Back in Western PA
While I was unhappy when our second flight of the day was delayed, all seemed better once we got to the apartment. The weather was pleasant--neither boiling hot nor like the recent Bay Area weather that caused some people to put on fuzzy gloves or even wool turtlenecks topped with sweatshirts. Actually, it was pretty much ideal summer evening weather, so I went out for a walk. My neighborhood looked positively enchanting in the gloaming, and I saw fireflies!
I can't say I have ever given thought to whether I have a favorite insect, but the thought occurred to me that perhaps the firefly ought to be in the running. Butterflies are often gorgeous, but I'm not sure they can be said to have the magical charm of the common lightning bug.
My stay in California was, in retrospect, an odd mix of things. I got a lot done on certain projects, although not as much as I would have liked. I saw more friends than I expected, given that I had less free time than usual--while both John and Cesar spent significant parts of my visit away on separate European adventures, I did get to see them, my writing group, and several old friends from the NWU. At the end, several parts of my life even combined in an unexpected manner when Cesar took me to the poet Alice Rogoff's birthday party. They're in the same writing group and I know Alice slightly from the NWU (she was becoming active just as I was getting ready to go off to school), but it turned out that a significant number of the guests are close friends of an old friend of mine. I thought I had known Sullivan a respectable length of time, but they've known him since about 1969. Anyhow, it was nice to have a few opportunities to escape my various projects and even my father's medical adventures.
Meanwhile, my birthday draws closer and tomorrow my father is scheduled to get out of rehab, so some celebration ought to be in order.
But I regret to say that I have been asked to do a second rewrite of a journal article written last summer. This is better than having it rejected, but one of the anonymous reviewers seems to want me to shoehorn most of my dissertation into a 10,000-word article, in addition to adding some things that I would have to research separately. I am not sure what to do about this, so I think I should return to putting the final touches on my fall syllabi and presentations, since after all I do commence teaching in a week and a half.