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1. ITP let me in! If I can scare up some funding, I'll be fiddling with PICs and Processing there starting this fall. Man, you guys are going to get so sick of all the BoingBoing posts about my projects.

2. I will be attending the 1st Language Creation Conference next weekend at UC Berkeley, there to attend lectures given by such conlang luminaries as Sally Caves, Matt Pearson, and my old college bud David Peterson. I'm super stoked about this. Folks in the Bay Area interested in (con)linguistics: consider attending, it'll be fun! Folks in the Bay Area not so interested in (con)linguistics but who might want to hang out anyway: send me an e-mail.

3. Right now, there are for me only three great albums in the world: Songs of Green Pheasant, Etiquette by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, and a third album which I cannot name ('cause it's not out yet and I'm not technically supposed to have it). Together, they obviate any need for further musical expression in this lifetime. As a consequence, I've sold my guitar and my CDs and I've deleted all else from my iTunes library. I suggest you do the same.
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So that's it, game's over. I went one for three this graduate school season, and it looks like I won't be heading to the playoffs. (Salary caps and so forth, you understand.)

The depression has proved thin - more than anything else I'm relieved - but as it washes away it reveals my raw, aching embarrassment. I've masqueraded for my entire life in clever costumes, with elaborate, intelligent hats, and now I've made a fool of myself. I'm not afraid of living in the nude, but I am afraid of stripping down, of admitting that I failed this task which I thought would be so easy for me. Only a week after the fact was I able to tell my parents. I'm telling you about it almost a month later. If there were a high school reunion today, I would be forced to fabricate a success story. "Hey, how are you, A and D? What's that, you have Ph.Ds? And you're married? Well hey hats off to you. I invented post-its."

When I told Sabrina the news, I conjectured, "Maybe it's a sign."

"I thought you didn't believe in that kind of thing," she replied.

Ah, but I do. This certainly is a sign. A sign that I'm not ready. A sign that success in the real world requires the application of more than half your ass. A rejection letter from Georgetown signifies this: rethink what you're doing. It begs: do you really want this?

The possibility remains that I don't.

This gift is a master of disguise, it's like freakin' Dana Carvey or something, but a gift it is. Doors have closed but windows are open - I'm not sure which one will be the path of my escape, but at least I have some fresh air.
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You went to Tonic tonight and were wondering why they had tacked up all the little signs reading, "Tonic's coat-check is downstairs!" Wonder no more. It is my bad. On Friday night I put my coat up against the wall before the first act started and only God knows what happened to it next (possibly also some bartenders). I looked for it after the show, I left my number with the box office guy, I sent an e-mail to the venue. Sabrina took out an ad on craigslist.

On the subway ride home, all eyes focused on my red longsleeve t-shirt. "Where is your coat," said my co-riders silently. "It is goddamn cold. What is your problem?" Forgive my absent mind, I should have replied. I spent all day reloading Yahoo! Mail.

It is true that the show on Friday night diverted my obsession with graduate school responses. But it did so only intermittently. School of the Flower (title track of Six Organs of Admittance's latest album) is an incredibly emotive song, a song like a thunderstorm on the last day of your life, this song is a hammer; any normal person would have sweetly, willingly given over his or her mortal body to its fecundity.

Many did. Not me. I went for another journey in the netherworld of self-doubt. At this point, I no longer need to pay to cross the Lethe, as they know the number of my expense account. Cerberus nuzzles up to me and lets me scratch his ears. I wave hello to Sisyphus who, when waving back, loses his traction and whoops! Down the hill he goes! Why has everyone in the internet heard back from Penn but me? What is Georgetown trying to hide?

I don't think I understood Six Organs when I saw him last (he opened for Four Tet last year). I am pretty sure I understand now, but not enough to explain it to you. Better to listen to the record. Chris Corsano, free percussionist extraordinaire and also Six Organs' drummer, opened up with a death- and space-time-defying thirty-minute drum solo (one of his ride cymbals nearly rendered me headless). P.G. Six followed, sublimating his gentle acoustic numbers in Led Zeppish telecaster tones and bowed psaltery drones. Very nice. (But would it have killed you to play "Come In" with the banjo? For an old pal?)

The folks at Tonic called me, by the way, and I picked up the missing jacket earlier this evening. The guy at the box office glared wordlessly at me. On the way home I read about memes in The Selfish Gene.

Back at my apartment, I received a number of documents in a manila envelope, informing me of a decision that reflects not only a favorable assessment of my academic record, but also a conviction that I am someone whom they would like very much to have at Chicago. They are sorry, however, that they are unable to offer me scholarship assistance. This is an exciting time for graduate education at Chicago, and they hope that I will choose to be a part of it.

March 2016

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