November 14, 2008

A: Oh good! A PowerPoint Presentation!

Q: What is ... something nobody has said since 1997?

Well, maybe our panel at last week's conference would have been better attended had there been PowerPoint in abundance, but dammit, I just can't bring myself to admit that words alone are not enough. I mean, are we not men (and women)? So we read to each other--to ourselves and to a couple of people who were guilted into listening. The world will never know what it missed!

Anyhow, the best part of the voyage was of course renewing friendships with my South Atlantic colleagues, mainly those with whom I worked at Former Employer University. Interesting to see how easy it was to settle back in to the dynamic of the colleague relationship, even though one of these people had the temerity to shave off his beard in the four years since I last saw him. Very disturbing. In general, I expect things to be as I left them. Come on, people.

In a couple of weeks I'll be returning for the first time in thirteen years to Graduate School City, home of Oversized State University. I do not imagine things will be as I left them. For one thing, lots of people I know have moved on to greener, or browner, or perhaps more asphalt pastures, most of them before I did. And of those who remain, whom I hope to make arrangements to visit with, I've seen documentary evidence that some of them may have aged at least slightly, even as I, Dorian Grayishly, have not. This is both a taunt and a lie, of course.

I also expect to get lost. I don't think I know my way around at all there anymore. I was looking online to see if there were any woodworking businesses there, and I found one ... I recognized the streets in the address, but I realize that I would have no idea how to get there. I'll be like a babe in the woods, or like a pig in the city (please pronounce this word "citaayyy").

I don't expect to visit Oversized State at all, at least not intentionally. I only really care about one place qua place, and that ain't it. And I know that most of the denizens of Ugly-Ass Hall will be rank strangers to me, and I to them. And that's fine. Needless to say, I won't be visiting the Weber Rd. duplex I shared with Sasquatch, nor the bachelor pad near the impound lot on 18th Ave., nor the pleasant but shabby newlywed place in Suburb Heights (damn you, vindictive monkey, damn you!), nor the crummy townhome in Greater Stripmall ... so many stories!

For posterity, let me clarify: chronologically, it went Suburb Heights, Greater Stripmall, 18th Ave, and Weber Rd. Throw in Ugly-Ass Hall, where I really lived, and you've got a pentagram of sorts ... a veritable Star of Solomon. More information is available in the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It's a veritable Da Vinci code.

Leonardo da Vinci was of course mostly lizard man, as were several renaissance artists, hence their representation as turtles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You can look this up.

And the Green Knight? Don't even get me started!


Rosemary said...

So, Jim, when will you be in Graduate School City? Because a couple of your faithful readers will be there during Thanksgiving week, and perhaps a confab at the Crimson Portal of Entrance and Egress (hat-tip to Mr. Itchie) could be arranged?

yarmando said...

The last time I remember you visiting Graduate School City, you held court at the Crimson Portal. Sadly, the recent imposition of Prohibition has taken the smoke-filled wind out of its sails. The restaurant seems undead to me, and not in a sexy vampire way but more in a soiled zombie way. We were thinking there might be some bland simulacrum of a real culture that we could take you to, like a pretend Irish pub or a gourmet diner.

JB said...

Coming from where I'm coming from, I'll take a bland simulacrum. Absogoshdarnlutely, ya know.

--S. said...

Ah, one of the pretend Irish pubs might be quite nice. The burgers are tasty and the beers are plentiful.

JB said...

I should arrive Sunday, Nov 30 ... and I'll be leaving, if I can bring myself to do so, on the 2nd or 3rd.

Rosemary said...

I'm very sorry to hear about the Crimson Portal's takeover by soiled zombies. Has Grandview gone dry?! Or has the clientele just evacuated because of the smoking ban?

Alas, we will have evacuated Graduate School City by Dec. 30th. But perhaps you all could hoist a real Guinness for us in a fake Irish pub.