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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in chrislehrich's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
8:05 pm
Important Safety Tip

Thanks, Egon!
Sunday, July 20th, 2008
1:17 am
News and technical
Long time, no post, blah blah...

We're going to Japan in 2 weeks, for a year. I'm on sabbatical, Sarah's teaching, Sam will be in nursery school, Maia will be in daycare.

I'm going to start a blog from Kyoto, mostly about food, and I want some advice on programs, sites, and whatnot. So...

For those of you in email contact, my email won't change, so no worries there. And, of course, technically, I will be doing research on a new book. I will post musings about that here, probably, along with family and so on updates. If I think of anything clever to say about games and fantasy cultures and so on, I will put them on the other blog, under clehrich.  But I don't know how much of that is actually going to happen: I have these grand plans, and then something always gets in the way.
Thursday, January 10th, 2008
12:47 am
What's New With You?
Hi Gang,

General updates and insanity to follow, so feel free not to read this if you hate me.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
12:41 am
Remember me?
So as of last count, I had a job, a kid, a wife, two books, some hobbies. Where do I stand now? I knew you were wondering, so I thought I’d post.

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
11:12 pm
For People Who Like So-Called Memes Only
From [info]shaharazad. The instructions, as he puts them, are as follows:

"Apparently, this is a list of the 50 most-visited tourist attractions in the world. Does not include places that are visited primarily as religious pilgrimages (Mecca, etc.). Bold the ones you have visited, italicize the places you would like to go, and then name one destination you would like to visit that is not on the list. "

I add: give each site you have visited between 1 and 4 stars (from bad to wonderful) for the experience you had there.

9:03 am
How To Read Lévi-Strauss
I recently noticed that I keep writing little sketches, on the blog and elsewhere, about why and how to read the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss.  In this little essay, I'm going to talk about how to read him, so at least I can point people here when it comes up.

Monday, April 30th, 2007
11:30 pm
Okay, I'll Play
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It's making the rounds, and I got a cool demon, so what the hell.

Be sure you give the right answers or I'll have you killed, obviously.

Current Mood: silly
11:15 pm
My Goodness
My book is up to #30,003 on Amazon, which is very high for this sort of book, and you can now do the "search inside" thing. I have received fan email from several scholars, two of whom are actually sending me things by way of congratulations.

I don't really know what to say.


Hope they don't all hate it when they read it, whoever they are, is all I suppose I can say.


Current Mood: bouncy
8:55 pm
More Single Parenting
So after some helpful comments, I tried a fairly straightforward approach. It was all easy, really, because Sam was with the neighbors (whom he adores) until after 7:00, and we had nice weather here for once so he'd been running around and was pretty exhausted. He'd already eaten a lot of dinner, so no problem there.

Took him home, rolled him around on his tricycle, and bribed him into the house with ice cream. He ate some -- actually a frozen fruit bar, which he prefers anyway and is a lot better for him. Actually he ate a whole bar, which is a lot for a little guy. And a couple animal crackers. And some grapes. Then we ran around upstairs, but he didn't like the bath or bed idea, so we went downstairs and watched Totoro, which I'm trying to convince myself is educational because I always run it in Japanese. By 8:20 he could barely sit up, so up to bed, into the PJs, into bed, a little brief moaning, and out like a light.

I did promise him that Mommy would be home tomorrow whenever he asked, but on the whole he seems to have decided to be brave. It's not easy, since this is now the fourth straight night without her. But tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, he will be in the process of falling asleep when she comes home, and then it's all good.

That's the plan, anyway. Cross your fingers.

On another note, I just taught my last proper class, finished my horrible admin letters, and am home free until next week when I start getting final exams and stuff. Two weeks and I am OUT OF HERE for the semester. Essentially nothing official until September. Yaaaayyyy!
Sunday, April 29th, 2007
9:36 pm
Single Mothers Have My Admiration
Sarah flew off to Germany for a conference this Friday afternoon, and since then I've had Sam -- he's not quite two -- alone to myself. Yesterday I had a couple hours of shared babysitting, which means essentially a paid supervisor for playing with another kid. Sam was fairly saintly, although he did start asking about mommy rather more often yesterday than on Friday.

Today, all went generally fine, although it was clear he was a little stretched thin. I think he's getting a nasty cold, so have had to dose him with Tylenol, which fortunately he likes, but I'm sure feeling a little sick doesn't improve his temper. He wanted to go out all the time, but it's cold and nasty, so we went out anyway, well bundled up, and had an argument at 5:00 when the icy wind started and Daddy needed to make dinner.

Dinner time, he ate a little, but was not his usual chow-hound self.

Bath time, normally a huge thing for him, all about splashing and making a mess... a screaming meltdown. I have no idea what prompted it, in the immediate sense. I had to hold him down to scrub him fast and get him out and dry so his cold didn't get worse, which was no fun for either of us. Then I chased him up and down the hall for a bit, which perked him up, and then we read bedtime books. He was clearly tired, and ready for bed... and then it hit. I put him in the crib and he dropped on his knees and started sobbing, "mommy, mommy, mommy." I mean, you guys who've had 2-year-olds, you know what I'm talking about. This isn't tantrum crying, or pain crying -- this is deep anguish. I did the usual soothing things, and promised him mommy would be home soon, and he eventually decided to be brave. Since then, not a peep. What a great kid! But he's pretty upset.

Tomorrow, it's mostly not my problem, because I work ridiculous hours on Monday so he is on a rotating cycle. Day care, which is okay, then my neighbor whom he adores. Probably she (and her dog and her sister's kids) will keep him so distracted and entertained that he will wipe out easy.

Tuesday, day care, and then I pick him up and the nightmare begins. I've only got to get him through a few hours before mommy really does come home (assuming no delays and such), but it's going to be painful, if tonight is anything to go by.

