Tuesday, December 16, 2008


While in the Bay Area on Sunday, I met up with my old pal Larry Livermore for coffee and a chat. We revisited an old Berkeley haunt, the Café Mediterraneum and talked about all sorts of things, from the demise of the Key System of public transportation that once served San Francisco and the East Bay, to the lack of interior insulation in California homes, to whether or not Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel, Middlesex sticks sufficiently close to the facts of the Detroit riots in 1968 1967 not to undermine its narrative impact.

We also got onto the subject of writing and weblogs and Larry allowed that he thought 327 Words has, of late, taken on a bit of a Bukowski flavor, which I took to be a compliment at first—not that I’m a huge fan of the old drunk, but I do think that Ham on Rye is one of the funniest books ever written—but then was a bit taken aback when he elaborated that it seemed like I was spending an inordinate amount of time in print recently bragging about how fucked up I was getting as I lurched around one place to another.

And it gave me a bit of pause, I guess, and caused me to look back over recent posts and while there’s only really this one of late where I go all Baudelaire, Larry probably had a point, although I do think the concern that students might link a teacher’s ramblings to their Facebook pages and potentially cause problems for his or her career is a bit over-the-top.

The thing is, it’s mostly a matter of content, which in the simple life of a community college instructor, can be hard to come by. In my ongoing effort to occasionally write about something rather than nothing, it’s only natural that my extra-curricular adventures feature prominently. And to the extent that deranged consciousness figures prominently in those, what else is there to write about?


Blogger Larry Livermore said...

The Detroit riots were in July of 1967.

11:46 PM  
Blogger dashap said...

Right. I got confused because the Pittsburgh version was after King got assassinated in 68.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

When our Dad came home white-lipped with fury, on the Saturday morning after the Friday riots, because there was a "pimply-faced kid" National Guardsman with a rifle in the parking lot of the East Liberty Sears store. Jack-booted thugs in the street of my home town, "I didn't fight WWII to be treated like this."

9:14 AM  
Anonymous lm said...

Baudelaire and Bukowski are both acclaimed for their coming of age themed novels. Maybe, your magnum opus won’t take the shape of your published works. Rather, it is manifesting as your memoir of debauchery. Who knows, maybe one day you will be famous for your coming of middle age theme blog. I’m not sure if that is any consolation to you.

Do many students snoop around their professor’s blogs? I bet those that do, wouldn’t want to defile the instructor’s standing. Surely not at the cost of losing your entertaining anecdotes.

6:40 PM  

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