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, September 18, 2023



As you know, I like words with multiple meanings.  The list I am providing below is of course a list (
a number of connected items or names written or printed consecutively, typically one below the other) but is also representative of the listing emotions I have experienced since turning in the grant of Friday.  In this second use of "list" I am using the definition of list as illustrated by my image of the ship above (a nautical term to describe when a vessel takes on water and tilts to one side)... which is not a good thing:

  • Thursday and Friday of last week I did run 10 miles each day (20 miles total (~32 km)) to reach my 50+ miles (~81 km) for the week.  
  • After turning in my grant Friday and doing some other odds and ends, I went home.  I really thought a beer or two would taste wonderful, but I was still feeling a rather strong trepidation about doing so because my resolve to refrain from my pipes was/is still at a very, very low point at the moment.  
  • Then.... as luck would have it.... my SIL and BIL (her husband, of course) were able to come over.  For about a year or perhaps a bit more now, we have been trying to get together at least once a month on a Friday to play Euchre.
  • So, I high-tailed it down to the liquor store and picked up a six pack of beer (glass bottles, not cans).  Neither my wife nor SIL drink and my BIL is similar in drinking to me, so a six pack would be plenty.  I was really in the mood for an IPA, so since I had not been to the liquor store in probably a year or more, I thought I would look around to see what they had.  And, I was delighted to see one IPA that I had had the opportunity to try at one of the research conferences I presented at about a year or so ago. I remembered it very fondly!  It was named "All Day" IPA and I recognized it immediately by the interesting label that I remembered from those I had at the conference. It is delightfully robust in deep, dark, malty/hoppy flavors!  
  • When my SIL and BIL arrived, it was quite fun.  We played Euchre for a number of hours.  We played (as usual) husband & wife teams.  As a husband and wife team, both teams are equally adept (perhaps I should say inept?) so we are pretty evenly matched.  In my team, my wife is the stronger player of the two of us.  In my SIL's team, her husband is the stronger player.... but as teams we are  evenly matched.  We ended up wining 1/2 of the games we played and my SIL & BIL won 1/2 of the games.  
  • I allowed myself the privilege of having ONE "All Day" IPA and it was even more delicious than I had recalled from the research conference.  My BIL did not choose to have any as he was taking some sort of new medication and he was not sure/didn't want to chance any odd interaction until he knew more.  
  • I do admit that the delicious/delightful "All Day" IPA *did* in fact make me so very much more tempted and desiring of having a pipe.  I did not do so, however, because a) I would have had to step outside (not good to expose my SIL nor BIL to my pipe smoke.... and hell, not my wife either... due to their medical challenges), and b) I did not really have TIME to do so as we were playing Euchre which does not really have "down times".  
  • As I KNEW we would be playing Euchre steadily for a few hours, THAT WAS WHY I felt reasonably safe in indulging in the delightful bottle of beer.  If we had not been playing Euchre, I do know the pull to my pipes was strong enough with one beer that I may likely have indulged.  And, if I would have had a second beer..... the probability would have been even more likely.  I calculated that the gentle, pleasant, "fuzziness" of the one beer would likely have completely dissipated by the end of the Euchre tournament, so I felt the probability was high enough that my feeble resolve would have built up enough by the time we were finished to not have much worry.
  • So, it was a beautiful evening.
  • The next morning, my wife and I went to meet "that which I no longer talk about here".  And, surprisingly it was a *reasonably* pleasant time.  It was not "kum by-yah and roses" by any stretch of the imagination.  But was nice.  
  • My wife and I were amazed and very pleased.  We decided to go swimming. Swimming was relaxing and invigorating simultaneously.  
  • We then went to the nearby parish for Saturday Mass. It is starting to feel rather home-like for both of us.  But, we are still trying to determine our best parish to commit to and have a few more to consider.  
  • Then, late on Saturday evening, "that which I no longer talk about here" decided to drop an enormous, new bombshell on us.  After receiving this news.... I was hurt, angry, and furious.  All I wanted to do was holler, curse, yell, etc.  But, this would not be fair for my wife.  She too was hurting.  Her typical way to try to dissipate the hurt is to watch mindless television programs.  That does not work for me and only increases my agitation. I excused myself from her company and went to my den, where I proceeded to work on grading of papers until ~2:30am. 
  • I then went to bed, but could not sleep.  I tossed and turned for a couple of hours.  In my mind, I realized that it was fruitless to try.  Instead, I got out of bed at ~4:30am and dressed up in my exercise clothes and decided to pound out 10 very angry miles.  This was Sunday morning.  I had already met my needed 50 miles (like I stated above).  And, the official tally week for running begins on Monday.  So, in effect, I actually ran a damn 60+ miles (~97 km) this past week.  It was not what I WANTED to do.  I had been looking forward to the rest days of Saturday and Sunday.  But it turned out to be what I NEEDED to do, as I pounded out with my feet some of the anger, resentment, stress, pain, sorrow, and aggravation as ran out those 10 damnable miles, cursing under my breath the first 6 or so miles and eventually tiring out enough to dissipate that anger into trying to pray the rosary for the last 3-4 miles.  
  • When I got back, my wife and I made breakfast.  We were still very hurt, sad, etc.  But... I was feeling my emotions were more manageable.  The television and sleep helped my wife feel her emotions were similarly more manageable.  
  • The rest of Sunday was pretty much a blur of not much.  We just both tried to stay emotionally even keel and not fall back into the deep pit of despair. 
  • Sunday evening’s definite high spot was that as a part of our dinner my wife and I each had a small piece of salmon.  And, my wife baked the salmon to utter perfection.  It was by far, the best salmon I have ever had..... restaurant or home.  My wife was even surprised at how damn near perfect it was.  
  • Today, I got up at 5:00am.  I pounded out 12.3 miles (~20 km).
  • I have big lectured for the last 4 hours.   

