Sunday, October 09, 2005

studying the text of Thursday night

Sunday, a day of reflection and atonement. Perhaps even ditch digging if I can find myself a ditch to dig.

Let me start, though, with reflection. Because in the course of the last few days, I have wondered if I should perhaps take stock. And think about, for instance, this: isn’t it the case that academic excellence demands a high degree of concentration and rigor? An intellectual preoccupation with the Task At Hand, which most certainly does not include sidetracking in support of the karaoke trade and the booming tequila industry (no offense, t mockingbird…besides, I think you’ve fallen asleep), on a Thursday night no less? (In my defense, it was the only conflict-free night for the group.)

If so, then I most certainly should step back and engage in a deconstructionist-type* foray into my evening with my beloved Torts law school small section (I insert the word beloved in part because they are such and in part because I do not remember the number of the section, never having had to register for this class myself). For, what good is an author’s (mine, in this case) intention when a different (conflicting?) reality may be picked up from less generously interpreted renditions of the evening?

Let me review things, with aid of a photo or two (thank you, oh finder of camera!) though for now only of myself, as I believe in privacy rights and will not post anything with student faces unless I have their enthusiastic permission to do so.

Thursday. It seems ages ago. I arrived early at Casa B, making sure that the table was set with fine linens and china. In the alternative, paper plates and plastic cups. It’s all in how you read what’s before you.

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I had taken a poll earlier on pizza toppings. I was relieved that the vote for pineapple could go unheeded as the unfortunate student-advocate of it fell victim to a horrible case of something or other and could not attend. What remained speaks for itself:

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And really, that is the end of the text. The official evening is over, we move now to an epilogue, written by a dozen-plus hardy souls who were determined to pour out their sentiments about work, life and American Pie at the Karoke Kid. I offered to pay for all songs sung, so yes, I admit it, I was an enabler, the ghost writer, as it were. Of course, my European upbringing and exaggerated sense of politeness and protocol did cause me to say “yes, thank you” to beverages purchased by others. How could it be otherwise.

But now that I look at the entirety, from the perspective of time and with the aid of the pictures, I think it is principally my participation in the performance side of things that lacked proper decorum. Because otherwise, only one interpretation held true for everyone: they all behaved extraordinarily well. On the other hand, looking at the photos now, what can be said of a person who, while on stage, looked slightly twisted and off balance, like this:

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What lessons then? Perhaps I can eek one out: maybe I should seriously contemplate toning down the exaggerated movements, the gestures, the wild eyes, the loud enunciation of words, ones which could easily be heard even in a less spirited rendition.

I’ll have to remember that when next I am on stage. At the Kid, or in the classroom.

*(independently, you must check out my favorite deconstructionist, who is, BTW, running a marathon today and who has engaged me on the topic of runners' sensitive body issues in the comments here)

Mr. B, you’re fired.

That sounds harsher than I meant it to be. But let it be known that my days of night bike riding are over. At least until the bike path linking all sorts of neighborhoods with my loft is completed.

Last night I endured the swipes at the thigh of passing vehicles that, I swear, did not see me & Mr. B in the dark, in spite of Mr.B’s bright yellow guards, a flashing strobe and a rear reflector. Because the distance was not long, I knew my survival odds were high. And I am proud to say that I managed to land some significant kicks at the sides of a few pretty impressive road hogs.

However, it’s the return trip that finally convinced me that midnight riding in downtown Madison sucks.

Why car-loads of loaded boys (I will not call them men, they are children in my eyes) would find it entertaining to come up close on the cyclist and then shout right in their face something that strikes them and only them as hilariously funny is beyond me, but such are the behaviors exhibited in and around campus after midnight.

So, for now, I’ll be cozying up to the neglected little number sitting in its little parking stall, reserving Mr. B for daytime adventures.

Still, last night’s brush with death, or at the very least dismemberment, was worth it. It’s gotten cold in this town. When you arrive at a house where the hosts have this percolating on their stove, you know you have faced danger for a good end result. Thank you, hosts.

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