Tall, Dark, and Mysterious


Gone fishin’.

File under: Meta-Meta, Know Thyself. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 10:13 pm.

Tomorrow’s the last day of classes before a week-long break, and not a moment too soon: while “brink of insanity” doesn’t quite characterise my present state, it would a week hence if I had to teach and hold office hours next week. Well, technically, the latter is required of me: a few weeks ago, the dean sent an all-staff email telling us that this was Study Week, thankyouverymuch, and that we were to be accessible to our students, who would be on campus availing themselves of our services each and every day, as opposed to skiing or going to Cancun. Fortunately, the tutorial centre is open, and the powers that be in the department seem to subscribe to a don’t-ask-don’t-tell Study Week vacation policy. Not that I’m keeping any secrets, and part of me almost wants to be discovered so that I can counter, “Yeah, I was out of town; what are you gonna do, huh - FIRE ME?”

(My contract, for those of you just tuning in, expires in April. I blog pseudonymously in part because I’m still in the job market and I figure that no one in the Lower Mainland is explicitly looking to hire a twentysomething curmudgeon as a college instructor. That said - is anyone in the Lower Mainland looking to hire a twentysomething curmudgeon as a college instructor? Email me - moebiusstripper at talldarkandmysterious dot ca - if you are.)

Anyway, bottom line: I need the break. I’m exhausted - too exhausted to even crack wise about the source of my exhaustion right now (summary: the students), so I’m going to take a break from this space for the next week as well, even though I have several posts that I want to write and simply don’t have the energy for. And so, I leave a week’s worth of narcissism here in the interim, by turning the topic of my next post over to you.

Your options:

  1. Reflections on Hotel Rwanda
  2. A short story I submitted to the Vinyl Cafe Story Exchange
  3. Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Setting Math Tests, I Learned From My Five-Year-Old Self
  4. The Time I Was A Bridesmaid For My Aunt’s Wedding, and No, Aunt J, I Still Haven’t Forgiven You For That Dress
  5. Snark About Students: The Saga Continues

Also: if anyone I know in real life wants to try their hand at the guest-blogging thang, drop me a line.

See you in March.


  1. I vote for (3) and (5), in that order.

    - Hack — 2/18/2005 @ 5:42 am

  2. Definitely 3.

    - Cordelia — 2/18/2005 @ 7:22 am

  3. my brother had reading weeks in both semesters while I and everyone else I knew only had them second semester. His explanation, “We’d go insane it they didn’t give us that weeks!”
    my retort: “They let us go insane!”

    - Jen — 2/18/2005 @ 9:46 am

  4. My vote goes to option 2.

    - Victor — 2/18/2005 @ 12:44 pm

  5. 5, definitely.

    - torch — 2/18/2005 @ 2:23 pm

  6. I vote for number 2. (Is it a fiction story? I’ve suspected for a long time now that a budding fiction writer, a novelist even, lurked inside you, MS.)

    - wes — 2/18/2005 @ 3:31 pm

  7. I vote for (2). I know about the purple bridesmaid dress.

    - Mom — 2/18/2005 @ 4:59 pm

  8. I want to hear the bridesmaid story. I bet it’s funny.

    - jo(e) — 2/18/2005 @ 7:47 pm

  9. I gotta hear the story behind number 3!!

    - EdWonk — 2/19/2005 @ 12:19 am

  10. 3. Hope you’re having a great time!

    - Ronald — 2/19/2005 @ 10:59 am

  11. I vote for number 3. Also, a friend of mine pointed me towards your blog when you posted the bingo game, and I have since devoured it. I love it.

    - lsmsrbls — 2/19/2005 @ 11:55 am

  12. I’d pick 3, personally. I’m a math T.A. and was directed to this blog after my own rant to a friend about my algebra recitation students, so can appreciate the math rants.

    - rosona — 2/19/2005 @ 9:25 pm

  13. Oh, I was hoping for some more 5! Your 5s are the best.

    - Pilgrim/Heretic — 2/20/2005 @ 7:55 am

  14. Have I heard #4? I don’t think so…. I’d like to hear about it sometime

    - meep — 2/20/2005 @ 11:33 am

  15. Okay, so no one wants to see me write about genocide. Fair enough. The very condensed summary of #1 is that Hotel Rwanda blew me away. Every now and then I get an urge to write about the time I saw General Romeo Dallaire speak, but I don’t know if I can do the experience justice. In a nutshell - he’s my hero, and he’s the reason I’m considering finding work with the Canadian military at some point..