That is about it.



Blogger Margaret said...

So sorry about the bombshell and the subsequent upset. I've been there/am there. It's excellent that your wife and you have coping mechanisms; I'm more like you in that I need to do something physical. It's hard to concentrate on reading or TV when my mind and emotions are in a jumble. I love salmon!

Monday, 18 September, 2023  
Blogger Pat M. said...

Professor, it is so hard to know what to say about the "no longer talk about" situation. The best response would depend on so many factors you can't/shouldn't write about here.

If this person is committing and discussing criminal acts, I might worry that you and your wife are becoming accomplices by not reporting the person to the appropriate authorities. In the name of trying to preserve a relationship, you could be putting your career -- even your retirement -- at risk.

But if this is simply a clash of values that is putting you into what you describe as a "deep pit of despair", is there any way you can "let go" and acknowledge that this person may have made choices that should exclude the person from the most intimate parts of your life?

A family of police officers may be saddened by one member who chooses a life of crime. A family of firemen may be troubled by one member who indulges in arson. A family of Orthodox Jews may lament one family member who embraces Christianity.

People need to find their own way in life, and they sometimes find a way that brings disapproval. Professor, please don't reply to this message; instead, I urge you to find some counselor/advisor/priest with whom you can talk intimately and figure out whether you should dive more deeply into this conflict in a new way, or whether you should let go and accept that people around you have the right to ruin their own lives without hurting you. You certainly should not let someone throw you into a "deep pit of despair" -- and if you cannot change such a person's actions, perhaps your Capuchin friends can help you change your response. Please get some good counsel, Professor!

Monday, 18 September, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Ah well, you did have euchre and a good beer. Too bad about that other thing. It must be so hard.

Monday, 18 September, 2023  
Blogger Liz Hinds said...

What is euchre? I've never heard of it. I'm sorry what could have been a pleasant weekend turned into such an upsetting one.

Tuesday, 19 September, 2023  

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