Saturday, June 28, 2008

Argh

I hate being away from my family. I love Mickelle more than anything else in the world, even more than Cherry Coke.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Añoranza" a poem by Juan Balboa Boneke

"Añoranza"

Quisiera volver a mi ayer,
quisiera ser de nuevo niño
y con los pies desnudos
correr por las pedregosas
calles de mi verdad rebolana.

Quisiera volver a mi niñez
para jugar y saltar,
para cantar y reir, y para llorar, qui-
zás:
pero en la libertad.

Sí, quisiera volver;
quisiera volver a mi ayer.

Ayer...ayer niño fui,
hoy, hombre soy,
y mañana, ¿qué seré?

Sí, quisiera volver;
quisiera volver
a mi inocente libertad.

...
Juan Balboa Boneke, Equatorial Guinea


"Longing"

I would love to return to my yesterday,
I would love to be a child again
and with bare feet,
run down the rocky
streets of my *Rebolanian truth.

I would love to revisit my childhood
To play and jump,
To sing and laugh, and to cry, per-
haps:
but only if I'm free.

Yea, I would love to go back;
I would love to hie to my yesteryear.

Yesterday, I was but a boy, yesterday,
today, I am a man,
and tomorrow, what will I be?

Yea, I would love to return;
I want to return
to my innocent freedom.

...
Translation by Mac Williams 6-25-08

feedback is welcomed
*the adjective rebolana refers to the childhood village of the poetic voice.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dr. Williams Goes to Washington

So, I came in on the train last night. The supposed 8-hour trip tuned into 10 1/2 hours due to "track work" which is Amtrak doublespeak for congestion on the lines. I felt like the bright-lights-big-city character in countless movies as they come into a big city. Even though I came here in 1985, time has erased most of my visual memories of the place, so seeing all the monuments, all lit up at night, was nice.



Norman and Kimberley Sandridge let me stay with them last night and tonight; they have lovely home in Silver Spring, MD. I took the metro to Howard today, and after a sweaty 20-minute uphill walk, I made it to Locke Hall and the institute. So far, so good.



Washington, DC is far dirtier and seedier than I expected. There are lots of boarded up business on thoroughfares, the sidewalks are filthy, and many people smell as if they need baths. The DC I imagined is not reconciling with the DC I am experiencing; but it's only my first day, I'm sure after five weeks I'll have a different opinion.



I'm going to meet up with Tim tonight to go out for a little bit. He's going to loan me his car for two weeks, which should just be stellar, as I won't have to take the bus from Howard home to La Plata, MD with my cousin Robby for the next two weeks. It will also free me up to stay downtown longer and tour the museums.



I am grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for making this wonderful opportunity possible.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary: June 20, 1998 - June 20, 2008

CLICK THE PHOTO!


So what's the big celebration going to be? We had plans to go to dinner, but Jack woke up from his nap with a fever, looking like he might vomit at any moment. So, those plans are nixed in favor of a quiet evening at home. I'm disappointed, but I love him more than a million fancy dinners with Mickelle. I just hope he's better by tomorrow so we can have some fun before I leave.

If you look really closely, you can see my best man, Paul Dunn, strutting behind his handywork. Oh Paul, happy belated birthday, by the way. :P

1,000th Post and Why Do Scientist Need So Many Jimmy Hats?

I guess the scientists at the US McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica are studying the effects of sub-zero temperatures on the libido, what with the news that 16,500 condoms, a year's supply, were recently delivered. Given that ten years ago today, my first day of active duty, I reached the zenith of my diurnal coital output, and that that would still be insufficient to exhaust their supply, I am astounded that so few people could need so many prophylactics. That's stamina! I want to make crude jokes about this via the lyrics to Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song," but I'm not gonna.






























The Hammer of the Gods!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ten Years Ago Today & Tomorrow

'Twas ten years ago today that Paul Dunn and I went to see the X Files movie. I was a nervous wreck, not because I was worried about whether Mulder would be killed by the alien virus in the Antarctic, but rather because I couldn't wait for the following day, my wedding day. It's been ten years tomorrow since Mickelle and I were married in the St. George, Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That's a long time, but it really has flown by, in the sense that the days are long, but the weeks, months, and years are short.

As she sits in our house gestating our third child, I am reminded of the excitement of that day, of how I couldn't wait to be married. While part of my anxiousness was a powerful anticipation of more purient interests, the main reason was that I could finally hang out, non stop, with my best friend. She was a vision of loveliness as we had our wedding photographs taken, as I sweated to death in a black tuxedo in the late-June St. George sun. Paul, my best man, rescued me with some timely Coca-cola from Arby's, otherwise I might not've made it to the ceremony.