    I think that #5 is inevitable, given the history of this blog, and I’ll get on #3 when I return. #4 doesn’t expire, so I’ll write about it eventually, and I’ll post #2, because can’t say no to my Mom, my entire adolescence notwithstanding. That said, Wes,it’s nonfiction (follow the Vinyl Cafe link - the specs are there), and the only fiction I do much of these days is pathological lying.

    I’d also like to toss in a sixth option:

    #6: In Which Our Protagonist Enters The United States Of America: You Don’t Have To Be an Asshole To Work For Customs, But It Helps.

    - Moebius Stripper — 2/20/2005 @ 2:54 pm

  16. *sheepishly* Yeah, I realized after I commented that the Vinly Café link answered my question.

    As to question of fiction, I’m reluctant, somehow, to completely extinguish my faint hopes of MS the novelist, but I think I should probably stop bringing it up on here. In any case, I would point out that many, if not most, first novels are thinly disguised autobiography: romans à clef, I think they’re called by literary types.

    - wes — 2/21/2005 @ 4:07 am

  17. 1. In my extensive cross border experience Canadian Customs agents are way worse than the folks guarding the USA; and you couldn’t pay me enough to do their job.
    2. Have a good break.

    - littoral zone — 2/21/2005 @ 6:59 am

  18. In my border crossing experience (QC-NY; QC-VT; YUL, and occasional entrances into various east coast cities and once in Vancouver), I can say that the Americans tend to be a lot more anal and can be more obnoxious than the Canadian border guards, by a long shot. Usually they’re not (and they far prefer me going in for a job than for school or vacation, for some reason), but I’m young and white and female.

    - wolfangel — 2/21/2005 @ 11:29 am

  19. LZ, I’m well aware of the limits of pseudonymosity, but may I add that 1) you had other information about me beforehand, obtained not through this blog, and 2) I’m not worried that people will discover who I am through my blog, but that people will discover my blog through who I am. I’m not worried about people finding my blog, Googling various details about it for fifteen minutes, and then finding out who I am. The chance of anyone stalking me (my address and phone number are unlisted, by the way) in person is minimal. I blog under an obviously make-believe name because I don’t want current or potential employers to google my real name (as is their right and privilege) and find this blog. I do not make references to my coworkers or students, EVER, about my secret website where I occasionally write about them, nor do I ever have this site (or any other blog) open on my computer when my office door is open. Moreover, as a Google search of my name, my university, the town I live in, my hobbies, and various other identifying features do not lead to this blog, I am not worried. In the event that a prospective employer is willing to go the extra SEVERAL miles to link me to this site, then I probably wouldn’t be happy with the work environment I’d be provided with there, anyway. But, thanks for your concern, in any case.

    My experience with customs agents has been far more negative with the Americans than with the Canadians; I’m not of Western European descent, which probably contributes to the treatment I receive. I’m sensitive to the fact that guarding borders ain’t customer service, and politeness isn’t the only (or the main) consideration in hiring people to do the former; however, I’ve had several experiences with customs agents whose overt displays of aggression seemed to stem entirely from ego, and probably weren’t playing any role in protecting their country. (A couple of years ago, I had an agent address me as “you idiot”, and then let me into the US; this is the sort of thing that makes people feel like shit, and I can’t see how it makes the border any more secure.)

    - Moebius Stripper — 2/21/2005 @ 2:21 pm

  20. I’ve heard Customs stories before and dealt with them myself (though not having as bad an experience as some people). It usually helps for me to be semi-conscious, whether having a lack of sleep or being somewhat drunk — then I don’t care. It’s hard to catch onto rudeness when you’re not totally there.

    Usually it’s just the sleep thing, as I usually take flights where I get up at 3am so as to catch the train/bus to get to the airport on time.

    - meep — 2/24/2005 @ 6:43 am

  21. As an aside: I recently saw “The Last Just Man” on Frontline — about Dallaire — and envy you for having seen him in person. The guy is epic.

    - Tarid — 2/24/2005 @ 8:31 pm

  22. Tarid, Dallaire’s speech literally changed my life. I’d never been so humbled and so inspired as I was when I heard him speak. Everyone should listen really closely when he speaks about the military - he knows what he’s talking about, he puts his money where his mouth is, and he combines idealism with practicality in exactly the right proportions. Epic, indeed.

    - Moebius Stripper — 2/24/2005 @ 10:29 pm

  23. […] I’m really looking forward to returning to class tomorrow. Still to come, from the requested posts: I’ve got #3 on draft mode, and I should have it finished […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.