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2008-12-31 - 3:11 p.m.

A way in which the English language delights: a group of owls is called a parliament. I had no idea.

But: Of the six or seven college jobs I've applied for this year, three have written back saying they're not hiring anybody at all, because of money problems. I may have lost my zeal for a job in academia. I mean, how many times can they say no? Sometimes I think I like the idea of college teaching more than the actual college teaching. But I love talking ideas. I love reading a short story in the New Yorker, photocoyping it, passing it out, and talking about it.

Fireworks tonight, and friends, too.

For Christmas, I got a pair of ridiculous, really nice winter boots. Fleece-lined and heavy-duty, the kind the laces halfway up your calf. They are Serious Business Boots. I haven't broken them in yet because they intimidate me a little, like waking up and seeing a Ferrari parked out front or something.

Say what you will about sports, but they provide some kind of fucking drama, right? I mean, even people who don't like sports for whatever reason, you've got to sit up and take notice when it's the fourth quarter and the score's tied or when it's in overtime and the point guard is driving toward the three-point line, his team down by two. Football playoffs this weekend, is what I'm saying, and as much as I'd like to say I could take them or leave them, I'd much rather take them.

A parliament of owls. I can't get over that. And my old dictionary on my desk. It makes me think of cat-eye glasses, people huddling around a huge black-and-white television, and, for some reason, my high school before it was renovated, from when it was a huge art-deco above-ground dungeon.

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