I have a new blog. It’s not the blog I intended to start, and I’m not giving up on that one, so I can’t say for sure where this one is going. But I have a lot of ideas for it so I’m hoping it will have a decent little run.

This blog is about stuff. I don’t mean that in an intangible, catch-all, bloggy way. I mean that it is actually about stuff. Specifically, my stuff. Because I can’t ever throw anything out. I believe myself to be materialistic in the purest sense of the word: I attach a lot of value to things. So, if all of this crap surrounding me has value, then I am forcing myself to quantify what that value is. With stories. Or something.

Please read. If you like it, bookmark, feed read, whatever.



Today I learned that if you expect me to be your Boston tour guide, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Because I will say to you, verbatim, “This is Cambridge Common. Not Boston Common, like I told you yesterday. Important…historical things happened here.”

I graduated yesterday. I could say a lot of things about grad school and about Massachusetts, both institutions which I have treated with enormous disdain, for better and for worse. I’m thinking about doing some kind of wrap-up post, reviewing this blog and its subject’s high and low points, if nothing else because I have no job and thus nothing better to do. And if I follow through on the next blog I have in mind (hint: it has nothing to do with academia and everything to do with sports), I’ll keep you posted and will no doubt shamelessly beg you to read it.

For those of you who have read this (and stats tell me that you have, quiet though you may have kept it), I do want to say thank you for bearing with me through this ridiculous and sometimes accidentally poignant journey. This little inane side project has turned into, in many ways, my fondest record of the last two years, and I would never have kept it up were it not for its readers. So I thank you, and I remind you: if you ever want to go to grad school, and you also want to have a home someday, just make sure you lock up the mortgage before you sign your life over to the student loans. And make sure the kids know what to do with the art.

When the kiddies go marching in

Today I learned that when the undergrad houses march to commencement, each is accompanied by its own musicians. The old stuffy house gets a fifer and bugler. The new party house gets…a brass band bedecked in Mardi Gras beads.

I also learned that when the Harvard plans its commencement march, it should maybe confirm that Cambridge Common‘s sprinkler system isn’t scheduled to be running at full strength at the exact time of the march.

Class day

Today I learned that the universe will laugh at your determination to remain stressed and ambivalent toward graduation by making sure that the only time you can deal with your three-and-a-half-month-old library fiasco is during Harvard’s undergraduate pre-commencement activities, with a few hundred hungover kids and bright-eyed parents splayed all over Harvard Yard in shorts and baseball caps. And this is when when the universe will get you allllmost  in the library door before a voice rings out over the loudspeaker from the speech podium, and it’s the kid introducing pre-commencement speaker Andy Samberg, and that kid is one of your students. And you get a little choked up at this. Maybe more than a little. And then you’re forced to stand there and listen to Andy Samberg for a little bit, and in his speech Andy Samberg manages to include references to both Soul Man and Dick in a Box and even though this is kind of awesome it also means that universe, you are a shrewd little bastard.

This post is both sincere and wordy, thus breaking the cardinal cornerstone rules of this blog. Two days from graduation and I haven’t learned a thing.


Today I learned that when the going gets tough, you can check out a stress puppy from the Harvard library. I don’t know what the hell I’ve been doing checking out all these theses books, frankly.

It’s almost like real life

Today I learn that when you finish your thesis at 5 am, you’re going to sleep until noon and then do things like grocery shopping and laundry and to-do lists phone calls and e-mails and fantasy baseball and it’s going to be the most amazing, wonderful, glorious day of ridiculously mundane living that has ever happened.


Today I learned that Lady Gaga is always more interesting as an academic talking point than she is as a performer.

Never gets old.