I am frantically scrambling to finish all my schoolwork before the last of the semester. I have one class left (Greek) and three exams pending. I had a paper due today (on the fundamentalists in the 1920’s, of all things), but my professor graciously extended it until the exam on the 27th. This was a good thing, since I had only completed 1/3 to 1/2 of it, minus quotes and footnotes. (I discovered long ago that attempting to write down the things I was going to cite beforehand was a waste of time. No matter what I write down, I don’t use half of it, and end up citing other things instead, which I then have to look up on the spot) I think it’s going to be a great paper though – it’s a fascinating subject.
Meanwhile, I’ve been pining for non-school reading material. Howard Tayler has finally released his first Schlock Mercenary book. Valerie and I have already gone halves and preordered the thing, and it will arrive sometime in May. I highly recommend. The best science fiction being written in English today is currently available in a full color glossy comic book. What’s not to like? At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve been being reminded that Mere Comments is only a mere piece of what I would get if I subscribed to the print version of Touchstone Magazine. Again, I want. My best description is that Touchstone is to theologians what The Economist is to economists. If reading Megan McArdle makes you want to subscribe to The Economist, Mere Comments makes you want to subscribe to Touchstone. I want both.
Since I am a perpetual starving college student, this is an example of creative budgeting. Schlock Mercenary is officially pleasure reading, so money for that came out of “allowance money.” Valerie and I each get an allowance equal to one dollar per week for every year old that we are. I have to make up for my advantage by buying dinner. Today we had a snack at Dunkin Donuts. However, magazines and newspaper falls under “media” which is a subsection of “household expenses.” This is the space conveniently cleared out since we abandoned our $30 per month home internet access. Since we weren’t paying outrageous fees for unlimited time wasting, we felt we could afford the subscriptions we never dreamed of before.
The first thing we did was to subscribe to our local newspaper, which is possibly the best newspaper I’ve ever read. They stick almost uniformly to providing the only thing they can do better than anybody else – local news. It’s small enough that it can actually be read over breakfast. A few weeks ago, they printed a letter to the editor from Valerie. Unfortunately, it’s almost entirely dedicated to those nasty things called “events,” so I hardly ever read anything more than the comics. (None of which, of course, are nearly as good as Schlock Mercenary.) So it’s only fair that we find a print subscription to something *I* can read – something that focuses on *ideas*.
But in the mean time, I’ve got a paper to write.
And I’m pining.