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Flickr’s photos tell me that it’s cold and sunny in Canberra. I knew that already. The Lobby Bar is closing in Cork, which comes as a shock. (It’s a great venue.) And the Saguaros are flowering in Tucson. That means it’s really hot in Arizona right now—dangerously hot, in fact—just as I’m about to return there. One advantage of desert life, though, is that it’s possible to live in a more-or-less solar powered house.
Just back from a weekend in Sydney. The Australasian Association of Philosophy’s annual conference started today. We went down a few days early and I fled back to Canberra this morning before the philosophers really got going. Laurie presents her paper later in the week, but this afternoon she was on a Career Workshop panel about balancing career and family. At precisely the time she was doing this, I was back in Canberra, standing at the side of the road with a small baby, wondering what to do next.
I’m off to UCLA tomorrow to give a talk to their Comparative Social Analysis group. Provided, that is, I don’t get shot on the way to campus.
Hello from a motel in Little Rock, Arkansas, which turns out to have free ethernet. (The motel, not the city.) Today’s route ran from near Salem, SC, up I-85 to Spartanburg, SC where I picked up I-26 to Asheville, NC, where you hit I-40. The drive across the Smokies was beautiful, though there were some brutally heavy rainstorms. Then I drove across the whole of Tennessee, lengthways. The first city was Knoxville.
After a year of leave in Australia (well, someone has to act as a counterweight to all those Aussie backpackers), I just arrived back in the U.S. Three observations:
It should not surprise you that making a c.1 year-old boy watch the in-flight TV system for six hours of a Sydney-to-Los Angeles flight would lead to emotional problems (viz, crying, screaming, kicking) for the following six hours. It seemed to surprise the parents of the c.
So Bristol was great up to the point where the hotel phoned me at 7:30 this morning saying that my car had been broken into. Back window knocked out and crap everywhere. They didn’t steal the Ligeti CD.
Went biking out at Mt Majura with Simon ‘I only became an academic after finishing a career as a professional cyclist’ Niemeyer this evening, the first time I’d been on a trail in more than two months. Big mistake. Huge.
Until this afternoon, a Google search for the phrase ‘Valentine Poem’ promptly returned this elegaic masterpiece high on the first page of results. (I know this because its been the most popular search referrer to my website for each of the past ten days.) Written last year by one of the leading poetic talents of his generation, I think it’s a lot better than the crap it got displaced by—but whoever said democracy makes the best choices?
I’m having my least Christmas-like Christmas ever, mostly because I’m living in Canberra. I understand that it’s unreasonable to expect Christmas to proceed as normal amidst the gum trees and sunshine, and of course there’s a lot to be said for adapting traditions to fit the circumstances. At the same time, I can see why the first transplants from Europe held so grimly to traditions that were absurdly out of whack with their situation.
Later this afternoon, I’ll be heading off to join the Social and Political Theory Program at the Australian National University’s Research School of Social Sciences, where I’ll be spending most of the next year. I probably won’t be posting much for the next few days while I find my way to Canberra. On the other hand, I’llb be sitting around in airports a lot, and might not be able to resist the lure of wireless access if it exists.
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