Monday, January 09, 2006

Ancient Novelties

Hi all. Sorry I've been gone.

Personal: went to New York over Christmas for the American Philosophical Association meeting there. Did not get any job interviews. Did get a nibble on publishing my dissertation, which I'm following up with enthusiasm. Also found that I could follow (not lead!) a world-class discussion on the intersection between the philosophy of mind and neuroscience, which was gratifying. Also ran into a few people with similar interests, which was also encouraging.

New York is, of course, an amazing place. I walked around the southern end of Central Park, and realized with a start how hilly and rugged it is. Now maybe Olmsted modified what was there somewhat, but i've got to think that's how Manhattan originally was, and that it's generally been flattened as it's been built over. So that was neat, even though of course it was cold and rainy when I was there. (Of course, we're in such a drought here that rainy was just fine with me.)

I also asked a doorman how to not eat with tourists, and he pointed me to this deli around a couple of corners that was really great. And the hotel I stayed in not only didn't hawk my laptop on ebay when I left it in the room when I checked out (idiot!), it fedexed it to me, all parts intact. Yay, Milford Plaza hotel.

Going in and out of New York I went via Baltimore, only 2 hours away by Amtrak (yay, Amtrak). This meant I spent way less money, but more importantly meant that I got to see the fabulous Naseem and Ruben. You forget how close stuff is in the East; Gettysburg wasn't much over an hour away, so we even got to go there, which I don't think I'd ever been (and Naseem, interestingly enough, is now a Civil War buff). Then the amberriffic Amber came down from Lancaster, so I got an Amber Sighting as well. Coolness indeed.

We're back in the trenches for life here. Jonathan turns 18 at the end of this month--incredible and hard to believe, but, as they say, better than the alternatives. He graduates in May. The college applications are all out, so now it's the fill-out-financial-aid-forms-while-waiting-for-acceptances stage.

Dawn and Beth, with modest help from others including me and Jonathan, put on an amazing Nearly New Year's Party last Friday. Everyone pretty much came in costume (Dawn was a banshee, Jonathan the phantom of the opera, Beth Arwen, yours truly an anonymous Gondorian soldier). It was wild and fun and nonalcoholic all at once. Just imagine. You will not want to miss next year's.

On more mundane, less interesting fronts, I've been reading. I know that comes as a shock. I just finished John Stackhouse's edited book Evangelical Futures, and Kenneth Tanner and Christopher Hall's collection of essays on the relevance of patristic studies for postmodern church. In the last six weeks I also reread the Chronicles of Narnia. Good stuff.

More soon. Welcome back, and forward.