I haven't posted in the past couple of weeks, for some fairly diverse reasons. I started reading a Hugo award-winning novel and after 50 pages of drudgery, had to set it aside. Maybe I just wasn't in the right head space for it, because it was supposed to be funny and I couldn't find anything so much funny as trying really hard to be funny. I put it back in the reading stack, so I'll end up giving it another shot eventually.
Then I read the Nebula-winning Slow River, which was quite good but has caused all sorts of conflicting ideas about why it's good, so I haven't been able to pull together a review yet. And now I am about 50 pages short of finishing a novel that I see described as a masterpiece, and my ideas about its value are getting mixed in with my thoughts about Slow River such that…well, it's hard to write. I was talking with a regular reader last evening, and I realized that in a lot of cases, I sometimes clarify my own thoughts by writing and perhaps I should sit down and try to bang it out. So that's what I'll probably end up doing in the next couple of days.
On the home front, Mrs. Speculator has gone back to college, and the first couple of weeks have been exhilarating. She's doing awesome, as her grades will attest, but the shared office has changed its tone a little—it's more of a personal study space for her than before and, through no action on her own, I feel like my being there while she is working might be something of a distraction. And since it's hard to post a blog without a computer, I'm not writing as much. An interesting repercussion of her return to school is that, of course, thoughts of doing the same flit about in my head. There's just something awesome about college; if I could win the lottery, I would be a lifelong student. I spent…oh my (going to check the resume)…the better part of 12 years pursuing degrees with mixed success. I jokingly talked with a friend about chasing a degree in film studies, but then in an attempt to take a break from work and think about something else, found that I might be just 12 hours shy of an actual B.A in English with a concentration on film, with those 12 hours all being devoted to actual film classes. It's so very tempting, and Mrs. Speculator is being a lovely partner when she chimes in with the well-reasoned thought: "Go for it!" At the same time, I am reminded how much I loved teaching, as Mrs. Speculator asks for input on her assignments and I find myself falling into the pattern of Socratic discourse and evaluating rhetorical skills. Not to mention reviewing papers beyond what my job currently calls for: discussing how to more effectively make an argument rather than pleading with a subject matter expert to please answer my question. So, when I'm not thinking about what aspects of a book make it literarily "great", I'm pondering little things like going back to college. Not really good for writing.
And then, given Mrs. Speculator's studies, we've been hard pressed to take time to see any movies. I had some interest in Surrogates (and not just because of the song in the soundtrack from Breaking Benjamin), and it was so bad that it might even be out of the theatres now. I have a lot of interest in Where the Wild Things Are (and a lot of that is in fact because of the trailers that include music from Arcade Fire) but finding time to see it is not coming easy. And the Netflix copy of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has been sitting on the TV stand for probably two months now. So no movies to review. Also, we're also hard-pressed to watch TV, and the DVR is filling up. Though I do have some thoughts on the new season of Big Bang Theory, so there's a blog post there also.
And, finally, it's college football season! This is what the fall is all about and being a season ticket holder, it is incumbent upon me to practice fiduciary responsibility by using the tickets I have already purchased, and then I should probably watch the away games on TV, and some games featuring teams that the Wolfpack are going to play, and some games of national importance, and then some other games that aren't so important, and then some other games that are interesting because it's college football for heaven's sake. As I was reading comics last night, I had the TV jumping back and forth between the classic rock music channel and the Tulsa-UTEP football game (why am I watching Tulsa and UTEP??). Yeah, I got it bad when it comes to college football. And Mrs. Speculator, being the brilliant wife she is, just permits it to consume me for the fall months.
Did I mention comics? DC has really turned things around in the past months, due in no small part to Blackest Night, so there's stuff to write about there also.
All these potential blog entries and what do I do? Write about things I can write about and, oh yeah, change the name of the blog.
If you haven't noticed, I've removed my nom de plume/de guerre and attached my real name to the profile. I decided if I wanted to try to do this seriously, seriously enough that I could use it as a reference for potential side jobs or a career change, I had to identify myself. And then, I also figured I needed a more accessible name, something that would not only roll off the tongue, but paradoxically, stick in the reader's mind. And while "Perrynomasia" made me chuckle and my wife giggle, it was awful esoteric and, you know, hard to say or remember (see it's a pun about punning, a metapun…). I've remembered the first rule of punning, the rule that everyone knows: if you have to explain it, the pun is ruined. And frankly punning by inventing a word that inserts a very Anglo-Saxon name into a technical Greek term…no fun any more (okay, it still makes me chuckle).
So I've been racking my brain for the past 10 days or so for a new name. I actually tried to find the name of the medical scanner in Star Trek—you know the little whirly thing that transmits to the tricorder so that Bones or Dr. Crusher can read the results. I thought it was called a "Fimbrini device" or something like that, based on memories of my old Star Trek Technical Manual, but that's clearly not it since a Google search returns no hits (and who took my Star Trek Technical Manual?). Anyway, I could recently be spotted at intersections, waiting for the light to change with a glazed look as I tried to think of something witty for a title. So of course it hit me last night while I was reading comics and either listening to Journey and The Outlaws or the Golden Hurricanes take the lead over the Miners (oh, look at that: UTEP came back to win). There's no telling where inspiration comes from.
Plus, you know, it's sort of a pun, and it makes me chuckle.
So I got a new name, and with it a promise to buckle down and get some writing done. You know me; it's not like I'm reluctant to talk about my opinion….