December 19, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 9:46 am

Monday morning.

I dislike all holidays, but Christmas is probably the worst. It’s the most disruptive of routine. Work schedules get screwed up, mandatory shopping enters the equation (which involves coming up with ideas, searching, battling traffic and other shoppers, standing in line at the post office). Even the old standard of my life, the NFL, is messing with me this year, moving every game but one from Christmas Day to Christmas Eve Saturday.

Of course, THAT would just happen to be the one day that I’m working this week!

So even though my schedule looks like 5 off, 1 on, plus Sunday to work on my website, I got up this morning feeling like today was already definitely ruined and the whole week was in jeopardy. If I don’t get the shopping thang nailed today, the damage could spread.

No doubt about it, Christmas sucks.

•          •          •          •          •          •          •          •          •          •

Well, I haven’t heard back from David McMullen, Ellen Dawson‘s biographer, so I’m a little unclear whether I should press onwards and finish it up or leave her to him. It’s not like I’ve got any lack of Wikipedia work: Social-Democratic Party of Wisconsin, two more books dealing with Paul Grottkau and perhaps as well with his nemesis Philip Van Patten, and the titles on A.J. Muste and the American Legion are now starting to roll in, meaning that those are sliding back into my gunsights.

I reckon I’ll let Dawson sit for another week and will move on to Grottkau and the American Legion. The latter may come as a surprise to those who know me, it being a right wing “patriotic” organization and all, but I discovered that Wikipedia’s page on the Legion was REALLY TERRIBLE and decided to dive in and get it done right.

The Legion is absolutely a big player in the story of American radicalism during my main period of interest (1916-1924) and it’s something I need to master. Fun facts of the day: four World War I officers are credited with coming up with the idea of the American Legion: Teddy Roosevelt’s son, Teddy Junior — thus their obsession with “100% Americanism” — “Wild Bill” Donovan, head of the OSS and founding father of the CIA, and an editor of the Portland Oregonian being three of them. Also the editor of their official organ, The American Legion Weekly, went on to found The New Yorker magazine.

See all the cool shit you can learn by branching out in the research topics just a little?

Well, it’s fast heading for 10 am and I have to get going on my shopping expedition at noon, so time’s a wastin’ if this day isn’t going to be a total loss.

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Books Received.
Bruce C. Nelson, Beyond the Martyrs: A Social History of Chicago’s Anarchists, 1870-1900. (Rutgers UP, 1989).
Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson, Abraham Went Out: A Biography of A.J. Muste. (Temple UP, 1981).
Thomas A. Rumer, The American Legion: An Official History, 1919-1989. (M. Evans, 1990).
Stephen Velychenko, State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine: A Comparative Study of Governments and Bureaucrats, 1917-1922. (University of Toronto, 2011).

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