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.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Miscellaneous Thoughts & Emotions

My wife and I and kids went on a brief trip for a few days to a neighboring state. It was wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable.

Sadly, it made all the more apparent my anger and frustration and hurt feelings about the impending arrival of "Super Puppy". Frankly, in thinking through this topic most of the morning, I have come to realize more fully that I have nothing to be upset about with "Super Puppy". He is a nice fellow, and I am going to do my damnedest to become his friend and associate. Where my anger, rage, and enormously hurt feelings arise is in my significant hatred of those members of my Department who are such evil, two-faced bastards of immense order. They do not give a royal damn about me and they never have, and I despise them for it with every fiber of my being. I have put in a huge amount of time effort and sweat in trying to make a difference in my Department. I have tried to make things better and stronger and as valuable as I could for the Department and for the students.

Unfortunately, most people in the Department, especially the five whom I now fully despise and would prefer to never speak with again (partially because of their vote, but mostly because I am fed up to my ears with their hypocritical, two-faced b*llsh*t. Let us examine them in detail:

Donald: The oldest member in our Department and the biggest, most selfish one of the lot. He thinks his being Chair is something special, but mostly he is a deluded, nasty little man who is given the Chair's job because no one else wants to have to deal with it. This fellow has a mean streak a mile wide and 100 feet deep. He also tries to pawn off about half of his Department Chair duties onto me, and I have decided to not do a damn bit of it anymore.

Samuel: The big blowhard of the group. He bellows at will and expects everyone to jump at his beck and call. At times he can be a nice fellow, but his bellowing is tiresome and his continual use of it to get his way makes him an annoyance of the highest order.

Earl: A scrawny, sunken-chested sort of fellow who is more two-faced than anyone I have ever met. It was only 2-3 years ago that this nasty fool, himself, pitched a royal fit when someone suggested in a different hire that we hire someone who overlapped Earl in a SINGLE area... basically in ONE particular course they could teach. His about face concerning this new hire (Super Puppy) who OVERLAPS ME IN EVERY TEACHING AND RESEARCH AREA allows me to see how utterly despicable and two-faced he is. Not only that, but he is a mean and nasty person at the Department meetings who tried to castigate me as I expressed my desire to not hire "Super Puppy" when we were making the decision. He basically stated in a snide and snippy manner "What is wrong with him having some overlap with you?" when he had so recently pitched a royal fit. He is the sneakiest one because he pretends to be pleasant and cheery most of the time, but he is simply nasty.

Hattie: The oldest woman in our group in terms of tenure. She shares many of the same qualities with Earl in being two faced. There have been at least three recent hires where she b*tch*d up and down about hiring someone who ONLY OVERLAPPED HERSELF IN ONE SMALL AREA. Again, this is unlike the relationship between me and Super Puppy WHO OVERLAP IN EVERY WAY except he is younger, "cooler", and "trendy" so all the kids will flock to him like girls used to do to the Beatles in the early days.

Theresa: The most surprising, but I think I had my head in the sand about her. This woman b*tch*d and moaned about all these "injustices" she experienced right and left ad infinitum. One particular "injustice" of hers was in my estimation, quite valid, and I worked over a period of two years to fix it and make it right by working with and trying to convince the Department to make some changes in regards to her. So, after I spearheaded this and was actually successful, what is it... two years later and this rude, obnoxious woman back stabs me in ala "et tu Brute" style? To say that I have lost any respect for her or her manner is an understatement.

* * * * *

Well, it seems likely today that I will reach the 100,000 mark on my hit counter. That should be interesting and enjoyable.

* * * * *

I shall stop writing for today and try to find a way to keep my spirits from falling back into the abyss of anger, hurt, and resentment now that I feel a bit better having talked to you, my readers about my emotions on this matter.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Finals Tomorrow

I am counting the moments... I give my final exam tomorrow. I am then free until the start of Fall Semester!

