Weeknote 20

by Sunita

I should just have a standard opening for September: “work is kicking my ass. again. I’ll be back to more regularly blogging soon.”


We are almost done with the month, which means I might just get my midday hours back. Classes are going reasonably well; the students are engaged and for the most part I am managing not to lecture them in the seminars. I’ve found a rhythm for my law school JSD class, which helps.

I’m almost done with my immediate administrative responsibilities (how often have I typed that sentence?) and now it’s about making sure the stuff that’s been planned is implemented properly. Luckily we have a great staff to support us so it should be fine. I have a few more meetings to set up and a bunch of job talks to attend in October, but at least the faculty meetings are slowing down. Did I mention I had all of three free lunchtimes (our usual meeting and department event time) in September? One got filled at short notice so I went down to two. Come on, October.

I did get my paper revisions done so that it can be sent out, again. Let’s hope for a smooth review process and that it isn’t desk-rejected as not appropriate for the journal. It is turning out to be harder to place than I expected, for a variety of reasons, although it’s morphed into something that looks like other articles in a literature I didn’t foresee, so that’s promising.

With that paper gone I can turn to revisions on another piece of work that I’m refashioning to present in a seminar in early November. It will undoubtedly wind up taking more time than I think it will. Oh, and I have two dissertations to read for defenses in the next two months, neither of which are in political science. Good times.


I’m reading more from the Booker shortlist and I’m about two-thirds of the way through Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte. I’m enjoying it immensely, far more than I thought I would. It’s been ages since I read Rushdie and I’d forgotten how joyous his writing can be. The reviews have been mixed and I can see why, but I’m along for the ride and the bagginess and occasional literary self-indulgence doesn’t bother me. It is very much a novel about where we are now, but written by someone who has seen a lot of life and is coming to terms with age. So the Quixote angle makes sense.

I’ve got three more of the shortlist in my TBR, but aside from the Ellmann I’m not sure how quickly I’ll get to them. The Booker just isn’t that fun for me this year with the Atwood entry taking up all the oxygen in the literary sphere. The promotional blitz is just so over the top. I don’t blame Atwood for this, although she did choose to write the sequel after the TV show exploded, so it doesn’t feel entirely imagination-driven. But the Big Reveal, the endless reviews, interviews, and accompanying feature pieces just scream “click here, it’s not your grandmother’s litfic.” We are so busy identifying Big Important Events that I wonder if the Really Big Important Events are happening without us noticing.

I started reading Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, which has been in my ebook TBR since I had a Sony ereader. It’s very good and the writing is excellent, as you’d expect.

We’re still watching very little TV, although we did return to the George Gently series and watch the first episode of the first season again. Before I watched for Martin Shaw, but now I’m concentrating on Lee Ingleby, who is stellar. I also spent a night when TheH was away revisiting the Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma after many years. She really was good in it, and Julie Stevenson and Alan Cumming are always a delight.

The news has exceeded the time I have to watch it; every time I tune in something else enormous has happened. I did follow the arguments before the UK Supreme Court and read the verdict (I did not expect it to be unanimous, but I don’t think most experts did either). I’m reading the latest US stuff with my mouth hanging open, like everyone else, and keeping a judicious finger on the mute button when I watch the Newshour. Hearing how presidential conversations are memorialized has been fascinating, though. Thanks to Nixon, we no longer have tapes even though we have multiple people transcribing the conversations. I dread the media coverage of the next few weeks/months, but I’m fascinated to see how it unfolds. And no, I have no idea.

The A’s have played wonderfully and will probably go out early in the playoffs. They just don’t have the right kind of pitching staff for short series (assuming they win the Wild Card). Liverpool has won six in a row to open the Premier League season but managed to lose to Napoli in the Champions League group stage opener. Good thing the former counts more than the latter.


Our Hobonichi order arrived, and I think the Weeks weekly planner is going to work really well as my office diary/notebook. The free gift is a Japanese playing card game, which would be awesome if we could read Japanese. Ah well. I also splurged for another organizer, which Hobonichi calls a “drawer pouch” in the in-between size. I already had the small one, which I use for pens and short cables, and I’m filling the new one with cards that don’t fit in the Hobo, earbuds, my smaller ereader, and a few other odds and ends. I love the Liberty prints, as you can tell.

I continue to rack up steps and even meet the Garmin’s “activity minutes” weekly goals, but I’m not exercising the way I’d like to.


October is coming! I can only hope the weather takes note and stops giving us 90F days with humidity over 50 percent. Blech.