The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I have allowed myself one bowlful of pipe tobacco each day since Friday. It has been utterly beautifuil, yet bittersweet.... for now my relationship with her is rationed. Yet, having that intimacy with my beloved tobacco pipe, albeit only once a day, is far, far more joyous than staying away from her love.

The need for atonement still is present , and I promise to talk more about it soon. But I must admit that I am pleased to have my pipe back even if only in a small way. It is nourishment for the mind, body, and psyche.


Thursday, March 25, 2004

It has now been 10 days since I have indulged in that joy that I can have from my beloved pipe and pipe tobacco. I do miss her gentle caress. I have been holding an empty pipe in my hand as I fall asleep at night in hopes that I will have dreams in which I indulge in that magical joy and that graceful art. Thus far, unfortunately, I have had no such dreams.

In fact, since I have started the time of atonement 10 days ago, I have had NO dreams that I recall, nor do I have any feeling of having had dreams in these last 10 days. This too is sad, for I have so enjoyed my dream life.... it had always been vivid and invigorating and a true help to my real life.... both the dreams of how to deal with real occurances and the dreams of pure fantasay.

I wonder if my refraining from smoking my pipe has changed my dream states? It could of course, simply be an effect from my need for atonement, but it is interesting to postulate that perhaps my beloved briar pipes have been a sort of conduit to my rich dream state these many decades.

I am soon going to be able to write about the REASON I have adopted this horrid and rather harsh form of atonement for myself. To deny myself the pleasure, friendship, and joy that my pipes bring me, means the need for atonement is enormous.


Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I have now refrained from that gentle, passionate love offered to me by my pipe for 8 days. It is an odd, melancholy sensation.... akin to being lonely. I miss the gentle caress of the creamy, chalky smoke as it fills my lungs, the buoying of the spirit as it excites the neurons of those emotional regions of my brain in the hypothalamus, the flavor of it upon my tongue, and the gentle scent of it upon my moustache and beard. I miss the physical feel of the bowl as it rests quietly in my shirt pocket waiting patiently for me to bring it back to life. I miss its warmth and friendship. My moustache is losing the gentle rusty tinge and is becoming the same salt-n-pepper grey as is the rest of my facial fur.

I have indulged in the beloved briar for the vast majority of my life, having first picked up one of my father's pipes as a young kid of eight one summer. I snuck back out into the woods with a small pinch of my father's Sir Walter Raleigh clenched in my young fist and a box of matches. Although the task was hard, and difficult to perform, when I finally had the pipe going, and accidentally inhaled a small plume of its richness..... I immediately fell in love. Pure bliss.

My fast from the briar pipe I so love is an atonement I feel I must do at this time. I hope that I shall soon be blessed with the state of mind with which I can again meld flame and leaf in that lovely bowl.... and at the same time meld with the pipe myself. I am eager to have that time arrive again soon.

Again, I shall write the details of my past week or so, in the near future. The events of this time have lead me to seek a new emphasis in my life.... one that will increase my joy.


Monday, March 22, 2004

The past week has been hell. Fortunately I am feeling a bit more collected and calm. Thank you for your concern. I shall write in detail what has been going on very soon. The only thing I shall mention right now is that I am currently not smoking my pipes. It has been one week today since I have begun to refrain from that joy.


Friday, March 19, 2004

Sometimes I just do not know what to think or do. Perhaps all I know or have known is wrong. Perhaps I am useless. I miss joy.


Thursday, March 18, 2004

I wish things felt better today, but they do not.


Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Life is sad, and I am an idiot. All I wish to do is cry and sleep.


Monday, March 15, 2004

Today's post will be short and to the point.... almost Hemingwayesque:

Friday: I did have a wonderful afternoon visiting the pipe shoppe with my father-in-law and indulging in our briar hobby. Afterwards, we both enjoyed a few very stiff drinks and relaxed, snoozed, talked, and smoked our pipes for the rest of the afternoon.

Saturday & Sunday: Nothing special to report. Utterly average days.... nothing noteworthy in either a positive or a negative sense. Calming.