Except I am now grading 50 papers, 50 exams, 50 lab exams, and will add 50 final exams to that mix. And, then I will be cleaning my labs, catching up on research, planning for the Fall, and planning for the Winter.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beer & Chocolate Chips

As I sit here at the computer, it has been another very long Tuesday... but it is the last one as my late Tuesday class ended this evening! I will now have the better part of two months of freedom (actually, it will start this Thursday because I have my day class still taking their final this Thursday.

Yet, oddly enough, to celebrate, I have drinking some beer from a local microbrewery and eating chocolate chips out of the Nestle morsels bag.


Saturday, June 21, 2008


I ate four apples in the last ten minutes. I am not sure there is any importance to this fact, but I wanted to write something for Saturday.


Friday, June 20, 2008

A List

Duloxetine (aka Cymbalta) - is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) used for major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), pain related to diabetic neuropathy. Duloxetine can cause hepatotoxicity in the form of transaminase elevations. It may also be a factor in causing more severe liver injury, but there are no cases in the NDA database that clearly demonstrate this. Use of duloxetine in the presence of ethanol may potentiate the deleterious effect of ethanol on the liver.

Fluoxetine hydrochloride (aka Prozac) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. Fluoxetine is approved for the treatment of clinical depression (including pediatric depression), obsessive-compulsive disorder (in both adult and pediatric populations), bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, panic disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Fluoxetine has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of clinical depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa and panic disorder.[9] Fluoxetine was shown to be effective for depression in 6-week long double-blind controlled trials where it also alleviated anxiety and improved sleep. Fluoxetine was better than placebo for the prevention of depression recurrence when the patients, who originally responded to fluoxetine, were treated for a further 38 weeks. Efficacy of fluoxetine for geriatric as well as pediatric depression was also demonstrated in placebo-controlled trials.

Paroxetine (aka Paxil) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It was released in 1992 by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. In 2006 it was the fifth-most prescribed antidepressant in the United States retail market, with more than 19.7 million prescriptions.[1] The prescription of this drug is controversial because of side effects such as suicidal ideation (thoughts of suicide) and withdrawal syndrome which have resulted in legal proceedings against the manufacturer.

Citalopram (aka Celexa) is an antidepressant drug used to treat depression associated with mood disorders. It is also used on occasion in the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder and anxiety. Citalopram belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Citalopram can have a number of adverse effects. In clinical trials, over 10% of patients reported one or more of the following side effects: fatigue, drowsiness, dry mouth, increased sweating (hyperhidrosis), trembling, headache, dizziness, sleep disturbances, insomnia, cardiac arrhythmia, blood pressure changes, nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhea, heightened anorgasmia in females, impotence and ejaculatory problems in males. In rare cases (around over 1% of cases), some allergic reactions, convulsions, mood changes, anxiety and confusion have been reported. Also sedation may be present during treatment of citalopram. If this occurs it is advisable to take the dose at bedtime instead of in the morning.

Sertraline hydrochloride
(aka Zoloft) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It was introduced to the market by Pfizer in 1991. Sertraline is primarily used to treat clinical depression in adult outpatients as well as obsessive-compulsive, panic and social anxiety disorders in both adults and children. In 2007 it was the most prescribed antidepressant on the US retail market, with 29,652,000 prescriptions.The prescribing information recommends that treatment of the elderly and patients with liver impairment "must be approached with caution". Due to the slower elimination of sertraline in these groups, their exposure to sertraline may be as high as three times the average exposure for the same dose.[115]

Bupropion (aka Wellbutrin or Zyban) is an atypical antidepressant that acts as a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, and nicotinic antagonist. Bupropion belongs to the chemical class of aminoketones and is similar in structure to the stimulant cathinone, to the anorectic diethylpropion, and to phenethylamines in general. Initially researched and marketed as an antidepressant, bupropion was subsequently found to be effective as a smoking cessation aid. The common adverse effects associated with 12-hour sustained-release bupropion (with the greatest difference from placebo) are dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, tremor, excessive sweating and tinnitus. Those that most often resulted in interruption of the treatment in the same trial were rash (2.4%) and nausea (0.8%).

