November Pieces Of My Mind #1

November rose
  • Movie: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). US high school comedy: friendship, love, sex, lessons, pot, jobs in fast food. Grade: OK.
  • Dreamed that I improvised a jazz tune by making trumpeting noises with my lips, and some elderly black musicians were kind of impressed.
  • Through streaming music I keep discovering artists that went through their primes in recent decades without registering with me, and now I’m like “Ariel Pink is amazing” ten years after everybody stopped caring about Ariel Pink. This is a new way of having an outdated taste in music, not identical to hanging on to artists you liked as a teen. At 50 I’m discovering artists who were cool when I was 35.
  • I worry that the refugee situation along the Belarusian-Polish border will start generating clandestine mass graves.
  • Even though Italy is twice as corrupt as the US, Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in prison. I am hopeful that lowest-of-the-low former president 45 will end up behind bars.
  • My university gives employees and departments a set amount of “points” for publishing in journals. 200 points for Antiquity, zer0 points for the local history newsletter. This is silly, and the points scale is manifestly unfair to some journals. But it suits me because it’s clearly defined. For the first time in my academic career I know the rules of the game I’m playing.
  • Smug academic: I just turned down a request for an unpaid article in a museum catalogue. Because it wouldn’t even give me any academic “points”. And at long last I feel like I don’t need to engage in brand-building activity any more.
  • Over a game of Kingdom Builder at the con I asked a guy what his job was. He kind of winced and looked really defensive, then told me he works in a big grocery store. I felt a bit helpless to meet with the unspoken expectation that I would look down on him. I just replied “Excellent, so you’re the guy who keeps us from starving.”
  • The Roman Empire was highly organised which demanded copious official correspondence and record-keeping. Imagine the vast volume of written sources that have been lost…
  • Some Boomers who believed you shouldn’t trust anyone over 30 now have grandchildren over 30.
  • Version 5.14.1 of the Kindle firmware reinstates the recently lost Back To Previous Location button, but placed bottom left.
  • Lord Dunsany is mentioned only rarely and briefly in Tolkien’s published letters and in Carpenter’s biography. But always as someone everyone is familiar with.

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

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