In Which You, Dear Reader, Help Me

The Shill is going to be here this weekend for the big race, along with her friend and Tiny, the wonder fetus.

I need to know of a good, but inexpensive, restaurant for pasta on Friday night and I need to know whether the long-rumored BBQ joint in Berry Hill is going to be open by Saturday.  If not, where should I take them?

Keep in mind, Tiny is leeching off the Shill and Tiny can’t have alcohol or overly smoky conditions.

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The Brilliance and Marvelousity of Dr. J

Dr. J is graduating this weekend and I cannot be there, as the Shill is going to be in town.

So, if there is a round of toasting her greatness, I will not be able to participate.  Which is too bad, because I could go on for a long time about how great she is.  Shoot, I could go on for a long time just trying to make my way through all her various degrees. 

So, I thought I would just publicly decree my love for Dr. J right here, right now.

J., you have it.  You totally do.  You’re one of the smartest people I know, but you never retreat into your intellect as a way of hiding from the world.  You don’t make fortresses of big words in order to keep your ivory towers safe; you force words to be bridges between people, you use them as tools for sharing ideas.  Your scholarship has always been brilliant but open and available to anyone who took the time with it.  You put into practice every day the idea that education is for everyone and that our cultural heritage should be accessible and understandable to everyone, even as you question what that heritage is and whether it’s inclusive of all the amazing stories we have to tell.

You are the least snobby person I have every met, especially in that way.  Your students are very lucky.

I am inspired every day by the ways you live with poetry, like some folks live with a well tended garden or a wallet full of pictures of their kids.  For you, poetry is an everyday source of beauty and meaning.  You live with it in your heart and I think that’s a brave and pleasant way to live.

I also am in awe of your love of beauty and transcendence.  For you, it never has been about finding the right analytical or theoretical tool in order to nail down your subject and open it up and pick at its parts and kill it, dead, dead, dead.  It’s been about enjoying and living in and among and with the things you write about.

I know this next little bit is going to suck so hard–especially the job part.  There are so many good scholars out there and all competing for so few jobs.  My fingers are crossed for you.

But my fingers are also crossed for that profession we love and hate.  When I see you, I see the antidote for so many of the problems of the discipline and I really worry that we’d rather die doing things the way we always have than go through the painful rebirth that scholars like you represent.

Anyway, there’s a time and place for worrying about that.  This is not it.

Instead, I’ll just say that I love you and am so proud of you and am every day honored and lucky to be your friend. 

Don’t trip and don’t start cooking anything before the ceremony you don’t want to wear to the ceremony.

Headbutts for Everyone!

I was just sitting down to write my ode to the brilliance and marvelosity of Dr. J when I looked over and saw that the dog was curled up under the window and that the tiny cat was headbutting her.


You know how cats do, when they want to love up on you, they will butt their heads against you?  Well, the tiny cat is totally butting her head against the dog’s.  Mrs. Wigglebottom does not know what to think, I tell you.


And now?  Now the cat is curled up against Mrs. Wigglebottom’s belly and the dog is looking like it’s Christmas.  Those of you who have been here through all the trauma of the cats not giving Mrs. Wigglebottom the time of day can imagine how excited she is.


Aw, shit.  She couldn’t bear it.  The happiness was too much.  She got up and came over here, tail wagging.  And now the cat is shooting her dirty looks.


But briefly, briefly there was cat on dog cuddling in my house!  It’s only taken five years, but cuddling has occurred.