After the wedding, we had a luncheon for close family and friends, and we were done with all formalities and festivities by 4:30PM. We had to go and scrape the decorative paint off my car before the 100-degree heat baked the paint permanently into the finish (nevermind the myriad scratches the assailants caused, poor Bob Marley), and then we checked into the Abbey Inn. The next morning, we got up, drove the Slat Lake City and caught a plane to Atlanta, and then San Jose, Costa Rica for our honeymoon. We were there nine days, then we came back and stayed in Georgia for longabout a week. Finally, we went to St. George for a few days. Then life came back to reality; we were married, we had to work and study, but we were togther, in the same town, same roof, same bed.

June 20, 1998 was the best day of my life, and always will be.
I love you Mickelle Fonnesbeck!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ludicrous: The United States Marine Corps, Two Marine Corps Scumbags, and Animal Rights

So, screw the hiatus, I'm writing again today because this story has me hot and bothered:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/12/marine.puppy/index.html

The original video that got them in trouble can be viewed by clicking the below link. Even though I personally hate dogs due to their hatred of me and repeated attacks against me during the pizza delivery years (including multiple bites), what the guy does is sickening. I make no excuses that his behavior is justified. Be warned, the video makes you sad.


US Soldier throws puppy off cliff - Watch more free videos

However, this man is in Iraq, who knows what he's seen, how powerless he might feel etc. I am not justifying his actions; he's a cruel bastard, a stupid kid. But, he has been forced out of the Marine Corps over the life of a dog. A stupid, meaningless, mutt of a dog, from a place where dogs are reviled for being considered unclean creatures. What sickens me as much as his behavior are the comments from blogs about what dog-lovers hope happens to him. They range from "I hope he dies a slow painful death," to "I hope the USMC throws him over a cliff," to "This monster should go to prison. To bad [sic] he did not die in Iraq, instead of decent military personnel."

Dogs are treated far worse in America every day, as are many many people on our streets, in our jails, children of abusive parents. Yet, let the canine-loving masses see a dog being killed and OH SHIT!, we'd better string that sonofabitch up.

Animals are not people, people; they are property. Killing an animal in cold blood is wrong, but that it's criminal, is criminal. This shit has got to stop.

For the record, if I had been there, I would've tried to stop him as soon as his arm went back, even though I hate, repeat hate, most dogs. The guy needs counseling, maybe an ass-whooping, but he does not deserve to lose his job.

Bragging on My Mentors

So, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the faculty of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane is ranked #2 in the nation.

Read all about it:
http://tulane.edu/news/newwave/061308_dunn.cfm

I had the pleasure to work and study under many of them, and I have to say that they were extraordinarily talented. I was so impressed with Dr. John Charles that I selected him as a reader on my committee without ever having taken a class from him. And then, well, Idelber Avelar is a man of staggering genius and intellect. I never asked him a question that he couldn't immediately answer, and I had some hard ones for him as I tackled literary theory, theology, philosophy, and popular culture in my dissertation. Furthermore, he understands everything, immediately, when you explain it to him. Wow, just wow. Dr. Laura Bass is the best teacher I had there; she's a natural in the classroom, and her Quixote class is not to be missed. Maureen Shea brought me into a whole new world of "Empire" and pushed me to challenge my Republican assumptions about American involvement in the rest of the world. Tatijana Pavlovic knows so much about Spain and Spanish culture that I always felt like she was Spanish. Henry Sullivan has a book called The Beatles with Jacques Lacan. Amazing!

I could go on praising, but Mickelle's asking me to help her do something. Just know this, I am forever grateful to Dr. David Laraway at BYU for recommending that I apply to Tulane. It was such a perfect fit for me, and I was blessed to know and work with such fine people.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Preparing for Washington DC/ Miscellany Hiatus

So, I'm getting prepared to go to Washington D.C. and I'm occupied with preparing to leave them family for five weeks. Therefore, my loyal reader(s), please don't expect to see many posts for the next two weeks. The blog is on unofficial hiatus until June 23rd. I might post, but don't count on it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Who Knew?

So, after being told my whole life to stay out of certain patches of plants because they would "itch me to death," and after believing my mom's admonitions my whole life, I naturally assumed that I was indeed allergic to poison ivy and poison oak, even though I knew from my grandfather that in spite of his own severe allergy to the plants, my dad was completely immune. So, because we had a blowout yard sale at my mom's this weekend ($2,100 sold including my dad's truck/still drowning in junk), I had to get into all sections of the yard. I had to get all the crap out of my grandpa's mouldering 1989 Dodge Caravan's that been oxidizing in the yard for ten years. I had to sell all the scrap iron to a metal sculptor ($25!) that's under the bunkhouse, which is surrounded by plants with "leaves of three."

So, I decided to test my own allergy. I've been on many a campout. I grew up in these woods, and I cannot remember ever having anything more than a momentary itch on my ankles. I walked around in the stuff like it wasn't there. I didn't even get an inkling of an itch.

I am impervious to poison ivy and poison oak. Bow before me mortals.







I'm not so sure about poison sumac. Maybe because it contains my name it's my herbaceous kryptonite.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008