How do single mothers do it? I'm a total wreck from one solid night-day-night with no breaks, and Sam is generally agreed to be one of the best-behaved kids his age around.

It doesn't help that Sarah is getting weather in the high seventies and low eighties, either.

Current Mood: sad
Monday, April 23rd, 2007
12:02 am
Shameless Plug for Purple Garbage
Your solution to everything: buy this now.

You guessed it, this is the solution. I know, because I looked up my Amazon sales rating for The Occult Mind (which you should also run right out and buy), and they had this as a sponsored link. I know Ken will buy one -- he surely needs it. Ever seen his Kirlian aura? Not a pretty sight.

It may be garbage, but at least it's purple, one of my son Sam's favorite words.
Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
12:35 pm
Interesting, maybe
First of all, I just got my rush copy of my new book, and it's pretty cool. They even went with a black cover under the sexy jacket!

Second, I have just started what promises to be a long (and rather slow) series of entries about designing fantasy RPG cultures on my other blog, clehrich. If you care about such things, check it out.
Friday, March 23rd, 2007
12:35 am
I'm Too Sexy
Hey all, Amazon now has my new book with the cover. Check this puppy out! Should be actually physically available soon, but at least you can drool over the way-sexy cover.
Friday, March 2nd, 2007
10:57 pm
Been a LOOONG time
Well well. Long, long time, no post. For those following my exciting daily life saga...


Yes, that's right, hard to believe, but actually true. I am now, or properly will be as of September 1, Assistant Professor, tenure-track and all that, in the Department of Religion at Boston University.

In other news,

1) The book is due out April/May, look it up on Amazon and pre-order now, because those babies are just going to fly off the newsstands. The title is The Occult Mind: Magic in Theory and Practice.

2) Sarah is getting tenure, and thus will be Associate Professor.

3) Sam is hitting the terrible 2s and starting practicing his tantrum technique.

Beyond that, nothing much. I am slowly getting rolling with a new book on music and ritual, but since I have to prep new courses from the ground up -- lecture courses, too, so I have to know what I'm talking about -- that's been slow. No gaming; between Sam and the job situation there just hasn't been any time.

For those who want to play my brilliant, scintillating game "Shadows in the Fog," the new link is here.

I hope to get back to writing blog entries, here and at the gaming site; we'll see how it goes.

Current Mood: bouncy
Sunday, March 19th, 2006
9:00 pm
Cooking From Scraps
I was just reading the entry on Pantry Soup in Pease Porridge, and it inspired me to make some remarks on what I do when (as tonight) I discover quite suddenly that there's very little to cook with and it's time to feed the family. My approach is a little different from hers, but the concept is similar. This takes time, though -- you cannot do this in 40 minutes.
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Saturday, March 18th, 2006
10:26 pm
Calling Creativity
So as you know, Cornell UP has accepted the book for publication; it'll be out in about a year.

The original title was Magic in Theory and Practice, an allusion to Crowley as most of you know. But all the reviewers, as well as the marketing people and the faculty board, agree that this title is bland, uninformative, and basically bad. So I have to come up with a new one -- I've got a while yet, but I'm not having flashes of brilliance here.

So I'm calling for suggestions.
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Friday, March 17th, 2006
10:50 pm
In case you were wondering...
The book has been accepted at Cornell, and the contracts are in the works.

Now I just have to finish polishing and get rights for the images and I'm finally done.

Then I have to figure out what the next book project is....
Sunday, February 5th, 2006
11:23 pm
The Book Saga Continues
[begin gloat]

Got my second reader response the other day. For those who don't know, an academic press usually sends a manuscript to two anonymous readers, generally quite distinguished people in the field or fields in question, who provide extensive commentary. This commentary usually ends up determining whether the press will take the book or not, and if so how much revision the author has to do.

So the first response is from a distinguished anthropologist who disclosed his name (I won't do so). The second is from an obviously very well-read early modern historian; I think I know who but he or she kept it secret (as is normal).

The first response ends up saying that of the thousands of books the guy owns, he keeps about 20 close at hand for constant inspiration and stimulation; he lists Benjamin, Huizinga, Ginzburg, Troubetskoy, Simmel, etc. He says my book could readily take a place on that shelf.

The second response ends up saying that pretty soon my books will have to be evaluated the way you evaluate books by Derrida or Jonathan Z. Smith, i.e. entirely on their own as simply beyond normal disciplinary-type boundaries and limitations.

My editor is now pretty damn sure the book will be taken up: it's up to the faculty board, of course, but I've never even heard of reviews that look like this, much less expected to see them.

Now I just have to do one more serious run-through for grace and style, and I think it's in the bag.

[end gloat]

The question, of course: what's next? I'm actually sort of at a loose end mentally, because I've never been without a book project on my plate since my third year in grad school, i.e. 1994.
Tuesday, December 20th, 2005
10:32 pm
My Little Savage
... but also good to think.
"... but also good to think." (Claude Levi-Strauss, Totemism)

Oh my god!  They killed Kenny!
"Oh my god! They killed Kenny!"

Silly moose.
That's my Sam.

Well, Jess asked....
10:23 pm
Democracy in Action
Okay everyone, time to get writing. Please ask your congressman to support H.Res. 635, 636, 637, sponsored by Rep. Conyers (MI). These demand an investigation of misinformation and so forth in the runup to the Iraq was, and censure Bush and Cheney for their involvement.

You should be able to find the summary texts at this link. If that doesn't work, go to http://thomas.loc.gov, click Bills/Resolutions, click Search bill summary & status, and page through to the last page. You'll see them down at the end, just before the one congratulating the Gateses and Bono (oy).

Then you just email your congressman and let's pray it works.
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