Wednesday, September 29, 2010


It's Writer-in-Residence week here at Shepherd and I've got major assignments due in every one of my classes. And my parents are coming this weekend. So long story short, I have just about zero time for anything else, but I did want to just post a few interesting links:

1) Oprah will reunite the cast of The Sound of Music. I love love love this! The Sound of Music is my sentimental favorite movie. I even like reading/grading to the soundtrack. Can't wait!

2) Maybe lots of people knew about this, but somehow yesterday I stumbled across this old (1950) Time magazine article. Kind of mind-boggling to think of Congress policing Hollywood morality. Actually, I am sure plenty self-righteous folks in Congress today would think this is a good idea. By the way, my mom was named after Ingrid Bergman, but she was born before this scandal. I wonder if my grandparents would have made the same decision post-scandal.

3) Lots of folks are talking about this piece: "Tragedy at the Virginia Quarterly Review."

4) Some good people got arrested for non-violent protests against mountain-top removal earlier this week, including Jason Howard, who I met last year when he visited Shepherd with Silas House.(In the photo, Jason is the first person on the left, and Silas is the third.) Thoreau would be proud of them. And so am I.

5) Someone needs to see this movie with me. I'll pay. I'll even buy you popcorn AND candy AND a soda. And I don't even do that for my niece when I take her to the movies. Seriously, this thing looks like so much fun.

6) "When Your Infant is Secretly Famous in Japan." To quote South Park, "Simpsons already did it!"

7) And yeah, this O'Keefe dude is a total douche. And a pervert, too. Loser.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bad aunt...

I feel like a lousy aunt (or tante, more appropriately) because today is my niece Olivia's birthday. And I forgot to call her. Completely forgot. For the first time since she's been a part of our family, I didn't talk to her on her birthday. I only realized my mistake at 10:30 tonight...and immediately let out a string of not very nice words.

I suppose it didn't help that I had another long day at work: there by 8:00 a.m. and getting home at almost 8:00 p.m. It was a day of back-to-back meetings and classes--and barely any time to answer emails, eat lunch, even use the bathroom. Still, I should have made time for that phone call.

Anyway, maybe her mom will show her this blog entry and help her read this part: Olivia is one of the coolest kids on the planet. She's funny and always full of joy and embodies the phrase "a zest for life." She's smart as a whip--so much so that she continually impresses her parents and the rest of us. And she's amazingly sweet and kind. I've never seen her do something mean. Think about that--how many kids can you say that about? I always have a smile on my face after talking to her. Plus, she can perform (singing and dancing) the entire score of Mama Mia. Not bad, right?

Happy 7th birthday, Olivia!

How dry has it been?

Answer: bad enough in my county for our governor to declare a drought disaster. Just ask my lawn... But lawns aren't really that important. The effects on our poor farmers are much more dramatic. We got just a bit of rain on (really) early Sunday morning and it actually woke me up--even though the windows were closed. That's how unusual the sound of rainfall is around here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My awesome job

I know I complain sometimes (or a lot!) about certain aspects of my job, but I also must admit, it's a great gig. On a day like today, I sometimes do feel like it's one of the best jobs on earth. Here's why: it's a crazy busy day--class, meetings, observations of adjunct classes, grading--but earlier this afternoon, a couple of current students and one recent graduate stopped by my office to say hello and to give me a little gift the recent grad (Anna) had picked up for me: this book. Pretty cool, right? And it was totally on my wish list! Clearly, these students know I love me some Emily Dickinson, but I am absolutely touched by the idea that Anna would see the book in the store, think of me, and buy it. They also assured me that she got a good deal. (Apparently they were all at Borders together.) Sounds like they also know that I love a bargain and worry about their post-graduate economic status.

So, yeah, my job rocks. I love that I can say that, especially when so many people can't. Makes me feel very blessed and lucky.


Check out this guy. I'd trust him with a county treasury. Totally.

This will never happen...

...but it would be so freakin' great if it did. Apparently, Kristen Bell is trying to start a twitter campaign for a Veronica Mars movie. I thought this was a dead idea, but if she's willing to push, I'll get on board. This past weekend, I re-watched the last half of Season Two while grading papers. So very good. I miss you, Veronica!

A bit of hope...

[Sticking my head out of the general "no politics on the blog" fox hole...]

Did anyone catch Meghan McCain on Rachel Maddow's show last night? I hope so. If not, take a look: Part I and Part II. Politics lately has depressed me so much that I try not to think/talk about it too much. But when I saw this interview, I felt a bit of hope for the Republican party. If young people like Meghan are the future of the party, then we should be okay.

Poor Meghan. She gets eviscerated by the right and the left, but to me, she is smart, articulate, and reasonable. Sure, she grew up entitled and wealthy, but that doesn't make someone a bad person. (This seems to be the charge from some vocal factions on the left...) The attacks from the right write themselves--the same old depressing, divisive, and hateful rhetoric that basically translates into: "If you don't believe EVERYTHING the radical right believes, then go to hell. If you say ANYTHING reasonable, rational, or charitable about the left or even the mainstream, then you are a traitor."

Maybe Meghan falls into the "woe is me"/martyr role a bit too easily, but take a look at what people are saying about her in comments on blogs, etc. and you'll see where she's coming from. (Let's not even get into the attacks on her physical appearance.)

Anyway, I found myself so encouraged by listening to her. Then Rachel Maddow had to end with the (sadly accurate) statement that moderate Republicans like Meghan are getting voted out everywhere. Way to dump some water on that spark of hope, Rachel!

Friday, September 3, 2010


So I am not a Diet Coke addict or a caffeine-driven/dependent person. But I do like to reward myself each afternoon with a Diet Coke. I bring it in from home, put it in the tiny department fridge in the morning, then enjoy it later, usually after 3:00 or so. It's a yummy, refreshing, and relaxing part of my day. Twice this semester, someone has taken it. It is amazing how angry, annoyed, and disappointed that makes me.

I really want to channel Ross Gellar and his turkey sandwich rage. "Did you mistake it for YOUR Diet Coke?"


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dorothea Grossman

Y'all, I think we need to be reading this woman. Read all the poems at the Poetry Foundation. Here's just one...

"It is not so much that I miss you"

It is not so much that I miss you
as the remembering
which I suppose is a form of missing
except more positive,
like the time of the blackout
when fear was my first response
followed by love of the dark.

Okay--one more: this one's a bit adult, but hilarious.

"Love Poem"

In a lightning bolt
of memory,
I see our statue of Buddha
(a wedding gift from Uncle Gene)
which always sat
on top of the speaker cabinet.
When a visitor asked,
“So, does Buddha like jazz?”
you said, “I hope so.
He’s been getting it up the ass
for a long time.”


It's almost 7:00. I've been on campus all day, haven't completed half of what I had planned to do, and the tasks keep piling up. Okay, Fall Semester 2010: I get it. You're here. And you're determined to be just as busy as last semester and the one before that. But we really couldn't ease into things just a little bit?