part of the Radio 4 experience is listening to the Archers, a very long-running radio soap opera. That isn't the sad part. The sad part is that I have only bothered to listen to one episode of the show in the going on three years that I've been in Denmark. Yet, I still get and read an e-mail synopsis every day, and read message boards to find out people's reactions to all the things I haven't actually heard. Which can take time...those people are opinionated!
2) Conceptis Puzzles. Probably my single biggest timewaster. Ingenious puzzles, which when done yield a not-normally ingenious picture of...whatever, the fact that it's a picture is much more important than the subject, or for that matter the quality of the picture. I can't help it, really. I've managed to wean myself off of the LAPs, which were just tedious, but I rarely can make it through a week without doing all the PAPs and FAPs. Worse, on the larger ones, I often will start one, do a bunch, and then have to go somewhere or do something...and so I end the puzzle and have to start over later. I even have a list on my computer so I can keep track of which ones I've done in any given week. And please don't tell me to print them out...it's all about the on-line final sound effect, and the pop-up version of whatever image I've done.
3) Neil Gaiman. It started with Anansi Boys from a Helsinki airport bookshop, enroute to China. Now it's American Gods (yes, I know, it's the wrong way round, yeah, yeah, whatever...), with Neverwhere waiting patiently in the wings. I hadn't read him before, but I find him inventive, clever, and much more interesting than organizational learning theory.
4) Lovecraft. The birthday present-savvy James sent me a copy of H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life for my birthday. One of the single greatest books I've ever received, not least because it's an in back to Lovecraft. And as anyone knows who has read Lovecraft, he's not a quick read. Worthwhile, to be sure, but not quick.
5) Planning my next trips. Not taking any trips, just planning them. All trips to California, for Christmas, and in the Spring. Planning is fun, especially when you can use it as an excuse to not get anything done.
And 6) please don't ask me to explain Text Twist, as I hope the words alone will say it all.