What’s Going On

Things that have been happening of late, or are happening in my immediate future, that prevent me from doing any substantive writing, a fact which is beginning to make me chafe a bit, but that ought to be ameliorated in the days to come:

— The last stages of a search in the English department. I’m happy to report, however, that I was much less involved in this one than I ought to have been. (Okay, so I’m happy to report it, but feel guilty nonetheless.)

— An absolutely amazing visit from Nalo Hopkinson, who gave a fantastic reading and held several sessions talking with students, including the students in my Race, Gender, and Science Fiction class, who now adore her. As do I.

— A lovely housewarming party, which required a full day of shopping, cleaning, and gumbo-making, but which was absolutely the highlight of my last few weeks. The most exciting moment of the event, however, was not exactly party-related:

— Many hours spent with plumbers and customer service managers in the new condo. I came home last Thursday at about 9 pm to find a trickle of water, emerging from underneath a pile of R.’s boxed-up stuff and zipping across the garage. In a panic, I moved all the boxes (which now appear only to have gotten damp on the bottom, thank goodness), to find that water was leaking from the base of the wall, where it met the foundation. I called the 24-hour emergency customer service number (having been briefed that leaks constitute Genuine Emergencies), and the guy on call in turn called the plumber, but told me not to expect any response before morning. Wrong. The plumber showed up at 10.30 that night, looked at it, said “yeah, you’ve got a leak,” but decided that it wasn’t actively leaking any more, so he’d be back in the morning. Friday morning, the customer service manager came around, pissed that the plumber hadn’t done the job the night before, and he and his crew cut into the drywall in the garage to attempt to figure out the source of the leak. The plumber showed back up early that afternoon and ran a series of tests of this and that, still trying to figure out the leak’s source and how to stop it. And in this came my favorite moment of the day: at approximately 4.00 pm, the customer service guy comes up to me and says, “Uh, ma’am? The contractor is going to cut a hole in your wall.” I have no idea what the look on my face must have been, but I said, in a slightly panicked voice, “But I’ve got forty people showing up here in an hour and a half!” The good news is that the guys conferred and decided that further demolition could wait until the next day. The bad news is that I spent all day Saturday with the plumber, watching him cut hole after hole in my stairwell walls, which now, duct-taped together, resemble a Mondrian coloring book. The better news, however, is that they seem to have fixed the leak, and the drywall guys should be coming any day now.

— A big pile of grading that I’m still not finished with.

— Preparations for this Thursday and Friday’s visit from the outside reviewers in our ten-year Media Studies self-study and review.

That’s the end of my whining. I’ll be back in the swing shortly, I hope.

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