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Thank you all for your most recent comments. Especially those pertaining to "SuperPuppy" who will be arriving at any moment. The clock ticks the harsh "click" every second that passes as his arrival draws near. In my mind it sounds as if a timer for the explosion of a bomb that will destroy all that I have known.

I went to visit my father and mother's grave yesterday evening. There is a term in psychology called "Lack of Affect" which refers to a blank expression that some patients will show due to a mental illness that prevents them from displaying the typical facial expressions due to the activities of life. For me, I feel an emotional "Lack of Affect" at the moment. Perhaps the lack of ability to feel and perceive happiness is a byproduct of my strong internal desire to shield myself the horrors of the grief and sadness over the losses I have experienced in the last few years and of the loss of self I fear will begin to happen in just a brief while with "SuperPuppy". Perhaps I am destined to be forever more in a neutral purgatory of non-emotion for my own safety and protection. The grief of the prior losses and the grief over the impending loss of self may be too much for my gentle psyche to bear without crumbling into death much like pine needles when they fall from the tree will grow brown, brittle and eventually revert to dust.

I am still forcing myself to exercise each morning, although it is nearly torturous for me as I do not want to do the activity. I have decided to forgo my morning coffee and my pipe today (until I leave this evening) as well to attempt to grow and become better and stronger in some way.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day to Forget

Another horrendously long day of teaching is past. I arrived at 7:45am and left at 9:45pm with only two 15 minute breaks. I had several instances where I became sad, irate and despondent over the impending arrival of "puppy". It sends a deep and deadly chill down my spine to think about his arrival and also reignites my anger and actual hatred towards members of my Department.

I want to learn how to not feel so threatened. I want to figure out how to keep my own sense of worth and value. I want to feel special and valued in the Department. I want to feel unique. I would like it to be that he and I become friends, and that we can work together and collaborate. But, I fear and dread that instead he will try to usurp me at every venue, be "cooler", "trendier", and a "hottie" in comparison to me and everyone will flock to befriend him and I will be isolated and alone.

I do not want to disappear emotionally or spiritually.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Gerbil On A Wheel

My wife and I had a wonderful day on Sunday. Father's Day was a beautiful day, and the kids were a pure delight in every way, shape, and form. I love them dearly. In the afternoon, we went to my wife's sister's home to celebrate Father's Day for my father-in-law. That too was quite delightful.

We decided to bring chicken for the grill. We concocted a marinade for the chicken that consisted of fat free Italian dressing, rosemary, and a secret mix of various Southwestern spices that I put together. We allowed the boneless chicken breasts to marinade in the mixture for roughly 8 hours prior to grilling. At my sister-in-law's house, my wife volunteered to man the grill and cooked hamburgers and hotdogs and of course our wonderful chicken. My wife took great care to cook the chicken slowly and carefully and when it was finished it was absolutely the most delectable chicken I have eaten from the grill in my entire life.

What my wife and I decided to both do was take pieces of the grilled chicken breast and dice them and make a humongous salad (The other item we brought to the dinner for everyone was a big salad of 5 different greens plus cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Added to this we had sides of Gorgonzola cheese, onions, olives, walnuts, dried cranberries.) We ate our fill and it was utterly delightful. There was also enough extra that my wife and I had the same for dinner in the evening.

* * * * *

Sleeping was a chaotic affair. I had two difficult and also odd nightmares:

#1 - A home in our neighborhood suddenly disappeared. All that was left was its foundation. Initially, in my dream, I thought someone simply moved the home to a new lot nearby. But, in the dream, it was eventually determined that the home was stolen! I am not sure why I had this particular dream, but it was quite disconcerting and in the dream I spent much of the time talking to a pair of detectives (one a police detective and one a private detective... who were oddly enough identical twin brothers) about the crime scene. Their questions made me think I was becoming a suspect.