Monday: I have come with a horrid case of laryngitis and an upper repsiratory infection. My doctor says it appears to the the common variety around these parts this season. He suggests I likely acquired said bacteria from a student. I am on heavy antibiotics and an expectorant. My voice sounds like I could play the role of virtually any gangster/mobster in the "Godfather" series of films.

Enough for now,


Friday, March 12, 2004

No new plot developments or character developments today. I shall spend a while ruminating which other characters I need to incorporate into the story.

I very much appreciate all comments! Now I think I will go and try to coax my father-in-law on a trip to the pipe shop and an afternoon of gentle inebriation.

It should be a nice afternoon!


Thursday, March 11, 2004

Thank you everyone for your comments. I greatly appreciate them. I do realize that my characters will need features to make them special and stand out like many of you have suggested..... I agree fully. In this initial stage of development, however, I am trying to iron out the average, mundane details to have the overall look of the book. As I eventually begin to write a first chapter, I will then have these synopses to fall back upon. After I flesh out these characters and settings, then I will attempt to build a basic plot outline.... there is where I will get a feel for the special aspects of each person and setting. When the characters and the plot is outlined, then I shall begin to write the story.

***************Another Installment***************

We shall now continue the....

The semi & pseudo autobiographical, fictional crime novel :
A work in progress and process

Goal... the scene.... the characters in this story inhabit a medium sized town whose primary "industry" now is its medium sized university and its two medium sized hospitals. The town was once much more vibrant and active as it was a blue-collar hub for jobs until the horrors of the recession of the 1980s descimated this and many other rust-belt towns. Employment reached a peak of 23% for part of the 1980s and is still above the national average in the more stable economic time. Most houses are older, very little new development has occurred anywhere in town in the last 20 years. However, by-and-large the people who remain (many moved away) are reasonably happy and content.

The time period for this story is summer in the current age.

***************End for Today***************

As always, comments are appreciated!


Wednesday, March 10, 2004


We shall now begin the....

The semi & pseudo autobiographical, fictional crime novel :
A work in progress and process

Todays goal... the main character: Theodore Malachowski, Ph.D. (aka Ted, Mac, and even though he does not like it, some in his immediate family call him Theo)

Ted is a university professor in a medium sized university in a medium sized town. He is a biologist by training, with specialization in endocrinology. Most of the time, he teaches classes in anatomy & physiology for his university, with the student population in his courses being a mix of pre-nursing majors, pre-medicine majors, education majors, and surprisingly criminal justice majors.

In his mid-to-late 50s, Ted has led a rather bookish life. He is in generally good health, although he tries to avoid medical doctors like the plague. He sports a full-beard and moustache and is balding on top. All of his hair, beard, and moustache is a rather striking salt-and-pepper coloration, but the tips of his moustache have a slightly rusty, reddish hue.

The reddish hue is in large part the result of one of his favorite hobbies, his beloved tobacco pipe, upon which Ted is very dedicated to. Other "hobbies" of his include drinking good wine, beer, gin, and whisky, reading, and hunting and fishing when he gets the time.

Although he is in two different leagues (a bowling league with his drinking buddies and a golf league with other faculty), he is not particularly fond of either sport and participates simply for the companionship.

Ted has been married to the same lovely lady for well over 30 years now and the two of them have six reasonably well-adjusted children.

The Malachowski home is a large, old farmhouse that is both at once charming and frumpy. His wife drives a late model Volvo station wagen, whereas he is rather stubborn and continues to drive his beat-up, rust bucket, small pickup truck.

***************End for Today***************


1. Do you get a reasonably complete mental image of this character and his motivations (or lack of motivations)?

2. Are there other personality characteristics for this individual that I should also develop prior to starting the story?

3. Do you tend to view this character in a positive or negative way? (Include why, please)

4. Additional comments or suggestions.

Thank you everyone. I hope you find this addition to my blog to be enjoyable.


Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I feel more at peace at the moment. Perhaps it was a reasonable night of sleep, or perhaps it was simply the start of a different day.

