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Last semester, to ease the bereavement process, three courses, nine units, Mon-Wed, one new prep that could be mostly cobbled together from other material I had already taught, and teaching is therapeutic. This semester, and it's still not even a year: five-six courses (much too long a story about #6 and I don't even understand it, but I'm subbing for a full-time professor who should have been gone from the faculty already but isn't), sixteen-nineteen units (also depending), Mon-Thu, two new preps that eventually might incorporate already prepared material (my stuff for the Gold Rush, for instance, and my stuff on the Reformation) but not immediately, and LOTS more prep time required. I'm refusing "diary me" commands left and right, but even worse, I miss you! So, yet another "how are you" update as we enter the ninth month of my life as a single man.

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

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Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home!

Well, I've made it through the first week. I've taught the first substantive classes for my two new courses. I tried to introduce the people they would be reading to my California history students to rapt attentive silence (you've met Joan Didion already in the diary I wrote for The Grieving Room and you'll meet Carey McWilliams this weekend. You don't need to meet Kevin Starr) and barely made it through an hour of what was supposed to be a 90 minute class. This morning (yes, I 'm teaching at 8 AM again), since I put my prep for the Stone Age off until last night, I actually made it to 9:10 , but that's still earlier than I wanted to let out class. Then I got to teach the Spanish American War and the preconditions for Progressivism to the class I MIGHT have as my own if the professor I'm subbing for doesn't come back from the medical leave he's on now to stave off an administrative hammer, and loaded the wrong version of it onto my laptop, so another short class.  Next week, the usual stuff in my US History courses (that's about finding the right versions), Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean for Western Civ (those I can read about) and California before European contact for that course. Fine! Maybe even some getting ahead! If this, the having to stay ahead of four different courses with writing lesson plans for two of them on the fly until the middle of December,  doesn't cure my procrastination habits for the Spring semester I don't know what would!

How's life? The apartment becomes mine with the October rent and some paperwork around the middle of the month, and I'll know what furniture I need to buy (and with 16-19 units I'll be able to afford it) after the woman I've been subletting from packs up the stuff she's moving September 10. ROOM for stuff, finally! IF I have time to reorganize anything, that is, among the course prep and the exam writing and the grading. But that's too much whining, I think. The REALLY good news is that I'm going to be amending my 2010 and 2011 tax returns because the government as much as INVITED me to do so with the latest Treasury decision about what to do after DOMA. As far as Social Security is concerned I have an appointment at the Burbank office at 11:30 on the 20th to see if I can collect any survivor benefits from Jim's Social security (I might make too much) and who knows?

On the whole, I guess I'm doing well! I was telling a guy who lost his husband/partner three months before I lost mine that I got a ton of support from Daily Kos in my bereavement, and I think he understood. No, I'm not looking for anyone to do anything but hang out with occasionally now and I know enough not to play "what if? games.

But I feel as if I'm losing touch with all you wonderful people. I know I'll see my Bay Area friends twice next month and my Los Angeles friends twice during the next two months. Our meetup in October will be between my two trips to the Bay Area. And I'll have all that to write about, but then there's all of you I keep contact with online, and just online until the next Netroots Nation. The problem is that two new courses require a LOT of attention and that's what I'll be giving them. If that means that my contribution to Daily Kos is a history diary and a Top Comments diary once a week (with a couple of weeks off for travel) and an occasional diary for the series I curate at Readers and Book Lovers and the stuff I do for the LA Kossacks -- but wait a minute. Isn't that a LOT of stuff and a fairly high profile here anyway? I doubt anyone will forget who I am over the next four months . . .

Yep. You can indeed check out any time you want, but you can never leave. Just as well!

And now for the stuff that makes this Top Comments:

TOP COMMENTS, August 30, 2013: Thanks to tonight's Top Comments contributors! Let us hear from YOU when you find that proficient comment.

From Chrislove:

I would like to nominate two comments from Ray Pensador's diary on issues concerning the GOS. First, Laurence Lewis's comment, which I think nails it in one way. Then, dinotrac's reply to that comment, which nails it in another way and makes a very important point for those of us who favor the idea of a big-tent party.
From chrississippi:
riogrande kicks Ted Nugent when his wife is down in PeteInTx's diary . . . and SCORES! Really, really witty comment.
From your intrepid diarist:
I'm nominating the ENTIRE comment thread from Vyan's diary, So Every Single Republican Was Afraid to Attend The King March Anniversary? because I just can't identify a single comment that's so much better than any of the others.
TOP MOJO, August 29, 2013 (excluding Tip Jars and first comments):
  1) When reporting crime stories, it is important to by riogrande — 265
  2) Perhaps you should write the by Denise Oliver Velez — 122
  3) Nah, he'll just remove the wife. by riogrande — 120
  4) If convicted... by radabush — 119
  5) I think it is a matter of time by keepemhonest — 110
  6) Are they sending her to Juvee? by grubber — 103
  7) Let's hope that percentage continues to be by sjburnman — 99
  8) If you have a heart you just want the by LaFeminista — 87
  9) 4 generations on inbreeding seems to have by The Dead Man — 87
10) All this technology and spying and listening and by Bob Johnson — 85
11) She is one person who I would think should be by 88kathy — 84
12) Coming soon to a rotunda near you, by jwinIL14 — 80
13) I think that's a great move. by commonmass — 80
14) Everything's "perfectly legal"... n/t by bobswern — 79
15) Grandma needs to eat cat food so that Booz Allen, by RFK Lives — 78
16) if a gun goes off and a projectile flies out... by Shahryar — 75
17) I love that goofy looking picture of her. by Bob Johnson — 74
18) I hope he was lying about mentoring by doc2 — 74
19) So go inside and film the GOP singers by blue aardvark — 69
20) But Congress appropriated the funds, right? by hannah — 68
21) Centrist Refers to the Corporate Consensus by Gooserock — 67
22) "Syria isn't the only place where people... by Meteor Blades — 66
23) Hmmmm by Badjuh — 65
24) Who could have predicted? by PhilJD — 65
25) Shellie has been sentenced to a year's probation by earicicle — 64
26) I am so sorry for your loss by awhitestl — 63
27) Another war for peace by AoT — 63
28) Until Someone Can Explain by lawboy — 62
29) I bet they are quite adept at getting dirt on by k9disc — 61
30) I'll never forget that day by anastasia p — 60
31) let's give emptywheel some love, too: by greenbird — 60
32) People have died from being hit by rubber by StrayCat — 60
For an explanation of How Top Mojo Works, see mik's FAQing Top Mojo

TOP PHOTOS, August 29, 2013: Enjoy jotter's wonderful PictureQuilt below. Just click on the picture and it will magically take you to the comment that features that photo. Have fun, Kossacks!

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