The Canceled Vacation, Back To School Nation, Hurricane Irene Blues

August 28, 2011, 10:13 am

One of our favorite techniques for handling those last ten days before school starts is to go on a short beach vacation.  For the second year in a row, our plans have been canceled because of a hurricane.  Last year we were supposed to go to Stonington, CT. After endless dire predictions (which included the hurricane making landfall at Stonington and a ten year old relative calling to advise us not to go) we canceled, only to watch the storm drift out to sea, leaving a beautiful weekend behind.

Because of this we waited until Friday, the day we were to leave, to throw in the towel on this year’s vacation on a Rhode Island Beach (next year? I’m thinking San Francisco or the Adirondacks.)  Again, the storm was supposed to make landfall almost exactly where we rented our house:  instead, it is actually coming ashore close to our real house in Shoreline around an hour from now, probably as a tropical storm with a 6-8 foot surge behind it.

The last major hurricane we rode out was Bob, in 1991, which went right over the house we had been renting all summer in Long Island in a prolonged scream, tearing down power lines, leaving those of us on wells without water, and doing dramatic damage in Central Connecticut.  This happened the summer before I went to work at Zenith, and it seems more than a little weird to get a storm like this in a fall when I have made preparations to depart from Zenith.  Note to Rick Perry:  I have decided to take complete responsibility for the effects of global warming! It’s not about the science after all! I gotta stop changing jobs and trying to go on vacation, that’s all.

If we are going to be a responsibility society, somebody’s gotta step up, right?  Tomorrow, Dr. Crazy will take responsibility for the mortgage crisis, and my favorite boy feminist, GayProf will explain the Tao according to Wonder Woman.  Later on in the week, Chauncey De Vega of We Are Respectable Negroes will usher us into a post-racial society.  When Historiann gets back from the vacation she actually got to take, she will end misogyny in the academy.

Since I have nothing to post about, before the power line to my house snaps under the weight of the tree that is currently leaning on it, let me introduce you to a few other friends whose hurricane fortunes I have been following.  My friend Lesboprof, who blogs on feminism, gay issues, and is well known for her thoughtful commentary on the institutional side of our profession and things queer, is now officially a resident of the great American Southeast.  She has left a state famous for its tornadoes just in time to start a new job in the middle of a massive hurricane (which has been spinning off tornadoes.)  She hasn’t been blogging about Irene, but I’ve been following her welfare over the past few days on Face Book.  (Note to Lesboprof and all my other administrator and student life friends?  As we look to starting school in the middle of this mess and the days of confusion that follow, as they say in Utah: “Sure appreciate ch’a!”)  Just arrived in the southeast as well is our relative, Urban Exile, who actually purchased a house just in time to worry about whether it would be destroyed by ancient, flying trees (we are glad to say it was not.)  Hers is not an academic blog, but it is very intelligent and she’s a great writer.

Further up the coast, our Terrapin pals at Queer Turtle U, Moose and Goose at Roxie’s World, have a great post up right now about natural disasters and memory.  It uses the recent earthquake to reflect on why we remember things in a certain way, and is a good introduction to their work if you don’t know them.  Roxie, their muse, is a wire-haired fox terrier whose thoughts — now beamed from heaven — are channeled through her earthly English prof familiars.  If you think this is weird then I have one thing to say:  you aren’t a lesbian –er, I mean, you have no sense of humor.  Although Roxie spent much of her summer on food, health and beauty, as the semester picks up and the election action accelerates, you can expect a tip towards incisive posts on education, pedagogy and public policy from a feminist, queer and progressive dog’s point of view.  Last year la familia Radical voted them the second cutest couple on the East Coast. We at chez Radical, of course, won that contest hands down, and the votes were counted by an independent agency.

Our big question: When will Ruby speak? Stay tuned.

Further north, we have Tim Burke at Easily Distracted, who never writes about $tupid topics like hurricanes, and has refreshingly strong opinions about important things.  He’s like the crazy, bad-a$$ honey badger who has become famous all over YouTube: he don’t care; he don’t give a $hit.  The hurricane doesn’t stop Tim Burke, he just keeps writing serious, usefully opinionated posts that make us all $marter.  We have another honey badger friend, Comrade PhysioProffe, who mostly posts on food (hence the change in the blog’s title to Comrade RisottoProffe?), but sometimes snarls about the university and the political situation.  Some of his best work is also in the comments he leaves comments on other people’ blogs that offer correction to what he views as rampant d00$hB@ggery.  Hence, we always welcome a visit from him at Tenured Radical: he’s a good antidote to trolls and sock puppets. This last has caught the attention of an aggregator called free thought blogs, where CPP (as he is known by his friends) has posted a useful disaster preparedness suggestion.

Looks like it’s time for us to go:  the gusts are getting stronger, and our internet connection could go any second (yes, I can tether to my new iPhone4, but it does seem like a waste of battery in this situation.)  So without further ado, here’s a great video for all of you waiting for high tide and the storm surge:


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