I am not sure if I am quite up to this task yet, but I have been ruminating for years about taking a stab at writing a full length novel. In my mind's eye at the moment, I have been leaning towards writing a detective/crime sort of story. Also, in my mind's eye, I am thinking I wish the main character to be a professor like myself, who only by happenstance gets involved in solving this mystery. In order to draw in the professor of the story, I think there will need to be a link to his field of study, so perhaps I shall make the villian or victim somehow have a link to endocrinology.

An interesting idea to think about. I would appreciate your comments. I may perhaps use part of my blog space as a sort of "chalkboard" upon which I can sketch out my ideas of this developing work.

I purchased a new leaf yesterday... it is a rum & raisin soaked burley. I am having the first bowlful in my office today as I write to you. It is a delightful leaf and is pleasantly robust. It tickles pleasantly the neurons of my mind.


Monday, March 08, 2004

The following is paraphrased and copied a bit from Plark's blog:


Great writers will frequently speak of their surprise at the way a book turned out. These people often sit down at the typewriter with only a bare outline. They start telling the tale and allow it to unfold naturally. Only if things get very muddled do they make a deliberate effort to force the plot in a certain direction.

As much as possible, perhaps we should let what seems to want to happen, happen. Why struggle to shape our story when it shapes itself?


Somehow, this seems a very fitting notion in my mind tonight. Perhaps it is part of why I am feeling more down than the feathers on a duck's breast? Perhaps life should be simply lived for what it is. Perhaps striving for goals and making things better is unrealistic and unwarrented? Perhaps I shall simply try to live life as it is.... and nourish my body, mind, and soul with ample food, drink, and pipe tobacco? It is tempting...... it sounds very appealing..... but should a man stop striving? I am not sure.


I cannot seem to shake off the blues. It feels akin to wearing concrete shoes. My body is heavy, my mind sluggish. I search in my mind for something happy, but each avenue, each alley way in my mind seems dark, blue, and foreboding.

I simply wish to feel happy and feel some sense of joy today. Please.


Well, my voice has returned and is pretty-much back up to snuff. I started to regain my voice on Sunday and actually much preferred the gravelly, gangster-esque quality to my vocals. If I had my druthers, I would have kept that quality of vocalization.

As is typical when I feel ill, I ruminate upon life and what and how I am living it. If there were one thing that I would most like to change about myself, it would be my "emotional milieu". I have spent many, many years creating and fostering a positive outlook and demeanor for myself. And, to a large extent, I am able to be that happy, positive person once I rev up my mental and emotional juices. However, deep inside my core, in the part of me that is my id (or perhaps my superego), I am still AT FIRST THOUGHT about damn near anything...... someone who is sad, someone who is afraid, someone who is negative, someone who is under stress, someone who is angry.

I feel this sad/afraid/negative/stressed/angry inner self, which I will now christen my "Sansa", is the bane of my existence, the tiresome core of my being, the aspect of myself that hinders me more than any other. If Sansa were to be gone from my life, I think my days would be more akin to Nirvana. The goal is how to get rid of Sansa.

I hate Sansa.


Saturday, March 06, 2004

It has been a while.

I have laryngitis and have done nothing noteworthy.... except sleep, smoke my pipe, slowly drink several high octane beverages to kill the germs in my throat, and read. I am rereading Huxley's "Brave New World". This is perhaps the 5th time I have read the book, but each read reveals something fresh.

Please join me and have a drink and a pipe to wish me well on my recovery. I need to be able to lecture fully on Monday.


Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Well.... here it is... the new look.

My attempt was to create a new apperance that would be more pleasant to view and hence make my blog more pleasurable to read.

I *do* like the look. The color scheme reminds me of a den or library or a quiet tavern. It is definetly a place I feel comfortble in.

I hope I constructed the damn thing correctly though.... I am concerned I may have lost something or neglected some tag or other.

Please comment freely (both positive and negative) about the new apperance.


Monday, March 01, 2004

I am working on a new look for my blog, but I am afraid to publish it because I think I may do so incorrectly and will destroy my archives or my links or my writings. I will keep working and trying to get comfortable enough to publish it later today or tommorrow.

Many pipes are proving helpful in getting my courage up, so I may go buy a fresh pound of leaf. :)