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it's official

Got my rejection letter today. I did not get the lecturer job in Mass Comm at Berkeley. So my summer class will likely be the last time I teach at Cal, and maybe the last time I teach, period.

They selected someone with a background in communications and media theory. I don't have that. I just have the experience of teaching half a dozen Mass Communications courses at Cal over the past year.


Robin and I are going to Santa Cruz for the long weekend, to celebrate our 30th anniversary, so I likely won't be around for a bit. We're also going to see Sara graduate from San Francisco State University tomorrow morning ... we are proud! And today is my brother Geoff's birthday.

None of the above changes the fact that I am beet red from sunburn.

the greek

mario at the greekDecember 1965: Mario Savio is pulled off the stage by police at the Greek Theatre, a crucial moment in the Free Speech Movement.

May 2000: I'm sitting on the stage at the Greek Theatre for a commencement ceremony. To my right is Greil Marcus, who that semester was my colleague in American Studies. We shot the shit, and at one point I noted that the last time I'd been at the Greek, Sleater-Kinney played on the very stage upon which we were sitting. To which Greil replied, "the last time I was on this stage, they were taking Mario Savio away." After 35 years, the memory was still clear ... on the other hand, since it was pretty obvious nothing out of the ordinary was going to happen at this graduation, those 35 years seemed kinda sadly in the past.

Which leads me to yesterday, when I took part in another graduation ceremony (my sunburnt face is the proof). Before the ceremony, the faculty are informed that when we are reading the names of the graduates into the mic, we are not to allow any students to take over the mic for any personal statements. If by chance a student DID manage to get the mic, we were told to look down at our feet, where something called a "Cough Drop" was located. This was a footswitch that toggled the mic on/off ... such switches are normally used for radio announcers when they have to clear their throats or cough. But not this time ... no, we were only supposed to use the Cough Drop if a student dared to say something public.

And yes, we were at the Greek Theatre. And even 2000 seems sadly in the past at this point. Another crucial moment in the Free Speech Movement.

steven the terrible two


Sue just sent me this picture ... she's got some stuff to write about our family history which will show up here soon ... the 2-year-old in the back is me.

I couldn't tell you a thing about any of the older people, even though I clearly met them. The boy in the front is my brother Geoff ... I know him! ... and the person holding me is my mom. Quite the looker, she was! Plus, not to put too fine a point on it or say anything untoward, but she had great knockers :-).

And my siblings think I don't have anything nice to say about dear old Mom.

(Actually, I've been thinking about my parents a lot recently ... for one thing, our 30th anniversary is coming up, and I've always thought I got a certain sense of perseverance in marriage from my parents, who stayed married their entire lives. And I'm turning 50 next month (birthday present hint: TiVo), and when you get ancient like that, you think of those who got old before you. Mostly I'm thinking of them because Sara graduates from college next weekend, and I always get shitty feelings when that subject comes up ... my parents, who lived about 1/2 hour from Berkeley, refused to come to either of my college graduations (B.A. or Ph.D.) because ... well, I have no idea, to be honest, although I often wondered if I was being punished for not attending my high school graduation back when I was a teenager.)

Anyway ... here's my relationship with my mother in a nutshell. Let's get out the photo software and zoom in ...


Now the only question is, do I comment on this picture, or just leave it?

no spoilers here

We just watched the last Buffy ... the wonders of modern technology, where you get to watch shows before they're actually on.

It was a satisfying conclusion. You get the feeling Joss Whedon has known for seven years how it would all turn out in the end, and tonight, er, tomorrow night, he did what he'd intended. At least, that's my guess.

Season Seven was probably the worst of the lot ... 1-3 remain the best, 4-6 had problems but also had individual episodes as great as anything in television history. Season Seven had an air of finality, and they worked it pretty well, but it wasn't a great season and it didn't have a great episode (the finale and maybe "Conversations With Dead People" coming the closest, off the top of my head).

So now Sara, Robin and I are left to wonder what we'll do with our lives. Sara made us each give a little speech before we watched tonight, and I'll repeat here what I said to them: "thanks for letting me be in your club." That goes to Joss, too. And I'll quote Tim Goodman from just below this sentence, one more time ... "If you never watched Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, then you missed out."