#2 - This nightmare consisted of two parts. In part "A" I happened to meet the barber I had visited since I was a kid at the local mall. He pulled me over and asked me to sit with him and explain the medical test results he had just gotten back from his doctor. I read through the paperwork and sadly explained to him that he was diagnosed with a form of cancer. My barber friend, nodded his understanding and the last part of this nightmare I remember is seeing him bent over, his head in his hands as he was crying on the bench at the mall. The dream may have paused a bit, but then proceeded into part "B". In part "B" it was several weeks later and I was at my barber's house. He was irate and in this portion of the nightmare he took out a gun and fired it at his front window and then came at me and pointed it directly against my chest. The angle of the barrel of the gun would obliterate my thoracic cavity, pulverizing my heart into human hamburger if he fired. I stood there frightened beyond belief, not knowing what to do. I then woke up from the nightmare and it was actually 3:45 am.

* * * * *

After sitting up for 15-20 minutes, letting the dream's vividness and terror dissipate from my mind, I went back to sleep. The morning was quite nice as I do not teach on Monday's during this half session. My wife and I were able to engage each other in delightfully slow, gentle, and passionate intimacy. As our bodies intermingled and intertwined we touched and massaged each other. After teasing and coaxing and physical exertion, we each of climaxed with a release of fluids and fell heavily into bed in each other's arms and fell back asleep for perhaps a half an hour or so. We then talked some and coaxed each other to get get up for the day and walk together outside and visit the gym This hour long walk reminded me a bit of being a gerbil on a wheel... it had no purpose other than exercise, but it was made more enjoyable today because my wife and I both did it together, and enjoyed the time spent together.

I am now at work preparing for Tuesday teaching.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kentucky Bluegrass

Not a whole helluva lot to write about. I seem to have lost the ability to taste the flavor of life, to drink it its nuances, to consume its richness. It seems these days that I simply exist and I simply drift. Drifting from one task to the next, from one step to the next. Time passes slowly or quickly, it matters not, for it simply prattles on quietly like the grains of sand falling to the base of an hourglass... meaningless, yet too full of meaning due to the impending sense of finality, of death, of the end.

My wife and I have had a rough day on Saturday. The issue is as always, communication. There are perhaps 2-3 behaviors that each of us has that can so easily trigger misunderstanding and hurt feelings. We both try to watch out for them, but they happen none-the-less. Saturday's incident revolved around one of us giving the other "attitude" which caused hurt feelings. The "attitude" was given because one of us thought a decision had been reached on an (extremely inconsequential) issue, whereas the other of us did not yet feel we had made a firm decision. The one of us who believed we had a firm decision became quite disagreeable towards the other of us who felt the issue was still being discussed.

I used to feel satisfaction in so many things in life. In work, in doing things for my family, in volunteering, in reading, in writing, in goals of all manners and sorts. Now I seem to have forgotten or grown immune to feeling satisfaction in just about every thing I do. I am just going through the motions of late. It feels sad. It is simply one task after another task to work through. No joy, no sorrow, no anything. Yet, nothing is so egregious that I have enough stimulus or energy to change it. I simply drift.

Perhaps the largest "success" I have had in the last 10 weeks or more is that the rolls of sod I purchased have seemed to meld well with the rest of the lawn and appear healthy. The rolls of sod were made from Kentucky Bluegrass seed. Yippee.

I miss my father. I miss my mother. I miss myself.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Keeping Up

Keeping up with the exercise/water/holistic foods. It does make me feel better physically. I am still having many moments of anger thinking about the impending arrival of the "puppy" in the Department.

Yesterday on a whim, I decided to forgo my pipe during the entire day until I was finished teaching at 10pm. It was actually pretty successful for I spent a fair amount of time ruminating about how pleasant the pipe would be at 10pm. The daydreaming of that moment helped the time to seem to pass more rapidly. I was able to instill a sense of anticipation in my mind, thinking more vividly about how the experience would be when I allowed myself the pleasure.

