Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Year's Worth of Facebook Updates: Random Thoughts Edition, Part III

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today I take a last look back on the dark corners my addled brain ambled towards.

I was going to start a sentence with the phrase, "In my humble opinion," but then I realized I have no humble opinions.

Will drinking too much fake wine make you a fake wino?

Today, I am completely flappable.

I had an existential crisis earlier today but I decided that it was pretty meaningless.

I am so tired, I may only be able to work up sidewalk rage today.

Note to all: If you hack my computer you'll not find anything of interest unless you really love history. I'm too modest. I shower fully clothed.

Ah, a double-dip recession. I'll take mine with sprinkles.

Enjoyed attending the ribbon-cutting at Arlington's just-opened bottleneck factory.

I really wish I had a better sense of direction. I got completely lost at the Mobius strip mall the other day.

If I were Jesus right now, I would so have a full liquor cabinet.

So apparently on Twitter you are limited to 140 characters, not 140 chapters. Now I know.

I'm trying to overcome my pessimism, but I doubt that I can do that.

Yet another new amazing iPhone is on the market. I can't keep up. I'm keeping my old iPhone until they come up with one that can shave me, make my coffee and add just enough cream, and take over my classroom duties.

I think it was Abraham Lincoln who once said that the Lord must have loved stupid people because he made so many of them. However, it is not clear why so many of them ended up in broadcasting.

Because of the insane multiple deadline pressures I have been under the past few I was telling my son the other day about my days as the captain of a gravy boat.

For months, the entire semester I have felt like I'm living that nightmare where you show up for work or class and only then realize that you're naked. No. Wait a minute. That actually happened to me last Wednesday.

I have graduated from senior moments to senior hours.

I took a great new product today called, "I Can't Believe It's Not Percodan."

Dominic is soaked in sweat after playing Wii. That only happened to me at his age when I talked to girls.

I am celebrating my 51st year as a difficult person. Why am I difficult? That's none of your damned business.

An observation regarding the debt deal between President Obama and the Congress: even with a high-priced advertising campaign, a shit sandwich is still a shit sandwich. And whether it's made by a world renown chef or some schmuck at a greasy diner, it's still a shit sandwich.

So I take it as a sign of age but I no longer have anxiety dreams where I show up somewhere naked. Now I dream that I show up overdressed.

Now I'm dealing with the dilemma of being too simple for a Messiah Complex and too complicated for herpes simplex.

My brilliant wife Betsy Friauf asks how it is possible for intellectuals to be both "pointy-headed" and "eggheads" at the same time. Pointy eggs? It's a conundrum.

This morning I'm filled with nostalgia for the long gone things of my youth: vinyl records, polyester suits, rain . . .

Another day of being obtuse but accessible.

Giving in to unreasonable people does not make you reasonable. It makes you crazy.

Don't mean to be a cheese snob, but I really like Gouda. I consider myself a
practicing Goudist.


It's the holiday season and time to remember all those people who overlook you. I've got my Christmas grievance list. I hope you do too.

Remember, kids, you have nothing to fear but fear itself. Well that and unemployment. And bankruptcy. And poor health. And that party guest who won't go away. And flesh eating bacteria. And photographs of you from high school. But other than that, and some other personal items I dreaded mentioning on Facebook, you've got nothing to fear but fear itself.

It's that time of year when my thoughts turn to the Christmas gifts I plan to return.

Beginning to be a lot like Christmas. Got some nog for the egg nog and cute dyslexic kids in the neighborhood came by to sing, "The First Leon."

At Christmas I remember the family getting together, with the fire roaring in the fire place, the music playing in the background, the food piled on the table, and everyone sharing guilt and recriminations.

I consider myself a man of principle. Unless someone has a better offer.

So I've worked out my list of people I'm going to rail against on Facebook today: trombonists, doctors who perform rhinoplasty, Mennonites, people from Monaco and sufferers from gingivitis.

We're having a late middle-aged New Year's eating at home, watching TV for the countdown and having a few symbolic sips for champagne before nodding off. We're going to party like we're 99.



Michael Phillips has authored the following:


White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

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