It is absolutely necessary that I start this blog post with an apology, because what is to follow is undoubtedly influenced by what you see here. I'm fully aware that the image of me at the computer is a pathetic one, but this is my life, day after day, week after week, FROZEN ETERNITY AFTER FROZEN ETERNITY!!! (By the way, what do you get when you cross Iowa and February? The most beautiful landscape hell ever froze over...). You know their is something wrong with your locale when cats and birds start living together...Anyway, because I have been trapped in my little garett for the past several months and because it is so cold and because my dissertation seems impossible to write and because I can't imagine that I will ever get a job given the downturn in an already horrendous job market, the posts that follow are all a little bleary...I've tried to take the edge off (especially for the last new post), but I'm not making any promises...things are just a little too frosty right now and warmer thoughts will undoubtedly emerge with spring.