As I drove home in my truck, I enjoyed the first pipe of the day and it was delightful. I noticed more the beautiful nuances in the leaf, appreciated more the nature of the hobby, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience as I quietly traveled down the deserted country roads towards home.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Good Effort

My wife and I both ate well, we both exercised, and we both drank the prescribed quantity of water today. It made us both proud. We even spent the afternoon working in the yard.

Our tasks were to a) walk five miles, b) weight train at the gym, c) eat only healthy, whole, holistic foods in a "monastic" style, and d) drink one gallon of water prior to 4pm and then we could have other beverages if desired after that one gallon mark.

Overall a very good day. Yet, I had several moments of extreme irritation at my Department in general and my Department Chairman in particular because of the way they treated me concerning this new hire. The whole lot of them (the Department) are two faced, rude, and obnoxious folk. They talk a big load of b*llsh*t about caring and wanting to do what is "right", but in reality they are selfish b*st*rds who screwed me over royally because it protected their own little world and made life easier for them. It really disappoints me and my whole mindset and impression them is irrevocably changed.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Starting Again

In another attempt, I am starting to engage in regular exercise and eat more simply (holistically) starting today. Sunday was a bit of a dry run through of the concepts. I am very pleased that my wife is interested and enthused about participating with me in this endeavor. I think we have a better than usual chance of success this time as there are NO major obstacles (extremes in work, various family events, etc) that typically upset my plan and typically lead to the resulting failure.

I truly believe that if I (and my wife) can adopt the planned exercise pattern, food pattern, and water pattern successfully for THREE weeks, we would a) see enormous emotional benefit, b) we would see physical benefit, and c) we would have the routine set enough in our day-to-day activities that we can successfully avoid the feelings of failure when we eventually DO have to deviate from the plan for events beyond our control occasionally.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

T Minus 1500 and Counting

It is only about 1500 hits away from a large milestone. I am approaching the 100,000 hit mark on my blog. Please do not laugh. It is a large number for me.


Thursday, June 05, 2008


Message To Cami and Others

This post is directed towards Cami's comment to possibly use "Google Documents" as my organizational search engine. It seems very intriguing. I am going to try to explore more what this program will do. However, here are some questions I am hoping you or others may be able to answer:

1. What advantage will Google Scholar have for me?

2. I am trying to keep track of the variety of journal articles I have in which some are in electronic format but others are currently only in paper format (the older articles). I would like to be able to search by author name, title, date, and study animal or subject. Additionally, I would like my search to reveal the location where I am holding the article. I am keeping them in either a metal or electronic file cabinet depending upon which form they are in. Each article is identified by a file name or number and I would like these to be revealed to me when I locate a document via the search engine.

3. Does this seem workable with Google Documents?

Again, advice from any and all would be greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Run Down

The title is a sort of double entendre in that a) I am going to give you a general run down of what has been happening with me and b) that I am feeling rather "run down" at the moment.

1. I have been working very hard at teaching. Another hellishly long Tuesday (teaching from 8:00am until 10:00pm with only two 15 minutes breaks.

2. I have been laying sod, and planting flowers, and planting a garden.

3. I did not teach today, but arrived at 8:00am and worked until noon on assignment sheets for the classes.

4. I have been struggling to find some viable grant opportunities for me to work towards.

5. I have been struggling with trying to become organized in my research articles. This is no small task as I have several thousand research articles with no usable organization currently. My old organizational scheme collapsed a few years ago and I have never picked up the pieces and worked towards a new organizational scheme. My new attempt does not use the "standard" which is EndNote. I find the program cumbersome and not user friendly and my secretary agrees. My new goal is to have the "card catalog" so to speak of my articles arranged in a never ending table in either Word or WordPerfect and tie in some sort of search engine that will allow me to look electronically at the titles and authors of the papers I have.

6. I have had to get my truck repaired. It needed a new "U" joint.

7. I have been struggling with very limited success to start and maintain an exercise program.

But mostly, I have been teaching, teaching, and more teaching (see #1). When does the fun start?