thanks for the good vibes. it was not nearly as painful as the one that was cut short last time; I knew what answers to give this time and the SSA people were kind enough to give me the gay clerk. not that he's necessarily the only gay clerk, but he was definitely gay and sort of bearish and mellow, if that's a category of gay. he wasn't snippity or uptight, is what I'm saying. ok I'll put my stereotypes away now. of both bureaucrats and gay men; he was refreshingly unbureaucratic without being too familiar.
so once it was over I decided I deserved a treat so I went outside and bought a $6 hematite choker from one of the table vendors out by the cablecar turnaround. I also went into Urban Outfitters and managed not to buy a pair of jeans that were almost too small but not quite and on sale. then I went to Borders across the street and carried around a number of books before putting them all back and walking out empty-handed. that was really difficult to do: putting them all back, that is. but I need to make some headway in the ones I've got plus I have been downloading public-domain material from Roman, Greek and Medieval European writers so there are lots of things for sale that you can really get for free. any classical writer's stuff will be available free online, although it may not be the latest and greatest translation. but if it is Greek or Roman you can go to the Perseus Digital Library and read parallel texts with Latin and Greek lexicons that can help you to suss out the original language yourself when you get to a term that gives you reason to be suspicious of the translation.
and I bet I can find the series of lectures given by a Dr. Bury in 1927 on the "Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians" [ed: found it!]--an odd way of putting it considering that "barbarian" was Greek for European peoples north of Greece. I think what the lectures meant to tell us about was the rupture of barbarians from both within and without the periphery of the Roman Empire, which did not extend across all of Europe. I'm looking at that period because it was in the middle of all that that Christianity was exported to Europe, and I think something profound happened then that is more interesting even than any apparently dichotomous conflict between reason and faith.
ok I will stop writing my book here. I am very glad the interview is over and I now am going to relax and go to bed early because starting the moment I wake up from my next long sleep I have a shitload of grading to do. wish me well on that too, if you have wishes left. it is not my favorite thing to do, to say the least. soon though it will be over and I can pretend I am on a vacation for a few days.
right now, though, short break.