I'm back. I think.
After a four month near-silence, I suppose I ought to explain myself a little, especially since my only utterances here during that time were cryptic references to "other stuff" going on that might or might not justify my absence.
So here's the story. The summer was occupied by two things. One was the closing out of the grant project I have been working on for the last two years. The other was the birth of my second child (on June 24). I don't really want to go into the details of either because I think they both fall outside the purview of this blog. On the one hand, I am too private a person to share my domestic life with the whole world, and on the other, I started this in part to give myself a place to think about issues other than my working life. It is, of course, not simple to maintain these distinctions, but at least in this case, I am going to try.
What I will say is that Home and Work have been more or less all-consuming for the past few months. That has left little time and even less energy for Everything Else. Since this blog falls under Everything Else, it's not so surprising that I haven't been blogging.
Perhaps a third factor in my silence has been politics. As I alluded to at the time, the revelations of the atrocities at Abu Ghraib, and the general debacle of the war in Iraq, made writing about any other topic seem pathetically irrelevant. Unfortunately, writing about those events was in itself pretty depressing. The general sense of malaise that that endgendered complemented my more explicable lack of energy quite nicely, it turns out.
So what has changed? Rather little, actually. I still have two kids at home (which, I will insist is exponetially rather than arithmetically more difficult than having one), I still have plenty to do at work, and the outlook of global politics is still pretty bleak. There are some bright spots, too, though. Now that Dante is pushing his 3-month birthday, he's a little bit easier to handle, and Sylvia and I are starting to get the hang of this two-child parenting. The grant is just about put to bed, so my load will lighten a little bit there. And it seems like there's a chance that John Kerry might win in November, so I might get to stop being apalled on a daily basis (perhaps only weekly or monthly).
More than any of that, though, I am back because I want to be back. I want to keep a place for the Everything Else in my life, and I don't want to let the idiocies committed by my leaders make me silence myself. So I am going to try to keep this going.
So here we go. Time to make the donuts...